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Thomas3.20.2010

I Have a Dream

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 21, 2019

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"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." 

 

As we Celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we celebrate the BEST of ourselves. We reach out for our potential BEST just as he had in his short, enlightened inspiring life! Dr. King was intelligent, yes and he was charismatic but more than that he had Faith in his fellow human being and the dream that dwelled in his mind!

 

While we were smoking, we had a dream that seemed so far fetched - a dream for FREEDOM! We had an inkling of our potential selves, a memory of the FREEDOM we relinquished by taking that first puff and that ever since, most of us for decades, was being puffed away with addiction.

 

That simple little thought made us strive for FREEDOM - the FREEDOM to be as Our Creator wishes we would be and knows we can be! Many of us have looked under every crook and cranny our our minds for the means to gain our FREEDOM until we found the PRIZE!

 

A few others were able to find the way more directly. And most of us are still searching but refuse to give up! We each had our own motivations for this quest for FREEDOM but what we had in common is the goal! We were motivated by the fact that "a lie cannot live" and we knew on some level (some more conscious than others) that we were living a lie. 

 To reach that goal takes a lot of human fortitude.  As MLK said, "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our FREEDOM."

 

Too many people see quitting as an event, just as today's celebration is an event and back to "business as usual" tomorrow! But quitting brings change and change is not inevitable! We must straighten our backs and work our quit journey each and every day. That's a BIG ticket so it can only be done one day at a time, giving just for today commitment, focus, and determination - keeping always our eyes on the prize - FREEDOM and remember these words, "I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars."

 

Many of us have EXperienced the very personal loss of one or more family member, friend, loved one due to the wicked consequences of smoking related illness. It's absolutely devastating! And some of us have been struck down, debilitated, even left disabled, by smoking related illness. I happen to be one of them. If at times, our voices are shrill, it's because we wish to spare you!

 

We want you to see past the Addictive lie that "smoking is a harmless vice", to know that smoking related illness is very real! But life isn't about not dying - it's about living well! Again, MLK said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!" he said those famous words on April 3, 1963. On the next day, he was assassinated.

 

I won't begin to speak for the other elders who continue to visit this site - I speak for myself alone, but these words perfectly EXpress my thoughts when I come here again and again and do my best to share my DREAM of FREEDOM for all of you, for all people caught up in the lie of Nicotine Addiction!

 

Yes, folks, this struggle we are in is just as life and death, just as critical to the dignity of living as MLK's! And yes, I gladly give the BEST of myself when I come here and ask, "Wouldn't you like to live in FREEDOM? I, Thomas, have seen the Promised Land and believe that we, as a Community, will get there!

 

Join me! I will walk beside you and together we will go up the mountain called FREEDOM!"

LLAP

Thomas3.20.2010

Ticked Off!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 18, 2019

OK. I just told a very close friend of mine that I have nothing to say but truth be told, I feel like I have too much to say and might never shut up! 

I'm royally ticked off - not at smokers - at Nicotine! It robs me daily of quality of Life, even of the will to Live! And I quit 8+ Years ago! Darn it! I'm valiantly cleaning up my language! 

Do you have any flipping idea how hard it is to constantly be worried about whether you have enough oxygen to make it through another "normal" day? Do you really get what it's like to take 15 meds and 3 inhalers and constant nebulizers all the time? 

Oops! I can't do such-and-such because I need to take my meds. Awe, I can't go here-and-there because I don't have enough oxygen. Gee, I'd love to go swimming, or run, or bike or you-name-it but I can't do that any more!

All because of Sickerettes! My friend had to have a lung transplant. Another friend had to have surgery to cut out the bad parts of her lungs. This do-do is real!

And yes, you do have a choice. In fact, it's all about choice!

When I first joined way back in the day we used to say "Make the decision and then respect yourself enough to honor that decision no matter what! Still good advice.

People always ask about how hard it is to quit - why don't you ask how hard it is to not quit?

Time to take my meds....

Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.

James Clear - Author - Photographer

As we leave 2018 behind and begin another Year, New Year's, like Birthdays, brings us to review our lives and set new goals for health, money, and love - as we say in the Spanish toast - Salud, Dinero y Amor!

 

What we can decide to keep in mind is that successful habit building is not black and white but many shades of color! Color doesn't come into our lives by serendipity - it is invited in each and every day! 

 

Often New Year's Resolutions don't last because we forget to reset for - One Day At a Time! That is the foundation of organizations like AA and also, true for BecomeanEX! 

 

We did not magically become EXers by signing up - or by trying to be perfect always - or by going through an Event or Milestone just to stop processing our Quit Journeys! We came willing and able to reset and reset and reset our mental attitudes about smoking and recovery. 

 

We stepped into the unknown just as you are without knowing or even being able to imagine what being an EXer for Life can be. Some of us believed it was a lifetime sentence of austerity. Others believed it was an endless emotional roller-coaster because the first few days really do feel that way! We all had core beliefs - about ourselves - that could have held us back from recovery!

 

But we came here and learned to perceive and thus, believe differently! Identifying a core belief is like solving a mystery of the illusions in your mind. You have to follow some clues to get down to the hidden beliefs in the unconscious.  The package of false beliefs and assumptions starts to seem a bit unbelievable and then become ridiculous!

- smoking does not make me happy! 

- smoking does not relieve my stress!

- smoking does not make a good basis for friendships!

- smoking does not keep me from getting fat!

- smoking does not help my creativity or coping or job skills or anything, actually!

 

Smoking just takes my precious, health, money, and yes, even love of others and trades a slow suicide in it's place. That's the transaction we make with a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped into thousands of deadly chemicals!

Put that way - what do you have to fear? Smoking! Not all of the rest of the allure we have built into our belief system since most of us were teenagers and incapable of seeing what we were agreeing to!

 

 Fears associated with smoking are very common.  However, the thought is not a core belief. When finding core beliefs, like a detective, you follow the emotion.  We have to keep questioning how the emotion of fear is created by the act of smoking. In essence the fear of quitting isn't a fear of coping. It is a fear of the emotional pain that results from believing something negative about our self.

 

There's emotional pain in believing that I'm too addicted to quit as well as "I can quit whenever I want - I just don't want to!" And I won't lie to you - facing emotional pains like these is the essence of recovery!

FACE
Every fear

And 

Recover!

 

It's very uncomfortable to let fear rise to the surface of our awareness rather than to sit tucked into the recesses of our mind in the form of core belief! That was for me, the biggest obstacle to my Quit Journey! 

 

Coming here and glimpsing through others' minds' eyes helped me to know that something better - something worthwhile awaited me after the first 3 days of physical withdrawal, the first few weeks of emotional upheaval, the hectic first 4 Months of my Quit Journey and onward, continuing to grow in Self Discovery. I came to learn, understand and the, yes, believe that yes, I can quit - not all at once, but for this day, and this day, and this day, no matter what! That's how I got to Day 3210 - one simple, doable day at a time! 

 

During that time I gave myself permission to investigate my core beliefs and to root out those - not only related to smoking - but related to Self Identity - that really were ridiculous to me once discovered!

 

I was able to turn my beliefs to my Higher Power in whom I learned to trust to guide me into more and more Self Discovery/Recovery - not once but over and over again. Each blog I read, each comment I made, each discussion I constructed led me to a closer understanding of who the Real Thomas is - not the poor, addicted, hijacked, self destructive Thomas of addiction - but the person gifted to me by my Creator - free of the agreement I had made so many decades ago! 

 

Breaking through my core smoking beliefs and self concept beliefs would not have been possible without my participation at BecomeanEX because I didn't know where to begin to break the package agreement down into it's parts. This is what the blogs and relationships gave me - and I needed it every single day for a very long time to reset my stinking thinking again, and again, and again - layer after layer - and discover the Real Thomas!

 

My biggest Fear is that I wouldn't like this person but I learned not only to like but to love ME! This is the gift of Recovery! It's a work in progress. And there's no better place to start than right now! And now! And now! If you missed your January 1 Quit Date or just didn't manage to keep from smoking - it's not too late! It's never too late! Right now I choose to strive for Addiction Freedom!

 

Please join me now! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain - 

God Bless! LLAP!

 

 

 

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