Recently I read that the Buddha was in recovery, and his teachings were his findings on how he reached enlightenment or full recovery – recovery of his true self. We are all on a path to recovery, and sometimes we get distracted by a habit or substance.
How does this happen? Something triggers fear in our minds, and we fall into patterns of behavior to ‘protect’ ourselves from pain or find pleasure to avoid it. The inevitable (pain) is not only delayed by the action taken to avoid it – it is suddenly exponentially increased. Which if we are unconscious as the Buddha teaches (by recognizing the trigger or thought) we will initiate another cycle of addictive behavior to avoid pain by seeking pleasure or relief.
Sometimes the body needs relief from pain but sometimes it is self-destructive. Chances are that you are reading this post because you know there is something – a behavior – that is making hurting you and making your life less than it could be. Regardless of if you are fully aware of the unwanted behavior and its triggers or not – you can find help from the Buddha’s notes to recover your true self.
When you find yourself reaching for a self-destructive substance or lost in analyzing something that is fueling negative emotions;
- Take a deep breath, hold for a moment, release very slowly. Repeat three times.
- Wherever you are, soften your focus and look at one small natural thing ( a tree or a leaf – through a window or screen, or outdoors)
- Slowly expand your vision to include all that is surrounding your field of vision.
- Breathe and allow your lips to curl into a soft smile.
You will notice that the thought to ‘use’ has passed if you allowed it to. If you find yourself arguing, defending or analyzing a thought to do self-harm, internally or with others, you have been engaged and face losing your way. Step out-of-the-way with the breath and the thought will disappear without discussion or temptation.