“I am woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” ~~Maya Angelou
“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.” ~~Juliette Gordon Low
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” ~~Diane Mariechild
#13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
Sobriety and Statement #13 in action encourage continued growth in recovery. From engaging in daily living to elaborately planned future moments, it is the culmination of being in charge of our minds, our thoughts and our lives that brings a sense of balance and rewarding fulfillment. Before sobriety and New Life, none of this felt possible; alcohol had become a large and looming obstacle.
Women are strong, courageous and resilient. Across history you can see how women have impacted this world with their knowledge, skills and talents; from Katherine G. Johnson, a mathematician who helped create the complex calculations that helped the US to fly into space in 1969 to Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the US Supreme Court, to Tegla Loroupe, the first African woman to win the NYC Marathon in 1994. Women have proved time and time again that we can do anything.
Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. brought Women for Sobriety to life in response to her own difficult journey and continued to share her experience with the world. It was a way for her to respond with her ability, and to this day, her energy and enthusiasm touches the heart of every woman embracing WFS. Because Jean lived the Statements, today, we get to do the same. What an absolutely phenomenal woman. Just like you!
“We are capable and competent, caring and compassionate, always willing to help another, bonded together in overcoming our addictions” (WFS Motto). We are 4C!
Hi 4C Women,
While unexpected events impact many of us, especially during the pandemic, this powerful and empowering Statement is a reminder that how we respond to events, to people and situations is our responsibility. I have experienced the saddest situation just days ago when my brother-in-law passed away months after having heart surgery. The hardest part is being away from my family and not being able to attend the funeral. My sister and brother-in-law were married for 61 years this month so there are a lot of memories that keep resurfacing that create both extreme sadness and joy at those shared experiences. Under normal circumstances, I would be there to help ease my sister’s pain as best I could.
Today, I am grateful for my sobriety, for the work I put into maintaining it and knowing I am in charge of my response. I may not be able to travel yet I am available to listen, to be a shoulder to lean on and to know I, too, am not alone. If I felt triggered, I know without a single doubt that I could share and seek help from my WFS sisters without shame or guilt. I would be understood and supported. That is part of this Statement – being in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life, I am responsible for seeking help when I know I need it. I have been blessed with loving, compassionate support from those who already know of his passing. I am a firm believer in acknowledging and expressing our feelings rather than pretend everything is just fine when it isn’t.
In her booklet, Seed Thoughts for Loving Yourself, Suzanne Harrill expresses this so well: “I understand feelings are simply part of my inner guidance system. They give me feedback on thoughts and reactions to my daily experiences and encounters with others. I am learning to put words to what I’m feeling which helps me identify thoughts and beliefs behind the feelings. Once I do this, I use my mind to evaluate these feelings to best decide what to do next. Sometimes I simply allow myself to feel my feelings and sometimes I use them as motivators to help me make beneficial changes. I acknowledge all my feelings.”
In acknowledging our feelings, we learn to be responsible, to create balance in our life as a process. Mistakes become life lessons, success becomes part of our tool box in knowing we can and do make positive choices and survive when we don’t, that living authentically is sharing our joys and fears and knowing that courage is not the absence of fear but courage is fear walking.
Here are some great Statement #13 questions that Karen shared with us previously and I would like to present them once again.
What does responsibility feel like in your life?
Are you comfortable with being in charge of your life? Why or why not?
Is there an area of your life where you can relinquish control? (I have always felt this was one of the most challenging questions as I fought so hard to be in control of my recovery, my life. Yet, in reflecting on this question, I realized that I crossed over into wanting to control others for their benefit – my form of sarcasm!)
My question – when is the last time you expressed your authentic feelings and what was the outcome? What life lesson did you learn that you put into your tool box for future reference?
Bonded in acknowledging your feelings and taking responsibility for your responses and actions, Dee