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New WFS Meeting – Los Alamitos, CA (Wednesday)

WFS is proud to announce the start of a new face-to-face meeting!

Los Alamitos, CA

Wednesdays at 6:30 PM

Please email 1124@womenforsobriety.org with questions and to obtain the exact location of the meeting.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to the volunteer Certified Moderator who has made the commitment to bring the New Life Program to her local community!

If you are feeling inspired to bring WFS to your local community, please review the requirements for becoming a Certified Moderator and contact the Face-to-Face Management Team for assistance.

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New WFS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group

Our new diversity, equity, and inclusion group starts August 2nd! In order to offer a variety of times so that as many women as possible can attend, the schedule will be:

  • 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, Noon – 1:00 pm US/Eastern
  • 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month, 3:00 – 4:00 pm US/Eastern

At our first meeting, we will review the results from the initial survey, pick out a name for the group (top contenders include “WEcovery” and “It’s a New D.E.I.”), collaborate on creating a group agreement and framework, and determine next steps. The group will have two major goals:

  • Provide a forum for us to gain support and insight as we deconstruct our personal biases, and
  • Create a space where we can reflect on how we can make WFS as an organization more inclusive, welcoming, and celebratory of all women in recovery.

This is an open group available to all WFS participants on a drop-in basis. The group will be facilitated by VKI and Adrienne.

 

First Meeting:

Sunday, August 2nd

Noon-1:00 pm US/Eastern

WFS Online Zoom Room

 

We hope to see you there!

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Monday Thoughts 7/27/2020

“I love who I am, and I encourage other people to love and embrace who they are. But it definitely wasn’t easy – it took me a while.”  ~~Serena Williams

“My feeling is that labels are for canned food……I am what I am and I know what I am.”  ~~Michael Stipe

“I’ve realized that I am who I am and that is it.  Like it or lump it.  I’m not around to please anyone anymore, and it’s a huge relief.”  ~~Kristin Scott Thomas
_______________________________________________________________

#5 I am what I think.

I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
_______________________________________________________________

Sobriety and recovery help me to learn who I am.  Before my New Life, I could describe things about myself but I lacked the understanding and knowledge of who I am at my core. Alcohol removed the ability to comprehend myself, however, Statement #5 in action continues to educate me about me. It is a continual process of discovery and it begins with thoughts.

Yet why is it important to know oneself?  According to Meg Selig, author of the article in Psychology Today, “Know Yourself? 6 Specific Ways to Know Who You are,” there are a number of reasons why you might what to know yourself and how to know yourself:

·  Happiness: You will be happier when you can express who you are.  Expressing your desires will make it more likely that you get what you want.

· Less inner conflict: When your outside actions are in accordance with you inside feelings and values, you will experience less inner conflict.

·  Better decision-making: When you know yourself, you are able to make better choices about everything from small decisions like which sweater you’ll buy to big decisions like which partner you’ll spend your life with.  You’ll have guidelines you can apply to solve life’s varied problems.

· Resistance to social pressure: When you are grounded in your values and preferences, you are less likely to say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no.’

· Tolerance and understanding of others: Your awareness of your own foibles and struggles can help you empathize with others.

· Vitality and pleasure:  Being who you truly are helps you feel more alive and makes your experience of life richer, larger, and more exciting.

Now that you are convinced that self-knowledge is worth having, we’ll move on to those ‘VITAL Signs’ of self-knowledge.

The Building Blocks of Self: Your VITALS

The capital letters in VITAL signs form an acronym for the six building blocks of the self, or VITALS for short.  The letters stand for Values, Interests, Temperament, Around-the-clock, Life Mission and goals, and Strengths/Skills.

V=Values: such as helping others, being creative, health, financial security and so on are guides to decision making and motivators for goals.  Research shows that just thinking or writing about your values can make it more likely that you take healthy actions.

I=Interests: Interests include your passions, hobbies, and anything that draws your attention over a sustained period of time.  To figure out your interests, ask yourself these questions: What do you pay attention to?  What are you curious about?  What concerns you?  The focused mental state of being interested in something makes life vivid and may give you clues to your deepest passions.

T=Temperament describes your inborn preferences.  Do you restore your energy from being alone (introvert) or from being with people (extrovert)?  Are you a planner or go with the flow type person?  Do you make decisions more on the basis of feelings and thoughts or of facts?  Do you prefer details or big ideas?  Knowing the answers to temperament questions like these could help you gravitate toward situations in which you could flourish and avoid situations in which you could wilt.

A=Around the clock Activities: The ‘around the clock’ category refers to when you like to do things—your biorhythms.  Are you a morning person or a night person for example?  At what time of day does your energy peak?  If you schedule activities when you are at your best, you are respecting you innate biology.  As I look back on my life, I realize I’ve been a morning person since birth.  Those fun sleepovers with girlfriends?  I loved being included, but I didn’t like staying up late.

L=Life Mission and Meaningful goals: ‘What have been the most meaningful events of your life?’ You may discover clues to your hidden identity, to your career, and to life satisfaction.

S=Strengths: Strengths can include not only abilities, skills, and talents, but also character strengths such as loyalty, respect for others, love of learning, emotional intelligence, fairness and more.  Knowing your strengths is one of the foundations of self-confidence; not being able to acknowledge your own superpowers could put you on the path to low self-esteem.  Become a person who “takes in the good,” listening for compliments and noticing skills that could be clues to your strengths.  Likewise, knowing your weaknesses can help you be honest with yourself and others about what you might not be good at.  You might decide either to work on those weaknesses or try to make them a smaller part of your personal or professional life.

Even if you know your VITAL Signs, it’s hard to remain true to yourself because you are constantly changing and because society’s values often conflict with your own.  I love this quote from author Gretchen Rubin:

“My first commandment is to “Be Gretchen”—yet it’s very hard to know myself.  I get so distracted by the way I wish I were, or the way I assume I am, that I lose sight of what’s actually true.”’

These are practical and extremely beneficial ways to begin to know ourselves and what we think.  Jean reflected how Statement #5 is the “crux” of the WFS New Life Program and that many of the other Statements are built on the strength of this one.  This week pay attention to your VITALS and discover more of who you are in your New Life.  For starters, each of us are capable, competent, caring, and compassionate!

Hugzzz,

Karen

“““““““““““`

Hi 4C Women,

I appreciate and love the invaluable tips Karen provided all of us to discover and understand through our VITALS on how we become 4C women.  When I was about 6 years old, my parents decided to give me dance lessons to bring me out of my shyness.  I’m not sure how that correlates but they thought it was the answer.  I never thought of myself as shy or an introvert but more of an observer which as an adult, helped me develop feelings of empathy and compassion for myself and others.  I would describe myself as an observant extrovert.  I do know that my enthusiasm and energy rise when I am with people.  This is one of the reasons I love the f2f meetings so much and miss being with the group members.   I am grateful for Zoom because without it, I would be missing everyone even more!

I encourage you to get out a piece of paper or journal and answer each of the VITAL questions.

Values:

Interests:

Temperament:

Life Mission and Meaningful Goals:

Strengths:

What have you discovered about yourself?  Were there any surprises?  How will your understanding of who you are today change your decision-making, choices, how you spend your time and what nourishes your spirit?  Always remember to be true to yourself.

Bonded in learning our VITALS as 4C Women, Dee

 

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Monday Thoughts 7/20/2020

“There’s nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood.  And understanding someone else.”  ~~Brad Meltzer, The Inner Circle
“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage.  Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”  ~~Michelle Obama
“Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.”  ~~Bob Dylan
_______________________________________________________________
#4 Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.
I now better understand my problems.  I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.
_______________________________________________________________

Sobriety and the continual practice of Statement #4 have enabled me to soar to new heights and experience life in a fresh and constructive perspective.  At the core of this Statement is understanding.  Yet, before my New Life, understanding was something that was unconsciously avoided; more often than not, I was actively seeking ways to expand difficulty or victimhood.  Additionally, I tried to get others to pile up on “my side.”

In our WFS Program booklet it states “The value of this Statement is in learning that we can control our reactions.  There are times we permit ourselves to be bothered by people, things, events, actions, but we can utilize new tools.  By increasing understanding of our problems, we can better choose how and when we respond.”  The New Life Program in action and fellow 4C sisters continue to assist in moving towards understanding by listening and reflecting back balance and introspection.

One of the simplest tools is talking about the problem.  I recall knowing that I had a problem with alcohol for a very long time, but I said nothing about it to anyone.  This exacerbated the problem and created additional problems.  Once I began to understand what the problem was, solutions and choices came to light and I took action.  Today, I find that by talking about problems or something that is bothering me, creates space for solution.  Oftentimes just getting it out of my head is enough for creative answers to begin to appear.

What tools empower you in your New Life to move into solutions?

Hugzzz

Karen

“““`

Hi 4C Women,

Thinking a lot about problem solving which was always difficult for me.  I was afraid of making mistakes, looking foolish in my decision-making so I focused more on everyday problems (which weren’t really problems) so I could distract myself from taking charge of creating necessary change in my life.  My fears kept me from personal growth and learning to get up and try again when I made a mistake in my decision making.   Thank goodness for WFS in guiding me to at least try, to learn, to get up and try again, to not see myself as a failure but a resilient woman taking charge of her mistakes and her successes.  I have used this problem- solving worksheet and I’d like to share it with you.  It is for personal decision making as well as brainstorming if you choose to follow that path.  Hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.  I bolded the part where it described me before sobriety and WFS.

Productive Problem Solving:

What are some barriers to productive problem solving?
What essential things are needed for productive problem solving?
Problem solving model diagram
Tips for productive problem solving
Some barriers to productive problem solving include:

· A “Yes – But” attitude

· Intellectual defensiveness closed to new ideas

· Fear of being perceived as being incompetent

· Fear of one’s ideas being unaccepted

· Inability to be objective about problem

· Fear of being wrong

· Inability to be creative, imaginative or “off the wall” in developing alternative solutions

· Being inflexible or too serious to have fun while problem solving

· Not tuning into one’s “inner child”

Being so chronically immersed or emotionally “stuck” in problems that no feelings or emotions can be elicited

· Believing that one’s emotions and feelings about a problem are “wrong” and should be discounted in problem solving

· Resentment about having to solve the problem; blaming others for causing the problem; no desire to own up to the problem yourself

· Believing that problems are the concerns of others, not me; therefore, why waste my time in trying to solve them

· Mental and/or physical fatigue from trying to cope with problems and finding no fruitful solutions; burnout

· Feeling so stressed, anxious, or tense in the face of a problem that your body systems shut down

· Getting so angry about the problem that all energy and attention is drawn to the anger rather than to the problem

·  Feeling sorry for oneself so much that the “self-pity” overwhelms and obstructs all creative thinking on the matter

·  Getting so down or depressed about the problem that it is impossible to come up long enough to deal with the problem

· Denial that the problem exists

· Bargaining in dealing with the problem; e.g., agreeing to perform certain steps only as long as the solution to the problem benefits you

What essential things are needed for productive problem solving?
A clear description of the problem.

A description of the limiting (or negative) factors involved in the problem.

A description of the constructive (or positive) factors involved in the problem.

A clear delineation of the “ownership” of the problem. Whose problem is it: mine, yours, the other guy’s, my boss’, my spouse’s, my child’s, my parents’, my teacher’s?

A clear description of the scope of the problem: How extensive a problem is it? How long has this problem existed? How many people are affected? What else is affected by this problem?

A clear description of the consequences if the problem were not solved: What is the possible impact on my family, job, marriage, school performance, life in this community, etc., if this problem isn’t solved? What is the worst possible thing that could happen if this problem isn’t solved?

A list of brainstormed solutions to the problem, with each alternative analyzed as to its reality, its benefits, and the consequences for following each one.

A system of ranking each solution to finalize the decision-making process. A rating system for analyzing each solution is developed, e.g., 100% chance of success, 75% chance of success, 50% chance of success.

A clear description of myself as a problem solver when it comes to this problem. Am I procrastinating? Am I avoiding the problem? Am I in denial? Am I shutting down or blocking my creativity on this problem? Am I ignoring it, hoping it will go away? Am I using magical and/or fantasy thinking in addressing the problem?  (This was me before WFS and while I was learning to trust my instincts, accept mistakes and acknowledging successes!)

Determination to follow through on the solution decided upon jointly. This involves full motivation to “take the risk” and pursue the solution to its fullest

Tips for productive problem solving

1.     What is the size or extent of the problem?

2.     How would realty be affected if the problem was left unattended or unsolved?

3.     How are you functioning in handling the problem-solving process?

4.     What have your five senses to tell about the problem, i.e., what you see, hear, touch, smell, and taste?

5.     What does the world of reality look like from within the problem?

Brainstorming

When brainstorming solutions to the problem, follow these rules:

1.     Express all ideas.

2.     Deem no idea too wild to be considered.

3.     Quantity is important; every idea that comes to mind should be included.

4.     Getting together with others to brainstorm is desirable.

5.     Criticism or negative evaluation regarding any idea is forbidden until brainstorming is completed.

When ranking alternatives, rate each alternative on (1) possible consequences, then (2) probability of success.

Alternatives              Possible Consequences                  Probability of Success

Behavioral actions   Positive or negative                        Expressed in percentages

Bonded together in learning, sharing and becoming 4C problem-solvers, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 7/13/2020

“You can only have bliss if you don’t chase it.”  ~~Henepola Gunaratana

“The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself.”  ~~Ellen DeGeneres

“Seek it outside and you’ll be exhausted.  Seek it inside, you’ll find a path.”  ~~Maxime Lagace’
_______________________________________________________________

 #3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.

Happiness is created, not waited for.
_______________________________________________________________

We are living in complicated and uncertain times.  This can be a distraction from feelings of balance, happiness and even understanding.  Life can feel overwhelming even without a global pandemic at our heels, yet Statement #3 in action is key to maintaining sobriety and recovery while unleashing and expanding inner contentment.

Pre-sobriety, happiness was an ever-elusive thing that I was trying to catch and cage.  Once felt, desperation to keep it and never let it go resulted in missing it while I had it. Most often it had come from outside of myself. This created a continuing cycle of seeking, skipping over and then seeking happiness again which included alcohol.  It was almost impossible to see the forest through the trees.  Gratefully, sobriety and Statement #3 in action foster feelings of balance, contentment and happiness.

Feelings of happiness were released from within in early sobriety by just staying alcohol free hour by hour and day by day.  Having joy come from within shifted the previous cycle; unleashing happiness came from my own thoughts and actions.  WFS and practicing Statement #3 taught this new concept which continues to shift and evolve.

Some questions to ask yourself are:

·    Are you aware of your sources of happiness?

·    What is your routine to create happiness?

·    What other words describe happiness?

Hugzzz

Karen

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Hi 4C Women,

Jean shared that she created this Statement because she had so many problems with happiness.  It got to the point in her recovery where she realized she could no longer go on saying, “I’d be happy if…”  It took her a long time to realize that she was listening to, and reacting to, that helpless child in her and that this automatic reaction/response could be changed by her!  She realized that happiness was not the acquisition of “things” but rather having a positive view of herself.

It is amazing what a positive attitude can do to build a strong foundation of contentment, peace, joy – whatever word you choose.  This foundation, I have found, has kept me grounded for the most part in these uncertain times.  I say for the most part because as I have mentioned often in my messages, I feel it is of utmost importance to identify, acknowledge and express all of our emotions.  They help us process what is happening and how to work through it as best we can.  I also understood that people can “add” to our happiness just as we can add to theirs.

There are ways to create happiness in our environment and I have shared this in the past as well.  I’d like to share them again as I really found them to be easy and doable in developing those happy moments.

·    Describe your favorite songs and how they make you feel.  Music stirs powerful emotions.

·    Read something that you “want” to read.

·    Create a spiritual or cheerful place on your desk or your nightstand.  (I created this on my nightstand and change it often with a special photo, card, book, or other special memento.  It’s the first thing I see in the morning and when I go to sleep).

·    Approach new experiences as opportunities to learn rater than occasions to succeed or fail.  Doing so opens you up to possibilities and can increase your sense of happiness.  (I did this when presenting the workshop at our first WFS virtual conference.  It made a difference).

·    Seek out personal quiet time – resisting the idea that it’s a waste of time or it’s not working for you.

·    Open up your options for using simple means to raise your spirits.  Whatever you choose should replenish you, add to your fulfillment, nurture calmness or patience or general happiness.

·    Give – in any way you can – time, help, money, stuff.  By being fully present and cultivating gratitude, generosity and kindness, we can find the renewable source of happiness in ourselves in each moment.

·    Drift – Let your mind drift for a few minutes.  Watch the clouds floating by or the fish swimming in an aquarium; observe the wind in the trees, a fire in the fireplace, stars in the night sky.  Let go and let be.  Observe without judgment.

·    Create something you can tend to.  We often tend to the little rips, tears and loose buttons of life.  But how about tending something where you are actually nurturing growth?

·    Add dance.  Dance when the spirit moves you.  Disappear in the dance.  Dance as if you are expressing your gratitude for living.  In general, let life be more of a dance and less of a battle.  Dance a little bit each day.

I hope you will consider doing some of these ideas to create your personal happiness.  You might even write about it in a journal, a scrap of paper or notebook.  Refer to it when you wonder how in the world can you develop happiness in these uncertain times.  You might be happily surprised!

Bonded in developing happiness, Dee

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How to Talk About Current Events Without “Getting Political”

I want to talk about how we talk about tough stuff today. There are a lot of difficult things going on in the world right now, and I feel like we have reached an unprecedented level of polarization in America. Everything – even a major community health crisis like a global pandemic – is being heavily politicized, divided into “red against blue”.

So where does that leave us 4C women, who come from a variety of backgrounds, belief systems, and political affiliations? How do we support each other as we navigate our very real and often very deep feelings about current events and how they affect our New Lives? How can we capably and competently process the effect these topics are having on us whilst simultaneously maintaining caring and compassion for ourselves and our Sisters?

The easiest-to-manage answer is to just put a complete moratorium on anything “political” in our groups, which has been a practice in WFS in the past. However, given that it seems like nearly everything is a political issue these days, it doesn’t feel like that is a sustainable or helpful solution, and is likely to strip our meetings of the dynamism that our founder Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick intended for us. I would propose that the complicated challenges facing today’s women call for more nuanced solutions.

A Sister on our WFS Online community summarized the need for a conscientious approach well by saying,”The political IS personal because it influences our lives, our thoughts, our feelings, our anxiety levels, our enthusiasm and capacity to think positively about the future.”

So, here are some ideas on how we can effectively navigate these difficult topics whilst also gaining support for our New Lives, respecting the diversity of our Sisters, and maintaining a safe space for all:

  • We can share about our personal emotions without directly referencing which “side” of a political issue we stand on.
  • If that’s not possible, we can share about our personal emotions in response to a current event without trying to persuade others to agree with us.
  • When someone opens up to us about their emotions, we can keep our response focused on their personal experience, and leave our own opinions out of it.
  • If we are feeling emotionally activated by someone else’s share, we can take a break before responding. If we are really having a difficult time staying in compassion, we can simply choose to not say anything at all.
  • We can reach out to our personal support system (outside of WFS) for help processing our own emotions if needed, without trying to rally others to take our viewpoint or pitting Sisters against Sisters.
  • If a 4C Sister comes to us for individual support, we can support them emotionally without getting involved in their interpersonal conflict. We can take what they are saying with a grain of salt, knowing that their perspective and interpretation is just that – theirs – and that we don’t have to take their opinion on ourselves.
  • We can refrain from contacting someone individually in response to something shared in a group setting that we disagree with, especially if our contact is unwelcome.
  • We can respect others’ boundaries if they tell us they need a break from a topic, or from us.
  • We can respect the guidance of our community facilitators (Certified Chat Leaders, Forum Management Team, and Certified Moderators) by respecting their requests to redirect our sharing to focus on recovery, return to the topic at a meeting, or otherwise modify our behavior to be in line with WFS philosophy and guidelines.
  • We can assume good intentions, even when behavior is unskillful.
  • We can acknowledge and accept that most of us are here precisely because we don’t have the best skills at navigating challenging situations, that each 4C Sister is in a different place in her healing journey, and that we are all doing the best we can with the tools that we have available to us.

Talking about controversial current events, politics, and other types of difficult topics in WFS meetings might be new ground for some of us. But I believe that we are 4C, capable of keeping the focus on ourselves and our recoveries, without wading into persuasion and convincing. There will probably be missteps. Some of us will make mistakes. I might get caught up in the moment and spout an opinion or two – it has been known to happen. But I have a lot of faith in 4C women. I’ve seen us do some pretty amazing things!

With Much Love,
Adrienne Miller
WFS President/CEO

Do you have any additional ideas about ways to talk about the effect that current events are having on our New Lives without getting into debate or conflict? Please share them here!

You are also invited to the new inclusion workgroup of 4C women exploring how to dismantle our personal and organizational biases. Please participate in our brief survey to assist us with planning!

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Monday Thoughts 7/6/2020

“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them.  Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.”  ~~Unknown
“Your wound is probably not your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.”  ~~Denice Frohman

“Practice the pause.  Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.”  ~~Lori Deschene
_______________________________________________________________

#2 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.
_______________________________________________________________

Statement #2 in action is an effective balancing tool that can restore ease and reassure during times of uncertainty or chaos.  It can be an equalizer and an assertiveness producer, easing feelings of confusion or turmoil.  In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Negative attitudes can influence us to the exclusion of other feelings.  When we allow negative attitudes to control us, we risk becoming unsettled and may jeopardize our sobriety.”

Balance is an everlasting goal in my New Life after years of instability.  It is vital to embrace that what may be balanced today may be quite different in a few years, and I am grateful for the continuing growth through Women for Sobriety.  Reducing negativity is a lifestyle to maintain as opposed to a mountain to reach.  It is not a one and done, but rather a continuing path to pursue.

Here are 4 ways to practice reducing negativity:

1.      Examine your thoughts.  Alcohol or drugs removed the ability to think clearly, so use your clarity to examine your thoughts without judgment. You can change what you acknowledge.

2.      Challenge negativity.  Is this thought accurate?  Am I making it personal?  Is it an all or nothing line of thinking with no in-between or gray area?  Am I comparing myself against another?

3.      Provide a time limit and pause. Allow yourself a set time limit with negativity.  Set a time per day, per week and honor that limit.  The results of practicing this over time is life changing.

4.      Pursue and practice gratitude.  When shopping for a red car, red cars seem to be everywhere.  Same with gratitude.  Find something to be grateful for every day, soon it easily appears.

So, what does balance look and feel like in your New Life today?  Are you aware of the changes that you have made?  Is there an area of your life that needs direct input from Statement #2?
Hugzzz
Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi 4C Women,

As we currently live in a world of uncertainty, negative thoughts can creep in so sneakily.  I read an article that Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick, founder of WFS, wrote in Sobering Thoughts called, “Those Empty Hours” which referenced Statement #2 and #4.  It’s a powerful read and while it was written many years ago, it is so relevant to what we, as women in recovery, are dealing with today.  She refers to the empty hours as times of questioning about the meaning of life, our life, asking the question of why and what for.  What I have always appreciated about WFS is that, as Jean says, while the WFS New Life program is one of positivity, it does not preclude our days of feeling just simply down and out.  Every human heart feels lonely and empty at times.  It is part of the human condition.  What a relief and wonderful coping tool to acknowledge our truthful feelings, to no longer pretend everything is just fine and hide ourselves from the world in fear of being seen as a complainer, unappreciative or not practicing the 13 Statements.  It was denying those negative feelings in the first place that caused me to escape in an unhealthy way.  The key for me was the action phrase of Statement #2 – reducing negative thoughts.  It is a process just like all of the Statements.  Jean understood this.  Her way of coping was to do ordinary things to distract herself, i.e., grocery shopping, mowing the lawn (Jean loved mowing her lawn on the farm), reading mystery novels and while she admits it didn’t always work, it did fill up that emptiness that is so overwhelming.  Today, with the internet, cell phones and other technical advances, we are fortunate to have a lot more options, especially in reaching out when we need that additional support and encouragement.

Jean ended the writing with these empowering words:  We who are trying hard to work at life and living it to the fullest, work through these periods of time and work hard at managing them before we are thrown into self-defeating behaviors.  The empty hours, the times of questioning, will probably recur in our lifetimes, but these periods can be used for spiritual growth and for getting to know the way of handling ourselves in these dark moments of our existence.  What we must know without a shadow of doubt is that others feel as empty, as questioning, as lonely as we do, and that is surely part of the human conditioning.  This acceptance helps; it doesn’t eliminate.  This is for us to work at.

While this message is about Statement #2, Jean’s ending is Statement #1 and #13 in a nutshell.  It is our work to do and we can!  No longer do we need to hurt ourselves with negative thoughts whether it is about ourselves or others.  We have a New Life program and 4C women to support us, to share their journey of personal growth and be the encouragers of this world we live in.

Bonded in reducing negativity, Dee

(The full article of Jeans is from Volume 13 of the Collection of Sobering Thoughts)