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Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Blog

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~~There's a lot that is good in your life.  Don't take it for granted.  Don't get so focused on the struggles that you miss the gift of today.~~  Unknown

 

My co-worker and I have noticed a trend with our participants lately.  They seem to view their recovery as a punishment for either being an addict or having their children removed from their care because they were using drugs or even because they don't deserve anything but agony and trials.

 

I never thought of quitting that way.  But as I get to know these remarkable people, I also understand where they are coming from.  They've never had any good in their lives that they have recognized as 'good'.  They've never lived their adult lives without either using drugs to 'feel better' or not using drugs but keeping that addictive behavior going.  

 

So when I talk about creating a lifestyle that they don't have to hide from, they are confused.  When I talk about the freedom that comes from being in recovery, they are totally without a clue.  When I talk about the self-awareness and self-confidence that comes from being in control of what they put in their bodies, they hear nothing but 'book smart talk'.

 

And then I got to thinking about you.  And I wonder if when I post, it sounds like gibberish to you.  How much is getting through and how much is so foreign to you that you and I don't connect?  Because, let's face it, most of us have lived our whole adult lives and most of our teenage years smoking.  And smoking kills connections.  Dulls the senses.  Isolates.  Until maybe you don't even understand the 'freedom' that comes from quitting.  Maybe you don't understand the joy of self-awareness because it's been so long since you really felt you.

 

There are no answers in this post today.  Just thoughts.  I don't have all the answers, never have.  And any hope I have for you comes simply from the heart, not any secret knowledge of how the brain works.  Over the years, I have gained some knowledge of neurotransmitters.  Over the years, I have gained some knowledge of addiction and recovery.  Over the years most of all, though, I've found myself again and the joy that comes with truly knowing who I am.  And that's my wish...my hope...for you.  That in your quit you find you.  All the good, all the talent, all the uniqueness that God poured into you.  It's there, I know.  I see it in the words you write, in the comments you leave, in the simple fact that you're here trying to find your quit.

 

Recovery isn't a punishment at all.  Quitting isn't a jail sentence.  It's the most precious gift you will ever give yourself, I promise.  And in it, you'll find a world of joys, adventures, and wonders that you never knew existed.  This is my hope for you.

 

Sheri

~~Sometimes we need someone to simply be there...not to fix anything or do anything in particular, but just to let us feel that we are supported and cared about.~~  Unknown

 

I don't know your story.  I don't know why you are hurting or why you are angry or why you are sad.  I don't know who broke your spirit or who abandoned you or who left you feeling like you weren't worth loving.  

 

And I'm sorry that I don't know you.  I would love to hear your story when you're ready to tell it.  I would love to know about your anger and sadness.  I would love that you trust me enough to share about who broke your spirit.  And I would always, always and immediately say, that you are indeed worth loving.

 

But sometimes you just need to know your supported without having to ask.  Sometimes you need to know someone cares, even if that someone is a stranger.  Sometimes you just want a presence next to you in spirit and feel that presence with a sense of acceptance and comfort.

 

I can do that for you.  So many of us here are willing.  And you don't have to ask and you don't have to explain and you don't have to share your story.  By being here, you have all of us.  Every post you read is somewhat about you.  Every comment made is a remark aimed at comforting you or supporting you.  Every person here is here because you may need us.

 

You are never alone here even when there aren't any new posts or people chatting.  Just read.  Go back and choose different people and read their past posts.  Read their comments to others.  Read their messages.  And know that you aren't alone.  That we care.  That we will support you.  Hold you.  Walk with you.  

 

Your story is important because you yourself are important.  But it's yours and you get to decide who hears it.  You get to decide when or if to share it.  You get to mold it and shape it and create another chapter if you choose to.  I just want you to know that we are here for you regardless.  So when you read this, know it is for you.

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Blossoming

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 9, 2020

~~I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, bit we are well equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom.~~  Les Brown

 

We often say that life can be hard and I guess that's true. Sometimes, though, I think it how we respond, react, and handle life that makes it hard.  We tend to want easy, right?  Why must we struggle so much???? We just want to breath and live and go about our business with a minimum of fuss.

 

But we lose people we love. We hurt...we really, terribly hurt.  We get sick.  We lose jobs, homes.  And somewhere in the midst of what life has done to us, we often lose us.  Where is that young girl full of spirit?  Where is that guy determined to have it all?  Where is that spark? That passion for life?

 

Yes, life can be hard; but sometimes we just don't want what life has to offer. We don't want the pain.  We don't want the struggle.  We don't want the embarrassment or the humiliation or the shame.  We don't want the mistakes or the constant drama or the disappointments.  We don't want anything that makes our hearts heavy or our spirits dim or our souls weary.

 

But life itself is birth and death.  Everything in between is us.  And we learn not through being happy all the time or getting everything we want, but through our challenges.  We learn to truly love by our losses, our lonelinesses.  We appreciate what we have when we've had things taken from us.  When we struggle to make ends meet. 

 

I'm not good at going through tough times.  I cry, I resent, I stubbornly resist getting through them by trying to go around them instead.  Ignore, refuse to change, hate the process.  But in the end, I appreciate the lesson and I truly grow as a person.  My adventures in life haven't been smooth or easy or simple.  But, oh, my goodness, I so love my life!!  Every precious minute of it.  

 

I don't know all of you here but I know you are either thinking of quitting smoking or you have quit smoking.  And this is one of life's tough times.  It isn't easy to change your lifestyle in order to regain control of your life and that's exactly what you have to do to keep that precious quit.  But rather than thinking of how difficult it is, maybe you can see it as a gift.  You are gifting yourself life.  More minutes to appreciate, to feel, to love, to live.  You are giving yourself courage to get through the next challenge.  You are giving yourself wisdom that will guide you over and over again.  

 

I don't know anyone who welcomes negative life experiences (I'm not saying they aren't out there!). But when we make through, we bring with us all that we gained from the experience. The bittersweet moments, the hurt, the struggle; all of which make us kinder, softer, yet stronger and wiser as well.

 

I hope you take a moment today and feel yourself breathing.  Be present in you for just a few moments and truly feel grateful for all that you are and for all that you have become through the years.  Life looks so good on you!

 

Sheri

~~The enemy is not after your money or your stuff.  He wants your mind.  Your attitude.  Your heart.  Your faith.  Your peace.  Understand that you're not being attacked of tangible things in your life.  The enemy is fighting you over things you can't see.~~  Unknown

 

Ah, the enemy.  Nicotine.  Addiction.  Evil little things that can take over everything in your head even when you aren't actively using.  What power it has!!  What strength!!  It keeps you in agony.  The wanting.  The hanging on by a thread.  The temptations.  The failure.

 

Well, not really.  Seriously.  Nicotine isn't an evil being (although it may feel like that).  Addiction isn't the enemy.  And the power it has over you?  All in your head.

 

Sometimes it seems like quitting is full of constant drama and battles and warriors and victims and just everything bad you can think of all tossed together and put into a blender.  You feel out of control.  You think too much and feel too much and are frozen in fear yet jumpy and shaky.  Nicotine is winning because you can't NOT think of it and functioning seems to be a totally foreign concept.

 

Perspective is everything.  Nicotine is a substance.  Nothing more.  Like sugar or caffeine.  It alters brain chemistry, yes.  It is addictive, yes.  But it's not some scary monster you have no control over.  You do.  Of course you do!!  

 

Perspective is everything.  And while quitting smoking is difficult in that you have to change habits and you have to find different things to do and you have to learn how to live without the addictive substance, quitting is also a path of freedom and finding out who you really are.  It's about honing in on your talents and creating healthier habits and learning that you can be in control rather than nicotine.

 

So maybe that fear can be eased.  Maybe the scary thoughts of quitting can be comforted.  It's not about not being in control, it's about finding out that you do have control.  Over your actions.  Over your thoughts.  Over your life. 

 

Perspective is everything.  Go into your quit knowing that your brain is going to be out of wack for  awhile.  Go into your quit knowing that old habits are indeed difficult to break.  Go into your quit knowing that you need to find other things to do and other things to think about and other things to...be.  Go into your quit knowing it may not be easy but it will 100%, definitely be worth it.

 

Addiction isn't an evil being and nicotine isn't a monster hiding under your bed.  It's simply a chemical reaction in your brain that has been allowed to live and to grow and to take over your daily life.  It's deadly if not stopped, yes.  But it is stoppable.

 

The best thing about quitting?  It can be exciting to find out who you are.  It can be fun to come up with other things to do.  It can be rewarding to simply smell clean and feel better.  It can be a journey of discovery rather than a fierce battle between monsters and helpless victims.

 

Perspective is everything.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Enough

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 3, 2020

~~Know who you are and know it's enough.~~  Unknown

 

I'd like to think that we can change the world.  I'd like to think that every person matters.  I'd like to think that we all want what's best for each of us, not just some.

But none of that is true, of course.  How I see the world and how I feel about human life and what I want to leave the world is all.....just me being me.  I can't change opinions.  I can't change the actions of others.  I can't be anything but who I am.

And who I am is enough for me.  I will always be passionate about being kind and helping others and being gentle with ourselves as well as each other.

But this is about you, not me.  And you can look at us all here and wish you had what we have, whether it's the amount of time we quit smoking or if it's Colleen's kindness or Giulia's wisdom or Marilyn's warmth.  You can hope for more or want better or even shoot for the stars.....but

don't forget about who you really are.  That is enough.  Because who you are is bigger, brighter, braver than you have ever thought possible.  Who you are is so unbelievably enough that you are one day going to take your own breath away.  You are vital to the world or you wouldn't be here.  You matter to the world or we wouldn't be here for you.  You are a part of the world, not just an island or a pebble on a big beach.

You. Are. Enough. 

Please don't ever wish to be anything but that. 

You may smoke, but you aren't 'just' a smoker.  You are amazingly human and brilliantly unique and stunningly complex.  And I can't wait to meet you.  That you who is trying to fight your way through the smoke.  That you who is has been hidden underneath the nicotine.  That you whom you've forgotten about over the years.  The talented you.  The curious you.  The remarkable you. 

Please don't ever think you are less than.  Or that you don't matter.  Or that you don't count.  Here on ex or anywhere in the world.  Because you do.  Because this world would be less without you.  Because you bring with you something that no one else on earth has.  Your voice.  Your imagination.  Your vision.  We need you.

But you need you first.  So we'll wait.  We'll encourage and we'll support as you find yourself.  So, what are you waiting for?  Find yourself.  The world is waiting for you. 

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Was a Runner

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Oct 31, 2020

~~Do not get addicted to escaping. Face your sh*t, handle your business, and triumph.  No battle was ever won by people who run.~~  Unknown

 

I admit it.  I was a runner.  There were things I didn't want to own up to and there were things I didn't want to handle and, most of all, there were things I didn't see as mine so I didn't heal or move past them or work through them.

 

I smoked instead.  If I got uncomfortable with my feelings, I smoked.  If someone upset me, I smoked.  If I was stressed....depressed....anxious...well, you get the picture.  In reality, I smoked because I was addicted but my brain was brilliantly making excuses for me and I never looked past them.

 

Smoking didn't just affect my body, it affected how I viewed the world and what I did during my days and how I felt about myself.  That's what addiction does, you know.  It grows and grows and grows into your life until you're living in this twisted kind of reality where smoking is your best friend and the world is too scary without it.  Smoking did indeed mean escaping for me and how could I face my sh*t when I ran from it?

 

So I quit.  And I healed.  And I faced my stuff and I handled my business and I've never been so glad about anything my whole entire life!!!  It was definitely a process   And it definitely didn't happen overnight, but it happened.  Little by little, bit by bit, I found myself.  The real me that was buried so deeply under my addiction.  I'm not the victim I thought I was, although I have been victimized.  I'm not weak.  I'm not lost.  And I sure the hell am not broken.

 

So, dear smokers who hope to quit, take heart!! There is so much life hidden under that smoke   Clear the air and you'll see it.  Maybe bit by bit and little by little, but every step you take in the right direction will give you hope.  Every realization that you can will boost your confidence.  And every moment lived smoke free will be a triumph.  Even if you waiver.  Even if it takes you a few times to get started.  Even if you doubt.  

 

I like my life now.  I like me now.  I'm still growing.  I'm still learning...even after 7 years of no smoking   I still make mistakes and I still am far from perfect.  But I don't run from things anymore and that, I think, makes all the difference.

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!!!  I hope you all have a fabulous day!!!

 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

She Felt Shame

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Oct 29, 2020

~~Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.~~  Brene Brown

 

She avoided me as long as she could.  Yes, I called her and yes, I texted her.  I sent her little quotes of hope and I left messages about how very much I believed in her.  In the end, she called me.  She was ready to talk about some things, she said.  Not everything, but some.

I chatted with her at first.  Where she was living.  Did she need anything.  All the while, both of us knew things needed to be addressed.  So I asked her what happened.  I let the silence hang until she was ready to answer.  It was the drugs initially.  She relapsed and then things kept going bad.  She didn't know why, really, she said.  

I knew why.  Shame.  Guilt.  The two biggies.  And so I asked if she felt guilt and she said "Absolutely."  I asked if she felt shame.  Her voice shook as she said, "Yes."  

That opened the door to a better conversation.  One of honesty, pain, discovery, and glimmers of hope.

Shame isn't just a icky feeling.  Shame has remarkable power when it's locked inside one's head.  It eats at any self-esteem one may have and it dissolves all positives.  All hope.

But when released into the world?  It loses strength.  Negative emotions often thrive in the darkness of our own thoughts. Letting them out shrivels them to what they truly are.  Just emotions.  While emotions make you feel, they don't have any power that we ourselves don't give them. They build in the dark....they heal in the light.

Some people feel this shame as smokers.  People don't understand why we don't just quit.  So we hide...and smoke.  It can indeed be shaming.  But in the shame lies even darker emotions that drag us down into believing that we can't change....because we aren't worth change.

She didn't believe she was worth it.  Until I reminded her that of course she was!  She, above all else, is worthy of her love and attention.  She deserves goodness.  Moments of joy.  Peace.  

And so do you.  Let out all those negative things holding you down.  Talk about them here or journal about them or share with someone you love.  Get them out.  Release them and allow them to fade into nothing.  And then focus your attention on all you deserve.  On all you are worthy of.  

You can indeed change your world, but you must first change your thoughts.

 

Good evening, my friends!

Sheri

~~What seems to be happening all over the world right now is just crazy, with so much devastation and conflict and upheaval in the air.  This week, let us hold tightly to our hope, to the beautiful things that occur every day and to one another.  Make room for making time for all those things you love and all the things that really matter.  Because in times like these, the important things are really clear to see.  Choose kindness, choose humor, chose hope every day.  This is how we will get through this strange time.~~  ButterfliesandPebbles

 

You would think everyone would want to chose hope but that's not really true.  Some feel the darkness so heavily, no light can shine through.  That darkness may be what's happening in the world.  Or maybe what's happening in their lives.  Or maybe that darkness is addiction.  Cigarettes.  The only thing standing between you and them is....hope.  Right?  The hope that you can quit.  The hope that you can be free.  The hope that this time is different. 

 

Don't give in to the darkness, my friends, no matter what that means to you.  Addiction, toxic relationship, covid.  Rather, look to those little things that spark a light in your heart.  Time with your best friend.  Painting.  Gardening.  Giving back to the world in your own kind way.  If you can't see the light, then be the light for someone else.  If you're in the darkness, turn inward and find those sparks of light that are you...let them guide you.  Hold onto all that you are and all you are going to be. 

 

It's been a tough year, no doubt.  I don't know many who are thriving through all these things.  But here on Ex?  Oh, the light shines clearly and the mood is light and hope is woven into the very fabric of the site.  Ex is one of the beautiful things that occur every day.  Marilyn is baking bread that I can smell all the way in Florida.  Thomas spreads his wisdom.  Diane Joy simply shines with a pure heart and beautiful soul.  So many people here stay here--for you.  To help you.  To guide you.  To teach you.  To support you.  And that really is beautiful. Every time I come back, I feel peace.

 

So please don't just settle on the darkness, but find those important things that occur every day.  The birds singing each morning as you drink your tea.  The sweet smell of your garden in bloom.  The touch of a loved one.  The sun on your face. These matter more than a paper tube of tobacco.  These matter more than the darkness. That darkness is simply left over addictive thoughts that will fade when you let them go.  It's the important things that matter.  You matter.  Your health.  Your happiness.  Your freedom.  

 

Choose kindness.  Choose humor.  Choose hope.  This is how you will get through this strange time.  

~~Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.~~  Unknown

 

So you've decided to quit smoking.  Great, right?!!  No more money spent, no more hacking up a lung in the morning, no more lost moments with family spent instead in solitary confinement puffing away at something that has the ability to kill you.

 

So.....why are you hesitating?  Why the fear?  Why do you doubt what you're doing? 

 

Please don't go into your quit with an attitude of being punished.  Don't make it an ordeal to be dreaded.  Don't decided you can't do it even before you start.  In my business, we call that setting yourself up to fail.  I work with people who are addicted to drugs/alcohol.  I also quit smoking 7 years ago.  Been there, done that   And every time I entered into a quit thinking that it was my punishment for being a smoker....I failed.  Every time I went into a quit thinking to myself that I would fail....I failed.  I would get tired of the struggle.  I would get discouraged over not feeling better.  I would get stressed and anxious and depressed and sad and sick.....you get the picture.  Maybe you've been there?

 

Why not make your quit your gift to yourself?  A precious moment where you decide you're worth it.  You're worth a smoke free life where you aren't chained to a tube of paper.  You are giving yourself the gift of freedom from addiction.  Giving yourself a life of more.  More money.  More time.  More enjoyment.  More life.

 

Why not see your quit as a wonderful adventure where you get to explore your world...you get to explore you.  Your talents.  Your skills.  Your desires.  Your bucket list.  Your family.  Your choices.  Your joys.  Your tastes. 

 

The thing is, you get to decide how to go into your quit.  You get to decide how you feel about it.  Do people successfully quit with a negative attitude?  I'm sure they do.  Do people successfully quit with an attitude of spirit and adventure.  Absolutely.  I was one of those.  I had my moments of 'ugh' but I had so many more moments of "I like this!" and "This is so cool!" and "Wow, I didn't know I could do this!"  I got so busy enjoying all the new things in my world and all the things I didn't even recognize I had as a smoker that I forgot to dread quitting and fight those cravings.  I didn't need to fight them because I didn't even pay much attention to them.

 

I hope you find joy in your quit.  I hope you recognize that you are giving yourself the most precious gift you'll ever get.  And I hope you feel like you can....like you will....like you want to.  Life is waiting so what are you waiting for?  Go live it   

 

Wishing you the best,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I've Learned

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 3, 2020

~~I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.~~  Maya Angelou

 

I've learned so many things here on Ex since I found this site back in 2009:

 

I learned that there are phenomenal people in the world and many of them are found right here

 

I've learned that you're either going to quit smoking or your not.  It isn't us who stop you from smoking and it isn't us who make you smoke.  It's all you.  (Secret?  That's where your power is!  You get to decide whether you smoke or not.)

 

I've learned that some people won't like you no matter what you do and others will totally love you no matter what you do.  Chose the love

 

I've learned that smoking is an addiction for me.  I can't do one, ever, so I choose to do none.

 

I've learned that life is meant to be lived.  Smoking puts you on the sidelines.  Put out the cigarette and join in the adventures!

 

I've learned that I don't have to be here every day to support quitters.  I support them in my every day life, I support them through other events and groups I'm involved in, and I support them through phone calls, letters, and zoom

 

I've learned that each and every one of us has talents and skills and uniquely personal abilities that the whole world needs.  You matter, truly you do.  Quitting smoking puts you on a path of finding out just how much that's true.  The world awaits you, I promise.

 

I've learned that my flaws and my faults and my mistakes are simply learning opportunities for growth.  No shame, no embarrassment, no fear.  I'm good with me and that didn't happen until I quit hiding behind a cigarette.

 

I've learned that quitting smoking is a journey never-ending.  Not an event to be celebrated but a lifetime of celebrations and milestones....steps and moments.  Not to be feared.  Not to be dreaded.  Not to be punished.  Quitting is truly saving your life and the most healthy thing you can ever do for you.

 

I've learned that it's ok to not be ok.  It's just as ok to be ok.  Everyone is different and each of us has challenges to be met and battles to be fought and mountains to be climbed.  Be positive.  Be negative.  Be who you are.  No one will ever do it better.

 

I've learned gratitude, humble appreciation, and how very important integrity is during quitting.  During everything, really.  I wake with gratitude, I appreciate the sights and smells and sounds of life. I live my life my way now and it feels really, really good.

 

I've learned that I can't quit for you, no matter how much my heart goes out to you or how badly I want to help.  What's more, I've learned to give you back your power.  You CAN quit.  You have my unwavering belief in you.  No doubts.  No worries.  No hesitation.  You will quit when you decide you've had enough.  That's how it happens for many of us.  In any case, it's there inside you just waiting to be let out.

 

I read somewhere that when you stop learning, you start dying.  I can see that.  There is always something new around the corner.  I'm trying to find a fencing instructor in my area but since that might not be available, I may turn to belly dancing or teaching nutrition.  We'll see what tomorrow brings

 

Namaste, dear quitters.  I hope you are having  a fabulous day!!

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Do You Want To?

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 31, 2020

~~If you want to experience change, you have to start by being honest with yourself about where you're at now and why that's not working for you and the life you want to live.  It's only when we're present and honest with ourselves that we can start to lovingly shift the situation.  Change doesn't come in the future, it comes from this moment.~~  AwesomeLifeTips.com

 

Honesty doesn't always come easily to us, you know.  We rationalize, we qualify, we excuse.  I think maybe as self-protection sometimes.  Our hearts are hurting or our emotions are raw and we just can't take any more pain so we rationalize things....even our smoking.  "I'm too stressed, I'll try again tomorrow."  "I wouldn't have smoked but he really hurt my feelings."  "I can't make this change today, I'm too exhausted to struggle anymore."

 

But what if we thought about quitting differently?  What if our reasons to quit didn't have anything to do with the money we spend or the illness we have or the wants of our family?  What if we simply think about how we want our lives to be?  

 

I didn't want to be tied to a little tube of paper and chemicals anymore.  I wanted to let go of always needing "just one".  I hated that I "had to" buy just one more pack or carton.  I wanted to get off my back porch (my smoking place) and into life because I didn't want to sit on the sidelines anymore.

 

Honestly?  I didn't want to be addicted to smoking anymore.  It was that simple.  The thought that I 'had to' smoke--and I did!-left me sad and alone.  The life I wanted to live?  Oh, my goodness, I made a list!!  From speaking German to making memories with my children to dancing to being active in my community to.....the list went on and on.  Funny thing was, once I started on my list of things I wanted to do, the thought of smoking went away.  Because I didn't want to be addicted to a tube of paper.

 

Be honest.  Do you want to smoke?  Because if you do, you will.  And believe it or not, if you want to, you can.  Living life honestly means, well, living it honestly.  That means being able to say, "I smoke because I want to".  Most smokers, however, aren't smoking because they want to.  They smoke because they have to.  And when they realize that, the comfort of smoking is unmasked and the ugliness of addiction becomes clear.  It's there and you can't stop, even though you want to.  Wanting to isn't enough.  You have to have a plan, right?  Where to you want your life to be?  And how will you get there?

 

Some call it a quitkit or a toolbox or even a relapse prevention plan.  What are your goals?  And how will you reach them?  Who are your 'go-to' people when you need a pep talk?  What coping skills do you have?  What dreams do you want to reach?  When you are able to see your life in terms of accomplishing those goals...of having fun in life....of no longer allowing smoking to dictate your minutes....change is happening.  

 

I admire honesty.  I love living honestly.  And I respect those who live honestly.  It's not always easy, but it is always, always worth it.  Can you quit?  Of course you can!!!  Do you want to quit?  Only you know the answer to that.

~~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.