“There’s no prerequisites for worthiness. You are born worthy, and I think that’s a message that a lot of women need to hear.” ~~Viola Davis
“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~~Louise Hay
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” ~~Brene Brown
Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.
Alcohol or drug use disorders can easily remove feelings of self-worth or value. Repetitive thoughts and/or feelings of failure, much like when awareness of a substance use disorder is realized, can increase lacerate core feelings of self-worth and value. Trying to overcome these negative thoughts can feel like a never-ending swim against a strong current. Yet with Statement #2 put into practice, a portal for building a strong core is opened.
Learning to identify and name our thoughts and feelings can begin the process. For women in recovery, shame and guilt are two of the most common emotions felt early on in the journey. Shame states there is something wrong with me at my center, while guilt says I’ve done something wrong. Shame holds us down by not allowing ourselves to feel what is underneath, such as loneliness, grief or despair. The commitment to move through our negative feelings reduces the destructive effects.
For some of us, negativity was learned when we were young and we carried it into adulthood. Today we have a conscious choice and have the ability to challenge our thoughts. Moving through negative feelings reduces their impact on our core which makes room for self-worth to increase. No longer hiding behind negativity, we can name what we feel, move through our emotions and embrace our New Lives. After all, we are capable, and competent, caring and compassionate women.
Hi 4C Women,
This has certainly been a week of fighting negative thoughts! This is what I’ve learned so far. Before WFS and therapy, negative thoughts were all about shame and guilt. Now they are about the challenges that come along and how to “reduce” the negative thoughts in problem solving. This is the beauty of understanding that there will always be challenges – major and minor – and learning how to cope with them through seeking positive support, input and encouragement. If I did not have a strong support system, I could see negative thoughts taking over completely. There would be no reduction, just negativity clouding my thoughts and behavior. While negative thoughts do destroy my ability to cope in a healthy way, that air of negativity can hurt relationships as well. I always joked that I probably wasn’t much fun to be around before I started practicing the WFS Statements.
Nancy Cross once wrote not to make our thoughts our prison. For me, that spoke volumes. I am creating my own prison when I stay stuck in negativity. Again, it’s not having the negative thoughts in reaction to circumstances or people, it’s how we respond and especially stay stuck. I tend to start creating my personal gratitude list all the way to the basics and I found that really helps me.
Nancy also wrote about another coping tool and that is keeping an inventory of memories that can immediately make you smile. Occasions where you felt happy, appreciative, cheerful, at peace. Reminiscing those happy moments gives a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.
Each Statement is a guide for change and for me, this one is the one I needed. So grateful for both this Statement and the support of the women I am privileged to know through WFS.
Bonded in reducing negativity,
4C WFS Member