Awareness and kindness are the keys that unlock our success

So… we decide we are ready to initiate change and let go of our addictive habit – be in bingeing on chocolate late at night, or pouring another glass of wine to destress after work. The first thing we need to engage in this process is the power of our awareness. I say the word power, because awareness is a powerful force indeed. It paves the way for all the positive changes that are coming for us, as we engage in our recovery.

However, awareness can feel harsh and bleak – like a neon spotlight of blame and self-shaming focusing right on our most hated habits. To avoid this, the ingredient of awareness needs to have mixed in with it an exact equal measure of warm-hearted kindness.

Addictive habits, in my experience, always come from pain. I’ve never seen anyone benefit from harsh self-scrutiny in their attempts at creating positive change. Something inside us will undoubtedly recoil if we analyse ourselves in a judgmental way… and that will send our habit back into our unawareness. Harshness keeps addiction in the unconscious realm – we may know we are doing something out of alignment with our highest purpose, but we aren’t clear-headed or calm enough to let go and make another choice with ease.

So kindness needs to partner with awareness as we begin to explore the habit we are wanting to address. We are asking ourselves questions about our behaviour: When do I do this thing? How do I feel when I do it? How do I feel when it’s over?

And as we ask, we must be our own best friend in the asking: kind, not interrogative, curious, not analytical. We must ask ourselves these questions with love… and, when we do this, the answers – the truth – begins to tumble out of us at last….