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My name is Tannaz Hosseinpour and welcome to a new episode of Minutes on Growth. I took a break for a couple of weeks to get to the root of my constant battle with sweets, especially with the high risk of diabetes in my family, and the answer surprisingly came to me through a book we were reading for our monthly book club, in fact during a moment when I actually was not even thinking about my sugar addiction. Don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Mastery of Love eloquently writes, ” Sometimes the self-judgment is so strong that people need to be numb just to be with themselves… To avoid being with yourself, you need to take something to numb you, to take your mind away from yourself. Perhaps some alcohol is going to help. Perhaps some drugs. Perhaps eating – eat, eat, eat. ” As I read these words I realized that my inability to control my sugar intake was linked to my relationship with myself. I was frustrated with myself and I wanted to punish myself for placing myself in a certain situation. This cycle seemed familiar …
I am not one to shy away from my past. During my university years, I, a teenager who had just moved away from home, was constantly judging myself for myriad of personal reasons, and I masked my pain with hurtful substances. As I went through therapy, read more books and made some major changes in my life, my need to escape reality lessened. When faced with obstacles, I chose to deal with them consciously and with heightened awareness. However, somewhere along the lines, I lost control and started to seek external comfort. Its strange. I am well-informed about the benefits of a plant based diet and I tend to eat healthy most of the time. However, my struggles with candy, and chocolate have prevented me from achieving optimal health.
Some may argue that chocolate is not as bad as alcohol. But an addiction is an addiction, and too much of anything is harmful.
Even worse, once you have that chocolate bar and see the side effects it has on your body, you tend to judge yourself more and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
This realization has helped me become more conscious of my bad habits. When I find myself opening a chocolate bar or even pouring myself a drink, I ask myself why? Happiness and inner peace is an inside job – so are you trying to run away from your feelings? Are you angry? sad? frustrated or simply bored? I try to be compassionate with myself and push myself to face my feelings, even if I do not know their reasons. While I haven’t been able to completely put aside my bad habits, these steps have helped me limit them and understand their roots better.
I now know that addictions scream denial, scream self-hate and most of all scream self-judgment. The only person who is going to be with us till our last moment is ourselves. We need to be able to live harmoniously alongside ourselves, in full awareness and consciousness without the need for help from external factors . We need to judge ourselves less, and be patient with ourselves as we figure out the root of our problems. These problems didn’t arise overnight, and won’t disappear overnight either. Adding an addiction into the mix will only make matters worse.
On another note, I would highly recommend The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. His insights are extremely valuable for our self-growth.
Thank you for listening, talk to you soon.