“With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.” Zig Ziglar
If you are new to recovery, you may have already heard people speaking about doing the next right thing. But do you know what the next right thing means?
Does it mean jumping from Step One to Step Nine making amends to everyone along the way? Does it mean molding our responses to what we think others want to hear, hoping beyond hope that what we say will satisfy them? Not at all.
The next right thing has to do with our thinking. It means before we do anything at all that requires a decision; we consider asking ourselves a few questions:
Here are a few actions we can do if we’re not sure what the next right thing to do is.
1.We can ask ourselves have we prayed about it. Page 87 of the Big Book of AA states, “…we pause when agitated or doubtful, …carefully reminding ourselves we are not running the show… We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity or foolish decisions.”
The birth of a baby, parties, trips and get-togethers were the type of excitement many of us drank over. It was our right to celebrate. Foolish decisions are what we did when we acted like we needed no one at all. Excitement for the alcoholic is anything that causes us to feel reason enough to drink.
2. Who are we doing the next right thing for and why?
If we’re running on self-will in our decision-making, not praying about it or talking to another alcoholic or sponsor, then we may want to think twice before we do anything.
3. Many good decisions made by ourselves turned out to be the worst thing we could have done. As a friend in our fellowship says, “Ya know? I think I’ll rob a bank today.”
Left to our own method of decision-making might get us what we always got: Knee-jerk, old behavior ways of thinking and reacting.
We intentionally Give Our Decision Time and Space before we ACT on the next right thing.
- When we’ve examined our motives and looked at our true purpose for doing or not doing something, we find the answer comes in time.
- When the next right thing is sitting right in front of us to do.
- The next right thing should always be about our 24 hours. What is it about today that needs attending to? Not 48 hours, a week, next month, and so on, but right now.
- When we’ve prayed about it. This is the biggest determining factor. Thy will, not my will be done.
- If another day has gone by and we’re still not sure what or how to proceed, it is always okay to leave the issue alone for yet, another day, and look at it from the perspective of “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do?), or Higher Power, or the Group.
We are learning how to be appropriate, clear, and responsible for our thinking, our motives, our actions or inactions. Our literature assures answers will always be revealed if we work for them.
It could be the one thing we think is so important is the wrong thing to do.
Twenty-four hours or more of time allows for our unconscious to work and examine what we cannot see.
There is never a wrong reason for doing the next right thing.
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