Thursday, October 18, 2012

Addiction to Someone

Have you ever been addicted to someone?

I came across a chapter of Tolle's book that not only resonated with me, but definitely resonates with some of my friends, too ... perhaps most people at one point or time.

Here's the part that really hit:  

"You get your sense of who you are from things that ultimately have nothing to do with who you are: your social role, possessions, external appearance, successes and failures, belief systems, and so on. This false, mind-made self, the ego, feels vulnerable, insecure and is always seeking new things to identify with to give it a feeling that it exists. But nothing is ever enough to give it lasting fulfillment. Its fear remains; its sense of lack and neediness remains.

But then that special relationship comes along. It seems to be the answer to all the ego's problems and to meet all its needs. At least this is how it appears at first. All the other things that you derived your sense of self from before, now become relatively insignificant. You now have a single focal point that replaces them all, gives meaning to your life and through which you define your identity: the person you are 'in love' with."

I can't speak for everyone else of course, but for me ... yeah, this was me. This was definitely me. He goes onto say one other thing that really hit a nerve from my past:

"If in your relationships you experience both "love" and the opposite of love ― attack, emotional violence, and so on ― then it is likely that you are confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love. You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite. If your "love" has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete and deeper sense of self, a need that the other person temporarily meets. It is the ego's substitute for salvation, and for a short time it almost does feel like salvation." 

I've definitely been on the giving and receiving end of the above. And for a long time there, I really thought that's what it was "supposed" to be like. "It's us against the world!"
I mean, when you think someone is your entire world and you can't imagine a day without them, you don't realize how much of that is derived from your mind more than your actual spirit or heart. 

Like any addiction though, eventually the other person lets you down, doesn't follow through, isn't enough and vice versa. Or, they begin to fail meeting your expectations or follow through on their own ... and so on. That's when it often gets ugly, manipulative, angry ... in some instances, physical.

"Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to ― alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person ― you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain."

More than anything else, the past has forced me to focus on the present, on myself. Sure, I was once that woman, on the kitchen floor every night, crying. Do I miss her? No. But have I learned from her? Yes. The truth is, that same pain, she had inside to begin with ... the "relationship" only highlighted it.

For me, it's always been emotions, highs and lows, that I was "addicted" to. So when I felt those things with someone for the first time, I was a moth to a flame, despite the times the highs turned into lows. It made me feel like I existed ... instead of me feeling my own existence inside.

But, the disconnect to my true self is really what I was missing or trying to fill elsewhere. I identified with those emotions, those external expressions, words, promises ... instead of identifying with my own voice, my own words, instincts, wisdom. 

I mean, it was easier for me to have a person to pour my emotions and "love" into than it was to pour love into myself. At least that was the case a few years back and up until recently. 

So, upon reading this, though it may not apply in every sense, it is worth thinking about ... our love, the ways we love ... our views of love.

I guess that's why this chapter hit so hard. I just read it and shook my head, feeling the light bulb moment hit. 

I suddenly saw myself through different eyes ... and saw love differently, too.


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