What is the Problem?

Marc Aronoff


The greatest obstacle to emotional honesty is fear.   And that goes for the reasons you might smoke marijuana or do drugs.

A famous teacher once said,

“The more we feel emotionally integrated, the more we alive we feel.  The more at war we are with our feelings, the less alive we feel.  Emotional integration requires emotional honesty.  You can’t integrate a feeling you refuse to acknowledge.  The reason we do not acknowledge what we feel is because the meaning associated with it is too dangerous or threatening to face.”

Here is a real life example: a boy named “Owen” wants to break up with his girlfriend “Jennifer” because he wants to date other girls.  Jennifer feels very upset, abandoned, and empty.  And her (now ex) boyfriend, triggers in her sadness and fear, because breaking up reminds her (perhaps unconsciously) of when her parents broke up.  Jennifer saw her father and mother get divorced five years earlier and it was horrible to experience.  Now, when her boyfriend wants to break up, she is feeling totally overwhelmed. 

She has a few choices: 1. accept herself and the normal sadness of breaking up with someone and by doing this, letting the sadness move through, talk to friends and share her feelings with others, or 2. She can pretend everything is fine and stuff her feelings deep inside and perhaps get really mad at Owen and everyone else around her and act very upset.  It is easier to get mad at others, than to feel your sadness, let go, and give in. 

Sometimes, not always, try just letting go.  Acknowledge your situation and become aware. Ask tough questions: Am I happy? Am I perhaps not seeing the big picture? Am I smoking too much pot? Do I trust people? Do I trust myself? Do not try and be right or control anyone or anything.  Say little, and care a lot by just being aware.   It does not mean you are being passive. This is a situation where you are becoming mindful. Mindfulness is moment-to-moment awarness out of choice. See what happens if you accept your feelings as they are, no good or bad, no judgment, and then, let time take care of you. 

You may be surprised to see you feel better sooner than later.

As you become more emotionally compassionate with yourself and others, the more you become integrated and whole, and the more you can experience greater peace.

And being peaceful is a good thing.

This is at the heart of my new book, “The Cannabis Craze: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teens.” Check it out at www.thecannabiscraze.com