I have a confession to make. My name is Joann and I am a chipaholic. Yes, you read correctly. I am a chipaholic. I love chips. I am slightly obsessed with (seeking out healthy) chips. If I had a food weakness, it would be chips (or maybe sweet potato fries). With that said, I have curbed my addiction over the years by refraining from having it in the house and over time, as I became more disciplined, I resolved to snacking on healthier chips (no msg, all natural, preferably sprouted chips or baked veggie chips). When I was younger, my mom would “hide” the chips in a cupboard above the stove thinking that they were too high for me to reach. Nothing is too high for a girl who a) wants those chips and b) loves to climb! Perhaps it was the combination of the salt and the crunch that made me weak in the knees or the seemingly limitless array of flavours that had me salivating. Either way, I recognized that my addiction to these tasty crisps was not healthy and it was up to me to take control of this behaviour vs. letting my ‘cravings’ get the best of me.
This got me thinking. What other things and/or behaviours did I have an addictive relationship with?
For one, it’s easy to dwell on what you don’t have, what you can’t do, what is not working and so forth. The problem is, this pattern of behaviour often leads no where. Instead of propelling you further ahead, you find yourself as U2’s infamous song “stuck in a moment that you can’t get out of.” And let’s be honest, it is not a moment that is particularly fulfilling. Instead, you feel yourself being robbed of any amount of genuine happiness you might have had; from a sweet person, you have become bitter and rather than feeling full of life, you feel like life has been sucked out of you.
With all of these non-rewarding, unfulfilling consequences, why then do so many of us find ourselves engaging in this behaviour? Why is it so damn addictive?
Lately, I’ve been really thinking about the notion of addictions (which I am still learning about). What makes something addictive and why for the most part are we so addictive to things/behaviours/relationships that have less than desirable consequences? What would it be like if we were addicted to doing good; to acts of kindness; to being love in action; to living by example; to being light in the darkness; to loving others unconditionally? What if we could reverse this typically associated negative behaviour and use it for amazing good?
What fascinates me is that….it is possible. We have a powerful spirit within us that can out power the trivial, materialistic, fear-inducing, ego-centric spirit of this world. The spirit within us has that ability to make the unthinkable happen, the impossible possible, and transform mediocrity into greatness. The question is: which spirit do we allow to rule our lives, inform our decisions and “control” our behaviour?
The truth is, Life occurs one moment, one choice at a time. And with each moment and each choice, may we become even more present to who is calling the shots in our lives.