When moving through addiction the breath is what makes it possible to re-connect with your truth if only but for a moment. The truth that what you just did or experience does not define who you are and that you get to choose how you use the moment to redefine how you’re going to show up and begin to move forward again.
In those moments when you feel as if you may be in “the EXACT same place…again” the breath is what re-aligns you with a sense of knowing that, although what’s happening on the outside, although everything about that addictive situation may seem the same, what has changed is what’s going on within you. Within you is the space where a significant amount of transformations is occurring and more often than not, it’s going unnoticed. The breath and being able to re-align with your sense of intuition is what invites you to notice more of those changes and to know that in the midst of things appearing to be the same…what’s going on within you is what’s different.
When moving through any kind of addiction (drugs, alcohol, sex, eating, gambling, spending, self-harming, social media, toxic relationship, etc…), before the change you desire is ever seen within the world around you, it’s occurring within you. In that unseen space. The change you desire is occurring in the mind shifts you’re having and with the awareness that’s being created. Change is occurring in the moments of the internally felt battle that’s going on. It’s happening even in the midst of your mind-chatter. And it’s happening in the silent, still space within you. In your thought process. In how you’re feeling about the situation. With your sense of resolve. Your sense of perseverance. Your sense of resiliency. And what can feel particularly challenging about all of that is there’s nothing about those things that can be measured. There’s nothing that’s initially noticeable about one’s environment that allows you to say, “See. Things have changed.”
The word environment is derived from the French word “environ” meaning surroundings. Specifically speaking, one’s outside surroundings. When moving through addiction, because it usually doesn’t happen overnight, ones outside surroundings may remain the same for quite a while. People, places and things may remain the same but the things you’re noticing and thinking are changing. Because of this those on the outside looking in may say things like, “See. You’re doing the same thing again. You don’t really want change.” When this happens you begin to internalize that message and further beat yourself up as if there’s something wrong with you. You begin to tell yourself things like, “Why can’t I just…?”, “I always do this…”, “Nothing ever changes.”
However, how cool would it be if the measure of your transformation could be acknowledged by the shift’s that are happening internally? What would it be like to give credit to the in-vironmental changes…? This is so important because, when the change you desire occurs from within you first, there’s nothing that you can physically show to others (especially when feeling like you’ve let so many others down) so that they can reflect it back as some sort of measurable achievement.
Let’s take the example of a woman who’s in an abusive relationship (by the way, abusive and toxic relationships are a type of addiction, too.) Statistically, it takes a woman about seven times before she leaves an abusive relationship for good. The previous six times she was developing the strength, resiliency and resolve needed to leave for the final seventh time. The six times were needed for the seventh time to occur. During that time there was no physical muscle development that was noticed. There’s no building up of muscle tone in her legs that lets those on the outside know she’s gaining the strength needed to walk away. Everything that she needs in order for that final moment to occur is happening inside. Within her. In the realm of the unseen and unmeasurable. Her in-vironment is transforming despite the fact that she’s in the same environment. The same is true of anyone who’s moving through any type of addiction.
When moving through addiction, it’s in that silent space within that you’re learning how to better listen to that still voice of intuitive guidance that’s offering the means for you to tap into the wisdom that’s being developed as a result of what you’re experiencing. Your breath is a conduit which re-connects and re-aligns you with you sense of intuition.
Your breath re-connects you with the truth that within hindsight there’s the deep and intuitive wisdom of insight. This is how you learn. Breathing that in allows for the space needed for the grace to just be human. For example, if after 3 days you began to engage in the addiction, being able to just breathe creates the space for you to re-connect with the insight needed about what would be helpful for next time so that you may extend the three days out even further. Intuition connects you with the feeling of, “I get to start again” instead of “I have to start all over again.” This is the space that your sense of resolve is being strengthened and you’re able to feel a greater sense of peace and acceptance with yourself.
The breath is important because it re-connects you right here. Right now. In this moment. And from this moment you’re able to move into the next. The breath re-aligns you with your sense of intuition so that you’re able to know that it’s okay to do it just one moment at a time instead of one day at a time if that what you feel you need. It starts with this moment. Right here. Right now.
I remember when I was moving through drug addiction and people would say, “one day at a time”. For me that felt overwhelming. I remember thinking, “What? Why would you tell me that? There’s no way I can make it through the day without using.” And so I would cut out the middle and begin using as soon as I woke up without even putting forth any effort.
When I connected with my breath, I received the intuitive guidance that making it through the day starts with being able to make it through the moment. And so I did what I could and I celebrated what I did. Moment-by-moment.
The first time I had five minutes of being clean after waking up, I remembered feeling really good about myself. When I did end up using after those initial five minutes, during and after the high (especially afterwards), instead of beating myself up I would have moments when I would Just. Breathe. And re-connect with my sense of intuition and receive the guidance needed so that the next morning I could extend the five minutes out even further.
Believe me. It didn’t happen overnight and there was a lot of forward and backward movement within my environment. Those around me were able to observe the physical evidence of transformation when I hadn’t used for a day or for one month. However, by using the power of the breath to deepen my sense of intuition, insight and intuitive guidance, I was eventually able to remain connected with my truth and internal observations that things were, in fact, shifting in-vironmentally for the alignment with all that I desired of living life addiction-free.
Remembering to just breathe is what deepens the knowing that within hindsight there is the deep, intuitive wisdom of insight. This is how you learn. And guess what? That insight is in high definition. You have crystal, clear clarity about what you need. Re-connecting with that truth is what offers the space for the grace to just be human. To fully be in the moment. With no judgement. To allow yourself the knowing that although you may have lost the needed balance within the moment …you get to start again and the breath is what offers the sense of peace needed so that you can. The breath allows you to do what you can and to celebrate what you did.
In the example of a woman who’s walked away from an abusive relationship for the first and has returned (I’ve been there, too), although she’s returned to the same abusive situation, it’s important she give herself the credit for having walked away in the first place. To acknowledged the incredible strength that it took for her to do it. For her to know that she’s able to do what she thought she never could.
Whether it’s five minutes , five days, five weeks or five months of being addiction free it’s so important to Just. Breathe. Do what you can and celebrate what you did. Just. Breathe. Re-connect and re-align with your sense of intuition so that you may experience a greater peace of mind. Just. Breathe. And remember that within hindsight there is the deep and intuitive wisdom of insight. This is how you learn. Just. Breathe. And know that the changes and transformation you desire are happening within your in-vironment first. And know that through your continued efforts, the moment will come when your inner shifts and transformations will align and match up with the things you’ve done to physically prepare yourself for a life of being addiction free.
Welcome to another moment of life™.