we watched bo sanchez talk on "how to end your bad habits NOW" last night during our super household meeting. (super household refers to the meeting of unit leaders and household leaders with the coordinators.) it talked about how people had addictions to compensate for something that's lacking in their lives. it's not the first time i heard it but what struck me is that they were overcompensating for the lack of love. their "love tanks" were empty or didn't have enough in them. and it doesn't take much to fill someone's love tank if you give them some time, some sincere encouragement and just your presence or even listening to them.
i used to be addicted to over-achieving because i got the affirmation i needed by other people. but i felt that i was never good enough for my family or for my mom. my mom would always look for the missing 1 per cent when i got the 99 per cent. but through the years, we worked our issues out and i stopped trying to get affirmation from her because she already apologized for making me feel inadequate and that i realized that she was after all human. she wasn't perfect or all-knowing as i idolized her to be. she was just mom who loved me and during her own trying times couldn't give me the love that i needed.
it took some years to work on all the times when she shunned us to hide her own pain. we suffered as her children but we were very blessed to be surrounded by other people who filled our love tanks. we had wonderful friends, titos and titas and even teachers who affirmed us and believed in us. my mom always had the best intention and she would always encourage us when she knew we could do it. actually, she was very confident in all our abilities that she didn't want to help us too much. she said that as she was growing up her parents never helped and that they were expected to fend for themselves. i guess that it's the way parenthood works. it's just a cycle. you learn from your parents.
so now, even if there are still remnants of that attention-hungry self, i turn to God who is the only one who can truly affirm us. everyone needs attention and love. it's up to us to rise to the challenge to fill someone's love tank so that they don't turn to addictions to run away from the pains they want to hide.
bo said: addiction is an escape from the painful feelings ...