Last night as I was walking my dog in the crisp, rather cold air of the rockies, I looked up as is often my habit, to see the most dazzling display of stars with a bright crescent moon sitting right over the peaks which are now blanketed in snow and glowing in the moonlight.
And as I stared at this beauty so big that only nature could create it, a thought popped into my head. What if, almost eight years ago I hadn’t made the decision to quit smoking? What if I was still building on my incredibly strong addiction that I once had for another eight years and I realized my thinking, my health and my feelings about myself and the world around me would be nothing like they were in that exact moment.
With a smile I noted that my motto that has stuck with me for over eight years now was indeed correct that “the decisions I make today will determine my future tomorrow”. I still live by that motto and think of it whenever I make any major life decisions.
As I returned my focus to the world around me, I saw that my dog had noticed my thoughtful mood and had come to me and sat in front of me, wagging his tail. I petted him for a moment and realized that this is what freedom is all about. Wonderful moments like these that I used to dream of so long ago. And my smile grew as I realized that my reality had become what was once my dream of freedom so long ago.
And I thought back to those first hard months that we all must face to reach freedom and realized that though the addict within was very strong at first, so too was my dream of freedom and the desire to make that dream real.
I thought of freedom a lot during my quit, at times during those first months wondering if I’d ever truly feel it, or if it was a myth never to be discovered. During those first months, there is more and more freedom with every day that we stay quit. It’s just that during this time it’s hard to peer through the cloud of addiction to actually see it, but believe me, it’s there from the very first day. And as each day passes and we become more and more confident in our ability to deal with life’s problems without smoking, our minds begin to calm enough to actually start to see a glimpse of that freedom.
A lot of what makes quitting so hard is that the fruits of our labors aren’t fully realized for a while. We know we want to stay quit, we’re just too busy fighting ourselves to see that we’re actually succeeding. That with each day, we’re making progress and getting ever closer to that dream. That’s why every milestone should be celebrated because this can remind us of several things.
First of those things is living proof that we can stay smoke free for a period of time and it actually didn’t kill us. A milestone can help us to see what we’ve accomplished and to begin looking forward to the next milestone. I found that the easiest way to get through the worst of losing this addiction is to stay focused on the future because that’s where our dreams lie. And once you reach that future, you’ll never regret taking the time to get there.
Keep fighting and always believe that you are the master of your own future and perhaps there will be a day when you too are looking to the stars with a silly smile on your face because at this time, you’ll realize you’ve come home to the place you wanted to be all along!
And I have to tell you, that place is a truly amazing place to be!! I look forward to seeing you there!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!