I’ve been doing an audit of my life recently. Really taking a look at the way I approach the world and myself. I’m not really happy with the conclusions I’ve come to.
When I think back to my long period of chronic illness, I remember all the times I would imagine my life if I were only healthy. If only I had my health again and I could go out and meet people, have adventures, accomplish great things, etcetera. Now here I am, three years after I miraculously healed myself, and while I’m not exactly miserable, I’m not all that happy with what I do with my time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly thankful that I have my health back. I’m able to do so many things that were simply impossible to me before healing myself. But now I need to ask myself the question: Am I striving to reach my ultimate potential? Or am I just drifting through life like a sucker?
I’m going to have to go with the latter.
You see, even though I’ve managed to get my physical health to where I want it to be (although I’m nowhere near the pinnacle of strength, aesthetics, and well-being I experienced in the months following the great fasting summer of 2019), I’m still giving in to petty destructive vices, such as pornography, mindless internet surfing, endless listening to podcasts, procrastination, sugar, caffeine, laziness, and just constantly being blown around by the winds of life rather than actually taking charge of myself.
The reason I’ve finally started to see things as they are is that I’ve been meditating heavily for the last two weeks. I’ve discovered a new meditation technique (well, new to me) that is giving me profound insights and allowing me to work through trauma and difficult emotions more effectively than anything else I’ve tried. While working through the knot of traumatic influences in my body and mind I’m becoming more aware of the places where I’m screwing myself over in my life. In fact, I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only thing stopping me from manifesting the life that I want to live is myself. That may sound like a cliché, and it is, but what I’m saying is I’ve started to feel this truth at a somatic level. In the core of my being, I’m becoming aware of all the self-hate, the destructive tendencies, the limiting beliefs that I’ve built up since I was a little kid, but I’m also coming to the realization that these inner hobgoblins can be released and integrated.
What I’ve come to see is that I’m living my life in a spiral of addiction. I use the term addiction as an all-encompassing concept, to detail any and all behaviours that I use to suppress negative emotions.
For me, I have a few go-to behaviours:
The most destructive of them is the use of pornography. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to quit pornography for more than a decade now. I’ve tried many different ways and had great success with some and nothing but misery with others. Still, I’ve always fallen back into the pit. It feels so ridiculous, because in most areas of my life I’ve had incredible self-discipline and am conscious of healthy living, but when it comes to porn use I just can’t seem to stop. That’s what tells me that this is the destructive habit with the deepest roots in my life, which means it’s also the most potent opportunity for deep healing. I’ve been working through the emotions that bubble up before, during, and after porn use, and I’m seeing results, but I still have a lot of work to do in this area.
My porn use is also obviously heavily tied into my sexuality and my sense of masculinity. When I get stuck in the loop of using a lot of porn, I lose all my sexual energy and feel absolutely disgusting. I can’t/won’t pursue women or relationships when I’m in this state, and my self-esteem suffers massively for it. That’s why it is my top priority in life these days to overcome this cycle once and for all.
I also use caffeine for self-medicating.. In the last couple years, I’ve started drinking coffee every day, not because I enjoy it, but because it has the capacity to hide the lack of energy, motivation, and bad mood that my other addictive tendencies engender. In the last few months I was drinking two or three cups per day, and I’d start to feel like an absolute zombie if I didn’t have my coffee. A few days ago I decided to stop cold-turkey, because I could see that it was interfering with the emotional work I was doing. Like with porn, I was using coffee to suppress negative emotions, and when I stopped, many things started to bubble to the surface, where I could effectively deal with them.
Sugar has also been a drug of choice. Like with pornography, I would decide not to eat sugar at all, go for (often quite long) periods of time without it, and then I’d have something come up, some feelings, or maybe an incident at work or in relationships that would trigger me and I would just binge on sugar, often for days. This sort of binge/purge cycle is very common in addiction.
Finally, I’ll say that YouTube and other social media have been something that I’ve used to hide behind. I’d listen to podcasts or YT videos throughout the entire day, avoiding any uncomfortable feelings or thoughts by simply drowning them out with a constant buzz of information. I would fool myself into thinking that this is good for me, that I’m being productive, that I’m learning new things. However, whenever I would think back to the content I was consuming, I could recall maybe 5% of the information I had been listening to.
Suffice to say, I’m sick of this cycle. It completely burns me out. I’ve decided to do a purge coupled with this new meditation technique I mentioned. I can already feel the effects of working with my emotions in this way, and I expect that I will be able to make huge strides in my personal life. You see, I’m just sick of living a half-life. There are so many things to do, people to meet, women to seduce, places to visit, value to be created, and experiences to be had, and I hate the idea that I’m wasting my life indoors just scrolling through YouTube, jerking off to porn, and doing other useless unproductive stuff. I want to LIVE life, not just drift through it.
I can feel a massive shift happening inside of me, and it’s not just the chicken I had for lunch.
For those who are interested, the meditation technique I referred to is called “letting go”. I’m not sure who exactly came up with it, but it’s very similar to Vipassana, which I’ve worked with on and off for years, without ever really understanding it. There’s a book by a guy called David Hawkins called Letting Go which I have yet to read, but I’ve seen a lot of videos on YouTube where people talk about this technique, and I can confirm that it’s incredibly powerful.
Honestly, I had all but given up on meditation in the last five years or so. Up until then I had been meditating regularly for years but felt like I wasn’t getting any results and I couldn’t really see the point anymore. I felt like it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, but I can see now that I simply wasn’t putting my attention to work in the right places. I was focused on “increased concentration and productivity, reduced stress” and all the silly self-help reasons for meditating. I can see now that I was way off. True meditation has the power both to subtly shift consciousness and thereby your life day to day, but also to make massive internal shifts within minutes. I’m still figuring it out and I have a lot to learn, but I’m also feeling very excited for the future.
This is also a question of purpose. What was the purpose of overcoming my chronic illness through massive action if I’m just going to loaf around and not really do anything with my life? What’s the purpose of my existence if I’m just going to waste my precious time and energy on meaningless, trivial, harmful things? These are very deep questions and I need to really sit down and ponder them fully. I simply can’t allow life to pass me by in this way, I need to make a huge change. I need to start taking action and I need to say no to procrastination and self-destruction. Wish me luck.