I will try to be unruffled, no matter what happens. I will try to keep my emotions in check, although others around me are letting theirs go. I will keep calm in the face of disturbance, keep that deep inner calm through all the experiences of the day. (24 Hours a Day, Feb. 16)

Before I began working my 12 step program, this would have been a dream, an impossible one. I was never unruffled, and could usually be counted on to "lose it" sometime during most days. Today, it is a possibility that this can really happen. If I think about why it's possible, there is only one answer for me, and that is, that I believe that my Higher Power is arranging the difficulties of my day in order to help me grow from them. It would be easy for me to see it differently - that He is trying to provoke me, get me to lose my temper, make things hard for me, etc. In fact, two people recently gave me that 'take' on their own lives. They are angry at G‑d, feeling really ticked off and picked on. I just don't see it that way anymore.

Maybe there was a time when I often lived on the 'pity pot' thinking 'poor me' most days. But if so, that time has long passed. I feel like our world clock is somehow ticking down to something big, that we are all soon to see a big lesson of sorts. In that case, all this "learning opportunity" is good. I see things in a new light: My challenges in life are geared towards this - growth, learning and connection with my Higher Power. All these things that could easily serve to get me to lose my temper, have my emotions explode — are now seen (by me) in a new way. So, no reason to "get ruffled" by the challenges and events. Instead, it's just another "spiritual" and "learning" opportunity to look at it all and see what I can do about it, learn about it, and even just to ask my HP what He wants from me, right here and right now.

What a different way to look at life! Even when I may see others around me losing their cool over the very same things. Often I feel like I'm in a time warp, or third dimension, since I am not feeling so stressed by the very same things that seem to stress others. This is especially startling to me, since I used to respond in the very same way. Perhaps this is what we mean in program about changing our way from "reacting on life to acting on life." I guess that's what's meant by "choosing" to live instead of having life just sort of run away with us. Choosing to remain calm in the face of frustration, too.

I like that — the "choice" part. When I was in active addiction, my choices were gone. It was all automatic. Today I get to choose. Super-cool.