I have quit smoking for exactly one year. I quit for 2 reasons.

  1. The first, was because it was getting harder to maintain the edginess by still smoking for Spite’s sake. It was a purely selfish, expensive indulgence.
  2. I HATE anything having control over me, and I was stressed, so I needed something to blame my anger on.

The immediate benefits of not smoking were purely selfish as well.

  1. I had an excuse to eat unlimited amounts of Tootsie Pops and jelly beans, gum drops, or whatever other sweet treats I wanted.
  2. My husband was significantly floored. I mean, he was bowled over with his jaw dropped impressed with me.

I didn’t wean myself off, use gum or patches. I simply refused to be a slave. I didn’t talk about it. I just did it.

I used to blame myself for not being in a better place in life. Why? Didn’t I always do the best I could regardless of my circumstances? After closer examination, I realized that I sagely dodged so many more worse circumstances than I ever found my butt in. I do have some wonderful stories to tell! So no more beating myself up.

Do you remember a post I made the other day about an early cab driver with a strange passenger? That happened within hours of praying to the Holy Spirit to help me with my attitude. I wanted to be more patient with people. I decided that I was going to just assume that people would be glad to talk to me. Instead of fretting about what a jerk this stranger would be, I was going to assume that meeting him would be a divine experience. This way, if I’m disappointed, it won’t be all that bad from my perspective.

Well it did work out that way. Every one was super-nice. The passenger talked to the driver about old guy small talk, so I didn’t have to. Yes! He was an intellectual Hippy who shaved his sensitive ponytail off years ago. He’s traded in bell-bottoms for Eddie Bauer. He was an engineer, but he researched alternative fuel sources and designed the new bio-efficient engines for cars. How cool is that? It turned out that I helped the cab driver find this guys appointment. Even though last time I had to wait for him for 2 hours before he could pick me up to take me back, this time he was waiting for me right in front of the door before Mercy’s appointment ended

So I’ve been experimenting with this theory in other places. It helps with phone calls. I’m nicer to people on the phone now. If they are crabby, I assume they are just as happy with the jammed phone lines as I am. Even if there isn’t a good excuse for being a bitch, then the same holds true for me.

I have been acting like a slave to my emotions. Emotions aren’t even real things! I see it! Weakness pinpointed! Aim!…(less). Reload until I can correct this the same way that Mercy corrects her Cerebral Palsy. Surgeons fixed the damaged nerve. Now she has to rework the muscles until she overwrites the muscle memory. I hope I always learn from watching my children. I put the best of myself into them. It makes sense that I would know what I was truly capable of through knowing them.

What I’m trying to say is, stop being a slave. Even the condition of happiness is a conscious decision. Emotions are not reality. They are electrical synapses in the brain. The power of our existence truly is in our minds.