Woundings have drama and trauma as shoulder flashes. The shoulder flash of joy has another appearance… not so readily recognized. Our canine compatriot knows joy, and loves the triangulated precipice between joy, play, and risk. When on that triangulated edge the canine is happy. So is the human, on that triangulated precipice.
Where things get interesting is when we look at the canine that is trained, within the police or guard dog industry. That canine is taught when to bite, and when to release. If a real bite comes “too early” in their life, then the rest of their life is spent managing a hunger for another bite. There is a version of this in the human existence, it is called addiction. To be human is to know addiction. Rest assured, if you are reading this then you are human.
Now that we know you are human, not a robot (insert gratuitous chuckle), we know you have an addiction – and acknowledged addiction or otherwise. We all have them, be they publicly approved (shopaholic) or publicly scorned (pedophilia) – they are addictions. Once our human psyche is touched by any addiction we hunger for another bite, as does the canine. In that hunger we must find what else we use to triangulate and balance on that dangerous precipice.
Ok…after that precipice is discovered it is best to cede addiction is an inoculation against being human. You see, addiction masks as joy and uses hunger to quash the very feelings that make us human. As we seek relief we quash “the unwanted” …. unwanted human feelings of pain, grief, loneliness, terror, fragility. What we end up seeking is a thin mask of false pleasure.
Addiction allows us to love things and use people.
So let’s play with this ever so sombre and intense subject! Start by finding something in your life that could qualify as your “first bite”. Remember it is likely something you hunger beyond nutritional sustenance (insert a second gratuitous chuckle for the non-believer) . Once you find that memory, ask what it really hungers and wait for an answer. Then shift that question, ever so slightly, and invite an understanding of who, or what masters the addiction found in your “first bite”. Well done…now rest because this was only a simple invite. Your body will do the rest, allow your mind to wander.
As you wander you might find a spark of fear. Know you are brave, simply because you invited understanding into your life. What happens next in the moments in between is fascinating! Feel the remaining quiet and observe you are left standing (possibly alone) because what triggered the fear has moved farther away. It is still hungry and it continues to pace… this time farther away than before. Know that object will, if you call it for what it is, respect a wider berth because it is called by name.
For further reading Gabor Mate writes wonders about addiction. Bessel Van Der Kolk writes truths about how our bodies scribe. There is also a self named pair called, The Minimalists, who share how loving people and using things has brought them happiness.
Tug your heart, release your smile and find out, happiness isn’t hungry, it just is.
JT Murphy, call sign Graytuft, signing off for the day.