Saturday, July 18, 2015

Boredom and Addiction

Our 10 year son complained yesterday that he felt bored. He had watched his movie for the night, which meant that video games would be out. I offered him card games or book reading, or chess, but he turned everything down. I always tell him the same thing in those situations, "just be bored then", which drives him crazy, but it is heart-felt advice. Eventually he just went out onto the drive-way and shot a few hoops, which was exactly what the doctor ordered. 

It is amazing for me to see behaviors in our boys that I only experienced when I was in my thirties. I am sure that technology has a lot to do with it, as has the fact that you can't open the door anymore and just play with the neighborhood kids for a few hours as we used to do in the olden days. Everything happens for a reason, so maybe the upside of all this is that today's generation learns their lessons on compulsive habits and addictions decades before us. 

I remember the feelings of boredom creeping in when I was in my thirties. Online chat rooms became compulsive for me, as did pornography. I remember the nights when a big glass of wine became two, when coffee consumption became excessive, and sometimes caught myself to be simply eating mindlessly. In the end all of this wasn't such a big deal, it was just an eye-opener that there was a dimension to me that I didn't know had existed. It was simply the beginning of a soul searching process that let to beautiful spiritual insights, and - in the end - is the reason why you are able to read this note. 

Try to be aware when the robot within takes over and steals your joy, energy and creativity. Don't judge, that is simply the same force that gets you into this mess to start with. Just observe what it is going on within you, and be willing to start a soul searching process. And what do you do on these lonely, full moon nights when the demons come out to get their pound of flesh? Nothing! Just sit there and let them holler. Be one with the destructive energy and do not do anything either way. Do not give in to their demands, but do not not distract yourself either. 

You cannot develop the "will-power" to deal with your demons. The concept of will-power is essentially mental energy which will used up in the battle with yourself. You can only gain insights, which is something the passing of time and life experience will be happy to grant to you. Eventually you will find the creativity that lifts you out of this trap. It is writing for me, as you can read in this note that I put together at 3 am in the morning! Yesterday, my son just took his brother and they went out playing basket ball together. Way to go boys!

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