Al-Anon Meeting Topic: One Day at a Time

I Am Powerless Over Yesterday

Man Holding Coffee
Living One Day at a Time. © Getty Images

I remember the effect it had on me the first time I heard someone say I was powerless over yesterday and tomorrow. This seems like a simple enough statement alright, but the truth is that it had just never occurred to me before.

I spent so much time worrying about stuff that was already past - wishing that I could undo it, or make up for it somehow. I would go over and over in my head all the mistakes that I had made while trying to live with an alcoholic.

The things that I said and did that I should not have done, or the thing that I tried to do that backfired in my face, would haunt me. They would keep me up at night, worry me for days and dominate my thoughts.

I would fret over the failures and mistakes and wish somehow I could go back and do it over. Al-Anon helped me finally accept that was it was simply impossible.

Powerless Over Yesterday and Tomorrow

One of the best lessons that I learned from others in the Al-Anon program was there were two things that I was surely powerless over - yesterday and tomorrow.

I may not like what happened yesterday, but I am powerless to change it. I may not like what will happen tomorrow, but it hasn't happened yet!

All I Have is Today

If I accept yesterday's mistakes and troubles and refrain from worrying about what might happen tomorrow, then I am living right in the middle of today, which is all I really have anyway!

I had heard that same principle expressed many times before in the words, "take therefore no thought for tomorrow..." but I never learned what that really meant until I came into the rooms of Al-Anon Family Groups.

It comes down to accepting the things I cannot change, as the Serenity Prayer suggests, and learning which things I can do something about.

I cannot change yesterday or tomorrow, all I can do anything about is today. My own personal serenity depends upon me living just one day at a time, and realizing that all I have power over is right now, and making sure I do the next right thing.

-- BuddyT

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