Releasing Addiction Through Story
I used to think I wanted to watch a movie at the end of the day. Now I realize what I truly desired was to share in story. Before the breakdown of community, people would gather together in the evening and give their creative gifts of food, song, dance, and story. We would know our neighbours through the giving of the day and the nourishing of relationships. Today we purchase and consume ‘entertainment’ from distant specialists and unknown faces. Our stories and songs lost their power as they have been taken away and sold back to us in a box while our deeper need for connection in relationship sits empty. Lost is the daily ritual of communal celebration and story exchange, but it is not forgotten.
A Deeper Need
Since becoming active with seeking feedback on my writing and The Circle of Gratitude, I am receiving more than I could have ever imagined. On one level, the honest reflections provide invaluable criticism which guide me into refined clarity and focused direction. Perspectives that contrast your strengths with your weaknesses are incredibly helpful gifts. It has taken me a while to mature into the humility that allows me to know that. This process of ‘truth swapping’ has opened me to a fulfillment through relationship that is having reverberating effects throughout my life. Destructive patterns are being replaced with meaningful ones as a deeper need is now being filled: the need to know and be known.
Sharing our most honest and authentic truth, as we are experiencing it in that moment, is an expansive gift. All parties gain from these exchanges as they teach us humility, compassion, and acceptance when we approach them from a courageous, balanced, and mature perspective. You are giving a story that creates a depth of knowing untouchable by mutual consumption of a flat, mass produced picture in a box. When our deeper needs of connection go unmet, our addictions overpower us and we struggle to maintain control over our desires and cravings. If we fill the need with what our heart truly desires then our addictions become easy to release and fall away when we are ready.
In my personal life I have been struggling with the temptation to watch movies every day. I have made numerous attempts to control this, even gone for weeks without looking at a screen, yet somehow I still found myself indulging on a frequent basis. Now that I have been giving attention to a deeper knowing in my relationships, the desire to escape has left me. Why would I want to consume a mass produced story when I am able to share in creating a unique one with the people I know and love?
When we are unable to fill the need to know and be known we experience loneliness. This was a feeling I had not been aware of within myself until recently. I have never had troubles with being alone; many personal healing experiences have been by myself and I value time in solitude. However, the past month of physical isolation has gifted me the opportunity to feel into loneliness and grief, and to emerge with a deeper connection with others than I had known to be possible. This personal knowing has grown through the exchange of story and an opening to intimacy, all facilitated by the internet. I am excited to carry this awareness forward into my face-to-face interactions.
The Art of Living
Feeling into the pain of grief and the isolation of loneliness has helped me to release my fear of intimacy. I realize my fear of intimacy is a fear of letting go. Deep down we all know that we will need to release everything we hold dear in life. I found that the denial of this truth was supporting the fear that limited me in opening up and truly loving others. We cannot love with our whole hearts if we are holding onto fears that restrict the flow of truth.
I choose to acknowledge my addictions and dependencies and recognize that I am exercising my will to participate in them. I am fully present with my actions and feel into the need they are inadequately filling. I will release my destructive patterns when they no longer serve me. I am open to connecting deeper in love with others for the mutually beneficial support of our entire being. I am open to giving and receiving truth in the interest of this planet’s positive flourishing.