“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care anymore. It’s realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” ~~Deborah Reber
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ~~Steve Maraboli
“One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.” ~~Brigitte Nicole
#9 The past is gone forever.
No longer am I victimized by the past. I am a new woman.
Practicing Statement #9 continues to assist and teach in numerous ways, especially making it easier to understand how tightly I am holding on to something. Before sobriety and my New Life, I was unaware of attachments such as from long standing belief systems, or relationships to past events. Learning how holding on to the past drove my present and future behavior enables learning and growth.
Understanding how attachments influenced my life allowed me to begin to change them and was an effective way to practice this empowering Statement. For the first time in my life I was learning the tools to release shame, negativity and guilt. It brought about an excitement to life that had been missing, like a veil had been lifted.
In our WFS Program booklet it states “The past is a fact. The present and the future are open to possibility. They are why it is important to take charge of our thoughts so we can take charge of our lives and our actions.” This can be the start of practicing this life-changing Statement. Begin with letting go.
Statement #9 Tools by Sara Lindberg. If you have a tool you would like to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Create a positive mantra to counter painful thoughts. How you talk to yourself can either move you forward or keep you stuck. Often, a mantra can help reframe thoughts.
2. Allow negative emotions to flow. Instead of shutting down emotions, which can keep you stuck, learn to feel and release uncomfortable emotions.
3. Accept the other person may not apologize. Waiting for an apology from the person who hurt can slow the process down of letting go. If you are experiencing pain, take care of your own healing, which may mean accepting an apology may not come.
4. Surround yourself with people who fill you up. We do not go through life alone, so why expect yourself to go through difficulties alone? Allow ourselves to lean on others is a wonderful way to keep isolation at bay. (Think about going to a WFS Face to Face Meeting or WFS Online Chat Meeting. If there is not a F2F in your local area, you can start one!)
Hi 4C Women,
This Statement has always been a favorite for me from the first time I read the 13 Statements. It took a while to let go of the guilt and shame from my past. What helped the most was understanding the victimization part I was keeping close to my heart. While others may have forgotten and forgiven my past, I kept it alive to needlessly feed my guilt and shame. After all, I didn’t deserve self-forgiveness or any kind of forgiveness. Holding onto my mistakes, regrets and bad choices, I guaranteed a life of continuous pain long after others may have forgiven or even forgotten me. This is why I also love the 4Cs. The more I said it, the more it became my mantra rather than the negative self-talk I fed myself every day. It never occurred to me to reflect on the positive parts of my life because that would give me permission to actually remember that there were loving moments. It might even take away my feeling like a victim all of the time to being empowered and believing I was lovable. How selfish – NOT! WFS to me is the whole package of creating lasting, positive, inner life changes. Each Statement brings about inner change and for me, it started with Statement 9 – to let go of how I viewed my past as one picture of guilt and shame and instead learn from it and create the positive self-talk and self-love to move me forward. I can visit the past now, both positive and negative, but do not have to stay there. Well, I tend nowadays to linger a little bit longer in the positive memories of the past. They are more healing and I need and appreciate that. There’s another thing I learned which helped me tremendously. While there was a lot of rejection from pivotal people in my life, I realized that they were coming with their own relationship histories and sadly, especially as a child, I had no insight, power or life experience to understand that. As a young adult/mature adult, I do take responsibility for any behavior/actions I took yet I will not give away my power to those who harmed or hurt me. That’s what I am letting go of. What are you ready and willing to let go of to be free?
Bonded in letting go of what does not heal or serve us in our New Life, Dee