I’m currently reading a wonderful book that was published by Lee Jampolsky PhD in 1991. It’s based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles and focuses on “Healing The Addictive Mind”. Not substance addiction (although that is mentioned), rather addiction as a human condition that affects most of us at some point in our lives. Our fixed thinking habits keep us stuck and always searching for something else or more to make our lives complete.
Of course, substance addiction should not be ignored, and neither should any addict be blamed for their situation or looked upon as feeble or morally substandard. In relation to this, British anthropologist Gregory Bateson proposed a paradigm shift in the way we think of ourselves as purposeful, decision-making actors in the world. He outlined a picture of an addict as a person with a sense of knowing that there is something more to life than they were experiencing, and substance abuse only momentarily quenches the thirst. It is never an answer.
Here’s a poem written by Jampolsky after he was inspired by the journey of an addict.
The Quiet Place Inside
The tangled roots of addiction
begin in my mind
when I believe that the world is
surrounded by a moat of deep and shadowy
waters of loneliness and despair.
The knurled, spiny roots of addiction encase and
squeeze my heart, forcing the
memory of love to fade into darkness.
Let me today come to realize
that there is a quiet place inside of me,
a place kept safe for me,
where love lies protected and unharmed.
Today my awareness of love shines light
through the darkness of addiction.
The light of love is who I am.
Today I will take time to be still
and listen to the truth about who I am.
Choosing the Addiction of Success
I’ve mentioned comparison to other people in previous posts so here I will say just this. It is a part of the condition of being human that we compare ourselves to others. Can you honestly say that you have never done so? One of the problems associated with comparison is that it can lead to loneliness. I’m here, s/he’s there. No matter what I do, how I copy what they do, I can’t seem to get there. These thoughts feed an addiction to be like somebody else and leave the self out in the cold. It is indeed a lonely place when we find ourselves addicted to beliefs that don’t serve our best interests.
Not one of us can truly have success on the back of somebody else. It is something we must achieve for ourselves. Of course, we can borrow practical methods for doing things, follow the courses, bounce our ideas off somebody else, get support, but only you can be responsible for your success. If we chase the trinkets, we become addicted to those and lose our way. We will never shake the hand of success and end up chasing another addiction.
If we look anywhere but our own minds for success, we deny success. If we rely on an addiction, we will see that it plays a game with our minds. If I copy that successful person, I will get the same. The more we do it, the more addicted we become. It’s not a happy place.
The differences we perceive between ourselves and other successful people are one of the symptoms of addiction. Focusing on these are often because we are afraid of something we think we don’t have within ourselves. Dwelling on them creates distance and more fear.
Turn the Thinking Around
Concentrating on the commonalities between us and the people we compare ourselves to develops compassion and understanding of self and increases self-love. It also encourages better relationships with others; the people we are addicted to comparing ourselves to. If we are judging other people, it’s a good time to look at what we are denying about ourselves because when we are attached to our views about them we enter the world of addiction by seeing our happiness or success as dependent on their behavior.
Our thoughts create the world we see and experience so it is with our own thoughts that we must work. It is entirely possible to change our thoughts about self, others and success by changing the way we look at things and accepting that we cannot change other people or many of the situations in which we find ourselves.
Success is Right Now
The past is past, the future is out there, my present success is all I see, and we all have more than we realize. Being here right now is success and I can choose to work out and change any thought that doesn’t serve me.
We need a box of tools to challenge our limits and move forward toward success. If you feel that you may benefit from help, please leave your contact details in the comments section below and you will be contacted by your preferred method. Please understand that your contact details will never be published, and your privacy is assured.
Comments and Questions
Please leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.
Here’s To Your Success
I wish you a wonderful day.
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.