Wings, barely visible among leaves, beat in a short fervent burst. In the dark and light between tree trunks, tiny insects play in sunlight. A single thread from a spider's web floats upward, glistening in sunshine. Tufts of quivering grass mark the passage of wind along the ground. The wind nears. The canopy comes alive with responsive rustling, as fingers of leaves sway sensuously. A hidden dove takes to the air and leaves.
Your Healing From Compulsion
To live free of compulsion we need to replace addictive behaviour with peace. A compulsion is any activity that is driven and unrestrained. There are the well-known compulsions of heroin, nicotine and alcohol abuse, where the addictive behaviour is further strengthened by chemical dependence. There are other serious compulsions which are also life threatening, like the addiction to slimming (anorexia nervosa). Then there is a host of other troublesome compulsions which, although not life threatening, do impact in a major way on the quality of our lives.
Thankfully the serious life threatening compulsion is still fairly rare in our society. More common are the multitude of other troublesome compulsions. These include golf, gambling, overeating, work, television, sailing, sex, shopping, music etc. Our compulsive tendencies are always on the hunt to turn something into an addiction.
We may consider golf to be a relatively harmless compulsion. Our view would not be shared by the mother trying to raise a young family on a tight budget and with few opportunities for relaxation, who finds her husband spending $600 on a golf club and who takes off every Saturday and Sunday to the golf course with his mates. This type of compulsion can split up families and ruin marriages. So compulsion is a serious problem.
Why do we feel compelled? Why do we choose to continue engaging in activities when they are not in our own interests or the interests of those dearest to us? We are compelled because we do not sense the timeless, the eternal and the ancient.
We are compelled because we are not at peace.
When we are at peace we are able to see things in their true perspective. When we are at peace we are able to listen to and understand our wife's need for a break and some relaxation. When we are at peace we are able to respond to our children's need for our attention and we are able to buy a golf club for $60 and devote the rest to the family, where it is so badly needed.
When we are at peace our insight helps to lead us away from our compulsions.
When I was in my twenties, I was very keen on hang-gliding. I remember getting up early every Saturday and Sunday and going outside to study the clouds and the winds. Even if it looked as if the winds were not favourable I'd get in the car and drive 70 miles to sit on a hilltop, just in case the weather would improve. When I was with my mates we would talk about hang-gliding and nothing else. If I was out with some non hang-gliding friends for a social day in the park, I'd be studying the sky to see if I was missing a good days hang-gliding. In the office, I'd be dreaming about the weekend ahead and the prospect of doing some hang-gliding. Hang-gliding was a compulsion.
In my twenties love grew in my heart as I began to discover my potential. Gradually I was becoming more and more peaceful and contented. I was beginning to pay more attention to inner guidance. I noticed that I was gradually becoming less interested in hang-gliding. The hang-gliding banter with my mates began to bore me. I didn't fancy driving 70 miles to sit on a hilltop to see if the weather might improve and I began to be more interested in my work when at work. I didn't feel the need for an adrenalin rush every weekend. Through my insight, I realised that sitting on top of a hill for hours waiting for the wind to change, talking endlessly about hang-gliding was a waste of my precious life.
Then one day I noticed my hang-glider had been lying unused in the garage for some months. I mentioned to a few hang-gliding mates that I wasn't using it so much any more. A few weeks later a car pulled up in the driveway. It was one of my mates.
"Would you be interested in selling your hang-glider?" he asked.
I thought for a moment. Why not, I concluded.
"OK" I said, "I'll get it out of the garage".
In 15 minutes we had agreed a price and as a free bonus I threw in my instrument panel, crash helmet, and flying suit.
We loaded the hang-glider onto the roof of his car and put the other things in the boot. In a moment he sped off down the driveway and was gone. I walked in a bit of a daze back to the house. I made myself a cup of tea and sat in the lounge. I sat sipping the tea in pensive mood. Some time later my mother walked in.
"Where's your hang-glider gone?" she asked.
"It's been sold" I replied.
"So you won't be doing that again?" she responded.
"No" I replied.
I had been cured.
As I have embraced my destiny, similar healings have happened to my other compulsions. Gradually I watched television less and less to kill time and eventually gave it to my sister. A vase of flowers now sits where my television once was.
As well as the easily visible compulsions like gambling and golf, there are the multitude of invisible personality compulsions that ruin lives and relationships. These include feeling compelled to be nice, or be strong (addictively avoiding our vulnerability), be successful, be right, be perfect, be a carer, helper, giver, or be responsible, etc. There are so many personality compulsions.
I used to have a personality compulsion that drove me to be successful. I found it difficult to contemplate failure. To move away from this particular compulsion I first needed to become aware of my unbalanced attitude through contemplation. Then I needed to learn to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, instead of the disaster I imagined it to be. I did this by learning failure's lessons from my inner mentor.
By reflecting on our compulsions we can become aware of their existence. We can then address them by actively seeking to restore more balance into our life. As we listen to our inner guide and follow our potential, our life becomes more balanced. This leads to greater peace and contentment. As we come to rest in the peace that passes all understanding the kind of peace I sense when I visit an ancient stone age monument, our compulsions gradually fade, leave us and we are cured.
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