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“Sometimes we need someone to simply be there, not to fix anything or do anything in particular, but just to let us feel we are supported and cared about.”
“Love is not about property, diamonds, and gifts. It is about sharing your very self with the world around you.”
“Be nice to people…. maybe it’ll be unappreciated, unreciprocated, or ignored, but spread the love anyway. We rise by lifting others.”
#10 All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved.
The first time I logged onto the WFS website and Online Forum, I felt a sense of welcome and understanding. Immediately, it felt like the safest place in the world and so very different from the alcohol-fueled existence that I had known. Women understood the fear, unease, and uncertainty that I had been feeling and quickly let me know that I was not alone. Statement #10 was in full display and wide open, and the relief was instantaneous.
Sobriety and love go hand in hand, whether it is given or received. Our WFS organization began out of love; our founder Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD, understood the importance of this 4-letter word, weaving it into not just one, but two of the WFS Statements. Together with Statement #7, Statement #10 in action provides a portal for love to be freely shared.
This week as the holiday season jumps into an even higher gear, it is the perfect opportunity to practice Statement #10. Instead of traditional family or situational complaints, we can shift focus towards embracing gratitude, not sweating the small stuff and actions within our scope or ability. What can you do this week to put action into Statement #10? Note how you feel when you share love in the little ways and savor those moments.
Dear 4C Women,
I have experienced this Statement so deeply over the years especially since my daughter passed away. The love, compassion, and support have been holding me up in times of deep grief. It has given me a purpose to move forward and to continue giving love to others as it has been given to me. I love Karen’s idea of embracing gratitude and not sweating the small stuff over the holidays. If you aren’t able to be with family, consider inviting a friend or neighbor who is alone, to be with you. I will miss my daughter terribly this holiday so not sweating the small stuff might be a bit easier for me than perhaps others. If you find yourself feeling stressed and overwhelmed, consider doing less or at least things that don’t bring you joy. My family were big cookie bakers. They had the whole family get together and spend a couple of days baking. I baked for a long time until one year, I just took it off my list of “must do” so I don’t really have to or want to. Each year I would look at my list of things to do and decide what was truly necessary and what I could let go of. It was such a relief and made the holidays more enjoyable. This was not easy because being a former people pleaser to the extent of neglecting my own needs and boundaries, it was definitely challenging. I felt as though I was disappointing my family. I finally realized that baking gave them great joy. For me, it felt more like a burden. I didn’t even want to admit that because who doesn’t like to bake? Well, me! So, what do you feel you could comfortably take off your list of “must-dos?” One year I decided not to send holiday cards to people I saw almost every day. I used that time and energy to send cards with updates to people who lived far away to keep our lines of communication and sharing going strong.
As you go through the holidays, think about what is one thing you can put aside. What would that be? What would that give you more time and energy to focus on? Perhaps you have already made these changes. What prompted you to do that?
Love and being loved can be felt and shown in so many ways. As you celebrate the holidays, find ways to express love and kindness whenever the authentic feeling arises. That expression of caring will be returned even when it’s back to yourself.
Bonded in giving love and knowing you are loved, Dee
Just like a bridge, our recovery requires strong building blocks. These building blocks are the tools and principles that guide us toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. They include self-acceptance, positive thinking, emotional well-being, spiritual growth, and personal responsibility, among others. By utilizing these building blocks, we construct a bridge that connects us to our sobriety and to one another.
By making a donation to Women for Sobriety, you are directly contributing to the building of bridges for women seeking recovery. Your generosity will help us continue providing resources, programs, and a safe space for women to connect, heal, and thrive.
Dr. Michelle Shaivitz