- Thoughts for inspired living

January 19, 2016

Emotional Cowardice

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:23 am

CowardI rarely do this but I’m reposting a Grasshopper Note from 5 years ago. I had occasion to reread it this morning and it felt “right as rain” and cried out to be posted again.

Addiction Is Fed By Emotional Cowardice – Grasshopper

There are all sorts of addictions – too many to name, but suffice it to say, they ain’t going away until we’re brave enough to feel our emotions.

It’s often been stated that heroin addicts begin with marijuana. You don’t hear as often that heroin addicts began with milk.

That’s an obtuse way of pointing out that the addictive person has been conditioned well before their addiction surfaces. Addictive personalities, which include all of us to some degree, are weaned on the one thing that keeps our addiction alive – the refusal to feel.

The addictions that sit at the top of the list are drugs and alcohol followed quickly by smoking and overeating, all the way down to serial spelunking.

The standard treatment of these addictions sorely misses the glaringly obvious – that we are afraid of our emotions.

Are we really afraid of ghosts or are we more afraid of how we will feel if we see one?

Feeling is the connection to a solution.

The metaphor of “drowning his/her sorrows” has stood the test of time for ample reason – it’s true.

Take the person who regularly drinks themselves to a level of below consciousness. They are scared stiff of the feelings that continually sit there waiting to be felt. The way they deal with these feelings is to numb them with a stiff drink.

When you say to this person, “You have a problem,” their problem isn’t alcohol. That’s just the means to drive away their real demon – stark terror. Sorry, terror doesn’t scare easily.

A question that opens the door to feeling is: “Who would I be without (addiction)?”

This will show you your real demons. This is your golden opportunity to face your self-imposed bully – your conditioned feelings of being “less than.”

Human beings are engineered to feel. Anytime we push our feelings away, they get stronger and come back again another day. The solution is to make time for our feelings and fully feel them. They are a part of us that we treat like an evil step-sister. As long as she is an outsider, she will continually come back with poisoned apples.

Embracing your feelings metabolizes them. That means they don’t remain as a hulking force that causes you to cower, but rather dissipate with the attention you give them.

“Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?” You are. And when you shut down your senses, you have no chance for escape.

Facing your addiction is only the first step. There are plenty of people helpers who will help steady you as you take it. These folks are to be loudly applauded for their tireless work.

The real success comes when you come to grips with your feelings of fear. You finally find out that “less than” is only one angle of view among hundreds. When you allow yourself to feel that feeling fully, your vantage point automatically shifts causing you to see a brave new world.

All the best,


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