“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” ~~Liberty Hyde Bailey
“The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.” ~~Denis Waitley
“But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.” ~~Elizabeth Edwards
#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.
Many of the efforts before my New Life were directed towards escaping life. This fueled my alcohol use and it quickly, and easily spiraled out of control. Reflecting back, I was merely existing, numb to the outside world. Sobriety changed that and with practice of Statement #6, I am investing in life today.
Some days it can be easier to put in effort, while others more difficult. Many of us are venturing out more since the pandemic started and it feels different. We have been hidden away, unable to connect and now new routines are becoming more familiar. It has taken great effort to reach this point, so I like to remind myself of how far we have come.
Paying attention to where our attention is and making effort to be present is daily practice of Statement #6. Just like with a garden of floral beauty, if I want to have an attractive garden of balance, contentment and love, I need to apply the effort. In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Sobriety is a rewarding experience for those who invest in the moments of each day.” Remind yourself every day that you are worth investing in!
Hi 4C Women,
I love the analogy Karen shared of creating a garden of balance. It is that balance that keeps us moving forward and creating awareness of the ability we possess to focus on the positive moments we experience. My neighbor is keenly aware of her environment and whenever there is a magnificent sunset, she will ring my doorbell and ask me to come outside and view it. The first time she apologized for bothering me and I assured her I was grateful for sharing the experience of the most magnificent sunset that day. Now, she feels very comfortable ringing the doorbell when one of those sunsets appears on the horizon. A simple gesture, a beautiful memory. I would have missed it if not for my thoughtful neighbor.
I am also realizing that empowerment and respectful assertiveness makes my life greater. I no longer have to hide my fear of speaking my voice by hiding it in drinking. In fact, drinking either gave me false courage or going deeper into hiding my voice which never created real inside change, leaving me feel empty. How many times can one apologize for their words, their behavior? This is where the inside change makes life great. If my past behavior or words are brought to my attention, I acknowledge it. But that’s where it stops and a new way of communicating begins. I ask what I can do to heal the hurt. This creates awareness in the person as to how we can and need to work together, not continually punishing me for something I cannot change. Through the years, I have worked diligently on expressing myself as a sober woman, not in anger but with thoughtfulness in hopes of being heard. This is another time when pausing before responding helps me. It’s not always easy or done as well as I hoped yet it’s a great improvement over the way I spoke when drinking. This is the beauty of the WFS program. While I may falter in my words or approach, I haven’t given up or gone back to hiding in an unhealthy way.
Life certainly is not ordinary, especially the past couple of years. I believe this has helped me focus on moments that I ignored in the past. I find myself stopping to listen to the birds chirping in my back yard and I feel a smile cross my face. I listen more intently when people share their feelings, in awe that they trust me that much to do so. Before WFS, I didn’t listen well at all. I was focused on preparing my comments before a person even finished a sentence. I am grateful for the great gift of learning through WFS.
I also believe that as I work on fine tuning my awareness of the ordinary that makes life great, I am filled with hope. That hope gives me courage – courage to change, to heal, live in peace, even be bold at times. How will you practice this new awareness? What changes are you willing to make to have the hope of improved relationships, including the most important one – the one you have with yourself?
I realize, as Karen has shared about how far we have all come, especially in the past couple of years with the impact of isolation and now finding ourselves venturing out. It is so important to remind ourselves of how hard we’ve worked and how willing we are to create this ordinary life into a fulfilling one of hope and inner change. I encourage you to remind yourself of how extraordinary an accomplishment this is and how you are worthy and deserving to keep trying. It is what makes you courageous,
Bonded in courage to make the ordinary great, Dee