Two Sides to the Same Coin

Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Addiction and compulsion often has two sides. These sides could be called craving and aversion. Should and shouldn’t. These two sides show up as the belief in a command/craving/urge to engage and the command /aversion/revulsion not to engage in the addictive or compulsive activity. This belief in both, equally, binds one. Each side tends accentuate the other. In working with people I see this again and again. It’s interesting because many feel that just the craving is the “problem”.

Some examples of this are to be found with people who have addictions to porn and in those with bulimia. With porn addiction people generally crave things like relief, escape, excitement, orgasm, and ecstasy while feeling nasty, dirty, disgusted, and hopeless about it. With Bulemia the craving and aversion are somewhat built into the compulsion – binging and purging. The binging is often accompanied by thoughts like “I want to eat as much as I want” and “I’m going to get what I want”. Feelings like longing and wanting comfort are there too. The purging is then often accompanied by the fear of getting fat, guilt, and shame.

Two sides to the same coin. We look at both sides doing the Compulsion Inquiry. During the inquiry we follow and look at all of the associated words, pictures, and energies that come up naturally. The associations found are the binding, the “velcro” that holds the addiction/compulsion in place. Invariably, we swing, back and forth, between this craving and aversion. To identify which is which we pay particular attention to the sense of what is being expressed. If what are being expressed are things like urge, longing, craving, impulse, drive, desire then there is, likely, a should, a craving. If what is being expressed are things like shame, guilt, disgust, revulsion then there is, likely, a shouldn’t, an aversion. But we look exhaustively; sometimes those expressions can indicate just the opposite.

When the words, pictures and energies are allowed and looked at, in this way, neither the craving nor the aversion can be found. No should or shouldn’t. The binding and the “velcro” then loosens. What remains tends to be ease and peace.

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