Category Archives: N.A.

Ninth Step

The Ninth Step: Reclaiming Life.

“We are achieving freedom from the wreckage of our past.” N.A. Basic Text p. 45.

When we start the Ninth Step, we have reached an exciting stage in our recovery. The damage done in our lives is what led many of us to seek help in the first place. Now we have a chance to clean up that wreckage, amend our past, and reclaim our lives.

Reclaim Life!
Reclaim Life!

We have spent a long time and much effort preparing for this step. When we came to NA, facing the debris of our past was probably the last thing we wanted to do. We started doing it privately with a personal inventory. Then we opened our past up to the scrutiny of a select, trusted few: ourselves, our Higher Power, and one other person. We took a look at our shortcomings, the source of much of the chaos in our lives, and asked that all those defects of character be removed. Finally we listed the amends needed to set our wrongs right, all of them.

Now we have the opportunity to make amends, to acquire freedom from the wreckage of our past. Everything we have done so far in NA has led us here. At this point in the process of our recovery, the Ninth Step is exactly what we want to do. With the Twelve Steps and the help of a Higher Power, we are clearing away the rubble that for so long has stood in the way of our progress; we are gaining the freedom to live.

Just for today: I will take advantage of the opportunity to reclaim my life. I will experience freedom from the wreckage of my past. © 2005. Narcotics Anonymous. N.A. World Services.

Help Me
Joni Mitchell (1974).

Help me
I think I’m falling
In love again
When I get that crazy feeling
I know I’m in trouble again.

Courage to Change

Courage to Change

Page 274.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Serenity Prayer.

Serenity Prayer
Serenity Prayer

Serenity Prayer
Recovery involves change, and change means doing things differently. The problem is, many of us resist doing things differently; what we’re doing may not be working, but at least we’re familiar with it. It takes courage to step out into the unknown. How do we find that courage?

We can look around ourselves at NA meetings. There we see others who found they needed to change what they were doing and they have done so successfully. Not only does that help quiet our fear that “change, any change” spells disaster, it also gives us the benefit of their experience with what does work, experience we can use in changing what doesn’t.

We can also look at our own recovery experience. Even if that experience, so far, has been limited to stopping the use of drugs, still we have made many changes in our lives-changes for the good. Whatever aspects of our lives we have applied the steps to, we have always found surrender better than denial, recovery superior to addiction. Our own experience and the experience of others in NA tells us that “changing the things I can” is a big part of what recovery is all about. The steps and the power to practice them give us the direction and courage we need to change. We have nothing to fear.

Just for Today: I welcome change. With the help of my Higher Power, I will find the courage to change the things I can.
(c) 2015 NA World Services,

Serenity Prayer
Reinhold Neibur.
Rhythms of Grace.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

Filling the Emptiness

Filling the emptiness

Page 269.
“We think that if we can just get enough food, enough sex, or enough money, we will be satisfied and everything will be alright.”

Basic Text, p.80.
In our addiction, we could never get enough drugs, or money, or sex, or anything else. Even too much was never enough! There was a spiritual emptiness inside us. Though we tried as hard as we could to fill that emptiness ourselves, we never succeeded. In the end, we realized that we lacked the power to fill it; it would take a Power greater than ourselves to do that.

Emptiness
Emptiness

So we stopped using, and we stopped trying to fill the emptiness in our gut with things. We turned to our Higher Power, asking for its care, strength, and direction. We surrendered and made way for that Power to begin the process of filling our inner void. We stopped grabbing things and started receiving the free gift of love our Higher Power had for us. Slowly, our inner emptiness was being filled.

Now that we’ve been given our Higher Power’s gift of love, what do we do with it? If we clasp that gift tightly to ourselves, we will smother it. We must remember that love grows only when it is shared. We can only keep this gift by freely giving it away. The world of addiction is a world of taking and being taken; the world of recovery is a world of giving and being given. In which world do we choose to live?

Just for Today: I choose to live in the fullness of recovery. I will celebrate my conscious contact with the God of my understanding by freely sharing with others that which has been freely shared with me.  – (c) 2015 NA World Services.

Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we try to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. – N.A. Twelve Steps.

Emptiness (Phir Suna).
Gajendra Verma.
performed by Rohan Rathore (2012).

Oh, love of mine
With a song and a whine
You’re harsh and divine
Like truths and a lie.

But the tale ends not here
I have nothing to fear
For my love is yell of giving and hold on.

If emotions have sound, that will be called music. This is the belief Gajendra Verma grew up with. Gajendra was born in a small town Sirsa in Haryana. He is blessed by a musical family and that is how music is imbibed in him.
During Gajendra’s journey through life he had his share of bittersweet experiences in the competitive world of Music, where every new tune is as precious as a pearl in the sea. Gajendra’s song “Emptiness” also known as “Tune mere jaana” got leaked on internet with a fake sympathetic story of a dying IIT student named Rohan Rathod and had instant liking by 3 million music lovers across the nation. This was followed by Gajendra going through the process claiming his right to the song. This became big news.

Bend with the Wind

Bend with the wind

Page 265.
“We learn to become flexible.. As new things are revealed, we feel renewed.”

Bend with the Wind Fred Rogers
Bend with the Wind Fred Rogers

Basic Text, p.102.
“Flexibility” was not a part of the vocabulary we used in our using days. We would become obsessed with the raw pleasure of our drugs and hardened to all the softer, subtler, more infinitely varied pleasures of the world around us. Our disease turned life itself into a constant threat of jails, institutions, and death, a threat against which we hardened ourselves all the more. In the end we became brittle. With the merest breath of life’s wind we crumbled at last, broken, defeated, with no choice but to surrender.

But the beautiful irony of recovery is that, in our surrender, we found the flexibility we had lost in our addiction, the very lack of which had defeated us. We regained the ability to bend in life’s breeze without breaking. When the wind blew, we felt its loving caress against our skin, where once we would have hardened ourselves as if against the onrush of a storm.

The winds of life blow new airs our way each moment, and with them new fragrances, new pleasures, varied, subtly different. As we bend with life’s wind, we feel and hear and touch and smell and taste all it has to offer us. And as new winds blow, we feel renewed.

Just for Today: Higher Power, help me bend with life’s wind and glory in its passing. Free me from rigidity.  – (c) 2015 NA World Services.

Blowin in the Wind
Bob Dylan (1962).
performed by Peter Paul and Mary

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

“Blowin in the Wind” poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war and freedom. The refrain “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

Freedom from Guilt

Freedom from guilt

Page 223. N.A. Big Book.

“Our addiction enslaved us. We were prisoners of our own mind and were condemned by our own guilt.”

N.A. Basic Text, p. 7.

Guilt is one of the most commonly encountered stumbling blocks in recovery. One of the more notorious forms of guilt is the self-loathing that results when we try to forgive ourselves but don’t feel forgiven.

Sorrow
Sorrow

How can we forgive ourselves so we feel it? First, we remember that guilt and failure are not links in an unbreakable chain. Honestly sharing with a sponsor and with other addicts shows this to be true. Often the result of such sharing is a more sensible awareness of the part we ourselves have played in our affairs. Sometimes we realize that our expectations have been too high. We increase our willingness to participate in the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.

Somewhere along the way, we discover who we really are. We usually find that we are neither the totally perfect nor the totally imperfect beings we have imagined ourselves to be. We need not live up to or down to our illusions; we need only live in reality.

Just for Today: I am grateful for my assets and accept my liabilities. Through willingness and humility, I am freed to progress in my recovery and achieve freedom from guilt. – (c) 2015 NA World Services

Guilty
NewsBoys
God’s Not Dead

When did it become breaking a rule
To say Your name out loud in school
When Your name is the only one that sets us free
When did it become incorrect
To speak the truth about life and death
When Your life gave us all eternity.

Even if it gets me convicted
I’ll be on my knees with my hands lifted.