There is a slogan in Al-Anon: Do the next right thing. Putting this into my own word it means you don’t have to know the outcome of your entire life, or even a decision that is weighing heavily upon you, you just need to do the next right thing. It reminds me of the old adage how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, of course!
I see where knowing that you only need to do the next right thing brings peace to one who has been living in turmoil. In fact, this very slogan has allowed me to slow down and decide that I really don’t have to make any major decisions RIGHT NOW! No, I just need to do the next right thing. Sometimes that ‘s all you have the wherewithal to do.
But what if you don’t? What if all you can muster, what if all you have the power to do at this moment, this day, is to do the next thing? Forget about doing the next RIGHT thing! Sometimes all we have the ability to do is get through the day, or maybe even the next hour, and that can come by simply doing the next thing.
Doing the next RIGHT thing? Sometimes the situation is so complex; the event so devastating, that all you can do is the next thing, and then the next. Sometimes the next thing is simply to breathe.
I’m not here to argue with a fellowship such as Al-Anon or AA, or any other 12 step group, for those groups have helped far too many people change their lives one day at a time, for me to take issue with a slogan. Quite the contrary, doing the next thing is helpful indeed.No, there is no issue here.
Sometimes, however, I actually do know the next right thing to do, but for weightier matters, decisions that will affect others that I care about, long-term, life-changing decisions, well sometimes the next right thing escapes me. But I have come to learn that that’s okay too. It’s okay to be where you are in the process, as long as you are actively engaged in the present, fully aware of life and your power to change what you can change.
I have found much peace in knowing that all I have to do is the next right thing. I sometimes garner even more peace in knowing that sometimes that baby step is beyond me and I allow myself the privilege and grace of doing the next thing. I don’t have to have it all figure out. In fact, I don’t have to have anything figured out. I can leave that to my Higher Power. That’s what faith is all about.
As I come along in my journey to wholeness and emotionally healthy living and communicating, I allow myself to do the next thing next, as I am searching for the next right thing.
I hope you allow yourself the grace to do that as well.