One of the characteristics of addiction, is that when you are in the middle of it, you don’t realize that everyone doesn’t think and respond in the same way you do.
Recently I was having a conversation with a friend who is a psychologist and she said, “Kim, not everyone responds the way you do, when someone mentions they are attracted to you.”
That was a novel concept for me and I would invite you to post in the comments section how you respond if someone attractive expresses interest in you. Apparently according to my psychologist friend, some people just say, “Thank you” or “That is sweet” and think no more about it. It doesn’t start to consume their thoughts and influence their behavior.
That’s when you know there is some kind of addiction or level of unconsciousness that comes into play, when you are strongly drawn to something or someone in a way that disrupts your life, rather than supports and improves your life, creating more love and more joy.
A while ago I had a client who came in with back pain for a manual therapy treatment. He is in his early 20’s he said, “My girlfriend forced me to come in. I don’t know why she is making such a big deal about it. I have some back pain in the morning when I get up but after 30 minutes or so I feel okay. I mean, everyone has back pain when they get up in the morning.”
He thought, everyone has back pain when they get up in the morning! I started to think, a young healthy man with back pain, there could be something serious going on.
He was in the middle of it. The back pain felt normal to him. His perspective didn’t match the millions of people who don’t have back pain. Ever. He simply couldn’t imagine a back pain free life.
What can’t you imagine?
So often we don’t talk about what seems real to us, what seems normal, what seems like the response that anyone would have.
One of the ways we can break out of unconscious patterns is to communicate. Sometimes it requires a level of transparency that is not all together comfortable.
I ask you, as well as myself, what are you doing that you assume is a normal, healthy response to the world around you?
What have you never talked about with anyone else?
What are you doing that you would not want anyone else to know about?
What do you think is “normal”?
About the Author
Speaking of things out of the ordinary, Kimberly Burnham, PhD spent nine weeks bicycling from Seattle to Washington, DC this summer, racking up over 3000 miles on her bicycle. She raised money for Hazon’s (Vision in Hebrew) educational programs focused on sustainability, community supported agriculture and food justice. In her private practice in West Hartford, CT she uses alternative medicine approaches to help people with brain, spine and vision related issues such as Parkinson’s disease, seizures or macular degeneration. To work with her or have her speak to your group, contact her through www.KimberlyBurnhamPhD.com . You can also watch her interview at the 2012 Consciousness Raising Summit on Vision Recovery at and her presentation on How to Increase Success and Consciousness.