Being alive can sometimes seem like a blessing and a curse at the same time; our lives contain moments of incredible joy, beauty and pleasure, but also pain, sadness and suffering. Embracing the full range of experience and facing up to life can therefore be scary, but learning to do so is the key to becoming fully alive and alleviating the inner emptiness and numbness that afflict so many of us.
Painful experiences during childhood or adolescence can teach us on a subconscious level to become wary of life, leading to a belief deep within the unconscious mind that we are not safe in this world. Thereafter, any time we are faced with a challenging or unpleasant scenario, this conditioning becomes activated. In such instances, the mind’s defence mechanisms are deployed, all of which are designed to protect us by encouraging us to withdraw from others and isolate ourselves so as not to experience the pain of life.
Addiction is often the product of these defence mechanisms. When we feel threatened, our mind responds by blaming, accusing, projecting, intellectualising or some other means of convincing us that the world around us is not a desirable place to be, and that escaping through drug use is the best option.
Yet rather than protecting us from pain, this unconscious response only makes us feel more alone and empty. This is because these defences essentially force us to turn our back on life; rather than opening up to the experience of being alive and flowing with the ever-changing current of life, we attempt to separate ourselves from this flow so that we never have to experience the pain that sometimes comes our way.
As a consequence, many people suffer from a sense of not being fully alive. Relinquishing these defences and letting down one’s armour is the only way to remedy this. Naturally, this can be difficult to achieve, as it implies re-inserting oneself into the chaos of the universe without trying to control what can’t be controlled. Yet in doing so, we learn to see the beauty in not only joy but also pain, to experience life to the full and to find our true purpose and meaning.
This is perfectly explained by the great Carl Rogers, who says:
“I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.”
We are committed to helping our clients not only detox and get clean, but to stay clean by learning to release themselves from their conditioning, let down their psychological defences and become fully alive.