Daily Meditations

Just for today

October 01, 2023

Not just a motivation for growth

Page 287

"We learn that pain can be a motivating factor in recovery."

Basic Text, p.30

"Pain-who needs it!" we think whenever we're in it. We see no good purpose for pain. It seems to be a pointless exercise in suffering. If someone happens to mention spiritual growth to us while we're in pain, we most likely snort in disgust and walk away, thinking we've never encountered a more insensitive person.

But what if human beings didn't feel pain-either physical or emotional? Sound like an ideal world? Not really. If we weren't capable of feeling physical pain, we wouldn't know when to blink foreign particles out of our eyes; we wouldn't know when to stop exercising; we wouldn't even know when to roll over in our sleep. We would simply abuse ourselves for lack of a natural warning system.

The same holds true for emotional pain. How would we have known that our lives had become unmanageable if we hadn't been in pain? Just like physical pain, emotional pain lets us know when to stop doing something that hurts. But pain is not only a motivating factor. Emotional pain provides a basis for comparison when we are joyful. We couldn't appreciate joy without knowing pain.

Just for Today: I will accept pain as a necessary part of life. I know that to whatever level I can feel pain, I can also feel joy.

Copyright (c) 2007-2023,  NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Spiritual Principle a Day

October 01, 2023

Compassion as Contrary Action

Page 284

"Our instinct is to meet disease with disease, but when we meet it with love and compassion instead, we create an opportunity for recovery."

Guiding Principles, Tradition One, "For Members"

As harmonious as we may wish Narcotics Anonymous to be, there are times when another member's behavior really gets under our skin and seems to demand that we respond in kind. Maybe they tear into us verbally or try to goad us into a physical altercation. A member's actions can place our meeting's location in danger. We've also seen members try to undermine a group decision, and when it doesn't go their way, take to social media to bad-mouth NA. And what about members who act in these ways but never make amends for their behavior? How dare they mess with our serenity?!

Our first impulses will likely be to respond to another's resentment, selfishness, or accusations—with our own. We can, however, cool our own fury—and consider its source. Meeting another's disease with compassion means that we suspend judgment. We try to separate the person from their disease. Maybe they're going through a rough time. Maybe we unintentionally disrespected them, and they don't know how to express their pain in another way. Maybe they are afraid of being wrong and looking uncool in the face of controversy. Maybe they're just misinformed. And maybe we're more alike than we care to admit. Bingo! At the end of the day, we are all recovering as best we can.

Having compassion for another doesn't mean we ignore issues that arise. With unity as a priority, we end up practicing a lot more acceptance than our disease would otherwise have it. We may not understand where someone is coming from, but we can recognize the feelings and relate. Ideally, our response will consider what's best for the common good. With practice, we spend a little less energy contemplating how we might meet disease with disease. We learn the benefits of responding with compassion instead.

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Next time someone flips out on me or the group, I'll test out meeting them with compassion instead of my ego. What's best for the group is best for my recovery.

Copyright (c) 2007-2023,  NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved