“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~~Harriet Beecher Stowe
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” ~~Chinese Proverb
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” ~~Bernice Johnson Reagon
#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.
My relationship with growth ebbs and flows but thanks in part to Statement #8, I do feel a sense of greater balance. In one instance, I feel excited for the shiny newness, or a different way of living, much like in early sobriety. I felt so alive and open to possibility, ready to take on the world while also feeling full of wonder.
Then there are times that I can flip into frustration, knowing that there is an avenue in front of me which I can either embrace and reap the rewards or reject, (even partially) holding myself back from growth. Additionally, if I compare myself to what others are or are not doing, I end up with growing resentments instead of emotional or spiritual growth. Finding that balance can be key to keeping healthy momentum.
When I realize that everything is in a constant state of growth or change, I am able to redirect action back towards Statement #8. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD, wrote in our WFS Reflections for Growth booklet, “From sunrise to sunset, the day experiences many changes. In fact, the changes are constant, although most of us are not continually aware of them – only the drastic difference between dawn, midday, twilight and night. This is the way it is with each of us. We are in constant change but we don’t notice it until after the fact. Today I will be aware of the changes in myself.” This week, notice day to day changes while looking for areas where you can embrace growth.
Hi 4C Women,
I love the quotes and recall how I remained stuck in stagnation, not believing my life would ever change. Statement #8 helped me realize that it was “me” who had to change if I wanted to experience emotional and spiritual growth. The beauty of WFS is that spiritual growth is a personal path. No one is insisting that there is only one way to achieve it. For me, it became my faith in both myself that I could do this and in my personal religious faith. I learned that emotional growth was accepting where I was at and having the willingness to explore those feelings without numbing, running or ignoring. That is how I changed from believing my life was stuck to learning coping skills to deal with the negative times of life and become aware of the positive ones. It’s amazing how I began to recognize that there were positive moments once I opened my heart and mind to it.
I also realized how exhausting it was to deny myself the possibility of a more balanced life. I had to open the door and walk through it with hope. I am so grateful that I took that risk. I think of how powerful words are and if I were to move forward, I had to keep the promise I made to myself. It had to be real because I wanted my sober life to be different. I was tired of lying to myself, breaking promises to myself and standing still so to speak. I wanted to create a balanced life, not run to a substance that promised me nothing but pain and regret. While I still experience pain and, yes, regrets, I work through them. I can’t change my decisions made with the best of intentions, can’t undo mistakes but I do have the courage to learn from them and gratefully have a support team of women who will listen without judgment. Not having that judgment is such a safe feeling. Gaining insight helps me in my emotional growth. Emotional and spiritual growth is not a sprint but a journey of willingness to make those inside changes. Those changes stick.
Do you know what your priorities are? Do they match how you spend your time? How can you add more of what you love into your day, week, month, year? We all have responsibilities in our daily life which may include work, volunteering, household tasks (laundry, bills, grocery shopping, cleaning), family, etc. It’s creating balance and finding ways of putting more of what we love, enjoy, feel enthusiastic about into our daily lives and that definitely includes the priority of practicing self-care along with all of it.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about authentic priority. I’d like to share it again as the past couple of years have certainly had an impact on our lives in general, yet alone knowing what we need today to create a balanced life.
Authentic priority is:
Gives your life purpose, direction and meaning
Gives you enthusiasm, energy and motivation
Frees you from the forces of circumstance, expectation and habit, giving you a way to stay on the course you’ve chosen
Is realistic and attainable as an unrealistic priority will lead to frustration and disappointment
I hope these points on authentic priorities guide you to uncover and create your personal priorities in your emotional and spiritual growth journey.
Most importantly, remember this is your personal path and comparing to where others are at can be self-defeating. There is courage in accepting yourself for where you are right now, this moment. You hold the key to unlock the door to emotional and spiritual growth. Yes, we learn and can be inspired from others yet it is our responsibility to listen to our needs, consider input from those who have compassion for our journey and slowly start practicing those well-deserved, empowering inside changes that lead to a balanced New Life.
Bonded in creating our personal emotional and spiritual growth, Dee
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