Living Free From Addictions Step Two: Addmitting What You Really Want

Real happiness is found where your roots are.

-Tim Keller

Ask a drug addict what they want. It’s not the drug.
It’s the pleasure, the high, the euphoric sense of being.

As a meaning addict I need to realize that I’m not really seeking meaning.
So what am I seeking (what are you seeking?)

Easy. I want happiness.

There’s a few common beliefs about happiness.
1. It can be attained
2. It cannot be attained

The cynic, in his search for happiness, tries, fails, tries harder and then finally gives up, finally declares happiness unattainable. The searcher tries, fails, tries harder… and then tell herself to keep trying, keep changing circumstances, relationships, jobs,…

I’ve been both the cynic and the searcher. But my addiction stems from searching– all addictions do–for something I think I need. At the base of it, happiness. I need it. Don’t I? Don’t we? Is it not a human right (as our constitution argues) to pursue happiness?
Well, this is a tough one. But without going to far down the rabbit hole, I’ll just say yes, I believe we are meant to be happy**.

Sooooo… what to do? How to eighty-six the addiction and not sacrifice happiness.Well, that will come with time. BUT, for now I think discovering true happiness and where it comes from is very important. Otherwise there is no reason to abandon our addictions.. So…Reflecting on what true happiness is, can it be attained, and how. Phew… here we go.

I heard an  illustration once about a blessed (happy, full, fulfilled) man…

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season
and its leaf does not wither.
Psalm 1

Okay, so this man is like a tree. But not just any tree, but a pretty rad tree planted by not just one stream but STREAMS. Lucky tree. BUT. (and here’s where I get excited) Though this tree is clearly placed in quite the perfect argricultural eden, what’s interesting is, this tree is STILL subject to seasons. It’s not always bearing fruit, not always doing something meaningful in its… treeness. Not only that, but it’s not supernatural sheltered from the weather around it. Storms, gales, maybe springtime river floods.

And yet, this tree is still planted. Still alive. Still drinking deeply at the root from its source.

This tree–this blessed man’s fundamental happiness–comes not from what’s weathering around him or what he’s accomplishing within himself. His fundamental happiness (blessedness, worth, fulfillment) is drawn up from the root. It is essentially about where He is planted.

So by seeking happiness in what’s happening around or within us, we’re seeking it wrongly. AND, our addictions will never deliver.

Thanks Tim Keller for bringing that Psalm to life. Props to you, man. Credit, credit, credit.

** happy is a word that is often made to be the shallow version of joyful. In the sense I use it, I mean fulfilled, blessed, satisfied, and truly joyful, though not always fully joyful.


Living Free From Addictions Step One: Admitting You’re An Addict

My name is Megan, and I’m addicted to meaning


I am not being flippant when I say that all of us suffer from addiction. Nor am I reducing the meaning of addiction. I mean in all truth that the psychological, neurological, and spiritual dynamics of full-fledge addiction are actively at work within every human being.  The same process that is responsible for addiction to alcohol and narcotics are also responsible for addiction to ideas, work, relationships, power, moods, fantasies, and a endless variety of things.–Gerald May (more here)

There you have it. I’m an addict, you’re an addict.

Try to fight it…try… you still are. (wow, upon reading through this, it sounds sooo depressing… don’t worry, things will look up!) It might be an actual substance, something physical you need ( food) or don’t need (Youtube videos). It might be something you can’t see or touch– a feeling, an emotion– maybe a person (known or fantazied about). Your addiction may be lurking close to the surface or buried deep under years of ignorance or denial.Whatever the case, it’s there and it needs to be dealt with.

….When I say I’m addicted to meaning, I mean I want it badly enough that I consciously and other times unconsciously do all I can to have it. It fuels me, I enjoy it, and yet… I never get enough  to reach that desired high. Oh, and when I don’t have it… the downward spiral of addiction begins.

But I’m not wallowing here. I’m actually glad. =) —> (see, smiley face)

I see it now, so there’s hope.

The new year is coming up. And this year, I want to live free. Free from a number of things, but namely, free from addictions.

What’s next?

Well, taking one step at a time.

…step two is a’comin…

Humungo thanks to CK and MS. Love you, sisters.

A 3-yr-old Once Said…

“It was hu-normous!”

“Is Jesus on the roof?!”

“There’s more than one way to do things in the world.”

“I think I’m gunna be a little grumper today.”

“Ba-hun-guff”= bahumbug

(In response to hearing God can do anything)
“Well that’s just terrific!”

“Fee- fi-fo-fum, I smell a wittle bum!”