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When I first began Recovery, it was both exciting and exhilarating at the same time. Everything was new, the fellowship, new friends, camp outs, the beach conventions, my family was beginning to have faith in me once again and most importantly, I was living life without the use of drugs and I was loving it.
Then that “pink cloud” lifted and I was bored with the same old routine; It just seemed like something was missing and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I became isolated, depressed, and confused. I was at the point to where if I didn’t do something, I was headed back to those dark places, I had worked so hard to get out of. That’s when I ran across an amazing woman, Cheryl , who is one of the founders of Waves of Gratitude; She helped me to see that I could live my dreams, that anything was possible, I just had to take the first step. She also would not allow me to talk negative about myself or anything I was a part of for that matter; and before I knew it I was writing a book, creating my own Facebook Page (Wings of Encouragement), taking classes and a four-hour exam to become a counselor. It was amazing at what that one step turned into, in so many areas of my life.
So when I get back to that feeling of being bored with the same old routine, I first remember how far I have come, Second, I write down at least 5 goals that I want to accomplish and keep the list to where I can read it on a daily basis, and Third, I take a step towards those goals, no matter how small it may be. There are also times I just change my routine up a little; I may go camping, dance like crazy to music (which is very therapeutic for myself), spend time with some friends, take a small overnight trip, and yes sometimes I even start working out, but that one , well although I know I should, it’s usually the last resort, lol.
My point is if you are becoming bored with the same old same old, then spice it up some; start a new project, change your routine around, do things that make you laugh, just go and be silly a little while. You will be surprised at how much a small change can change your entire perspective & mood , for that matter.
(((hugs & love))))
Faith is what makes life bearable; It’s what gives me the strength during tough times. It’s that spark, even if tiny at the time, which ignites into flames, as long as I keep holding on to the belief that this too shall pass.
Now I am not saying I have it all together; That I never doubt or just want to give up at times, but through perseverance and determination, with God’s strength that’s within me; I keep moving forward no matter how hard it may be. Then Just when I think I can’t do it one more second, the change I was waiting for takes place.
Faith doesn’t come easy for myself and many others. Growing up in an alcoholic family , being abused, and abandoned on a regular basis; made it difficult for me to believe anything about God, much less that He was loving and caring. However, I continued to go along with what everyone else was doing and saying; even went to a Christian High School and College, but it just wasn’t there. I always had an impending doom attitude; believing that God was up on some big throne waiting to punish me yet again; that I was hopeless and a bad little girl. These thoughts are what I lived with most of my life; they are what was engraved into the core of my being. The saddest part was that the churches I grew up in were what I call Hell, Fire, & Damnation churches. The portrayed God to be this person who was angry at all of His children and was going to get revenge on each and every one of them. If you wore the wrong thing, talked the wrong way, looked or acted like you liked a boy, danced, laughed & more; you were going to hell. So no wonder it was hard for me to develop a loving and caring relationship with God. He had always been portrayed as Mean & Vengeful. Then there’s the psychological factor that weighs in; Counselors believe that the father image of the family is what a child bases their first impression of God as; So for me that was horrible; My father was a very abusive and sick man; so looking at God that way (even though I didn’t know that’s what I was doing at the time) made it even scarier.
I know that a lot of times in life we don’t feel God’s presence. We don’t think He is even there anymore. With all the hurt and pain in the world today, it may look and feel like He has left you all alone, but He hasn’t. I do not believe that God makes things happen for a reason; I can’t believe that, or I would be agreeing to the fact that He made my Dad abuse me, in some horrible ways, just to prove or make something happen. However each of us chooses our path and God will not go against our will; I also believe that Life happens and that God can take what has happened and turn into something powerful; whether the event itself brings someone into you life, a greater bond with your family, an opportunity, or a number of other things. I just know for me, I can’t believe that He sits up in Heaven thinking up ways to make bad things happen to us. He lives within my heart; He is my Spirit, He is my God and He’s with me all the time. He has given me all that I need to live a happy, joyous and free life; I just have to learn how to tap into that power. Some days I have all the faith in the world, then others not so much; but one thing is for sure, I am much closer to God than I once was.
(((hugs & love)))
Guilt and Shame can keep you stuck in the past and fearful of the future, if not dealt with in the appropriate manner.
In Recovery we go by our 8th & 9th Steps, which first tell us to make a list of all the persons we have harmed , then to become willing to make amends , to the best of our ability. This does not mean that we grovel or crawl, begging forgiveness; it means what it simply says, We do it to the best of our ability. We approach the person and or place, as long as it does not cause harm to ourselves’ or others, and we don’t say I’m Sorry (for they have heard that quite often and it doesn’t mean much to them at all) we admit our wrongs, ask what we can do to make it right, and then we go out there and make a living amends, which means don’t continue the same behaviors that put us in such a predicament to begin with.
It’s not about begging for forgiveness; It’s about owning up to your part and being willing to make it right; Whether or not they forgive us is not the point; The point is that we faced something that we never thought we would be able to; that we are finally taking responsibility for our wrongful acts and are willing to not only make it right, but to live differently in the future.
Most of the time they do forgive us, but sometimes they don’t and that’s okay. Each person is entitled to their feelings and have their own process of healing; But now we can hold our heads up high, looking the world in the eye, for we have completely and thoroughly examined our wrongs and made them right.
(((hugs & love))))
Rejection hurts and it scars many people for a life time; according to who and what the rejection was over. However what hurts worse than anything is rejecting ourselves’.
Whatever the reason my be, we have to face the pains once inflicted on us, due to rejection, or we will never be able to be able to accept ourselves’ fully. It can be painful to face such matters, but if we keep pushing through the pain, feel our feelings, and free them; we can move on to a much better place. One that involves freedom from self-rejection. There’s nothing wrong with not liking something about yourself; you have to know something’s wrong before you can change it. But, trying to be someone who we aren’t, just to gain the acceptance of others is not healthy at all.
Be yourself, if there’s something you want to change; then go ahead, Change it; But don’t change it to be like or for someone else, change it because it betters you and it’s something you want to do.
(((hug s& love)))
Sometimes we just have to let go and go with the flow;
It’s much easier said that done, but when we get in the obsessive behavior of trying to figure everything out, we will not only cause matters to become worse, we will lose our focus in the process.
Have you ever tried to remember a character’s name in a particular movie? You try for days to re-call that name and then finally when you’ve about driven yourself crazy, you just give up, thinking the answer will never come. Then one day, out of no where the name just pops into your head. It’s because you quit trying so hard. That’s the way life is; we try to figure out what we should or shouldn’t do, we try to figure out all the tiniest of details, only to find ourselves’ moving farther and farther away from what it is we are searching for.
When I get to this place in my life, I just have to “Choose” to believe that God has it under control and in the mean time I also “Choose” to just go with the flow. Then tension that sets up inside of me, from trying to find the answers, keeps me from enjoying life all together. So I take a deep breath, say a prayer, and get out there and do something fun; I continue to take care of my responsibilities, but I no longer allow the How’s, What if’s, Should I’s, to rule my life. I just do the next right thing and choose to go about my life with the “Easy Does It” attitude. Then before I have even recognized it, just the right door opens, or closes and new opportunities present themselves’ and I am right where I need to be.
Yes it’s hard to approach life with the Easy Does It attitude, but it’s also far less stressful than worrying about every little detail and causing ourselves’ unnecessary stress and tension. So if it’s just for today, then do it just for today, but try giving yourself a break and take it easy for a while; Your answers will come and no amount of pushing or forcing is going to make them get here any quicker then they are supposed to ; it’s only going to cause you to miss them when they do present themselves’.
(((hugs & love))))
“You’re braver than you believe; Stronger than you seem; And smarter than you think”
Addicts and Alcoholics have a very difficult , if not impossible time, accepting Life on Life’s Terms. This has always been particularly hard for me and although I am much better than I use to be, I am by far not perfect at it. There are things that happen on this Universe that I just don’t understand and the more I try to , the more frustrated and angry I become.
In Recovery we have to find a way that works for us, in order to ensure that we no longer use drugs or alcohol to cover up reality. First of course is developing a working relationship with a God of your understanding; then we go even deeper and review or old beliefs and ideas; which can be revised at any time we choose. I had to do just that, create new ideas and beliefs that worked for me or else I would never have gone forward in life.
Today I view things completely different from what I did a little over 7 years ago and I am much happier as a result of it. I no longer believe that God makes bad things happen; I believe that Life just happens and sometimes it is extremely painful. I believe in the “everything happens for a reason” slogan, but in a different aspect than others. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, but on man occasions it’s at no fault of our own; I also don’t believe that God causes horrible things to happen, just to test us; I do believe that bad things happen to good people and that God can take those bad things and turn them into something good. What I do know is that no matter what has happened in my life, no matter how painful it may have been, God has ALWAYS given me the strength to walk through it, always!
That’s the we I believe because that’s what works for me, but no matter how you believe, Just Believe and when it comes to Life on Life’s terms stuff; well the sooner you accept it the better off you are going to be. Life happens, it keeps going; whether we like it or not; so you might as well accept it; it’s going to keep on going no matter what!
(((hugs & love)))
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Too often we say things like, “I’m still waiting”, ” He never answered my prayers”, ” I am still stuck”, etc and we fail to realize that it’s because we aren’t getting “what we think” we should be getting. When we think that way we are limiting God’s blessings. We aren’t being open-minded to receiving whatever it is that He may be bringing our way.
Now don’t get me wrong, when my nephew passed at the age of 20 from an overdose and my sister-n-law looked at me and said., “I don’t understand, there were so many people praying for him,, why didn’t God answer ?” , All I could respond with was, “I don’t know, I don’t get things like that” and I don’t. I do believe that life happens based on choices that we make, and sometimes the choices of others effect the innocent ones; God gives us the freedom of choice; He won’t against our will and while I can’t explain why bad things happen to good people; I have seen many of human era based on humans choices in life; whether it be to themselves’ or someone totally innocent. While I can’t explain it , I can say that God can take something horrible and turn it into something amazing! It has happen to me , most of my life. And I have also been in the rut of “God isn’t listening to me” on more occasions than I care to re-call. It’s almost always because I am not being open-minded to the ways in which He can answer my prayers. I try to “limit” God’s answers to ways that only fit my fancy (so to speak). That doesn’t work, because God is limitless and when we try to contain His blessings we miss out on all that God is trying to bless us with. He won’t make us believe, He won’t make us see, He won’t make us accept His Blessings, but He will be there when we become open-minded enough to view all aspects of His might ways.
So don’t limit your blessings to only that of which you think they should be; They come in many shapes, sizes, & forms and if you’re limiting the ways in which they can come, you are stopping the very of them all together.
(((hugs & love))))
This is a phrase that many use in Recovery; one that confused me for quite some time. I always felt that I would be lying if I pretended to feel or be something that I wasn’t, but that’s not what it means at all. Our literature explains it as, “Acting ourselves’ into a right way of thinking.”
To give you some examples of what I am talking about, I will share my experience with the “act as if” phrase. When I first came into Recovery, I had Hope that all they had told me in treatment would work, but when I started going to meetings and working the steps, I came to a place that was frightening; I began thinking that the Steps and taking all the suggestions wouldn’t work for me; however I chose to do them anyway, just to prove my point. So I went to meetings , even though I didn’t really want to, I worked the Steps, even though I didn’t believe they could help me, and I chose to pray , even though I didn’t believe God was listening to me. So I did all these things, however I didn’t really believe that it would help; I “acted as if” until my change did come along.
There are many times in life that we have to act like we are okay, when we truly aren’t. Our job responsibilities don’t stop just because we are having issues in life; so we have to go to work anyway and act as though we are okay, at least till the end of our shift; We have to take care of our children or loved ones, even when we don’t really want to, because we know we are supposed to, etc.
“Acting as if” doesn’t mean you are living a lie; it simply means that you are doing the next right thing, for the right reasons, even when no one is looking, just because you know it’s the right thing to do.
Affirmations are also a great example; I can remember when I first was given some affirmations to post all over my mirrors, car, and office. Oh how silly I thought it was and didn’t believe a word of what I was saying when I did repeat them out loud. Especially sense I had no self-esteem whatsoever, at the time; however I continued to do it and just “acted as if” and eventually I began saying the words out loud all throughout my day and slowly I began believing them.
Changing our thought process takes time; We are human and therefore make many mistakes along our Journey in this Universe. Those mistakes can cause us to think in some very negative manners; Many of us were raised in very negative environments; where we were told we would never amount to anything, or that we were a mistake. It takes time to rethink a lifetime of thoughts and beliefs, but the cool thing about it , is that any time, we choose, we can change our old ideas and ways of thinking; we just have to choose when that is going to be.
(((Hugs & love))))