Are You Controlled by Addictions? (Video 2:52 & Commentary)

(The following is an excerpt from the video above along with some additional commentary).

"On Other Gods"

  • An addiction is giving your God-given power to a material substance.
  • That which controls you in the physical world will control you in the spiritual world.
  • Anything you need, or believe you need, controls you.
  • Anything you are addicted to controls you. To end the addiction, you must take back the power of controlling your thoughts.
  • When you have habits, or addictions, that negatively affect others, you are choosing that substance or behavior over God.
  • Beliefs create limits.
  • Idolatry means giving some habit, or object, the primary focus in your life, rather than loving others. 
  • Pursuits of the physical life bring only temporary happiness.
  • Resist the temptation of the earthly matters that keep your thoughts away from God.
  • When we become too attached to material things, we tend to forget God. [1]

The quote above is from the chapter “On Other Gods” from Sandra Rogers’ book “Lessons From the Light.”

Sandra shows that the biblical commandment that “you shall not have any other gods before me” should be taken metaphorically. The “other gods” are anything that we relinquish the control of our lives for. She talks about addictions specifically.

An addict is controlled by the addiction. They need to have their fix, whether it be a substance, a behavior, or a thought pattern. The addict’s thoughts are controlled by the addiction. To break free of addiction, one needs to regain control of their thoughts.

Do you control your mind or does your mind control you?

Your reality is what you believe it to be. If your mind in controlled by something outside of yourself, then your reality becomes that which is controlling you. Your addiction becomes your “god”. Alcohol had an amazing control over me for many years before I quit drinking.

Taking control of your mind is the way to break this cycle. To do that, you begin by being aware of what you are thinking.

Your homework is to take some time to be quiet and examine your thoughts. 

Notice how many different thoughts you have. See how many of them are repetitive and seem to be controlled by an auto pilot. Where do they come from? Are they simply a rehash of today? Or are they something you think about all the time? 

Don’t judge yourself about your thoughts; just be aware of them.

Through out your day, stop and observe the thoughts you are having at any moment. Why did you turn on the TV? Light up that cigarette? Click over to Facebook? 

And when you catch yourself in a habitual act, like when you are about to put that piece of chocolate in your mouth, ask yourself this question: Do I control my mind, or does it control me? 

Don’t worry if you are not perfect. I am surely not. Life is not about perfection. Today we are learning about how our minds work, and the effects it has on our lives. The simple act of awareness is the first step toward making lasting, positive change. One step at a time.

If you would like to have a helping hand in taking steps to improve your life, you can contact me here to set up a time for us to talk. I work with people worldwide using Skype, or face-to-face here in Kyoto, Japan, where I live. Have a look around my website to learn more.

And if you don’t know what to do, then just be nice -- to yourself and others.

[1] From “Lessons From the LIght: Insights from a Journey to the Other Side” by Sandra Rogers, pages 51-52,  © 1995. Reproduced here under the doctrine of Fair Use


Paul Crouse

Paul Crouse is a spiritual teacher and advisor, life coach, writer, speaker and photographer based in Kyoto, Japan. He helps people who consciously want to change their lives for the better. He helps people build a strong inner foundation, while helping them to clarify and achieve their goals. He works with people worldwide via video calling or face-to-face in Kyoto. He also leads workshops and seminars, both online and in person, for organizations and companies.