Do you feel this chronic urge to continuously gain information? It’s a little easier to see (and call out in oneself) this pull for more info to appear in the realms of news, politics, worldly events, etc., because we’re all very aware of the oversaturation of CONSTANT information being catapulted at us, literally at all times. However, it can be trickier to catch when it is masqueraded as “personal development”, “health and wellness”, and/or “spirituality”.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes addiction as “A strong inclination to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly“
Abdi Assadi, author of “Shadows on the Path” says
“An addict can be anyone who uses a behavior to escape reality or to resist being in the moment“.
With this definition, I noticed how I’ll use various tools in my spiritual/personal development tool belt to try to avoid dealing with an unpleasant emotion, a to-do list item that I keep putting off, or some other feeling or circumstance that I’d rather not have to face. For example, I’ll opt to meditate, chant, or do some breathwork instead of working on something that needs my attention. I rationalize this as “There is never a bad time to meditate!” and “Well, if I’m stressed (about this one thing that keeps wanting to be handled), I should lay down and do some breathing”.
While these statements have some truth to them, it is a fine line and a slippery slope, especially if you have a tendency towards avoidance or procrastination.
Do you see yourself using some of the life hacks or tools you’ve accumulated in your tool kit to escape being in the present moment?
Sometimes even while I’m meditating, my brain is sifting through all the different WAYS I can meditate — “focus on your breath, no, I’m tense, so I’ll send some relaxing energy to my shoulders, but wait! I saw that one thing about visualizing my aura, so I’ll do that… but actually, that doesn’t feel right, so maybe I’ll go back to the breath. Ugh! Now I’m irritated, so I’ll feel into my heart space”….. and so it goes.
Addiction will also show itself in the pursuit of growth, ascension, and becoming a “better person” by pairing with the looooooooow vibration of LACK. Whether it’s a matter of “I don’t have enough” or “I am not good enough“, or “I am not spiritual enough“, it’s all the same of the yucky not-enough-ness that drives us towards the actions — like relentlessly signing up of the workshops or listening to the podcasts anytime we have silence. It’s the same energy as over-exercising in order to be “skinny enough”, “built enough”, or otherwise “good enough”.
This sneaky pull towards gaining and being better can hook into our insecurities and our desires to not just attain insight for the sake of evolution, and evolving (becoming a “better person”) for the sake of true contentment, but something a little more self-interested. Sometimes, we find ourselves wanting to gain because we feel a deep sense of lack. Sometimes, we find ourselves striving to not just be “better” but to be better THAN.
These are usually subconscious and so deeply rooted inside us that it might take some serious excavation and willingness to watch these rise to the surface.
Just as the compulsive draw of seeking more information can be sat in our insecurities, it can also come from (or blossom into) our tendency to compare. This comparison can look like:
- “Look at all the books they’ve read… I wish I had more drive to read that much.”
- “She wakes up at 5am everyday and is so committed to her morning routine… My morning walk doesn’t even compare to what she does!”
- “Wow, that man is so self-aware and focused on his mission. My partner could really use some work.”
Do you see how fine the line is? Comparison, lack, addiction… These are all heavy-hitters and love to latch onto us. Now, if we weighed it all out, the immense gifts and positive outcomes that come from the books, interviews, freebies, etc. SIGNIFICANTLY outweigh the negatives. However, it is important to see both sides.
When the pull towards personal growth and spiritual evolution becomes a compulsive habit — which it definitely leans towards for me — let it ignite a gracious warning light in your mind. Sign up for that free masterclass! Just know that you are perfectly good enough (and not better than anyone else) if you do it or not. Frolic in the endless field of audiobooks, but maybe let yourself drive or do the dishes in silence sometimes, too.
The key is mindfulness (shocker).
Use your discernment on when, how much, and what you’re taking in. Pat yourself on the back for your constant efforts to grow. Remember that you are just as good as all those people who you think are doing it better — AND you are no more superior than someone who doesn’t meditate or has never heard of that author.
You know what to do. 🙂