Self Care: Are You Addicted to Rejection, Poverty, Struggle, Anger?

IyanlaProfound spiritual leader and acclaimed empowerment legend, Iyanla Vanzant often uses her personal experiences to empathize with and help women all over the world. Below she shares how we can often have an addiction that we may not be aware of and how the addiction(s) can be very destructive in our lives.

Let’s talk for a moment about “addictions” not to substances but to situations, conditions and circumstances. For this purpose, consider than an addiction is; “a strong and harmful need to regularly feel, have or do something.” It is also considered to be; “a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior in response to a brain reward, motivation, memory that impacts the related circuitry in the body.” In other words, when we think, feel, do or remember something often enough, whether or not we are conscious of it, that which we think, feel, do or remember can and often does become an addiction.

I recently worked with someone who was addicted to rejection. They went in and out of relationships and situations where they either felt or were actually rejected. Once this happened, they got busy pursuing the situation or person, trying everything under the sun to get their attention only to experience more rejection. Even when the person or people on the other side did not intend rejection, this is how the person felt. It was this feeling, that they talked about and rehearsed over and over in their mind that lead me to the conclusion that they were actually addicted to the feeling and the experience of being rejected.

Now let me talk about myself. For more than half of my life, I now realize that I was addicted to Poverty, Struggle, Sadness and Anger. This, I believed was the story of my life. Not only was I a victim of everyone, I anticipated that no matter what I did, it would be hard, I would be disappointed, I would end up with less than I started and then, I would righteously be angry about all the hard work and effort I had put in to whatever it was I had done.

Then I learned that as a human being, everything I did had a reward. There was some payoff, some feeling attached to everything I did. The most common payoff is to do what is familiar. Second to that was being right about the story I was telling myself. Then I learned, in life we do not get what we ask for- – – we can only get what we expect! Because I was addicted to and expected to be broke, to struggle, to be disappointed and angry, because these things were familiar, I created and participated in experiences that gave me more of it. So, here’s the bottom line – – – no matter what you are doing, be mindful of what you are thinking and what you expect.

If you find yourself in the same or a similar situation repeatedly, look for the payoff and a possible addiction. The only way to recover from an addiction is to stop telling the story you have been telling. Expect more and you will get more. Expect something different and you will get it. And if your first thought about all of this is . . . that’s hard to do, chances are you are addicted.
I pray this helps somebody today!

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