Addiction Survivors

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Unread 10-20-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
MaJaBe
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Default Just for Today

October 20
Freedom to choose


“Enforced morality lacks the power that comes to us when we choose to live a spiritual life.”
Basic Text, p. 45
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In our active addiction, many of us lived our lives by default. We were unwilling or unable to make choices about how we wanted to act, what we preferred to do, or even where we would live. We allowed the drugs or other people to make our most basic decisions for us. Freedom from active addiction means, among other things, the freedom to make those choices for ourselves.
Freedom of choice is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a great responsibility. Choice allows us to find out who we are and what we believe in. However, in exercising it, we’re called on to weigh our own choices and accept the consequences. This leads some of us to seek out someone who will make our choices for us—our sponsor, our home group, our NA friends—just as our disease made our choices for us when we were using. That’s not recovery.
Seeking others’ experience is one thing; abdicating personal responsibility is something else. If we don’t use the gift of freedom we’ve been given, if we refuse to accept the responsibilities that go along with it, we’ll lose that gift and our lives will be diminished. We are responsible for our own recovery and our own choices. Difficult as it may seem, we must make those choices for ourselves and become willing to accept the consequences.
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Just for today: I am grateful for the freedom to live as I choose. Today, I will accept responsibility for my recovery, make my own choices, and accept the consequences.
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Unread 10-21-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
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Default October 21st - Just for Today

October 21
God’s will today


“This decision demands continued acceptance, ever-increasing faith, and a daily commitment to recovery.”
IP No. 14, One Addict’s Experience…
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Sometimes, we really live the Third Step—and it’s great! We don’t regret the past, we aren’t afraid of the future, and we’re generally pleased with the present. Sometimes, though, we lose our vision of God’s will in our life.
Many of us dream of erasing the mistakes of our past, but the past cannot be erased. Many of us are grateful this is so, for our past experiences have brought us to the recovery we enjoy today. By working the program, we can learn to accept the past and reconcile ourselves with it by amending our wrongs. Those same Twelve Steps can help eliminate our worries over the future. When we practice NA principles on a daily basis in all our affairs, we can leave the results up to our Higher Power.
It seems as though our members with the strongest faith are the ones who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment, appreciation, and gratitude for the quality of our lives—these are the results of faith in life itself. When we practice the principles of our program, today is the only day we need.
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Just for today: I will make the most of today, and trust that yesterday and tomorrow are in God’s care.
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Unread 10-21-2010, 02:28 PM   #3
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Great idea for a thread Jackie, thank you!!
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Unread 10-21-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
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Majabe,

Great idea!!! This is something I am really trying to work on!
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Unread 10-25-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
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Default October 22nd

October 22
Look who’s talking


“Our disease is so cunning that it can get us into impossible situations.”
Basic Text, p. 83
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Some of us say, “My disease is talking to me.” Others say, “My head won’t turn off.” Still others refer to “the committee in my mind” or “the monkey on my back.” Let’s face it. We suffer from an incurable malady that continues to affect us, even in recovery. Our disease gives us warped information about what’s going on in our lives. It tells us not to look at ourselves because what we’ll see is too scary. Sometimes it tells us we’re not responsible for ourselves and our actions; other times, it tells us that everything wrong with the world is our fault. Our disease tricks us into trusting it.
The NA program provides us with many voices that counter our addiction, voices we can trust. We can call our sponsor for a reality check. We can listen to the voice of an addict trying to get clean. The ultimate solution is to work the steps and draw on the strength of a Higher Power. That will get us through those times when “our disease is talking.”
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Just for today: I will ignore the “voice” of my addiction. I will listen to the voice of my program and a Power greater than myself.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 09:36 AM   #6
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Default October 23rd

October 23

Surrender

“By surrendering control, we gain a far greater power.”

Basic Text, p. 44
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When we were using, we did everything we could to run things our way. We used every scheme imaginable to bring our world under control. When we got what we wanted, we felt powerful, invincible; when we didn’t, we felt vulnerable, defeated. But that didn’t stop us—it only led to more efforts to control and manipulate our lives into a manageable state.
Scheming was our way of denying our powerlessness. As long as we could distract ourselves with our plans, we could put off accepting that we were out of control. Only gradually did we realize that our lives had become unmanageable and that all the conning and manipulating in the world was not going to put our lives back in order.
When we admit our powerlessness, we stop trying to control and manage our way to a better life—we surrender. Lacking sufficient power of our own, we seek a Power greater than ourselves; needing support and guidance, we ask that Power to care for our will and our lives. We ask others in recovery to share their experience with living the NA program instead of trying to program our own lives. The power and direction we seek is all around us; we need only turn away from self to find it.

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Just for today: I will not try to scheme and manipulate my way to a manageable life. Through the NA program, I will surrender myself to my Higher Power’s care.

Last edited by MaJaBe; 10-25-2010 at 09:40 AM..
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Unread 10-25-2010, 09:37 AM   #7
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Default October 24th

October 24
Responsibility


“We are not responsible for our disease, only for our recovery. As we begin to apply what we have learned, our lives begin to change for the better.”
Basic Text, p. 91
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The further we go in recovery, the less we avoid responsibility for ourselves and our actions. By applying the principles of the Narcotics Anonymous program, we are able to change our lives. Our existence takes on new meaning as we accept responsibility and the freedom of choice responsibility implies. We do not take recovery for granted.
We take responsibility for our recovery by working the Twelve Steps with a sponsor. We go to meetings regularly and share with the newcomer what was freely given to us: the gift of recovery. We become involved with our home group and accept responsibility for our part in sharing recovery with the still-suffering addict. As we learn how to effectively practice spiritual principles in all areas of our lives, the quality of our lives improves.
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Just for today: Using the spiritual tools I’ve gained in recovery, I am willing and able to make responsible choices.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 09:39 AM   #8
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Default October 25th

October 25

Principles before personalities


“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

Tradition Twelve

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“Principles before personalities.” Many of us chant these words along with the reader whenever the Twelve Traditions are read. The fact that these words have become a cliche of sorts doesn’t make them any less important, either in service or in our lives. These words are an affirmation: “We listen to our conscience and do what’s right, no matter who’s involved.” And that principle serves as one of the cornerstones of recovery as well as our traditions.
What does “principles before personalities” really mean? It means we practice honesty, humility, compassion, tolerance, and patience with everyone, whether we like them or not. Putting principles before personalities teaches us to treat everyone equally. The Twelfth Step asks us to apply principles in all our affairs; the Twelfth Tradition suggests we apply them to our relations with everyone.
Practicing principles doesn’t stop with our friends or when we leave a meeting. It’s for every day, for everyone… in all areas of our lives.

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Just for today: I will listen to my conscience and do what’s right. My focus will be on principles, not on people’s personalities.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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Default October 26th

October 26
The path to self-acceptance


“The most effective means of achieving self-acceptance is through applying the Twelve Steps of recovery.”
IP No. 19, Self-Acceptance
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Our addiction has been a source of shame to many of us. We have hidden ourselves from others, sure that if anyone got to know who we really were they would reject us. NA helps us learn self-acceptance.
Many of us find a great deal of relief just from attending meetings, hearing fellow addicts share their stories, and discovering that others have felt the same way we feel about ourselves. When others share honestly with us who they are, we feel free to do the same. As we learn to tell others the truth about ourselves, we learn to accept ourselves.
Self-disclosure, however, is only the beginning. Once we’ve shared the things that make us uncomfortable with our lives, we need to find a different way to live—and that’s where the steps come in. We develop a concept of a Higher Power. We inventory our lives, in detail, and discuss our inventory with our sponsor. We ask the God of our understanding to remove our character defects, the shortcomings that are the source of our troubles. We take responsibility for the things we’ve done and make amends for them. And we incorporate all these disciplines into our daily lives, “practicing these principles in all our affairs.”
By working the steps, we can become people we are proud to be. We can freely tell the truth about ourselves, for we have nothing to hide.
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Just for today: I will walk the path to self-acceptance. I will show up, tell the truth, and work the steps.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 09:20 AM   #10
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I love this one, it's totally where I'm at right now.
Thanks for allowing me to post these, they really mean alot to me, so I'm hoping they'll mean something to others as well.
Maybe someone who had preconceived judgements toward NA or AA will give it a chance, if they can identify with something from these daily meditations.
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Unread 10-27-2010, 09:19 AM   #11
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Default October 27th

October 27
Living in the present


“We want to look our past in the face, see it for what it really was, and release it so we can live today.”
Basic Text, p. 29
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For many of us, the past is like a bad dream. Our lives aren’t the same any more, but we still have fleeting, highly charged emotional memories of a really uncomfortable past. The guilt, fear, and anger that once dominated us may spill into our new life, complicating our efforts to change and grow.
The Twelve Steps are the formula that helps us learn to put the past in its place. Through the Fourth and Fifth Steps, we become aware that our old behavior didn’t work. We ask a Higher Power to relieve us of our shortcomings in the Sixth and Seventh Steps, and we begin to be relieved of the guilt and fear that plagued us for so many years. In the Eighth and Ninth Steps, by making amends, we demonstrate to others that our lives are changing. We are no longer controlled by the past. Once the past loses its control over us, we are free to find new ways to live, ways that reflect who we truly are.
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Just for today: I don’t have to be controlled by my past. I will live this new day as the new person I am becoming.
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Unread 10-28-2010, 10:12 AM   #12
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Default October 28th

October 28
Attitudes


“We can also use the steps to improve our attitudes.”
Basic Text, p. 55
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Ever have a day when everything seems to be working against you? Do you go through periods when you are so busy taking people’s inventories you can barely stand yourself? What about when you find yourself snapping at your coworker or loved one for no reason? When we find ourselves in this bleak frame of mind, we need to take action.
At any point in the day, we can set aside a few moments and take a “spot inventory.” We examine how we are reacting to outside situations and other people. When we do, we may find that we are suffering from a plain old “bad attitude.” A negative outlook can hurt our relationship with our Higher Power and the people in our lives. When we are honest with ourselves, we frequently find that the problem lies with us and our attitude.
We have no control over the challenges life gives us. What we can control is how we react to those challenges. At any point in time, we can change our attitude. The only thing that really changes in Narcotics Anonymous is us. The Twelve Steps give us the tools to move out of the problem and into the solution.
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Just for today: Throughout the day, I will check my attitude. I will apply the steps to improve it.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 09:23 AM   #13
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Default October 29th

October 29
Living in the now


“Living just for today relieves the burden of the past and the fear of the future.”
Basic Text, pp. 94
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Thoughts of how bad it was—or could be—can consume our hopes for recovery. Fantasies of how wonderful it was—or could be—can divert us from taking action in the real world. That’s why, in Narcotics Anonymous, we talk about living and recovering “just for today.”
In NA, we know that we can change. We’ve come to believe that our Higher Power can restore the soundness of our minds and hearts. The wreckage of our past can be dealt with through the steps. By maintaining our recovery, just for today, we can avoid creating problems in the future.
Life in recovery is no fantasy. Daydreams of how great using was or how we can use successfully in the future, delusions of how great things could be, overblown expectations that set us up for disappointment and relapse—all are stripped of their power by the program. We seek God’s will, not our own. We seek to serve others, not ourselves. Our self-centeredness and the importance of how great things could or should be for us disappears. In the light of recovery, we perceive the difference between fantasy and reality.
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Just for today: I am grateful for the principles of recovery and the new reality they’ve given me.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 03:07 PM   #14
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Good stuff Jackie, again, thank you so much!


You know, I use to read my daily meditation every morning or some other inspirational readings and I got out of that habit some time ago. I think I am going to revisit that effort. And this thread really helps in that effort!
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Unread 10-29-2010, 03:26 PM   #15
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I get it emailed to me, and I have the "Just for Today" Daily Meditation book, as well. That way, if I forget to pick up the book, it's right there in my face when I turn my computer on. I'm sure AA has the same thing?
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Unread 10-29-2010, 03:45 PM   #16
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They do Jackie and if I recall correctly, they are very close in the text. Though I haven't read NA in many, many years.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #17
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Yeah, most of the things that I've read from AA are very similar. One peice of AA literature that I really like is the little red book, it's great in it's simplicity. It really breaks things down in an understandable way, especially for the newcomer.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 07:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by OhioMike View Post
Good stuff Jackie, again, thank you so much!


You know, I use to read my daily meditation every morning or some other inspirational readings and I got out of that habit some time ago. I think I am going to revisit that effort. And this thread really helps in that effort!
I to have strayed away from my readings, when I go back to the routine, it works, go figure.just like thousands before us guaranteed.lol......I am a huge fan of all spiritual lit, weather it is AA /NA approved or not, Try Emmet Fox..(1890's to 1950/s). his daily thoughts will pull you out of any negative emotions, talk is cheap give it a shot.the book is called "around the year with Emmet fox............"Oct 19 Prayer is always the solution. No matter what difficulty is facing you , no matter how complicated your problem may be---Prayer can solve it...........There is no conceivable problem that has not at some time been solved with prayer"...........its not all about prayer, but it is about living happily and free, most people take that good feeling for granted, myself, just a little taste of it and .WOW
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Unread 11-01-2010, 10:54 AM   #19
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Default October 30

October 30
Courage


“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.”
Basic Text, p. 96
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Narcotics Anonymous is no place for the faint of heart! Facing life on life’s terms without the use of drugs isn’t always easy. Recovery requires more than hard work; it requires a liberal dose of courage.
What is courage, anyway? A quick look at a dictionary will tell us. We have courage when we face and deal with anything that we think of as difficult, dangerous, or painful, rather than withdrawing from it. Courage means being brave; having a purpose; having spirit. So what is courage, really? Courage is an attitude, one of perseverance.
That’s what an addict in recovery really needs—perseverance. We make that commitment to stick with our program, to avoid using, no matter what happens. A courageous addict is one who doesn’t use, one day at a time, no matter what.
And what gives us courage? A relationship with a Higher Power gives us the strength and the courage to stay clean. We know that, so long as we are in our God’s care, we will have the power we need to face life on its own terms.
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Just for today: I have a Higher Power who cares for me, no matter what. Knowing that, I will strive to have an attitude of courage today.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #20
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Default October 31st

October 31
Our relationship with a Higher Power


“Ongoing recovery is dependent on our relationship with a loving God who cares for us and will do for us what we find impossible to do for ourselves.”
Basic Text, p. 99
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Working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous gives us a fresh start in life and some guidance for living in the world. But the steps are more than a fresh start. When we do our best to work the steps, we develop a relationship with our personal Higher Power.
In the Third Step, we decide to allow a loving God to influence our lives. Much of the courage, trust, and willingness we need to continue through the succeeding steps comes from this decision. In the Seventh Step, we go even further by asking this Higher Power to change our lives. The Eleventh Step is a way for us to improve the relationship.
Recovery is a process of growth and change in which our lives are renewed. The Twelve Steps are the roadmap, the specific directions we take in order to continue in recovery. But the support we need to proceed with each step comes from our faith in a Higher Power, the belief that all will be well. Faith gives us courage to act. Each step we work is supported by our relationship with a loving God.
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Just for today: I will remember that the source of my courage and willingness is my relationship with my Higher Power.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 10:57 AM   #21
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Default November 1st

November 1
Awakening


“God helps us as we help each other.”
Basic Text, p. 51
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Our addiction caused us to think almost exclusively of ourselves. Even our prayers—if we prayed at all—were self-centered. We asked God to fix things for us or get us out of trouble. Why? Because we didn’t want to live with the problems we’d created for ourselves. We were insecure. We thought life was about getting, and we always wanted more.
And in recovery we get more—more than just not using. The spiritual awakening we experience in working the Twelve Steps reveals to us a life we never dreamed possible. We no longer need to worry about whether there will be “enough,” for we come to rely on a loving Higher Power who meets all our daily needs. Relieved of our incessant insecurity, we no longer see the world as a place in which to compete with others for the fulfillment of our desires. Instead, we see the world as a place in which to live out the love our Higher Power has shown us. Our prayers are not for instant gratification; they are for help in helping each other.
Recovery awakens us from the nightmare of self-centeredness, strife, and insecurity that lies at the core of our disease. We wake up to a new reality: All that is worth having can be kept only by giving it away.
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Just for today: My God helps me as I help others. Today, I will seek help in giving away the love my Higher Power has given me, knowing that is the way to keep it.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #22
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Default November 2

November 2
Living with unresolved problems


“It makes a difference to have friends who care if we hurt.”
Basic Text, p. 54
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For most of our problems, the solution is simple. We call our sponsor, pray, work the steps, or go to a meeting. But what about those situations where the burden is ongoing and there’s no end in sight?
Most of us know what it’s like to live with a painful situation—a problem that just isn’t going to disappear. For some of us, the problem is an incurable, life-threatening illness. Some of us have incorrigible children. Some of us find that our earnings simply don’t cover our living expenses. Some of us care for a chronically ill friend or family member.
Those of us who have ever had to live with an unresolved problem know the relief that comes from just talking about our problem with our recovering friends. We may get some comic relief. Our friends may commiserate or cry in sympathy. Whatever they do, they ease our burden. They may not be able to solve our problem for us or take away our painful feelings, but just knowing that we are loved and cared about makes our problems bearable. We never have to be alone with our pain again.
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Just for today: Those problems I can’t resolve can be made bearable by talking to a friend. Today, I will call someone who cares.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 10:05 AM   #23
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Default November 3

November 3
No matter what


“We eventually have to stand on our own feet and face life on its own terms, so why not from the start?”
Basic Text, p. 85
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Some of us feel that we should protect newcomers by telling them that, while everything used to be horrible, now that we’re in recovery it’s all wonderful. We feel that we might scare someone away if we speak of pain or difficulties, broken marriages, being robbed, and the like. In a sincere and well-intentioned desire to carry the message, we tend to talk glowingly only about what’s going well in our lives.
But most newcomers already suspect the truth, even if they’ve only been clean for a few days. Chances are that the “life on life’s terms” the average newcomer is experiencing is quite a bit more stressful than what the average oldtimer deals with each day. If we do manage to convince a newcomer that everything becomes rosy in recovery, we had better make sure we are there to support that newcomer when something goes wrong in his or her life.
Perhaps we simply need to share realistically about how we use the resources of Narcotics Anonymous to accept “life on life’s terms,” whatever those terms may be on any given day. Recovery, and life itself, contain equal parts of pain and joy. It is important to share both so the newcomer can know that we stay clean no matter what.
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Just for today: I will be honest with the newcomers I share with and let them know that, no matter what life brings, we never have to use drugs again.
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Unread 11-04-2010, 10:18 AM   #24
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Default November 4

November 4
Exchanging love


“...we give love because it was given so freely to us. New frontiers are open to us as we learn how to love. Love can be the flow of life energy from one person to another.”
Basic Text, p. 105
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Love given, and love received, is the essence of life itself. It is the universal common denominator, connecting us to those around us. Addiction deprived us of that connection, locking us within ourselves.
The love we find in the NA program reopens the world to us. It unlocks the cage of addiction which once imprisoned us. By receiving love from other NA members, we find out—perhaps for the first time—what love is and what it can do. We hear fellow members talk about the sharing of love, and we sense the substance it lends to their lives.
We begin to suspect that, if giving and receiving love means so much to others, maybe it can give meaning to our lives, too. We sense that we are on the verge of a great discovery, yet we also sense that we won’t fully understand the meaning of love unless we give ours away. We try it, and discover the missing connection between ourselves and the world.
Today, we realize that what they said was true: “We keep what we have only by giving it away.”
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Just for today: Life is a new frontier for me, and the vehicle I will use to explore it is love. I will give freely the love I have received.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 10:20 AM   #25
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Talking November 5th

November 5

God’s guidance


“Our Higher Power is accessible to us at all times. We receive guidance when we ask for knowledge of God’s will for us.”

Basic Text, p. 95

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It’s not always easy to make the right decision. This is especially true for addicts learning to live by spiritual principles for the first time. In addiction, we developed self-destructive, anti-social impulses. When conflict arose, we took our cues from those negative impulses. Our disease didn’t prepare us to make sound decisions.
Today, to find the direction we need, we ask our Higher Power. We stop; we pray; and, quietly, we listen within for guidance. We’ve come to believe that we can rely on a Power greater than ourselves. That Power is accessible to us whenever we need it. All we need do is pray for knowledge of our God’s will for us and the power to carry it out.
Each time we do this, each time we find direction amidst our confusion, our faith grows. The more we rely on our Higher Power, the easier it becomes to ask for direction. We’ve found the Power we were lacking in our addiction, a Power that is available to us at all times. To find the direction we need to live fully and grow spiritually, all we have to do is maintain contact with the God of our understanding.

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Just for today: My Higher Power is a source of spiritual guidance within me that I can always draw upon. When I lack direction today, I will ask for knowledge of my Higher Power’s will.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:37 AM   #26
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Default November 6

November 6
Understanding humility


“Humility is a result of getting honest with ourselves.”
Basic Text, p. 36
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Humility was an idea so foreign to most of us that we ignored it as long as we could. When we first saw the word “humbly” ahead in Step Seven, we may have figured it meant we had quite a bit of humiliation in store. Perhaps we chose to look it up in the dictionary, only to become even more confused by the definition. We didn’t understand how “lowliness and subservience” applied to recovery.
To be humble does not mean we are the lowest form of life. On the contrary, becoming humble means we attain a realistic view of ourselves and where we fit in the world. We grow into a state of awareness founded on our acceptance of all aspects of ourselves. We neither deny our good qualities nor overemphasize our defects. We honestly accept who we are.
No one of us will ever attain a state of perfect humility. But we can certainly strive to honestly admit our faults, accept our assets, and rely on our Higher Power as a source of strength. Humility doesn’t mean we have to crawl life’s path on our hands and knees; it just means we must admit we cannot recover on our own. We need each other and, above all, we need the power of a loving God.
––––=––––
Just for today: To be humble, I will honestly accept all facets of myself, seeing my true place in the world. For the strength I need to fill that place, I will rely on the God of my understanding.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:38 AM   #27
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Default November 7

November 7

Feeling God’s will




“I sincerely believed that a Higher Power could restore my sanity and that I would stop trying to figure out what God’s will was, just accept things for what they were, and be grateful.”


––––=––––

The longer we stay clean, the less surely we “know” what our Higher Power’s will for us is—and the less it matters. Knowledge of our Higher Power’s will becomes less a “knowing” thing and more a “feeling” thing. We still practice the Eleventh Step faithfully. But rather than look for “signs” from our Higher Power, we begin to rely more on our intuition, trusting our feelings about what will make us comfortable.
After staying clean a few years, what we do seem to know is when we are acting against God’s will for us. When we are going against God’s will, we get that old uncomfortable feeling in our gut. That queasiness is a warning that, if we continue in this direction, ahead lie many sleepless nights. We need to pay attention to such feelings, for they are often signals that we are acting contrary to our Higher Power’s will for us.
Our Eleventh Step clearly states the true goal of prayer and meditation: improvement of our conscious contact with the God of our understanding, bringing us clearer knowledge of our Higher Power’s will for us and the power to carry it out. We know God’s will most clearly by how it feels, not by “signs” or words—and it feels right.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will pray for the knowledge of my Higher Power’s will for me and the power to carry it out. I will pay attention to my feelings, and act when they feel right.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:40 AM   #28
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Default November 8

November 8
Freed from insanity


“Do I believe it would be insane to walk up to someone and say, ‘May I please have a heart attack or a fatal accident?’”
Basic Text, p. 24
––––=––––
We’ve heard it said that unless we’re in love, we can’t remember what love feels like. The same could be said of insanity: Once we’re freed of it, we may forget how truly bizarre our insane thinking can be. But to be grateful for the degree of sanity to which we’ve been restored in Narcotics Anonymous, we need to remember just how truly insane we’ve been.
Today, it may be hard to imagine saying something as ridiculous as, “May I please have a heart attack or a fatal accident?” No one in their right mind is going to ask for such things. And that’s the point. In our active addiction, we were not in our right mind. Each day we practiced our addiction, we courted fatal disease, degradation, exploitation, impoverishment, imprisonment, death by violence, even death by sheer stupidity. In that context, the idea of asking for a heart attack or a fatal accident doesn’t sound all that far out. That’s how insane we’ve been.
The program, the fellowship, and our Higher Power—together, they’ve worked a miracle. The Second Step is not a vain hope—it is reality. Knowing the degree of the insanity we’ve experienced, we can appreciate all the more the miraculous Power that has restored us thus far to sanity. For that, we are truly grateful.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will take some time to recall how insane I’ve been while practicing my addiction. Then, I will thank my Higher Power for the sanity that’s been restored to my life.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #29
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Default November 9

November 9
The best-laid plans


“It is our actions that are important. We leave the results to our Higher Power.”
Basic Text, p. 91
––––=––––
There’s an old saying we sometimes hear in our meetings: “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” When we hear this we usually laugh, too, but there’s a nervous edge to our laughter. We wonder if all of our carefully laid plans are doomed to fail. If we’re planning a big event—a wedding, a return to school, or perhaps a career change—we begin to wonder if our plans are the same as our Higher Power’s plans. We are capable of working ourselves into such a frenzy of worry over this question that we refuse to make any plans at all.
But the simple fact is that we really don’t know whether our Higher Power’s plans for our lives are carved in stone or not. Most of us have opinions about fate and destiny but, whether we believe in such theories or not, we still have a responsibility to live our lives and make plans for the future. If we refuse to accept responsibility for our lives, we’re still making plans—plans for a shallow, boring existence.
What we make in recovery are plans, not results. We’ll never know whether the marriage, the education, or the new job is going to work out until we try it. We simply exercise our best judgment, check with our sponsor, pray, use all the information at hand, and make the most reasonable plans we can. For the rest, we trust in the loving care of the God of our understanding, knowing that we’ve acted responsibly.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will make plans, but I will not plan the results. I will trust in my Higher Power’s loving care.
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Unread 11-10-2010, 09:53 AM   #30
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Default November 10

November 10
Fear or faith?


“No matter how far we ran, we always carried fear with us.”
Basic Text, p. 14
––––=––––
For many of us, fear was a constant factor in our lives before we came to Narcotics Anonymous. We used because we were afraid to feel emotional or physical pain. Our fear of people and situations gave us a convenient excuse to use drugs. A few of us were so afraid of everything that we were unable even to leave our homes without using first.
As we stay clean, we replace our fear with a belief in the fellowship, the steps, and a Higher Power. As this belief grows, our faith in the miracle of recovery begins to color all aspects of our lives. We start to see ourselves differently. We realize we are spiritual beings, and we strive to live by spiritual principles.
The application of spiritual principles helps eliminate fear from our lives. By refraining from treating other people in harmful or unlawful ways, we find we needn’t fear how we will be treated in return. As we practice love, compassion, understanding, and patience in our relationships with others, we are treated in turn with respect and consideration. We realize these positive changes result from allowing our Higher Power to work through us. We come to believe—not to think, but to believe—that our Higher Power wants only the best for us. No matter what the circumstances, we find we can walk in faith instead of fear.
––––=––––
Just for today: I no longer need to run in fear, but can walk in faith that my Higher Power has only the best in store for me.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 10:04 AM   #31
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November 11
From surrender to acceptance


“We surrender quietly and let the God of our understanding take care of us.”
Basic Text, p. 26
––––=––––
Surrender and acceptance are like infatuation and love. Infatuation begins when we encounter someone special. Infatuation requires nothing but the acknowledgement of the object of our infatuation. For infatuation to become love, however, requires a great deal of effort. That initial connection must be slowly, patiently nurtured into a lasting, durable bond.
It’s the same with surrender and acceptance. We surrender when we acknowledge our powerlessness. Slowly, we come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can give us the care we need. Surrender turns to acceptance when we let this Power into our lives. We examine ourselves and let our God see us as we are. Having allowed the God of our understanding access to the depths of ourselves, we accept more of God’s care. We ask this Power to relieve us of our shortcomings and help us amend the wrongs we’ve done. Then, we embark on a new way of life, improving our conscious contact and accepting our Higher Power’s continuing care, guidance, and strength.
Surrender, like infatuation, can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. To turn surrender into acceptance, however, we must let the God of our understanding take care of us each day.
––––=––––
Just for today: My recovery is more than infatuation. I have surrendered. Today, I will nurture my conscious contact with my Higher Power and accept that Power’s continuing care for me.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 07:52 PM   #32
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Jackie, thanks again for keeping this thread going! I really enjoy it.

Mike
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Unread 11-12-2010, 09:58 AM   #33
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Default November 12

November 12
Our own story


“When we honestly tell our own story, someone else may identify with us.”
Basic Text, p. 98
––––=––––
Many of us have heard truly captivating speakers at Narcotics Anonymous conventions. We remember the audience alternating between tears of identification and joyous hilarity. “Someday,” we may think, “I’m going to be a main speaker at a convention, too.”
Well, for many of us, that day has yet to arrive. Once in awhile we may be asked to speak at a meeting near where we live. We might speak at a small convention workshop. But after all this time, we’re still not “hot” convention speakers—and that’s okay. We’ve learned that we, too, have a special message to share, even if it’s only at a local meeting with fifteen or twenty addicts in attendance.
Each of us has only our own story to tell; that’s it. We can’t tell anyone else’s story. Every time we get up to speak, many of us find all the clever lines and funny stories seem to disappear from our minds. But we do have something to offer. We carry the message of hope—we can and do recover from our addiction. And that’s enough.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will remember that my honest story is what I share the best. Today, that’s enough.
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Unread 11-12-2010, 11:31 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMike View Post
Jackie, thanks again for keeping this thread going! I really enjoy it.

Mike
Thanks, Mike! By doing this every day, it helps me to make sure that I read it.
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Unread 11-15-2010, 12:06 PM   #35
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Default October 13th

November 13
Not perfect


“We are not going to be perfect. If we were perfect, we would not be human.”
Basic Text, p. 31
––––=––––
All of us had expectations about life in recovery. Some of us thought recovery would suddenly make us employable or able to do anything in the world we wanted to do. Or maybe we imagined perfect ease in our interactions with others. When we stop and think, we realize that we expected recovery would make us perfect. We didn’t expect to continue making many mistakes. But we do. That’s not the addict side of us showing through; that’s being human.
In Narcotics Anonymous we strive for recovery, not perfection. The only promise we are given is freedom from active addiction. Perfection is not an attainable state for human beings; it’s not a realistic goal. What we often seek in perfection is freedom from the discomfort of making mistakes. In return for that freedom from discomfort, we trade our curiosity, our flexibility, and the room to grow.
We can consider the trade: Do we want to live the rest of our lives in our well-defined little world, safe but perhaps stifled? Or do we wish to venture out into the unknown, take a risk, and reach for everything life has to offer?
––––=––––
Just for today: I want all that life has to offer me and all that recovery can provide. Today, I will take a risk, try something new, and grow.
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Unread 11-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #36
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Default October 14th

November 14
Not just surviving


“When we were using, our lives became an exercise in survival. Now we are doing much more living than surviving.”
Basic Text, p. 52
––––=––––
“I’d be better off dead!” A familiar refrain to a practicing addict, and with good reason. All we had to look forward to was more of the same miserable existence. Our hold on life was weak at best. Our emotional decay, our spiritual demise, and the crushing awareness that nothing would ever change were constants. We had little hope and no concept of the life we were missing out on.
The resurrection of our emotions, our spirits, and our physical health takes time. The more experience we gain in living, rather than merely existing, the more we understand how precious and delightful life can be. Traveling, playing with a small child, making love, expanding our intellectual horizons, and forming relationships are among the endless activities that say, “I’m alive.” We discover so much to cherish and feel grateful to have a second chance.
If we had died in active addiction, we would have been bitterly deprived of so many of life’s joys. Each day we thank a Power greater than ourselves for another day clean and another day of life.
––––=––––
Just for today: I am grateful to be alive. I will do something today to celebrate.
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Unread 11-15-2010, 12:10 PM   #37
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Default October 15th

November 15
Letting go


“Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live.”
Basic Text, p. 26
––––=––––
How do we begin the process of letting our Higher Power guide our lives? When we seek advice about situations that trouble us, we often find that our Higher Power works through others. When we accept that we don’t have all the answers, we open ourselves to new and different options. A willingness to let go of our preconceived ideas and opinions opens the channel for spiritual guidance to light our way.
At times, we must be driven to the point of distraction before we are ready to turn difficult situations over to our Higher Power. Anxiously plotting, struggling, planning, worrying—none of these suffice. We can be sure that if we turn our problems over to our Higher Power, through listening to others share their experience or in the quiet of meditation, the answers will come.
There is no point in living a frantic existence. Charging through life like the house is on fire exhausts us and gets us nowhere. In the long run, no amount of manipulation on our part will change a situation. When we let go and allow ourselves access to a Higher Power, we will discover the best way to proceed. Rest assured, answers derived from a sound spiritual basis will be far superior to any answers we could concoct on our own.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will let go and let my Higher Power guide my life.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 09:32 AM   #38
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Default November 16th

November 16
Alone no more


“We gradually and carefully pull ourselves out of the isolation and loneliness of addiction and into the mainstream of life.”
Basic Text, p. 37
––––=––––
Many of us spent much of our using time alone, avoiding other people—especially people who were not using—at all costs. After years of isolation, trying to find a place for ourselves in a bustling, sometimes boisterous fellowship is not always easy. We may still feel isolated, focusing on our differences rather than our similarities. The overwhelming feelings that often arise in early recovery—feelings of fear, anger, and mistrust—can also keep us isolated. We may feel like aliens but we must remember, the alienation is ours, not NA’s.
In Narcotics Anonymous, we are offered a very special opportunity for friendship. We are brought together with people who understand us like no one else can. We are encouraged to share with these people our feelings, our problems, our triumphs, and our failures. Slowly, the recognition and identification we find in NA bridge the lonely gap of alienation in our hearts. As we’ve heard it said—the program works, if we let it.
––––=––––
Just for today: The friendship of other members of the fellowship is a life-sustaining gift. I will reach out for the friendship that’s offered in NA, and accept it.
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Unread 11-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #39
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Default November 17

November 17
Walking through the pain


“We never have to use again, no matter how we feel. All feelings will eventually pass.”
Basic Text, p. 82
––––=––––
It hurts like never before. You get out of bed after a sleepless night, talk to God, and still don’t feel any better. “It will pass,” a little voice tells you. “When?” you wonder, as you pace and mutter and get on with your day.
You sob in your car and turn the radio all the way up so you can’t hear your own thoughts. But you go straight to work, and don’t even think about using drugs.
Your insides feel as though they’ve been torched. Just when the pain becomes unbearable, you go numb and silent. You go to a meeting and wish you were as happy as other members seem to be. But you don’t relapse.
You cry some more and call your sponsor. You drive to a friend’s house and don’t even notice the beautiful scenery because your inner landscape is so bleak. You may not feel any better after visiting your friend—but at least you didn’t visit the connection instead.
You listen to a Fifth Step. You share at a meeting. You look at the calendar and realize you’ve gotten through another day clean.
Then one day you wake up, look outside, and realize it’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. You take a deep breath, smile again, and know that it really does pass.
––––=––––
Just for today: No matter how I feel today, I’ll go on with my recovery.
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Unread 11-18-2010, 09:44 AM   #40
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Default November 18th

November 18
Self-discovery


“The Tenth Step can help us correct our living problems and prevent their recurrence.”
Basic Text, p. 42
––––=––––
Our identities, how we think and feel, have been shaped by our experiences. Some of our experiences have made us better people; others have caused us shame or embarrassment; all of them have influenced who we are today. We can take advantage of the knowledge gained in examining our mistakes, using this wisdom to guide the decisions we’ll make today.
Acceptance of ourselves means accepting all aspects of ourselves—our assets, our defects, our successes, and our failures. Shame and guilt left unaddressed can paralyze us, preventing us from moving forward in our lives. Some of the most meaningful amends we can make for the mistakes of our past are made simply by acting differently today. We strive for improvement and measure our success by comparing who we used to be with who we are now.
Being human, we will continue making mistakes; however, we need not make the same ones over and over again. By looking over our past and realizing that we have changed and grown, we’ll find hope for the future. The best is yet to come.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will do the best I can with what I have today. Each day I’ll learn something new that will help me tomorrow.
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Unread 11-19-2010, 09:14 AM   #41
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Default November 19th

November 19
The language of empathy


“...the addict would find from the start as much identification as each needed to convince himself that he could stay clean, by the example of others who had recovered for many years.”
Basic Text, p. 88
––––=––––
Many of us attended our first meeting and, not being entirely sure that NA was for us, found much to criticize. Either we felt as though no one had suffered like we had or that we hadn’t suffered enough. But as we listened we started to hear something new, a wordless language with its roots in recognition, belief, and faith: the language of empathy. Desiring to belong, we kept listening.
We find all the identification we need as we learn to understand and speak the language of empathy. To understand this special language, we listen with our hearts. The language of empathy uses few words; it feels more than it speaks. It doesn’t preach or lecture—it listens. It can reach out and touch the spirit of another addict without a single spoken word.
Fluency in the language of empathy comes to us through practice. The more we use it with other addicts and our Higher Power, the more we understand this language. It keeps us coming back.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will listen with my heart. With each passing day, I will become more fluent in the language of empathy.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 09:55 AM   #42
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Default November 20th

November 20
Finding fulfillment


“We weren’t oriented toward fulfillment; we focused on the emptiness and worthlessness of it all.”
Basic Text, p. 89
––––=––––
There were probably hundreds of times in our active addiction when we wished we could become someone else. We may have wished we could trade places with someone who owned a nice car or had a larger home, a better job, a more attractive mate—anything but what we had. So severe was our despair that we could hardly imagine anyone being in worse shape than ourselves.
In recovery, we may find we are experiencing a different sort of envy. We may continue to compare our insides with others’ outsides and feel as though we still don’t have enough of anything. We may think everyone, from the newest member to the oldest oldtimer, sounds better at meetings than we do. We may think that everyone else must be working a better program because they have a better car, a larger home, more money, and so on.
The recovery process experienced through our Twelve Steps will take us from an attitude of envy and low self-esteem to a place of spiritual fulfillment and deep appreciation for what we do have. We find that we would never willingly trade places with another, for what we have discovered within ourselves is priceless.
––––=––––
Just for today: There is much to be grateful for in my life. I will cherish the spiritual fulfillment I have found in recovery.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 09:57 AM   #43
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Default November 21st

November 21
Letting our defects go


“If [character defects] contributed to our health and happiness, we would not have come to such a state of desperation.”
Basic Text, p. 35
––––=––––
Getting started on the Sixth and Seventh Steps isn’t always easy. We may feel as though we have so much wrong with us that we are totally defective. We might feel like hiding under a rock. Under no circumstance would we want our fellow addicts to know about our inadequacies.
We will probably go through a time of examining everything we say and do in order to identify our character defects and make sure we suppress them. We may look back at one particular day, cringing at what we’re certain is the most embarrassing thing we’ve ever said. We become determined to be rid of these horrible traits at all costs.
But nowhere in the Sixth or Seventh Steps does it say we can learn to control our defects of character. In fact, the more attention we focus on them, the more firmly entrenched they will become in our lives. It takes humility to recognize that we can’t control our defects any more than we can control our addiction. We can’t remove our own defects; we can only ask a loving God to remove them.
Letting go of something painful can be as difficult as letting go of something pleasant. But let’s face it—holding on is a lot of work. When we really think about what we’re holding onto, the effort just isn’t worthwhile. It’s time to let go of our character defects and ask God to remove them.
––––=––––
Just for today: I’m ready to have my defects removed. I will let go and allow a loving Higher Power to care for me.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 09:59 AM   #44
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Default November 22nd

November 22
Foundation first


“As we begin to function in society, our creative freedom helps us sort our priorities and do the basic things first.”
Basic Text, p. 86
––––=––––
No sooner do we get clean than some of us begin putting other priorities ahead of our recovery. Careers, families, relationships—all these are part of the life we find once we’ve laid the foundation of our recovery. But we can’t build a stable life for ourselves before we do the hard, basic work of laying our recovery foundation. Like a house built on sand, such a life will be shaky, at best.
Before we begin putting all our attention to rebuilding the detailed framework of our lives, we need to lay our foundation. We acknowledge, first, that we don’t yet have a foundation, that our addiction has made our lives utterly unmanageable. Then, with the help of our sponsor and our home group, we find faith in a Power strong enough to help us prepare the ground of our new lives. We clear the wreckage from the site upon which we will build our future. Finally, we develop a deep, working familiarity with the principles we will practice in our continuing affairs: honest self-examination, reliance upon our Higher Power’s guidance and strength, and service to others.
Once our foundation is prepared, then we can go full steam ahead to put our new lives together. But first we must ask ourselves if our foundation is secure, for without our foundation, nothing we build can stand for long.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will take care to lay a secure foundation for my recovery. Upon such a foundation, I can build for a lifetime in recovery.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 10:02 AM   #45
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Hey everyone. Over the holiday I'll try to get on here and type these BY HAND, omg, the horror. I just don't want to go four days with no "Just for Today". Sometimes, I really need to hear the things that these mediations offer me, and it really helps me, as I hope that it helps others.
Best,
J
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Unread 11-23-2010, 11:44 AM   #46
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Default November 23rd

November 23
God’s will


“The relief of ‘letting go and letting God’ helps us develop a life that is worth living.”
Basic Text, p. 26
––––=––––
In our addiction, we were afraid of what might happen if we didn’t control everything around us. Many of us made up elaborate lies to protect our use of drugs. Some of us manipulated everyone around us in a frenzied attempt to get something from them so we could use more drugs. A few of us went to great lengths to keep two people from talking to each other and perhaps discovering our trail of lies. We took pains to maintain an illusion of control over our addiction and our lives. In the process, we kept ourselves from experiencing the serenity that comes with surrender to a Higher Power’s will.
In our recovery, it is important to release our illusion of control and surrender to a Higher Power, whose will for us is better than anything we can con, manipulate, or devise for ourselves. If we realize that we are trying to control outcomes and are feeling afraid of the future, there is action we can take to reverse that trend. We go to our Second and Third Steps and look at what we have come to believe about a Higher Power. Do we truly believe that this Power can care for us and restore us to sanity? If so, we can live with all of life’s ups and downs—its disappointments, its sorrows, its wonders, and its joys.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will surrender and let a Higher Power’s will happen in my life. I will accept the gift of serenity this surrender brings.
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Unread 11-24-2010, 10:09 AM   #47
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Default November 24th

November 24
Gratefully recovering


“We entertained the thought that staying clean was not paying off, and the old thinking stirred up self-pity, resentment, and anger.”
Basic Text, p.102
––––=––––
There are days when some of us wallow in self-pity. It’s easy to do. We may have expectations about how our lives should be in recovery, expectations that aren’t always met. Maybe we’ve tried unsuccessfully to control someone, or we think our circumstances should be different. Perhaps we’ve compared ourselves with other recovering addicts and found ourselves lacking. The more we try to make our life conform to our expectations, the more uncomfortable we feel. Self-pity can arise from living in our expectations instead of in the world as it actually is.
When the world doesn’t measure up to our expectations, it’s often our expectations that need adjusting, not the world. We can start by comparing our lives today with the way they used to be, developing gratitude for our recovery. We can extend this exercise in gratitude by counting the good things in our lives, becoming thankful that the world does not conform to our expectations but exceeds them. And if we continue working the Twelve Steps, further cultivating gratitude and acceptance, what we can expect in the future is more growth, more happiness, and more peace of mind.
We’ve been given much in recovery; staying clean has paid off. Acceptance of our lives, just for today, frees us from our self-pity.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will accept my life, gratefully, just as it is.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:29 AM   #48
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Default November 25th

November 25
Meditation


“Quieting the mind through meditation brings an inner peace that brings us into contact with the God within us.”
Basic Text, pp. 46-47
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As our recovery progresses, we often reflect on what brought us to Narcotics Anonymous in the first place and are able to appreciate how much the quality of our lives has improved. We no longer have to fear our own thoughts. And the more we pray and meditate, the more we experience a calm sense of well-being. The peace and tranquility we experience during our quiet times confirms that our most important needs—our spiritual needs—are being met.
We are able to empathize with other addicts and strengthen our conscience in the process. We learn to avoid judging others and experience the freedom to be ourselves. In our spiritual reflection, we intuitively find “the God within us” and see that we are in harmony with a Power greater than ourselves.
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Just for today: I will reflect upon the gift of recovery and listen quietly for my Higher Power’s guidance.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:34 AM   #49
MaJaBe
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Default November 26th

November 26
Responsibility


“A lot happens in one day, both negative and positive. If we do not take the time to appreciate both, perhaps we will miss something that will help us grow.”
IP No. 8, Just for Today
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Responsibility, responsibility—the responsibilities of life are everywhere. We’re “supposed to” wear seat belts. We’re “supposed to” clean our homes. We’re “supposed to” do certain things for our spouse, our children, the people we sponsor. On top of all this, we’re “supposed to” go to meetings and practice our program as best we can. It’s no wonder that, sometimes, we want to run from all these tasks and escape to some far-off island where we’re not “supposed to” do anything!
At times like these, when we’ve become overwhelmed with our responsibilities, we have forgotten that responsibility need not be burdensome. When we have a desire to run away from our responsibilities we need to slow down, remember why we have chosen them, and pay attention to the gifts they bring. Whether it’s a job we normally find challenging and interesting, or a partner whose personality we are usually excited by, or a child whom we naturally like to play with and care for, there is joy to be found in all the responsibilities of our lives.
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Just for today: Each moment is special. I will pay attention, grateful for my responsibilities and the special joys they bring.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:35 AM   #50
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Default November 27th

November 27
Seeking God’s help


“At times during our recovery, the decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage.”
Basic Text, p. 26
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When we take the Third Step, we decide to allow a loving Higher Power to guide us and care for us in our daily lives. We make the decision to allow this guidance and care into our lives. Some of us believe that, once we’ve made the Third Step decision, God leads us; from that point on, it’s just a matter of paying attention to where we are led.
The Third Step decision is an act of faith, and asking for God’s help is a way of renewing that act of faith. Putting faith to work in our daily lives gives us all the courage and strength we need, because we know we have the help of a loving Higher Power. We trust that our needs will be met. We can tap into that faith and trust just by asking.
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Just for today: I will remind myself that I’m not alone by asking my Higher Power for help each step of the way.
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