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“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~~Maya Angelou
“Life goes on….whether you choose to move and take a chance in the unknown. Or stay behind, locked in the past, thinking of what could’ve been.” ~~Stephanie Smith
“I’m beginning to suspect that the second half of life is about learning to let go of everything I feverishly collected over the first half that wasn’t loving or human.” ~~Michael Xavier
#9 The past is gone forever.
No longer am I victimized by the past.
I am a new woman.
Statement #9 is a favorite for many women, myself and Dee included. Leaving the past in the past yet learning from it is an essential tool in sobriety and recovery. There is a freedom in letting go of what was to embrace what is. Clarity, ease, and contentment can be just some of the results of practicing this empowering Statement.
Letting go begins with awareness of holding on, and this is why Statement #9 touched me so deeply when reading those words for the first time. I was simply unaware of the tight grip towards the past. Longing for different outcomes, stuck in regret and the lack of forgiveness towards myself created an ideal situation for escapism. Statement #9 in action changes that.
Years ago, sitting in a WFS face to face meeting, I shared the overwhelming sadness felt regarding the relationship with my adult daughter. One woman shared one simple thought; no matter what the past held, she was my daughter and nothing would change that. It was so simple, yet this moment still feels electric years later—in a flash I grasped this fact while dropping the heavy, emotional baggage I had clung to for so long. Immediately, relief, joy and hope settled in while feelings of shame and regret vanished. I felt like a new woman and was able to move forward for the first time. It was incredibly freeing and empowering. Statement #9 continues to be a life changer today.
How has Statement #9 affected change in your life?
Hi 4C Women,
I absolutely love what Karen shared. It is amazing how little insight I had about my living in, and clinging to, the past. I treated myself as though I didn’t deserve to move forward, to experience joy and create a New Life in recovery. It wasn’t easy to let go because I was use to living in pain. It amazes me how comfortable (or so I thought) it was to be a victim of my guilt, shame and how that played into my blame game. When I started releasing the painful memories and took responsibility for my life, I actually felt alive and joyful. Who would have thought that was remotely possible? Certainly not me. I was going through photos recently and saw my life flash before me with all its ups and downs and rather than feeling sad about it, I remembered Statement #9. I chose to give myself credit for all the hard work in learning to heal and focus on the fond memories of the past rather than the regrets or mistakes. Perhaps that was the biggest lesson Statement #9 taught me – not seeing everything as all or nothing. Another big lesson is accepting my role in my past which really helped in changing my reactions, responses which had become as automatic as turning to alcohol to ease my pain. As Dr. Phil says, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. That was a powerful turn around for me. Without acknowledging my role, I would have missed out on making those inside changes which is the core of WFS – positive changes. I would have remained stuck in the blame game and remained a victim instead of a victor over my own life. And while I may think of my regrets or mistakes, I don’t live in them as I use to do. They are visits, reflections and chock full of invaluable lessons. Most of all, I no longer give my power away to what can’t be changed or who may have harmed me. Letting go of the past taught me that while I won’t deny the hurt or harm caused by any individual, I do not have to continually punish myself by keeping it in the present.
Bonded in releasing, healing and moving forward from the past, Dee