Back when I thought abstinence was the key to all my troubles, this ‘cyclone’ analogy fitted me perfectly. I genuinely believed once I was clean from gambling everything would be fine. I was definitely unthinking in terms of the extent of destruction I had left behind. Thankfully, I am no longer that farmer. I now work a program involving service, unity and recovery. This action is progressively clearing the debris, repairing the damage, mending broken hearts, strengthening relationships and replanting seeds of affection which now fill my home with love and kindness.
They are daily for a reason.
What if I don’t drink any water today? Does my body hydrate itself?
What happens if I don’t brush my teeth in the morning? Do they clean themselves?
What if I don’t wash my hands with soap? Does the bacteria just jump off?
These are but a few “suggestions” that better my physical health. If I don’t do them, it will be to my own physical detriment in some way or another. And the longer I neglect them, the more they disintegrate. They are all suggestions in a sense that nobody forces me to do them, yet I do them day after day. They have become non-negotiable habits.
But what of my spiritual health? The very thing that brings me serenity, humility, courage, acceptance, sanity, happiness, gratitude, honesty, faith, forgiveness and love. Why would I neglect my spiritual growth? Well I did for decades. I was stuck in ‘self’ and quite simply my life as a result wasn’t pretty reading. Not surprisingly, instead of living alongside the strengths above, I constantly lived in the spiritual malady with defects like resentment, fear, selfishness and dishonesty.
A quote on the word ‘spiritual’ from page 28 in the Orange Book reads ‘Simply stated, the word can be said to describe that characteristic of the human mind which is marked by the highest and finest qualities such as generosity, honesty, tolerance and humility.’
In my humble opinion, and bear in mind I know very little, this is what I get in return for embracing, taking advantage of and practicing each suggestion.
Prayer – humility, gratitude, thankfulness, selflessness, faith
Meditation – calmness, open-mindedness, serenity, mindfulness, high mindedness, spirituality
Gratitude List – gratitude, appreciation, serenity, happiness, contentment
Reading – wisdom, knowledge, open-mindedness, inspiration, motivation
Calling my Sponsor – honesty, willingness, commitment, humility, open-mindedness
Calling Two Members – selflessness, generosity, unity, service, love, compassion, kindness
Inventory – honesty, self-honesty, humility, self-evaluation, looking for the good
The Daily Suggestions, as they are fondly known, aren’t just thrown together without any thought. They are proven. They have worked for thousands of others. They each have the ability to take me out of self and better my spiritual health. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t want to go a day without sleeping, why would I want to skip on suggestions that give so much back?
Spiritual health is not something I can reach, collect the certificate, and then put down again. Like going to the gym, I can’t get spiritually fit, stop working it and expect to stay that way. I need to look after and nurture it. They say ‘faith without works is dead’, well so is my spiritual health. My illness does not stop. To quote a fellow, ‘my illness is always there in the background doing press-ups’ waiting for me to take my foot off the gas.
Hence these suggestions are daily.
Disclaimer – other than the quote from the Orange Book the views above are expressed by me, an addict who cannot manage his own life, they are not the view of any fellowship as a whole, so take it as you please with a big pinch of salt 😉
Terms and conditions – the daily suggestions work best when part of a bigger program including the 12 steps, 2 home meetings with service and sponsorship 😉
How It’s Working
Today I am grateful I can completely give myself to this simple program
Today I am grateful I am constitutionally capable of being honest with myself
Today I am grateful I am naturally capable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty
Today I am grateful I decided I want what you have and am willing to go to any length to get it
Today I am grateful I am not trying to find an easier, softer way
Today I am grateful I was fearless and thorough from the very start
Today I am grateful I did not try to hold on to my old ideas
Today I am grateful I found Him
Today I am grateful I experienced half measures availed me nothing
Today I am grateful I stood at the turning point. I asked His protection and care with complete abandon
Today is a good day