I have often found it difficult to accept and fully grasp the whole “one day at a time” thing. I “get” it; but sometimes it feels like a punishment to not be able to live and dream and plan my future experiences. Also, if I’d say, “I have 100 days!” or “5 years!” —My best friends in the program would respond with, “You have just TODAY.” It always felt like a buzz-killer. I’m thinking, “Why do you want to crush my spirit?” Let me be excited!
Or, “I want to be sober for the rest of my life!” And friends remind me that I don’t know if I will drink again so focus on not drinking just TODAY.
But I figured out that they are right. Today is all I have. Tomorrow is never promised and yesterday is gone. God wants us to live this way. Every morning, He gives us a fresh slate. Whatever happened yesterday is wiped away and we get to begin again. Early morning is my favorite time to connect with God and “hang out” with Him. I journal, read my daily prayers, sit there and think of all the things I’m grateful for, most importantly SOBRIETY. Without sobriety, none of all the other things I’m grateful for would be possible!
God knows that JOY is only found in the present. He wants us to experience joy; so He wants us to live in today. AA was wise to grasp onto this as it relates to not drinking “just for today.” But even beyond that, beyond not drinking today (especially when that doesn’t seem that difficult to do) what about the rest of my life? It’s important I live the rest of my life just for today, too.
I wanted to share a quick trick I use when I’m finding it difficult to stay in the day, in the present. I use this little trick a lot, actually… with the AA prayers and my other prayers—-I change them up a bit:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change today, the courage today to change the things I can, and the wisdom today to know the difference.
Just by consciously adding the word “today” to each line, it helps me. When I think about ALL the things I cannot change in my life, it’s a little overwhelming…that’s a lot to think about! But, if I just focus on and think about the things I cannot change TODAY (whether or not our house will sell, what my employee will think when I let him know I can’t give him a raise, whether any checks come in from clients, etc…) then it’s more manageable for me in my brain.
1. I admit I am powerless over alcohol TODAY, that my life is unmanageable (without God’s help) TODAY.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than myself would restore me to sanity today.
3. Turned my will and my life over to God, today.
4. Made an inventory of my day at the end of the day, on the things I did or didn’t do – today.
5. Admitted to God, to myself — an another person – the nature of the wrongs I did today.
6. Became entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character today.
7. Humbly asked him to do so, today.
8. Made a list of people I have harmed today, and became willing to make amends to them, today.
9. Made direct amends today to those people, today.
10. (same as 4 thru 9) Took personal inventory today and when I am wrong today, promptly admit it.
11. Seek through prayer and meditation today for God’s will for me TODAY and the power to carry that out today.
12. After having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I will try to practice these principles in all of my affairs today.
And I also do this with the Third Step Prayer:
God, I offer myself to you today, to build with me and do with me as Thou will today. Relieve me today of the bondage of self and take away my difficulties today so that victory of them may bear witness to those I would help today of your power your love and your way of life.
Have a great day, y’all!