At its core, addiction is the shutting down of the heart chakra which usually begins in childhood from emotional loss or trauma. And we end up forgetting our true nature and oneness with Love.
According to experts, children between one and three years old need to be seen; it's a developmental necessity. And when not seen, we conclude that who we are is not good enough. I am talking about really being seen, not just physically.
The voice of not good enough was my protection belief because the only other option is that it's my parents' fault, which is too terrifying to a child. So there's nothing wrong with the belief that I'm not good enough, in the beginning, it helps us survive. However, it eventually must be challenged.
If our parents didn’t make an effort to see our real nature, it does not mean that they do not love us. There are reasons why they are blocked or incapable of mirroring Love to us. Like their own unhealed past trauma or emotional loss, etc. And as we know, we can't give away what we don't have ourselves. Addiction is very much generationally passed on through denial. Family secrets keep the whole family sick and why addiction is considered a family illness. This is not about blaming parents in fact the complete opposite.
I felt confused growing up because I knew they must love me, but at the same time, I felt fear, the perceptions of not enough, and disconnected from myself. In the pit of my stomach was constant anxiety of shame. I spent much of my life pursuing others' Love in various ways that never worked, and I ended up feeling even more rejected. I had no idea; my real issue was the shutting down of my emotional self as a little boy.
Addiction was my way to cope with my past pain, and I had no clue the source of my pain went way back to childhood. There is a saying in the recovery rooms that our emotional growth stops at the age our addiction begins but I think it's when the trauma and emotional loss take us hostage. They also say the longest journey is the one from the mind to the heart, and when it comes to recovery, I say absolutely! My spiritual awakening began when my mind, heart, and gut reconnected, which took many years of hard work.
"Everyone has Love, but it can only come out when he/she is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself/herself "~ Alan Watts
This brilliant statement by Alan Watts hits the nail right on the head. The idea that "You just need to love yourself more" is expressed in a thousand self-help books, articles, and blogs. I am sure you have said it yourself, over and over in your head without any success. The truth is we can't just consciously decide one day to love ourselves and BAM; we love ourselves! We have to take action because Love is a verb. When we dig a little deeper, we see a fundamental flaw with "I" just having to love "myself more"; there cannot be two of us. It's the real reason I was blocked from knowing Love as my true nature. I was trying to convince the ego-self to love myself, but the ego does not exist. I was wasting my time; instead of taking massive recovery action to heal my past, undoing my false beliefs and remember Love as my true nature.
The essence of awakening is the continual and constant letting go of the idea of a separate self (ego) and letting the One Love run the show. Spiritual gurus, sages, yoga masters, and other awakened people through the ages have understood that no being or event happens in isolation. All things and all beings are connected. Zen master and spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh calls this "interbeing."
We are all born with this incredible creative vulnerability, every one of us; it's one of our greatest gifts. However, suppose we were rarely seen and possibly abused. Our hearts will begin to shut down over time, stopping the necessary wiring for human connection and emotional maturity in each case. We will then seek outside ourselves to fill the hole, addiction is just one way to deal with the pain.