Finding Real Healing at Your Own Pace
We live in a world where we are bombarded with messages of how we should think, feel, and act. Memes are serving as therapists and the self-help world is walking a fine line between motivation and telling us something is wrong with us. There seem to be “gurus” around every corner and life coaches with rags to riches stories inviting us to do as they say. And while these mediums can be helpful, we have to discern what possess true wisdom from what is being sold to the masses.
The Self-Help-for-Profit Equation
I invite people to consider that much of what we are told comes from an interest in making money. I realize that many people are here to inspire and transform lives, and at the same time, I think that there is often a subconscious need for self-promotion. People may have an intrinsic call to help others evolve and move out of pain, which is very noble and I support this whole-heartedly. However, sometimes it is also coupled with message that they hold the answers to our happiness. The reality is that marketing tries to take healing and growth and place it into the equation of:
You have a problem + I have the solution = Pay me to help you.
I am not saying that people should not be paid or that they cannot have pure intentions, because there are many incredible souls out there lifting the world up. My point is that we have to track just how clean their intentions are as they spread their message. Words are not valid when they are countered with an energy that is saying something else. In other words, if there is an urgency they convey to you, if there is a “you need this and I can make your life better through my formula alone,” there is a bit of contradiction here. True healing lends itself to a person understanding how to find the answers within themselves. True evolution requires that the person guiding another, helps them realize that they are far more powerful than they may realize.
My experience is that the real healers of the world have no attachment as to whether or not you work with them. They understand that your soul is going to evolve at its own pace and that what is meant to be for you will transpire of its own accord. They are merely there to help you if you want their help. Either way, they are not attached.
When people are working on themselves, be it recovering from addiction or not, there is a propensity to feel that they are broken. Feeling broken and being broken are not one in the same. And, realizing no matter how far down you go, there is a place inside of you that is powerful and healthy, is essential to overcoming your trials. We have to somehow find a way to allow our challenges without becoming identified with the idea that we are not enough. This not enoughness is the belief that can lead us astray and attached to memes as if they are the wisdom keepers of the modern era.
To come to terms with how pervasive this is, just open Instagram or Facebook for your daily dose of how to live your life. Each inspirational quote is written from a particular paradigm, not the whole picture. What is true in one scenario is not going to be true for all scenarios. So a simple meme that reads “It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go,” can work for many of us in multiple scenarios, but it is not an absolute. Each one of us has to pay attention to whether or not we are taking these messages and ingesting them as if they are the solution. We must stop and think. We must listen to our heart, not a string of words someone wrote from their bedroom.
New Age Living: Helpful or Hurtful?
One area where I see a lot of information being shared in a way that isn’t telling the whole story is in the new-age community. The New Age movement was developed in the 70’s and 80’s and has an incredible amount of wisdom. The principles in their true form are powerful, but shaped through the lens of humans with an agenda to achieve something, they can get lost. When only half of the meaning is being shared, it can create problems. A great example of this is the law of attraction.
I ran across an article the other day called, 11 Ways to Understand the Law Of Attraction and How to Use It To Get What You Want. The wording of this title is very revealing. If we pay attention to the undertones of the title, it is saying “follow this path and you too can have what you want.” This tells us that our thoughts create our reality and that is wonderfully accurate. However, it is rare to find a person out there discussing that there is much more to it than what is being sold and packaged to consumers.
First and foremost, the law of attraction is really about how like attracts like. However, that doesn’t often take into consideration that it is our subconscious mind that we are attracting from. Even if our conscious mind holds that we are infinitely worthy of something, be it a relationship, promotion, or healing, if our subconscious is afraid of this, or feels unworthy, we are likely going to call in something to match our subconscious beliefs first. Without properly understanding this, people start to believe they are doing something wrong and blame themselves when they cannot seem to manifest what they want. I have had clients believe their challenges are all the result of faulty thinking, when in fact it was their buried beliefs that were asking for attention. At other times it had absolutely nothing to do with them, and it was just something they were meant to go through. I believe sometimes we think we are the creator of everything, when sometimes it’s just out of our hands.
We have to take into consideration deeper truths and that the world doesn’t operate solely on one spiritual principle at a time. So even if the law of attraction is true, it works alongside and within other things such as karma, destiny, and our journey through different phases of our lives. Just because our mind wants to create something now, doesn’t mean that the Universe will provide it at our whim. Sometimes the Universe says “Okay, but first you have to walk the path I am giving you now.”
As much as we are the creators of our reality, we are also part of something larger. We have lessons to learn in our lives and the timing of when we learn them isn’t solely up to us. I believe there is a divine order to things. If this is not taken into consideration, the law of attraction can become a way in which we find ourselves with a bit too much self-importance both in our power and our limitations. We are co-creators not sole-creators.
Addiction as Part of Our Path
So how does this relate to addiction and recovery?
Well, I believe that if someone comes into this world and addiction is a part of their path, they are also here to learn incredible lessons of healing and transformation. The world often wants to paint a picture of doom and gloom around hard topics. While addiction is a heavy experience, it is also one of the most transformative avenues out there. The level of dedication, resilience, and bravery it takes to walk the path of recovery is beyond words. The depths of inner-work are not for the faint of heart.
To look at healing through addiction, one has the opportunity to draw upon empowering spiritual principles such as the law of attraction, along with principles based in ancient knowledge and wisdom that remind us that we are not the sole creator of our lives. We work with higher knowledge and connection that cannot be packaged and sold into marketing strategies prying on people’s pain. I do realize that often times this is not the intention, and that there are people out there coming from really good intention, but without the wisdom to see where the law of attraction is being promoted in a way that tells only half of what it’s here for, is not helping people in the long run. Once we understand that the law of attraction is really here for our healing and transformation, instead of just gaining what we want, we have a chance to embody it’s teachings in a more mature capacity.
I believe that the draw for people on the law of attraction is that it holds the promise that things can change. The truth is that they can, absolutely! But let’s look at it with the wisdom to understand we attract from both our conscious and subconscious mind, as well as what our souls came here to learn, that is really beyond our ability to control. In other words, there is more to this path than people are teaching, or even understanding themselves.
Working at Your Own Pace
All that being said, I am a huge advocate for following that path that works for us. What helps us and inspires us at one point in our life will likely evolve and change as we transform. A positive thought process is so attractive, and I too use my thoughts to consider that all things are possible! I believe that our minds are powerful tools and that we can work with them to create a new reality for ourselves. The missing element in much of the conversation is that isn’t going to happen through thinking positive thoughts alone. We have to do the deeper inner-work that allows our positive mindset to not conflict with our deeper fears and beliefs that may be stored in our cellular memory. We attract from that place and so we must bring buried beliefs to the surface so they can be healed and integrated as well. By doing this “shadow” work, along with a strong mindset of good intentions, we become vehicles for greater magnetism. It showcases the mind frame from which people are using the law of attraction as one that is self-serving and likely focused on material gain. And while there is nothing wrong with material gain, the energy from which one is coming from is very important to consider. Are we trying to use our mind to get what we want to make our ego happy? Are we believing that positive thinking is what attracts positive experiences? The truth is, in my opinion, that the law of attraction is grossly misunderstood. Yes like attracts like, but the key is to take a closer look.
So as you continue on with your transformation into living a life free of addiction, my invitation is to let the world filter through your own wisdom. Be aware of what you are buying into and measure it against where your heart is leading you. Like everything in life, the world of transformation has it’s beautiful side and it’s shadow side, and it is up to us to decide what we want to connect with for our greatest good.
Photos Courtesy of Shutterstock
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.