Never Smoke Again

They never leave me alone.

“Never say never” – Popular song lyrics. “I never asked for this” and “I always feel tired” are emotionally charged statements. The words “always” and “never” are symbols representing abstract concepts that are beyond the understanding of the monkey. The monkey can drive a car, the monkey cannot explain how an internal combustion engine works. The car is just a tool, like the words are just tools to convey feelings for the monkey. The monkey feels that it never gets what it wants. When we scrutinize the statement we find that the monkey just had a cigarette and in fact does get what it wants more than it does not. The monkey got what it wanted. The monkey felt that it didn’t get what it wanted. Emotions are irrational indeed. Words such as “never” and “always” when used in thought can ruin our perception of reality. The monkey that is obsessed with avoiding pain uses language to vent the pain and further avoid it. We don’t catch the monkey calmly stating “Sometimes I get what I want and that feels good”, because getting what it wants is not emotionally charged. The monkey puts more focus on pain than on pleasure. Dealing with pain and verbalizing it is super important for the monkey, and colors the language, “You never listen to me” is countered with “I always listen to you.” One person feels unheard the other feels accused of not listening. How about we change things around a bit? “I feel you don’t listen to me sometimes” and the reply would be “Give me a an example”. One verbal exchange ignites conflict, and the other invites to dialog. The more in pain the monkey is the more it uses emotional language such as “If only things change then I would never have to smoke”. Poor monkey. When we tame the monkey and deal with the pain we don’t get less emotional, we still have and feel emotions, we become calm and clear in our thoughts. “I changed my perception and I am able to change my circumstances. Things don’t always turn out great, but I get enough good results to keep going”. “I can never fully escape negative emotions, but I know that I can always deal with them when they arise and I always focus on the bright side”. “I can beat the smoking habit, I can tame the monkey.”

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