So I spent the morning hiding in bed from a cigarette craving, with a hot water bottle. It was lovely.
Of course I’m very well aware that I was actually hiding from myself, as essentially I am the cigarette craving. If I wasn’t experiencing some thought or desire that the craving obviously stems back to, then there wouldn’t be any craving and there wouldn’t be any need to stay at home in bed, rather than being out in the world enjoying my day off work.
I felt fine this morning when I woke up and did 15 minutes of meditation at 6:30am. There weren’t any cravings kicking around the place at that hour, but in the broad daylight of 9:30am the cravings seemed to be out in full force, knocking repeatedly on the side of my head and trying to get me to cave in.
A ‘theta-healing’ lady that I visited yesterday, told me that cigarettes (smoking) is just a smoke-screen from seeing some part of ourselves. Apparently there’s a part of me, or more likely, a sum-of-parts that I’ve not been brave enough to look at until now. Or perhaps I’ve been getting glimpses of it when I’m not smoking for those three days-a month, and each time I go back to smoking so I only have to look through the haze at it. It makes a lot of sense as to why I’ve been battling so hard with it. In fact, I actually have a pretty good idea what the thing might be.
Honestly? I think it has something to do with loneliness (or not being fully in the presence of myself). At this point I feel the need to be clear about the difference between aloneness and loneliness, as I learnt from my old friend, Osho. According to Osho there is a tremendous difference between loneliness and aloneness. “Loneliness is a negative state, it is the absence of the other. Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is a presence, overflowing presence. You are so full that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.”
So I’ve noticed that I often feel this craving to smoke when I am feeling this lack of self. Triggers can come from any direction and they get through the chinks in my armour at the points where there is a lack of self. When I am not fully present with myself, when I am needing or wanting some other person/thing/experience to fill the hole. When I don’t feel quite right. When I am full of me and sitting completely in my self, present, know and love who I am, then I have no desire whatsoever to smoke. I have no desire to have anyone or do anything other than whoever and wherever I am right now. I am already complete. Full of me. (I wonder if this is where the saying comes from ‘she is so full of herself’? I actually think it is a good thing and maybe the tall poppy syndrome thing has fooled us into thinking it is better to be smaller and deflated somewhat so as we don’t annoy other people with our full self presence…)
Anyway, I see that up until this time, and for many years, since I was 16 years old, smoking has been this filler. (At times there have been other fillers also such as alcohol and drugs). But over the last 3-4 years smoking has increasingly been something that I do not feel good about. It is a filler, but it only fills so much and there are still leaks in the hole. Smoking no longer serves to fill the hole adequately and it creates all these other icky feelings and thoughts that make it counterproductive.
I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago and he pointed out that I’m simply addicted craving itself. The cigarette is actually meaningless, it has just become the ‘face’ of the craving. I identified this clearly when I was in Vipassana and I my head kept coming back to thinking about my ex partner. After many days of excruciatingly painful time spent in my head back and forth thinking about the relationship and wanting it and then throwing it back to the ether, I finally realised that this person was just the name that I put on this feeling of craving, this lack of self. I didnt want that relationship. It was not right for me. My craving actually had nothing at all to do with him. He was just the face that I put on my craving. It could have been anyone. It could be the next person I meet if I don’t sort this out before I go into another relationship! And in reality that isn’t fair to myself or the person that I am having a relationship with for them to be simply filling a hole that is supposed to contain the presence of myself.
Oh yes, this is real. Real stuff.