Once, in an anti-smoking ad, producers sent kids to the streets on a smoke break.
They smoked faked cigarettes around adults that were on a smoke break as well. Nearly every single adult was bewildered by what they were seeing, and told them to stop. When the kids asked why they should stop, the adults said, “Because it’s bad for you.” And the kids responded, “Then why do you do it?”
Now that is a good ad. It gets the message across clearly and very effectively, but more importantly, it illustrates a very familiar human concept:
That many things are easier said than done.
Not swearing in fits of rage, not eating food we know is bad for us but tastes so, so good, and lastly, walking away from something we know is bad for us.
One thing I’ve been hearing about since my entrance into womanhood, and a thing that I have certainly experienced for myself at one time or another, is how hard it can be to move on from someone that does us no good whatsoever.
The tough part of this whole thing is that once someone enters into your life, it is next to impossible to imagine a life without them. Not everyone can be so easily dismissed.
What if the smoker never picked up the first cigarette?
A lot of people think that moving on is the part where you’re just over someone. You’re over their ways, your over their words, and you’re just so fed up. But that, simply, is just being over someone.
Moving on is different because you get to a place where you genuinely wish the best for this person. It might even mean smiling at them finding love with someone other than you. But most of all, it’s being at peace. Peace with the past, peace with the present, and peace within yourself.
How does one find peace?
The best, and sometimes the only way to find peace, is to give it time. It is the most dramatic and cliché saying and suggestion, but that’s because it is deeply rooted in truth.
In many ways, a broken heart is like a wound. Sometimes it’s so deep and so internal you don’t even know it’s there. But after a while, the pain becomes unbearable, and you finally realize it. It then turns into a scar or a cut, and while it can be so present for the first little while, time passes and it slowly starts to fade away...
And even after it’s almost fully gone, you’ll see the little mark, the little difference between who you were then and who you are now.
Don’t be afraid to be changed by your experiences. Don’t apologize for being more careful. And don’t apologize for the steps you took to grow. You are the result of your life experiences.
But being bitter about the past is perhaps one of the most toxic ways to be. It disables us from truly basking in the greatness that is our present, even if it doesn’t feel so great at times, or ever. Because greatness doesn’t come from what we have. It doesn’t come from our luxuries or our ability to fulfill our materialistic desires.
Instead, greatness comes from being at peace. It comes from knowing that even if you were stripped of all that you had, you would still be at peace because of the greatness that lives within you.
So, if the greatness lies within us, why are we so caught up with people who only seem to take it away?
We have not realized our greatness yet.
And to you, I say that you are worth the discovery of your greatness. And you’re certainly worth the discovery of your peace. You do not need to exhaust yourself with the process of trying to extract blood from a stone or assign meaning to things you know will mean nothing in the end.
You’re better than empty words and broken promises and repeated mistakes.
The good news is that you can still love a person and get over them, and you can still love someone and move on. But hate fits nowhere. Because all hate means is that a part of you is angry at the person, the situation, or yourself. And frankly, all three things go hand in hand.
Fill yourself with love. Look for love and light in everything that you do and everyone that you meet. Smile when you want to frown and be thankful when you feel there is nothing left.
I know it sounds like the most abstract and indirect route to getting to the place you know you need to arrive at, but there really is no final destination. Just a journey. And you ought to keep an eye out for the beautiful things you’ll see along the way.
So what if the smoker never picked up the first cigarette?
They would not have learned the beautiful lesson in finding the strength within themselves to conquer something they once felt they couldn’t.