“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” ~~Oprah Winfrey
“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And, lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” ~~Neil de Grasse Tyson
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.” ~~Caroline Myss
#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.
Before New Life, there was a feeling of lack, fear and immobility that overwhelmed many aspects of my life. Yet who I am today is a direct result of choice, meaning and growth. Thanks to WFS and the 13 Acceptance Statements, I am able to enjoy a life of sobriety and recovery filled with dimension, opportunity and fulfillment. Sobriety paired with Statement #8 in action is the core of inner growth.
Starting with the WFS Online Forum, I found my tribe. For so long, feelings of being alone pervaded life but 4C women welcomed me with open arms and hearts. It was so refreshing and I immediately felt connected. Beginning to practice Statement #8 I felt unsure but decided to do the opposite of what my brain said and proceeded to walk into my fears and become unstuck.
After growing into Women for Sobriety and wanting to share the WFS Program, I thought about starting a chat meeting since I felt comfortable being online. Yet starting a face-to-face group felt uncomfortable. So, naturally I applied to become a F2F facilitator. Over 10 years later that decision, to look fear in the face and start a group, has been one of the most rewarding decisions. What I absolutely love about this Statement is that it does not tell us how, where, why or when to grow, it simply encourages growth. Forward progress, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant is still progress. It moves us from one point to another and in the space in-between is where growth takes shape. Oftentimes I am not even aware that growth has taken place, it simply appears as motivation, accomplishment or deeper connections. It feels fulfilling and helps prevent relapse. Growth is always evolving, shifting and changing and here are 4 helpful ways to engage with Statement #8:
- Define your own meaning: You get to decide what meaning to give something or anything. Families, institutions, or social constructs can influence what something means to you, but you get to live with the meaning you assign something. If it does not fit your heart and bring you balance, redefine it.
- Use trauma to grow: When a dear friend of mine lost her life due to domestic violence, her brother, a policeman, began speaking in front of groups to educate about safety, options and agencies. This helped him move through his grief, allowed him to give the trauma new meaning and he continues to help others 20 years later. The lives this has saved is impossible to comprehend.
- Challenge fear: Sometimes our fears prevent us from moving forward and growing. Is there something that you can do this week that challenges a fear you have? Move towards it. (Unless it’s a grizzly bear in front of you, then of course run the opposite way!)
- There is no destination: There is no end to growth, and it is different for everyone. There is no finish line, to rush to win a race, it is a process that ebbs and flows. Some years are filled with growth (2020 comes to mind with all the changes) while other times in life, growth is something that is felt long after it actually happens. Enjoy the journey.
Hi 4C Women,
Such great suggestions on how to develop emotional and spiritual growth. I honestly thought my emotional growth would be completed by the time I turned 40! Through WFS, I learned It was just the beginning and continues to this day as I get close to turning 76 in a couple of weeks. I remain amazed and grateful that I have been open to change. There was a time that I tightly closed the door, sealing it shut on change due to my fear of making unforgivable mistakes, having to live in continual regret or accepting responsibility for my choices. That was a huge obstacle for me. I have shared this often about being the queen of the blame game. So, if I chose to practice Statement 8, I would have to be responsible for my emotional and spiritual growth. Thank goodness, I unlocked the sealed door and walked through it with enthusiasm that I never dreamed possible. I found spiritual growth a bit easier for me as I chose the path of faith to support me. The emotional growth was quite a bit more difficult, yet my perseverance kept pushing me forward.
I found a message written by Nancy Cross in February 2013 in which she wrote about why we need emotional sobriety. Among the reasons she listed, this one hit home: To develop the confidence, satisfaction and resilience that comes from dealing with your emotions directly and effectively, rather than self-medicating to avoid pain.
Those words helped me realize that I did learn to challenge fear, heal and grow from some traumatic events, chose my path from all those who influenced me both positive and negative and learned that emotional and spiritual growth is full of timeless, powerful self-discovery.
Are you making time to reflect and discover what you need for emotional and spiritual growth?
Bonded in uncovering, discovering and setting priorities based on your personal emotional and spiritual journey, Dee
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