1990 was a pivotal year for me three years after my marriage collapsed my business began to falter. All my outer material structures were changing but the inner changes were taking longer. I was into my tenth attempt at giving up smoking. My previous attempts had been thwarted by the increased stress levels due to the above, or that was my convenient excuse; ‘the time is not right’ I murmured, as I guiltily lit my second cigarette of the day. I was a practicing Holistic Practitioner trying to be a good role model, yet I was powerless to beat my addictive nature and its craving. What I’d failed to admit for some considerable time was smoking was becoming an embarrassment, but not strong enough to combat the addiction. For two years I swung between the wavering ‘will’ of ‘i can do this; i must do this; i need to do this,’ to needing the smoke as well as a dependant relationship with a co-conspirator smoker. As social animals we gravitate towards those who share our addictions; likewise we can also gravitate towards those that encourage and support our healthy evolution.
The day I finally reached one month without lighting up was the day my insight into the relationship dawned on me. I had an unhealthy relationship with smoking, but equally an unhealthy relationship with a friend of twenty years with whom secrets were shared. We’d supported each other throughout two divorces and I could never have imagined life without her. But there had been an increasing undeniable smokescreen that had blocked my true perception and I began to doubt the nature of the relationship, as if dark invisible shadows existed between us. With hindsight I see this as shadow projection.
The cessation of smoking cleared my mental space and I saw uncomfortable truths I’d been blind to. I managed to go one month without succumbing to my powerless addiction, but more than that it raised my level of awareness, resulting in light and I saw through the aforementioned smokescreen and I understood that not only was my addiction to cigarettes rapidly diminishing but so was the unhealthy dependency on my friend. Her Father had died two years previously from smoking related lung cancer. The jury is still out on whether it was the 40 years as a smoker or the chemotherapy that saw him depart this earth very painfully; sadly I was a close witness to this episode. I also descended from a generation of smokers, my Grandfather had lip cancer, my Mother died of Emphysema, a known smoker’s disease. So I finally broke the pattern of this killer habit and finished the unhealthy aforementioned relationship, resulting in a new location hundreds of miles away and into the “spiritual arms” of a mentor who lovingly encouraged me to see myself in the clarity of his presence. I have never looked back and whilst life is still three steps forward, one step back; those steps forward ensures my continuing evolution that fills me with gratitude and the need to embrace life in all its glorious colour and diversity without needing a quick fix nor to fix anything or anybody.
Hindsight of course always brings further clarity and whilst I have had many friendships since, the aforementioned taught me far more through its adversity that I cannot help but be grateful to this friend with whom we’d shared mutual support and growth and in my heart I wish her nothing but pure love and spiritual bliss.
Should you be in the midst of a challenging relationship, that is testing your resolve and patience to the limit, take heart from this; once you stand back and attain complete clarity on the nature and reason for the relationship with unbridled determination to look beyond the smokescreen of your possible co-dependency or addiction, your self honesty will reward you with the strength to release such all consuming reliance and like me you will naturally begin an unfolding as you evolve into A New Human as the Universe intended.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela