I spend fairly regular moments or chunks of time in intellectual self-reflection. In re-visiting memories in an attempt to gain further clarity about my life, I generally tread the by now familiar and well-worn pathways of a relatively limited set; limited in comparison to what must comprise a vast jungle of feelings, images and full memories connected to my every experience – 32 years’ worth, no less! It so often feels like one of those really annoying jigsaw puzzles you buy second hand, missing corners and edges in abundance. I guess the real difference is that no matter how many couches are upturned, or vacuum cleaner bags are emptied, the jigsaw puzzle piece is gone forever – it was never yours to begin with. In the case of memories, I have heard that the soul in fact contains all of our memories, every last one of them is still there, but the reason I can’t access many of them is because I do not want to feel the feelings that are connected to them.
I have enough memories in certain areas of my life to see distinct patterns in my own behaviour which have emerged over time. I would like to talk about what I am discovering about myself through some of these past behaviours, and how this relates to moral degradation over time through poor choices and decisions.
I recently listened to a channeling conducted by AJ Miller and Anto Klobucar. AJ chats with a teenage girl, Jess, who died at 16 years of age, about 5 years prior to the recording. She had proceeded to spend the years since her passing hanging around the earth, basically going from party to party, attempting to experience drugs, alcohol and sex, through people still living on earth*. Jess attempts to explain how she felt compelled, over and over, to seek out ‘pleasurable’ experiences, and how over time she felt driven to influence people to engage in more and more intense and unloving behaviours, in order to feel the same level of ‘pleasure’. AJ beautifully helps her to see that while she continues to deny and avoid the existence of the painful and hurt feelings inside her heart, she will continue to feel compelled to seek out these experiences. And while she engages actions which cause harm to other people and herself, true pleasure and true joy will forever elude her, and in fact her unhappiness will grow.
Even though Jess is a spirit, and began this behaviour once she’d passed, I can see so many parallels with my own life.
At 13 – 14 I was pretty shy and unsure of myself, and very awkward around boys. I had, and still have, some very large ‘holes’** in my soul, as a result of pain created in me that I at first was not allowed to feel as a child, and then later chose not to feel. Instead I chose to seek experiences which helped me to avoid the existence of the pain altogether. Although shy, awkward, and totally weird around boys I desperately wanted their attention to make me feel good about myself. I would spend hours obsessing over a boy; did he look at me, for how many seconds, did he walk past me in the hallway today etc. At 14, I attracted a boy who wanted to engage with me, albeit on his terms a ‘secret’ relationship, and when the question of the ‘first kiss’ arose it took me three hours of sweaty palms, panic, avoidance and terror to let it happen.
It wasn’t so bad. In fact it felt quite good.
It wasn’t long before I was sneaking over to his house regularly, and closing the bedroom door behind us. This was the only place we engaged; at school I had to pretend I didn’t know him. But it didn’t matter to me, because what we had was special. The feeling I got when I was with him was worth the decision to compromise on what felt good and right.
Every time you want to avoid pain, you create an addiction. Every time you create an addiction, it becomes a compulsion. Every time you have a compulsion, you’re going to be drawn to satisfy the compulsion – AJ Miller
With my first long term boyfriend, a few years later, I found a great degree of ‘performance’ entered the bedroom. “If I try that, he’ll really love me”, or, “if I do it this way, he won’t forget about me”. Sex had become a tool of manipulation. As the years wore on, I found myself believing it to be okay, and even a cool thing to have sex with someone I didn’t even know. I found myself in sexual situations that just a few short years before I would never have even dreamed of – which I would often come away from feeling terrible about on some level – and yet this still felt cool to me; it felt worldly. I had become so desensitized to the girl who at 14 felt petrified of kissing a boy, or the even younger child who just wanted to be loved.
My addiction in this case was not the physical act of intimacy, or sex, as I currently understand it. My addiction was/is to feelings I would get whilst I had the attention and interest of a man, and sexual activity was just a bartering system I used in order to get that feeling. Pursuing this ‘feel good’ feeling – at the expense of just getting real about what was really going on inside of me – led me to take more and more unloving actions; not only harming myself, but involving and harming others along the way. (By the way, I don’t feel that exploring sexually from a young age is wrong, it’s just that I’ve since learnt that sexual intimacy was made to be between two partners who actually desire to love each other, quite a foreign concept to me!***)
Every time you decide to try to substitute a feeling, it’s never going to work out well. No matter how much you try to substitute a feeling, the underlying feeling still remains – AJ Miller
It’s a similar pattern in my experimentation with alcohol and drugs. Somehow I went from a 16 year old sneaking a sip of port with a girlfriend and singing under the moon, to finding myself a few years later in a moment in time whereby I couldn’t name all of the substances currently in my bloodstream, and I was having trouble remembering who I was and how I got there. As with the previous example, I had made hundreds upon hundreds of choices over the course of some years, choices which led me down the path of moral degradation – that is, to a place where I no longer could see that I what I was doing was morally wrong, each decision only seemingly slightly worse than the last. If someone had offered me a smorgasbord of different drugs when I had only just started drinking alcohol, I would have said “no way! I would never do that!” But I have found that that’s not how it tends to happen. In my experience, each choice I made to have another opportunity to seek out ‘pleasurable’ feelings was only a small step away from the last, gradually walking a pathway to more and more pain.
I loved the feeling of escape and freedom I got when I used alcohol but mostly drugs. Everything in my life felt okay, for that short period of time. Every time I chose to chase this feeling, I was choosing to avoid connection to myself, and to what was really going on inside. Every time I chose to seek the false high, I harmed myself, and often those around me. Because of this perpetual harm I was doing, I was actually creating more pain and suffering in my soul, it was getting harder and harder to feel good, the “come-downs” were getting more and more painful, and I had to engage more extreme behaviour to have any good feelings at all. It’s a terribly vicious and downward spiral.
Most people who are being compelled by addiction don’t want to see what they are doing to their body, they don’t want to see what they are creating in their life, and they don’t want to see the pain they are creating in other people.
At each choice you can stop and go “hang on, this is a really critical choice for me, if I make the next choice where am I going to go?” And you can choose not to go there; you can say “okay, I’m going to make a different choice now” – AJ Miller
I’m only really just making some intellectual connections and deconstruction of the way in which I have chosen to use my will over the course of my life. I can see that I was a ship, headed full speed for the iceberg. But to be honest, if anything I’ve only applied the brakes sightly. There are some obvious patterns in my life that have changed, and yet I am still resisting feeling a lot of pain and fear – the original feelings I was trying to get away from all those years ago are still around – and so my emotional and physical addictions – my personal avoidance strategies, if you will – have just morphed into different forms (many of which were also present years ago, I just wasn’t aware), e.g. food, TV series’, judgement, approval-seeking behaviour, control, commiseration, physical appearance issues, self-attack, pulling down of others… the list goes on. Honestly, I’m scratching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding my addictions and how I choose to let them control and corrupt my life instead of allowing whats underneath them to surface. It’s going to take a lot of sincere desire to turn this ship around; desire to be real, to feel the pain underneath all of my façade and falsity, and also now to really feel how I have harmed others and myself in this pursuit of ‘pleasure’.
True joy can only come to you once you’ve let go of the sorrow and fears that are inside of you. And the only way to let them go – the way that God designed the soul – the only way to let them go once they’re in you, is to experience them – AJ Miller
I love the way Mary Luck/Magdalene describes how we create addictions:
God, in His beautiful loving wisdom, is bringing us events all the time to help us see what is inside of us, but because we want to stay in denial we go “How can I avoid this? How can I get a feeling that’s not scary or sad, but a happy one? I’ll create an addiction. I’ll create some relationship with people or my environment that will help me avoid this strange stirring up thing that’s happening as I walk through my life” – Mary, ‘The Human Soul – Denial and Addiction’
In my mind, I can logically see that letting go of addictions and feeling through my false beliefs that tend to keep me stuck would lead to a happier life and the potential for an awesome relationship with God, my Soulmate, and other people. Currently, however, I still want many of my emotional and physical addictions to get met so I don’t have to feel the uncomfortable, painful feelings that are inside me; whether I choose to acknowledge them or not. I still often lack faith that my life will indeed continue to get better if I surrender this pursuit of immediate and shallow gratifications, and instead turn my heart and soul towards love, and knowing God’s Way. For my moral compass has for so long been wrong, the needle shaky; guiding my feet further down the path of fear and denial.
Moment by moment we have the opportunity to choose differently; to turn the ship around. The enormity of this still eludes me, but something inside me feels it to be true. As Mary Luck says:
“In my experience becoming more loving is not a single choice but it is a lot of choices that we make every single day. Over time they don’t feel like individual choices anymore because our will is strong and we don’t even consider that we might not take the humble path. But in reality the use of our will is a moment by moment exercise. We make a gazillion choices and decisions every single day – on a soul level – and our outward actions and emotions reflect these soul based choices” – Mary Luck
God, help me grow the desire and courage to reset my compass to love, true love; and be kind to myself as I re-trace my steps and tidy up the mess I have left along the way.
Teach me about morals and ethics; help me strive to be good and value integrity.
Help me to learn patience and tenderness, so I may be patient and tender with myself as I uncover those things within that I have shamed and judged.
I know that my emotional addictions are the biggest thing standing in the way of progress towards true happiness, love and God. I think many people are potentially in the same boat. If you would like more info about addictions and how to discover and process them, here are some links from Divine Truth teachings, but there are many, many resources available about the topics from other sources:
*From what I have heard, many people who die continue to live their life engaging with the earth after they pass, attempting to influence people and get desires satisfied that are often quite harmful to themselves and those they influence. This is instead of completing the transition to their new home/location in the spirit world. This is a whole topic in and of itself, which I don’t fully understand, but which you can find out more about here, on the DT YouTube playlist about spirits.
** I use the word ‘hole’ as I have heard it used by the Teachings of Divine Truth to describe the effect of having emotional damage inside of ourselves/our soul. It’s not actually a hole, I don’t think, but more of an energetic opening. I have heard that the way to heal these holes which cause unhappiness is through emotionally experiencing what actually caused the damage in the first place, not by patching it up with short-term quick fix feelings.
***You can find out heaps more about Soulmates if you click onto the Divine Truth YouTube channel and type ‘soulmates’ here