Bad habits and weird little addictions.
We all have them.
You have them, too.
Some of them are relatively harmless: you bite your nails, check your Facebook page here and there when you’re bored, you get yourself a frozen coffee drink every day after lunch to get through the afternoon energy slump. You pick at your skin when you’re worried.
Some are NOT so harmless: you drink several glasses of wine after work, you binge on sugar, you stay up until 3 a.m. playing video games, surfing porn, or binge-watching Netflix several nights a week, leaving you sleep-deprived and unable to function well the next day.
You work too much when you don’t have to.
You cheat on your partner with strangers.
You explode in anger and yell and belittle those you love.
The harmless habits may not be anything you’re particularly worried about. They’re not having any negative consequences on your health, personal or professional life, YET.
But the harmful ones…those are a different story. And they’re so hard to stop.
Every time you feel that craving coming on, you tell yourself you’re just going to do a little bit. You’re going to control yourself this time.
You’re going to take a deep breath and keep your voice down.
You’re just going to pour yourself a half glass. Just smoke one cigarette. Limit yourself to a half an hour of screen time, and then you’re going to do something productive instead, like walk the dog or write your mother an email.
But day after day, it’s the same story. You try to moderate, but it’s so hard. So, so hard.
And before you know it, you’ve downed the whole container and watched the entire first season without even getting up off the couch.
In the aftermath, you’re wracked with guilt, shame, and self-loathing. You think, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get it together?”
There’s a very good reason why you can’t seem to walk away from your addictions and unwanted habits, even if you think they’re harmful or waste your precious time.
That’s because these activities are providing you with something you need even more than the drink, the candy, the entertainment:
You see, we all have two kinds of painful feelings:
Feelings such as anger, anxiety, stress, depression, hurt, guilt, shame, frustration, emptiness, and aloneness are wounded feelings coming from our own thoughts and actions.
When you turn to an addiction or unwanted habit, you are doing it in order to not have to feel your painful feelings, whether they are your wounded feelings or just normal core feelings.
You secretly conclude that it’s better to numb out in front of the TV than face the pain of loneliness because your partner left you, or the shame because your friend criticized you, or whatever.
It’s a relief to go outside and light up a cigarette after bickering with your co-worker, so you can calm down instead of getting angrier.
With certain habits or addictions, you can feel something else—like the pleasure and euphoria you get from junk food or alcohol—or feel nothing at all.
I call this process of distraction and numbing self-abandonment.
Your addictions are your way of self-abandoning, so you don’t have to face your feelings.
But why are those painful feelings so difficult to face?
It’s because of what you believe about your pain…
Our beliefs about pain started when we were very small, and had to face rejection or some form of withdrawal of love and approval from our parents, caregivers, teachers, etc.
Our little bodies were too small to endure the huge energy of physical and emotional pain, so unless we had loving parents to help us when we were in pain, we learned various ways to endure it.
We learned to cope with our pain, in other words, by either numbing, denying, or distracting ourselves from that pain.
Even though we’re adults and have grown up bodies, we still hold those old, outdated beliefs about our pain. Beliefs such as:
To move beyond these false beliefs, you must be willing to test them and prove them false. And to test them, you must resist the urge to blunt your pain with addictions.
You see, until you stop self-abandoning—you will never know that you can feel your pain without going crazy or dying, that your pain is not endless, and that pain can actually be a source of information and strength rather than weakness.
When you open to feeling, learning about and healing your pain, and learning how to manage and release deep pain, there is no longer a need to avoid it.
And that means there is no longer a reason to distract yourself from that pain with addictions and unwanted habits.
So how can you learn to open yourself up to your painful feelings instead of turning away from them? How can you unravel the false beliefs keeping you from even approaching your feelings in any sort of constructive, healing way?
Through process I co-developed that I call Inner Bonding.
As adults, we have choices we didn’t have when we were young.
We can leave a painful situation, call a friend or therapist for help, and learn to bring through the Divine love and compassion—all things we could not do for ourselves when we were small.
Another choice is to learn to notice our thoughts and behavior that may be creating our pain and access the truth, and then take loving action toward healing that pain.
That’s what my process of Inner Bonding is all about.
Inner Bonding is a process which, when practiced consistently, heals fear, limiting beliefs, anger, shame, guilt, aloneness, depression, anxiety, addictive behavior, and relationship problems.
It teaches you how to move out of being a victim of the past, of other people, of circumstances and events, and into your personal power. It teaches you how to heal feelings of aloneness by learning to connect with yourself and your own internal wisdom.
I co-developed the process of Inner Bonding many years ago because I wanted to help individuals heal from addictions, difficult relationships, self-loathing, low self-esteem, recurring painful emotions, and more.
Teaching this process of Inner Bonding has been the highlight of my 50 year (yes, 50!) career showing clients how to take action with regard to self love by listening to their inner guidance and taking responsibility for their feelings.
Now I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost everyone can benefit from learning about how to take action on self love or heal unwanted addictions.
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Imagine being free of the habits that waste your time, ruin your health, and steal your self worth.
Imagine having full agency over your life and having more time and energy to go after your dreams and goals, because you’re no longer laying on the couch every night, numbing out.
It can happen for you, and I can’t wait to show you how.