By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
I wrote the following for the 250th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.
Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given below (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).
We find freedom through our choices in each moment. No matter how spiritual we try to be, we’ll fail if our choices are misaligned with the path we’ve chosen.
I’m not saying we should aim for perfection, because we’re human and we all make mistakes. If we have a goal for life, however, we should take steps to achieve it and make sure we don’t sabotage ourselves along the way.
Reflecting the Self
With help from a talk by Alan Watts, last week we explored the idea that trying to change is not only fruitless, but makes us think we’re inadequate as we are now.
Beyond all this human stuff lives the Self (or higher self), boundless and perfect in ways we don’t understand. In trying to align with this perfect vision, we need not change ourselves, but let our choices reflect the intuitive awareness the Self provides.
Living from the heart and listening to the intuition helps you make choices that enhance rather than degrade the natural spiritual energy that brings happiness, vitality, and a positive outlook. This is the energy of love. It can change your life, but being in tune with it is not enough if you spend half of your time away from it.
Spirituality and Addiction
Countless spiritual people deal with addictions that, although rough, provide an opportunity for evolution with high stakes. Addiction is an obstacle to spiritual growth, and yet, overcoming it brings you to a more advanced stage in your evolution.
In my opinion, overcoming one of the most difficult and life-stealing problems on this planet is a huge achievement that heralds a new stage in life. In a strange way, addiction is a gift if you overcome it. But when you’re caught up in it, it distances you from the Self and, depending on the severity of your situation, could take your life.
Even psychological dependency, which is different from physical addiction, can steal your life without killing you. This is a mental dependency on physically non-addictive food, drugs, or anything that triggers the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain.
If you become psychologically dependent on something that triggers this release, you could lose everything you love just to chase the high in larger and larger amounts.
A Blessing in Disguise?
In short: addiction in any form is not healthy. Psychological dependence is equally unhealthy, but once you get past it, the evolution in thinking and feeling it brings about might make it seem like a blessing in disguise.
Addiction is interesting because it gives your life purpose if you break away from it. It drains your sense of purpose if you let it take over, but being free from it will help you feel purposeful and intensely inspired.
Your purpose post-addiction is to stay strong and do something good with your new life. Instead of letting your addiction consume you, you let overcoming it consume you. Rehabilitation becomes your addiction.
If you see that your behavior’s having negative consequences, you can either change or let the destruction commence. Your choice. At this point, your true Self is not imperfect, nor are you imperfect for being distant from it. But something must change if you want to avoid a descent into depravity.
On one level, you’re still an amazing being of light here to help facilitate change in a world that needs your love. Falling away from your true Self makes you no worse of a person than you were before. Getting up and taking positive steps will help you steadily regain this sacred connection, restoring what was lost.
Our choices in each moment speak volumes about the paths we choose. How you behave when caught up in an addiction or when nobody is watching is something to be aware of, not ashamed of. Observe yourself and your choices to see where you can improve, and make the improvement. It’s that simple; no need for guilt, shame, or self-loathing.
You’ll find that the Self you drifted away from remained the same throughout it all; no better or worse.
Using Ego for Good
Overcoming addiction and becoming aware of your ability to choose your own path will inspire you to use the incredible powers of mind and ego for good. By keeping these powerful forces in check, you can ensure they don’t control you and use them to encourage change on a level everyone can comprehend.
Anything powerful enough will wreak havoc if misused. This is unfortunately the case with the mind and ego, and addictions make this clear. When we learn to keep them in check, they’ll no longer control our willpower and subsequent choices.
We can see addiction and the highs we get from it as a hack of the brain’s reward system with consequences ranging from feeling depleted to terrible physical symptoms when you come down. The deeply-rooted need for more will control your willpower and make you do things you wouldn’t do ordinarily.
Thankfully, once you plant your feet firmly on the path of recovery, you can seek rewarding chemicals in the brain in natural ways (like meditation) to which you can become wholeheartedly addicted with no negative consequences.
A Launching Point
Freedom from addiction is a launching point for serious spiritual growth, but it comes with unfathomable challenges. It’s a path only the toughest can walk and only the toughest of the toughest can survive.
Although we’re all addicted to something, to overcome addiction is to welcome a stage in your life in which you can be free. To be cliché, the grass is greener, the colors and sounds in nature are more enchanting, and life takes on a new vibrancy. It can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you use it.
Freedom from addiction is freedom for the mind and heart to explore new territory. Enjoy it, and let it take you to unimaginable places.
About the author:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.
I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).
I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.
Recent articles and videos:
- Video: 7 Krishnamurti Quotes On… Nothing
- My Introduction: New Openhearted Rebel Video
- Marijuana and the Sacred
- Removing the Mask
- I Stand for Love
- How Did Spiritualism Begin?
- Last Week in Review: 8 News Stories
- The Middle
- These 5 Psychedelic Drugs Provide Profound Psychological Benefits
- 8 Cannabis Facts That Defy Traditional Stereotypes