Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 18th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 18th

Daily Reflections

HONESTY WITH NEWCOMERS

Tell him exactly what happened to you. Stress the spiritual
feature freely.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 93

The marvel of A.A. is that I tell only what happened to me.
I don’t waste time offering advice to potential newcomers,
for if advice worked, nobody would get to A.A. All I have to
do is show what has brought me sobriety and what has changed
my life. If I fail to stress the spiritual feature of A.A.’s
program, I am being dishonest. The newcomer should not be
given a false impression of sobriety. I am sober only through
the grace of my Higher Power, and that makes it possible for
me to share with others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Unless we have the key of faith to unlock the meaning of life,
we are lost. We do not choose faith because it is one way for
us, but because it is the only way. Many have failed and will
fail. For we cannot live victoriously without faith; we are at
sea without a rudder or an anchor, drifting on the sea of life.
Wayfarers without a home. Our souls are restless until they
find rest in God. Without faith, our lives are a meaningless
succession of unrelated happenings, without rhyme or reason.
Have I come to rest in faith?

Meditation For The Day

This vast universe around us, including this wonderful earth on
which we live, was once perhaps only a thought in the mind of
God. The nearer the astronomers and the physicists get to the
ultimate composition of all things, the nearer the universe
approaches a mathematical formula, which is thought. The
universe may be the thought of the Great Thinker. We must try
to think God’s thoughts after Him. We must try to get the
guidance from the Divine Mind as to what His intention is for
the world and what part we can have in carrying out
that intention.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not worry over the limitations of the human
mind. I pray that I may live as though my mind were a reflection
of the Divine Mind.

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As Bill Sees It

Those Other People, p.268

“Just like you, I have often thought myself the victim of what other
people say and do. Yet every time I confessed the sins of such
people, especially those whose sins did not correspond exactly with
my own, I found that I only increased the total damage. My own
resentment, my self-pity would often render me well-nigh useless to
anybody.

“So, nowadays, if anyone talks of me so as to hurt, I first ask myself if
there is any truth at all in what they say. If there is none, I try to
remember that I too have had my periods of speaking bitterly of
others; that hurtful gossip is but a symptom of our remaining
emotional illness; and consequently that I must never be angry at the
unreasonableness of sick people.

“Under very trying conditions I have had, again and again, to forgive
others–also myself. Have you recently tried this?”

Letter, 1946

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Walk In Dry Places

The Fear Of Loneliness
Raising Self-Esteem
The fear of being alone brings strange results.  It may cause us to cling to arrangements and relationships that are unsatisfactory or destructive.  Some of us become enablers for loved ones who are still drinking; quite often this can involve putting up with abuse we shouldn’t have to endure.
We endure such relationships because we fear we’ll be alone and defenseless without them.  We may even put up with friends who are manipulative or treacherous because we can’t visualize having happier, healthier friendships.
When we recognize that we are holding on to unsatisfactory relationships for such reasons, we need to apply the program more diligently in our own lives.  Usually, we need more self-esteem--a belief that we deserve satisfactory relationships.  We do not have to be alone, but neither do we have to endure what amounts to abuse and rejection.
WhetherI’m with people or alone today, I’ll know that all of my relationships should be satisfactory for everybody involved.  I’ll let my Higher Power guide me to the relationships that are right for me.

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Keep It Simple

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
As addicts, we had lots of fear. Some of us were afraid of failure. So we didn’t try to do much. Or else we tried too hard all the time. We used alcohol and other drugs to forget our fear, but it didn’t go away. It got worse. Now we know we don’t have to be afraid. When our lives are in the care of our Higher Power, we’re safe. Faith is the cure for out fear. But still, fear keeps creeping back inside us. That’s okay. It’s normal. There is so much that’s new in our sober life! We don’t know what will happen next. It’s hard to always remember to trust our Higher Power. It’s hard to always do what our Higher Power says. It’s hard to always have faith. We have to practice turning our fear over to our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, be with me when I’m afraid. Help me remember to have faith to believe in You, even when my fear tells me not to.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll notice my fear and pray each time get afraid.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Destruction. Crashing realities exploding in imperfect landings. Ouch. It’s my heart that’s breaking, for these have been my fantasies and my world.
–Mary Casey
We frequently aren’t given what we want–whether it’s a particular job, a certain relationship, a special talent. But we are always given exactly what we need at the moment. None of us can see what tomorrow is designed to bring, and our fantasies are always tied to a future moment. Our fantasies seldom correlate with the real conditions that are necessary to our continued spiritual growth.
Fantasies are purposeful. They give us goals to strive for, directions to move in. They are never as far-sighted as the goals our higher power has in store for us, though. We have far greater gifts than we are aware of, and we are being pushed to develop them at the very times when it seems our world is crashing down.
We can cherish our fantasies–but let them go. Our real purpose in life far exceeds our fondest dreams. The Steps have given us the tools to make God’s plan for us a reality.
How limited is my vision, my dreams. If one of mine is dashed today, I will rest assured that an even better one will present itself, if I but let it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Many a man, yet dazed from his hospital experience, has stepped over the threshold of that home into freedom. Many an alcoholic who entered there came away with an answer. He succumbed to that gay crowd inside, who laughed at their own misfortunes and understood his. Impressed by those who visited him at the hospital, he capitulated entirely when, later, in an upper room of this house, he heard the story of some man whose experience closely tallied with his own. The expression on the faces of the women, that indefinable something in the eyes of the men, the stimulating and electric atmosphere of the place, conspired to let him know that here was haven at last.

p. 160

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

When it became noticeable to the point of comment, I devised ways of sneaking drinks on the side. “Rehearsals” then became a part of the pattern, stopping at bars on the way to or from the place where drinks were to be served. Never having enough, always craving more, the obsession for alcohol gradually began to dominate all my activities, particularly while traveling. Drink planning became more important than my other plans.

p. 350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

As we glance down the debit side of the day’s ledger, we should carefully examine our motives in each thought or act that appears to be wrong. In most cases our motives won’t be hard to see and understand. When prideful, angry, jealous, anxious, or fearful, we acted accordingly, and that was that. Here we need only recognize that we did act or think badly, try to visualize how we might have done better, and resolve with God’s help to carry these lessons over into tomorrow, making, of course, any amends still neglected.

p. 94

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Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift of God; so precious that it is only given to
us moment by moment.”
–Amelia Barr

Pain is never permanent.
–Saint Theresa of Avila

Meetings: A checkup from the neck up.
–unknown

Don’t give up before the miracle happens.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FREEDOM

“You are free and that is why
you are lost.”
— Franz Kafka

Part of my understanding of spirituality is that we have many choices and we live in
moments of “not knowing”. Part of being human is that we have feelings of being lost.
These feelings can lead to fear and loneliness or they can be seen as the essence of
man’s risk and adventure. With freedom comes daily uncertainties; nothing is
predestined or made to happen God is in the choice. Herein lies true greatness. The
fact is that we do not have all the answers. We are not sure of the results. The joys
are mingled with the pain and sorrows such is the divinity of life. And yet still we
choose to live!

Sobriety is accepting the reality of this uncertain life. My responsibility is accepting
this freedom and making a daily choice not to drink.

May I accept my “lostness” until I return home to You.

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“…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of
David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the
Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his
people from their sins.”
Luke 1:20-21

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love, and His wonderful deeds for men.
Psalm 107:15

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress.
Psalm 107:19


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Daily Inspiration

If you are not happy with what you have, how will you be happy with what you want to have? Lord, may I appreciate the good things in my life and refuse to feel sorry for myself or compare myself to others.

Many joys come from the simple things. Lord, open my eyes that I may see the wonders in my life and take the time to enjoy them.

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NA Just For Today

The Message Of Our Meetings

“The fact that we, each and every group, focus on carrying the message provides consistency; addicts can count on us.”
Basic Text pg. 64-65

Tales of our antics in active addiction may be funny. Stories of our old bizarre reactions to life when using may be interesting. But they tend to carry the mess more than the message. Philosophical arguments on the nature of God are fascinating. Discussions of current controversies have their place – however, it’s not at an NA meeting.

Those times when we grow disgusted with meetings and find ourselves complaining that “they don’t know how to share” or “it was another whining session” are probably indications that we need to take a good, hard look at how we share.

What we share about how we got into recovery and how we stayed here through practicing the Twelve Steps is the real message of recovery. That’s what we are all looking for when we go to a meeting. Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the still-suffering addict, and what we share at meetings can either contribute significantly to this effort or detract greatly. The choice, and the responsibility, is ours.

Just for today: I will share my recovery at an NA meeting.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty. –John Ruskin
It’s hard to keep from trying to control the lives of others, especially in a family. We can learn from the man whose friend drove twenty miles to and from work on the freeway every day. “How can you do it?” he asked. “I’ve tried, and I can’t go a mile in such traffic without screaming at the crazy drivers who cut in, go too slow, change lanes. Nobody listens. I’d lose my mind if I had to do it your way.” His friend replied, “Your trouble is trying to drive every car around you. I relax and drive only one car–my own.”
We have only our own lives to live, and this is usually enough to keep us busy. If we pay too much attention to how others live, we will neglect ourselves.
What acts of others can I ignore today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Ultimately, both parents and children are seen as individuals. For all their claims on one another, each is entitled to a life separate and distinct from the other. –Francine Klagsbrun
The process of untangling the relationships between ourselves and our parents – as well as with our children – is a long term process. Each of us came into the world helpless. As sons, we had no choice about relying on our parents. We reached manhood with a mixture of gratitude, guilt, and resentment. The same is true of our children. Those of us who are fathers began with an obligation to our children. We may now feel a mixture of commitment, fulfillment, and guilt.
No parent can teach a child everything he or she will need. We all do what we can to continue to learn and grow. We have lifelong commitments to each other–within reason. We are all trying to make our way as best we can. We each need to advance our own well-being and not destroy our lives for the sake of a parent or a child.
Today, I will be responsible for myself. Then I can be more responsible to others.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Destruction. Crashing realities exploding in imperfect landings. Ouch. It’s my heart that’s breaking, for these have been my fantasies and my world.
–Mary Casey
We frequently aren’t given what we want–whether it’s a particular job, a certain relationship, a special talent. But we are always given exactly what we need at the moment. None of us can see what tomorrow is designed to bring, and our fantasies are always tied to a future moment. Our fantasies seldom correlate with the real conditions that are necessary to our continued spiritual growth.
Fantasies are purposeful. They give us goals to strive for, directions to move in. They are never as far-sighted as the goals our higher power has in store for us, though. We have far greater gifts than we are aware of, and we are being pushed to develop them at the very times when it seems our world is crashing down.
We can cherish our fantasies–but let them go. Our real purpose in life far exceeds our fondest dreams. The Steps have given us the tools to make God’s plan for us a reality.
How limited is my vision, my dreams. If one of mine is dashed today, I will rest assured that an even better one will present itself, if I but let it.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Staying Open to Our Feelings
Many of us have gotten so good at following the “don’t feel” rule that we can try to talk ourselves out of having feelings, even in recovery.
“If I was really working a good program, I wouldn’t feel angry.”
“I don’t get angry. I’m a Christian. I forgive and forget.”
“I’m not angry. I’m affirming that I’m happy.”
These are all statements, some of them quite clever, that indicate we’re operating under the “don’t feel” rule again.
Part of working a good program means acknowledging and dealing with our feelings. We strive to accept and deal with our anger so it doesn’t harden into resentments. We don’t use recovery as an excuse to shut down our emotions.
Yes, we are striving for forgiveness, but we still want to feel, listen to, and stay with our feelings until it is time to release them appropriately. Our Higher Power created the emotional part of ourselves. God is not telling us to not feel; it’s our dysfunctional systems.
We also need to be careful how we use affirmations; discounting our emotions won’t make feelings go away. If we’re angry, it’s okay to have that feeling. That’s part of how we get and stay healthy.
Today, I will refuse to accept shame from others or myself for feeling my feelings.

Today I welcome all my feelings. Today I deserve to feel joy and love and gratitude and warmth and affection, just to name a few. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Celebrate Holidays but Honor Your Holy Days

Holidays help us remember important national and religious events. Holidays are marked by the calendar.

Holy days are something else. Holy days are the days we remember not because they are marked on any calendar, but because they are important spiritual events to us. These are the days our souls remember. A birthday. The day a loved one left this earth. The anniversary of a significant change in our lives– the day we started something, the day we stopped doing something, the day we accomplished something important to us, a new beginning.

Celebrate the holidays marked by the calendar in whatever way you choose. Some of these may be holy days for you as well. But remember to honor your own holy days, the ones that are special to you.

Celebrate holidays, but honor your holy days,too. Choose your own rituals. Honor what is sacred to you.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Savor each moment

Enjoy each moment as it comes.

It’s so easy to relish that final moment, when the project is finished and the work is turned in. It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking that peak moments in life are the only ones that count.

In Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh, Pooh talks about the anticipation of eating his honey. The moment when the honey touches your lips is good, Pooh says. But there’s the moment right before, that moment of anticipation, that might be just as good if not better.

Go for your dreams. Go for those peak moments of performance and pleasure,too. The day you get your ten-year medallion for sobriety is a good day. Achieving that success in your career– that special award– is a wonderful moment, indeed. And those peak moments in love are indescribably delicious to experience and reminisce about.

While many people talk about being in that peak zone of pleasure all the time, most of us know that peak moments are only a very small fraction of our lives. If we only enjoy those peak moments, or those moments just before, we’ll forget to notice the importance of a lot of our lives.

Go for peak moments. But open up your heart and let the sheer raw beauty of all the moments in. When you stop looking and waiting for those peak experiences, you might find out how sweet and delicious each single moment really is.

Savor each moment of your life.

God, help me let go of anything that’s sabotaging my joy. Help me release the belief that I can only find happiness, pleasure, and joy when I’m on top of a peak.

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Stronger for It
Mending a Broken Heart by Madisyn Taylor

A heart that has been broken and seen pain, reveals within it, a crack that allows more light in.

Heartbreak happens to all of us and can wash over us like a heavy rain. When experiencing a broken heart, our ethereal selves are saturated with grief, and the overflow is channeled into the physical body. Loss becomes a physical emptiness, and longing is transmuted into a feeling that often cannot be put into words. Mending a broken heart can seem a task so monumental that we dare not attempt it for fear of damaging ourselves further. But heartbreak, like all emotions, falls under the spell of our conscious influence.

Often the pain that wounds us most deeply also leaves the most enduring mark upon us. The shock that becomes the tender, throbbing ache of the heart eventually leads us down the path of enlightenment, blessing our lives with a new depth and richness.

Acknowledging heartbreak’s impermanence by no means dulls its sting for it is the sting itself that stimulates healing. The pain is letting us know that we need to pay attention to our emotional selves, to sit with our feelings and be in them fully before we can begin to heal. It is said that time heals all wounds. Time may dull the pain of a broken heart, but it is fully feeling your pain and acknowledging it that will truly help you heal. Dealing with your heartache in a healthy way rather than putting it off for tomorrow is the key to repair. Gentleness more than anything else is called for. Most important, open yourself to the possibility of loving, trusting, and believing again. When, someday soon, you emerge from the cushion of your grief, you will see that the universe did not cease to be as you nursed your broken heart. You emerge on the other side of the mending, stronger for all you have experienced. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I’m learning — all too slowly, at times — that when I give up the losing battle of trying to run my life in my own way, I gain abiding peace and deep serenity. For many of us, that learning process is a painfully slow one. Eventually, however, we understand that there are only two wills in the world, my will and God’s. Whatever is within my direct control is my will; whatever is beyond my direct control is His Will. So I try to accept that which is beyond my control as God’s will for me. Am I beginning to realize that by surrendering my will to the Divine Will, I am for the first time living without turmoil and without anxiety?

Today I Pray

May I hope that my will can be congruent with the all-encompassing will of God. I pray that I will know immediately if my will is in a useless tug-of-war with His Divine Will. May I trust God now to guide my will according to his Master Plan — and to make His purpose mine.

Today I Will Remember

Achievement comes when my will is in harmony with God’s.

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One More Day

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Major changes in our lives may stun us — with delight or perhaps disbelief. After all, not all changes are negative. But when the change is negative, when illness is diagnosed or when pain pervades each day, we may begin to doubt our own inner resources. Once physically strong, we will have to dig deeper than ever to tap into our spiritual resources as well.

If we have doubts today, it may be because we are still locked into our physical selves. We are more than body, and it is our spirits that can be nourished by our caring Higher Power, Our value and importance are revealed by that care. knowing this, we can move forward with our lives.

I will look beyond my physical body for a source of strength and care.

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Food For Thought

Concentrating

Our program requires concentration. It is not something that we may consider casually in odd bits of leftover time. Since abstinence is the most important thing in our lives, we devote our best energies to maintaining it. Many of us find that time spent concentrating on our program at the beginning of the day is most fruitful.

These periods of concentration do not need to be long. It is the quality of our attention that counts. A few minutes in the morning spent in contact with our Higher Power can set the tone for the entire day. We touch base with who we are and where we are going. Concentrating brings results.

Whenever thoughts of food and eating interrupt our activities, we can stop for a moment to concentrate on our program. Abstinence is not always foremost in our minds, but it is always there when we are threatened by a return to old thoughts and cravings. Compulsive overeating was concentration on food; abstinence is concentration on recovery.

I pray that You will direct my concentration.

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One Day At A Time

ACTION
“You learn to speak by speaking,
to study by studying,
to run by running,
to work by working;
in just the same way,
you learn to love by loving.”
St. Francis De Sales
(1567 – 1622)
(in French, St François de Sales)
Bishop of Geneva, Switzerland and a Roman Catholic saint.

St. Francis de Sales lived from 1567 to 1622. Isn’t it amazing that a man who lived over 300 years before the birth of our recovery program could encapsulate its meaning in the above quote? Put another way, what St. Francis was saying was, “You work the program by working the program.”

I’ve met so many people who had theoretical knowledge of recovery, but no practical experience. They don’t work the program; they just talk the talk without walking the walk. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been one of those people myself.

It’s a wonderful feeling to actually work the program, to take the Steps, and to trust in the God of my understanding to keep me working it. Paying lip service to the program doesn’t bring recovery; only working it does. Anything else is a waste of time and energy.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work the program by working the program; today, I’ll take action to bring about my recovery.
Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

As we discovered the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live, so we had to evolve principles by which A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive and function effectively. It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society; that our leaders might serve but never govern; that each group was to be autonomous and there was to be no professional class of therapy. – Pg. xix – 4th Edition – Forward To The Second Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Addiction is the great solvent that equalizes all people. We are equal in our addiction and equal in our program of recovery. Although with each passing day of sobriety we get clearer, we are only one fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort away from a binge–at 18 days or 18 years!

May I realize I am no better or worse than another, or them from me. We are equal in our recovery.

Letting Go

Letting go of the past and moving on is a tall order; it requires a kind of releasing that I still find difficult to do. My past will always be in the shadows of my memory to haunt me if I do not recognize it as a part of me. If I pretend it’s not important, grit my teeth and force myself to numb myself, I have missed the point of this process. On the other had, if I am unwilling to let go no matter how many times I have worked through certain issues, I am also not allowing myself to be fully healthy and return to life. The part of my healing that is a flowing through the stored pain from the past is a decisive, forward-moving action.

I understand that, as part of my process of healing, my responsibility to let go and move on.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Honesty without kindness is cruel and kindness without honesty is co-dependence.

If I can’t say it kindly, I needn’t say it at all.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

It came to pass; it didn’t come to stay.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I can handle whatever comes up, knowing that I am surrounded by all the positive energies of the universe.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

People think that they’re going to get sober by osmosis and going to 90 meetings in 90 days. But there’s only one way to obtain and maintain sobriety and that’s through the program folded within these 164 pages. – Ted H.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 18

Grace
Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from asking yourself what they may mean to

you.
At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious contact with God as we

understood Him.
Afterward, we found ourselves accepting things which then seemed entirely out of reach.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 47

Thought to Ponder . . .
Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Miracle
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone —
even alcohol.
For by this time sanity will have returned.
We will seldom be interested in liquor.
If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.
We react sanely and normally,
and we will find that this has happened automatically.
We will see that our new attitude toward liquor
has been given us without any thought or effort on our part.
It just comes! That is the miracle of it.
c. 1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 84-5

Thought to Consider . . .
Don’t give up before the miracle happens.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O W = Honest, Open, Willing.

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Bill Undercover
AA History
Among the odd jobs that Bill cited in Bill’s Story was his mention of working on a farm for a month. During 1925, Bill and
Lois took off on a trip down the east coast inspecting companies to see if their stock might be good Wall Street
investments. They camped up and down the coast and carried all of their belongings in the Harley-Davidson motorcycle
and sidecar that Bill had purchased.
At the end of April 1925, they stopped at the Goldfoot family dairy farm in Scotia, New York near Schenectady. Mr.
Goldfoot had two sons, both of whom worked for General Electric, a company that Bill was able to penetrate for
investment investigation by befriending some of their employees during that month. They also worked for the Goldfoots
to earn some money to continue on this most successful trip. Lois later acknowledged that she hadn’t cared if they
earned a cent on the trip. She had been hoping the fresh air and the hobo lifestyle would help Bill slow up on his drinking.

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“You’ve got one life to live. Don’t screw it up with a lot of maybes, what-ifs, and could-have-beens. Focus on what you have.”
Carmel Valley, Calif., August 2000
“Old Advice”

Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“But there was always the curious mental phenomenon that parallel
with our sound reasoning there inevitably ran some insanely trivial
excuse for taking the first drink. Our sound reasoning failed to hold
us in check. The insane idea won out. Next day we would ask
ourselves, in all earnestness and sincerity, how it could have
happened.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 37~

“At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not
an end in itself.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 77~

Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.56

Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but when an honest effort is made ‘to practice these principles in all our affairs,’ well-grounded A.A.’s seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.114

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!

Prayer for the Day: Free Of Resentment Prayer – God, free me from my resentment toward _____ . Please bless _____ in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day. Please give _____ everything I want for myself and may _____’s life be full of health, peace, prosperity, and ahppiness as they seek to have a closer relationship with You.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 17th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 17th

Daily Reflections

A PRICELESS REWARD

. . . . work with other alcoholics. . . . It works when
other activities fail.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89

“Life will take on a new meaning,” as the Big Book says
(p. 89) This promise has helped me to avoid self-seeking
and self-pity. To watch others grow in this wonderful
program, to see them improve the quality of their lives,
is a priceless reward for my effort to help others.
Self-examination is yet another reward for an ongoing
recovery, as are serenity, peace and contentment. The
energy derived from seeing others on a successful path,
of sharing with them the joys of the journey, gives to
my life a new meaning.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of faith is of course not confined to A.A. It is
the way for everybody who wants to really live. But many
people can go through life without much of it. Many are
doing so, to their own sorrow. The world is full of lack
of faith. Many people have lost confidence in any meaning
in the universe. Many are wondering if it has any meaning
at all. Many are at loose ends. Life has no goal for many.
They are strangers in the land. They are not at home. But
for us in A.A. the way of faith is the way of life. We
have proved by our past lives that we could not live
without it. Do I think I could live happily without faith?

Meditation For The Day

“He maketh His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends
the rain on the just and the unjust.” God does not interfere with
the working of natural laws. The laws of nature are
unchangeable, otherwise we could not depend on them. As far
as natural laws are concerned, God makes no distinction
between good and bad people. Sickness or death may strike
anywhere. But spiritual laws are also made to be obeyed. On
our choice of good or evil depends whether we go upward to
true success and victory in life or downward to loss and
defeat.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may choose today the way of the spiritual life.
I pray that I may live today with faith and hope and love.


***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

WHEN CONFLICTS MOUNT, p. 289

Sometimes I would be forced to look at situations where I was
doing badly. Right away, the search for excuses would become
frantic.

“These,” I would exclaim, “are really a good man’s faults.” When
that pet gadget broke apart, I would think, “Well, if those people
would only treat me right, I wouldn’t have to behave the way I
do.” Next was this: “God well knows that I do have awful
compulsions. I just can’t get over this one. So He will have to
release me.” At last came the time when I would shout, “This, I
positively will not do! I won’t even try.”

Of course, my conflicts went right on mounting, because I was
simply loaded with excuses, refusals, and outright rebellion.


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Walk In Dry Places

Looking For Protectors
Self-Reliance Many of us managed to survive while drinking by finding protectors we could lean on. Sometimes the protector wasn’t a very strong person—only someone who was willing to support us in some way. A protector could even be a person who gave us flattery or companionship when we wanted it.
Such alliances are usually unhealthy and have no lasting place in society. We cannot depend on protectors who will eventually betray us or fail us through no fault of their own.
In sobriety, we must grow into a satisfactory form of self-reliance. This is not reliance on our own resources; rather, it is really a way of relying on our Higher Power, the group, our sponsors, and the higher understanding we’ve found in the program. If we’re still looking for people willing to protect us, we need more growth in sobriety.
I’ve been given tools for understanding myself and my life. I can use those tools effectively as I go through the day.

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together. –Saadi.
When we were drinking and drugging, we didn’t have to deal much with feelings. We turned them off. Then, when we let go of the alcohol and other drugs, we started to come back to life. Now–we have feelings again! But, even now, in recovery, we’re scared of too much happiness. It’s true–we don’t want sadness and pain at all. Yet, feelings–the good and the bad–keep on coming.
And we have to handle them. We are learning to handle our feelings. We’re getting strong enough to deal with them. With the help of our friends in the program, and our Higher Power, we’re ready for life.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I want to be fully alive, but I’m a little scared. Help me know what to do with my feelings today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll be open to feelings. I’ll enjoy my good feelings and share them. I’ll ask for help with hard feelings by praying, and by calling my sponsor.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.
–Madeline Bridge
We do reap, in some measure, at some time, what we sow. Our respect for others will result in kind. Our love expressed will return tenfold. The kindness we greet others with will ease their relations with us. We get from others what we give, if not at this time and place, at another. We can be certain that our best efforts toward others do not go unnoticed. And we can measure our due by what we give.
A major element of our recovery is the focus we place on our behavior, the seriousness with which we tackle our inventories. We can look at ourselves and how we reach out and act toward others; it is a far cry from where we were before entering this program. Most of us obsessed on “What he did to me,” or “What she said.” And then returned their actions in kind.
How thrilling is the knowledge that we can invite loving behavior by giving it! We have a great deal of control over the ebb and flow of our lives. In every instance we can control, our behavior. Thus never should we be surprised about the conditions of our lives.
What goes around comes around. I will look for the opportunities to be kind and feel the results.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Outsiders became interested. One man and his wife placed their large home at the disposal of this strangely assorted crowd. This couple has since become so fascinated that they have dedicated their home to the word. Many a distracted wife has visited this house to find loving and understanding companionship among women who knew her problem, to hear from the lips of their husbands what had happened to them, to be advised how her own wayward mate might be hospitalized and approached when next he stumbled.

p. 160

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

The next steps were bottle hiding and excuses for trips in order to drink without restraint. Cunning, baffling, powerful–the gradual creeping up of the frequency and quantity of alcohol and what it does to a person is apparent to everyone but the person involved.

p. 350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

When evening comes, perhaps just before going to sleep, many of us draw up a balance sheet for the day. This is a good place to remember that inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all. Under these conditions, the pains of failure are converted into assets. Out of them we receive the stimulation we need to go forward. Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for we know that the pains of drinking had to come before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.

pp. 93-94

***********************************************************

“Enthusiastic people experience life from the inside out.”
–Nido Qubein

There are two days about which nobody should ever worry, and these are yesterday and
tomorrow.
–Robert J. Burdette

What people really need is a good listening-to.
–Mary Lou Casey

When I have done all the footwork I know to do and things are still not working out, I
know today that it is time to meditate. I have faith that my answer is still to come.
–Ruth Fishel

No one else’s opinion about me can determine my worth.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It
turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a
feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
–Melody Beattie

***********************************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FEAR

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It
is only to be understood.”
— Marie Curie

God is on my side. Today I really believe and understand this truth, and it helps me
cope with my fears. Now I am beginning to understand that I was the only real enemy
in my life. With this new understanding of God I have the power of choice back in my
life.

I do not have to stay in a sick process. I do not need sick and negative people in my
life. I do not have to place myself in destructive relationships or in fearful situations.
God is alive in my life and I am discovering the spiritual power of choice.

God, give me the courage to confront my fear and be willing to make changes in my
life.

***********************************************************

“Behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5


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Daily Inspiration

Treat your family as you would treat a best friend. Lord, help me to treasure my family with all of their imperfections as well as my own and cherish the time we have together.

Let nothing that others do alter how you treat them. Lord, may I treat all with love and consideration.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Service Motives

“Everything that occurs in the course of NA service must be motivated by the desire to more successfully carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers.”
Basic Text pg. xvi

Our motives are often a surprise to us. In our early days of recovery, they were almost always a surprise! We’ve learned to check our motives through prayer, meditation, the steps, and talking to our sponsor or other addicts. When we find ourselves with an especially strong urge to do or have something, it’s particularly important to check our motives to find out what we really want.

In early recovery, many of us throw ourselves into service with great fervor before we have started the regular practice of motive-checking. It takes awhile before we become aware of the real reasons for our zeal. We may want to impress others, show off our talents, or be recognized and important. Now, these desires may not be harmful in another setting, expressed through another outlet. In NA service, however, they can do serious damage.

When we decide to serve NA, we make a decision to help addicts find and maintain recovery. We have to carefully check our motives in service, remembering that it’s much easier to frighten away using addicts than to convince them to stay. When we show them game-playing, manipulation, or pomposity, we present an unattractive picture of recovery; However, the unselfish desire to serve others creates an atmosphere that is attractive to the addict who still suffers.

Just for today: I will check my motives for the true spirit of service.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another. –Erma Bombeck
The most precious time we will ever have we give away by doing volunteer chores to help others get more out of life. There is no material wage for this kind of work, but a host of emotional rewards. The height of volunteer giving is doing an act of kindness or love so quietly that none but ourselves will ever know we had a part in it.
What great humility this can bring to us, who live in a world where selfish people often insist on credit for all their deeds–often things they had nothing to do with.
All we need do is think of all we have received without deserving it or asking for it. By taking part in the giving end of life, we find the true wealth of our own generosity.
What secret gift can I give today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The purpose of man’s life is not happiness but worthiness. –Felix Adler
When we pursue happiness as a goal for its own sake, we usually reach the opposite point of emptiness. Feeling happy is a by-product of other life experiences. Happiness comes and goes. We welcome it but cannot capture and hold it, nor can we create a recipe for achieving happiness.
We will lead far more successful lives pursuing other values which we do have control over, such as honesty, respect for others and ourselves, seeking loving relationships, and making a contribution to the well being of others. We can accept unhappiness and difficulties without struggle when we know we are doing something that has greater meaning. Our Eleventh Step tells us we pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out. This helps us focus on God’s purpose for us. We can have an inner sense of joy knowing we are leading meaningful lives, even when we aren’t having a particularly happy day.
I will seek the goals that make my life worthwhile and welcome happiness when
it comes.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.
–Madeline Bridge
We do reap, in some measure, at some time, what we sow. Our respect for others will result in kind. Our love expressed will return tenfold. The kindness we greet others with will ease their relations with us. We get from others what we give, if not at this time and place, at another. We can be certain that our best efforts toward others do not go unnoticed. And we can measure our due by what we give.
A major element of our recovery is the focus we place on our behavior, the seriousness with which we tackle our inventories. We can look at ourselves and how we reach out and act toward others; it is a far cry from where we were before entering this program. Most of us obsessed on “What he did to me,” or “What she said.” And then returned their actions in kind.
How thrilling is the knowledge that we can invite loving behavior by giving it! We have a great deal of control over the ebb and flow of our lives. In every instance we can control, our behavior. Thus never should we be surprised about the conditions of our lives.
What goes around comes around. I will look for the opportunities to be kind and feel the results.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Nurturing Ourselves
Many of us have been so deprived of nurturing that we think it’s silly or self-indulgent. Nurturing is neither silly nor self-indulgent; it’s how we show love for ourselves. That’s what we’re striving for in recovery – a loving relationship with ourselves that works, so we can have loving relationships with others that work.
When we hurt, we ask ourselves what we need to help us feel better. When we feel alone, we reach out to someone safe. Without feeling that we are a burden, we allow that person to be there for us.
We rest when we’re tired; eat when we’re hungry; have fun or relax when our spirits need a lift. Nurturing means giving ourselves gifts – a trip to the beauty salon or barbershop, a massage, a book, a new jacket, or a new suit or dress. It means a long, hot bath to forget about our problems and the world for a few moments when that would feel good.
We learn to be gentle with ourselves and to open up to the nurturing that others have to offer us.
As part of nurturing ourselves, we allow ourselves to give and receive positive touch – touch that feels appropriate to us, touch that is safe. We reject touch that doesn’t feel good or safe and is not positive.
We learn to give ourselves what we need in a gentle, loving, compassionate way. We do this with the understanding it will not make us lazy, spoiled, self centered, or narcissistic. Nurtured people are effective in their work and in their relationships.
We will learn to feel loved by ourselves so much that we can truly love others and let them love us.
Today, I will nurture myself. I will also be open to the nurturing that I can give to others and receive from them.

When I have done all the footwork I know to do and things are still not working out, I know today that it is time to meditate. I have faith that my answer is still to come. –Ruth Fishel

***************************************

Journey To The Heart

Don’t Complicate Things

The simple, clear answer to life’s situations can be easily found in the heart. Don’t limit its wisdom to just one or two areas; let it guide you through all of your life.

Are you struggling with finances? Feeling overwhelmed by taxes? Not certain what to do to help someone you love? Do you have a problem with a friend? Has a business relationship gotten sticky, maybe hopelessly adversarial? Are you at war with the person you love? Problems with children? Problems with parents? A landlord who just won’t get the job done? All of these areas, and more, can be brought to your heart.

Do you need to find a new hobby? Are you stuck on a project? Do you need an idea, some creative inspiration? Do you need a new place to live, or a way to fix your current home? Take it all back to your heart.

Calm your mind. Let go. Get quiet. You don’t have to know the plan. Just put out the question, then listen to your inner voice. It will guide you through any maze you’ve been lost in.

Don’t complicate things or try to figure it all out. The answer is simple: look in your heart.

***************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Take another look at your world

Oh, the glory of the ordinary!

I wake up, roll over, and look out the sliding glass door at the sun rising over the distant layers of hills.

Today will be a day of errands. We’re out of milk, so we’ll make a run to the grocery store, probably returning home with too much chocolate and no milk. The pictures from the last trip needed to be dropped off. We have a flying lesson at 2:00. Then it will be supper at the Lodge with our friend Andy. It’ll probably be something simple, like burgers on the grill.

An ordinary day.

I remember a time when the ordinary meant searching for another high, searching for money to get drugs. I’m grateful for the ordinary life that I lead.

“When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is happiness. But later, when we don’t have a toothache, we don’t treasure our non-toothache,,” Thich Nhat Hanh gently reminds us in his book The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching.

Take another look at your ordinary world.

See how glorious it is.

***************************************

Sharing Your Gifts
Gift Giveaway by Madisyn Taylor

We all know how to give the gift of a present, but it is more important to share your gifts that you were born with.

When the holidays come around, most of us join the masses in shopping for gifts, wrapping them, and giving them away. Once we are in the mind-set that this is what we are going to do, we don’t hold back or struggle with the process. We simply give the presents we have acquired, letting them go in the awareness that they were never ours anyway. If we could apply some of this unquestioning generosity with our own inner resources and gifts, we might be able to give of ourselves more freely.

In truth, our gifts only make sense when we give them away. Imagine carefully procured and wrapped presents that remain in the house of the giver, never getting to the people who were meant to have them. If we hold back, not knowing quite when to share our gifts, we all lose. Ironically, the more we give of ourselves, the more we have to offer. For example, if we have a talent for singing but we hold it back, we sing less and have less experience. On the other hand, if we offer the gift of our voice to the world at every opportunity, our talent develops and becomes still greater, and we have that much more to give.

How we present our gifts can be likened to wrapping paper and ribbons. When we truly value what we have to offer, our presentation honors what lies inside it. We speak well of our talents and introduce them with confidence and panache. Like a performer who chooses carefully what to wear and how to set the stage, we provide an environment that complements and enhances what we have to offer. Far from being superficial, a beautiful presentation is as much a part of the energy of gift giving as the gift itself. All these things together—the gift, the presentation, and the giving away—make up the joyful experience of bestowing our offerings upon the world. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

More and more these days, as I progress in my recovery, I seem to do a lot of listening — quietly waiting to hear God’s unmistakable voice within me. Prayer is becoming a two-way street — of seeking and listening, of searching and finding. A favorite bit of Scripture for me is, “Be still and know that I am God.” Do I pay quiet and loving attention to Him, ever more confident of an enlightened knowledge of His will for me?

Today I Pray

As I seek to know my Higher Power, may I learn the best ways — for me — to reach and hear Him. May I begin to feel prayer, not just listening to the sound of my own verbalizing. May I feel the sharp outlines of my humanness fading as His Godliness becomes a part of me. May I feel that I am one with Him.

Today I will Remember

Feel the stillness of God.

***************************************

One More Day

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light.
– Jean Giraudoux

Many people — not just the chronically ill — experience a sense of sadness or longing at this time of year. Perhaps the season stirs memories of carefree, happier times or, instead, of holidays long ago that were unhappy and without fantasy.

Knowing that this sadness is not uncommon can be comforting and so is knowing we can resist sadness. If we’re unhappy with old traditions, we can introduce new ones. If we’ve isolated ourselves, we can join in some group activities. And if we’re tired, we can give ourselves permission to say no and to have time alone. We might also examine our expectations and remember that special days are not copies of earlier ones. Each is new.

In the holidays ahead, I will continue to do the things that have been special. I will abandon any pattern that gives me no joy.

************************************

Food For Thought

Remembering

We remember what we were like before we joined OA. We remember the confusion and despair, which threatened to overwhelm us. We remember the agony of eating binges which started so innocently and which ended in such pain.

As we recover from compulsive overeating, we remember events from the past in a new light. We see how our disease contributed to seemingly unrelated problems. We recognize feelings, which we were not aware of at the time. We understand the real reasons for some of our strange actions and mysterious fears.

At the same time that it keeps us anchored in the present, abstinence helps us to understand the past. Integrating our memories gives us strength and confidence for the future. What we always need to remember is that we are compulsive overeaters still, no matter how long we have abstained. Remembering this fact protects us from allowing our disease to become active again.

Today, I remember I am a compulsive overeaten.

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One Day At A Time

PEACE
“We cannot find peace if we are
afraid of the windstorms of life.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
(Psychiatrist and author of ‘On Death and Dying’)

My life always seemed so filled with difficulty. I seemed to have more than my fair share of traumas and losses. Why was I always being tested like this? It just didn’t seem fair. I was so wrapped up in myself and the unfairness of my difficult life that I couldn’t see that each of these harsh experiences had been opportunities for growth. Instead of bemoaning my fate and blaming people or situations for what seemed to me to be the cause of the current difficulty, I never looked at what part I had played in the whole situation, or the lessons I could learn from each of these experiences.

It has often been said that God doesn’t give us more than we can cope with. What I realized later, once I’d come into the program, was that each of these experiences had been a unique learning opportunity for me; they were a chance to grow and mature. I had been too stuck in self-pity and blame that I hadn’t seen the wonderful gifts that I was being given with each new life experience. When I was able to open myself up fully to the lessons that I could learn from life, I became a whole person. It was then that the promises of the program begin to be fulfilled in my life, and I began to know serenity and peace.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will look for what lesson my Higher Power wants me to learn from life. I am then able to grow and change, and by doing so, I will come to know serenity and peace.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The terms ‘spiritual experience’ and ‘spiritual awakening’ are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms. – Pg. 567 – 4th. Edition – Appendices II – Spiritual Experience

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Are we remembering the so-called ‘good times’ right now? How nice a ‘high’ would be? We use this hour to REALLY think about what got us to this fight for sobriety. It wasn’t because we were having a lot of fun!

Help me to think a drink and drug all the way through, not just the high but the hell it leads to.

A Return to Living

Today, I keep my house clean and let go of the rest – some of the ways that I wish to live as a recovered person will not be readily understood by others. I will keep my own scorecard clean and not worry about the results. I will act in a way that makes it easier for me to live with myself – that keeps my own conscience clear. Other people’s negative projections of me no longer run me. I am the one who makes the decisions about who I want to be. I need not defend and explain myself again and again. I need not ask permission to be who I am. I allow myself to be happy in my own skin today. I think well of myself, no matter what others think of me.

I create my own self.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The people you most need to give love to will seem like the ones who deserve it the least.

It begins with me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Going to any lengths are our strengths.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am doing the best that I can with the guidance that I get. I leave the results to my Higher Power and trust that they are for the greatest good.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It’s not just the ‘yets’ I worry about if I pick up a drink – it’s also the ‘agains’. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 17

Resentments
This business of harboring resentments is infinitely grave. For then we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the

spirit.
The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
– – As Bill Sees It, p. 5

Thought to Ponder . . .
Resentment is like acid, eating away at the vessel it is stored in.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Avoid Anger.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Meetings
Through going to meetings and listening,
and occasionally speaking,
through doing Twelfth Step work,
whereby in helping others you are both the teacher
and the student,
by making many wonderful AA friends,
I have been taught all the things in life that are worth having.
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, (3rd Edition), p. 416

Thought to Consider . . .
Meetings: A checkup from the neck up

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Expansion
>From “A Vision for You”:
“Every few days this doctor suggests our approach to one of his patients. Understanding our work, he can do this with
an eye to selecting those who are willing and able to recover on a spiritual basis. Many of us, former patients, go there to
help. Then, in this eastern city, there are informal meetings such as we have described to you, where you may now see
scores of members. There are the same fast friendships, there is the same helpfulness to one another”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 163

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“More than a million of us who suffer from the disease of alcoholism have found not just the ability to live with or survive this insidious disease, but a joyful way of life as new as this morning and as old as mankind. We can gain sobriety, aspire to serenity, at no greater price than caring for our fellow sufferers and sharing with them what has been freely given to us. We can experience the true joy of love that we once tried to destroy by not giving it away, and we can learn the truth that the more we give away, the more we will have.”
Brick Town, N.J., January 1977
Because One Man Was Lonely,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“If there be divorce or separation, there should be no undue haste
for the couple to get together. The man should be sure of his
recovery. The wife should fully understand his new way of life. If
their old relationship is to be resumed it must be on a better basis,
since the former did not work. This means a new attitude and spirit
all around. Sometimes it is to the best interests of all concerned
that a couple remain apart. Obviously, no rule can be laid down.
Let the alcoholic continue his program day by day. When the time for
living together has come, it will be apparent to both parties.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, Page 99

” I had always believed in a Power greater that myself. I had often
pondered these things. I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for
that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe
originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes no where.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 10~

Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.86

All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.34

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Many newcomers, having experienced little but constant deflation, feel a growing conviction that human will is of no value whatever. They have become persuaded, sometimes rightly so, that many problems besides alcohol will not yield to a headlong assault powered only by the individual’s will.
However, there are certain things which the individual alone can do. All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can then make the decision to exert himself along spiritual lines. Trying to do this is actually an act of his own will. It is a right use of this faculty.
Indeed, all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps require our sustained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to God’s will.

Prayer for the Day: Mychal’s Prayer – Lord, take me where You want me to go; Let me meet who You want me to meet; Tell me what You want me to say; And keep me out of Your way.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 16th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 16th

Daily Reflections

PARTNERS IN RECOVERY

. . . nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive
work with other alcoholics . . . Both you and the new man must walk
day by day in the path of spiritual progress. . . . Follow the dictates of
a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful
world, no matter what your present circumstances!
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 89, 100

Doing the right things for the right reasons — this is my way of
controlling my selfishness and self-centeredness. I realize that my
dependency on a Higher Power clears the way for peace of mind,
happiness and sobriety. I pray each day that I will avoid my previous
actions, so that I will be helpful to others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of A.A. is the way of faith. We don’t get the full benefit of the program until
we surrender our lives to some Power greater than ourselves and trust that Power to
give us the strength we need. There is no better way for us. We can get sober without
it. We can stay sober for some time without it. But if we are going to truly live, we must
take the way of faith in God. That is the path for us. We must follow it. Have I taken
the way of faith?

Meditation For The Day

Life is not a search for happiness. Happiness is a by-product of living the right kind of
a life, of doing the right thing. Do not search for happiness, search for right living and
happiness will be your reward. Life is sometimes a march of duty during dull, dark
days. But happiness will come again, as God’s smile of recognition of your
faithfulness. True happiness is always the by-product of a life well lived.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not seek happiness but seek to do right. I pray that I may not seek
pleasure so much as the things that bring true happiness.


***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Two Roads for the Oldtimer, p. 138

The founders of many groups ultimately divide into two classes
known in A.A. slang as “elder statesmen” and “bleeding deacons.”

The elder statesman sees the wisdom of the group’s decision to run
itself and holds no resentment over his reduced status. His judgment,
fortified by considerable experience, is sound; he is willing to sit
quietly on the side lines patiently awaiting developments.

The bleeding deacon is just as surely convinced that the group cannot
get along without him. He constantly connives for re-election to
office and continues to be consumed with self-pity. Nearly every
oldtimer in our Society has gone through this process in some degree.
Happily, most of them survive and live to become elder statesmen.
They become the real and permanent leadership of A.A.

12 & 12, p. 135

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Walk In Dry Places

Others must not define us.
Self-image
The thoughtless practice of lumping people into categories can be destructive.  Some of us still seethe with resentment over the roles we were given in our families while growing up.  We realize that this way of being defined was a put-down.
As adults living sober, we must now make sure that we define ourselves in ways that contribute to our success and happiness.  If others attempt to attach labels to us, we must not accept this… at least not in our own minds.
If others are attempting to define us in this way, we must always ask whether we’ve invited such labeling.  Did your behavior somehow give them this impression?  Did we mask our true feelings to present an image with which we  don’t really want to live?  Whatever the answer, we must take charge of defining who we are and what we want to be.
If I don’t like the way people have been viewing me, I’ll change the signals I’ve been sending out. Any signals I send should fit the way I really want to be known.

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

Charity sees the need, not the cause.–German proverb.
Charity is not just giving money to good causes. Charity is having a heart that’s ready to give. Charity is helping a friend at two in the morning. Charity is going early to the meeting to put on coffee without being asked.
Service is how Twelve Step programs refer to “Charity”. Service and charity are a lifestyle. We see a need, so we try to help. Our values and our heart will guide us in how we help. Service is a big part of our program. Service helps us think of others, not just of ourselves. We stop asking, “What’s in it for me?” The act of helping others is what’s in it for us. Sobriety is what’s in it for us. Serenity is what’s in it for us.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You have given me many talents. Help me see how my talents can make the world a better place. Giving of myself is believing in You and myself.
Action for the Day:   Today, I’ll list my talents and I’ll think of ways I can use them to help others.

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Each Day a New Beginning

To have someone who brings out the colors of life and whose very presence offers tranquility and contentment enriches my being and makes me grateful for the opportunity to share.  –Kathleen Tierney Crilly
Loneliness and isolation are familiar states to most of us. We often protected our insecurities by hiding out, believing that we’d survive if others didn’t know who we really were. But we discovered that our insecurities multiplied. The remedy is people–talking to people, exposing our insecurities to them, risking, risking, risking.
Sharing our mutual vulnerabilities helps us see how fully alike we are. Our most hated shortcoming is not unique, and that brings relief. It’s so easy to feel utterly shamed in isolation. Hearing another woman say “I understand. I struggle with jealousy too,” lifts the shame, the dread, the burden of silence. The program has taught us that secrets make us sick, and the longer we protect them, the greater are our struggles.
The program promises fulfillment, serenity, achievement when we willingly share our lives. Each day we can lighten our burdens and help another lighten hers, too.
I will be alert today to the needs of others. I will risk sharing. I will be a purveyor of tranquility.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

A year and six months later these three had succeeded with seven more. Seeing much of each other, scarce an evening passed that someone’s home did not shelter a little gathering of men and women, happy in their release, and constantly thinking how they might present their discovery to some newcomer. In addition to these casual get-togethers, it became customary to set apart one night a week for a meeting to be attended by anyone or everyone interested in a spiritual way of life. Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems.

pp. 159-160

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

I made promises to myself, my family, and friends–and broke them. Short dry spells ended in heavy drinking. I tried to hide my drinking by going places where I was unlikely to see anyone I knew. Hangovers and remorse were always with me.

p. 350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love. We can show kindness where we had shown none. With those we dislike we can begin to practice justice and courtesy, perhaps going out of our way to understand and help them.
Whenever we fail any of these people, we can promptly admit it–to ourselves always, and to them also, when the admission would be helpful. Courtesy, kindness, justice, and love are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony with practically anybody. When in doubt we can always pause, saying, “Not my will, but Thine, be done.” And we can often ask ourselves, “Am I doing to others as I would have them do to me–today?”

p. 93

***********************************************************

The secret of what life’s all about, Was answered by the sages: Life’s about one day
at a time, No matter what your age is.
–Robert Half

“In discussing an approach to bringing about positive changes within oneself, learning
is only the first step. There are other factors as well: conviction, determination,
action and effort.”
–Dalai Lama

“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
–Morris West

“It is a defining moment when someone in authority finally reaches the conclusion that
leadership is not about using people ~ it’s about serving them.”
–Neil Eskelin

“Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you; until
you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire;
until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in
others, you will be neither successful nor happy.”
–Napoleon Hill

“Everyone Smiles in the same language.”
–Proverb

“Pain comes like the weather, but joy is a choice.”
–Rodney Crowell, Singer, Songwriter

God can bring showers of blessing out of storms of adversity.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GENEROSITY

“Liberty is the one thing you
can’t have unless you give it to
others.”
— William Allen White

Spirituality is rooted in a respect for self that demands an equal respect for others. I
can expect to be treated with dignity if I afford dignity to others. In the one is the key
to the many.

For years I lived a compulsive life that only made me self-centered and spoiled, and it
didn’t work! I was unhappy, lonely and resentful. Today I find that the more I give to
others the more I receive. Less is more.

In this sense it is much easier to be good than bad because “goodness” works!

Spirit of generosity, may I always reflect the gratitude that gives.

***********************************************************

“I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.”
Psalm 52:8

“The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.”
Psalm 116:6

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world,
and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we
shall be content”
1 Timothy 6:6-8

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to
God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his
wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

Do that which is right and learn to do it for the right reason. Lord, give us strength as we stand up to temptation and spiritual power as we resist the pressures and stresses that bear down on us.

You cannot ask too much if you use your blessings ceaselessly. Lord, help me to reflect on and live in Your spirit.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Where There’s Smoke…

“Complacency is the enemy of members with substantial clean time. If we remain complacent for long, the recovery process ceases.”
Basic Text pg. 80

Recognizing complacency in our recovery is like seeing smoke in a room. The “smoke” thickens when our meeting attendance drops, contact with newcomers decreases, or relations with our sponsor aren’t maintained. With continued complacency; we won’t be able to see through the smoke to find our way out. Only our immediate response will prevent an inferno.

We must learn to recognize the smoke of complacency. In NA, we have all the help We need to do that. We need to spend time with other recovering addicts because they may detect our complacency before we do. Newcomers will remind us of how painful active addiction can be. Our sponsor will help us remain focused, and recovery literature kept in easy reach can be used to extinguish the small flare-ups that happen from time to time. Regular participation in our recovery will surely enable us to see that wisp of smoke long before it becomes a major inferno.

Just for today: I will participate in the full range of my recovery; My commitment to NA is just as strong today as it was in the beginning of my recovery.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Because you’re not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are. –Madeleine L’Engle
Sometimes we expect far too much of the people around us, and because no one can ever live up to those expectations, we are almost always disappointed. But wouldn’t it be better if we just let go, and let people be who they are? Then we’d be able to see them as they are–with all their beauty and goodness in which we take joy, and with all their faults which we can also see in ourselves.
When we have put someone up on a pedestal, sculpturing them to fit our needs and desires by smoothing out the rough edges and creating new curves here and there, we cannot see the real person underneath our work. All we see is the illusion we have created. That is denying the person’s real identity and is disrespectful. It’s much better for our friends and for ourselves if we drop our expectations and illusions, and accept them all just the way they are.
What unfair expectations do I have of others?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart And try to love the questions themselves. –Rainer Maria Rilke
Patience with ourselves may be the first step toward patience with others. In getting to know ourselves, we don’t find what we have expected. If we did, we would only be proving what we already knew. Sometimes growth comes in surprising ways. It may be in acceptance and learning to love what is unsettled or unclear within. Some of us men want to rush through our learning and push our growth too fast. Others of us want to have a strong sense of confidence in our relationships with others but always feel vulnerable. Some wonder why their fears suddenly rise without warning. Another longs to know why certain things happened to him in his youth. Our growth is not our invention. When answers come, they are gifts, and we do not control them.
In part, self-acceptance is to say, “Yes, I am a person with this question, this unsettled feeling. Being alive is to be actively engaged in knowing and loving my questions even when I find no answer.”
God, grant me the peace that comes with loving the unfinished part of me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To have someone who brings out the colors of life and whose very presence offers tranquility and contentment enriches my being and makes me grateful for the opportunity to share. –Kathleen Tierney Crilly
Loneliness and isolation are familiar states to most of us. We often protected our insecurities by hiding out, believing that we’d survive if others didn’t know who we really were. But we discovered that our insecurities multiplied. The remedy is people–talking to people, exposing our insecurities to them, risking, risking, risking.
Sharing our mutual vulnerabilities helps us see how fully alike we are. Our most hated shortcoming is not unique, and that brings relief. It’s so easy to feel utterly shamed in isolation. Hearing another woman say “I understand. I struggle with jealousy too,” lifts the shame, the dread, the burden of silence. The program has taught us that secrets make us sick, and the longer we protect them, the greater are our struggles.
The program promises fulfillment, serenity, achievement when we willingly share our lives. Each day we can lighten our burdens and help another lighten hers, too.
I will be alert today to the needs of others. I will risk sharing. I will be a purveyor of tranquility.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Taking Care of Ourselves Emotionally
What does it mean to take care of myself emotionally? I recognize when I’m feeling angry, and I accept that feeling without shame or blame.
I recognize when I’m feeling hurt, and I accept those feelings without attempting to punish the source of my pain. I recognize and feel fear when that emotion presents itself.
I allow myself to feel happiness, joy, and love when those emotions are available. Taking care of myself means I’ve made a decision that it’s okay to feel.
Taking care of my emotions means I allow myself to stay with the feeling until it’s time to release it and go on to the next one.
I recognize that sometimes my feelings can help point me toward reality, but sometimes my feelings are deceptive. They are important, but I do not have to let them control me. I can feel, and think too.
I talk to people about my feelings when that’s appropriate and safe.
I reach out for help or guidance if I get stuck in a particular emotion.
I’m open to the lessons my emotions may be trying to teach me. After I feel, accept, and release the feeling, I ask myself what it is I want or need to do to take care of myself.
Taking care of myself emotionally means I value, treasure, explore, and cherish the emotional part of myself.
Today, I will take care of myself emotionally. I will be open to, and accepting of, the emotional part of myself and other people. I will strive for balance by combining emotions with reason, but I will not allow intellect to push the emotional part of myself away.

Whatever I am thinking right now is creating how I am feeling. I turn to positive and loving thoughts because I choose to feel good. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Be an Angel

I often imagine that we keep the angels very busy. They tell us to turn here or there, warn us of dangers, say Listen! and Look! They tell us things will be okay, and they’re sorry we hurt. Angels in our lives encourage us to hope, dream, dare, and trust. They point out beautiful sights. They shine a light on our path, so we know where to step next.

Most of us are not as sure of ourselves as we’d like others to think. We need guidance, faith, and hope. We need to know we’re on track and that someone cares. We need the angels to help us.

The angels in our lives give us a kind word, share a kind thought, offer a helping hand and a warm smile. Their words empower and comfort us. Their touch heals, their loving looks warm our hearts. They radiate love and faith.

“I’ve learned it’s easy to be loving,” one man said. “What takes work is to be kind.”

Make it easier for the angels, and easier for others. Practice being loving and kind. Be an angel,too.

***************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Now is a powerful time

“The entire skydive is great,” a friend said to me. “But one of my favorite moments is when we open the door, and I can see the whole sky spread out in front of me.”

I remember that feeling the day I was given the choice to recover from chemical dependency or go to jail, the day I got my frist writing job, the day my daughter gave birth to her first child. It’s that split second when now freezes and stretches out into infinity. For just a moment all that has been and all that might be crown into a single arc in time and the power of the universe rushes through us.

Get a little of that feeling every day just to remind yourself of the power and potential of now.

Sure, we can envision our rosy future after the big project pays off, or when we’ve got fifteen years of sobriety, or after we reach retirement. But what about that moment when the minister pronounces you husband and wife, or the moment after you tell your parents you’re gay, or the day you walk out on someone, or the day someone walks out on you?

The power isn’t out there somewhere in the distant horizon. Feel the rush of the moment. It really is your life. You have all the power you need, right now.

God, help me tap into the rush of power available to me right here and right now.

***************************************

Discovering True Selves
Soul Seeing

When we want to see deeply into the heart and mind of another person, soul seeing, also called soul gazing, allows us to see their soul. The soul is the purest expression of an individual and is not bound by physical forms or fleeting emotions. Through a simple art that involves looking deeply into a partner’s eyes, soul seeing can show you a person’s inner beauty that you might otherwise miss. It is possible for someone who appears cold to have a warm, giving, nurturing soul or someone of average appearance to have a beautiful soul. Soul seeing is a way of looking past shapes, sizes, attitudes, and behavior to see the real individual that lies beneath the surface. It allows you to see the true essence of another person, the radiance of their being, and their spirit within.

Soul seeing is accomplished by sitting face to face with another person. It is helpful to first state your intention before you begin. As you stare softly into each other’s eyes without stopping to look away, each of your souls is revealed to the other. Try not to look for anything in particular or seek traits you’re hoping to find. Simply let the other person’s soul reveal itself to you. After twenty minutes have passed, stay where you are and share a period of silent reflection with your partner for two minutes. You may have suddenly seen your partner’s inner nature as clearly as a bright day, or you may need to meditate on your experience before you feel comfortable with your impressions. Either way, soul seeing can be a wonderfully intimate and shared experience.

So little of who each of us is can be captured by our appearance or personality. The thoughts, fears, desires, and longings that are part of what makes us whole are not always written across our faces. Often, the most surprising thing you may learn while soul seeing is that while you and the other person may appear on the surface to be quite different, you actually share many of the same inner qualities. And then there is the unique beauty that resides within that is longing to be revealed to another who is willing to see. Soul seeing can help you experience the people in your life as they truly are, beyond any mental barriers or physical limitations. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Sometimes, on those bad days we all have from time to time, it almost seems that God doesn’t want us to be happy here on earth and, for those of us who believe in an afterlife, that He demands pain and suffering in this life as the price of happiness in the next. The Program teaches me that just the opposite is the case. God wants me to be happy right here on earth — right now. When I allow Him to, He will even point out the way. Do I sometimes stubbornly refuse to look where God is pointing?

Today I Pray

I pray that I am not playing the perennial sufferer, dragging around in the boots of tragedy and acting as if suffering is the only ticket to heaven. May I look around, at the goodness and greenery of earth, which is testimony enough that our life here is meant to be more than just one pitfall after another. Man no misconception of God as a master trapper, waiting in every thicket to snare us, distort my relationship with a loving, forgiving Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

There is more to life than suffering.

***************************************

One More Day

It is well that there is no one without a fault, for he would not have a friend in the world.
– William Hazlitt

As youngsters we may have had doubts, just as we do now, about making new friends. We imposed unwritten rules upon ourselves as we sought out new friends. Will they like me? How do I approach them? Will we have enough to talk about?

These questions are again in our minds as we approach old and new relationships. We might worry that since we aren’t always feeling happy and well, our friends is not usually true, but it may take us a little while to pull away from fear and self-doubt and to make real efforts at making and maintaining our friendships.

Today, I will let my friends know just how important they are to me.

************************************

Food For Thought

Getting Well

Our recovery is always in process; it is never completed. If we think for a minute that we have conquered our disease and no longer have to consider it that is the time when we are in danger of slipping. Getting well is what we will be doing for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, we have guidelines and a fellowship to support us.

We are not required to think about our disease twenty-four hours a day. We do need to remember it when thoughts of food and eating arise. We also need to remember it when we find ourselves thinking the kind of thoughts or feeling the moods, which led to binges in the past.

Getting well is an adventure. We have moved out of the repetitious rut of past habits and are reaching into the unknown. There are times when we are anxious and fearful that we will not be able to make it. We are not alone. There is a Higher Power that guides us and an organization of friends who sustain us. The process of getting well is a privilege and a gift.

Thank You for the process of getting well.

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One Day At A Time

COURAGE
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”
Raymond Linquist
(For many years, the pastor at the
Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, California)

A sponsor once asked me what I had against feeling good. I had no answer. I now see that in my sickness and ignorance I hung onto the familiar, what I perceived to be truth. Fear kept me from trying something new until I hurt bad enough to beg God for the courage to try a different way. I am amazed at how long I put up with a miserable existence, not even recognizing my fear of change. I understand now that, although physically full-grown, I am spiritually still growing and becoming.

One Day at a Time . . .
Do I have the courage to change? To even look at change?
Jeremiah

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that is it fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. – Pg. 66 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

To insist stubbornly on holding to old relationships, when they are basically drug oriented relationships is sabotaging our recovery process. Is it not our disease finding a ‘good’ excuse to keep us close to drugs?

May I be able to hear the suggestions of those who work with me. May I listen in this next hour and follow the suggestions.

Learning from Life

There are no ‘buts’ today. I am what I am, others are what they are, life is what it is. I will not parenthesize my growth with a ‘but’ or hold back my forward-moving spirit with second-guesses. For today, I am living with things as they are. I am exactly where I am meant to be, learning what I need to learn. All I need do is move through situations with willingness to learn and openness to feel. When feelings are brought up, I can accept them as what is happening within me – no need to resist and analyze them. Transformation will happen in the moving through and the acceptance of them. I trust that my life is unfolding in such a way that what I need to learn will be before me. I am willing to learn.

I see the ‘table prepared.’
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

A temper will get us into trouble and pride will keep us there.

I can’t save my face and my butt at the same time.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

With the first three steps, you get the courage to work the rest. When you work the rest, you get rid of the garbage so you can work the first three.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that it does not matter if I cannot see the end of the road. I have absolute faith and trust that I am walking in the right direction and that I am being guided along the way.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Success consists of getting up one more time than you fall. – Anon

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AA Thought for the Day

December 16

Grace
I think we all find an unavoidable association between what AA does and the grace of God.
AA reflects, in a limited, human sense, the way God works with us.
AA people love us when we’re newcomers, not because of what we’ve done, but in spite of it,
not because we’ve earned love, but because we need it.
And so, I think, comes the final great acceptance of the AA member: the realization that I have been accepted by God


that, when I staggered up those stairs for the first time, God was there waiting for me.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 162

Thought to Ponder . . .
Don’t fear tomorrow. God is already there.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
B O G G L E = Bad Or Good, God Loves Everyone.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Belonging
There is no more aloneness, with that awful ache,
so deep in the heart of every alcoholic
that nothing, before, could ever reach it.
That ache is gone and never need return again.
Now there is a sense of belonging,
of being wanted and needed and loved.
In return for a bottle and a hangover,
we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 276
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 312

Thought to Consider . . .
Turn your wounds into wisdom.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
G R A C E = Gently Releasing All Conscious Expectations

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Hope
>From “Finding your own way:”
“Most of us have seen death close up…but we
also have known the sort of hope that makes the
heart sing….If you are a problem drinker, you
already know enough about pain and loneliness.
We’d like you to find some of the peace and joy
we have found in meeting the reality of life’s ups
and downs with a clear head and a steady heart.”
c. 1975, Living Sober, page 86

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“The smile from my face traveled to my heart.”
Olympia, Wash., September 2006
“The Portals of Service,”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to
futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit
these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66

“Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant
thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 20

Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.xxiv

Could we then foresee that troublesome people were to become our principal teachers of patience and tolerance?
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.141

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

As the book Alcoholics Anonymous puts it, Resentment is the Number One offender, It is a primary cause of relapses
into drinking. How well we of A.A. know that for us ‘To drink is eventually to go mad or die.’
‘Much the same penalty overhangs every A.A. group. Given enough anger, both unity and purpose are lost. Given still
more ‘righteous’ indignation, the group can disintegrate; it can actually die. This is why we avoid controversy. This is why
we prescribe no punishments for any misbehavior, no matter how grievous. Indeed, no alcoholic can be deprived of his
membership for any reason whatever. Punishment never heals. Only love can heal.’

Prayer for the Day: Next Right Step – God, please show me all through this day, what is the next right step. Give me the
strength, faith, and courage I need to take care of the problems in my life. Show me the solution, for I will take the next
right actions. And, I ask to be free from self-will and fear. Your will, not mine, be done. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 15th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 15th

Daily Reflections

 

DOING ANYTHING TO HELP

Offer him [the alcoholic] friendship and fellowship. Tell
him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to
help.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 95

I remember how attracted I was to the two men from A.A.
who Twelfth-Stepped me. They said I could have what they
had, with no conditions attached, that all I had to do was
make my own decision to join them on the pathway to
recovery. When I start convincing a newcomer to do things
my way, I forget how helpful those two men were to me in
their open-minded generosity.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Service to others makes the world a good place. Civilization
would cease if all of us were always and only for ourselves. We
alcoholics have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the
well-being of the world. We have a common problem. We find
a common answer. We are uniquely equipped to help others
with the same problem. What a wonderful world it would be
if everybody took their own greatest problem and found the
answer to it and spent the rest of their lives helping
others with the same problem, in their spare time. Soon we
would have the right kind of a world. Do I appreciate my unique
opportunity to be of service?

Meditation For The Day

Today can be lived in the consciousness of God’s contact,
upholding you in all good thoughts, words and deeds. If
sometimes there seems to be a shadow on your life and you
feel out of sorts, remember that this is not the withdrawal
of God’s presence, but only your own temporary unwillingness
to realize it. The quiet gray days are the days for doing
what you must do, but know that the consciousness of God’s
nearness will return and be with you again, when the gray
days are past.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may face the dull days with courage. I pray
that I may have faith that the bright days will return.


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As Bill Sees It

A.A. In Two Words, p.271

“All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words:
humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can
be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these
magnificent standards.

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater
willingness to accept and to act upon clear-cut obligations–these are
truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit. They
hold up to us the very essence of right being and right doing. It is by
them that we are enabled to find and to do God’s will.”
Talk, 1965 (Printed In Grapevine, January 1966)

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Walk In Dry Places

Watching our boundaries.
Personal relationships
Setting boundaries in personal relationships is how we manage actions that could otherwise get out of control. One firm boundary in AA, for example, is maintaining other members’ anonymity, as well as our own. We are always overstepping boundaries if we disclose another’s AA membership without permission.
It’s wise, too, not to expect the easy familiarity of the meetings to carry over into all other activities. One member who was employed by another AA member apparently wondered why his boss was so easygoing and cordial at AA meetings and so remote and businesslike in the factory. It made perfect sense, however; their relationship in the plant was different from their AA relationship and required another set of boundaries.
We can protect ourselves and others by being careful to establish proper boundaries for all relationships. This means that what’s appropriate for one setting may not be for another.
I’ll check to be sure that I’m observing proper boundaries, for myself and others. I must not violate others’ rights any more than I want my own violated.

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Keep It Simple

As ass is beautiful to an ass, and a pig to a pig.– English proverb.
When we see someone drunk and out of control, can we see the beautiful person inside them?
If we can’t, who will? Step Twelve reminds us that we have to help the alcoholic or other drug addict who suffers. This task has been given to us because we, most of all, should be able to look past the drunkenness and see the person. We were there. We know what it’s like to be trapped in a world without meaning. If these memories have faded, we may need to go back over Step One. We may find ourselves angry with the practicing drunk or other drug addict. This is a sign that we have gotten too far from our past. Remember, “But for the grace of God…”
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, Help me remember my past and what it’s like now. This helps me care about the person who still suffers.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll respect my illness. I’ll look for the beauty inside every drunk and other drug addict.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Happiness is a form of freedom, and of all people I should be the freest. I’ve earned this happiness and this freedom.
–Angela L. Wozniak
Life is a process, and we are progressing beautifully. We are no longer abusing our bodies and minds with drugs. We are taking special time, daily, to look for guidance. We are working the Steps of the program, better and better as the abstinent days add up. We are free from past behaviors. And we can be free from our negative attitudes too.
Making a decision to look for the good in our experiences and in our friends and acquaintances frees us from so much frustration. It ushers in happiness, no only for us but for the others we are treating agreeably. Happiness is a byproduct of living the right kind of life.
We can take a moment today, each time an action is called for, to consider our response. The one that squares with our inner selves and feels good, is the right one. Happiness will accompany it.
Happiness is always within my power. My attitude is at the helm.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

All this time our friend of the hotel lobby incident remained in that town. He was there three months. He now returned home, leaving behind his first acquaintances, the lawyer and the devil-may-care chap. These men had found something brand new in life. Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others. They shared their homes, their slender resources, and gladly devoted their spare hours to fellow-sufferers. They were willing, by day or night, to place a new man in the hospital and visit him afterward. They grew in numbers. They experienced a few distressing failures, but in those cases they made an effort to bring the man’s family into a spiritual way of living, thus relieving much worry and suffering.

p. 159

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

At first it was just that–an occasional drink. Then I looked forward to the weekend of golf and the nineteenth hole. The cocktail hour became a daily routine. Gradually, the quantity increased and the occasions for a drink came more frequently: a hard day, worries and pressures, bad news, good news–there were more and more reasons for a drink. Why did I want increasingly greater quantities of alcohol? It was frightening that drink was being substituted for more and more of the things I really enjoyed doing. Golf, hunting, and fishing were now merely excuses to drink excessively.

pp. 349-350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Such a radical change in our outlook will take time, maybe a lot of time. Not many people can truthfully assert that they love everybody. Most of us must admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as for the remainder–well, we have really disliked or hated them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we A.A.’s find we need something much better in order to keep our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.

pp. 92-93

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Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening
ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the
potential to turn a life around.
–Leo Buscaglia

He who speaks sows, and he who listens harvests.
–Argentinean Proverb

God is my compass, may I follow direction.
–Shelley

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your
energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”
–Denis Waitley

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and
thinking that having problems is a problem.”
–Theodore Rubin

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

POVERTY

“The poor you always have with
you.”
— Jesus (John 12:8)

Whoever said that life was going to be easy? A great number of people are placed in
circumstances that are beyond their control and they die in helpless poverty. The poor
are always with us. I cannot understand this dilemma and I have few answers for
most of the world’s suffering. However, I have a faith in God’s love being
realized beyond the grave for everyone.

But many of “the poor” are spiritually destitute by their own making. They choose to
live lives that are consistently destructive and they refuse to change. Alcoholics and
drug addicts are committing suicide by their lifestyle! I know because for years I was
one. This produces a spiritual poverty that need not remain. This is a poverty that
can be overcome. Recovery is finding the hidden treasure that is within.

Let me find Your treasure in the loving care I give myself.

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Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may
abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God
of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by
God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is
abundant through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
I Corinthians 10:13

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Daily Inspiration

Add excitement to the day by meeting everything as though it is your very first time. Lord, give me the ability to change the ordinary into something special, to do more than just slide through the moments of the day and take time to notice that my life really is terrific most of the time.

We have two ends; one for sitting and one for thinking. My success depends on which one I use more. Lord, grant me the determination and the necessary energy that I need to accomplish my goals for today and for my future.

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NA Just For Today

The Joy Of Sharing

“There is a spiritual principle of giving away what we have been given in Narcotics Anonymous in order to keep it. By helping others to stay clean, we enjoy the benefit of the spiritual wealth that we have found.”
Basic Text pg. 47

Time and again in our recovery, others have freely shared with us what was freely shared with them. Perhaps we were the recipients of a Twelfth Step call. Maybe someone picked us up and took us to our first meeting. It could be that someone bought us dinner when we were new. All of us have been given time, attention, and love by our fellow members. We may have asked someone, “What can I do to repay you?” And the answer we received was probably a suggestion that we do the same for a newer member when we were able.

As we maintain our clean time and recovery, we find ourselves wanting to do for others the things that someone did for us, and happy that we can. If we heard the message while in a hospital or institution, we can join our local H&I subcommittee. Perhaps we can volunteer on the NA help line. Or we can give of our time, attention, and love to a newcomer we are trying to help.

We’ve been given much in our recovery. One of the greatest of these gifts is the privilege of sharing with others what’s been shared with us, with no expectation of reward. It’s a joy to find we have something that can be of use to others, and that joy is multiplied when we share it. Today we can do so, freely and gratefully.

Just for today: I have been given much in my recovery, and I am deeply grateful for it. I will take joy in being able to share it with others as freely as it was shared with me.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Great symphonies begin with just one note. –Priscilla Young Pratt
Sometimes it’s really hard to get going. We put off things we don’t want to do, or are afraid to try. We occasionally feel overwhelmed by the size of a job to be done like cleaning out the cellar or reading a long book for a class.
But think a minute. If Beethoven had thought about how complicated it was to write his Ninth Symphony, with all those instruments and voices and notes to blend together, do we really think he would ever have started? But he didn’t get overwhelmed. He sat down and wrote just one small note, and then another, and a third. It took him months, but writing one note led to a second, and, one note at a time, he completed it.
We begin the same way with whatever tasks we have ahead of us. Each tiny bit of progress helps us go on to the next part. We begin by reading one page of that book, or taking one box of junk from the cellar. That’s all we have to do. The rest will follow almost on its own. The trick is to begin.
What needs to be done today, and how do I start?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
My mother was dead for five years before I knew that I loved her very much.
–Lillian Hellman
Each day it helps us to remember that we are always changing. Whatever is most clear to us today or is most prominent in our feelings – the difficulties we may be having with parents, wives or lovers, the worries we have about our children – is a part of an unfolding of events we cannot foresee. Just when we think we know exactly the direction things are going, they surprise us with change. Relationships continue to evolve and mature as we do. Even when separated from loved ones, our relationships may improve because we continue to grow.
Our task for this day is to be honest with ourselves, to be respectful to others, and to stay open to our Higher Power. Continuing to go forward, we put one foot in front of the other. We are changing internally, and circumstances around us are changing too. We remain hopeful for the future because outcomes are in the hands of God.
I cannot predict the direction of my growth. I will simply remain true to myself today and stay open for surprises.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Happiness is a form of freedom, and of all people I should be the freest. I’ve earned this happiness and this freedom.
–Angela L. Wozniak
Life is a process, and we are progressing beautifully. We are no longer abusing our bodies and minds with drugs. We are taking special time, daily, to look for guidance. We are working the Steps of the program, better and better as the abstinent days add up. We are free from past behaviors. And we can be free from our negative attitudes too.
Making a decision to look for the good in our experiences and in our friends and acquaintances frees us from so much frustration. It ushers in happiness, no only for us but for the others we are treating agreeably. Happiness is a byproduct of living the right kind of life.
We can take a moment today, each time an action is called for, to consider our response. The one that squares with our inner selves and feels good, is the right one. Happiness will accompany it.
Happiness is always within my power. My attitude is at the helm.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Feelings
It’s okay to have and feel our feelings – all of them.
Years into recovery, we may still be battling with ourselves about this issue. Of all the prohibitions we’ve lived with, this one is potentially the most damaging and the most long-lived.
Many of us needed to shut down the emotional part of ourselves to survive certain situations. We shut down the part of us that feels anger, sadness, fear, joy, and love. We may have turned off our sexual or sensual feelings too. Many of us lived in systems with people who refused to tolerate our emotions. We were shamed or reprimanded for expressing feelings, usually by people who were taught to repress their own.
But times have changed. It is okay now for us to acknowledge and accept our emotions. We don’t need to allow our emotions to control us; neither do we need to allow our emotions to control us; neither do we need to rigidly repress our feelings. Our emotional center is a valuable part of us. It’s connected to our physical well being, our thinking, and our spirituality.
Our feelings are also connected to that great gift, instinct. They enable us to give and receive love.
We are neither weak nor deficient for indulging in our feelings. It means we’re becoming healthy and whole.
Today, I will allow myself to recognize and accept whatever feelings pass through me. Without shame, I will tune in to the emotional part of myself.

Today I am experiencing all of my life. It is exciting to be alive in each moment. written by ~ Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Awaken Your Life Force

The Chinese call it chi. The Japanese,ki. It refers to energy, the life force, the Divine spirit of life that permeates all that is. That permeates you.

Awaken your life force. Do things that stimulate it, bring it alive. Walk on the ground with your bare feet and let the earth’s energy surge through you. Reach your hands toward the heavens and let Divine energy come down to you. Move around. Release the blocks.Feel. Love. Sing. Shout.

Come alive. Discover what it means to become vital and fully alive. Feel the life force surge through you, up through your legs, your spine, your head. Feel it wash down upon you through your arms, your torso, down through your toes and into the ground, rooting you to this planet like a tree. Know you have roots. Know you have branches.

Fill yourself with chi. Fill yourself until you feel vital, alive. Feel it until you become happy and joyful, grateful to be alive on this planet. Feel it until you know you are one with God, one with life, one with love. Feel it until you see how connected you are with all that lives.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Fall in love with life

I was sitting in the chair at the beauty shop getting my hair cut one day and listening to my beautician chatter away. She showed me a picture of one of her friends, a woman who had gotten married and recently had a baby girl.

“She’s been so in love since that child was born,” she said, showing me a picture of the new mother’s smiling face.

“In love with her husband?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “Well, that,too. I mean in love with life.”

Have you ever been in love, had your heart best fast when you anticipated the call of your lover, felt the way the sun felt warmer on your face, the sky appeared bluer, the clouds more fluffy, and the sunset more grand?

What if you could fall in love with your life and feel that way each day? I’m not saying romantic relationships are bad. They’re not. They’re part of being human and getting our needs met. But what if we could take all that passion and focus it into falling in love with life?

Maybe that is what is meant by universal love. Maybe that’s the part we give back.

Fall in love with your life today.

God, help me feel passionate about my life and all the possibilities that stretch out before me.

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Focused Value
Quality Vs. Quantity

We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a thin spread of freshly made preserves can satisfy us more than a full bucket of a product that we aren’t very fond of. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together. It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage.

Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be meaningful. A modest portion of good, healthy food can nourish and satisfy you on multiple levels and, when organically grown, nourish the earth as well. Likewise, a few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one catching up on the important details about family, work, or community can carry more meaning than two hours spent watching television together.

Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality. Then again, quantity also plays a significant role in our lives. Certain elements, such as hugs, kisses, abundance, and love, are best had in copious amounts that are high in quality. But faced with the choice between a single, heartfelt grin and a lifetime of empty smiles, most would, no doubt, choose the former. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Some people are such worriers that they worry about the fact that they have nothing to worry about. Newcomers in The Program sometimes feel, for example, “This is much too good to last.” Most of us, however, have plenty of real things to worry about — old standbys like money, health, death and taxes, to name just a few. But The Program tells us that the proven antidote to worry and fear is confidence — confidence not in ourselves, but in our Higher Power. Will I continue to believe that God can and will avert the calamity that I spend my days and nights dreading? Will I believe that if calamity does strike, God will enable me to see it through?

Today I Pray

May I realize that the worry habit — worry that grows out of broader, often unlabeled fears — will take more than time to conquer. Like many dependent people, I have lived with worry so long that it has become my constant, floor-pacing companion. May my Higher Power teach me that making a chum out of worry is a waste of my energy and fritters away my constructive hours.

Today I Will Remember

Kick the worry habit.

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One More Day

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
– Thomas Carlyle

We really know that we are not perfect. We are, like everyone else, beings capable of millions of behaviors. We can develop a humble self-awareness that takes all of our pluses and minuses into account. When we examine ourselves gently, but honestly, we find ourselves in a position where we can correct our own faults and become more tolerant and accepting of the faults of others.

The unconditional love we give ourselves — and everyone we care for — isn’t blind to imperfection; instead, it openly accepts strengths and weaknesses.

Today, my love of myself and others will be shown in my tolerance of imperfections.

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Food For Thought

We Are Sick

Until we realize fully that we are sick, we do not begin to recover. As long as we feel that all we need is a good diet and some willpower, we do not understand the nature of our disease. We would have been able to stop eating compulsively long ago if the answer had been willpower and diet.

When we examine the history of our obesity in the light of the OA program, we see that we are in the grip of an incurable illness, which gets progressively worse, never better. Once we accept the fact that there is no cure for our disease, we can begin to develop control. Until we recognize the seriousness of our illness, we do not succeed in controlling it.

By acknowledging that our very life depends on maintaining abstinence and practicing the OA principles, we come to terms with the reality of our situation. We can live satisfying, full, rewarding lives if we do not forget that we are sick and that our recovery will never be complete.

Each day, may I not forget that I am sick.

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One Day At A Time

~ACCOMPLISHMENT~
The central fact of our lives today is the absolute
certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts
and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous.
He has commenced to accomplish those things for us
which we could never do by ourselves.
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

The one thing that I am absolutely certain of today is that our Creator, God, lives in my heart and works miracles in my life daily. The biggest miracle, I believe, is having an awareness of Him, and knowing that He is in control of all that happens in my life. His power is infinite. If I were not aware of God, then I don’t believe I could work this program. It is the realization that God can accomplish anything that is helping me to work daily toward achieving my goal of continued abstinence and a changed attitude regarding food.

I cannot change what’s in my heart, but God can. I cannot, of myself, break lifelong habits, but God can motivate me to change. I cannot forgive myself all the pain I’ve inflicted on myself and others, while suffering from this disease, but God can soften my heart, and help me to forgive by letting me know that He forgives me. There is nothing that I can’t accomplish when I take God’s hand and let Him lead me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will let God guide me into an ever-deepening relationship with Him so that I may accomplish the great feat of arresting my compulsion to overeat.
Joycelyn

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but it’s application presented difficulties beyond our conception. What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge. – Pg. xxvii – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever time it is that we are reading this, we may feel anxious about what the rest of the day will bring. But our program is a ‘now’ program. Later will bring what later will bring, right now we’re clean and sober!

I will meditate briefly on the phrase ‘Be Here Now’ to better understand my new way of life.

Being in the Moment

Today, I see that the only real point of power is in the present, which is to say that life cannot be lived backward or forward, but only in the context of today. If I truly let myself have this moment and all that it contains, I will be in quiet possession of great eternal wealth. All that is, is in this moment where all the waters meet and all the wisdom of the ages lies; it is the now that calls me to it with open arms. I work out my past, not because it is right or good or proper, but because it allows me to be in fuller possession of my present. By releasing and returning to me those parts of me that remain prisoner in my own psychic and emotional jail, I can have access to the now. I allow myself this moment.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We not only attempt geographical ‘cures’ while drinking, but often while clean and sober too. When you make a move ‘for the better,’ unless you can honestly say you are running to something positive, then you are running from something that you haven’t faced.

No matter how fast or how far I go, I can’t outrun myself.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Not drinking is a symptom of your recovery.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am learning to think and act in a positive way that is healthy for my mind, body and spirit.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Laughter is the music of Alcoholics Anonymous. – Angie D.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 15

Pass It On
I’ll never forget the first time I met Bill Wilson.
I was a couple of months sober and so excited, so thrilled to meet the co-founder
that I gushed all over him with what my sobriety meant to me and my undying gratitude for his starting AA.
When I ran down, he took his hand in mine and said simply, “Pass it on.”
– ‘Pass It On’, preface

Thought to Ponder . . .
Gratitude is not a word in AA; it’s an action.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
N O W = No Other Way.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Pride
We scarcely need to be reminded that excessive guilt
or rebellion leads to spiritual poverty.
But it was a very long time before we knew
we could go even more broke on spiritual pride.
When we early AAs got our first glimmer
of how spiritually pride full we could be,
we coined this expression:
“Don’t try to get too damned good by Thursday!”
That old-time admonition may look like another of those
handy alibis that can excuse us from trying our best.
Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary.
This is our AA way of warning against pride-blindness,
and the imaginary perfection’s that we do not possess.
Bill W., June 1961
c. 1988 AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 255

Thought to Consider . . .
Pride without gratitude is arrogance.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S O B E R = Simply Observe Bill’s Exemplary Recovery

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Ideas
>From “‘Suggested’ Steps”:
“I remember my sponsor’s answer when I told him that the Steps were ‘suggested.’ He replied that they are ‘suggested’ in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is ‘suggested’ that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was ‘suggested’ I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 344

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“My drinking career was all about running away. I could pack up and vanish in a flash. Now, I can make commitments and become part of something. I can let myself belong.”
Kingston, N.Y., May 1997
“At Home in a Home Group”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“When ready, we say something like this: ‘My Creator, I am now
willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you
now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in
the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as
I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.’ We have then
completed Step Seven.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 76~

“God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors,
psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to
take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give
freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and
bodies.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

Will he take every necessary step, submit to anything to get well, to stop drinking forever?
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.142

So it is that we first see humility as a necessity
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.73

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

As a society we must never become so vain as to suppose that we are authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect that every one of A.A.’s principles has been borrowed from ancient sources.
A minister in Thailand wrote, ‘We took A.A.’s Twelve Steps to the largest Buddhist monastery in this province, and the head priest said, ‘Why, these Steps are fine! For us as Buddhists, it might be slightly more acceptable if you had inserted the word ‘good’ in your Steps instead of ‘God.’ Nevertheless, you say that it is God as you understand Him, and that must certainly include the good. Yes, A.A.s Twelve Steps will surely be accepted by the Buddhists around here.’
St. Louis oldtimers recall how Father Edward Dowling helped start their group; it turned out to be largely Protestant, but this fazed him not a bit.’

Prayer for the Day: Prayer During Turmoil – Dear Higher Power, During times when my world becomes unhinged, and the foundations of what I believe crack and dissolve, give me the grace to believe that Your power is at work in the turmoil of my life. Lead me to remember that Your power is greater than all evil, and though the world may rock and sometimes break, it will in time, be transformed by Your love.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 14th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 14th

Daily Reflections

REACHING OUT

Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual
hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his
inspection. Show him how they worked with you.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 95

When I come into contact with a newcomer, do I have a
tendency to look at him from my perceived angle of success
in A.A.? Do I compare him with the large number of
acquaintances I have made in the Fellowship? Do I point out
to him in a magisterial way the voice of A.A.? What is my
real attitude toward him? I must examine myself whenever I
meet a newcomer to make sure that I am carrying the message
with simplicity, humility and generosity. The one who still
suffers from the terrible disease of alcoholism must find
in me a friend who will allow him to get to know the A.A.
way, because I had such a friend when I arrived in A.A. Today
it is my turn to hold out my hand, with love, to my sister or
brother alcoholic, and to show her or him the way to
happiness.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of A.A. is the way of service. Without that, it would
not work. We have been “on the wagon” and hated it. We have
taken the pledge and waited for the time to be up with
impatience. We have tried in all manner of ways to help
ourselves. But not until we begin to help other people do we
get full relief. It is an axiom that the A.A. program has
to be given away in order to be kept. A river flows into the
Dead Sea and stops. A river flows into a clear pool and flows
out again. We get and then we give. If we do not give, we do
not keep. Have I given up all ideas of holding A.A. for myself
alone?

Meditation For The Day

Try to see the life of the spirit as a calm place, shut away
from the turmoil of the world. Think of your spiritual home
as a place full of peace, serenity, and contentment. Go to
this quiet, meditative place for the strength to carry you
through today’s duties and problems. Keep coming back here
for refreshment when you are weary of the hubbub of the
outside world. From this quietness and communion comes our
strength.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep this resting place where I can commune
with God. I pray that I may find refreshment in meditation on
the Eternal.


***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

After the “Honeymoon”, p. 216

“For most of us, the first years of A.A. are something like a
honeymoon.  There is a new and potent reason to stay alive, joyful
activity aplenty.  For a time, we are diverted from the main life
problems.  That is all to the good.

“But when the honeymoon has worn off, we are obliged to take
our lumps, like other people.  This is where the testing starts.
Maybe the group has pushed us onto the side lines.  Maybe
difficulties have intensified at home, or in the world outside.  Then
the old behavior patterns reappear.  How well we recognize and
deal with them reveals the extent of our progress.”

********************************

The wise have always known that no one can make much of his
life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to
admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and
persistently tries to correct what is wrong.

1.  Letter, 1954
2.  12 & 12, p. 88 


***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

The best of the Past
Living today.
We’re told that we should forget the past when we come into AA. Since we can’t change it, we should not waste time and energy reliving it.
Let’s be careful, however, not to take this advice too literally. There was much in our past that was good, even when we were drinking. We have a right and a need to treasure these important things.
The real dangers of living in the past come either from brooding about its mistakes or from thinking that our best days are already behind us. We can think of the past as a foundation for the good we expect today and in all the days ahead.
I’ll preserve the best in my memories of the past, knowing that these helped bring me to my present state of recovery.

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Keep It Simple

Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is broken winged bird that cannot fly.
–Langston Hughes
Many of our dreams died as our addiction got worse. We felt the loss but couldn’t speak it. With recovery, we regain our ability to dream. Dreams of sharing our lives with family and friends return. They push out thoughts of getting high. Dreams of pride and self-respect reappear. They replace the awful feeling of shame. Like the quote above says, “Hold fast to dreams….” Our dreams are our wishes for the future.
They hold a picture of who we want to be. In our dreams, we let our spirits soar. Often, we fell close to God, others and ourselves. Thanks God, we can dream again.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, thanks to you, my wings have been mended. Guide me as I fly.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll take time out to dream and share my dream with those I love.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

A theme may seem to have been put aside, but it keeps returning–the same thing modulated, somewhat changed in form.  –Muriel Rukeyser
No struggle we have is really new. It’s another shade of the struggle that plagued us last week or perhaps last year. And we’ll stumble again and again until we learn to quit struggling. The trying situations at work, or the personality type that irritates us, will always exist. But when we’ve come to accept as good and growth-enhancing all situations and all persons, we’ll sense the subtle absence of struggle. We’ll realize that the person we couldn’t tolerate has become a friend. The situation we couldn’t handle is resolved, forever.
The lessons we need to learn keep presenting themselves, until we’ve finished the homework. If we sense a struggle today, we can look at it as an assignment, one that is meant for our growth. We can remember that our struggles represent our opportunities to grow. Fortunately, the program has given us a tutor. We have a willing teacher to help us. We need to move on, to be open to other assignments. No problem will be too much for us to handle.
I will enjoy my role as student today. I will be grateful for all opportunities to grow. They make possible my very special contribution in this life.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

So, you see, there were three alcoholics in that town, who now felt they had to give to others what they had found, or be sunk. After several failures to find others, a fourth turned up. He came through an acquaintance who had heard the good news. He proved to be a devil-may-care young fellow whose parents could not make out whether he wanted to stop drinking or not. They were deeply religious people, much shocked by their son’s refusal to have anything to do with the church. He suffered horribly from his sprees, but it seemed as if nothing could be done for him. He consented, however, to go to the hospital, where he occupied the very room recently vacated by the lawyer.
He had three visitors. After a bit, he said, “The way you fellows put this spiritual stuff makes sense. I’m ready to do business. I guess the old folks were right after all.” So one more was added to the Fellowship.

pp. 158-159

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

My drinking did not start until after I was thirty-five and a fairly successful career had been established. But success brought increased social activities, and I realized that many of my social friends enjoyed a social drink with no apparent harm to themselves or others. I disliked being different so, ultimately, I began to join them occasionally.

p. 349

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up.

p. 92

***********************************************************

In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog
that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.
–Dereke Bruce

“Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who
are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”
–Henri Frederic Amiel

“The human spirit rings with hope at the sound of an encouraging word.
–unknown

“Many a good man has failed because he had his wishbone where his backbone should
have been.”
–Unknown

The first step identifies the problem, the remaining eleven steps are the solution.
The first tradition identifies the problem, the remaining eleven traditions are how we do that.
–unknown

“Every situation can be a positive situation if you look upon it as an opportunity for
growth and self-improvement.
–Brian Tracy

“Step into a new you each day. Reach out to greater health, happiness, fitness,
friendship, love and greater pride in yourself.”
–Mark Victor Hansen

Every recovery from alcoholism began with one sober hour.

Life didn’t end when I got sober — it started.

H E A L = Helping Every Alcoholic Live.

Take a walk with God. He will meet you at the Steps.

***********************************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GOD

“My God, my God, why hast
thou forsaken me.”
— Jesus (Matthew 27:46)

In my sickness I was often angry at God. Angry that He did not do what I wanted
Him to do when I wanted Him to do it. I was a spoiled child. I refused to understand
that suffering could be an important part of my spiritual growth. Today I know this to
be true.

The biggest part of my suffering, then and today, is the feeling of isolation. Not
knowing for certain that He hears me. Not understanding completely what His will is
for me. Not getting clear answers to my daily confusion.

The doubt is part of the faith. The “not knowing” is the answer.

Lord, may the daily doubts lead to a creative faith.

***********************************************************

“All things work together for good to them that love God.”
Romans 8:28

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be
dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

“Seek the LORD and live.”
Amos 5:6a


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

Laughter is a speedy way to bring people together, build friendships and reduce stresses. Lord, help me participate in the many opportunities to feel the calming effect of laughter.

It is good to know where you are, but better to know where you are going. Lord, may I use every day to grow closer to You.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Addiction, Drugs, And Recovery

“Addiction is a physical, mental, and spiritual disease that affects every area of our lives.”
Basic Text pg. 20

Before we started using, most of us had a stereotype, a mental image of what addicts were supposed to look like. Some of us pictured a junkie robbing convenience markets for drug money. Others imagined a paranoid recluse peering at life from behind perpetually drawn drapes and locked doors. As long as we didn’t fit any of the stereotypes, we thought, we couldn’t be addicts.

As our using progressed, we discarded those misconceptions about addiction, only to come up with another: the idea that addiction was about drugs. We may have thought addiction meant a physical habit, believing any drug that didn’t produce physical habituation was not “addictive.” Or we thought the drugs we took were causing all our problems. We thought that merely getting rid of the drugs would restore sanity to our lives.

One of the most important lessons we learn in Narcotics Anonymous is that addiction is much more than the drugs we used. Addiction is a part of us; it’s an illness that involves every area of our lives, with or without drugs. We can see its effects on our thoughts, our feelings, and our behavior, even after we stop using. Because of this, we need a solution that works to repair every area of our lives: the Twelve Steps.

Just for today: Addiction is not a simple disease, but it has a simple solution. Today, I will live in that solution: the Twelve Steps of recovery.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Each day comes bearing its gifts. Untie the ribbons. –Ann Ruth Schabacker
Today will be filled with surprises, big ones and small ones, like the gifts at a birthday party. Maybe we’ll see a friend we haven’t seen for a while. Or we’ll find something we thought was lost. Whatever happens today will be special, and is meant to help us grow in just the right way.
Growing up doesn’t always feel easy. We’re expected to be more responsible and thoughtful of others. We’re expected to be honest about our feelings and needs. If we’re angry or scared, we need to tell someone. Sharing our secret about being afraid relieves us of the fear, and we feel lighter, happier, like after opening a special gift.
When I receive today’s gifts, will I stop to appreciate them?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, you’re keeping the man-child alive. –John Cassavetes
Creation is the work of God. It is not given to most of us to be famous artists. But the spiritual experience of being creative is open to us when we take on a creative attitude toward what we are doing. We might do this on the job when we determine to do more than just get the job done. We may decide to have fun while we do what needs to be done, or we may decide to put our best spirit into the work before us. Some men find creativity in working with wood, others in coaching sports with children, someone else in cooking, and another in community service.
Being creative moves us toward wholeness as people. As we create on the outside, we are being created on the inside. The way in which we live every aspect of our lives is a creative, growing process and a partnership with God.
As I approach this day, I will have an attitude of creativity that will nurture the wondering child within me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
A theme may seem to have been put aside, but it keeps returning–the same thing modulated, somewhat changed in form. –Muriel Rukeyser
No struggle we have is really new. It’s another shade of the struggle that plagued us last week or perhaps last year. And we’ll stumble again and again until we learn to quit struggling. The trying situations at work, or the personality type that irritates us, will always exist. But when we’ve come to accept as good and growth-enhancing all situations and all persons, we’ll sense the subtle absence of struggle. We’ll realize that the person we couldn’t tolerate has become a friend. The situation we couldn’t handle is resolved, forever.
The lessons we need to learn keep presenting themselves, until we’ve finished the homework. If we sense a struggle today, we can look at it as an assignment, one that is meant for our growth. We can remember that our struggles represent our opportunities to grow. Fortunately, the program has given us a tutor. We have a willing teacher to help us. We need to move on, to be open to other assignments. No problem will be too much for us to handle.
I will enjoy my role as student today. I will be grateful for all opportunities to grow. They make possible my very special contribution in this life.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Clear Thinking
Strive for clear thinking. Many of us have had our thinking clouded by denial. Some of us have even lost faith in ourselves because we’ve spent a degree of time in denial. But losing faith in our thinking isn’t going to help us. What we need to lose faith in is denial.
We didn’t resort to denial – either of someone else’s problem or our own – because we were deficient. Denial, the shock absorber for the soul, protects us until we are equipped to cope with reality.
Clear thinking and recovery don’t mean we will never resort to denial. Denial is the first step toward acceptance, and for most of our life, we will be striving to accept something.
Clear thinking means we don’t allow ourselves to become immersed in negativity or unrealistic expectations. We stay connected to other recovering people. We go to our meetings, where peace of mind and realistic support are available. We work the Steps, pray, and meditate.
We keep our thinking on track by asking our Higher Power to help us think clearly – not by expecting Him, or someone else, to do our thinking for us.
Today, I will strive for balanced, clear thought in all areas of my life.

Today I can look back with love in my heart, knowing that every moment, every experience of my life has been necessary, valuable and significant. –Ruth Fishel

***************************************

Journey To The Heart

Open Your Heart to Universal Love

We live in a magical, living, vital, and personal universe, a world where universal love is real.

We don’t just live in it, we’re part of it, visibly and tangibly connected to it. The phone call that comes at the right time. A book that teaches us what we need to know. A movie that has the message we need to guide us and open our hearts. An opportunity that arises, at just the right moment. An idea triggered by something someone says or an object we didn’t notice before.

The more we open to universal love, the more it will be there for us, embracing, loving, holding, guiding us. The more we learn to see it, the more it will be there– until we wonder why we never saw it before.

Open your heart to universal love. It’s more than merely there. It’s there for you. Jump into the arms of a living, magical world and you leap into the arms of universal love. See how real it can be.

***************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

You’re not a survivor anymore

Many years ago, I asked a fellow therapist what the one thing was that hallmarked the unhappy state of being many of us have come to label as codependency.

“It’s the Karpman Drama Triangle,” he said. “People rescue someone by doing something they don’t want to do, or it’s not their business to do. Then they get angry and persecute the person. Then they walk away, feeling like a victim. Again.”

A light when on in that moment. Like a gerbil on a wheel, I could see myself spinning around this triangle. I was regularly rescuing somebody, then getting angry, and ultimately feeling victimized by it all.

I was creating the pain and the drama in my life.

Over the years, I stopped rescuing alcoholics. Many of us have gotten off that painful wheel. We know we can’t control another person’s chemical dependency, depression, problems, or life. But we may have stepped off that wheel and gotten ourselves into another more subtle drama spin.

A friend recently cleaned our his entire house– closets, garage, drawers. He had to hire a truck to come and take everything away.

“I can’t believe everything I collected and hung onto,” he said. “Most of it was junk that I didn’t want in the first place. I guess that came from being poor and going without for so long. I convinced myself that if it was free or cheap, I’d better grab it and take it home.”

Many of us were survivors at one time. We either genuinely didn’t have a choice or convinced ourselves we didn’t. So we clung to whoever and whatever came along our path.

You may have survived what you went through, but you’re not a survivor anymore. There is no need to desperately cling to whatever comes along. You’re living now. You’re living fully and freely.

Choose what you want.

God, help me give myself permission to walk a path with heart.

***************************************

People in Need
Taking Our Turn to Give by Madisyn Taylor

The greatest gift we can give to somebody in need is giving awareness and without judgment.

When we see a person in need, we may want to give them something as a way of helping them, but if we give without taking the time to see who they really are, honoring that most of all, our gift is nowhere near as powerful as it could be. We may want to give a homeless person a sandwich, for example, but if we give it without also taking a moment to look the person in the eye, making authentic contact, we rob them of the experience of being human.

Being in a position of need leaves a lot of people feeling vulnerable and full of self-doubt. The greatest gift we can give is to meet people in need without judgment and with the awareness that we are not superior to them simply because we are not currently in their position. If we take the long view, we can see that we all began life in need of a lot of care and attention, and many of us end life in the same way. Giving and receiving are companion energies that take turns throughout our lives, and we all get a chance to be on both sides of the exchange from time to time.

It’s important to be aware of our own tendency to give from a desire to feel good about ourselves, rather than from an acknowledgement of our connection to all people. Letting go of our self-importance allows us to see that, regardless of appearances, we are all givers and receivers. When we are in the position of the giver, we honor those we are helping when we remember the many people who have helped us. Then we can look the person we are helping in the eye, aware that we are making contact with a human being who is our equal. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Some of us in The Program are inclined to make the mistake of thinking that the few moments we spend in prayer and meditation — in “talking to God” — are all that count. The truth is that the attitude we maintain throughou7t the entire day is just as important. If we place ourselves in God’s hands in the morning, and throughout the day hold ourselves ready to accept His will as it is made known through the events of our daily life, our attitude of acceptance becomes a constant prayer. Can I try to cultivate an attitude of total acceptance each day?

Today I Pray

May I maintain contact with my Higher Power all through my day, not just check in for a prayer now and then. May my communion with God never become merely a casual aside. May I come to know that every time I do something that is in accord with God’s will I am living a prayer.

Today I Will Remember

Prayer is an attitude.

***************************************

One More Day

I am just a heartbeat away from loneliness.
– Laura Palmer

The holiday season can be difficult for anyone who has had a major life change. A person who has been widowed, has moved, or has had to deal with new physical limitations may become lonesome when each holiday, birthday, or anniversary rolls around.

We sometimes cause ourselves pain by isolating ourselves. We may feel that no one wants to share the holiday with us or that we don’t wish to impose the inconvenience of illness upodn friends.

By reminding ourselves of the meaning of these special days, we often find that we can move out of our isolation. Holidays and other occasions reaffirm the value of tradition, love, and family. These days compel us to remember our place within a welcoming circle of friends and family.

I can choose to reach out during the holidays — or any day.

************************************

Food For Thought

Open Hands

If our hands are tightly clenched, we cannot receive anything with them. In order to benefit from the OA program, we have to let go of whatever we are hanging on to, open ourselves to the program, and be willing to receive. We open our hands to the hands extended in fellowship by our new friends. We open our minds and hearts to new ideas, new truth, and new feelings.

We cannot receive the new way of life if we are closed and unwilling to change. Much of what we hear at meetings may sound strange in the beginning, but if we are receptive, it gradually makes sense. There is nothing about this program, which is impossible for any one of us. All that is required is the desire to stop eating compulsively and the willingness to learn how.

If we are having trouble with abstinence, it may be because we are hanging on to old ways and have closed our hands, refusing to take certain parts of the program. Our Higher Power extends to us the tools of recovery through the OA program. All we have to do is open our hands, firmly grasp these tools, and use them.

I open my hands to receive Your gifts.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

~CHANGE~
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
Helen Keller

As far back as I can remember, I have always been fearful of change. I preferred to stay in my comfort zone, even when it became uncomfortable or painful. I suppose that was why I stayed in the disease for so long; it was what I knew. It was safe and predictable and I didn’t have to deal with painful emotions such as loss and rejection. This was also why I stayed so long in a bad marriage; I was terrified of what was outside the walls of my dysfunctional relationship. In truth, I didn’t really live, because fear of change prevented me from forming new relationships and doing new and exciting things. Even the move from one city to another was totally traumatic, because the old and familiar was what I knew, not because it was better. Even then, I spent so long looking at the closed door behind me that I failed to see the open door in front of me.

I know now that even when I fear change, I need only put one foot in front of the other, and do what is before me. Because I now have faith that my Higher Power will be with me every step of the way, I need only ask for help, and the help comes. Even though it still is not easy, I am aware of how many changes I have been able to make with the help of my Higher Power. In the past, I spent so much time obsessing about the outcome that I talked myself out of the change I was thinking of making. The biggest change that has happened for me is my newfound faith which enables me to take that leap into the unknown.

There have been other miraculous changes too. Now I have a more open and honest relationship with my children and others because I am able to take more risks and set boundaries, which I had never been able to do before. I have changed careers, undertaken flying overseas on my own, and in general am not the scared person I used to be. I also have a whole new family of wonderful friends in this fellowship who understand me and love me always.

One Day at a Time . . .
I continue to grow and change as God wills me to do, and I will not be afraid because I know that He will always be there to guide and help me.
Sharon S.

*****************************************

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that. – Pgs. 14-15 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We can never get enough of what we really do not want. We don’t really want drugs, we want what we hope they’ll bring us, wholeness, satisfaction, escape from pain.

God, as I understand You, let me see what I really want.

Spirit Calls

Spirit calls to me within and without. In a still, small voice I sense spirit whispering in my inner ear. My body feels an increasing sense of aliveness as I invite spirit to make itself known to me. I do not even need to make room for spirit, because spirit breathes in each pore within me. It fills the numbness with energy. It fills the emptiness and causes my cup to overflow with its presence. There are gifts in listening if I am willing to sense, hear and see them, lessons I can learn. Little hints that help me to appreciate what I already have and open myself to experiencing more.

I will look for evidence of spirit at work in my life

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

There is no completion for the circle of recovery. A circle has no beginning and no end. It is suggested that recovery begins when you have learned enough from those before you and pass it along to those behind. Love is the process that keeps the circle moving.

Standing hand in hand or arm in arm after a meeting I absorb the love that travels our circle of recovery.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

To the desolate alcoholic, the act of kindness can be the difference between getting ‘better’ or getting ‘bitter.’

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I can look back with love in my heart, knowing that every moment, every experience of my life has been necessary, valuable and significant.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Using will power to control drinking is about as effective as using will power on diarrhea. – Steve M.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 14

Perspective
Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought.
This required great willingness even to begin.
But once over the first two or three high hurdles, the course ahead began to look easier.
For we had started to get perspective on ourselves,
which is another way of saying that we were gaining in humility.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 47-48

Thought to Ponder . . .
My perspective will change my perception. My perception will change my experience.
My experience is my life.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Altered Attitudes.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Cordial Welcome
But life among Alcoholics Anonymous
is more than attending gatherings and visiting hospitals.
Cleaning up old scrapes,
helping to settle family differences,
explaining the disinherited son to his irate parents,
lending money and securing jobs for each other,
when justified — these are everyday occurrences.
No one is too discredited or has sunk too low
to be welcomed cordially — if he means business.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 161

Thought to Consider . . .
If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light.
Take off all your envies, jealousies,
unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Search
>From “Changing Beliefs”:
“Slowly and painfully, I became aware of myself. I began to see it wasn’t true that I didn’t believe in anything. Rather, I had
believed in the wrong things ‘There is good in all of us. Seek it out, nurture it, tend it, and it will flourish.’ So I began
searching for the positives within me.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 103

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“My desire to drink became a desire not to.”
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, November 2003
“Nobody’s Fault but Mine,”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of
drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be
the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us
or, if you prefer, “a design for living” that really works.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28~

“An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 16~

Counsel with persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.70

One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.91

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary
as this process is. We cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When there is doubt about our logic,
we wait upon God and listen for the voice of intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may well gain
sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic. ‘If, after an exercise of these two disciplines, we are still
uncertain, then we should ask for further guidance and, when possible, defer important decisions for a time. By then,
with more knowledge of our situation, logic and intuition may well agree upon a right course. ‘But if the decision must be
now, let us not evade it through fear. Right or wrong, we can always profit from the experience.’

Prayer for the Day: Usefulness Prayer – God, Help me today to find balance between my character defects and the principles of our program so as, to be useful to myself, all other, and You, the God of my understanding.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 13th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 13th

Daily Reflections

THINKING OF OTHERS

Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our
constant thought of others and how we may help meet
their needs.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 20

Thinking of others has never come easily to me. Even when
I try to work the A.A. program, I’m prone to thinking,
“How do I feel today. Am I happy, joyous and free?” The
program tells me that my thoughts must reach out to those
around me: “Would that newcomer welcome someone to talk
to?” “That person looks a little unhappy today, maybe I
could cheer him up.” It is only when I forget my problems,
and reach out to contribute something to others that I
can begin to attain the serenity and God-consciousness
I seek.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We come now to A.A. fellowship. It is partly group therapy.
It is partly spiritual fellowship. But it is even more. It is
based on a common illness, a common failure, a common problem.
It goes deep down into our personal lives and our personal
needs. It requires a full opening up to each other of our
inner most thoughts and most secret problems. All barriers
between us are swept aside. They have to be. Then we try to
help each other get well. The A.A. fellowship is based on a
sincere desire to help the other person. In A.A. we can be
sure of sympathy, understanding and real help. These things
make the A.A. fellowship the best that we know. Do I fully
appreciate the depth of the A.A. fellowship?

Meditation For The Day

The Higher Power can guide us to the right decisions if we
pray about them. We can believe that many details of our
lives are planned by God and planned with a wealth of
forgiving love for the mistakes we have made. We can pray
today to be shown the right way. We can choose the good, and
when we choose it, we can feel that the whole power of the
universe is behind us. We can achieve a real harmony with
God’s purpose for our lives.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may choose aright today. I pray that I may be
shown the right way to live today.


***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Compelling Love, p.273

The life of each A.A. and of each group is built around our Twelve
Steps and Twelve Traditions. We know that the penalty for
extensive disobedience to these principles is death for the individual
and dissolution for the group. But an even greater force for
A.A.’s unity is our compelling love for our fellow members and for
our principles.

********************************

You might think the people at A.A.’s headquarters in New York
would surely have to have some personal authority. But, long ago,
trustees and secretaries alike found they could do no more than
make very mild suggestions to the A.A. groups.

They even had to coin a couple of sentences which still go into half
the letters they write: “Of course you are at perfect liberty to
handle this matter any way you please. But the majority experience
in A.A. does seem to suggest . . .”

A.A. world headquarters is not a giver of orders. It is, instead, our
largest transmitter of the lessons of experience.

1. Twelve Concepts, p.8
2. 12 & 12, pp. 173-174


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Walk In Dry Places

Visualizing Success
Optimistic Thinking
Some people insist that we must visualize ourselves enjoying success if we ever hope to achieve it. AA says virtually the same about sobriety; in fact, “A Vision for You” is the name of a chapter in Alcoholics Anonymous.
There is a lot of talk in AA about projecting into the future and “seeing the worst.” It takes far less energy…. and it’s far more constructive.…. to see ourselves doing our best, in sobriety and in all things.
We have rich imaginative powers. Quite often, we used gifts wrongly when we were drinking… we would create dark pictures of our future troubles, particularly in the depressed periods between drinking bouts.
In AA., we learn to use those same powers to see ourselves enjoying happy sobriety as well as a secure place in the world.
I’m confident that I’m growing in sobriety and building healthy relationships in all of my activities.

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

Live and Let Live–AA slogan
In our addiction, we didn’t car. We didn’t care about other people, even though we wanted to. We just didn’t come through for them in ways that mattered. We didn’t care for ourselves. We let bad things happen to us. We didn’t care about living. We set no goals, had no fun, smelled no flowers.
In our recovery, we do care. We care about others, ourselves, and life. Our spirits are on the move again.
There’s life in our hearts. Our bodies are getting well. And we’re daring to dream. We’re living!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, put some life and energy into me today. Help me love my new life.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll focus on being alive. As I breathe in, I’ll gather more and more life energy from nature.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

Across the fields I can see the radiance of your smile and I know in my heart you are there. But the anguish I am feeling makes the distance so very far to cross.  –Deidra Sarault
Looking down the hallway of our lives, we sense many uncomfortable corners. And they are there. But through the discomfort comes the ease of understanding. The security that we long for, we discover has been ours all along. All we needed to do was move into the corner–with trust.
As we stand before any problems, any new task, any unfamiliar environment, dread may overwhelm us. We stand there alone. But the choice available to us now and always is to invite the spirit of God to share the space we’re in. In concert with God’s Spirit, no problem or task can be greater than our combined abilities to handle it.
Our lives will be eased in direct proportion to our faith that God is there, caring for our every concern, putting before us the experiences we need to grow on. We can let go of our anguish, our doubts and fears. Eternal triumph is ours for the asking.
The smiling faces I encounter today–I will let them assure me that all is well.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

On the third day the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary. His wife came, scarcely daring to be hopeful, though she thought she saw something different about her husband already. He had begun to have a spiritual experience.
That afternoon he put on his clothes and walked from the hospital a free man. He entered a political campaign, making speeches, frequenting men’s gathering places of all sorts, often staying up all night. He lost the race by only a narrow margin. But he had found God—and in finding God had found himself.
That was in June, 1935. He never drank again. He too, has become a respected and useful member of his community. He has helped other men recover, and is a power in the church from which he was long absent.

p. 158

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

In time I became an officer and director of one of the largest commercial banks in the country. I achieved recognized and national standing in my profession, as well as becoming a director in many important institutions having to do with the civic life of a large city. I had a family to be proud of, actively sharing in the responsibilities of good citizenship.

p. 349

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Now that we’re in A.A. and sober, and winning back the esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance against “big-shot-ism” we can often check ourselves by remembering that we are today sober only by the grace of God and that any success we may be having is far more His success than ours.

p. 92

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Everything I experience serves a purpose. Today, my past is healed; I am alive,
awake, and free. I have the courage to change.
–Glad Day by Joan Larkin

“We live by admiration, hope and love.”
–William Wordsworth

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
–Mother Teresa

Every morning you are handed 24 golden hours. They are one of the few things in this
world that you get free of charge. If you had all the money in the world, you couldn’t
buy an extra hour. What will you do with this priceless treasure?
–Anonymous

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
–Friedrich Engels

Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like
you do when nobody’s watching.
–Anonymous

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SUFFERING

“Man cannot remake himself
without suffering. For he is both
the marble and the sculptor.”
— Alexis Carrel

I know that I have grown through my sufferings. I know that I am able to understand
and forgive other people because I have been there, too. I know that I am patient and
considerate because of my sufferings. My anguish keeps me “earthed”. It stops me
from playing God; it teaches me the reality of life that life hurts! It is wonderful,
joyous, loving and eventful, but it also hurts. For many years I hid my sufferings and
pretended they were not there; the result was loneliness and hypocrisy.

God, may my sufferings keep me real.

***********************************************************

Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge!
How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can
know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor?
Romans 11:33-34

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you
live in complete harmony with each other, each with the attitude
of Christ Jesus toward the other. Then all of you can join together
with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is
stronger than man’s strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

If we focus too much on ourselves and the troubles in our lives, it is very difficult to be happy. Lord, refresh my spirit, help me let go of longing to become something I am not and show me how to be the best of who I am.

Open your mind and empty your heart of fears so that you can know and experience God to the fullest. Lord, You are my peace, my assurance and the love that I hold on to.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Membership

“There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using.”
Basic Text pg. 9

We all know people who could benefit from Narcotics Anonymous. Many people we encounter from all walks of life – our family members, old friends, and co-workers – could really use a program of recovery in their lives. Sadly, those who need us don’t always find their way to our rooms.

NA is a program of attraction, not promotion. We are only members when we say we are. We can bring our friends and loved ones to a meeting if they are willing, but we cannot force them to embrace the way of life that has given us freedom from active addiction.

Membership in Narcotics Anonymous is a highly personal decision. The choice to become a member is made in the heart of each individual addict. In the long run, coerced meeting attendance doesn’t keep too many addicts in our rooms. Only addicts who are still suffering, if given the opportunity, can decide if they are powerless over their addiction. We can carry the message, but we can’t carry the addict.

Just for today: I am grateful for my decision to become a member of Narcotics Anonymous.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
To heal ourselves is a reclamation of the power we all have as living beings to live in harmony with the life energy and to fulfill our potential as creatures among many on this planet. –Chellis Glendinning
We live in a world that tells us healing only comes from outside ourselves. To some, it may seem odd to think each of us has the ability to heal ourselves.
How is this possible? Easy–we can do it if we believe we can. Whatever we believe we cannot do will remain beyond our ability. But believing we can heal ourselves gives us access to many healing ways. Self-acceptance is healing. Singing, playing, walking by a river are healing. Even helping others with their problems can be healing to us. There are as many ways of self-healing as there are people in the world. Once we experience what is healing for us, we can go on to discover many more healing acts to share with others.
What healing things do I like to do?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything passes away except God. –Saint Theresa
Learning to detach may be the most demanding and difficult part of this program. Detachment means being filled with closeness and love toward someone, yet knowing we cannot fix or protect that person. It means we can be in emotional contact but don’t have to react to someone else’s issues. We respond from our own center with what is fitting for us. Being detached means we allow others to be in the hands of God because we cannot live their lives for them. Detachment gives us an inner calm, an acceptance of our limits, and the freedom to live our own lives with integrity.
Detachment is a skill in living, and like other skills, we can practice it. Gradually, it becomes a natural response. True detachment takes root and grows within us over a period of time as we deepen our relationship with the Steps and with our Higher Power.
Today, I turn to God as my eternal rock for strength in learning to become detached.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Across the fields I can see the radiance of your smile and I know in my heart you are there. But the anguish I am feeling makes the distance so very far to cross. –Deidra Sarault
Looking down the hallway of our lives, we sense many uncomfortable corners. And they are there. But through the discomfort comes the ease of understanding. The security that we long for, we discover has been ours all along. All we needed to do was move into the corner–with trust.
As we stand before any problems, any new task, any unfamiliar environment, dread may overwhelm us. We stand there alone. But the choice available to us now and always is to invite the spirit of God to share the space we’re in. In concert with God’s Spirit, no problem or task can be greater than our combined abilities to handle it.
Our lives will be eased in direct proportion to our faith that God is there, caring for our every concern, putting before us the experiences we need to grow on. We can let go of our anguish, our doubts and fears. Eternal triumph is ours for the asking.
The smiling faces I encounter today–I will let them assure me that all is well.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Giving
Don’t be afraid of giving.
For a while, we may need to back off from giving as we learn to discern the difference between healthy giving and caretaking, which leave us feeling victimized and others feeling resentful.
This is a temporary spot.
To be healthy, to do our part in this spiritual way of life, to be part of the endless cycle of the Universe, guided by our Creator, we need to give and receive.
Both parts are important.
What is healthy giving?
This is a fine lined behavior each of us must seek to understand for ourselves. It is giving that feels good and does not leave us feeling victimized.
It is giving that holds the giver and the receiver in high esteem.
It is giving based on a desire to do it rather than from a sense of guilt, pity, shame, or obligation.
It is giving with no strings attached. Or it is giving based on a clean, direct contract.
Whether it is giving our time, efforts, energy, comfort, nurturing, money, or ourselves, it is giving that we can afford.
Giving is part of the chain of giving and receiving. We can learn to give in healthy ways; we can learn to give in love. We need to keep an eye on our giving, to make sure it has not crossed the line into caretaking. But we need to learn to give in ways that work for us and others.
Today, God, guide me in my giving. Help me give to others in healthy ways. Help me give what feels right, what feels good, what feels clean, and what I can afford.

Today I am willing to share all of me with another human being. I am willing to trust that this process will free me from the burdens of my past. I am ready to let go. –Ruth Fishel

***************************************

Journey To The Heart

Learn to Live with Ambiguity

Sometimes, the picture isn’t finished yet. Ideas, possibilities, hopes, dreams float around, circling us like asteroids around a planet. We may think events in our lives are happening aimlessly, without purpose. All we see are disconnected, floating blobs. We reach for them, try to grab them in our hands so we can connect them, force them into a whole, force them into a picture we can see, something that makes sense.

Let the pieces be. Let yourself be. Let life be. Sometimes, chaos needs to precede order. The pieces will come together in a picture that makes sense, in a beautiful work of art that pleases.

You don’t have to force the pieces to fit together if it’s not time. You don’t have to know. There is power sometimes in not knowing. There is power in letting go. Power is waiting. Power in stillness. Power in trust. There is power in letting the disconnected pieces be until they settle into a whole. The action you are to take will appear. Timely. Clearly. What you’re to do will become clear.

Let the pieces be, and they’ll take shape. Soon you’ll see the picture.

***************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of afflicted emotional streams

Step out of afflicted streams.

I was walking through a national park one day when I came upon a stream. I wasn’t looking closely; I decided to step into the water and walk through it to get to the other side. When I looked more closely, I gasped and stood back. The stream was all murky and gross. I didn’t want to wade in it.

Most teachers of our times and from times long past– from the Dalai Lama to Emmet Fox– agree on one things: stay away from murky, afflicted emotional streams. Avoid them at all costs.

There’s a lot of afflicted streams out there: greed, envy, negativity, regret, revenge, resentment. arrogance, victimization, hard-heartedness, bitterness, control, hatred, resentment, and paralyzing fear are just a few. When we step into an afflicted emotional stream, that emotion colors everything we do.

An afflicted stream is more than an isolated emotion. It’s a position, a posture, an attitude, a pattern that will poison us and our lives. Look around. Be aware. Don’t be careless and step into an afflicted stream. If you’ve inadvertently slipped into one, then quickly step out.

Feeling restless, irritable, and discontented is definitely an afflicted stream. If you find yourself in that one, step right out into gratitude

God, help me let go of my emotions before that feeling becomes a way of life. Guide my thinking and outlook on life. Keep me out of afflicted streams.

***************************************

Greeting the Divine Spirit
Bowing by Madisyn Taylor

Bowing has the quality of consciously evoking spirit and conveys a sense of reverence for the people involved.

Bowing is a universal gesture of respect and reverence. In many cultures, it is the predominant form of social greeting, and most religions incorporate it into their rituals of worship. In many cases, bowing signifies not only respect but also an acknowledgment of the shared divinity between the bower and the recipient. Bowing can also be a turning in toward our own divinity when we bow our heads in prayer, contemplation, or meditation. Bows range in form from a slight forward nod of the head to a full body prostration on the ground, and range in meaning from a simple greeting to a complete giving over of the self to the divine.

If you have ever bowed or been on the receiving end of a bow, you know that it is different from a handshake or a hug. Bowing has the quality of consciously evoking spirit and conveys a sense of reverence for the people involved. The word “Namaste,” which accompanies bowing in yoga, actually translates as “The divine spirit in me acknowledges the divine spirit in you.” When we greet one another with this kind of awareness, we can’t help but be more conscious that we are deeply connected to one another and to everyone, because this divine spirit resides in all of us.

There are simple bows and complicated bows, and subtle variations carry different meanings depending upon where you are, who you are, and a number of other factors. But we can all practice bowing by simply bringing our two hands together in prayer and pressing the thumb side of our hands lightly into our chests. Keeping a long spine, simply bend your head gently down so that you are looking at the tops of your fingers. Close your eyes and breathe consciously, paying homage to your spirit, the same spirit that resides within all of humanity. Published with permission from Daily OM

***************************************

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

A friend in The Program told me of a favorite humn from her childhood: “Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.” In actuality, that is what The Program has done for me — it has opened my eyes so that I have come to see the true nature of my addiction, as well as the true nature of the joyous life that can be mine if I practice the principles embodied in The Program’s Twelve Steps to recovery. Through prayer and meditation, am I also improving my inner vision, so that I can better see God’s love and power working in me and through me?

Today I Pray

May each glint of truth that I catch sight of as I work the Steps begin to take on the steadier shine of a fixed star. May I know that these stars are all that I need to chart my course and navigate safely. May I no longer feel the frantic need to put in to every unknown port along the way in search of direction. These stars are always rube ti steer by.

Today I Will Remember

Find the fixed stars and fix on them.

***************************************

One More Day

‘Tis a lesson you should heed, Try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again.
– William E. Hickson

Our teachers told us to try again. Our parents reminded us to try again. And sometimes we even did try again! Usually it was something simple, like recopying poorly written homework. We hardly realized then that we would be carrying that message with us into adulthood. It’s often difficult to listen to good advice; it’s even harder to accept it.

When we learn to reassess our goals, to reset priorities, and to be more realistic about where we are really headed, trying again begins to make more sense. Trying again doesn’t always mean doing it over again. It can mean trying something entirely new. It can mean daring to change.

Trying again means I give myself room to grow.

************************************

Food For Thought

Accepting Emptiness

There will always be times when we feel empty physically empty, emotionally empty, and spiritually empty. Before we found our Higher Power, these periods of emptiness terrified us, and we had to try to fill ourselves up with something, whether it was food, noise, other people, work, or something else.

We probably still do not like to feel empty, and yet, through the OA program, we are learning that emptiness can be a good thing. When we are empty of the refined sugars and carbohydrates, which poisoned us, we are full of energy. When we are empty of anger and resentment, we have room for positive feelings of love, joy, and peace. When we are empty of pride and egotism, God can fill us with His power.

Our Higher Power is not ours to command. There is no way that we can receive instant consolation and gratification. By accepting our periods of emptiness, however, we open ourselves to growth and to the spirit that fills us according to His purposes.

May I be empty of self so that I may be filled with You.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

THE PAST
“Even God cannot change the past.”
Agathon (ca. 448–400 BC)
(Athenian tragic poet and friend of Euripides and Plato, ancient Greek poet)

Each day of recovery, I ask my Higher Power to help me stay focused on today. Although there are things I would like to change about the past, I know that it is not possible. I’ve let myself fall into traps, thinking “If only I had done…” or “If only I’d said…” When I think this way, I find myself wasting a lot of time and feeling bad. This doesn’t seem like healthy recovery thinking. If amends need to be made, then I make them. If not, then I let go of the past.

Worrying about the past is not productive. Regret will not fix anything. It will merely keep me from concentrating my efforts on where they belong … on the present moment.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will stay focused on what is going on around me and leave the past in the past.
Teresa S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

On the other hand – and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand – once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that he required to follow a few simple rules. – Pg. xxix – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. We are not suggesting you are stupid, but your disease is. It will do anything it can to keep you using even though it ultimately means death of itself along with the body. But through following a few SIMPLE suggestions you can release yourself from the stupidity.

May I understand that my stupid disease will argue and complicate simple procedures so it can gain a foothold in the confusion it creates. KISS off addiction.

Learning My Own Lessons

I recognize today that I am in charge of my own learning. Life is constantly offering up circumstances that are useful in my personal growth. I can move through the situation, live it out, extract the wisdom that is in it or I can ignore the lesson and keep repeating the same painful circumstance over and over again in my life. The deepest and most appropriate things I need to learn in life are generally right in front of me. Life is my guru if I can use it as such. It is rich with subtle learning if I look for it. The gift I can give myself today is becoming aware of what life is trying to teach me.

My lessons come from my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

At the start of meeting we always ask, ‘Is there anybody new or coming back?’ We should also ask, ‘Is there anybody old and going out?’

I remember that the ‘still suffering alcoholic’ can include old timers too!

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Talk does not cook rice.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I’m willing to share all of me with another human being.

I’m willing to trust that this process will free me from the burdens of my past. I am ready to let go.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I thought; ‘I won’t just read the 4th Step, I’ll chant it, like a Greek Tragedy; ‘I resent my mother!!’ and as I rip the pages out after I chant it, I’ll throw it on a fire, signifying the connection between heaven and earth. The smoke and ashes will carry away my sins and my purified soul will be lifted to the heavens.’ I didn’t mention this to my sponsor, ‘cos like I said, he’s kind of a rigid guy. So he picks me up and says ‘You can start reading now.’ And I thought; ‘In your Camaro?’ – I was going to read the greatest spiritual treatise ever written, in a Camaro? – Chris C.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 13

The Twelve Steps
I often say and shall always say that the Twelve Steps are one of the very great summaries and organic collections
of spiritual truth known to history.
They have an almost universal relevance (not a relevance for alcoholics alone).
They will offer a way out for many a person who knows nothing personally of alcoholism.
They will point up the way for those who have known it and lost it.
Thank God for the Twelve Steps and for a man wise enough and open enough to God and to the observation of human

experience
to receive these truths, and transmit them to the world!
(Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker)
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], pp. 133-134

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Twelve Steps — a manuscript for rational living.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S T E P S = Solutions To Every Problem in Society.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Anger
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed,
there is something wrong with us.
If somebody hurts us and we are sore,
we are in the wrong also.
But are there no exceptions to this rule?
What about “justifiable” anger?
If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad?
Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk?
For us of AA these are dangerous exceptions.
We have found that justified anger
ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 90

Thought to Consider . . .
Anger is the hot wind that extinguishes the light of reason.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A N G E R = Any No-Good Energy Rising

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Traditions
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“Then in one of our larger centers the amazing story got around that the Foundation and the New York office and the
book Alcoholics Anonymous were nothing but a huge racket. They had heard that the book Alcoholics Anonymous was
making vast sums of money, that Dr. Bob and I [Bill W.] shared profits of $64,000 the year before.
“The investigating committee’s accountant read our modest financial statement aloud and testified to its correctness.
The committee was crestfallen and we received an apology.
“This was one of the test cases out of which A.A.’s Tradition respecting professionalism and paid workers was evolved.
It was certain that I could not continue full time nor Bob devote more than half his working hours to A.A. unless we both
had some definite source of steady income. That would be contrary to the then-forming Tradition of no contributions
from the outside world.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 193-94

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“I can make any decision about my behavior and life, as long as I am prepared to deal with the consequences. I can decide to get drunk every night if I want to take the consequences … Or I can decide to stay sober another day, and enjoy the consequences of that decision — being able to deal realistically with another day in my life.”
January 1977
“Sidebar,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to
let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and
will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct
continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not
theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

“It may seem incredible that these men are to become happy, respected,
and useful once more. How can they rise out of such misery, bad repute
and hopelessness? The practical answer is that since these things have
happened among us, they can happen with you. Should you wish them above
all else, and be willing to make use of our experience, we are sure
they will come.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 153~

I pointed out that I had had nothing to drink whatever for three years, and this in the face of difficulties that would have made nine out of ten men drink their heads off.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.138

.. report that as a result of the practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, they have been able to meet other difficulties of …
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.16

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Our attitude toward the giving of time when compared with our attitude toward giving money presents an interesting contrast. We give a lot of our time to A.A. activities for our own protection and growth, but also for the sake of our groups, our areas, A.A. as a whole, and, above all, the newcomer. Translated into terms of money, these collective sacrifices would add up to a huge sum.
But when it comes to the actual spending of cash, particularly for A.A. service overhead, many of us are apt to turn a bit reluctant. We think of the loss of all that earning power in our drinking years, of those sums we might have laid by for emergencies or for education of the kids.
In recent years, this attitude is everywhere on the decline; it quickly disappears when the real need for a given A.A. service becomes clear. Donors can seldom see what the exact result has been. They well know, however, that countless thousands of other alcoholics and their families are being helped.

Prayer for the Day: The Set Aside Prayer – “Dear God please help me to set aside everything I think I know about [people. place or thing] so I may have an open mind and a new experience. Please help me to see the truth about [people. place or thing]. AMEN.” (This prayer comes from the Chapter to the Agnostic.)

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 12th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 12th

Daily Reflections

A COMMON SOLUTION

The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a
common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely
agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious
action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer
from alcoholism.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 17

The most far-reaching Twelfth Step work was the publication of our
Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous. Few can equal that book for
carrying the message. My idea is to get out of myself and simply do
what I can. Even if I haven’t been asked to sponsor and my phone
rarely rings, I am still able to do Twelfth Step work. I get involved in
“brotherly and harmonious action.” At meetings I show up early to greet
people and to help set up, and to share my experience, strength and hope. I
also do what I can with service work. My Higher Power gives me
exactly what He wants me to do at any given point in my recovery and, if I
let Him, my willingness will bring Twelfth Step work automatically.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Clergymen speak of the spiritual fellowship of the church. This is much closer to the
A.A. way than mere group therapy. Such a fellowship is based on a common belief in
God and a common effort to live a spiritual life. We try to do this in A.A. We also try to
get down to the real problems in each others’ lives. We try to open up to each other. We
have a real desire to be of service to each other. We try to go deep down into the
personal lives of our members. Do I appreciate the deep personal fellowship of A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Love and fear cannot dwell together. By their very natures, they cannot exist side by
side. Fear is a very strong force. And therefore a weak and vacillating love can soon be
routed by fear. But a strong love, a love that trusts in God, is sure eventually to
conquer fear. The only sure way to dispel fear is to have the love of God more and
more in your heart and soul.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that love will drive out the fear in my life. I pray that my fear will flee before
the power of the love of God.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Going It Alone, p. 274

Going it alone in spiritual matters is dangerous. How many times
have we heard well-intentioned people claim the guidance of God
when it was plain that they were mistaken? Lacking both practice
and humility, they deluded themselves and were so able to justify
the most arrant nonsense on the ground that this was what God had
told them.

People of very high spiritual development almost always insist on
checking with friends or spiritual advisers the guidance they feel
they have received from God. Surely, then, a novice ought not lay
himself open to the chance of making foolish, perhaps tragic,
blunders. While the comment or advice of others may not be
infallible, it is likely to be far more specific than any direct guidance
we may receive while we are still inexperienced in establishing
contact with a Power greater than ourselves.

12 & 12, p. 60

***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

Demanding credit
Approval.
The struggle for recognition sometimes takes an ugly form in AA. Even the pioneers of AA had disputes about who deserved credit for the fellowship’s success.
Demanding credit and recognition is a loser’s game for people who are seeking growth in sobriety. It is an indication that we still need applause and approval of the sort that drove us while we were drinking. It is a way of saying that we still don’t believe good work should be done for its own sake, but rather for the applause that goes with it.
The real kicker is that people who demand recognition never get enough of it. Ironically, if we don’t try to obtain credit for our actions, it sometimes comes anyway, without effort on our part.
I’ll watch myself for any tendency to demand credit for the things I do in the program. My healthy growth in sobriety should be reward enough.

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

God gave us memory that we might have roses in December.–James M. Barrie.
Do you remember what it was like to not have sobriety? Remember the shame? Remember the loneliness? Remember lying and wishing you could stop? Remember the powerlessness? Do you remember, also, how it felt when you began to believe you had an illness? Your shame was lifted. Remember what it was like to look around at your meeting and know you belonged? Your loneliness was lifted. Remember when you family started to trust you again? Your dishonesty had been lifted. Sobriety gives us many roses. Our memory will help to keep them fresh.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, never let me forget what it was like. Why? Because I’m only one drink or pill away from losing You.
Action for the Day: I’ll find a friend I trust. I’ll tell that person what my life was like before sobriety. I’ll also talk about how I got sober.

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Each Day a New Beginning

If I am to be remembered, I hope it is for the honesty I try to demonstrate, the patience I try to live by, and the compassion I feel for others.  –JoAnn Reed
Each of us hopes we are leaving a lasting, positive impression on those we befriend and maybe even those we encounter by chance. Having others speak well of us provides the strokes that are often necessary to our “keeping on” when difficulties surface. What we sometimes forget is that we are responsible for whatever lasting impression we leave.
Our behavior does influence what another person carries away from our mutual experience.
We may have left unfavorable impressions during our using days. On occasion, we do yet. However, it’s progress, not perfection, we’re after. And each day we begin anew, with a clear slate and fresh opportunities to spread good cheer, to treat others with love and respect, to face head-on and with full honesty all situations drawing our attention and participation.
As I look forward to the hours ahead, I will remember that I control my actions toward others. If I want to be remembered fondly, I must treat each person so.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

The two friends spoke of their spiritual experience and told him about the course of action they carried out.
He interrupted: “I used to be strong for the church, but that won’t fix it. I’ve prayed to God on hangover mornings and sworn that I’d never touch another drop but by nine o’clock I’d be boiled as an owl.”
Next day found the prospect more receptive. He had been thinking it over. “Maybe you’re right,” he said. “God ought to be able to do anything.” Then he added, “He sure didn’t do much for me when I was trying to fight this booze racket alone.”

pp. 157-158

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

The drive to get ahead, to succeed, kept me too busy for many years to have any great experience with social life. I would have begrudged the time or money for alcohol. In fact I was afraid to try it for fear that I would wind up like many examples I had seen of excessive drinking in the army. I was intolerant of people who drank, particularly those who drank to an extent that interfered with their on-the-job performance.

p. 349

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Disagreeable or unexpected problems are not the only ones that call for self-control. We must be quite as careful when we begin to achieve some measure of importance and material success. For no people have ever loved personal triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel elated. When temporary good fortune came our way, we indulged ourselves in fantasies of still greater victories over people and circumstances. Thus blinded by prideful self confidence, we were apt to play the big shot. Of course, people turned away from us, bored or hurt.

pp. 91-92

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Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to
doesn’t mean they don’t love you the best way they know how.
–Unknown

Smiles are contagious. See if you can infect someone today.
–unknown

I can’t do His will my way.
–unknown

“It is a sign of strength, not of weakness, to admit that you don’t know all the answers.”
–John P. Loughrane

Miracles are not just extraordinary occurrences. They are also
small simple things that are often overlooked. Take the time
today to notice one.
–unknown

***********************************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PRINCIPLES

“At the back of every noble life
are the principles that have
fashioned it.”
— George Lorimer

God is to be found in the principles of life. The suggested patterns of behavior that
lead to happiness, freedom and unity in the world. God is not just a “good idea”, an
intellectual philosophy or other worldly entity. God is practical goodness that can be
demonstrated and seen in the world. Principles lead to action; principles produce
change in attitude and behavior; principles must have a practical result.

Sometimes you hear the phrase “walk the talk”, implying that the principles we talk
about should be evident in our daily lives. Also principles should be seen in the small
things of life being courteous, giving a smile to a stranger, offering a hug to a friend
in pain. God is alive in the principles of life.

Help me to practice the principles I believe in.

***********************************************************

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press
on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider
myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and
straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God
has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a
view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make
clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
Philippians 3:12-16

“Your life will be brighter than the noonday….And you will have confidence, because
there is hope.”
Job 11:17-18

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Daily Inspiration

Reach higher than you think possible for all that you want and you find that often you attain even more. Lord, I rely on Your promises made to each of us and especially on Your love.

Be patient with others, but mostly be patient with yourself. Lord, help me to keep a smile on my face and to realize my goodness and refuse to dwell on my imperfections.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Fear Of Change

“By working the steps, we come to accept a Higher Power’s will…. We lose our fear of the unknown. We are set free.”
Basic Text pg. 16

Life is a series of changes, both large and small. Although we may know and accept this fact intellectually, chances are that our initial emotional reaction to change is fear. For some reason, we assume that each and every change is going to hurt, causing us to be miserable.

If we look back on the changes that have happened in our lives, we’ll find that most of them have been for the best. We were probably very frightened at the prospect of life without drugs, yet it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us. Perhaps we’ve lost a job that we thought we’d die without, but later on we found greater challenge and personal fulfillment in a new career. As we venture forth in our recovery, we’re likely to experience more changes. We will outgrow old situations and become ready for new ones.

With all sorts of changes taking place, it’s only natural to grab hold of something, anything familiar and try to hold on. Solace can be found in a Power greater than ourselves. The more we allow changes to happen at the direction of our Higher Power, the more we’ll trust that those changes are for the best. Faith will replace fear, and we’ll know in our hearts that all will be well.

Just for today: When I am afraid of a change in my life, I will take comfort from knowing that God’s will for me is good.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Patience is needed with everyone, but first of all with ourselves. –Saint Francis De Sales
One night Sandra was having trouble putting a puzzle together. Angrily, she pushed all the pieces into a huge pile.
“I can’t do this,” she said. She got up and walked over to the couch and plopped down.
“Let me tell you a story,” said her dad, as he sat down next to her. “There was a daughter who helped her dad take care of her baby sister. Again and again, she helped her baby sister stand and try to walk. One day the daughter tried to put a puzzle together but gave up after only a few tries. She had forgotten how many times she had helped her baby sister.”
We are all like Sandra, sometimes. We forget to allow ourselves to fail, even though our growth up to now has been a series of failures that we learned from. With patience, we allow ourselves to take chances we might not otherwise explore, and we widen our world of possibilities. Life has been patient with us so far, now it’s our turn.
What have I failed at that I can try again today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I like a man with faults, especially when he knows it. To err is human – I’m uncomfortable around gods. –Hugh Prather
We are more comfortable around a man who has faults and knows it. We respect such a man. So why do we have such a hard time admitting our own faults? This matter of honesty comes very gradually and only with hard work. We may have to force ourselves to admit a fault because we expect to feel unworthy. In fact, what we do feel after admitting a fault is peacefulness and self-respect. We may expect to be rejected and judged by friends, but usually friendships grow more solid when we admit our faults. A true friend does not need to trust that we will always be right, only that we will be honest.
At this moment are we being nagged by some fault? Is there something about the way we have talked to someone that doesn’t seem right? Have we been unfair or dishonest? This is a program of progress, not perfection. So, to make progress we admit our imperfections, and as we do, we become more fully human.
God, in this moment when I feel my human mistakes, help me to be open to your love.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
If I am to be remembered, I hope it is for the honesty I try to demonstrate, the patience I try to live by, and the compassion I feel for others. –JoAnn Reed
Each of us hopes we are leaving a lasting, positive impression on those we befriend and maybe even those we encounter by chance. Having others speak well of us provides the strokes that are often necessary to our “keeping on” when difficulties surface. What we sometimes forget is that we are responsible for whatever lasting impression we leave.
Our behavior does influence what another person carries away from our mutual experience.
We may have left unfavorable impressions during our using days. On occasion, we do yet. However, it’s progress, not perfection, we’re after. And each day we begin anew, with a clear slate and fresh opportunities to spread good cheer, to treat others with love and respect, to face head-on and with full honesty all situations drawing our attention and participation.
As I look forward to the hours ahead, I will remember that I control my actions toward others. If I want to be remembered fondly, I must treat each person so.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
God’s Will
Each day, ask God what God wants us to do today; then ask God to help. A simple request, but so profound and far reaching it can take us anywhere we need to go.
Listen: all that we want, all that we need, all the answers, all the help, all the good, all the love, all the healing, all the wisdom, all the fulfillment of desire is embodied in this simple request. We need say no more than Thank You.
This Plan that has been made for us is not one of deprivation. It is one of fullness, joy, and abundance. Walk into it.
See for yourself.
Today, I will ask God to show me what God wants me to do for this day, and then ask for help to do that. I will trust that is sufficient to take me into light and joy.

There is something special waiting for me to do with this day. I know that when it is time I will be inspired from a place deep within myself. I trust that I will know what to do when the time is right. –Ruth Fishel

***************************************

Journey To The Heart

Protect Your Energy

Just as we strive to protect and conserve earth’s energy resources, we can strive to protect and conserve our own. Become more aware of the impact of things, people, and activities on you and your energy. What feeds you, charges you? What drains and depletes you?

As you grow and become more sensitive to how things feel to you, you’ll naturally grow to dislike and be uncomfortable with whatever drains or negatively impacts your energy. Yes, some difficult, draining situations are inevitable. But we can learn to protect ourselves in those situations. Sometimes we need to let go of people, places, and behaviors that don’t work for us anymore, that drain, exhaust, and deplete us.

Pay attention to the impact of certain people, places, behaviors, and events on your energy. Pay attention to how you feel when you eat certain foods, drink certain beverages, go certain places. Learn to listen to your body, your emotions, and your heart. Be prepared to let go of some things and people along the way. Be gentle with yourself while you do.

Learn to conserve your energy. It is a precious, valuable resource.

***************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Create an extraordinary life

I ran into my friend one day on the street. I asked him how he was. He said not very good. But if he won the lottery– and he showed me a few tickets– he’d be happy then. I asked him if business was slow. He said, yes, income was down and bills were up. He needed a big hit to balance the ledger sheet.

We talked for a while. I asked him what he made an hour. He said $100, but he was mostly getting appointments for half-hour sessions. He was a therapist, and business wasn’t very promising right now.

“Gee,” I said, counting up the hours in a week, “if you worked four half hours a day, that’s $1,000 dollars a week and $4,000 a month. Sounds like pretty good income, at least to me.”

“I never thought of it that way,” he said.

“Instead of trying to win the lottery or get that big break, why don’t you try to happily do just four half hours of work a day? Then you don’t have to win the lottery to break the bank. You’ll be pretty well off right now.”

It’s easy to want to win the big one or think of a windfall as the only solution to the problems we face. And the lottery we want to win might not be just in money. We can easily take that kind of thinking into our relationships or our work. Buy a chance to win the lottery, if that’s what you want to do. But maybe you could look at things a different way. What if you stopped going for the big one and tried to do a lot of little things well? You could work on being the best friend that you could be. Or maybe you could get closer to that person you are dating. Instead of waiting for the perfect soul mate to come along, just be the best boyfriend or girlfriend in the relationship you already have. Instead of waiting to win the lottery, make the most out of all the ordinary moments in your life today.

You’re richer than you think.

God, help me remember that many ordinary moments, when well-lived, add up to an extraordinary life.

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Finding Your Pinnacle
Mountain Meditation by Madisyn Taylor

Meditating near a mountain can be both powerful and grounding in a most profound way.

Throughout history, humankind has stood in awe of mountains. The strength and sturdiness evident in the rocky crags and smooth slopes of peaks around the globe have from time immemorial inspired creativity and kindled courage. Mountains have been venerated by many cultures, which worshipped great summits as gods and sacred beings. In their looming presence, humanity has seen power, steadfastness, and resolve. Yet you needn’t live near a mountain to tap into this vast energy of commanding grandeur. Conversely, since mountains are as unique in form as human beings, your locale may exist under the unwavering gaze of a small mountain without your knowing it. As you practice mountain meditation, the power that lurks in the heart of all mountains will flow into you while their essential beauty reminds you that you, too, are a creature of the earth.

If there are mountains in your area, plan to spend some time enjoying the peaceful embrace of Mother Nature, which can be a potent meditation aid. Likewise, grasping a rock or stone in your hand will enable you to easily tap into earth energy. If you are prevented by circumstance from visiting a mountain, however, begin by visualizing yourself at the base of a towering summit. Holding a rock can be helpful to tune into mountain energy. You may find yourself picturing a steep and majestic snowcapped peak or a lush, tree-covered mass that rises gently from the earth. Sit or imagine yourself sitting at the mountain’s base and spend a few minutes simply coexisting with it. When you feel tranquil, express your intention to commune with your mountain and ask to receive its energy. Project your consciousness onto the mountain’s peak, and look down upon the flatlands over which it stands guard. Send light to the flora and fauna that call the mountain home. You may discover that you ! feel wonderfully immense and unshakable as you delve deeper into the meditation.

Finally, ask the mountain to serve as a guide and give it your sincerest gratitude. If you have literally visited a plateau or summit, pass time with the mountain by camping, hiking, or picnicking upon it. Or, if your journey has been a spiritual one, use your imagination to survey the sights, sounds, and scents of your mountain. As your explorations progress, you will become ever more grounded, growing gradually into your personal power. When you are finished meditating with mountain energy, give thanks to this strong and powerful energy for sharing time with you. Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

These days, if I go though an experience that is new and demanding, I can do so in a spirit of confidence and trust. Thanks to The Program and Twelve Steps, I’ve come to know that God is with me in all places and in all endeavors. His Spirit is in me as well as in the people around me. As a result, I feel comfortable even in new situations and at home even among strangers. Will I continue to flow along and grow along with The Program, trusting in the power and love of God at work in me and in my life?

Today I Pray

May God’s comfort be with me in all situations, familiar or new. May He rebuild the sagging bridge of my confidence. May I acknowledge God in me and in others around me. May that mutual identity in God help me communicate with people on a plane of honesty. If I can learn to trust God, I can learn to trust the ones who share this earth with me.

Today I Will Remember

God teaches me how to trust.

***************************************

One More Day

Unreal is action without discipline, charity without sympathy, ritual without devotion.
Bhaqavadqita

It’s so easy to routinely go about our lives without examining our motives, without deciding why we do the things we do. We may have become so accustomed to reacting to what we think is expected of us that we rarely ponder what we expect of ourselves. At what point do we become willing to know ourselves?

Now may be the right moment to decide whether we act upon our own values, beliefs, and feelings, or whether we react to some vague sense of what others expect. By doing this, we might be surprised in discover that our charitable and spiritual actions do not change but they will become real because they are created by our inward sense of direction, discipline, love of others, and acceptance of self.

The things I say and do today will be directed by what I expect of myself, not by what I think others expect of me.

************************************

Food For Thought

Meal by Meal

We abstain from compulsive overeating day-by-day and meal-by-meal. After breakfast, we do not worry about how we will feel at dinnertime. After breakfast we know that we have had an abstinent meal and that we can forget about food until it is time for lunch. If we allow ourselves to start thinking about what we will have for the next meal, and the meal after that, we turn on our obsession.

The beauty of abstinence is that it permits us to get from one meal to the next without being constantly preoccupied with food. By abstaining from refined sugars and carbohydrates and our individual binge foods, we no longer have to fight the craving for more. By working the Twelve Steps, we fill our minds with nourishing thoughts, which drive out our former obsession with food.

This meal, which I have planned, is the only one that concerns me now. I do not need to think about other meals or other foods. I will enjoy this meal, and then I will walk away from food into the rest of my life.

Keep me abstinent, meal-by-meal.

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One Day At A Time

~GOD IS ~
Open your eyes and the whole world is full of God.
Jakob Bohme

When I was a child, my family never talked about God. I never knew the light of God, never felt His love or power, or recognized His presence in my life. When things were rough, I could only see the darkness. When I was lonely, I didn’t know He was with me all the time. When I was weak or scared, I thought I had to overcome and be strong, and not be afraid. I didn’t feel His presence with me, or believe that He was watching over me. Then, for twenty years I was married to a religious man who did talk about God. I tried so hard to believe as he did, but his words soon lost their meaning. The abuse began to overshadow the hope that things would change, and the belief that God would make everything okay, if only I believed like my husband. For years I have struggled with my faith, trying to believe in a God that was willing to light my way, love me, and protect me … not just in the good times, but in the painful times.

When I first came into recovery, I was still struggling, but I became “willing to believe” that God cared about me. I started watching for signs that He was there, ready to light my path when I could see only the darkness, ready to enfold me in His arms when I felt unloveable, and ready to protect me when I was scared. I became willing to recognize His presence in my day-to-day life.

Now that I am willing, I can find God’s love everywhere … in a friendly smile, in the kind words of a friend, in the beauty of a flower, and in a child’s eyes. Sometimes, when life gets rough, I have to look a little harder, but it’s there. I only have to remain open and willing to see it and accept it. Wherever I am, God is there with me, ready to love and protect me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will be willing to see God’s presence in my life, and know that wherever I am, God is. I will let go, and let God be there.
Debbie K.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Among us are wives, relatives and friends whose problem has been solved, as well as some who have not yet found a happy solution. We want the wives of Alcoholics Anonymous to address the wives of men who drink too much. What they say will apply to nearly everyone bound by ties of blood or affection to an alcoholic. – Pg. 104 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Do not be afraid to tell someone, anyone when you feel like taking a drink or using some drug. This is normal and can only be dealt with through open communication.

Help me understand that the ‘need’ to use isn’t really a need but a symptom of chemical dependency and nothing to be ashamed of.

The Work of Living

God and I have work to do, together we have a life to co-create. Mine. I will daily spend time tuning into that deeper place within me so that I can use my energies more wisely and efficiently to build my life. I will get farther faster when I live consciously rather than unconsciously, when I look for guidance rather than stress unnecessarily and create problems that don’t need to be there. When I stay calm and centered, my life goes more smoothly. When I allow spirit to guide me through my day, I see beauty where I may have missed it, I have a center to work from and return to and I walk in grace rather than stumble my way through the day.

I am held and open to divine instruction

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.’ ~Max Lerner. That ‘core of strength’ is based on abstinence and spiritual principles.

I suit up; I show up: I grow up.

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Practice makes progress.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

There is something special waiting for me to do with this day. I know that when it is time I will be inspired from a place deep within myself. I trust that I will know what to do when the time is right.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

My folks know how to push my buttons,
they installed them. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 12

The Language of the Heart
>From the beginning, communication in AA has been no ordinary transmission of helpful ideas and attitudes.
It has been unusual and sometimes unique. Because of our kinship in suffering,
and because our common means of deliverance are effective only when constantly carried to others,
our channels of contact have always been charged with the language of the heart.
– The Language Of The Heart, p. 243

Thought to Ponder . . .
Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, AA’s speak the language of the heart.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Always Awesome.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Carrying the Message
“Alcoholics simply will not listen to a paid
twelfth-stepper.
Almost from the beginning,
we have been positive that face-to-face work
with the alcoholic who suffers could be based only
on the desire to help and be helped.
When an AA talks for money,
whether at a meeting or to a single newcomer,
it can have a very bad effect on him, too.
The money motive compromises him
and everything he says and does for his prospect.
This has always been so obvious
that only a very few AA’s have ever worked the Twelfth Step
for a fee.”
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 166

Thought to Consider . .
There is no materialism in AA — just spirituality.
.
*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Decline
>From “To Handle Sobriety”:
“So when my liver had recovered after ten months, I resumed drinking. At first, just one drink, on occasion. Then drinks came more frequently but were carefully spaced out. Soon my drinking was as bad as ever all day long every day. But I was trying frantically to control it. And it had gone underground now, because everyone knew I shouldn’t be drinking. Instead of drinking in fancy bars and clubs, I had to carry a bottle of vodka in my briefcase, duck into public toilets, and gulp from the bottle”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 556

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“Nothing improves if you drink.””
El Granada, California, March 2003
“How an Atheist Works the Steps,”
Spiritual Awakenings

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can
quickly diagnose yourself, Step over to the nearest barroom and try
some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it
more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are
honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters
if you get a full knowledge of your condition.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 31~

“How dark it is before the dawn! In reality that was the beginning of
my last debauch. I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call
the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and
usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time
passes.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 8

The joy of living we really have, even under pressure and difficulty.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.15

Practically every A.A. member declares that no satisfaction has been deeper and no joy greater than in a Twelfth Step job well done.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.110

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Creation gave us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn’t be complete human beings. If men and women didn’t exert themselves to be secure in their persons, made no effort to harvest food or construct shelter, there would be no survival. If they didn’t reproduce, the earth wouldn’t be populated. If there were no social instinct, there would be no society.
Yet these instincts, so necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions. Powerfully, blindly, many times subtly, they drive us, dominate us, and insist upon ruling our lives.
We tried to shape a sane ideal for our future sex life. We subjected each relation to this test: Was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.

Prayer for the Day: Wesley P’s prayer – Dear God, please fill me with Your loving spirit, and let it flow through me into the lives of others. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 11th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 11th

Daily Reflections

A GENUINE HUMILITY

. . . . we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This is to the end
that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live
in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 192

Experience has taught me that my alcoholic personality tends to be
grandiose. While having seemingly good intentions, I can go off on
tangents in pursuit of my “causes.” My ego takes over and I lose
sight of my primary purpose. I may even take credit for God’s
handiwork in my life. Such an overstated feeling of my own
importance is dangerous to my sobriety and could cause great harm
to A.A. as a whole. My safeguard, the Twelfth Tradition, serves to
keep me humble. I realize, both as an individual and as a member of
the Fellowship, that I cannot boast of my accomplishments, and that
“God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Doctors think of the A.A. fellowship as group therapy. This is a very narrow
conception of the depth of the A.A. fellowship. Looking at it purely as a means of
acquiring and holding sobriety, it is right as far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far
enough. Group therapy is directed toward the help that the individual receives from
it. It is essentially selfish. It is using the companionship of other alcoholics only in order
to stay sober ourselves. But this is only the beginning of real A.A. fellowship. Do I deeply
feel the true A.A. fellowship?

Meditation For The Day

Most of us have had to live through the dark part of our lives, the time of failure, the
nighttime of our lives, when we were full of struggle and care, worry and remorse,
when we felt deeply the tragedy of life. But with our daily surrender to a Higher
Power, comes a peace and joy that makes all things new. We can now take each day
as a joyous sunrise-gift from God to use for Him and for other fellow people. The night of
the past is gone, this day is ours.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may take this day as a gift from God. I pray that I may thank God for
this day and be glad in it.


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As Bill Sees It

We Need Outside Help, p.248

It was evident that a solitary self-appraisal, and the admission of
our defects based upon that alone, wouldn’t be nearly enough.
We’d have to have outside help if we were surely to know and admit
the truth about ourselves–the help of God and of another human
being.

Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being
willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the
road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility.

********************************

If we are fooling ourselves, a competent adviser can see this quickly.
And, as he skillfully guides us away from our fantasies, we are
surprised to find that we have few of the usual urges to defend
ourselves against unpleasant truths. In no other way can fear,
pride, and ignorance be so readily melted. After a time, we realize
that we are standing firm on a brand-new foundation for integrity,
and we gratefully credit our sponsors, whose advice pointed the
way.

1. 12 & 12, p.59
2. Grapevine, August 1961


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Walk In Dry Places

Keep the Focus on Personal Responsibility
Responsible attitudes.
Alcoholics often try to shift responsibility to others. We once thought it was possible to blame others for our drinking, and we had sneaky ways of manipulating family members so they would feel guilty and comply with our demands.
In sober living, we must not allow ourselves to slip back into this mode of thinking. Keeping the focus on personal responsibility is our best way of approaching all problems. “What is my responsibility in this?” is a good question to ask in evaluating our part in situations.
We are always responsible for our own sobriety. Beyond that, we’re also responsible for maintaining good attitudes and making sure that our own anger and pride do not make any situation worse than it already is.
I’ll be responsible today for my own thoughts, feelings, and actions. If any stressful issue or situation arises, I’ll keep my focus on personal responsibility.

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Keep It Simple

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.–Tuli Keupferberg.
Recovery has happened to us. We stopped drinking or using other drugs and, like magic, a new world appeared. Being sober sure shakes up a person’s life! It’s good to shake up our world every now and then. This way, we see there’s not just one “world”, but many. We grow each time we step into a new world and learn new things. Of course, the addict’s world was new and exciting to us at one time. But we got trapped and couldn’t find our way out. Our Higher Power had to free us. We need to try new worlds, but we always need to take our Higher Power with us–into worlds where there’s honesty, love, and trust.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, lead me to new worlds where I’ll learn more about living fully.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list 3 ways I can step into a new world today. For example, I could read something new, go to a museum, or eat a new food.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Occupation is essential.  –Virginia Woolf
Having desires, setting goals, and achieving them are necessary to our fulfillment. There is purpose to our lives, even when we can’t clearly see our direction; even when we doubt our abilities to contribute. Let us continue to respond to our opportunities.
Many of us experienced the clouds of inaction in earlier periods waiting, waiting, waiting, hoping our circumstances would change, even praying they would, but taking no responsibility for changing what was in our power. Inaction caged us. Stripped of power, life held little or no meaning. However, we’ve been given another chance. The program has changed our lives. We have a reason for living, each day, even the days we feel hopeless and worthless.
Maybe we are without a goal at this time. Perhaps the guidance is not catching our attention. We can become quiet with ourselves and let our daydreams act as indicators. We have something essential to do, and we are being given all the chances we’ll need to fulfill our purpose. We can trust in our worth, our necessity to others.
I will remember, the program came to me. I must have a part to play. I will look and listen for my opportunities today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

The man in the bed was told of the acute poisoning from which he suffered, how it deteriorates the body of an alcoholic and warps his mind. There was much talk about the mental state preceding the first drink.
“Yes, that’s me,” said the sick man, “the very image. You fellows know your stuff all right, but I don’t see what good it’ll do. You fellows are somebody. I was once, but I’m a nobody now. From what you tell me, I know more than ever I can’t stop.” At this both the visitors burst into a laugh. Said the future Fellow Anonymous: “Damn little to laugh about that I can see.”

p. 157

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

I was raised like the majority of American boys, coming from a family of modest circumstances, attending public schools, having the social life of a small midwestern town, with part-time work and some athletics. The ambition to succeed was instilled in me by my Scandinavian parents who came to this country where opportunities were so great. “Keep busy; always have something constructive to do.” I did work of all kinds after school and during vacations, trying to find that which would appeal most as a goal for a life work. Then there was wartime service to interrupt my plans, and an education to be picked up after the war. After that came marriage, getting started in business, and a family. The story is not very different from that of thousands of other young men in my generation. It shows nothing or no one to blame for alcoholism.

p. 348

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Our first objective will be the development of self restraint. This carries a top priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot. One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.

p. 91

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Cease to inquire what the future has in store, and take as a gift whatever the day
brings forth.
–Horace

“Ask for what you want. Ask for help, ask for input, ask for advice and ideas — but
never be afraid to ask.”
–Brian Tracy

“Material success may result in the accumulation of possessions; but only spiritual
success will enable you to enjoy them.”
–Nido Qubein

“The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers.”
–Brian Tracy

Life is very beautiful, you know. It is a gift given to us by God. Don’t ignore its
beauty. Don’t ignore its joy. Don’t ignore its love. Embrace it, cherish it, and live it
with all of your heart. Make the life you live as beautiful and wonderful as the life
God has given you. Whether you are rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick always
remember that life is beautiful and so are you.
–Joseph J. Mazzella

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TODAY

“The only courage that matters
is the kind that gets you from
one moment to the next.”
— Mignon McLaughlin

I do not have to have courage for a lifetime, just for the moment. I am helped by the
philosophy that teaches me to live one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment
at a time. It is too awesome to try to live my tomorrows today. Life is a process to be
lived not a future to be anticipated.

For years I tried to anticipate what life had to throw at me, and I always came away
confused, surprised and exhausted. I missed the joy of the moment by worrying about
the future. What was he going to do? What happens if the police get involved? Will
my mother telephone next week? Will my niece grow up to be alcoholic? Am I to
blame? I had a thousand questions that I could not answer; nobody can answer for the
future today.

I can only take responsibility for my life a day at a time. I developed the courage to
face the moment and I became a winner.

May I avoid the temptation to seek the fantasy of tomorrow for the reality of today.

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For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus
Christ…’
1 Thessalonians 5:9

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be
made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful
and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our
Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
I Timothy 2:1-5

“He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a
matter separates even close friends.”
Proverbs 17:9


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Daily Inspiration

Use Jesus’ as your example on how to live. Lord, You will guide and advise us and then You will leave it to us to decide our own future. Give us wisdom in our choices.

God gives abundantly to those who pass His gifts on to others. Lord, let Your blessings flow in to me and then out from me. I will neither be selfish nor let my gifts stagnate.

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NA Just For Today

Misery Is Optional

“No one is forcing us to give up our misery.”
Basic Text pg. 29

It’s funny to remember how reluctant we once were to surrender to recovery. We seemed to think we had wonderful, fulfilling lives as using addicts and that giving up our drugs would be worse than serving a life sentence at hard labor. In reality, the opposite was true: Our lives were miserable, but we were afraid to trade that familiar misery for the uncertainties of recovery.

It’s possible to be miserable in recovery, too, though it’s not necessary. No one will force us to work the steps, go to meetings, or work with a sponsor. There is no NA militia that will force us to do the things that will free us from pain. But we do have a choice. We’ve already chosen to give up the misery of active addiction for the sanity of recovery. Now, if we’re ready to exchange today’s misery for even greater peace, we have a means to do just that – if we really want to.

Just for today: I don’t have to be miserable unless I really want to be. Today, I will trade in my misery for the benefits of recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Feelings are everywhere–gentle. –J. Masai
Throughout the day we experience many feelings. Losing something makes us angry. Fighting with a friend makes us sad. Perhaps we’re lonely because no one is home. Getting an unexpected treat makes us happy. Our feelings come and go just like the hours of our lives.
Letting our feelings be whatever they are is good. They’ll go away in time. We may not like all feelings; sadness or anger may be uncomfortable, but being human means we’ll have many different feelings each day. If we’re quiet with them, they’ll help us grow and understand others better, and then they will suddenly be gone, replaced perhaps by a feeling we like more.
Will I be able to accept my feelings today whether I like them or not?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The art of living lies not in eliminating but in growing with troubles. — Bernard M. Baruch
Naturally, we wish to avoid pain and difficulty, but life experience and a measure of reflection show us that most of what comes our way is beyond our control. We’ll never outwit all the possibilities for trouble, even if we live to be 100 years old. We have often failed to learn from trouble because we cast ourselves in the roles of passive men and victims. We pointed outside ourselves and said, “Look at what is happening to poor me!”
When we use trouble as our teacher, we develop the art of living. We are taking a spiritual approach, using our Higher Power as our guide. We can choose today to use our difficulties for our learning and growth. We might ask, “What can I learn from this experience about myself as a man? How can I use this to strengthen myself for the future?” Serenity develops, not by eliminating life’s difficulties, but by having a reliable relationship with our Higher Power in the midst of it all.
With God as my guide, I will use whatever comes my way as an opportunity for growth.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Occupation is essential. –Virginia Woolf
Having desires, setting goals, and achieving them are necessary to our fulfillment. There is purpose to our lives, even when we can’t clearly see our direction; even when we doubt our abilities to contribute. Let us continue to respond to our opportunities.
Many of us experienced the clouds of inaction in earlier periods waiting, waiting, waiting, hoping our circumstances would change, even praying they would, but taking no responsibility for changing what was in our power. Inaction caged us. Stripped of power, life held little or no meaning. However, we’ve been given another chance. The program has changed our lives. We have a reason for living, each day, even the days we feel hopeless and worthless.
Maybe we are without a goal at this time. Perhaps the guidance is not catching our attention. We can become quiet with ourselves and let our daydreams act as indicators. We have something essential to do, and we are being given all the chances we’ll need to fulfill our purpose. We can trust in our worth, our necessity to others.
I will remember, the program came to me. I must have a part to play. I will look and listen for my opportunities today.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Affirmations
One of our choices in recovery is choosing what we want to think – using our mental energy positively.
Positive mental energy, positive thinking, does not mean we think unrealistically or revert to denial. If we don’t like something, we respect our own opinion. If we spot a problem, we’re honest about it. if something isn’t working out, we accept reality. But we don’t dwell on the negative parts of our experience.
Whatever we give energy to, we empower.
There is magic in empowering the good, because whatever we empower grows bigger. One way to empower the good is through affirmations: simple positive statements we make to ourselves: I love myself… I’m good enough… My life is good…I’m glad I’m alive today… What I want and need is coming to me… I can…
Our choice in recovery is not whether to use affirmations. We’ve been affirming thoughts and beliefs since we were old enough to speak. The choice in recovery is what we want to affirm.
Today, I will empower the good in myself, others, and life. I’m willing to release, or let go of, negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones. I will choose what I want to affirm, and I will make it good.

The world can not change overnight, nor can I. Just one step at a time, one day at a time, I’m exactly where I need to be to get to exactly where I am going. I trust this process today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Make Time to Play

Go play. Yes, take a break and go play. When your head starts to pound and your back starts to ache, stop. Do something you want to do. Something that feels good, feels fun. Leave your worries behind. Put them in a box, then close it, and go play.

We make sure that our children take time for recess every day. But we forget that we need recess,too. The lingering threads of work and worry can tie us to tasks done and undone. They can block our connection to joy, creativity, and the vital life-giving force that courses through us all.

We no longer need to slump with tension and fatigue. It isn’t necessary and it doesn’t help a thing. Most often, it hurts. Your fatigue may be from lack of play as much as lack of sleep. You might begin to see that you don’t need a rest, a nap, or more vitamin C. You need to play.

Play as much as you can. Find time– take time– to play. It may give you the energy you need.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Touch and taste your life

Tonight, the sun set like a red ball over the hill to the west of the house. There’s an eclipse coming in just a few days, and the ocean knows it. She can feel the moon. She rises high on her haunches, ready to pounce, then slowly rolls forward. The waves build and stretch until finally the lip crumbles and the back of the wave chases the front of the wave culminating in a massive waterfall. She smashes against the pilings, shaking the entire house. The sky is rose, lavender, and black. The house smells richly of the pasta and meat sauce in the pots on the stove. A cedar log burning in the fireplace warms the room.

This is my experience now. It’s an enchanted moment when the world rests but is still alive.

Experience is the privilege of being human. I can taste the spagetti. I can smell the salt of the ocean. I can feel the burning cedar taking the chill out of the air. I can love. I can hurt. What a sweet experience this is. And I thank God for every moment and feeling of each experience I’ve been given.

Do you taste your life? Or do you float through it unaware of the beauty that surrounds you each day? We weren’t meant to sleep all the time. Sometimes when we first become sober or begin recovering from codependency, we wonder what we’ll ever do with all this time and all the feelings that we’re left with now that the alcohol and drama have been taken away.

Revel in the experience you’re going through. Feel, touch, and taste each moment of your life. Then be aware of how exquisitely beautiful it is.

What’s you’re experience right now?

God, help me be aware of the beauty and power that flows through this universe. Help me remember how connected I am to that beauty and power through each experience I’ve been given.

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Blessing Our Bodies
Self-Body Scan by Madisyn Taylor

We can detect subtle changes in our own bodies by performing our own energy scan on a regular basis.

As the living vehicles for our spirits, our bodies deserve loving attention and care. We can positively affect our health, prevent illness, and heal injuries by regularly focusing our mental and spiritual energy on the workings of our bodies. This can be done by performing a body scan on yourself.

Begin by lying in a comfortable position and taking three deep cleansing breaths. Imagine, if you will, a sunbeam entering the top of your head. Feel this light slowly scanning each part of your internal body. Allow it to scan every cell in your body and keep breathing. Every time you exhale, blow out negative energy you may feel. Notice any changes in your body. Sensations may vary from person to person. You may feel a shift in body temperature, see a color or flash of light, or hear a voice offering you guidance. If you feel a block in a certain area of your body, sit with that block and feel into it. Ask your body why that block is there and what you need to do to release it. Try not to judge or analyze the wisdom that comes to you. Often, we experience energy blocks in our body because our body is trying to tell us something. You may want to breathe into that area until you feel the block dissolving. When you have finished your scan, take one last deep breath and exhal! e any energetic residue that you are ready to release.

The body doesn’t lie, and it has much wisdom to share with us. Any injuries or blocks that exist in our bodies are there so that we can learn from having them in our bodies. An existing injury can teach us to slow down or help us recognize that something is out of balance in our bodies. The more you scan your body, the better you will become at it. If you sense that something is not right in your body, you may want to visit a doctor and tell them about your experience. When you have finished your scan, don’t forget to thank your wonderful, amazing body. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Before I came to The Program — in fact, before I knew of The Program’s existence — I drifted from crisis to crisis. Occasionally, I tried to use my will to chart a new course; however, like a rudderless ship, I inevitably foundered once again on the rocks of my own despair. Today, in contrast, I receive guidance from my Higher Power. Sometimes, the only answer is a sense of peace or an assurance that all is well. Even though there may be a time of waiting before I see results, or before any direct guidance comes, will I try to remain confident that things are working out in ways that will be for the greatest good of everyone concerned?

Today I Pray

May I not expect instant, verbal communication with my Higher Power, like directions on a stamped, self-addressed post-card. May I have patience, and listen, and sense that God is present. May I accept my new feelings of radiant warmth and serenity as God’s way of assuring me that I am, finally, making some good choices.

Today I Will Remember

Patience: God’s message will come.

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One More Day

I’ve heard He works with broken people, I am sick, hurting, broken. I am waiting and willing now….
– Flora E. Meredith

Sometimes life can feel so hopeless. Pain, anxiety about health, and fear can plague our thoughts. Admitting things are out of our control can be so hard. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to admit that we need help. Giving ourselves over to the care of our Higher Power is frightening when we have become used to taking care of our own needs.

The hardest job is ours, though, for we must be willing to let go of that part of ourselves that is troubled, in order to become whole once again. We must be willing to let go in order to be helped.

I have made the hardest move and placed myself into the care of my Higher Power. Now I must wait.

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Food For Thought

Setting Realistic Goals

Part of growing up is learning to set realistic goals for ourselves. Our grandiose egos used to dare us into dreaming great dreams, which led to feelings of failure when the dreams did not materialize. If we expect the impossible of ourselves, we are bound to be disappointed.

Those of us who come into OA with many pounds to lose need to be realistic about the amount of time we allow for achieving the weight loss. We also need to be realistic about the fact that we may never look like fashion models. If we expect all other problems to vanish upon the attainment of a weight goal, we are not being realistic.

Maintaining abstinence, working the Twelve Steps, and attending meetings regularly keeps us in touch with the reality of our disease. The goals we set for ourselves are determined by where we are in actuality right now. Some of us have farther to go than others. The goals we set should challenge us rather than defeat us before we begin.

Show me the goals that are realistic for me today.

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One Day At A Time

REAL LIVING
“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
Tara Morice as Fran,
(From Baz Luhrmann’s film “Strictly Ballroom”)

When I first saw this movie in 1993, it spoke volumes to my life and to my recovery. I had spent my life afraid, afraid of everything and everybody. If I crossed you, I feared your wrath. If I disappointed you, I dreaded the loss of your love. If things were going well, I wondered, often aloud, when the other shoe was going to drop. I had nowhere to go, no one to trust, nothing I could believe in, because I knew it would be taken away from me. The only safe haven I had was in the food, but I was afraid of the consequences. The biggest thing that kept me in my disease was the fear of what might be on the other side.

The bravest thing I ever did was walk through the doors of my first program meeting. I had been shamed into it by a therapist, but once I got there I sensed that my fears would be vanquished. I saw people who had been there, done that, and designed the t-shirt of fear that I was wearing. They showed me, through the Steps and Traditions, that there was more to life.

The program of recovery has taught me that a life of fear indeed is a life half-lived. Living in fear, I only succeeded in quashing the joy, the adventure, the zest for life that was naturally planted in me. It also eliminated the biggest fear … that of a Higher Power. It has given me faith, the diametric opposite of fear. Faith shined its light on the darkness of my life, and allowed me to live a fuller existence that cannot be taken from me, save for retreat into fearful despair. I am so immensely grateful for what I have been given: life, instead of mere existence.

One Day at a Time . . .
Faith in a Power greater than myself is a powerful antidote to a fearful, half-lived life. I pray to keep the light of faith shining brightly in my life.
Mark

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code. – Pg. 84 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

One of the things you can learn right now is that it is OK not to have all of the answers. For the first time in a long time, no one expects you to know anything. Enjoy it!

Let me know it is OK to not be strong. It is OK to rely on my Higher Power.

Forgiving and Moving On

As I work through the blocks in the way of my own serenity I find that I consider forgiveness as a way to release the residue of resentment and pain that live inside me from unresolved issues from the past. As I put more and more energy into my own personal growth, I find that I value my own peace of mind more than holding onto anger and hurt. I find I want to lay the sword down. It becomes too heavy in my hand, the weight of carrying it encumbers my own freedom. Today, the present I will give myself is forgiveness.

I am ready to consider forgiveness

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The consequences of being dishonest, of being a liar, is not so much that others will not believe you, as it is that you can not believe others.

‘Does what I gain by lying balance out the integrity I lose?’ (P 54, CDA First Edition)

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Surrender, don’t quit.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

The world can not change overnight, nor can I. Just one step at a time, one day at a time, I’m exactly where I need to be to get to exactly where I am going. I trust this process today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Self Will: An alkie ship’s captain at night sees a light dead ahead, on collision course and sends a signal; ‘Change your course, 12 degrees west.’ A signal comes back; ‘Change your’s 12 degrees east.’ The captain begins to get angry; ‘I’m a captain.’ The reply: ‘I’m a seaman, 2nd class.’ The captain is furious now: ‘I’m on a destroyer, change your course, and call me sir!’ The reply; ‘I’m on a lighthouse, your call.. sir.’ – Jack K. (Amended)

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AA Thought for the Day

December 11

Happiness
Happiness happens when results exceed expectations. Maybe this is working after all.
Deep down, there is also a warm, small ball of faith, never dimmed, unexplainable, asking nothing, but giving much.
To define it or try to bounce it would distort or destroy it. It just is, that’s all.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], pp. 187-188

Thought to Ponder . . .
True happiness is found in the journey, not the destination.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H J F = Happy, Joyous, Free.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Show Business
“The first requirement is that we be convinced
that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.
On that basis we are almost always in collision
with something or somebody,
even though our motives are good.
Most people try to live by self-propulsion.
Each person is like an actor
who wants to run the whole show;
is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet,
the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way.
If his arrangements would only stay put,
if only people would do as he wished,
the show would be great.
Everybody, including himself, would be pleased.
Life would be wonderful.”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 60-1

Thought to Consider . . .
I can’t do His will my way.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P R I D E = Pretty Ridiculous Individual Directing Everything

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Promoter among Promoters
AA History
In The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. Silkworth described a patient brought to him for treatment of chronic alcoholism who had
only partially recovered from a gastric hemorrhage, and seemed to be in a pathological state of mental deterioration.
This man was Hank P. His story in the first edition of the Big Book was titled “The Unbeliever” (Experience, Strength &
Hope, page 5). Hank worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey. He was a high-pressure kind of guy. He was called a
“promoter among promoters”. He was a partner with Bill W in the Honor Dealers Car Polish Company, which they
started to earn some money while AA was still being developed.
Chapter 7 of the Big Book, “Working with Others.

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“After endless voting on a title for the new work we had decided to call it The Way Out. But inquiry by Fritz M., our Maryland alcoholic, at The Library of Congress disclosed the fact that 12 books already bore that title. Surely we couldn’t make our book the 13th. So we named it Alcoholics Anonymous instead! Though we didn’t know it, our movement then got its name — a name which because of the implication of humility and modesty has given us our treasured spiritual principle of anonymity.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1947
“Book Publication Proved Discouraging Venture,”
The Language of the Heart

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a
seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t
we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help
others.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132~

“Our hope is that many alcoholic men and women, desperately in need, will see these pages, and we believe that it is
only by fully disclosing ourselves and our problems that they will be persuaded to say, ‘Yes, I am one of them too; I must
have this thing.’”
~Alcoholics Anonymous page 29

So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.132

Having learned to live so happily, we’d show everybody else how.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.156

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It is necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about ourselves
and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been
the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and
valuable rewards than this one.
Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which
were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the
whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay – and pay handsomely.

Prayer for the Day: For Families Torn by Addiction –
We pray, O God of hope,
for all families
whose lives are torn and disrupted
by drugs and alcohol.
Enable them to identify the illness.
Strengthen them to seek help.
Bless them with the power of your love,
which imparts transformation and wholeness
to those who trust in your name.
Grant that as they walk this tortured road,
they may journey together
and bound close in the bond of love.
Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 10th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 10th

Daily Reflections

CARRYING THE MESSAGE

Now, what about the rest of the Twelfth Step? The
wonderful energy it releases and the eager action by
which it carries our message to the next suffering
alcoholic and which finally translates the Twelve Steps
into action upon all our affairs is the payoff, the
magnificent reality, of Alcoholics Anonymous.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 109

To renounce the alcoholic world is not to abandon it,
but to act upon principles I have come to love and
cherish, and to restore in others who still suffer the
serenity I have come to know. When I am truly committed
to this purpose, it matters little what clothes I wear
or how I make a living. My task is to carry the message,
and to lead by example, not design.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Our drinking fellowship was a substitute one, for lack of
something better. At the time, we did not realize what
real fellowship could be. Drinking fellowship has a fatal
fault. It is not based on a firm foundation. Most of it
is on the surface. It is based mostly on the desire to use
your companions for your own pleasure and using others is
a false foundation. Drinking fellowship has been praised
in song and story. The “cup that cheers” has become famous
as a means of companionship. But we realize that the higher
centers of our brains are dulled by alcohol and such
fellowship cannot be on the highest plane. It is at best
only a substitute.  Do I see my drinking fellowship in its proper
light?

Meditation For The Day

Set for yourself the task of growing daily more and more
into the consciousness of a Higher Power. We must keep
trying to improve our conscious contact with God. This is
done by prayer, quiet times, and communion. Often all you
need to do is sit silent before God and let Him speak to
you through your thought. Try to think God’s thoughts after
Him. When the guidance comes, you must not hesitate, but go
out and follow that guidance in your daily work, doing what
you believe to be the right thing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be still and know God is with me. I pray
that I may open my mind to the leading of Divine Mind.


***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

True Tolerance, p. 203

Gradually we began to be able to accept the other fellow’s sins as well
as his virtues. We coined the potent and meaningful expression “Let
us always love the best in others–and never fear their worst.”

********************************

Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to
some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong. When this
happens, we approach true tolerance and we see what real love for
our fellows actually means.

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. 12 & 12, p. 92 12 & 12, p. 65


***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
Good judgment.
All of our lives, many of us had to deal with “tempests in a teapot.”  These were minor problems that we somehow magnified until they became disasters.
Some of us also took refuge in the bottle when faced with problems. Remembering this with some guilt, we may feel a responsibility today to deal with every problem efficiently and promptly. This feeling might also create unnecessary anxiety.  We can easily get to the heart of such matters by asking ourselves, “How Important is it?”  We might be making something far more important than it really is.
The importance of problems is revealed by our inability to remember what was upsetting us a week ago.  Asking, “How important is it?” can be a useful test to avoid excessive worrying about any problem.
I’ll take a responsibility attitude today, but I’ll watch myself for a tendency to go to pieces over things that really aren’t important in the long run.

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

Kindness in giving creates love. –Lao-tzu.
In our illness, we takers. Now, we’ve changed this around. We are now givers. Giving is a big part of recovery. Our word for it is service. Our program is based on care, respect, and service. Our program tells us to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” No matter if it’s getting to our meeting early to put on the coffee, or going on a Twelfth Step call, we are giving of ourselves. We give so that we know we can make a difference. We give so that we can know how to love better. The healing power of recovery is love. As we give love and kindness to others, we heal. Why? Because people grow by giving kindness and love to others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power with Your help I’ll be a kind and loving giver. I’ll look for way to share Your kindness.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list five ways I can be of service to others. I’ll put at least one of these ways into action today.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good. No good thing can be withheld from the forgiving state of mind.  –Catherine Ponder
Forgiveness fosters humility, which invites gratitude. And gratitude blesses us; it makes manifest greater happiness. The more grateful we feel for all aspects of our lives, the greater will be our rewards. We don’t recognize the goodness of our lives until we practice gratitude. And gratitude comes easiest when we’re in a forgiving state of mind.
Forgiveness should be an ongoing process. Attention to it daily will ease our relationships with others and encourage greater self-love. First on our list for forgiveness should be ourselves. Daily, we heap recriminations upon ourselves. And our lack of self-love hinders our ability to love others, which in turn affects our treatment of them. We’ve come full circle–and forgiveness is in order. It can free us. It will change our perceptions of life’s events, and it promises greater happiness.
The forgiving heart is magical. My whole life will undergo a dynamic change when I develop a forgiving heart.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Hopelessness was written large on the man’s face as he replied, “Oh, but that’s no use. Nothing would fix me. I’m a goner. The last three times, I got drunk on the way home from here. I’m afraid to go out the door. I can’t understand it.”
For an hour, the two friends told him about their drinking experiences. Over and over, he would say: “That’s me. That’s me. I drink like that.”

p. 157

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

How can a person with a fine family, an attractive home, an excellent position, and high standing in an important city become an alcoholic?
As I later found out through Alcoholics Anonymous, alcohol is no respecter of economic status, social and business standing, or intelligence.

p. 348

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection.

p. 91

***********************************************************

“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours”.
–SHASEC

God, help me remember that when I admit and accept the truth,
I’ll be given the power and guidance to change.
–Melody Beattie

Keep your sobriety first, to make it last.
–unknown

Today, I will focus on what’s right about me. I will give myself some of the caring I’ve
extended to the world.
–Melody Beattie

Learn to Let Go. That is the key to happiness.
–Buddha

Worry is like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you
anywhere.
–unknown

***********************************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SERVICE

“There is no higher religion
than human service. To work for
the common good is the greatest
creed.”
— Albert Schweitzer

I enjoy doing things for other people. I enjoy seeing other people happy, seeing
gratitude in their eyes and experiencing their hug of thankfulness.

Some people need to restrict how much they do for others and begin doing more for
themselves but I am happy and pleased with my service towards others. Why?
Because I used to be a “taker”. For years I would walk away with all that you could give
me and only thank you because I wanted to return for more!

In sobriety I am beginning to change this. Now I am giving and I am enjoying it.

Lord, the gift of service is a precious gift.

***********************************************************

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Matthew 5:6

I honor and love your commands.  I meditate on your principles.  Remember your
promise to me, for it is my only hope.  Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my
troubles.”
Psalm 119:48-50

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let
the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:9-11


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

A blessing is an explosion of joy from God that ripples through your heart and fills your mind with God’s light and hope. Lord, help me speak the words of blessing when they are needed by someone who is lonely, or who is dying or who is depressed.

As you draw closer and closer to God, you won’t have to tell anyone because it will show in your face. Lord, teach me Your ways as I am ready and let Your love and peace flow through me even in my difficult moments.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Winners

“I started to imitate some of the things the winners were doing. I got caught up in NA. I felt good….”
Basic Text pg. 223

We often hear it said in meetings that we should “stick with the winners.” Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Winners are easily identified. They work an active program of recovery, living in the solution and staying out of the problem. Winners are always ready to reach their hands out to the newcomer. They have sponsors and work with those sponsors. Winners stay clean, just for today.

Winners are recovering addicts who keep a positive frame of mind. They may be going through troubled times, but they still attend meetings and share openly about it. Winners know in their hearts that, with the help of a Higher Power, nothing will come along that is too much to handle.

Winners strive for unity in their service efforts. Winners practice putting “principles before personalities.” Winners remember the principle of anonymity, doing the principled action no matter who is involved. Winners keep a sense of humor. Winners have the ability to laugh at themselves. And when winners laugh, they laugh with you, not at you.

Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Any one of us can be considered a winner. All of us exhibit some of the traits of the winner; sometimes we come very close to the ideal, sometimes we don’t. If we are clean today and working our program to the best of our ability, we are winners!

Just for today: I will strive to fulfill my ideals. I will be a winner.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
She must learn to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.
–Marge Piercy
Once there was a writer who was writing a book for children. He decided to ask his son for ideas. “What would you like to tell other children?” he asked. He thought the boy would say something like, “Everybody love everybody.” But instead the boy said, “Number one, ignore what your parents say about nutritious food. Number two, don’t go to school.”
The father laughed and thanked the boy for his ideas, even though they weren’t what he expected. He loved his son for being able to feel and express his desires so strongly.
We all have a child within us, no matter how old we are. When we honor that child, we also honor who we have become, and we free ourselves to express our truest feelings.
What does the child within me want to do today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you can just observe what you are and move with it, then you will find that it is possible to go infinitely far. –J. Krishnamurti
“Boys don’t cry” is bad training for males. Worse than that were ideas like, “Don’t pass up a dare,” “Nice guys finish last,” “Be a good provider,” “Be aggressive.” Some of these ideas have some value, but problems came from adopting them as the only way to be. We thought we had to work at being the strongest, the best, the least vulnerable. Now we are learning how weak and fragile such thinking actually makes men. It sets us up to go to the extremes we found in our addictions and codependency.
Weakness isn’t the alternative to this thinking. Developing our spiritual side, we see that we don’t have to work at being what we already are. A man can be strong enough to show his vulnerability. He can choose the opportunity to advance a relationship with his child over the opportunity to advance his career. He can choose to pass by a challenge without shame because he doesn’t wish to spend his energy there.
I will be stronger today by simply allowing myself to be true to my feelings.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good. No good thing can be withheld from the forgiving state of mind. –Catherine Ponder
Forgiveness fosters humility, which invites gratitude. And gratitude blesses us; it makes manifest greater happiness. The more grateful we feel for all aspects of our lives, the greater will be our rewards. We don’t recognize the goodness of our lives until we practice gratitude. And gratitude comes easiest when we’re in a forgiving state of mind.
Forgiveness should be an ongoing process. Attention to it daily will ease our relationships with others and encourage greater self-love. First on our list for forgiveness should be ourselves. Daily, we heap recriminations upon ourselves. And our lack of self-love hinders our ability to love others, which in turn affects our treatment of them. We’ve come full circle–and forgiveness is in order. It can free us. It will change our perceptions of life’s events, and it promises greater happiness.
The forgiving heart is magical. My whole life will undergo a dynamic change when I develop a forgiving heart.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Empowerment
You can think. You can make good decisions. You can make choices that are right for you.
Yes, we all make mistakes from time to time. But we are not mistakes.
We can make a new decision that takes new information into account.
We can change our mind from time to time. That’s our right too.
We don’t have to be intellectuals to make good choices. In recovery, we have a gift and a goal available to each of us. The gift is called wisdom.
Other people can think too. And that means we no longer have to feel responsible for other people’s decisions.
That also means we are responsible for our choices.
We can reach out to others for feedback. We can ask for information. We can take opinions into account. But it is our task to make our own decisions. It is our pleasure and right to have our own opinions.
We are each free to embrace and enjoy the treasure of our own mind, intellect, and wisdom.
Today, I will treasure the gift of my mind. I will do my own thinking, make my own choices, and value my opinions. I will be open to what others think, but I will take responsibility for myself. I will ask for and trust that the Divine Wisdom is guiding me.

Today I trust the positive and loving people to whom I am attracted. Today I am free to share from my heart, knowing that what I say will be treated with love and respect. –Ruth Fishel

***************************************

Journey To The Heart

Heal from Past Betrayals

Healing from betrayal is connected to healing and opening the heart.

Many of us have become quite skillful at denying feelings of betrayal, ignoring those situations when we not only feel betrayed, we truly have been betrayed.

Life happens. Sometimes people do things that hurt us. People may have let us down, not protected us. People may have deceived us. We live in a world with people who have a lot of issues. We live in a world that moves fast and isn’t always kind, just, or fair.

We may be moving so fast that we gloss over situations where we have been betrayed. Things just weren’t right. The numbers don’t add up.

If we haven’t dealt with past betrayals, if we haven’t cleansed and healed those break lines on the heart, we won’t be able to deal with the betrayals going on right now. The part of our hearts that’s sensitive to betrayal has been numbed, sometimes damaged, because it hasn’t been allowed to heal. We may stay in situations much longer than is good for us to do. We may not speak up when we need to. We may quietly stand there saying, That’s just how people are. And so our hearts break a little more and we go a little more numb. And that beautiful, precious part of ourselves, our heart, closes– not just to the person betraying us, but to all the beauty in life.

Yes, sometimes, that’s just the way life is. But we don’t need to stand there and keep letting life do that. We can open our hearts by healing those break lines. We can keep it open by being vulnerable and safe enough to feel, express, and take whatever actions our heart leads us to when betrayal occurs.

The head is connected to the heart. This connection is important. Healing betrayal will help keep that connection clear.

***************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Become amazed at what you see

We were on a trip through the Southwest when we turned around a bend in New Mexico. Lake Albiquiu, the sign said. The campground was seated on a bluff overlooking a large man-made lake. We decided it was so beautiful we’d camp there for the night. We selected just the right spot to give us the best view of the sun rising in the morning. We wanted to see the light hit the red rock cliffs in the distance.

Hiking around the edge of the bluff, we found a tiny cactus bursting with bright red flowers sitting in the shade of a windblown tree. We sat for a while then scrambled down to the water and sat on a big rock that jutted out into the lake. We swam. The water was cold, but refreshing, and the early summer sun felt good on our skin.

Later we cooked supper on the little gas stove. “Should we set up the tent?” I asked, eager to see the new tent set up in the wilderness.

“The weather is nice,” my friend said. “Let’s just throw our bags on the ground and sleep out.”

That was an idea! I had never slept under the stars before. We lay there in the gathering darkness and watched as one by one the stars softly glowed into view. I closed my eyes and dozed.

Moments later, a bird sang a goodnight song from a nearby tree, and I opened my eyes to see a blanket of stars overhead. The Milky Way cut a path through the night sky, and there were so many unfamiliar stars that I could hardly distinguish the constellations I knew. I didn’t want to close my eyes, I didn’t want to miss a moment of this incredible sight.

Camping in a state park may not count to some of the hard-core wilderness folks. But we each have different levels of freedom in our lives. Freedom means tasting new things, having new experiences, and pursuing our dreams no matter how small they might be. Recapture the magic of a time in your life when everything was new and amazing. Discover what’s possible for you. Then be amazed at what you see.

God, give me a sense of the possible in my life. Then help me be amazed at just how beautiful life can be.

***************************************

Reflections of Self
We Are All Mirrors for Each Other

When we look at other people, we see many of their qualities in innumerable and seemingly random combinations. However, the qualities that we see in the people around us are directly related to the traits that exist in us. “Like attracts like” is one of the spiritual laws of the universe. We attract individuals into our lives that mirror who we are. Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them. Simply put, when you look at others, you will likely see what exists in you. When you see beauty, divinity, sweetness, or light in the soul of another, you are seeing the goodness that resides in your soul. When you see traits in others that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance, or hatred, you may be seeing reflected back at you those parts of yourself that you have disowned or do not like.

Because we are all mirrors for each other, looking at the people in your life can tell you a lot about yourself. Who you are can be laid bare to you through what you see in others. It is easy to see the traits you do not like in others. It is much more difficult to realize that you possess those same traits. Often, the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of others are closely linked to our unconscious and unresolved issues.

When you come into contact with someone you admire, search your soul for similarly admirable traits. Likewise, when you meet someone exhibiting traits that you dislike, accept that you are looking at your reflection. Looking at yourself through your perception of others can be a humbling and eye-opening experience. You can also cultivate in you the traits and behaviors that you do like. Be loving and respectful to all people, and you will attract individuals that will love and respect you back. Nurture compassion and empathy and let the goodness you see in others be your mirror. Daily OM

***************************************

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Have i ever stopped to think that the impulse to “blow off steam” and say something unkind or even vicious will, if followed through, hurt me far more seriously than the person to whom the insult is directed? I must try constantly to quiet my mind before I act with impatience or hostility, for my mind can be — in that very real way — an enemy as great as any I’ve ever known. Will I look before I leap, think before I speak — and try to avoid self-will to the greatest extent possible?

Today I Pray

May I remember that my blow-ups and explosions, when they are torrents of accusations or insults, hurt me just as much as the other person. May I try not to let my anger get to the blow-up stage, simply be recognizing it as I go along and stating it as a fact.

Today I Will Remember

Keep a loose lid on the teapot.

***************************************

One More Day

In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.
– Antoine de St. Exupery

When we were younger, many of us had a prescribed course of life — first school, a job, marriage, and then children. we never realized, and luckily so, that we would be dealt cards in a game we wouldn’t want to play.

With the illness, sorrows, and pain have come jooy, delight, and happiness. We would not have wanted to see into the furture, but now that we are here, we all want to live life as well as we are able. The need to deal as best we can with our burdens advances us toward positive actions and thoughts. What good or bad things happen to us do not determine a life’s story as much as the choices we make. We can shoose to be challenged. We can choose our directions.

Changes or improvements can begin today with the decision I make.

************************************

Food For Thought

One Day at a Time

We can only work this program one day at a time. Tomorrow’s abstinence will take care of itself if we are abstinent today. It is when we look too far ahead that we become troubled and lose our confidence. Whatever happens, we can cope with it one day at a time.

Worrying about the possibility of being hungry next week destroys today’s serenity. Projecting ourselves into future tasks produces unnecessary tension. Wondering how someone may react to something we may say tomorrow causes needless anxiety and robs us of the here and now.

Our Higher Power is with us now, today. By learning to know Him in the present, we grow in faith that He will be with us in the future. He gives us the strength to maintain our abstinence today, and that is the best thing we can possibly do for ourselves. One day at a time, we walk out of darkness into light.

Thank You for this day.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

FAULT FINDING
“When You Look For The Bad In Mankind
Expecting To Find It, You Surely Will.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got.” It seemed as though I spent half a lifetime discovering the faults in others. I used this information as a tool or weapon against them when the need would arise, or if I needed a victory to feel superior when I was feeling low. How very sick. It took me a long time to learn that all of us have weaknesses; it’s part of being an imperfect human being. We also have strengths and talents, sometimes waiting to be discovered. My job now is to search for the good in others, to overlook the pettiness, to understand that they are still growing and becoming. I am also to practice ongoing forgiveness, for them as well as for myself, to remember that God is still spiritually creating us all in His image.

One Day at a Time . . .
Have I quit fault finding others? Myself? God?
Jeremiah

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

God alone can judge our sex situation. Counsel with other persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge. We realize that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. We avoid hysterical thinking or advice. – Pgs. 69-70 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Don’t ever think you have it made, because you haven’t. You are only one drink away from a drunk, one hit away from a high. Staying in your program and close to the fellowship is your best bet right now.

Let me not get so carried away with my two weeks of sobriety that I get cocky and lose sight of the truth.

My Work

I am whole and in tact and as such I have a positive contribution to make to this world. My work needs me. Whatever my gifts are, I will share them. I will not hold back, telling myself I am not ready, not smart enough, not good enough. Today is the day. This is as good a place to begin as any. I will dig deep into myself and find beauty and wisdom. I will produce good works and I will share those openly with others. As I expand my own consciousness, it becomes my responsibility to share what I learn with the collective. I am available to find my mission. I will give myself the gift of feeling purposeful, today.

I will share my gifts

– Tian Dayton PhD

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.
Henry David Thoreau

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention. The smallest kindness is better than the best pitch.

It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Self-respect is the most important respect you can earn.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I trust the positive and loving people to whom I am attracted. Today I am free to share from my heart, knowing that what I say will be treated with love and respect.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The most effective prayer I ever said had only five words, the longest word being a swear word. God didn’t seem to mind. Trip S.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 10

Helping Others
When I talk to a newcomer to AA, my past looks me straight in the face.
I see the pain in those hopeful eyes, I extend my hand, and then the miracle happens: I become healed.
My problems vanish as I reach out to this trembling soul.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 274

Thought to Ponder . . .
In AA, we discover that it is impossible to give without receiving, or receive without giving.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H E L P = Hope, Encouragement, Love, Patience.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Selfishness
“So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.
They arise out of ourselves,
and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot,
though he usually doesn’t think so.
Above everything,
we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness.
We must, or it kills us!”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Thought to Consider . . .
The smallest package in the world
is an alcoholic all wrapped up in himself.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P A C E = Positive Attitudes Change Everything

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Giving
>From “A Vision for You”:
“He [Bill W.] now returned home, leaving behind his first acquaintance [Dr. Bob], the lawyer and the devil-may-care chap. These men had found something brand new in life. Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 159

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“God grant that AA may ever stay simple.”
AA Co-Founder, Dr. Bob, September 1948
“The Fundamentals in Retrospect”

The Best of the Grapevine, Volume 2

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family
back. This just isn’t so. In some cases the wife will never come
back for one reason or another. Remind the prospect that his
recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his
relationship with God. We have seen men get well whose families have
not returned at all. We have seen others slip when the family came
back too soon.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 99~

Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition. A doctor said to us, “Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.” Let families realize, as they start their journey, that all will not be fair weather. Each in turn may be footsore and may straggle. There will be alluring shortcuts and by-paths down which they may wander and lose their way.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.122

If he wishes to talk, let him do so.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.91

We sit in A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which our presence can bring.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.110

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘As sobriety means long life and happiness for the individual, so does unity mean exactly the same thing to our Society as a whole. Unified we live; disunited we shall perish.’
‘We must think deeply of all those sick ones still to come to A.A. As they try to make their return to faith and to life, we want them to find everything in A.A. that we have found, and yet more, if that be possible. No care, no vigilance, no effort to preserve A.A.s constant effectiveness and spiritual strength will ever be too great to hold us in full readiness for the day of their homecoming.’

Prayer for the Day: The Morning Light –
Lord of the night,
Be with me through the hours of darkness.
Let all my questions,
Problems, decisions,
Be enveloped in sleep.
That through the mystery
Of the sleeping mind
The difficulties of this day
Will be seen easier
In the morning light.
Into Your hands, O Lord,
I commit my spirit.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 9th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 9th

Daily Reflections

LOVE WITH NO PRICE TAG

When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication,
it is really talking about the kind of love that has no
price tag on it.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106

In order for me to start working the Twelfth Step, I had
to work on sincerity, honesty, and to learn to act with
humility. Carrying the message is a gift of myself, no
matter how many years of sobriety I may have accumulated.
My dreams can become reality. I solidify my sobriety by
sharing what I have received freely. As I look back to
that time when I began my recovery, there was already a
seed of hope that I could help another drunk pull himself
out of his alcoholic mire. My wish to help another drunk
is the key to my spiritual health. But I never forget that
God acts through me. I am only His instrument. Even if the
other person is not ready, there is success, because my
effort in his behalf has helped me to remain sober and to
become stronger. To act, to never grow weary in my Twelfth
Step work, is the key. If I am capable of laughing today,
let me not forget those days when I cried. God reminds me
that I can feel compassion!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of A.A. is the way of fellowship. We have read a
good deal about fellowship and yet it is such an important
part of the A.A. program that it seems that we
cannot think too much about it. Human beings were not meant
to live alone. A hermit’s life is not a normal or natural one. We
all need to be by ourselves at times, but we cannot really live
without the companionship of others. Our natures demand it.
Our lives depend largely upon it. The fellowship of A.A.
seems to us to be the best in the world. Do I fully appreciate what
the fellowship of A.A. means to me?

Meditation For The Day

We are all seeking something, but many do not know what they
want in life. They are seeking something because they are
restless and dissatisfied, without realizing that faith in
God can give an objective and a purpose for their lives.
Many of us are at least subconsciously seeking for a Power
greater than ourselves because that would give a meaning
to our existence. If you have found that Higher Power,
you can be the means of leading others aright, by showing them
that their search for a meaning to life will end when they
find faith and trust in God as the answer.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my soul will lose its restlessness by finding
rest in God. I pray that I may find peace of mind in the
thought of God and His purpose for my life.


***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Carrying the Message, p. 192

The wonderful energy the Twelfth Step releases, by which it carries
our message to the next suffering alcoholic and finally translates the
Twelve Steps into action upon all our affairs, is the payoff, the
magnificent reality of A.A.

********************************

Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop;
simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him
how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship.

1. 12 & 12, p. 109
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 95


***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

Fixing things that aren’t broken
Self-acceptance.
At the beginning of our AA sobriety, we were reminded that we were not reformers. Yet we sometimes have a tendency to want to “reform” ourselves or others after we’ve established sobriety.
This can become a practice of “fixing things that aren’t broken”. We may not realize it, but many things in our lives and personalities were always all right, all along. In believing that we should be changed, we may be taking on the opinions of someone else. There might be no need for change at all.
We also may be trying to please people who disapproved of us. Perhaps we’re trying to obtain the affection of a parent who always rejected us. But if we’re already on a spiritual path and are living rightly, there’s no need for change. We’d be trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
I’ll accept myself and others as we are today. We are not out to reform anyone, including ourselves.

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Keep It Simple

There is no stronger bond of friendship than a mutual enemy.–Frankfort Moore.
A.A. is a fellowship united against the same enemy–alcoholism. Our bonds give us strength to recover. We may not even know each other’s last name, but we’ll do anything to help each other stay sober. Our illness has taken much. But it has also given us much. We have millions of new friends. Almost anywhere in the world, we can find a member of our fellowship. Our new way of life depends on the strength of the fellowship. We should do nothing to weaken it. When you don’t feel like going to a meeting–go, not only for yourself but for the sake of the fellowship. It truly needs you.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You have given me A. A. Now help me to keep it going. A.A. needs me, just as I need A.A. Help me give even when I don’t want to.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll give back to the program. I’ll call a new member, volunteer to put on a meeting, or make the coffee.”

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Each Day a New Beginning

To do nothing is failure. To try, and in the trying you make some mistakes and then you make some positive changes as a result of those mistakes, is to learn and to grow and to blossom.  –Darlene Larson Jenks
Life is a process, one that is continuously changing. And with each change, we are offered unexpected opportunities for growth. Change is what fosters our development as women. It encourages us to risk new behavior and may even result in some mistakes. Fortunately, no mistakes can seriously hinder us. In fact, most mistakes give us an additional opportunity to learn.
Where we stand today is far removed from our position last year, or even last week. Each and every moment offers us new input that influences any decision from this moment forward. The process that we’re participating in guarantees our growth as long as we remain conscious of our opportunities and willingly respond to them. We can be glad that the life process is, in fact, never static. always moving, always inviting us to participate fully.
I will have the courage to make a mistake today. It’s a promise of growth.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Here was a prospect all right but, by the description, none too promising. The use of spiritual principles in such case was not so well understood as it is now. But one of the friends said, “Put him in a private room. We’ll be down.”
Two days later, a future fellow of Alcoholics Anonymous stared glassily at the strangers beside his bed. “Who are you fellows, and why this private room? I was always in a ward before.”
Said one of the visitors, “We’re giving you a treatment for alcoholism.”

pp. 156-157

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

That sense of being different, which had long plagued me, disappeared when I saw the threads that run through all of us. Sharing our stories, our feelings, it is the area where we are the same that impress me. The differences are but delightful flourishes on the surface, like different-colored costumes, and I enjoy them. But the basic ways we are human, the basic ways we simply are, stand out to me now. I came to see that we all are really one, and I no longer feel alone.

p. 347

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of such disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose. The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.

pp. 90-91

***********************************************************

“The craving to find serenity utterly evaporated–and in its place
there was serenity. I’d been looking out there for what was right here.”
–A.A. Grapevine, December, 2000, p. 49

Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

The minute a man ceases to grow, no matter what his years, that
minute he begins to be old.
–William James

The way you see things and the way others see things may not be the
same. Be tolerant of other people’s views.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

OLD

“Growing old isn’t so bad when
you consider the alternative.
— Maurice Chevalier

What is the alternative? Not to change! To stay rooted in adolescence, youth,
middle-age or whatever. Not to age is not to live, not to experience and not to grow
spiritually.

An aspect of age, for which I am beginning to be grateful, is “comparison”; today I
am able to look at the past and see the benefits of the present. Growth is measurable
only through the tunnel of age. I suppose my fear of age is my basic fear of the
“unknown” ; fear of “unmanageability” and “powerlessness”.

These words remind me of the spiritual program that teaches me to confidently place
my life in the loving arms of God. If I am responsible in life, I will be responsible in
old age.

Teach me to use the spiritual perspective that comes with the gift of age.

***********************************************************

In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and
deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of
refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock
and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp
of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my
confidence since my youth.
Psalms 71:1-5

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children
of God; and such we are.”
1 John 3:1


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Daily Inspiration

Do not waste any time disliking who you are because of something you can no longer do anything about. Lord, help me to forgive myself all shortcomings of the past that I still hold on to and rather make the very best of this moment.

We never really know how far reaching our influence will be. Lord, may Your loving kindness always flow through me.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Listening

“This ability to listen is a gift and grows as we grow spiritually. Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift.”
Basic Text pg. 102

Have you ever watched two small children carry on a conversation? One will be talking about purple dragons while the other carries on about the discomfort caused by having sand in one’s shoes. We sometimes encounter the same communication problems as we learn to listen to others. We may struggle through meetings, trying desperately to hear the person sharing while our minds are busy planning what we will say when it’s our turn to speak. In conversation, we may suddenly realize that our answers have nothing to do with the questions we’re being asked. They are, instead, speeches prepared while in the grip of our self-obsession.

Learning how to listen – really listen – is a difficult task, but one that’s not beyond our reach. We might begin by acknowledging in our replies what our conversational partner is saying. We might ask if there is anything we can do to help when someone expresses a problem. With a little practice, we can find greater freedom from self-obsession and closer contact with the people in our lives.

Just for today: I will quiet my own thoughts and listen to what someone else is saying.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Faith is the seamstress
who mends our torn belief
who sews the hem of childhood trust
and clips the threads of grief.
–Joan Walsh Anglund
A seamstress takes large pieces of material and cuts them to size. Then, with the help of needle and thread and buttons, she goes to work to create a finished piece. Sometimes, in the beginning, it is hard to imagine a finished product. But the seamstress believes it is possible and goes to work on it.
Faith is like a seamstress. Faith is what can pull all the unfinished pieces of life into some sort of order. Faith is what lets us know we are all right even when life doesn’t seem to make sense. We all need the faith to believe our skills and dreams, and even our heartaches can be sewn into a shape that is beautiful and useful.
Our faith is the seamstress who guides the needle, mends the tears, and helps create a shape and meaning to our lives.
How can I show my faith today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. –Emily Dickinson
Life seems to be a continuous pattern of getting committed to things and having to let go – falling in love and losing the one we love, developing a job skill and having to change careers, caring for our children and letting them go off into the world. This is the rhythm of life, and our spiritual growth teaches us to make peace with it. Participating fully in the rhythm is how we become whole men. As addicts and codependents, we used our gambling, overspending, drugs, sex, work, or caretaking of others to avoid the pain of making deeper relationships and to avoid the grief over losing them.
Avoiding commitments and staying uninvolved may keep us safe from risks. They also keep us near our dangerous old patterns. Our program works when we can freely let ourselves go. First, we commit to our recovery program with no reservations. Then, in our increasing sanity we gradually let ourselves go in other attachments. We know we face losses as part of life. We will have the strength to grieve them and move on.
God, give me the inner-liberty today to let go of myself and care.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To do nothing is failure. To try, and in the trying you make some mistakes and then you make some positive changes as a result of those mistakes, is to learn and to grow and to blossom. –Darlene Larson Jenks
Life is a process, one that is continuously changing. And with each change, we are offered unexpected opportunities for growth. Change is what fosters our development as women. It encourages us to risk new behavior and may even result in some mistakes. Fortunately, no mistakes can seriously hinder us. In fact, most mistakes give us an additional opportunity to learn.
Where we stand today is far removed from our position last year, or even last week. Each and every moment offers us new input that influences any decision from this moment forward. The process that we’re participating in guarantees our growth as long as we remain conscious of our opportunities and willingly respond to them. We can be glad that the life process is, in fact, never static. always moving, always inviting us to participate fully.
I will have the courage to make a mistake today. It’s a promise of growth.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Asking for Help
It’s okay to ask for help.
One of the most absurd things we do to ourselves is not asking for the help we need from a friend, a family member, our Higher Power, or the appropriate resource.
We don’t have to struggle through feelings and problems alone. We can ask for help from our Higher Power and for support and encouragement from our friends.
Whether what we need is information, encouragement, a hand, a word, a hug, someone who will listen, or a ride, we can ask. We can ask people for what we need from them. We can ask God for what we need from God.
It is self-defeating to not ask for the help we need. It keeps us stuck. If we ask long and hard enough, if we direct our request to the right source, we’ll get the help we need.
There is a difference between asking someone to rescue us and asking someone in a direct manner for the help we need from him or her. We can be straightforward and let others choose whether to help us or not. If the answer is no, we can deal with that.
It is self-defeating to hint, whine, manipulate, or coerce help out of people. It is annoying to go to people as a victim and expect them to rescue us. It is healthy to ask for help when help is what we need.
“My problem is shame,” said one woman. “I wanted to ask for help in dealing with it, but I was to ashamed. Isn’t that crazy?”
We who are eager to help others can learn to allow ourselves to receive help. We can learn to make clean contracts about asking for and receiving the help we want and need.
Today, I will ask for help if I need it – from people and my Higher Power. I will not be a victim, helplessly waiting to be rescued. I will make my request for help specific, to the point, and I will leave room for the person to choose whether or not to help me. I will not be a martyr any longer by refusing to get the help I deserve in life – the help that makes life simpler. God, help me let go of my need to do everything alone. Help me use the vast Universe of resources available to me.

I have the right to have my needs met. In order to have them met, I am expressing them to the people who can help me today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Claim Your Own Life

Claiming our own lives creates fulfillment and joy. We don’t need to be controlled. We don’t deserve to be repressed or stifled. We don’t have to let anyone convince us that we do. We can trust ourselves. We know what we need, we know what we yearn for– we long to be set free.

What once seemed so overwhelming– creating and taking responsibility for our lives– wasn’t really so. It was our belief that we couldn’t do it, couldn’t handle it, couldn’t be trusted that made it so. We created our own prison by believing we were trapped, stuck. We became controlled by believing others knew better than we did what was best for us. We were afraid to take responsibility for our choices, so we gave up our power.

Now it’s time to step out, leave our prison of fear. We can take responsibility for our lives. We can take responsibility for what we create. We don’t have to be afraid of making a mistake or doing something wrong. If we create a situation we don’t like, we can create something different. We’re free to create the life we want.

We’re free now to claim our own lives and create fulfillment and joy. We always have been.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Discover a sense of wonder and awe

After lunch at Paradise Cove, one of our favorite places to eat, my friend and I went for a walk along the beach. Suddenly he bent down and picked up a little purple ball with spines all over it. “Look,” he said, “a sea urchin!” It was just an empty shell, but the purple was glowing, almost the color of amethyst. Neither of us had ever seen an urchin lying on the beach before. We touched it and debated whether we should take it home and put it on a shelf.

“Why don’t we leave it here,” he said. “Some kids will find it, and they can take it home. We’ve got enough stuff lying around.”

As soon as he put the treasure back on the sand, two children and their mother rounded the point in front of us. The oldest child, a girl about twelve, was curious and delighted when we called her over and handed her the little purple ball. Soon her brother and her mom crowded around. The boy couldn’t wait to touch the urchin’s tiny spines. My friend and I were both smiling as we walked back to the car.

Two of the sweetest experiences in life are discovering new things and sharing those things with someone else. Be aware of the new and exciting things that come into your life. They don’t have to be that big to give you a sense of delight. Enjoy them, learn from them, play with them. And then, for an even greater experience, share them with a friend.

God, help me discover a sense of wonder and awe about life. Then help me pass that feeling on to someone else.

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Let It Flow
Tears

How wonderful it feels to give in and let tears flow when we are overwhelmed with emotions, whether we are happy or sad. Tears come from the soul, from our well of feelings rising from deep down. When we give in to the prickling behind our eyes and the lump in our throat to let teardrops fall from our eyes, we allow our feelings to surface so they can be set free.

Proud parents shed tears of pride in a child’s accomplishments, a baby’s first step, birthdays, and graduations. Long lost friends fall into each other’s arms, tears rolling down their cheeks when they reunite after years of separation. Tears may flow from us when we are witness to a commitment being made at a wedding or even while we are watching a love story. Tears of relief may spring forth from our eyes when we hear that a loved one has survived an ordeal, and tears may fall when we bow our head in sorrow over a loss or death. Tears born from heartache can flow like they’ll never cease, whether our tears are for a love that is over, a friendship lost, or an opportunity missed. We shed tears because of disappointment in ourselves, tragedy in the world, pain, and illness. Tears of anger can burn with emotion as they fall down our faces. Tears offer us a physical release of our feelings.

Shedding tears can sometimes make us feel better, although it can feel like the tears will never end once the floodgates are open. There is no shame in letting tears flow freely and frequently. Tears are as natural to us as is breathing. There is beauty in allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to shed tears. Open up, release your tears, and let your feelings flow. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Difficulties are God’s errands, and when we are sent upon them, we should esteem it a proof of God’s confidence.”
–Beecher
I’ve come to realize that my past troubles were really of my own making. Although I hardly thought so at the time, I was a primary example of what The Program calls “self-will run riot.” Today, I’ll accept my difficulties as sign posts to growth, and as evidence of God’s confidence in me. Do I believe that God will never give me more than I can handle?

Today I Pray

May I believe strongly that God has confidence in me to handle my troubles, that the difficulties I must face are in direct proportion to my strength and ability to bear up and keep a cool head in a crisis. May I also understand that it is my faith in God which keeps me from crumbling.

Today I Will Remember

God has faith in me, because I have faith in God.

***************************************

One More Day

To see the goal of life as “winning” forces us to see other people as competitores, threats to our happiness. For us to “win,” they have to “lose.”
– Harold Kushner

Our thinking is healthier when we see our goals as individual accomplishments, not as outdoing someone else. Others don’t have to get less or be less in order for us to feel good about ourselves.

Rather than, “I beat someone out of a job,” we need to understand that it’s not a contest, but a matter of placing the most qualifeied person in a new position. We all have different skills, and it is usually the skill, not the person, that is recognized or rewarded. The person who possesses the needed skill is not necessarily better, nicer, or more worthwhile — even when that person is us. In accepting that, we are better able to work toward our persoanal goals without fear of competion.

The only winning I pursue is meeting my goals.

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Food For Thought

Developing Our Potential

Abstinence is the key to developing our potential. For years, our illness has probably controlled our life and reduced our ability to function. Since so much of our energy was tied up in the mental obsession with food and the physical effects of overeating, we were unable to develop the talents and abilities we possessed.

Getting in touch with a Higher Power gives us contact with the source of our potential. Our self-centeredness kept us from believing in our capacity to be activated by a Power greater than ourselves. When we see and hear of the results produced by working the OA program, we develop faith in our own buried talents.

When food controlled our lives, we were using only a very small percentage of our actual potential for work, recreation, and relationships with other people. Through abstinence from compulsive overeating, we discover strengths, abilities, and energies we never knew we had!

Direct my efforts. Lord.

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One Day At A Time

~ LIFE ~
Life is the movie you see through your own unique eyes.
It makes little difference what’s happening out there.
It’s how you take it that counts.
Dennis Waitley in “The Winner’s Edge”

Life is a very precious resource. Everyone has a different interpretation of reality, and people who are happier in life make the most of what they have been given, no matter how good or bad it may seem at the time.

Everything happens for a reason. Although we may not understand something at first, we must seize the moment and make use of every single second that our Higher Power has blessed us with. Enjoy all the good times that you deserve, but remember to accept those down times for all the lessons that you will learn, too. It is important to remember the Serenity Prayer and keep on going.

Make the most of each day but remember to stop and smell the flowers along the way. Today only happens once.

One Day at a Time . . .
Life is not a dress rehearsal, so have a good day, unless you have other plans.
Natalie

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidence in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache. – Pg. 70 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We need to have our spiritual program replenished daily, by going to meetings and practicing the principles we are learning. Sometimes we need to replenish hourly. We replenish through prayer and service.

Thank you God, as I understand You, for the wealth of spiritual principles available for me to use.

Transformation

Count me in. Whatever are my talents, my usefulness; wherever you see me fitting into your grand scheme, God . . . place me there. I am willing to open my heart to your guidance. I am built to be part of this moment of transformation. I see a better world in my mind’s eye and I know that others see it too. Connect me with those people who wish to quietly usher in a new world. Together we can push through the eye of the needle – together we can help it happen.

We are transforming together

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do not be hung up on what you ought to be, what you were supposed to be or what you were going to be. You will never have time to be what you are.

I am the best me there is.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When we go too far, it is seldom in the right direction.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I have the right to have my needs met. In order to have them met, I am expressing them to the people who can help me today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to Him. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 9

Only One Reason
I believe we are all sober and alive for only one reason: God has a job for us to do.
I have also come to believe that I must please God first, myself second, and everybody else third.
When I can live and feel that way — and it isn’t all day every day — things seem to work out.
When I try to run the show, everything goes to hell.
– Came to Believe . . ., p. 97

Thought to Ponder . . .
No God, no peace — know God, know peace.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G O D = Good Orderly Direction.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Belonging
“Perhaps one of the greatest rewards
of meditation and prayer
is the sense of belonging that comes to us.
We no longer live in a completely hostile world.
We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless.
The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will,
the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love
as the real and eternal things in life,
we are no longer deeply disturbed
by all the seeming evidence to the contrary
that surrounds us in purely human affairs.”
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Thought to Consider . . .
Veni, vidi, velcro … I came, I saw, I stuck around.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A A = Adventurers Anonymous

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Not-Worrying
>From “A Practical Philosophy:”
“None of us has to understand God or worry
about things beyond our control. We can indulge
ourselves in the luxury of not-worrying. Any of
us can handle just one day; all each of us has to
try at is our own job, our own family life. We
don’t have to try fixing up the whole world or
understanding what no theologian of any faith
has ever understood.
“We simply stop messing in God’s business.”
c. 1973, Came to Believe…, page 116

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“My soul remained a mystery until my Higher Power settled inside me, appearing to me as a very real feeling of love and caring. Kindness slowly took precedence, and I became comfortable with the idea that I didn’t need a drink.”
Cornwall, Ontario, January 2005
“From Rags to Riches”
Voices of Long-Term Sobriety

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed
people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships,(including sex) were hurt or threatened.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

“If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no
middle of the road solution. We were in a position where life was
becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which
there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives.
One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of
our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept
spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were
willing to make the effort.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 25~

Yet you must not expect too much.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.118

As we persist, a brand-new kind of confidence is born, and the sense of relief at finally facing ourselves is indescribable.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.50

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, his eloquence, or any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety.
In my first conversation with Dr. Bob, I bore down heavily on the medical hopelessness of his case, freely using Dr. Silkworth’s words describing the alcoholic’s dilemma, the ‘obsession plus allergy’ theme. Though Bob was a doctor, this was news to him, bad news. And the fact that I was an alcoholic and knew what I was talking about from personal experience made the blow a shattering one.
You see, our talk was a completely mutual thing. I had quit preaching. I knew that I needed this alcoholic as much as he needed me.

Prayer for the Day: Meeting Prayer No. 3 – God bless this meeting and the members gathered here tonight. Help us to make this group a haven of strength and comfort, giving to all who seek help here the beauty and friendliness of home, which shall be as a shield against temptation of all kinds and against loneliness and despair. Bless those who are going forth from this house to fight the gallant fight, to know suffering, and bless those who come here to rest, those who must readjust themselves to face life once more.