One of the things I ask my clients to do as a step towards recovery, is to spend some time being still within themselves, to discover the truth which resides at the heart of them. This is an incredibly important thing to do, because it allows men to realize that they are more than just their story, they are more than just their minds, and they are more than just their addict. There is an essential self within you, and it is not plagued by compulsion. But to find this part of you, it requires stillness, and that can be a stumbling block for some men.
Many of the men who come to me have never engaged in anything like this in their entire lives. They’re always so busy doing, they forgot to concentrate on simply being. It can be difficult for someone trying this for the first time, so I thought I would address some of the most common protests I observe, when first attempting to be still.
1. I can’t.
You can. I find that this is usually another way of men saying, “I’ve never done this, and I don’t know how.” When you think about this in terms of your addict, stillness is something he can’t stand. It scares him. If you’re still, you might begin thinking about yourself as a whole being, more than just an addiction, and that’s a problem for your addict. Stillness means his constant hammering on your thoughts would have to stop, and so he’s resisting it. So resist back.
2. I’m not into this religious stuff.
It can sometimes feel like you are being invited into a time of prayer or meditation, but that is not the case. Stillness means quiet, peace, and looking inwardly. This exercise is about you, right here and right now. A person of any faith, creed, or philosophy can benefit from this secular exercise. All that’s required is that you be still… and notice.
3. This seems silly.
There’s your addict again. There is nothing silly about wanting to be free from addiction. In fact, this is one of the most serious steps you can take in your life. Many men report feeling awkward sitting in silence at first, but the same men often have personal revelations – big and small – just a few minutes later.
4. There’s no value in this.
I disagree completely. This is the heart of everything we teach at Compulsion Solutions. The value in this exercise is in seeing yourself as a whole person, possibly for the first time. We do this so that men can realize there is a way out of their cycle of addiction, and a way in to a fuller and healthier life. So, in other words, the value in this exercise equals the value of living beyond your addiction, the value of saving jobs, marriages and families, and the value of having self-respect and inner peace.
If you ask me, and many other men who have been through our program, that’s worth it.