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  • Carol Williard

What matters more than smoking?

Goethe “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”


In the context of stopping smoking or vaping - which matters most- what are your things that matter least? “I don’t have time”, “I’ll get fat”, “its too hard”, “its too uncomfortable”. Usually those are the reasons which is the resistance we throw up to avoid dealing with the problem. We make them big reasons to prevent ourselves from even trying. In the meantime, nicotine takes it toll, one molecule at a time, in our bodies and being. We become more and more dependent upon it for our comfort. We endow this poison with meaning. We lie to ourselves with false comfort, “It’s not that bad! I’ll stop at some point...” as the molecules in our lungs and every other organ imperceptibly deteriorates from smoke to smoke, hit to hit.


I once helped an anesthesiologist stop smoking. He told me that when they open up a smoker’s body to operate, they find every organ to be grey, every single one! “It’s not that bad?” Really?


“But I’m not ready. Leave me alone until I am ready” That seems to be the bottom line reason that, when looking over one’s lifetime would be the thing that matters least. Yet, we believe it and we are held in place by it. In fact, it usually takes a health crisis to capture our attention and to break through the our resistance. After all, why would anyone seek help when they are feeling great?


But when a health crisis occurs we are given what is called “the gift of desperation.” Why this cynical characterization? Actually that characterization is accurate. It is desperation that finally motivates a person to begin to face his/her problem. That is the point where they seek help because they have finally come to realize they have a problem that they are unable to solve on their own, and where they are most vulnerable and lost. So, the dilemma is a gift because it leads to finally taking action.


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