Tuesday, September 8, 2015

 Women for Sobriety, Inc.
"Statement #4 is critical in managing
my life today."

“We all have days that seem endlessly difficult and hard—when it is as if the odds are stacked against us, and we just cannot get a break as one challenging situation follows another.  We may feel as though we were standing in the ocean being hit by wave after wave, never able to get a full breath.  Sometimes it is necessary or worth it to stay in the fray and work our way through.  Other times, the best idea is to go home and take the breath we need in order to carry on.
     If the only choice is to get through it, a hard day can be a great teacher.  It will eventually end; and we can look back on it, taking pride in the stamina, courage and ingenuity it took to hold our ground.  In hindsight, we may also see how we could have done things differently.  This knowledge will be valuable when we face hard days in the future.
     As we are deciding whether to work through it, we must trust our gut and know that sometimes a timely retreat is the best way to ensure a positive outcome.  Getting space can remind us that external circumstances are not the whole picture.  Once we catch our breath and re-center ourselves, we will be able to determine our next move.  With a little perspective, we may even find the inner resources to change our attitude toward what is happening and begin to see that what we viewed as hardships are actually opportunities.  As our outlook changes for the better, our actions and the circumstances will follow suit.
     Sometimes all that is needed is a good night’s sleep.  No one is immune to having a hard day, and these are usually the times we can learn the most.  If we can find it in our hearts to examine the day and maybe make a single small change in perception, we can ease our pain and greet the next one that much wiser.”
Daily OM: Inspirational Thoughts for a Happy, Healthy, and Fulfilling Day By Madisyn Taylor

Statement #4, “Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.”
I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

Karen’s Perspective +
     One of most life changing aspects of sobriety and recovery is the ever growing ability to move through feelings of discomfort.  Everyone experiences discomfort to a degree and experiences problems in life; some are big and some are small but the main difference is how one handles the issue.
     In the past, my first impulse was to run away from a problem.  Similar to a child in thought, I did this by lying about it, ignoring it (with the hope that it would magically go away!) or endlessly complain about it.  I magnified some issues while minimizing others.  None of these ways of dealing with a problem solved anything.  In fact, I usually made things worse.  To that I added alcohol and all bets were off.  I was emotionally imploding and exploding.  No wonder I felt so alone.  Who would want to stay around this?
     Statement #4 is critical in managing my life today.  With ever growing awareness and confidence, I am able to use this Statement in a number of ways.  First, I can take pause before I respond.  Instead of going in every direction (which is a form of procrastination for me), I can stop and pause before tackling an issue.  Maybe I need more information; maybe I need to sleep on it or it’s possible that I don’t need to do anything at all!
     Secondly, I am able to devise a plan of action.  I find out what works and what doesn’t.  I learn, try, fail at times and discover that I have what it takes to overcome.  I no longer wallow in disillusion and am able to focus on making strides.
     Additionally, I am able to ask for help today instead of isolating or hiding in misery.  Knowing how another person handled something similar, I am free to discover my own path and build my confidence and abilities.  This also creates a bond of trust and closeness that I was desperate to find yet unable to feel before sobriety.
     Lastly, Statement #4 is effective no matter the size of the problem.  From something minor like being cut off while driving to adapting to a major life change, Statement #4 directs me to living with the feelings and the knowledge that I will not fall apart under the weight of an issue.  WFS provides the tools and guides me into my strength.  Hugzzz, Karen 
  • What is different about the way you respond to problems in your New Life? 
+  Dee’s Insights  +
     Hi 4C Women, Our group just finished reading the WFS booklet, WFS Sobriety Safari Series (10 week course) and a lot of the changes experienced and shared by the women related to Statement 4.  It is a great booklet and I highly recommend purchasing it from the WFS catalog.  So much insightful and empowering wisdom from the women who participated.
     Everything Karen said about how Statement 4 has helped her in responding rather than reacting and learning how to problem solve is how life changing this Statement can be when put into practice.  It took a while for me to integrate Statement 4 as I was the Queen of Worry.  I eventually understood the difference between worrying about everything and focusing on those real issues that needed my attention.  It sure gave me a lot more time to handle the real challenges.  I love that there are women who are willing to share their experiences so I can learn from them.  I am not alone.  I also appreciate that I can make a mistake in my decision making and I’m still standing and a bit wiser.  So much better than reacting and accomplishing nothing except to be embarrassed and angry at myself.  Reacting leaves me feeling powerless and actually hinders my ability to make decisions, right or wrong, and impedes my ability to view mistakes as life lessons rather than total disaster - the all or nothing thinking!  Even in those moments when I react rather than walk away, ask for help, gather information and problem solve; I have learned to forgive myself.  The best part is that these reactions are so few and far between and I thank WFS, supportive women and Statement 4 for guiding me to grow in such a positive direction.
     My question to you is:
  • Have you learned the distinction between worry and real issues that need attention?
  • How do you determine which is which?    –Dee_________________________
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week! ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director 
Email:  contact@womenforsobriety.org   *   Tel215-536-8026   *   Fax:  215-538-9026
http://www.womenforsobriety.org   *   http://www.wfscatalog.org

No comments:

Post a Comment