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!
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!