“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge in these negative emotions is giving something outside of yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.” -Joel Osteen
“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.” -Jim Rohn
“Imagine the peace symbol. The peace symbol has three pieces in it. One piece is emotion, that’s your body. Another piece has spirit in it, that’s your fuel. Another piece has intellect in it and that’s your steering wheel. You can never overdo the fuel that goes into the body, which is the emotions and the steering wheel to drive it.” -Gary Busey
Statement #8, “The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.”
Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
+ Karen’s Perspective +
Underneath the excitement and achievement of experiencing life sober is the reality of learning how to manage emotions without the aid of alcohol. This is not an overnight process; it is a gradual process that takes time, sometimes longer than what may feel appropriate. Growth is what makes life evolve and flourish.
Statement #8 means different things to me at different times. In early sobriety, I was focused on the connection to the Universe/God/Nature. I felt as if I was becoming more spiritual while releasing some old thought patterns. I began to discover aspects of life that had been concealed and disguised under the influence of alcohol.
Later on, Statement #8 took on a more intimate role in my life. I began to understand how and why I reacted to events or situations. Frequently I was reacting with a given response that I had learned years earlier. I was simply repeating a pattern. In order to effectively engage Statement #8, I began to alter my responses. I was growing, learning and becoming.
Today I respond to triggers with an open attitude. I am able to look at myself honestly and consciously say that I need to change something or grow into an even better me. On occasion I can feel stuck, but it is here where I need to continue moving, emotionally and/or spiritually. Any way I look at it, I grow inside and out.
In the past, alcohol ruled my responses and made everything more complicated. Today I find simplicity with action behind Statement #8. In heart, mind and soul, I am awakening to a wonderful life! Hugzzz, Karen
+ Dee’s Insights +
Hi 4C Women, I was thinking that my feeling of inadequacy at one time ruled my responses. And when I dug a little deeper, it was my fear of having that inadequacy validated by others that fueled my responses. If I could be a people pleaser, go along with the status quo, and then I could hide behind my fear of being found out who I really was - a stupid person. It’s almost unimaginable that I had that opinion of myself for so long. I finally decided to face my fear of inadequacy and said yes to things that I felt were beyond my capability. I am not talking about people pleasing, taking my self-worth from the opinion of others, but taking risks to prove to myself that I could accomplish a lot more than I ever dreamed possible. There were mistakes along the way; yet, slowly I began to experience success and personal growth was taking place. I learned to respect myself and with that came a new definition, my own definition, of my self-worth. Drinking only hid my fears. Drinking never helped me face my fears. I was no longer paralyzed by my fear of inadequacy or a false definition of me.
It’s been many years for me of working on emotional and spiritual growth and sometimes I wonder if there is ever an end to facing challenges and problem solving. The answer is no and that’s because we continue to change and life continues to provide ample opportunities for personal growth. What’s different for me is that I no longer fear that I will fall apart or can’t handle it. I have learned and use the wonderful coping tools from WFS and when I feel I need help, I now ask for it. Before I would have had those inadequate feelings if I couldn’t handle my difficult challenges on my own.
Today, I am confident enough to ask for help. Now that’s what I would say is a healthy choice. –Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week! ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director