Addiction: To Devote Oneself To Something Habitually Or Obsessively. The Penguin English Dictionary
What Are Your Addictions?
First you must become aware of that which you are addicted to, it may seem silly at first; it may be something small, addiction is anything you believe you cannot go without.
Pay attention to what you repeat daily, especially anything that causes you harm, physically, mentally or emotionally.
In the first instance particularly pay attention to noticeable, unhealthy lifestyle choices – things you know are bad for your health, obvious things within your lifestyle that impact you negatively.
Awareness: Having or showing realisation. Conscious of something. The Penguin English Dictionary
Example of things to become aware of: behaviours triggered by food, substances, people, media consumption, your internal narrative.
Effort is required in order for you to raise your Self Awareness.
What automatic behaviours have you accepted as a part of yourself over the years?
What, learnt, negative behaviours do you expect others to be accepting of because you have accepted said behaviour as a part of your identity?
Particularly acknowledge what you took on as a child as a means of survival?
This could be a great starting point for Self Assessment.
Exercises for Self Assessment:
- Write down characteristics or behaviours that enabled you stay/feel safe as a child?
- Do you still enact these characteristics?
- Are you addicted to operating in a way that keeps you in survival mode?
Focus On One Thing At A Time.
Due to social/environmental conditioning there may be many things that you have accepted as normal. Write a list.
It may seem daunting but this is a powerful start.
One Step At A Time.
In time once you address the obvious negative addictions, you will begin to notice other addictive habits which you may have deemed pleasurable and allow yourself to regularly overindulge in or things you do not give too much thought to as they run on autopilot.
Everything In Balance.
Dedication: Commitment to achieving a particular purpose, ideal. The Penguin English Dictionary
Once you have taken the time to witness, acknowledge, grieve and accept your addictions and have written them down or outlined them in a way which will enable you to remember them, focus on dedicating yourself to change.
Every Minute, Every Hour, Every Second.
In the first instance you must be willing to dedicate your time and awareness to changing your automatic reactions, actions, thoughts, choices and treatment of Self.
Part time dedication will not work as your negative addictions tend to be ingrained into every aspect of your current lifestyle.
Full time commitment is a necessity. Remember not to try to rush the process, you have much to learn on your road to balance.
You cannot cheat your way to harmony or wish your way to peace but you can dedicate your way to Self Improvement.
Commitment: An agreement or pledge to do something. Loyalty to a thought or action. The Penguin English Dictionary
In your mind you have dedicated the time to recognise that which does not serve you, you produced your list or can at least recognise behaviours, actions and thoughts that are addictive, now can you commit to bringing awareness to said addictions, behaviours, actions and thoughts as often as possible. In the beginning, you may not always remember or recognise but with practice once you continuously fine tune your awareness, you will have moments of natural realisation. An easy example: Diet Change.
Once you have brought your awareness to what you know longer want to feed yourself, with dedication and commitment you will begin to recognise your automatic go to’s , for example moving from a meat based diet to a plant based diet, and the more you bring awareness to your thoughts when you go for meat, the greater likelihood your mind signals to you that this is no longer your preferred choice.
The hard part is in the choice. If you have rewired your mind to notify you and bring awareness to your action this is great however it is still up to you to follow through with the right choice – the only person to hold you accountable is you. You are responsible for the choices you make and the consequences that follow.
Relapses: To slip or fall back into a former worse state.
The relapse is a term so often used around substance abuse however in reality most individuals relapse on a daily basis if you continue a habit you know, no longer serves you. Anytime you do something, especially after a sustained period of time, recognise it as a relapse. The beauty of relapsing, is the opportunity to recognise:
- How relapsing makes you feel
- That you are no longer interested in continuing said habit
Please do not be disheartened you may relapse many times before you reach your truest cleansed state.
Patience Is Key.
The reality is, it’s highly likely to relapse, your lesson is to learn to acknowledge any relapse, be kind to yourself and try and try again.
Remember you may be trying to break free of habits that helped you cope at some point or habits that are over 5 years old or more.
Please be gentle with yourself and practice Self Love. Learn to develop a nurturing internal narrative.
Small progress is still progress – Self Compassion is a must.
See relapsing as a blessing – you are growing, you are fine tuning your mindset. You are teaching yourself to be honest with yourself, about who you have been and that’s hard.
Relapses serve as a reminder as to why you wanted to change in the first place.
Commend yourself and keep going. The journey isn’t easy but you are worth it. Be Self Compassionate, kind and gentle on your journey.
Discomfort: Mental or Physical Unease
Our uncomfortable friend – well get comfortable with discomfort.
I cannot stress enough that stepping into your growing Self takes work and effort and tears and great change. Vulnerability will be welcomed eventually and discomfort will become easy. Be open to learning your lessons. Be open to being your truest Self. Discomfort will be painful to begin with, all the changes won’t always make sense and know that in growing and releasing addiction, you will outgrow much of what you think you need to cling to.
How you identify yourself will change, you will release unhealthy attachments which is a powerful Self liberating act.
Do your best to let go no matter how painful, it may seem at the time, you are growing.
Your growth is beautiful. Let Yourself Blossom.
The longer you stand in fear, the longer you block your blessings. There will be many temptations on your journey, many calls to resurrect a character of Self that no longer exist. Temptation will arise, relapses will hurt and yet will still serve as a reminder that you are falling forward (Denzel Washington). Understand discomfort is there to grow you, so grow.
Set Yourself Free.
Self Sabotage: Destructive or Obstructive action by Self towards Self. The Penguin English Dictionary
I have observed Self Sabotage to be a product of a lack of Self Belief. See if you truly understood your power and believe in yourself – I highly doubt there would be any need for Self Sabotage.
Self Sabotage is an act of Self Harm, whether you sabotage physically – excessive drinking or eating for comfort and escapism, or emotionally, replaying an outdated triggering negative narrative – it’s Self Harm because you do not yet believe or value yourself enough to keep up your great work.
It can be scary to acknowledge how far you’ve come, how much you’ve grown and uncomfortable to recognise your greatness BUT look at you.
The embodiment of all you ever knew you could be with, believe it or not, more room to grow.
Self Sabotage serves as a reminder to love yourself harder. Uncover your depths of Self Doubt and know you can achieve anything.
Be open to continuously actualizing your greatness.
You Are Deserving Of The Best Love.
You Are Deserving Of The Greatest Love.
You Are Deserving Of Your Own Love.
Self Soothing: To bring comfort/reassurance. To receive/alleviate, To Calm through attention/concern. The Penguin English Dictionary
Taking the time to learn yourself as an adult is important, undoing, unpicking and unlearning poor conditioning from childhood is hard work.
Learning healthy ways to soothe yourself is important.
Self Sabotage is easy.
Self Love takes work.
Self Sabotage is a form of Self Harm.
Self Love is nurturing.
Self Soothing, in a positive way, is giving yourself permission to be vulnerable; giving yourself permission to release painful energy you have trapped in your body that you have carried to this stage in your life.
Self Soothing is reasoning with yourself, catching yourself before you act in a negative way towards Self. Self Soothing can be a simple act of giving yourself a hug, kissing your own shoulder, looking in the mirror and telling yourself, you love yourself – and you don’t need a mirror to do that , in fact I’d recommend you offer yourself your own love every moment that you remember, to. A simple ‘I love myself’ aloud or in your head morning, noon and night is a powerful starting point.
Think of ways you comfort yourself.
Do they aid your progress or are they harmful to your health?
Are you comforting yourself in a way you learnt how to during survival mode?
Did you experience emotional abuse as a child?
Are you only now learning to Self Soothe?
Healing takes time. One step, one day, keep growing in Self Love.
When you embark on your journey, remember that is it a journey not a quick destination to arrive at, there will be many hurdles to climb and you will often ask:
Why do I have to carry such weight?
Why is it so heavy?
The answer I can offer you honestly, is because you are stronger than you know and not only do you have much to learn, darling, you have much to give.
What you are here to give to the world is vast and only you can do so, of course you are not alone and remember Being Alone Doesn’t Mean You’re Alone but some aspects of your journey require solitude.
Do not hide as life will continue to knock at your door and will find ways of pulling you out from under the covers so no matter how hard, remember to always be brave.
Through the pain you have light to shed. Through your lessons you can assist others to grow.
Bring forth your gifts, leave escapism behind and set yourself free.
This is the start of overcoming.
What you hold the world needs.
Love yourself through your challenges and like the phoenix you will rise.
Sending light and love, Always x
“To Love Thyself Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure.” LD Lore