Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: DREAM (01/02/20)
TITLE: CONTROL OR CONTROLLED
By Ramona Cook
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I select the nightmare, which we may call a bad dream, but it was an experience for me, an experience of psyche and spirit while I slept.
I know well what an addiction is; I’ve had only one in my lifetime. Others may think it trivial and slight of importance, but addictions, of whatever substance, are alike in their root nature. Addictions do not want to go, and we find it hard to throw our crutch away.
After a divorce I was lonely, my life goal had fractured, I had no present vision, so I took up smoking cigarettes to give me something I could do, rather than think too much or feel guilty for doing nothing. A silly substitute, an ill chosen salve, but it was to turn into a thing I could not let go.
I am a medical professional. I often worked with people who had COPD, Lung Cancer, and Emphysema. I was aware that these diseases are not pleasant to the afflicted. But we humans have a system of denial that assures us that we will not become one of the afflicted.
One morning as I awakened I heard a sentence spoken that I considered to be the Holy Spirit. I did think the sentence structure was interesting for the Holy Spirit to formulate. “Now, you’ve gone and gotten a lung disease that I am going to have to heal!”
I began to be serious about quitting the cigarettes. I determined to quit, but I couldn’t.
My experience is months long of trying and failing, of accusations in my mind about “What a fine Christian you are, smoking again.”
I would confess that yes, I had failed again.
One day I was under great stress and upon getting into my car I picked up a cigarette, by force of habit, and I heard the accusation. I felt so defeated...but suddenly I knew, this was not the Holy Spirit accusing me, it was the Devil. I addressed him with, “You shut up! My smoking is between God and me and you have nothing to do with it.”
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Engraved upon my mind is this fact: The Holy Spirit never accuses us. He will convict us, creating the awareness that we need to change. He will encourage us to change, but He will never accuse us. But likewise, God will not make us do right. It is our choice and He will assist us.
I devised methods for increasing my resolve and this one was the most effective for me: I placed a pretty rose colored small tray on my eating table. On the side of it was the word “Arsenic.”
My avowed thought was that just as I would never put arsenic into my body, so with like resolve would I not put tobacco tar into my lungs.
Breaking addictions and establishment of good habits are both a matter of choice and application.
I quit smoking.
Later came the nightmares. They were to me as real as life.
I had a cigarette in my hand and I was smoking. I was horrified! How did this happen? Then, I awakened. It was a dream. I was so relieved and thankful.
This dream repeated several times over a period of months. Each time I was so happy to awaken to find it was not real. One night, as the nightmare was in progress, I comforted myself in my dream, that I was only dreaming and would awaken to learn that all is well. I dreamed I awoke and NO, it was real! But then, I really awakened and it wasn’t real.
That was the end of my nightmare and smoking addiction. All that happened 45 years ago.
Any addiction can be broken by looking for help to the Lord, and exercising strict discipline on our fleshly appetites. Our body and psyche say, “ I am dying and you must give me what I need to live,”
It feels like us, that we are going to die. Don’t be fooled. It’s ONLY the habit, the addiction that is dying, and we must both permit it and assist it. I learned to say, “Yes, I agree with you, you are dying, but I will live”.
The bottom line is we either get free of the addiction, and be a free person, OR the addiction controls us, and our lives, and those we love that are close around us.
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