If anyone can fight the battles of just one day then why are so many in our fellowship losing the battle daily?
Poetry, slogans, clapping for key tags, open disgusting meetings, frothy emotionalism, drunk-a-logs, and an endless stream of treatment center psycho-rhetoric flooding our fellowship with people who feel they have an entitlement to share their opinions, their problems and their issues turning our meetings into group therapy without a therapist!
This is NOT the approach the Big Book suggests, our recovery text that shows precisely how we can recover from a seamingly hopeless state of mind and body.
Our Big Book tells us: Frothy emotional appeals (interventions, nice guy/bad guy tactics, reading poetry i.e. “The Man in the Glass”, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow) seldom suffice (A.A. pg xxviii)
Let us look at one of the “scared cows” in 12 Step meetings…the poem, Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow (Author Unknown).
There are two days in every week
about which we should not worry,
Two days which should be kept free
from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is “Yesterday” with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday.
We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
That’s not what the Big Book says…
Our Big Book tells us: “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” (pg. 83, AA)
Our Big Book tells us: “I have made a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends…Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past.” (pg. 75, AA)
The poem goes on to say…
The other day we should not worry about is “Tomorrow”
with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance.
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
Does this mean we need to give up planning, it doesn’t work?
Our Big Book tells us: “On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.” (pg. 86, AA)
The poem concludes with…
This leaves only one day, “Today”, and anyone can fight the battles of just one day. (Maybe, BUT NOT ON PAYDAY!)
It is only when you and I add the burden of those awful eternities, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, that we break down.
It is not the experience of Today that drives people mad, it is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what
Tomorrow may bring.
Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time.
That’s not what our Big Book says…
The Big Book says: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism (addiction) as we know it–this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.” (pg. 34, AA)
The Big Book says: “We alcoholics (addicts) are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking (using). We know that no real alcoholic (addict) ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals – usually brief – were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.” (pg. 30, AA)
There is a Solution – a way out!
The Big Book says:“. . .our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
- That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
- That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
- That God could and would if He were sought. (A.A. pg 60)
We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself? As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built. (A.A. pg 47)
What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, “a design for living” that really works. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, a design for living tht really works. (AA, pg. 28)
Thus was our friend’s cornerstone fixed in place. No later vicissitude has shaken it. His alcoholic problem was taken away. That very night, years ago, it disappeared. Save for a few brief moments of temptation the though of drink has never returned; and at such times a great revulsion has risen up in him. Seemingly he could not drink (use) even if he would. God had restored his sanity.
What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker then he knew.
Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him.
When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!” (A.A. pg 57)