I was feeling particularly sad and sorry for myself one day. My wife said something I didn’t expect and it got me pretty riled up.
“How is that serving you?”
During October, we’ve been focused on addictions, from smoking to eating, self-manipulating your spine and other joints and this week, behavior.
When I heard those words, my initial reaction was anger. Why would I ‘consciously’ want to feel sad, upset, depressed etc. How would this serve me in any way!
So, I decided to escalate the conversation fiercely defending my emotional position, my reasoning: I am at the mercy of whatever was happening ‘to me’ at the time and that I was perfectly justified to feel the way I was feeling.
Dr. Andrew Arnold says, ‘Someone once said to me you can’t avoid the pain necessarily, you can minimize or avoid the suffering’.
I think you can tell where I’m headed.
The human species is addicted to pain and suffering. Think about it. The majority of marketing is based on fear and drama. This is what sells. And the reality is, this negative, low vibration way of thinking attracts more of the same. This is called the universal law of attraction. Bummer!
We then may become addicted to our suffering.
Generally, like most addictions, this isn’t conscious which is why I reacted to my wife. It is usually entirely an unconscious process to run our ego’s.
Our ego convinces us we deserve to feel a certain way; we should seek revenge; get even; let someone else know exactly how we feel; make them suffer as we suffer…
The universe then brings us more of the same and our ‘story’ becomes neurologically cemented with every incoming message.
You’ve heard people say things like, ‘things always happen in 3’s; Murphy’s law; this always happens to me…
So how does this addiction serve us?
There are many ways however at the root is the need to be loved and wanted; to be acknowledged and supported. That’s fundamentally it! This stops us applying rational, cognitive thinking, resisting adding unnecessary meaning and moving to action. Instead, we wallow and this causes friction when what we really need is flow.
If we’re not getting the love we do whatever we can to get it, a bit like a baby or child or even teen. We throw a tantrum and need a sounding board and usually our well-meaning friends will come to the party.
The problem is, like most addictions well-meaning friends are not what we need. We need to hear the truth and that can hurt.
So, we hang on and hang on to our ‘story’, running edit after edit until at some point it no longer even resembles the original version, searching for the victim after victim to tell it to. This makes us feel loved and wanted even it is only perceived and short lived.
Letting go of addiction often means leaping into a void, an empty, usually uncomfortable space for an indefinite period something most of us want to avoid by jumping straight back into our behavior addiction.
And so, it goes around.
So, next time you find yourself embroiled, raging, upset, even depressed…take 3 deep breaths, meditate, and contemplate ‘how is this serving me’? If you still feel a burning urge to ‘dump’ on someone, usually a loved one, wait 24 hours. It’s amazing how often the emotional charge dissipates during this time and you may even lose the urge to say anything.
About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor and founder: Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre.
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Category: Stress Management