The unexamined life is not worth living
These are bold words. And more directly related to the process of addiction recovery, they could not be. Whenever we find ourselves trapped within a rigid emotional pattern that we did not consciously choose, it indicates that we have a lesson to learn before we are able to transcend this pattern. Every feeling of discomfort holds the opportunity for this type of lesson should we decide to see it this way. Our internal feelings can always be used as signposts along the path of our lives, helping direct us toward comfort and fulfilment, if we learn to read the signs. With every experience of emotional pain or discomfort we are challenged to use the power of personal examination to ensure that we choose a path that will produce a different experience. It is always a feeling of transcendence that initially draws us toward our addictions, but this feeling of transcendence becomes more and more fleeting until it is replaced with obsession. First, we will use more of the addictive substance or behavior in an attempt to both temper the painful feelings brought on by this obsession, while simultaneously trying to recapture it. But this inevitably stops working as the addictive patterns deepen past the temporary ability to alleviate their own discomfort. We must then use the power of objective examination to bravely find our way toward a different approach to comfort. There are numerous methods and growth modalities that we might employ toward this end, but examine we must, often again and again, if we are to truly free ourselves from our addictions and the emotional underpinnings that propel them.