Speaking something out loud has a certain power. It takes the idea out of your head and turns it into a physical act, confirming it for anyone within hearing distance and making you feel more committed to your word. It can also serve as a powerful reminder to hear what you want in your own voice.
The strategy is used several times in a typical Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to help people renew their dedication to recovery, and one of the most common methods to accomplish this is with the Just For Today (JFT) Meditation.
Just For Today (JFT) Meditation
The Just for Today meditation, as the name suggests, provides reciters with a short list of things to focus on. Only for today. It’s a reminder that in sobriety, as in life, we can only take one day at a time.
As a result, the incantation changes frequently, and there are numerous versions of the JFT, but this is one of the most comprehensive:
Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, not tackling my whole life problems at once. I can do something at this moment that would bother me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for Today, I will try to be happy realizing that my happiness does not depend on what others do or say, or what happens around me. Happiness is a result of being at peace with myself.
Just for Today, I will try to adjust myself to what is and not force everything to adjust to my own desires. I will accept my family, friends, my business, and my circumstances as they come.
Just for Today, I will take care of my physical, intellectual, and spiritual health.
Just for Today, I will do an act of service for someone else without being found out. If anyone finds out about it, it will not count. I will do at least one thing I do not want to do, and I will perform an act of love for my neighbor.
Just for Today, I will try to go out of my way to be kind to someone I meet; I will be friendly and act appropriately, I will dress becomingly, talk low, be courteous and not critical, I will not try to control situations or other people.
Just for Today, I will have a program. I may not follow it perfectly, but I will have it.
Just for Today, I will stop saying, “if I had time.” I will never “find time” for anything. I will have to take time.
Just for Today, I will make time to meditate and seek serenity, truth, and acceptance of myself and others.
Just for Today, I shall be unafraid. Particularly, I shall be unafraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, and what is lovely in life.
Just for Today, I will accept myself and live to the best of my ability.
Just for Today, I choose to believe that I can live this one day.
It’s a powerful and all-encompassing statement that can help to revitalize our mental, emotional, and spiritual states.
If that seems like too much to remember or consider every day, there are a variety of Just For Today prayers that can help. Consider this classic, short, and sweet refrain: I am grateful to be alive just for today.
If you are new to recovery or simply believe that you require more than AA to overcome your addiction, contact Who Answers? today to speak with a treatment specialist.
How to Use the Just For Today Prayer Meditation
It is as simple to use the JFT meditation as it is to say it. A good place to start is to set aside a specific time each day to recite the JFT. Choosing a time when you can look in the mirror, such as after brushing your teeth in the morning, helps to amplify the impact of saying the words by holding yourself visually accountable to what you’re promising.
Breathing can also be important in the process. Deep breaths promote calm and focus, making the words more audible in your mind. Understanding the forces at work behind meditation, on the other hand, is what gives the creed its true power. Mantras become such brilliant tools because they tap into our most powerful mental faculty: focus.
Indeed, because it is at the center of our entire reality, the focus has the power to change lives. What you choose to focus on is what you see, and what you see is what you use to construct your worldview.
If we constantly remind ourselves of the best parts of the world, as we do with the JFT prayer, it draws our attention to these positive aspects. We can actually reprogram our brains to seek out such optimistic outlooks over time.
Finding silver linings quickly becomes second nature, and with that attitude shift comes a slew of positive psychosomatic responses. When we are happy, our brains release a cascade of corresponding hormones. These, in turn, help to reduce our stress levels, keeping us happy and focused.
It takes commitment and faith in the practice to truly feel its full impact. However, even at the most basic level, the Just For Today meditation can be beneficial. Even with tools like the JFT meditation, recovery is not easy.
How Just For Today (JFT) Meditation Works
You can’t entirely escape reality by leveraging positive thinking. Undoubtedly, there will continue to be global issues as well as individual failures.
But the strength of prayer lies in how it empowers us to deal with these sad and unavoidable occurrences. We may approach them with the hope of learning from them or in search of a constructive strategy to handle the circumstance.
As part of AA’s objective, the JFT aims to assist people in to practice of keeping sober even and especially in these times of upheaval while maintaining the same sense of calm cheerfulness.
It works by first narrowing our focus and identifying common situations that could derail our recovery. It reminds us that, while we may not have the power to change these things, we do have control over how we react to them, which often has a greater impact than the event itself.
The JFT highlights the positive aspects of doubling down on personal empowerment. They are all simple things that help us recognize how much we have to be grateful for on a daily basis. Even a laundry list of promises, however, does not overwhelm us. Its daily recitation relieves us of the burdens of long-term maintenance, training us to consider these affirmations only for today.
The phrase serves as a reminder to take things one day at a time. And the concept can be liberating: “All we have is today,” the chant reminds us, so let us not waste it. Let us live and love to the best of our abilities.
We can sleep soundly at night knowing we met our daily objectives, and we can wake up refreshed each morning, ready to face the new day’s promises. It’s amazing how much power can be found in three simple words.
Just For Today: A School of Recovery
Learning in recovery is challenging. The things we most need to know are often the most difficult to learn. We study recovery to better prepare ourselves for the experiences that life will throw at us. We take mental notes as we listen to others speak in meetings so that we can refer to them later. In order to be prepared, we study our notes and literature in between “lessons.” Just as students can apply their knowledge during tests, we can apply our recovery skills during times of crisis.
We always have a choice in how we respond to life’s challenges. We can either fear and avoid them as threats to our peace of mind, or we can accept them gratefully as opportunities for growth. Life’s challenges strengthen us by confirming the principles we’ve learned in recovery. Without such challenges, however, we risk forgetting what we’ve learned and stagnating. These are the opportunities that push us to new levels of spiritual awareness.
We’ll notice that there’s usually a period of calm after each crisis, giving us time to adjust to our new abilities. After reflecting on our experience, we are asked to share our knowledge with someone who is researching what we have just learned. In the recovery school, we are all both teachers and students.