NA Just For Today


#62

June 27

Change and growth

When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive. There will always be room for growth.

Basic Text, p. 36

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Recovery is a process that brings about change in our lives. We need that change if we are to continue our growth toward freedom. Its important that we remain open-minded when others point out our shortcomings, for they are bringing to light opportunities for us to change and grow. Reacting defensively limits our ability to receive the help they are offering us; letting go of our defenses opens the door to change, growth, and new freedom.

Each day in the recovery process will bring an opportunity for further change and growth. The more we learn to greet change with an open mind and heart, the more we will grow and the more comfortable we will become with our recovery.

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Just for today: I will greet each opportunity for growth with an open mind.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#63

August 06, 2018

The joy within

Page 228

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

Basic Text, p. 103

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 © 2007-2018, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#64

August 07, 2018

The gratitude list

Page 229

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

Basic Text, p. 80

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 © 2007-2018, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#65

August 08, 2018

Responsible recovery

Page 230

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

Basic Text, p. 97

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 will accept responsibility for my life and my recovery.


#66

August 09, 2018

The Power of love

Page 231

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

Basic Text, p. 47

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 © 2007-2018, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#67

August 10, 2018

Regular prayer and meditation

Page 232

“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. 45

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 © 2007-2018, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#68

August 11

Active listening

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

Basic Text, pp. 106-107

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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.

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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.


#69

August 12, 2018

Enough!

Page 234

“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 © 2007-2018, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#70

Exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m currently trying to accept my alcoholism, and commit myself to the first step. It is really a struggle for me, as my life is in good order, at least on the surface. If I own what I know, however, I do not have control over my addiction. My name is Abby and I’m an alcoholic.


#71

Thanks to @A89B, I just noticed this. This is cool, Derek. Thank you for sharing.

( goes hunting for JFTAA app/site)

Is there one for AA? Not that it looks to matter. These are all just as relevant/helpful.


#72

August 13, 2018

Difficult people

Page 235

“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 © 2007-2018, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#73

August 16, 2018

Up or down

Page 238

“This is our road to spiritual growth. We change every day…This growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer.”

Basic Text, p. 37

Our spiritual condition is never static; if it’s not growing, it’s decaying. If we stand still, our spiritual progress will lose its upward momentum. Gradually, our growth will slow, then halt, then reverse itself. Our tolerance will wear thin; our willingness to serve others will wane; our minds will narrow and close. Before long, we’ll be right back where we started: in conflict with everyone and everything around us, unable to bear even ourselves.

Our only option is to actively participate in our program of spiritual growth. We pray, seeking knowledge greater than our own from a Power greater than ourselves. We open our minds and keep them open, becoming teachable and taking advantage of what others have to share with us. We demonstrate our willingness to try new ideas and new ways of doing things, experiencing life in a whole new way. Our spiritual progress picks up speed and momentum, driven by the Higher Power we are coming to understand better each day.

Up or down-it’s one or the other, with very little in between, where spiritual growth is concerned. Recovery is not fueled by wishing and dreaming, we’ve discovered, but by prayer and action.

Just for Today: The only constant in my spiritual condition is change. I cannot rely on yesterday’s program. Today, I seek new spiritual growth through prayer and action.

Copyright © 2007-2018, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved