If you are caught in addiction—and we are all caught in addiction to some degree—know that there is a better way.
We all suffer from addiction. We all engage in compulsive good now—bad later behaviors. It can be as subtle as not speaking the truth to someone for fear of their disapproval—an addiction to the approval of others. Or, it can be as severe as a homeless person living on a diet of whiskey. If you look closely, you will see that your attachments drive addictive behaviors.
There is good intent driving addiction. Our brains are doing their best to achieve a state of feeling good and not feeling bad. The process of good now-bad later may be destructive, but the core impulse to not suffer is good. Have compassion for your brain. It means well.
But there is a better way. That way is recovery. It is the way of love. It is a shift from “good now—bad later” to “good now—good later.” Look closely and see the damage of addiction. Looking will cultivate awakening. This will trigger a letting go. Then you are free to answer the question, “What would love do?” You will say, “I see pain within me. I see a lack of joy. What can I do now to soothe myself that will not harm me later? What does love call for that I might act to enhance my vitality?” It could be the practice of mindful appreciation, calling a friend, going to a meeting, or one of a thousand other things.
The better way is the way of love. Act with love this moment to enhance your vitality and the wellness of others. Love is good now—good later behavior. Love is the way to end suffering, cultivate joy, and free yourself from your addictions.