The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Our addictive patterns represent an honest but misguided attempt to seek new emotional landscapes. Our addictions can be viewed as an external means of containing internal discomforts. Over time, as these patterns harden into rigid habits, we may have to confront the substances or behaviors through which they are expressing themselves. But this is only the beginning of the process. As we challenge the addictions themselves, we are only addressing the hard shell that has formed around the underlying problems. So even if we successfully separate ourselves from these substances or behaviors, we must still learn to meet the parts of ourselves that depend on them, and we can do this by developing “new eyes.” We can learn to tune into and then respond to the parts of ourselves that need the synthetic balm promised us through the mechanics of our addictions. With this new way of seeing ourselves, we will no longer need the new landscapes that our addictions attempt to provide us.