Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lesson #19: Sugar and Other Addictions

As spiritual/human beings our bodies are our temples, but do we treat them as such? Last week I talked about Jack Lalanne and his committment to nutrition and exercise. During his lifetime many people thought of him as a fanatic or a health "nut," but the truth is that even at age 95 he still had big muscles, the 27" waist that he had maintained since his teen years, a full head of brown hair, excellent vision, no cavities, and he referred to his wife as "hot." The same year (2009) he released a comprehensive health and fitness manual that proved to me he had not slipped in the least bit mentally.

So how are you doing maintaining your temple? I know for myself that sugar has always been a problem. Throughout my childhood I constantly snuck treats, and baked sweets for my family so there'd be a steady supply of cookies and cakes in the house. When I was a teenager, I must have realized that I had a problem, because I read a book called The Sugar Blues, which  spoke extensively of how sugar wreaks havok on the body and mind. I tried to get off the stuff, but eventually I'd come back. Like any addiction, the mind tells us that it's really not a problem---that we can achieve moderation if we work at it.

As hard as addictions (of any kind) are on the body, they can be even harder on the mind. They make us feel out of control, weak, and even hopeless. We get depressed about the addiction, which leads to yet another binge. In 99.9 percent of the cases, the only solution is to break through the denial and do whatever it takes to stop consuming the substance for good. While moderation is a great idea that should be applied wherever possible, it just doesn't work when we're really hooked on something.

With regard to our journey of spiritual awakening and growth, there are many potential obstacles in life that can slow us down or block us completely. Addictions, compulsions, and obssessions are some of the biggest distractions and wastes of  time and energy we can engage in. They have ruined billions of lives, and compromised many more.

If you feel that you are addicted to something, anything, and that it's affecting the quality of your life, I encourage you to take it seriously and do whatever necessary to break the cycle. There are excellent books, 12-step programs, and other resources available to help you. Also important is enlisting the help of your Higher Self, angels, or God.

If you've tried to quit before, learn from your past experiences. What worked and what didn't work? What triggered you to start up again after experiencing some success? Be smart and don't repeat the same things that failed last time. I know you can do this. Remember, you have the power of the universe behind you.