"Buddhism (in a nutshell) teaches us that we seek escape from suffering through the three "lords" of materialism. By seeking refuge in these lords, we deny ourselves the honest path through our suffering to truth and change. On a lighter note, we busy ourselves with this and that so that we don't really have to look hard at the things in our life that our uncomfortable- the things that might prompt us to make real changes for the better.
These three "lords" are
1. The Lord of Form (e.g. sex, food, shopping, TV, internet)
2. The Lord of Speech (e.g. -isms, political movements, feeling "right")
3. The Lord of Mind (e.g. falling in love, spiritual transcendence, getting high, etc)
Not all of these "lords" are "bad" or addictions. In fact, most are benign, or even good- they wouldn't be "lords" if we used them differently. They can be any strategy that we resort to to take our minds of what is really bothering us- to feel instantly comfortable and to avoid the larger questions.
Easy question: What are some of the "lords" in your life?
Medium question: How are they categorized, or are they pan-categorical?
Hard question: which of your lords seems "good" and "right"? What will it take for you to free yourself from the "lord" in this activity/mindset while still holding on to the positive aspects?
Overall guidance: when answering these questions, avoid the temptation to beat yourself up or to feel badly about your list."
(Reference: "The Places that Scare You" by Pema Chodron