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Honesty


Growing up honesty was not a value we practiced in our home.  I learned from a very young age not to let the “outside” world know what was really happening in our “inside” world at home.   It was something I did on a daily basis & all throughout my day for that matter.

As I grew older , I continued to take this same sense of “dishonesty” with me wherever I went.  It was how I was raised, it’s what I thought was not only right , but okay.  Needless to say, this type of life only lead me to much darker places.  I lied to get what I wanted, when I wanted it .  I lied about being sick, so I didn’t have to do this or that; my lying became such a habit that I even began believing the lies I was telling to everyone else.

During my youth years, my mom and us 4 kids began attending church on a regular basis.  I was so insecure and so afraid.  I grew up in the old testament bible beating you upside the head type of church and I just knew God was going to kill me before I left that building, on so many occasions.  I mean if I was going to hell because I lied, then I might as well hang it up and if kissing a boy gave you a disease and struck you to your death, then I should have already been gone; Yes it was very confusing.  Then bring in the factor that my father sexually abused me and well, I just gave up at that point.  I was more afraid to walk in a church building than I was not to.  I wanted to believe with all of my heart, I really did; but I was too afraid.  I didn’t see God as loving and caring; I saw Him as someone who was waiting to zap me at any moment and send me straight to hell.  I knew that I had not lived up to any Godly Standards in my life, much less the way I was living at the time.  I was more afraid than comfortable with the entire God Thing.

The thoughts and fears and guilt became so overbearing that I chose to run the other way; to completely get away from God; I did whatever I could to make Him “Zap” me, so to speak; I started using the drugs and alcohol to numb all the confusion and pain; That’s when the grips of addiction took hold and swept me away.  I lived in a hell like I never even imagined was possible and the darkness within my heart; well to this day I don’t even like to speak of it.  I hated everyone, only liked you to get what I could from you, & most of all I hated myself with everything I had within me.  I hated the way I looked, acted, talked, walked, slept, played, did homework, & anything else I could think of.  I envied everyone around me,; what I truly wanted was to go with Alice into a rabbit hole, but I didn’t want to come back.

Today my life is completely different.  I found a new way to live ; one that took my life in the direction I thought only others could enjoy.  It didn’t happen overnight; I had to face many fears along the way, the scariest being, have to  face feel my feelings.  Yes that one nearly got the best of me.  However , with a Sponsor in my pocket, God on my side, & Hope in my heart – I kept going One Day at a Time.  I not only learned to be honest, I learned one of the most important values in life; I learned to be honest with myself; That’s when my true healing began.

Now I am not perfect by any means, but I sure am better than I use to be.  I still have to keep myself accountable & work my program on a daily basis; but the most precious gift of all is the relationship I have with God; He’s my best friend, my provider , and my reason for living.   Now if that’s not a far cry from the way I use to be I don’t know what is.  I enjoy my life today & helping others is a passion that consumes my entire being.

I don’t know what you may be going through, I don’t know what’s on your mind, or what you may be suffering from; But I do know there’s a way out of  the misery and pain.  There’s a way to live life to the fullest and there’s a way to find peace & happiness; You just have to be willing to take that first step in the right direction.  Reach out to someone and share what’s going on with you on the inside; Share as honestly as you can and allow them to help you learn how to take the next step towards freedom.  Whether it’s an addiction, depression, abuse, fear, or just hopelessness you are struggling with, You Can find the help you are looking for ; But whether you find it or not, is a choice that only you can make.

((((hugs & love))))

Wendy

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Getting into the Solution


So, yesterday was not a very good day for me; I was all wrapped up in myself and self-pity was running riot.  I was feeling as though I had let everyone down and that my dreams were never going to come true; that I was nothing but a failure and I might as well give up.  Yes I went there and for most of the day at that.  It seemed like the harder I tried, the worse things got.  Overwhelming feelings took over like a sudden disaster and seemed to be suffocating me.

I knew that if I allowed these feelings to continue that I was headed for some dangerous territory; so I did what I know to do and I went to my Sponser’s house and shared my feelings and thoughts, in a vulnerable way.  There was nothing positive coming out of my mouth, especially about myself.  She pointed out to me that all I was doing was beating myself up and the only place that was going to get me was into a deep and dark depression.  We talked for a long time and it really felt better getting out what was honestly going on with me , both in my head and in my heart.

Sometimes we just have bad days; We feel “bluh”and just want to escape from it all; especially when everything seems to be falling apart around us.  If we don’t quickly get into the solution, we will lead ourselves’ to much darker places; depression, despair, isolation, fear, loneliness & even destruction.

When you have those days, don’t  beat yourself up; we all go through such times.  Reach out to someone, share what’s going on and be open-minded and willing enough to take some suggestions; and when things seem to be falling apart, don’t allow it to cause you to give up; Just because things aren’t working out on your time-table , doesn’t mean they never will.

((((hugs & love))))

Wendy

http://www.wingsofencouragement.net/store.html (check out our online store for great Easter ideas and our variety of Inspirational items)

Don’t Give Up


Just because things aren’t working out when & how you wanted, doesn’t mean you should give up on the dreams.  Achieving our goals & dreams takes perseverance,  dedication, & a whole lot of faith.   We learn as we go; we have setbacks & we have comebacks.  We learn from our mistakes and we move on.

I started taking steps towards my dreams almost 4 years ago; I have had many setbacks and there have been long periods of time th, at I found it necessary to take a break from it all.  Recently my Hopes were shattered when things fell apart.  Things didn’t happen the way I had hoped or planned.  Yes, it was extremely discouraging and for a while I withdrew, not knowing which way to turn I fell to my knees and prayed.  That’s all I could do and I continued to do just that for many weeks.  I still don’t have all the answers.   What I do know is that when I have a burning desire in my heart, when I can’t go through a day without thinking about that desire, and my heart is full of passion for that desire; And that passion , I believe, comes from God.  It’s there for a reason, it’s what I love and I have to take the good with the bad.  I won’t give up,  I will keep doing what it is I know in my heart I need to do and I will get up and try it another way.  I don’t know exactly what that other way is today, but I know the answers will come.

Just because you are not quite sure what it is you should do next, doesn’t mean that your dreams are over, it doesn’t mean you have to give up; Maybe you just need to slow down, re-assess the situation, or go with a different approach.  Whatever it may be, always remember if you can’t go a day without thinking about it, there’s a reason for that.

((((hugs & love))))

Wendy

http://www.wingsofencouragement.net/

Resentments


For so many years I heard people say things about how I needed to let go of the anger at my father for despicable acts that he forced upon me as a child.  Of course I didn’t and I wouldn’t; I  was full of anger, hatred, rage, fear, and so much more.  I didn’t trust anyone and I had a temper just like my father did.  The pain  became so powerful that it took over my entire  being, until I was seeking relief through alcohol and drugs.

After several years of living (if that’s what you want to call it) in full-blown active addiction, I finally hit my rock bottom.  All of my consequences were coming down on me at the same time and it literally felt as though I had an elephant on my chest.  I ended up in jail and knew that something had to change.  When I went into treatment, the last thing I wanted to do was talk about my father and uncles who had molested me for years.  I just kept saying , Oh that’s in the past, we left them, my father is dead, etc.   Although my plan was to sweep it under the rug and avoid it all together, God had something else in mind.  I started reading a book and in that book it talked about family members having the same problem.  Of course that didn’t go over well with me, because I had always said that I would never be like my Dad.  Well here I was, in treatment to come off drugs and alcohol; just like my dad.  That literally made me physically sick.  I still pretty much kept quiet in treatment when it came to my dad, but when I got out and started attending meetings and got a Sponsor; well that’s when the healing really began.  I almost immediately began working the 12 steps and although the pain of reliving those days of my childhood, felt unbearable at times, I kept pushing through.  With the help of my Sponsor and many others in the fellowship, I was finally able to see that forgiving wasn’t about the other person, it was about setting the prisoner inside of me free.  In actuality, my father still had power over me and he had passed many years before I became clean.  When I began to see how true that statement was, I was more than willing to face it , feel it, and free it!  I have never felt so much freedom in my entire life.

Just because you forgive someone , doesn’t mean that what they did was okay, it doesn’t mean that you forget, and it doesn’t mean that it never hurt; It only means that you are no longer willing to allow that resentment to be in control of your life; Forgiveness is for you , not the other person or persons.  So when the time is right for you (and no one can tell you when that is but you; ) face those fears and feelings that you are trying to suppress, because whether you like it or not they are going to come out one way or another.

((((hugs & love))))

Wendy

Commitment


Keeping our word is of the utmost importance;  Doing what we say we are going to do, defines our true character and whether or not others will trust us.

When I first got clean/sober, no one expected me to do what I said I was going to do.  I had been deceiving so many during my active addiction, that no one trusted me anymore.  It took some hard work and a lot of practice, but today I can say, unless there are circumstances beyond my control, I do what I say I am going to do.

Have you ever started a project only to leave it undone?  For instance, something as simple as washing clothes or doing dishes?  I always had to leave something undone, whether it was a few utensils in the sink or clothes left in the dryer.  When I realized that if I couldn’t keep a commitment to the small things, I would never be able to tackle the bigger things in life; I began to change.  No, I am not always perfect at this and there are times when either I am sick or something , like an emergency or unexpected visitor comes up; that I am unable to complete what I set out to do.  However today, people know that if I don’t follow through with something, it’s because of something completely out of my control.

Recently I have had to re-group in this area of my life.  When I had to quit my job because of circumstances at home I began to isolate; Then my Facebook page was hacked, then the sales didn’t go like we thought they would, then I became ill and ended up in the hospital for the 3rd time in a year and several other things seemed to be falling apart; That’s when I began feeling sorry for myself and with that self-loathing and self-pity not only did isolation take over, but every time I made plans with someone, I would make up some excuse as to why I couldn’t go through with what I had said I would do.

In Recovery we have Sponsors and although my Sponsor is also my best friend, she doesn’t hesitate to call me out on things.  This was no different; She told me that I was slipping and setting up for a relapse; She was concerned for my well-being and saw that I not only had halted the healing process , but I had gone backwards in leaps and bounds.  At first I was in shock and felt completely helpless, but then I began to pray and take responsibility for my actions; followed by making right those wrongs, to the best of my ability.  I am so happy to say that today I am back on track; back writing, back doing what I love to do on Facebook and helping others; Back selling the jewelry and other inspirational items at my online store and at the 2 on-site stores in Alabama.  No, I am not giving up and Yes I am keeping my word!  I am following through with what I began and I plan on seeing it through to the end

We all fall, we all get off track; None of us are perfect, but we can start over at any given time and learn from our mistakes; Besides that’s what success is all about, growing and learning from the setbacks.

((((hugs & love))))

Wendy

http://www.wingsofencouragement.net/

Get Back to the Basics


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Have you ever just felt like something is missing?  I mean you aren’t unhappy, actually your life is going pretty well in all areas, but something is just not there; something that was once before.

I have been in that place for several months now.  The difference is I knew what was missing, or at least I had an idea as to what it was, but I would do everything possible to talk myself out of doing, what I know in my heart I was supposed to be doing.  Finally after many weeks of pushing and pulling, I finally gave in and got back to the basics last night.  I wasn’t anything hard, difficult, or dramatic that I had to do, but it brought such peace and comfort and the minute I stepped in that room, I could feel my face glowing.  Yes that spark inside of me knew I exactly what it was I had been missing, the fellowship of those just like me, the unconditional love that comes from those very same people and the freedom it all brings.  It was a simple thing, a basic principle that began over 7 years ago; yet I was so determined to fight the urge to do what I knew was right, that I risked the very essence of who I am today.

If something is missing in your life, if you feel like something is lost that you once had, get back to the basics of things; Have you stopped doing something you use to do?  Have you been taking time out for you? Have you been isolating or living in fear?  Whatever it is that you did before start it once again.  The basic values in my program are what have kept me clean for so many years and the choice is mine , as to whether or not I will continue to ignore them or apply them in every area of my life.

((((hugs & love)))

Wendy

Has life become monotonous to you?


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))))

Wendy

http://www.wingsofencouragement.net/

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((((hugs & love))))

Wendy

Feeling a little blue


If you’re feeling a little blue, allow yourself to be right where you are:  If all you want to do is lay around, that’s okay to, just lay around;  If you feel like crying, by all means cry away; If you’re angry, that’s perfectly fine, you have the right to be, you just don’t have the right to express it in harmful ways towards others.

Whatever you are feeling , it’s okay; We can’t be all chipper and full of life 24/7; there’s times when we are tired, lonely, afraid, and just flat worn out.  Acknowledge your feelings, see them for what they are and if they keep returning, talk to someone, see your Physician, or whatever you must do to see their is an underlying health issue.  Ask yourself why you are feeling what you are feeling, why is it getting to you so badly, why is returning so often; then break it down even further; and ask yourself why you are feeling the way your first answer was, and the second, and third; and so on, until you find the core of the issue.  Most of the time I have to help from my Mentor and best friend; but the first thing I do about any of these situations is I pray to God for clarity.  The I step forward in getting into the solution and getting to the root of the problem.

Give yourself a break, it’s okay not to be perfect, it’s okay if you just don’t know why you feel the way you do; Just Breathe and allow the feelings to flow through.

((((hugs & love))))

Wendy

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