Episode 77: Recognizing Addiction (Part 1 of 2)

Episode 77: Recognizing Addiction (Part 1 of 2)

Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.

This is part 1 of a two-part series.  Listen to Part 2 >

The revelation that a loved one is hiding an addiction is a devastating blow.  Yet, there are signs and symptoms of addictive behavior and addictive patterns that you can recognize in yourself and others, before a full-on addiction is created.  Dishonesty, secrets, lying, selfishness, manipulation, and deception support addictions to fester and grow.  If you want to know whether you or your loved one is moving towards addiction, please don’t wait until the consequences have mounted so large that you can’t ignore them.  Learn the signs and symptoms of a developing addiction, and address it.  If addressed early (before they become full-blown, out-of-control addictions), addictive behaviors and patterns are far, far easier to resolve.

In this episode, Jodi talks about the characteristics of addiction:

  • What is addiction?
  • Who is susceptible to becoming addicted?
  • What causes someone to become addicted?
  • How do expectations play into addiction?
  • What are the characteristics of being vulnerable, and how that plays into addiction?
  • How does responsibility—or lack of responsibility—influence addictive patterns?
Full Transcript

PDF Version: Episode 77: Recognizing Addiction (Part 1 of 2)

Episode 77: Recognizing Addiction (Part 1 of 2)

Jodi: Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. We are so excited to introduce to you the opportunity for you to join us in a classroom setting where you will be taught the principles of connection. For those who have already joined us on the podcasts, and for those of you who have not, you are now ready to step into an extensive, hands-on, all-star, classroom experience to better understand why you are experiencing and interpreting life the way that you do.

You will be introduced to the foundational principles of personal integrity which are: how to live with impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility, humility, vulnerability, openness, willingness, transparency, and boundaries.

This is a 12-week intensive course that consists of meeting one time a week for two hours. You will be given six workbooks. In each workbook, instruction will be given to you on core concepts of how to live your life from a position of emotional honesty, Reality, Truth, boundaries, validation, being able to recognize your distortions, and how choice plays a central role in all of your experiences and emotional outcomes.

Some of the concepts covered inside the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability are and how to animate those principles in your life, how to live in Truth rather than distortion, how to recognize your distraction, your controlling behavior in your relationships, and how to live a life of peace rather than pain.

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Hundreds of people have participated already and have drastically transformed their lives by living and being in Truthful, emotionally honest relationships. They report experiences of personal empowerment, emotional and mental sophistication being introduced into their relationships.

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I look forward to meeting you and connecting.

[00:02:48] Recognizing Addiction (Part 1 of 2)

Good morning, and welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. I’m Jodi Hildebrandt. I would like to talk this morning about a topic that I’ve spent the last 12 or 15 years studying and listening to countless people—hundreds and thousands of people—describe their relationship with addiction, addictive behaviors, the consequences of addiction, consequences of choices they’ve made, thoughts they’ve had, and how those thoughts and choices have affected not only themselves but their loved ones, and especially children that are in their lives, these innocent little beings that are being ravaged by the adults around them, and their behaviors and their choices.

And so, I have been asked numerous times to do a podcast and describe what the components or characteristics of addiction look like, what they sound like, and what choices get made that would indicate that an addiction is present. And so, I have done my best effort in describing from my vantage point what the people that I’ve worked with have taught me about what addiction is and how it is created. And obviously, the outcomes and consequences if someone engages in those thoughts/feelings/choices.

So, among other questions, I’m going to talk about and answer a handful of these: What is addiction? Who is susceptible to becoming addicted? What causes someone to become addicted? How do expectations play into addiction? What are the characteristics of being vulnerable and how that plays into addiction? How does responsibility or lack of responsibility influence addictive patterns?

Those are just a few questions, there will be others as well that I will answer. But those are kind of the tenants, and for those who have sincerely asked for this type of information, I hope that as you listen to this, that something that I say will be beneficial, will be supportive to you—that you’ll be able to walk away from listening to this with some additional tools and strategies, so that you may assess yourself and those people in your life that you love, and invite them to come back into Truth and connection.

[00:05:52] What is Addiction?

Let’s start off with this first question of, what is addiction? Addiction is an attempt to ignore Reality, and thus change Reality into whatever fantasy you choose, and it’s this effort to not acknowledge or not allow the Reality to be experienced. So, that’s why we as human beings go into addictive behaviors, is that we want to ignore Reality—we want to change it. And the only way to “change” Reality is that you’ve got to make up something else, you’ve got to lie to yourself. So, that means that I must create a fantasy.

I do this so that I can pretend that the Reality is not present. That’s what addiction is “the solution” to. Okay? And I just did air-quotes but you couldn’t see them. Addiction is not a solution, however it appears to be a solution because it gives me this illusion, this fantasy, that the Reality that I’m experiencing is not necessary because I can choose to change it anytime I want by lying, and hiding, and deceiving, and telling secrets to myself and therefore others.

It’s futile, addiction is futile. This futile attempt of going into addiction to change Reality is filled with hiding, lying, secrets, distortions, denial, drama, blaming, anger, entitlements, made-up storylines, ignoring, duplicitousness, fear, fantasy, and any manner of illusions to keep the Reality far, far from what I’d call my reality. And my reality is the illusion or fantasy that I make up.

These two experiences—my reality and the Reality—I make sure that they don’t cross paths, because of the potential emotional upset inside me that it would create. So, addiction is always about me living these two lifestyles, these two presentations, these two ways of acting out and behaving. Addiction is a duplicitous experience, and oftentimes my duplicity is difficult for me to recognize because it becomes so automatic, so reasonable, so logical, so appropriate, so normal to me. And if I’m spending time with others and they are either born inside this or they spend day after day or year after year with my duplicitousness, it feels normal to them, too.

Addiction is my desire to not feel anything that I don’t want. Okay? Anything I don’t want to feel. That’s the entitlement. And that’s as simple as this is. It’s pretty simple. I quite naturally, and when I say naturally I don’t mean, like, your soul naturally does this; this is your brain. This is you deceiving yourself by choosing thousands of times to lie, and to hide, and to deceive yourself.

So, it feels natural, so I quite naturally, through the denial process, develop ways, develop behaviors, strategies to not feel, to not think about what the Reality is or what the Truth is. That’s not even inside my brain to even consider that what I’m saying or doing is not the Truth, and that is how addiction gets created, and that is how addiction thrives or stays alive inside of a person.

Next question. Who is susceptible to creating an addiction? Anyone. Anyone. Any man, woman, or child. Anyone. At any stage of life, they are susceptible to engaging into choosing—though it’s usually unconscious—addictive behaviors and creating addictive patterns. Anyone is vulnerable to be caught, ensnared in the tangles of addictive thought and behavior.

All humans are vulnerable at any age, any stage of life, any socio-economic position, to use anything. So, I call them “external things” that we use. I can use tangible things. I can use intangible things. I can use items. I can engage in patterns of behavior. I can engage in patterns of emotion (internal) or attitudes. Anything to alter my emotions in connection to my experience, because my experience creates the Reality, and when I’m in the Reality, the Reality at times is really uncomfortable, really hard, really honest, and it’s always responsible. The Reality is always inviting me to be responsible for my thoughts, my feelings, and my choices. And so, if I don’t want to experience the Reality or the Truth of my experience or my circumstances, I just choose—I use my choice—to tell myself another illusion—to hide, to lie to myself.

And because we’re all connected to other people, we lie to them, too. And so, lying becomes a very common, very knee-jerk response from me. In fact, so much so that I don’t even know when and how often I lie.

So, no matter how significant the experience may be, I become so skilled at using denial, using distortion to hide myself from the Truth. I hide the Truth from myself, of the experience, so I don’t feel the appropriate emotions connected to the experience.

I therefore pick and choose what I will experience and how I will interpret the experience and the emotions that I interpret. So, if I interpret the experience one way, emotion will attach to either my distorted interpretation or my Truthful interpretation, because emotion is just neutral, emotion just kind of comes. It’s like if I tell myself I’m afraid of getting wet, then I will have just normal emotions that come with the fear of getting wet. Like, I don’t want to get wet. Maybe the experience requires that I get wet, maybe I’m going swimming, and so when I say, “I don’t want to get wet,” and I’m in a bathing suit, and the experience is to get wet, then I’m in some kind of distortion, because there’s no way to not get wet if I’m going to go swimming.

So, I will have emotions that will align with my fear of getting wet. And the emotions might be anger, or frustration, or fear. And so, those emotions just come with my statement of I don’t want to get wet, but if I choose to hold my experience (which is to go swimming) in Truth, and I say, “You know what? I’m not really fond of getting wet, and I want to have the experience of swimming. And so, I’m going to choose to get wet and just experience what it feels like to get wet, and say to myself that I’m not going to fear it, I’m just going to experience it.” And other emotions will come and attach to that experience.

So, I choose what I will experience, and inside that choice of what I’m experiencing, I will have emotions that will attach to the experience after I perceive it in the way I want to interpret.

So, here’s an example. I was sitting getting a pedicure the other day. I have never had a pedicure before, and so it was a brand new experience for me. And I was sitting there, and I was just enjoying the experience, and the patron next to me asked the woman who was doing her toes, she said to her, “Where are you from?” And the woman said she was from some place in the Philippines, and she asked her a bunch of questions, and the patron said, “So, is it appropriate to be in a relationship where you live together before you’re married?” And the woman said, “Oh, no. It’s not appropriate.” And in kind of broken English, she was telling her this.

She said, “No, it’s not appropriate to live together and not be married.” And the woman said, “Really? It’s not appropriate?” And she said, “No.” And she was very animated about this. And the patron said, “Well, that’s not right.” She said, “It’s good to live together because then it will cut down on the amount of divorce and the amount of arguments if you live together first, so you can work all that out before you actually get married.” And the woman said, “No, that would not be good.”

And so, these two ladies were having an experience not only of one person serving the other and doing a pedicure on her feet, but they were also having an experience together around cultural differences, moral differences, different ideologies. And one was saying you are not right, and the other was saying to the one, well, you’re not right. And all it was, was perception. They were having a difference of perception. And they were not able to hear each other. And the woman from the Philippines, she said to her three times, I mean it was kind of interesting. The woman from the Philippines answered the question according to her own belief system. And the woman from America said, “No, you’re wrong.” I mean, she came right out and said, “No, that’s not right.” Instead of valuing the woman’s differences and being able to validate and just learn about a different culture, she was intent on telling her whether it was right or wrong.

And I just thought it was interesting because the patron who was getting her toes done was the one asking the questions. It seemed like she was curious. However, she didn’t stay open to the other person’s interpretation of her experience of living in the Philippines.

So, all interpretation and varying emotional responses are coming from this angle of my own value system, my own integrity, my own ideas, my own beliefs, and that is, like, the center of me. That is what supports me to be a Soul inside what I believe is the Truth of my experience.

That’s what’s fascinating about meeting other people, is that everyone has their own vantage point of how they perceive life’s experiences, and being able to be open, and connecting, and available to others means I have to be willing to listen to other people’s perspectives and not shut down—not say, “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Because the minute I go there, I go into a place of disconnect, and when I go into a place of disconnect, I start telling myself stories about not only my reality, but the Reality.

So, even children can become addicted if they become stimulated. And when I say stimulated, I don’t just mean physically stimulated, I mean emotionally stimulated in such a way that they either want to continue the experience—like, let’s say they become stimulated, let’s say they get chocolate a lot. And so, their environment keeps giving them something that they really like physiologically. And so, when they feel something uncomfortable, they feel an unpleasurable emotion, then they go to this stimulation such as chocolate, or maybe they suck their thumb, or maybe they scream and yell. They’ve engaged in a particular behavior so many times that they go to that behavioral outcome in a very addictive way because it calms their psyche, it calms their physiology. Chemicals get released inside their brain and it allows them to relax.

So, even children can develop addictive behaviors. Now, I’m not suggesting that any of us go around diagnosing children whether they’re addicted or not, just know that any human being if they are not able/willing to be responsible for the emotions and the experiences that they are experiencing in life, and stay inside the Truth of the experience (tell themselves the facts and the Reality), if I’m not willing/able—and when I say able I mean you may not know how to do it—then I have a high propensity to become addicted to anything.

[00:21:33] Vulnerability and Addiction

Another question: why is someone susceptible / vulnerable to addiction? We are vulnerable as human beings because we are human. We are vulnerable because we are vulnerable. Now, let me explain that. I don’t mean to be circular here. It’s just that that is the answer. We have limitations. We experience things physiologically. There’s no way to stop that. We are susceptible to loss, and grief, and sadness, and physical and emotional pain. That means we’re vulnerable.

And so, because we are vulnerable creatures, we experience all these things that are not pleasant. We experience fear, and sadness, and confusion. All sorts of emotions that are uncomfortable. And that just means we’re vulnerable. That’s not right or wrong, good or bad, it just means we’re vulnerable. And because all of us are inside experiences constantly—like 24/7—we have this awesome responsibility to place the Truth, the facts, real interpretations onto our experiences, and when we are willing to tell ourselves the Truth and then feel the emotions that come with the Truth, then we are saying, “I will accept my vulnerability, I will accept that this is a very uncomfortable experience.”

I was coming home on a plane the other day, and I was in the very back seat of this place. It was a smaller plane, and we were smashed in there like sardines. I mean, my elbow was hanging out into the aisle-way because the plane was so small. I’ve never ridden in the back of a plane before, and it was a very bumpy, bumpy ride. The plane was bouncing in the sky and it was also dropping, and it was turning side to side. I could see the wings bending. I looked out the window and I was like, “Are those wings supposed to be bending like that? Are those going to snap off? Is this typical? Is this something that is a reasonable experience?”

I turned to the stewardess and I said, “Is that normal that the wings bend like that?” And she’s like, “Yes.” I said, “Okay, good.” That’s good, so that’s a good sign. And what I was doing was I was trying to assess the Reality because my reality said, “That doesn’t look good.” Being 35,000 feet up in the air and watching wings bending did not look good to me. And she calmed my fear by giving me the Reality, by saying, “No, that’s really appropriate because that way it moves in the wind and it doesn’t resist, so that it doesn’t snap off.” I was like, “Great, I’m glad that that’s the Reality because that’s what’s happening outside”

And so, even though she gave me some reality of the Reality, I still felt, I still experienced my vulnerability, because the Truth—the Truth—was that we were 150 plus people up in the sky, many thousands of feet up in the sky above the ground, and we were all in a precarious, vulnerable situation flying through the air. Even though it’s a wonder of these beautiful opportunities we have of modern science, it still meant that all of us were in a precarious, vulnerable situation.

And so, I sat there and told myself, “Okay, I’m safe as far as I know, and if something happens, like the wing snaps off, then I will experience different emotions, but between now and then, I’m just going to allow myself to sit in this vulnerability.” Because there was nothing I could do to control it, to change it.

Remember, I’m only responsible to manage my own choices, my own feelings, and my own thoughts. And so, I was doing the best I knew how to be responsible for myself, for my thoughts, my feelings, and my choices, and to be honest about the Reality. So, I gathered information.

So, whether we interpret in Truth or in distortion, we will feel emotions. Emotions always follow thoughts, whether thoughts are sad, angry, lonely, happy, joyful, confused, overwhelmed, whether thoughts are logical, rational, fearful. Whatever thoughts you have, however you choose to interpret the experience, the feelings will follow your interpretations.

So, going back to the thoughts I had around watching the wings bend, my first thoughts were “Uh-oh, that’s bad.” And so, when I said to myself, “Uh-oh, that’s bad,” I started feeling intense fear, and I felt out control, and I felt panicked, and then I realized, “Hey, Jodi, you don’t know if that’s the Truth, maybe the wings are supposed to bend.” So, that’s when I asked the stewardess who was sitting next to me, “Is that supposed to happen?” And she’s like, “Yes.”

So, my reality went into the Reality. And so, therefore, my feelings changed. I mean, I still had some fear, but the panic went away. And the confusion went away because she had told me the Truth. So, the goal is to interpret your experience in Truth and not in distortion. Distortion is when there is dishonesty present in your interpretation of your or other’s experiences. My definition of whether the wings were supposed to bend or not was in distortion: I did not have the facts, the Truth.

So, this is one of the major factors or characteristics of addiction. This inability, whether conscious or unconscious, to be Truthful and honest with yourself and others when interpreting experiences.

Some of us would say, “How do I know if I’m in the Truth?” Well, notice your emotions. Notice if you feel confusion. Confusion is a tell-tale sign that you do not have Truth in your interpretation of what’s going on. Confusion is typically connected to, you need more information.

So, notice if you have fear. There is appropriate fear. There is fear that’s in Truth, like being up in the air 35,000 feet and wondering if you’re going to land safely. That’s a reasonable fear to have. However, oftentimes fear comes with a lot of distortion. It’s kind of like, if I’m thinking in a way that doesn’t have the facts in it or the Reality in it, chances are I’ll probably be afraid.

So, interpreting the Truth can feel subjective at times. Like, I don’t know if this is accurate or not. And so, that’s why it’s so important to have a support system around you, where you can call someone else up that you know has a working relationship with Truth, who is wise, or sophisticated, or mature. You can call them up and say, “Here’s what I’m thinking. Here’s the experience. Here’s what I’m saying is the Reality, can you check me and see if I’m actually in the Reality?” So that it doesn’t have to feel so subjective.

So, it’s really important that we learn Principles of Truth, so it can help us recognize that Truth when it’s present and be honest with the Truth, and not be subjective.

So, can I know everything about everything? No. But instead of me sitting there and just making up some distorted thought and telling myself it’s the Truth, that wasn’t very wise, and so I went to someone who probably has more information about that experience than I did, which was the stewardess. Now, if I could have had access to the pilot I probably would have asked them; they probably would have had more information or more education about the wings bending than the stewardess, but she was the only one I had access to.

So, it’s really helpful to ask questions, get curious, so that your reality can turn from a subjective experience into an objective experience where things can be clear and they can feel more constant.

Here’s an example. Let’s use an example of teaching a child. So, when a child is born, their whole experience is about me. So, if I’m the child, I’m thinking about me, and because I’m very ego-centric as a child, I’m not thinking about anybody else on the planet but me. So, that’s fine, that’s how all children are, that’s how all of us were as children because that’s all we knew. And so, it is important for the adults around them to teach them the Reality which is, sorry toots, you’re not the only one on the planet, there’s all the rest of us seven billion other people who are on the planet with you.

So, it’s not the Reality for the child to be raised inside of an environment that focuses just on them. They need to learn that they need to share, that they need to give, that they need to wait their turn, that they need to have experiences where they don’t get what they want, they need to learn how to be polite, they need to learn how to not scream and yell at others, they need to learn how to be patient and go without, and talk in terms of validation, and to acknowledge their vulnerability, and they need to be taught what vulnerability is. They need to be taught that entitlement is really destructive and that it hurts them and hurts others. They need to be taught the Truth about living on the planet with others.

So, the goal is to behave in ways to connect with others. The goal for us is to desire connection with others, and live in ways to be available to connect with others. So, connection is the way to live, because it keeps us bound in Truth. Connection keeps us bound to the Reality. Connection keeps us connected to our vulnerability—our physical state of vulnerability, our spiritual state of vulnerability, and our emotional state of vulnerability. We are creatures that are vulnerable which means we need each other and we need God or a Higher Power.

So, just as we would teach a child that the Reality is not that they are on their own, and they can do whatever they want, and they don’t affect people, the Reality is that yes, they are born very centered on themselves, and then we as the people inside their environment teach them that this is how you get along with others, this is how you connect. So, you invite them to move out of this very ego / self-centered position and invite them to become connected inside relationships where they can be vulnerable with other people.

So, the first one is being vulnerable to addiction is that you’re not Truthful with yourself others.

[00:34:32] Few to no Boundaries

The second characteristic—and this is not in any order—is that you are in, or you create, an environment where there are few to no boundaries. So, boundaries are huge. The lack of boundaries is really the indicator that you are vulnerable to becoming addicted. So, boundaries are not about controlling others, they are about knowing what you are responsible for around yourself and what you think, and what you feel, and what you believe in, and then sharing those things: your thoughts, your feelings, and your beliefs, inside this presentation of boundaries. You share those thoughts, feelings, ideologies with others as you create boundaries.

Now, I’m not going to go into boundaries—like how to make a boundary—I have plenty of podcasts talking about boundaries. And you are needing to understand what boundaries are in order to appreciate that if you don’t have them, you are vulnerable to creating addictive behaviors.

So, me creating boundaries is about me being responsible for myself. When you don’t know you, when you live in a way that you’re not clear of yourself and you want someone else to “make you” feel better, make you think for you, you want someone to choose for you, you want someone to feel for you, you want someone to tell you what is right and wrong, or good and bad, or appropriate and inappropriate. All those things that you want someone else to do, you are in great risk of developing an addiction.

So you might say, “Well, why?” Because no one, not even children, want to be controlled. And when you are asking others, “Is this right? Is this wrong? Is this good, or is this bad?” And you let people choose for you, and then you just follow, you will begin to feel controlled. And the way you know that you’re starting to feel controlled is that you will start feeling resentments.

So, no one wants to feel controlled, or told what to think, or told what to feel. And when either I allow you to enable me to do that, or you do it to me just because you want to control, I will then start feeling angry. I will start feeling angry, and inside that anger it will become a resentment.

[00:37:15] Resentments

So, number three, another characteristic of being vulnerable to addiction is I develop resentments. And you can hear that resentments get created because I either don’t know how, or I’m unwilling to know myself, understand myself, and therefore set boundaries.

So, you can hear what I’m saying is that I am responsible for my resentments even though I may not know it. I am responsible for the resentments that I have because I either don’t know how or I’m unwilling to get to know myself in such a way that I set appropriate boundaries for myself so I can teach you how to treat me. Resentments are another characteristic of what makes me vulnerable to addiction.

So, resentments are always about—pay attention, I just said this a second ago—are always about my expectations that I believe should have been met. Always. Resentments are always—and I don’t use the word always very often—however, this is the Truth, the Reality. My resentments will always be connected to my expectations that I felt or believed should have been met.

My resentments are always personal and will always be about me. My resentments are always about me and my expectations. Okay?

[00:38:53] Vulnerability to Becoming Addicted

Our expectations, or my expectations, and this kind of sounds a little bit confusing, but listen to how I explain this so it doesn’t feel confusing at the end. It’s appropriate to have expectations, alright? However, expectations only can go so far. So, if I have an expectation that I don’t want to be afraid on the plane, that’s fine. I’m going to get on the plane and go, “I’m not going to be afraid. I’m not going to be afraid.”

However, when the plane starts bouncing around in the air and all of a sudden I start feeling fear, then I can make the choice to get resentful. I can say, “I shouldn’t be feeling fear. This shouldn’t be happening. The plane shouldn’t be bouncing around in the air.”

And so, my expectation has now moved into a resentment. And so, it was fine to originally have the expectation. However, once the expectation was not met, by no fault of anybody, it was just the turbulence in the air, I have to let go of my expectation, and accept the Reality that is being presented to me, in order to safeguard myself from going into resentment. Let me say that again. Expectations are appropriate to have. Expectations are what keeps me feeling sane, and connected, and grounded to my life. Okay? I expect the sun to rise, I expect there to be food in the fridge, I expect the milk not to be sour. I have all these kind of expectations. I expect to get in my car, go to work and come home at night. I mean, you have millions of expectations that are totally reasonable. I expect my partner to be faithful, and loyal, and honest. All of those things are totally appropriate.

Now, once I have those expectations, I need to realize that because I’m vulnerable, my expectations may not present the way that I think they should present. Like, my spouse could choose to not be faithful. I could get up and drink a cup of milk and find out that it’s sour. I could get into an accident as I come home from work that night, and so my expectation that I will go to work and come home safely was not the experience. And so, I have to be willing to adjust my expectations when they are not actualized, when they are not met. So, there’s an indicator, there’s a line that I can expect all the way up to this line, and then, I have to let go and surrender that just because I have an expectation doesn’t mean it’s going to be met. Because I am vulnerable. I am vulnerable to life’s experiences. I am vulnerable to other people’s choices. I am vulnerable to my own choices.

And so, when I have those kinds of experiences, I have to willing to surrender the expectation and move through the experience in the Reality, so that I don’t get stuck and lodged inside of resentment.

Again, there are some podcasts on anger, and expectations, and resentments, and I’m actually going to do another podcast on how we create resentment, so that’s as much as I’m going to say about that. But just know that if you have expectations, and you’re not willing to move and be flexible inside your expectations, you will be vulnerable to developing addictive behaviors.

So, our expectations are appropriate—just don’t put your expectations on anyone else. That’s basically what I’m trying to tell you. You can risk with others and expect people to behave and show up in a particular way that is appropriate and in a way that builds safety and trust. And they may not behave in those ways that you expect, so it is so, so difficult to not allow your disappointment, to not allow your expectation of their choices—that they did or did not meet your expectations.

That stuff will invite you into resentment so fast and you will want to get angry at them. but don’t do that. be willing to let it go. When you let it go, you’re saying, “I will be vulnerable. I will move with this. I don’t like the outcome, and I’m willing to move with it.” Because what that will do is it will safeguard you from being vulnerable to becoming addicted.

So, remember, addiction is the “solution” to life’s issues when emotions are involved, so you can imagine having an expectation and being so upset that the expectation wasn’t met, you’re going to go right into uncomfortable emotions. And if you keep having those kinds of experiences where you go into uncomfortable emotion and you blame someone else, that’s what makes you vulnerable to using some kind of addictive behavior, or attitude, or substance to get rid of those uncomfortable feelings that have been created, because you have expectations that weren’t met and then they created resentments for you.

So, this is not a solution. Addiction is not really a solution; it’s only an illusion. You can’t not feel. You have to feel.

Addiction will only trick you and deceive you. It will make you think that you don’t have to feel, but you do. Don’t be deceived.

Emotions that are attached to addiction—so when you engage in addiction, you’re always engaged in dishonest choices, and it will bring emotions such as fear. It will bring emotions such as manipulation, emotions of confusion. Okay? These kind of emotions are, they get attached to entitlement, blame, distorted thoughts, denial, hiding, lying, secrets, confusion. And when you’re behaving in those ways, you will have emotions that are just unpleasant. You just will.

So, be responsible for yourself. Don’t hold onto resentments. Let them go. You’re always going to be responsible for your own choices inside of all your experiences. So, when you have an expectation and it doesn’t get met, just move with it.

Another way that causes you to be vulnerable to addiction is the dropping of personal responsibility. Why is personal, rigorous responsibility so important? Because being responsible means that you’re willing to be honest, and being responsible is connected to everything that you do. You will always be asked to be responsible for yourself, in every choice, in every emotion, in every thought, be accountable for you. Like, I thought that, I felt that, I chose that. Those outcomes are because of my choices. Always be responsible for yourself.

And as you’re being responsible, you will have to be honest. So, personal responsibility is connected to living in Truth. It’s connected to living in Reality. It’s connected to honesty and vulnerability.

When I choose not to be personally responsible for my choices, I make the choice to place myself in a very precarious position. Inside my vulnerability, when I choose not to be responsible, I invite dishonesty in, which then creates an environment of denial, confusion, fear, hiding, secrets, entitlements. Personal responsibility is what I engage in to get out of addictive behavior. The lack of personal responsibility is what I engage in to invite addictive behavior into my life, so I don’t want to do that! I want to always be awake in such a way that I don’t engage in behavior that would invite this additional issue of addiction into my life.

So, personal responsibility is what I engage in to get out of addictive behavior. Or the lack of personal responsibility is what I engage in to stay trapped / caught in addictive behavior.

So, those were five points that I just went over—things that cause us to be vulnerable to addiction. So, I’m going to end this particular podcast right here, and the next part of this, the next of podcast, we’re going to go over what are some common signs that you can identify that will tell you that either yourself or someone else is engaging in addictive behavior.

So, I will talk to you on the next podcast. Bye bye.



 In-Depth Study:

See the following materials for more in-depth study of the topics in this podcast:



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