Today, the number of addictions and addicts is growing fast. It seems that today human beings can become addicts of almost anything: credit cards, eating, drinking, sweets, lust, smoking, alcohol, relationships, television, the internet and computer games, football, earning money, spending money, power, work, arguing, war.
In some ways, this shows the presence of an inner void (emptiness) that people try to fill with external things. While a person becomes an addict to any of the above aspects, their willpower is gradually weakened. And if one does not realize what is happening or does not put a stop to it, it is possible to fall into a spiraling series of automatic and compulsive actions that gradually limits our freedom to decide what we want to do with our lives, causing a loss of self-esteem and a state of depression, anxiety and dependency and most importantly our own health.
The origin of many addictions is due to a desperate need to solve a problem or a spiritual need (which may be a lack of respect, love, peace, attention, consideration) of a materialist form.
Here are a few examples:
In a cigarette: one looks for peace, calm and relaxation.
In alcohol: one looks for confidence, determination and security.
In sugar and chocolate: one looks for love, sweetness and tenderness.
In coffee and tea: one looks for energy and inner strength.
In order to change an addiction, we need to work out what need lies behind this addiction. What is the spiritual desire that we are trying to satisfy?
If we smoke for relaxation (by smoking we breathe deeply and this relaxes us), perhaps what we really need is peace of mind. Any doctor will tell you that mental peace cannot be found in a cigarette. On the contrary, instead of calming your stress, it makes you more irritable and nervous, especially when going through withdrawal symptoms. We can learn to find relaxation and peace through meditation and will not have the need to smoke.
The same applies to all the other qualities that we need to experience in our lives so that we feel satisfied and happy: it is in our inner self where we can turn to discover what we need. Although our mind often asks for visible and material things, its needs are deeper and nothing superficial can satisfy it. Meditation leads us to what is genuine and eternal to understand ourselves & thus our strengths.