THE DIVINE SPARK!

Happiness comes from the divine spark within each of us.

“Many of us mistakenly think happiness comes from outside ourselves. For example, when other people shower us with love, we’re happy . . . On the other hand, relying on our inner wisdom to tell us we’re worthy and believing we are worthy . . . [require] only a simple change in perspective. It’s looking within, not without, for knowledge of our worth. There’s no mystery to it. “  from A Life of My Own by Karen Casey


Karen Casey is one of my favorite writers. When I got sober, her daily meditation book, Each Day a New Beginning (Hazelden), saved my life by putting healthy, hopeful thoughts into my mind. And, did I ever need them!

I had grown up totally unaware of the pure goodness that I had inside me. It was covered up by sadness, feeling less than others, a sense of insecurity, guilt from my crazy home-life, and shame over my sexual behavior.

Looking in All the Wrong Places

I was constantly seeking something outside of myself to fill up the hole of insecurity gnawing inside me. Unaware of my true worth, I tried to imitate others who seemed happy. I copied their “outsides,” hoping I could fix my “insides.” I pretended to be to be smart, well-mannered, friendly, and happy–I was willing to do anything for love and acceptance. 

But none of it really worked; it left me frustrated, alone, and enraged (even though it took years to admit it). When I discovered that booze and marijuana could erase the pain of life, I was quite relieved–but only temporarily.

Eventually, even that didn’t work. My failed relationships and divorces piled up at the same rate as my degrees. When I realized how broken I was, I finally sought help. 

The Solutions

As I walked through the doors of my first 12-step meeting, I could feel people responding to me as if I was already worthy of love. Although I couldn’t really believe it, I clung desperately to that possibility.

Over time, I followed their suggestions, found a sponsor who loved and guided me, and awoke to the divine spark of love within (and surrounding me). It’s now been over 35 years since I walked into that first meeting, and it has given me everything I have ever wanted. 

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how to correct the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful growth tools. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

HOW DO WE HANDLE ANGER TOWARD ABUSERS?

Anger Worry Less Now

If you and/or a recovering woman you’re mentoring have experienced VERBAL or other ABUSE, this article may surprise you . . . but then it won’t.

ANGER

Even though my friend had been sober for over 4 years, her ex-husband and family members still treated her like shit. For example, they left her out of family gatherings, entered her home without permission, paid no attention to her children, and made insulting comments in every phone conversation.

Unfortunately, she believed she was a horrible person, just like they had told her. This frustration peaked when in Step 8 she began listing those she had harmed and considered making amends to them. As she made her list, guess who was on it?? The same people who had abused her! She suddenly found herself completely engulfed in despair.

When she shared her misery with me, I recalled that depression often signals suppressed anger. Perhaps that was what was going on. How could she even consider making amends when she hadn’t dealt with her anger toward her abusers?

That sounded like a resentment to me, so we went back to two main patterns found in Steps 4-6: “Letting people treat me poorly” and “Trying to look good” (so no one could criticize me).

INVENTORY

For a quick inventory, we used these four questions (from A.A. Big Book, p. 67 & 84). “Where was I selfish, self-seeking, fearful, and/or dishonest?” Here’s what we  came up with.

When putting up with others’ mistreatment of me:
1. What was I selfishly trying to gain? (Selfish)  I wanted them to love me, so I pretended to be who they wanted me to be.

2. What did I do to get my way? (Self-SeekingI kept quiet about their abusive words. I didn’t set boundaries. I played the “good girl” so I wouldn’t be left out.  

3. What was I afraid of? (Fearful)  I was afraid if I objected, they would say I was too sensitive or crazy. I feared my family would talk trash about me and hate me if I didn’t play along with their games.
 
4. What is the truth I didn’t want to face? (Dishonesty)  My family may never treat me the way I want. I don’t deserve abusive, nasty words and actions from anyone. It’s okay for me to set boundaries. I have plenty of people who love me just as I am; and God loves me too.

7TH STEP PRAYER

“I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character that stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding.” (p. 76, A.A. Big Book) Her prayer: I ask my Higher Power to help me set boundaries with those who abuse me; and to bring caring people into my life, that we may best serve You and others. I thank You, God.

I am happy to say that this courageous woman has set boundaries with not only her most toxic relatives, but also with certain men who sought to manipulate her. She’s gaining the power to care for herself, and more and more good is flowing into her life. It’s wonderful to witness the healing power of the 12 steps!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the negative thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

😎 My 5-Week Study Group to Worry Less POSTPONED TO JAN-FEB 2022

Meet ONLINE to overcome negative thinking and stress! 

 💥 Wednesdays, October 20 – November 17  
7:00-8:30 p.m. EST 

FacilitatorGigi Langer, Ph.D. 
Study Group Size: 8 – 10  (by application only)

Format: Each week, read a chapter of my book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, and experiment with your choice of tools. Learn from me and share your progress at each online session. Free workbook included. 

 Cost: $68.95 for complete class (plus $8 if you need the book)

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED, PLEASE EMAIL me at glanger2202@gmail.com
I’ll ask you a few questions, and then I’ll select 10 people for the group.
I look forward to hearing from you!

Prior Participants’ Comments 
“Wonderful course content and superb delivery of wisdom.” 
“It inspired me to actually use the tools!”
”Loved Gigi’s upbeat personality and joy.” 
📣 “50 WAYS to WORRY LESS NOW” Great Gift! $8.95 Signed Paperback+Workbook (free USA shipping) at gigilanger.com/buy
4.9 Stars on Amazon: E-book & audiobook at amzn.to/2RMx5m5 😘

Turn Your Character Flaws into Assets!

After solving my drinking problem, I was amazed to find equally damaging aspects within my own personality–low self-esteem, jealousy, perfectionism, and constant anxiety. 

I now think of these “character flaws” as survival strategies that helped me cope in the past, but no longer serve me in the present. For example, standing up for my own needs often brought on ridicule at home, so I became a people-pleaser and pretended everything was fine. Now, many years later, I no longer need to suppress my needs because I’ve learned to be honest and assertive in my relationships. 

To change this old, damaging pattern, I needed to discover the motivators underlying it: where had I been fearful, dishonest, resentful, or selfish? Often these motivators showed up in my self-talk as whispered lies. For instance, my fear might whisper, “Don’t speak up; if you do, he’ll get angry and leave.”  Dishonesty also played its part by denying my unpleasant feelings. (For more on Whispered Lies, see my book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now – amzn.to/2RMx5m5). 

When I used therapy, the 12 steps, and other practices to dissolve my fears and dishonesty, I gained positive self-talk (Whispered Truths) such as, “I have the right to ask for what I desire.” As a result, my happiness and relationships benefited from my assertiveness and honesty.

Here I illustrate how each motivator (Fear, Dishonesty, Resentment, Selfishness) spawns whispered lies, character flaws, and negative consequences. But the story doesn’t end there! After choosing to let go of these patterns and humbly asking God to remove them, we find the healing of internal whispered truths and many benefits.

FEAR UNHEALED

  • Whispered Lies: “If I create conflict or speak up, people will leave me.”  “I must perform well to be loved.” “If I make a mistake, I’ll be abandoned.” 
  • Character Flaws: People-pleasing, Perfectionism, Fear of failure, Laziness, Doubt
  • Consequences: Victim mentality, Blaming others, Anxiety, Procrastination, Giving up

FEAR HEALED

  • Whispered Truths: “I have a right to ask for what I desire.” “I can be imperfect and still be worthy of love.” “My high standards improve my work when I also take good care of myself.”
  • Benefits: Assertiveness, Improved relationships, Courage, Serenity, Trust, Faith

DISHONESTY UNHEALED

  • Whispered Lies: “I have to be who people want me to be.” “If I can figure this out, I can keep my loved ones safe.” “I can’t be happy unless things change.”
  • Character Flaws: Codependency; Needing to control people, places, and things; Self-justification 
  • Consequences: Failed relationships, Trying to change others, Overthinking, Obsessing about the future, Lack of self-care, Anxiety, Denial of powerlessness

DISHONESTY HEALED

  • Whispered Truths: “I find the courage to take good care of myself.” “My higher power is in charge of my own and my loved ones’ security.” “I can’t change people, places or things, but I CAN change how I think and act.” “This is God’s job, not mine.” 
  • Benefits: Loving others with honesty, Moderation, Acceptance, Resiliency

RESENTMENT UNHEALED

  • Whispered Lies: “Nothing works out for me.” “Screw life!” “I’m not getting what I deserve.” “I hate him/her/it!”
  • Character Flaws: Negativity, Self-Pity, Intolerance, Impatience, Envy
  • Consequences: Gossip, Depression, Defensive in friendships, Distrust love, Anger 

RESENTMENT HEALED

  • Whispered Truths: “I have everything I need as God wills.” “Everything is in perfect order; I just can’t see it right now.” “This person is troubled just as I am; I see us both with compassion.” “All is well.”
  • Benefits: Acceptance, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Self-care, Humility (seeking God’s will), Generosity

SELFISHNESS UNHEALED

  • Whispered Lies: “She’s better than I am, so she’ll get all the attention I need.” “I’m better at this than she is, so I’m more worthy than she is.” “I must have this NOW!”
  • Character Flaws: Pride, Greed, Self-criticism, Judging others, Suspicion
  • Consequences: Relationship difficulties, Withholding love, Non-communication, Stress/anxiety, Rigid expectations of others (and of ourselves). 

SELFISHNESS HEALED

  • Whispered Truths: “I am an equal among equals.” “We’re all loved and loveable.” “We all share flaws; that’s okay.”
  • Benefits: Happy relationships, Generosity, Consideration of others, Acceptance 

*Note that each of the four motivators shows up to some extent in almost every flaw listed

HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH THESE IDEAS? I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful growth tools. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)