“A problem is only a problem if you refuse to look for a solution. If you don’t take action to fix it, then it will remain a problem.” -Catherine Pulsifer
“There is always something you can do about any problem; even if it is just changing your perspective on how you feel about the problem.” -David DeNotaris
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” -Robert H. Schuller
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 +
As we close the door on Thanksgiving 2015, and prepare ourselves for the remainder of the holiday season, it is a wonderful and exhilarating time to be sober. No hangovers, no drunk dialing, no shame in embracing our New Life. We see things differently and we feel things differently. This can present a whole new set of circumstances and we need to keep our focus on becoming the best version of ourselves.
Sobriety does not erase problems; it simply allows our mind the freedom to consciously solve the problem. Alcohol may have hid a problem momentarily, but the issue will reappear until some kind of action is applied. Problems can still be denied living a sober life and, while it may seem that we are “free of the issue” so to speak, the denial, in fact, can escalate the very problem that we seek to avoid. No problem will ever get solved by simply ignoring it.
Under the influence, problems seemingly became insignificant for many women. Advertisers would like for us to believe that the bottle they are peddling is the answer or that a joyous, family gathering can be achieved if we use their product. We know, deep down inside us, that a balanced life does not come in a bottle or outside source, yet so many try for a very long time. Denial can be deadly.
Statement #4 in action takes many forms; but, the one thing each solution has in common is doing something different. If you constantly burn dinner and you don’t want it to burn, you have to do something different. It can mean changing the temperature of the oven, changing the time it is heating or even try a new recipe. Going out to dinner is another option; it is doing something different.
When solving problems, we can repeat the same actions and get the same results and just like Einstein’s quote: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We need to change something. Any little change is movement away from getting the same, repeated results.
Your problems do not define you; they can empower you as you work to overcome them. You gain strength in mind, heart and soul. Your confidence increases, as well as your self-esteem. You influence others as they watch you try and succeed, and even when you try and fail. Statement #4 directs us to look at what we are facing and move forward. You do not permit problems to overwhelm you.
Big or small, no problem is too tall or out of reach. You have the ability. You have the strength. You have the courage. You have what it takes to look inside yourself and say
“Today I am doing something different.”
+ Dee’s Insights +
Hi 4C Women, My past does not define me, it only tells me where I’ve been. The same can be said of how I problem solved in the past, before I was ready to admit I hadn’t been willing or able to consider a new approach to an old problem. It is not easy to change or even trust our instincts when first becoming sober and I am learning that even after so many years. It is still difficult to change approaches with family when there is so much family history and roles we’ve played for a very long time. The patterns are well established. However, I am one who also believes that as long as we are breathing, change is possible. I have learned so much in WFS that giving up or accepting my fears of change within family, just doesn’t sit well with me. I love that life is not stagnant, that change is overcoming familiar fears of rejection, loss, disappointment, feeling invisible, hurting others if I express myself too strongly; and, yet, I also know that I am responsible for myself and my actions so I keep searching inside myself for new solutions to old problems, seek help from those I trust and give myself credit for not giving up. I also give myself credit for not being perfect in how I handle life’s problems because forever I will be a work in progress and that’s okay - I am still breathing! –Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week! ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director