I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
I really struggled with this statement initially, largely because I did not like what I thought about myself.
For a long time I defined myself by my career – I was a successful accountant. Then I lost the job, and my world imploded.
Then came the negative period, when I was the “unemployed, alcoholic, psych patient” none of which fit in with the worldview I’d had of myself when I was growing up. Obviously I had a lot of issues with self hatred going on in this period.
I slowly started to work my way out of this world view with a lot of therapy from wonderful therapists. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Compassion Focused Therapy helped a lot, as did writing periodic lists of things I liked about myself. I remember the first time I was asked to write 10 things I liked about myself. It was in my first rehab, and I managed 3 before running out of ideas. A second attempt several years later when I was in the psych hospital, where I desperately scraped together 10, only by the inclusion of # 10 – that animals like me.
Then I did some more therapy and began to see myself in a more holistic way. Yes, I’m an accountant, and an alcoholic, and a psych patient, but I’m also a musician, a knitter, a writer, a friend, a good listener, a volunteer etc. None of them individually define me, but they make up the whole that is me. And what connects them are my core characteristics – creativity, honesty, hard working, dedicated, a tad obsessive, mathematically inclined, and yes Capable, Competent, Caring, and Compassionate.
On the WFS site, you’ll often run across someone saying in shorthand, that’s very 4C, or you’re so 4C. That’s what it refers to – capable, competent, caring, and compassionate, and each WFS meeting ends with the group reciting a statement that incorporates these four components.
I suspect my friends might have told me I had these characteristics long before I clued into them. It took WFS, and a lot of writing, and a lot of CBT, for me to embrace this statement about myself.
I am what I think. Only now I like it.