THE BLOG
04/10/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Addiction or Distraction?

Are addicts only people sitting in twelve-step meetings or those waiting for life to get dark enough to start needing them?

I won't pretend to have the definitive answers on this topic.

I will say that I've gotten better at asking really good questions. Questions that don't just have me re-arranging familiar facts into new stories that make it easier to sleep for a night or two. Questions that point at what's been sitting under the surface of the mind stimulating distraction.

Distraction from what?

From what you're here to do. You know, that sense of something more that when the lights are low, there's no one around, TV's off, and you feel it? Yeah, that voice that says something like, "Is this it? Is all there is?"

"This" would be referring to the circular dance of feel something missing, reach somewhere outside for something or someone more than what's here now to fill the void, notice that it didn't work, and look for the next thing. That "this". All the ways you and I distract ourselves knowingly and mostly unconsciously from having to feel that there's something more to step into that's not a new handbag, a better drug combination, a longer orgasm, or a tastier latte.

And p.s. by-the-way, there's nothing at all wrong with handbags, orgasms, or lattes. They just can't ever fill a void inside. A handbag (or man-bag in my case) is for carrying items, a latte is a coffee beverage and not a therapy, and an orgasm... well, we'll leave that for another post.

Are we addicted to distraction? If we are, why isn't it obvious to more of us? If masses of us are distracted, does that lessen the impact or make it harder to wake up from?

"It's the world that has been pulled over your eyes," says the character Morpheus about the nature of the Matrix.

"It's everywhere you look," he says.

The funny thing about looking up from the reflection in Narcissus' pond, is that there are still trees, and sunglasses, and buses whirring by. The difference is that they get to be what they are. Used for what they're useful for and not for what they're not.

And just when I think I'm starting to get the hang of letting things be as they are, some big distraction knows just the way to saunter by and get my attention, get my commitment to possessing it, filling myself up on it. So sometimes I ramp up for a full-out pursuit and get on the hunt. In the excitement and adrenaline, I might miss that familiar feeling; the one that's got a slight gripping sensation somewhere in my body, letting me know that the seeming Greek god walking by is just a Trojan horse. Other times I'm crystal clear that the seduction is just a reflection in the pond, and not the Reality that will leave me feeling whole and grounded.

It's a journey. Trying to get it "right" is another distraction. Getting a workable relationship with self-love and letting it all be an ongoing experimental growing process breeds peace. Peace breeds contentment. Contentment breeds immunity to being seduce-able by Trojan horses.