Author Topic: Just For Today  (Read 53306 times)

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Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1146 on: May 25, 2014, 04:04:18 PM »

May 25 , 2014

“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

––––=––––

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.

––––=––––

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 © 1991-2014 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 #1145 on: May 24, 2014, 11:26:00 AM »
May 24 , 2014

Risking vulnerability

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

Basic Text, p. 85

––––=––––

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.

––––=––––

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 © 1991-2014 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 #1144 on: May 23, 2014, 11:33:38 AM »
May 23 , 2014

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

––––=––––

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.

––––=––––

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

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1143 on: May 22, 2014, 10:25:51 AM »

May 22 , 2014

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

––––=––––

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.

––––=––––

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 © 1991-2014 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 #1142 on: May 21, 2014, 12:09:25 PM »

May 21 , 2014

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

––––=––––

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.

––––=––––

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 © 1991-2014 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 #1141 on: May 20, 2014, 12:29:52 PM »

May 20 , 2014

Coming out of isolation

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

Basic Text, p. 102

––––=––––

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.

––––=––––

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

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1140 on: May 19, 2014, 12:23:55 PM »

May 19 , 2014

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

––––=––––

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?

––––=––––

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 © 1991-2014 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 #1139 on: May 18, 2014, 09:49:48 AM »

May 18 , 2014

Friends and amends—keeping it simple

“We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Step Nine

––––=––––

In every relationship, we don’t always handle things the way we would have hoped.  But friendships don’t have to end when we make mistakes; instead, we can make amends.  If we are sincerely willing to accept the responsibilities involved in friendship and make the amends we owe, those friendships can become stronger and richer than ever.

Making amends is simple.  We approach the person we have harmed and say, “I was wrong.”  Sometimes we avoid getting to the point, evading an admission of our own part in the affair.  But that frustrates the intent of the Ninth Step.  To make effective amends, we have to keep it simple: we admit our part, and leave it at that.

There will be times when our friends won’t accept our amends.  Perhaps they need time to process what has happened.  If that is the case, we must give them that time.  After all, we were the ones in the wrong, not them.  We have done our part; the rest is out of our hands.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I want to be a responsible friend.  I will strive to keep it simple when making amends.

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1138 on: May 17, 2014, 12:29:27 PM »

May 17 , 2014

"Defects"

“We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

Step Six

––––=––––

After taking the Fifth Step, many of us spend some time considering “the exact nature of our wrongs” and the part they’d played in making us who we were.  What would our lives be like without, say, our arrogance?

Sure, arrogance had kept us apart from our fellows, preventing us from enjoying and learning from them.  But arrogance had also served us well, propping up our ego in the face of critically low self-esteem.  What advantage would be gained if our arrogance were removed, and what support would we be left with?

With arrogance gone, we would be one step closer to being restored to our proper place among others.  We would become capable of appreciating their company and their wisdom and their challenges as their equals.  Our support and guidance would come, if we chose, from the care offered us by our Higher Power; “low self-esteem” would cease to be an issue.

One by one, we examined our character defects this way, and found them all defective—after all, that’s why they’re called defects.  And were we entirely ready to have God remove all of them?  Yes.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will thoroughly consider all my defects of character to discover whether I am ready to have the God of my understanding remove them.

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1137 on: May 16, 2014, 11:04:28 AM »
May 16 , 2014

Our Higher Power’s will

“God’s will for us becomes our own true will for ourselves.”

Basic Text, p. 48

––––=––––

The Twelve Steps are a path to spiritual awakening.  This awakening takes the form of a developing relationship with a loving Higher Power.  Each succeeding step strengthens that relationship.  As we continue to work the steps, the relationship grows, becoming ever more important in our lives.

In the course of working the steps, we make a personal decision to allow a loving Higher Power to direct us.  That guidance is always available; we need only the patience to seek it.  Often, that guidance manifests itself in the inner wisdom we call our conscience.

When we open our hearts wide enough to sense our Higher Power’s guidance, we feel a calm serenity.  This peace is the beacon that guides us through our troubled feelings, providing clear direction when our minds are busy and confused.  When we seek and follow God’s will in our lives, we find the contentment and joy that often elude us when we strike out on our own.  Fear or doubt may plague us when we attempt to carry out our Higher Power’s will, but we’ve learned to trust the moment of clarity.  Our greatest happiness lies in following the will of our loving God.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will seek to strengthen my relationship with my Higher Power.  I know from experience that knowledge of my Higher Power’s will provides a sense of clarity, direction, and peace.

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1136 on: May 15, 2014, 11:22:14 AM »

May 15 , 2014

Fear of the Fourth Step

“As we approach this step, most of us are afraid that there is a monster inside of us that, if released, will destroy us.”

Basic Text, p. 27

––––=––––

Most of us are terrified to look at ourselves, to probe our insides.  We’re afraid that if we examine our actions and motives, we’ll find a bottomless black pit of selfishness and hatred.  But as we take the Fourth Step, we’ll find that those fears were unwarranted.  We’re human, just like everyone else—no more, no less.

We all have personality traits that we’re not especially proud of.  On a bad day, we may think that our faults are worse than anyone else’s.  We’ll have moments of self-doubt.  We’ll question our motives.  We may even question our very existence.  But if we could read the minds of our fellow members, we’d find the same struggles.  We’re no better or worse than anyone else.

We can only change what we acknowledge and understand.  Rather than continuing to fear what’s buried inside us, we can bring it out into the open.  We’ll no longer be frightened, and our recovery will flourish in the full light of self-awareness.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I fear what I don’t know.  I will expose my fears and allow them to vanish.

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1135 on: May 14, 2014, 02:31:30 PM »
May 14 , 2014

Oops!

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”

Basic Text, p. 23

––––=––––

Mistakes!  We all know how it feels to make them.  Many of us feel that our entire lives have been a mistake.  We often regard our mistakes with shame or guilt—at the very least, with frustration and impatience.  We tend to see mistakes as evidence that we are still sick, crazy, stupid, or too damaged to recover.

In truth, mistakes are a very vital and important part of being human.  For particularly stubborn people (such as addicts), mistakes are often our best teachers.  There is no shame in making mistakes.  In fact, making new mistakes often shows our willingness to take risks and grow.

It’s helpful, though, if we learn from our mistakes; repeating the same ones may be a sign that we’re stuck.  And expecting different results from the same old mistakes—well, that’s what we call “insanity.”  It just doesn’t work.

––––=––––

Just for today:  Mistakes aren’t tragedies.  But please, Higher Power, help me learn from them!

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1134 on: May 13, 2014, 01:48:03 PM »

May 13 , 2014

Onward on the journey

“The progression of recovery is a continuous uphill journey.”

Basic Text, p. 83

––––=––––

The longer we stay clean, the steeper and narrower our path seems to become.  But God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  No matter how difficult the road becomes, no matter how narrow, how winding the turns, there is hope.  That hope lies in our spiritual progression.

If we keep showing up at meetings and staying clean, life gets... well, different.  The continual search for answers to life’s ups and downs can lead us to question all aspects of our lives.  Life isn’t always pleasant.  This is when we must turn to our Higher Power with even more faith.  Sometimes all we can do is hold on tight, believing that things will get better.

In time, our faith will produce understanding.  We will begin to see the “bigger picture” of our lives.  As our relationship with our Higher Power unfolds and deepens, acceptance becomes almost second-nature.  No matter what happens as we walk through recovery, we rely on our faith in a loving Higher Power and continue onward.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I accept that I don’t have all the answers to life’s questions.  Nonetheless, I will have faith in the God of my understanding and continue on the journey of recovery.

Copyright © 1991-2014 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1133 on: May 12, 2014, 05:22:28 AM »

May 12 , 2014

Living with spiritual experiences

“For meditation to be of value, the results must show in our daily lives.”

Basic Text, p. 47

––––=––––

In working our program, we are given many indirect indications of a Higher Power’s presence in our lives: the clean feeling that comes to so many of us in taking our Fifth Step; the sense that we are finally on the right track when we make amends; the satisfaction we get from helping another addict.  Meditation, however, occasionally brings us extraordinary indications of God’s presence in our lives.  These experiences do not mean we have become perfect or that we are “cured.”  They are tastes given us of the source of our recovery itself, reminding us of the true nature of the thing we are pursuing in Narcotics Anonymous and encouraging us to continue walking our spiritual path.

Such experiences demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, that we have tapped a Power far greater than our own.  But how do we incorporate that extraordinary Power into our ordinary lives?  Our NA friends, our sponsor, and others in our communities may be more seasoned in spiritual matters than we are.  If we ask, they can help us fit our spiritual experiences into the natural pattern of recovery and spiritual growth.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will seek whatever answers I may need to understand my spiritual experiences and incorporate them into my daily life.

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 #1132 on: May 11, 2014, 12:24:00 PM »
May 11 , 2014

Balancing the scales

“A lot of our chief concerns and major difficulties come from our inexperience with living without drugs.  Often when we ask an old timer what to do, we are amazed at the simplicity of the answer.”

Basic Text, p. 43

––––=––––

Finding balance in recovery is quite a bit like sitting down with a set of scales and a pile of sand.  The goal is to have an equal amount of sand on each side of the scales, achieving a balance of weight.

We do the same thing in recovery.  We sit down with the foundation of our clean time and the Twelve Steps, then attempt to add employment, household responsibilities, friends, sponsees, relationships, meetings, and service in equal weights so that the scales balance.  Our first try may throw our personal scales out of kilter.  We may find that, because of our over-involvement in service, we have upset our employer or our family.  But when we try to correct this problem by resigning from NA service altogether, the other side of the scales go out of balance.

We can ask for help from members who have stabilized their scales.  These people are easy to recognize.  They appear serene, composed, and self-assured.  They’ll smile in recognition at our dilemma and share how they slowed down, added only a few grains of sand at a time to either side of the scales, and were rewarded with balance in recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I seek balance in my life.  Today, I will ask others to share their experience in finding that balance.

Copyright © 1991-2014 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 .