I spoke with a young woman today, she is married, two kids and a home based business. She is in the process of trying to get healthy by exercising. In front of me and a few others, she confessed to being a smoker. The reactions from the others was in judgment and righting, meaning that they were reacting with shock and explaining to her how bad smoking is for her health.
Think about what your coping method. What is it about your life that you don't like and what do you do to cope? For example, your life could be too stressful, your in a bad marriage or you are coping with a loss that seems too overwhelming. Some cope by drinking, eating, smoking, lashing out, and behavioral addictions like gambling or internet addictions.
We all have our physically and/or psychologically unhealthy coping methods with issues that we feel we cannot change. When someone confesses their coping method, react to them as if it was you confessing yours. Show kindness, compassion and understanding rather than judgment. Just because it is not your drug of choice does not mean that the pain isn't real. People who smoke or drink to much or whatever, know what is wrong with it. Do you think that this young women has never heard before how bad smoking is for her health?
Actively listen to what she has to say, wish her love and kindness and tell her to never give up. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
According to Buddhist tradition there are three poisons of the mind. These are greed, anger and ignorance. Greed can be defined as grasping at unnecessary desires. Anger is aversion to what is sensed and ignorance is delusion of what is. These poisons create suffering in the individual and to others.
When you turn these three poisons of the mind around you create generosity, compassion and wisdom. This practice eliminates the suffering that we create.