Imagine trying to give the mind information that could heal it and it looks at the information as a threat to be defended against.
What we really want to hear are these words: cured, healed, fixed, restored. This is what we pray for, hope for, and wish for. We do not want to hear that addiction is a chronic problem that will need to be managed for a long, long time and perhaps until the day one dies.
After spending countless hours treating those who struggle with addictions of all kinds, I am more and more convinced that the answer lies in the Language of Recovery. This language teaches one to incorporate five simple keys into daily life. It is not complicated, and it is by the application of these small and simple things that great change can come about and, most importantly, endure!
The first key is acknowledgement. This means that one needs to quit running from the reality that we live in a world full of temptations. This will not change until the Savior comes again. We do not need to be frustrated or upset by the fact that there are endless triggers and temptations out there. It simply does no good. This is the language that the mind is set up to defend against. The mind wants to fight it and attempt to crush, kill and destroy all the bad out there. Unfortunately, when one thinks this way the temptations and triggers seem stronger. Nor does it do any good to deny the reality that there are bad things out there.
The second key is surrender. What? What do you mean surrender? “I’m not surrendering to anything,” you might say. “With enough faith, I will crush this enemy or disturbing thought. I want it out of my life forever etc.” I have asked addicts many times how often they have said something like this. The answer is always the same: “Hundreds if not thousands of times.” Then I will ask, “And how has that worked for you in the past? Have you been successful in conquering it once and for all?” The answer is always the same, “No.” Then I will ask, “What makes you think it will work now?” The key to surrender is to learn to let temptations be. I know that may sound strange, but when you just let them be they cannot hurt you in any way. It is when you fight them or given them your attention that they become stronger. This is just how the instinctive part of the brain works when threatened in any way. This is also where the addiction lives. It lives in the deep subconscious part of the brain known as the limbic system, where our pleasure centers are mainly found.
The third key is awareness. Awareness means that we need to stay grounded in the present moment more often. It also means that we give proper consideration to the past and the future, two concepts which makes conscious life possible. Both our past and our future are important parts of our stories, but the only time we can every really deal with anything is in the present moment.
We need to be aware of our dependence of God and aware that we live in a world where just around the corner there may be a trigger or temptation. When faced with the temptation, one can learn to stop—and play the tape all the way through. Then gently be reminded of the fact that when it comes to addictive behaviors, “one time is too many and a thousand never enough.”
The fourth key is mindfulness and the fifth key is faith. Being mindful means applying the god given right of agency wherein we can choose for ourselves how we will respond to any situation. We can learn to be more watchful of our thoughts moment by moment. In order to move forward in life, one must have a vision and faith. Choose to believe that things will work out for you or your loved one. Believe that there is a kind, wise Heavenly Father that will move mountains for you if necessary in order for you to make it back to him. Isn’t that what you would do for your child?
For more information on Language of Recovery go to www.innergold.com.