Live From Dialysis - Commitments v Addictions

Live From Dialysis, Post #7, Addictions v Commitments

I have heard it said that we can live our lives according to our Addictions or our Commitments.

Is life this black and white? This simple? I’m not sure, but I thought it would be worth it to expose some of mine, so that you could relate to this lens in a personal way. I have found a huge value in incorporating this perspective into my day-to-day…

My Addictions

  • Comfort – Whether it’s wanting to be pain-free (something I have found myself struggling with a lot more in the past six months), or warm enough (through this relatively frigid winter), or just socially at ease, I notice how much I jump to seeking comfort…
  • Coffee – A list of addictions would absolutely be incomplete without this one on the list. I am much better at confining this perfect substance to a morning wake-up assistant, but I am absolutely addicted (and committed, joyfully) to having coffee in my life.
  • Sugar – I do my best to limit my intake, but it is without a doubt an addiction of mine.
  • Chocolate – Raised by an admitted chocoholic, what could I do?  Again, I try to limit it (certainly not on a renal diet), but absolutely an addiction.
  • Attention – I love being the center of attention. I love living in a small town where I can’t go more than a couple hours without bumping into a friend or an acquaintance who pulls me right out of my own alone-ness. I have certainly played with this over the years and do love my alone-time, but I cannot leave this off the list…
  • Approval – One of the worst. And I have found ways to get like nobody’s business! I get a thank you from a client, that counts, I get a pat on the back for writing this blog, that counts, I get a Like, a Comment or a Share on Social Media, that counts….
  • Sympathy – Another insidious one. Whether it’s “mentioning” a struggle to a friend or my partner or a patient… that moment of sorry-eyes… like heroin for me!
  • Being Right – In my relationship, an online forum, a customer service or sales-person on the phone (I feel bad for people who cold-call me)… it’s no wonder that I crushed Model Congress as a kid. I can be single-focused when it comes to arguments…
  • Social Media – Can be such a waste of time!
  • My phone – A free twenty seconds? I know what I need to do!


My Commitments

  • Providing for my Family – I have never been so in love. I would do anything for them and making sure there is food on the table and joy in the air is everything to me.
  • Serving Others – I decided a long time ago that living a life of service was my dharma, my path. How to elevate my mind: think bigger and broader and provide value for others.
  • Supporting Integrative Medicine – Through my own practice, through Woodstock Healing Arts, through Body Local (our organization of wellness and Fitness providers in NYC, by keeping up with how these practices are succeeding where Western Medicine fails, by applying myself to better understanding this interweaving…
  • Allowing Ease, Joy and Meaning into My Life – Fun, pleasure, connection… Sharing humanity is, in itself, hugely rewarding.
  • Living at Interface/Meeting People in the Middle – If you want support, I have some for you. If you want space, its ok with me. How can I meet you halfway, maintain my integrity and show you the highest personal regard?(Deep bow to Fritz Smith and the Zero Balancing community for teaching me so much around this.)
  • Honesty & Accountability – How can I honor my word? Hold others to theirs? My trust in the truth can only be honored by the dynamic duo of Honesty and Accountability.
  • Humility – Oh, such a challenge… especially given some of those addictions (the need to be right, for example)…

So, I lay this all out, not just to toot my own horn, but in hopes that you can relate to some of this.

And again, it’s not black and white… addictions are not without their silver linings. I’m sure it serves others when I strive to be “right” about how to serve a client, or what agreements I have made, or if someone else is being treated fairly (notice my Libran nature coming out).

And commitments are not without their selfish motives and temptations. Plenty of attention and approval, for example, by finding myself as a “healer” in people’s lives. My ego loves playing the roles that I do in the world.

Addictions and Commitments weave together all day long and I don’t know if it’s possible to live by only one or the other.

I do know that I feel better when my commitments are getting breath and mental space and priority. I know that I sleep better with some sense that I am doing what I can to make the world a touch easier for those around me.

So, please consider this lens… try to catch your motives when you speak, act, move. Can you be honest and humble and straightforward in your relationships? Can you serve your Commitments just a little bit more today and just possibly live a little more in line with your higher purpose?


Ben Fleisher