Author Topic: Just For Today  (Read 228420 times)

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Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1533 on: August 15, 2015, 04:29:22 PM »

August 15 / 2015

Over time, not overnight

“We found that we do not recover physically, mentally, or spiritually overnight.”

Basic Text, p. 27

––––=––––

Have you ever approached a recovery celebration with the feeling that you should be further along in your recovery than you are?  Maybe you have listened to newcomers sharing in meetings, members with much less clean time, and thought, “But I’m just barely beginning to understand what they’re talking about!”

It’s odd that we should come into recovery thinking that we will feel wonderful right away or no longer have any difficulty handling life’s twists and turns.  We expect our physical problems to correct themselves, our thinking to become rational, and a fully developed spiritual life to manifest itself overnight.  We forget that we spent years abusing our bodies, numbing our minds, and suppressing our awareness of a Higher Power.  We cannot undo the damage in a day.  We can, however, apply the next step, go to the next meeting, help the next newcomer.  We heal and recover bit by bit—not overnight, but over time.

––––=––––

Just for today:  My body will heal a little, my mind will become a little clearer, and my relationship with my Higher Power will strengthen.

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 #1532 on: August 14, 2015, 03:35:39 PM »
August 14 , 2015

Letting go of our limitations

“We don’t have to settle for the limitations of the past.  We can examine and reexamine our old ideas.”

Basic Text, p. 11

––––=––––

Most of us come to the program with a multitude of self-imposed limitations that prevent us from realizing our full potential, limitations that impede our attempts to find the values that lie at the core of our being.  We place limitations on our ability to be true to ourselves, limitations on our ability to function at work, limitations on the risks we’re willing to take—the list seems endless.  If our parents or teachers told us we would never succeed, and we believed them, chances are we didn’t achieve much.  If our socialization taught us not to stand up for ourselves, we didn’t, even if everything inside us was screaming to do so.

In Narcotics Anonymous, we are given a process by which we can recognize these false limitations for what they are.  Through our Fourth Step, we’ll discover that we don’t want to keep all the rules we’ve been taught.  We don’t have to be the lifelong victims of past experiences.  We are free to discard the ideas that inhibit our growth.  We are capable of stretching our boundaries to encompass new ideas and new experiences.  We are free to laugh, to cry, and, above all, to enjoy our recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will let go of my self-imposed limitations and open my mind to new ideas.

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 #1531 on: August 13, 2015, 08:23:18 PM »

August 13 , 2015

Difficult people

“By giving unconditional love... we become more loving, and by sharing spiritual growth we become more spiritual.”

Basic Text, p.103

––––=––––

Most of us have one or two exceptionally difficult people in our lives.  How do we deal with such a person in our recovery?

First, we take our own inventory.  Have we wronged this person?  Has some action or attitude of ours served as an invitation for the kind of treatment they have given us?  If so, we will want to clear the air, admit we have been wrong, and ask our Higher Power to remove whatever defects may prevent us from being helpful and constructive.

Next, as people seeking to live spiritually oriented lives, we approach the problem from the other person’s point of view.  They may be faced with any number of challenges we either fail to consider or know nothing about, challenges that cause them to be unpleasant.  As it’s said, we seek in recovery “to forgive rather than be forgiven; to understand rather than be understood.”

Finally, if it is within our power, we seek ways to help others overcome their challenges without injuring their dignity.  We pray for their well-being and spiritual growth and for the ability to offer them the unconditional love that has meant so much to us in our recovery.

We cannot change the difficult people in our lives, nor can we please everyone.  But by applying the spiritual principles we’ve learned in NA, we can learn to love them.

––––=––––

Just for today:  Higher Power, help me serve other people, not demand that they serve me.

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 #1530 on: August 12, 2015, 05:56:19 PM »
August 12 , 2015

Enough!

“Something inside cries out, ‘Enough, enough, I’ve had enough,’ and then they are ready to take that first and often most difficult step toward dealing with their disease.”

 

––––=––––

Have we really had enough?  This is the crucial question we must ask ourselves as we prepare to work the First Step in Narcotics Anonymous.  It doesn’t matter whether or not we arrived in NA with our families intact, our careers still working for us, and all the outward appearances of wholeness.  All that matters is that we have reached an emotional and spiritual bottom that precludes our return to active addiction.  If we have, we will be truly ready to go to any lengths to quit using.

When we inventory our powerlessness, we ask ourselves some simple questions.  Can I control my use of drugs in any form?  What incidents have occurred as a result of my drug use that I didn’t want to happen?  How is my life unmanageable?  Do I believe in my heart that I am an addict?

If the answers to these questions lead us to the doors of Narcotics Anonymous, then we are ready to move on to the next step toward a life free from active addiction.  If we have truly had enough, then we will be willing to go to any lengths to find recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I admit that I have had enough.  I am ready to work my First Step.

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 #1529 on: August 11, 2015, 02:09:18 PM »

August 11 , 2015

Active listening

“Through active listening, we hear things that work for us.”

Basic Text, p. 102

––––=––––

Most of us arrived in Narcotics Anonymous with a very poor ability to listen.  But to take full advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another,” we must learn to listen actively.

What is active listening for us?  In meetings, it means we concentrate on what the speaker is sharing, while the speaker is sharing.  We set aside our own thoughts and opinions until the meeting is over.  That’s when we sort through what we’ve heard to decide which ideas we want to use and which we want to explore further.

We can apply our active listening skills in sponsorship, too.  Newcomers often talk with us about some “major event” in their lives.  While such events may not seem significant to us, they are to the newcomer who has little experience living life on life’s terms.  Our active listening helps us empathize with the feelings such events trigger in our sponsee’s life.  With that understanding, we have a better idea of what to share with them.

The ability to listen actively was unknown to us in the isolation of our addiction.  Today, this ability helps us actively engage with our recovery.  Through active listening, we receive everything being offered us in NA, and we share fully with others the love and care we’ve been given.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will strive to be an active listener.  I will practice active listening when others share and when I share with others.

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 #1528 on: August 10, 2015, 07:03:12 PM »
August 10 , 2015

Regular prayer and meditation

“Most of us pray when we are hurting. We learn that if we pray regularly, we won’t be hurting as often or as intensely.”

Basic Text, p. 44

––––=––––

Regular prayer and meditation are two more key elements in our new pattern of living.  Our active addiction was more than just a bad habit waiting to be broken by force of will.  Our addiction was a negative, draining dependence that stole all our positive energy.  That dependence was so total, it prevented us from developing any kind of reliance on a Higher Power.

From the very beginning of our recovery, our Higher Power has been the force that’s brought us freedom.  First, it relieved us of our compulsion to keep taking drugs, even when we knew they were killing us.  Then, it gave us freedom from the more deeply ingrained aspects of our disease.  Our Higher Power gave us the direction, the strength, and the courage to inventory ourselves; to admit out loud to another person what our lives had been like, perhaps for the first time; to begin seeking release from the chronic defects of character underlying our troubles; and, at last, to make amends for the wrongs we’d done.

That first contact with a Higher Power, and that first freedom, has grown into a life full of freedom.  We maintain that freedom by maintaining and improving our conscious contact with our Higher Power through regular prayer and meditation.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will make a commitment to include regular prayer and meditation in 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 #1527 on: August 09, 2015, 04:25:02 PM »

August 9 , 2015

The Power of love

“We begin to see that God’s love has been present all the time, just waiting for us to accept it.”

Basic Text, p. 46

––––=––––

God’s love is the transforming power that drives our recovery.  With that love, we find freedom from the hopeless, desperate cycle of using, self-hatred, and more using.  With that love, we gain a sense of reason and purpose in our once purposeless lives.  With that love, we are given the inner direction and strength we need to begin a new way of life: the NA way.  With that love, we begin to see things differently, as if with new eyes.

As we examine our lives through the eyes of love, we make what may be a startling discovery:  The loving God we’ve so recently come to understand has always been with us and has always loved us.  We recall the times when we asked for the aid of a Higher Power and were given it.  We even recall times when we didn’t ask for such help, yet were given it anyway.  We realize that a loving Higher Power has cared for us all along, preserving our lives till the day when we could accept that love for ourselves.

The Power of love has been with us all along.  Today, we are grateful to have survived long enough to become consciously aware of that love’s presence in our world and our lives.  Its vitality floods our very being, guiding our recovery and showing us how to live.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I accept the love of a Higher Power in my life.  I am conscious of that Power’s guidance and strength within me.  Today, I claim it for my own.

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 #1526 on: August 08, 2015, 05:19:45 PM »
August 8 , 2015

Responsible recovery

“...we accept responsibility for our problems and see that we’re equally responsible for our solutions.”

Basic Text, p. 94

––––=––––

Some of us, well accustomed to leaving our personal responsibilities to others, may attempt the same behavior in recovery.  We quickly find out it doesn’t work.

For instance, we are considering making a change in our lives, so we call our sponsor and ask what we should do.  Under the guise of seeking direction, we are actually asking our sponsor to assume responsibility for making decisions about our life.  Or maybe we’ve been short with someone at a meeting, so we ask that person’s best friend to make our apologies for us.  Perhaps we’ve imposed on a friend several times in the last month to cover our service commitment.  Could it be that we’ve asked a friend to analyze our behavior and identify our shortcomings, rather than taking our own personal inventory?

Recovery is something that has to be worked for.  It isn’t going to be handed to us on a silver platter, nor can we expect our friends or our sponsor to be responsible for the work we must do ourselves.  We recover by making our own decisions, doing our own service, and working our own steps.  By doing it for ourselves, we receive the rewards.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I accept responsibility for my life and my 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 #1525 on: August 07, 2015, 10:32:13 PM »
August 7 , 2015

The gratitude list

“We focus on anything that isn’t going our way and ignore all the beauty in our lives.”

Basic Text, p. 77

––––=––––

It’s easy to be grateful when everything runs smoothly.  If we get a raise at work, we’re grateful.  If we get married, we’re grateful.  If someone surprises us with a nice present or an unasked favor, we’re grateful.  But if we get fired, divorced, or disappointed, gratitude flies out the window.  We find ourselves becoming obsessed with the things that are wrong, even though everything else may be wonderful.

This is where we can use a gratitude list.  We sit down with a pen and paper and list the people for whom we are grateful.  We all have people who’ve supported us through life’s upheavals.  We list the spiritual assets we have attained, for we know we could never make it through our present circumstances without them.  Last, but not least, we list our recovery itself.  Whatever we have that we are grateful for goes on the list.

We’re sure to find that we have literally hundreds of things in our lives that inspire our gratitude.  Even those of us who are suffering from an illness or who have lost all material wealth will find blessings of a spiritual nature for which we can be thankful.  An awakening of the spirit is the most valuable gift an addict can receive.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will write a list of things, both material and spiritual, for which I am grateful.

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 #1524 on: August 06, 2015, 06:47:48 PM »

August 6 , 2015

The joy within

“Since the beginning of our recovery, we have found that joy doesn’t come from material things but from within ourselves.”

Basic Text, p. 107

––––=––––

Some of us came to Narcotics Anonymous impoverished by our disease.  Everything we’d owned had been lost to our addiction.  Once we got clean, we put all our energy into recovering our material possessions, only to feel even more dissatisfied with our lives than before.

Other members have sought to ease their emotional pain with material things.  A potential date has rejected us?  Let’s buy something.  The dog has died?  Let’s go to the mall.  Problem is, emotional fulfillment can’t be bought, not even on an easy installment plan.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with material things.  They can make life more convenient or more luxurious, but they can’t fix us.  Where, then, can true joy be found?  We know; the answer is within ourselves.

When have we found joy?  When we’ve offered ourselves in service to others, without expectation of reward.  We’ve found true warmth in the fellowship of others—not only in NA, but in our families, our relationships, and our communities.  And we’ve found the surest source of satisfaction in our conscious contact with our God.  Inner peace, a sure sense of direction, and emotional security do not come from material things, but from within.

––––=––––

Just for today:  True joy can’t be bought.  I will seek my joy in service, in fellowship, in my Higher Power—I will seek within.

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 #1523 on: August 04, 2015, 08:30:35 PM »
August 4 , 2015

When is a secret not a secret?

“Addicts tend to live secret lives....  It is a great relief to get rid of all our secrets and to share the burden of our past.”

Basic Text, p. 32

––––=––––

We’ve heard it said that “we’re as sick as our secrets.”  What do we keep secret, and why?

We keep secret those things that cause us shame.  We may hold onto such things because we don’t want to surrender them.  Yet if they’re causing us shame, wouldn’t we live more easily with ourselves if we were rid of them?

Some of us hold onto the things that cause us shame for another reason.  It’s not that we don’t want to be rid of them; we just don’t believe we can be rid of them.  They’ve plagued us for so long, and we’ve tried so many times to rid ourselves of them, that we’ve stopped hoping for relief.  Yet still they shame us, and still we keep them secret.

We need to remember who we are: recovering addicts.  We who tried so long to keep our drug use a secret have found freedom from the obsession and compulsion to use.  Though many of us enjoyed using right to the end, we sought recovery anyway.  We just couldn’t stand the toll our using was taking on us.  When we admitted our powerlessness and sought help from others, the burden of our secret was lifted from us.

The same principle applies to whatever secrets may burden us.  Yes, we’re as sick as our secrets.  Only when our secrets stop being secret can we begin to find relief from those things that cause us shame.

––––=––––

Just for today:  My secrets can make me sick only as long as they stay secret.  Today, I will talk with my sponsor about my secrets.

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 #1522 on: August 03, 2015, 03:16:39 PM »
August 3 , 2015

Trusting people

“Many of us would have had nowhere else to go if we could not have trusted NA groups and members.”

Basic Text, p. 81

––––=––––

Trusting people is a risk.  Human beings are notoriously forgetful, unreliable, and imperfect.  Most of us come from backgrounds where betrayal and insensitivity among friends were common occurrences.  Even our most reliable friends weren’t very reliable.  By the time we arrive at the doors of NA, most of us have hundreds of experiences bearing out our conviction that people are untrustworthy.  Yet our recovery demands that we trust people.  We are faced with this dilemma:  People are not always trustworthy, yet we must trust them.  How do we do that, given the evidence of our pasts?

First, we remind ourselves that the rules of active addiction don’t apply in recovery.  Most of our fellow members are doing their level best to live by the spiritual principles we learn in the program.  Second, we remind ourselves that we aren’t 100% reliable, either.  We will surely disappoint someone in our lives, no matter how hard we try not to.  Third, and most importantly, we realize that we need to trust our fellow members of NA.  Our lives are at stake, and the only way we can stay clean is to trust these well-intentioned folks who, admittedly, aren’t perfect.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will trust my fellow members.  Though certainly not perfect, they are my best hope.

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 #1521 on: August 01, 2015, 09:57:34 PM »
August 1 , 2015

Freedom from guilt

“Our addiction enslaved us.  We were prisoners of our own mind and were condemned by our own guilt.”

Basic Text, p. 7

––––=––––

Guilt is one of the most commonly encountered stumbling blocks in recovery.  One of the more notorious forms of guilt is the self-loathing that results when we try to forgive ourselves but don’t feel forgiven.

How can we forgive ourselves so we feel it?  First, we remember that guilt and failure are not links in an unbreakable chain.  Honestly sharing with a sponsor and with other addicts shows this to be true.  Often the result of such sharing is a more sensible awareness of the part we ourselves have played in our affairs.  Sometimes we realize that our expectations have been too high.  We increase our willingness to participate in the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.

Somewhere along the way, we discover who we really are.  We usually find that we are neither the totally perfect nor the totally imperfect beings we have imagined ourselves to be.  We need not live up to or down to our illusions; we need only live in reality.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I am grateful for my assets and accept my liabilities.  Through willingness and humility, I am freed to progress in my recovery and achieve freedom from guilt.

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 #1520 on: July 31, 2015, 08:01:53 PM »
July 31 , 2015

Freedom from active addiction

“Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise and that is freedom from active addiction, the solution that eluded us for so long.”

Basic Text, p. 106

––––=––––

NA offers no promises other than freedom from active addiction.  It is true that some of our members meet with financial success in recovery.  They buy nice houses, drive new cars, wear fine clothes, and form beautiful families.  These outward signs of prosperity are not the lot of all of our members, however.  A great many of us never achieve financial success.  This does not necessarily reflect on the quality of our recovery.

When we are tempted to compare ourselves to these other, seemingly more affluent members, it is good to remember why we came to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous.  We came because our lives had fallen down around us.  We were emotionally, physically, and spiritually defeated.  Our Basic Text reminds us that “in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.”  We came because we were beaten.

For addicts, even one day clean is a miracle.  When we remember why we came to Narcotics Anonymous and in what condition we arrived, we realize that material wealth pales in comparison to the spiritual riches we have gained in recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I have been given a spiritual gift greater than material wealth: my recovery.  I will thank the God of my understanding for my freedom from active addiction.

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 #1519 on: July 30, 2015, 03:22:28 PM »
July 30 , 2015

Regular inventory

“Continuing to take a personal inventory means that we form a habit of looking at ourselves, our actions, attitudes, and relationships on a regular basis.”

Basic Text, p. 42

––––=––––

Taking a regular inventory is a key element in our new pattern of living.  In our addiction, we examined ourselves as little as possible.  We weren’t happy with how we were living our lives, but we didn’t feel that we could change the way we lived.  Self-examination, we felt, would have been a painful exercise in futility.

Today, all that is changing.  Where we were powerless over our addiction, we’ve found a Power greater than ourselves that has helped us stop using.  Where we once felt lost in life’s maze, we’ve found guidance in the experience of our fellow recovering addicts and our ever-improving contact with our Higher Power.  We need not feel trapped by our old, destructive patterns.  We can live differently if we choose.

By establishing a regular pattern of taking our own inventory, we give ourselves the opportunity to change anything in our lives that doesn’t work.  If we’ve started doing something that causes problems, we can start changing our behavior before it gets completely out of hand.  And if we’re doing something that prevents problems from occurring, we can take note of that, too, and encourage ourselves to keep doing what works.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will make a commitment to include a regular inventory in 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 .