We have soul moments every day, even if we are not aware of them. Each time we look at something beautiful and are moved by its exquisite nature, we are connecting with the soul. During these instances of appreciation, give a brief nod to the soul—perhaps a simple thank-you. When you spend time with your children, your friends or your family and there is laughter, gratitude and authenticity, you are having a soul moment. Take a minute to reflect that glow back to the soul. When you feel your curiosity abounding and your mind expanding with thoughts of self-assurance and humility, your soul is present. Give your soul a quick hello. Improving your relationship with the soul, and sparking and continuing a dialogue with it, will fill you with a sense of belonging. As with anything else, if you incorporate this into your daily rituals, it will soon become a habit. Taking stock of these soul moments will help you become aware of how different they are from the ego moments. One springs from a nucleus of love, and the other from self-centered fear. Which do you prefer?
So why do so many refuse to acknowledge the soul’s existence, even as we reference it in common language all the time? Carl Jung wrote, “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn the literature of the whole world—all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls.”
Because the ego is so dominant, it attempts to negate the existence of the soul in a competitive power grab. It tries to convince us that the soul is a figment of our imagination. Our ego tells us that we must ignore our pain and rely on the mind to move rationally beyond our frailty. Unfortunately, the mind is not built with a healing function, and therefore we end up frustrated at our ineptitude at solving our own problems. Most of us have never even considered that we possess the ability to heal ourselves. Take a leap of faith with me: For a moment, choose to believe that the soul is real and has the ability to make your life infinitely better. Listen deeply. There is a voice inside you that is waiting for your acknowledgment. You may be surprised by what you hear.
You might find it curious that I am placing so much emphasis on the soul in a book about healing addiction. Maybe you find it naive to think that your addictions could be cured by fostering a relationship with the soul. Skepticism is a part of human nature, but it is expressly derived from the ego. The soul is grounded in a more optimistic point of view. I am a recovering addict. I have tried multiple different ways to address my obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions. I have endured several stints in rehab, completed eons of therapy and attended hundreds of 12-step meetings. I am an expert in the field of addiction—living it, treating it, writing about it. I have found that of all the resources available to me, my own are the most effective. Nurturing a relationship with my soul has removed all the self-destructive thoughts and tendencies from my psyche. Although other methods helped nudge me along the way, it was the development of my own spiritual practice that eliminated addiction from my mind and body. carderstout.com
Excerpted with permission from We Are All Addicts: The Soul’s Guide to Kicking Your Compulsions (Viva Editions).