Quitting smoking can be a strange exercise at times. And a big part of it is changing our perception of things. When we first decide to quit, there’s a bit of fear as we peer into a future without cigarettes. We know that they’re harming us, but they just seem to taste so good! And the darn things help us to relax and to concentrate.
Sadly, these are the wrong perceptions of things, and we all know the realities. No, cigarettes don’t actually taste good. In fact, the reality is that they taste awful. And they don’t help us to relax. Rather, they create anxiety. And better concentration? If you consider concentrating on feeding the addiction a help, then I guess.
My point is that our addictions can be so strong that we don’t seem to be able to see reality. As if a dark cloud is placed in front of our eyes, we perceive a different reality. An addicted reality. A reality that keeps us safe from losing our addiction. I think that’s one of the reasons that it takes some so long to take that first step.
When I quit, I spent a lot of time preparing. You know, doing the reading, soul searching and learning my triggers. I spent a lot of time denying myself my own triggers during my prep time and I cut way down on the number of cigarettes that I smoke. I changed my quit date several times, awaiting the right moment, as if there ever is one!
At last I felt I was ready and I’ll tell you how I knew. Before I quit, my entire perception of smoking had changed. I think a big part of preparation is clearing the cloud of addiction so that we can see things as they really are. That we’re not losing a thing and gaining everything!
Once we can perceive ourselves in the future without cigarettes and feel a kind of happiness when perceiving those days in our future, then we’re as ready as we can be. But that’s not the end of the story, as anyone who has quit knows.
Even though we’ve cleared the cloud of addiction enough to see the reality that exists behind it, we still have to free ourselves from the addiction. I think by having the right mental picture when we quit that it gives us the ammunition we need to get started, but we’re nowhere near done yet.
What it takes is living those first days without cigarettes, slowly ripping those tentacles of addiction from our bodies. We have to learn to perceive things differently. We have to learn that the first reaction to crisis is no longer reaching for a cigarette or as we begin certain tasks, we no longer think we need a cigarette.
Our perception never really changes until we train our minds to see things differently. And we have to actively create this change in our perception. That’s why N.O.P.E. works so well. It reminds us that we’re in training to learn a new perception of the world.
But once we do see past the cloud and see ourselves as nonsmokers. I mean really see ourselves as such, then the peace begins. It starts out slowly, and then it snowballs in how wonderful it feels.
There’s so much beauty in the world that we miss because of feeding ourselves cigarettes but thankfully, once we allow the peace into our world and start to experience the freedom that follows, that beauty returns.
The world just looks different on the other side of addiction. Somehow it looks brighter and cleaner. It becomes a world that we want to wake up and see, rather than waking up just to feed an addiction.
So if you want to see that new life of freedom, the first step is to change how you see smoking, and see it for what it really is. You CAN do this!! There’s so much more in this world waiting for you if you can just clear the cloud to see it!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!