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“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover it’s bottomless.”
“The people you will always remember are the ones who made you feel loved when you were at your lowest.”
“Some of you are unaware of just how amazing you really are. The way you make people laugh, lift others up, or spread some extra love. You do this even though you are struggling too, and I think it makes you such a beautiful human being.”
#7 Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.
The WFS New Life Program offers something not found in active addiction, connection. It was in those dark days before sobriety that I felt furthest from love and it was devastatingly lonely. Feeling insignificant and unworthy of love, it was hard to feel connected to anything. Sobriety and Statement #7 in action helped change that.
Connection is a basic human need. Yet something so basic gets lost in alcohol or drugs. We cut ourselves off, evicting love from our circles of connection. Applying Statement #7 reopens those spheres of support and love can flow in again. While it can feel awkward at first, the more connections made the wider the love and deeper the meaning.
WFS women are the strongest and most compassionate women in the world. We unknowingly came together, each learning a new way of life. We connected and changed the course of our world. We left behind outdated thought patterns and embraced 13 Statements of Acceptance. We listen and hear each other. We laugh and cry together. We grow and evolve together. We are bonded and connected together through love.
Here are 4 ways to increase connection:
1. Surround yourself with people with shared interests: The fact you are reading this email/post shows you have a connection. Further this connection by branching out. Post on the WFS Forum if you never have before, attend a different recovery meeting, or touch base with someone you’ve missed lately. Do the same with interests or hobbies.
2. Pocket the phone: It’s easy to hide in our phones or screens when feeling uncomfortable. This can hamper our ability to connect. Focus on being present. Notice how you connect with the world and challenge yourself.
3. Reach out: Who will you reach out to? Someone you’ve missed? Is there someone that you would like to get to know better? A phone call, text, or card can jump-start connection. However, maintain any boundaries you have set in place.
4. List it: In a notebook, write down every single person in the world that you know. Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Beside their name, write down one thing that you know about that person. Maybe the only thing you know about them is that they like the color purple or have a cat. List it. Keep going until you can’t write down any more names or tidbits of information. You will be surprised to see how many people you are connected to, even in the smallest way. This was a favorite technique and it helped me see that I was not alone in this world. (I still take this out on occasion to read just because it makes me happy)
Dear 4C Women,
Acceptance and connection to others is what WFS has given me. I didn’t always feel accepted and that probably started with my biological father amid much rejection to adulthood. However, my stepdad “dad” loved me and created a foundation of feeling loved. I do believe that if it wasn’t for him, I might not have been able to eventually learn that his love is what rescued me. Unfortunately, until that realization, I still chose unhealthy relationships and lost that feeling of being worthy of healthy love. I guess the feeling of being unlovable was too well established before my dad came into the picture although I was a child. My dad’s love changed the course of my world and while it might have taken a long time to recognize that, I have that beautiful memory to reflect on in times of pain.
For the women reading this message, I hope you continue on this love journey and find how loving yourself despite the struggles you are or have experienced, will be returned in ways you might not have even begun to imagine. Acceptance, connection, and the feeling of love being returned are powerful and definitely possible as we slowly break down the walls of whatever keeps us stuck. My wall was fear of rejection. If I closed off the possibility of being loved and loving, I wouldn’t feel the pain of rejection. However, WFS taught me that I was also missing out on the joy of experiencing love.
I remember before I got my iPhone that I would sit in the doctor’s waiting room and couldn’t understand why everyone was glued to their phones as I was used to having casual conversations. Karen’s suggestion about pocketing the phone reminded me that I have become part of that world now. The last time I was in the doctor’s waiting room, I kept my phone in my purse, looked around, and felt sad at missed opportunities. However, I plan to keep seeking opportunities for brief connections with others whether it is in the grocery store, standing in line anywhere, or asking for help in searching for an item.
I’ve also learned that love comes in many diverse ways. Since my daughter passed, I have found and given extra love to my dog, Molly, and so many WFS sisters, friends, neighbors, church family, and my family. Today was the first time I had to show my daughter’s death certificate and I broke down as I tried to say the words. The woman who was helping me was so kind and in the end, gave me a big hug as did her supervisor. I guess my message is to seek love, give love and feel how it changes your world.
This week think about how you speak to yourself. Are you loving, forgiving, and caring?
Who and how do you feel connected to the people in your life?
What does caring is all important mean to you and how does it show up in your life?
Bonded in letting love in to change the course of your world and understanding that caring is all important, Dee