A key to your salvation from what you may point to as a substantial and chronic problem in your life is a deep "Right-Brain style" acknowledgment of the addictive features of this condition.
You need to get beyond a "cold understanding" of the situation, because only when you emotionally realize that you are addicted and stop running away from its real meaning can you start crossing the bridge out of the mess you had created with your own bare hands.
Right-Brain knows, Left-Brain understands; Right-Brain senses the environment, Left-Brain learns the environment and looks for reasonable mechanisms. Once we come to understand that some important features of any problem are basically emotional and therefore exist in the Right-Brain, we should follow the rules of this domain, since what we seek is a change away from a failed Left-Brain "solution" to our problems.
Once you admit that you are addicted, through the Right-Brain's way, you must then admit how much pain this situation causes you. As long as you try to overlook the pain factor, you will never get out of your prison. This is the sole reason why many people remain stuck with the same problems for years― they fail to connect properly with the strong pain inflicted by their troubling issue.
It is worth clarifying that some people's tendency to dwell on the problem's painful aspects, to whine, complain and get frustrated, is certainly not the proper way to address the pain of a chronic problem. This kind of attitude is just another feature of the addiction and a lack of the right awareness needed. This is hardly what I refer to when I mention the goal of deep knowing and sensing the painful aspects of a chronic and recurrent problem.
It is instead about reaching a special state of mind. Although this state is accessible to all, it is considered by society to be a bit “unusual.” It requires being able to feel without letting that feeling overwhelm us to a state of impotence and paralysis (that ultimately leads back to addiction).
I would like to assist you in reaching a state of mind that may be similar to what people refer to as the "ah ha!" moment of significant insight. I would like to show you how you can reach a deep sense of knowing that will give order to the way you perceive a problem.
Some of the clients I assist seemed to be significantly relieved and ready for substantial work once they realized, with no judgment or despair, the addictive aspect of their depression, anxiety or other ongoing issue. I occasionally see a blessed smile cross the person's face when they really get it and declare, “Yes, I am addicted. I am ready now to do the work.”
This specific state of mind is not something you can just simply decide to have. This is a goal to pursue. This is a combination of courage, tolerance and a sincere motivation to put an end to the addiction.
Let us put this into perspective.
Think of a typical "addict." A heavy drug-abuser, for example, may come to mind, or consider a compulsive gambler, over-eater, or an alcoholic.
Imagine yourself standing there next to this group of addicts and take a good look at them. Maybe you know somebody with a similar condition. Actually, in our addict-prone society, it is more likely that one of your present or past friends is an addict. Perhaps you were once in their shoes at some point in your life but managed to get out of the situation. Are you willing to consider that you are (still) one of them?
These people are weak.
Their emotional weakness is manifested through their addiction. Their personality's weakness is expressed through the inability to cut the habit and get out of the vicious cycle. These people are the weakest in our society and many times they pose a burden and a concrete reason for concern and worries.
How many billions of dollars are wasted in efforts to cope with addictions and their consequences? How far is it really effective?
Are you still looking at the group in your mind? Or does it make you feel uneasy? We often prefer to overlook these kinds of people and push them out onto the fringe of our society than focus our attention on the issue at hand. While it would be easier to simply ignore them, it proves to be impossible.
Addiction is everywhere.
The only way to change this state of our society is if a "root canal" treatment that takes care of the deeply imbedded reasons that lead so many people into this trap.
This important treatment begins with you, when you can get in touch, emotionally, with your own weakness, impotence and pain that control you from the backstage of your mind.
But how do you do it?
Begin with looking at these people, in your mind, with a rather compassionate attitude. You could be there too, no matter where you are in life now, because the tendency for this state is universal. I will get into the details of the sources of this phenomenon in the next section, but for now it is crucial for you to mentally connect to the possibility that you and these poor people possess something in common.
Your compassion can be built (yes, you can work on it) on top of the understanding that these people represent all of us. Their addiction is our failure. Their condition is telling our own story. These heavy addicts, who try so many rehab programs and fail, are not much different from you and me. Their weakness is just more prominent, yet not so remote from ours.
The reason that heavy addicts repeat their destructive behavior is an unbearable pain that is temporarily attenuated through the addictive ritual.
The reason for you to keep your problem close is roughly the same: it serves a purpose related to your own personal pain, like a "good friend" who you can count on to provide temporary relief. You may be a more "normal" individual, and I bless you for being so, but as long as you cannot emotionally connect to your genuine weakness and basic emotional needs, as represented by your problem, no progress will be made.
All I ask you to do now is to face the fact that inside of you a silent weeping remains constantly unheard and ignored; the same silent weeping that governs those unfortunate people who are controlled by drugs, alcohol and other damaging agents. You and they belong to one group, in which some are in a more severe condition than other group members. You share something with these people. Try to fully feel this common feature.
Compassion is a positive and loving attitude towards people in pain. Being compassionate means you realize you could have been in the same situation. In the next section I will add another important point of view that may ease your process into a more Right-Brain realization of your addictive state. Once you come to this challenge equipped with more compassion (for others as well as for yourself), your odds of success increase significantly.
Become an "asker" – resume the childish power of asking questions without the necessity to get all the answers immediately. Get back to the three questions!