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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.

Hugzzz
Karen


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.

Hugzzz
Karen


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

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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?

Hugzzz
Karen


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?

Hugzzz
Karen


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?

Hugzzz
Karen


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 9/2/2019

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?

Hugzzz
Karen


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.

Hugzzz
Karen


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

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 8/19/2019

Monday Thoughts

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror, I can take the next thing that comes along.’” ~~Eleanor Roosevelt

 “Confidence isn’t thinking you are better than everyone else, it’s realizing that you have no reason to compare yourself to anyone else.” ~~Maryam Hasnaa

 “When I take good care of myself, it lifts my spirits, boosts my confidence, and makes me feel strong. When someone tries to throw me shade, it bounces right off. I look those haters straight in the eye, keep my chin up and shoulders back. Because I know I’m a fierce queen—and they know it too.” ~~Alyssa Edwards


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.


For years I lived life through a lens of comparison, which only fueled feelings of escapism and drinking. I hadn’t realized how limiting it was when looking at side by side accomplishments, physical appearances or abilities. Instead of measuring myself with my own yardstick, I fell short every time; it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Statement #8 is a deeply personal Statement; it focuses on individual growth. When creating the WFS Program, Jean understood that growth was an essential part of recovery. Learning who we are from our core to outside relationships assists in managing each aspect of life. It lays a healthy foundation of being.

Emotional and spiritual growth instills confidence in addition to each of our other 4C’s. By measuring ourselves with our own yardstick, we open a portal for self-assurance and satisfaction. Life can feel upbeat, instead of feeling beaten down with the continued practice of Statement #8. Here are a few ways to jump start this empowering Statement:

  1. Understand your strengths and weaknesses: Each of us crawled before we walked, so start where you are. Where do you excel? Where would you like to improve?
  2. Trust yourself: You can do anything that you set your mind to. If you fall short, understand you will get closer next time. Keep going.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone: Sure, our comfort zones feel safe and secure, but there is more out there. Being vulnerable opens unknown rewards. It’s worth the discomfort to get there.
  4. Receive positivity: Do you cringe when you receive a compliment? Embrace it instead. Try not to discredit praise when it comes your way. For the most part, each of us has earned the compliment, receive the gift that it is.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I am learning that self-care is a top priority. Being a former extreme people pleaser, I usually was at the end of my priority list if I was on it at all. I realized that I actually love helping people. It is rewarding and brings me joy. What I also realize now is that I must balance that with taking care of me, putting me at the top of my priority list. That became evident with the recent chronic pain I have been having. I tried everything to relieve it and finally decided to go to a pain clinic to get an epidural/steroid shot in my spine, at the source of the pain. As I looked around the room, I saw so many people with that look of severe pain on their faces, in the way they walked (hobbled) around in the waiting room. I wondered how long it had taken them to be a priority. I am feeling so much better today and wished I had taken this step sooner. However, it brought me right back to how long it took me to realize that I was worth having a new life in recovery. More than not drinking but changing my priorities, my negativity, my way of handling life’s challenges – all of which I learned to do through the WFS Program. Statement #8 might have been one of the hardest to tackle because I had lost my emotional bearings and my spiritual life was non-existent. I felt empty. The longer I sat in the waiting room, the more I pondered how many women are denying themselves a new life, waiting for the right time to make the decision that they deserve to feel strength in their emotional and spiritual well-being. I guess the answer might be found in Karen’s 3rd question – to step out of our comfort zone, work through the pain of change to a life of emotional and spiritual growth. It is so worth the journey.

In 2008, Nancy Cross shared this from Volume III, “A Year of Sobering Thoughts” written by Jean Kirkpatrick. It focused on giving ourselves space to figure out how to make ourselves a priority: “When we give ourselves space, we give ourselves a chance to grow. Space can be a vacuum or it can be a growing place. Assess the time you give yourself. Is your space a vacuum or a growing place? Is it a time for you to think, to plan, to dream, to grow… to just simply be you? Make a time each day for growth!” All of this takes courage, being vulnerable, creating confidence, having faith in ourselves that we can do it, and most of all, learning to love ourselves as we are at this very moment, no judgment or comparing to others.

Bonded in making ourselves a priority,
your 4C sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 8/12/2019

Monday Thoughts

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.” ~~Jodi Picoult

“There would be no need for love if perfection were possible. Love arises from our imperfection, from our being different and always in need of the forgiveness, encouragement and that missing half of ourselves that we are searching for, as the Greek myth tells us, in order to complete ourselves.” ~~Eugene Kennedy

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” ~~Brene Brown


Statement #7
Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.


Being human means being imperfect. Imperfection offers a portal for love to flow and Statement #7 lays that foundation for love to flourish. It is a path paved with caring, expansion and change. In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Giving and receiving love can change our world. They change how we feel about ourselves—we feel increasingly alive, appreciated, important, necessary, wanted and worthy.”

Alcohol slowly invades the body and mind; beginning to eliminate the ability to understand and/or feel love. Under the influence, acts of love can feel uncertain and even threatening but this is simply an illusion. Sobriety and continuing recovery cement caring and understanding.

Statement #7 implores us to look within. What is underneath, and at your core? Are you able to embrace the woman who looks at you in the mirror? Do you see your strength? Do you feel your compassion? Are you able to provide self-care and know that you are worthy of love? How do you respond to your imperfections? What can you do differently to breathe additional life into this Statement?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Years ago, I cared more about what others thought of me and very little about how I viewed myself. Perhaps that’s because I thought I was so unlovable that seeing myself as anything else seemed impossible. Drinking helped me to ignore the work I needed to do – as the saying goes, healing is an inside job. Once I started the process of healing, I not only learned to love myself but to also accept and believe that I was lovable. I was so fearful of rejection that I was the biggest rejector of them all! This is how I learned that love is probably the most powerful, life-changing feeling that can break down the highest wall that we think is protecting us. It is doing just the opposite. It is keeping us from experiencing the most wonderful part of any “healthy” relationship. Yes, healthy. It is an important factor in caring for ourselves and for others. My love relationship with myself was not a healthy one but a judgmental one. Authentic love brings forgiveness, peace and joy to ourselves and to those we trust and care for in our new lives.

What do you love about yourself? This is a time to abandon the idea that complimenting or praising your positive qualities/characteristics is conceited. That is an outdated sentiment, one I grew up with but realize is detrimental to self-love.

What do you value about yourself?

What are you holding onto that isn’t serving you anymore? Old resentments, regrets, people pleasing, saying yes when you mean no.

What do you need to be more at peace with yourself? Maybe it’s setting healthier boundaries or making changes to your self-care.

All of these questions deal with self-love and from that comes the ability to genuinely care about yourself and others.

Bonded in knowing that love can change the course of our world and practicing the importance of caring for ourselves and others,

a 4C Sister

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 8/5/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work, or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” ~~Earl Nightingale

“The art of life is to live in the present moment.” ~~Emmet Fox

“When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.” Anonymous


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


This quote from Jean on Statement #6 is as still profound as the first day I read it…. “Although we only get a one ticket through life, we speed through our days as if planning to enjoy them at another time. We live as if we have an endless number of tomorrows.” Oftentimes, before my New Life, I was in search of anything but the present.

One of the reasons why the present felt so uncomfortable was that I didn’t really know how to be. My mind was in constant search of something bigger, better or more interesting. Additionally, the present felt emotionally painful; my mind ruminated on the past and fueled anxiety in the future. Sobriety and recovery continue to help change this self-defeating habit.

With Statement #6 in action, I can be immersed in the now. I am quite aware of being present when doing something that makes my heart sing, such as during a face to face WFS meeting, catching a fleeting moment in nature or even while painting/drawing. It takes more effort and patience to be present when I am involved in something uncomfortable, or fearful. Gratefully, the WFS Statements, especially Statement #6, encourage the living of life. See for yourself how many times the word “Life” appears in the WFS New Life Program Acceptance Statements!

What actions can you take to bond yourself to living life in the now?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Nancy Cross once asked what motivated you into sobriety and what inspires you to continue building a New Life in recovery? Statement #6 is a powerful reminder that no matter why we became motivated, the question to ask ourselves in the present moment, is truly what inspires us to continue our recovery journey. She continued to say that “motivation is usually short lived yet important as it makes a person want to improve from a sense of lack into a better outcome. Inspiration is very powerful because it helps a person stay focused on their desire for what they want in life.”

One thing I’ve learned is that “greatness” is a personal definition. For some, “ordinary” is greatness with all the rewards of being sober. Getting up in the morning and remembering the night before, spending the day in clarity, saying no without guilt to a request…the list is long and wonderful. For some, greatness might mean taking a risk, big or small, feeling the pure joy of the risk, living in the moment. Facing a fear can be a risk, too. It’s not always something physical such as sky diving! Speaking my voice and being heard has been risky at times yet the end result certainly filled me with empowerment beyond the imagined risk. I was afraid to express my needs, my opinion, my soul. Once I started taking that risk, I understood how life could become filled with greatness out of an ordinary self-expression.

I would encourage you to consider the question Karen asked as well as Nancy’s. I would add to think about your definition of greatness in sobriety/recovery. What risks have you taken to live in greatness, in the moment?

Bonded in knowing that greatness is yours by a conscious effort and ordinary may just be your new greatness,

a 4C sister