Addiction. The word has a sinister connotation. But on some level, aren’t we all addicted? Aren’t we all a little obsessed with our numbing agents and pleasures? Maybe we’re not addicted to dangerous substances, but instead, to our comforts, as unhealthy or excessive as they may be.

How can we be free from our deep enmeshment with physicality and its trappings, and the “highs” we experience from it?

By getting to the root.

Our soul has an innate power of connection to things, ideas and people. This ability, called yesod, or “bonding,” is not necessarily a bad soul power. But it can be misdirected.

Instead of using yesod to connect to the people around us and our mission in life, we can fall into a trap of connecting to technology, food, substances or behaviors. We create a bond so tight that we see no way out.

So what’s the solution? How do we yank ourselves away from our addictions?

By redirecting our soul power. By attaching ourselves firmly to G‑d through a strong and intense relationship. By forging a covenant with G‑d and cementing our ability lidavka bo, to cleave to Him.

This is attachment theory 2.0: By attaching ourselves to G‑d, we will free ourselves from things that hold power over us. Instead of assigning G‑dlike powers to instant gratification, we can connect to the real deal. Connecting deeply with G‑d and with spirituality will enable our souls to thrive without being jailed by temptation and distraction.

But how do we go about that?

Through prayer.

As Alcoholics Anonymous literature describes, a crucial step in recovering from addiction to anything is the 11th of the Twelve Steps:

“We have sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with G‑d as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Prayer is not only about the minutes we spend praying. Prayer is about cementing a relationship with G‑d so powerful that it can tide us over for the entire day. As we learn to listen to what we say during prayer and see with our mind’s eye how the true life force of everything is G‑d, we develop not just a love, but a very deep connection to G‑d. We sense His presence all day long.

Prayer is about seeing through the physicality of the world to what’s really keeping it alive and transforming our allegiance from favorite (food, technology, drug of choice) to a stunning awareness of our Higher Power.

When you pray with such sincerity, when you consciously pierce through the shallowness of the world and recognize the one truth, that G‑d is truly everything, then that feeling lasts all day and is called emet, “truth,” because it lasts. It is not a fleeting thought, but a real turnover of your soul power of yesod—bonding to cleaving to G‑d. You can put down substances and instead pick up a relationship with G‑d.

G‑d responds in turn. As King David writes: “The L‑rd is close to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”

Source: Likutei Torah, Hakol Kol Yaakov, Chapter 2 (as explained in Chassidut Mevueret, Avodat HaTefillah).