Updated: Jan 7
What can we be addicted to? Drugs and alcohol, we know about those. But what about food and entertainment? Social media and YouTube?
What about addiction to others liking us? Even an addiction to relationships?
What if we can even become addicted to being selfish? To having a victim mentality? To giving up?
Some say that addiction is anything that begins and ends with pain. It is anything that we crave, while simultaneously knowing it brings us eventual unhappiness. We know we would like to stop, but continue to repeat it.
So, we can become addicted to anger. We can become addicted to fear. We can even become addicted to serving others, if we do it out of compulsion or obsession.
We can be addicted to healthy things like nutrition and exercise or even meditation and prayer.
How is this possible?
We may be trying to fill a hole in our life; to mask a pain or trauma that we carry. We may have inflammation in our gut and brain that is putting us in a constant state of anxiety and depression. We may not consider ourselves worthy of love or acceptance, and so we do things that align with those false beliefs of ourselves, thus perpetuating our suffering.
Something seemingly good becomes addictive when it no longer leads to fulfillment, growth, or joy, but instead fear, pride, obsession, or self-righteousness.
Addiction is a substitution for our need to connect with God. We are infinite and divine - spiritual beings locked in physical bodies. Ironically, these bodies are not our natural state, and so we desire far more than what this physical world has to offer.
We need to feel connected to the infinite and the divine every single day, even every moment, otherwise we will seek after the things of the world as a cheap substitute.
If we want to overcome addiction, we need to feed our mind, body, and spirit with light and holiness. We need to seek after those things which bring peace to us.
We need to pray and read of the best words from holy servants of God, like those found in the Holy Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, Buddhist texts, and many more.
We need to remove foods which bring sadness and suffering to our souls, and begin eating whole foods of the earth that fill us with light and peace. Yes, it is a great challenge to stop eating those foods which bring darkness to our bodies. The key is not to refrain from them, but rather to replace them over time, slowly filling the chasm of desire for foods of pleasure with a holy fulfillment in eating foods that give us a feeling of wellness and bring us closer to God.
We need to refrain from media that deludes us, brings us further into the world and further away from our eternal purpose as beings of light. Movies, TV shows, video games, and online videos that promote violence, sexual promiscuity, hate, degrading and judging others, and other worldly messages are those things that will bring more darkness into our lives, even when they seem to not be "so bad".
Again, it is difficult removing these things from our lives. We must have compassion and love for ourselves as we seek to improve one step at a time. Remember never to simply remove something that causes you suffering, but always to replace it with something else that brings joy and fulfillment. We can't stop something effectively without starting something else simultaneously.
In the eternities, God wants each of our lives to become the very pinnacle of growth and joy. What sacrifice is not worth this eternal peace? How much is too much to give to experience this holiness? What would we not give to become as God is, filled with compassion, understanding, divine focus, and serenity?
To overcome addiction, we need to take ourselves out of the world and seek to live God's will, rather than our own. He can inspire, direct, and empower us to embrace all that is good, transforming into a being that lives in the world but not of the world.
None of what we have - our possessions, time, even our very lives - are ours. They are His, we are His, and when we give ourselves over to Him entirely we will find the divine answers to physical suffering that we are looking for.