“Who looks outside dreams; Who looks inside awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
Sometimes Professor Jung sounds like a Buddhist teacher. When the Buddha spoke of awakening or enlightenment, he meant the ability to see the world as it really is, uncolored by our opinions, fears, history, desires, and ambitions. Jung’s statement is rather less detailed but no less true.
No one should be aware of and remain more aware of this than recovering addicts. We are, by definition, people who looked — and may still tend to look — outside ourselves for the resolution of problems that have their roots inside. Continue reading →
Practically all addictions are shame-based. In some way we have been convinced that we are “less than,” damaged goods, that we don’t measure up, that we are good only for being used, or that we’ll never amount to anything. When we are told such lies often enough, we internalize them and they become part of our self-image. At that point they become self-fulfilling prophecies. If I’m convinced that I’m no good, that I’m flawed, that I’m unworthy, then it’s going to be pretty hard to get anything done in the way of growth and progress with my life. Even if I do, it’s unlikely ever to be enough to satisfy me — especially if my emotional abusers are still around.
In order to replace these convictions with a healthy, productive attitude toward ourselves and our lives, we need to overwrite a lot of data: all those messages that said “You’re not good enough,” “You can’t,” “Your brother was smarter,” “Your sister was the loveable one,” “You’ll never amount to anything,” and the other false information we absorbed from the words and actions of people we should have been able to trust — but who let us down. Continue reading →