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21
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on June 06, 2015, 08:03:41 PM »
June 6 ,2015

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight

“The Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous are a progressive recovery process established in our daily living.”

Basic Text, p. 99

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After some time in recovery, we may find we are faced with what seem like overwhelming personal problems, angry feelings, and despair.  When we realize what’s going on, we may wail, “But I’ve been working so hard.  I thought I was...”  Recovered, maybe?  Not hardly.  Over and over, we hear that recovery is an ongoing process and that we are never cured.  Yet we sometimes believe that if we just work our steps enough, pray enough, or go to enough meetings, we’ll eventually...  well, maybe not be cured, but be something!

And we are “something.”  We’re recovering—recovering from active addiction.  No matter what we’ve dealt with through the process of the steps, there will always be more.  What we didn’t remember or didn’t think was important in our first inventory will surely present itself later on.  Again and again, we’ll turn to the process of the steps to deal with what’s bothering us.  The more we use this process, the more we’ll trust it, for we can see the results.  We go from anger and resentment to forgiveness, from denial to honesty and acceptance, and from pain to serenity.

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and ours will never be complete.  But each day brings new healing and the hope for more tomorrow.

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Just for today:  I will do what I can for my recovery today and maintain hope in the ongoing process of recovery.

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

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22
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on June 05, 2015, 02:51:14 PM »

June 5 , 2015

Honest prayer

“Although honesty is difficult to practice, it is most rewarding.”

Basic Text, p. 96

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How difficult we find it to be honest!  Many of us come to NA so confused about what really happened in our lives that it sometimes takes months and years to sort it all out.  The truth of our history is not always as we have told it.  How can we begin to be more truthful?

Many of us find it the easiest to be honest in prayer.  With our fellow addicts, we sometimes find that we have a hard time telling the whole truth.  We feel certain that we won’t be accepted if we let others know us as we really are.  It’s hard to live up to the “terminally hip and fatally cool” image so many of us portrayed!  In prayer, we find an acceptance from our Higher Power that allows us to open our hearts with honesty.

As we practice this honesty with the God of our understanding, we often find that it has a ripple effect in our communications with others.  We get in the habit of being honest.  We begin to practice honesty when we share at meetings and work with others.  In return, we find our lives enriched by deepening friendships.  We even find that we can be more honest with ourselves, the most important person to be truthful with!

Honesty is a quality that is developed through practice.  It isn’t always easy to be totally truthful, but when we begin with our Higher Power, we find it easier to extend our honesty to others.

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Just for today:  I will be honest with God, myself, and others.

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

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23
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on June 04, 2015, 05:47:22 PM »
June 4 , 2015

Build, don’t destroy

“Our negative sense of self has been replaced by a positive concern for others.”

Basic Text, p. 16

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Spreading gossip feeds a dark hunger in us.  Sometimes we think the only way we can feel good about ourselves is to make someone else look bad by comparison.  But the kind of self-esteem that can be purchased at another’s expense is hollow and not worth the price.

How, then, do we deal with our negative sense of self?  Simple.  We replace it with a positive concern for others.  Rather than dwell on our low self-esteem, we turn to those around us and seek to be of service to them.

This may seem to be a way of avoiding the issue, but it’s not.  There’s nothing we can do by dwelling on our low sense of self except work ourselves into a stew of self-pity.  But by replacing our self-pity with active, loving concern for others, we become the kind of people we can respect.

The way to build our self-esteem is not to tear others down, but to build them up through love and positive concern.  To help us with this, we can ask ourselves if we are contributing to the problem or to the solution.  Today, we can choose to build instead of destroy.

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Just for today:  Though I may be feeling low, I don’t need to tear someone down to build myself up.  Today, I will replace my negative sense of self with a positive concern for others.  I will build, not destroy.

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

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24
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on June 03, 2015, 08:05:33 PM »

June 3   ,2015

Direct and indirect amends

“We make our amends to the best of our ability.”

Basic Text, p. 40

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The Ninth Step tells us to make direct amends wherever possible.  Our experience tells us to follow up those direct amends with long-lasting changes in our attitudes and our behavior—that is, with indirect amends.

For example, say we’ve broken someone’s window because we were angry.  Looking soulfully into the eyes of the person whose window we’ve broken and apologizing would not be sufficient.  We directly amend the wrong we’ve done by admitting it and replacing the window—we mend what we have damaged.

Then, we follow up our direct amends with indirect amends.  If we’ve acted out on our anger, breaking someone’s window, we examine the patterns of our behavior and our attitudes.  After we repair the broken window, we seek to repair our broken attitudes as well—we try to “mend our ways.”  We modify our behavior, and make a daily effort not to act out on our anger.

We make direct amends by repairing the damage we do.  We make indirect amends by repairing the attitudes that cause us to do damage in the first place, helping insure we won’t cause further damage in the future.

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Just for today:  I will make direct amends, wherever possible.  I will also make indirect amends, “mending my ways,” changing my attitudes, and altering my behavior.

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

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25
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on June 02, 2015, 04:30:09 PM »
June 2 , 2015

Sick and tired

“We wanted an easy way out....  When we did seek help, we were only looking for the absence of pain.”

Basic Text, p. 5

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Something’s not working.  In fact, something’s been wrong for a long time, causing us pain and complicating our lives.  The problem is that, at any given moment, it always appears easier to continue bearing the pain of our defects than to submit to the total upheaval involved in changing the way we live.  We may long to be free of pain, but only rarely are we willing to do what’s truly necessary to remove the source of pain from our lives.

Most of us didn’t begin seeking recovery from addiction until we were “sick and tired of being tired and sick.”  The same is true of the lingering character defects we’ve carried through our lives.  Only when we can’t bear our shortcomings one moment longer, only when we know that the pain of change can’t be as bad as the pain we’re in today, are most of us willing to try something different.

Thankfully, the steps are always there, no matter what we’re sick and tired of.  The irony is that, as soon as we make the decision to begin the Twelve Step process, we realize our fears of change were groundless.  The steps offer a gentle program of change, one step at a time.  No single step is so frightening that we can’t work it, by itself.  As we apply the steps to our lives, we experience a change that frees us.

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Just for today:  No matter what prevents me from living a full, happy life, I know the program can help me change, a step at a time.  I need not be afraid of the Twelve Steps.

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

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26
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on June 01, 2015, 11:22:45 PM »

June 1 , 2015

Keep coming back

“We don’t have to be clean when we get here but, after the first meeting, we suggest that newcomers keep coming back and come back clean.  We don’t have to wait for an overdose or a jail sentence to get help from Narcotics Anonymous.”

Basic Text, pp. 10-11

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Very few of us arrive in NA brimming with willingness.  Some of us are here because we are court-ordered to attend.  Some have come to save our families.  Some come in an effort to salvage a career teetering on the brink of ruin.  It doesn’t matter why we are here.  It only matters that we are.

We have heard it said that “if we bring the body, the mind will follow.”  We may come to meetings with a chip on our shoulders.  We may be one of those who sits in the back of the rooms with our arms folded across our chest, glaring threateningly at anyone who approaches us.  Perhaps we leave before the final prayer.

But if we keep coming back, we find that our minds begin to open up.  We start to drop our guard, and begin to really listen when others share.  We may even hear someone talking with whom we can relate.  We begin the process of change.

After some time in NA, we find that more than our minds have arrived in our meeting rooms.  More importantly, our hearts have arrived, too.  After that happens, the miracles really begin!

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Just for today:  I will strive to listen with an open mind to what I hear shared.

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

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27
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 31, 2015, 12:13:41 PM »

May 31 , 2015

Keep it simple

“We live a day at a time but also from moment to moment.  When we stop living in the here and now, our problems become magnified unreasonably.”

Basic Text, p. 99

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Life often seems too complicated to understand, especially for those of us who’ve dodged it for so long.  When we stopped using drugs, many of us came face to face with a world that was confusing, even terrifying.  Looking at life and all its details, all at once, may be overwhelming.  We think that maybe we can’t handle life after all and that it’s useless to try.  These thoughts feed themselves, and pretty soon we’re paralyzed by the imagined complexity of life.

Happily, we don’t have to fix everything at once.  Solving a single problem seems possible, so we take them one at a time.  We take care of each moment as it comes, and then take care of the next moment as it comes.  We learn to stay clean just for today, and we approach our problems the same way.  When we live life in each moment, it’s not such a terrifying prospect.  One breath at a time, we can stay clean and learn to live.

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Just for today:  I will keep it simple by living in this moment only.  Today, I will tackle only today’s problems; I will leave tomorrow’s problems to tomorrow.


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

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28
Meditations and ponderings / Re: Just For Today
« Last post by CD on May 30, 2015, 06:43:29 PM »
May 30  , 2015

Loneliness vs. being alone

“Sharing with others keeps us from feeling isolated and alone.”

Basic Text, p. 85

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There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  Being lonely is a state of the heart, an emptiness that makes us feel sad and sometimes hopeless.  Loneliness is not always alleviated when we enter into relationships or surround ourselves with others.  Some of us are lonely even in a room full of people.

Many of us came to Narcotics Anonymous out of the desperate loneliness of our addiction.  After coming to meetings, we begin to make new friends, and often our feelings of loneliness ease.  But many of us must contend with loneliness throughout our recovery.

What is the cure for loneliness?  The best cure is to begin a relationship with a Higher Power that can help fill the emptiness of our heart.  We find that when we have a belief in a Higher Power, we never have to feel lonely.  We can be alone more comfortably when we have a conscious contact with a God of our understanding.

We often find deep fulfillment in our interactions with others as we progress in our recovery.  Yet we also find that, the closer we draw to our Higher Power, the less we need to surround ourselves with others.  We begin to find a spirit within us that is our constant companion as we continue to explore and deepen our connection with a Power greater than ourselves.  We realize we are spiritually connected with something bigger than we are.

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Just for today:  I will take comfort in my conscious contact with a Higher Power.  I am never alone.

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 29, 2015, 06:29:11 PM »
May 29 , 2015

Carry me

“We believe that our Higher Power will take care of us.”

Basic Text, p. 58

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We all have times when it seems as though our lives are falling apart.  There are days, or even weeks, when it seems that everything that can go wrong is going wrong.  Whether it’s the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship, we doubt that we’ll survive the changes taking place in our lives.

It’s during the times when the world is crashing down around our ears that we find our greatest faith in a loving Higher Power.  No human being could relieve our suffering; we know that only God’s care can provide the comfort we seek.  We feel broken but we go on, knowing that our lives will be repaired.

As we progress in our recovery and our faith in our Higher Power grows, we are sure to greet the difficult times with a sense of hope, despite the pain we may be in.  We need not despair, for we know that our Higher Power’s care will carry us through when we can’t walk on our own.

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Just for today:  I will rely on God’s care through the painful times, knowing that my Higher Power will always be there.

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

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30
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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