Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In the land of the addicted

Americans aren't exactly known for moderation.  As much as I would love to believe that I'm immune I have my own obsessive and addictive behaviors.  I think so many of us do it's just identifying what it is.

I think the general idea is that we find something that makes us feel good and we just overdo it.  Suzie feels good when she shops, so she shops all the time much to the detriment of her wallet.  Frank likes food so he eats obsessively and becomes obese.  Mary Ann likes how pills make her feel, so she pops them.. over and over again.  These are all obvious ones.. but even the least "addictive" peoples will find something to obsess on in order to seek out those good feelings eventually depending on them.

Why do we become obsessive?  We are pleasure seekers.  I think we find little things that give us pleasure for a moment which is wonderful and often perfectly healthy.  It's when we decide we need to reproduce that pleasurable feeling without understanding why we're no longer feeling good in the first place.

I've recently found myself in a situation where I want to obsess and replicate the amazing feelings I've been having.  The great feelings have been a gift and there is not a thing wrong with them.  But on occasion I start feeling the panicky feeling that those good feelings are at risk.  Instead of letting it lie, which is the healthy thing to do I start obsessing.  In my obsessing comes my feelings of inadequacy and feeling that I don't deserve good things.  This is not me.  This is my bad programming.

When I look in my heart I know I have every right to these good feelings and other good feelings as well.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying the joy that different situations give us.  They are gifts in this lifetime and we SHOULD enjoy them.  But the problems arise when we see them as validation.  When they're not around in any given moment, then we start wondering if the lack of joy from that thing being absent is a reflection of what we really deserve.  And many of us believe we deserve nothing.

I have a friend who's pleasure seeking vise is sex.  No, it's not me.  By all means, I enjoy sex but this isn't my thing.  This person sees someone wanting to have sex with him as proof that he has value.  The problem lies in when the sex is over he no longer has proof that he has value.  Then the obsessive side comes in.  Thinking about it all the time.  Wanting it all the time.  Seeking it out.

Sex in itself is not bad.  It is a gift to us.  We are spirits who have decided that being housed in these forms would help us grow, develop and experience marvelous things.  So much amazing sensation out there.  We ARE sensual beings.  Do you think we should feel bad to enjoy the world we live in?  Take pleasure in life  just don't define yourself by outside stimuli.

There is no judgement in these vices.  They have their own benefits and drawbacks but that isn't a judgement.  It's just what it is.  Wonderful stimuli shouldn't be avoided either.  Pleasure should not be avoided.  It's our feelings about ourselves that create the imbalance.

Where IS the balance?  Where is the line between doing things, experiencing things that are enjoyable and obsessive pleasure seeking?

I'm still working on figuring that out for myself.  I can tell you what I'm trying to do for now though.  I'm trying to enjoy the pleasurable moments when they're there and really just trying to stay in a place of gratitude and presence when they're not.  It's not always easy.  But I recognize the dysfunction in the thoughts when I start thinking it is a reflection of deserving.  I've been making a concerted effort to ground, release and then ask for peace, guidance, presence and perspective from the Divine.  It really does work.  Also, I try to find something else that I should be doing.. Because there's always plenty of THAT to go around, right? ;)

I don't have it all figured out but this was what was swimming around my head this morning and decided it needed to fall out of my brain and onto the internets.  So yeah... there we go!

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