“A negative mind will never give you a positive life.” -Ziad K. Abdelnour
“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.” -Joel Osteen
“You must not allow yourself to dwell for a single moment on any kind of negative thought.”
Statement #2, “Negative thoughts destroy only myself.”
My first conscious sober act must be to remove negativity from my life.
+ Karen’s Perspective +
At this point in my New Life, I am more apt and ready to recognize negativity within myself and take actions to remedy the situation. I may or may not achieve the desired outcome initially; but, at least I have tried something different (other than drinking at or excessively complaining about) and understand better of what to try next.
What has enabled me to reach this point is ongoing practice of Statement #2. Early on in sobriety, I did not recognize negativity within me; I was so busy trying to find it in others or creating it on my own. As the fog of alcohol in my mind and body dissipated, I saw and felt a much clearer image of myself.
I began to remember instances in my life where my reactions to events actually furthered negativity. It was like I was dragging it along with me as I talked and talked about it but did nothing to resolve it. I asked myself, “Did I like complaining?” No, I really didn’t. It just gave me something to talk about. With Statement #2 in hand, I began to see and feel differently in a short amount of time.
Now that I was becoming aware of my negative thinking, it became easier to identify. Through WFS, I learned different ways to cope. I learned about reframing, I learned about releasing, and began to firmly believe what Jean remarks in our Program Booklet, “So long as we have a single negative thought, we will be kept from anything very positive happening to us.”
In Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life, Jean states, “Removing negative reactions from our lives is tough. Old patterns and inclinations are hard to deal with. They resist new ideas, new methods. Only our persistent desire to have a successful recovery from the devastation of alcoholism can give us the drive to overcome negativism. To do it requires constant vigilance. I find that there are still times, even now after twelve years of sobriety, I still fall into the trap of ‘It can’t be done’ or ‘What’s the use?’ Of course, I no longer think of counteracting with a drinking episode, but sometimes I still have negative reactions, and I have to be on guard against them.”
As we settle into this New Year, I invite you to review the past year and assess your journey. Hugzzz, Karen
+ Dee’s Insights +
Hi 4C Women, Statement #2 became a lifesaver for me. I did not realize just how negative I was until I stopped drinking and began practicing the WFS program. What a wakeup call!
When I think back to my first few years of moderating a group, I realized that I was looking at my old self at times and felt hopeful for the women who struggled with negativity. After all, if I could use the WFS program to turn my thinking around, I felt confident that others could as well. However, I want everyone reading this message to remember to practice patience with themselves, and with others, when it comes to putting Statement #2 into action. I was projecting my own journey and timeframe and wanted each woman to change exactly the way I did. If you have incorporated it into your thinking, be careful not to judge others, as I began to do, who are still in the process.
On the other hand, if the negativity from others is becoming a toxic situation, then you need to rethink if the relationship is healthy for your recovery. It seems such a fine line at times. I just know that when a negative thought pops into my mind today, I have learned to evaluate where the thought came from and consider my healthy options. It also helps to discuss my options with others I trust and to know the difference between a negative thought and a situation that truly requires attention. I have learned that what may have been complaining in the past is now an honest observation and that helps me determine how I need to move forward.
I love Karen’s questions and hope that you will take the time to answer them and learn a lot more about yourself and where you are at on this recovery journey. -Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week! ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director
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