Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When Feelings Are Our Drugs

The world is full of addicts. Around us are minds swirling in chaos they cannot seem to control. Their minds fill with chatter, and their hears beat to erratic rhythms. They wonder what is wrong with the world, and yet it is they, or maybe we, who are the ones with the problem.

The addiction may not be to cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana or alcohol. It may be more insidious than that.

Inside very good, very moral, very seemingly normal people, there may be an addiction at play not even they are aware of. It is quite possible to be ill of mind and heart and not know it.

When "our feelings" are our addiction, we lack the objectivity to understand the true nature of the problem. When it is the process by which we process our thoughts that is the root of the problem, it is far from easy to comprehend the central issue. When however, we become addicted to something outside of us like, alcohol, cocaine and alike, it is far easier to recognize, even in ourselves what the "thing" is that is wreaking havoc on our lives. Not so, when what is tormenting us is us.

For most of us, we have not been lucky enough to mature into chronological adulthood without some sense of a wounded self. This being the case, there is no doubt we have had our fair share of troubled relationships whether in childhood, adulthood, business or perhaps all of the mentioned. We have struggled, and found ourselves asking "why me?, why now, why again, and what's going on?". None of us are alone in this. We have all been there.

Chronological age does not guarantee emotional maturity. They are not one in the same. Emotionally mature adults assume total responsibility for themselves in all matters, and including matters of the heart. When we find ourselves in repeated failed marriages, relationships, jobs, troubled friendships, and or in poor financial situations, it is only the mature amongst us who can ask, "What have I done now? What have I done to cause this? How have I contributed to this situation? And how can I fix it so it won't keep showing up in my life?".

Those of us who are sick of heart and mind instead hear themselves asking, "Why did she do this to me? Why can't he see my point of view? If she would just listen to me everything would be fine. What is wrong with her/him? I know I know best. It's everyone else who is screwed up."

The biggest challenge for the mind is to learn how to look inside itself. When we grow up with hearts we need to protect from the insensitivity that was found in our childhood, we are conditioned, out of a survival need to be on watch for when another might attack us in some way, either verbally, mentally, emotionally, physically or sexually. Our need to survive is so intense, our instincts are to become hyper vigilant and to stand on guard surveying constantly our environment for clues to prevent ourselves from falling victim once more. This survival technique is learned, and unless we curtail it as adults, we may end up never finding the true source of our pain, or our joy.

Feelings are created by thoughts. Thought patterns are nothing more than conditioning taught to us on the journey through life. As adults we have the ability to question our thought pattern and thus confront the way in which our minds interpret information.

If you have been taught to care for people to a fault, then it is your childhood programming that has conditioned your ideas about others and your role in people's lives.

If you have been taught to seek out needy men, or needy women, or addicted others you can protect and rescue, somewhere in your programming is the message that created that idea in the first place.

As adults, we have the ability and the absolute right to question our own thoughts, and we should.

It is sometimes not possible to do this kind of excavating when involved with an abusive or addicted other. This kind of emotional journey is one that must be taken alone.

It is not enough to simply feel and to behave any longer. Unless you are completely aware of where the true source of your feelings lie, you are not living to your potential.

Most of us react entirely too often rather than evaluate the source of our emotions or thoughts. Like good little soldiers, we hear a battle cry, react to our programming and raise our weapons causing only more murders along the way.

If you are one that allows your feelings to guide your actions, it is time you re-think this reactive way of life and consider an alternative way of being.

Try thinking instead of feeling for a change.