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“What day is it?’ asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.” ~~A.A. Milne
“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment in life.” ~~Unknown
“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest.” ~~Nanette Mathews
#9 The past is gone forever.
No longer am I victimized by the past.
I am a new woman.
Trying to relive the past was a way to avoid the present before my New Life. I was unaware of how this made life feel miserable and increased the desire to escape into addiction. It was a cycle of pain and avoidance, but sobriety and especially Statement #9 helped free me from that painful circuit.
Understanding that the past is really gone forever allowed me to recognize that each moment is fleeting; it will never appear again and I can either embrace what is and process the emotions that accompany it or I can fight against it and prolong imbalance and discomfort. This line of thinking allowed me to embrace choice and the feelings of being a victim began to fade away.
Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD, states in our WFS Program booklet “When I was drinking, I was forever looking forward to something in the future, or I was reciting something from the past. I was never in the present. I was escaping that.” Each day this week, focus on being present in the moment. How often does your mind cling to the past? What is holding you to that particular moment? Did you expect a different outcome? What would happen if you changed how you define what happened? How can you incorporate Statement #9 more into your daily life?
Hi 4 C Women,
As I get older and sometimes feel the strong pull of reflecting on the past, I am even more grateful for Statement #9, my all-time favorite. I have begun to understand that, for me, there is the painful past and the joyful past. With time and emotional growth, I have come to let go of the painful past because I have worked through the pain, not ignored it or dismissed it. It has given me insight and understanding for a lot of my choices and most importantly, to learn to make healthier choices in my recovery and forgive myself as well as others.
Forgiving others has been the biggest challenge yet it frees up so much energy to embrace the action part of this Statement – no longer am I victimized by the past, I am a new woman. Do I regret some of my past decisions? Of course, that makes me human. Do I dwell and beat myself up for those decisions? NO. When my thoughts start going in that direction, I repeat Statement #9 over and over, knowing I cannot change the past, only hopefully “learn” from it. And then there is the joyful past. There was a time when I only focused on the painful past as though my whole life was nothing but a negative, painful, joyless life. Even my former marriage had joyful times and while the painful times outranked the joy, I learned so much about myself over the years. It was Statement #9 that gave me guidance in letting go as I worked through the past, learning how to forgive, and bringing balance to my memories by also remembering the joyful times.
I have a plaque that reminds me to bring balance into my painful memories, “When you stumble, make it part of the dance.” I stumbled, still do, yet I can make those stumbles a part of my dance in balancing the pain with the joyful memories. Last week, Karen talked about her grateful journal. It helped me to see that grateful journaling can be part of how I continue working through the pain to focus on the gratefulness of sobriety, the healed relationships of which the most important one is the one I have with myself.
As you continue to heal from the past, ponder these questions:
Have you learned to trust your instincts as you heal from the past?
Is forgiving yourself and others still extremely difficult or getting easier? If difficult, do you know why?
What strengths have you gained from healing?
Are you open to acknowledging there are joyful memories and how do you celebrate them?
In answering these questions, consider this quote:
“You’re more than the mistakes you’ve made. You are the wisdom, strength, compassion, and growth you’ve gained from all you have been through.” ~~ Karen Salmansohn
Bonded in learning from the past and becoming a new 4C woman, Dee
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