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    Day 7

    The Past

    “Judgment comes from experience, and great judgment comes from bad experience.” Bob Packwood

    As we develope the ability to put our past difficulties, performances and biasis into perspective, we begin to understand that we hold in our hands a valuable tool for survival. Although our past brought us to the state where we felt helpless and useless and created harm and chaos in our lives and those of others; although it seemed to push us to the point of no return, the opposite is true.

    Slowly we are beginning to understand that every mistep in our lives was part of the dynamic which led us to our present state of recovery.

    With the blueprint of all past errors clearly defined, we can work Step Ten with confidence. We can see that had we not committed every one of those past actions that led to our cry for help, we would not have been desperate or needly enough to reach out.

    We recognize that it was our finer instincts that took over in our struggle for survival and made us willing to humble ourselves enough to seek help. We could not have reached that point without experiencing every negative moment that marked the progression of our disease. Therefore, we now need to look at all those unkind, unhealthy, unproductive, antisocial actions as milestones that were necessary to bring us to our present state of recovery.

    Today’s Step: Remembering my past mistakes helps me avoid today’s pitfalls.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 8

    Past Experiences

    “It is no easy thing for a principle to become a man’s own unless each day he maintain it and work it out in his life.” Epictetus

    Our physician friend has a wonderful way to describe the phenomenon of releasing regrets of our past performances. He uses an analogy of the Eiffel Tower. Like the Towe, our lives would have toppled if anything had been taken away or added in the construction phase. It took every bit of material, assembled in precisely the right pattern, to create the Tower and to bring us to the point where we found ourselves ready to seek and accept help.

    When we think of the architect who designed tht incredible edifice, we can remeber our own architect—our Higher Power—who has brought us to the threshold of a new and productive existence.

    Unlike the Eiffel Tower, though, we’re not a finished product. We accept the fact that we are truly the sum of our past experience. But, we also know that we will be changing as new and positive experiences happen to us in our continuing recovery program.

    It is useless to live in past regrets or be fearful of what tomorrow may bring. Our goal is to live in the now, extracting all its benefits to strengthen us in the days to come. With one eye on yesterday and one eye on tomorrow—as the saying goes—-we’ll be cockeyed today. By taking a daily inventory, we keep the focus on today and on our recovery.

    Today’s Step: My daily inventory plants my feet firmly in the present.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 9

    Sackcloth and Ashes

    “We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our worst enemies.” Roderick Thorp

    As recovering people, our self-images have taken such a beating that we sometimes wonder whether we’ll even feel totally O.K. about ourselves again. We tend to doubt that our feelings of usefulness and self-pity will ever go away.

    We call this the “sackcloth and ashes” caper. Surely by now we’ve inventoried enough assets and strengths to know that we’re not only productive and useful, but also, with our newfound strength and resolve, no longer pitiful.

    Recovery is victory. And victory does not produce feelings of worthlessness. On the contrary, there is a dawning realization that we’re now shaping a whole new existence for ourselves, an existence free of the nagging fear that we’re weak-willed and useless.

    Not too many people have a second chance to do life right when they’ve failed. But we do. If we can see our recovery as a rebirth, we can discard the shell of the old entity and make a fresh new start. By continuing to take our personal inventory, our past mistakes become useful guideposts to keep us on the right track.

    Today’s Step: A daily inventory is the foundation of my second chance at life.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink

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