Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 2017 Reflections

Excerpts from the February “Reflections For Growth” Booklet by Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. 

Self-Expression
February 1
    Probably every one of us has days when we feel so totally without identification that we could fade into the woodwork and no one would notice.
     Why do we have these days when we feel so insignificant, so “nothing”?  More importantly, how can we change them?
    Today I will make an effort to express myself to others in a clear and definitive way.  I will understand my own importance and express it.
Worry
February 9
    Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  All I do is wrong!”
    We do not have to worry.  We may think that we do, that it is necessary, but that simply is not true.
    We can refuse to worry.  We are not the victims of our thoughts but, rather, we perpetrate them.
    Today I refuse to worry – today and everyday hereafter.
Involvement
February 19
    Life is with us every day but we may not be involved in it.  We might have chosen to let life carry us along on waves of whatever comes along.
     Is that how you see life?
    Truly, this is not living.  Life is for us to be involved with each other, with life itself.
    Today I will live fully; I will be involved.
Adjustments
February 24
    Sobriety – what a marvelous adjustment!
    But that adjustment to sobriety is not one that is easy to make.  There are many degrees in between, various stages to which we must gradually adjust as we move forward and upward to that time of our life when we have completely – and happily – adjusted to our new life of sobriety.
    Today I will be aware of knowing that major adjustments do not happen all at one time.
Happiness
February 29
    Most persons call happiness that ephemeral condition of total and euphoric joy.
    But is happiness always a condition of ecstasy?  I think not.
    Happiness is often times not identified, for we fail to acknowledge it.  Happiness is subtle enough sometimes that we miss knowing we are happy.  Unless sadness, we can be happy and not know it.
    Today I will try to be aware of this peaceful happiness in my life.

[Thank you, “EmbraceLife”, for choosing this month’s reflections!]

Women for Sobriety’s Motto

“We are Capable and Competent, Caring and Compassionate, always willing to help another; bonded together in overcoming our addictions.”
_____________________________________________________________________
© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C  *  Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!



By Susie “Sooz”
[Notes from Saturday night’s Chat.] 

“It is an absolute certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” – John Joseph Powell
 
      When I was a little girl, my paternal grandmother taught me about unconditional love.  Had she not been in my life, I would never have had the lesson.  I adored her.  My mother could not stand her.  What I know now is that my grandmother was a 4C woman; she was caring and compassionate, capable and competent, and so much more.  She was a natural at so many things; she cooked, she gardened, she sewed, she had a close circle of friends, she was resilient and she was not afraid of life.  She laughed at herself, and I believe that she genuinely loved life.
      I spent an entire summer with my grandmother when I was seven.  It was the happiest summer of my childhood.  I saw love in my grandmother’s eyes when she smiled at me.  That love anchors me still.  We lost her to breast cancer when I was twelve and a light went out in my soul.  But over time, I learned to rekindle that light by reliving memories from that summer and being grateful for the many gifts of spirit that she gave me.  She was my guiding light and I miss her to this day.
      I believe that love is a kind of generosity, a reaching out to others even when to do so is not always easy.  Love is stepping outside yourself to see the other person and understand that what they need may be something YOU have needed, and you know how it felt when you never received it, and you know how it felt when you did.  Here are some examples: 

·  Love is an afternoon of doing what you want when I’d sooner be doing what I want. 

·  Love is eating burnt toast and lumpy gravy with a smile. 

·  Love is refusing to bring up the past, even if doing so would be a slam dunk to prove your point. 

·  Love is a gentle hand wiping away my tears. 

·  Love is the warm hug that extinguishes an argument. 

·  Love is a humbly-uttered apology, even if not at fault. 

·  In other words, love is one heart being sensitive to that of another.

·  Love is easy to recognize but so hard to define.

Question:  What is love to you? 
 
 

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

 

Here is what one WFS sister had to say on the subject of Love:

      “The answers I’ve been searching for became known to me when I concentrate less on my problems and more on the gift of love I can give to others I meet today.  Solutions to my problems are seldom found in my head; they burst forth from my heart.  I am receptive to my heart when I reach out to others with love.
      It is a simple thing asked of me – to love others.  Unconditional love breaks down the walls and barriers to my achievements and to others.  Loving frees me to enjoy life.
      The beauty of a loving posture is that it calls forth love in response.  The more love I give away, the more I receive.”  (From A Year of Reflections, 2001, Vol. 3) 

“My primary relationship is with myself: all others are mirrors of it.  As I learn to love myself, I automatically receive the love and appreciation that I desire from others.  If I am committed to myself and to living my truth, I will attract others with equal commitment.  My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another.”Shakti Gawain 

      So what happens when we begin to see ourselves through the eyes of others who love us?  What happens when we begin (gasp!) to LOVE OURSELVES?  And how do we learn to do that?
      Loving yourself is about enjoying your life, trusting your own feelings, taking chances, finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning from the past.  Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting.  Have faith that things will work out, maybe not exactly how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.
      I want to help you get into the habit of consciously being kind to yourself.  I know how easy it is to do the opposite.  When we were still drinking, our focus was on beating ourselves up, looking for reasons to feel bad about ourselves, overlooking the good we had in favor of what we saw as our faults and shortcomings.
      Seeing ourselves through the eyes of disapproval feels lousy, so we usually didn’t feel very good about our life.  Feeling unlovable kept us from attracting love.  It kept us unhappy and stuck in door-mat mode, pleasing others at our expense.  When we don’t treat ourselves with love, others don’t either.  Plus, people-pleasers think they’re being loving when they satisfy other people’s needs, but they’re not.  They do it to feel more secure, and the people they attract are happy to use them.  That can really prevent attracting loving people into your world!
      Seeing yourself through the eyes of self-love creates a wonderful vibration that attracts loving people and feelings to you.  When you begin to love yourself, you will be amazed at how different the world looks.  You will come to understand that love attracts more love.  Disdain attracts more disdain.
      You are powerful when you believe in yourself – when you know that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.  You are beautiful when your strength and determination shines as you follow your own path – when you aren’t disheveled by the obstacles along the way.  You are unstoppable when you let your mistakes educate you, as your confidence builds from experiences – when you know you can fall down, pick yourself up, and move forward.
      If you struggle with self-love, take some time and start writing down things that you are good at, things you like about yourself, nice things that others have said about you, etc.  This is a very important step toward healing and developing a better image of yourself.  Then go to a trusted friend or family member or WFS sister and ask them to write down the positive and good things they see in you.  Don’t argue with them!  Simply thank them, and sometime later in the week, revisit that list and begin telling yourself these new truths about you.
      The trick will be whether you start believing them or not.  This will be your choice.  We all have self-worth and dignity.  We all need to love who we are and celebrate that which is good in us.
      Every day remind yourself of one thing that is good about you and then run with it.  Perhaps pair it with one of the 13 Statements.  Let’s all take some time to reflect on this and begin realizing the truth about how beautiful we are and how much we bring to this life. 

“Something inside you emerges – an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness.  It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence.  It is what you had been looking for in the love object.  It is yourself.”  - Eckhart Tolle

CLOSING: 

“May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.  May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.  May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.” – John O’Donohue
_____________________________________________________________________
© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C  *  Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!

Monday's Message ~ Statement #9


“I now had the CHOICE to let go.”

 ҉

 “Holding on is believing that there’s a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.”
-Daphne Rose Kingma 

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.  When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”  -Lao Tzu 

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”  -Steve Maraboli
 
****************************************************************************
Statement #9, “The past is gone forever.”
No longer will I be victimized by the past.  I am a new person.
****************************************************************************
 
+++++++++++++++++++
+ Karen’s Perspective +
+++++++++++++++++++
        Recently our face to face group decided to embrace the challenge of releasing 27 items a day for 9 days in a row.  It was an exciting topic to discuss, and I recall my mind jumping from boxes to closets and even tightly held ideologies in anticipation.
        In order to let go of something, I first had to understand that I was holding on to something.  I could see this all over our home; things packed away from decades ago, trinkets and treasures, and clothing.  Pondering a formula to dive into this exercise, I came up with this simple equation….

HOLDING (X) + AWARENESS OF HOLDING (X) = ABILITY TO LET GO OF (X)

        Being unconscious of holding onto an item or past shameful event, then adding the awareness of holding on creates the opportunity to let go.  I really can let go, and practice makes permanent.
        It is possible to let go.  Certainly, this can be easier said than done, but as soon as I understood that I was hanging on, I now had the choice to let go.  WFS and Statement #9 help me on a daily basis to release thoughts, emotions, and past actions that inflicted pain on me and others.  Additionally, I am able to let go of the physical as well; clothes, papers, whatever item that I was clinging to.  Statement #9 also helps me to understand that I have enough and that I am enough.

Is there something that you can now let go of?
What purpose did holding on serve?

Hugzzz, Karen

++++++++++++++++++
+  Member Insights  +
++++++++++++++++++
Hi 4C Women,
        The exercise that Karen described got my heart racing - just the thought of letting go of physical objects.  I realized that letting go of past events, situations, people, feelings of shame and guilt has gotten much easier for me than the physical stuff and perhaps that’s because I have worked on the emotional past for many, many years.  So this exercise intrigued me because the equation made me do some deep thinking as to why I do hold onto items, why there is such a strong pull to keep them?  I figured out that while I have learned to let go of the negative past, the objects I hold onto mostly represent the positive, sentimental parts of me that are hard to give up.  I also realized that this is only partly true because what does a broken ceramic item represent that was once my mom’s?  Will I fix it?  Will it keep the loving memory alive in my fear of forgetting?  Could I not take a photo and make an album of these precious memories?  Is it the touching of the item that gives me comfort?  A lot of contemplative thought.
        This is when I realized that the place to start is with less purposeful items, papers, even Christmas cards that I have kept for well over 10 years.  I am not a fan or believer of the paperless office.  That is a term initially used when computers were placed in offices so there would be plenty of space for “important” stuff.  When I left the YW, the paper trail I left was appreciated.  Now with personal computers and the cloud, there is less reason to have a forest growing in my office/computer space.  Still I am resistant.
        Now all of this led me to one major item, the bathing suit I bought at age 16 that my parents paid for because my bio dad refused to give me the $25 to buy it - what does that represent?  I think it’s both rejection that I hoped wouldn’t happen again, perhaps erasing his response of “who the h... do you think you are, Miss Reading?” (my hometown) and then proof that my parents were willing to go into debt to ease my pain of rejection and make my bio dad look like the jerk he was.  A win-win in my eyes and theirs.  I’m being sarcastic yet at the time that is what the darn bathing suit represented.  My parents worked in factories so $25 was a lot of money and there weren’t credit cards.  That suit has traveled with me these last 55 years in my cedar chest!  Years of holding onto a message of love and rejection.  With both parents gone, perhaps it’s feeling that closeness to them that I miss so much.  The sacrifice they were willing to make for me.  I didn’t realize how complicated this could be.  Then there are the letters that proved I was rejected and letters that proved I was loved.
        Have I not found my truth of self-love that I still need evidence?  Or is it that I feel good reading words of love, always feeling a smile cross my face when I read them?  I believe that is a positive and not my source of self-worth but a reminder that I have been and am loved.  The letters of rejection show me that I have had a lot of emotional and spiritual growth.  When I read those, I am reminded how long it took for me to love myself and am grateful for WFS guiding me in that direction.  For me, I think I need to hold, question and let go of the easier items that aren’t so important and figure out why I am holding onto them.  In other words, I think I just need to prioritize and be logical.  Perhaps I will have to start with items that aren’t as sentimental or evoke such powerful emotions.  It will give me a chance to reflect on the why and how important those items are today.  Those Christmas cards from 10 years ago is a start!

·         Do you think this will be an easy exercise for you?
·         How will you decide what to keep and what to discard?
·         Would it be helpful to have someone help you walk or talk it through?
·         And if you struggle (as I have just thinking about it), can you consider what purpose these items serve?
--WFS Member
_____________________________________________________________________
© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C  *  Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.
DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Seed Thoughts




 
 
By Suzanne E. Harrill

 
FEBRUARY 2

Giving

Today I focus on unconditionally giving.

First, I fill myself emotionally and get my

needs met; then I give without an

expectation of a return.

I listen to my Inner Self to identify what I need.

I meet these needs first so that my giving

comes from the good feeling I get when

expressing kindness towards another.

 
I give to the degree that I am filled up.
 

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Monday's Message ~ Statement #13





҉

 
“Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”  -Rosa Parks
 
“If you own this story, you get to write the ending.”  -Brene Brown
 
“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”  -Madeline Albright 

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

+++++++++++++++++++
+ Karen’s Perspective +
+++++++++++++++++++
        Something that I can recall easily from days gone by is hearing the words… “Why can’t you be more responsible?”  At that time, I blew off the comments, feeling that it was just another form of rebellion, just like my drinking.  Looking back, I had no idea how to be responsible or even what it meant to be responsible.
        Sobriety and the WFS Program have enabled me to learn how to respond with ever growing ability.  Living a sober life comes only from living sober.  From day one, I began learning about my abilities, my strengths, and my competence.  Each day builds onto the next, compounding growing experience with new opportunities.
        Statement #13 is quite effective in that it does not define what I need to do, only that I take charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.  This simplifies ownership, enabling me to understand and develop my own life and philosophies.  I am able to let go of past perceptions and develop a strong inner guidance system while measuring myself against my own yardstick.
 
Every day in every way, I respond with my ability.

Hugzzz, Karen 

++++++++++++++++++
+  Member Insights  +
++++++++++++++++++
Hi 4C Women,
        Today my pastor used Post-traumatic growth (PTG) or “benefit finding” in his message and talked about how we do not need to be alone as we struggle to gain emotional and spiritual growth.  That it is important to seek support from those who will understand, encourage, and not judge us.  It fascinated me because it reminded me of the growth we experience in our recovery journey as we learn to be responsible for ourselves.  I looked up the definition of PTG and it refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning.  These sets of circumstances represent significant challenges to the adaptive resources of the individual, and pose significant challenges to individuals’ way of understanding the world and their place in it.  Post-traumatic growth is not about returning to the same life as it was previously experienced before a period of traumatic suffering; but rather it is about undergoing significant ‘life-changing’ psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world, that contribute to a personal process of change that is deeply meaningful.
        WFS has done that for me -personal growth changes that are deeply meaningful.  However, as Statement 13 clearly points out, WE (you-I) are responsible for making these changes.  When I think back to my defeatist attitude, it is amazing that I could make any positive changes, yet I have and it is through living the WFS program in action.
        I use to think that if I understood the words of the statements that my insight was all I needed.  Slowly I realized that it is the combination of insight and action that creates long-lasting, positive changes.  It also opens the mind up to receiving, rather than rejecting, new ways to enhance our lives - to truly be in charge of our minds, our thoughts and our lives. 

·         How open are you to change?
·         How willing are you to work at living the statements by your actions?
·         Could you identify your strengths, your areas of competency and abilities with confidence?
·         Do you feel in charge of your life, your mind, and your thoughts?  If not, what is your stumbling block?
--WFS Member
_____________________________________________________________________
© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026 *  Fax: 215-538-9026
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C  *  Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services ~ Thank you!