What are you addicted to?

I love chocolate. I love sweet tasting things. You know, cookies, cake, cheesecake, candy bars. I love, love, love white chocolate mochas from Starbuck’s! They are the best. I am addicted to sweets and sugar. There are probably a lot of Americans who are. Webster defines addicted as: to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively. There is nothing in that definition that seems to imply what hold an addiction may have on our lives. After all devoting oneself to a habit is not a bad thing necessarily. The habit could be a habit of exercise, or charity work, or being to work on time. Yet when we think of “addicted” we think of it in terms of a bad thing.

How do you know when you are addicted to something? This is something Alcohol Anonymous has struggled with for years. Until the person sees it for themselves they can’t get help. Most people never want to see or acknowledge their addictions. We live with blinders on about what those addictions are and what place they have in our life. They can be as little as that first cup of coffee in the morning or as big as gambling thousands of dollars away in a week. Not all of them may prevent you from achieving the life you want and yet you should still acknowledge them for what they are. As with all things, until you are aware of something you cannot begin the process of transforming your life.

If your life is not what you want it to be, then begin to look for the addictions in your life and see if they are serving you. Are you addicted to comfort? If that is the case then exercise may be a challenge. Are you addicted to snack foods and sugar (I am)? Then eating healthily may be a challenge. Are you addicted to sleeping late? Is getting to work on time a challenge? Are you addicted to the TV? How many projects would get done while your favorite shows are on? Are you addicted to a certain lifestyle? Then that means you will do whatever you can to stay there. That can look like racking up the credit cards to live the way you “deserve” to or (and I think this might be even bigger) sabotaging your dreams and actions to stay in that place! You are addicted to that level – no lower and no higher.

Look at the behaviors you do every day. How do you surrender to those behaviors habitually and obsessively? Then ask “Are these behaviors getting me what I want?” If you want, ask your friends and colleagues. They will be better able to see those sabotaging behaviors than you will. Do you want to achieve all those things that you say you want: better job, more money, better health, more peace, more friends and better relationships? Then begin to look at what you are addicted to that prevents that from coming into your life. Ask those that are closest to you. Become aware. Once you are aware you can never go back.

After awareness comes action. To change your life means you must shift, first the mind, then the body, then everything around you shifts. Awareness is the mind, action is the body. Take one thing this week that you want to shift. What can you do with that addicting behavior to shift it into a behavior that serves you? Then get support with doing that. The best way to shift is when you have someone you can report back to. It keeps you accountable. You want to walk more and watch TV less? Make a walk date with someone who will keep you accountable. If you need to step it up find a consequences you will do if you don’t make that commitment. You can clean that person’s bathroom or kitchen, mow their lawn, babysit their kids, etc. Find something that will raise your level of commitment because you don’t want to do it.

What are you addicted to? Is that supporting you?

In love and light



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