But Keep In Mind, It’s a Secret
At one time I was a member of a weekly Therapy Class, and on the first meeting we were given a copy of “Just For Today” (see below). Its words were to be part of our ‘work’, and beginning the next day we were to take Number One, and for that day, live what it asked us to do. The next day move to No. 2, and go on day by day, until we reached the last one, and then go back and start over again.
The good doctor stressed however, the importance of not letting anyone know what we were doing. It had to be a secret, and not discussed at all, until we met the next week and then could talk back and forth all we wanted.
It seemed so simple that I carelessly put it aside, but these years later, this is the part of those Classes that I remember most of all. Yeah, they looked easy, but we found that doing them was ‘another story’. We also discovered that one could be easy for some, but difficult for others, and vise versa. We all, as the weeks went by, wondered at how those foolish rules could be so hard.
All this. however, must be kept secret. Not a word spoken, not even if someone should comment on your ‘changed or unusual’ behavior. If you decide to try these ‘lessons’ for a day or two, remember you’ll be tempted to tell, but don’t. Take one “Just for today” at a time, and when you get to the last one, start at the beginning again.
As you use them time after time they get more familiar; you find deeper meanings; the Rules begin to overlap and you discover that as you are ‘doing’, say, No. 6, that No. 2 is right there, with it.
1. Just for today I will be happy. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” For this one day, I make up my mind to be happy.
2. Just for today I will not try to tackle all of my problems, but only those relevant to this one day. I will not worry about what I must do next week, or next month or next year. Or even to-morrow. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up forever.
3. Just for today I will say ‘Thank You’ to three people who don’t expect it. This could be a salesperson who smiles and calls you by name; a note to a long ago school teacher who helped you so much when you needed it; a smile and thanks to the cab driver. You’ll please and surprise people who don’t expect it.
4. Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study something new; or ask someone to talk about an intricate hobby of theirs; or read something that needs effort and concentration.
5. Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways. I will do someone a good turn and not get found out. If anyone knows of it, it won’t count. And I will do at least two things, at home or office that I usually dodge and leave for someone else to do.
6. Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress neatly, shave or put on make-up, (depending on gender), talk courteously, find fault with nothing, and try not to regulate or change anybody. Except myself.
7. Just for today I will have a schedule. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. And by doing so, I will save myself from all sense of hurry or of any indecision of ‘what to do’.
8. Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all to myself. During that half hour, perhaps in prayer or meditation, I will relax and try to get a better perspective on what and where my life is going.
9. Just for today I will be unafraid, especially not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and good, and today I will believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give back to me.
Be surprised to see what comfort those three words can bring into your life. No one can take pain, trouble, worry, sadness, or confusion for a life time, But, just for one day? Yeah, that’s a different story.
Might be worth a trial and the wonderful part of the whole thing is, that as it has to be a secret, no one will know that ‘just for a day’ you are trying something different. No one, that is, but you.