Day 11: Be of Service to Others


Day 11 of 12 Days of Emotional Sobriety

The third pillar of recovery, after personal recovery and unity with the fellowship, are


acts of service. This takes us out beyond our own self-interest and allows us to, often for the first time in our lives, feel like we have found meaning in life. It’s critical because most people in the throe

s of addiction are ‘takers’. In early recovery, they think that doing things for others “sucks”. I was once told that “if it’s not inconvenient, it’s not service”, and that has helped me adjust my attitude over the years.

There is an undeniable spiritual alchemy that occurs when we give from our hearts without looking for something in return. It’s difficult to put into words. If we pay attention, we’ll notice that we feel uplifted. We feel as though we finally belong because we have something of value to offer. We have discovered a key to happiness.

Saint Frances said it best: “…it is by giving that we receive.”

Acts of service can be large or small. I know a couple who every Christmas anonymously buy other people’s groceries when they are checking out. They watch to see who looks in need, then they let the cashier know they will pay the bill. They set a budget and give in this way. There are also so many ways we can make a difference that don’t cost a cent.

Tip for Today

Think about the days ahead and ask yourself what type of service you could accomplish. Sit quietly and let yourself sense into what feels meaningful to you. Perhaps you want to volunteer your time at a shelter; cook a holiday meal for someone; help a neighbour or friend; or reach out to someone struggling with their recovery. Create a plan to make it happen and follow through. Remember showing up for life and being accountable means taking action. It will result in a sense of emotional maturity and well-being.

Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family who could benefit from 12 tips to keep you emotionally sober this holiday season. See you tomorrow for tip #12!


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