“Your thoughts shape your vision. You see what you choose to see.” ~~Anonymous
“What’s on your mind becomes what’s in your life so think the thoughts you want to see.” ~~Karen Salmansohm
“You are not a helpless victim of your own thoughts, but rather a master of your mind.” ~~Louise Hay
#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
Sobriety and the practice of Statement #5 enable rewarding changes to take place. Before New Life, thoughts can be repetitive, disruptive, and quite chaotic. Active addiction severs our ability to manage and/or direct thoughts, often resulting in impulsive or invalidating behaviors. It becomes a difficult and destructive cycle.
Yet the simple concept of managing our thoughts changes everything. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., came to understand this after her last relapse and believed Statement #5 to be the core of the WFS New Life Program. It is from our thoughts that we can create our future. In our WFS Program booklet it states “It is important for all women to know, and use, the power of their mind and thoughts. However, it is most important for women with drug and alcohol problems to use our minds to enhance our well-being. We can consciously build positive images of ourselves. We create a new self in our mind first.”
Here is an excerpt from the WFS Beginner’s Collection (pages 66-67) from Jean that highlight this discovery for her:
“I remember a day when I was extremely depressed. I stood by a window in my living room and, while looking out, I felt the terrible weight of depression that had hung over me all morning. At that moment I was unaware of my having permitted myself to feel that way. In a way, I was doing everything to keep the depression. Suddenly, I decided I was tired of feeling this way. I began to think about my life in a totally different way and I began to feel better. Instead of seeing only the gloomy side of the situation bothering me, I began to think about it in completely different thoughts, and the depression lifted.
To this day, I am still awed by the knowledge of how quickly we can change any situation by changing our thoughts. Every thought is a planted seed that will soon bear fruit. This is the history of our thoughts. They precede our actions; they create our life. And this is the history of our actions. Whatever our actions, we can discover the reason for them by examining our thoughts we entertained before the actions took place. Our mind is like a sea. It can be placid and calm or it can be turbulent. Unlike the sea, we can control it. We are not subject to weather to control the calmness or turbulence of our mind. We are the caretakers of what the conditions will be. We are truly the masters of our fate. Mastery of this Statement amounts to mastery of life. It is the keystone to recovery.”
This week, pay closer attention to your thoughts. See if there is something that you need to shift your thoughts on. Jot down thoughts in a journal and watch your progress over time. You are a 4C woman!
Hi 4C Women,
Karen and I wanted to be sure and recognize that when Jean spoke of her depression, she was not referring to clinical depression which would be needed and helped with medical attention. Having negative thoughts of how we view ourselves can be a response or reaction to a situation or person that is rooted in our emotional history. It’s human nature. What matters is how we internalize it in the present and how we then react. Do we value another’s opinion of who we are over what we think of ourselves? As we work through our internal dialogue, it’s important to remove old messages from the past that no longer are our truth today and do not serve us well on this sober recovery journey.
I am careful as well to discern between depression and just feeling downright sad. This past year has given me plenty of opportunities to feel sad and rather than deny or escape those feelings, I continue to practice the tip given by one of the women in my group who asks herself “why” when she is feeling sad or a myriad of different feelings. It has been so helpful as I uncover and acknowledge the reason for a particular feeling. It does not come out of nowhere for me. I use to take everything so personally and now I use the coping tool of what is my truth, my perspective and make a decision on what the next step is and it might be absolutely nothing! I stick to that, take a deep breath and move on. If I feel it is important to address, I will consider my options. After all, I have spoken out loud and to myself that I am a 4C woman so figuring out how I am going to handle my feelings, is the choice I make.
I have also learned that I will no longer let shame and guilt be the yardstick of how I measure my worth. This Brené Brown quote expresses so well what shame can do: “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”
WFS is all about change, removing shame and guilt to become a 4C Woman. Here’s what I discovered I was guilty of before and early in my sobriety – not standing up for the woman I was becoming, not respecting the journey I survived and becoming a thriver, accepting and believing old cruel, unkind definitions of me from the past including the ones I spoke to myself, denying ways to practice self-care as I didn’t deserve it, holding on to regret, resentments that left little room for a New Life and not knowing how to set healthy boundaries to protect and enhance my emotional and spiritual growth. Does any of this sound familiar? It’s empowering to know what you use to think or perhaps still think because that is the guide of what needs to be worked through, to change for your well-being.
I’ve asked these questions before and I hope you will take the time to answer, date your answers and the next time you begin to question yourself, revisit your answers. And if they provide a guide for empowering personal growth and change, consider it a beautiful gift you are giving yourself and your recovery. And feel free to add to the 4Cs as your emotional and spiritual growth blossoms!
I am capable of:
I am competent in:
I am caring about:
I am compassionate about:
Bonded in being/becoming a 4C Woman, Dee
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