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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 28, 2015, 03:34:52 PM »

May 28 , 2015

As we understand

“We examined our lives and discovered who we really are.  To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.”

Basic Text, p. 36

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As using addicts, the demands of our disease determined our personality.  We could be whoever or whatever we needed to be in order to get our “fix.”  We were survival machines, adapting easily to every circumstance of the using life.

Once we began our recovery, we entered a new and different life.  Many of us had no idea what behavior was appropriate for us in any given situation.  Some of us didn’t know how to talk to people, how to dress, or how to behave in public.  We couldn’t be ourselves because we didn’t know who we were anymore.

The Twelve Steps give us a simple method for finding out who we really are.  We uncover our assets and our defects, the things we like about ourselves and the things we’re not so thrilled about.  Through the healing power of the Twelve Steps, we begin to understand that we are individuals, created to be who we are by the Higher Power of our understanding.  The real healing begins when we understand that if our Higher Power created us this way, it must be okay to be who we really are.

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Just for today:  By working the steps I can experience the freedom to be myself, the person my Higher Power intended me to be.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 27, 2015, 03:43:14 PM »

May 27 , 2015

Meeting the day’s challenge

“...the decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage.”

Basic Text, p. 26

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A challenge is anything that dares us to succeed.  Things new and unfamiliar serve as challenges, whether those things appear good or bad to us.  We are challenged by obstacles and opposition from within ourselves and from without.  New and difficult things, obstacles and opposition, all are a part of “life on life’s terms.”  Living clean means learning to meet challenges.

Many of us, consciously or unconsciously, took drugs to avoid meeting challenges.  Many of us were equally afraid of failure and success.  Each time we declined the day’s challenge, we suffered a loss of self-esteem.  Some of us used drugs to mask the shame we felt.  Each time we did that, we became even less able to meet our challenges and more likely to use.

By working the NA program, we’ve found the tools we need to successfully meet any challenge.  We’ve come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, a Power that cares for our will and our lives.  We’ve asked that Power to remove our character defects, those things that made our lives unmanageable.  We’ve taken action to improve our conscious contact with that Higher Power.  Through the steps, we’ve been given the ability to stop using drugs and start living.

Each day, we are faced with new challenges.  And each day, through working our program of recovery, we are given the grace to meet those challenges.

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Just for today:  I will ask my Higher Power to help me squarely meet today’s challenge.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 26, 2015, 04:57:28 PM »

May 26  , 2015

The Power in the group

“Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us.... We can call it the group, the program, or we can call it God.”

Basic Text, p. 24

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Many of us have a hard time with the idea of a Higher Power until we fully accept the depth of our own powerlessness over addiction.  Once we do, most of us are at least willing to consider seeking the help of some Power greater than our disease.  The first practical exposure many of us have to that kind of Power is in the NA group.  Perhaps that’s where we should start in developing our own understanding of God.

One evidence of the Power in the group is the unconditional love shown when NA members help one another without expectation of reward.  The group’s collective experience in recovery is itself a Power greater than our own, for the group has practical knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.  And the fact that addicts keep coming to NA meetings, day after day, is a demonstration of the presence of a Higher Power, some attractive, caring force at work that helps addicts stay clean and grow.

All these things are evidence of a Power that can be found in NA groups.  When we look around with an open mind, each of us will be able to identify other signs of that Power.  It doesn’t matter if we call it God, a Higher Power, or anything else—just as long as we find a way to incorporate that Power into our daily lives.

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Just for today:  I will open my eyes and my mind to signs of a Power that exists in my NA group.  I will call upon that Power to help me stay clean.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 25, 2015, 04:08:00 PM »
May 25 , 2015

“Good” and “bad” feelings

“A lot happens in one day, both negative and positive.  If we do not take time to appreciate both, perhaps we will miss something that will help us grow.”

IP No. 8, Just for Today

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Most of us seem to unconsciously judge what happens in our lives each day as good or bad, success or failure.  We tend to feel happy about the “good” and angry, frustrated, or guilty about the “bad.”  Good and bad feelings, though, often have little to do with what’s truly good or bad for us.  We may learn more from our failures than our successes, especially if failure has come from taking a risk.

Attaching value judgments to our emotional reactions ties us to our old ways of thinking.  We can change the way we think about the incidents of everyday life, viewing them as opportunities for growth, not as good or bad.  We can search for lessons rather than assigning value.  When we do this, we learn something from each day.  Our daily Tenth Step is an excellent tool for evaluating the day’s events and learning from both success and failure.

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Just for today:  I am offered an opportunity to apply the principles of recovery so that I will learn and grow.  When I learn from life’s events, I succeed.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 24, 2015, 08:47:13 PM »

May 24 , 2015

Risking vulnerability

“As we grow, we learn to overcome the tendency to run and hide from ourselves and our feelings.”

Basic Text, p. 85

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Rather than risk vulnerability, many of us have developed habits that keep others at a safe distance.  These patterns of emotional isolation can give us the feeling we are hopelessly locked behind our masks.  We used to take risks with our lives; now we can take risks with our feelings.  Through sharing with other addicts, we learn that we are not unique; we do not make ourselves unduly vulnerable simply by letting others know who we are, for we are in good company.  And by working the Twelve Steps of the NA program, we grow and change.  We no longer want or need to hide our emerging selves.  We are offered the opportunity to shed the emotional camouflage we developed to survive our active addiction.

By opening ourselves to others, we risk becoming vulnerable, but that risk is well worth the rewards.  With the help of our sponsor and other recovering addicts, we learn how to express our feelings honestly and openly.  In turn, we become nourished and encouraged by the unconditional love of our companions.  As we practice spiritual principles, we find strength and freedom, both in ourselves and in those around us.  We are set free to be ourselves and to enjoy the company of our fellow addicts.

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Just for today:  I will openly and honestly share with another recovering addict.  I will risk becoming vulnerable and celebrate my self and my friendship with other NA members.  I will grow.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 23, 2015, 02:01:49 PM »

May 23  , 2015

Amends and sponsors

“We want to be free of our guilt, but we don’t wish to do so at the expense of anyone else.”

Basic Text, p. 40

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Let’s face it:  Most of us left trails of destruction in our wakes and harmed anyone who got in our way.  Some of the people we hurt most in our addiction were the people we loved most.  In an effort to purge ourselves of the guilt we feel for what we’ve done, we may be tempted to share with our loved ones, in gruesome detail, things that are better left unsaid.  Such disclosures could do much harm and may do little good.

The Ninth Step is not about easing our guilty consciences; it’s about taking responsibility for the wrongs we’ve done.  In working our Eighth and Ninth Steps, we should seek the guidance of our sponsor and amend our wrongs in a manner that won’t cause us to owe more amends.  We are not just seeking freedom from remorse—we are seeking freedom from our defects.  We never again want to inflict harm on our loved ones.  One way to insure that we do not is by working the Ninth Step responsibly, checking our motives, and discussing with our sponsor the particular amends we plan to make before we make them.

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Just for today:  I wish to accept responsibility for my actions.  Before making any amends, I will talk with my sponsor.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 22, 2015, 01:28:37 PM »
May 22   , 2015

Symptoms of a spiritual awakening

“The steps lead to an awakening of a spiritual nature.  This awakening is evidenced by changes in our lives.”

Basic Text, p. 49

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We know how to recognize the disease of addiction.  Its symptoms are indisputable.  Besides an uncontrollable appetite for drugs, those suffering exhibit self-centered, self-seeking behavior.  When our addiction was at its peak of activity, we were obviously in a great deal of pain.  We relentlessly judged ourselves and others, and spent most of our time worrying or trying to control outcomes.

Just as the disease of addiction is evidenced by definite symptoms, so is a spiritual awakening made manifest by certain obvious signs in a recovering addict.  We may observe a tendency to think and act spontaneously, a loss of interest in judging or interpreting the actions of anyone else, an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment, and frequent attacks of smiling.

If we see someone exhibiting symptoms of a spiritual awakening, we should be aware that such awakenings are contagious.  Our best course of action is to get close to these people.  As we begin having frequent, overwhelming episodes of gratitude, an increased receptiveness to the love extended by our fellow members, and an uncontrollable urge to return this love, we’ll realize that we, too, have had a spiritual awakening.

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Just for today:  My strongest desire is to have a spiritual awakening.  I will watch for its symptoms and rejoice when I discover them.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 21, 2015, 01:29:56 PM »
May 21 , 2015

Keep coming back!

“Meetings keep us in touch with where we’ve been, but more importantly, with where we could go in our recovery.”

Basic Text, p. 56

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In many ways, addicts are different.  When we came to Narcotics Anonymous we found others like ourselves, people who understood us and whom we could understand.  No longer did we feel like aliens, strangers wherever we went.  We were at home in NA meetings, among friends.

We don’t stop being addicts after we’ve been clean awhile.  We still need to identify with other addicts.  We continue coming to NA meetings to keep in touch with who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going.  Every meeting reminds us that we can never use drugs successfully.  Every meeting reminds us that we’ll never be cured, but that by practicing the principles of the program we can recover.  And every meeting offers us the experience and example of other addicts in ongoing recovery.

At meetings, we see how different people work their program, and the results are apparent in their lives.  If we want the lives we see others living, we can find out what they’ve done to get where they are.  Narcotics Anonymous meetings offer us identification with where we’ve been and where we can go—identification we can’t do without and can’t get anywhere else.  That keeps us coming back.

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Just for today:  I will attend an NA meeting to remind myself of who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I can go in my recovery.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 20, 2015, 12:37:38 PM »
May 20 , 2015

Coming out of isolation

“We find ourselves doing and enjoying things that we never thought we would be doing.”

Basic Text, p. 102

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Active addiction kept us isolated for many reasons.  In the beginning, we avoided family and friends so they wouldn’t find out we were using.  Some of us avoided all nonaddicts, fearing moral backlash and legal repercussions.  We belittled people who had “normal” lives with families and hobbies; we called them “uncool,” believing we could never enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  Eventually, we even avoided other addicts because we didn’t want to share our drugs.  Our lives narrowed, and our concerns were confined to the daily maintenance of our disease.

Today, our lives are much fuller.  We enjoy activities with other recovering addicts.  We have time for our families.  And we’ve discovered many other pursuits that give us pleasure.  What a change from the past!  We can live life just as fully as the “normal” people we once scorned.  Enjoyment has returned to our lives, a gift of recovery.

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Just for today:  I can find pleasure in the simple routines of daily living.

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

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Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 19, 2015, 11:07:50 AM »
May 19 , 2015

A growth inventory

“We review our past performance and our present behavior to see what we want to keep and what we want to discard.”

Basic Text, p. 29

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As each day winds to a close, many of us reflect on the past twenty-four hours and consider how we can live differently in the future.  It’s easy for our thoughts to remain trapped in the mundane: change the oil in the car, keep the living room clean, or empty the litter box.  Sometimes it takes a special effort to jog our thinking out of the daily rut and onto a higher track.

One simple question can put us on the high road:  What do we think our Higher Power wants for us tomorrow?  Maybe we need to improve our flagging conscious contact with the God of our understanding.  Perhaps we’ve been uncomfortable in our job or our relationship, holding on only out of fear.  We might be hiding some troubling defect of character, afraid to share it with our sponsor.  The question is, in what parts of our lives do we really want to grow?

As each day ends, we find it beneficial to take some moments to spend time with our Higher Power.  We can begin to reflect on what will benefit our program of spiritual growth most in the coming day.  We think about the areas in which we have grown recently, and target areas that still require work.  What more fitting way to end the day?

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Just for today:  I will set aside some time at the end of the day to commune with my Higher Power.  I will review the past day, meditating on what stands between me and my Higher Power’s will for my life.

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

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