Going with the flow refers to letting life lead you forth. You let go of expectations, goals, focused achieving and you surrender to life and follow its cues and directions for you. It is letting your heart lead instead of your mind.
Some people baulk at this concept. They fear it means sitting around, wasting time, doing nothing. This can’t be further from the truth. When you surrender to life you will be guided forth to do what is needed for your highest good. This may mean facing past hurts and healing them so that you can become more whole and integrated, then the Universe will lead you forth to be of service in some way that benefits the whole.
There is no point in you trying to force and effort it before you are ready. It simply won’t work and you will exhaust yourself in the process. The emotional density and residue inside you will fight against what you are trying to achieve.
It would be like having your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time. You may make a lot of noise and smoke, but you won’t go far. When there is still residue inside it blocks you from achieving what you think you want from your mind. Your heart, your body knows whether or not your goal is good for you and if it’s not it won’t let you achieve it.
If your body is still full of fear or negative beliefs saying “You have to hide to stay safe. Stay small so no one sees you or hurts you” then of course you will self sabotage if you at the mind level try to go out and be seen and achieve some big goal.
The ego doesn’t like to go slow, but the truth is it will be much more effective to flow with life, to heal and integrate, and then step forth into the light for all to see.
Too many people push themselves way too hard. Then they burn out from exhaustion or depression and disappointment with life.
School teaches us about achieving, about careers and getting stuff, achieving materialistic success. They don’t teach about the dangers of focusing on that as a successful life.
Poor health, marital breakdown, obese lonely kids addicted to screens, alcoholism and violence associated with numbness from feeling life is too hard and it’s not worth all the effort, feeling life is meaningless and getting eventually bored and lethargic no matter which shiny new toy you buy – house, car, yacht, etc.
Life focused on materialism takes you away from your heart. It is all ego driven and that isn’t fulfilling ultimately. What is fulfilling is connection – connection with self, with God, with family and friends, with community – feeling like you belong, that people care about you, and that you matter to someone.
We are happiest when we feel loved and secure. When we can relax and just be, knowing all is okay and we are looked after. This comes from a life led by the heart, from flowing with the guidance that comes inside you – those intuitive urges, random thoughts or insights that urge you to go somewhere or speak to someone that you hadn’t been thinking about doing.
It comes from the outside synchronicities and guidance that confirm your path or intuitive urge. You think about needing a massage and next thing you see a sign for a massage on your walk at lunch. Or you think about having a holiday and someone starts talking to you about the country you would like to go to.
The form of confirmations can be many. Sometimes a song comes on the radio with lyrics that touches your heart, a movie scene, a book. There are so many ways the universe gives us messages, encouraging us to flow down a certain path that is most in line with our highest good.
To me it is a little like those ‘Choose your own ending’ books that I had as a child. The signs are there to go a certain way, but if you don’t listen another set of signs comes along to guide you and another, and if you still don’t listen eventually it’s a car accident or a health scare or some other large event that makes you stop and think about how you are living your life. It happens to get you to reflect and choose differently. It is not random, it all has purpose.
Life orchestrates it all, so we get the input we need to help us along our destined path. When you relax and follow the signs life is a lot easier. You don’t need to use so much energy or fight to be seen or heard. You relax and trust that whoever is meant to see you or hear you will and that’s enough. You don’t have to achieve huge amounts or be a super star. You are enough just being you and doing what you love, living your life with kindness.
If you are intuitively guided to a large action packed life, so be it. But if you are intuitively guided to a simple and quiet life, that’s okay too. You may be in a phase of healing and integration. There may be a more outgoing phase later, but don’t covet it or thirst after it. Trust that what comes is what is needed for your highest growth and embodiment of the light this lifetime.
So going with the flow is not a passive nothingness, it is an active attention to the inner and outer signals guiding you forth as to what to do and when to do it. It is an active listening within and without for the guidance that may come from many different sources and in many different ways.
As you do this your intuition strengthens and you will get clearer and clearer signals. Sometimes, often, you will be asked to do something that is outside your comfort zone, that stretches you – you can resist out of fear or take the leap of faith trusting that you will be supported as you take the plunge into the depths of yourself and your purpose here on Earth.
You will experience exactly what you need for your evolution and growth. Life is leading us all forth, to achieve what matters most – insight and growth, connection with our heart, love, God and Mother Earth. We are all growing and evolving, and it is all happening as it needs to. Trust in that and flow with life. Blessed BE, Amen.
If you found this blog useful you may wish to consider purchasing a copy of Jodi-Anne’s book ‘Advice from a higher Source’ which contains 85 more answers to questions about life. The paperback book or ebook can be purchased online at – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JMS2011. (Once you have clicked into view the description of the book, go to the top of the page and choose the flag symbol for your country, this will show you the price in your currency and enable you to purchase it in that currency)
Science now shows that the cause of addiction is not the addictiveness of the drugs themselves, but the underlying reasons for taking the drugs – the emotional pain, trauma, and disconnection/loneliness that users feel. The drugs are simply an escape mechanism to avoid feeling the pain and to feel connected to something. If as a society we help people to heal the pain, to feel connected to others and enjoy life, then the use of drugs will decrease. Love and connection is the answer.
When someone has been raised in a violent, rage-filled home it is understandable that they automatically expect the worst to occur, because in their childhood home it did occur.Any small provocation could turn into World War 3, and as a result, the child learns to brace itself ready for what is to occur. The body goes into fight, flight or freeze ready to protect itself from the danger that was always present.
Even if the rage and terror only occurred occasionally, it is likely the child would be on high alert, as you never know what will trigger rage and horrible experience for them and the family. This fear of what may occur and usually does occur leads the child to not be able to relax and enjoy life.
Good events often turn bad or nasty once the drunk parent loses their temper, so having fun feels unsafe, dangerous to the child or doomed to end badly. This is why many children raised in alcoholic or drug-addicted homes don’t know how to have fun. They tend to isolate preferring to stay home or alone as this feels safer than risking interaction with others or having fun.
The reactions of children are not exaggerated. They respond to what occurs in their environment. If danger, violence, hurtful events occur often enough an association is built up in the brain that pain is what life is about. It becomes the dominant neural pathway and belief of the child, so naturally, they expect the worst and they do so because it often happened.
It is very hard to change this deep patterning of expecting the worst. It is not as simple as changing a thought. Every fibre of your being is used to violence, danger and preparing to protect itself. The terror, the helplessness and powerlessness of childhood abuse are catastrophic. A child in an abusive home will literally shut down, numb out, and fantasise leaving and having a better life.
The fantasy leads to resentment, shame, guilt and blame. It leads to more longing and feeling not good enough. Your family, yourself, your life are all judged as not good enough and as needing to change. This frustration at what is can become an explosive rage at the unfairness of life, of your experiences. You can then become violent, filled with hate and the cycle repeats. The child then grows into an adult with volatile tendencies and may become abusive to their families, existing and new. This is the repetitive nature of abuse in families.
The abuse comes from emotional pain that has not been dealt with. The sadness, the rage, the helplessness is all bottled up inside. If allowed out explosively it is destructive. If kept inside it is deadening, life becomes a numb, painful place where you just go through the motions, doing what you have to do, but not really feeling or enjoying anything very much.
Deep depression and sadness can occur as you realise how much you are missing out on, as you can’t shake off the doom and gloom and it feels like life never changes or improves. It can feel hopeless and people often wonder what is the point of going on. Here is the risk of suicide. Children who were abused can grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, unnecessary and feel like there is no point living, that no one would really miss them, etc. STOP! Stop this thinking. You are deeply loved, deeply, deeply loved, by God and many of the people around you, they just may not show it to you in the ways that you would like. Most parents do love their children, just their own emotional pain and addictions stop them being there for the child, stop them being tender and caring.
To stop expecting the worst to occur we have to learn to be kind and loving to ourself. We have to make the effort to do fun things and to enjoy life. Try out a hobby, a sport, an activity of some sort and find what makes your heart smile.
All the negative emotions and painful experiences will need to be released, so you can return back to a state of peace and calm. This will happen slowly and naturally. Don’t push it, force it, try to make it happen sooner. Remember to be kind to yourself in all you do.
When an emotion comes up, feel it, then let it go. Don’t hold onto it. Don’t go into judgement about it or the people involved in the remembered situation. Judgement just keeps you stuck, feeling justified in your pain and dysfunction. Judgement and blame are just ways to stay stuck in your head, ruminating over what occurred, instead of being in the present moment and listening to your heart.
When you have experienced deep pain and trauma your heart is often filled with such sadness that it is hard to feel it and sit with it. If you need help processing your emotions get it. You need a safe space in which to rest, to feel what needs to be felt and to release it safely – a counsellor, a friend, a family member, a space in nature that you connect with.
There are lots of ways to release the emotion – drawing it out, singing, running, crying, whatever works for you to shift it from locked inside your body, to being released outside of you. The concept of emotional transformation is to lovingly release what no longer serves you. You just feel it and breathe through it, until your body calms back down. You do this every time you are triggered and notice your body going into restriction, bracing itself for the worst to occur. You do this every time you feel the emotion from the past bubbling up to be released.
The more you clear out the old buried emotion and trauma, with love and kindness, you create a space for new energies to enter, for joy and peace to take hold, for love and kindness to become your dominant experience.
Just as your body will automatically tense at the threat of danger, react with fight, flight or freeze, it also has a process for coming out of that reactive, hypervigilant state back into calm, peaceful relating.
The process the body uses to do this is called ‘tremoring’. It literally shakes out the stress and tension that has been stored in the muscles of the body so they can relax.
All of the fight, flight chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol get used up with the shaking. When we get triggered and our body wants to run away or fight back but we don’t do so, those chemicals stay in the body. It is these that add to the tense muscles, the contractions and shallowing of breath, the frozen states within us.
TRE is a gentle process enabling the body to heal itself, to unwind the tension and calm back down. Once you have learned how to do TRE you can use it at home for free whenever you want to calm your body and release daily stresses.
As you release the old energies you make way for new lighter energies to enter. This makes it easier for you to move forward, to try new things and not feel so threatened.
As you’ve got less pain inside your defence mechanisms start to soften, the self-protective processes aren’t as strong as your body is no longer signalling your brain that you’re in danger all the time. As the signals ease off your mind and body relax and you can see more clearly what is actually occurring around you.
When your body is full of trauma and pain you see through that lens and you see it outside of you, see the risk of pain everywhere. It’s not that the world is a horrible, dangerous place. It’s just that’s what you see because of the pain inside you. If you clear out the pain you can see the beauty and joy in the world more easily as your body now has room for these to enter.
If you’d like to learn more about TRE visit the TRE page of my website. It would be my honour to help you learn this life-changing process to help you calm your body and enjoy life more.
As your body becomes clearer you start to expect love and kindness, it becomes your new norm. First, it comes from how you treat yourself, then it will come from those around you – as like attracts like. Vibrationally those around you will mirror what is locked inside you.
You don’t ever need to accept poor treatment, just walk away, send love and know that it is not personal. Anyone who hurts another is in inner turmoil and is just as mean and cruel to themselves. Such people need love and acceptance, not judgement and rejection. It is okay if you can’t do this yet. If you feel you still need to defend or protect yourself from others and the outside world. Your defensive patterns and automatic reactions will soften as you heal, as you start to experience kindness and peace inside.
It does require a lot of self-love and self-kindness, which you may not be used to doing. You have to cultivate this habit, you do so by tuning into your body and what it is feeling and what it needs. If it needs to rest then rest. Don’t push through till you are absolutely exhausted. Rest. Be kind and tender to yourself. Become the loving parent you didn’t have – be that for yourself.
Learn to have fun, try things out. Don’t be surprised if you don’t feel much fun at first – you are used to social situations being challenging or threatening, so it is going to take some time for it to stop being the automatic reaction and for fun to take its place.Keep doing things and you will notice in time that you are relaxing, you are having fun, and all is well.
You don’t have to stay stuck in pain or isolation. This does not help you. It just avoids the work needing to be done to find freedom and peace. There is much you can do to change negative beliefs and programming so that you do expect good things from life and you do enjoy whatever you experience. These belief changes will help, but the trauma and pain need to be released too. You can try to think positively as much as you like, but if you haven’t done the deep healing work, you are just playing around the edges, like the tip of an iceberg. You can make the tip look nice, but there is still much more to be done underneath the surface.
The most important thing to realise is that your reaction of expecting the worst to occur is a normal, understandable reaction for someone who experienced constant or ongoing terror as a child. You couldn’t relax or enjoy life because of the abuse occurring, the rage-filled or drama-filled atmosphere of your childhood home. So your reaction is normal and it can be healed – it just takes time. So be kind to yourself as you go along the healing journey and don’t give up. With every step you take, every emotion you release, your life is getting better and better. Your vibration is rising as you have less emotional density locked inside and therefore you will attract differently.
It is a long journey and sometimes it feels ridiculously long and tedious, but it is a path you have to walk if your life started harshly. You can find your way to peace and happiness, it just takes time, self-love and peaceful thoughts. Do the work required and you will be rewarded with a much more peaceful experience of life. You can have a life filled with positive events and experiences, and as that becomes your normal day to day occurrence, you will learn to expect the best to occur each day and you manifest heaven on Earth. Remember it is possible. It just takes time and effort. You can do it. You deserve it and you can achieve it. Blessed BE. Amen.
These are insightful videos by Gabor Mate who explains that emotional pain and trauma underlies addiction. He also explains how trauma/addictive tendencies get past on through the generations unintentionally when addiction affected parents are not able to be present and available to their kids.
I love this video by Johann Harri. In it he explains that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it is connection. We all need to feel connected to others, to belong, to be loved and accepted as we are. Without that we look for that connection in things or substances.
When a person has been deeply wounded, they will project that wound out onto others. They will see others as wounded and in need of fixing. When in truth it is themselves that need healing.
Because of the depths of the pain, a person will see wounds everywhere, they will feel the pain of others – it is like they can see it, feel it, smell it. They don’t want to be in it all the time, so they try to fix people or run away, so they don’t have to be surrounded by pain. But you can’t run away from what is inside you. It always goes with you.
Some people are more sensitised to it than others. If you were raised in an abusive home, you learned to watch others closely, to see their dynamics and watch for danger. You could see their pain and see when it would burst out to attack others. You learned to do this to help yourself survive and not be in danger. You focused on the pain of others to protect yourself from their outbursts. In this sense it was a good skill that you developed. However, the habit of watching and feeling other people’s pain never got switched off. So now as an adult, you still see people’s pain and fear it will result in an emotional attack at some stage. So you stay on high alert inside and feel threatened by their pain. This is why you try to fix others, so you can relax and not have to be on guard all the time. That is your own issue. There is no danger. Other people, most people, are capable of managing their pain and not having it burst out and affect others.
It is only because of your past experience as a child in a volatile, abusive home, where your parents didn’t cope with their emotional pain, that you fear it all the time. Alcoholics in particular are known for lashing out with their pain. The drink inhibits their ability to manage the pain and their reactions to it.
Once drunk the pain and their sadness or anger about it comes spilling out and it may get projected onto all those around them. It can be overwhelming as the person has a massive release, a let go of their built up pain. However, because they don’t work through it, they don’t have any insights or forgiveness, it just happens again and again. The pain builds inside them until it topples over the edge and then cascades like a water fall from them to their surroundings.
People who don’t drink excessively, generally don’t react that same way. They can sense the emotions building up and do something constructive to release or manage them. most can heal themselves or at least not explode out affacting others.
The problem with children of alcoholics is they are used to seeing the pain of others as a danger sign, a warning to be careful and watch out. They don’t trust the other to handle it responsibly. Clearly the issue here is this high alertness and expectation of abuse – for that is what the urge to fix others really is. It is as if you have decided that you can’t relax or feel safe unless all the others are okay. Hence you see the problem as them and their behaviour, instead of recognising it as your own issue and wounding that needs resolving.
Once you have resolved your own pain and retrained yourself not to react in advance or expect the worst, then you can relax and be happy. The fixing that is needed is of yourself, not others.
Once you heal the pain in yourself you will not be so affected by others or care about their pain. You will happily live your life doing what you need to do and trust them to resolve their own issues without your help. They don’t need you to rescue them. You need to rescue yourself. The urge to fix others shows you are still drowning in pain from the past or outdated belief systems and defense mechanisms that are no longer needed. Thank them for keeping you safe in the past, and reassure your inner chld and those protective parts of you, that their efforts aren’t needed now. You are safe. You are an adult and you can walk away from anyone who did abuse you.
You are not a child trapped in an abusive, scary, volatile, unpredictable home any more. If you don’t do the work to heal yourself you react as if you are still living in that dangerous home, even though you left it many years, even decades before.
The feelings of pain and the need to protect yourself by watching others and attempting to manipulate situations so explosions don’t occur – is so strong that it will stay with you your whole life – unless you explain to the guard dog that the danger has past. You can take off the armour, put down the sword and relax. It is time to do it. Time to have fun and play.
Ultimately that is what we want – for you to play and have fun, and for you to have reprogrammed your subconscious beliefs so that you expect goodness, love and support from others. You feel peace and joy when others approach you, rather than angst and fear. It is your inner work you need to focus on, not what the other is doing. That is their business to resolve and action. Yours is yours. Focus where you can make the most change – in yourself. Do that work and be a positive role model for society – of healing, wholeness and love – that is what we need, more people who have done the inner work and can role model it for others.
Others will heal themselves, when the time is right. That is not up to you or set by your standards or expectations. Let people off the hook. Love them as they are. Support them to grow in their own way and time. Let go of control and choose peace, for it really does exist. It is just a choice you need to make. Blessed BE. Amen.
This post contains information I prepared as a course handout on addiction several years ago. I share it in the hope that it assists someone to gain clarity and insight into how best to help themselves or a loved one suffering from addiction. Love, Jodi-Anne.
Addiction types and why used
There are many types of addictions. They vary greatly from substances relied on to help us get through the day (coffee, tea, sugar, fat) to those stronger drugs used to escape our feelings and reality (alcohol, smoking, cannabis, LSD, coacaine, heroin, etc). There are also addictions that are action based (work-a-holism, shopping, gambling, lying, stealing, sexual addiction). There are many types of addiction. Some society condones – study, working, shopping. Some society fears and shames those involved – illicit drugs and alcoholism.
All of these addictions are used as a way to cope, to attempt to feel better, to enjoy life, however the high is only temporary, requiring the addict to use again / to repeat the activity over again. Sometimes at higher doses or risk. Until ultimately there is a crash – a near death experience – over dose, car crash, blood poisoning; a terrifying experience – waking up in an unknown place or with an injury or person you don’t remember connecting with. It may be a loss of a job, home or family when they can take it no more. Some tragedy has to happen for the addict who is truly afflicted and caught in the co-dependent cycle to wake up and want to change. Without that crash the addict may not be ready to make the effort to heal. No-one will be able to force them to. Healing is an inner process that must unfold at a rate the addict can handle. It must be done in a supportive environment where the addict feels safe, accepted and encouraged. Any guilt, shame, pressure or judgement will just drive them further into addiction.
An addict may seem to improve temporarily but if you watch closely you may notice that they have simply swapped one source of addiction for another – changed substances or fixes. To really heal you have to go within, deal with the source of the unrest, of the need to medicate, numb out, find a high. You need to heal the pain, release the shame, guilt, feelings of loss, abandonment, not being good enough, not being loved and accepted as you were by your parents and any others through your life that have caused you trauma or a low sense of self-esteem and self-acceptance. You have to learn to love and honour yourself and treat yourself well – to become your own happy, loving parent.
Addiction sources and healing process
Some addicts do come from what appear to be happy homes, but somehow they developed an angst that needed to be filled by an addiction of some sort. Perhaps they felt stifled as a child, given too much attention, felt a need to achieve or be perfect. They may have felt trapped in a box of expectations and felt they couldn’t live up to it, so they gave up.
They may indeed have had a happy home (this is extremely rare due to the way the conditioning process works – the psychology of child development and the most common child rearing practices and disciplines). But let’s say they did have a happy home. They were totally loved, accepted, held regularly, fed when they were hungry, comforted, had all their needs met. They weren’t yelled at, disciplined through harshness but through kindness. They escaped unharmed from their early years. Then they went to school! For many people school is a nightmare – from bullying, to challenges with subject material that they can’t grasp or feeling they don’t fit in, or can’t do what others can – sport, academic, dance – whatever it may be. Some very rare individuals may escape school unscathed. Then comes relationships and work where further potential loss, hurt, betrayal, feeling not good enough, rejected, etc can come.
Somewhere along the line life provided a knockout blow that the person couldn’t cope with and they turned to an addiction to cope, to numb the pain, to feel free of their inner pain. They may be able to cope when the specific events occurred but they are cumulative all adding together until one day the foundation crumbles and addiction commences.
Even those who start young experimenting with drugs and alcohol do so because they are unhappy in some way. This is not to say their parents did anything wrong. They probably did the best they could. But their child has grown vulnerable to addiction due to some experience. The way society operates today encourages this. We are all so busy rushing around that we don’t get to love and cherish our children as we should. Working parents, divorces, step-parent issues, poverty, stress, use of TV and computer games as ways to escape and entertain children. All diminish the quality time connecting – talking, sharing, encouraging / accepting, honouring, loving each other, sitting quietly together or in nature playing non-competitive games or art or dance or many other ways that we can interact in positive relationship building and affirming ways that let our children know they are loved, accepted, okay. They are safe. The world is a good place that will provide their needs. They can follow their hearts and achieve their dreams. Few children get such a positive foundation to life, a foundation of self-acceptance and self-esteem to live from.
Most get fear and self-judgement, a need to impress or achieve or hide to keep safe. These are the underlying sources of addiction and it is these issues that need to be healed so the addict stops self-medicating or moving from one form of addiction to another. When they heal they find inner peace, love and eventually even joy and happiness. It can be done. It takes a lot of effort and willingness to face your past, feel and release the emotions buried within, face the fears and risk showing who you really are, risking rejection and ridicule to follow your heart, speak your truth, even if it is very different to other people. You become your authentic self, the person you were born to be, that has been hiding behind addiction and a raft of defense mechanisms acting as a protective mask. Keeping the vulnerable true self hidden away safely inside.
Addiction is very challenging to overcome as using is so quick and easy compared to the healing work. This is why for most people it takes some kind of disaster – trauma and crisis – to get them ready to make the effort, to face their demons and break free. Without that it is just too easy to keep escaping. But when you’ve truly lost something you love, then that shock, that pain may be enough to tip the scales. That is why you should not ‘enable’ an addict. Don’t clean up after them, bail them out, lie or make excuses for them. Don’t try to protect them by rescuing. They need to face the consequences of their actions if they are to heal and take responsibility. Yes, it is hard to watch them suffer but if they create the mess they need to deal with it. You can simply be there to support them emotionally as they pick themselves back up, offering love, forgiveness, acceptance – this is what they need.
Rescuing and the drama triangle
Some ‘do-gooders’ think they are helping but they actually have their own form of addiction called ‘rescuing’. They get to escape the dissatisfaction they have in their own life – be that with themselves, their relationships, their job, their family, etc – by focussing on whoever they are rescuing. They feel good about themselves, righteous even, and this is their fix. But their love and support is not real, it is conditional. They will be there for the addict for a length of time, appearing so saintly and wonderful, but eventually when they get frustrated enough, they will snap, moving from ‘rescuer’ to ‘persecutor’ telling the addict off, judging them as a hopeless case. The rescuer didn’t get what they wanted – to feel like they saved the addict and the addict owed them, was grateful to them. That doesn’t happen so they move into the persecution role, which does not help the addict at all.
The other role that gets played is that of ‘victim’. When the rescuer knows the addict is lying to them, using, stealing or in some other way being irresponsible the rescuer may accept this for a while, until they again move into the persecutor role. Upon which the addict becomes victim to their tyranny of judgement and imposed shame, blame and guilt.
This is the drama triangle and each person moves through the roles of victim, persecutor, rescuer until someone steps into the centre of the triangle, speaks the truth and stops the game. This triangle happens all the time in life – at work, in families, with friends. It is a pattern that repeats until people become aware of it and no longer allow the game to proceed. Choosing instead to feel, to heal, to speak your truth. This is one of the first steps in healing.
So the seeds of addiction are planted from a very young age, especially if there is a family history of addiction that is repeated generation after generation. This may partly be a genetic predisposition, but it is also simply learnt behaviour. If you grow up in an active addiction filled home – you learn that is the way life is lived. You simply see that as normal as you know no other way. This is how it repeats. Also you will tend to subconsciously play out the pattern attempting to heal the issues with your parents. So many ‘Adult Children of Alcoholics’ marry an alcoholic. They either become an alcoholic themselves or they marry one or work with one. They attract it into their lives so they face their pain and heal.
Again this happens naturally enough – if they were raised in an alcoholic home that is what feels normal to them, so they accept partners behaving that way too. They may believe deep inside that they don’t deserve better, that this is how relationships are. Their beliefs affect their actions and their experiences in life. It is these beliefs that need to be changed to break the pattern and cycle of addiction and pain. Getting to the point where you do believe that you are okay, lovable, acceptable, that you deserve to be treated well, that you are a good person, and that good things can happen to you. These and many other positive subconscious (deep) beliefs form the foundation of health and recovery. “I cope easily with my life”. “I love and accept all that occurs”. “I forgive those that hurt me and let go of the past”. “I live in the now and focus day by day”. “I’m doing okay”. “I’m proud of how far I’ve come”. “I know I will make it”.
The use of affirmations can be very powerful. This can be done for free wherever you are. Have them written up where you will see them and read them regularly. Say them out loud. Write them and notice what negative comments occur within you. Repeat this – writing the affirmation and then listening for the internal reaction, writing that, then the affirmation again. Do it about 20 times in a sitting. This will give you insight into what your resistance to healing is, to what negative beliefs you have that need changing. This is a powerful process to do. You can use affirmations many times throughout the day when you feel yourself tempted to use your addictive substance or behaviour.
You can also use ‘Thought Field Therapy (TFT)’ or ‘Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)’ – energetic tapping processes that helps to relieve the build-up of energy encouraging you to use. With TFT there is a sequence to use for addictive urge. There are also tapping sequences for releasing the underlying emotions and problems leading to the urge. This helps to release the pent up energy and emotion. It is similar to acupuncture but without needles, just tapping on the meridian points. There are many different treatments that can be used. Some cost, some don’t.
Affirmations is a good place to start as it is free and it works. At first you may feel stupid saying to yourself “I love and accept myself” over and over. You know you don’t believe it. But repeating it regularly plants the seed in your subconscious and it slowly sprouts and grows, till one day you find you do actually believe it. The strength of affirmations is increased if you say them while looking at yourself in the mirror. You stare into your own eyes while saying “I love and accept myself” or “I choose health and happiness now” or whatever affirmation you use.
The process can be sped up by using techniques like ‘Psych-K’ or ‘The Lifeline Technique’ which reprogram the desired belief into your subconscious mind. It literally replaces the old one so that your dominant, underlying thought is the new one. These techniques are part of the new energy psychology tools that have evolved from split brain research. They help to get both sides of the brain communicating which makes subconscious belief change possible – quickly and easily.
There are many different ways to health, for some they will start with swapping from a less desirable addiction to one less dangerous – so the heroin user may become a sugar junkie or a gym junkie and push themself that way. Notice that word ‘pushing’ – that is a key challenge. Most people do not spend enough time ‘being’ – time spent being still, meditating, listening to their thoughts and feelings, dealing with whatever arises within them in the silence. It can feel uncomfortable, unnatural, a waste of time at first, but this is all just resistance to actually being with yourself and feeling everything that you feel inside. Persevere with it and you will find relief.
Whether you choose to meditate, sit in nature, use guided visualisation CDs, or do exercise then rest. Whatever method you use to help your body relax, de-stress and find peace is an important part of the healing process. Some embrace reiki, energetic healing, chakra balancing, massage or other body-work, which helps soothe your body and release the buried emotions and trauma from your cells. It all takes times and you move forward step by step, day by day, removing layer by layer the buried emotions, trauma and debris accumulated within your body. Be kind to yourself.
Surround yourself with others committed to healing so that you can encourage and support each other. This is why 12 step groups work. They provide a safe, accepting environment and community to be a part of. Clearly hanging out with active Addicts is not going to be helpful, so sometimes you do need to change friendship circles, disassociate from family members or others who encourage addictive behaviour. This can be very saddening and challenging, especially as some people will try to make you feel bad for doing so. They don’t want to face their own stuff and you choosing to do so reminds them that they should. Rather than feel that, they may choose to lash out at you. Don’t fall for the ploy. Be strong. Be loving and kind to yourself as much as you can. It is your life and you can choose to live it however you wish.
Remember there is a lot of support out there – from 12 step groups, counsellors and other therapists, to call lines and much more. If you truly want to heal and break free you can. Here are some good places to start if you want to find out more.
This is a 29-minute video clip of Russell Brand testifying at a Government Committee about reform to the way that addiction issues are regulated and handled. He openly shares his story of overcoming addiction and his belief that most addicts are people suffering from emotional, mental and spiritual maladies. If they heal these issues they no longer need the drug to mask their feelings and internal pain. Russell argues for a more compassionate and loving approach by Government, seeing addiction as a health issue and people needing support to heal, rather than being viewed as criminals or burdens to society. It is wonderful to see his authenticity and truth sharing – he urges more people to do the same so that we can have a real discussion about these issues and how to resolve them.
The below is advice from Al-anon on how to help an alcoholic:
Learn all the facts and put them to work in your own life. Don’t start with the alcoholic
Attend AA meetings, Al-Anon meetings and if possible go to a mental health clinic, alcoholism information centre or to a competent counsellor or minister who has had experience in this field
Remember you are emotionally involved. Changing your attitude and approach to the problem can speed up recovery.
Encourage all beneficial activities of the alcoholic and cooperate in making them possible
Learn that love cannot exist without compassion, discipline and justice, and to accept love or give it without these qualities is to destroy it eventually.
It is easier to find a list of don’ts in dealing with alcoholics for it is easier to understand why you fail than to know why you succeed. The following list is not inclusive but it makes a good beginning.
Don’t lecture, moralise, scold, blame, threaten, argue when drunk or sober, pour out liquor, lose your temper or cover up the consequences of drinking. You may feel better but the situation will be worse.
Don’t lose your temper and thereby destroy yourself and any possibility of help
Don’t allow your anxiety to compel you to do what the alcoholic must do for him or her self
Don’t accept promises, for this is just a method of postponing pain. In the same way don’t keep switching agreements. If an agreement is made stick to it.
Don’t allow the alcoholic to lie to you and accept it for the truth for in so doing you encourage this process. The truth is often painful, but get at it.
Don’t let the alcoholic outsmart you for this teaches him to avoid responsibility and lose respect for you at the same time
Don’t let the alcoholic exploit you or take advantage of you for in so doing you become an accomplice in the evasion of responsibility.
Lastly don’t try to follow this as a rule book. It is simply a guide to be used with intelligence and evaluation. If at all possible attend Al-Anon meetings and seek good professional help. You need this therapy as well as the alcoholic.
Above all, don’t put off facing the reality that alcoholism is a progressive illness that gets increasingly worse as drinking continues. Start now to learn, to understand and to plan for recovery. To do nothing is the worst choice you can make.
(Information from Al-anon Family Groups, 1987, A guide for the family of the alcoholic, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, New York p14-15)