Healing Addiction with Meditation and Contemplation
April 1, 2008 · Print This Article
How One Woman Overcame Her Addiction
This story illustrates how meditation and contemplation work to manifest spiritual healing…
I was talking with my friend S. recently. A week previously, we had discussed some concerns she had about some health issues she was experiencing. She confided in me, “I know I should meditate, I’ve just gotten away from it.”
I shared a few things with her, and told her to go practice. A week later, she’s sharing her experience with me, and it just blows me away! Not only has she been practicing the techniques, but her experience is far beyond what I imagined was possible in such a short time. Sharing her experience with me expanded my understanding of the limitless possibilities of spiritual healing and created a profound opening in my heart. So I asked her if I could share it with you, so you can have a tangible experience of how this stuff really works. She agreed.
S. had come into the realization that she was more aggresive and defensive than she wanted to be. She really wanted to change, but didn’t know quite how to do it. So she spent a week meditating, with this issue in the back of her mind. What were the connections? How could she soften her personality, so she could experience more joy?As she meditated, no insights came to her. But one night, she dreamt of many of the children who had bullied her as a young child–threatening to strangle her or stab her with a knife. You might imagine how traumatic those types of experiences would be for a child. These memories came back to her, and of course, she couldn’t sleep. So she arose in the middle of the night and began journaling about her experience, writing down all her thoughts, memories and emotions. When she got to the end of her journaling, something clicked inside. She suddenly understood the connections between her defensiveness and agression and her current life challenges.
Her father had always told her to let those kids do what they wanted and don’t fight back. This could have been powerful advice, but it wasn’t. The children continued to torment her until she stood up for herself and fought back. She had learned at an early age what was necessary for her survival–defensiveness and aggression are powerful allies!
Of course, now she recognized that the response from her childhood, while helpful when she was a child, was not helpful as an adult. In fact, it was creating some negative patterns and stifling the joy of her relationships.
But now, she recognized the connection, and she was able to simply let go of her defensiveness. The next day, she confided that she had the most wonderful day with her husband. “I was able to let go of my defensiveness,” she said. “And things that ordinarily would have triggered me, I just laughed off.” In fact, that light humor helped her feel joyful again, like when she was first married. What a beautiful thing to experience! But it doesn’t stop there…
She also made the connection between her defensiveness and her addiction to cigarettes. “The cigarettes were a way to deny my humanity,” she told me with tears in her eyes. “I just suddenly realized that I am a part of humanity. It sounds simple, but the moment I realized that I am worthy of being a human being, cigarettes lost their power.” So she was able to give them up.
It’s important to recognize that it wasn’t just one meditation that manifested spiritual healing. In fact, the meditation was just a catalyst. Through her own readiness for change and her ability to contemplate the issues and open to the grace of understanding, S. was able to move through some challenging issues. This is the power of meditation and contemplation, and everyone has access to it.If you’ve already begun meditating, I hope this story empowers you to continue. If you haven’t started yet, I hope it encourages you to start your practice today. May you experience spiritual healing in your life. May your practice of meditation open you to the experience of the divine healing power within you.