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Monday Thoughts 4/22/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Either I will find a way or I will create a way; but I will not create an excuse.” ~~Anonymous

“Running away from a problem only increases the distance from the solution. The easiest way to escape from a problem is to solve it.” ~~Unknown

“When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.” ~~Steve Jobs


Statement #4
Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.
I now better understand my problems.
I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.


Thinking about it, a solution is the last part of a problem. Sometimes they can be difficult to see at first, but as in the above quotes, solutions can be simple and not some extraordinary math conglomeration that needs a large whiteboard to be solved. Sobriety and recovery can be similar, the solution is to not do something, yet sometimes we can complicate the process in a number of ways.

Statement #4 is empowering. It conveys strength by stating the problem can only bother me to the degree I permit. It rests the responsibility right where it belongs. While no one can control their entire being, each of us are responsible for our reactions. Excuses are no longer needed. This is truly liberating!

Jean writes in our WFS Program Booklet “Learning that I didn’t have to react to everything with upsetting emotions was an important part of my recovery.” Instead of knee-jerk reactions, there are options. Instead of black and white rigidity, there are gray areas in-between. Have you been conditioned to respond in a certain way to a problem? What if you responded differently? How has Statement #4 helped on your journey of New Life?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Before WFS, I saw most everything as a problem and immediately became overwhelmed. I complained, felt life was unfair and drank to avoid seeking any solution. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was unwilling to react in a proactive manner or consider that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. Everything felt like a disaster so when real issues arrived, I was completely unprepared to handle them. I was too busy worrying about the problem of my life when I could be the solution to my life. It was eye-opening to finally get it that I was able to understand my problems and actually learn problem-solving skills and decision-making when it was necessary. Not everything was an earth-shattering problem.

I learned something else along this journey – I am a competent woman and can usually handle 1-2 major concerns but even a competent woman can be overwhelmed when perhaps a 3rd or 4th concern arrives at the same time. It’s okay to be overwhelmed and even more okay to ask for help when needed. I am not the only 4C woman who has learned invaluable lessons from WFS. I have a whole sisterhood with life experiences, great ideas and love to help me in a time of need. What a gift and relief! It also helps to discern what is truly a concern or even a crisis or perhaps an ordinary problem that does not require my time, an immediate decision/response or, for that matter, any decision at all. Sometimes things have a way of working themselves out. It’s knowing if that’s the situation and that’s part of learning from your life experience as well as the input of others in a non-judgmental way.

I appreciate Karen’s questions and hope you feel encouraged to answer them in order to make full use of Statement #4 as you grow and learn about your strengths, wisdom and abilities.

Bonded in better understanding our problems, learning to seek help and becoming proactive decision-makers,

A beautiful 4C woman

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 4/15/2019

Monday Thoughts

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” ~~Sylvia Plath

“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” ~~Dalai Lama


Statement #3
Happiness is habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.


Before sobriety and New Life, happiness felt evasive and fleeting. Like a rare butterfly, happiness would land without any idea of how or why it came to be. Not knowing how to create happiness created feelings of lack and insufficiency, and alcohol came to be an easy solution to fill life with fun. It didn’t last.

Of course, over time, alcohol became the problem and not a solution to feeling happy. The practice of Statement #3 and embracing the WFS New Life Program creates a foundation for happiness to not only emerge but to flourish. In our WFS Program Booklet, Jean writes “Happiness never came to me until I learned the secret of making it for myself, of finding an inner glow that somehow made all other things right.”

Here are 4 avenues to assist in developing happiness:

  1. Define what happiness means to you: This is not your family/friends happiness, it’s yours. What does happiness feel/look like to you?
  2. Release expectations: Letting go of the “I should’s” and of strict time-frames……”I’ll be happy when (_______)” sets up an illusion of future happiness. Happiness is felt only in the present.
  3. Invest in experiences: Instead of collecting artifacts, collect experiences. (note to self here…been collecting an overabundance of art supplies”)
  4. List making/journal: Simply listing 3 good things each day can cement a positive outlook and change perspective.

What other ways help you to create happiness?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I have a book on happiness titled, “Field Guide to Happiness” by Barbara Ann Kipfer. It is mostly comprised of lists, which I am inclined to use to keep me on track. There are 206 lists which is pretty overwhelming and when I first saw it, I thought this is not making me happy! However, I realize that as a previously unhappy person, sometimes there is a bit of work to be done for real change and it doesn’t have to happen immediately as we wish it could.

I’ve decided to choose a few in a shortened version and leave it up to each of you to decide what speaks to you in uncovering and discovering what happiness means to you and how to reach for it.

Happiest Moments/Situations List: It is helpful to reflect on happy moments and situations you have already experienced. This serves to remind you to be grateful. The list gives you a chance to remember important stories or people in your past as they define who you are in the present. You can gain tremendous insight into the person you are today. Open to the happiness of the list and expand your awareness of the overall themes involved. I like this one in particular when I am feeling sad and realize that I as look at the list, I have happy memory moments to be grateful for in my life.

Make a list of what makes you happy in your life roles: We wear so many hats in our hectic lives that just making a list with all the different roles we play will be enlightening. At first, I thought this was more like labeling which goes against my core beliefs. I realized as I started this list that I was smiling as I wrote the roles that bring happiness–being a moderator, volunteering, writing this message.

Make a list of the 5 most pleasurable experiences of your life: Then describe “one” and try to reawaken your feelings. I remember the pure joy I felt when I first saw my granddaughter. I can still feel it in my heart.

Describe your favorite songs and how they make you feel: Music stirs powerful emotions in all of us. Choose ten favorite songs. Are there events or people attached to them? Were you of a certain age? I went to a wedding last year and they asked me to write down what song would get me on the dance floor. My answer was “Sweet Home Alabama.” It was played and I danced. It was a happy moment that might be on the list of Happiest Moments.

Create an “Alter” on your desk or by your bed: Alter is just one word for a collection of family photos, trinkets or a vase of flowers. The idea is that the place where you work or spend a lot of time, should be cheering and inspirational. A desktop or bedside “alter” can help create a sense of calm. Stick to simple objects that are linked to a specific memory, belief or goal. What makes your collection in your intention, which can be as simple as your desire to return to the present moment and become aware of it each time you see your special collection. I alternate between different photos, quotes, special books I receive as gifts that bring a smile to my face each morning and evening. It truly is a gift of happiness to me.

Bonded in developing happiness,
A beautiful 4C woman.

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Monday Thoughts 4/8/2019

Monday Thoughts

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” ~~Maya Angelou

“Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise about doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.” ~~Nancy Lopez

“Have you recently been through a challenge, disappointment, break up or disloyalty with somebody in your life? If so, it’s important after you’ve been hurt, to take some time to think like a lion tamer about your pain, so you can tame the possibility of more negativity coming back to bite you again!” ~~Karen Salmansohn


Statement #2
Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.


Statement #2 can sound impossible to put into action when feelings of doubt, sorrow or emotional turmoil appear but the WFS New Life Program can help relinquish negativity, embrace balance and growth while laying a foundation for a sense of contentment.

Our WFS Program Booklet states “Our overcoming is in exact proportion to our becoming.” How this is achieved is different for every woman, since each of us have different life experiences but the outcome is the same; overcoming equals becoming.

Identifying negativity is the first action towards employing Statement #2. Being able to recognize how, where, when and why negativity appears provides an avenue to overcome it. Notice there is no “who” in the previous list. While there may be a “who” factoring in the negativity, (he/she said/did/didn’t) the responsibility belongs where?  My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.

What does negativity feel like in your life? Fear? Doubt? Anger? Guilt?

What small actions can you take today to reduce negativity?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Negativity usually appears as anger or frustration for me. When I experience or see an injustice, I am angry. When I feel invisible, I feel angry. The difference is I have learned to be as proactive as possible so rather than staying in negativity, I work on creating an action plan. I also feel a huge difference between the foundation of negativity that I previously built my life on and the awareness now that deep negativity hurts myself, damages what could be healthy relationships and changes nothing unless I change my response and attitude.

It’s important to note that the statement says to “reduce” negativity. It’s an ongoing process as we learn about ourselves, change and grow. I don’t know if any of you have watched the show, Hoarders, but the one thing I have learned from that show is that the only way to change our thinking or behavior is to work through it ourselves, to take responsibility. If someone else does it, we still have the same thinking and behavior and will need to be rescued again. I use the word rescue because that is how I viewed my “blame everyone else” life. As long as they were all responsible for my miserable lot in life, I just sat back and waited for them to take care of me. That belief left no space or opportunity to grow and take charge.  I am not talking about supporting, caring or helping others because we all that need at times. Goodness knows I have been blessed to have that kind of loving support. I am talking about being so negative that no life lesson has a chance to break down the wall of negativity.

I am grateful to have discovered that blaming others, which I became very good at doing, damaged me more than anything. This doesn’t mean that others don’t impact our lives, hurt us and cause pain. For me, it means I have to learn how to react differently and let go of toxic people. I just don’t want me to be one of those toxic people that others want to let go of! Thank goodness for this life-changing Statement. It certainly became one that has made the biggest change/impact on my thinking, attitude and behavior.

Bonded together in building a positive, healthy outlook on our 4C life,
A beautiful 4C woman

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Monday Thoughts 4/01/2019

Monday Thoughts

“For many years before leaving on Safari, I carried the same old map around in my pocket. The map was torn and faded from so much use, but it was always there like a comfort to me when I needed to know where to go. The map had lands on it that might appear strange to some, but to others on our Safari, they are familiar places: The Republic of Resentment, the Nation of Negativity, the Icy Fjords of Fear, the Dark Seas of Self-Doubt, the atolls of Apathy. Numerous times I would tell myself that I wanted to journey to a different destination, but each time I pulled out that map, I wound up in the old familiar places.

“In a supreme act of faith, I began looking for a new map. One day, when I feared there were no more places to look, I saw a light on in a quiet little place and small sign said simply, WFS. The women were leaving on safari and said I was welcome to travel with them. But, in order to go, I had to surrender any maps I already had, as they would not serve me in the place I was going. I solemnly placed my map onto the warm fire and could see the ashes of the other maps that had been placed there…..it gave me courage. No one person had all of the pages, but together they were complete. I gathered together all that they have given me and, as if by magic, the separate pieces came together to form a single map. There were many choices of ways to go, but no matter which path I chose, they would all lead to the destinations I had been seeking: The Hallowed Hills of Happiness, the Estuaries of Enthusiasm, the Glaciers of Growth and Greatness and the Lands of Love.”

~~LC, An empowered 4C Woman


Statement #1
I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being.
I accept the responsibility.


The quote this week came from a retired WFS pamphlet, the WFS Sobriety Safari Series which was submitted by Nancy Cross and compiled by many, many, incredible 4C women. Below, you will find each section that was used in the series. Feel free to discuss and answer the questions in each section. (slightly edited for space)

  1. Preparing for Departure:  We all came to a point where our addictions became an issue. What was it like for you? What prepared you to want to change your life? What will you take with you and what will you leave behind?
  2. Arriving in New Territory: What is it like as you touch down and land in this new place called Recovery? Why do we sometimes feel like we don’t fit and can’t understand the foreign language of love? What was the excitement/fear like for you?
  3. Exploration: Mapping Your Journey: How did you find you way around? What did you use to get and keep your bearings? Do you dare go out among the lions, tigers and unfamiliar territory without some advice or map?
  4. Obstacles & Unknown Dangers on the Recovery Trail: How will you respond to different obstacles in this new land? How will you respond to feelings of fear?
  5. Survival in the Wild: What tools do we need? How can we keep from being eaten or getting lost?
  6. From Darkness to Light: Sometimes the jungle is dark, or lands go on forever and we become tired. What keeps the sun at your back and hope in your heart on your sobriety safari?
  7. Treasures Discovered: What have you found? What will you carry forever? How will you decide what to keep and what to leave for others to discover and see?
  8. Understanding Our Discoveries:  What does this trip mean to you? How will your legacy be changed by your adventure here? What are you learning about yourself and the world you live in?
  9. Leaving a Trail for Future Travelers: How will people know where you have been? What legacy are you going to leave behind?
  10. Returning to Civilization: What can we do to fit ourselves back into the world from which we always tried to escape? How will our families, friends, and co-workers benefit from what we have learned on this sobriety journey?

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I have the pamphlet of the “Safari” series and used it at the WFS meeting a few years ago. The questions provided a great deal of discussion and a lot of personal insight was gained from sharing and uncovering our journeys in sobriety/recovery. My favorite question was from Chapter 9 regarding the legacy I am leaving behind.

It brought back the memory of a member in the group from several years ago who had one year’s sobriety when she sadly passed away from an undiagnosed heart problem. However, what she did in that one year was phenomenal. The legacy she left behind was one of resilience, courage, commitment, fearlessness, loyalty and a trusted wife, mother and friend.

That has stayed with me all these years and it has kept me grounded when the tough times have confronted me, as it does each of us. Amid the struggles, I keep that question in my mind – how will I be remembered? Even with the mistakes I’ve made, I hope I can show that I am learning from them, that I didn’t collapse completely and am still willing to learn more about my reasons for my current choices.

While I have remained sober, I know there is still emotional and spiritual growth that needs to take place. That’s okay with me because in my heart, that is the legacy I want to leave behind – that no matter what, I am willing to continue on this learning and healing journey.

I am feeling very melancholy today as I have been packing my daughter’s house and coming across so much wonderful history and realizing how much has changed. I yearn for those fun times yet that is not what today, this time, is bringing. While the tears flow, I am grateful for having those fond memories and always hopeful for better times ahead. This is what WFS has taught me and mostly that I am not alone and will make it through with the support, encouragement and love of my WFS sisters.

We are bonded together in taking responsibility for our lives and our well-being on this journey.

– A beautiful 4C Woman

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 3/25/2019

Monday Thoughts

“I like to think of ideas as potential energy. They’re really wonderful, but nothing will happen until we risk putting them into action.” ~~Mae Jemison

“The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts—it gives you what you demand with your actions.” ~~Steve Maraboli

“Have a bias toward action—let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.” ~~Indira Gandhi


Statement #13
I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.


Statement #13 encourages responding with ability, but it is the taking of action that results in empowerment, confidence and stable sobriety. As the final Statement in the New Life Program, practicing this Statement everyday leads to enhanced recovery and feelings of a full 4C life.

Alcohol eliminates ability and zaps action. It is the opposite of taking charge and often leads to lowered self-esteem and worth when others come to the rescue or use enabling behaviors. Action, no matter how small, is movement towards dreams and goals. In our WFS Program Booklet it states, “The purpose of the New Life Program is self-acceptance and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do. By accepting responsibility, we can break away from unhealthy dependencies.”

  • Here are some ways to assist in taking charge of our lives.
  • Eliminate blame. This allows for a shift from victimhood to victor and enables change.
  • Be present. This moment is the only moment there is. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. Refuse to ruminate on what happened or what will happen.
  • Try and try again. Take any small action toward goals. Movement forward changes your energy and it can begin to snowball, increasing ability. Keep trying!

Own every thought, feeling and action. No one can make you think, feel or do anything.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Such wonderful ways to work on being empowered, to be the “director” of our lives.

The most challenging one for me has always been that no one can make me think, feel or do anything. I certainly agree with that yet there are times when I find myself questioning my decisions, feeling enraged at an injustice to me or others I care about and every once in a while agreeing, when in my heart I do not. Here’s the good part – I am quickly aware of my reactions, responses and start doing a lot of introspective thinking about why and what can I do to correct the situation, if anything, but especially my feelings about it. Without WFS and the 13 Statements, I know none of this would be possible.

I wanted to share this because I believe we can be very hard on ourselves or fear we are back where we started when we feel we have failed or made a mistake. Nothing can be further from the truth. Whether it is one day or 30 years, we are not the same woman once we have started to make those authentic inside changes. Yes, there is always work to be done. That would be the case no matter where we are in overcoming our addictions because life is full of challenges yet remember we are full of positive changes. The more we are willing to learn, to trust ourselves, to work through the tough times, the more we can embrace the empowered, resilient, smart 4C women we are!

Bonded in being responsible for ourselves and for our actions,
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 3/18/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” ~~Roy T. Bennett

“The only person who can pull me down is myself and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ~~C. Joybell C.

“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.” ~~David J. Schwartz


Statement #12
  I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.
This is what I am and I shall know it always.


Years ago, a teacher told me, and my parents that I didn’t have what it takes to achieve the goals that I wanted. For a long time, those words echoed in my mind whenever I wished to try something. I usually quit before even getting started. Looking back, I lived down to those comments. Then I got sober and Statement #12 became my new mantra.

Alcohol and/or drugs crush the ability to think, be and overcome. Instead of feelings of competence, feelings of lack, insecurity and fear tend to take over. With the practice of Statement #12, a new history can begin to be constructed.

In our WFS Program Booklet it states “Begin each day with an unshakable belief in your own competency. First the thought, then the reality. Believing you are a competent woman is giving to life. Know you are a competent woman.” Here are some helpful questions related to Statement #12:

  1. What are your strengths? Make a list and continue to add to it.
  2. Review moments in your life in which you felt competent. What was the process and what did it feel like?
  3. Did someone in the past influence you negatively? Take charge and know you have much to give life.
  4. Set realistic goals. Be persistent in your pursuits and break down the process into manageable pieces. Think of eating an elephant one bite at at time.

 

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I, too, had a guidance counselor who told me I wasn’t college material at age 15. I accepted that definition and was convinced that I was stupid and had nothing to offer. I lived that lie for many years. Even when my former boss told me how she trusted me to handle things when she was on a business trip and how insightful I was, it didn’t compute in my mind that she may be right. It really wasn’t until I was in my mid 40s that I felt a glimmer of hope that I actually was competent, smart and had a lot to offer this world. I love how Karen says we can construct a new history. It is up to us to know our truth, not the lies we might tell ourselves based on another’s opinion or the guilt we are holding onto from our past that cannot be changed. What we can do is change our self-concept. In fact, I consider it our responsibility to do so and create a new uplifting, current and truthful mantra, one for the women we are today.

Dr. Phil talked about our 10 defining moments in his book “Self Matters.” I considered the one with my guidance counselor to be in the top ten as it changed or perhaps confirmed my low self-esteem definition of how I saw myself back then. A person in authority validated my erroneous definition of who I thought I was.

There were questions Dr. Phil posed for each defining moment and it was followed by asking the participant to identify the “before” and the “after” in their self-concept. It was enlightening to realize that while I clung to the negativity of that one moment, I learned through WFS and life experience, that I was in charge of rejecting that moment and creating a new one that was empowering. I also learned that the 10 defining moments can be positive ones as well. I remember my stepfather staying home with me when I was very ill as a grade school-er and teaching me to read with his great patience and love. Dr. Phil also said that we all need thousands of kind, loving and caring remarks to erase one hurtful, painful comment. This is why we repeat that we are competent women at our meetings until we believe it in our gut and why we need to wake up each morning with a positive mantra that highlights our remarkable selves as Statement 12 expresses.

What would be your mantra?

Bonded in being competent women and knowing it ALWAYS!
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 3/11/2019

Monday Thoughts

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~~Eleonora Duse

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~~Greg Anderson

“When you start using senses you’ve neglected, your reward is to see the world with completely fresh eyes.” ~~Barbara Sher


Statement #11
Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my new life.


Not long ago, a friend shared with me that if you want to get good at playing the piano, you need to practice every day and don’t just rely on what you learn at the piano lesson. Applying this sentiment to sobriety and the WFS New Life Program helps put motion into the Statements. Instead of just reading the Statements every day or attending a face to face meeting or online chat, it becomes more about living the Statements each moment.

Putting life into the Statements each day is living with enthusiasm. Before sobriety it was easy, if not normal to push through the day in search of something else more colorful, interesting or exciting. While this is a way to move through each day, it eliminates the ability to “treasure the moments” of New Life.  Then, at the end of the day or week, an emptiness can settle in along with wondering “what on earth am I missing?”

Statement #11 in action is the answer for slowing down, experiencing and treasuring the moments in life. In our WFS Program Booklet, answering the three questions below can add fullness, motion and contentment to each day.

How can you increase your enthusiasm today?

What energizes you naturally?

How can you enjoy what you currently have?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

For me, the key word is “treasure.” I am extremely sentimental and have a difficult time letting go of so many things I treasure from my past to the present. There’s a lot about decluttering on the internet and one suggestion is to keep only items that give you joy. That presented a dilemma for me. For example, I just redecorated my Christmas tree to a Spring tree and I could feel myself smiling ear to ear as I put each ornament and creative item on the tree. Even the physical pain of carrying those heavy containers diminished as I pulled out each colorful Spring, bunny, chick, needlepoint item to display on the tree and in my living room. My daughter always asks why I go to so much trouble each season to change the decorations and it all comes down to joy. I couldn’t even begin to throw away any of these cherished, treasured, smile-producing items!

Enthusiasm, joy and treasuring moments is such a personal choice. It is more than words, it is a feeling with action propelling it. Think about the last time you were filled with enthusiasm. When you share that with others, it is amazing to discover the many diverse ways we feel and experience enthusiasm. It goes back to the awareness of the joy in our daily lives. When I reflect on my drinking days, I can now appreciate the simple yet powerful moments of enthusiasm that I am so aware of today, no matter how small. It’s a gift to be able to experience, acknowledge, treasure and be in that moment.

I encourage you to answer Karen’s questions along with when was the last time you were filled with enthusiasm?

Bonded together in enthusiasm,
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 3/4/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Our rewards in life will always be in the exact proportion to the amount of consideration we show toward others.” ~~Earl Nightingale

“To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.” ~~Pablo Neruda

“A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end.” ~~unknown


Statement #10
All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved. 


Recently, a 4C woman shared how she alternates using the word “love” with “trust” when using Statement #10. This helps her move through the sometimes-difficult association that she has had with the word love. She explained that for her, love held negative connotations, especially emotional chaos, and the word trust helps her see and feel more clearly.

For some women, the second of the “Love Statements” can initially feel confusing and complex. In our WFS Program Booklet, Nancy Cross states, “All recovery roads lead to the ability to love and be loved.” Sobriety and recovery open a nourishing pathway for love to expand and foster meaningful relationships.

Statement #10 is not solely related to romantic relationships but can encompass any relationship as our Program Booklet notes. Many of us have more relationships than we imagine. At the core is a relationship with the self. Learning to know that love or even trust, is ours for the taking and can lay a mighty foundation for this empowering Statement.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I have always felt that rebuilding trust with others and re-learning to trust our instincts were two important factors in creating healthy relationships in our sobriety/recovery. Being trustworthy is gained by our actions and our patience with ourselves as well as with others. For me, this is where I began to experience the love I yearned for. It went beyond my words, my desire to be loved – it was the action behind my words. No more broken promises that left me feeling alone and lost again. Most of the promises were those I made to myself, bargaining that if I did this, I wouldn’t do that anymore. It took quite a while to finally decide that I needed to keep those promises if I was to survive and then thrive.

As for all love given, I thought I was giving love unconditionally. What I learned is that my love was given in order to fill the huge gap of feeling needed, important, accepted and cherished. Through WFS and therapy, I realized that I had to give that to myself first. I had to fill that deep hole of emptiness. The difference is astounding. I give and feel authentic love. I truly believe that I am loved. It seems amazing at times to recognize and acknowledge it. And it doesn’t feel conceited as I was taught as a young person. It feels extraordinary and I am deeply grateful!

Dr. Phil wrote a book several years ago called Self Matters. One of the questions always stuck with me and it was—If I could learn anything, I would choose to learn…and today the answer would be Statement #10–All love given returns and I am learning to know that I am loved. How would you answer this question?

Bonded in knowing we are loved,
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 2/18/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.” ~~Karen Salmansohn

“What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think—or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?” ~~Brene’ Brown

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no exception of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” ~~Princess Diana


Statement #8
The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.
Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.


During this “Random Acts of Kindness” week, (Feb 18-22) Statement #8 enables kindness and compassion to flourish. Being kind to ourselves with a dedication to sobriety and recovery opens a portal for kindness to expand outward.

In our WFS Program Booklet, Jean writes “When we finally learn that we are not the center of the world and that self-inflicted pain produces nothing, then we are able to turn our eyes outward, toward the spiritual.” The simplest acts can be incredibly spiritual, and yet very individual as Statement #8 eludes to.

Emotional and spiritual strength can include these or other aspects:

  • Connection to something outside of ourselves
  • Joy for life
  • Ability to laugh, even at ourselves
  • Gratitude
  • Self-worth, self-esteem, self-value
  • Feeling balanced in life
  • Adaptability
  • Giving without needing a receipt

What else can you add to this list?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Alcohol produced that self-inflicted pain and while pain still comes into my life with gusto at times, I am beyond grateful for the new, healthy coping skills I have learned through WFS and mostly for the loving, compassionate support I have received all these years from the women in WFS. It has kept me afloat when I felt as though I was drowning in pain. When I think back to feeling I could handle everything on my own, I know that it’s much better traveling this road with 4C women.

In 2013, Nancy Cross wrote a definition of emotional sobriety and abstinence. I have read it many times, especially when I am having those trying times. I’d like to share it with you.

Emotional Sobriety and Abstinence

Simply put, abstinence is not recovery. It is merely the cessation of addictive behavior – the starting point of recovery. Abstinence can last a day, a week or indefinitely. What gives abstinence staying power, and turns it into true recovery, is the development of solid emotional self-management skills. These skills are both the foundation and the long-term task of recovery.

Why You Need Emotional Sobriety

  1. To avoid relapse/recurrence of use
  2. To be able to recognize and ‘collaborate’ with your emotions as teachers and allies that are there to tell you what your needs are, whether your needs are being met, and what circumstances in your life may require change in order to meet your needs.
  3. To develop the confidence, satisfaction and resilience that comes from dealing with your emotions directly and effectively, rather than self-medicating to avoid pain.
  4. To become the person you want to be – so your actions are congruent with your values and aspirations for your life.

As you add to the list Karen presented in her message, consider how you can, or do, develop your own emotional sobriety in building self-management skills in creating your strong foundation of recovery.

Bonded in setting priorities, meeting our needs and growing emotionally and spiritually,
4C WFS Member

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 2/11/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” ~~Harriet Tubman

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~~Jim Rohn

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~~Leo Buscaglia


Statement #6
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort. 


Recently, I received my DNA history and it’s proving to be a fascinating look back in time. Contemplating the lives my grandparents lived, it is heartwarming to think of how love changed the course of their worlds and subsequently, mine. Who knew Statement #7 could fit so beautifully into a double stranded helix?

On page 22 of our Program Booklet it states, “Love and caring can be difficult for women with drug and alcohol problems. We may close ourselves off from others, physically and emotionally. We are afraid to trust, give or receive love.” With the clarity that sobriety and recovery bring, we can create a sturdy foundation for love to flourish and grow.

Past relatives could not have anticipated life as it is today, yet our keynote speaker from our annual WFS conference a couple years ago enlightened us with the knowledge that our actions today can affect the next seven generations. Incredible. This is a very powerful image which cements how vital love is in our everyday lives. It feels comforting to know the love I give and receive today has far reaching implications. Love does change the course of the world, today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Self-love certainly changed the course of my world. It is amazing to me how I survived with the self-loathing I carried inside. My greatest need was acceptance and my greatest fear was rejection. I felt unworthy, unlovable and inadequate. When I first learned about WFS, I finally understood why I drank to numb those self-inflicting negative thoughts about who I was and what I had to offer the world. I had pretended a lot and that was such a burden. I didn’t realize that until I quit drinking, started practicing the WFS Statements and became my authentic self. Redefining the definition of me, allowed love to fill the emptiness I carried in my soul. It truly was a metamorphosis – the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I was free and the many, many years of hating myself, feeling stupid and accepting whatever I felt I deserved, which was little, I finally experienced the gift of love.

Being a moderator has taught me a lot about caring for others. It has been and continues to be the most rewarding time of my life to be able to give and receive caring, encouraging support from the women I have met through WFS. It has enhanced my recovery in ways I can hardly define with its positive impact on my sobriety. When I feel myself doubting my worth, I reflect on the brave women who have walked through the doors to a meeting or registered online, knowing I have been privileged to share in their decision to change their lives and pay it forward. That is self-love, loving others and showing caring in a powerful way. It lifts my spirit each time. Self care builds self esteem. Self-forgiveness opens he door to receiving love. How do you express your caring for others and for yourself? How has love changed the course of your world? Have you accepted who you are right now, today? What words would you use to describe yourself? Who is part of your caring circle?

Bonded in accepting that love can change the course of our world and caring is all important.
4C WFS Member