Author Topic: Just For Today  (Read 231712 times)

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Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1548 on: September 09, 2015, 12:43:49 PM »
September 9 , 2015

Feet of clay

“One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to be placing unrealistic expectations on... others.”

Basic Text, p. 82

––––=––––

Many of us come into Narcotics Anonymous feeling pretty poorly about ourselves.  By comparison, the recovering addicts we meet at meetings may seem almost superhumanly serene.  These wise, loving people have many months, even years of living in accordance with spiritual principles, giving of themselves to others without expecting anything back.  We trust them, allowing them to love us until we can love ourselves.  We expect them to make everything alright again.

Then the glow of early recovery begins to fade, and we start to see the human side of our NA friends and sponsor.  Perhaps a fellow member of our home group stands us up for a coffee date, or we see two oldtimers bickering at a committee meeting, or we realize our sponsor has a defect of character or two.  We’re crushed, disillusioned—these recovering addicts aren’t perfect after all!  How can we possibly trust them anymore?

Somewhere between “the heroes of recovery” and “the lousy NA bums” lies the truth:  Our fellow addicts are neither completely bad nor completely good.  After all, if they were perfect, they wouldn’t need this program.  Our friends and sponsor are ordinary recovering addicts, just like we are.  We can relate to their ordinary recovery experience and use it in our own program.

––––=––––

Just for today:  My friends and my sponsor are human, just like me—and I trust their experience all the more for that.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1547 on: September 08, 2015, 06:11:10 PM »
September 8 , 2015

Rebellion

“We need not lose faith when we become rebellious.”

Basic Text, p. 35

––––=––––

Many of us have lived our entire lives in revolt.  Our initial response to any type of direction is often negative.  Automatic rejection of authority seems to be a troubling character defect for many addicts.

A thorough self-examination can show us how we react to the world around us.  We can ask ourselves if our rebellion against people, places, and institutions is justified.  If we keep writing long enough, we can usually get past what others did and uncover our own part in our affairs.  We find that what others did to us was not as important as how we responded to the situations we found ourselves in.

Regular inventory allows us to examine the patterns in our reactions to life and see if we are prone to chronic rebelliousness.  Sometimes we will find that, while we may usually go along with what is suggested to us rather than risk rejection, we secretly harbor resentments against authority.  If left to themselves, these resentments can lead us away from our program of recovery.

The inventory process allows us to uncover, evaluate, and alter our rebellious patterns. We can’t change the world by taking an inventory, but we can change the way we react to it.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I want freedom from the turmoil of rebelliousness.  Before I act, I will inventory myself and think about my true values.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1546 on: September 06, 2015, 06:48:14 PM »
September 6 , 2015

Regular meeting attendance

“We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regularly stay clean.”

Basic Text, p. 9

––––=––––

The NA program gives us a new pattern of living.  One of the basic elements of that new pattern is regular meeting attendance.  For the newcomer, living clean is a brand-new experience.  All that once was familiar is changed.  The old people, places, and things that served as props on the stage of our lives are gone.  New stresses appear, no longer masked or deadened by drugs.  That’s why we often suggest that newcomers attend a meeting every day.  No matter what comes up, no matter how crazy the day gets, we know that our daily meeting awaits us.  There, we can renew contact with other recovering addicts, people who know what we’re going through because they’ve been through it themselves.  No day needs to go by without the relief we get only from such fellowship.

As we mature in recovery, we get the same kinds of benefits from regular meeting attendance.  Regardless of how long we’ve been clean, we never stop being addicts.  True, we probably won’t immediately start using mass quantities of drugs if we miss our meetings for a few days.  But the more regularly we attend NA meetings, the more we reinforce our identity as recovering addicts.  And each meeting helps put us that much further from becoming using addicts again.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will make a commitment to include regular meeting attendance as a part of my new pattern of living.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1545 on: September 05, 2015, 02:12:35 PM »
September 5 , 2015

Not hopelessly bad

“We find that we suffer from a disease, not a moral dilemma.  We were critically ill, not hopelessly bad.”

Basic Text, p. 16

––––=––––

For many of us, Narcotics Anonymous was the answer to a personal puzzle of long standing.  Why did we always feel alone, even in a crowd, we wondered?  Why did we do so many crazy, self-destructive things?  Why did we feel so badly about ourselves so much of the time?  And how had our lives gotten so messed up?  We thought we were hopelessly bad, or perhaps hopelessly insane.

Given that, it was a great relief to learn we suffered from a disease.  Addiction—that was the source of our problems.  A disease, we realized, could be treated.  And when we treat our disease, we can begin to recover.

Today, when we see symptoms of our disease resurfacing in our lives, we need not despair.  After all, it’s a treatable disease we have, not a moral dilemma.  We can be grateful we can recover from the disease of addiction through the application of the Twelve Steps of NA.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I am grateful that I have a treatable disease, not a moral dilemma.  I will continue applying the treatment for the disease of addiction by practicing the NA program.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1544 on: September 04, 2015, 05:23:32 PM »

September 4 , 2015

Cluttered spirits

“We try to remember that when we make amends we are doing it for ourselves.”

Basic Text, p. 41

––––=––––

As long as we still owe amends, our spirits are cluttered with things we don’t need.  We’re carrying the extra load of an apology owed, a resentment held, or unexpressed remorse.  It’s like having a messy house.  We could leave so we don’t have to see the mess, or maybe just step over the piles of debris and pretend they aren’t there.  But ignoring the disorder won’t make it disappear.  In the end, the dirty dishes, the crumb-filled carpet, and the overflowing wastebaskets are still there, waiting to be cleaned up.

A cluttered spirit is just as hard to live with as a messy home.  We always seem to be tripping over yesterday’s leavings.  Every time we turn around and try to go somewhere, there is something blocking our path.  The more we neglect our responsibility to make amends, the more cluttered our spirits become.  And we can’t even hire someone to clean up.  We have to do the work ourselves.

We gain a deep sense of satisfaction from making our own amends.  Just as we would feel after we’ve cleaned our homes and have time to enjoy a bit of sunshine through sparkling windows, so will our spirits rejoice at our freedom to truly enjoy our recovery.  And once the big mess is cleaned up, all we have to do is pick up after ourselves as we go along.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will clear away what’s cluttering my spirit by making the amends I owe.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1543 on: September 03, 2015, 05:54:47 PM »
September 3 , 2015

Humility expressed by anonymity

“Humility is a by-product that allows us to grow and develop in an atmosphere of freedom and removes the fear of becoming known by our employers, families, or friends as addicts.”

Basic Text, pp. 75-76

––––=––––

Many of us may not have understood the idea that “anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions.”  We wondered how this could be.  What does anonymity have to do with our spiritual life?

The answer is, plenty!  By guarding and cherishing our anonymity, we earn spiritual rewards beyond comprehension.  There is great virtue in doing something nice for someone and not telling anyone about it.  By the same token, resisting the impulse to proudly announce our membership in NA to the world—in effect, asking everyone to acknowledge how wonderful we are—makes us value our recovery all the more.

Recovery is a gift that we’ve received from a Power greater than ourselves.  Boasting about our recovery, as if it were our own doing, leads to prideful feelings and grandiosity.  But keeping our anonymity leads to humility and feelings of gratitude.  Recovery is its own reward; public acclaim can’t make it any more valuable than it already is.

––––=––––

Just for today:  Recovery is its own reward; I don’t need to have mine approved of publicly.  I will maintain and cherish my anonymity.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1542 on: September 02, 2015, 02:41:57 PM »

September 2 , 2015

Higher Powered

“Daily practice of our Twelve Step program enables us to change from what we were to people guided by a Higher Power.”

Basic Text, p. 86

––––=––––

Who have we been, and who have we become?  There are a couple of ways to answer this question.  One is very simple:  We came to Narcotics Anonymous as addicts, our addiction killing us.  In NA, we’ve been freed from our obsession with drugs and our compulsion to use.  And our lives have changed.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  Who have we really been?  In the past, we were people without power or direction.  We felt like we had no purpose, no reason for living.  Our lives didn’t make any more sense to us than they did to our families, our friends, or our neighbors.

Who are we really becoming?  Today, we are not merely clean addicts, but people with a sense of direction, a purpose, and a Power greater than ourselves.  Through daily practice of the Twelve Steps, we’ve begun to understand how our addiction warped our feelings, motivations, and behavior.  Gradually, the destructive force of our disease has been replaced by the life-giving force of our Higher Power.

Recovery means more than cleaning up—it means powering up.  We have done more than shed some bad habits; we are becoming new people, guided by a Higher Power.

––––=––––

Just for today:  The guidance I need to become a new person is ready at hand.  Today, I will draw further away from my old lack of direction and closer to my Higher Power.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1541 on: September 01, 2015, 12:07:36 PM »
September 1 , 2015


Real values

“We become able to make wise and loving decisions based on principles and ideals that have real value in our lives.”

Basic Text, p. 105

––––=––––

Addiction gave us a certain set of values, principles we applied in our lives.  “You pushed me,” one of those values told us, “so I pushed back, hard.”  “It’s mine”was another value generated by our disease.  “Well, okay, maybe it wasn’t mine to start with, but I liked it, so I made it mine.”  Those values were hardly values at all—more like rationalizations—and they certainly didn’t help us make wise and loving decisions.  In fact, they served primarily to dig us deeper and deeper into the grave we’d already dug for ourselves.

The Twelve Steps give us a strong dose of real values, the kind that help us live in harmony with ourselves and those around us.  We place our faith not in ourselves, our families, or our communities, but in a Higher Power—and in doing so, we grow secure enough to be able to trust our communities, our families, and even ourselves.  We learn to be honest, no matter what—and we learn to refrain from doing things we might want to hide.  We learn to accept responsibility for our actions.  “It’s mine”is replaced with a spirit of selflessness.  These are the kind of values that help us become a responsible, productive part of the life around us.  Rather than digging us deeper into a grave, these values restore us to the world of the living.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I am grateful for the values I’ve developed.  I am thankful for the ability they give me to make wise, loving decisions as a responsible, productive member of my community.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1540 on: August 31, 2015, 11:34:26 AM »
August 31 , 2015

Gratitude

“Hopeless living problems have become joyously changed.  Our disease has been arrested, and now anything is possible.”

Basic Text, p. 106

––––=––––

The NA program has given us more freedom than we ever dreamed possible.  Sometimes, though, in the daily routine, we lose track of how much we’ve been given.  How, exactly, have our lives changed in Narcotics Anonymous?

The bottom line of recovery, of course, is freedom from the compulsion to use.  No longer must we devote all our resources to feeding our addiction.  No longer must we endanger, humiliate, or abuse ourselves or others just to get the next “fix.”  Abstinence itself has brought great freedom to our lives.

Narcotics Anonymous has given us much more than simple abstinence—we’ve been given a whole new life.  We’ve taken our inventory and have identified the defects of character that bound us for so long, keeping us from living and enjoying life.  We’ve surrendered those shortcomings, taken responsibility for them, and sought the direction and power we need to live differently.  Our home group has given us the personal warmth and support that helps us continue living in recovery.  And topping all this off, we have the love, care, and guidance of the God we’ve come to understand in NA.

In the course of day-to-day recovery, we sometimes forget how much our lives have changed in Narcotics Anonymous.  Do we fully appreciate what our program has given us?

––––=––––

Just for today:  Recovery has given me freedom.  I will greet the day with hope, grateful that anything is possible today.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1539 on: August 29, 2015, 04:36:14 PM »
August 29 / 2015

Don't look back

 “The steps offer a big change from a life dominated by guilt and remorse.  Our futures are changed because we don’t have to avoid those who we have harmed.  As a result... we receive a new freedom that can end isolation.”

Basic Text, p. 39

––––=––––

Many of us come to Narcotics Anonymous full of regrets about our past.  Our steps help us begin to resolve those regrets.  We examine our lives, admit our wrongs, make amends for them, and sincerely try to change our behavior.  In doing so, we find a joyous sense of freedom.

No longer must we deny or regret our past.  Once we’ve made our amends, what’s done is truly over and gone.  From that point on, where we come from ceases to be the most important thing about us.  It’s where we are going that counts.

In NA, we begin to look forward.  True, we live and stay clean just for today.  But we find that we can begin to set goals, dream dreams, and look ahead to the joys a life in recovery has to offer.  Looking forward keeps us centered in where we are going, not remorseful or regretful about our past.  After all, it is hard to move forward if we are looking back.

––––=––––

Just for today:  The steps have freed me from regrets over my past.  Today, I look forward to my new life in recovery.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1538 on: August 28, 2015, 01:10:12 PM »
August 28 , 2015

The light of exposure

“These defects grow in the dark and die in the light of exposure.”

Basic Text, p.32

––––=––––

The Fifth Step asks us to share our true nature with God, with ourselves, and with another human being.  It doesn’t encourage us to tell everyone every little secret about ourselves.  It doesn’t ask us to disclose to the whole world every shameful or frightening thought we’ve ever had.  Step Five simply suggests that our secrets cause us more harm than good when we keep them completely to ourselves.

If we give in to our reluctance to reveal our true nature to even one human being, the secret side of our lives becomes more powerful.  And when the secrets are in control, they drive a wedge between ourselves, our Higher Power, and the things we value most about our recovery.

When we share our secret selves in confidence with at least one human being—our sponsor, perhaps, or a close friend—this person usually doesn’t reject us.  We disclose ourselves to someone else and are rewarded with their acceptance.  When this happens, we realize that honest sharing is not life-threatening; the secrets have lost their power over us.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I can disarm the secrets in my life by sharing them with one human being.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1537 on: August 27, 2015, 11:24:13 AM »
August 27 , 2015

Choosing life

“Change from self-destructive patterns of life became necessary.”

Basic Text, p. 15

––––=––––

Active addiction is a smoldering death-wish.  Each of us courted death every time we used.  Our lifestyles, too, put us at risk.  The life of an addict is sold cheaply with every day and every dose.

In recovery, the first pattern we change is the pattern of using.  Staying clean is the start of our journey into life.  But our self-destructive behavior usually went far deeper than just our using.  Even in recovery, we may still treat ourselves as if we are worthless.  When we treat ourselves badly, we feel badly.  And when we feel badly, we seek relief—maybe even in our old solution, drugs.

Choosing recovery means choosing life.  We decide each day that we want to live and be free.  Each time we avoid self-destructive behavior, we choose recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will choose life by choosing recovery.  I will take care of myself.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1536 on: August 26, 2015, 07:39:49 PM »

August 26 / 2015

Tenth Step inventory

“We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Step Ten

––––=––––

A daily Tenth Step keeps us on a sound spiritual footing.  While each member asks different questions, some questions have been found to be helpful to almost everyone.  Two key Tenth Step questions are, “Am I honestly in touch with myself, my actions, and my motives?  And have I prayed for God’s will for me and the power to carry it out?”  These two questions, answered honestly, will lead us into a more thorough look at our day.

When focusing on our relationships with others, we may ask, “Have I harmed anyone today, either directly or indirectly?  Do I need to make amends to anyone as a result of my actions today?”  We keep it simple in our inventory if we remember to ask, “Where was I wrong?  How can I do it better next time?”

NA members often find that their inventories include other important questions.  “Was I good to myself today?  Did I do something for someone else and expect nothing in return?  Have I reaffirmed my faith in a loving Higher Power?”

Step Ten is a maintenance step of the NA program.  The Tenth Step helps us to continue living comfortably in recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will remember to review my day.  If I have harmed another, I will make amends.  I will think about how I can act differently.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1535 on: August 17, 2015, 10:56:55 PM »

August 17 , 2015

Tell the truth

“A symptom of our disease is alienation, and honest sharing will free us to recover.”

Basic Text, p. 80

––––=––––

Truth connects us to life while fear, isolation, and dishonesty alienate us from it.  As using addicts, we hid as much of the truth about ourselves from as much of the world as we possibly could.  Our fear kept us from opening ourselves up to those around us, providing protection against what others might do if we appeared vulnerable.  But our fear also kept us from connecting with our world.  We lived like alien beings on our own planet, always alone and getting lonelier by the minute.

The Twelve Steps and the fellowship of recovering addicts give people like us a place where we can feel safe telling the truth about ourselves.  We are able to honestly admit our frustrating, humbling powerlessness over addiction because we meet many others who’ve been in the same situation—we’re safe among them.  And we keep on telling more of the truth about ourselves as we continue to work the steps.  The more we do, the more truly connected we feel to the world around us.

Today, we need not hide from the reality of our relations with the people, places, and things in our lives.  We accept those relationships just as they are, and we own our part in them.  We take time every day to ask, “Am I telling the truth about myself?”  Each time we do this, we draw that much further away from the alienation that characterizes our addiction, and that much closer to the freedom recovery can bring us.

––––=––––

Just for today:  Truth is my connection to reality.  Today, I will take time to ask myself, “Am I telling the truth?”

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1534 on: August 16, 2015, 05:44:52 PM »

August 16 , 2015

Up or down

“This is our road to spiritual growth.  We change every day....  This growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer.”

Basic Text, pp. 35-36

––––=––––

Our spiritual condition is never static; if it’s not growing, it’s decaying.  If we stand still, our spiritual progress will lose its upward momentum.  Gradually, our growth will slow, then halt, then reverse itself.  Our tolerance will wear thin; our willingness to serve others will wane; our minds will narrow and close.  Before long, we’ll be right back where we started: in conflict with everyone and everything around us, unable to bear even ourselves.

Our only option is to actively participate in our program of spiritual growth.  We pray, seeking knowledge greater than our own from a Power greater than ourselves.  We open our minds and keep them open, becoming teachable and taking advantage of what others have to share with us.  We demonstrate our willingness to try new ideas and new ways of doing things, experiencing life in a whole new way.  Our spiritual progress picks up speed and momentum, driven by the Higher Power we are coming to understand better each day.

Up or down—it’s one or the other, with very little in between, where spiritual growth is concerned.  Recovery is not fueled by wishing and dreaming, we’ve discovered, but by prayer and action.

––––=––––

Just for today:  The only constant in my spiritual condition is change.  I cannot rely on yesterday’s program.  Today, I seek new spiritual growth through prayer and action.

 

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .