My addictions come in the form of overeating. When I get stressed, scared, or anxious my way of coping is to eat sugar and carbs. After chowing down for 15 or 20 minutes, I look at the potato chip and ice cream carton and wonder, “Who hijacked my body?”
Have you ever experienced this out of body feeling? I DID NOT intend to eat those things. My wisest, calmest self, does not eat poorly. After all, my wise guide takes care of myself!
Yet, sometimes, I let my lizard brain take over.
The truth is, around the world, we have systemic problems. Addictions are rampant around the world. We hunger for money, power, control, domination, drugs, alcohol, food, sex, war, cigarettes. Yet, we also seek peace, love, compassion, understanding, and community.
Sometimes, the same person may hunger for power on the same day they give compassion.
In truth, we each suffer an internal struggle between our lowest self and our highest self.
My struggle involves food. When I get overwhelmed, food becomes my comfort. I wear my stress on my body. It’s obvious, it’s out there for everyone to see. I accept it, it’s part of me that I am choosing now to love.
Maybe food is not your form of your lowest self.
Maybe you’re like Cruz, whose boss yells at him, and on his break, he hides behind a tree and smokes a couple of cigarettes. Maybe for you, it’s smoking.
Maybe you’re like Maria, who could barely get through her day at the office, so she can have a glass or two (or three) of wine at home because she hates her job just that much.
Maybe you’re like Joe, who grew up with a step father who sexually abused him (but he never told anyone), and now has a porn addiction raging so rampant that he hires prostitutes to fulfill his sexual desires, putting his family and career at risk.
Your highest self would never dream of doing these things.
But your lowest self is addicted.
Addicted to the reptilian brain, and the chain of hormones, neural connections, memories, and compulsions to do the same thing over and over again.
The tension between your lowest self and your highest self is the only human condition we really must address.
The war on drugs, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving, stop smoking campaigns, all of these campaigns to stop can really be solved by one goal.
Every day, follow your WISE GUIDE. Turn off your reptilian brain, and ACCESS your prefrontal cortex.
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