Prisoner of the Past or Pioneer of the Future

11 Jan

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future”
— Deepak Chopra

I had a wonderful in-depth conversation tonight with a young woman who is new in sobriety – again. Addiction – no matter the drug of choice – is about being a prisoner of the past. Some people think it should be just a matter of will power, generally the ones who have never been addicted to anything – at least not anything lethal or socially unacceptable.

Addiction is about patterns. It’s about neuro-pathways in the brain that have become “hardwired” to respond in a certain predictable way unless something comes along to break the sequence in the brain and create new neuro-nets, or pathways, of altered behavior.

The drug of choice is merely the endpoint – it’s what the addict resorts to once the determination has been made by the brain that it needs its “fix.” In order to disobey the powerful command coming from the brain center it takes a concentrated effort. It takes determination and, in my experience, it takes activating the “Matthew Principle” as taught in the Bible. Simply put, the Matthew Principle is about having a reflection. “Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there I am.” This is one of the foundations of recovery programs that stress fellowship as well as working in Partnership with a God of your understanding.

But the real work still lies with the individual. Fellow recovering addicts can be a support system, but each of us has to make the transition inside our own thought space: stopping destructive thoughts that lead to self-destructive behaviors and replacing those with healthier, more nourishing and nurturing choices creating new patterns of behavior that support recovery and living sober, happy and free.

We can be addicted to our misery. We can be addicted to failure, or anger, or playing the victim. All addiction has a chemical basis in the brain. Findings published by leading researchers of the relationship between the bio-chemistry of the brain and human behavior, such as Dr. Candace Pert and Joe Dispenza, D.C., have demonstrated that we, as the keepers of our Mind-Body Altar have the capability to re-direct those chemical processes by changing our thoughts and behaviors.

“It is always what is inside that determines what we experience in each situation. We are human and this is the way we evolve and mature.” – Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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