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The differences between substance and process and the importance of the distinction

Oct 21 2013 by Peter Vajda Print This Article One of life's most important personal growth experiences is discovering the difference between form and substance. Form is the "outer" self, substance is the "inner" self. As you reflect on your life, what proportion of time, energy and effort do you think you've spent on your outer self — things like wearing the right clothes, driving the right car, living in the right house with the right furniture, having the right physique, the right job or the right partner?

  1. Substance focuses on conscious self-management, not on controlling others.
  2. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that responds to anti-depressant medications, suggesting shared pathophysiological mechanisms with depression.
  3. Hasin DS, et al.

To what degree has form influenced your choices and decisions in your life? There's nothing inherently bad or wrong about form per se. Form is a sort of "ideal" about how we want to live our lives. We start out our life based on form. But as we move from life stage to life stage, form often takes over, replacing substance.

It becomes the point of our life. And when that happens, problems start. Often we use form to fill the holes: Because we don't know what substance is or how to focus on it.

A substance-based life Substance is the inner you. Substance is your true, authentic self. It's the "you" who shows up with the conscious intention of doing and being the very best you can be in every area of your life.

Substance focuses on your feelings and emotions - how you are, not who or what you are or what you have. Substance focuses on how you are in relationship, not the trappings. Substance focuses on truth-telling, not elaborate stories, rationalizations and excuses for avoiding the truth.

Substance focuses on integrity, not tap-dancing around honesty, sincerity and self-responsibility. Substance focuses on conscious self-management, not on controlling others. The importance of substance is that the feelings and emotions part of the inner you, when allowed and explored, are the doorway into discovering why we are, or have been, obsessed with form.

Substance vs form

When we focus on substance we experience our feelings and emotions, allow them, embrace them and learn how to release them. We experience our frustration and anger, our fear and terror, sadness and loneliness — with others, with ourselves, or with the God of your choosing.

To get to the root cause of our sadness, pain and suffering.

About The Author

This experience is necessary - what I call 'necessary suffering' - in order to heal and grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. How do you deal with your discomfort, your negative feelings and emotions?

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What's your greatest fear right now? How does it affect you? Have you ever just surrender to what is?

Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.

What was that like for you? Do you own your feelings? Do you ever talk about your feelings with others? Someone or something might "trigger" your feelings, but the "cause" of your feelings is inside you.

  • Did your parents or primary caregivers express their feelings?
  • Substance-induced and independent major depressive disorder in treatment-seeking alcoholics;
  • This finding suggests that the relationship between depression and cannabis is complex, and that while cannabis may be used by some to self-manage their depressive symptoms, it may be exacerbating or precipitating depressive symptoms in others;
  • Someone or something might "trigger" your feelings, but the "cause" of your feelings is inside you.

What do you think about that? Do you ever feel powerless? How do you act when you feel powerless? Did you have permission to feel and express your feelings when you were growing up?

Did your parents or primary caregivers express their feelings? When we "hit bottom" we become more able and willing to release the emotions that have been driving our thoughts, actions, choices and decisions for so long. We become more able and willing to surrender to what is. In the process, the feelings and emotions begin to dissipate, melt away.

  1. While this recommendation did not carry the weight of law, it made a major change in the legal implications of addiction.
  2. Kahler CW, et al. In this TIP, the term substance refers to alcohol as well as other drugs of abuse.
  3. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth.

When they return they don't return as often and their charge is not as great. Our emotions and feelings no longer define us. We dis-identify with them. We have them but they are no longer "me". In this place, we become more and more able to experience life from a place of equanimity, serenity, inner peace and OK-ness. We become more trusting in the Universe; that all is working out for us, that we are guided in some way.

Substance Abuse vs. Process Addictions

In this place, we release our need to control or to blame. Finally, in this place, our need for form grows less as our substance - our real, true and authentic self — starts to take precedence. What's "outside" doesn't seem to carry as much weight. The trappings of life become less and less significant. They lose their illusionary importance.

Tolerance, Dependence, Addiction: What

With a new sense of lightness and freedom, we go through life directed from the inside out — from a place of substance.