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The Fourth Step - Fearing Our Feelings

Step 4

Just for Today - September 25

"We may fear that being in touch with our feelings will trigger an overwhelming chain reaction of pain and panic."

Basic Text, p.29

A common complaint about the Fourth Step is that it makes us painfully conscious of our defects of character. We may be tempted to falter in our program of recovery. Through surrender and acceptance, we can find the resources we need to keep working the steps.

A Growing Concept of God

Just for Today - September 24

"The only suggested guidelines are that this Power be loving, caring, and greater than ourselves. We don't have to be religious to accept this idea. The point is that we open our minds to believe." Basic Text, p.24

In a lifelong process of coming to believe, our understanding of God will change. The understanding we have when new in recovery will not be the same when we have a few months clean, nor will that understanding be the same when we have a few years clean.

Dealing with Gossip

Just for Today - September 23

"In accordance with the principles of recovery, we try not to judge, stereotype, or moralize with each other."

Basic Text, p.11

Let's face it: In Narcotics Anonymous, we live in a glass house of sorts. Our fellow members know more about our personal lives than anyone has ever known before. They know who we spend our time with, where we work, what step we're on, how many children we have, and so forth. And what our fellow members don't know, they will probably imagine.

Keeping the Gift

Just for Today - September 22

"Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift." Basic Text, p.102

Neglecting our recovery is like neglecting any other gift we've been given. Suppose someone gave you a new car. Would you let it sit in the driveway until the tires rotted? Would you just drive it, ignoring routine maintenance, until it expired on the road? Of course not! You would go to great lengths to maintain the condition of such a valuable gift.


Just for Today - September 21

"Prayer takes practice, and we should remind ourselves that skilled people were not born with their skills." Basic Text, p.45

Many of us came into recovery with no experience in prayer and worried about not knowing the "right words!" Some of us remembered the words we'd learned in childhood but weren't sure we believed in those words anymore. Whatever our background, in recovery we struggled to find words that spoke truly from our hearts.

Courage to Change

Just for Today - September 20

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Serenity Prayer

Recovery involves change, and change means doing things differently. The problem is, many of us resist doing things differently; what we're doing may not be working, but at least we're familiar with it. It takes courage to step out into the unknown. How do we find that courage?


Just for Today - September 19

"In NA, our joys are multiplied by sharing good days; our sorrows are lessened by sharing the bad. For the first time in our lives, we don't have to experience anything alone." IP No.16, "For the Newcomer"

Honest Relationships

Just for Today - September 18

"One of the most profound changes in our lives is in the realm of personal relationships."

Basic Text pg. 55

Recovery gives many of us relationships that are closer and more intimate than any we've had before. As time passes, we find ourselves gravitating toward those who eventually become our friends, our sponsor and our partners in life. Shared laughter, tears, and struggles bring shared respect and lasting empathy.

Going Beyond Step Five

Just for Today - September 17

"We may think that we have done enough by writing about our past. We cannot afford this mistake." Basic Text p.32

Emotional Balance

Just for Today - September 16

"Emotional balance is one of the first results of meditation, and our experience bears this out."

Basic Text p.45

Filling the Emptiness

Just for Today - September 15

"..we think that if we can just get enough food, enough sex, or enough money, we'll be satisfied and everything will be alright."

Basic Text p.77

Secrets Are Reservations

Just for today - September 14

"Eventually we are shown that we must get honest, or we will use again." Basic Text p.82

Everyone has secrets, right? Some of us have little secrets, items that would cause only minor embarrassment if found out. Some of us have big secrets, whole areas of our lives cloaked in thick, murky darkness. Big secrets may represent a more obvious, immediate danger to our recovery. But the little secrets do their own kind of damage, the more insidious perhaps because we think they're "harmless!"

Something Different

Just for today - September 13

"We had to have something different, and we thought we had found it in drugs." Basic Text p.13

Many of us have always felt different from other people. We know we're not unique in feeling that way; we hear many addicts share the same thing. We searched all our lives for something to make us all right, to fix that "different" place inside us, to make us whole and acceptable. Drugs seemed to fill that need.

New Horizons

Just for today - September 12

"My life is well-rounded and I am becoming a more comfortable version of myself, not the neurotic, boring person that I thought I'd be without drugs."

Basic Text p.262

Is there really life without drugs? Newcomers are sure that they are destined to lead a humdrum existence once they quit using. That fear is far from reality.

Bend With the Wind

Just for today - September 11

"We learn to become flexible.. As new things are revealed, we feel renewed."

Basic Text p.98

More Powerful Than Words

Just for today - September 10

"We learn that a simple, loving hug can make all the difference in the world."

Basic Text p.88

Perhaps there have been times in our recovery when we were close to someone who was in great pain. We struggled with the question, "What can I do to make them feel better?" We felt anxious and inadequate to relieve their suffering. We wished we had more experience to share. We didn't know what to say.

Feet of Clay

Just for today - September 9

"One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to be placing unrealistic expectations on... others." Basic Text p.78


Just for today - September 8

"We need not lose faith when we become rebellious."    Basic Text p.34

Many of us have lived our entire lives in revolt. Our initial response to any type of direction is often negative. Automatic rejection of authority seems to be a troubling character defect for many addicts.

Resentment and Forgiveness

Just for Today - September 7

"Where there has been wrong, the program teaches us the spirit of forgiveness."

Basic Text p.12

In NA, we begin to interact with the world around us. We no longer live in isolation. But freedom from isolation has its price.

The more we interact with people, the more often we'll find someone stepping on our toes. And such are the circumstances in which resentments are often born.

Regular Meeting Attendance

Just for Today - September 6

"We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regularly stay clean."

Basic Text p.9

Not Hopelessly Bad

Just for Today - September 5

"We find that we suffer from a disease, not a moral dilemma. We were critically ill, not hopelessly bad." Basic Text p.16

For many of us, Narcotics Anonymous was the answer to a personal puzzle of long standing. Why did we always feel alone, even in a crowd, we wondered? Why did we do so many crazy, self-destructive things? Why did we feel so badly about ourselves so much of the time? And how had our lives gotten so messed up? We thought we were hopelessly bad, or perhaps hopelessly insane.

Cluttered Spirits

Just for Today - September 4

"We try to remember that when we make amends we are doing it for ourselves."

Basic Text p.40

Humility Expressed By Anonymity

Just for Today - September 3

"Humility is a by-product that allows us to grow and develop in an atmosphere of freedom and removes the fear of becoming known by our employers, families, or friends as addicts." Basic Text p.72-23

Many of us may not have understood the idea that "anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions." We wondered how this could be. What does anonymity have to do with our spiritual life?

Higher Powered

Just for Today - September 2

"Daily practice of our Twelve Step program enables us to change from what we were to people guided by a Higher Power"

Basic Text p.83

Who have we been, and who have we become? There are a couple of ways to answer this question. One is very simple:

We came to Narcotics Anonymous as addicts, our addiction killing us. In NA, we've been freed from our obsession with drugs and our compulsion to use. And our lives have changed.

Real Values

Just for Today - September 1

"We become able to make wise and loving decisions based on principles and ideals that have real value in our lives."

Basic Text, pg. 101


Just for Today - August 31

"Hopeless living problems have become joyously changed. Our disease has been arrested, and now anything is possible."

Basic Text p.102

The NA program has given us more freedom than we ever dreamed possible. Sometimes, though, in the daily routine, we lose track of how much we've been given. How, exactly, have our lives changed in Narcotics Anonymous?

Doing Good, Feeling Good

Just for Today - August 30

"We examine our actions, reactions, and motives. We often find that we've been doing better than we've been feeling."

Basic Text p.42

Don't Look Back

Just for Today - August 29

"The steps offer a big change from a life dominated by guilt and remorse. Our futures are changed because we don't have to avoid those who we have harmed. As a result... we receive a new freedom that can end isolation." Basic Text p.31

The Light of Exposure

Just for Today - August 28

"These defects grow in the dark and die in the light of exposure."

Basic Text p.31

The Fifth Step asks us to share our true nature with God, with ourselves, and with another human being. It doesn't encourage us to tell everyone every little secret about ourselves. It doesn't ask us to disclose to the whole world every shameful or frightening thought we've ever had. Step Five simply suggests that our secrets cause us more harm than good when we keep them completely to ourselves.

Choosing Life

Just for Today - August 27

"Change from self-destructive patterns of life became necessary" Basic Text p.16

Active addiction is a smoldering death-wish. Each of us courted death every time we used. Our lifestyles, too, put us at risk. The life of an addict is sold cheaply with every day and every dose.