Tuesday, August 8, 2017

“Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  -Viktor E. Frankl

"The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”  -Lao Tzu

"I always feel that until you take your last breath, you’re always growing.”  -Oprah Winfrey
The WFS Program, most notably Statement #8, have provided the opportunity for understanding life with fresh perspective.  In the past, given a set of guidelines to assist with growth only sent me spiraling in the opposite direction.  I felt a failure even before starting and so often felt “what’s the use?” or “I’m too far gone.”  Understanding growth to be the object of life, I felt an incredible shift in perspective.

An example of growth in my New Life can best be summed up from a recent experience.  Flying north for the wedding of my sister last week, upon arrival, I realized the beautiful dress purchased for this blessed event was back in a hotel room.  Panic instantly arose, with other distressing emotions coming swiftly, filling my body with anxiety and anger yet, curiously, these feelings didn’t last long.  Without warning, a feeling of calm arose with the realization that I could spend the afternoon shopping with the bride to be, my daughter and sister in law.  What was an initially, difficult circumstance quickly turned into a delightful opportunity.

Before sobriety and New Life, the reaction would have been intense and dramatic.  My victim-stance would have been shared across every social platform while secretly basking in all the attention.  Playing on the emotions of others and dragging down the joyous event would have taken high priority (consciously or not).  But this did not happen.  Instead, I shared in a fun (and silly) shopping excursion with family.  Sobriety and Statement #8 in action assisted in developing a different perspective on this wedding weekend.  The stark contrast in before and after reactions is evidence of how effective and rewarding Statement #8 can be when practiced and embraced.

Are you aware of growth in your New Life?  Priorities?
How does this feel for you?

Hugzzz, Karen 
Hi 4C Women, I give Karen a lot of credit for taking that stance in her situation.  It is a great example of how we put the Statements into action.  Her openness in sharing how she would have reacted in the past was quite refreshing and very insightful.  As I read it, I saw myself in years past - the victim, the need for attention and not giving serious consideration to the impact my words, my behavior had on others.  I didn’t care because I was very needy.  Learning to fulfill my needs, to even know my needs, was an important and necessary part of my emotional growth journey.  I learned that expecting others to fulfill all my needs placed a great burden and strain on my relationships.  I also learned the difference between seeking support and expecting others to rescue me or at least listen endlessly to my drama with no change in sight.  

What all of this soul-searching led to was:
  • A much greater awareness of what my needs were/are and that they change over time.
  • Discovering various ways to meet those needs and following through on doing so.  This is critical.  While having insight is great, without action things will remain the same and Statement 8 is all about “growth”.
  • Awareness to stop myself when I realized I was creating unnecessary drama.  This was a challenging habit to break yet absolutely crucial in moving forward.
  • Became a better listener which makes me laugh sometimes as I am sure those whose ears I bent were grateful for this change!
  • Problem-solver, decision-maker.  Now that was huge since I never really wanted to change, I just wanted people to feel sorry for me and I honestly didn’t want their advice because that goes back to me changing.

The biggest reward for putting Statement 8 into action is FREEDOM.  I am now free to explore, uncover, discover, say no, say yes, be a lot more compassionate, authentically connected to others, definitely competent whether I make a mistake in my decision-making, appreciate and value the support and input of others because I am truly listening which helps in my problem-solving.  This list of rewards is endless and I am so grateful for WFS guiding me in such a positive, healthy direction. 

  • What are your rewards?
  • What changes have you made in following through on the action part of Statement 8?
  • What are your needs?

-WFS Member
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