From the time we are young, we are taught to look toward the future.
By the time a child is ten, they have probably been asked numerous times what they want to be when they grow up. High school is full of decisions and preparation for the future—the SAT’s, college applications, decisions about major and vocation.
We are also taught to look to the past. Indulging in memories, reviewing past wrongs, regretting past decisions, learning from past mistakes–we saw our parents doing these things, and we learned to do them, too.
Coming into AA, NA, or a recovery program is a gift. It took pain and suffering to get here, but recovery is a new way of life. Instead of focusing on the past or future, recovery teaches us to live “one day at a time.” While we do not forget the past or neglect the future, we learn to stay in the present and appreciate what is right in front of us.
The Green Card can be picked up at just about any AA meeting. It is a good tool to keep in your purse, wallet, or back pocket.
Here is what it says about Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow:
“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 those days is YESTERDAY with all of its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. YESTERDAY has passed forever beyond our control.
All of 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.
The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW with its possible adversaries, 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.
This leaves only one day…TODAY. Any man can fight the battle of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of these two awful eternities…YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW that we break down.
It is not the experience of TODAY that drives men 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!!”
If we can adhere to this principle in our recovery, life will be much happier. In essence, we are only here one moment at a time.