Hilda: “I have a problem and that is smoking. The habit of smoking is taking much thought and energy away from me. I know that I use it to hide from God and the truth about myself. I want to be free and at the same time I’m so afraid to be free and let my habit go. I feel the same way about God. I want to hear and experience Him but at the same time I feel like He isn’t real and I’m making all this up. I’m not depressed and I have a good life. The only thing irritating me is myself and my lack of faith and stability in God. I want to really experience the peace and love of God, so I will truly know that He is real.”
The Voice for Love: “I speak to you as the Voice of the Holy Spirit and I can tell you that you are loved unconditionally and infinitely. You too need to have that kind of love for yourself before you can accept the love that God has for you, which is unconditional and infinite beyond what you can fathom. Let go of your negative judgments about yourself and your smoking. While you may be right, that you smoke in an effort to hide from God, you need not judge yourself negatively for doing so. Rather, just let what is, be.
“The more negative thoughts you allow to enter your mind surrounding your smoking, the harder it will be to end your habit because you are entering resistance into the dynamic that need not be there. If you were to accept yourself as someone who smokes, devoid of any negative thoughts or guilt involved, it would be much easier for you to begin to love and accept yourself as you are at this point in your life.
“See what happens as you extend loving thoughts and loving feelings to any thought surrounding your smoking. Extending love in this manner is a way to fully accept yourself as you are today, with what you perceive as your ‘vices,’ knowing that God loves you no matter whether or not you smoke. When you can learn to love and accept yourself just as you are, then you will better be able to accept God’s love for you, which will help to sustain you and give you the motivation to quit smoking.
“Now nicotine is an addictive substance, so that even once you have the motivation to quit, it is going to be difficult. But strengthening your holy relationship with God as your primary Source will help you fill that void you seem to have within, to the point that you no longer feel the need to fill it with any substance of any kind, and smoking will eventually taste terrible to you. You can do this by praying and meditating on a daily basis, extending love to all your thoughts and emotions, and extending gratitude for the things that you are grateful for.
“Behaviorally, self-monitoring can lead to behavioral change, so you might consider writing down how many cigarettes you smoke, immediately as you light one up. Make one mark in a notebook that you carry around with you so that you can count, in black and white, exactly how many cigarettes you smoke per day. Keep this journal of your smoking for at least two weeks. This way there is no chance for denial of any kind, if you are being honest with yourself, in terms of counting how many cigarettes you are smoking on a daily basis. This can help you be more motivated to cut down, even if by three to five cigarettes per day. Keep the journal for even longer if it helps you.
“Finally, you must forgive yourself for smoking, as God already has. But you must forgive yourself as well, which will help you love and accept yourself exactly where you are at this moment in time. When you can do that, it will be much easier to discern more clearly what you believe in and what you do not believe in.
“Extending love and blessings to you, My Dear Beloved.”