Smoking is one of those sins that can be just scrumptious. Like a good brownie or an expensive bottle of champagne.
I stopped smoking cigars a couple of years ago. I had a couple here and there over the first six months but for the most part I stopped. I rarely think of them. But once in a while I just want to have a smoke. My original plan was to keep smoking – just to have a cigar every week or two. I stayed away from that plan because I wanted to really kick the habit. The pneumonia was a damn good reason to as well.
What I’m most mindful of is that cigars served many purposes for me – good and bad.
They provided me with a break from my hectic job. They got me away from the phone and computer. I stared out at the sky and relaxed. I went back to working and got more done. I often talked with other smokers and I enjoyed the socialization.
Feeding the shadow a little
They keep lions and other big predators well fed in a zoo. We all have a big predator inside that Jung called the Shadow.
I believe you have to feed your shadow and that it is better to acknowledge it (feed it even) then deny it completely. I’ve done complete denial and it only makes your world (and the one that your loved ones orbit) go spinning out of control.Â Not good.
With my weight loss over the last couple of years I have found more success in having a nice sweet every so often, or in moderation to be much better than trying for the complete shut out. Denial gets you, the shadow is in there.
The question always comes back to one of balance. A smoke every so often, for the right reasons can be a good thing for me. And if done unconciously, for the wrong reasons, it could be very bad.
I had a smoke a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I could really taste the tobacco and it was good. Before I lit up I made sure I was not under any duress or stress. Just a couple of weeks earlier I had purchased that small box of cigars but I refused to smoke one after buying them. I was under the very duress that would feed an unhealthy addiction. I was clear at the time that if I had a smoke then, it would have been from an unhealthy place. I didn’t give in and that gave me more strength.Â Giving in would have been giving in, and that only serves to make me feel a sense of failure, rather than serving a purpose of merit to me. I think it’s easy to confuse what I was saying earlier about giving in to your shadow and giving in. Giving in to my shadow in a good way is about doing it conciously.
I had a smoke today a couple of weeks after that first one. I didn’t feel compelled to. It was fine but not nearly as nice as the first one. I feel like I need to space them out more and this one wasn’t ceremonial enough. I was just outside with the dogs. It needs to be something more like a special occasion. I also felt as I did during the last smoke that I’m not the same man anymore. It doesn’t hold me like it used to and I like that. I’ll leave the next cigar until it feels right and no matter what, I won’t have more than a couple a month (if that). I want to savor the experience of life and occasionally match that to a nice smoke, when I feel life coursing through me in a positive way as I do right now. For me that can be reinforced with a cigar, a run, a motorcycle ride, or a cocktail, or a good laugh with Shannon. I like really loud music as well. 😉
Freud said that being entirely honest with oneself if a good exercise. I try to do that as much as I can stand. Sometimes I can’t stand it at all.Â When I’m denying my own shadow I’m in trouble. Freud was also credited with saying ‘sometimes a cigar is just a cigar’ even though most sources say that he didn’t actually say that.
Today was like that and that’s how I want to smoke. Sometimes, every so often, I just want a cigar to be a cigar.
Now where are those Oreo’s dammit!