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“Once you’ve released the struggle to prove yourself worthy in someone else’s world, you begin to trust yourself and your instincts. ~~Wendy Hammond
“I love when I realize I’m handling a situation better than my old self would have.” ~~Unknown
“You are the best author of your own future. So, the next time you sit down to write your own story, remember that you are the creator of the chapters.” ~~Catherine Pulsifer
This is what I am, and I shall know it always.
Many times, before New Life, I wondered how on earth would I manage without alcohol. I knew drinking was a real problem, but how could being sober be satisfying? Sobriety and the practice of the WFS Statements helped change that. Especially Statement #12.
Unaware of how little I believed in myself, sobriety and recovery became the opening into self-discovery and awareness. Statement #12 became a mantra for when feelings of doubt swirled through my mind or when cravings hit hard. Instantly I reached for those first five words and repeated them again and again………. I am a competent woman…….… I am a competent woman……… I am a competent woman.
Each success is built on the previous success. No matter how small or insignificant it seemed, it held the history of overcoming which enhanced feelings of competence. These feelings felt so good; better than alcohol since I had earned them from moving through fears, doubts, and uncertainty. I was teaching myself that I am worthy and do have much to give life. One of my most favorite paragraphs from our WFS Program booklet can be found under Statement #12. It states “Begin each day with an unshakable belief in your own competency. First the thought, then the reality. Believing you are a competent woman is giving to life. Know you are a competent woman.” You are 4C!
I came across a paper written by David B. Bohl in which he posed the question, “Why do people change?” The two main reasons were Desperation and Inspiration. Thinking back to my decision to stop drinking, it definitely was desperation. I didn’t like who I was, didn’t even really know myself anymore. I was lost and felt trapped. I clung to Statement #1 and wondered how in the world would I ever evolve into believing Statement #12? I now understand why Inspiration was included in why people change. I was inspired by how much my life, my definition of who I was becoming, would create such an empowering change by following the WFS Statements. I was also surrounded by women who worked hard for change and they inspired me as well. I wasn’t alone in wanting change. It was hard work yet the benefits surpassed anything that I ever dreamed of. I divorced after 27 years of marriage and thankfully I was sober when that decision was made. Drinking numbed the pain briefly and I as took responsibility for my life and my actions, I started to believe I was competent. I gained the courage to end a marriage that left me empty and feeling completely unlovable. Many marriages survive and thrive through hard work of both partners which I applaud. For me, we lacked and lost the foundation to rebuild.
I am so grateful for Statement #12. It provided a path to belief in myself, to face many of my fears and stay strong through my mistakes and appreciate my successes. I sometimes reflect on the woman I was so many years ago and, in those moments, I hold her tight and praise her for learning how to redefine herself, to keep trying and speak her competent truth!
I hope you will reflect on why and how you have changed or are changing. Mostly, praise yourself for the willingness to keep learning, encouraging and supporting your personal path and to include other women who are working toward believing they are competent women and have much to give life, Dee