I had a conversation with a friend where we discussed addictions. I then googled the word and was surprised that the word addiction is, in most cases, paired with the word drug. As in drug-addiction. I found this combination interesting because I have finally acknowledged that I have an addiction that isn't drugs.
My addiction is people. I immediately become addicted to someone I find interesting, particularly in a relationship. I'd meet someone and quickly become enamoured before getting to know who they were. I would place them on an unnecessary pedal stool and make myself small.
This has been my pattern for years. I'd hold onto someone that wasn't meant for me or simply didn't want to be with me. In fact, I held onto people who treated me badly. And I realized, I attracted the same person, relationship after relationship. There is a common denominator here: **POINTS TO SELF**
It was a self-defeating prophecy.
I would mold myself to become something else if I felt someone didn't like me. The suffering I would put myself through was sickening. The greatest consequence came when I was with someone who's approval I so desperately needed, I became a terribly unhappy, insecure, mess of a woman. I had to become emotionally bankrupt and suffer countless heartbreaks before I was able to "see" myself. My resistance to this reality was hidden deep inside and earlier this year, I started what would become the greatest change of my life.
As I've mentioned before, I started reading, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Let me be clear, I have read many (and I mean MANY) self-help books. But there was something about this book, and the Oprah podcast, that, for the first time, caused me to take a keen look within. I saw all of my anger, my sadness, my running and most importantly, my VICTIM-HOOD! There was something in the way he explained his position that allowed me to understand mine. Tears of both sadness and freedom would stream down my face as I listened.
"How does he know my heart so well?"
"Thank you for helping me understand this Ego thing."
"Have I lived my entire life like this?"
I began to understand the difference between ego and awareness. I leaned on awareness and realized I had it all along. My behaviors began to change, my personal outlook began to change and most of all, my reaction to things began to change. The next challenge was my addiction.
Because the Universe is so alert, I was presented with the biggest lesson of all: the end of a dear relationship. When it happened, I was initially shocked. I thought this person and I would be together a long time. My addiction couldn't imagine our lives apart. When the decision came to part, I was afraid, for maybe...a few hours. Because of AWARENESS, I was ironically stronger and able to let the person go without fighting to hold on any longer. When it was over, I had no desire to run from myself, I didn't spend hours victimizing myself by continuosly talking about it and I didn't choose self-pity (as I had so many times in the past). I accepted that the relationship needed to end and I allowed the sadness (as painful as it is) to have it's moment in my heart. But I only give it a moment instead of the many moments I've provided in the past.
Wayne Dyer has an amazing quote: “When you change the way you look at things – the things you look at change.”
I didn't believe that I would be able to walk on and be OK at the close of a relationship. I thought it was my fate to always hurt like hell and suffer. Suffering is a choice, because I chose to confront my addictions, my addictions no longer controlled me. I took the reigns and started steering my life-ship. It's a work in progress. I stop when the ego attempts to infiltrate. I know it is there but I ignore it (kinda like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind).
I have a friend who has this same addition problem. I try to offer help and share my stories but I can tell he isn't ready. All I can do is allow him to reach that place on his own terms. In the meantime, I continuing working on mine.