Chains of Smoke

“You have to learn how to quit,” he said.  “You have to get really good at it.”

He spoke this reality check about his addiction to cigarettes and a twenty-years-clean celebration.  I am not a smoker, never have been – I didn’t need his advice for that.  I needed it for this…

DON’T QUIT.  This cheap mantra hangs big on the walls of our earth.  It’s not even a choice anymore – we are expected to push ourselves to the limit and never look back.  We hop on the bandwagons of mindfulness and meditation to make the case for pause and it does us no good.  We are addicted to a deadly & western pursuit of happiness, never caring to wake up to the ambiguity of the state itself.

Our nation is confused and we are drowning in unhealthy habits to feel better, I think – we are exhausted by desperate efforts to locate joy, fairness and peace.  On our worst days, we numb ourselves with drags of pleasure.  On good days, we trick ourselves with motivational memes.  On all days, there are hints of finger pointing for the struggle.

The world is fake news and everyone is dying to find truth.  We are lost and turning over every rock to find our way home.  Hint: turn over your own.

We need to kick some bad habits…

Quit mindlessness.

Quit comfort.

Kick television.

Quit ignorance.

Quit self-doubt.

Quit instant gratification.

Kick CNN & FOX & BS.

Quit blame.

Quit possessions.

Quit fear.

Quit shortcuts.

And quit attributing happiness (or un-) to a person, an object or a reason.

Quitting is a lonely job – you’re the only one there and the nicotine of life won’t go down without a fight.  It will beg you back around as soon as it sees you shake.  Hint: If you start to lose your balance, focus on something that isn’t moving.

Take my uncle’s advice and learn how to quit.  Get really good at it.  Be alive enough to anticipate the twists and turns.  Ground yourself to the earth. Then, wake up and let your heart be known.

Hint: Quitting takes persistence.  Get over the irony of life and back to your best habit…you.



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