I was in the shower the other day thinking about life.  I realized how many words end with “ism”, such as Alcoholism, Racism, Nazism, and more.  What was interesting to me was the realization that each of these is simply a belief system. . .a way for individuals to view the world.  Also, it was interesting to realize how many of us go from one “ism” to another to change.  I came to the conclusion that the big picture word for the “ism” beliefs is simply Addiction.

What is addiction?  Addiction is the imbalance in our lives that creates a hyper-focus on unhealthy behavior.  It includes aspects such as denial, avoidance, procrastination and more.  It thrives in individuals who do not know themselves, or push multi-tasking to its limits.  It is the result of having one’s life out of balance.

Addiction is not limited to alcohol or drugs.  It would encompass things like food, rage, religion, video games, another person. . .the list is could be quite long.  Basically, it is anything or anyone that we feel that we cannot live without.  We live for the thrill of seeing, doing, experiencing, having, possessing. . .again and again and again and again. . .

I find it interesting that we, as a society, choose to use religion as a way to overcome addiction.  By changing belief systems, we do not change the reasons for the addiction.  We only change the focus of the addiction.  To break addictions, we need to take a good look at ourselves, and forgive ourselves for the perceived wrong doings.  Otherwise, we change our addiction to something else.

The basic element is to accept who we are at the core, and embrace ourselves.  Belief systems and religion tell others how we relate to the world. . .how we want to be seen by others.  I grew up in a family (immediate and extended) who all had addiction issues.  Where they bad people?  No.  Did they hold down jobs, and did their best to be responsible?  Yes.  Did they do the best that they could with their lives?  Yes and no.  Do I blame them for their short-comings?  No, it is their lesson to learn.  I choose to not judge others, because that is not my job. . .our Creator (or God) does that.

So, what do we do to overcome addiction, or the belief system of “ism”?  First, accept ourselves and others for who they are.  Allow everyone to be human, to make mistakes and to be less than perfect.  Second, stop judging people.  Remember, for every finger one points at another, three are pointing back at themselves.  It’s just too complicated.  Third, forgive others for their short-comings.  The key word is forgive.  Forgiveness means that we release the bad feelings triggered by the actions of another person.  It doesn’t mean that we pretend the issue doesn’t exist.

How to we overcome the venom of others touting the “ism”?  Love and peace are more powerful than violence and hate.  Focusing on the greater good for all people helps dissipate the “evils” in the world.  Hate and fear is the rhetoric of people without faith (or true belief in the Creator or God).  One can be religious and empty or embrace the spiritual/peaceful teachings of true belief and find heaven on Earth.  It comes down to choice.  A choice that each of us wakes up each morning, and makes.

So, where is your path going to lead you today?  Inner peace and prosperity?  Or, fear and conflict?  The choice is yours. . .

Love & Light to All. . .Karen

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