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“If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.”
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all of your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
My mind, thoughts, and life were not anything that I gave attention to before sobriety and recovery. Most of the time, I bounced from one particular drama to another, never really stopping to consider how or why things happened the way they did. Yet Statement #5, the center of the WFS New Life Program opens the door to mind our minds.
Active addiction removes the ability to think clearly and short circuits or hijacks the reward center. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, irritability, and paranoia. Yet the human brain is remarkably resilient, and can create new pathways (neuroplasticity) in sobriety and recovery, and here is where Statement #5 comes in. By taking charge of and managing our thoughts, “We create a new self in our mind first” as our WFS Program booklet states.
I recall feeling overwhelmed when first beginning to recognize my thoughts. It was so LOUD in my head! So many ramblings, and constant conversations about negativity or dread, and fear. LOTS of fear! I felt like I was afraid of everything. I judged myself, then judged the judgments. It felt like I was caught in a loop of meandering wild thoughts. There was no order, only chaos. But through this wild zoo, I became the gatekeeper. Writing down thoughts enabled me to stick them on paper instead of having them fly through my brain. Guided meditation taught me how to lengthen the pause between thoughts, and the women in our WFS face-to-face group and WFS Online Forum shared their techniques for managing their thoughts. Some days are easier to manage, and others more difficult, depending on factors like energy levels or time of year. With continued practice of Statement #5, we are capable, competent, caring, and compassionate women. What is your go-to tool to manage your thoughts?
Hi 4C Women,
I love how Karen gained awareness in understanding that she was the gatekeeper of her thoughts. Being the gatekeeper is a powerful position and Statement #5 directs us to use that power wisely for our own well-being and personal growth in recovery. I hid my power because I was afraid of being rejected and ridiculed as was my experience. That history I carried within my thoughts was stronger than my ability to see I was truly in charge of changing history going forward. Becoming sober gave me clarity and when I initially began saying positive words to describe myself, it was a huge challenge.
I remember the first time I asked the group I was facilitating to describe themselves using 50 words. There was laughter and horror being expressed. As I looked around the room, I saw women staring at the blank piece of paper with an incredulous look that I would expect them to have 50 words when they could barely provide 2 or 3. The laughter was the unease of writing any positive words about themselves as that would be considered conceited, something they grew up hearing. When I said they could use authentic words as to how they saw themselves on that day, they seemed relieved. It is amazing how many of us have been taught that saying and believing positive descriptive words was not ladylike! I asked them to date their responses and the next time we did this exercise; they could visually see their personal growth in how they viewed themselves. Today, when I start doubting my belief in myself, I tend to go back to Statement #9 and remind myself I am not the same person, I am a new woman. I have worked hard for positive change and built my self-esteem, self-love, and self-worthiness with all the tools the WFS program has provided. It is a continuing process and knowing that, gives me peace.
I now realize that asking anyone to provide 50 words to describe themselves is daunting. In reflection, I keep asking myself, “What was I thinking?” So below are questions I feel are more doable. And remember that this is a process of personal growth and being authentic is a wonderful way to see how we have grown and where we need to focus to keep the process going in a positive direction.
This makes me unique:
I feel strong/empowered when:
I accept myself for:
A quality I am proud of:
Today I am grateful for:
I did my best to overcome:
The most significant positive change I have made:
Bonded in awareness of becoming your empowered 4C self, Dee
Save the Date: Volunteer Orientation Opportunity!
Date: Tuesday, November 1th 2022 at 8:30 pm US/Eastern
Learn more about the History of WFS, join other 4C women looking to volunteer, and hear about all the wonderful work our current volunteers are doing!
To receive the Zoom meeting information email: firstname.lastname@example.org