Category Archives: Reflection

Thinking of Others

THINKING OF OTHERS
Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 20.

Humility
Humility

Thinking of others has never come easily to me. Even when I try to work the A.A. program, I’m prone to thinking, “How do I feel today, Am I happy, joyous and free?”
The program tells me that my thoughts must reach out to those around me: “Would that newcomer welcome someone to talk to?” “That person looks a little unhappy today, maybe I could cheer him up.” It is only when I forget my problems, and reach out to contribute something to others that I can begin to attain the serenity and God-consciousness I seek. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

Happiness Is Helping Others

 

Fear of Change

Fear Of Change

“By working the steps, we come to accept a Higher Power’s will … We lose our fear of the unknown. We are set free.” Pg. 362.

Basic Text, p. 16. Life is a series of changes, both large and small. Although we may know and accept this fact intellectually, chances are that our initial emotional reaction to change is fear. For some reason, we assume that each and every change is going to hurt, causing us to be miserable.

Do Not Fear Change!
Do Not Fear Change!

If we look back on the changes that have happened in our lives, we’ll find that most of them have been for the best. We were probably very frightened at the prospect of life without drugs, yet it is the best thing that’s ever happened to us. Perhaps we’ve lost a job that we thought we’d die without, but later on we found greater challenge and personal fulfillment in a new career. As we venture forth in our recovery, we’re likely to experience more changes. We will outgrow old situations and become ready for new ones.

With all sorts of changes taking place, it is only natural to grab hold of something, anything familiar and try to hold on. Solace can be found in a Power greater than ourselves. The more we allow changes to happen at the direction of our Higher Power, the more we’ll trust that those changes are for the best. Faith will replace fear, and we’ll know in our hearts that all will be well.

Serenity Prayer
Serenity Prayer

Just for Today: When I am afraid of a change in my life, I will take comfort from knowing that God’s will for me is good.
– (c) 2016. NA World Services.

Turn, Turn, Turn.
Pete Seeger. Book of Ecclesiastes.
The Byrds (1960’s).

To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, a time to die.
A time to plant, a time to reap.
A time to kill, a time to heal.
A time to laugh, a time to weep.

Winners

Winners

Page 360.
“I started to imitate some of the things the winners were doing. I got caught up in NA. I felt good …”
Basic Text, p. 153.
We often hear it said in meetings that we should “stick with the winners.” Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Winners are easily identified. They work an active program of recovery, living in the solution and staying out of the problem. Winners are always ready to reach their hands out to the newcomer. They have sponsors and work with those sponsors. Winners stay clean, just for today.

Winners are recovering addicts who keep a positive frame of mind. They may be going through troubled times, but they still attend meetings and share openly about it. Winners know in their hearts that, with the help of a Higher Power, nothing will come along that is too much to handle.

Winners strive for unity in their service efforts. Winners practice putting “principles before personalities.” Winners remember the principle of anonymity, doing the principled action no matter who is involved. Winners keep a sense of humor. Winners have the ability to laugh at themselves. And when winners laugh, they laugh with you, not at you.

Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Any one of us can be considered a winner. All of us exhibit some of the traits of the winner; sometimes we come very close to the ideal, sometimes we don’t. If we are clean today and working our program to the best of our ability, we are winners!

Just for Today: I will strive to fulfill my ideals. I will be a winner.
– (c) 2016 NA World Services.

Winner!
Winner!

Fulfilling our roles in life as winners does not come easy. Life is often a challenge from the moment we open our eyes to greet the new day. It is the bond with and trust in our Higher Power that carries us through the most challenging moments in our day to day lives.

Walking Away a Winner
Kathy Mattea

Many times love is on the table the stakes are high.
What I thought this was love so I laid it all on the line.
You nearly took everything I had,
Never knew I could hurt so bad,
But I least I left with every peace of this heart of mine.
I’m walking away a winner.
I’m walking away from a losing game.
With my pride intact and my vision back I can say,
I know where I’m going and I know I’ll be alright.
I’m walking away a winner, Walking back into my life.

Ambition

TRUE AMBITION

True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 124-25.

Ambition
Ambition

During my drinking years, my one and only concern was to have my fellow man think highly of me. My ambition in everything I did was to have the power to be at the top. My inner self kept telling me something else but I could not accept it. I did not even allow myself to realize that I wore a mask continually. Finally, when the mask came off and I cried out to the only God I could conceive, the Fellowship of A.A., my group and the Twelve Steps were there. I learned how to change resentments into acceptance, fear into hope and anger into love. I have learned also, through loving without undue expectations, through sharing my concerns and caring for my fellow man, that each day can be joyous and fruitful. I begin and end my day with thanks to God, who has so generously shed His grace on me. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

Ambition
Wale, Meek Mill and Rick Ross

The time is now on everything
Took my heart away from money, I ain’t interested in fame
And I pray that never change
Ambition is priceless, it’s something that’s in your veins
And I put that on my name.

 

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.

H.P. as Guide

H.P. AS GUIDE
See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164. A.A. Big Book.

Higher Power
Higher Power coin

Having a right relationship with God seemed to be an impossible order. My chaotic past had left me filled with guilt and remorse and I wondered how this “God business” could work. A.A. told me that I must turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him. With nowhere else to turn, I went down on my knees and cried, “God, I can’t do this. Please help me!” It was when I admitted my powerlessness that a glimmer of light began to touch my soul, and then a willingness emerged to let God control my life. With Him as my guide, great events began to happen, and I found the beginning of sobriety. – Daily Reflection. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

“Higher Power” is a term given significance in the 1930s in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and is used in other twelve-step programs. It is also sometimes referred to as a power greater than ourselves and is frequently abbreviated to “HP.” The term refers to a spiritual supreme being.

“I rely on My Higher Power to give me what I need and I am grateful I do not get some things I deserve.” Shirley. (2016).

“Higher Power” is one of three new songs Boston recorded for their Greatest Hits album. This track features their original lead singer Brad Delp. Boston leader Tom Scholz wrote this with bass player David Sikes. The “Higher Power” is a concept in Alcoholics Anonymous to help participants deal with their addiction. In this song, Delp sings about looking beyond himself for guidance. We hear Serenity Prayer right before the guitar solo.

Higher Power
Boston (1997).

Hey, my higher power
Yeah, give me the power

Let me love you
Take me home to your religion for the night
Let me touch you
Teach me how to see your vision through my eyes
Turn the pages
Tell my story, let me face another day
Safe embraces, I feel it comin’ now
My captain’s on his way

Hey, my higher power
The world is spinnin’, but I’m not afraid
Yeah, give me the power
It’s the beginnin’, the beginnin’ of another day

Yeah!

Let me hold you
Take me back into the secrets of my mind
Let me know you
Come and save me Lord
Don’t let me cross the line.

Hey, my higher power
The world is spinnin’, but I’m not afraid
Yeah, give me the power
It’s the beginnin’, the beginnin’ of another day.

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
And may your love shining down, 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”.

Bring the Message Home

Bring the Message Home

Can we bring the same Spirit of Love and Tolerance into our sometimes deranged family lives that we bring to our A.A. group? – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp.111-12.

Practice Spirit of Love and Tolerance
Practice Spirit of Love and Tolerance

My family members suffer from the effects of my disease. Loving and accepting them as they are just as I love and accept A.A. members fosters a return of love, tolerance and harmony to my life. Using common courtesy and respecting others’ personal boundaries are necessary practices for all areas of my life. – Daily Reflections. © 1990 Alcoholics Anonymous A.A. World Services.

Acceptance is the Key to Serenity.

Turn Turn Turn
Pete Seeger (1965).
performed by The Byrds

To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, a time to die.
A time to plant, a time to reap.
A time to kill, a time to heal.
A time to laugh, a time to weep.

To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to build up, a time to break down.
A time to dance, a time to mourn.
A time to cast away stones.
A time to gather stones together.

Pete Seeger wrote this song inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes in the 1950s. The storyline in the Book of Ecclesiastes has moved many religious leaders as a contemplative inward self-reflecting theme. The Book of Ecclesiastes centers on King Solomon who relates to many experiences we may all relate to in life.