Addictions – Part I: Results 你对什么上瘾了(一) 调查结果?

Previously I asked the question, “What are you addicted to?”

So, what are most people addicted to then?

The response has been very exceptionally good as the survey continues to bring in interesting answers and insights. Thank you to all those who helped contribute to this little project! Please do keep sending me your comments, thoughts and ideas – sharing is empowering and healing! It is joy!

Among the more common answers were the usual suspects: food, alcohol, drugs, work, exercise, money, smoking, sex, internet, shopping, TV, gambling, control, thinking, learning, travel, self-improvement, collecting/acquiring things (a case where a harmless hobby had gone seriously wrong), people (addicted to someone as in stalking, extreme jealousy) … There are also addictions/obsessions in a more subtle form, for example: addicted to self-pity, pain, suffering and worry; obsessed with the past and/or future, obsessed with winning or competition; the intense desire to gain and possess (in contrast to lose and disown); addicted to attention whereby the person constantly seeks and craves to be in the limelight. The list goes on…

A good friend of mine said she is “Addicted to change because each change brings about new beginning – which is always a welcoming change!” Another person said “I would like to find the right partner so that we could be addicted to each other, to their god and to do some good cause together.” How sweet is that?

I also know of an amazing lady who is “Addicted to doing good causes. I travel across Asia to set up funds and organizations, recently building 300 water wells, four schools, one orphanage and supports three villages in Cambodia. I call these projects my addictions, along with exercise!” The world definitely needs more generous, dedicated souls like her! Bravo indeed!

Another lady said her addiction is: “To keep on improving on myself rather than accepting myself as I am. I feel that there is always something to fix/change/improve about myself.” This is a classic, common phenomenon that originates from a lack of self-love and self-worth. Thankfully though, she also said, “I noticed my addiction is waning and I am becoming more comfortable and quite serene in my own skin. This does take much consciousness and effort, but success is gradual and sure.” Well done my dear friend, keep it up!

Co-incidentally, she was doing some counseling work with a marijuana addict in Bangkok so she feels my article is a timely piece to read and share it with him. If my writing/thoughts could offer the slightest insight, let alone provide guidance and inspiration, I would like to think that I have done a good deed and made a small contribution to society. I feel extremely honoured and humbled.

One of my very dear friend, who also happens to be my mentor is very much aware of his addictive personality. “My tendency is to move from one thing to another is not the issue, but rather, I question myself: what am I running away from?

One person said she is addicted to Love and Life. She said, “Many people today have no passion or give excuses that they know there is something missing but give excuses that they can’t figure out what that is.” I fully agree!

After much contemplation over a few days, my revered Yoga Teacher shares his thoughts: “I am not sure if it qualifies as an addiction, but if I had to choose one, I’d want to be addicted to love. Love in all it’s forms, divine love, love shared in a deeply loving relationship, the love of parents to children, brotherly (sisterly) love, love for all beings, for the Earth, for creation itself. That’s an easy answer, as love brings light and peacefulness and provides the setting in which true practice can occur. Of course, to be addicted to love, that means letting go of samskaras, the fears, hurts, karmic residues of past actions, etc that can prevent love from flowing unimpeded. That means letting go of other addictions too.”

So true, so humbling, so beautiful indeed! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Below are some more thoughts and feedback of students and friends from various corners of the world. I want to thank everyone again for opening your hearts to me, for your trust in me. Most importantly, thank you for providing the opportunity for a great healing for all of us.

“I’m addicted, I think, to information. I like to keep up. I like to know what’s going on. My Google reader has a couple of hundred of items every day, and I need to get through them. I can no longer imagine going away for more than a couple of days without Internet access or newspapers, the ideas makes me feel stressed. This is why it’s an addiction, I can’t imagine just deleting a lot of Google reader items unread, or throwing away newspapers that are months old before I have read them.”

“The thing I love most is reading. There’s a sense where it’s an addiction, when it becomes a duty rather than a pleasure. I have 30+ unread books on my shelves and sometimes I feel stressed about this rather than happy to have so much to look forward to. But mostly reading is a good thing that gives me freedom and independence of mind. When I get it right in my head it’s not an addiction.”

“Incidentally, my father is a bit obsessive by nature, much more so than me. He uses it in a very healthy way. For ten years (he’s in his late 60s) he has walked at least 10,000 paces every day. He goes out for a walk late at night if he needs to, no excuses. He’s a real bore about it and keeps us informed of his number of steps each day, but last time he went to the doctor he was told he had the heart of a 40-year-old. This is the right kind of addiction and a very smart way to be obsessive.”

“I guess you are addicted when you pray not to do something, and still you do it.

Addiction is not just a mental thing, it involves brain chemistry, in involves “malfunctioning” of an organ. It may or not be overcome by mental power (plus x). It varies over time (times where the addiction is strong, times where you barely feel it). My (compared e.g. to drug addictions) rather moderate addictions always come with a little voice, they charm, they lure, they belittle, they postpone. And they always come back again after having been satisfied. Addictions are for me a very good example, that life is lived day by day. Every day you live in a certain way, make certain decisions, and in an addiction, you make a not-so-good choice again and again. There is not the great decision, the switch that turns on the light, the crossing where you go the other way.

It’s every day many small crossings. And to overcome an addiction is to choose the same direction at the same crossing over and over again. The surprising thing is, that once you have made a “better” decision repeatedly, it becomes easier to make this decision, until you one day will wonder, why you ever took the other way (until you fall back, that is…).”

“If I could choose of course I’d choose to not be addicted to anything. But, I’m am! I have an addiction with cannabis. It comes and goes… I had just stopped previously when I found an inner peace that lasted for a while, but unfortunately it didn’t last for too long. It is a nightmare because I know I would find a lot more happiness, love and satisfaction if I’m only riding high on the rainbow of life, but when I start feeding this habit, the rainbow stops…. I have been thinking about how to stop again. I even thought of finding a Zen master who could help me. I know the wisdom should come from inside myself but I’m weak to start and feel if I find an inspiring person to guide me into the light again, I will learn to focus my importance on other things rather than just having another joint.”

Whatever your addictions or obsessions are, remember that you are never alone. There are probably many others in this world who are going through exactly the same process as you. It is even more unlikely that most people do not like to admit they have an addiction or obsession, however mild or severe it may be.

A common phenomenon is that many of us are addicted to pain and suffering. We tend to identify ourselves with our pain and suffering, whereby every aspect of our lives is based on our misery. Unfortunately, sometimes we helplessly allow our personality, soul and pride to be drowned by this negative wave of burden. As a result, we lose our true Self. The real essence of our being is lost in the vast ocean of fear and doubt.

For some of us, pain and suffering is the only way of expression, therefore we are unwilling to let go of something so close to our hearts. Even thought holding onto the doubt, fear pain and suffering do not serve at all, the mere thought of venturing into something unknown (albeit positive) is too frightening and intimidating to bear with. Although the only way to be free from the pain is to liberate oneself from it, detaching ourselves from our pain would mean to give up our (false) identity. It would mean the dying of the ego. If one is not ready, one would be totally lost without this false ego they have grown so accustomed to, an identity that we believe is an important part of us.

Doubtless to say, this is an extremely challenging task that may make or break a person, depending on how strong their will is. However, let us remember that one never grows, or moreover, live to one’s full potential without experiencing change and overcoming challenges. Often life’s difficulties really are well-disguised blessings serving as valuable lessons to help us live to our full potential.

Thus, ultimately it is really up to us if we would like to be free from our addictions, obsessions, fear, doubt, pain and suffering. All starts with the decision to make change, and then to face up to the challenge. Ignorance and escapism is merely a temporary solution that will often worsen the situation eventually. One could either choose to run away from our problems, living in fear and doubt, or stand tall and resolve the situation once and for all.

We need to brace ourselves with outmost humility, courage, patience and love in order for the transformation to take place. Embrace change, ask for help, accept guidance and just never give up. Never forget for one moment that you are alone, for you are never are. You CAN change. You ARE powerful.

Thank you again to all those who helped contribute to this little project! Please do continue to keep sending me your comments, thoughts and ideas – sharing is empowering and healing! All names will remain anonymous to ensure confidentiality.

Read the Prologue 阅读序言:

Read the original article 阅读原文章:

Addictions -Part I: What are you addicted to?? 你对什么上瘾了(一)?

All words & images remain the copyright of Shantih Shala Holistic Arts

一切文字于图片属于 Shantih Shala Holistic Arts 版权所有


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