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“Walls turned sideways are bridges.” ~~Angela Davis
“Fear builds its phantoms which are more fearsome than reality itself.” ~~Jawaharlal Nehru
“Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures.” ~~Vincent Van Gogh
#4 Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.
I now better understand my problems.
I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.
Sober life tends to move through different stages much like the seasons. From the increasing daylight of spring and new life into summer days full of energy and brightness. Followed by fall, unfurling itself to where we are right now, wrapped up in a slower pace of hibernation and stillness, we can be reminded of how Statement #4 in action goes through the very same process.
Active addiction makes it impossible to reap a harvest of growth and blossoming relationships. It can remove any sense of connection while digging a deep hole of loneliness. Imbalance sets in like overgrown weeds and chokes off new seedlings. Life and love cannot flourish without nourishment.
Sobriety and Statement #4 in action create a garden full of hope, resilience, and growth. Beautiful tall blooms of optimism, opportunity, and overcoming stand tall while layers of peace, love, and patience fill in underneath. Covering the ground level, a vast curtain of contentment and connection fills in any bare spots, bringing a sense of balance and ease into view. It is a garden of you, growing and evolving with the changing seasons. What will you plant today for your future harvest?
Dear 4C Women,
I love every word of Karen’s message. I could visualize the seasons, the garden and finally, the hope experienced in recovery. My drinking mostly hurt the relationship I had with myself. I made unhealthy choices and everything – I mean everything – was a problem. I could not discern the difference between a problem and a genuine concern that needed my attention. I lacked problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities. Because I saw everything as a problem, I was constantly overwhelmed. Learning to understand authentic concerns was such a gift in teaching me those skills of problem-solving that drinking took away.
As I began to think clearly, I also learned to seek input, to be vulnerable, and yet know that the final decision was mine to make. Mistakes were made yet learning was taking place. I realized how much time I wasted on non-issues and how much more energy and time I had to tackle the real concerns facing me. I also realized that I was using everyday problems to stop me from facing the important decisions to be made. I was fearful of making more mistakes. A big lesson for me was that mistakes were just that – a learning curve for the next time and that success was possible. In fact, I probably learned a lot more by being open, willing, and vulnerable, to accept mistakes and keep moving forward.
Jean Kirkpatrick had such a clear understanding of women’s roles when she created this program back in 1975. She understood the societal expectations of women and how that created overwhelming pressure for women who sought relief by drinking or using substances. There was a double standard and not much support but lots of judgment. We were expected to be the best in everything, take care of all relationships, put others before ourselves and not complain. That certainly created a lot of overwhelming pressure. Jean knew this and it guided her to write this empowering WFS program. Of course, pressures still exist as women’s roles expanded. Fortunately, through WFS, I have seen women learn to value themselves, speak their voice, practice self-care, learn coping skills that include problem-solving and decision making. The most important thing is that there is support given and received. We share our journey, women strong, compassionate and caring.
Bonded in planting our future harvest of hope, resilience, and supporting each other along the way, Dee
CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
Do you have a particular interest or expertise that you can share with the WFS community during our 2022 Annual Conference?
WFS is planning for our in-person conference and seeking workshop presenters for the event. The conference theme of “Bloom” opens up a very wide range of potential workshop topics related to recovery and emotional and spiritual growth.
Please consider giving back to WFS by designing and presenting a workshop. We have so many talented and knowledgeable women in our community that the possibilities are endless for topics and content.
Proposals for workshop topics are due January 31st, 2022.
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