A Two-Tiered Approach
---I was talking to a Zen Volunteer the other day and we spoke of the recent move at Laguna Honda Hospital. LHH is now a smoke-free campus. Since the main focus of the Zen Volunteers is the hospice…he was speaking of the fairness of people at the end of life to be asked to endure the rigorous task of giving up smoking…while they are here. Some have been smoking for twenty-thirty-or-forty years.
---I have noticed that people have many different opinions on the subject. Some say it is cruel. Some say it’s good enough for them. Folks fall somewhere on the spectrum between FAIR and UNFAIR. I’ve noticed many heart strings are pulled all over the place while searching out a place to land.
---I’d like to take a little different approach to the whole thing. I would like to speak about ADDICTION…itself.
---I see addiction as usually a two-tiered problem. We have the substance one discovers he is addicted to…and we have ‘’why folks become ADDICTED in the first place.’’
---1 (tier.) We will look at the substance to which one becomes addicted. These are usually drugs, alcohol, food, sex, going to school, etc. In other words, ‘’anything that this being is able to get lost in…that is a replacement for his facing himself.’’
---The MAIN REASON that people become addicted is to avoid facing who they, themselves…really are. Folks become addicted to something to avoid facing themselves.
For some reason we find ‘’facing ourselves-as we really are’’ a very difficult thing to do. I did and it is pretty obvious that everyone else does…also.
---NO matter where one falls on the issue of smoking and/or not smoking…One has to see it as a symptom of the problem and NOT the real problem. The substance is the ‘tool’ used. BUT…it usually becomes the subject of importance with ones relationship to it coming into question.
---The real issue is ALWAYS the deeper question of ‘’Who Am I?’’ and questions along those lines.
---My hand and relationship to it caused me to face these questions. I’m sure that others who felt themselves to be a serious DEFECT and hence have to face themselves or, basically, die…can attest to the fact, ALSO. There is a ‘’light at the end of this tunnel.’’ It may NOT always be fun and/or easy…but, well-worth any pain or uncomfortableness one may endure. Be Well.
''It is more difficult thinking what it is like to face yourself...than to, actually, face yourself''