Goodbye Peter Jackson

by Tony Steenson, Coraki, Australia

I started smoking cigarettes when I was twelve, my first year of high school. It started out as something I would do on the weekend at my friend’s house… we thought we were so cool. A year later I was smoking daily. Sure, it was only one or two a day, but it was a regular occurrence before school. By the time I was fifteen I always had cigarettes with me as I was earning money and had the ability to do so. Twenty years ago the laws on tobacco sales weren’t as strict as they are now and there were always a few shops where an underage kid could buy some smokes.

The ciggies stayed with me through my teenage years and my twenties until I was around 30. Gee, they were loyal – they were there in the good times and the bad, just an arm’s length away all the time. I always knew cigarettes were bad for you, but by this time they had quite a grip on me (I was smoking 20-30 daily) and I did want to stop.

It was around this time I had an appointment with Serge Benhayon for the first time, and I remember leaving his place feeling like I wasn’t even breathing, but so alive at the same time. I wanted a smoke but didn’t want to let go of what I was feeling. Two hours later Peter Jackson was in my mouth doing what he does – he always used to get his own way.

Over the next year or so as I tried to give up, I took note of when and why I smoked – because I could stop, but I could just as easily start again. I noticed I smoked when I was bored, lonely, sad, driving, to fill in time; when things were getting too much was when I could really get into them. There were heaps of times when I did smoke but not many when I didn’t, and I was also realising that I wasn’t really happy much of the time. I was using cigarettes to make me feel better, as silly as it may sound. As I started to re-build myself with the support of Universal Medicine and its practitioners, I found that I could feel great without smoking, so the more I made choices in life to support me, the better I felt – and the less I needed to smoke.

I haven’t smoked now for about four years and don’t crave them at all. Infrequently I like the smell but I know that when this happens, I am not feeling as great as I normally do and understand why. It’s great, my health is so much better, I have more money and the most important thing is I look at my problems now – instead of lighting-up, blowing smoke out my mouth and nostrils and pretending I’m a dragon.

133 thoughts on “Goodbye Peter Jackson

  1. It is not enough to stop doing something we have identified as being not good for us, we actually need to treat ourselves more careful and loving to have a foundation on which we have the capacity to let go of the up to this point harming behaviour. That is the reason why so many fail to follow through with their good resolutions because there is nothing to carry them.

    1. I agree Alex. I remember the frustration of making New Year’s resolutions and within days or weeks had reverted back to old habits and ways. More is needed to stop a habit for good and as you say, building a loving inner foundation is what sustains us in the long term.

  2. It is interesting how we can make ourselves ‘feel better’ from a state of obviously not feeling good with means that definitely have no potential to do us anything good at all, but it works anyway as long as we accept taking the edge of some tension we don´t know or want to deal with is the best we know. The moment we have a reference of what it means to really feel good, i.e. not just relatively better than the bad state of being we like to relieve ourselves from, the means of relief are exposed for the harm on top of the bad we are already stuck with. Said simply, we need to know how good we can actually feel before we recognise ‘the previous normal good’ for what it actually is: not enough.

  3. I love how this article points out that smoking is a way to cover up our problems, issues and frustrations in our lives, and that when we begin to look at our lives and the things that need to be looked at smoking no longer is needed. Replace smoking with drinking, drug taking, gaming, excessive exercise etc and we then have the true way of letting go of our harmful behaviors.

  4. I can relate to what you share here Tony for I too smoked heavily and for a long time could not even bear to consider stopping because even though you know that it is bad for your health both in the short and long term you want to avoid that raw emptiness you feel inside when you can’t have a cigarette even more. But what I have since learned after stopping smoking is that that emptiness is an absolute trick – because it is the cigarettes that actually feeds the disconnection to ourselves and thus that emptiness in the first place which catches us in a vicious circle of addiction with a substance that only serves to reinforce our dependence on it.

    1. Wow that is a great realisation – the emptiness if fed by the supposed answer to the emptiness – hence the viciousness of the cycle of addiction.

  5. Although it is our hand that lights the cigarette or reaches for the food, the alcohol, the drug etc. it is moved by a source of energy that we align to and that moves in opposition to the only other source of energy that we can align to, this simply being love. We give far too much focus to giving up the bad habit and not nearly enough to what created it in the first place. What I love about what you share Tony is how simple the process was for you – that by gradually feeling more at ease within yourself there was less of a need to reach for the cigarettes because you filled the emptiness with more of the real you and less of the ‘dragon’ that was masquerading in place of this.

    1. Yes, and with focusing only on giving up the bad habits we are fighting ourselves even more because there is an urge in us that needs/wants this bad habit and this will only cease when we address what lays beneath. It is like not wanting a bandaid anymore though the wound hasn’t healed yet.

  6. I clearly remember my first ever cigarette – I bought it when my housemate didn’t come home for a few days. Practically everyone around me was a smoker at the time and it felt like a natural progress for me so I didn’t question why I made that shift. I hated the smell and the mess of the ashtrays but I became a committed smoker overnight. I find it fascinating that we would undertake something we don’t even like doing, and stick with it, and don’t even question that. Surely, it is not our own doing?

  7. What you share here is so important. We learn to do things with willpower and discipline but if we do not find the underlying cause of our behaviours it requires an enormous amount of energy to resist that what we feel so attracted to. And observing oneself without the pressure of having to stop what we are observing is a great start to find out what is going on.

  8. Great blog to read Toni. So many people are trying to stop smoking, but instead of using discipline not to smoke you show that such discipline is not the way, and we have to look at why we are smoking: in short not feeling content with ourselves and not knowing how to solve that.

  9. What an awesome and powerful blog – thank you Tony for your honesty and realness. There are so many people out there that are trying to quit smoking but can’t seem to do this, and if it’s not smoking it’s something else. Reading what you share here is powerful for anyone who comes across it.

  10. A whole new way of being opens up for us when we begin to be honest with ourselves, about how and why we are living in a way that leaves us feeling less than great. As it is through honesty that we discover the truth, the truth of who we are and great love we are born to live by simply being ourselves, and realising that our greatest enrichment in life comes through living in connection to our essence.

  11. When we are aware of why and when we succumb to a harmful habit we can choose to change the momentum and movements that lead to that point.

  12. I remember when I tried my first cigarette I was 11 or 12 with a friend it felt really naughty and I didn’t like it but a few years later at the age of 14 I was smoking and this carried on until my 30’s and I could feel just how numbing it was especially when I had a cigarette and a cup of tea it was like I didn’t want to feel anything or be aware of myself or my body I was just focusing on the cigarette and tea … insidious really. It was because I had to go to hospital to have an operation that I stopped (not because of smoking) but suddenly this made me realise how precious my health was (even though I carried on drinking). I haven’t smoked for about 11 years or more now but I do feel my relationship with my body can still very much deepen including the connection and relationship with my lungs .. that I can breathe a lot deeper than I currently am.

  13. Gorgeous honest an playful blog. Thank you for sharing it. Really brings home how pointless it is to try to kick a habit by focusing on the act itself, whatever the vice is. Because the actual choice is never to randomly harm ourselves with any activity, but it is to avoid something we don’t want to feel, face or deal with and then the activity is adopted as a specific way to achieve that.

    The best way we can be there for one another is as Serge Benhayon has for so many, offering the loving reflection and support to enable healing those issues, which means as a natural by-product we won’t need those vices any more.

  14. A great sharing and awareness of why you used to smoke and what you thought it was giving you, ‘I noticed I smoked when I was bored, lonely, sad, driving, to fill in time; when things were getting too much was when I could really get into them,’ and how now you feel great without them.

  15. Beautiful to have you share this as its a great support for others who are trying to kick the habit but keep falling back into it.

  16. The process of understanding when and why we choose our addictive behaviors that Tony has shared here can be applied to any addiction. A very valuable teaching.

    1. Yes precisely Leigh – bringing honesty to any aspect to our lives will always bring a greater understanding, awareness and truth as to why we are choosing to be less that the greatness we already naturally are.

  17. Wow Tony this is such a great blog and reminds us what is possible when we begin to bring self-care and self-love into our lives and anything that is harming us naturally begins to fall away.

  18. Thanks Tony, you make giving up real and accessible. I was able to give up smoking, drugs and alcohol straight away after attending a few courses and receiving healing sessions of esoteric practitioners. Most amazing I was able to quit for good after struggling for many years to get away from. Esoteric healing is a gift from heaven that supports you pinpointing the energy of why. Once this is discovered the truth revealed and you can let it go for good.

  19. “I was using cigarettes to make me feel better, as silly as it may sound” – I can so relate to that. I was a smoker on & off (probably more on) for about 20-25 years and I would also say that I used cigarettes to feel better (even though I felt like crap when I smoked them). It filled the loneliness for me, amongst other things.

    I remember working away for 3 months, after stopping smoking and I remember emailing Serge Benhayon and saying I feel so lonely as I was not using the distractions of smoking and my normal daily life of friends, shopping, work, TV etc… and he responded by offering that there was an opportunity to feel more of my being (and less of my doing) and feel the pull towards more – being my Soul. I took that as less about being drawn to the distractions and the pull towards living with my Soul. It was a game changer.

  20. “Infrequently I like the smell but I know that when this happens, I am not feeling as great as I normally do and understand why.” This is a great and practical point Tony I sometimes suddenly like the smell of croissants which I actually don’t like to eat anymore. I never thought of considering why I was even liking the smell or thinking it would be nice to get one. Because yes why do I need something to distract myself from the loveliness I am?

  21. This a great sharing highlighting the enormous power of connecting with self and healing whatever lies as the root cause for choosing to smoke in the first place. A reminder of our amazing abilities to truly let our poor habits go without withdrawals.

  22. For some it is smoking, others alcohol or even just food but the message is clear – we are using something to stop ourselves from feeling deeply the truth about what is really going on. A very powerful message Tony delivered in a light hearted way – Thank you for your honesty.

  23. The first time I think I tried a cigarette I was 11. It tasted disgusting but it didn’t take me long .. about the age of 14 that I started smoking, it was the thing to do and at school or outside of school everything seemed to be around cigarettes … I kidded myself that I liked them. It wasn’t until I was about 30 and needed an operation I had a wake up call about my health and so made an effort to stop and did stop. More and more smoking is becoming less acceptable you can no longer smoke in public places and I think this is awesome. I heard stories in the past where offices would just be a fog of smoke because people would chain smoke at their desks. And it is becoming a lot more expensive also there are eye opening adverts and messages on the pack about what they do to our health. The same should be done with alcohol and drugs, but ultimately I agree with what you are saying in that we do things like this because we don’t want to feel etc, In comes Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine showing us how to truly connect with ourselves and the loveliness that we are … who wouldn’t want to feel this? ✨

  24. Thanks for the insights Tony into why you smoked, and for sharing your pathway out of addiction and into understanding of yourself and self-care. I feel it would be key to identify the why’s and when’s of reaching for a cigarette, so these parts of ourselves can then be addressed in a truly caring and supportive way, not pushed down or given a band-aid by puffing on a cigarette.

  25. Awesome blog……I used to smoke heaps too, they went everywhere with me. One of the things I did….. was I wrote myself a letter, about how I felt, when I was smoking and why I was smoking, why I wanted to stop smoking….being honest with myself. Every night I gave myself a bubble bath. I’ve never looked back….It was an awesome feeling to finally be free of them.

  26. Thank you Tony for a delightful sharing of how you were able to let go of a very addictive substance., and become more self loving. I have had past battles with this addiction also.

  27. Smoking is a very deceptive addiction that I struggled with for years. I now realise that giving it up requires you to not to give up on yourself.

  28. Tony I also smoked and I stopped smoking years ago. What I love is your honesty about why you are smoking and how you have changed it: “I found that I could feel great without smoking, so the more I made choices in life to support me, the better I felt – and the less I needed to smoke.” That is really an insight worth sharing it.

  29. I know that too Tony, that when I started with smoking in my teens I knew it was bad for my health and had the intention that I would only smoke when I was with my friends and that I would have control over the usage of it. This later on proved to be a false statement as I was smoking all days and with or without my friends. But the other thing I always knew was that I could always stop with this habit that has proved to be true as when I was in my mid twenties I decided to stop it completely and I did, without any major addiction symptoms. That proves to me that we know what is good for us and when we make choices in appreciation of this true knowing we are supported in coming back to who we belong to be.

  30. Great blog Tony. I have noticed that I like the smell of cigarettes when I feel sad and unsteady in myself. It got me pondering that we know exactly what substances and situations will medicate us and we do not even need to pick up a cigarette to get a ‘hit’ from it. As a teenager I loved the whole ritual of buying cigarettes – being able to purchase them underage was as much a thrill as smoking the cigarette itself.

  31. This is an entirely different way of looking at “quitting”. The focus is more about you not quitting on yourself.

  32. “I was using cigarettes to make me feel better,” I remember this being an excuse as to why I smoked a cigarette while at the same time knowing it was bad for me. I stopped the moment I took responsibility for my own health because I was nurturing a new life within my body. Very revealing as I could make the choice to quit for another but struggled to do it for myself.

  33. Toni this is a great blog and one that is much needed. It is so honest and very relatable for anyone who has smoked, or used other methods to numb and distract ourselves. Mine is food. What is never talked about in how we stop a behaviour we know that is not good for us, is why we use these behaviours and because we don’t ever talk about this we think they are something to overcome. Even the term ‘giving up’ highlights a reluctance or that it is a loss to stop smoking, which it clearly is not.

  34. “As I started to re-build myself with the support of Universal Medicine and its practitioners, I found that I could feel great without smoking, so the more I made choices in life to support me, the better I felt – and the less I needed to smoke.” Great article Toni. Although I wasn’t a smoker I was a nail-biter and found that when I introduced more self-care and self-love into my life, my nail biting habit fell away – almost miraculously. Getting to the root of a problem is so important – as just treating symptoms doesn’t work. I know many ex-smokers who just replaced their ciggies with food – and put on weight.

  35. Toni I love your blog – this brought a smile to my face – ‘I look at my problems now – instead of lighting-up, blowing smoke out my mouth and nostrils and pretending I’m a dragon.’ I recall the comfort smoking brought to me – it was a familiar companion, it warded off any opportunity I might have to feel myself, and when I gave it up for the sake of my children’s health, I quickly replaced it with other comfort habits. Becoming friends with myself and dealing with the hurts I was trying to ward off with smoke (or food or wine) has left the temptation to smoke well behind.

  36. One of the coolest blogs I’ve read Tony, you rock! You highlight that we do all sorts of things that are harmful not because we’re stupid but because we miss something else. That something else you obviously felt after you had that appointment with Serge Benhayon and I would also say that you had an appointment with yourself.

  37. Love this article Tony, its honest and relatable.
    I tried my first cigarette at 10 and smoked until I was about 23. The day I met Serge Benhayon was the first day that I felt I might be able to stop smoking. When I would walk out of sessions with him I felt great and a cigarette was not involved in that great feeling. I think I would still be caught in the stop and start battle had I not been introduced to Universal Medicine’s approach to quitting cigarettes. The approach is simple, it’s nothing to do with quitting or will power or smoking being bad and everything to do with filling yourself up and knowing yourself and that feeling. The emptiness I used to feel inside was relieved artificially when I filled my lungs up with smoke and that’s why you think you like it. I am now free to realise that love in the lungs is far superior to smoke and am forever appreciative of Serge Benhayon and what he brings to so many.

  38. Beautiful article, it shows so clearly that there are so many ways in which we choose to not look at our problems. While that is what is needed and brings a true solution that lasts, things change when we truly feel them, but not when we choose not to to feel.

  39. It takes courage to be honest about what we do and why. Your choice was smoking but there are so many other things we choose to numb, not feel what is just there to be felt so we can move on to being awesome again. Loved your blog Toni and the humorous end.

  40. What a great blog Tony – such an honest account which I’m sure many can relate to! What I also felt was how in the end, giving up your relationship with Peter Jackson was about a very simple choice to begin to be honest about how you were truly feeling when you wanted a cigarette… This way to me, makes total absolute sense because when we’re prepared to listen to our bodies, our body provides the measure by which we can make the next choice.

  41. Thank Tony, I think we could all substitute cigarettes for whatever it is that we have chosen as a way to comfort ourselves and avoid feeling anything unpleasant that may be there to feel. It’s amazing how creative we humans are actually when it comes to avoiding dealing with the real issues! As you have shown – giving up something doesn’t really work in the long term unless we can build a more solid foundation with ourselves that appreciates and confirms self love.

  42. Thank you Tony, this is a great blog. There are so many people who smoke and want to quit but do not know how to. So you are giving a great inside of how to stop smoking for good. Smoking is not just a bad habit it is used to ‘medicate’. We use it to medicate our not coping with the world, feeling lonely, missing ourself and others, wanting a break and so on.

  43. Ha!! Thanks Tony, good for you! Being a pretend dragon is totally overated anyway, I think you make an exceptional real life Human instead!

  44. Great post Tony…I enjoy your honesty and humour in your writings.
    I had one puff of a cigarette and disliked it, however I was around smoking till I left home at 18 as both parents were smokers. Looking back I can feel the constant struggle that was going on within them – knowing it wasn’t good for their health but the need constantly overriding this. One parent stopped abruptly at 60 when advised by a doctor and lived another 20 years; the other was attempting to give up before they died – according to dates on the packet, the longest period without smoking was 3 days. What had started out as a social thing had become such a strong need that even the body’s deteriorating health couldnt stop it. As you have so eloquently shared Tony, addressing the ‘need’ – the details of the why and the when – allows for, and supports, true change.

  45. Getting to know and feeling into why we choose to take substances that are harmful to our body takes a fair amount of honesty and humbleness, and as an ex-smoker myself, I know how hard it is to come to that. Very well done, Tony, and hurrah for Universal Medicine and its practitioners for supporting us to make the impossible possible.

  46. I have never smoked, but instead used food “when I was bored, lonely, sad, driving, to fill in time” etc. As you share, it is not just about giving up, but looking at and dealing with what we are trying to numb, to avoid feeling.

  47. I was a smoker and started young, thirteen. I also new it was bad for me, my Mum was my role model and a nicotine addict and I sort of learnt the addiction as I learnt to smoke.
    I had asthma as well and the smoking both caused the disease but also relieved the symptoms. I got to the age of 50 still smoking two packs of Marlborough a day but my lungs were shot and really affected my ability to ingest nicotine. I new I had to give up but it wasn’t so easy.
    I worked at it for nine years, I got to the stage where I thought that it was probably better to smoke more to end the misery sooner that to give up and suffer the nicotine addiction. It’s a horrific insidious slow way of committing suicide.
    Finally my children told me that my grandchildren needed me to teach them how to sail and it was that feeling needed that gave me the strength to quit and I quit for good with still 33% of my lungs functioning. I started going to Universal Medicine five years ago and with their inspiration I am amazed at the quality of life I can live with only 33% of my lungs.

  48. and Tony, I’m so glad you broke up with Peter Jackson – he wasn’t there to truly support you to be the man you are today!

  49. Ha ha, love this blog Tony especially pretending to be dragon blowing smoke out your nostrils and mouth. I prefer you as Tony. : )

  50. Funny how we literally look to something that fills us up when we are empty or lacking something.. but nothing can ever fill us up more than our love and natural fullness can. This is the best ‘cure’ for curbing the addiction.

  51. Hello Tony. I can completely relate with your relationship with cigarettes. I started smoking at aged 14 and did so until my mid-forties. Now after about 20 years of not smoking I still, “Infrequently (I) like the smell but I know that when this happens, I am not feeling as great as I normally do and understand why”. If this does happen it is a fabulous marker of letting me know that there is something I need to look at.

  52. Thank you Tony for sharing how supportive the Universal Medicine modalities and practitioners were for you when you stopped smoking, as this process is sometimes not as simple as everyone who has never smoked believes it is. Peter Jackson was also a very unloving friend of mine in the past, as was the illusion of the ‘Longbeach’ and the smoke screen surrounding the ‘Winnie blues’…. these are merely all brands of the same weapon of mass destruction so I totally understand your struggle to stop. Well done you.

  53. ‘Pretending I’m a dragon ‘ hahaha nice one Tony. That’s the way to stop bad habits… Find out the reason behind the bad habits.

  54. Amazing Blog Tony, It’s awesome to hear from your perspective!! I haven’t been a smoker and have never tried smoking but I love that you share so openly and honestly so I can get to really understand what was going on for you and why you were smoking. I also realise it’s possible to stop (even when you think someone really can’t) and that comes down to your life style choices.

  55. Thank you for your honesty and humour Tony. it’s awesome how the need to fill ourselves up with something outside of ourselves disappears when we choose to look at what that emptiness is about and make changes that support us to be more self-loving.

  56. Although I know what you are saying, the fact that cigarettes, which we know are bad for us, make us feel good continues being odd to me. Quitting cigarette smoking is one of the most beautiful gifts one can offer to oneself. It is not only liberating (you get out of the needing prison) but also something the body thanks from the word go.

  57. Thank you Tony for your blog , I can relate to your smoking habit, having smoked for many years in my younger days, isn”t it amazing that in my day it was the thing to do, like you say, to be cool ,people were lighting up everywhere, an accepted part of life then. It is great to see that smoking has lost it’s grip in the western world to an extent, but now the manufactures have taken on the poorer countries as their mark.

  58. Awesome insights you share here Tony, never being a smoker I could never quite understand the allure. It’s interesting how we use substances to distract ourselves from feeling – whether it be cigarettes, alcohol, or food. Glad you’ve let go of the dragon and claimed the awesomeness of you!

  59. Great article Tony. For me it highlighted the ease with which smoking can take control of ones life. Lovely to read how you were able to identify why you smoked, and then how you gradually gave up by reconnecting to your inner most.

  60. Once you realise and admit why you consume these harmful substances (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, sugar, etc.), true healing starts. Then there is no going back. Thank you Tony for writing this honestly.

  61. I used to turn to cigarettes when the going got really tough. I wasn’t a full time smoker but if I was dealing with a relationship break up or some other major hurt, cigarettes would become my best friend. I always knew it was a very abusive relationship.

    Thank you for sharing your experience here Tony. You have reminded me to appreciate how wonderful it is that I am also free of this awful addiction thanks to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

  62. Love your blog, so much fun to read. I too smoked for many years, but not on a daily level as often I would feel dizzy and sick when I smoked, it literally took my energy away. But not together with alcohol, this is when I really smoked, for me alcohol and cigarettes went together, I needed them like oxygen. When I look at it from my today’s understanding its so absurd how I thought I loved smoking and drinking and how much emptiness was created and that I called it fun…. When I stopped drinking I stopped automatically smoking and I realized how abusive I had been with me and my body.

  63. Dear Tony if the cigarette industry would read your blog they would do everything to eliminate it!!! Thank you so much for showing the world that there is an other way of not filling yourself up with any addiction at all.

  64. Thanks for such an awesome article Tony – I too can relate. I went from 50 a day to nothing without even trying. My smoking just naturally reduced over time whilst I was attending Universal Medicine courses and sessions. The more I started to know myself and make loving choices over time, the need to fill myself with smoke just dissipated. I can only assume that I was able to heal whatever reasons I smoked in the first place all with just a little bit of self-love. One day I remember I walked out of a session and felt so amazing I just never felt to smoke again. It was truly fascinating.

  65. Great blog Tony, I had to giggle at the dragon bit at the end.
    Thank you for proving that anyone can kick the smokes and become full in who they are, without need for a false filler.

  66. What a great testament to self responsibility and indeed self love. We all have our vices some more obvious, socially acceptable or seemingly less harming than another but they all distract us from feeling what we need to deal with. Breaking up Peter Jackson is great but lovingly take responsibility for your self is AWESOME! thank you.

    1. So true Gemma, we all have vices of self loathing of various manifestations. It is also true that they can all be healed with understanding, self-love and responsibility

  67. Thanks for sharing Tony. If we take responsibility for our choices and allow what is there to be felt we can all give up the peter jackson in our lives.

  68. Great blog Tony. My best friend was Benson and Hedges! You have described so well how cigarettes insinuate themselves into one’s life until they are ever present and there seems to be so little time that they are not around. I too found that it was only as I began to rebuild myself as you say, that I could eventually let go of them all together and never feel the urge to have one again.

  69. The more I read about it, the clearer the feeling gets: We connect to the wrong source. We connect to a little part of us that dictates its needs, instead of connecting to the whole of us and feeling complete. Thanks to Serge Benhayon for offering us so many tools to connect to our Soul.

  70. I pretended to be a dragon for quite a few years too. Now I think back to all that money and time literally up in smoke. Wow! It’s bizarre because back then if you asked me if I enjoyed smoking, I would swear that I did. But does anybody in their right mind truly enjoy inhaling carbon monoxide and traces of arsenic into their lungs in the form of burning leaf smoke? The mind boggles but I now realise how humans can easily make themselves believe something that is not true and make it true in their minds because it satisfies a need to not look at something else. That’s exactly what I did. Although I stopped smoking years ago, the same effect of numbing myself is achieved with food which is what I’m working with at the moment.

  71. A great article Tony, thank you for sharing. I totally agreed when I read: ‘Gee, they were loyal – they were there in the good times and the bad, just an arms length away all the time’. I was a smoker for 30plus years and I would describe cigarettes as being ‘my best friend’!! I love that when you feel the tug to smoke you recognise and understand why.

  72. Great blog Tony. I smoked a lot over the years and always told people it was easy to quit…because I had done loads of times and then started again. It was a crutch for me, a familiar companion. When I did quit for good I just filled my emptiness with food. The issues were still there and unresolved. I had gone to Heart Chakra one, a workshop being presented by some guy a friend told me was someone I should go and see. The guy was Serge Benhayon and has inspired me to address the choices I had made.

  73. Great blog Tony. I used to smoke so I can relate 100% to what you’ve written. I found to make it last I too had to look at why I smoked in the first place and heal those issues.

  74. Like others have said here, you could replace the cigarettes with whatever your vice is/was. Mine was work… this was my numbing & distracting vice & such an accepted one in society! Its a great way to avoid as there are always things to do. But my life is so much more lovely with balance and more self-care… and the issues that I try and runaway from through keeping myself busy always end up coming back to bite me on the bum… so I figure its so much better to deal with them as they come up.
    Good on you Tony for being honest with yourself & dealing with the emotional issues that were driving your cigarette habit. Many smokers would benefit from reading your story.

  75. This is great fun, Tony, thank you! My man was Alfred Dunhill, but it was a similar story. Every now and again a cigarette will smell good to me and I, like you, take that as an invitation to go deeper, to feel what is really going on with me. Usually, I will find a sadness, or an emptiness, that I am looking to numb or fill from the outside. Now, I know I can fill myself by breathing my own breath- much cheaper, clearer and lovelier! Love, Anne.

  76. Awesome, Tony. I really appreciate the simplicity with which you share how you were/are willing to be aware – aware of when you felt like smoking, and aware of how you were/are feeling in yourself. It’s awesome that such personal responsibility – in choosing to feel, and be aware – can lead to us actually not having to ‘abstain’ from such a habit, but actually take us to the point where we could no longer inhale/consume that thing in our bodies. Here’s to the love you know now, that simply could not have it any other way – than to be the shining man you are (rather than the smouldering dragon!).

    1. Love the image of Tony shining bright in his amazingness rather than being a smouldering dragon!

  77. This is brilliant. So honest, real and how many of us feel. If it is not with cigarettes then we have something else that we do that fills the boredom, loneliness, sadness, guilt, time, space etc etc. Thank you for reflecting to us the power of change by taking responsibility for the choices you were making.

  78. Hi Tony,
    I feel touched by your comment, a bit insecure even. It reflects the times that I still (miss)use whatever to not want to feel my issues. And the pride that I don’t want to own up to this in the first place. So thank you, writing this is a healing in itself: 🙂
    love, Floris.

  79. Thanks so much Tony – I bet so many of us can relate to how you used something like smoking to fill you up when you werent feeling your lovely self… I used socialising, alcohol AND exercise to counter the alcohol!!!! This is simply inspiring and refreshing.. its wonderful your dragon days are over!!!!

  80. I am just like Angela… it wasn’t cigarettes for me but it was exactly the same story with coffee. I was “in love” with it, and it was always there for me! When I started to feel what it was actually doing to me, the “love” didn’t feel quite so good. It was very natural to let it go in a slow steady process. Now, when I am tired or out of sorts, I look at why, and don’t instantly reach for the cappuccino.

  81. Tony, what a lovely and honest post (and humorous too!) – thank you for sharing! I can’t relate personally to the cigarette experience as I have only ever had a couple of puffs in my early 20’s to see what it was like (and didn’t really like it), – although I did have a father who was a heavy smoker for many many years during my childhood and teenage years. However I could just as easily have substituted food or coffee for cigarettes into the above story and I could be writing the same post! When I began with Universal Medicine, I also began to explore my relationship with these addictions and to look at how and why I was using them. What a difference it has made for me to develop a different relationship with my body, and where I do not need food or coffee to escape from my life and / or from feeling my hurts. And the amazing thing is, – as much as I loved my coffee previously (to the extent we had a commercial coffee machine at home for 15 years or so), and as much as I had tried previously to give it up (or at least cut down – which never lasted for very long…!) I didn’t find it difficult to give up, and don’t miss it at all!

  82. Meeting Serge Benhayon and what he presents is definitely a life changing experience for many people. I can so understand how you ‘found that I could feel great without smoking, so the more I made choices in life to support me, the better I felt – and the less I needed to smoke.’ How wonderful to have support from Universal Medicine practitioners and to understand why you were choosing to smoke in the first place.
    I have never had a puff of a cigarette, but have seen the battle that my husband’s best friend had trying to free himself from its siren’s lure. I met him when he was in his mid-twenties with a 20-30 a day habit. He tried to stop smoking at various times in his life and especially when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. These periods of not smoking extended for quite a few years at times, yet he always was lured back to it. He passed away a couple of years ago with lung cancer that had spread throughout his body and with ‘Peter Jackson’ still his ‘friend’. Because of this, I am especially joyous to know you have chosen to look at your problems, Tony, and stop ‘pretending you are a dragon’.

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