Wednesday, August 23, 2017

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” -Maya Angelou
“I think everyone should have the same anger towards the injustice that’s happening and the hatred that’s happening, and just fight it with love.”
-Ellen DeGeneres
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
What our world is witnessing and experiencing recently can feel frightening and overwhelming. From social media to television, the images and reports of hatred and indifference can give rise to fear and insecurity, which for some, can be a trigger. Yet our world is also experiencing something even more powerful: love in action.
       Love is in the peaceful crowds, walking together in solidarity. Love is in the open hand reaching out to help another, love is in the tender touch that soothes away pain and love is in the encouraging words that infuse light into darkness. Love is highly visible as a 19-year-old woman named Imani helped opposing supporters navigate through a yelling crowd. Instead of raising her voice, she raised herself and responded with love.
       Love is a way of living that builds upon itself, growing in strength, changing the course of our world. We can reach for love and strengthen our foundation instead of reaching for judgment. Inviting depth and meaning to conversation with open listening can replace the superficial. Mindfulness and doing what is possible can replace ignorance and apathy.
       WFS exists because of love. In our Program Booklet, Jean Kirkpatrick writes, “We are women reaching out to others by way of our new self-awareness, which tells us that we are amply capable of giving love and also able to receive it."
-Hugzzz and with love, Karen
Hi 4C Women,
     I learned that loving myself was how I was able to let go of my fear of rejection. Years ago, before sobriety, I was an extreme people-pleaser and yearned for acceptance and respect, yet I didn’t have those feelings of worth for myself.
     Through therapy and sobriety, I finally realized that the most important relationship was the one I had with myself. From that point on, it became easier to open up to receiving love because I had finally given it to myself. As a young girl, it seemed conceited, wrong and awkward to say I needed to love myself. Thank goodness I learned how untrue this type of thinking was and became my own best friend.
     My only measure of love was the romantic kind, having to be “in” love. Having only one measure of love to fill up my empty love tank really hindered my awareness of the love that surrounded me. As I have gained emotional growth, I know that there are many types of loving relationships that can include family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, WFS sisters - the list is endless. Not being a people-pleaser any more, I spend my time and energy nurturing loving relationships rather than working hard at getting people to love me or even like me. And there is a big difference between people-pleasing to be loved and caring about others, doing for them out of that bonded relationship.
     Love yourself, love others, free yourself from the fear of rejection, learn to trust yourself and others and let that be the way to fill your heart, your soul and your spirit. -WFS Member
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