Tuesday, March 10, 2015

 Women for Sobriety, Inc.
Claim Your Competence & Freedom from Fear


"I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”  -Rosa Parks

“Fear can be good when you’re walking past an alley at night or when you need to check the locks on your doors before you go to bed, but it’s not good when you have a goal and you’re fearful of the obstacles.  We often get trapped by our fears, but anyone who has had success has failed before.”  -Queen Latifah

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When I give power to my fears, I become like a knight in shining armor.  My defenses shield me from what I fear but also block me from authentic human connection.  As I release any worry about whether I am good enough, I am free to grow into my full potential.  As I release the fear of getting hurt, I am free to feel all my feelings.  Knowing at depth that I am worthy, I open my heart to give and receive love freely.  I choose vulnerability rather than defensiveness, humility rather than aggression.  I allow my heart to open to all that is, to live from a center of love, and to treat others as I would like to be treated.  As I shed my armor and embrace my vulnerability, I allow myself to live fully.  Free from fear, I celebrate life.”
-Daily Word (March/April issue) from Unity


Statement #12, “I am a competent woman and have much to give life.”
This is what I am and I shall know it always.

Karen’s Perspective +
     Little did I understand that I was living with fear wrapped around my every thought, memory and activity.  In fact, I thought the opposite; I felt that I was quite brave.  I was unafraid to be aggressive, bold and loud, especially under the influence (that false shield of alcoholic armor).  It was not until I became sober and heard others sharing their feelings of being fearful or being filled with doubt did I begin to understand the depth of my own fears.  Where I am in this moment in my life is a direct result of my sobriety and recovery and by putting healthy action behind Statement #12.
     I began to examine my fears.  I started with an obvious one; snakes.  I had fallen into this stereotypical role of victim around spiders and snakes and when I examined this fear with logic, I realized that I wasn’t really afraid of them, I was just living a role that I had witnessed countless others rehearse.  Recently I spent an astounding summer watching the life cycle of a colorful arachnid.  Score ONE for me and a big ZIP for fear!  I was learning to teach myself competence!  WOW!
     It wasn’t long before I began to dive into the very things that I felt fearful about.  With the powerful words of Statement #12 running through a freshly installed loop in my mind .....(I AM A COMPETENT WOMAN!  I AM A COMPETENT WOMAN!  I AM A COMPETENT WOMAN!  I AM A COMPETENT WOMAN!)  I began to try new experiences, and..... can you even believe it...even really LIKE some of them!  I was quickly becoming authentically confident and competent woman!
     Do I still have fear in my life?  Of course.  It is natural and healthy for me to feel certain fears.  Except today it is not debilitating or leading to self-destruction.  I try, learn, experience and try again if need be.  No matter what the fear, there is a complimentary feeling or action to erase that freedom taker and hostage maker.  Today I claim my freedom with competence! Hugzzz, Karen 
  • Do you claim your competence and freedom or is there a fear claiming you?
+  Dee’s Insights  +
     Hi 4C Women, I love the expression, “Feel (face) the fear and do it anyway.”  Feeling the fear is the easy part, doing the action related to facing the fear is another story.  At one time, my greatest fear was being alone and being destitute.  When I reflect on that fear, I realize I stayed in an unhappy and unhealthy marriage for too long - 27 years.  It was the fear of being unloved because I felt unlovable and being homeless because that was how powerless I felt.  When the day came that I said I wanted a divorce, I was scared to the core of my being.  The one thing I learned was how to love myself enough that being alone didn’t mean I was unlovable; that I was powerful and could fight for myself.  Twenty-one years later, I am alone but not lonely.  I live in a house and learned to budget within my means.  A lot of valuable lessons resulted in facing my fears.
     I relate to what Karen said about learned fear.  When my mom and dad divorced, it was difficult emotionally and financially for my mom.  She worked 2 jobs, had 2 young girls and no financial assistance from my dad or the government.  While I didn’t understand all of this at my young age, I felt it and heard about it most of my growing up years.  It sank in deep.  So, feeling competent took a lot of work and I am grateful to WFS and therapy for guiding me in the direction I needed to go.
     Now when I feel fearful, I choose to face it with confidence and maybe a little healthy trepidation.  If it doesn’t quite work out the way I hoped, I do my best to learn from it and be proud that I at least gave it a try.  Otherwise, how do we learn and grow without trying?  Think about the last fear you faced.  What was the outcome?  What did you learn from it?  How have you changed due to the lessons learned?  -Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week!  ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director
Email:  newlife@nni.com   *   Tel215-536-8026   *   Fax:  215-538-9026
http://www.womenforsobriety.org   *   http://www.wfscatalog.org

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