Just for Today – Responsibility

“A lot happens in one day, both negative and positive. If we do not take the time to appreciate both, perhaps we will miss something that will help us grow.” – IP No.8, Just For Today

Responsibility, responsibility-the responsibilities of life are everywhere. We’re “supposed to” wear seat belts. We’re “supposed to” clean our homes. We’re “supposed to” do certain things for our spouse, our children, the people we sponsor. On top of all this, we’re “supposed to” go to meetings and practice our program as best we can. It’s no wonder that, sometimes, we want to run from all these tasks and escape to some far-off island where we’re not “supposed to” do anything!

At times like these, when we’ve become overwhelmed with our responsibilities, we have forgotten that responsibility need not be burdensome. When we have a desire to run away from our responsibilities we need to slow down, remember why we have chosen them, and pay attention to the gifts they bring. Whether it’s a job we normally find challenging and interesting, or a partner whose personality we are usually excited by, or a child whom we naturally like to play with and care for, there is joy to be found in all the responsibilities of our lives.

Just for Today: Each moment is special. I will pay attention, grateful for my responsibilities and the special joys they bring.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just for Today – Alone no more

“We gradually and carefully pull ourselves out of the isolation and loneliness of addiction and into the mainstream of life.” – Basic Text, p. 37

Many of us spent much of our using time alone, avoiding other people-especially people who were not using-at all costs. After years of isolation, trying to find a place for ourselves in a bustling, sometimes boisterous fellowship is not always easy. We may still feel isolated, focusing on our differences rather than our similarities. The overwhelming feelings that often arise in early recovery-feelings of fear, anger, and mistrust-can also keep us isolated. We may feel like aliens but we must remember, the alienation is ours, not NA’s.

In Narcotics Anonymous, we are offered a very special opportunity for friendship. We are brought together with people who understand us like no one else can. We are encouraged to share with these people our feelings, our problems, our triumphs, and our failures. Slowly, the recognition and identification we find in NA bridge the lonely gap of alienation in our hearts. As we’ve heard it said-the program works, if we let it.

Just for Today: The friendship of other members of the fellowship is a life-sustaining gift. I will reach out for the friendship that’s offered in NA, and accept it.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just For Today – Courage

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.” – Basic Text, p.96

Narcotics Anonymous is no place for the faint of heart! Facing life on life’s terms without the use of drugs isn’t always easy. Recovery requires more than hard work; it requires a liberal dose of courage.

What is courage, anyway? A quick look at a dictionary will tell us. We have courage when we face and deal with anything that we think of as difficult, dangerous, or painful, rather than withdrawing from it. Courage means being brave; having a purpose; having spirit. So what is courage, really? Courage is an attitude, one of perseverance.

That’s what an addict in recovery really needs-perseverance. We make that commitment to stick with our program, to avoid using, no matter what happens. A courageous addict is one who doesn’t use, one day at a time, no matter what. And what gives us courage? A relationship with a Higher Power gives us the strength and the courage to stay clean. We know that, so long as we are in our God’s care, we will have the power we need to face life on its own terms.

Just for Today: I have a Higher Power who cares for me, no matter what. Knowing that, I will strive to have an attitude of courage today.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just For Today – Living in the now

“Living just for today relieves the burden of the past and the fear of the future.” – Basic Text, pp. 94

Thoughts of how bad it was-or could be-can consume our hopes for recovery. Fantasies of how wonderful it was-or could be-can divert us from taking action in the real world. That’s why, in Narcotics Anonymous, we talk about living and recovering “just for today.”

In NA, we know that we can change. We’ve come to believe that our Higher Power can restore the soundness of our minds and hearts. The wreckage of our past can be dealt with through the steps. By maintaining our recovery, just for today, we can avoid creating problems in the future.

Life in recovery is no fantasy. Daydreams of how great using was or how we can use successfully in the future, delusions of how great things could be, overblown expectations that set us up for disappointment and relapse-all are stripped of their power by the program. We seek God’s will, not our own. We seek to serve others, not ourselves. Our self-centeredness and the importance of how great things could or should be for us disappears. In the light of recovery, we perceive the difference between fantasy and reality.

Just for Today: I am grateful for the principles of recovery and the new reality they’ve given me.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just for Today – Attitudes

“We can also use the steps to improve our attitudes.” – Basic Text, p.55

Ever have a day when everything seems to be working against you? Do you go through periods when you are so busy taking people’s inventories you can barely stand yourself? What about when you find yourself snapping at your co-worker or loved one for no reason? When we find ourselves in this bleak frame of mind, we need to take action.

At any point in the day, we can set aside a few moments and take a “spot inventory.” We examine how we are reacting to outside situations and other people. When we do, we may find that we are suffering from a plain old “bad attitude.” A negative outlook can hurt our relationship with our Higher Power and the people in our lives. When we are honest with ourselves, we frequently find that the problem lies with us and our attitude.

We have no control over the challenges life gives us. What we can control is how we react to those challenges. At any point in time, we can change our attitude. The only thing that really changes in Narcotics Anonymous is us. The Twelve Steps give use the tools to move out of the problem and into the solution.

Just for Today: Throughout the day, I will check my attitude. I will apply the steps to improve it.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just For Today – Surrender

“By surrendering control, we gain a far greater power.” – Basic Text, p.44

When we were using, we did everything we could to run things our way. We used every scheme imaginable to bring our world under control. When we got what we wanted, we felt powerful, invincible; when we didn’t, we felt vulnerable, defeated. But that didn’t stop us-it only led to more efforts to control and manipulate our lives into a manageable state.

Scheming was our way of denying our powerlessness. As long as we could distract ourselves with our plans, we could put off accepting that we were out of control. Only gradually did we realize that our lives had become unmanageable and that all the conning and manipulating in the world was not going to put our lives back in order.

When we admit our powerlessness, we stop trying to control and manage our way to a better life-we surrender. Lacking sufficient power of our own, we seek a Power greater than ourselves; needing support and guidance, we ask that Power to care for our will and our lives. We ask others in recovery to share their experience with living the NA program instead of trying to program our own lives. The power and direction we seek is all around us; we need only turn away from self to find it.

Just for Today: I will not try to scheme and manipulate my way to a manageable life. Through the NA program, I will surrender myself to my Higher Power’s care.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just For Today – God’s will today

“This decision demands continued acceptance, ever increasing faith, and a daily commitment to recovery.” – IP No.14, One Addict’s Experience…

Sometimes, we really live the Third Step-and it’s great! We don’t regret the past, we aren’t afraid of the future, and we’re generally pleased with the present. Sometimes, though, we lose our vision of God’s will in our life.

Many of us dream of erasing the mistakes of our past, but the past cannot be erased. Many of us are grateful this is so, for our past experiences have brought us to the recovery we enjoy today. By working the program, we can learn to accept the past and reconcile ourselves with it by amending our wrongs. Those same Twelve Steps can help eliminate our worries over the future. When we practice NA principles on a daily basis in all our affairs, we can leave the results up to our Higher Power.

It seems as though our members with the strongest faith are the ones who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment, appreciation, and gratitude for the quality of our lives-these are the results of faith in life itself. When we practice the principles of our program, today is the only day we need.

Just for Today: I will make the most of today, and trust that yesterday and tomorrow are in God’s care.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved