Part of the process...
When I first started investigating spiritual awakening, I read repeatedly that addictions and unhealthy habits acquired by the false self would naturally fall away as part of the process. This was important to me because the entire time my twin and I were in contact, I had a secret; I couldn’t control my alcohol intake, and had not been able to for a long time. The closest I got to telling him the truth was confiding in him that I had had a problem in the past. In one way this was true because years before when I had an undiagnosed progesterone imbalance, my drinking had been at its worst, so in comparison to that my addiction seemed containable and hideable. It wasn’t that I drank every night or even during the day, but I was binge drinking 2 – 3 times a week, sometimes more, and it was affecting my self-esteem and my health.
After my twin ceased contact, I was willing to dive into all sorts of uncomfortable memories and fears in order to figure out why I didn’t love myself. I was willing to do almost anything to ensure awakening and reunion; to face any aspect of myself, but I wasn’t ready to let go of the drinking, or rather my ego self wasn’t ready. (At this point I wasn’t awake at all; I was merely seeking it desperately.) I became aware of a growing sense of panic and fear as I realised that to have the kind of intimate, beautiful relationship I knew was possible with my twin; I had to ditch the drinking. I could actually feel my mind digging its heels in at the mere thought. No matter how much alcohol held me back, it had become my crutch and my support. I identified myself as a drinker. Furthermore, I didn’t know if I could stop which made me feel defensive and hopeless.
A familiar prison
It’s heart-breaking to admit that even though I longed to be with my twin with all of my heart; and even though I was suffering terribly with the pain of being apart, the ego voice insisted that this Twin flame/awakening business was just too hard. It tried to convince me that it would be far easier to stay trapped in my familiar little prison with my loyal companion of wine, and to quit working on myself and give up any hope of reunion.
Maybe if it had been anyone else but my twin, I could have drunk away the pain and told myself I was better off alone. Maybe I could have given up on trying to awaken, but the intensity of love was, and always will be, impossible to ignore, and the ego could not disguise the truth of my soul. It couldn’t suppress the blazing love that I knew was the centre of everything. I’d passed the point of no return and there was no going back. I couldn’t unlove him. This love wasn’t going to go anywhere, ever, and deep down, I knew that love always has to win in the end. What chance can fear or addiction or conditioning have in the light of the powerful force of pure love?
In a heartbeat
So you would think that given the intensity of the love I felt, I would have been able to offer up my addiction in a heartbeat, but no matter how many spiritual breakthroughs and revelations I had, the drinking remained. I started to wonder if perhaps I was meant to accept my addiction and love myself regardless of the shame, trusting that the false self was going to do what it was going to do until it decided not to do it anymore.
I realise now that this is absolutely true. We can’t force change. We can’t force breakthroughs. We have to trust the natural process of shedding the layers that have accumulated over our true selves, much like a tree sheds its leaves in autumn. Each leaf falls at the perfect time and not a second before. That perfect time came for me a few days ago.
Over the last two years, I have constantly and consistently confirmed to the universe that I would not accept anything less than this perfect love. As far as I was concerned, my body and my soul were sacred to the other part of myself and I could not be touched or held or loved with anything less than this divine reverence.
Without warning, the paradox of what I’d been doing hit me full force. I saw the irony of all the declarations I’d made about only accepting perfect love when I was inviting abuse into my life in a different way. My relationship with alcohol was no different from my relationship with the sociopath (see My Path so Far.) It lured me in with elaborate and lavish promises, but once I fell for these promises, it turned on me and trapped me in a very dark place. Furthermore, all the illusory rewards that alcohol offered me weren’t even genuine; why should I need fake confidence, pretend peace, or forced happiness? Especially when all these ‘rewards’ led to terrible hangovers, remorse, and self-loathing.
Much like the sociopath’s silver-tongued compliments that turned swiftly into insults and abuse, the alcohol held a sting in its tail. It appeared to be giving something to me but at the same time it was robbing me blind; like a visitor who turns up at your house brandishing a bunch of cheap flowers, and you’re so distracted by the gaudy illusion that you don’t notice all the other genuine things disappearing before your eyes. Things like true peace, true confidence, and true energy. The reason I’d always failed to quit drinking was because I desired it, but the reason I craved it and desired it was because I genuinely believed it was giving me something I needed.
When the sociopath let his true colours show, there was not one part of me that could be fooled by him again. I wanted him out of my life and as far away from me as possible. His usual tactics had lost their power because the truth had been revealed. Why would I want an abusive liar in my life? And it’s exactly the same with alcohol. I thought it was my lifeline and my friend; but it was just another abuser; an illusionary con that I’d fallen for time and time again. When we first get hooked on something destructive (whatever our addiction may be) we don’t realise what it’s taking from us because we forget how we felt before we started using it. We naively believe we are gaining something rather than losing it.
When my Twin went away, I wanted awakening to come fast. I thought that if I just put my mind to it then I could have all this ego stuff done and dusted in no time, and yet everything has peeled away perfectly in its own time and in its own way. I always knew I was the runner too because identical mirroring is the only thing that makes any sense; as one Twin feels something then it must be reflected back. I can now see so clearly that my ego hot-footed it out of there because it had (amongst other things) an addiction that it held in greater esteem than perfect love. It knew that the addiction made it feel unworthy and unloveable (which is part of the reason it ran) but it also wanted to cling onto what it knew; just like my twin wanted to cling onto the safety and familiarity of his old life. We build our own prisons around us but when the door gets thrown open, we are suddenly overcome with the fear of leaving what we’re used to, even if that something is not right for us.
The sound of our soul
Separation from our twin, no matter how painful it seems or how unfair, is our blessing. It gives us space to shed all the illusions that would have sabotaged the union if we’d stayed together at that point in time. No matter how much we felt the love pouring from our souls, our egos would have been in the driving seat. This time apart means we get the chance to live and love from our true self, with the ego demoted to nothing more than a backseat driver that we don’t take seriously any more. We may, as the ego, run long and hard from our beloved, but the one thing we can’t outrun is the sound of our own soul; the sheer love and truth of who we are that gracefully and effortlessly rises up to call us home. It shines a light on all our blindspots so that we may recognise the extent of our conditioning; the lies we’ve swallowed, the prisons we’ve created. It can’t be rushed. But everything, everything that is untrue and false will fall way eventually, I promise you.
Deep down, we’ve always known that this whole situation was a simple choice between love and fear. A choice, not just about the love we will accept, but the life we will accept, and the things that we will allow into our lives. We have given our power away many times in many ways; not just in demeaning relationships, but also through our addictions. It has taken me two years to fully comprehend that I had another abuser in my midst; one that the ego completely and utterly believed was its best friend. It has clung to it steadfastly like a child clings to its comfort blanket, but thankfully, I’ve finally seen through the deception and I’m ready to let it go, knowing that I’m not letting go of a friend’s hand, but an enemy’s. And by saying goodbye to it, I know with growing faith and assurance that I get to say hello to something else; something that is real, and perfect, and eternal.
Under the torchlight
No matter how overwhelming an addiction seems, as soon as we have seen through it, it loses its power over us. Under the torchlight of true, perfect love, we realise that the long-held addictions that once ruled us so potently and relentlessly, never really stood a chance.