“You are as amazing as you let yourself be. Let me repeat that. You are as amazing as you let yourself be.” Elizabeth Alraune
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you have power over, instead of craving control over what you don’t.” Steve Maraboli
“Control your thoughts. Decide about that which you will think and concentrate upon. You are in charge of your life to the degree you take charge of your thoughts.” Earl Nightingale
#13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
Practicing Statement #13 is not a one and done but in fact, a life-long commitment to sobriety and recovery. In our WFS Program booklet, it states “The purpose of the New Life Program is self-acceptance and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do. By accepting responsibility, we can break away from unhealthy dependencies.”
Before New Life, I recall feeling completely beat up and used by the world. Life felt painful and unfair. Turning to alcohol for escape, I created more imbalance and uncertainty, as well as physical and emotional turmoil. Something had to change, and it began with me.
With action into Statement #13, I set the tone for each day. Of course, energy levels fluctuate as well as physical abilities but it begins with the mind. When I focus on balancing thoughts and maintaining structure, the day can gently unfold. Even with the difficult world news right now, I am in charge of how I think and react. Every day, I can “look for the helpers,” by that, I mean that in every difficult or challenging situation, there are people who are the helpers. They try to make a small difference in their own way. Just a simple shift of attention to the helpers can move thoughts of fear/worry into a healthier pattern. This week, look for the helpers or be the helper. The world can always use a helping hand.
Dear 4C Women,
I have been divorced for 28 years and just saying the number seems unreal to me at times. One of my favorite quotes is one I saw on a calendar many years ago: “Life is change, growth is possible, choose wisely.” That quote was a picture of my life during my separation and divorce. I experienced major changes, ones I had not imagined and I had a choice to grow or remain broken, fearful, and frozen. Fortunately, I had quit drinking before the separation so I was beginning to have clarity yet the fear of being totally responsible for every area of my life was strong. I had to learn vulnerability, to accept that I would make mistakes and survive but also learn if I was willing. My big question became, how am I and my life going to be different? How will my decisions affect me in 10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years? The deceit, the lies no longer served me as I was now committed to my sobriety. Yet, handling so much responsibility after being married for 27 years left me with a lot of uncertainty.
I often say that I am grateful for my addiction as it led me to seek help and the kind of help that lifted me up, changed my way of thinking and responding. Even though I thankfully was in therapy, the WFS program provided a powerful companion guide for lasting change in sobriety. I am a person who disliked change immensely yet here I was with the biggest life change I had ever experienced. Talk about walking away from dependencies – addiction, financial support, and identity – my role as a wife, provider of a safe emotional place for my children, finding a place to live after the house was sold all while working a full-time job and facilitating a WFS meeting. Facilitating a meeting was probably the most rewarding as it was a reminder of the gift of my New Life. I had tremendous support from the women in the group. I made lifelong friends and maintained my sobriety as I worked through my fears. Statement #13 reminded me that I could do this and I did.
I was blessed to have helpers in my life. I learned from each person who held out their hand just what being helped and being a helper for others meant. I was not a person who took risks yet I was thrust into a life of risk-taking. Through all the unknown territories I walked through, I was grateful that I was able to find the lesson. Before, I would focus on the mistake which did nothing for my self-esteem, problem-solving, or decision-making. Statement #13 was my guiding force.
In reflecting on your life today, how do you feel about being vulnerable, willing to take risks, accepting help, giving help, and how your decisions will affect you in 10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years? If you are triggered, your action could have a huge impact on either of the 10s. I thought a lot about that when I was triggered and thankfully, it empowered me, even more, to stand strong, to keep that 4C woman intact, and survive any mistakes I made. It was not an easy journey yet worth every up and down as long as I was willing to learn, grow, be accountable and accept the tremendous support from my 4C sisters.
What one major change are you currently experiencing?
What is the most challenging part of the situation?
What is your reaction to change?
How will you better care for yourself during the course of the change?
What problem solving and decision-making skills are you learning in this situation?
Are you able to be a helper and/or accept help?
Bonded in taking responsibility, learning the lessons, and standing strong, Dee