Posts Tagged With: 12-step programs

Day 35: The Next Right Thing

For today, I would like to continue the illustrious tradition (that I established yesterday), of discussing the meaning of a term or phrase. Yesterday’s term was “Object Constancy.” Today’s phrase is “The Next Right Thing.”

Yesterday, I Googled “Object Constancy” before I shared my assumptions about it. Today, I would like to start this way:

I want to ask you, dear reader, what your assumptions are about the meaning of the phrase “The Next Right Thing.”  Maybe you’ve heard it before; maybe you haven’t.  In any case, what do you think it means?

(silence, so you can think about that)

(Actually, if this were a game show like “Jeopardy”, thinking music would be playing now.

Da da da da,

Dee dee dee.

Da da da da,

DEET, da-da-da-da-da,

Da da da da,

Dee dee dee,

DAH! da da da,

Deeee, deeeee,  deeeeeeeh.)

Okay, now that you’ve had some time to think about what “The Next Right Thing” means to you (assuming that the “Jeopardy” theme song hasn’t obliterated all other thoughts from your mind) (if so, my deepest apologies) …. I will now Google that phrase.

Hmmmm. Actually, I’m not seeing any “easy” definition of the phrase. (In other words, there’s no Wikipedia entry for it.)  Here are two links I clicked on, and found helpful: here and here.)

Okay!  It’s time for me to tell you my own personal experience with the phrase  “The Next Right Thing.”

I know that “The Next Right Thing” is a phrase, or slogan, associated with 12-step programs. I have witnessed many people use that phrase as a guidepost. I’ve seen them use it as Something That Helps — in their personal path of recovery, in moving forward, in letting go of judgment, in so many different ways. I have felt grateful and privileged to witness all that.

And I decided to use it this morning for myself.  And that phrase came to me because I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed today.  Here are some reasons I’m feeling overwhelmed:

I planned a party for several weeks; now that’s over.

I’m going off on an adventure tomorrow, flying in a plane by myself to somewhere I’ve never been before.

And I haven’t started packing!

I have a friend staying over, and what I’d really like to do is just hang out with her, but I’ve got all these things I should be doing.

And  I’m not feeling great, physically.  Nothing serious, just some muscle aches and the same damn cold lingering on, but the physical stuff does have an effect.

(By the way, I’ll probably write a future blog post about how helpful it can be just to List What’s Stressful, Right Now.)

(Notice that this post is long, with lots of digressions?  Among the reasons for THAT: (1) I’m on vacation so I’ve got more time on my hands and (2) I’m overwhelmed!)

Anyway …  so where was I, before the parentheses?

Heaven knows. But let’s go back to my topic: “The Next Right Thing.”

I know that it will help me today, to identify the next right thing to do.  But here are some thoughts I’m having about THAT:

What the hell is the next right thing? How can I figure THAT out? I’m so overwhelmed!

Well, here’s the deal. There are SEVERAL Next Right Things I could choose right now. I could start packing.  I could tell my friend I need a couple of hours today for myself.  I could get a massage to relieve the muscle aches!

And, actually, I already did do one Next Right Thing for myself this morning.

I wrote this blog post.

Thanks for reading.

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