By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.
Enslavement to craving renders mature, healthy, spiritual thinking and behavior impossible. Craving comes from feeling incomplete. We are incomplete when we refuse to see parts of ourselves. We are incomplete when we imagine our pain is unique, or too small or too great to be healed. We are incomplete when we perceive a particular feeling or experience as our identity or our life. We are incomplete when we believe our problems and solutions are outside of us. We are incomplete when we fail to see our connection with others or with our God. All of this belies and grossly underestimates who we truly are.
Denial of our whole, real self gives rise to a false self that focuses on possessions, power and prestige. We try to make permanent what is inherently transient and wonder why peace eludes us. All of life is in continual flux. To attempt to make constant what we think gives us joy is a blind, massive effort in futility. We carry the pressure and weight of our unhealed pain through addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, physical illness and violence.
We are ignorant, impatient, intolerant and desperate to hide emotions we fear through anger, control and distractions. We create illusions about ourselves, others and life to protect us from the original and subsequent painful truths that escalate beyond measure. We falsely believe that defenses and offenses protect us from emotional pain, instead of realizing that they create more conflict. We attack anything that threatens our walls of imprisonment, thinking the enemy is external when we have made war with ourselves.