Admit it. There must be something. Addiction may sound like a strong word, something we tend to associate with hard drugs or alcoholism, but in reality we all have addictions. Some of us are addicted to overeating, others to surfing the internet or watching television. Some of us are addicted to shopping or overworking. The form our addictions take may change, but in reality all addictive behavior stems from the same need: the need to distract ourselves from what we are feeling inside.
The sense of incompletion is something our society has decided to ignore. Instead of trying to find fulfillment within, we spend our lives accumulating, obtaining, trying to hide the sense of dissatisfaction beneath sensory stimulation and gratification. The problem is, these experiences can cover up the truth momentarily, but they cannot make it disappear. When the high has passed, we crash down again. Ultimately, we must turn inwards and deal with the pain inside if we want to feel permanent relief.
The reason we have such difficulty being with ourselves is that we have lost sight of our true essence; what I call love-consciousness. Love-consciousness is the experience of absolute freedom and joy that lies within all of us, but that due to all the things we have been through in our lives, has become hidden from view. It lies beneath layers of self doubt, resentment and frustration, accumulated through the disappointments and traumas of a lifetime. It hasn’t gone anywhere; we have simply become distracted, so accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for completion that we have forgotten where to find it.
The only way to heal addictive behavior is through love of self. Just as non smokers quickly gain weight, cutting away the leaves of a habit is not the solution; new foliage will grow back soon enough. If you want to be free of addiction, heal the root. Go inwards and fill the emptiness with love. Then your addictions will fall away by themselves, for there will be no hole left for them to fill.
Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more at www.whywalkwhenyoucanfly.com.