Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 2.6.23

“Avoiding certain people to protect your emotional health is not weakness. It is wisdom.”

“You deserve to be loved without having to hide the parts of yourself you think are unlovable.”

“It’s okay to let go of those who couldn’t love you. Those who didn’t know how to. Those who failed to even try. It’s okay to outgrow them, because that means you filled the empty space in you with self-love instead. You’re outgrowing them because you’re growing into you. And that’s more than okay, that’s something to celebrate.”
Angelica Moone

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

You deserve love…. period. You deserve love simply because you exist. Sobriety is the warm, cozy blanket that provides the portal for love to surround you, wrap itself around you, and let you know that even deep down inside, you are worthy and deserving of love. The WFS Statements, but especially the “Love” Statements #7 and #10 enable this love to flourish and grow.

Substance Use Disorders prevent your truth from reaching in and loving you. Over time, changes in the brain can take place, altering perceptions. With sobriety and recovery, you are open to love, to give, and to receive. It felt foreign at first, though I kept believing what the other sober women around me kept saying: You are worthy of love. You are absolutely worthy of love.

As a part of Level 5, Statement #7 shifts focus towards relationships. Loving ourselves takes priority and we can begin to fill our needs. Boundaries become an empowering new tool to create well-being and balance. This can feel foreign at first too, initially, it felt wrong, but my brain was still healing. Trusting the process, love changes the course of my world every day in every way. Enjoy the comfort of love!


Hi 4C Women,

I am so blessed beyond words I write here to express my enormous gratitude for the love I have received since becoming a part of WFS. I learned to love myself and receive/give authentic love from/to my WFS sisters. I have truly been changed by love. It encouraged me to face my fears of rejection, to learn self-forgiveness, self-love, and to give purpose and meaning to my New Life in recovery.  I felt a sense of balance and comfort as I broke down the wall of fear.

In the beginning, the most challenging part of practicing Statement #7 was to believe that love could change the course of my world. I had no idea that tearing down my wall of fear and letting in loving relationships would have such a powerful impact. I realized that my fears of not being good enough no longer could hold up the wall I built. It no longer protected me but kept me a prisoner from experiencing the warmth and comfort of positive, caring relationships. I also learned that while I could still be hurt, all relationships could not be based on that possibility. I felt free in my acceptance of love, knowing that caring had to also include myself as well as others. As my world of love expanded, I felt uplifted and even became courageous in setting boundaries which is a much better way to protect myself. The wall blocked everything and therefore would not change anything. Something had to give. This Statement and the practice of it tore down the wall and love came slowly and gratefully back into my life.

Who is part of your caring circle today?
How do you show love to yourself?
How has boundary setting helped you move forward in creating healthy relationships?
How has loved changed the course of your world?

Bonded in trusting the process of practicing Statement #7 and experiencing love changing the course of your world, Dee

More Info Here

Posted on 1 Comment

Monday Thoughts 11.7.22

“You are not selfish for wanting the same energy and love you give.”


“It’s okay to let go of those who couldn’t love you. Those who didn’t know how to. Those who failed to even try. It’s okay to outgrow them, because that means you filled the empty space in you with self-love instead. You’re outgrowing them because you are growing into you. And that’s more than okay, that’s something to celebrate.”

Angelica Moone

“The people you will always remember are the ones who made you feel loved when you were at your lowest.”

Brigitte Nicole

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.

Staying was easier because I didn’t know how to leave. Unaware that I could trust my decisions, or believe in myself, I stayed. Then, somehow, deep down within, love said “Leave. Leave now.” I left. The world as I knew it was shattered and in pieces but I was alive. Love changed the course of my world in an instant.

Sobriety and Statement #7 create a portal for love to expand and grow. Love is always there, sometimes covered up and hidden from years of pain yet that love exists. By practicing the WFS Statements each day, giving special attention to Statement #7, I uncovered and discovered the healing and beauty of love.

Embracing sobriety is an act of love. Affirming self is an act of love. Enforcing boundaries is an act of love. Maybe you are afraid to believe it or trust it, but love makes a difference every day. 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. There are no words as therapeutic as ‘I love you.’” You are deserving of love!

Here are 4 ways to begin to love yourself from Maria Stenvinkel from Tiny Buddha

Focus on being someone who loves.

If you’re in a place today where you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to take a quantum leap and become someone who does. Just like when you’re building muscles, self-love takes consistent practice.

Instead of loving yourself, focus on being someone who loves. That is, allow love to flow through you as often as possible. Focus on what you love about the people you meet. Focus on what you appreciate while going to the store, sitting in a meeting, or speaking to someone. Simply, adjust your body to positive emotions by finding as many things to love and appreciate as possible.

2. Tap into what it looks and feels like to be loved.

It’s easy to be loving toward ourselves when things go as planned, when we succeed and people like us. Not so much when stuff falls apart, we screw up, or get rejected. When we struggle the most, that’s also when we tend to be the hardest on ourselves.

In those moments, ask yourself how someone who loves you deeply would act. What would they say? What would they do? How would they behave? Odds are, they wouldn’t criticize, judge, and berate you. They’d offer you kindness, compassion, and acceptance. If you can’t think about a specific person or memory, imagine how the most loving human on this planet would be toward you. Then practice being that toward yourself.

3. Stop comparing yourself.

Comparison is a killer to self-love. And we aren’t usually very nice when it comes to comparisons, right? Instead, we take our greatest flaws and compare them to someone else’s greatest success. In short, you’re doomed to fail.

Instead, realize that you write your story. Realize that you can’t compare your life to someone else’s because no matter how well you know them, you never know how they feel or how they perceive their life. Instead, spend your time and energy nourishing and building your path.

4. Take baby steps to create the life you long for.

Desires are powerful. And so, to take action to turn those dreams into reality is to honor and care for yourself. By taking daily actions, you signal that you’re worthy of living the life you desire.

It doesn’t have to be big action—just small and consistent steps in the direction that stirs joy, care, and excitement. This demonstrates that you care and respect your dreams and thus yourself. Has there ever been a better time to do that than now?



Hi 4C Women,

Powerful, phenomenal message from Karen. Wonderful tips for learning how to begin the journey of self-love and accepting love from others. Living in pain, feeling unworthy, and never feeling that you are enough is more than challenging to overcome yet it is absolutely possible, actually necessary, and deserving. I was so fearful of rejection in giving love yet I was rejecting the most important person in my life – me! It took a while yet I learned to turn off the negative messages from the past. The messages we received growing up and into young adulthood – even adulthood. As empowered women, we now get to choose the words we speak to ourselves. I have an inner critic that I have named who sometimes sits on my shoulder, spewing nasty, old, outdated messages that I no longer accept. So, when he/she appears, I turn my head and flick the critic off as I tell them to shut up and stop lying. I am in control of my thoughts which in turn makes me in charge of my behavior. I will not allow these negative messages to make me question who I am today. I will no longer punish myself by believing even slightly that these are truth-based messages. I will instead continue to work on healing.

I have a 3×5 card in my purse that has STOP on the front as an alert when negative messages start to ramble through my mind. On the back is a listing of positive characteristics, changes I have made, what I value about myself, and whatever challenges I have gone through and stayed sober. I get that card out whenever I question my worth and the negative messages start creeping in. I encourage you to do that as self-love will change the course of your world in amazing ways.  I’ve been blessed to see so many women turn their lives around in self-love when they thought it was impossible. Be courageous – practice self-love every day and see what happens.

I hope you will take the time to reflect on the questions Karen has asked and begin or continue the journey of self-love. You deserve it.

Bonded in learning to love yourself and accept/give love to others, Dee

Virginia Tech is recruiting adults in recovery from addiction, including alcohol, for a long-term online study to learn about diverse recovery pathways. Participants in this research study (IRB# 21-697) will complete 4 surveys per year over 3 years and will be compensated for their time (up to $1,280 over 3 years).


Help us help others (Phone: 540-315-0205 | Email: [email protected])!

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 8.8.22

“It takes courage and strength to be empathetic.”

Jacinda Arden

“Find ecstasy in life: the mere sense of living is joy enough.”

Emily Dickinson

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”

Brené Brown

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important

Statement #7 oftentimes is frequently referred to as one of the “love” Statements, yet all of the WFS New Life Acceptance Statements are intertwined with love.  Essentially, embracing sobriety and recovery is an act of self-love that changes the course of our world.

Over time, substance abuse disorders change brain circuitry and make it impossible for meaningful connections.  Before sobriety, I felt disconnected from everything yet was completely unaware that I had disconnected from myself.   In order to feel something, I either actively sought out drama or attempted to protect myself by making my world even smaller.  It was emotionally isolating and painful.

Initially, practicing Statement #7 did not come easy.  It felt foreign and uncomfortable, but it also felt promising.  The WFS Online Forum became a daily connection, I was learning so much and beginning to experience self-love.  My world began to grow and the changes felt empowering.  Gone was the need for drama, replaced with ripples of connection and expansion. Today, Statement #7 seems to ebb and flow like waves, with bursts of transformation followed by periods of stillness.  Either way, this 4C life is beautiful!

Here are four ways to engage and practice self-love and caring:

1.      Recognize, reduce and eliminate self-judgment:  Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a dear friend.  You deserve love, period.

2.      Trust yourself:  Acknowledge gains you’ve made, no matter how small.  Your trust will build on itself.

3.      Be true to yourself:  Identify your core beliefs and values. Recognize when you step out of your alignment.  Create, fulfill, and strengthen boundaries.

4.      Forgive yourself.  Self-forgiveness allows for inner growth and change.  Every day is an opportunity for caring.


Hi 4C Women,

As I read Karen’s thoughts, it is so amazing how the WFS Statements all work together yet separately have such an empowering message in learning, growing, loving, and definitely hope.

The 4 points that Karen shared made me reflect on how the Statements fit together so beautifully.  These are my reflections.  Would love for you to think about which Statements you believe they represent.

1.        Reducing self-judgment is Statement #2.  So important in self-love and self-respect.

2.       Trusting ourselves is Statement #12 in knowing how competent we are, trusting we are 4C women with so much to offer.

3.       Forgiving myself was so difficult.  Yet, I realized that if I were to have a New Life in recovery, I needed to do just that.  Statement #9 always pulls me out of regret, shame, and wishes I had, to remember that I can’t change what happened but learn from it and make healthier, wiser choices.

4.       Being true to yourself for me is Statement #13 knowing we are responsible for our actions and setting boundaries to nurture and grow our self-worth.

Then there is Statement #7 in loving all of me, past included, in order to move forward.  Believing I was lovable seemed an impossibility.  I saw myself as broken, fake, needy, undesirable, and definitely unworthy of love.  But there is that word again that Karen shared – hope!  As I practiced the Statements, I began to understand how important loving myself would allow love in my life.  I could genuinely love myself and others.  It was as though I was learning to walk again, to reach out my arms for support, and then to give it back.  This was my New Life.

How we speak to ourselves is critical.  I had to unlearn my negative self-talk.  Loving myself also allowed me to be vulnerable, especially to my great fear of rejection.  That was huge.  Honestly, it was painful at times yet slowly I began to recognize that I was in charge of my life and my reactions.  I never would have thought that being authentic and loving myself would heal the need to be liked/loved by everyone.  While I love helping others more than anything, I also learned that I cannot be a doormat, and walked on with no consequence.  The consequence is that I move on, giving my caring and compassion from my heart and not just the need to please or be liked.  My love for others is so real and it gives me great joy.

As you go through this week, think about how:

you speak to yourself;

how you heal and move through the past, the lessons you have learned/learning;

how love is changing your world in concrete ways, moving from people pleasing to self-caring with compassion;

how brave you are to let love in and give love away authentically.

Bonded in knowing, expressing authentic love, and practicing self-care, Dee

women for sobriety holiday sale 2022 save the date

Mark your calendars! You are going to LOVE what’s coming in the Holiday Sale!

For more information join us on WFS Online in The Creative Crew connection group under Forums — or email [email protected]  

Catalog will be available October 14.

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 5.9.22

“I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences.”
Maya Angelou

“The choice to love is the choice to connect—to find ourselves in the other.”

Bell Hooks

“Actually, being able to exercise your own choice can bring about greater opportunity. I think it’s just as important what you say no to as what you say yes to.”
Sandra Oh

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.

Love… as a choice? It has taken sobriety and practicing Statement #7 as well as a life examined to begin to understand that love is a verb. Love is not static or fixed, but rather an action, or the center of expression. Sure, love “makes the world go round” yet I had difficulty comprehending the concept of love as a choice. Alcohol had blurred the lines of everything, including love.

The WFS New Life Program and the Statements are about choice. Learning to live without alcohol is the beginning of the journey, discovery is then unleashed and choices abound, including love. Saying “NO” to alcohol says “YES” to you. This one choice opens up a whole world, one that was hidden away behind the pain of substance use.

Today, everyday experiences are examples of choice and love in their purest form. Instead of escape, sobriety and recovery offer a way to transform into the living of life and love. Choice expands and so does our insight. In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Practice of Statement #7 leads to understanding love and the importance of self-care. Our New Life depends on establishing healthy, loving relationships, first with ourselves and then with others.” Choose love today.



Hi 4C Women,

I had been talking to a friend about helping a family member who was resistant to helping themselves and it was wearing me down. I was exhausted and frustrated. My friend looked at me with concern and said, “You can’t care more than they do.” It was one of those light bulb moments!  I understood that while it is compassionate to care about others, leaving myself out of the equation of caring and self-love can empty my own love tank. And when the well is dry, it is next to impossible to give what you don’t have. This is not a new theory yet it felt brand new to me in recovery. Statement #7 was going to the well, filling my bucket with self-love, and sharing love with others –creating a beautiful balance.  It is self-love and self-care that provided me the vulnerability to be open to loving others authentically while still taking care of my needs. I always thought it was one or the other. Sacrifice was the way I lived yet it was at the expense of my own peace and contentment. It was through WFS, Statement #7, that taught me my world could encompass loving myself and others without sacrificing either. The only difference was that I began setting boundaries when I felt I cared way too much than they did. These boundaries were and still are, at times, challenging for me depending mostly on with whom I am setting them. Family is definitely the most challenging because of the emotional history and roles we have played for many years. My need for acceptance was way out of proportion to the point of being emotionally unhealthy, even unattainable. I was in such fear of rejection. Who would love me if I didn’t ignore my needs and focused only on the needs of others? There was no balance, no recognition that I mattered.  Being a facilitator taught me more about caring than I ever dreamed possible. I began to feel cared about as I cared about the women who courageously walked into a meeting, searching for a New Life. My heart, my love tank, was no longer empty. It is incomprehensible at times to reflect on the woman I was – fearful, self-loathing, believing I was unlovable, unworthy of love. This Statement offered a real opportunity to change my negative self-talk. The more I let go of my fears, the more I let love in, knowing and believing that I am truly worthy of giving and receiving love.

Was there a time in your life when love changed the course of your world? What were the circumstances?

How do you practice self-care?

Do you struggle with being a people pleaser? If so, have you considered setting boundaries to create a balance between giving to others and also getting your own needs met?

How difficult is it to set boundaries? Do you find it depends on the person or situation?

Do you know when you’re giving too much? What are the signs?

How do you speak to yourself when it comes to self-love and self-worth?

What is your greatest fear of being vulnerable?

Authentic love truly changes the course of your world when a balance is created and the choice is made to love yourself as well as others, Dee

Here is where the Teddy Bear Challenge is on May 2:

92 donors have collectively donated $9,975!

Plus we have a pledge of $50,013 in available matching funds!

Including matching funds … we are now at $19,949!!!

20% toward our goal of $50,013 from the community

59% towards our participation goal <— can we blow this out of the water?

women for sobriety teddy bear challenge thermometer 2022

Donate to the TBC online!

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 2.7.22

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity.  It’s sanity.”  Katrina Mayer

“This life is mine alone.  So, I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”  Glennon Doyle

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”  Brené Brown

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.

Sobriety and recovery are acts of love that we give ourselves each day.  In the past, I could not have imagined that not doing something would be considered an act of love, yet putting action behind Statement #7 does exactly that.  Love changes the course of my world minute by minute, day by day.

In our WFS Program booklet, it states, “Practice of Statement #7 leads to understanding love and the importance of self-care.”  For many women, self-care had been considered selfish and can feel foreign.  Embracing a sober New Life is an act of self-care and opens a portal to self-love.  You need and deserve your love!

How can we begin to love ourselves?  Taking small mindful steps forward like the ones listed below can create healthy habits.  What else can you add to change the course of your world?

  1. Instill trust in yourself: You are your best advocate and know what your needs are.  Give yourself your trust.  List your actions/decisions/choices that changed your life positively, no matter how small.  Release doubt.
  2. Embrace your value:  Your value is not contained in your looks, possessions, achievements, etc.  You have value because you are YOU!
  3. Let go of comparison:  Comparing yourself to anyone else cannot be fair, ever.  It only serves to elevate/diminish.  Instead, highlight your journey.  No one else can ever live your life!
  4. Bring in boundaries:  If someone will not take responsibility for their actions, a firm healthy boundary is an act of courageous self-love.  You are deserving of respect, you are deserving of love.



Dear 4C Women,

The 4 ways to learn to love yourself are spot on and I am thankful to Karen for sharing them.

1.   We talk about rebuilding trust so others will have faith and confidence in our commitment to abstinence and personal growth.  How true that learning to trust our instincts and our decisions in recovery is of utmost importance as well.  It was initially one of the most difficult changes for me to make.  Yet, it is absolutely possible and necessary for moving forward, for building self-esteem.   Listing our positive actions reminds me of sharing positives in our meeting.  It can be challenging even for those who have been attending meetings for a long time.  I used to joke that if we were asked to share negatives, it would be much easier.  What stood out for me in this 1st guidance tip was the key phrase, to “release doubt;” that love, loving ourselves especially, can release the doubt of feeling unworthy, unlovable, and all those “uns” that we cling to when working on developing love and self-care.

2.   What do you value about yourself?  It took a while for me to acknowledge and answer this question.  I learned to value my loyalty, my empathy, and compassion for others.  It seemed strange at first not to list my accomplishments no matter how small as that was how I defined myself.   Through WFS, I was able to uncover and share my values. It was the inside work I feared to face as I lacked the self-confidence to believe I had anything to offer other than what I did.  So grateful to learn the truth of my authentic value and feel comfortable about expressing it.

3.   Jean spoke often about not comparing ourselves to others. You either feel superior, which removes compassion, or you feel less than and that negates supporting your recovery and well-being.  I sometimes felt triggered by the success of others, whether material possessions or achievements.  I judged myself by a standard that was unrealistic or damaging.  Which goes back to tip #2 in learning to value ourselves, the inside feeling work we do.  That cannot be taken away and is immeasurable.

4.   Oh, boundaries!  This might be the biggest challenge of all and still is at times when it comes to family. There’s so much emotional history attached to creating those boundaries.  In the beginning I felt guilt and shame for a long time and didn’t think I could set boundaries as I was so intent on appeasing/pleasing everyone, never saying no and remained a shell of the 4C woman I wanted to be.  On the outside, I appeared differently than I felt inside.  Once I slowly began setting boundaries, I felt such a sense of freedom and self-love.  I found and spoke my voice with that compassion I felt inside but was afraid to be seen as weak to express.  Goodbye toxic people, condescending people, feeling invisible and undeserving of respect.   I came across this quote:  Accept people where they are, but place them where they belong.  You are the CEO of your life.  Hire, fire and promote accordingly.   A good quote for setting boundaries.

Many times, we discuss the negative baggage we bring into the present.  I believe that practicing Statement #7 is one of those statements that begins the unpacking of old messages that no longer speaks our present truth or serves our recovery journey.  It teaches us to reclaim our power, our self-worth, our deserving of love and self-respect.  Grab it, practice it, unpack the baggage and fill it with love, caring. self-respect and self-care. Dee

Posted on 1 Comment

Monday Thoughts 8/9/2021

women for sobriety decorative image love

“Most people, it seems like they’ve only got one part of the equation down.  Caring for themselves, or caring for someone else.  And I’ve learned how important it is to have both.”  ~~Deb Caletti

“My mission in life is to be kind, compassionate, caring, and loving in order to find and feel the deepest joy of life.”  ~~Debasish Mridha

“To 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

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.

Caring is all-important.”  Whoa.  Such a simple sentence in the action part of Statement #7, but it encompasses everything.  Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., was ahead of her time and wise beyond her years in understanding the power of love for women in recovery.  On her own journey, Jean began to jot down important observations, ones that could lead to changing course and the WFS New Life Program was born.  Born from love and shared with love.

Addiction can alter perceptions of love. What may seem like loving words or actions can oftentimes feel manipulative or controlling.  Alcohol denied the ability to understand this, and I clung to denial for ease and comfort, but the WFS New Life Program can help change course.

In our WFS Beginner’s Collection booklet it states “Our culture has taught us to be over-dependent on others—by attaching our self-esteem to our relationships and to approval from others.  Our value as a person often depends on our relation to others and not on our own intrinsic worth.  On the other hand, we fear and dread rejection and hurt.  Now is the time to take risks—be open about our feelings—be vulnerable—balance giving and receiving.  Mature, loving relationships can bring us the greatest happiness of all.”  This week, take time to express your love and to practice balance and openness. Notice the emotions and feelings that arise.  How do they differ from last year or even from before your New Life?



Hi 4C Women,

Karen’s question reminded me of how much this Statement changed my life, how I learned to love myself without needing the approval of others.  Rejection was my greatest fear and acceptance my greatest need.  Through WFS, I learned that the best way to find acceptance was through my own acknowledgement of my worth and not the opinion of others.  After all, I will always be with me so it’s absolutely imperative that I nourish the caring of me and this is how love can, and did, change the course of my world.  Loving myself opened me up to receiving and giving love to others authentically.

Being vulnerable can be quite scary yet it is that vulnerability that opens doors to genuine relationships.  If sharing who we are, what our needs are, chases someone away, that only leaves more room for those who embrace and encourage our vulnerability in developing caring relationships.  I try to look at relationships as interdependent, the balance of giving and receiving as Karen shared.  We need each other in this life.  The balance is the healthy feeling of enjoying being alone and also spending time with others.  Imbalance is depending solely on others to bolster our self-esteem, to fill our empty love tank, being fearful of expressing our needs for fear of rejection.  For me, this past year created an imbalance with the isolation I experienced.  I realized how much joy I felt being “with” others.  For some, it became comfortable to be isolated to the point where the fear of future interacting in person became a concern.  Initially the isolation became a welcome change from my overly hectic scheduled life.

Further into the pandemic, I understood that too much time alone, not interacting on a more personal level, was creating a void that could be a trigger.  Don’t get me wrong, it took years, but I did eventually learn to enjoy my own company but I also love being with others.  It motivates me, inspires me, brings me great joy – loving the course of my world with wonderful people.  I even missed chatting with people in the grocery store!   However, it is this Statement that made me realize that whether in person, zoom, phone or text, I am grateful for the circle of love in my life.  Even in physical isolation, I had so much love from the women I have been privileged to know through WFS.  I believe I could write that on my gratitude list every night.

Love, caring is an action, not just a feeling.  Are you aware of how you fill your own personal love tank, showing love to yourself, how you show caring to others?   Is your love and caring in balance?  This is an important question as I have found many women with addictions tend to be people pleasers, neglecting their own needs.  It’s exhausting!  So, Statement #7 is practicing self-care, self-love and having the energy to be caring about others.

Bonded in a balanced, loving, caring, sober life to enjoy, Dee

Hear more about Statement #7 in this video!


Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 5/10/2021

“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”  ~~Danielle LaPorte

“Just because love don’t look the way you think it should, don’t mean you don’t have it.”  ~~Leslye Walton

“I will not try to convince you to love me, to respect me, to commit to me.  I deserve better than that; I AM BETTER THAN THAT…. Goodbye.”  ~~Steve Maraboli

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.

In our WFS Program booklet it states from our own Dee, “Love yourself, love others, free yourself from the fear of rejection and let that be the way to fill your heart, your soul, and your spirit.” Statement #7 in action offers an ever-widening portal for love to grow and even flourish in our New Lives.  Sobriety and recovery is an act of love that begins with ourselves and radiates outward as we transform and thrive.

Before New Life, I tolerated and even excused painful behaviors from myself and from others.  It eventually took a heavy toll, losing sight of any sense of self or authenticity creating a woman I no longer liked or even recognized.  It was a painful way to exist, yet the solution lay within…love.

This 4C journey is an act of love, one that grows and evolves.  Beginning with ourselves, we can widen our circle of love like ripples on the water.  At the start of sobriety, each time we say NO to alcohol or drugs we say YES to ourselves. This is the center and most focused of ripples that sets another in motion and we learn that we do indeed have the ability to reduce negativity and manage our thoughts.  Another ripple outward sees us creating and living our new view of ourself while the next has us directing our thoughts.  Love continues to cascade outward in the next ripple where we work on our relationships and recognize priorities, grow emotionally/spiritually, and continue to take responsibility.  The wonderful thing about these expanding ripples of love is that as they enlarge, they touch countless other ripples out there and make a difference, creating waves of love that are infinite.

Here are 13 ways to practice love:

  1. Learn who you are right now:  You are beginning fresh this day, this week.  What do you like, believe or value?
  2. Be present:  Focus on the here and now.  It is the only moment available.  The past is gone and the present is in the future.
  3. What are your strengths?  Write them down and continue to add to this list.  You have skills and talents, acknowledge them.
  4. Release comparison:  Observe yourself (not judge) with your own yardstick.  It is not fair to you to compare to someone else.  We are all different and have different experiences.
  5. Embrace your feelings:  They are temporary and always changing.  Even the uncomfortable is temporary.
  6. Set boundaries:  Say NO when you feel you need to.  Boundaries let others know that you deserve and expect respect.
  7. Embrace assertiveness: You matter.  Stand up for yourself in small ways first.  If you don’t, who will?
  8. Reserve time for just you:  Your morning meditation time to read the Statements and/or journal is a great start to schedule yourself as a priority.
  9. Release the past and forgive yourself:  Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend, including all the big stuff.
  10. Honesty: Be truthful with yourself and others.  Building trust begins with honesty.  Start with yourself.
  11. Carve out time for nature:  Something magical happens when we can spend time outdoors.  Get your hands muddy in the garden or walk without headphones.
  12. List your accomplishments no matter the size:  Make the bed today? Finish a project?  On the list it goes.  Create a notebook of your efforts.  Watch yourself grow!
  13. Get physical:  Yoga, walking, weights, cycling?  What moves you?  Get your body moving, set a routine.



Hi 4C Women,

I love the analogy of ripples of love cascading from self-love to loving, caring friendships and relationships.  Someone once told me that we touch more than one life when we share the WFS program.  We touch the lives of each women that ripples out to their families, friends, co-workers, all their relationships!  That is a powerful image of how important love and caring for ourselves and others can change the course of our world and theirs.

Here is a love challenge:

With a person you love/care about, (spouse, partner, sibling, child, friend, parent/grandparent, etc.) write down 5 things you love/value about them.  You could even invite that person to share 5 things they love/value about you.   Share your list with them.

Find a photo or write down a memory when you felt great affection for another.  Write down how you felt at that moment.  Spend time sharing about and reliving this experience with this person.

Reach out to someone who has been on your mind with either a phone call or card.  There has been a lot of isolation this past year and it would be such a caring, loving act to let someone know you are thinking of them.

Practice active listening, showing you care about that person’s feelings and needs.  It is amazing how doing this can be a teaching and learning experience for all.

Thanks to Karen for sharing my quote from the Program Booklet.  I was so filled with the fear of rejection from past experiences that it was extremely challenging to accept and practice Statement #7.  That fear built a very tall, strong wall.  And while I did work through my fear of rejection, I sure wish I had Karen’s 13 ways to practice love back then.  It would have made my transition a bit easier to say the least.  I encourage each of you to hold on to the list and with practice and perseverance, love can change the course of your world and caring will become all important.

Please check the Meaningful May calendar that was in last Monday’s Thoughts.  It is all about Statement #7.   Lots of love and caring to share, Dee

In case you missed it, read the official WFS Strategic Plan announcement here. This was sent to our entire News & Announcements email list – if you didn’t receive it, please be sure to sign up for that email list at

Posted on 2 Comments

Monday Thoughts 2/8/2021

women for sobriety decorative image love

“Love yourself first, because that’s who you will be spending the rest of your life with.”  ~~Unknown

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries.  Your time and energy are precious.  You get to choose how you use it.”  ~~Anna Taylor

 “The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.”  ~~Sahaj Kohli

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.

The need for love is basic human yearning and as children many turned to parents for that critical life affirmation.  But what happens when we only equate love with someone else?  We lose the ability to love ourselves and satisfy our own needs. This can open the door to unhealthy dependencies and addiction. However, sobriety and Statement #7 practiced daily can create a portal for self-love to blossom so that we may comfort, protect, and develop ourselves.

Self-love is not selfish; it is akin to the old adage of “putting on your own oxygen mask first.”  Being able to care about meeting our needs reinforces that we are worthwhile and validates ourselves.  Initially, this was difficult to understand and embrace.  It felt unfamiliar and uneasy, but as I practiced the WFS Statements, I began to look at myself differently and was able to love myself.

Discovering how to love ourselves on this journey of sobriety and recovery can take many forms, from an inward circle of health consciousness to outer boundary settings and everything in-between.  This week take some time to make yourself a priority and love yourself.  Look deep and reflect where you need more self-love and take at least one action towards it.  Share your insights in a journal, group or on the WFS Online Forum, after all, you’re worth it!



Hi 4C Women,

Self-care is a major part of the path to self-love.  For many women, the guilt of our past choices leads us to neglect ourselves and overcompensate by doing way too much for others, expecting it to fill our empty love tank.  When we decide to take the path of self-care, we either feel selfish or are told we are being selfish.  For me, it became about finding balance, setting healthy boundaries which eventually led to self-respect and self-love. This was difficult at first because it felt so uncomfortable giving positive attention to myself.

I remember doing so much for my family that I felt guilty for doing anything that could be seen as taking time away from them.  I also saw myself doing the same thing when I was working and volunteering.  I was the classic example of “rejection” fear if I started practicing self-care and doing less for others in the process.  Rejection meant I was unlovable and what that finally lead to was a very unhappy, self-loathing woman who coped by drinking.  When I eventually learned to say no (which is a complete sentence), I was quite surprised that the world didn’t stop turning or at least partially collapse!  While I still struggle with balancing self-care and giving care, I know there is a foundation of self-love.

That foundation has become a sort of alarm system that starts a warning beep when the batteries are getting low.  As Statement #7 says, Love can change the course of my world, caring is all important.  Be sure you are part of that love and caring.  If it’s a challenge to do so, ask yourself if you love yourself enough to practice self-care.  If the answer is no, find ways to begin filling your love tank with positive self-talk, be compassionate with yourself as you are with others, refute those self-esteem wreckers I call the inner critic.  One way to do that is to name the inner critic and when it starts sending old, untruthful messages from the past, politely ask them to be quiet and flick them off your shoulder!

What’s your inner critic’s name and are you ready to refute the negative, false messages it is whispering in your ear?  I sometimes give the positive messages my name and just say, “Dee, you are so correct! You may stay on my shoulder and continue whispering wonderful things about who I am TODAY.”   I am including a writing that helped me tremendously on this self-love, self-caring path of recovery.  It especially helped me when I was going through my separation and divorce.  I hope you find it uplifting as well.


 The Most Important Relationship

By Jo Coudert

You do not need to be loved… not at the cost of yourself.

The single most important relationship which is central is the relationship with self.

It is rewarding to find someone you like but essential to like yourself.

It is quickening to recognize that someone is a decent human being but it is indispensable to view yourself that way.

It is a delight to discover people who are worthy of respect, admiration and love, but it is vital to believe yourself worthy of respect, admiration and love.

For you cannot live in someone else.

Of all the people you will ever know in a lifetime, you are the only one that you will never lose or leave.

To the question of your life, you are the answer.

To the problem of your life, you are the solution.


Bonded in self-care, self-love and knowing that caring is all important, Dee

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 11/9/2020

women for sobriety decorative image love

 “Don’t forget to love yourself” – Soren Kierkegaard

“Love is not just something we say or write.  Love is the face we put on, the clothes we wear, the way we walk and move…our very heart and soul.”  – Amy E. Dean from Night Light.

We are all willing to love and we agree with the premise that love can change the course of our world.  But it’s doing it that’s tough because we must reveal ourselves, we must give of ourselves and not be afraid if rejection follows.  Are we afraid to love because we might be turned away? “ – Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick, Founder of WFS

Statement #7

Love can change the course of my world

Caring becomes all important

Hi 4C Women,
Last Monday I shared how much I miss Karen’s inspiration in writing the first part of the Monday Thoughts.  I remembered that she wrote 4 volumes around the 13 WFS Statements and that I have all 4 of them!  What a gift to be able to share with you.

Sobriety has allowed me to understand that I need to love myself.  In the past, I demanded to be loved while alcohol fueled the intensity of those demands.

Sobriety is an act of loving me.  It is a gift I give to myself each day.  Jean Kirkpatrick wrote, “It is often said that we learn to love by loving, a kind of on-the-job- training.”

I was beginning to learn to love myself in early sobriety.  I was experiencing long hidden feelings, responding to myself with love.  I felt compassion beginning to rise within me and I felt glimpses of a calmness that has continued to flourish…inner peace.

Today I know that I am a loving person.  I feel that love in many, many ways and I am continuing to learn and grow.

Love begins with me.
Hugzz, Karen

Good Morning 4C Women,

When I first read this Statement so many years ago, I was reluctant to be vulnerable as the fear of rejection loomed large in my mind because I had experienced it too many times.  What I learned is what Karen so clearly states, “Love begins with me!”  I had such a narrow, limited view of love, confined strictly to romantic love.  Through WFS and therapy, I have learned that love is expansive from loving friends, pets, hobbies, adventures, nature, books, family, learning, writing, oh the list is endless.  I realized that I was surrounded by love and I began to accept it and return it with authenticity.  It was as though I suddenly was able to carry love in my heart wherever I was and it felt awesome.  Gone was the emptiness, the fear of rejection I carried like a 2-ton boulder on my shoulders.  I no longer worried if I was not accepted by everyone because I learned to accept myself right where I was at that moment.  I had to become my own best friend.  One of the greatest gifts was learning to love myself.  I felt I had found not only self-love but as a WFS facilitator, I found a safe home to express my caring and compassion for others.

  • How would you describe the relationship you have with yourself? Is it loving, accepting, growing in a caring direction?  If not, perhaps spend time seeking to uncover why and work through whatever is keeping you from the love, respect and joy you need and deserve.
  • How has learning to love yourself changed the way you define love for others
  • Are you more open to being vulnerable on your love journey, letting go of the fear of rejection, knowing you have built a strong foundation of self-love
  • What/Who is on your love list
  • How do you express caring for others
  • In a quiet moment, ask yourself what you can do to help yourself feel more compassion and love toward yourself
  • What are some of the ways you celebrate yourself?

Bonded in learning that love comes to us in diverse ways and that self-love and caring is all important, Dee

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 8/10/2020

women for sobriety decorative image love

“The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.”  ~~Sahaj Kohli

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries.  Your time and energy are precious.  You get to choose how you use it.  You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”  Anna Taylor

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”  ~~Brené Brown


#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.



In our WFS Program booklet it states “Learning to love ourselves and others can be very challenging.  We may distrust others and fear being vulnerable.  We may be unable to accept love because we doubt it is valid or deserved.  As our self-image improves, we learn how to accept love and affirm we are worthy of love.”  As we grow in our New Lives, love is at the center of everything and Statement #7 is the bridge that connects the world.

The self-image of myself before my New Life was one that was filled with shame.  I did not know how to forgive myself or to even care for myself. With the practice of this life-changing Statement over the years, I have been able to learn how to love myself and practice self-care. This is an ever-evolving process. Being able to identify my needs, set boundaries and listen to my heart has come gradually, but it started with love.

In early sobriety, loving myself began with each day sober.  Closing my eyes at night, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I did not know it then, but this was the beginning of self-care.  From this one action, others soon began to follow.  Being in online chats and then a face to face group offered new insights and I saw how other women were caring for themselves.  We laughed together, we cried together, we were learning to live and apply Statement #7.  Today, the process continues, with love changing the course of my world.

How do you practice Statement #7 in your daily life?




Hi 4C Women,

I love the first quote because I was always filling my love tank with the need to have others love me rather than learning to love myself. There could never be enough love from others to fill that empty space. It’s the same as happiness. People can add love and happy moments to our lives yet they cannot be the sole source of it. I’m sure I pushed people away due to my neediness for love and constant approval. What was so conflicting is that I knew others did love and care about me yet I slowly began to realize that unless I learned to love myself, I would never truly embrace their love. I had to actively practice living Statement #7 as I finally understood that I could not burden only others to fill my love tank. Self-love was holding me back from fully embracing what I was receiving from others. I couldn’t believe that anyone could honestly love me when I was filled with shame, disgust and unworthiness. If they knew the real me, I guaranteed myself that their love and caring would disappear enhancing my already deep fear of rejection. What would I be left with? It took sobriety, therapy and WFS to untangle the thoughts that kept me trapped from loving myself and accepting the love from others without judging those feelings. In the process, I learned to forgive myself, started nourishing my spiritual and emotional wellbeing to bring me to a place of self-love, self-worthiness and acceptance of who I am today and not who I was in my self-loathing. This is when I also began to appreciate Statement #9 in healing from the past and Statement #7 in knowing that love and caring can change the course of my world by changing how I think and feel about it.

Here are some questions I found online about learning to love yourself in order to receive and accept love from others:

What does self-love mean to you?

What do you already love about yourself? (Keep positive, not listing things you need to change or improve upon to love yourself.)

What does your self-care routine look like? (Does it make you feel worthy, valuable and important?)

What do you believe about loving yourself? Are there rules, conditions, limitations?

What rules or conditions can you release to awaken to powerful self-love?

What do you need to be more at peace with yourself, i.e., setting boundaries, honest look at self-care practices, sharing a truth with a trusted person?

What are you holding onto that isn’t serving you anymore?

What do you value you about yourself?

What fulfills you?

These are deep, thought-provoking questions. I encourage you to give as much time as you need to uncover the answers in order to move forward in self-love and accepting/receiving caring from others.

Bonded in understanding and accepting that self-love, loving and caring for others can change the course of our world in a powerful way., Dee

Join the private Facebook group New Life Program Connections to get support right on your News Feed. Only other group members can see who is in the group and what is posted there.

You will also get real-time access to the new Facebook Live Tuesday Talk series, featuring information about the New Life Program, the Women for Sobriety organization, and personal stories of 4C women!