Suma Varughese finds that identifying with spirit and not matter affords freedom from addictions
My increasingly tangible experience of being spirit and not matter is giving me a whole new insight into the management of addictions. I have been a food addict for quite some time now. It was not that I ate in huge quantities but that I could not control what I put into my mouth and what I did not. My inability to be in control of what I ate was a matter of deep guilt and shame and damaged my self-esteem considerably. The matter became even more fraught when my love for food sent me spinning into ill-health, first through asthma, triggered essentially by food allergies, and later through Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Knowing that I was endangering my health made me even more frightened of food and sent me into a vicious cycle. The more I feared food, the more conscious I became of it and the less I could control my attraction for it. Of course, inner work over many years has reduced the intensity of the issue considerably and brought about a management of my food fixation, but it did not free me of it.
My new recognition of being spirit and not matter is, however, giving me the philosophical basis through which I can free myself of the issue altogether. These days I tell myself, “As spirit, I am perfect self-control and desirelessness.”
This immediately shifts my relationship to food and makes the addiction irrelevant. As long as I considered myself to be matter, I felt I was in the thrall of the addiction and unable to free myself of it. But, as spirit, the question of addiction does not even arise. I am simply not the addicted personality I thought myself to be.
I find that this is considerably speeding my detachment with the issue and giving me far more control over it. If I am self-control and desirelessness, I do not have to fear food. I do not have to fight temptation. I can trust myself to eat the right food in the right proportions. I can well be free of the whole issue. The more I identify with my true nature of desirelessness and self control, the easier it is for me to dissolve the conditioned
perception of my having low self-control.
I do believe that this is going to free me fully. Only a fellow addict will identify with the liberation this prospect brings. To be in control over food would give me back my sense of dignity and self-respect.
The first point of the famous 12 point programme acknowledges that one is powerless to free oneself of the addiction and that one throws oneself at the mercy of God.
Identifying with spirit is to identify with the God part of us and not the frail and failing human. It elevates us beyond the hold of matter. It enables us to see ourselves as far bigger than the problem, and once we do that, the problem is licked.
Suma Varughese is a thinker, writer, and former Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive. She also holds writer’s workshops. Write
to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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