“There is comfort in acceptance. There is unexpected growth of seedlings of life if we take the risk of opening ourselves up.” ~~Jan Warner
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers simple.’~~ Dr. Seuss
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” ~~Brene Brown
#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.
Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
Recently, winds of change blew through my New Life like never before. I have experienced a multitude of emotions and experiences over the last decade plus and the tools from the WFS New Life Program continue to help move me forward. Yet this was different. This time I felt helpless, but not hopeless, thanks to practicing Statement #8.
The threat of storms is a constant in life, but today I understand so much more that what I do before those storms even appear can make all the difference. In addition to the recent hurricane, I was hospitalized for COVID. While physically alone, I was connected emotionally which enabled me to focus my thoughts and priorities. Self-imaging became my go to tool as I envisioned my body fighting back and getting stronger. I pushed myself to make even the smallest of milestones and set goals for each day. Being connected to family and friends helped me cement attitudes and acts of healing. The years of growth from living the WFS New Life Program are a critical aspect of sobriety and recovery and helped my forward progress.
Gratefully, power is restored and a sense of healthy balance is settling in after this past uncertainty. Allow me to offer a huge thank you to Dee and the WFS office for the continuation of our Monday Thoughts. We are a great team of 4C women! Also, I wish to thank all health care workers for your care, dedication and commitment. You are our heroes as our world moves through this pandemic!
This week can be an excellent time to examine growth in your life. Where have you excelled? Where do you need more attention? Does your recovery need an update? Where do you see yourself next year? 5 years? 10 years?
Hi 4C Women,
First, I would like to say that it was a privilege to write the Monday Thoughts while Karen was recovering from COVID. I am both thankful she is back home and that she was able to create the first part of this week’s Monday message. I really missed her inspiring, uplifting words.
I am repeating a message on Statement #8 from last year. I am doing so because it’s been an emotionally draining week and I realized my priorities needed a check-up! In addition to a family matter, my dear friend’s husband of over 54 years passed away on Saturday. She lost her son to cancer 6 years ago and her 17 year-old granddaughter 4 years ago in an accident. In addition, she has been in severe chronic pain for the last 25 years. My heart is breaking for her. We’ve been friends for 54 years, working together at the Redstone Arsenal in AL. She had a surprise baby shower for me and I for her. When her son was ill, one of my priorities was to visit her family every Wednesday and continued to do so after he passed away. With COVID I have not been able to visit and I think this is why this message has struck me so deeply.
As I read over the message, I began to realize what was missing for me this past week was my “authentic” priority. As I am expecting a similar situation this week, I really need to dig deep in determining how I will handle my feelings and my priorities. If we are to practice Statement #8 to its fullest, putting our priorities in a proper order requires serious reflection and understanding of our chosen authentic priorities, not what might have been chosen for us by the expectation of others, circumstances, convenience or culture. An authentic priority gives our life purpose, direction and meaning. It allows us to grow, to move toward wholeness and fulfillment. For me, sobriety was the first choice in setting priorities which led to clarity in my thinking. Over the years, my priorities have changed as I have changed. This is why emotional and spiritual growth needs to have direction and flexibility.
We have the freedom and ability to make decisions about our lives and the direction in which we wish them to go. In other words, we can establish our own priorities. We are not limited to reacting instinctively to our surroundings; we have the power to exercise control over our lives. This is an incredible power and if we want to make the most of our lives, to realize our potential, we need to use it consciously and wisely.
What is a priority?
Simply put, a priority is something of leading importance in your life.
A priority is what you live for, what gives focus to your life.
A priority is the shaping value around which the rest of your life tends to be ordered, for better or worse.
A priority is whatever has first claim on your time, energy and resources.
A priority is something you consistently prefer to (or feel you must) do, have, worked toward, think about or spend money on.
A priority can be consciously chosen or it can be set for us by outside circumstances.
Now think about your priorities in general. Which is your number one priority? After you answer that, determine if it is an authentic priority.
Authentic priority is:
Gives your life purpose, direction and meaning
Gives you enthusiasm, energy and motivation
Frees you from the forces of circumstance, expectation and habit, giving you a way to stay on the course you’ve chosen
Is realistic and attainable as an unrealistic priority will lead to frustration and disappointment
To determine if your priority is authentic but not quite sure, answer these last 3 questions:
Time: What do I spend my time thinking about?
Money: How do I spend my money?
Energy: How do I spend my energy?
I thought about my priorities and these questions helped me so much in thinking about how I spend my time, what causes or people I support financially and where I spend most of my energy. It all goes back, for me, to what an authentic priority is and answering those questions, was a real eye opener. I hope you are able to give serious consideration to the questions and most importantly, to your answers.
What I learned this week is that sometimes a priority is set by outside circumstances. The key for me is to accept it temporarily (that’s where flexibility comes in), reset my boundaries when the timing is right, take a deep breath and remind myself that this is a process, that I have made tremendous progress over the years and acknowledge the emotional and spiritual growth I have accomplished.
Bonded is setting priorities that support your life’s purpose and meaning, Dee