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Our Power is Choice

For twenty two years I was a slave to cigarettes. Some days I smoked two packs. Back then it was like setting a $5 bill a day on fire. Not to mention the constant coughing, bad breath, horrible smelling clothing, reoccurring bronchitis, and inability to walk up a flight of stairs without having to rest. I was only in my early forties and I was terrified of dying. Yet, day after day, year after year, I continued to justify smoking. Just like any addiction, smoking was my way of stuffing emotional pain so with each inhale I sucked in more self-hatred, denial, and disappointment.

While I hated being under the control of a tiny white tube of tobacco, I believed I was too weak-willed to quit. Until one day it hit me. I was NOT weak at all. I was strong for having successfully survived all of the crap life had thrown at me. No, I was just scared of what life would be like and who I would be without the emotional crutch I’d used for over two decades.

Accepting the fact I was using cigarettes to avoid opening up to loving and respecting myself, was the game-changing “aha.”  The truth was that no matter how painful my life had been, intentionally continuing to hurt myself was even more painful and disappointing. A little over ten years ago, at 9 p.m. on a Sunday evening, I put cigarettes down for good.

When we finally decided to love ourselves enough to do whatever it takes to accomplish a goal we will succeed.  It begins with an intentional choice to stop allowing something to control us and we start controlling ourselves.