What Addiction Says About Our Satisfaction
Addiction is defined as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” What makes so many of us prone to addiction in its various forms? What causes us to be open to this enslavement? And how do we begin to undo it?
I Want More. When looking through the lens of Kabbalah, addiction is seen as a positive door to greater personal transformation, provided we understand these urges are coming from the soul, not the body. In a way, it is the deepest, truest part of ourselves saying, “I am not satisfied.” Kabbalah teaches that we are in this world to achieve lasting and true fulfillment. However, our wires often get crossed and we think this fulfillment can come from physicality. This is never the case. The material world always leaves us wanting more. There is a saying, “If today I have one then tomorrow I want two, and if today I have 100, then tomorrow I will want 200.”The addiction battles many of us fight are here to push us toward finding a deeper fulfillment, which comes from connecting to the real things in life: Love, compassion, sharing, and revealing our true essence.Addiction is simply a misguided yearning of the soul. What happens with alcohol, drugs, sex, and money is that they are short-term fixes for this deeper desire. Sure, in the moment, they give us a certain amount of fulfillment, but as we know it never lasts.Our soul has this massive thirst, and we are trying to quench it with a teaspoon.Therefore, there are three essential things we can do to begin the process of leaving addictive behavior behind:
Realize these yearnings are coming from a true place (our soul) telling us we need to do more, and we can do and be more.
Begin a process of both realizing and connecting to our true essence by focusing, meditating and becoming more conscious of our thoughts, behaviors and true potential.
Do actions that take us out of selfish behavior. Become a more giving person. This helps us be less busy with ourselves.
Being addicted doesn’t make us bad, weak or hopeless. Just the opposite. It means we have a unique soul that wants more. We aren’t satisfied with the status quo. We have a burning desire to connect to something bigger than ourselves. And as we come to understand the source of our desires, and stop letting our addictions distract us from our true essence, we can find a lasting, uninterrupted level of fulfillment.
– Michael Berg
Michael Berg is co-director of the Kabbalah Centre™.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction see below for further information and treatment options:
Sierra Tucson Treatment Center 1-800-842-4487 or from the U.K. 0800 891166
The Meadows 1-800-MEADOWS
Free Addiction Helpline 1-866-569-7077
Gamblers Anonymous (213) 386-8789
Stopping Overshopping (917) 885-6887