The True Self is Reality. It sees the activities of the Addict as being what it is: a fantasy growling for what it compulsively seeks: immediate gratification in the form of physical pleasure. Sex addiction is fueled by a fantasy of being how you never thought you were in your youth together of a fantasy of the power over women you've always wanted to have. Do you see how the Addict Self always lives in the past?

The True Self is your essential Self. Unfettered by the years of negative conditioning from toxic parents and malignant messages from the culture, your True Self is the essential you that was born into the world. Buddhists call it the “Unconditioned” as it exists beyond the quagmire of the compulsive, aimless thoughts of the Mind that's been tainted by parental and cultural conditioning.

Spiritual masters have called the True Self many things: Conscious Awareness, That Existing Beyond Thought, Essential Nature, the Buddhist “emptiness”, the “Eternal Now”. Therapists have distinguished between the “true self and false selves", or “the inner child",the spontaneous, alive, joyful, unconditioned part of ourselves that exists beyond judgment, shame and morality.

The True Self knows what truly satisfies and nurtures, is capable of bonding with a special person and, through that bond, connects with all of humanity through compassion. It responds to events, rather than reacts. The True Self is capable of making conscious choices that enhances it’s own “enlightened self interest” as well as the welfare of others.

The True Self is a meaning maker. Rather than having power and pleasure exist as the pinnacle of its existence, it seeks to find meaning and value in life.

Where the Addict's life revolves around the chase for the ultimate mood changer in things and events; the True Self has no need to change it's state because it IS love, peace, joy and serenity. The Addict, stuck in a developmental arrest, has no experience of sexual or emotional maturity. The True Self knows that intimacy and connection to human communities are the true avenues to the fulfillment of emotional needs. It has no need to turn other people into objects to be exploited.

What's so glorious about real, intimate sexuality is that it emanates from your True Self that is capable of transcending the boundaries of the ego to achieve powerful, real connection with one's partner and the universe. After a person engages in power-sex, connected sex, there is a transcendent silence because what it is born from the groins of the True Self is beyond words.

The Addict is motivated to get needs met he didn't get met in childhood through a pathological relationship to objects and behaviors – needs that, having gone unmet in the past, will never be met, because they are the needs of a child, making them insatiable. (“You can never get enough of what doesn't satisfy you.”)

The True Self gets emotional needs met through a balanced combination of intimate connections with other people, it's own authentic being, a sense of community and a relationship to a Higher Power. The Addict through the immediate gratification of sensual pleasure.

If the True Self develops and has it's own center of gravity, then through Pure Awareness, the “Voice of the Addict” becomes audible. In a recovery program and in addiction therapy, you'll recognize it as the voice of a needy child which lives within you, but isn't you. Through witnessing the Addict Self without reacting to it, you begin to dissociate from the Addict's Voice because you recognize that the Voice is not YOU.

Through your personal journey to maturity, the sense of “I Am” emerges with more and more surety. The “I Am” has always been with you but the Addict has mislead you. The Addict has mislead you into being what you are not. Early in an addiction recovery program, to find the Self it is enough to know what you are not – that is, the Addict. The Addict is unreal, made up of emotional pain from the past, impulses, needs and wants that are childish, immature, ego-centric and transitory.

Finding Your Way to your True Self

You don't have to chase the True Self, for you are it. (Remember the “Wizard of Oz”? Dorothy had no need to chase the Emerald City to get back to Kansas; she had they way home on her ruby slippers the whole time.) You're used to the sexual hunt – the excitement of the chase. Well, your hunting days are over. Through your recovery program and sexual addiction counseling, will find the True Self if you just keep doing the next right thing. Let go of your attachment to the Unreal (the Addict) and the Real will swiftly take it's place. Don't imagine yourself to be something that you are no longer – the active Addict.

With this comes great peace and great love.

The Addict's life revolves around chasing a mood-altering experience. The Self has no need to change its' inner experience because it is peace, joy and serenity. There's no need to engage in mood-changing activities if your inner life is stable.

The Addict developed as a response to surviving childhood wounds. Addictive behavior felt soothing and developed as a way to cope with feelings that, for a young child, felt overwhelming and dangerous. The intensity of these feelings created a type of gauze, or template, that distorted your perception of self, sex and others.

Author's Bio: 

The New York Center for Sex and Love Addiction Treatment has been treating sex addicts and their partners for 15 years. Dorothy Hayden, LCSW, has authored 35 articles and one e-book about sex addiction and recovery and is considered an expert in the field.