“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” ~~Anne Sweeney
“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and sh*t to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story—I will.” ~~Amy Schumer
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow them.” ~~Louisa May Alcott
#12 I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.
This is what I am and I shall know it always.
According to Merriam-Webster, competence means “the quality or state of having sufficient knowledge, judgment, skill or strength” et al. It does not, however, mean that one needs to know it all before embracing or acknowledging competence. Jean understood this and created this empowering Statement for continued growth and development in living our New Lives.
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.” After all the uncertainty that active addiction brings, isn’t it comforting to be connected to and engaged in life?
No one is competent in everything, yet everyone can be competent in something. Some years ago, while taking an art class at the local library, we sat and drew the still-life set up in front of us. At the end of class, we lined up our artwork for viewing. While all the drawings contained the same items, the way each person portrayed the scene was remarkable. Beautiful styles, lines, shading, and curves were displayed; everything was individual and all were delightful. Sobriety and recovery can be the same. No two journeys are exactly alike and no two people are competent in the same areas. The key is finding your inner connection, what makes you, well you. No one does you like you do. You are the best version of you there is. Embrace yourself!
Hi 4C Women,
Our recovery journey and path are as individual as our skills, talents, gifts and our belief in ourselves. I remember the first time I facilitated a WFS meeting and told the women attending that we introduce ourselves as competent women for our addiction is not our identity but what we use to cope. It was challenging to most yet I knew from my own experience that saying it eventually became my truth! In fact, that introduction is so embedded in my mind that I recently introduced myself as a competent woman at a zoom bible class!
For me, the beauty of WFS is that we may have similar goals, even similar circumstances yet how we reach our goal of sobriety/recovery is comprised of our choices, our personal history and in our own timeframe. Through it all, however, is the inner knowledge that we are competent and having made the choice of the WFS program in our recovery, that competency will continue to grow and evolve.
Back in 1993, I wrote about my WFS journey and it’s amazing to read how little I thought of myself. I can honestly attribute my growth to WFS, my learning from other women on this incredible recovery journey and knowing – believing – I am a competent woman. I will always remember when my ex-husband told me that I would never progress or be successful in life because I read the comics first on Sunday mornings rather than the news. He insinuated that I could not hold an intelligent conversation because I did not know current events and after all, according to him, you can’t talk small talk all your life. That one comment only reinforced my low self-esteem and past negative messages implying I was stupid.
In retrospect, I didn’t and still don’t make the connection between searching for humor to start my Sundays and being able to hold an intelligent conversation. Of course, I also know now that he was insecure, having to prove his intelligence through what he knew and small talk was extremely uncomfortable for him. I think he was a bit jealous because I could engage in small talk, going deeper only when I sensed the person felt comfortable and there was trust in doing so. So, saying out loud at a meeting that I am a competent woman took time to internalize as my truth. Today I can authentically and without hesitation say, I am a competent woman who can engage in diverse forms of communication!
I share this because I understand that Statement #12 can be intimidating and uncomfortable at first. For some, it may even feel like we are bragging – a feeling that many girls and young women were told was not ladylike and could be seen as conceited (at least when I was growing up). As you practice Statement #12, I hope you will realize that this Statement is empowering, motivating and definitely achievable.
As Karen said, we all have competency in different areas. Do you know yours? Perhaps make a list and read it every day with phrases like, I am worthy, I am enough, I am responsible, I am a 4C woman today and then add specifics, i.e., I am good at organizing, listening, technology (that will not be on my list!), being a good friend, detail oriented, cooking, creative – the list is yours to create.
Bonded in knowing you have much to give life, acknowledging your talents, skills, gifts and value with assertiveness – no apologies for the recognition. You are a competent woman – know it, believe it and live it, Dee
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