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Monday Thoughts 8.8.22

“It takes courage and strength to be empathetic.”

Jacinda Arden

“Find ecstasy in life: the mere sense of living is joy enough.”

Emily Dickinson

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”

Brené Brown


#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important


Statement #7 oftentimes is frequently referred to as one of the “love” Statements, yet all of the WFS New Life Acceptance Statements are intertwined with love.  Essentially, embracing sobriety and recovery is an act of self-love that changes the course of our world.

Over time, substance abuse disorders change brain circuitry and make it impossible for meaningful connections.  Before sobriety, I felt disconnected from everything yet was completely unaware that I had disconnected from myself.   In order to feel something, I either actively sought out drama or attempted to protect myself by making my world even smaller.  It was emotionally isolating and painful.

Initially, practicing Statement #7 did not come easy.  It felt foreign and uncomfortable, but it also felt promising.  The WFS Online Forum became a daily connection, I was learning so much and beginning to experience self-love.  My world began to grow and the changes felt empowering.  Gone was the need for drama, replaced with ripples of connection and expansion. Today, Statement #7 seems to ebb and flow like waves, with bursts of transformation followed by periods of stillness.  Either way, this 4C life is beautiful!

Here are four ways to engage and practice self-love and caring:

1.      Recognize, reduce and eliminate self-judgment:  Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a dear friend.  You deserve love, period.

2.      Trust yourself:  Acknowledge gains you’ve made, no matter how small.  Your trust will build on itself.

3.      Be true to yourself:  Identify your core beliefs and values. Recognize when you step out of your alignment.  Create, fulfill, and strengthen boundaries.

4.      Forgive yourself.  Self-forgiveness allows for inner growth and change.  Every day is an opportunity for caring.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

As I read Karen’s thoughts, it is so amazing how the WFS Statements all work together yet separately have such an empowering message in learning, growing, loving, and definitely hope.

The 4 points that Karen shared made me reflect on how the Statements fit together so beautifully.  These are my reflections.  Would love for you to think about which Statements you believe they represent.

1.        Reducing self-judgment is Statement #2.  So important in self-love and self-respect.

2.       Trusting ourselves is Statement #12 in knowing how competent we are, trusting we are 4C women with so much to offer.

3.       Forgiving myself was so difficult.  Yet, I realized that if I were to have a New Life in recovery, I needed to do just that.  Statement #9 always pulls me out of regret, shame, and wishes I had, to remember that I can’t change what happened but learn from it and make healthier, wiser choices.

4.       Being true to yourself for me is Statement #13 knowing we are responsible for our actions and setting boundaries to nurture and grow our self-worth.

Then there is Statement #7 in loving all of me, past included, in order to move forward.  Believing I was lovable seemed an impossibility.  I saw myself as broken, fake, needy, undesirable, and definitely unworthy of love.  But there is that word again that Karen shared – hope!  As I practiced the Statements, I began to understand how important loving myself would allow love in my life.  I could genuinely love myself and others.  It was as though I was learning to walk again, to reach out my arms for support, and then to give it back.  This was my New Life.

How we speak to ourselves is critical.  I had to unlearn my negative self-talk.  Loving myself also allowed me to be vulnerable, especially to my great fear of rejection.  That was huge.  Honestly, it was painful at times yet slowly I began to recognize that I was in charge of my life and my reactions.  I never would have thought that being authentic and loving myself would heal the need to be liked/loved by everyone.  While I love helping others more than anything, I also learned that I cannot be a doormat, and walked on with no consequence.  The consequence is that I move on, giving my caring and compassion from my heart and not just the need to please or be liked.  My love for others is so real and it gives me great joy.

As you go through this week, think about how:

you speak to yourself;

how you heal and move through the past, the lessons you have learned/learning;

how love is changing your world in concrete ways, moving from people pleasing to self-caring with compassion;

how brave you are to let love in and give love away authentically.

Bonded in knowing, expressing authentic love, and practicing self-care, Dee


women for sobriety holiday sale 2022 save the date

Mark your calendars! You are going to LOVE what’s coming in the Holiday Sale!

For more information join us on WFS Online in The Creative Crew connection group under Forums — or email [email protected]womenforsobriety.org  

Catalog will be available October 14.

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Monday Thoughts 8.1.22

women for sobriety decorative image woman stretching

“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing—just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?”

Ralph Marston

“It may look like I’m doing nothing, but in my head I’m quite busy.”

Anonymous

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

A.A. Milne


#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.


Pausing to think about it for a moment, sobriety is not doing something. Whatever that something is, the not doing of it…whether it be alcohol or another substance, is sobriety. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. knew that there was much more to life in sobriety. Jean created WFS and our Thirteen Statements of Acceptance so that we could recover and discover. Sobriety leads the way, and Statement #6 aids in developing an expansive New Life.

For a long time, I assumed that being busy meant that I was living fully. Yet that busyness created more anxiety without really going anywhere. It felt cartoonish with my feet in a circular motion while the rest of me stood still. Alcohol became an escape, and I remained stuck, missing out on life. Our WFS Program booklet reminds us, “Although we only get a one-way ticket through life, we speed through our days as if planning to enjoy them at another time. We live as if we have an endless number of tomorrows.”

Statement #6 gives us direction to savor the stillness. Ordinary moments that once felt boring or uneventful are now in fact, filled with contentment. It feels immensely gratifying to close my eyes at night, knowing that I was a participant in the entire day. Feelings of guilt or regret dissipate as I consciously give myself permission to “do nothing” and simply be. These mini-time-outs refresh my mind and spirit, re-energizing and uplifting me to new heights. This week, carve out time to be present, connect and savor the moment.

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I absolutely, positively love Karen’s message about being still, simply be or do nothing without feeling guilty. WOW! That is a different perspective on living the greatness of the ordinary and so much truth in it. I have to say that I thought I had to be overly busy to create greatness and if I wasn’t, the guilt would come and I would try harder. I now realize that sobriety is meant to be joyful and fulfilling, and being busy to fill up the time is not exactly creating a balance that provides those feelings. However, I understand in the beginning that being busy is very helpful. At least it was for me. After all, I was happy to have my junk drawers and closets cleaned out as I have heard from many women over the years feeling the exact same way. It felt like cleansing and release of the energy built up from resisting the desire to drink or use other substances. It helped quiet the loud thoughts in my head by having something physical to do that didn’t require a huge thought process.

Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t lasting fulfillment or contentment of being sober. It was more of a stepping stone to uncovering and discovering what greatness meant to me on an ordinary day in my ordinary life. I was actually grateful for the ordinary rather than the chaos of my drinking days. My initial thoughts were so negative as I tried to understand how to create this ordinary life into one of greatness.  I finally realized that ordinary wasn’t so bad. I began to enjoy the moments of peace but never connected it to this Statement in the way that Karen has expressed herein that life can be both ordinary and great together. Rather than separating them, I am going to combine them to know what is important to me in creating an ordinary life of greatness and how to achieve it. In other words, create a balance, freeing me from useless guilt. I encourage those who are working on gaining sobriety by being busy, to just keep doing what works for you now! This is why Karen’s thoughts resonated with me when she spoke about guilt in doing nothing as I was experiencing guilt in doing too much. I needed and was surprised by the awareness that sometimes there is also guilt in doing too much. Again, it’s all about balance and feeling alright with where ever we are at this moment. I slowly understood that I was blocking the awareness needed to create a balance. I still love organizing yet if it becomes a defense to having balance and appreciating both stillness and hard work, I need to acknowledge that. Always remember that recovery is a process that we need to embrace as we learn and grow.

This week try to be conscious of how you practice Statement #6. What are you discovering about yourself? What awareness do you have of how ordinary fits into the greatness of your life? If you discover what you need to add or remove from your day, think about how you can do that. Create a plan that works for you. You deserve greatness in this ordinary life; however, you define it!

Bonded in uncovering and discovering what greatness in the ordinary means specifically to each of you, Dee


Women for Sobriety is asking women who use the New Life Program to take our 2022 Member Survey! This survey is designed to help WFS understand your needs, experiences, and satisfaction with the New Life Program by asking these types of questions:

  • About your substance use and its impact(s) on your life
  • About your recovery and your use of the New Life Program

We want to assure you that your responses in this survey are completely anonymous, and cannot be traced back to the respondent. No personally identifiable information is captured. Additionally, your responses are combined with those of many others and summarized in a report to further protect your anonymity.

TAKE THE SURVEY

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2022 Member Survey

Women for Sobriety is asking women who use the New Life Program to take our 2022 Member Survey! This survey is designed to help WFS understand your needs, experiences, and satisfaction with the New Life Program by asking these types of questions:

  • About your substance use and its impact(s) on your life
  • About your recovery and your use of the New Life Program

We want to assure you that your responses in this survey are completely anonymous, and cannot be traced back to the respondent. No personally identifiable information is captured. Additionally, your responses are combined with those of many others and summarized in a report to further protect your anonymity.

TAKE THE SURVEY