There have been various short or prolonged periods in my life where I have felt down, lost and not feeling I was getting what I wanted out of life. At these times I would turn to any distraction I could. The main ones I used were alcohol, drugs and gambling. These distractions involved a stimulation of some kind where I would get caught up in what I was doing so I could forget, however temporarily, what was going on for me at the time.
When I started to develop a deeper connection with myself I found the alcohol and drugs were relatively easy to say no to. The gambling problem however, posed something more insidious.
It was blatantly clear that I would get caught up in it and lose all sense of reality and then feel really crap afterwards. I would then say “Never again” and pick myself back up but, when a period of ‘struggle’ came, I would turn back to gambling. I would justify it, and allow it to control me. I was too ashamed to admit what was happening to myself, let alone anyone else.
It’s crazy looking back at how I would justify to myself that it was ok, even though EVERYTHING in my body and ALL around me was giving me signs that I would over-ride. I was always being asked why I was there, as I did not fit in with the usual casino crowd.
It wasn’t really about the money either, even though big sums were involved. It didn’t really matter whether I won or lost – it was like I was trying to punish myself to distract me from the pain I was feeling. Crazy!! – think about it: I was creating more pain to not feel the pain!
I had a huge arrogance and wanted to think that I could get away with it, that I could ‘beat the system’ – a metaphor for ‘I could beat life’. Even when I would walk out from the casino with 10s of thousands of pounds or dollars in cash, NOTHING that I bought with the money actually helped me in any way. It came laced with an energy that was effectively saying “I own what you do with me.”
It has been through the on-going inspiration and teachings presented and lived by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine practitioners that I have been able to turn my life around. I have never been told “Don’t do this or that” – rather, I’ve been helped to come to an understanding about what was actually going on for me. I have never felt any judgment. To say that is huge, especially given that I would be my worst imaginable judge, jury and executioner! There has been no perfection sought or asked for either, so no pressure.
By steadily building a strong foundation of love in my body, and making that my focus, the extremes of my emotions have gotten less extreme: I now catch myself long before I fall into the deep pit of depression.
Gambling was never the problem, rather the end result of living out of rhythm with myself. It was the mechanism I would turn to, to numb and suppress what I was feeling.
Learning to fully and clearly express myself has been a vital ingredient in claiming who I am. Before, I would keep things to myself, and be the polite boy. Whereas now, whilst still being respectful of others, I simply express what I am feeling (more and more) and do not keep thoughts bottled up inside.
By being open with myself and others, I have been able to deal with the pain and hurt that I had been carrying: along with making loving changes in my life, this has brought an end to my destructive episode with gambling.
I now see life as a constant refinement and unfolding of love – allowing more love to be, and discarding what is not love in my life. Whilst I may dip into, get caught in ‘my stuff’ and feel down, now these downs cannot hold me and do not take over my life as they used to.
So a HUGE thank you to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, who have inspired me to be more of the love that I naturally am.
By James Nicholson BNat, Frome, UK
How many of us have willingly distracted ourselves so that we can forget for a while the underlying angst we feel in our bodies, it can only be a temporary step away because at some point we have to re trace our steps back to the scene where we lost or gave up our connection to God.
‘it was like I was trying to punish myself to distract me from the pain I was feeling. Crazy!! – think about it: I was creating more pain to not feel the pain!’
What you have written James is really interesting because this is what we do we dull ourselves or drink to forget our troubles or to break the tension we are feeling but as soon as the high we get goes we are right back with the original problem. Sometimes it’s worse because then we also have a hangover to deal with. If we start to ask ourselves the question of why or what are we trying to run away from this would support us to start to pick apart what it is that holds us in the patterns and behaviours we have that hold us stuck not able to move forward.
It is a dead give away when we want to hide and not be seen or “ I was too ashamed to admit what was happening to myself, let alone anyone else.” Could it be all we have to do is realign to our Essences, Inner-most-hearts / Souls, as soon as we leave the feeling of being open and transparent in what we do and in doing so feel the authority in our body and walk it or move in a way that sustains our awareness of our alignment and then walk is a confirmation.
‘Gambling was never the problem, rather the end result of living out of rhythm with myself. It was the mechanism I would turn to, to numb and suppress what I was feeling.’ Like anything it is looking at the root cause, the energy of why instead of the behaviour that we do in order not to feel this. From recent experience it is far easier to feel the energy of why than to drag it out so we end up going further away from the actual cause into ill behaviours, choices and patterns that are very unsupportive and disconnecting us even more.
I agree Vicky it sure is a lot quicker and easier in the long run to look at the energy 1st. Something I also find is the quicker I look at the energy the less intense the reaction is, whereas the more I let it stew and get caught up in the whirlwind of it the more seemingly overwhelming and intense the situation becomes.
“Gambling was never the problem, rather the end result of living out of rhythm with myself.” Replace the word gambling with anything really and anyone can relate to it.
Very true Leigh, it is amazing how we can use literally anything to numb and distract us away from feeling. In the extreme it was gambling for me but could easily have been tv, food, sport, dramas, etc..
Very true Leigh, anything we do to distract and numb ourselves can be liken to how I used to use gambling, just with different varying extremes.
As with any addiction we set ourselves up to fail, being super loving with ourselves is very important if needing to get over any kind of addiction.
It sure is if we do not start with a basis of love then we have nothing to turn to when things get difficult. I know for myself the more love I establish as my marker and foundation the less likely I am to turn to other things to take me away from myself.
There is such a hook to gambling, I know when I have worried about money I have dreamt of that quick fix, problem is the ‘fix’ will always ultimately leave us worse off.
The distraction of a quick fix is always a desperate attempt to smother the uncomfortable feelings that arise when we are not being true to ourselves and honouring what we feel. It comes in many guises, some more socially acceptable than others, but all ultimately leading us away from ourselves to desolation.
I agree with you both it is a quick thought or mentality that somehow it would change everything, like winning the lottery. But then when you look at say lottery winners generally you do not see there lives having changed to be more love filled. And many have actually publicly said they wished they had never won the lottery. Money does not nor will ever bring a sense of true settlement and contentment within the body.
The addiction is never the true problem it is alway the end result that ultimately makes things a lot worse.
No – it is never the true problem. I used to smoke but it was a behaviour that I used to compensate for the lack of connection and self worth that I felt. I gave up smoking because at some point my body simply couldn’t tolerate it any more and there was enough worth in there for me to not to override those signals. After I gave up I still had to deal with that lack of worth however and lack of connection. If I had not, the smoking could easily have become a different behaviour.
It is so easy to stop doing something using willpower from our heads only then to find ourselves doing something else or later going into a more extreme version of what we were trying to not do. We need to go deeper to the core otherwise we are purely looking at it from a symptomatic surface level and are no where near addressing the root cause.
It is such a horrible game we choose when we do or use something to not make us feel what we are feeling. Nothing can ever be got from this. In my experience honesty and creating a stop and allowing us to start loving ourselves is when the healing really begins. One small step can actually energetically be a massive one.
One step can be and is huge Vicky. And as you say it starts with being honest. Sure at times things get to feel too much and overwhelming but if we suppress what we are feeling sooner or later they will have to come up, so we may as well deal with them at the time.
“I was creating more pain to not feel the pain!” This I can relate to, as I am sure can many others. It’s crazy really, and an act of total self-abuse, but we keep on doing it. I have learned that the initial ‘pain’, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, is so much easier to heal when we don’t continue to overlay it with more pain of various descriptions. It mightn’t be comfortable to face it head on, but in the long run, it sure is worth it.
I agree Ingrid, the sooner we deal with something the quicker we bounce back, the longer we delay, fight and bury what we are facing the more of a mountain it becomes.
Our sports minister in the UK resigned in protest at the government’s “unjustifiable” refusal to speed up plans to curb controversial fixed-odds betting terminals, she put out a statement saying £1.6bn will be lost on gambling machines, in a short amount of time, she also went on to say two people will tragically take their lives every day due to gambling-related problems.
Great to hear our minster didn’t just play ball and stood up for what she believed in, very sad that we are in the situation we are and that she felt she had to resign to get her point heard.
Very true Alison, I find it comes with a very arrogant energy saying I am above the world of work and can just take what I want, whilst also being very destructive at the same time as nothing of true good, for me anyway, has ever come of money I have won and what i have lost/thrown away has had major devastating effects and consequences which I never thought were possible.
We all have our addictions in life and it is finding the root cause and then excavating it out of our existence by using the Love and appreciation that we are. So that even those things that seem minuscule at one point can end up being a mountain seemingly if we get caught up as it becomes a momentum that we don’t even notice as we are being nudged by those seemingly minutest things, thoughts and distractions until we eliminate the root cause through healing and our constant dedication to serve.
I agree Greg, and often the root cause can be something quite small or minor but can seem like an impassable mountain.
I can say the exact same thing with video gaming in the past or my reactions now in the present. They are an end result of ignoring how I feel. What Universal Medicine has brought into my life is loving responsive ways to be with what I feel rather than reactive and self-abusive in various vices when things get tense. Its only tense when I deny what I feel.
Very true Leigh, ‘Its only tense when I deny what I feel.’ The more I simply honour what I feel and do not hold it inside, the more I allow myself to really see observe and understand life rather than constantly getting caught up in it.
‘Gambling was never the problem, rather the end result of living out of rhythm with myself. It was the mechanism I would turn to, to numb and suppress what I was feeling.’ What a beautiful sum up. We all have various mechanisms to do this and some are less obvious and socially more accepted than gambling, but in the end they are all the same and keep us from accessing what is underneath our hurts and pain and that is the grandness of who we truly are.
I agree Monika, it is something to distract us and stop us from feeling and being in the grandness that we are. For me the key is that gambling was never the 1st immediate go to but rather something I would use after trying numerous others things like food – as sweet and sugary as I could get, tv – anything and everything and cutting myself off from others.
What doesn’t help us as a society is that the vices that we use to numb and distract ourselves have been incorporated seamlessly into our lives. Not only that but many of them, like drinking alcohol excessive exercising and watching TV are actually held in high regard.
Very true Alexis, we see them as normal and perfectly acceptable things to be doing. And when we stop doing one of them because we know it does not feel great, there is something else waiting in the wings to fill the space rather than allowing the love we are to take over!
The title of this blog is so powerful in busting the myth that gambling is the problem rather than the choices we have made in life that then leads to the gambling.
Thank you and yes so often we can give all our focus and attention towards trying to fix a behaviour when the behaviour is only an end result of the way we have been living and otherwise is a completely unnatural thing to do.
Building a strong foundation of love in our bodies supports us to express more easily, ‘Learning to fully and clearly express myself has been a vital ingredient in claiming who I am. Before, I would keep things to myself, and be the polite boy. Whereas now, whilst still being respectful of others, I simply express what I am feeling (more and more) and do not keep thoughts bottled up inside.’
The more I choose love in my life and my movements the more I naturally express with love and say what is there to be said, and conversely the more I hold back from expressing love, the more I withdraw from life the more I see this as the only way to be and less I let love be my guide. It all comes down to a choice of energy and after that what happens is a mere outplay of events which may look different but carry the same flavour.
gambling is an obvious addiction, though there are many other addictions that can be just as sinister but easier to cover up and more sociably more acceptable.
True Sam and the more love I live the more I see that anything I do, even seemingly harmless, which is void of love essentially is to avoid feeling who I am which is part of the game and addiction of choosing to be less.
The power of love and living in connection to our love within is the might of who we are in essence and when surrendered to, there is nothing in this world that can shake or meddle with the foundation of our love lived.
I love it Carola and very powerfully expressed. Nothing can shake the love we are when we are living it in full.
Our spirit has an addiction to staying in control and when we get a chance to evolve and deepen our relationship with our divine essence or Soul then our way-ward-spirit pulls all its old ways from our past choices because it is trying everything to stay in power.
Very true Greg, we seem to be able to find anything and everything to stop us living in the light of our Soul until one day we say enough is enough and then there is no looking back, stumbles yes but the end is guaranteed as we are simply returning the grandness that we already are.
Just like most if not all things that finds us in a situation that is not great the end result is not the problem and when we try and fix them or make them better, they may go away for a while but if we don’t heal the root cause of what created the waywardness then we will keep coming back to an end result that is not supportive or loving.
Absolutely Natalie, if we just remove or fix the symptom-the outward manifestation- then we have not addressed the underlying problem, to truly heal we have to address the root, and heal that.
I agree Lorraine, without healing the root nothing truly changes.
I agree what is underlying will always come back not as a punishment but rather as an opportunity to look at it and let it go rather than keeping getting caught up in it. Actions like gambling just prolong the inevitable, for me the question now becomes do I want to choose love or not and by doings so how long do I want to stay in a cycle of abuse and despair? For really it is only me creating it!
It doesn’t matter what it is that we choose to distract ourselves of the pain we are feeling, it is one of the same energy.
Very true Caroline, we can think somethings are more extreme but they are all the same flavour – either love or not love.
Thanks James for sharing your story, it always brings me to such a deeper contemplation of life and of understanding human beings. What I noticed in the first part of your story was a person trying to cope with life and understand themselves, but the way of coping was to reach for something that ultimately caused more pain. I don’t think it matters what that thing is, we all do it, whether it’s gambling, food, drugs, alcohol, gaming, entertainment, etc, it’s an endless list, but the outcome is the same, we are hurting ourselves by reaching for things that don’t truly solve what we’re feeling, however we simply don’t know how to access better support for ourselves at these times. Like yourself I found the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and received support to heal all the hurts and traumas I was carrying, and began to learn how to respond to myself with understanding and love (still learning). It’s really the only way we can resurrect ourselves out of addiction and self harming behaviours because we need to reconnect to ourselves and what’s truly happening underneath, and then with that understanding we are able to make changes in our life to respond more lovingly to ourselves. As you’ve shared, the addiction is the end result so addressing how we are feeling at a deeper level and building a loving life for ourselves is key to true change. Very inspiring, thank you James.
Thank you Melinda, as you ‘we are hurting ourselves by reaching for things that don’t truly solve what we’re feeling’ it is a crazy game of catch 22 we get caught up in ultimately not only do we hurt ourselves but also all those around us.
I agree that ‘the addiction is the end result’, the tip of the iceberg and laying underneath are the reasons why. And it is by asking the why that we are slowly able to ‘melt the iceberg’ and so releasing ourselves from the shackles of the hurts that built it in the first place.
‘Learning to fully and clearly express myself has been a vital ingredient in claiming who I am’. When we fail to express how we really feel over time it can leave a build up of resentment, or other such emotion that needs to find some outlet. Sometimes when we observe our behaviours they don’t make sense, but when we bring understanding suddenly it all falls into place and we can begin to make different choices.
Very true Michelle, it is amazing what happens when we bring understanding to a situation often though the only way to do it is to take a step back and then we get to see the situation more clearly, as it can be very hard at times when we are in the mud to see things clearly.
‘I now see life as a constant refinement and unfolding of love – allowing more love to be, and discarding what is not love in my life.’ By approaching life from this understanding, we can feel supported and inspired to gradually let go and be more of ourselves- Love. Life then becomes a loving process and experience. Often when we try to give up ‘vices’ – whether going cold turkey or getting hypnotised- whichever method we choose, we are often coming from a position that isn’t self loving but is motivated by a desire to not be a ‘failure.’ This feels harsh and critical. Addressing the underlying root of our behaviours is the only way to bring out more of our own love, and support us to discard the ways of being in life that we have developed to essentially protect ourselves.
Very well said Simone, ‘we are often coming from a position that isn’t self loving but is motivated by a desire to not be a ‘failure”. All we then end up doing is bashing ourselves for past choices and then punishing oursleves more if we slip up rather than seeing everything as an opportunity to learn and grow from.
When I think of all those young children already addicted to gaming I see how we are already setting them up to have other addictions like gambling when they are older.
We sure are Sam. Family time now seems so different to what it used to be with everyone having their phones and so often the tv on in the background. We are becoming more and more disconnected with each other and so seek forms of stimulation and distraction. Whereas when we are really there for each other we do not need to seek comfort or distraction as feel content within ourselves.
“Gambling was never the problem, rather the end result of living out of rhythm with myself.” Wow James you could say this about anything – replace gambling with drink or swearing or well, anything negative and we see that its because of the relationship we have with ourselves and in that our relationship with the stars and the moon and everything that makes us tick.
Our relationship with ourselves and ultimately with the Universe, as you say, it fundamental as without it we are essentially lost puppets trying to make life work here on Earth when we are not meant to be here, so it will never work when we make it all about being human as it is not designed to – the question is how long will it take for us to fully realise and appreciate this?!
It will take as long as it needs too, but we all one day will realise the truth.
It will take as long as it needs too, but we all one day will realise the truth.
It sure will and for me that is one of the keys not putting a time limit or pressure on it. For the moment I do I set myself up to fail and then have an excuse to beat myself up. Knowing that where we are is exactly where we need to be to learn what we need to learn is key to helping me understand this as well.
I’ve never gambled but after reading this blog it’s clear to me that I’ve been doing exactly the same thing with energy. Effectively throwing my life force down the drain in the name of a stimulating game.
That is an interesting point Joseph – so often we can categorise things into bad, ok, acceptable and good, when really they all fall under the same umbrella – the more we see anything less than the love we are as not being acceptable or ok then the more we see quite how many things we use to suppress the love we are, which is crazy when we look at it this way!
How interesting that even when you won it didn’t actually change how you were feeling. The same could be applied to any of our coping mechanisms, some of them seemingly innocuous and others obviously dysfunctional.
It is interesting and makes a mockery out of it. As no actual good came from any of the money I won and no amount was ever enough even if it was way more than I intended on making when I would go in. Which goes to show it was never about money.
Gambling is a HUGE problem. Even on the ferry from France to England there are many gambling machines on board. Clearly they must be well used otherwise they would not be there. It is sad that many make money from another’s misery.
It is sad, I only have to walk up the high street where I am in London and I get bombarded by a myriad of bookies shops and slot machine casino places. It is like the temptation is there non-stop even though we know the destructive energy that comes with gambling it can be very enticing at times especially as usually most people who gamble have experienced some big wins and so when times are hard try to emulate these wins. And the people that profit from them it is crazy to think how much is made by the gambling industry, just look at Las Vegas and you can see the extent in one small area.
It makes you wondering how miserable are people with there life to get so caught in gambling that it becomes an obsession or an addiction.
It does Amita, something I found is it can be very subtle at 1st but then all consuming and takes over your life so before you know it suddenly you could be massively in debt and have destroyed almost everything without realising fully because you got so caught up and engulfed in the energy.