Have To, Must, Never, Always and Other Lies

Not long ago I was working with a lovely man concerned with his computer addiction.

“I have to quit” he said. “Hours and hours go by with me staring at the screen, bouncing from site to site”.

I remembered other inquirers looking at their internet use, signing up for porn sites either for free or paying for subscriptions, movies, you tube, vines, vlogs, blogs, research, reading articles, email, facebook, linked in, pinterest, google plus.

Uh…watching “non-dual” speakers (there are hundreds) talk about the nature of reality. Heh heh.

I remember another person I once knew when he first introduced himself to me talking about his sobriety and how he never, never, ever, ever, never would ever take a drink again and could never, ever be with people who drank alcohol.

He was drunk a couple of weeks later.

Pronouncements that are full of across-the-board this-is-it FOREVER often have a bit of an extreme edge.

They are infused with force. At least when I have uttered these kinds of statements and there’s a kind of push….then I feel angry, discouraged, defiant, terrified, violent.

Not exactly kind, easy-going, or peaceful.

A very common cry in the addictive cycle is to say words like “I have to” or “I will never” or “I will always”.

There you are, reaching for the big yummy container of ice cream, filled with craving. Or reaching for your cigarettes and lighter. Or thinking about that beer. Or feeling a need to check your emails. Or deciding to watch videos.

In that very moment, what do you want? If you engage in the behavior, did you get what you want?

I used to want to let my anger out. To talk to people and tell the damn truth for once.

But instead, I would then think “I can’t tell the truth, that won’t help, I’ll be rejected, my anger is too strong, I am too needy, I want to be a nice person but I don’t feel nice, I’m too critical, I’ll settle for over-eating instead.”

That all happened in about 2/10ths of a second.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON, don’t tell the truth, don’t be REAL. Worse things will happen.

You’ll be rejected, obliterated, annihilated, lonely, alone, dead, insane, you’ll hurt other people…it will be bad.

Seriously. Go for the behavior instead. Change channels. Shut the craving down.

It seemed like my best choice at the time, based on what I believed, to eat alone, instead of truly expose myself.

Who would you be without the thought that at your core, without the addictive behavior to “help” manage your feelings or cover up your unhappiness, you are rotten and unlovable (when you’re upset)?

What if you realize that yes, when you touch a hot stove it burns, but you don’t need to throw the stove out of the house or stay away from stoves for the rest of your life?

What if you could relax when you have a strong urge or craving, and be curious?

What if your want, desire, urge, reaching, grasping is just a part of you, and a part of this big interesting invitation to see what is really, honestly true for you in that moment?

Are you SURE you wanna do that thing you think you wanna do?

“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little”. ~ Thomas Merton 

Are you SURE you DON’T want to do it? Are you SURE you want to stop?

Ah, there’s a question. Because for me, the answer was obviously “no”. Because I didn’t.

What if I wasn’t so against and resistant to this terrible craving, so filled with fury, wanting to control it, anger, extreme thinking, emptiness?

Who would I be without the thought that I MUST stop, I have to, I can never, I must be vigilant, I should always….

Wow. Relieved. Fascinated. So much more energy. Connected. Wondering. Open. Possibility.


Could this craving be a gift?

I now look back and see….yes, yes, yes.

“Resist your temptation to lie by speaking of separation from God, otherwise we may have to medicate You. In the ocean a lot goes on beneath your eyes. Listen, they have clinics there too for the insane who persist in saying things like: ‘I am independent from the Sea, God is not always around gently pressing against my body.’ ” ~ Hafiz

Instead of shutting yourself down, medicating yourself with shame or unhappiness at your own behaviors, or lying about what an unreliable, grabby, addicted person you are….consider instead the turnaround to be true.

In that moment of desire, urgency, reaching…could there be something more satisfying, more thrilling, more wonderful, bigger, deeper, more beautiful than you’re aware of?

What if you are aware, you’re just pretending that you’re not? What if that’s the moment you’ve been waiting for….connection to All This?

What if you can handle the fire?

If I can, you can too.

The One Year Program is devoted to staying in inquiry, when you apparently think it might be easier to believe your lies. Join us.

Love, Grace

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