We need to set ourselves free from our guilt, shame, fear, sadness, stress and other emotion that is uncomfortable to feel and the only way to accomplish that is to move through the emotion and not around it. The anger we feel when we don’t smoke is only a surface reactions to the loss of the sense of control we thought we had over our emotions. That sense of control is an illusion. We can’t control emotions, we can only control our reactions to emotions. When we try to escape emotions, we are in fact giving power to our emotions over us. We can’t conquer fear by running away from it, we conquer fear by facing it and moving through it. We don’t allow fear to dictate our actions. When our suppressed emotions rise like the waves of the sea we react out of habit by suppressing them with any means available, such as smoking or drinking. When we remove smoking from the equation that keeps our emotions in check, there will be chaos, the sea of emotions is storming. This is why it is so hard to quit addiction because the emotional chaos is so unbearable and overwhelming that the only escape left for the monkey is to smoke again. When we abstain from smoking for a prolonged period of time the rising emotional chaos (ocean wave) causes higher than normal levels of distress. It feels so good to smoke because the cigarette will save the monkey from being washed away in the storm of emotions. The stemming of the emotional tide will be a momentary escape for the monkey, until the next wave of emotions comes. Had there been any relief in smoking cigarette, then one cigarette would have done the job long ago. The first cigarette would have killed all our emotions and we would be emotionless robots. How come the monkey can’t use the imagination to imagine future pain caused by smoking? To the monkey imagination is a tool like the tail is a tool to a cat. The cat cannot explain the function of the tail mathematically, it only knows how to use it. The monkey can only use imagination, it cannot distinguish between imagination and reality. Imagination and reality are the same to the monkey mind and they generate the same feelings, there is no distinction. Feelings are true, imagination generates true feelings, and therefore imagination is true reality to the monkey. The Monkey is irrational indeed.
Smoking is guilty and shameful. All that shame and guilt causes stress reactions in our bodies and because we skipped lunch today, our blood sugar is low and we just had another cigarette and feel slight relief before we start feeling more guilt and more shame, and the shaking starts so we might as well smoke again since we are already feeling guilty. At least the cigarette will ease the guilt for the monkey. Sound familiar? This is the irrational emotional storm of the human psyche under the spell of addiction. We can rewrite this paragraph and replace the word cigarette with; alcohol, porn, heroine, anger, shopping, internet etc. It is all the same on the inside, only the outward behavior is different. We have let the monkey take charge and the monkey is on the run from painful emotions. Is there a way to be free from emotions? Is there a way we can just turn off feelings and get on with it? The only way to not experience emotions and feelings known to man is death. Emotions are an integral part of the human body and are as important as blood and bones. Some say feelings are just chemical reactions inside the body. If feelings are only chemical reactions then we only need to inject the right chemicals to cause the “good” feelings and the problem will be solved. In the time we have been on this planet, we have been unable to find that right combination of chemicals. Is the theory sound? We inhale nicotine and the good feelings happen, then it fades away and more pain than before results. The problem has not been solved, in fact the problem got aggravated after we started messing with chemical balance. We have added the chemical nicotine and all we got is numbness and cancer. We added alcohol and all we got is fatty livers and intense hangovers where the “bad” emotions got amplified. We bought the new pair of shoes but the discomfort returned as sure as the new shoe smell disappeared. If feelings and emotions were just chemical reaction then surely we would have been able to solve the issue long ago. It is the entire perspective that is incorrect, we view emotions as problematic when they are not. Emotions are an important and integral part of being human and guide us towards fulfilling our needs. If there was no fear of injury and no discomfort in pain, then how would we know when to remove our hand from the hot stove? There is a way to be free from emotions and that is to accept them and listen to what they are telling us. Having emotions is not a problem, having emotions is to be human.