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One of the most difficult and painful patterns I had in my life was a vicious circle. I couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. It was sticky like a spider web. It started when I was a teenager and continued on into my 40’s.
Just in the last few days I’ve been talking with folks who have similar issues with bingeing with food, and alcohol.
I used to self-medicate with food, alcohol, cigarettes, watching tv, exercise and even just talking on the phone for hours and hours.
My personality used to really want to go towards excess. My intense feelings frightened me and so I’d choose to numb out. It felt like an escape.
But here’s what I discovered – and I’m so glad I did because I can talk about it with others and it helps them to see that this is a VERY COMMON PATTERN for spiritual students.
I used to go to classes at Agape. I was studying to be a Prayer Practitioner. At first, I was in the pre-Practitioner Training classes and then the training itself and then on into the Ministerial School. I would feel so inspired and uplifted by the classes. I felt I was truly in my right place. And I was.
Then, on the way home from my classes, at 10pm, I’d stop and get wine or beer, and cigarettes and snacks and then stay up late drinking, smoking, snacking and watching TV.
The next morning I’d feel ashamed and guilty. I’d judge myself SO harshly.
And yet I felt compelled to over-indulge and self-medicate.
I felt driven to do it.
I felt a burning need to do it.
Now, I can see what I couldn’t see then.
I wasn’t comfortable at the higher vibration.
The fastest way to bring me back down to where I felt comfortable was to self-medicate because then I’d feel ashamed.
I kept my behavior hidden. I was ashamed. I didn’t want anyone to know. It felt so wrong and bad.
Keeping it hidden, isolating, feeling ashamed, and judging myself – all of that kept me in a loop that fed itself. Because I felt bad, wrong and ashamed for self-medicating, I’d want to self-medicate all over again to drown out the pain of my self-hatred and disgust.
Now, I can see that I was acting out what A Course in Miracles calls the unconscious guilt. I’d feel the pain of that guilt – but I didn’t know that’s what it was, I just thought it was shame. And then I’d want to numb myself to those feelings. I’d feel like such a loser, filled with shame, I’d be compelled to drown it out again.
It was a cycle I didn’t have any idea that I could break.
I would try will power but that never held.
I’d just act out in other ways or binge even harder.
Even more shame.
What has healed all of that is my spiritual practice.
No one is more surprised than me that it works, and I do it see it working for others in our programs. It’s not something that healed over the course of a weekend, but it has healed.
To be free of that repeating shame and despair is a HUGE RELIEF. I’m able to do so much with all the energy that guilt sucked from my life.
And that’s why I created my End My Self-Sabotage Challenge that starts July 20th – the first week is free. I cannot tell you what a great gift it was to give myself – to liberate from that pattern of darkness that ran so much of my life and my choices was worth everything I put into it. I wish I had any clue a decade sooner that I could really break free. I would have gone for it if I’d known.
If you struggle with self-medication -please come join me. Liberation is at hand.
What’s amazing is that I wasn’t really expecting to heal the self-medication with my spiritual practice. I just knew that spiritual practice was the only way for me to advance in the direction I most desired to go – to be more my true Self and to be in tune with Spirit.
To feel peaceful and free is a wonderful feeling I’ll always be grateful for. It’s what I wish for everyone!
Please believe this: Spirit will do all the work if we’re willing, truly willing, to put Love first.
P.S. Sundays With Spirit is today! This is our weekly Sunday inspirational service – you’re invited! All you have to do is register and we’ll send you the link to join us. It’s completely free and fun!