Feel to Heal - The Art of Reframing Wounds into Wisdom
Are you waking up each morning to immediately reach for that cigarette to begin your day? The mindset in which you start your day can have a profound impact.
The more in tune and comfortable we become with our emotional selves the more we are able to allow adverse thoughts and feelings to pass without impulsively reacting to them.
Have you ever noticed that due to the endless mental downloading of information each day through tv, social media, our jobs, and interactions that we almost resemble mechanically conditioned robots operating on autopilot? Have you also noticed the repetitive emotional default patterns as a response when triggered? For example, after a long stressful day we do not think twice before lighting up a cigarette- or two, or three!
However, beneath the cloud of smoke there is usually a wound–a wound that awakens intense emotional reactions when conflict arises. When we broaden our awareness of the root causes of our desire or tendency to smoke, we can help to foster more pro-social coping mechanisms in the future. The more we suppress our emotions, the more we resist our own power in the healing process. So, the more in tune and comfortable we become with our emotional selves the more we are able to allow adverse thoughts and feelings to pass without impulsively reacting to them.
How many of us have lit up a cigarette when we were particularly overwhelmed or stressed? Perhaps you were smoke free for a period of time and now feel guilty to find yourself puffing away the stress again. Self-blame, shame and addiction are closely related. Have you ever noticed that when you felt like you were unable to deal with some form of negativity in your life, that was when you most likely reached for a cigarette? If you then had to deal with people judging you for it, did that make you feel even worse and make you want to light up another one? And so the cycle continues–repeatedly seeking solace from the enemy. That is what shame and blame does. It locks us into repeating cycles instead of helping us to form new healthy behaviors. Subsequently, it corrodes any belief we may have had in ourselves pushing us farther out of alignment with our true values.
We all have the ability to reinvent ourselves each day. We all have the capacity to change. However, the conditioning of our minds and the habits we form impact our awareness. When we are committed to building mental endurance, we tend to establish healthy emotional and physical boundaries. When we build mental endurance, we are less likely to give in to instant gratification or temporary indulgences. Consequently, we are more likely to seek avenues to build brighter futures through creation of and commitment to long-term goals.
Practicing mindfulness and meditative practices can help give you the boost you need on the journey to smoking cessation starting with the recognition and acceptance that discomfort is a pre-requisite to success. The more mental muscle we build, the greater the capacity for us to discover and embrace true contentment in our lives.
We can cloud our issues with smoke or bury them under the rug instead of dealing with them, however this doesn’t make them disappear.
The only way out is through!
When we appreciate the art of letting go we are that much closer to reinventing ourselves and living in alignment with our true value of being a non-smoker. Remember, we must feel to heal!