Posted on

Monday Thoughts 10/28/2019

Monday Thoughts

“My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, and some humor, and some style.”  ~~Maya Angelou

“She believed she could, so she did.”  ~~unknown

“You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think.  The truth is that you are responsible for what you think because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.  What you do comes from what you think.”  ~~Marianne Williamson

Statement #5
I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

Statement #5 is an important cornerstone of the WFS New Life Program.  Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., our founder, discovered the thought/action connection through her own journey of recovery.  This knowledge allowed her to learn how to adapt and live a full, sober life. Jean then shared this insight with the world by creating Women for Sobriety.

There is a Chinese proverb that states “be careful what direction your toes are pointed in as you will likely get there” and this is also true for our thoughts.  Whatever we think about most often, directs our attention and life.  Learning to adapt and manage thoughts is empowering and life changing.

Here are six ways by Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. to be the boss of your brain:

  1. Listen and Acknowledge: Minds, like people, can relax and let go when they feel heard and understood.  Practice gratitude and thank your mind for its contribution.
  2. Make Peace with Your Mind: You don’t necessarily have to like the thoughts or agree with them; you just can let them be there in the background while you go out and get things done.
  3. Realize Your Thoughts are Just Thoughts: Our thoughts are passing mental events, influenced by moods, states of hunger, health, hormones etc. They are like mental habits, which can be healthy or unhealthy, and need time to change.  Just like a couch potato can’t run a marathon right away, we cannot magically turn off spinning thoughts without repeated practice. Be gentle with yourself.
  4. Observe Your Own Mind: Mindfulness includes gently bringing your mind back to focus as well as noticing when your mind wanders.  Like a good CEO, you begin to know when your mind is checked out or spinning its wheels, guiding it back to center or balance.
  5. Retrain Your Mind to Rewire Your Brain: Autopilot is not good for emotional functioning or well-being.  Over long periods of time, patterns become etched in our minds, cementing rapid response.  The good news is that we can rewire our brains from previous fear-based shortcuts into healthy and balanced decision making.
  6. Practice Self-Compassion: By practicing self-compassion, we can learn new ways of supporting ourselves in our suffering. Rather than criticizing ourselves, we can deliberately seek out inner and outer experiences that bring us joy or comfort; the beauty of nature, creative self-expression or memories of happy times with loved ones.

Being your own CEO, how do you manage your thoughts?

Hi 4C Women,

As I read over the 6 ways to be the boss of my brain, each one is so invaluable and I honestly love the analogy of being the CEO of my thoughts.   I believe #5 stood out to me as there was a time when I would be on autopilot, a time when my self-esteem was practically non-existent.  My automatic response to many situations and relationships was that if anything went wrong, it was all my fault because I was stupid, inadequate, too needy, overly sensitive and lots of other esteem crushing words/thoughts.  What I realized is that I was trying to prove these thoughts to be true before the other person did when, in fact, that was probably the last thing they were thinking. I became good at projecting my thoughts as belonging to others.  Alcohol helped cover up those feelings but as we all know, a cover up eventually becomes clearly seen. A cover up is a camouflage that will never heal the pain of feeling unlovable or unworthy.  It is a temporary fix for a deep hurt.  And for me, my identify was wrapped up in the past.  Statement #5 became the building block for me to create my new, truthful identity of who I was in the present.  No more inner critic from the past trying to convince me I was wasting my time learning to love myself.  I gave my inner critic a name and when he starts to make me question my worth, I turn to my shoulder where he is sitting with a smirk on his face, and depending on what he is trying to falsely whisper in my ear, I tell him to be quiet (truthfully, shut up) or flick him off my shoulder.  I have worked darn hard on learning to love myself and no deceiver is going to take that away or have power over me.

I encourage you to practice the 6 ways to become the boss of your thoughts.  Love, nurture, praise, be compassionate with yourself as you would a loved one.  This will guide you to be who you think and know you are – a 4C woman!

Bonded in knowing I am who I think,


Posted on

Monday Thoughts 10/21/2019

Monday Thoughts

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”  ~~Lily Tomlin

“You’re only human.  You don’t have to have it together every minute of every day.”  ~~Anne Hathaway

“It’s OKAY to be scared.  Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.”  ~~Mandy Hale

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.

Lately, life has felt overwhelming and uncertain.  Fear of the unknown and personal expectations have ruled daily thoughts.  Facing uncertainty is not easy but opening about struggles brings understanding and deep connection; exactly what Statement #4 is all about.

The WFS New Life Program and Statement #4 in action prevent relapse and cement recovery.  Needing to add action to this Statement, reaching out has become a top priority.  Isolation is detrimental to sobriety.  Additionally, doing the following exercise from page 23 of the WFS Beginner’s Collection aids in shifting focus from worry and doubt to overcoming and confidence.

Exercise:  Write about specific problems that once worried you, how they were solved, and if they were solved in the way your worrying about them indicate.  Reflect on some of your current problems, then brainstorm possible solutions for your problems.  Finally, reflect on if/how your worrying has ever solved your problems.


Hi 4C Women,

There are problems/constant worrying and then there are concerns.  For me, problems/constant worrying became a distraction so I didn’t have to make decisions or problem-solve authentic issues in my life. It was more about my fear of the unknown, wanting to control the outcome when I never considered possible solutions.  Just wringing my hands, venting constantly and carrying around a cloud of darkness. I was always making the proverbial molehill into a mountain, a giant boulder!  When I did that, I made sure there was no time to handle a real issue.  Before WFS, I used alcohol to handle it all and then not only did I still have the concern, the problems that required no problem-solving, were still there in my mind, taking up unnecessary space.

When I first started moderating, I felt it was my responsibility to solve everyone’s life problems – again, still distancing myself from learning how to problem-solve my own life issues.  This is why I am so grateful to WFS for teaching me ways to disseminate the difference between my chronic worrying and concerns that needed my attention.  I learned to reach out by sharing my concerns in a safe environment, seeking input, creating a pros and cons list to help me in my decision-making.

What I have learned is that with sobriety, I can be available to support others, to give my input as I, too, need input.  It’s a beautiful balance of support, caring and learning how to make healthier decisions.  I still use distractions when I feel overwhelmed but usually it’s organizing something I’ve been putting off.  Sometimes that distraction alone gives my mind a much-needed break.  It’s all a process and being patient with ourselves is the compassionate way to handle it.

When considering the differences between worry and concern, consider these distinctions by Dr. Hallowell:

  • Worry distracts us; Concern focuses us
  • Worry disables planning; Concern helps up plan
  • Worry blurs our vision; Concern clarifies our purpose
  • Worry tens to give up; Concern perseveres
  • Worry exaggerates; Concern pinpoints problems

Bonded in learning not to let problems overwhelm us and learning how to make healthier decision-making, problem-solving solutions in a safe place with our WFS sisters,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 10/14/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Many people think excitement is happiness…But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.” ~~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

“Maybe you think you’ll be entitled to more happiness later by forgoing all of it now, but it doesn’t work that way. Happiness takes as much practice as unhappiness does. It’s by living that you live more. By waiting, you wait more. Every waiting day makes your life a little less. Every lonely day makes you a little smaller. Every day you put off your life makes you less capable of living it.” ~~Ann Brashares, Sisterhood Everlasting

“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, The Bell Jar

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

Before sobriety and New Life, happiness felt elusive and fleeting, and almost always out of grasp. It was something to be captured, for safekeeping. But happiness cannot not be held down, and no amount of alcohol or substance can bring happiness to life.

Happiness comes to life through the living of life. Sobriety and Statement #3 in action enable the experience of happiness to flow from within. Initially, I had a hard time experiencing happiness in sobriety since my feelings felt flat but with time, joy began to flow.

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.” This week make happiness your daily habit and unleash joys in your life.


Hi 4C Women,

There are so many thoughts that go through my mind when I think of how creating happiness is such an individual process. We all have our personal definitions of what happiness means, how to create it, acknowledge it and retain the memory of it. In looking over some of the material I have on happiness, I am astounded at the many suggestions there are so I’d like to share a few, several that I utilize personally.

I am creating happiness for myself by thinking before speaking. I am happier without a foot in my mouth. This was from an online chat a few years back but I thought it was humorous and true!

I am happy when I let go of toxic people.


I am happy when I let go of regret and past mistakes.


I am happy when I set healthy boundaries and adhere to them, creating consequences when boundaries are crossed.


I am happy when I stop and look up at the blue sky or a beautiful sunset, observing with pure joy.


I am happy when I approach new experiences as opportunities for fun, to learn and not as possible mistakes. What a difference that makes.


Music makes me so happy and singing while no one is listening is fun too.


One of my favorite things that I have done is to make an alter of joy on my nightstand. I change it now and then but the purpose is that when I go to sleep and first thing in the morning is to see items that bring a smile to my face and heart. It is sometimes a photo, a poem, a book or knickknack that reminds me of a loved one.


Lastly, being a moderator has brought me the greatest joy of all. It is giving and receiving all wrapped up in one.


Bonded in creating our own personal happiness,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 10/7/2019

Monday Thoughts

“It is not always possible to do away with negative thinking, but with persistence and practice, one can gain mastery over them so that they do not take the upper hand.” ~~Stephen Richards

“Do not allow negative people to turn you into one of them.” ~~Unknown

“If I am not persistent with my desire to think about other things, and consciously initiate new circuits of thought, then those uninvited loops can generate new strength and begin to monopolizing my mind again. To counter their activities, I keep a handy list of three things available for me to turn my consciousness toward when I am in a state of need: 1) I remember something I find fascinating that I would like to ponder more deeply, 2) I think about something that brings me terrific joy, or 3) I think about something I would like to do.” ~~ Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight

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

Jill Bolte Taylor, author of one of my favorite books, My Stroke of Insight, utilizes wisdom in combating negativity. By changing the topic of what her consciousness is focusing on, she changes her outlook. Not allowing negativity to overwhelm, she stays engaged and aware, exactly how Statement #2 affirms.

Before sobriety and New Life, it was easy to be wrapped up in negativity, or be drawn to it. For many women, alcohol and negativity tended to go hand in hand but with daily practice of Statement #2, that old connection can be lessened or even closed, and a new path created.

The three suggestions that Ms. Taylor turns to instead of negativity can work for anyone. However, you are encouraged to come up with three of your own and share them on the WFS Forum or in your F2F group. If you are not involved with either of these empowering avenues, you can share or discuss with family or friends. It is a great way to reduce negativity and learn other options to manage your thoughts.


Hi 4C Women,

I love the questions and found question #1 the most challenging in finding something fascinating that I want to ponder more deeply. I jokingly pondered why aging is so difficult with all its aches, pains and restrictions. But then, that seemed a bit negative (lol) and I’m sure Ms. Taylor did not mean that kind of deep pondering. So, I decided to dig deeper as she suggested. I was surprised at how much fascinates me and it’s mostly centered on the question why? Why do we feel our needs are second, why is it so much easier to give than to receive, why are we fearful of rejection, abandonment, unwilling to set healthy boundaries? These are not frivolous questions. I believe they are the stepping stones to real change. For me it is the beginning of paying attention to a negative thought, transforming it by truthfully digging deep for answers and hopefully leading to the path of finding my voice, no longer saying yes automatically when I want to say no, being true to myself. Perhaps my personal question is why do I invalidate myself with negative self-talk when it only continues to hurt. This is how I, and we, learn to turn the negative into a loving positive and mean it, feel it and live it!

In the end, I can see how invaluable each of these questions are in changing a negative thought into a positive one. When I think of what brings me joy and a smile to my face, it’s easier to replace that negative thought.  Hard to be negative when a big, authentic smile is on my face. And it’s even more difficult to be negative when making plans for something I would like to do and then actually do it!

The best part about Statement #2 for me, is that is allows me the time to process reducing my negativity. Words are powerful, use them wisely, lovingly and learn to lift yourself up with positive ones.

Bonded in making a conscious effort to reduce negativity in our lives and our thoughts to promote our well-being and self-love,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 9/30/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Never forget how far you’ve come. Everything you have gotten through. All the times you have pushed on even when you felt you couldn’t. All the mornings you got out of bed no matter how hard it was. All the times you wanted to give up but you got through another day. Never forget how much strength you have developed along the way.” ~~Tiny Buddha

“Change how you see and see how you change.” Zen proverb

“If you’re facing challenges, think of yourself as an ‘OVERCOMER.’ Make this your identity, that you’re the type of person who ‘OVERCOMES’ challenges.” ~~Karen Salmansohn

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.

Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. often remarked about “white knuckling sobriety” and developed the WFS New Life Program’s 13 Statements of Acceptance to enjoy life in recovery while taking charge. Statement #1 in action enables a sober and balanced life.

On page 3 of the WFS Program Booklet, it states: Use the Acceptance Statements daily. Read them each morning, then choose one and practice it all day for a week. After that, select another and use it for a week. In time, the actions resulting from the use of these Statements will become automatic and your life will change for the better.” The simplicity of how to use the Statements insures manageability and ease of use.

Jean also encouraged daily meditation. In Goodbye Hangovers Hello Life, she wrote “Meditation need not be complicated. There are some complicated methods, if one wishes to delve into them, but the kind of meditation I found effective for me and others at this stage is merely to set aside twenty minutes each morning for absolute silence.” Today, with life filled with electronic gadgets and social media, those twenty minutes are like absolute gold.

How do you begin each new day?


Hi 4C Women,

Statement #1 always reminds me of Independence Day. The day we celebrate freedom from our addiction and take charge of our lives. How do we begin this new journey of responsibility? It could be as simple as taking a new route home to avoid the urge to buy alcohol or as difficult as deciding you need to go to treatment. Whatever decisions you make to create a healthier, more joyful New Life, it is important to recognize that this is how we learn to let go of guilt and shame, to learn new ways of coping with all the challenges and obstacles that will occur in our lives. It is a beginning of empowering you to be the 4C Woman that’s always been there and most of all, to remember this is a process, not a giant leap! Be gentle with yourself as you go through the process.

  1. Where do you start? What’s your plan A, B or C?
  2. What changes have you already made? How challenging were they to make?
  3. What’s your greatest fear/stumbling block to change?
  4. Do you have a strong support system in place when you may start doubting your capabilities?

Bonded in accepting responsibility to be in charge of our lives and well-being,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 9/23/2019

Monday Thoughts

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”  ~~Alice Walker

 “Incredible changes happen in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power of instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ~~Steve Maraboli

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”  ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 offers continuing empowerment throughout New Life.  It is a natural extension of forward movement and aides in feelings of balance, contentment and strength.  Jean understood exactly how important progress is and developed the WFS New Life Program for life-long sobriety and recovery.

For some women, self-blame can feel overwhelming.  Releasing this destructive habit takes effort, and Statement #13 in action encourages empowerment.  Here are some effective ways to lessen self-blame by Maria Moraca:

  1. Re-frame how you question yourself. We all have patterns or tendencies, in how we communicate. In a tough situation, there is probably an automatic question or two that you usually ask yourself. When it pops up, write it down. It might be, “What did I do wrong?” or, “Why do I always eff up?” Ask yourself if you would ask someone you care about the same exact question. Chances are, the answer is no. Let that sink in.
  2. Change the question. How would you ask the question if it was directed at someone else? Pretend you are playing the role of trusted friend to someone you respect, love, and whom you hold in the highest regard. Would you have more compassion for their experience? Would you want to be supportive? Would you desire to assist them by being able to offer a more detached view? (Spoiler: Yes!) The new question you ask will depend on the situation. One that fits almost any experience is, simply, “What can I take from this?” I also like, “What do I want to learn from this?” which can remind us to consider in a more empowering direction. Also, “How do I want this to be different in the future?” can help us to formulate a plan to make that future happen.
  3. Now ask yourself that question. How does your altered question feel? Does it cause you to clench up, or do you begin hearing a litany of crappy internal dialogue? If so, change the question again. Keep changing it until you come up with a version that you’re comfortable hearing, that assists you in actually coming up with an introspective response.
  4. Remember, there is not one “right” way; there are just ways of being. I think many of us believe there is only one right way or one correct path. With this belief, there are many chances to consider that we are wrong or that we’ve failed. This is simply not the case!

There are many ways to do most tasks, just as there are many ways to live our lives. Having a difficult experience doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong; it means we are on a tougher road to learning, for the moment.

Opportunities are infinite; our options are boundless, and we always have the power to change our perspective on any life event, large or small.

We have just as much energy for self-compassion and exploration as we do for self-punishment. It’s up to us to direct it.

How do you shift the energy when you realize you’re beating yourself up?


Hi 4C Women,

I love the part of this message when Karen says there are many ways to live our lives. Having a difficult experience doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong; it means we are on a tougher road to learning, for the moment.

It is amazing how many of those challenging experiences present themselves throughout our lives.  What I have learned from these WFS Statements is that even when I make a mistake, it is my choice to reflect and learn how I will handle it if it happens again and to forgive myself.  Beating myself up for a mistake achieves nothing but pain.  Learning from it is empowering.  This is what I cherish about WFS meetings.  We share our experiences and teach each other.   This is how we learn that we are in charge of our lives.  We make choices, gain insight and pick ourselves up and move forward.  We take responsibility and learn to trust our decision-making.  That’s empowerment!

Bonded in taking responsibility for meeting the challenges of life and becoming empowered,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 9/16/2019

Monday Thoughts

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”  ~~Zig Ziglar

“I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision.  It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you.  The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities and your self-worth can empower you to walk down and even brighter path.  Transforming fear into freedom—how great is that.”  ~~Amit Kalantri

“Ability means all of us finding our strengths and putting them to full use.”  ~~Kathleen Wynne

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.

This week in our face to face group, we had a wonderful discussion about the Statements.  One of the comments made was that the WFS Statements give us permission to do and be who we are. Being able to acknowledge and accept oneself encourages growth and ability.  Every single person has a different ability and no one individual can do everything.

Before my New Life, I tried to do it all and failed at everything.  Instead of living in my strengths and reaching out for help when I needed it, I became overwhelmed and remained stuck.  This shook my core and I lost self-worth and esteem.

The continued practice of Statement #12 insures healthy awareness with continuing education.  We learn about where our strengths are and where more attention can be paid.  Affirming our ability, we move into feeling value and feeling secure.

How do you insert effort into Statement #12?


Hi 4C Women,

Statement #12 for me is all about self-esteem, believing in ourselves and having confidence that when we say we are competent women, those words are our truth.  Last year I listed 3 questions and I’d like to list them again.  I always ask women in the group to date anything they write about.  For me, it helps to see how much personal growth I have obtained and what additional work I need to do to gain the strength, insight and courage I desire.

  • I am worthwhile because…
  • I deserve …
  • I practice Statement #12 by doing …

Part of gaining competence is the willingness to change and here are 3 additional questions:

  • Do I purposely take action to promote my own well-being?
  • Am I truly open to new ideas/change?
  • Do I make my own decisions or do I allow other people to direct the course of my life? That last question was how I lived my life before WFS. I depended on my ex and those who intimated me to make my life choices. Drinking quieted the noise in my head that nagged at me to speak my voice yet I thought I was inadequate so who was I to give my opinion, my ideas, my differing thoughts? Karen wrote a powerful message a while back and it has stayed with me: “Fighting for myself instead of against, feelings of competency emerged.”

We are bonded in fighting for ourselves to be the competent woman we really are and believing in our hearts that we have much to give life and ourselves!
Your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 9/9/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Treasure the things about you that make you different and unique.” ~~Karen Kain

“A woman who expresses enthusiasm about whatever she is doing radiates an aura that makes persons in her presence feel good.” ~~Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

“Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.” ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Statement #11
Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my New Life.

Traveling is a favorite activity and recently my new passport arrived in the mail. It was a moment of sheer exhilaration; it meant the door was open to anywhere in the world. I languished in that moment for what seemed like an eternity, savoring each turned page and wondering what stamp might reside there. I felt Statement #11 beaming from within.

In the past I was unable to embrace the joy of planning an adventure. I felt such a need to escape my daily life that getting away (whether with alcohol or an airplane) was more important than anything else. Just like with drinking, when I did arrive at a destination, I could barely enjoy myself since I was already dreading facing reality again.

Today, Statement #11 aides in a sort of mindfulness if you will, of the present moment. Being able to treasure or be in this moment, and the next fills life with living. It is just as fun to discover, decide and plan when being in the moment. Even when those moments are long gone, feelings of lack do not take up residence since it was enjoyed the first time. The adventure begins with a truth…. all those precious moments add up to one great experience; a lifetime of dynamic living.

Here are some questions from our WFS Program booklet on Statement #11:

  • How can you increase your enthusiasm today?
  • What energizes you naturally?
  • How can you enjoy what you currently have?


Hi 4C Women,

I have been reflecting a bit on the past, looking through journals and WFS messages over the years. This helps me in recognizing how I have internalized the 13 Statements and what work I still need to do. Enthusiasm comes in spurts for me. A lot depends on what is happening in my life. While I have learned phenomenal coping skills in WFS, I have also learned that this recovery journey is not a straight line because life doesn’t work that way. For me, enthusiasm is more of a surprise and I love that. I have been in pain recently and that hinders my enthusiasm but I actually accept that and it’s okay for now. I still have those enthusiastic moments and it could be as simple as an email from someone I haven’t heard from in a while, catching up on what’s happening in their lives; a call from a friend that is a deep conversation scattered with a belly laugh or two; an unexpected card in the mail saying someone is thinking of me. All of that brings joy to my heart. It makes the pain or other challenges bearable. It’s a balance that I treasure. In looking over old messages regarding Statement 11, I came across two that couldn’t be further apart. I shared how I decided to make calls to friends on one Sunday after I experienced a youth service in church on “Where is the Love?” I also decided to call my daughter-in-law and ended up crying for a couple of hours from the hurtful things she said. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a date on the message and fortunately I don’t recall what she said that hurt me so much. They were married in 2011 so I’m sure it was in that year. Then I found a message that described the most wonderful moment with my granddaughter when she was 8 years old, visiting me in NJ. She asked me to dance while blowing bubbles. I hesitated but put the music on, twirling around and blowing bubbles all around the room. She started laughing and said, “I always knew there was a kid inside of you, Grandmom.” I learned in that moment to let go of hesitation and express childlike joy.

It is comforting to know that I can remember that moment and forgot the unkind words that hurt me. I choose to recall joyful moments as best I can and create more awareness of those enthusiastic ones that surprise and delight me!

A few questions regarding enthusiasm/joy:

  • What puts a smile on your face?
  • What do you find easy? (Fun leads to happiness and that leads to joy)
  • What sparks your creativity?
  • What would you do for free?
  • What do you like to talk about? (Ask your friends what topic makes your eyes brighten up)

Bonded in learning what brings enthusiasm/joy to our lives,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 9/2/2019

Monday Thoughts

“True love has a habit of coming back.” ~~Unknown

“Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you. So, give goodness.” ~~Zig Ziglar

“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” ~~Pablo Picasso

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

The tiny acorns have begun to fall in the yard and on our home over last couple of weeks. Picking one up, I was struck at the depth and immenseness of this small seed. Planting this one acorn, it could grow into a majestic oak tree, bearing untold numbers of little acorns who again in turn, would bear more acorns. This reminded me of Statement #10; when I plant love, it blossoms again and again.

Addiction has a way of disconnecting our ability to love and be loved. Perceptions are clouded and confusing. Under the influence, what feels like love can often be disguised as enabling behaviors, and an act of actual love can often be perceived as hurtful. One example comes to mind; when my husband simply wanted to see fall colors on a drive, I went into an intense panic thinking I was secretly being taken to a rehab unit. This shows how distorted my thoughts had become.

Sobriety and Statement #10 in action gives power for love to grow and flourish. One act of love has the potential to grow into untold ripples of love. With continued practice, Statement #10 enables us to learn to know we are loved and challenge any thought that says otherwise.

What act of love will you plant today?


Hi 4C Women,

It’s Labor Day and I’m thinking about self-care being a labor of love. While some of you might have the day off from work or not, learning to love others and knowing that we are loved is a job I highly recommend. For me, it took a lot of work to believe I was lovable. For many, our idea of love started with our families and then extended to the adults throughout our youth. Add to that, friendships that inspired us or hurt us if we felt left out, unaccepted. For some, these were painful times. Not everyone has the same experiences growing up yet there is a commonality that we chose alcohol or drugs to cope with life as an adult. That adds up to a lot of healing work.

As a young adult, I narrowly defined love as only romantic love. That left the door wide open to rejection which I had no coping skills to deal with it. I became full of self-loathing, feeling worthless and devastated. It took me a long time to realize that love is experienced in many ways and each is as valuable as any other.  WFS has taught me to take the risk of loving others, embracing love in all its many ways, letting go of the fear of rejection and accepting that I am loved. I believe that turn around happened when I finally learned to love myself and not depend on others to continually build my self-esteem. I felt a huge burden lifted from my shoulders when I finally understood that. I was in charge of loving myself enough to set boundaries, build healthy relationships and love me! This is another one of those times that I connect Statement #3, Happiness is created, not waited for and this Statement #10.  I’ve also heard and believe that hurt caused by others tends to be more about them and how they see the world. We unfortunately are the recipients of their unhealed and unresolved pain. That is another lesson I learned. We all bring our history into relationships and fortunately for us, we have the WFS program to teach us how to heal and bring a healthy person to the table.

Bonded in understanding all the ways to give and receive love and learning to believe we are loved,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 8/26/2019

Monday Thoughts

“When you let go of the things that no longer serve you, you make space for the things that do.”  ~~Unknown
“Letting go is even more important than adding.”  ~~Marie Kondo

“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”  ~~Najwa Zebian

Statement #9
The past is gone forever.
No longer am I victimized by the past. I am a new woman.

For over a week, my daughter has been visiting.  We have had such fun adventures; quietly fishing on the pier, chatting endlessly about deep topics and paper crafting.  It has been time spent simply being together and enjoying our relationship, but it wasn’t always so.

In the past, alcohol influenced my behaviors and attitudes.  I emotionally hurt the ones I cared for and loved the most.  It was initially difficult to process the pain that I had inflicted, but as I owned my actions, I moved from feeling like a victim into the new woman that Statement #9 affirms.

Putting continued practice into Statement #9 enables everyone to move forward from the past and live today.  Here are 4 ways to put action into Statement #9.

  1. Make a commitment to let go: Realize and understand what you are holding onto.  Does it do you any good to maintain the pain?
  2. Express and own your hurts: Give the pain a portal to be released. Share it in an online or F2F WFS meeting, journal, do a physical activity (I pick up sticks in the yard) but give it an outlet as well as ownership.
  3. Let go of blame: Blame removes the ability to move through or change something by placing ownership with someone else and keeps us in victim mode. Choose to be a victor instead of a victim.
  4. Be present: You have been hurt in the past, but you are living today.  Embrace this moment with mindfulness. Examine where you are emotionally and physically.  Employ forgiveness; it is for your benefit.


Hi 4C Women,

All of the tips Karen shared are powerful ways to go from victim to victor, from survivor of past hurt to thriver of a New Life. It took a long time for me to go from blame to acceptance of my role in past behavior/actions. What I learned by acknowledging my role is that it helped me to recognize the changes I needed to make. It put me in charge of “my” life changes so that I would have a healthier present and learn from my past, making choices that supported my well-being. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t hurt by the past, it just meant I would not dwell in it, especially since the persons who hurt me were not dwelling on how they hurt me. It was me keeping the chains of pain wrapped around my soul and mind. And the most powerful change was that I forgave myself. So often we work on forgiving others, which I feel is important to move forward, yet we forget how crucial it is to forgive ourselves.

As you move away from your role as victim, releasing the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life, wishing you could change the circumstances, perhaps your role in that hurt, it will become clear how important Statement #9 is in changing how you view your past. No matter how much we may wish, history cannot be rewritten. However, we can now create a new history that is based on lessons learned, pain that is healed, nourishing of self-esteem, setting healthy boundaries, embracing the time and energy we can now devote to rebuilding self-love, self-worth, self-respect.

And remember, there are positive memories from the past. Choose to recall those when the hurtful past starts to tap you on the shoulder. Close your eyes and focus on even one precious, joyful past memory. Sort of combining Statement #2, Negative thoughts destroy only myself and Statement #9, The past is gone forever. Quite a powerful combination.

Bonded in the freedom that self-forgiveness provides in healing from the past!
your 4C Sister