Physical Addictions are driven by unmet emotional addictions

“Every physical addiction can be thought of as when the emotional addiction does not get met. So the problem with most of us is that we are meeting our emotional addictions in much of our life, and because of that we have a less likelihood to have a physical addiction. So actually the people with physical addictions are just demonstrating that their emotional addictions are not even getting met. And, in reality, if a person has a physical addiction often they can more rapidly access the emotional addiction that is not being met more rapidly, because it is obvious to everyone around them that something’s wrong.

You see the problem for the majority of us is that if my emotional addictions get met by you, and your emotional addictions get met by me, we’re both happy. We don’t see that there’s a problem here. But when we look at a guy who’s bombed out on drugs for half of his life, we say, “Yep there’s a problem.” (Laughter) And yet I myself, I’m happy and so I think there’s no problem. But in reality the problem is that his emotional addiction isn’t getting met,that’s why he’s on these drugs; because he needs a physical way of getting out of these emotional addictions, and it’s quite obvious. But the problem for me is that I’m already getting my emotional addictions met and I’m quite happy with it, and that’s not obvious. Sometimes it’s actually harder for a person who’s getting their emotional addictions met and who feels quite happy in their life to progress spiritually towards God than it is for the person who’s down and out and has a lot of problems in their life getting these addictions met and quite often it’s not so obvious. [00:43:24]

In the first century, many of the people who followed us when we were travelling around talking to people, like we are doing with these groups, were actually people who had heavy physical addictions because they could see they had a problem. And many of the people who attacked us were the people who were in heavy denial of their emotional addictions, because they couldn’t even see they had a problem. And the trouble with emotional addiction is that often we don’t even see the problem that’s right there and we don’t see our rage and our anger and our hurt as proof that the addiction is present. We just don’t notice those things.

And if we’re in a very, very close co-dependent relationship with somebody, we can often avoid much of the rest of the pain because there’s seemingly so much joy in that relationship that we don’t even notice why that relationship was created. We feel this relationship is beautiful when in reality it is so co-dependent, and that it just makes both of us extremely happy because we’re getting our addictions met. So for most of us, our emotional addictions are getting met, so we don’t have to go to a physical addiction to detune from our life, to detune from the fact that things are not being met. We go to a physical addiction generally when the emotional addiction doesn’t get met and we don’t know how to meet it. Whatever that physical addiction is, it might be drugs, alcohol, it might be medicated prescription drugs, it might be pain killers, and it might be TV, videos, movies. It might be partying every night, having sex all the time. Not that there’s any trouble with having sex all the time or partying every night, but the issue is, are we using it as an addiction to suppress a causal emotion? That’s the issue.

So when the emotional addiction is met it doesn’t generally generate a physical addiction. When it’s not met then we get the additional layer of a physical addiction. The beauty of a physical addiction though is it is obvious usually to everyone around us and sometimes to ourselves, not all the time, but it’s obvious generally to everyone around us that we have a “problem”. But the issue with an emotional addiction is that it’s not obvious to anyone around us that we have a “problem”, except generally to God, and your relationship with God, because while you’re in emotional addictions you cannot get closer to God. Obviously these talks are all about being closer to God, and so we want to be able to learn how to deal with the addictions, learn how feel about them and do something with them, so let’s look at some of that. Now before we proceed, is everyone clear about the addictions, are there any questions you’d like to ask about them? [00:46:46]”


(The Human Soul: Processing Addictions)