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“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing to the whole woman.” ~~Maya Angelou
“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” ~~Oprah Winfrey
“Regrets only apply when we don’t learn from a situation. No sense looking back; look forward with new knowledge and no regret.” ~~Catherine Pulsifer
#9 The past is gone forever.
No longer am I victimized by the past. I am a new woman.
For some women, myself included, fear of the unknown kept me in an unhealthy cycle and locked into active addiction. It seemed like an endless circle of emotional turmoil, then an attempt to escape the pain and right back into chaos with even more turmoil. It was an exhausting way to live and it took a heavy toll. Yet sobriety and the WFS Statements, in particular Statement #9, open the door to balance while leaving fear and regret behind.
I defined myself by the past, and with the clarity of sobriety, I began to open up to possibility with Statement #9. Instead of beating myself with regret, I examined past moments with today’s eyes. What I found was growth. When I learned something from a past painful situation, I stopped defining myself by it. This was a new way to process information and I began to heal parts of myself that had been hurting for a very long time.
Understanding that my old views kept me in a victim position, I looked for ways to reframe, adjust and learn. The weight of many years of suffering began to dissipate and I felt a fresh sense of invigorating freedom. Breaking the cycle of trauma and pain opens a portal for purpose and possibility. As our WFS Program booklet states “By releasing the past, the present comes alive and we can experience life with fullness and hope.”
Dear 4C Women,
Every word Karen has written resonates with me, especially lifting the weight of many years of suffering by understanding and changing my internal dialogue. I could feel that weight lift as I recall the moment when I realized that I was victimizing myself by living in the past rather than healing from it. The self-punishment I placed on myself was relentless. I am grateful for Statement #9. It became my favorite Statement and literally changed my outlook which impacted my recovery in a phenomenal way.
If I had to describe it in one word, it would be “freedom.” I never imagined that I could look at past regrets and immediately tell myself that it can’t be changed and instead ask what I can do for myself today, what life lesson have I learned to use in the present? That is my current self-talk. No more wasting precious time by heaping pain on my heart but leaving the past where it belongs and bringing the empowering life- lessons into the present. People talk about red flags and that is one big lesson I learned from the past as healing isn’t only about our actions, our behaviors but also how we have been treated. It’s part of the healing process to recognize hurt comes in from others. There are times when I reflect on the past and feel sad or angry yet it is a temporary reflection and I believe a healthy one. It is a reminder that I have worked darn hard on healing and creating my New Life. I recognize when I am being treated in a disrespectful manner, begin feeling unheard, invisible, and less than. What a relief to know this and respond accordingly to protect my well-being. I am a new woman!
I encourage each of you to forgive and heal from your past, relish your ability to learn life lessons and grow from them, set boundaries for those who tend to keep bringing your past into the present to cause you to hurt, know you are worthy of a New Life and cherish the woman you are and are becoming.
Bonded in healing and nurturing your well-being, Dee
Be part of the 2022 Teddy Bear Challenge! Support WFS with a donation at https://womenforsobriety.