The same is true of you and your human experience. You are healthy, clear and wise, just like the blue sky. And your addiction is like the weather. Your addiction is made of impermanent, passing through thoughts and feelings, urges and cravings. Those passing through feelings are not fundamental to who you are and so your addiction isn’t either.
Like the weather, your human experience is always changing. Even when the sky looks grey and overcast for a long time, there is movement. The clouds are moving, the air is moving, and particles in the atmosphere are constantly in a state of flux. Your “human weather” is the same. Regardless of how stuck you feel and how long you’ve felt that way, there is unending movement. It may be subtle, but it is happening. Your moods, feelings, cravings, sensations and memories are moving and evolving. There is great momentum—a force of nature, in fact—ensuring that your experience passes through you seamlessly and naturally, like weather.
We all have just one addiction: addiction to our own experience. We become addicted to our internal weather; our impermanent, safe thoughts and feelings.
We take our thoughts, feelings, urges and cravings very seriously. We get caught up in them. We misunderstand them, mistakenly believing that because we feel the urge to do something, we must do it.
We innocently miss the fact that our experience isn’t “us” or “ours”. It’s simply human weather passing through. We believe that we need to do something to end the discomfort, but everything we do to fix or change our experience tends to make things worse.
We buy our own stories, get caught up in our own painful lies, and fear our own safe, temporary emotions. We’re addicted to staring at the weather, imbuing it with meaning and importance it doesn’t actually deserve.
Recovery is about recovering the common sense way of naturally being that we knew as children. The way we lived in the world, letting our common sense and innate wisdom guide us through life. Recovery is about recovering our innate health and resilience. That means paying less attention to the weather and returning our gaze to the blue sky backdrop that is within us all. Not denying or suppressing, but acknowledging and respecting what is real, true and stable, and giving less weight to what is not.
Life was incredibly simple before we became addicted to our thoughts and feelings.
The good news is that you have not actually lost your health and common sense so it is much easier to “recover” it than it may seem.
Look toward the supportive nature of life itself and the amazing resourcefulness that is alive and well within you right now.
These simple truths allowed me to walk away from an 8-year struggle with food addiction and binge eating and I’ve seen the realization of them help countless people begin to experience true freedom.
All humans have the same basic design, and it is an unbelievably forgiving one. There is limitless hope for us all.
Dr. Amy Johnson is a psychologist and coach who helps people
find freedom from habits and addiction through a common sense
understanding of how our human experience really works. Her
bestselling book, The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower
Approach to Breaking Any Habit, has helped thousands of people
move beyond abstinence and sobriety, toward complete freedom.
For free resources, please sign up at www.DrAmyJohnson.com.
The Little School of Big Change is an upcoming online community
devoted to sharing and spreading these simple truths about human
life. Learn more at www.TheLittleSchoolofBigChange.com.