What’s Today’s Verb Tense?
Rereading Step Ten at a recent 12 &12 meeting, I see how reminders of what I hear at meetings take on fresh usefulness —like Keep recovery in the present tense — written in red ink.
My scribblings show me I am still a faster forgetter than I am learner!
Working this step, keeps me in the present and dependent on the God of my understanding because I need help coping with all the stuff that daily life deposits on my doorstep.
When in doubt about how to handle stuff I do not — cannot embrace — I can pray,
“‘Not my will, but Thine be done.’ And we can often ask ourselves. ‘ Am I doing to others as I would have done to me — today?’” (page 93)
In red ink, I wrote: Ask +wait for the answer.
Right. So . . .
When I step in it — also written in red:
Don’t beat myself up for failing to avoid it, or slide into self- pity.
These are two free tickets to emotional dry benders — which can lead to the bottle. (12 &12, page 90)
Present Tense Advice: Don’t wander about in the past or wonder too much about the future.
Getting upset means something has gotten to me. (12 &12, page 90) That some thing is ruling my emotions. Usually it acquires its power through FEAR:
- False Evidence Appearing Real or
- False Expectations Appearing Real
What do I do with new — or recurring — unwanted evidence or unmet expectations?
They are all part of what I decided — decide — to turn over to God. If I said or did something based on false assumptions:
Quit trying to justify myself.
Admit it, and ask for forgiveness.
Life is getting way too short to spend any time excusing myself! It always has been.
Now if — when — I get slammed with something not in my inventory, what do I do? Well, that goes over to the care of my Higher Power, too.
Step Ten reminds me when stuff happens, Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen [or text]. (12&12, page 93)
The first thought I have, should be discarded.
The golden years deposit stuff — old loved ones create new challenges — life on life’s term scares the you-know-what out of me. But, keeping recovery in the present tense, today I will enjoy sobriety and serenity.
Think about the people who can’t or won’t enjoy this simple pleasure.
If I am upset because of people, places or things, check my part.
Forgiveness is not pretending like it didn’t happen or it didn’t hurt. That’s lying. Forgiveness is the decision to release a debt regardless of how you feel. Pastor Tony Evans