“Most people, it seems like they’ve only got one part of the equation down. Caring for themselves, or caring for someone else. And I’ve learned how important it is to have both.” ~~Deb Caletti
“My mission in life is to be kind, compassionate, caring, and loving in order to find and feel the deepest joy of life.” ~~Debasish Mridha
“To often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~~Leo Buscaglia
#7 Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.
“Caring is all-important.” Whoa. Such a simple sentence in the action part of Statement #7, but it encompasses everything. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., was ahead of her time and wise beyond her years in understanding the power of love for women in recovery. On her own journey, Jean began to jot down important observations, ones that could lead to changing course and the WFS New Life Program was born. Born from love and shared with love.
Addiction can alter perceptions of love. What may seem like loving words or actions can oftentimes feel manipulative or controlling. Alcohol denied the ability to understand this, and I clung to denial for ease and comfort, but the WFS New Life Program can help change course.
In our WFS Beginner’s Collection booklet it states “Our culture has taught us to be over-dependent on others—by attaching our self-esteem to our relationships and to approval from others. Our value as a person often depends on our relation to others and not on our own intrinsic worth. On the other hand, we fear and dread rejection and hurt. Now is the time to take risks—be open about our feelings—be vulnerable—balance giving and receiving. Mature, loving relationships can bring us the greatest happiness of all.” This week, take time to express your love and to practice balance and openness. Notice the emotions and feelings that arise. How do they differ from last year or even from before your New Life?
Hi 4C Women,
Karen’s question reminded me of how much this Statement changed my life, how I learned to love myself without needing the approval of others. Rejection was my greatest fear and acceptance my greatest need. Through WFS, I learned that the best way to find acceptance was through my own acknowledgement of my worth and not the opinion of others. After all, I will always be with me so it’s absolutely imperative that I nourish the caring of me and this is how love can, and did, change the course of my world. Loving myself opened me up to receiving and giving love to others authentically.
Being vulnerable can be quite scary yet it is that vulnerability that opens doors to genuine relationships. If sharing who we are, what our needs are, chases someone away, that only leaves more room for those who embrace and encourage our vulnerability in developing caring relationships. I try to look at relationships as interdependent, the balance of giving and receiving as Karen shared. We need each other in this life. The balance is the healthy feeling of enjoying being alone and also spending time with others. Imbalance is depending solely on others to bolster our self-esteem, to fill our empty love tank, being fearful of expressing our needs for fear of rejection. For me, this past year created an imbalance with the isolation I experienced. I realized how much joy I felt being “with” others. For some, it became comfortable to be isolated to the point where the fear of future interacting in person became a concern. Initially the isolation became a welcome change from my overly hectic scheduled life.
Further into the pandemic, I understood that too much time alone, not interacting on a more personal level, was creating a void that could be a trigger. Don’t get me wrong, it took years, but I did eventually learn to enjoy my own company but I also love being with others. It motivates me, inspires me, brings me great joy – loving the course of my world with wonderful people. I even missed chatting with people in the grocery store! However, it is this Statement that made me realize that whether in person, zoom, phone or text, I am grateful for the circle of love in my life. Even in physical isolation, I had so much love from the women I have been privileged to know through WFS. I believe I could write that on my gratitude list every night.
Love, caring is an action, not just a feeling. Are you aware of how you fill your own personal love tank, showing love to yourself, how you show caring to others? Is your love and caring in balance? This is an important question as I have found many women with addictions tend to be people pleasers, neglecting their own needs. It’s exhausting! So, Statement #7 is practicing self-care, self-love and having the energy to be caring about others.
Bonded in a balanced, loving, caring, sober life to enjoy, Dee
Hear more about Statement #7 in this video!
1 thought on “Monday Thoughts 8/9/2021”
My experience includes that self-love and love of others need to be preceded by self-respect and respect for others. Self-respect includes setting boundaries for myself and for others’ interactions with me. Some things are simply not okay. I can have a great deal of respect for someone even though they are attempting to disrespect my boundaries and still make it clear to them what my reasonable expectations are for how I’m treated. This lesson took me *many* decades to internalize. I had no idea what my boundaries were when I was younger, so acknowledging them was impossible. It’s been hard work, involving some trial and error and some eureka moments about who I am and how I want to be treated. (I’ve always been clear about treating others with respect and compassion.)
How has all of this changed the course of my world? It has enabled me to discontinue toxic relationships without the need for blame or anger. It has helped me to choose how I much of my time I need to spend in solitude and to respect that. (The pandemic has really not changed my daily living very much. Some people just need a lot of solitude. There are many reasons why someone might need more solitude than others. In my case, groups of people are so overstimulating (neurologically) that I can reach a frantic point where I simply need to leave.) Understanding the balance I need for solitude has enabled me to see friends at a pace that ensures that we stay connected and involved in each others’ lives without feeling exhausted.