I was in my garden and noticed something new to me. It was the amazing fragrance of the flowers! And I realized that this was something new to me because I could never smell those flowers when I smoked and actually for several years after.
It got me to reflect on the things I was missing all those years that I smoked. I mean, I always knew that as I stared at the majestic peaks above our little valley and smoked, I was never really seeing them because I was to busy concentrating on my smoking. I thought I was enjoying their beauty but the reality is that I wasn’t focused on it at all. I was only focused on feeding my addiction.
And the same was true of all of the concentration I was achieving when I smoked while trying to solve a problem. I thought I was thinking of the problem but the reality is that I was thinking more about how I was feeding my addiction.
And all those wonderful “rewards” that I gave myself by smoking after a completed task was again just me thinking about a cigarette when I was finished with my task.
I think when we manage to strip the cigarette from every part of our daily lives that we discover a world that’s quite different from the one we perceived before. But it’s also a world we don’t realize exists while we continue to feed our addictions.
When I quit, it wasn’t to discover these things, simply because I’d never known that they were missing from my life. It was over concern of what the smoking was doing to me. Sure, I understood that I was a slave to my addiction, but I just couldn’t see through the shroud of addiction to what a free life is really like.
I think that’s why so many of us here try to tell people behind us on the journey what it will be like when it’s completed. Because it’s a knowledge that we’ve hidden from ourselves in order to continue to feed the addiction. But when we choose to take that first faltering step on the road to freedom, we sometimes wonder what the world will look like when we achieve the final goal.
And I’m here to tell you, it’s nothing short of amazing! To be able to really look at those mountains when I choose to. To be able to find that a deep breath of good clean air is a better reward for finishing a given task than smoking ever was. To feel the harmony within ourselves as we slowly pull those tentacles of addiction out of ourselves one by one in order to be free.
And to discover the sweet fragrance of the flowers that symbolize so much more than just a pleasant smell. To me, smelling those flowers is yet another unexpected reward for staying true to myself. There really is so much to look forward to when we take the plunge. It’s just really hard to see at first which is part of what makes those first days so hard.
But rest assured. If you can take that first step on the path of freedom and if you don’t lose your footing, then you too will discover the many wonders of a life of freedom. You too will find the peace that we all feel as the cigarette becomes nothing but a memory of the past. You too will discover the wonders of life that were always there. We were just to busy with addiction to notice them.
Stay true to yourself and before long, you too will be smelling the wonderful fragrance that’s not only the smell of the flowers, but is also the smell of success. And I can guarantee you, success smells sweet indeed!!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!