Friday, November 20, 2009

Reflections on Habits/Addictions

From Bears (Barry Neil Kaufman): Reflections on Habits/Addictions: We call something an addiction when we disapprove of what we are doing (drinking, smoking, gaining weight). We call repetitive behavior a discipline when we approve of what we are doing (exercising, supporting our families, parenting our children). We consider disciplines a function of choice, while we see addictions or habitual actions something not in our control. Ah, mythology.

It's all about choice. If we choose to embrace what we call "addictions" or "habits" as choice then we give ourselves ownership and empowered our ability to change. Otherwise, we view ourselves as victims...and not in charge of our behaviors. We're always in charge and that's not a bad thing but an opportunity for liberation. If I acknowledge "I choose" this or that repetitive behavior (each choice happens in the present), then I will more likely then see the way to taking responsibility to choose anew, to choose differently in the next moments. Repetitive choices ("habit") are no more powerful than any choice we make at any time. It's all we get to make-believe we're always empowered to make new and different choices or we're always victims of our past and past choice. Life begins anew right now. Love and smiles, Bears

1 comment:

  1. Great mail, I agree with the theory, and would like to be able to make choices about my addictions. Don't you think it's very human though to have a desire to keep our own particular addictions, ie something we disapprove of in ourselves, whether it be alcohol, cigarettes, our attitude or behaviour concerning sex, etc? We may think in theory we have a choice and in my opinion we do but if we are going for our wants in line with the Option Process doesn't that include things we disapprove of in ourselves sometimes. Some of the happiest people I know are heavy smokers or drink in large quantities but still manage to be good family people, friends, and capable employees. I take vitamins, eat well and try to get good exercise and practice healthy living but that's only my version of make believe. I drink a bit too much red wine though and I'm not sure if it's a habit or addiction - the French paradox you know, it's supposed to be good for the heart.
    Being a victim to addictions is okay too. It's just a lifestyle choice whether it is clearly thought through or done as an automatic response.
    Mark Oakley