“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~~Alice Walker
“Incredible changes happen in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power of instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ~~Steve Maraboli
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.
Statement #13 offers continuing empowerment throughout New Life. It is a natural extension of forward movement and aides in feelings of balance, contentment and strength. Jean understood exactly how important progress is and developed the WFS New Life Program for life-long sobriety and recovery.
For some women, self-blame can feel overwhelming. Releasing this destructive habit takes effort, and Statement #13 in action encourages empowerment. Here are some effective ways to lessen self-blame by Maria Moraca:
- Re-frame how you question yourself. We all have patterns or tendencies, in how we communicate. In a tough situation, there is probably an automatic question or two that you usually ask yourself. When it pops up, write it down. It might be, “What did I do wrong?” or, “Why do I always eff up?” Ask yourself if you would ask someone you care about the same exact question. Chances are, the answer is no. Let that sink in.
- Change the question. How would you ask the question if it was directed at someone else? Pretend you are playing the role of trusted friend to someone you respect, love, and whom you hold in the highest regard. Would you have more compassion for their experience? Would you want to be supportive? Would you desire to assist them by being able to offer a more detached view? (Spoiler: Yes!) The new question you ask will depend on the situation. One that fits almost any experience is, simply, “What can I take from this?” I also like, “What do I want to learn from this?” which can remind us to consider in a more empowering direction. Also, “How do I want this to be different in the future?” can help us to formulate a plan to make that future happen.
- Now ask yourself that question. How does your altered question feel? Does it cause you to clench up, or do you begin hearing a litany of crappy internal dialogue? If so, change the question again. Keep changing it until you come up with a version that you’re comfortable hearing, that assists you in actually coming up with an introspective response.
- Remember, there is not one “right” way; there are just ways of being. I think many of us believe there is only one right way or one correct path. With this belief, there are many chances to consider that we are wrong or that we’ve failed. This is simply not the case!
There are many ways to do most tasks, just as there are many ways to live our lives. Having a difficult experience doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong; it means we are on a tougher road to learning, for the moment.
Opportunities are infinite; our options are boundless, and we always have the power to change our perspective on any life event, large or small.
We have just as much energy for self-compassion and exploration as we do for self-punishment. It’s up to us to direct it.
How do you shift the energy when you realize you’re beating yourself up?
Hi 4C Women,
I love the part of this message when Karen says there are many ways to live our lives. Having a difficult experience doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong; it means we are on a tougher road to learning, for the moment.
It is amazing how many of those challenging experiences present themselves throughout our lives. What I have learned from these WFS Statements is that even when I make a mistake, it is my choice to reflect and learn how I will handle it if it happens again and to forgive myself. Beating myself up for a mistake achieves nothing but pain. Learning from it is empowering. This is what I cherish about WFS meetings. We share our experiences and teach each other. This is how we learn that we are in charge of our lives. We make choices, gain insight and pick ourselves up and move forward. We take responsibility and learn to trust our decision-making. That’s empowerment!
Bonded in taking responsibility for meeting the challenges of life and becoming empowered,
your 4C sister