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“You have a choice each and every single day. I choose to feel blessed. I choose to feel grateful. I choose to be excited. I choose to be thankful. I choose to be happy.”
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
“It’s the small habits. How you spend your mornings. How you talk to yourself. What you read and what you watch. Who you share your energy with. Who has access to you. That will change your life.”
#13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of mind, my thoughts, and my life.
Statement #13, the culmination of the WFS New Life Program and part of Level Six is the recovery chapter of a sober New Life. While sobriety is the beginning of abstinence, one without alcohol or substances, recovery is much more than not drinking or using. Recovery is the healing or process of living better, or in balance emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Statement #13 in action can also be the stop sign before relapse. Being in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life, I am able to examine and manage inner dialogue. If there is internal conflict or friction, it is up to me to disarm it, no one else, it comes from within. Blaming, which is something I did easily before sobriety and recovery, can be a big indicator of imbalance.
In our WFS Beginners Collection booklet, our founder Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes “The entire object of this ‘New Life’ Program is to come to this point: to the maturity of accepting ourselves and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do. By accepting responsibility for who we are and what we do, we have broken away from unhealthy dependencies upon others to see us through life. We have become whole. We make ourselves whole.” This week, examine what sobriety means to you and what recovery means to you. What tools do you use to manage your mind and your thoughts? What is the change that has made the biggest impact in your life?
Dear 4C Women,
I have been thinking about Karen’s question of what change has made the biggest impact on my recovery life. My first thought was “change” period! I changed my whole attitude and outlook in so many ways. I especially related to blaming everyone else for my unhappy life. It took a lot of courage to practice this Statement, to be responsible and in charge when I felt so empty, so lost, and searching for a way to trust myself to change my life in a positive way without alcohol. I decided that in order to accomplish this, I needed to accept this Statement with hope in my heart that I could become a responsible sober woman. I rebelled at first because it did mean I had to give up the blame game and that was pretty scary. To be in charge of my mind, thoughts, and life was quite a challenge, to say the least. I had to look deep into my inner conflict and actually, both believe I could change my negative attitude and the fear of such a momentous change to becoming a 4C woman. Fear was my stumbling block. Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of being in charge, plain old fear everywhere I looked.
Once the wall of fear started crumbling, I felt free for the first time in my life. I didn’t think that freedom would be the outcome of being in charge of my life. I made mistakes for sure. The difference is that I learned from them, created much better coping tools, made better choices but most of all, I didn’t retreat to old coping methods when I was unsure or made mistakes. Let’s face it, we all continue to make mistakes. That is part of human nature. However, I believe we go from surviving to thriving and that keeps us moving forward. We are also supported and encouraged by so many wonderful 4C women. We are not alone and that is what I love when I get those moments of doubt. I don’t run away; I stop and reflect. I seek input and do my best to keep Statement #13 always in the forefront of my thoughts, reactions, responses, attitude, and recovery because, in the end, I am responsible for my choices. I am learning to respect and trust my instincts as best I can. Life changes and the life lessons continue. As I wrote this, I laughed out loud wishing there weren’t so many lessons sometimes!
What is the change that has made the biggest impact on your recovery life?
How do you handle mistakes? What are your coping tools?
Do you acknowledge your successes or gloss over them?
Are you giving permission for those with dirty feet to walk through your mind? Can you identify them and set healthy boundaries for your well-being?
Do you trust and respect your instincts?
For those struggling in trusting themselves to be in charge of their life, remember it is not the length of the journey but the willingness to take it. And most importantly, this is not a solo journey. Yes, we are responsible for our individual actions/choices, yet there is so much support and encouragement from those who are journeying with us. We are students and teachers at different moments. Whichever you are right now, please trust yourself to be the teacher or the student.
Bonded together on this journey, Dee