Our numbing devices, or "Shadow Comforts", states author, Jennifer Louden, take hold when we are feeling anxious, disconnected, vulnerable, alone, and feeling helpless. The booze, drugs, food and work, and endless hours online feel like comfort, but in reality they're only casting their long shadows over our lives.
In her book, The Life Organzier, Louden writes, "Shadow comforts can take any form. It is not what you do; it why you do it that makes the difference." You can eat a piece of chocolate as a holy wafer of sweetness--a real comfort--or you can cram an entire chocolate bar into your mouth without even tasting it in a frantic attempt to soothe yourself,--a shadow comfort."
There aren't any checklists to identify the shadow comforts behavior. These questions are about our spirit. Are my choices comforting and nourishing my spirit, or are ultimately diminishing my spirit?
Are my choices temporary reprieves from vulnerability and difficult emotions? Are my choices leading to my whole-heartness or do they leave me feeling empty and searching?
Owing our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing, and really confronting what is bothering us, is ultimately the care and feeding of our spirit.