Presence

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact…”

One of the first things my therapist encouraged me to practice was consciousness – being present.  He would say. “When you are (and I’m not saying you will) standing at the checkout paying for a pornographic magazine, I want you to be mindful that it is your money you are handing over to the cashier, and it is with your hand that you are offering the money… remember that you are doing this.”

As I have continued on in recovery, I am often reminded to live ‘one day at a time.’

It is useless to ‘live’ in the past, with all of its hurts, failures and regrets.  We cannot ‘unring’ the bell!  The past is the past, and nothing we can say or do will erase what we have done.

It is just as pointless to ‘live’ in the future, with all of its possible adversities, large promise and poor performance.  There is no point in worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow is beyond our immediate control.

That leaves only today – this present moment – in which we can live.  Today is the day. Now is the time.  Regret and resentment can have no part in our daily existence.  Fear and worry accomplishes nothing, except to bring us what we don’t want.

It has been said that ‘worry is asking for what you don’t want.’  I realize that as addicts we want to control our circumstances, our environment.  We want the best for us; we want to be successful.  We want to win.  But we try to control how others feel about us.  We want to control how we feel about ourselves.  Instead, we end up caught in a vortex of shame and compulsive activity as our lives spin out of control.

The only way we can recover is to remain in this present moment.  Everything that happens takes place in this present moment.  All change happens in this present moment.  We meet with God in this present moment.  Our Higher Power cannot help us if we are lost in the ugly past or obsessed with the possible future.  We must remain watchful, not willful.  We must pay attention to what’s going on right now.

There is nothing wrong with remembering our past.  We can learn from our mistakes.  There is nothing wrong with planning for the future.  We need to set worthy goals for ourselves.  But we cannot live in the past or the future.  It’s just impossible!  And we waste today – these sacred, precious moments – when we fail to pay attention to where we are right now.

We work the steps in this present moment.