“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” Brené Brown
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any other experience that reveals the human spirit.” E.E. Cummings
“I’ve finally stopped running away from myself. Who else is there better to be?” Goldie Hawn
#12 I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.
This is what I am and I shall know it always.
Sobriety and Statement #12 in action cement continuing self-encouragement and a positive belief in self. In active addiction, it is easy to listen to the repetitive negative self-talk and actually believe the gloom and doom. Yet with the clarity of sobriety, the practice of Statement #12 begins to feel more comfortable.
Over time, my alcohol use had disabled the ability to believe in myself. The guilt and shame that I felt because of my drinking escalated the negativity. In turn, I put others on a pedestal, while pushing myself down even further. This created an unhealthy imbalance and the words “I can’t” had become the norm. Statement #12 in action changes that.
In our WFS Program booklet it states “By releasing the baggage of self-denial about ourselves and our abilities, we can free ourselves from feelings of guilt, despair, and unworthiness. We are competent women, capable of great accomplishment when we nurture a belief in ourselves.” This week, focus on nurturing your whole self. Here are 4 ways to hug your inner self:
- Accept where you are right now: Maybe you are one month sober, or maybe 10 years. Celebrate where you are right now by embracing everything about you. Maybe there are things you like and don’t like about yourself right now. You are caring for yourself, the fact that you are reading this email/post/thread says how much you are focused on self-care/growth.
- Acknowledge your victories:Every little achievement adds to who and where you are, so acknowledge them no matter the size. Grab a small journal and keep a running list and refer to it when feelings of discouragement appear. Review and add to your list every week.
- Balance yourself: Instead of putting others on a pedestal or knocking them in criticism, balance yourself! Elevating/negating others in comparison while elevating/downing yourself can lead to lowered self-esteem/worth or even relapse. You are uniquely you!
- Eliminate self-criticism while embracing self-compassion:Listen to how you speak to yourself. Are you encouraging? Is how you talk to yourself taking you deeper into sobriety and recovery or is your self-talk taking your further away? Be gentle with yourself. You deserve to be spoken to with care and love, every day.
Dear 4C Women,
It took me a while yet I eventually realized that life is not stagnant and I am ever so grateful for that knowledge. If life remained the same after I quit drinking, if there wasn’t a program with guidelines for a New Life, I don’t think I would ever have been willing or possibly able to accept and practice Statement #12. What a powerful impact this Statement has had in my life, to believe I am a competent woman and have much to give life! I also learned to accept while I may not be competent in all things, it doesn’t take away the truth for me and all of us, that we are indeed competent women. I believe being competent means I am wise enough to ask for help in areas that I need input/assistance and not feel less than. It’s always been hard to ask for help yet I am getting much better at it and while I embrace being responsible for my life, it’s a relief to not have to be all-knowing or think I have to be perfect to make up for my behavior in active addiction. Perfection is an unachievable goal and a roadblock to healing, changing, and moving forward.
The 4 ways that Karen listed to nurture your whole self are practical and doable and fit so well together. I especially appreciate acknowledging our victories. I was brought up in an age when a young girl/woman acknowledging their achievements was considered self-centered or conceited. Thank goodness that has changed and we can cheer and shout about our competency without fear of being judged negatively. And if we are judged, we are competent enough to stand strong and know our truth. We have made many lists in the meetings on this Statement. My favorite is the one that lists all of our positive qualities, achievements, core values on a 3×5 index card. On the other side is the word “Stop.” Sometimes we get caught up in negative self-talk. This list is a reminder to stop and read how much we have changed, achieved, and are still committed to creating this wonderful New Life of competency. I keep it in my purse for those negative self-talk moments. We all come with a history, a lifetime of diverse experiences. Redefining our self-concept in practicing Statement #12 when we become sober, can be the beginning in acknowledging and awakening how competent we are, have been and willingly, joyfully share it with the world.
Are you ready to accept yourself where you are right now, create your list of victories, balance yourself with your uniqueness, and embrace self-compassion? If not now, when?
Bonded in competency and worthiness, Dee
Show your WFS pride…spring is on its way…promise!