“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” ~~Zig Ziglar
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~~Harriet Beecher Stowe
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ~~Haruki Murakami
#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.
Sobriety and the embracing of Statement #8 have been life-changing, and it drastically simplified what my view of life was all about. This allowed a feeling of self-worth to increase and a continuing pattern of growth to take place. The end result feels incredibly freeing, while moving through can feel incredibly difficult.
The difficulties faced in life can be our greatest teacher. Like the old Rolling Stones song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you find you get what you need” feels on point; in the past I ran away from life with alcohol, yet sobriety and recovery bring fullness and growth to life.
In our WFS Program booklet It states, “Growth is an essential aspect of our recovery. It is the process of learning who we are and where to focus our efforts for personal change. Our morning meditation time, during which we read the Statements, gives us the opportunity to center ourselves and set priorities for the day.” In the past, alcohol directed the days but today, 4C women everywhere get to set priorities and live for today while growing into tomorrow.
Here are 4 tips to embrace growth:
- Own your own power: Release the blame. It is easy to blame others yet when we let go of that blame, we can create our own circumstance which empowers ourselves. Reframing is a great tool to practice this.
- Embrace/look for change: The old adage of “nothing stays the same” is true. Look for even the smallest of ways to embrace change. Early in sobriety, I challenged myself by going to unfamiliar grocery stores, switching routines, moving furniture in rooms etc. It does not have to be monumental change. Start small and work into bigger changes or challenges.
- Acknowledge your fears: What are you afraid of? Dig deep and get to the core of a fear. Maybe you do not like or are afraid of being alone. Where did that originate? What can you do today to overcome that fear? Act, even the smallest of movements forward edge us into development and growth.
- Change YOU, not the world: It can feel overwhelming/impossible to change events out of our control. The day may be filled with rain or snow, which none of us have control over but you can use an umbrella and enjoy the patter of the raindrops or dress warmly and walk outside taking in the silence of newly fallen snow. You can change your response to create a positive or rewarding experience.
Hi 4C Women,
I wasn’t sure where to start with my comments. As I read each of Karen’s 4 points, I thought oh, wow, that’s fabulous and I relate to that and oh, yes, I relate to that as well. So, after I calmed my thoughts, I decided to share how I learned to work on each point.
#1 – Power/Release Blame. Many of you have heard me over the years share how I was the “Queen of Blame” and I wore that crown each and every day. It took away all responsibility for my choices, my responses, my willingness to change. I was fearful of change because that meant I had to actually “change!” While in therapy and finding WFS, I realized that if I took responsibility for my role in choices I made, I was actually becoming empowered and confident, releasing the fear of what might happen if I retired my crown. Retiring that crown brought about such positive changes that I began wearing a 4C crown more befitting of the woman that was always there but living in fear. What I also realized is that there were people in my life that hurt me, harmed me and played into my insecurities. What I also learned is that as long as I allowed that to continue, there was no room for emotional or spiritual growth and I was giving away my power to them. No more!
#2 – Embrace Change. At one time, I hated change. I resisted it as though it would be the end of the world once I accepted it. As one of the members of my WFS group says, it’s not the end of the world until it’s the end of the world. So, when I start thinking in those terms, I quietly realize that, again, I have choices. I can choose to live in the fear of change or embrace it as Karen says, no matter how small. I have actually learned to like change as I see it as a challenge to uncovering the fear. A quote from Janet Jacobsen defines it so well for me. – “Fear is a great motivator. It is designed to be compelling so that we take survival action in the form of flight, fight or freeze…OR, take THRIVAL action by facing the fear, feeling it fully, learning from it, and, therefore, freeing up all that energy for creativity and fun!”
#3 – Fear. My greatest fear was rejection which kept me from accepting responsibility and letting people hurt me because if I became assertive, they might walk away. It was easier to silently blame others for where I was and cope by drinking. And in some ways, it was easier. I had to acknowledge that because taking responsibility meant I had to learn to handle rejection, even perceived rejection, to make healthier choices. How in the world would I even live a life of emotional and spiritual growth if alcohol was making the choices? Yes, easier to run and hide but oh my goodness, the rewards from being sober, being in charge of my life, putting my priorities in order, was incredible. It was worth the hard work and I finally learned to love myself enough that rejection was no longer my greatest fear.
#4 – Personal Change. This is the crux of the whole Statement, the WFS program. Change, scary and exciting all at the same time. I sometimes reflect on the sad, fearful woman I was when drinking and I put my arms around her and tell her she is loved, lovable and worth every ounce of work she put into becoming the 4C woman she is today. I hope you are able to do the same. Statement #8 provides a path to healing, growing and empowering change.
What is or was your greatest fear in changing?
What lessons have you learned or are learning in facing your fears?
What are your priorities that support your well-being, your emotional and spiritual growth?
Have you learned to trust yourself in knowing that your priorities are what you need them to be right now and not what others may be telling you?
Bonded in daily creating our priorities to live a life of emotional and spiritual growth, Dee
Click here to read Promising Young Woman