Looking back over my adult life anyone who believes in the concept of the addictive personality would probably put me firmly in that category. For a long time I might well have defined my self according to that label – before I discovered the 3 Principles.
I had problems with smoking, drinking, and compulsive eating to name but a few. When I managed to stop one another would pop up as an even bigger problem. It was dispiriting and humiliating experience.
Even though smoking and drinking were long gone by the time I came across the work of Sydney Banks, food was still an issue for me. It felt like a constant struggle to eat healthily and moderately and to exercise sufficiently. A struggle I did not generally win. After all an internal struggle is always bound to end in defeat for one side.
What I saw after learning something about the 3Ps was that behind each of these compulsive behaviours lay the same fundamental issues. I believed that the source of my feelings and my experience lay outside of my self, and that I was a victim of circumstance. At times I had felt so insecure about events in my life that I was desperate for relief. Alongside that was an invisible belief that an external drug – nicotine or alcohol – or a an external behaviour – comfort eating, for example – could either medicate painful feelings or enhance positive ones. While beliefs like these were operating it was almost inevitable that I would indulge in the addiction de jour.
Gradually I learned that my experience was not caused by my circumstances but by my Thinking about those circumstances. [Which is why every member of a group will have a different response to a circumstance which affects the whole group such as cancellation of a flight.] Although this insight did not lead to an instant end to all painful feelings, I did begin to ‘get’ at a deep level where responsibility lay. I felt less of a victim. And it made less and less sense to look outside of myself to a habit that was actually self-defeating, to medicate feelings which I had created internally – albeit innocently and unconsciously.
The last breakthrough in this area came to me following a conversation with a colleague, Victoria Green. I had the insight that my thinking had created a powerful yet invisible false belief that overeating would provide a kind of emotional balm for any discomfort. Even though this behaviour caused unwanted results, I had little chance of changing it until I saw through the illusion. Because resisting the urge would result in feelings of deprivation and increased internal tension, ramping up the desire to indulge. And suddenly the illusion became visible, deflating like a punctured tyre.
This experience of accessing the Innate Wisdom which is always operating behind less helpful Thought patterns is one of the benefits of learning about the 3Ps. So the struggle seems to have ended and peace has taken its place. People sometimes ask, ‘if the 3 Principles is just a description and there’s no programme of action, what’s the point?’ To me the point is through understanding how I am creating experience I can align myself with the process in a more helpful way. As I see through Thought it begins to fall away and I have more freedom in life. Clarity and insight emerge. And like many people who discover this approach, I found it very comforting to realise that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with me; I was just unconsciously using my power of Thought against myself.
*For anyone struggling with issues around food or wanting to learns more about the 3 Principles please call or email.