Vigor is contagious, and whatever makes us think or feel strongly adds to our power and enlarges our field of action
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whether we stay tied to our addictions or we work our way into healthier means of emotional navigation ultimately depends on where we end up putting our focus and energy. Today’s quotation, applied to the pursuit of addiction recovery, reminds us that we must find a way to become vigorous in our pursuits for them to be lasting and powerful. Addictive patterns are naturally and automatically powerful simply because of the nature of their purpose. Active addiction is the dysfunctional pursuit of feeling soothed and connected, validated and loved. Even if this is not consciously understood, unconsciously, and at the deeper physiological level of our central nervous system, we will be naturally committed to these efforts until we find a functional means to the same end. The most difficult part of the recovery process is while we make the transition from unconscious, addiction fueled motivation to conscious, healthy, and fulfilling ways of feeling loved and connected. Once we have established a path that is working to this end, it is much easier to remain committed, but it all requires vigor. Eventually, as our field of action enlarges to the point where it includes these healthy patterns, it becomes much easier to ensure that our vigor is sustained and pointed in the right direction.