How Can a Person with a Compassionate Heart: Help an Addict?

I anticipate receiving some criticism for this perspective, but many compassionate individuals who wish to help those less fortunate often encounter drug addicts or other types of addicts and attempt to assist them. In reality, the most effective way to help them is to accept them as they are, provide them with money for their addiction if needed, and pray for them as they continue on their journey.

I began my ministry with Teen Challenge, and Mary and I extended this work through our Spiritual Boot Camp and Street Fellowship ministries. Our hearts were always full of compassion for those less fortunate. My experience with Teen Challenge equipped me with the skills necessary to work with drug addicts. The key lies in quickly determining the addict’s needs.

If they require money for drugs, the most compassionate and least painful approach is to give them the money, bless them, and send them on their way. The goal is not to judge, convert, or save them but to love and pray for them.

But I Don’t Want to Support Their Addiction

No, you’d rather judge them because they are not like you. This is where your love and compassion fail. Their addiction is not about you, it’s about them, and believe me, you have no idea what they are going through, and you have no clue about how precious this addiction is to them at this time in their life. It is obviously more important than food, a roof over their head, or any resemblance to what you might consider a normal life.

So love them, and give them money to support their addiction, or judge them and love them not. Either way, pray for them. They are doing the best they can with what they have, and so are you. No difference.

However, the approach differs entirely when an addict seeks assistance to change their life circumstances. In such cases, a tailored plan is essential. While a standardized plan may serve as a starting point, it is crucial to remain flexible and adaptable to effectively address each individual’s unique needs, aiding in their personal and spiritual growth.

The conundrum arises when addicts feign a desire to change, which can be particularly enticing for ministries like ours. We have often been deceived by high-functioning drug addicts who exploited our compassion and kindness to gain resources that could have aided many others. Over time, one develops a better sense of identifying these manipulative behaviors and mitigating resource loss.

This scenario is likely experienced by compassionate individuals attempting to help addicts independently. They may open their hearts, wallets, homes, and families to a high-functioning drug addict, who eventually exploits their generosity, leaving them to face the consequences.

Therefore, exercise caution when offering help. Consider supporting experienced ministries or organizations like Teen Challenge, which also assists adults, even though it initially focused on teens when David Wilkerson founded it.

How Can a Person with a Compassionate Heart, Like You, Help an Addict?

Helping a drug addict can be both profoundly rewarding and incredibly challenging, especially if you approach it with a loving and compassionate heart. Many individuals, driven by a deep sense of empathy, feel compelled to reach out to those less fortunate, including drug addicts, to offer assistance and support. This impulse to help is a beautiful testament to human kindness, but it also requires a nuanced understanding of addiction and the complexities involved in providing effective aid.

The Dual Nature of Compassionate Help

Compassionate individuals often find themselves at a crossroads when trying to help drug addicts. On one hand, their unconditional love and desire to help can make a significant positive impact. On the other hand, they might face substantial difficulties due to the unpredictable and often manipulative behaviors associated with addiction.

Loving Them As They Are

One of the most profound ways to help a drug addict is to love them as they are. This means accepting them without judgment and recognizing their humanity despite their struggles. By offering unconditional love, you provide a foundation of trust and support that can be incredibly meaningful to someone battling addiction.

However, this approach also suggests blessing them with some money for drugs and praying for them. This perspective acknowledges that, at times, enabling an addict to meet their immediate needs without trying to change them can be a form of compassionate support. It emphasizes non-judgment and the importance of maintaining a relationship based on respect and empathy.

Practical Support and the Need for Change

When an addict expresses a genuine desire to change their life circumstances, the approach must shift significantly. In these cases, practical support and a structured plan become essential. This is where experience and training, such as that gained through programs like Teen Challenge, come into play. These programs equip individuals with the skills needed to identify the specific needs of addicts quickly and accurately.

The Challenge of Deception

A significant challenge in helping drug addicts is discerning genuine needs from manipulation. High-functioning addicts, in particular, can be adept at exploiting the compassion of others to access resources. This deception can drain valuable resources that could have been used to help others genuinely seeking change.

Experienced ministries and organizations often develop a keen sense of identifying these manipulative behaviors. However, compassionate individuals working independently may find it more difficult to detect such deception, leading to potentially significant emotional and financial losses.

Striking a Balance

The key to effectively helping drug addicts lies in striking a balance between compassion and caution. Here are some guidelines to consider:

    • Unconditional Love: To truly help a drug addict, we must start with acceptance. Loving them as they are, without judgment, is essential. Addiction is a complex struggle, and compassion can be a powerful force for change.
    • Financial Assistance: Sometimes, the most immediate need is money for drugs. While this might seem counterintuitive, providing a small amount can prevent desperate actions and reduce harm. Blessing them without conditions acknowledges their humanity.
    • Prayer: Spiritual support matters. Praying for the addict’s well-being, healing, and transformation can have a profound impact. It connects us to their struggle on a deeper level.

The Realities

    • Individual Needs Vary: There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each addict’s circumstances differ, so flexibility is crucial. A cookie-cutter approach won’t suffice.
    • High-Functioning Addicts: Some addicts are adept at manipulation. They exploit compassion, draining resources meant for others. Recognizing these con artists is vital.
    • Balancing Caution and Kindness: We must exercise caution when we want to help. Offering resources—whether money, shelter, or emotional support—requires discernment. Protecting ourselves and others is essential.

Practical Steps

    • Educate Yourself: Learn about addiction, its signs, and available resources. Understand the local support systems.
    • Collaborate with Experienced Organizations: Ministries like Teen Challenge have expertise. Supporting established programs ensures resources reach those who genuinely seek change.
    • Set Boundaries: Compassion doesn’t mean being naive. Set clear boundaries to prevent exploitation.

Helping a drug addict with a loving and compassionate heart is a noble but complex endeavor. It requires a delicate balance of acceptance, practical support, and awareness of potential manipulation. By approaching this challenge with an open heart and a discerning mind, compassionate individuals can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those struggling with addiction while also protecting their own well-being and resources.

Is Addiction Blocking You?

The people I work with are highly motivated to achieve particular goals and to do good work in the world. People often refer to me as a motivator, but to tell the truth, I am not. The people who come to me already have all the motivation they need to accomplish what they desire.

What I do see them struggle with, in their search for accomplishment, are certain blockages that keep them from making forward progress. One such block I see preventing them from achieving the success they seek is addiction.

Addiction is a curious blocker of all the good things this life is trying to bring to us. I have some experience with treating addiction. I started my ministry back in the day with a Christian addiction treatment program, and what I learned is that God Source Energy is a powerful treatment for addiction.

Spirituality to Overcome Addiction

There are many methods to approach integrating God into a treatment program, but in my experience, those who overcame their addictions for life did so by incorporating the name of “Jesus” into their regular spiritual routines. A noticeable 30% increase in success with only a 3% recidivism rate.

I am not suggesting that any treatment for addiction is better than any other, but that freedom from addiction is necessary for any sustainable high level of success.

Addiction Barrier

Why? Because addiction creates a barrier between you, solely in your flesh, and higher energies which you would have access to for assistance in your project which is hugely beneficial if you are trying to make the leap from where you are to where you want to be.

I am not talking about anything religious. Access to these higher energies is available to anyone who wants them. All that is required is that you desire access to them. You need to be open and not actively blocking access to them.

Addictions have an energetic vibration that creates something like a force field that actually inhibits access to these higher energies. This energetic field can be pierced for access even when one is actively participating within the energetic field of addiction.

Is addiction blocking you?

If you are having trouble making it to the next level in your journey, you could be facing blockages that are preventing you from energetic assistance from beyond your physical 3D experience. Yes. You could do great things in your flesh, but your efforts would be multiplied exponentially if you could access and energize your project(s) with energy from above. Addiction is a common blocker of these powerful celestial support systems.

These are methods that we used in Christian rehab and outreach. We discovered that prayer, intense concentration, and meditative desire to connect to your higher source could pierce the energetic barrier, and again, reciting the name of Jesus in one’s attempt to break through the barrier did achieve 30% quicker access and more sustained connection to higher source energy. No particular belief in Jesus was necessary or required.

When we think about addictions, alcohol and illegal drugs come to mind, but other addictions also come with this energetic vibration that blocks access to your higher power, including addictions to prescription drugs, gambling, eating disorders, sex, and other obsessive behaviors.

Three Most Powerful Tools for Beating Addiction

1. Prayer
2. Visualization
3. Modeling

The most powerful tools that we used in breaking through the deluge of addiction are the power of prayer and fervent visualization of being on the other side, free of the addiction. Visualizing and modeling. Modeling is the taking on the personality and life of the person you imagine yourself to be free from the addiction. Like putting on a suit of clothes and pretending to be that person.

After pretending for a while, you begin to feel more comfortable and confident with the new you, free from addiction, and with access to your higher energies, you can sustain this new you for the rest of your life.

These are still the powerful tools that I use today in my practice. Keeping in mind that the name of Jesus will yield a 30% increase in efficacy and energetic infusion throughout the process, if the client is so inclined.

Without the addiction barrier, you can achieve a healthy balance in life, as addiction is the enemy of balance.

Freedom from addiction is a powerful way to maximize your efforts to live a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

 

Overcoming Addictive Behavior

You probably have succumbed to an addictive behavior in the past. For some of us, our personal resolve is so great that all we need to do is to say, “I quit,” and we don’t do it again. For others, overcoming addictive behavior can be a struggle, sometimes a life-long struggle.

Some of us have the personal strength and fortitude to quit engaging in a particular activity which might not be in our best interest using little more than sheer determination and integrity. If you’ve done this, you might have simply said to yourself, “I said I wouldn’t do it, so I won’t” when faced with the opportunity to reengage in the addictive behavior.

Then there are others who have a more difficult time with it. A first blush, you might consider these people as weak, especially if you’ve easily overcome an activity in the past. But the truth is, these people who struggle with addiction are actually very powerful at manifesting.

We are energetic beings and our bodies resonate at a particular frequency based on the desires of our heart. People can study this phenomenon for years to try to master their vibrational frequency in order to rise to heightened state of awareness and love.

Whatever your vibrational frequency is set for, easily attracts the opportunities and things which are a vibrational match for the frequency you are maintaining.

For instance, if you are mostly in a state of mind where you think, “I never have enough money to make the ends meet,” you will attract situations and things to match the vibration of your thoughts. If these thoughts are commonly prevalent, you will find this the basis of your life, constantly struggling with your lack of resources.

People who desire to change their frequency and raise their vibration can do so my many methods starting with the way they think, because your thoughts set the tone of your vibration. For some, this comes easily, for others, they could use a little help.

Tools are available via coaching, counseling, various therapies, social groups, religions, and drugs for those who need a hand getting from where they are to where they want to be.

Religion is a powerful frequency adjuster. I started by work in the ministry in a Christian drug and alcohol program helping teens overcome their addictions. This method, still today, has the lowest recidivism rate of any addiction treatment. God is a powerful intervention for addiction, or for people who want to change their lives from one lifestyle to another.

Having a propensity for addictive behavior is a common indication the addict is compensating for some fear, pain, or trauma by numbing it with the addiction which distracts one’s consciousness enough to make it through life ignoring the things from the past, so they can just keep moving along through life the best they can.

Addicts do not sacrifice their quality of life due to their addictions but by their inability to deal with the underlying issues from which they are fearful. Which may be the underlying cause of death by natural causes.

It’s easy to blame addictions on trends of family, culture, personality, brain activity, DNA, or any other popular trend of the day which justifies addictive behavior. But as those of us who are active in the transformative work of overcoming addictive behavior know, addiction is the unconscious preferred method of coping with underlying, deep inner wounds which are buried and left to fester inside.

Addictions help to soothe the pain from these deep inner wounds. For those who have ceased to participate in a particular addiction, if they have not dealt with the inner wound(s) which caused the patient to seek relief in addiction, they are likely to replace the former addiction with another addiction.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of judging and ranking addictions, as some addictive behaviors are more socially acceptable than others. For instance, it’s more socially acceptable to be addicted to alcohol than crack cocaine. Or it might be considered to be better to be addicted to food than cigarettes.

The true freedom that comes from overcoming addictions is in the liberation which comes from identifying, dealing with and clearing the shadows, hidden traumas, and wounds from our past.

The most effective surgical tools for cutting out these pervasive inner infected psychological wounds (which are potentially more dangerous than any known disease) are forgiveness and love.

Overcoming addictive behaviors can be the key to eliminating the blockages which might be preventing you from achieving your highest and best.

Doing this deep inner work can lead to living a life of love and changing your vibrational frequency. This leads to a massive change of life and love enabling you to live a better life, your best life and making the world a better place in this high state of love.

 

Love or Crack Cocaine Addiction

When you meet someone, who stimulates your brain chemistry and sends your biology into a euphoric celebration, there is little difference in what happens inside your body between this “falling in love” and getting high on crack cocaine.

This has been well-documented overtime, ever since humans have had the ability to document the intense power of love-longing in poetry, the arts, and philosophical thought. If you have a reverence for such art, including love songs on the radio, you understand that this reverence for the longing for love can be very powerful indeed.

People who are addicted to crack cocaine seek the high state of euphoria associated with using it to set their internal brain chemistry ablaze with a rush of an overwhelming feeling of pleasure, not unlike falling in love.

It is against the law to use crack cocaine, so there it takes a willingness to engage in illegal activity to have the experience at all. A definite deterrent if you have a fear of imprisonment. Also, it is well known that using crack cocaine over time can have serious ill effects on one’s mental health, physiological health, leads to seriously bad decision-making skills, and can ultimately lead to death. The statistics are well-known, prisons, hospitals, and cemeteries are full crack addicts.

Falling in love, on the other hand, is legal, and there are far more people in prisons, hospitals, and cemeteries due to love.

If you question the similarity, try this on for size:

Dr. Helen Fisher, who has had the pleasure of studying the neurological effects of love on the brain and the body discovered the identical brain chemistry overload of dopamine and norepinephrine of subjects deeply in love as those experiencing a high from using cocaine. (Lust, Attraction, Attachment: Biology and Evolution of the Three Primary Emotion Systems for Mating, Reproduction, and Parenting).

Just the same, only different.

Effecting your motivation and decision-making skills is clearly apparent. Whether you’re addicted to crack, or deeply in love, you will do the darndest things which would not make any sense to you if you weren’t under the influence.

When you’re high (on either love or crack) you have an incredible feeling of elation, everything appears to have increased clarity and your self-confidence surges as you feel almost invincible. You’d do almost anything to sustain this feeling.

On the other hand, if the effects of the drug in question (cocaine or love) starts to diminish, the addict looks for new ways to achieve the high they originally felt when first exposed to the original source (which may have varying degrees of success, but it is well known that the height of the original high will never be reached by increasing the dose, method, or frequency).

Still, we have a tendency to look elsewhere, as our resistance builds to the original drug.

There is nothing more devastating to the addict (whether addicted to love or crack) than suddenly not having access to the supply of their high. The withdrawal symptoms of losing one’s supply, having it cut off for any reason, has been routinely associated with the effects of withdrawal from heroin. Which can send the addict into an unimaginable tailspin leading to intense pain and suffering.

See you at the Soulmate Wizardry event.

Obsession vs Moderation

You want to feel good about life, enjoying the good things this life has to offer, but there is no doubt that when you’ve found something that makes you feel good, you want to do it again, and again, and again… And as you do, you seek new and exciting ways to have the experience, so that you can feel even better.

Sometimes, your search for that feel-good reaction is so great, that you can begin to ignore other areas of your life that need tending to, and when you find yourself compromising your moral fiber to accommodate your need to achieve your next “feel good” your people start murmuring, using words like, “addicted,” or, “obsessive.”

This is the scary part about seeking happiness. I am a huge promoter of achieving happiness, encouraging others to get all the happiness that is available to them, because if you could have everything you’ve ever wanted out of life, what’s it worth if you weren’t able to be happy, enjoying all the good things this life has to offer.

So, I encourage people to do or be anything you want. “Do it, if it makes you feel good.” If it feels good, that’s a huge indicator that this thing – whatever it is – is good for you.

If you’re like me, right about now, you’re hearing the voice of the robot from Lost in Space insisting, “Danger! Will Robinson, Danger!” as that rational side of your brain harkens, “Too much fun can kill you!” and, like Dr. Smith, calls the robot a, “nincompoop.”

It’s like the common imagery depicting a tiny devil-you which floating over one shoulder, taunts you to seek pleasure at any cost, and the angel-you, floating over the other shoulder, gently urges you to be more responsible and safe.

When I encourage others to get all the happiness possible out of this life, what I mean is to find happiness, to do the things that make you happy.

Obsession

Feeling good is the best thing, but to focus entirely on pleasure-seeking and neglecting you’re achieving your highest and best, is the excess that leads to addiction and obsession. You could get addicted to fun.

And we have the good-lord who endowed us with dopamine to thank for that one. A lot has been aired in the press regarding dopamine and its effect on us in addiction. It’s been referred to as the pleasure and reward seeking neurotransmitter. It has a four-phase loop that it runs, that goes something, like this:

1. Recognizably pleasurable experience
2. Anticipation of the pleasurable experience
3. Elation during the pleasurable experience
4. Creates desire to re-experience the recognized pleasurable experience

There is no dopamine injected prior to your first pleasurable experience because your brain has not determined whether the experience is pleasurable yet. First-timers jump-in on phase 3, as your brain releases dopamine for the first time anchoring itself to this particular activity. Phase 4 also seeks out new and different ways to alter the experience, because doing a thing differently creates a new experience, which releases even more dopamine. Phase 4 keeps triggering you to seek more.

As you traverse your life’s journey you discover these things along the way that release dopamine in the brain, and it’s easy to lose track of other things that have an even higher sense of value and meaning. This applies to all activities that make you feel good from gambling to holding a newborn baby. Dopamine has no regard for moral cues, it sees nothing as good or bad, that’s something you do independently of your dopamine rush.

If you were to reduce yourself to an animalistic creature without any other resources, the dopamine chemical reaction would suffice in defining who you are and how you operate. Thankfully, you are far more than that. Left to your own devices, you might become the addicted, pleasure-seeking zombie, without a conscious, letting nothing get in the way of your pursuits to feel good at any cost.

Moderation

The key here is to successfully find a place of moderation. Find the things that make you feel good, find ways to responsibly integrate them into your life. Don’t let the pursuit of “feeling good” keep you from doing the things in life that add value and significance to your life.

Balance is the secret to a healthy, happy life, and moderation is an effective way to balance all the details of your life, thereby maximizing your life-long experience at a higher level of vibration.

To moderate a potentially addictive behavior takes integrating other systems to override your dopamine pleasure center. It means you’re going to have to do some work to keep it under control. And the same God that gave you dopamine, gave you all the tools you would ever need to exercise moderation. You are not a victim to your neurochemistry, you can be in the driver’s seat if you choose to do so.

You may call on your sense of dignity, raising your awareness, engaging diligently, and calling on your spiritual powers. Whatever it takes, it’s different for each of us. You need to find your own way and determine what works best for you.

Even so, proceed with caution, as your dopamine center could attach itself to your activity of moderating. You don’t want to (or need to be) obsessed with or addicted to moderation, so moderate your moderation, too, if necessary.

Motivation

For me, motivation is the main factor. I am motivated to serve and contribute. While this is a top priority, for me, it does not take over all the rest of my life (moderation here, too). I like to be happy, and following my mission, living my life’s purpose brings many opportunities to enjoy all this life has to offer and to remain in a relative state of happiness along the way.

If your motivation is to be happy, if that’s your top priority, then your purpose in life takes the back seat (and it’s never more in the back seat than in the case of a psychopath whose brain releases four-times the dopamine than a normal person, but that’s a different story).

Putting your motivation to achieve your highest and best out front allows you to do all the good things that could potentially bring joy to others while adding meaning and a sense of purpose to your life, then happiness comes as a result of you’re being true to your individual calling.

By all means, seek to be happy, but serve first.

 

You’re Addicted to Fun

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to fun

You’re obsessed with the feelings associated with pleasure and happiness. You can function while you’re at work, but pretty much all you think about when your mind is not focused on work or problem solving is,

What am I going to do, who can I see, where can I go to get my next happy feeling?

Interestingly, the more difficult your next happy fix is, the higher (happier) it will make you feel. On the other hand, if you’re unable to participate in that difficult scenario, you’re going to feel bad, angry or depressed for not being able to do it.

It’s not enough just to do or have whatever it is that will make you happy; you derive even more pleasure from having it first. Buying the ticket, getting the latest tech gear, fashion bag, or collectible, etc. Getting these things make you happy, but being the first to get it, makes you feel even better.

This applies also to the people in your life. You judge people by how fun they are to be around, how happy they make you feel. The more fun they are, the more apt you are to go to great lengths to keep them around. If they’re a bummer, or a downer, you are less likely to have the time for them.

You love to collect things. If you’ve found owning a particular type of product has made you happy, you’re likely to get more of them, thinking the more you have, the better you’ll feel. This applies to people in your life, as well.

You know what you want, and you want it now. And you will compromise, throw caution to the wind, put relationships at risk, or suffer financial hardship for getting it now, with as little effort as possible.

Want to see where your loyalties are? Check your bank statement. You will find your pursuit of fun clearly indicated on your balance sheet, and might be inclined to rack up credit card debt to have the fun you so desperately desire.

Your moral compass might also be at risk as you try to find less scrupulous, or questionable (if not illegal), methods to finance your need of happiness.

You spend sleepless nights obsessing about the next shiny object, and the thought of it dominates your otherwise idle thoughts throughout your day. You know that if you can get this thing, you will be so happy, but after you get it… it just lacks the shimmer that you thought it would have.

When your latest acquisition does not meet your expectations (make you as happy as you thought it would) you’re going to reject it, put it down, possibly attack yourself (or someone else) for being responsible for your disappointment. You might take it back, demanding a refund. Or try to find a way to recapture the loss of money, time, or make a new (or better) friend who will make you happier than one you might have discarded.

You often compare what you have to what someone else has. You achieve a sense of joy from having something better than someone else, and when you find someone with something even better than you, your happiness about the particular item you have begins to fade.

Everything and everyone that surrounds you in your life supplies you in some way for your need to be happy. If someone, or something, fails to do so, it is quickly discarded.

Fear of loss will find you jumping through hoops, and making sacrifices, to sustain your long-term happiness provided by any activity, person or object. Since you are always concerned with maintaining all the things that make you happy, and little else, you have few resources or energy to devote to more meaningful activities or your loved ones.

You find yourself afraid of boredom. If you are not in a state of happiness, you get anxious because the withdrawal from your state of happiness is depressing, makes you feel like you’re imprisoned, can’t breathe, sad, lonely, or depressed.

You would rather risk all, sacrificing financial strain, loss of support, not following through on social commitments, humiliation, whatever it takes to prevent your dejected state of unhappiness. Your schooling or job may be at risk as the stress of trying to find ways to support your happiness become more elusive. Being unable to live in the now, or focus on the tasks at hand, can result in demotion, poor grades, or exclusion.

Your spiritual quest is one which must also support your need to feel joy and/or a sense of superiority. Your faith may help to mitigate the damages of the sacrifices you’ve made, or losses you’ve suffered in your attempt to maintain your happiness. The idea of making the world a better place appeals to you, but you’re unwilling or unable to do the work necessary to make the difference, but your recognition for supporting others doing the work, can bring a sense of accomplishment, gleaning what credit you can for their efforts.

Your attempt to fill the void with activities, material possessions, food or people will never satisfy, and will always see you wanting more. You will always be in search of the next car, trip, event, phone, gadget, handbag, bobble, restaurant meal, drink, orgasm or ten pound weight loss. And none of it will give you what you’re looking for.

Just as with other addictions, denial seems to be the first order of business as the addict protests with phrases, like, “I’m just enjoying life. What’s wrong with that?” Justifying, with statements, like, “Everyone else does it.” Or claiming not to be a slave to their uncontrollable behavior, by saying, “I can quit whenever I want.”

Overcoming Addictive Behaviors

As you grow and expand into a more evolved version of your formal self, there is a compulsion to separate the new you from the old you and the trappings which have enslaved you, because nothing satisfies more than overcoming addictive behaviors and being the master of your own life.

Now, compulsory thoughts, actions and habits are appearing to feel more like addictions than enjoyable activities or pastimes, and you’re intrigued with the idea of moving forward in search of freedom from anything that might enslave or imprison you.

There’s little else I love as much as seeing one of my clients and friends overcoming the rituals or habits that held them back from their enlightened independence, and to tell the truth, I am excited that you have decided to let go of a particular addiction that you have in mind, right now.

You’ve thought about it. You have it in mind. You may have even voiced your thoughts or concern about growing beyond this to your friends and family. That’s a good move, because it raises the accountability factor, putting a little added pressure to your commitment to successfully putting this habit or activity behind you. Hopefully, your family and friends will support you in this evolutionary process, and this can have an amazing impact on your success.

You may have to make adjustments to your lifestyle to avoid exposure to the triggers which initiate the addictive response. You are more likely to resist temptation by taking the precaution of eliminating the circumstances (persons, places, things) which creates the compulsory desire to engage in the thought pattern or activity you’d rather walk away from.

For instance, if you are more at risk for falling off the wagon by attending a party, don’t go to the party, at least at first. The same goes for any other setting or environment that might cause you to lose your resolve or falter.

If you are facing with a long-time addiction, one that have become more and more powerful over time and you are having difficulty with letting it go, it might be a good idea to enlist the aid of a coach or counselor to partner with for your progressive personal growth on this leg of your life’s journey. Seek out someone who has the skills and tools necessary to help you achieve your goals.

Depending on your condition, you may seek out a support group where others who are successfully in the process of overcoming similar challenges in their lives, or an intensive rehabilitation program might be considered to be appropriate. Regardless of the methodology, the goal is to put you in control of your body and brain’s will, not the other way around.

You would not engage in activities and behaviors which control us and could be harmful to yourself, or others, if you did not derive some benefit from it. In many cases, if you find yourself in a stressful situation, a particular activity may offer a sense of relief or more calm state by engaging in it.

Find new ways to put yourself in a peaceful state besides engaging in an addictive behavior. You may be surprised about how much more emotional control you can exercise by living a healthier lifestyle including positive activities, such as aerobic activities, walking, jogging, working out and yoga. Living a more active life and eating a healthier diet can give you the hormonal advantage to beat any addiction.

Adopting a positive attitude and approach to living will empower you with the courage to enable you to face and overcome any addictive behavior which might challenge you.

Remember, it’s all about control; your control over anything that controls you, which is not healthy or beneficial.

Once you have garnered control of yourself, and have control over the mechanisms that formerly controlled you, you can begin to let go of the control to continue an even greater expansion.

Congratulations to my friend, Tony, who has recently found freedom from his addictions. He, and others like him, are an inspiration to others facing what may appear to be insurmountable odds.

God bless you in your overcomings.

Distraction and Addiction

Why are we so attracted to bright and shiny objects?

Here you are, on track, fervently applying your talents and skills on what will have the gretest impact on your life, that of your family and possibly the world when suddenly… What’s that?

It’s interesting to say the least. You justify disengaging for the briefest of moment, only to investigate the interruption for a minute, with the full intention to returning to the subject at hand.

Before you know it, the day is spent. One thing or another has successfully distracted you enough that all your good intentions to be intently productive have failed, and you ask yourself, “Why?”

No need to berate yourself. We all do it, and there’s good reason.

If you’re of the scientific persuasion, it might make you feel better and give you the tools that you need to understand why your mind tends to wander (just like the rest of us) which may enable you to actually do something about it.

We all seek some kind of reward for doing the things that are less than enjoyable. Scientists who study the mind often reach down to lower creatures for clues to uncover the answers of why we do the things we do. Rats think, process instincts and reasoning skills are compact and plentiful, so they make excellent test subjects in the laboratory.

If scientists run tests on rats in cages with levers that dispense an edible treat they can come to reasonable hypothesis of how we also might respond to rewards by studying the results based on the psychology of animals.

Neuroscientists track the electrical and chemical activity of the rat’s brain as it responds to stimuli based on pressing levers and getting something in return, shedding light on how the mind works in terms of short term pleasure and long term happiness, which generates questions to ask about how the results might compare to the human brain.

The subcortex is the pleasure center of the human brain, which is also true for the brains of other animals on this planet including rats. If one were to administer an electrical charge to that portion of your brain, you would feel a surge of pleasure.

Though shocking humans at this spot on the brain is problematic, it can be triggered by drugs such as heroin.

Distraction is not always associated with pleasure. Your attention may be interrupted by something inconsequential and meaningless, which may never result in a sense of pleasure just as Heroin addicts can experience a great deal of need when they burn out the ability of their subcortex to reward their continued drug use, so they experience little or no pleasure response leaving them wanting more all the more as they try to achieve the result they were accustomed to during their regular drug use.

It’s the Wanting

Wanting something is what fuels our distraction. Desire circuits are located near the subcortex and are more prevalent than pleasure circuits and are triggered by the neurohormone, dopamine. The effect of dopamine in this part of the brain is the key component in addictions.

Even when no drug is present, just being reminded of situations, circumstances or any trigger that initiates recollection of the use of the drug, releases a dose of dopamine in the brain, making the addict want to use the drug again to re-experience the full effect even more.

We all are wired to want the things we like due to the desire and pleasure circuitry in the brain being so closely associated. The downside of addiction is that as you bombard the pleasure center repeatedly, it’s ability to make you feel the thrill decreases, leaving the addict to want more and more substance, while casual users are more likely to experience the original high without damaging the subcortex’s ability to thrill.

Engaging in fun activities that are not addictive always have a sense of pleasure associated with them, while routine activities are more closely associated with addictive qualities and become less enjoyable over time, like watching television or engaging with our electronic devices and social media.

We were so excited about our TV that we wanted more and more channels. Now those who have watched it most have hundreds of channels but can’t find anything to watch.

What does your phone use say about you?

Social media is the new heroin, as each interaction produces a dose of sweet dopamine which keeps us wanting/needing more and more… leading to the decline of organic conversation in our culture.

Now that you have a basic idea about why your body reacts like it does to certain stimuli, you might be able to withstand succumbing to the lure of distraction, allowing you to stay more keenly focused on the meaningful aspects of life, without getting derailed.

If you find that you are unable to disengage in the distractions of life on your own, you may need a little help from your friends (a coach, counselor or consultant) to break the addiction and resume your life and experience long term satisfaction and happiness.

You can do this.

Your best life is waiting for you.