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Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Blog

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~~You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts.~~  Unknown

 

You know what I'm talking about.  "I can't".  "It's too hard."  "I'm different."  "The anxiety's too bad".  "I'll quit when I feel better".  "I'll quit when my life calms down".  "I failed again".  "I try but can't do it".  

 

I could go on and on but you know.  You've told yourself that millions of times.  Until it echoes over and over in your mind.  Until you believe it.  Until you find yourself living it.

 

The mind is a powerful thing.  We can convince ourselves of anything.  Truly.  And addiction is simply the best at grabbing our thoughts and twisting them until the only thing we care about is getting that next hit of nicotine.  We NEED it.  We HAVE to have just one more.  We CAN'T do without it.

 

And a simple fix to this?  Don't believe everything you think.  If it hurts you, don't believe it.  If it makes you feel bad about yourself, don't believe it.  If it shames you, don't believe it.

 

Now sometimes our actions shame us and hurt us and make us feel bad about ourselves.  But rather than wallow in our own guilt and self-pity and defeat, we can free ourselves from that prison of our own false thoughts.  We are NOT losers!!  We are NOT failures!!  We are NOT doomed to living with this addiction for the rest of our lives.

 

You don't have to stay locked in that prison.  Those painful thoughts.  That self-destructive pattern that circles us right back to smoking.

 

All you have to do is not believe everything you think.  Only those thoughts that serve you well.  Only those thoughts that heal you.  That lighten you.  That bring you peace and comfort.  Thoughts like "I can break this addiction".  "I deserve better".  "I am able to do this".  "I will honor myself".  And even "Geez, this is hard....but I'll take it one breath at a time and get through it".

 

Addiction itself is a prison where time is not your friend and a death sentence looms in the distance.  You wouldn't want that for anyone you love....so don't want it for yourself, either.  False thoughts are also a prison and can bury you under negativity so thick you lose any real perspective.  But this prison is so very easy to break away from.  Walk away from those false thoughts.  Leave them behind you.  Love yourselves through them.  And let them be.

 

Don't believe everything you think.  Love yourself enough to see through the prison bars into the light of a smoke free world.  Because it's there waiting for you, if you want it.  It's all in what you think. 

~~Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.~~  Anne Lamott

 

Quitting can be quite messy.  And uncomfortable.  And dark.  We squirm away from the dark, uncomfortable ickness and battle the mess in the hope of stepping back into the light.

 

But battling is hard.  Struggling is hard.  Trying to bring light to a place that's supposed to be dark is hard.  So maybe we should learn to let it be.  Set down your battle armor and allow your quit to be messy.  Allow your emotions to be all over the place.  Allow the emptiness and the discomfort to just be there.

 

Because once you stop struggling, your quit forms.  In the mess, something beautiful emerges.  But not until it's ready. A quit takes time.  It starts out this little wish and grows into something indescribably breathtaking.  Things stir in the mess, you see.  A lovely scent....a precious moment....a delightful sight....a calming sense of peace.  They piece themselves together from events, situations, realizations, awareness in your life.  So allow the mess and just be.  Notice those moments when the mess clears just enough for a glimpse of something lovely.  That's your quit gathering momentum.  That's your quit building strength.  You don't have to force it....it will happen. 

 

We may have moments in our quits where we fight quite hard.  But if we remember to just let that mess be, we give our quits a chance to form, gather strength, and just grow at it's own time. Our quits will find the light without us forcing anything. 

 

So allow your mess to just be.  And have faith that it will not stay a mess but grow into a quit you are proud of. 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Go Do Them

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 28, 2020

~~You know all those things you always wanted to do? You should go do them.~~  Unknown

 

Most of us know life is short.  One day we're 21 with our whole lives ahead of us and then, bam!!!  We're 55 going "What the hell happened?" as we look in the mirror.  And all those plans we had at 21 are still sitting on the shelf, waiting for 'some day'.  You know.  "Some day, I'll write that novel".  "Some day, I'll see Ireland".  "Some day, I'll retire".

 

Instead of all those things getting done, we spend a whoooolllleee lot of time on thinking about quitting smoking.  Dipping our toes into quitting.  Agonizing over our quitting.  Resenting our quits.  Losing them.  Trying again.  Talking about them.  Reasoning with ourselves.  Knowing we have to.  Not wanting to. Kidding ourselves.  And cycling, always cycling.

 

And one day you wake up and you truly get it.  Your quit is all the sudden there and beautiful and solid and you wonder why it took you so long to figure it out. Letting it go is now easy and you move through your days practically walking on air.  Yes!!  No more cravings like those first few weeks.  No more wanting a cigarette.  No more not knowing what to do with yourself.  

 

All those things you wanted to do?  You could be doing now rather than wallowing in guilt over failed quits.  You could be doing  them now rather than biting your nails and wanting to rip off people's faces because they don't get how hard quitting is.  You could be doing them now. 

 

I had  a jar full of 'things I want to do' when I quit.  Some easy like getting my first pedicure.  Some fun like dancing in the rain.  Some hard like learning how to paint a tree.  And anytime I started to waiver in my commitment to my quit, I'd pull one out and do that instead.  Now I didn't put impossibles in there like going to Ireland because I couldn't get that done.  Only things I wanted to do, to try, to enjoy with the money I had on hand and the time I could spare for it.

 

Yes, one day I will get to Ireland.  It's something I always wanted to do.  And 7 years now into my quit, I'm always doing what I've always wanted to do because I'm free from the chains of smoking.  You can get there, too.  I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you can quit.  You just have to believe it yourself.  

~~At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought but what we built; not what we got but what we shared; not our competence but our character; and not our success, but our significance.  Live a life that matters.  Live a life of love.~~  Unknown

 

Life a life that matters?  What does that have to do with quitting????  Live a life of love? Again, how does that tie into quitting????  And our significance????   Some of you may be thinking this is just another feel good nonsense post by Pollyanna Sheri .  She never 'gets it'.

 

But I do.  And this quote has everything to do with quitting.  Because addiction wraps chains around every aspect of out lives, my friends.  It tugs at as as we eat until we have that after meal cigarette.  It pulls at us the moment we wake up until we have our first drag of the day and it hits us in the face whenever we're stressed, tired, hungry, angry, happy, nervous, depressed, anxious, calm, challenged...you know?  Addiction directs our lives, runs our lives, and ultimately destroys our  lives.

 

To quit smoking, one must only not smoke, right?  Out of the millions of things we do each day like blink, breathe, walk, cook, eat, laugh, cry, hug, talk, listen, sit, stand, understand, learn, sneeze, cough, smile, frown....just not picking up a cigarette should be a piece of cake.

 

But of course it's not.  Because of the addiction.  The psychological ties between everything we do in our lives and nicotine.  It's there.  I knew it when I was smoking.  Then I started to change my thinking about smoking.

 

I wanted to be free to decide my actions during the day.  I wanted to be able to do things that reflected my passions, my joys, my adventures.  I wanted to not "have" to stop living because I had to smoke.  I wanted to be significant in my actions, not ashamed of them.  I wanted to live, not to continue to kill myself.  I wanted to be free of addiction.

 

To live a life that matters, you need to feel good about what you're doing.  To live a life of love, you need to love yourself as well as others.  Love yourself enough to break that addiction. 

 

This feel good quote is more than just words.  It's a goal.  And to reach that goal, addiction cannot continue to direct your actions and your thoughts.   You need to break free.

~~I forgive myself for having believed for so long that I was never good enough to have, get and be what I wanted.~~  Ceanne Derohan

 

It's time, dontcha think?  Time to forgive yourself for smoking when you knew you should quit.  When you ignored that cough you had for so long?  When you put off going to the doctor's.  When you bought one more pack instead of quitting like you promised yourself.  

 

It's so very easy to beat ourselves up when we do things we know we shouldn't do.  Not just with smoking but in other areas of our lives as well.  When we have that relationship that we know is unhealthy.  We when stay at a job we know we despise.  When we don't get enough physical activity  or we don't eat healthy or we don't go outside to enjoy the sunshine.

 

We are then left with regret.  With sorrow.  With open wounds that we refuse to heal because we 'deserve' them.  We may feel shame or humiliation or embarrassment and we may hang our heads or withdraw into ourselves just a little bit more.  Our joy in life may dim just a bit with each bad decision or wrong turn until we find ourselves not enjoying anything much anymore.

 

No, this post isn't for everyone.  I know that.  But this post is for those who have those open wounds.  Who haven't learned the art of forgiving themselves.  Who don't know the joy of healing.  This post is for you.

 

Those things we did that damages us...the smoking, the unhealthy habits, the bad decisions....are what build us.  We don't learn from all we do right, we learn from mistakes.  We grow from errors.  We get better from not knowing better.

So wounds are not prizes we have to accept for our bad decisions...wounds are what are left from bad decisions we haven't forgiven ourselves for.  After a while, many open wounds are like a pattern of all we've done wrong in life when healed scars are that same pattern but of what we've conquered.  What we've overcome.  What we've learned and grown from.

 

We're human.  We make mistakes.  Everyone on earth does at some point in their lives or else they're not really living, they are only existing.  So forgive yourself.  Forgive yourself and let it go.  Forgive yourself and heal.  Forgive yourself and live.  Your best life.  Your only life.  With joy and with abandon and with self-love, live.  

 

I hope you realize how very much you deserve to heal from those thoughts that you're just not good enough or that you deserve anything less than good.  You are uniquely imperfectly perfect just as you are.

~~Believe in yourself and all that you are.  Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.~~  Christian D. Larson

 

If you come here often enough, you'll learn about the people here.  The elders who support, encourage, cheer, teach, offer.  The newbies who struggle, learn, accept, gain, grow.  Those who come and go.  Those who are here daily.  Those who shine.  Those who post.  Those who share.

 

And most all of these people will tell you the same thing.  You can quit.  You can!!  Anyone can.  And whether they suggest reading Allen Carr or creating a quit kit or post every day or whatever, they will also say that you can do this.

 

We have the words you need to hear.  This site has the information you need to read.  Elders have the quits that show it can be done.

 

But you are the one who has to do it.  The change in behaviors, patterns, thought processes all have to come from you.  The changes in routine, the decision not to smoke when you feel you want to, the breathing life into you quit all have to come from you.  And you alone.  And it may be a bit scary to know it's all on you.  It may be daunting to realize that no one can make it easier for you.  It may even be a bit lonely.

 

But know that there is something inside you that is greater than your desire to smoke.  There is that little flickering flame of hope that has been shining for years...sometimes brightly, sometimes an ember...reminding you that you need to be free of addiction.  Free from nicotine.  Free to live your life unchained from a deadly habit.

 

Yes, it's on you.  But believe in yourself even more than we believe in you.  Believe with your whole heart, soul, and spirit that you are greater than a cigarette.  You are more than a smoker.  Because, of course, you are.  So when you feel weak, pull out all that's greater inside of you and use it.  Feeling weak isn't the same thing as being weak.  When you think you can't, pull out all that's greater inside of you and use.  Thoughts have no power to hurt you.  And when life hurts and your spirit is bruised and confidence shaken, pull out all that's greater inside of you and learn to become your own best friend.  Nurture you.  Take care of you.  And don't let outside influences damage the person you are.  

 

As for us...we'll continue to be here cheering you on, listening to you, offering a shoulder or a hand and knowing in our hearts that you can quit.  We know it because we used to be you...and look at us now.  You can.  You just have to believe.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

What I Wanted

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 21, 2020

~~Perfectionism  is very addictive because it is very seductive.  It's so great to think "There's a way I can do things whee I can never be held in judgment by other people, that I can totally escape criticism."  But it doesn't work.~~  Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability

 

My bout with perfectionism started when I was young.  Dysfunctional families birth many perfectionists.  But in my case, it really took off after my divorce.  My ex told me I would never be a good mother much less a functioning adult. And even family and friends gently suggested I get married because, well, "it's a hard world out there".  When people don't believe in you, you can lose faith in yourself as well.  Rather than feel  vulnerable or show that vulnerability, I dug in and learned how to work my perfectionism with grace and style.

 

Single mother?  No problem, I got this.  No job?  No problem, I'll get a college degree and get a good job.  Balance of family and work?  No problem, I'll just do it all because what else is there to do?

 

And I hid all that vulnerability behind a cloud of smoke.  After all, smoking affects the brain is such a way that I could feel good rather than....tired, hurt, upset, crushed, angry, embarrassed, shame.  Nicotine truly was my drug of choice because it hid all I didn't want to feel.

 

 

Maybe it wasn't like that for you.  Maybe you just smoked because it was the cool thing to do.  Maybe you smoked because your best friend did or your parents did.  But the effects are the same, you know.  The 'pleasure' you got from smoking masked any negative emotion you didn't want to feel.  Which is why you find it hard to quit now.  Those dreaded EMOTIONS!!  The stress!!  The anger!!  The anxiety!!  All those things that nicotine took away from us.  

 

I wanted them back.  Those negative emotions.  The vulnerability of feeling.  I wanted them back and so when I quit smoking, I welcomed them.  All those things, even the stress and the anger and the anxiety.  Because feeling meant I was living while smoking made me feel like I was on the sidelines, watching life pass me by.  Not going to lie.  Some of those welcomed emotions scared me and overwhelmed me sometimes.  But, no, I never thought of hiding them again.  I thought of dealing with them and feeling them and limiting their influence on how I behaved and what I thought.

 

Brene Brown wrote that vulnerability is not weakness, it's our greatest measure of courage.  It's living your truth no matter what your truth is for all the world to see.  I did that. And I still am.  And I still get scared of it sometimes and I still get rejected for it sometimes but I don't think about hiding who I am anymore.  

 

And when you quit and you feel overwhelmed by those dreaded negative emotions, learn to embrace feeling instead.  Learn to cope with them.  They can't hurt you.  That's your addiction talking. Remember that "vulnerability is at the core of meaningful human experiences" and you deserve to have those meaningful experiences.  

 

Btw, I'm not a perfectionist anymore.  Haven't been in a long time.  It feels so much better to be who I truly am.  Flaws, faults, vulnerability and all.  I'm good with it.

 

May your quit be everything you wish it to be and even more!!

~~Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:  "What!!  You too?  I thought I was the only one.~~  Unknown

 

Friendships here are like winning the lottery every day of your life!!  It never gets old and you always look forward to tomorrow   Some of the best people in the world are here on ex and I need to say happy birthday to one of them today.  

pir8fan, when I count my blessings, I count you.  I hope you are having the most amazing day ever because you are one of the most amazing people ever and so deserve all that is good in life.  Thank you for the train rides, thank you for the hide and seeks on the old site, thank you for putting up with me at my lowest.  That, my friend, is what makes you impressive.

 

Happy Birthday, Tommy!!!!  We truly do love you  

 

ps.  Thank you for Jake's cowboy boots, as well.  He has never forgotten.

~~To the men who make queens of warriors, who have no qualms with loving women who breathe fire and speak in tongues, who see beauty in equal terms and life long partnerships.  To the fathers who raise princesses who slay dragons, who see their strength and never attempt to douse their flames, who show that love can truly be selfless.  To the boys who stand up for their sisters and mothers, who are the glue holding broken families together, who were born from warrior wombs and fight to defend them.  To the men who see us, really see who we are, and never flinch nor look away.  This one is for you.  We see you too.~~  Jesica Noderse

 

The only fight my son was ever in was when he was 9 or 10 years old.  He hit a boy because the boy said, "Your mom is poor."  He said he lost the fight overall but he wasn't going to let anyone call his mom poor.  Silly little story but one of my most cherished memories was that my little boy was willing to fight for his poor mom   

 

My youngest son has spent the last three months in the house, even when his friends pressured him to come out and have fun.  He gently told me that I was an ex smoker who was 'over 50' and he didn't want to take a chance on getting me sick with Covid19.

 

My middle son used to watch the clock at daycare each and every day.  I would pick them up at 2pm on the dot.  I was running late once and the daycare called me at 210pm.  He was crying and worried that I forgot about him.  He was only 4 years old.

 

I have fantastic men in my life.  My sons.  Who love me without question.  Who enjoy my company.  Who see me, really see me and think I'm fantastic.

 

They also helped me quit smoking.  They corrected me when I said I needed a cigarette.  "You don't need one, momm, you want one."  They encouraged me to quit even though I had so many failed quits behind me.  "You can do it, momm.  You can do anything!"  And they told me I smelled good each and every day for a few months after I quit because they knew it made me feel good.

 

Here's to you guys!!  Even if you're not a dad, you're a son or a brother or an uncle or a friend or a partner.  All important to those who know you   May you feel loved.  May you feel wanted.  May you feel cherished.  We see you.  Really see you.  

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Life Changes

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 15, 2020

~~Life changes.  You lose love.  You lose friends.  You lose pieces of yourself that you never imagined would be gone.  And then, without you even realizing it, these pieces come back.  New love enters.  Better friends come along.  And a stronger, wiser yo is staring back in the mirror.  No matter how bad it gets, better days are always waiting, hoping you'll make it there to accept the smiles and joy that they're offering.~~  Unknown

 

I do know this to be true.  In between the heartaches and sorrows, I've had great loves and adventures.  In between the isolation and the desolation, I've had brilliant joys and deep appreciation.  That's life, though, isn't it?

 

We get to decide how to view our lives.  We get to steer our stories in any way we see fit.  And we also get to view other stories with eyes that can truly see or with eyes that only see what we want to see.

 

My life is going through major changes right now.  My youngest son graduated high school and will be going off to USM in August.  I'll be on my own for the first time ever.  I'm so proud of Jake and excited for his future.  My future, though?  Well, let's just say I hope to stay out of trouble   My landlady is selling my house within the next 6 months so there will be changes there as well.  After 19 years years and countless memories, I'll have to move.  

 

I never think of smoking to get through anything anymore.  And when I'm at the gas station and I see a cigarette ad, it surprises me to remember that I used to do that.  I forget it.  A friend told me that when I closed that door, I nailed it shut   Was it always that way?  Almost, yes.  In the early days, whenever I thought about a cigarette, I 'flipped the switch' and thought of three things I could do instead that would benefit me.  Physical activities, creativity, education of some sort...there was always something better to do with my time.

 

For some, it may not be that easy.  I get that.  But when I was a smoker, I never thought it would be easy for me, either.  That's why we all say "If I can do it, anyone can!".  

 

I wanted to leave you with a few pictures of my children and grandchildren.  I believe with my whole heart that these remarkable people are the reason for me being here on earth.  I always wanted to be a mom with as much passion as others want to change the world.  Now I want to change the world for my family   So with the passing of time and the growing up of my children, I will continue to do things that make the world a safer, happier place for my grandchildren to grow up.  

 

Now, let's see if I can attach pictures   

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

The Other Side

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 13, 2020

~~She loved life and life loved her right back.~~  Unknown

 

I celebrated 7 years on June 4th.  And the thrill of my quit is still with me.  The wonder of it.  The preciousness of it.  I never take it for granted and I always find blessings in my quit.

 

This is probably why I get overly enthusiastic about quitting.  My words may seem too chipper, too positive, too much for some, but it comes from the heart because I've been there.  You know what I mean.  That kind of 'been there' where you desperately want to quit but can't.  The 'been there' where you are totally bewildered as to why everyone else can quit and you just can't.  The 'been there' where you feel like an utter failure for once again quitting on your quit.

 

My words reflect how I feel on the other side of 'been there'.  Life is so sweet, so amazing, and there is such freedom in my days.  I don't have to stop to smoke.  I don't have to feel that 'urge'.  I don't have to roll down my window and blow the smoke outside. Freedom to do what I want.  Freedom to explore my world.  To try new things.  To get through hard times rather than hide from them.  

 

So I get enthusiastic because I don't want anyone to feel like they aren't worth their quit.  I don't want anyone to feel like they are isolated and alone.  I don't want anyone to feel like the failure I used to feel like. 

 

Quitting gave me the freedom to love myself.  To love my life.  To love the world.  I've had 7 years now to explore, to learn, to forgive myself for not quitting sooner.  I'm good now.  Even when my car burns down.  Even when my heart hurts.  Even when life gets hard.  I'm good.

 

And I hope with everything I've got that you will be one day on the other side of "been there".  I hope you  never give up on yourself.  And I hope you know you are worth it.

 

Sheri

~~Make a dent in the universe.  Show up.  Speak up.  THIS is where life is LIVED.  Live the story you want to tell.  Bring your awesomesauce.  Leave no good thing unsaid.  Live from your heart.  Leave no life untouched.  BE the MAGIC.  Write on the wall of life.~~  Unknown

 

Sounds great, doesn't it?  Motivational.  Inspirational.  And yet....

Most of us don't live like this.  Most of us just don't.  We pay our bills on time.  We show up to work. We mow on the weekends. We get into this comfortable routine where we don't have to think about it, we just do it.  And what's wrong with that?  Nothing, really.  

 

But there's more to life out there.  For those who want it.  I found that out when I quit smoking.  No longer tied to the routine of smoking, I had so much free time that I needed to fill at the beginning of my quit. Staying busy helps, right?

So I tried new things, found new activities, and created a life I love.

 

Don't get me wrong, life still happens.  Stress, upset, heartbreak, etc....I mean, no one is immune.  But now I get through it.  Sometimes crying, sometimes laughing, I get through it all.  I feel more, I do more, I am more than what I was when I was smoking.

 

Life is so much bigger than I ever saw when I was a smoker.  Smoking narrows your views and keeps you chained to the next cigarette.  But once you start thinking about quitting, you catch glimpses of what can be.  And once you quit, life spills forth it's offerings to you every day.  Overwhelming sometimes but it's like this giant world of gifts everywhere you turn.  Amazing natural wonders, phenomenal people, an abundance of adventures just waiting to be explored.  Use your talents, create, help, support, challenge, conquer, overcome, birth into being.  Make a dent in the universe that has tried so hard to get you to notice it.  Thunderstorms, northern lights, gentle snowfall, wild winds, the aroma of flowers, the beauty of Spring..all trying to attract your attention.

 

You may simply want to stay in your comfort zone of paying those bills and going to work and settling into your cozy little house, which is also wonderful.  But I can promise you that when you quit smoking, the world is going to open up in a way that will fascinate and captivate you.  No matter where you are.

~~Darling, you deserve it all.  You deserve love and peace and magic and joy dancing in your eyes.  You deserve hearty, deep-belly laughter and the right to let those tears fall and water the soil.  You deserve freedom and goodness and company and days of bliss and quiet, too.  You deserve you happy and healed and content and open.  So keep going, darling.  Keep going.  Go realize into being the life you deserve.~~ SC Lourie

 

Sounds just about right, doesn't it?  That people deserve love and they deserve peace and all of that other good stuff.  I don't know many of us that don't wish that for others.

 

But what about you?  What about you?  The you who is tired of always trying and coming up short?  The you who thinks that things will never be quite right in your world so why keep trying?  The you who is going to doctor's appointments because of a smoke-related illness that you somehow think you deserve?  

 

Smoking doesn't make you a bad person.  Period.  Smoking doesn't mean you deserve that illness or that isolation or that stigma of being a drain on society.

 

Smoking makes you human.  That's all.  Just part of being human.  It's dangerous, yes.  It's deadly, yes.  But it doesn't make you 'bad'.  It doesn't make you 'deserving' of bad things.  Illnesses can be consequences of smoking but never, ever a reflection of what you deserve.

 

You deserve "happy and healed and content and open".  You.  You deserve joy and warmth and love and laughter.  You.  You deserve adventure and tranquility and everything you've ever dreamed of.  Now go realize into being that life.  Let go of that which no longer serves you. 

 

Sheri 

~~Wake up. Wash your face.  Make yourself a cup of tea.  Sit in quiet and listen to the birds sing.  Yesterday is done with.  Leave it where it is.  Yesterday's thoughts.  Yesterday's happenings. Yesterday's battles.  Yesterday's blessings.  Look to the empty canvas this new day brings.  Today is not yesterday and you are here now.  Be here now.  Today is yours for the having.  It's going to  be great.  And even if it isn't, it's just great that you are here.~~  S.C.Lourie

 

Good morning!!  I hope you wake with a sense of anticipation for what this day may bring.  I hope you wake with a sense of purpose for what you may accomplish.  I hope you wake with a sense of hope.  That you can.....anything!!  You can quit smoking, you can paint that masterpiece, you can grow that garden.  And even more...you can forgive yourself for the mistakes of your past.  You can nurture your own spirit.  You can love yourself with gentle compassion and kindness.  You can heal.

 

It would be so easy to quit smoking if it were just not buying any more cigarettes.  But the addiction part!!  Oh, it can be hard.  Because we don't forgive ourselves and we don't nurture our spirits and we don't paint that masterpiece.  Instead we hide behind the smoke.  It allows us not to feel anything.  No pain, no heartache, no conflict, no stress.  That's why it's easy to turn to cigarettes.  We need a break from powerful emotions.

 

But today is a blank canvas. Today can be anything you wish it to be!  And if you're not quite there yet and you don't quite believe that to be true, just know that it's great that you are here.  Here on this site and here in this world.  And let that be enough, just for today.

~~Bad news is:

You cannot make people like, love, understand, validate, accept or be nice to you.  You can't control them, either.

Good news is:

It doesn't matter.~~  Unknown

 

So quitting smoking is simply a part of life.  A journey.  One step in front of another until you reach a place that is more of a clearing rather than a jungle.  You can see more, you can get a grasp of where you are at...and it's better.  Then, as another life challenge happens, you plunge back into the jungle, wiser and refreshed enough to move forward once again.

 

Most of our lives are kind of like that, right?  Heartache happens.  Joys.  Friendships form and others break.  So much of it we can't control so we learn to veer slightly to the left and keep going until we see the clearing up ahead.  A time for rest, reflection, and respite before our journey again leads us back into another unknown pathway.

 

Such is my life, anyway.  Adventures galore, some wanted while others were reluctantly accepted.  Some chosen, others uncontrollable.  And it took a friend here to remind me that my adventures here were not, in fact, completed.

 

I've been writing on this site for 7 years.  Words are extremely important to me and people are extremely important to me so I thought together they worked well here.  I love so many people here!!  And my posts are often written in the hopes of reaching those I don't even know because everyone deserves to live smoke free.  But I have had some problems with another quitter that made me so uncomfortable, I decided to quit posting.  Sometimes it's better to walk away to save your sanity than try to convince another person that you mean no harm.  Another life lesson that actually works   I even missed celebrating my 7 year anniversary here because I didn't want conflict here on the posts or through private messages.

 

But a friend told me she missed me.  And that led me out of the jungle into my clearing.  I missed her.  I missed the sense of family I had here.  I missed the lessons learned, the laughs shared, the wisdom gained.  And all that is on me, not the person who so criticized me.  What a lesson learned.  Sometimes we are our own worse enemies even though we may not realize it in the midst of fighting through the jungle.  

 

Thank you, Christine13, for leading me out of my jungle path   Life is too short, too precious, to much fun to be avoided because of the words of another.  Quits can be hard, life can be hard.  But if you build a support system of people who care about you, it makes the hard times better.  And if you are lucky enough to find people who enjoy your company, faults and all, never let them go for they make life worth living. 

 

May you all have a day filled with blessings you call friends,

 

Sheri