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.


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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.

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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


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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.

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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

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 8th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 8th

December 8

 

Daily Reflections

SERVICE

Life will take on a new meaning. To watch people recover,
to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to
see a fellowship grow up about you. to have a host of
friends – this is an experience you must not miss. . . .
Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is
the bright spot of our lives.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89

It is through service that the greatest rewards are to be
found. But to be in a position of offering true, useful
and effective service to others, I must first work on
myself. This means that I have to abandon myself to God,
admitting my faults and clearing away the wreckage of my
past. Work on myself has taught me how to find the
necessary peace and serenity to successfully merge
inspiration and experience. I have learned how to be, in
the truest sense, an open channel of sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The length of time of our sobriety is not as important as
the quality of it. A person who has been in A.A. for a number
of years may not be in as good mental condition as a person
who has only been in a few months. It is a great
satisfaction to have been an A.A. member for a long time
and we often mention it. It may sometimes help the newer
members, because they may say to themselves, if they can do
it I can do it. And yet the older members must realize
that as long as they live they are only one drink away
from a drunk. What is the quality of my sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

“And greater works than this shall ye do.” We can do
greater works when we have more experience of the new way
of life. We can have all the power we need from the Unseen
God. We can have His grace, His spirit, to make us effective
as we go along each day. Opportunities for a better world
are all around us. Greater works can we do. But we do not
work alone. The power of God is behind all good works.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may find my rightful place in the world.
I pray that my works may be made more effective by the
grace of God.


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As Bill Sees It

Two-Way Tolerance, p. 73

“Your point of view was once mine. Fortunately, A.A. is constructed
so that we need not debate the existence of God; but for best results,
most of us must depend upon a Higher Power, and no right-minded
A.A. would challenge your privilege to believe precisely that way.
We should all be glad that good recoveries can be made even on this
limited basis.

“But turnabout is fair play. If you would expect tolerance for your
point of view, I am sure you would be willing to reciprocate. I try to
remember that, down through the centuries, lots of brighter people
than I have been found on both sides of this debate about belief. For
myself, of late years, I am finding it much easier to believe that God
made man, than that man made God.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

A new frame of mind
Mood Control
Long after AA was started, the term mood-altering drug came into vogue. Though this originally was applied to hard drugs, it is also true of alcohol.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to alter one’s mood. None of us really wants to be depressed, anxious, or fearful. We’re all looking for ways to stay happy and high-spirited.
The problem with all mood-altering drugs, alcohol included, is that they provide temporary highs while bringing on long-term destruction and enslavement. We would love to have those highs if they did not carry such a terrible price.
But we can seek a new frame of mind in sober living that will give us better moods without destroying us. This is “the peace that passes all understanding,” and it comes only from living the right way and listening to our Higher Power. This is the only mood control that really works.
I want to be in a good mood today, but it must be as a result of having a healthy frame of mind.  I have no desire for the false highs that were killing me.

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Keep It Simple

“When I was about 12, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody’s noticed.”—John Lennon.
“We all have secret ideas about ourselves. How often we have said to ourselves, If only They knew…But if we watch others, we see that many of their ideas are not so secret. We can often guess how they see themselves by the way they act. We all act out our secrets. Faith means trusting our Higher Power with our secrets. Faith in others means trusting them with our secret feelings. Why share these secrets? When we were using alcohol or other drugs we lived too much in a secret world. We need to give up the secrets that keep us from others. We need others in our lives. Our spirits need to be close to others.
Prayer for the Day:  God, help me to live in ways I’m not ashamed to tell others. Allow me to meet you and others, free of shame.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll share one of my secrets w/ a loving friend.”

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring.  –Dodie Smith
Repeatedly, today and every day, we will be in new situations, new settings with old friends, and old settings and situations with new friends. Each instance is fresh, unlike all the times before. And inspiration can accompany each moment, if we but recognize how special it is.
“We will not pass this way again,” so the song says, which heightens the meaning of each encounter, every experience. Acknowledging that something can be gained each step along the way invites inspiration.
Inspiration moves us to new heights. We will be called to step beyond our present boundaries. Maybe today. Whenever the inspiration catches our attention, we can trust its invitation; we are ready for the challenge it offers. We need not let our narrow, personal expectations of an experience, a new situation perhaps, prevent us from being open to all the dynamic possibilities it offers.
I must be willing to let my whole self be moved, inspired. I must be willing to let each moment I experience be the only moment getting my attention.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

But life was not easy for the two friends. Plenty of difficulties presented themselves. Both saw that they must keep spiritually active. One day they called up the head nurse of a local hospital. They explained their need and inquired if she had a first class alcoholic prospect.
She replied, “Yes, we’ve got a corker. He’s just beaten up a couple of nurses. Goes off his head completely when he’s drinking. But he’s a grand chap when he’s sober, though he’s been in here eight times in the last six months. Understand he was once a well-known lawyer in town, but just now we’ve got him strapped down tight.”*

* This refers to Bill’s and Dr. Bob’s first visit to A.A. Number Three. See the Pioneer Section. This resulted in A.A.’s first group, at Akron, Ohio, in 1935.

p. 156

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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?”

A.A. is my home now, and it is everywhere. I go to meetings when I travel here or in foreign countries, and the people are family I know because of what we share. As I write this, in my twenty-eighth year of sobriety, I am amazed to look back and remember the woman–or the child–I was then, to see how far I’ve come out of the abyss. Alcoholics Anonymous has enabled me to move from fantasies about what I might do with my life into living it, one day at a time. In my first move that was not a geographic, I left the city and moved to the country. I left research and became a gardener. I discovered that I am a lesbian and that I love women. I’m fulfilling a long-time dream of writing fiction that’s being published. But these are things I do, aspects of the life I’m living in sobriety. The most precious discovery is who I really am–like all of us, a being far beyond any of the ego-selves, any of the fantasies I’d made up.

pp. 346-347

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. It mattered little whether our resentments were justified or not. A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These emotional “dry benders” often led straight to the bottle. Other kinds of disturbances–jealousy, envy, self-pity, or hurt pride–did the same thing.

p. 90

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A truly great person is the one who gives you a chance.
–Paul Duffy

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t
have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
–Frederick Keonig

The surest way to drive out the darkness is to bring in the light.
–unknown

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
–Walt Disney

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered
heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to
become discouraged by their defeats.”
–B. C. Forbes

Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ENJOYMENT

“All animals, except man, know
that the ultimate of life is to
enjoy it.”
— Samuel Butler

Today I choose to enjoy my life. Regardless of the problem and difficulties that this
day will bring, I have an inner joy that comes with my recovery from addiction. With a
clear head and body free from drugs and chemicals I can face today and look forward
to tomorrow. My life is to be enjoyed not endured. My worst days today are better
than my best days as an addict. Spiritually I am free because I have begun to
discover me. God can now be perceived in His world because I have sobriety.

Lord of all play, I dance before You in my world and I can stop to smell the roses.

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

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our
salvation.”
Psalm 95:1

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the
good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28

“God is able to do far more than we would dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely
beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.”
Ephesians 3:20


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Daily Inspiration

If you are able to accept the hand of love that God extends to you, you will be able to free yourself of fears and show the full beauty of your inner spirit. Lord, we all suffer from weaknesses of one kind or another, so in our moments of strength, we ask that we may offer help, not judgment, to those who need it.

Take less for granted and you will become very busy enjoying all that you have. Lord, thank you for my blessings and for all those that I am able to share them with.

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NA Just For Today

Calling A Defect A Defect

“When we see how our defects exist in our lives and accept them, we can let go of them and get on with our new life.”
Basic Text pg. 33-34

Sometimes our readiness to have our character defects removed depends on what we call them. If misnaming our defects makes them seem less “defective” we may be unable to see the damage they cause. And if they seem to be causing no harm, why would we ever ask our Higher Power to remove them from our lives?

Take “people pleasing” for example. Doesn’t really sound all that bad, does it? It just means we’re nice to people, right? Not quite. To put it bluntly, it means we’re dishonest and manipulative. We lie about our feelings, our beliefs, and our needs, trying to soothe others into compliance with our wishes.
Or perhaps we think we’re “easygoing.” But does “easygoing” mean we ignore our housework, avoid confrontations, and stay put in a comfortable rut? Then a better name for it would be “laziness” or “procrastination” or “fear.”

Many of us have trouble identifying our character defects. If this is the case for us, we can talk with our sponsor or our NA friends. We clearly and honestly describe our behavior to them and ask for their help in identifying our defects. As time passes, we’ll become progressively better able to identify our own character defects, calling them by their true names.

Just for today: I will call my defects by their true names. If I have trouble doing this, I will ask my sponsor for help.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor. –Nicholas De Chamfort
We sometimes find it difficult to accept a compliment. We may feel we don’t deserve such attention, and point out reasons why the compliment is untrue. When we act this way, we show a lack of love for ourselves.
God teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Yet, before we can love anyone, we must believe we are worthy of the same love. No creature is undeserving of love, God reminds us of that. We can stop hiding behind feelings of unworthiness. There’s nothing stopping us but ourselves. Sometimes it takes courage to say thank you when we get a compliment. Let’s exercise that courage, and each time we do, we’ll find our self-love growing.
When I thank people today, will I have the courage to smile, too?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There are two equally dangerous extremes – to shut reason out, and to let nothing else in. –Pascal
Some of the greatest scientific thinkers deeply respect the nonrational, and they aren’t afraid to say so. Perhaps it is part of their genius. The nonrational inspires fun, creativity, a connection with others, and a feeling of reverence. Trying to contain our thoughts within reasonableness squeezes the life out of them. The simple beauty of color and form in a stone; the graceful, synchronized movement of a flock of birds; the miracle of understanding and loyalty in a friendship – these are truths beyond our ownership. We can feel these truths. We can be moved and inspired by them. We can never fully know their mysteries.
Our addictive natures have led us men to overemphasize reason and the control it promises. We’ve become reasonable while discarding the less controlled, creative, humorous, mysterious, and personal aspects of our lives. At this very moment we may be so focused on figuring out the reasonable answer to a problem that we are blocking the gut message, which is also here for us.
I can appreciate rather than understand the mystery of life.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring. –Dodie Smith
Repeatedly, today and every day, we will be in new situations, new settings with old friends, and old settings and situations with new friends. Each instance is fresh, unlike all the times before. And inspiration can accompany each moment, if we but recognize how special it is.
“We will not pass this way again,” so the song says, which heightens the meaning of each encounter, every experience. Acknowledging that something can be gained each step along the way invites inspiration.
Inspiration moves us to new heights. We will be called to step beyond our present boundaries. Maybe today. Whenever the inspiration catches our attention, we can trust its invitation; we are ready for the challenge it offers. We need not let our narrow, personal expectations of an experience, a new situation perhaps, prevent us from being open to all the dynamic possibilities it offers.
I must be willing to let my whole self be moved, inspired. I must be willing to let each moment I experience be the only moment getting my attention.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Valuing Our Needs
When we don’t ask for what we want and need, we discount ourselves. We deserve better.
Maybe others taught us it wasn’t polite or appropriate to speak up for ourselves. The truth is, if we don’t, our unmet wants and needs may ultimately come back to haunt our relationships. We may end up feeling angry or resentful, or we may begin to punish someone else for not guessing what we need. We may end the relationship because it doesn’t meet our needs.
Intimacy and closeness are only possible in a relationship when both people can say what they want and need. Sustained intimacy demands this.
Sometimes, we may even have to demand what we want. That’s called setting a boundary. We do this not to control another person, but to gain control of our life.
Our attitude toward our needs is important too. We must value them and take them seriously if we expect others to take us seriously. When we begin to place value and importance on our needs we’ll see a remarkable change. Our wants and needs will begin to get met.
Today, I will respect the wants and needs of others and myself. I will tell others, my Higher Power, and myself what I want and need. I will listen to what they want and need too.

It feels so good to accept myself just as I am today. All my thoughts and actions and emotions are right where they belong.
–Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Don’t Pick Up Energy That’s Not Yours

I walked into the small-town diner and sat down at the counter. I was the only customer, but the waitress ignored me. I waited while she sat in a booth, reading the paper. Finally, she lowered the paper. “Is there something you want?” she barked from across the room.

By the time I left the restaurant, I felt as crabby as the waitress appeared. It took a while to figure out what happened, what had changed my mood. Then I realized I had picked up her negative energy– feelings that had nothing to do with me. It was like someone had splashed my windshield with mud.

Most of us have crabby days and an adundance of our own feelings to deal with. We don’t need to let others splash their negative energy on us. We don’t need to pick it up and carry it around. If someone splashes your windshield with mud while you’re driving down the road, what do you do? You wash it off and go on your way.

Learn to tell when what you’re feeling is your emotions, and your business. Learn to tell when someone has splashed on you. You don’t have to take responsibility for what’s not yours. Be done with it as quickly as possible.

Thoughts are energy. Crabby thoughts and crabby emotions can be like mud. If someone splashes on you, wash off your windshield, send them a blessing, and go on down the road.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Enjoy the ordinary

Days before, there had been a tremendous storm out in the Pacific Ocean. Now the swells from the storm were smashing against the shore in California. The tide rose and rose. The house shook with each wave as the breaking water slammed into the pilings under the house.

I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. I got up and walked outside to check on the kayak. It was still there, but the water was far up under the house, threatneing to grab the boat. I went back to bed and eventually drifted off to sleep in spite of the noisy, angry sea.

The next day, the sea returned to normal. That night when I went to bed, the gentle rolling of the sea lulled me to sleep. Soon, I forgot about the storm, how loud and angry the waves had been. I once again began to take the gentle soothing sound of the surf for granted.

It’s easy to take many things in our life for granted: health, the presence of a loved one in our life, friends, food, even sobriety and recovery. When life proceeds smoothly, it’s easy to take the ordinary for granted.

Look at the ordinary in your life. How would you feel if it was taken away? Don’t just be grateful for successes. Be grateful for and celebrate the ordinary in your world.

God, help me to not take anything for granted. Teach me to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the ordinary in this world. Help me see how beautiful and meaningful the ordinary really is.

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The Joy Of Being
Celebrating The In-Between Times

While celebrations are intended to honor life’s more momentous occasions, much of real life tends to happen during the in-between times. While moving from one moment in time to the next is seldom considered a significant occurrence, it is during those in-between times that we are most in tune with life’s most profound, albeit simple joys. Between birth and death, triumph and sorrow, beginnings and endings, we enjoy innumerable experiences that often happen unnoticed. These times are just as worthy of celebration.

The in-between times are seldom about landmark moments. How you choose to celebrate them or which moments you choose to celebrate is up to you. You may want to celebrate the simple facts that you are alive and that every day is a chance to spend time with the people you care about or do the work that you love. Then again, when you look at the good that exists in your life, many reasons for celebrating the in-between times may become clear: a cup of your favorite tea, a beautiful sunrise, a good book, and the smell of fresh air can be reasons for celebration.

Celebrating the in-between times can be as easy as paying special attention to them when they do happen, rather than taking them for granted. It’s your focus of attention that can turn an in-between time into a celebration. You can also pay homage to the in-between times by slowing down and allowing yourself time to look around and allow your heart and mind to take in all of your life’s wonders. Far too often, we can let those simple moments of awe pass us by. The in-between times are when life happens to us between the pauses that we take to honor our milestones occasions. Without the in-between times, there would be no big moments to celebrate. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We often see people in The Program — devoutly and with seeming sincerity — ask for God’s guidance on matters ranging from major crises to such insignificant things as what to serve at a dinner party. Though they may be well-intentioned, such people tend to force their wills into all sorts of situations — with the comfortable assurance that they’re following God’s specific directions. In reality, this sort of prayer is nothing more than a self0serving demand of God for “replies;” it has little to do with The Program’s suggested Eleventh Step. Do I strive regularly to study each of the Steps, and to practice them in all my affairs?

Today I Pray

May I not make the common mistake of listing my own solutions for God and then asking for a stamp of Divine approval. May I catch myself if I am not really opening my mind to Gods guidance, but merely laying out my own answers with a “what do You think of these?” attitude.

Today I Will Remember

Am I looking for Gods rubber stamp?

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One More Day

There are some remedies worse than the disease.
– Publilius Syrus

Sometimes the very medicines prescribed to help us return to a more stable health situation can cause side effects which can be nearly intolerable. How ludicrous that a drug intended to help us shake off the exhaustion caused by a chronic health condition can cause fatigue. What a joke on us that a pill taken for arthritics, for example, can cause other potential medical problems.

Despite these side effects, we should not stop following dosage instructions until we talk with our doctors, who can help minimize the side effects. In this way we will gain one more foothold in the process of learning to live with our problems.

I ‘ll try to keep communication lines open with my doctor to make it as easy as possible upon myself.

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

Food For Thought

Decisions About Food

We compulsive overeaters often find it extremely difficult to make decisions about food. We wonder if we are getting enough or too much, if we are eating the right kind of food, if we will be hungry tomorrow. The process of planning our three meals a day can be agonizing if we cannot decide which foods to choose.

Here is where a food sponsor can give us the assistance and support we need. Since someone who has traveled the road before us will be informed of our menus, we can relax and know that our decisions will be checked by an objective listener. As long as the choices we make fall under the food plan, which we have determined to follow, they will be good decisions.

Having written down our food plan for the day and having given it to our sponsor, we do not need to make any further decisions about food today. Recognizing that our obsessive worry about food is an illness, we will turn off further deliberations and work our program

Today I will make only those decisions about food that are necessary to my program.

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One Day At A Time

~ ENOUGH ~
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
The Bible, Book of Psalms

As a practicing compulsive overeater, I was obsessed with getting my “fair share” and stockpiling everything from food to friends. I was afraid there wouldn’t be “enough” in the future. One of the Promises of the program states that “Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.” But just how can I calm down when the thought comes that there isn’t enough, or that there won’t be enough in the future?

At a recent meeting, the speaker said that when he began to worry about his finances, he would ask himself, “Do I have enough money between now and the time I go to bed?” Since we’re only alive in the moment, that’s really the appropriate time frame. To me, that sounds like the best example of “One Day At A Time” thinking I’ve heard so far! Additionally, this could be applied to anything else I might worry about: “Do I have enough FOOD between now and bedtime?… enough LOVE?” You-fill-in-the-blank, because it isn’t always just economic insecurity that haunts us!

One Day at a Time . . .
I’m learning to trust my Higher Power, which always supplies my needs. Whenever I start to worry, I can ask myself if I have enough to last between now and the time I go to bed, and cultivate trust and appreciation for the gifts I receive daily.
Marilyn

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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: ‘**** little to laugh about that I can see.’

The two friends spoke of their spiritual experience and told him about the course of action they carried out. – Pg. 157 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

In the first days and months of recovery we must practice a strict adherence to our program suggestions. We are vulnerable to our addiction calling us back. But if we follow the suggestions religiously, we will earn our 30 day, 90 day, 1 year chip.

God, as I understand You, help me stay clean and sober to the next hour.

Spirit Calls

I am willing to allow my life to happen. Life has taught me that the best laid plans can go awry. I know that I need to have goals and missions in order to give shape, meaning and a sense of destiny to my life. However, when I let those goals run me, when I let them preoccupy me to such an extent that I stop living in the present and I miss the beauty and spontaneity of each new day, then I am becoming a slave to my own plans. I will learn to take an action and let go of the result, to have a goal then to move toward it in a relaxed manner that doesn’t rob me of my pleasure and my day.

I am in touch with spirit within and without

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Some people do not have to have a program to stop drinking and using. But for us, we remember untreated abstinence will make our past our future.

I don’t work the program to get my life back; I work the program to get my life forward.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Serenity comes when you stop expecting and start accepting.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

It feels so good to accept myself just as I am today. All my thoughts and actions and emotions are right where they belong.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Other drugs; I never stopped doing one thing to do something else, I just kinda ‘added to’. – Allen F.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 8

Reality
Moments of perception can build into a lifetime of spiritual serenity, as I have excellent reason to know.
Roots of reality, supplanting the neurotic underbrush, will hold fast,
despite the high winds of the forces which would destroy us, or which we would use to destroy ourselves.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 173

Thought to Ponder . . .
Few people have the imagination to see reality.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Attitude Adjustment.

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

Solution
“There is a solution.
Almost none of us liked the self-searching,
the leveling of our pride,
the confession of shortcomings,
which the process requires for its
successful consummation.
But we saw that it really worked in others,
and we had come to believe
in the hopelessness and futility of life
as we had been living it. . .
We have found much of heaven
and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension
of existence of which we had not even dreamed.”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition), p. 25

Thought to Consider . . .
The solution is simple. The solution is spiritual.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Happy Our Program Exists

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

Apology
>From “Our Side of the Street”:
I made amends to my dad soon after I quit drinking. My words fell on deaf ears since I had blamed him for my troubles. Several months later I made amends to my dad again. This time I wrote a letter in which I did not blame him or mention his faults. It worked, and at last I understood! My side of the street is all that I’m responsible for and thanks to God and A.A. it’s clean for today.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 259

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

“Anonymity is a spiritual foundation not only of Tradition Twelve, but of sobriety itself.”
Walnut Creek, Calif., March 2000
“The Quest for Spirituality,”
Voices of Long-Term Sobriety

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

“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on
our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a
subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is
a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual
condition.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85~

“Having made our personal inventory, what shall we do about it? We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path. We have admitted certain defects; we have ascertained in a rough way what the trouble is; we have put our finger on the weak items in our personal inventory. Now these are about to be cast out. This requires action on our part, which, when completed, will mean that we have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our defects. This brings us to the Fifth Step in the program of recovery mentioned in the preceding chapter.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 72~

We found the Great Reality deep down within us.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.55

These were the new attitudes that finally brought many of us an inner strength and peace that could not be deeply shaken by the shortcomings of others or by any calamity not of our own making.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.116

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon God.’
Clearly, our first duty to A.A.’s future is to maintain in full strength what we now have. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this. Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

Prayer for the Day: Meeting Prayer No. 2 – Our Heavenly Father, we ask for Your blessings on this meeting. Please bless the spirit and the purpose of this group, Give us strength to follow this Program according to You will and in all humility. Forgive us for yesterday, and grant us courage for today and hope for tomorrow.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 7th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 7th

Daily Reflections

TRUE AMBITION

True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition
is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under
the grace of God.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 124-25

During my drinking years, my one and only concern was to have my
fellow man think highly of me. My ambition in everything I did was to
have the power to be at the top. My inner self kept telling me
something else but I couldn’t accept it. I didn’t even allow myself to
realize that I wore a mask continually. Finally, when the mask came
off and I cried out to the only God I could conceive, the Fellowship of
A.A., my group and the Twelve Steps were there. I learned how to
change resentments into acceptance, fear into hope and anger into
love. I have learned also, through loving without undue expectations,
through sharing my concerns and caring for my fellow man, that each day
can be joyous and fruitful. I begin and end my day with thanks to God, who
has so generously shed His grace on me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When people come back to A.A. after having a slip, the
temptation is strong to say nothing about it. No other
A.A. member should force them to declare themselves. It is
entirely up to them. If they are well-grounded in A.A., they
will realize that it’s up to them to speak up at the
next meeting and tell about their slip. There is no
possible evasion of this duty, if they are thoroughly honest
and really desirous of living the A.A. way again. When they
have done it, their old confidence returns. They are home again.
Their slip should not be mentioned again by others. They are
again a good member of A.A. Am I tolerant of other
peoples’ mistakes?

Meditation For The Day

It is in the union of a soul with God that strength, new
life and spiritual power come. Bread sustains the body but
we cannot live by bread alone. To try to do God’s will is
the meat and support of true living. We feed on that
spiritual food. Soul starvation comes from failing to do
so. The world talks about bodies that are undernourished.
What of the souls that are undernourished? Strength and
peace come from partaking of spiritual food.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not try to live by bread alone.
I pray that my spirit may live by trying to do the will
of God as I understand it.


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As Bill Sees It

Foundation For Life, p. 33

We discover that we receive guidance for our lives to just about the
extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on
order and on our terms.

<< << << >> >> >>

In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the
best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that
we be given the grace by which we may carry it out.

<< << << >> >> >>

There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and
prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and
benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result
is an unshakable foundation for life.

12 & 12
1. p. 104
2. p. 102
3. p. 98


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Walk In Dry Places

What rather than who
Principles before Personalities.
We’re sometimes led to do something because a persuasive or important person recommends it.  This is, in fact, the strategy behind endorsement advertising.
We learn in AA that it’s more important to ask what is right that who is offering a course of action. If a course of action is right, it matters not who recommends it. If it is wrong, a dozen important poeole cannot make it right by endorsing it.
There are, indeed, many important people whom we can know and trust.  But we should always remember that every human being will turn out to have clay feet if he or she is set up as a god.  Our trust must always be in our Higher Power and in principles that never fail.
I’ll not be unduly impressed today by persuasive, charismatic people.   I’ll follow their ideas only if I believe them to be right.  Principles have a precedence over personality.

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Keep It Simple

We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can get from, Life. Sir William Osler
Service is a word we hear in our recovery program. Service means work we do for others. It’s the backbone of our program. The reason is simple. Service to our Higher Power and to others breaks down our wanting to be self-centered. Service brings us back into the world. We really are part of the group when we pitch in to make coffee, set up chairs, or talk in meetings. We really feel like part of the family when we run errands and help with meals and housework. We really connect with our Higher Power when we pray, “Use me today to help others.” Service breaks down the feeling of being alone that being self -centered brings.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to be of service to You and others. Show me what is needed.
Action for the Day:  Today will be a service day. I’ll see how valued I am. I’ll give to others, knowing that I, too, will receive.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Promises that you make to yourself are often like the Japanese plum tree–they bear no fruit.  –Frances Marion
The resolve to fulfill commitments we make to ourselves and others may be lacking until we learn to rely on the wisdom and strength offered by our higher power–strength that will make us confident in any situation; wisdom that will insure our right actions. What is difficult alone is always eased in partnership.
We promise ourselves changed behavior, new habits, perhaps, or a positive attitude. But then we proceed to focus on our liabilities, giving them even more power, a greater hold over us. We can practice our assets, and they’ll foster the promises we want to keep.
No longer need we shame ourselves about unfulfilled promises. Whatever our desires, whatever our commitments, if for the good of others and ourselves, they will come to fruition. We can ask for direction. We can ask for resolve, and each worthy hope and unrealized promise will become reality.
My assets, when strengthened through use, pave the way for God’s help. Any promise can bear fruit when I make it in partnership with God.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

One morning he took the bull by the horns and set out to tell those he feared what his trouble had been. He found himself surprisingly well received, and learned that many knew of his drinking. Stepping into his car, he made the rounds of people he had hurt. He trembled as he went about, for this might mean ruin, particularly to a person in his line of business.
At midnight he came home exhausted, but very happy. He has not had a drink since. As we shall see, he now means a great deal to his community, and the major liabilities of thirty years of hard drinking have been repaired in four.

p. 156

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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?”

Above all, I healed spiritually. The steps took me on that path. I had admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable. That was what got me through the door. Then I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. And eventually, I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood God. Years before, in my search, I had explored numerous religions and dropped them because they preached a patriarchal God, which I felt never included me. Alcoholics Anonymous, I was told, is a spiritual program, not a religious one. Through my years of darkness, some spark of spirit remained in me, helped me survive until I found my way into A.A. Then nurtured by the program, that inner spirit grew, deepened, until it filled the emptiness I had so long felt inside. Step by step I cleared up the past and got on with the present.

p. 346

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Before we ask what a spot-check inventory is, let’s look at the kind of setting in which such an inventory can do its work.
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, 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 A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.

p. 90

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The heart is wiser than the intellect.
–Josiah Holland (1819-1881)

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that
you truly give.
–Kahlil Gibran

The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself
to others that we truly live.
–Ethel Percy Andrus

One of the great gifts of sobriety is learning to see beauty in things not always with
the eyes, but with the feeling of the heart.
–Shelley

“When you get in a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though
you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and
time that the tide will turn.”
–Harriet Beecher Stowe

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
–Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

REALITY

“Man is a complex being: he
makes deserts bloom and lakes
die.”
— Gil Stern

I am a mixture of good and bad. When I was drinking I could be cruel, sarcastic and
violent and at other times loving, sensitive and thoughtful. Today in my recovery I
know I can be honest, humble and creative, but I also carry within me a dark and
destructive side that often hurts, lies and seeks negative power. What a mixture I
was and what a mixture I still am! From all my many conversations with a variety of
people I have discovered that this is what it is to be human.

Today I am able to accept this and develop my spiritual life. I am not perfect, but I try
to improve my attitude and behavior. I am not God, but I can aspire to be the best that
I can be.

Today I own the sickness in my life, but I also accept the responsibility for recovery.

With my feet in the dirt, I look to the stars.

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“To you, O lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: ‘What gain is
there in my destruction, in my going down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will
it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be
merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.’ You turned my wailing into dancing; you
removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not
be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
Psalms 30: 8-12

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10


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Daily Inspiration

For everyone there is a way to serve and honor God in this life on earth. Lord, let me seize every opportunity, no matter how small, to glorify You, make you better known and always bring myself and others closer to You.

Part with what you cherish if it separates you or leads you away from God. Lord, help me place my heart in the right place so that I am not distracted in my journey to Eternal Life.

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NA Just For Today

Surviving Our Emotions

“We use the tools available to us and develop the ability to survive our emotions.”
Basic Text pg. 30

“Survive my emotions?” some of us say. “You’ve got to be kidding!” When we were using, we never gave ourselves the chance to learn how to survive them. You don’t survive your feelings, we thought-you drug them. The problem was, that “cure” for our unsurvivable emotions was killing us. That’s when we came to Narcotics Anonymous, started working the Twelve Steps and, as a result, began to mature emotionally.

Many of us found emotional relief right from the start. We were tired of pretending that our addiction and our lives were under control; it actually felt good to finally admit they weren’t. After sharing our inventory with our sponsor, we began to feel like we didn’t have to deny who we were or what we felt in order to be accepted. When we’d finished making our amends, we knew we didn’t have to suffer with guilt; we could own up to it and it wouldn’t kill us. The more we worked the NA program, the better we felt about living life as it came to us.

The program works today as well as it ever did. By taking stock of our day, getting honest about our part in it, and surrendering to reality, we can survive the feelings life throws our way. By using the tools available to us, we’ve developed the ability to survive our emotions.

Just for today: I will not deny my feelings. I will practice honesty and surrender to life as it is. I will use the tools of this program to survive my emotions.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Only people who have joyfully accepted themselves can take all the risks and responsibilities of being themselves. –John Powell
If we have ever gone to school with a black eye, we know how embarrassing it can be. We feel self-conscious and ill at ease. Friends come up to us one after another to ask how we got it. We may want to stay away from people until the eye is better. All of us have things about ourselves we have a hard time accepting. It doesn’t have to be as unusual as a black eye. We may think we’re too big, too little, too slow, not good readers, not good looking enough, or not popular enough.
We may need to talk about these things with someone else, so these bits of ourselves we don’t accept won’t limit our freedom to grow. By talking to another, we may find those traits aren’t noticed by anyone but ourselves. We may also find that what we once thought of as weak points can be turned to strengths.
What weakness can I turn to a strength today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Seldom, or perhaps never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crises; there is no coming to consciousness without pain. –Carl Jung
We don’t seek perfect relationships in marriage or in other places in our lives. What we seek instead are real and honest connections. Perfection has a picture-book form, but it has no depth and no personality. This means that sometimes we will get upset with others, or they will get upset with us. We need a basic commitment to stay in the relationship dialogue, to continue returning to it as long as both people are willing to work on it. Working through crises is how a relationship grows from simply being an idea to having its unique reality.
We will be frightened by the rough spots. We will wonder if there is something wrong with us or with the other person, or the relationship. We cannot escape such questions. To run from the difficulties cuts off the possibilities for growth. It is a frightening thing to become real, to come into consciousness.
Today, I pray for courage to remain honest and faithful to real relationships through the crises.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Promises that you make to yourself are often like the Japanese plum tree–they bear no fruit. –Frances Marion
The resolve to fulfill commitments we make to ourselves and others may be lacking until we learn to rely on the wisdom and strength offered by our higher power–strength that will make us confident in any situation; wisdom that will insure our right actions. What is difficult alone is always eased in partnership.
We promise ourselves changed behavior, new habits, perhaps, or a positive attitude. But then we proceed to focus on our liabilities, giving them even more power, a greater hold over us. We can practice our assets, and they’ll foster the promises we want to keep.
No longer need we shame ourselves about unfulfilled promises. Whatever our desires, whatever our commitments, if for the good of others and ourselves, they will come to fruition. We can ask for direction. We can ask for resolve, and each worthy hope and unrealized promise will become reality.
My assets, when strengthened through use, pave the way for God’s help. Any promise can bear fruit when I make it in partnership with God.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
When the Time is Right
There are times when we simply do not know what to do, or where to go, next. Sometimes these periods are brief, sometimes lingering.
We can get through these times. We can rely on our program and the disciplines of recovery. We can cope by using our faith, other people, and our resources.
Accept uncertainty. We do not always have to know what to do or where to go next. We do not always have clear direction. Refusing to accept the inaction and limbo makes things worse.
It is okay to temporarily be without direction. Say, “I don’t know,” and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none.
While waiting for direction, we do not have to put our life on hold. Let go of anxiety and enjoy life. Relax. Do something fun. Enjoy the love and beauty in your life. Accomplish small tasks. They may have nothing to do with solving the problem, or finding direction, but this is what we can do in the interim.
Clarity will come. The next step will present itself. Indecision, inactivity, and lack of direction will not last forever.
Today, I will accept my circumstances even if I lack direction and insight. I will remember to do things that make myself and others feel good during those times. I will trust that clarity will come of its own accord.

Today I know that I can get through anything that happens in this day with the help of my Higher Power. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Let Go of Feeling Overwhelmed

So often the simple tasks of life can seem overwhelming. But feeling overwhelmed is only a reaction to them.

Many things need to be done–laundry, housekeeping, car maintenance, bills, taxes, appointments, work– the everyday responsibilities of our lives. The task of quietly beginning, doing the first step of the first task can help us find our way through. Once we begin, we see that things aren’t overwhelming. The simple act of setting to the task simplifies it. Our sense of peace reappears in the magic of the present moment.

Magic and power don’t come from contemplating all that lies ahead, how much needs to be done, all that might go wrong, whether we’ll get through. That’s fear. We don’t find the magic and power by denying, escaping, or ignoring our feelings, even feelings of being overwhelmed. Feel what you need to feel. Release it. Go forward in love, one moment at a time.

We will be given the power to do all we need to do. Take the simple steps that lie before you. Take one step at a time. You’ll find the way again.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Enjoy your successes

Eventually, if you put enough effort into something, it gets finished. The house is built, the picture is painted, the report is completed. Let yourself rest and relax in those moments. Take a moment to enjoy the feeling of completeness. That moment will be a fleeting one. There are many more ideas and tasks waiting around the bend.

Gaining experience and learning lessons from failed efforts is an important part of our path. But success feels good,too, and it’s meant to be enjoyed.

If you’ve had a recent accomplishment in your life, take some time off. Celebrate it. Celebrate those smaller moments of victory,too. Sit back, look at what you’ve done and say, “It is good.” Take yourself out to dinner, take a vacation, or even a short trip to the beach.

Reflect on your past successes. Forget about your failures and the things that went wrong. Think about all that you’ve done right in your life, the things that have worked out, the answered prayers. Don’t just stare at your problems and everything that’s gone wrong. Look at what’s right about your life,too.

Sit back and rest for a moment. Then say, How sweet it is.

God, thank you for all my victories, for all the challenges you’ve helped me meet. Thanks for all those times you answered my prayers and met my needs. Help me rest and celebrate the good in my life.

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Listening and Responding
Body Language by Madisyn Taylor

Tuning in to the language of our bodies can be very enlightening and increases our intuition.

So much can be revealed to us when we listen to the language of our bodies. Our bodies are always speaking, sending us messages through the way we move, the sensations that arise from within, and the gestures and expressions that we make when we are communicating with others. Tuning in to the language of our bodies can be very enlightening, especially as most communication is believed to take place nonverbally. It is also believed that the body never lies, and that if we want to know the truth about ourselves and others, then we should listen to what our bodies have to say. Anyone who has ever flirted with someone they are attracted to has probably, at one point in time or another, brushed their hands through their hair or found themselves leaning forward to get closer to that person. Someone feeling defensive will tend to cross their arms over their chest, while a person who wants to withhold something may look away when speaking.

If you want to know how you truly feel about a person or a situation, then it is a good idea to tune in to what you are feeling inside. Excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and fear are just some of the messages that your body wants you to hear. Your body can also be a very reliable compass. Anyone who has ever been somewhere they don’t want to be has probably experienced their bodies trying to move them away from that particular circumstance. And while it can be very easy to talk ourselves into and out of choices we may make with our minds, it isn’t so easy to change the truth of our hearts that reside within our bodies.

To begin tuning in to this subtle form of communication, start taking the time to notice what your body is telling you. Greet each feeling or sensation as a message carrying wisdom from your body. Tune in to what your body is telling you about the situations and people you encounter and listen to what others are communicating to you through their bodies. We already are subconsciously receptive to the language of our bodies, but when we choose to consciously pay attention, we hear and understand so much more about ourselves and the people around us. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

As long as I stubbornly hang on to the conviction that I can live solely by my individual strength and intelligence, for just that long a working faith in my Higher Power is impossible. This is true no matter how strongly I believe that God exists. My religious beliefs — no matter how sincere — will remain forever lifeless if I continue trying to play God myself. What it comes down to, we find, is that as long as we place self-reliance first, true reliance upon a Higher Power is out of the question. How strong is my desire to seek and do God’s will?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may not place my self-reliance above reliance of God. May I know that there is no conflict between taking responsibility for my own actions, which I have been taught is the essence of maturit7y, and looking to God for guidance. May I remember that if I stick to the “do-it-myself” rule, it is like refusing to ask for a road map from a tourist information bureau — and wandering around forever lost.

Today I Will Remember

Maturity is knowing where to go for help.

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One More Day

Man adjusts to what he should not; he is unable to adjust to what he should
–Jean Toomer

Most teenagers love French fries, pop, and candy bars. We know that most fast-food and sugar is bad for us — and so do teenagers — but many of us continue to munch on junk food.

Now that we have an adult’s perspective, one would think that adjusting to new things or getting rid of bad habits would become easier. No so! Adjusting to change is not easy, particularly when it involves our health.

One of the most difficult problems is maintaining a balance between dealing with the chronic problem and wanting to live without it. We learn, despite our resistance to change, that we can have an illness and can adjust — we can remain strong and happy.

I am confident of my ability to deal with my illness, and live a good life.

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Food For Thought

A Permanent Disability

Compulsive overeating is a permanent disability. We do not look forward to becoming normal eaters at some point in the future. Until we accept the fact that our illness is irreversible, we do not learn how to control it.

We have all tried innumerable methods of regaining the ability to eat normally and spontaneously. Perhaps the most common delusion was believing that once we were thin enough we would be able to eat whatever and however we pleased. We may have thought that if only we could straighten out our interpersonal relationships and arrange circumstances to suit us, then we would no longer be plagued by compulsive overeating.

When I accept the fact that I am and always will be a compulsive overeater, no matter what my weight or how ideal my situation, I accept reality. I will have to live with this disease and control it, with the help of my Higher Power and OA, for the rest of my life. Abstinence is not a temporary cure for my illness, but a permanent method of control.

May I understand the full extent of my disability.

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One Day At A Time

~ CHANGE ~
If we don’t change, we don’t grow.
If we don’t grow, we are not really living.
Gail Sheehy

Throughout my life, I have been terrified of change. To me, change meant abandoning one set of experiences which, although adverse, were at least familiar. I thought I’d be replacing them with another set of experiences which would surely be at least as bad, and which had the additional disadvantage of being unknown.

In this program, I was appalled to see a whole room of people who spoke enthusiastically, joyfully, about the changes that the program was bringing to their lives –not just in terms of released weight, but in so many areas of day-to-day living. Panic-stricken at the idea that I, too, would change, I talked about it after the first meeting with a dear friend.

“Hey,” she smiled. “No one’s forcing you. If changing gets too scary, you can always decide you want to stay put.”

Armed with that slight reassurance, I decided I would go with the program until it got too scary.

In the course of the next weeks, as I maintained strict abstinence and began to work the Steps, strange things began to happen, imperceptibly at first. I found myself looking forward to getting up in the morning and adding all kinds of things to my morning ritual: body lotion, foot care, cosmetics. Amazingly, my life-long habit of nail-biting disappeared, and my nails are not only well-tended, but polished!

On the professional level, I started keeping a list of projects due, instead of relying on my sketchy memory. I hired someone to answer phones and to help keep my eternally messy desk more or less clear. Most important, I have started an honest reassessment of my relationship with my life partner, and have decided that it’s not enough that this is the first relationship of my life that is free of physical abuse; I deserve to be loved and desired, and to have that love and desire expressed.

At a face-to-face program meeting this week, I read the Promises. I was amazed to hear a strong, confident voice–mine–saying “Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change,” and I realized that I was changing. I love it!

One Day at a Time . . .
I will welcome change, for change is growth, and I will know that, now that I have placed my life in the hands of my Higher Power, any change will be for the better.
Sharon N.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Our hope is that when this chip of a book is launched on the world tide of alcoholism, defeated drinkers will seize upon it, to follow it’s suggestions. Many, we are sure, will rise to their feet and march on. They will approach still other sick ones and fellowships of Alcoholics Anonymous may spring up in each city and hamlet, havens for those who must find a way out. – Pg. 153 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Every day of sobriety is a high degree of attainment. On this early day of sobriety, we have attained another day of dignity, another day with no new regrets, and another day to hold our head up high.

As I hold my head high today, I look in the mirror and say, ‘Hi ______. Happy _____(put in the number) day of sobriety. You’re doing fantastic!’

Who Am I?

Today I will ask this question over and over again. I will not expect an answer. I will ask for the sake of asking, I will ask in order to put my mind in the frame of searching for a deeper life of the spirit, I will ask to be guided, toward awareness of all that is eternal. I will ask this question throughout my life without ever expecting or insisting upon an answer. I understand that God lives in the asking, that God is too great and vast to reduce to any simple answer, that God lives in the question.

I am curious about the deeper mysteries of this life
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.’ ~Helen Keller

My adversities are opportunities in disguise.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Don’t try to be normal; try to be healthy.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that I can get through anything that happens in this day with the help of my Higher Power.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I told the operator I wanted to talk to Alcoholics Anonymous – this was 28 years ago – so instead of giving me the Central Office she gave me the local Alano Club. The person picked up and said: ‘Hello.’ and gave the phone number. I said: ‘I want to talk to whoever’s in charge.’ – I always believed in going immediately to the top. And there was a hell of an argument on the other end, as they snatched the phone away from each other while they decided who was in charge. Finally, one guy got on and said – and doesn’t this make sense? Listen to this; he said: ‘Our Higher Power can’t speak to you on the phone right now, but I have been authorized to speak in His behalf on any issues of recovery.’ – Franny S.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 7

Living Sober
Somewhat to our surprise, staying sober turns out not to be the grim, wet-blanket experience we had expected!
While we were drinking, a life without alcohol seemed like no life at all.
But for sober members of AA, living sober is really living — a joyous experience.
We much prefer it to the troubles we had with drinking.
One more note: anyone can get sober. We have done it lots of times. The trick is to stay and to live sober.
That is what this booklet is about.
– Living Sober, Foreword

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

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
O D A A T = One Day At A Time.

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

Serenity
“So, here I am, sober. Successful. Serene.
Just a few of the gifts of the program for surrendering,
suiting up, and showing up for life every day.
Good days and bad days, reality is a wild ride,
and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
I don’t question how this program works.
I trust in my God, stay involved in AA service,
go to lots of meetings, work with others,
and practice the principles of the Steps
to the best of my willingness each day.
I don’t know which of these keeps me sober,
and I’m not about to try to find out.
It’s worked for quite a few days now,
so I think I’ll try it again tomorrow.”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition), p. 337

Thought to Consider . . .
Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm;
it is peace within the storm.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
K I S S = Keep It Simple; Surrender

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

Normal
>From “Ecstasy”:
“I think now that this thoroughly unsuccessful Twelfth Step effort (I pray H. may be in A.A. somewhere by now) helped me. I’ve never since stopped being aware of the fact that as an alcoholic I had better not set my sights on being just like everybody else, just as ordinary, just as unleavened. As a matter of fact, I don’t really know anything about being ordinary that is, nonalcoholic so I ought not to set up some phony idea in my mind about normal living.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 117

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

“Until I understood and accepted my status as a human being, my effort toward seeking God was in vain.”
Spiritual Awakenings Vol. 1
Nanaimo, British Columbia, February 2003
“My Name Is Gary and I’m a Human Being,”

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

“We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor
do we carry the world’s troubles on our shoulders. When we see a man
sinking into the mire that is alcoholism, we give him first aid and
place what we have at his disposal.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132

“In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we
could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can
remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have
already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps,
you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and
digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, know thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.17

Many less desperate alcoholics tried A.A., but did not succeed because they could not make the admission of hopelessness.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.23

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Too much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others. This is a most subtle and perverse form of self-satisfaction, which permits us to remain comfortably unaware of our own defects. Too often we are heard to say, ‘If it weren’t for him (or her), how happy I’d be!’
Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives.
Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built.

Prayer for the Day: Meeting Prayer No. 1 – Our Father, We come to you as a friend. You have said where two or more are gathered, there You will be in the midst. We believe You are here with us .We believe this is something You would have us do, and that it has Your blessing. We believe that You want us to be real partners with You in the business of living, accepting our full responsibility, and certain that the rewards will be freedom, growth and happiness. For this we are grateful. We ask You at all times to guide us. Help us daily to come closer to You and grant us new ways of living our gratitude.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 6th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 6th

Daily Reflections

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN

When we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source
of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence
upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that
it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon
God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor would we
feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 116

It has been my experience that, when all human resources appear to
have failed, there is always One who will never desert me.
Moreover, He is always there to share my joy, to steer me down the
right path, and to confide in when no one else will do. While my
well-being and happiness can be added to, or diminished, by human efforts,
only God can provide the loving nourishment upon which I depend for
my daily spiritual health.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

People who had a slip are ashamed of themselves–sometimes so ashamed that they fear to go back to A.A. They develop the old inferiority complex and tell themselves that they are no good, that they are hopeless, and that they can never make it. This state of mind is perhaps worse than it was originally. They have probably been somewhat weakened by their slip. But their A.A. training cannot ever be entirely lost. They always know they can go back if they want to. They know there is still God’s help for them if they will again ask for it. Do I believe that I can never entirely lose what I have learned in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Nobody entirely escapes temptation. You must expect it and be ready for it when it comes. None of us is entirely safe. You must try to keep your defenses up by daily thought and prayer. That is why we have these daily meditations. You must be able to recognize temptation when it comes. The first step toward conquering temptation always is to see it clearly as temptation and not to harbor it in your mind. Dissociate yourself from it, put it out of your mind as soon as it appears. Do not think of excuses for yielding to it. Turn at once to the Higher Power for help.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be prepared for whatever temptation may come to me. I pray that I may see it clearly and avoid it with the help of God.


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As Bill Sees It

The Way Of Strength, p. 129

We need not apologize to anyone for depending upon the Creator.
We have good reason to disbelieve those who think spirituality is the
way of weakness. For us, it is the way of strength.

The verdict of the ages is that men of faith seldom lack courage.
They trust their God. So we never apologize for our belief in Him.
Instead, we try to let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

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Walk In Dry Places

Alcoholism:  Disease or Bad Habit?
Understanding my problem..
While AA has always considered alcoholism a disease, controversy still simmers over its definition. In the past, alcoholism has been considered a sin, a sickness, or just a very bad habit. More recently, there has been a suggestion that some “problem drinkers” might not be alcoholics at all and can very possibly bring their drinking under control.
This controversy will undoubtedly continue, but it is important that recovering people understand the NATURE of alcoholism.  It is deadly, it is compulsive, and it is progressive.  While there are occasional reports of alcoholics who claim to have become controlled drinkers, few of us have any firsthand evidence of such changes.  Much more often, we hear stories of alcoholics who try to drink again, only to find themselves headed down a rocky road.
It is not necessary that we define alcoholism perfectly or precisely. What’s more important is that we remember we’re powerless over alcohol and cannot safely pick up a drink. No definition will change that reality for an alcoholic who has had an unmanageable life.
I’m fortunate AA gave me an understanding of my problem that I can live with—one that will help me continue living.  Others can worry about defining alcoholism.  I’ll focus on staying sober myself.

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Keep It Simple

The strongest of all warriors are these two–Time and Patience.
Leo Tolstay
One of the first things we learn about in recovery is time. Before, we may have tried to control time by Pushing it along. We tried to hurry everything and everybody. We wanted our “quick fix.” But the
program tells us to slow down. Easy Does It.
We probably couldn’t picture ourselves staying sober for the rest of our life. So we were told to just work at staying sober today. We learned to work our program One Day at a Time. We were thought that time can be our friend. Times is our Higher Power’s way of not having everything happen at once.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, you are my teacher. You are in charge of the lesson. Help me accept this. Teach me how to use my time wisely.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list five ways I use my time in ways that aren’t helpful to me. I’ll work at making time my friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Each day provides its own gifts.  –Ruth P. Freedman
We are guaranteed experiences that are absolutely right for us today. We are progressing on schedule. Even when our personal hopes are unmet, we are given the necessary opportunities for achieving those goals that complement our unique destinies.
Today is full of special surprises, and we will be the recipient of the ones which are sent to help us grow–in all the ways necessary for our continued recovery. We might not consider every experience a gift at this time. But hindsight will offer the clarity lacking at the moment, just as it has done in many instances that have gone before.
We are only offered part of our personal drama each day. But we can trust our lives to have many scenes, many acts, points of climax, and a conclusion. Each of us tells a story with our lives, one different from all other stories and yet necessary to the telling of many other stories too. The days ahead will help us tell our story. Our interactions with others will influence our outcomes and theirs. We can trust the drama and give fully to our roles.
Every day is a gift exchange. I give, and I will receive.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Being intrigued, however, he invited our friend to his home. Some time later, and just as he thought he was getting control of his liquor situation, he went on a roaring bender. For him, this was the spree that ended all sprees. He saw that he would have to face his problems squarely that God might give him mastery.

pp. 155-156

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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?”

Then I began to heal emotionally, to experience feelings that had long been so deeply buried they had atrophied. For a time I floated on that pink cloud. Then I cried for a year, raged for another year. My feelings returned and then began to settle down to reasonable size.

pp. 345-346

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Aren’t these practices joy-killers as well as time-consumers? Must A.A.’s spend most of their waking hours drearily rehashing their sins of omission or commission? Well, hardly. The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because a great many of us have never really acquired the habit of accurate self-appraisal. Once this healthy practice has become grooved, it will be so interesting and profitable that the time it takes won’t be missed. For these minutes and sometimes hours spent in self-examination are bound to make all the other hours of our day better and happier. And at length our inventories become a regular part of everyday living, rather than something unusual or set apart.

pp. 89-90

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If you are seeking to live a joyful life, add music and dance to each day!
–Gary Barnes

“Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.”
–Swedish Proverb

It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
–Martin Luther King Jr.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
–Helen Keller

The best gifts to give:
To your friend – loyalty;
To your enemy – forgiveness;
To your boss – service;
To a child – a good example;
To your parents – gratitude and devotion;
To your mate – love and faithfulness;
To all men and women – love;
To God – your life.
–unknown

People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FAILURE

“There are two kinds of failures:
those who thought and never
did, and those who did and
never –thought.”
Laurence J. Peter

In my life I know that I am guilty of both these failures. I remember making sand castles in the air without realizing that I could attempt to build one in my life. I would see somebody I wanted to talk with and imagine a conversation, rather than going over and risking possible rejection. Today I am able to risk and I am now the possessor of a thousand memories that actually happened.

I am also aware of how thoughtless I was in my addiction. I would react rather than respond; create hostility as a wall to keep people out. Today I am able to think through a problem and apologize when I am wrong.

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“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

“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
John 16:24


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Daily Inspiration

No matter who you are, it is your right to have peace. Lord, help me stay on my own path to peace and to turn my back on the distractions that are so intent on keeping me from it.

To have courage, think courageous, act courageous, and pray to God for courage. Lord, You are full of love for all who come to You.

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NA Just For Today

Romance And Recovery

“Relationships can be a terribly painful area.”
Basic Text pg. 78

Love is like an elixir for some of us. The excitement of a new lover, the intrigue of exploring intimacy, the sense of release we get from allowing ourselves to become vulnerable – these are all powerful emotions. But we can’t forget that we have only a daily reprieve from our addiction. Holding onto this daily reprieve must be the top priority in any recovering addict’s life.

We can become too involved in our relationship. We can neglect old friends and our sponsor in the process. Then, when things get difficult, we often feel that we can no longer reach out to those who helped us prior to our romantic involvement. This belief can lay the groundwork for a relapse. By consistently working our program and attending meetings, we ensure that we have a network of recovery, even when we’re deep in a romance.

Our desire to be romantically involved is natural. But we mustn’t forget that, without our program, even the healthiest relationship will not guard us against the strength of our addiction.

Just for today: In my desire for romance, I will not ignore my recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact. –William James
Before Orville and Wilbur Wright ever flew the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, they believed flight was possible. They had a picture of it in their minds. The first step in creating anything is to be able to picture it in our minds. If we can picture it as a possibility, we can work to make it happen.
When we were small, we dreamed a thousand dreams about what could happen in our lives. Anything, even magical things, seemed like they could happen, and our world was full of visions. That part of us that believes wonderful, magical things can happen is still in us. It may have been beaten down for a while, but it is still there waiting to help us seek the wonderful, lovely, and good things in life.
Which of my dreams can I work toward today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
All real living is meeting. –Martin Buber
Sharing coffee with a friend or playing a game of golf with him provides a little relaxation, a little fun, and a chance to catch up on each other’s lives. Such things are the meetings of life. Holding a small child on one’s lap, even walking the dog are meetings too. They are relationships with other lives based on sharing time with one another.
Meetings – this sharing of time – can be with the full range of our existence. A tree, a lake, a mountain, the stars meet with us in solitude and enlarge our lives. Meeting is more than driving by. We meet a neighbor, a woman walking down the sidewalk, a driver in the next car. Each meeting inspires different responses in us. With some, we may be open and receiving; with others, fearful; and yet with others, we want to exploit and use. If all life is meeting, perhaps I do not wish to meet in the way I have been. The way I meet others changes me. Maybe I am missing something. I can have more life by making more contact.
God, please guide my awareness in this day to each meeting as it occurs so that 1 can make contact more fully.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Each day provides its own gifts. –Ruth P. Freedman
We are guaranteed experiences that are absolutely right for us today. We are progressing on schedule. Even when our personal hopes are unmet, we are given the necessary opportunities for achieving those goals that complement our unique destinies.
Today is full of special surprises, and we will be the recipient of the ones which are sent to help us grow–in all the ways necessary for our continued recovery. We might not consider every experience a gift at this time. But hindsight will offer the clarity lacking at the moment, just as it has done in many instances that have gone before.
We are only offered part of our personal drama each day. But we can trust our lives to have many scenes, many acts, points of climax, and a conclusion. Each of us tells a story with our lives, one different from all other stories and yet necessary to the telling of many other stories too. The days ahead will help us tell our story. Our interactions with others will influence our outcomes and theirs. We can trust the drama and give fully to our roles.
Every day is a gift exchange. I give, and I will receive.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Shame
Many of us were victimized, sometimes more than once. We may have been physically abused, sexually abused, or exploited by the addictions of another.
Understand that if another person has abused us, it is not cause for us to feel shame. The guilt for the act of abuse belongs to the perpetrator, not the victim.
Even if in recovery we fall prey to being victimized, that is not cause for shame.
The goal of recovery is learning self-care, learning to free ourselves from victimization, and not to blame ourselves for past experiences. The goal is to arm ourselves so we do not continue to be victimized due to the shame and unresolved feelings from the original victimization.
We each have our own work, our issues, and our recovery tasks. One of those tasks is to stop pointing our finger at the perpetrator, because it distracts us. Although we hold each person responsible and accountable for his or her behavior, we learn compassion for the perpetrator. We understand that many forces have come into play in that person’s life. At the same time, we do not hold on to shame.
We learn to understand the role we played in our victimization, how we fell into that role and did not rescue ourselves. But that is information to arm us so that it need not happen again.
Let go of victim shame. We have issues and tasks, but our issue is not to feel guilty and wrong because we have been victimized.
Today, I will set myself free from any victim shame I may be harboring or hanging on to.

I feel lighter and better about myself when I don’t procrastinate. Today I am discovering the freedom of completing at last one thing that I don’t put off. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Discover True Power

Much of our journey involves learning about power. We learn about the powers we don’t have– the power to control others, sometimes ourselves, and fate. We discover our true power– the power to take an endless journey into freedom and love.

We talk about, experience, and experiment with many kinds of power along the way. The power of authority. The power of money. The power of prestige. The power of control. The power of rage, anger, intimidation. We see many kinds of negative powers– manipulation, deceit, fraud. We see people trying to steal power from others. We see people letting others take their power away, crawling into shells, hiding, and being dragged along by others.

We see that many forms of power are illusions. Money goes just so far. Prestige is fleeting. Popularity holds no immunity from life’s experiences. Control is only momentary, we turn our backs and the situation reverts.

We trudge the road searching for power, learning about our own. Somewhere on the journey, we begin to see the truth. It awakens quietly within us, shaking our soul, transforming our vision, teaching us what we knew all along. The power that lasts, the power that stays is the power of the heart.

Stillness. Faith. Gentleness. Kindness. Compassion. Joy. Forgiveness. Comfort. Vulnerability. Honesty. Courage. And love. Now we’re talking about power.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Celebrate

Look at your life. Look back at the path that you’ve walked this far and celebrate.

One of the joys of walking to the top of a mountain is looking back at how far you’ve come. It’s wonderful to stand on a high ridge and see the tiny footpath stretching off into the distance.

Celebrate with awe how far you’ve come in those first few steps of sobriety and in your faith and willingness to let go of your fears. Celebrate those first faltering moments of learning what it meant to take care of yourself. Even now, with each step you take, you are being transformed. Celebrate!

Turn around. Look. See how far you’ve come. Celebrate the journey that you’ve taken so far.

And look forward to the adventure that lies ahead.

God, help me celebrate all our triumphs. Thank you for walking with me, even when I felt I was walking alone.

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A Clear Current
Maintaining the Flow by Madisyn Taylor

Life energy flows through us like a swift stream when there is nothing to obstruct it.

The essence of all being is energy. Our physical and ethereal selves depend on the unrestricted flow of life energy that is the source of wholeness and wellness. Though the channels through which this energy flows are open systems and influenced by factors outside of our control, we ultimately choose what impact these will have in our lives. It is up to us to identify and clear blockages in the energy field to ensure that flow is maintained. A healthy, grounded individual absorbs some portion of the energy emitted by other people and the environment, but this does not interrupt the continuous stream of balanced energy sustaining them. The same individual copes constructively with stress and upset, and they are not subject to the stagnation that frequently goes hand in hand with negativity. When we keep the energy in and around our bodies flowing harmoniously, we are naturally healthy, vibrant, and peaceful.

Life energy flows through us like a swift stream when there is nothing to obstruct it, but various forces such as trauma, downbeat vibrations, and disappointments act like stones that impede the current. If we allow these to pile up, our life energy is thrown off its course or blocked entirely, causing illness, restlessness, and a lack of vigor. If, however, we take the time to clear these forces away, we rob them of the power to impact our lives. When we cultivate simple yet affirmative habits such as taking regular cleansing baths, practicing meditation and breathing exercises, smudging, and self-shielding, we protect ourselves from outside influences that might otherwise impede our energy flow. Likewise, we lessen the impact of inner influences when we clear our auras of unwanted attachments and divest ourselves of blocked emotions.

A strong and fluid energy field is the key that unlocks the doors of self-healing and peace of mind. Your awareness of the flow of energy sustaining you empowers you to take charge of your own well-being by taking steps to unblock, correct, and enhance that flow. Fear will likely be the culprit when you cannot identify the source of stagnation—you may simply be afraid to let go of what is obstructing the flow. Letting go can be challenging, but the exuberance you will feel when the flow is restored will be a welcome and blessed reward. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When I finally convince myself to let go of a problem that’s been tearing me apart — when I take the action to set aside my will and let God handle the problem — my torment subsides immediately. If I continue to stay out of my own way, then solutions begin to unfold and reveal themselves. More and more, I’m coming to accept the limitations of my human understanding and power. More and more, I’m learning to let go and trust my Higher Power for the answers and the help. Do I keep in the forefront of my mind the fact that only God is all-wise and all-powerful?

Today I Pray

If I come across a stumbling-block, may I learn to step out of the way and let God remove it. May I realize my human limitations at problem-solving, since I can never begin to predict God’s solutions until I see them happening. May I know that whatever answer I come to, God may have a better one.

Today I Will Remember

God has a better answer.

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One More Day

A leader is a dealer in hope.
–Napoleon Bonaparte

A good leader doesn’t always have the firmest hand or the most knowledge about a subject, but instead has the ability to develop hope and enthusiasm for success in others. Leading others often means being a role model; it means confidently marching forward, not pushing others from behind.

We all are leaders at one time or another. Raising children or working with others or nurturing relationships — all require leadership at times. Our health care also requires our leadership, and we find the most success when we lead with a hopeful spirit. That hope is reflected in our cooperation with the medical community, and it is also shown in our eagerness to live life fully and joyfully.

My hope, enthusiasm, and growth help me and others deal with chronic illness.

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Food For Thought

Stretching

If we do only what feels good and what is comfortable, we do not grow. If we do not stretch our minds, we vegetate intellectually. If we do not discipline our bodies, we become physically flabby and weak. If we do not exercise our goodwill, we stay emotionally immature.

To settle for minimum achievement is to miss the satisfaction of accomplishing more than we once thought possible. It is trite but true that we never know what we can do until we try. Abstaining from all refined sugars and carbohydrates may have seemed impossible to us at one time. Accomplishing this, through the help of our Higher Power and OA, makes possible other achievements that we formerly may have considered to be beyond our reach.

In this program, the only way we can fail is by not continuing to try. By abstaining from compulsive overeating and working the Twelve Steps, we can stretch ourselves to a fuller extent of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual potential.

May I not be too lazy to stretch as far as I can.

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One Day At A Time

~ FORGIVENESS ~
We realized that the people who wronged us were spiritually sick.
When a person offended we said to ourselves,
“This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him?
God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

This has been one of the most important paragraphs for me in recovery. I have used it for any type of hurt I have in reaction to another person. Besides my asking God to save me from anger, I ask God to heal all feelings I have toward that person that block me from having a closer relationship with the God of my understanding. For me, this has meant I have had to learn to forgive everyone who my thinking told me had injured me in some way. I was unable to do this no matter how hard I tried. I prayed to the God of my understanding to teach me how to forgive those others and to work with my heart to create that forgiveness. It involved a long process of discovering my part and the other’s part; separating acts from people.

Once I had done this work and knew in my heart that God had given me the miracle to forgive these people, an interesting thing happened. During Step Four and Five work, my sponsor told me I also had to forgive myself. I discovered, by going through this process, that working through the anger and pain, I ended up also having forgiven myself. For me, it wasn’t enough to tell another person all my Fourth Step. I had to feel the feelings in my heart and give them to God to heal. Then, after I truly forgave others I could forgive myself. I wasn’t able to forgive myself until I gave it away to others.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that God will help me in anything I ask, the answer just may be different than I expected. When the miracle occurs I will be able to see God’s hand in it.
Judy A.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

As a class, alcoholics are energetic people. They work hard and they play hard. Your man should be on his mettle to make good. Being somewhat weakened, and faced with physical and mental readjustment to a life which knows no alcohol, he may overdo. You may have to curb his desire to work sixteen hours a day. You may need to encourage him to play once in a while. He may wish to do a lot for other alcoholics and something of the sort may come up during business hours. A reasonable amount of latitude will be helpful. This work is necessary to maintain his sobriety. – Pg. 146 – To Employers

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Fragments of our addiction never stop calling, ‘Hey, just one won’t hurt; look, what’s so wrong with going to that party; it’s disloyal to stop seeing old friends.’ But those of us who’ve been around awhile recognize the ‘callings’ for what they are. Give the ‘calls’ an inch and we KNOW addiction takes a mile.
When my mind is niggled with addiction excuses for setting myself up, may I follow program advice and call my sponsor or counselor.

Meditation

Today, I recognize the source of light and wisdom that is within me. When I look outside myself to learn about what is actually inside, I need to exercise great discernment because some of what I see fits and some does not. There is a fountain within me that is ever full and waiting to be discovered. When I can rest quietly in this inner place, I experience a sense of fullness, and my desire to go outside diminishes and gives way to a preference for undisturbed peace. Solitude takes on a different meaning when I can contact that quiet within. Life softens and external things become less important. I look for this place within me on a daily basis. I give myself this present today.

I search within.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When the pain of where you were is worse than the discomfort of where you are going, then you’ll move.

The pain of my growth is a good sign, not a stop sign.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Life without recovery: Even roses have thorns. Life in recovery: Even thorns have roses.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I feel lighter and better about myself when I don’t procrastinate. Today I am discovering the freedom of completing at last one thing that I don’t put off.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

You hear all kinds of nonsense. Like: ‘If you’re in pain you’re not working the program.’ ‘If you’re afraid, you’re not working the Steps.’ Believing that nearly tore me apart for years. How can you possibly practice spiritual principles without going through periods, not only of pain, but of suffering and unbelievable agony? It’s impossible. Because what I’m doing is uprooting illusions that I’ve based my very life on; all those old ideas, those lies I believed, and I’m wrenching them out. Like having six teeth pulled with no sedative – And I’m going to feel good? – Cubby S.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 6

Thankful
I’m still learning how to be thankful. I must work on defects of character every morning.
Slow down and smell the flowers — they will surely come to this beautiful valley soon, something to look forward to.
Enjoy the phone calls from friends, as far away as Toronto. I may even learn French.
I have done something with my life, instead of complaining.
I owe it all to that day when a member of AA said to me, “Maybe you’d like to go to AA now.”
Thank God I said yes.
– Thank You For Sharing, pp. 196-197

Thought to Ponder . . .
No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Achieve Anything.

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

A New Life
“Is sobriety all that we are to expect of a spiritual awakening?
No, sobriety is only a bare beginning;
If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on.
As it does go on, we find that bit by bit
we can discard the old life — the one that did not work —
for a new life that can and does work
under any conditions whatever.”
Bill W., Grapevine, December 1957
c. 1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Thought to Consider . . .
Action conquers fear.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change

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

Growth
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“At the end of 1941, when the group secretaries made their reports, we found that the membership had jumped to 8,000, an increase of 6,000 over 1940. We had begun to reach into Canada and into foreign lands. Everywhere we were growing rapidly. In many ways 1941 can be reckoned as the most exciting year in our history.
“The pins on our office wall map showed scores of new groups springing up every week.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 192

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

“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”
Tukwila, Wash., July 2005
“Heard at Meetings,”
AA Grapevine

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

In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we
could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can
remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have
already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps,
you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and
digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

“On the other hand, 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 required to follow a
few simple rules.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctors Opinion, pg. xxix~

Patience and good temper are most necessary.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.111

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

Few indeed are those who, assailed by the tyrant alcohol, have ever won through in singlehanded combat. It is a statistical fact that alcoholics almost never recover on their personal resources alone.
Way up toward Point Barrow in Alaska, a couple of prospectors got themselves a cabin and a case of Scotch. The weather turned bitter, fifty below, and they got so drunk they let the fire go out. Barely escaping death by freezing, one of them woke up in time to rekindle the fire. He was prowling around outside for fuel, and he looked into an empty oil drum filled with frozen water. Down in the ice cake he saw a reddish-yellow object. When thawed out, it was seen to be an A.A. book. One of the pair read the book and sobered up. Legend has it that he became the founder of one of our farthest north groups.

Prayer for the Day: Twelfth Step Prayer – Dear God, My spiritual awakening continues to unfold. The help I have received I shall pass on and give to others, both in and out of the Fellowship. For this opportunity I am grateful. I pray most humbly to continue walking day by day on the road of spiritual progress. I pray for the inner strength and wisdom to practice the principles of this way of life in all I do and say. I need You, my friends and the program every hour of every day. This is a better way to live.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 5th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 5th

Daily Reflections

A NEW STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p 107

Many of us in A.A. puzzle over what is a spiritual awakening. I tended to look for a
miracle, something dramatic and earth shattering. But what usually happens is that a
sense of well-being, a feeling of peace, transforms us into a new level of awareness.
That’s what happened to me. My insanity and inner turmoil disappeared and I entered
into a new dimension of hope, love and peace. I think the degree to which I continue
to experience this new dimension is in direct proportion to the sincerity, depth and devotion
with which I practice the Twelve Steps of A.A.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In spite of all we have learned in A.A., our old way of thinking comes back on us,
sometimes with overwhelming force, and occasionally some of us have slips. We forget
or refuse to call on the Higher Power for help. We seem to deliberately make our minds
a blank so far as A.A. training goes, and we take a drink. We eventually get drunk. We
are temporarily right back where we started from. Those who have had slips say
unanimously that they were no fun. They say A.A. had taken all the pleasure out of
drinking. They knew they were doing the wrong thing. The old mental conflict was back
in full force. They were disgusted with themselves. Am I convinced that I can never get
anything more out of drinking?

Meditation For The Day

Give something to those who are having trouble, to those whose thoughts are confused,
something of your sympathy, your prayers, your time, your love, your thought, your self.
Then give of your own confidence, as you have had it given to you by the grace of God.
Give of yourself and of your loving sympathy. Give your best to those who need it and
will accept it. Give according to need, never according to deserts. Remember that the
giving of advice can never take the place of giving of your self.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that as I have received, so may I give. I pray that I may have the right answer to
those who are confused.


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

As Bill Sees It

Relapses–and the Group, p. 154

An early fear was that of slips or relapses. At first nearly every
alcoholic we approached began to slip, if indeed he sobered up at all.
Others would stay dry six months or maybe a year and then take a
skid. This was always a genuine catastrophe. We would all look at
each other and say, “Who next?”

Today, though slips are a very serious difficulty, as a group we take
them in stride. Fear has evaporated. Alcohol always threatens the
individual, but we know that it cannot destroy the common welfare.

<< << << >> >> >>

“It does not seem to pay to argue with ‘slippers’ about the proper
method of getting dry. After all, why should people who are drinking
tell people who are dry how it should be done?

“Just kid the boys along–ask them if they are having fun. If they are
too noisy or troublesome, amiably keep out of their way.”

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 97
2. Letter, 1942


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Walk In Dry Places

Holding hands and hugging
Sincerity
The custom of holding hands while saying the Lord’s Prayer has been adopted by many AA groups.  We have also seen more hugging than in the past, even between the most unlikely members.
Are these new practices good or bad?   In accordance with AA tradition, we have to leave such questions to the group conscience.
One thought, however, is that such physical actions do not necessarily mean that any true spiritual bonding has taken place.  The old-timers who never held hands or hugged still had a great closeness in spirit and in feeling.
We must also consider that we may be violating the privacy of the person who doesn’t wish to hold hands or hug. If such a person chooses to stand outside the hand=holding circle, he or she maybe cast in the role of dissenter. Would that be fair?
Hand -holding and hugging may be here to stay, but let’s not make them out to be more than mere physical expressions.  The program of the heart is still first.
I’ll remember today that true bonding is spiritual, not physical.

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Keep It Simple

Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope. —Alcoholics Anonymous
All over the world, recovering men and women use the same Twelve Steps to live their lives.
Our fellowship keeps growing. The bigger it gets, the faster it grows. Why? Because the program brings our spirits back to life. All over the world, many of us were dying, and now we’re full of life and love. We are bringing our world bake to life. As we share our experience, strength, and hope, we help others join us in coming back to life.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me stay sober today. Guide me and all others who are doing Your will today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll think of three things I can do to help spread the message of AA and NA.

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Each Day a New Beginning

It is a long baptism into the seas of humankind, my daughter. Better immersion than to live untouched.  –Tillie Olsen
We have each had days when we preferred hiding under the covers, avoiding life at all costs. And in times gone by, we did just that, sometimes too frequently. What we didn’t always know, and what we still forget on occasion, is that we have a ready and willing partner who will join us in every pursuit.
The more fully we commit ourselves to one another and to all our experience, the closer we will come to the very serenity we long for. Serenity accompanies our increasing understanding of life’s many mysteries. It’s easy to cheat ourselves out of the prizes any day offers us. Fear fosters inertia, leaving us separate, alone, even more afraid. But we have an appointment with life. And our appointment will bring us to the place of full understanding, the place where we’ll be certain, forever after, that all is well. And that life is good.
Today’s appointments are part of the bigger plan for my life. I will face them, enjoy them, and reap their rewards.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

When our friend related his experience, the man agreed that no amount of will power he might muster could stop his drinking for long. A spiritual experience, he conceded, was absolutely necessary, but the price seemed high upon the basis suggested. He told how he lived in constant worry about those who might find out about his alcoholism. He had, of course, the familiar alcoholic obsession that few knew of his drinking. Why, he argued, should he lose the remainder of his business, only to bring still more suffering to his family by foolishly admitting his plight to people from whom he made his livelihood? He would do anything, he said, but that.

p. 155

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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?”

I healed physically, felt good, my senses returned. I began to hear the delicate sound of autumn leaves rattling in the wind, to feel the touch of snowflakes on my face, to see the first new leaves of spring.

p. 345

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. There’s the spot check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There’s the one we take at day’s end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due. Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.’s go in for annual or semiannual housecleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.

p. 89

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Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
–William James

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
–Henry David Thoreau

If you want to accomplish the goals of your life, you have to begin with the Spirit.
–Oprah Winfrey

The steps did for me the very thing I kept hoping alcohol would do for me — they gave me the
peace and serenity I had been looking for in a bottle.
–unknown

Today is full of miracles!
–Ruth Fishel

“The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you
live by, you will change your world.”
–Blaine Lee

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
–John Lubbock

The ultimate lesson all of us have is unconditional love, which includes not only others but
ourselves as well.
–Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BEAUTY

“Not every woman in old
slippers can manage to look like
Cinderella.”
— Don Marquis

Beauty is not what you wear or look like; beauty is within. We begin to love ourselves
when we see the beauty that God has given to each and every one of us forever. God’s
image and beauty is expressed through our attitudes and feelings, how we greet and
listen to each other and the gentle dignity we afford to another human being.

For years I saw myself as ugly, boring, useless and stupid. This message came from
parents who forever compared me with others and for years I believed their message.
I hid through my teen-age years and quietly tried to escape in food, alcohol and
drugs.

Then after a crisis I met people who had felt the same but were now feeling different.
They loved me until I could begin to love myself. Now I like me. Now I can love me.
Today I can like and love you.

Help me to see the beauty in the wrinkle; the power in the pain.

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

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the
Almighty.”
Psalm 91:1

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This
then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in
his presence.”
I John 3:18-19

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows
me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'”
John 8:12


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

Daily Inspiration

Imagine joy and you will find it. Lord, I thank You for the people that need me and love me, for the ability to hope and especially for the ability to love.

One of life’s greatest rewards is not what we get, but what we become. Lord, give me the courage to be all that I can.

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

NA Just For Today

Those Who Want To Recover

“We have seen the program work for any addict who honestly and sincerely wants to stop [using drugs]”
Basic Text pg. 10

How do we know when someone honestly and sincerely wants to stop using drugs? The truth is that we don’t know! Because we cannot read minds or know another’s motives and desires, we simply have to hope for the best. We may talk to a newcomer at a meeting and think we’ll never see them again, only to find them several years later doing well in their recovery. We may be tempted to give up on someone who keeps relapsing or doesn’t get clean right away, but we must not. No matter how unwilling someone may seem, a simple fact remains – the addict is at a meeting.

We may never know the results of our Twelfth Step work; it is not up to us to gauge the willingness of a newcomer. The message we carry is a part of us. We carry it everywhere and share it freely, leaving the results to a Power greater than ourselves.

Just for today: I will share my recovery with any addict, anywhere, anytime, and under any circumstances. I will leave the results to my Higher Power.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
My true god is always with me.
I am learning to trust myself. . . .
–Joan Parsons
Sometimes a book we read at a very young age stays with us our whole lives.
One girl loved Heidi more than any other book. She always thought about the grandfather’s hut. It was a special place in the world–with the fresh mountain air, the spring flowers, the winter fire on the hearth. But the part she carried with her to adulthood was the part about the grandfather pouring goat’s milk into a bowl and telling Heidi to drink it all up so she could grow to be healthy and happy.
Now that girl is a woman. Sometimes, when she wants to feel taken care of, she pours herself a bowl of milk. Then she sits down, picks up the bowl with two hands, and drinks out of it like Heidi. She feels comforted and connected to the universe.
The private rituals we discover in childhood can befriend us all our lives, if we let them.
What do I want when I want comfort?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
[A relationship] takes time and deeds, and this involves trust, it involves making ourselves naked, to become sitting ducks for each other. –Eldridge Cleaver
When we were lost in our excesses, we were limited in our relationships. The history of our friendships and loves may be evidence of that. Many of us had a primary relationship with a substance or an addictive behavior, and people had only second place. Many of us were so lost in our codependency that our relationships were two-dimensional. We didn’t know how to be there with our whole selves. In recovery our ability to relate to others charges slowly. We learn how to love like everyone else learned – only we are learning a little later.
We have to be willing to be vulnerable. We also must be willing to be accountable – willing to say to our loved ones, “You can count on me to never leave without saying good bye.” “You can count on me to be respectful of you.” “You can count on me to tell you how I feel, even when it hurts.” As we mature, with the help of the Steps, we also grow in our relationships with others.
Today, I will be true to my relationships.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It is a long baptism into the seas of humankind, my daughter. Better immersion than to live untouched. –Tillie Olsen
We have each had days when we preferred hiding under the covers, avoiding life at all costs. And in times gone by, we did just that, sometimes too frequently. What we didn’t always know, and what we still forget on occasion, is that we have a ready and willing partner who will join us in every pursuit.
The more fully we commit ourselves to one another and to all our experience, the closer we will come to the very serenity we long for. Serenity accompanies our increasing understanding of life’s many mysteries. It’s easy to cheat ourselves out of the prizes any day offers us. Fear fosters inertia, leaving us separate, alone, even more afraid. But we have an appointment with life. And our appointment will bring us to the place of full understanding, the place where we’ll be certain, forever after, that all is well. And that life is good.
Today’s appointments are part of the bigger plan for my life. I will face them, enjoy them, and reap their rewards.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Difficult People
Few things can make us feel crazier than expecting something from someone who has nothing to give. Few things can frustrate us more than trying to make a person someone he or she isn’t; we feel crazy when we try to pretend that person is someone he or she is not. We may have spent years negotiating with reality concerning particular people from our past and our present. We may have spent years trying to get someone to love us in a certain way, when that person cannot or will not.
It is time to let it go. It is time to let him or her go. That doesn’t mean we can’t love that person anymore. It means that we will feel the immense relief that comes when we stop denying reality and begin accepting. We release that person to be who he or she actually is. We stop trying to make that person be someone he or she is not. We deal with our feelings and walk away from the destructive system.
We learn to love and care differently in a way that takes reality into account.
We enter into a relationship with that person on new terms – taking our needs and ourselves into account. If a person is addicted to alcohol, other drugs, misery, or other people, we let go of his or her addiction; we take our hands off it. We give his or her life back. And we, in the process, are given our life and freedom in return.
We stop letting what we are not getting from that person control us. We take responsibility for our life. We go ahead with the process of loving and taking care of ourselves.
We decide how we want to interact with that person, taking reality and our own best interests into account. We get angry, we feel hurt, but we land in a place of forgiveness. We set him or her free, and we become set free from bondage.
This is the heart of detaching in love.
Today, I will work at detaching in love from troublesome people in my life. I will strive to accept reality in my relationships. I will give myself permission to take care of myself in my relationships, with emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual freedom for both people as my goal.

Today is full of miracles! –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Life Can Be Fun

How careful and guarded we’ve been with fun, with playing, with sheer enjoyment– whether we’re working, traveling, or wandering around town on a Saturday afternoon. Sometimes, we act as though there’s a limited amount, a scarce supply of fun available. We can’t take too much, or it’ll all be gone.

That’s how I was for a long time.

One Saturday afternoon my son, Shane, asked if he could spend the night at a friend’s house to play and have a sleepover.

“Why?” I asked.

“You just did something fun last night,” I reminded him.

He thought for a moment. “Who said you can’t have fun two days in a row.?”

Have some fun– with life, with love, with work. Then go out and have some more.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Be happy now

“Time is what keeps everything from happening at once,” the bumper sticker ahead of me read.

Maybe, I thought. I was racing back home from the computer store, busily doing my errands, trying to get things done. I noticed a restaurant and shopping center to my right, on the freeway. I’d been curious about this place for almost a year. Today, instead of driving by, I turned off the highway and pulled into the parking lot. I spent the next three hours browsing through the stores filled with antiques, trinkets, and gourmet foods. Then I enjoyed a leisurely dinner– a juicy hamburger and a chocolate malt– at the restaurant before returning home. The stores had always been there, I’d always driven past. Today I stopped, satisfied my curiosity, and enjoyed myself.

It’s easy to spend our lives working toward a goal, convinced that if we could only get there, we’d be truly happy then. Today is the only moment we have. If we wait until tomorrow to be happy, we’ll miss out on the beauty of today.

Have your plans. Set goals.

Let yourself be happy now.

God, help me be aware of the joy that’s in front of me now instead of waiting for tomorrow to bring me happiness.

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

Blue Skies
The Sky Is Blue Even on a Cloudy Day

by Madisyn Taylor

Darker days are just as much a part of life as are the days graced with sunshine.

When we refer to a “beautiful day,” we are often describing a day that is sunny, clear, and without a cloud in sight to mar a sky that is a brilliantly perfect blue. We find ourselves bouncing along, light in spirit, free from worries, and enjoying the moment. That is, until the clouds begin to form. The sky may turn grey, and a fog may roll in. Puffs of white take on whimsical, darker shades, and our beautiful day disappears along with the sunshine… or so it seems.

A clear blue sky often inspires in us good cheer, bringing on a lighter, more carefree day. We may find ourselves spending time outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, and basking in the warmth of the sun. Yet should clouds appear to wash the sky with shadows, we may let this change of weather decrease our energy and enthusiasm, pulling us into our own cloudy funk. Darker days are just as much a part of life as are the days graced with sunshine. They show us a different perspective of our world, while helping us appreciate the moments of illumination that inevitably follow. A rainy day with clouds helps to clear the air, washing away stagnation. Still, it’s hard not to feel gloomy or think that the day has been ruined when there are clouds hanging over us. Yet if you can remember that these shades of grey won’t last forever, and that hidden behind the clouds is the blue sky, you will find that the beauty of your day is merely playing a game of peek-a-boo with you. Like the mis! haps and interruptions that occasionally block the brilliance that is our own lives from shining through, clouds eventually clear away so we can open up to a brighter horizon.

The next time you wake up to a cloudy day, remember that these shades of grey in life are there just for the moment. And that no matter how hard the rain falls or how chilly the fog is, the clouds will go away, the sun will break through, and you will be able to see the sky that has always and forever been a beautiful and brilliant blue. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“It is of low benefit to give me something. It is of high benefit to enable me to do something for myself.” Emerson

I’ve been taught in The Program that I begin to use my will properly when I try to make it conform with God’s will. In the past, most of my problems resulted from the improper use of will power. I’d always tried to use it, in sledgehammer fashion, as a way of solving my problems or changing the conditions of my life. Do I see that a primary purpose of the Twelve Steps is to help me channel my will into agreement with God’s intentions for me?

Today I Pray

May I direct my will-power into a channel where it can pick up the will of God. May I no longer use my will-power — which has not proved mighty in the past — as willfulness. May I think of my will only as an extension of God’s will, listening always for direction.

Today I Will Remember

To use my will-power as willingness, not willfulness.

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

One More Day

Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.
– Dag Hammarskjold

We all may feel a measure of guilt when relationships deteriorate or friends become angry with each other. Sometimes, it’s not the people around us who are to blame; sometimes it really is our fault. We’ve misspoken or said harsh and unfeeling words to a friend.

We can’t undo our mistakes or take back our words, but we can ask for forgiveness and try to make amends. WE can forgive others when they have hurt us, knowing that forgiveness keeps our relationships whole.

I don’t have to wait for forgiveness from others; I can make my amends first.

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

Food For Thought

Challenges

When we were overeating compulsively, we accepted few challenges other than how much food we could cram into our stomachs without getting sick. As our disease progressed, outside interests narrowed and we “got by” with minimum accomplishment instead of being inspired to do our best.

Life is a challenge. None of us has an easy, free ride. The problems and difficulties we overcome are what ensure our continual growth. Without obstacles and tension, we would stagnate. By overeating, we kept ourselves too doped up and lethargic to respond to many of the challenges life presented.

Abstinence is a challenge. It requires our devotion, determination, and dedication. There are some days when maintaining abstinence is all the challenge we can handle. As we progress in the program, we are increasingly capable of responding to the challenges that come to us through our families, jobs, leisure activities, and community involvements.

Today, I will be challenged to become what You intend.

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

One Day At A Time

PERFECTION
My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God
as my successes and my talents,
and I lay them both at His feet.
Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t know why I used to think that if something wasn’t done perfectly, it wasn’t worth doing. I was an all-time overachiever, and to fail at something was totally unacceptable. It was hardly surprising that I couldn’t like, let alone love, myself, since I set such impossibly high standards for myself. I was constantly pushing myself to excel at those things I was good at, and would beat up on myself if I failed to measure up to the high expectations I held. I was especially critical of my body and thought that if I had the perfect body, then my life would be perfect.

When I came into the program, I had to learn not to be so hard on myself. For the first time I began to realize that I was human and could still be lovable and worthy, even with all my imperfections and character defects. I am lovingly reminded by my sponsor and my friends in the fellowship to be more gentle on myself, and that I don’t even have to do the program perfectly. I just need to do the best I know how for that day; then I can see progress one day at a time. I don’t have to push myself to be perfect all the time in order to win approval or gain love. What a relief that is!

One day at a time . . .
I don’t have to be perfect all the time. I just need to to be the best me that I can for today, and that’s the way God intended me to be.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness. – Pg. 130 – The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It seems insane that we have to be brought to our knees before we seek help, but for most of us that’s the way it is. Whatever crisis got us here, we will eventually see as a blessing in disguise.

Thank You Higher Power, of my understanding, for the crisis–the one that brought me to my knees, because it also bought me this hour of clean and sober time.

One Foot In Front Of The Other

All I need to do today is to put one foot in front of the other. I can only walk this walk a step at a time. Each time I take a step, I will trust that the next will follow, along with the next, and the next and the next. What I know today is that no matter what does or does not come my way, I will wake up each morning to one more day of my spiritual journey, nothing more, nothing less. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Doing the next right thing in the face of a tricky situation is not a choice you can run away from. As the saying goes: Wherever you go, there you are.

I do the next right thing first, so the ‘situation’ doesn’t last.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I went outside and leaned up against the wall. I was throwing up on my shoes. And a man came out and he brought a towel and he cleaned me up, put his arms around me and said: ‘Honey this is the last drunk you’ll ever have to shake out.’ – Gayle W.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 5

Courage
Before we could recognize the illness in ourselves, we had to unload this tired old myth:
It would be a sign of shameful weakness to admit we couldn’t handle the sauce any more (if we ever could).
Weakness? Actually, it takes considerable courage to stare unblinkingly at the hard truth, sparing nothing,
without glossing over anything, without excuses, and without kidding ourselves.
– Living Sober, p. 72

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I have the courage to begin, I have the courage to succeed.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
O D A A T = One Day At A Time.

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

A New Notion
“The idea that religion and spirituality
were not one and the same was a new notion.
My sponsor asked that I merely remain open-minded
to the possibility that there was a Power greater than myself,
one of my own understanding.
He assured me that no person was going to impose
a belief system on me, that it was a personal matter.
Reluctantly, I opened my mind to the fact that maybe,
just maybe, there was something to this spiritual lifestyle.
Slowly, but surely, I realized there was indeed
a Power greater than myself,
and I soon found myself with a full-time God in my life
and following a spiritual path that didn’t conflict
with my personal religious convictions.”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 287

Thought to Consider . . .
God enters us through our wounds.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, Trust

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

Hope
>From “Window of Opportunity”:
“I once knew a woman who was crying before a meeting. She was approached by a five-year-old girl who told her, ‘You don’t have to cry here. This is a good place. They took my daddy and they made him better.’ That is exactly what A.A. did for me; it took me and it made me better. For that I am eternally grateful.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 431

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

“Some of us take a long time to ‘come to’ before we can ‘come to believe’ that there is any hope for us.”
Nanaimo, British Columbia, February 2003
“My Name Is Gary and I’m a Human Being,”
Spiritual Awakenings

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

“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could
not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that
either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He
isn’t.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53

To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
~Alcoholics Anonymous page 93

The power of God goes deep!
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.114

Almost any experienced A.A. will tell how his affairs have taken remarkable and unexpected turns for the better as he tried to improve his conscious contact with God.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.105

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When I was a child, I acquired some of the traits that had a lot to do with my insatiable craving for alcohol. I was brought up in a little town in Vermont, under the shadow of Mount Aeolus. An early recollection is that of looking up at this vast and mysterious mountain, wondering what it meant and whether I could ever climb that high. But I was presently distracted by my aunt who, as a fourth-birthday present, made me a plate of fudge. For the next thirty-five years I pursued the fudge of life and quite forgot about the mountain.
When self-indulgence is less than ruinous, we have a milder word for it. We call it ‘taking our comfort.

Prayer for the Day: Eleventh Step Prayer – Higher Power, as I understand You, I pray to keep my connection with You open and clear from the confusion of daily life. Through my prayers and meditation I ask especially for freedom from self-will, rationalization and wishful thinking. I pray for the guidance of correct thought and positive action. Your will, Higher Power, not mine, be done.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 4th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 4th

Daily Reflections


INTO ACTION

A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of
alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we
ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the
truth may die.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 13

I desperately wanted to live, but if I was to succeed, I
had to become active in our God-given program. I joined
what became my group, where I opened the hall, made coffee,
and cleaned up. I had been sober about three months when
an oldtimer told me I was doing Twelfth-Step work. What a
satisfying realization that was! I felt I was really
accomplishing something. God had given me a second chance,
A.A. had shown me the way, and these gifts were not only
free – they were also priceless! Now the joy of seeing
newcomers grow reminds me of where I have come from, where
I am now, and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.
I need to attend meetings because they recharge my
batteries so that I have light when it’s needed. I’m still
a beginner in service work, but already I am receiving
more than I’m giving. I can’t keep it unless I give it
away. I am responsible when another reaches out for help.
I want to be there – sober.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

If we allow an alcoholic thought to lodge in our minds for
any length of time, we are in danger of having a slip.
Therefore we must dispel such thoughts at once, by refusing
their admittance and by immediately putting constructive
thoughts in their place. Remember that alcohol is poison to
you. Remember that it is impossible for you to drink
normally. Remember that one drink will lead to another and
you will eventually be drunk. Remember what happened to you
in the past as a result of your drinking. Think of every
reason you have learned in A.A. for not taking that drink.
Fill your mind with constructive thoughts. Am I keeping my
thoughts constructive?

Meditation For The Day

Always seek to set aside the valuations of the world which
seem wrong and try to judge only by those valuations which
seem right to you. Do not seek too much the praise and
notice of men. Be one of those who, though sometimes scoffed
at, have a serenity and peace of mind which the scoffers
never know. Be one of that band who feel the Divine Principle
in the universe, though He be often rejected by men because
He cannot be seen.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not heed too much the judgment of men.
I pray that I may test things by what seems right to me.


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

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 Lure of Greener Pastures
Gratitude
One of our old-timers spent a great deal of time trying to find a new job but never succeeding.  When he finally retired, on a good pension, it became clear that the job he had kept was probably better and provided more benefits than any job he had been seeking.  He was fortunate that none of his proposed job searches ever worked out.
The fantasy of finding “greener pastures” is something many of us face, in both drinking and sobriety.
We may be very well off where we are, yet feel that something rich and exciting is over in the next meadow.  We can feel this way about our jobs, our lifestyles, and our locations.
The answer to this greener-pastures obsession is to feel more gratitude for what we have here and now. We might also focus more upon today’s activities and less upon impossible dreams of other places.
There may be greener pastures somewhere, but I’ll first look for the opportunities and benefits of my own life and surroundings.  I may be richly blessed without knowing it.

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Keep It Simple

And to practice these principles in all our affairs. Third part of Step Twelve.
This is a statement about us. We are now people of values. These values reflect our spiritual growth. We know how to help others. We know how to admit our wrongs.
We know how to look at ourselves and change our defects. We know how to live an honest life.
Step Twelve tells us. “Go use these tools for better living. Go be all you can be. Enjoy life and live a life you can be proud of.” Step Twelve also tells us about how to have loving relationships. By the time we complete Step Twelve, we make or regain many relationships. The most important one is with our Higher Power. As we grow in the program, we realize all our relationships are spiritual gifts.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I now have one face instead of many masks. Help me be a person who will stand before You with pride, not shame.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll talk with a friend and talk about my new values. I will talk about how much my life has changed.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I want to feel myself part of things, of the great drift and swirl; not cut off, missing things, like being sent to bed early as a child.  –Joanna Field
Feeling apart from the action and always looking on; wanting attention, and yet afraid of being noticed; no doubt these are familiar memories to most of us. We may still struggle with our self-perception, but we can celebrate that we no longer drown our moods. Connecting with the people next to us, though difficult, is no longer impossible when we rely on the program.
There is a way to be a part of the action, a way that never fails. It takes only a small effort, really. We can simply look, with love, at someone nearby today and extend our hearts in honest attention. When we make someone else feel special, we’ll become special too.
Recovery can help each of us move beyond the boundaries of our own ego. Trusting that our lives are in the loving care of God, however we understand God, relieves us of the need for self-centeredness. We can let go of ourselves now that God is in charge, and we’ll discover that we have joined the action.
I will open my heart, and I’ll be joined to all that’s around me.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

His call to the clergyman led him presently to a certain resident of the town, who, though formerly able and respected, was then nearing the nadir of alcoholic despair. It was the usual situation; home in jeopardy, wife ill, children distracted, bills in arrears and standing damaged. He had a desperate desire to stop, but saw no way out, for he had earnestly tried many avenues of escape. Painfully aware of being somehow abnormal, the man did not fully realize what it meant to be alcoholic.*

* This refers to Bill’s first visit with Dr. Bob. These men later became co-founders of A.A. Bill’s story opens the text of this book; Dr. Bob’s heads the Story Section.

p. 155

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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?”

I found that now I could do many things without a drink–write, answer the telephone, eat out, go to parties, make love, get through the day and the evenings. Sleep at night and get up the next morning ready to begin another day. I was amazed and proud to have gone a week without a drink, then a month. Then I lived an entire year sober, through my birthday, Christmas, problems, successes, the mixture that makes up life.

p. 345

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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 a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is another kind of hangover which we all experience whether we are drinking or not. That is the emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday’s and sometimes today’s excesses of negative emotion–anger, fear, jealousy, and the like. If we would live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly need to eliminate these hangovers. This doesn’t mean we need to wander morbidly around in the past. It requires an admission and correction of errors now. Our inventory enables us to settle with the past. When this is done, we are really able to leave it behind us. When our inventory is carefully taken, and we have made peace with ourselves, the conviction follows that tomorrow’s challenges can be met as they come.

pp. 88-89

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Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness
inside. No matter what’s going on outside of us, there’s always something we could
be grateful for.
–Barry Neil Kaufman

If we wait for perfection before enjoying life, we will never enjoy life.
–unknown

One moment of patience may ward off a great disaster; one moment of impatience may
ruin a whole life.
–Chinese proverb

I am getting to know myself today.
I accept who I am today.
I like myself today.
–Ruth Fishel

The Lord will drench you with His showers, but He will dry you with His sun.
–Czech Proverb

“Good morning, This is your Higher Power speaking.
I will not be needing your help today.”

We win half the battle when we make up our minds to take the world as we find it,
including the thorns.
–unknown

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PREJUDICE

“Everyone is a prisoner of his own
experiences. No one can eliminate
prejudices just recognize
–them.”
Edward R. Murrow

In recovery I am accepting that I am not perfect and some prejudices are part of my
life what it is to be human. On a daily basis I am trying to deal with them, and talking
about them helps. They don’t go away just because I talk about them, but I get them in
perspective and I grow in an understanding of myself through the recognition of
my prejudices.

Alcoholism made me into a ” fake “. I appeared to be what I was not and my
prejudices were part of the camouflage. My prejudices revealed my fears and my
need to “people-please”. Slowly, in my daily spiritual program, I am discovering the
courage to stand alone.

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

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level
ground.
Psalm 143:10

“But I tell you: Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who
hate you.”
Matthew 5:44


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

Daily Inspiration

Be yourself in all that you do and you will soon learn that you are very special. Lord, help me find the peace that You have already placed within my soul.

Take less for granted and you will become very busy enjoying all that you have. Lord, thank you for my blessings and for all those that I am able to share them with.

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

NA Just For Today

God’s Will, Not Ours

“We know that if we pray for God’s will we will receive what is best for us, regardless of what we think.”
Basic Text pg. 44

By the time we came to NA, our inner voices had become unreliable and self-destructive. Addiction had warped our desires, our interests, our sense of what was best for ourselves. That’s why it’s been so important in recovery to develop our belief in a Power greater than ourselves, something that could provide saner, more reliable guidance than our own. We’ve begun learning how to rely on this Power’s care and to trust the inner direction it provides us.

As with all learning processes, it takes practice to “pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.” The selfish, ego-driven attitudes we developed in our addiction are not cast off overnight. Those attitudes may affect the way we pray. We may even find ourselves praying something like, “Relieve me of this character defect so I can look good.”

The more straightforward we are about our own ideas and desires, the easier it will be to distinguish between our own will and our Higher Power’s will. “Just for your information, God;” we might pray, “here’s what I want in this situation. Nonetheless, I ask that your will, not mine, be done.” Once we do this, we are prepared to recognize and accept our Higher Power’s guidance.

Just for today: Higher Power, I’ve learned to trust your guidance, yet I still have my own ideas about how I want to live my life. Let me share those ideas with you, and then let me clearly understand your will for me. In the end, let your will, not mine, be done.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
They were the first . . . self-created people in the history of the world. And their manners were their own business. And so were their politics. And so, but ten times so, were their souls. –Archibald MacLeish
There once was a child named Yemaya. Even before she could walk or talk, her mother introduced her to the trees. Yemaya touched them and they accepted her. They told her she was wonderful and she knew it was true.
As she grew up, Yemaya occasionally met people who said unkind things to her. When this happened, she went back to her trees, who continued to tell her she was just fine. She couldn’t understand what was wrong with those who were mean to her. Whenever they appeared and insisted on being mean, she pretended what they said was an arrow that sailed right by as she stepped out of the way.
We can do the same. What others say or think is part of them and their lives, not ours. When we are wise enough to let go of things that don’t belong to us, we will find our own treasures.
What can I step out of the way of today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
“He doesn’t talk to me,” says a woman. “I don’t know what she wants me to talk about,” says a man. –Lillian B. Rubin
We have often heard that it’s better to be men of deeds, not words. In our relationships with other males, we have learned to do things together, work together, or play a sport together. But in our relationships with women, we often see the other side of this coin. If we haven’t learned to express our thoughts and feelings, the women in our lives may request or demand that we learn now. There is nothing wrong with our not yet having this skill, and there is nothing wrong with women longing to talk with us.
A close relationship promotes talking, and revealing thoughts and feelings. Words, when we are honest, are ways of becoming clearer and being more personal. We have the right to stumble around with our words. We also have the right to feel unsure of ourselves or frightened of saying what we feel. That kind of fear is the excitement of being close to someone we love.
Today, I will express my feelings and ideas so others can know me better.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I want to feel myself part of things, of the great drift and swirl; not cut off, missing things, like being sent to bed early as a child. –Joanna Field
Feeling apart from the action and always looking on; wanting attention, and yet afraid of being noticed; no doubt these are familiar memories to most of us. We may still struggle with our self-perception, but we can celebrate that we no longer drown our moods. Connecting with the people next to us, though difficult, is no longer impossible when we rely on the program.
There is a way to be a part of the action, a way that never fails. It takes only a small effort, really. We can simply look, with love, at someone nearby today and extend our hearts in honest attention. When we make someone else feel special, we’ll become special too.
Recovery can help each of us move beyond the boundaries of our own ego. Trusting that our lives are in the loving care of God, however we understand God, relieves us of the need for self-centeredness. We can let go of ourselves now that God is in charge, and we’ll discover that we have joined the action.
I will open my heart, and I’ll be joined to all that’s around me.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go
“How much do we need to let go of?” a friend asked one day.
“I’m not certain,” I replied, “but maybe everything.”
Letting go is a spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical process, a sometimes mysterious metaphysical process of releasing to God and the Universe that which we are clinging to so tightly.
We let go of our grasp on people, outcomes, ideas, feelings, wants, needs, desires – everything. We let go of trying to control our progress in recovery. Yes, it’s important to acknowledge and accept what we want and what we want to happen. But it’s equally important to follow through by letting go.
Letting go is the action part of faith. It is a behavior that gives God and the Universe permission to send us what we’re meant to have.
Letting go means we acknowledge that hanging on so tightly isn’t helping to solve the problem, change the person, or get the outcome we desire. It isn’t helping us. In fact, we learn that hanging on often blocks us from getting what we want and need.
Who are we to say that things aren’t happening exactly as they need to happen?
There is magic in letting go. Sometimes we get what we want soon after we let go. Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes the specific outcome we desire doesn’t happen. Something better does.
Letting go sets us free and connects us to our Source.
Letting go creates the optimum environment for the best possible outcomes and solutions.
Today, I will relax. I will let go of that which is upsetting me the most. I will trust that by letting go, I have started the wheels in motion for things to work out in the best possible way.

I am getting to know myself today. I accept who I am today. I like myself today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

You Decide

This is an old lesson, but it bears repeating and remembering. We don’t have to let anyone control our lives, our choices, our joy.

No matter how well we thought we learned that lesson, it often reappears. Another person starts to pull our strings. We get involved, entangled, hooked in. We hear ourselves singing an old tune– If only she would, if only he wouldn’t, then I would be… We realize that once again we have given up too much control. We have deferred our lives to the wishes, whims, and choices of another.

Yes, if we are living fully, we will have reactions to those around us. Our relationships will help shape us, teach us things. And yes, there are times we are so connected to others, love them so much, that their path does affect ours. But we don’t have to let another person control our choices, our behaviors, or our lives.

Maybe she will. Maybe he won’t. But what about you? What do you want? What course of action feels right for you, for your life? Do you want to assign responsibility for whether you take that course to another? Do you really?

Sometimes, no matter how much you love others, it’s time to let go, time to let them walk their path. Time to realize that it is your responsibility to walk your own. Go in love. Go in peace. Go in gentle power. You are responsible for your life. You are responsible for your choices. It doesn’t matter what the other person does. You are still responsible for you.

Take care of yourself, then take it one step further. Love, nurture, honor, and respect yourself.

Only you can decide what you’re going to do.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

The miracle of rebirth

Birth is an exhilarating experience. Walking into a hospital room seconds after a child has been born, you can almost touch the emotion and power of the moment.

Rebirth is like that,too. Sitting in a powerful religious ceremony, standing alone atop a high hill, or walking in the footsteps of an ancient civilization, we can feel our hearts being changed as our spirit is given new birth. “What have I done to deserve this?” we whisper. And the universe whispers, “It’s to move you along your path. It’s to teach you to live.” And we emerge from our experience reborn.

Sometimes, it goes the other way,too. In a single moment, all that we know can be stripped away– the death of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of a job– and suddenly we’re left standing at the mercy of the universe. “Why did this happen? What did I do to deserve this?” we cry. And the universe answers, “It’s to move you along your path. It’s to teach you to live.” And once again, we rise from the ashes, reborn.

Surrender to the exhilarating moments of creation in your life, both the uplifting and the heartrending ones. Touch the emotion and power.

Trust that you’re being moved along your path. You’re learning how to live.

Let yourself be reborn.

God, please help me to accept all the life changing experiences that I may have. Help me to see the wonder in rebirth and to learn your lessons.

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

Now Is the Time
Bloom Where You Are Planted

by Madisyn Taylor

The time to blossom is now, not sometime in the future when you believe the stars will be aligned for you.

Having a vision for our future that differs from our current circumstances can be inspiring and exciting, but it can also keep us from fully committing to our present placement. We may become aware that this is happening when we notice our thoughts about the future distracting us from our participation in the moment. We may find upon searching our hearts that we are waiting for some future time or situation in order to self-actualize. This would be like a flower planted in North Dakota putting off blooming because it would prefer to do so in Illinois.

There are no guarantees in this life, so when we hold back we do so at the risk of never fully blossoming. This present moment always offers us the ground in which we can take root and open our hearts now. What this means is that we live fully, wherever we are, not hesitating because conditions are not perfect, or we might end up moving, or we haven’t found our life partner. This can be scary, because we might feel that we are giving up our cherished dreams if we do not agree to wait for them. But this notion that we have to hold back our life force now in order to find happiness later doesn’t really make sense. What might really be happening is that we are afraid to embrace this moment, and ourselves, just exactly as we are right now. This constitutes a tendency to hold back from fully loving ourselves, as we are, where we are.

We have a habit of presenting life with a set of conditions—ifs and whens that must be fulfilled before we will say yes to the gift of our lives. Now is the time for each of us to bloom where we are planted, overriding our tendency to hold back. Now is the time to say yes, to be brave and commit fully to ourselves, because until we do no one else will. Now is the time to be vulnerable, unfolding delicately yet fully into the space in which we find ourselves. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Most of us in The Program are far more comfortable with the determination that we won’t take the first drink today, than we are with the “vow” that we’ll never drink again. Saying “I intend never to drink again” is quite different from the saying, “I’ll never drink again.” The last statement is far too reflective of self-will; it doesn’t leave much room for the idea that God will remove our obsession to drink if we practice The Program’s Twelve Steps one day at a time. Will I continue to fight against complacency, realizing that I’ll always be just one drink away from disaster?

Today I Pray

“Never again” demands too binding a commitment, even for the strongest among us. Our past lives were full of “never agains” and won’t evers,” promises that were broken before the next dawn. May I, for now, set my sites on just one straight, sober day at a time.

Today I Will Remember

Never say “Never again.”

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One More Day

A tragedy means always a man’s struggles with that which is stronger than man.
– G. K. Chesteron

Once the diagnosis of a long-term illness is learned, some of us may use it as an excuse to be sad, morbid, sullen, unfeeling, and uncaring. These behaviors are all counterproductive to the fulfilling life we want to lead.

Those of us who undergo a major health change may consider it a tragedy. It is; loss of good health is a frightening change. But to keep our personal problems hidden, to never reach out for help and for support — that is the truest tragedy.

We can reach out to those who love us and extend our arms to our Higher Power. Rather than being bitter, we can involve ourselves in the lives of others and allow our personal tragedies to generate triumphs.

My faith in a Higher Power and my faith in myself grow stronger each day.

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Food For Thought

Our Daily Bread

Doing the will of our Higher Power each day is what sustains us. We trust Him to provide the food we need, both physical and spiritual. We do not have to be anxious about our supply for the future. If we seek to do God’s will today. He will take care of us in the future as well.

Anxiety over material things arises when we forget to stay in touch with the source of our existence. By ourselves, we cannot even assure an adequate intake of oxygen; much less all of the other elements we need for survival. Since we are dependent on our environment to sustain us, we make life extremely difficult when we try to live a self-centered existence.

Our daily sustenance comes from a Power greater than ourselves. As children of God, we have faith that He will take care of us. Exaggerated emotional dependence on physical food blocks us from the spiritual nourishment, which our Higher Power offers us today and every day.

Give us this day our daily bread.

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One Day At A Time

~ COURAGE ~
Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve never been a brave person and was always very fearful. I would watch movies where the hero would rescue the heroine, or where someone would climb Mount Everest, or perform some feat of daring, and I would be totally in awe. I was afraid of the dark, of rejection, of failure and of most other things that I was convinced took courage. No way would I go parasailing or deep sea diving as that seemed to require the courage that I lacked. I didn’t understand then that people who do those kinds of things are not totally without fear, but they have a way of overcoming their fear and still doing it anyway.

When I came into the program and learned that I would have to do an inventory and then, worse still, make amends to the people I had harmed, I was paralyzed by fear. Eventually I realized that, even though I feared doing these things, all I had to do was ask my Higher Power for strength and guidance and then do the things I’d most feared. Perhaps these weren’t the feats of daring that I had seen heroes perform, but for me they were great victories, and in being able to do them, I knew that I was developing courage.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to walk through my fear with my Higher Power at my side, knowing that I am developing the courage that I thought I lacked.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only THOUGHT they had lost their egoism and fear; they only THOUGHT they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else ALL their life story. – Pg. 73 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We need special people in our lives so that we can travel the path of recovery. The special people are easy to find, they are right in front of you, your Higher Power puts them there.

Let me recognize and use the special people my Divine Source has placed before me to walk beside me on this road of recovery.

Feeling Good Inside

I am in the present, I can actually see what the next right action might be and I can take it seamlessly, easily, fruitfully. I will see my day as an opportunity to grow; to learn to allow more of who I am to flow through me. Naturally, quietly and without force. I will become worthy of the life I have been given, grateful just to be alive for one more day. I will let life work out.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘We weren’t perfect at it. Sometimes we rebelled, and rejected our sponsors’ feedback or the guidance of the Steps. Still, the recovery process was always there when we needed and accepted it. (P 80, CDA First Edition)

I worked my using hard, so now I work my recovery hard.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Strive for perfection; accept progress.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am getting to know myself today. I accept who I am today. I like myself today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I ran out of the meeting screaming; ‘You’re not going to railroad me into being happy!’ A while later I realized what I’d said. – Serenity Sam.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 4

Hope
Hope is the priceless ingredient for recovery. This, AA gives most frequently not in mere words.
Upon the alcoholic’s first contact with AA, as he looks across the room
and sees men and women respectably clothed and in their right minds, enjoying themselves,
that flicker of hope begins to burn.
And he says to himself, “If those jokers can do it, I can.”
The first need, beyond any other, is hope. Without it, there is nothing.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol 1], pp. 156-157

Thought to Ponder . . .
Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O P E = Heart Open; Please Enter.

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

Rewards
“The rewards of sobriety are bountiful
and as progressive as the disease they counteract.
Certainly among these rewards for me
are release from the prison of uniqueness,
and the realization that participation in the AA way of life
is a blessing and a privilege beyond estimate —
a blessing to live a life free from the
pain and degradation of drinking
and filled with the joy of useful, sober living,
and a privilege to grow in sobriety one day at a time
and bring the message of hope as it was brought to me.”
>From the new Fourth Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous
AAGrapevine, December 2001, p. 47

Thought to Consider . . .
Sobriety is a choice and a treasure.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
G I F T S = Getting It From The Steps.

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

Gift
Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone. He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being. He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or mastered.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pgs. 106-07

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

“No matter how truthful the words of my message, there could be no deep communication if what I said and did was colored by pride, arrogance, intolerance, resentment, imprudence, or desire for personal acclaim — even though I was largely unconscious of these attitudes”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1960
“The Language of the Heart”

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

“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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~

“…the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than
in his body.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, Page 23~

Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.68

And when humility and serenity are so combined, something else of great moment is apt to occur.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.62

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It was discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, ‘Maybe those A.A.’s were right.’ After a few such experiences, often before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced.
In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health, and even good social standing.
Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in order to admit that they were licked.

Prayer for the Day: Tenth Step Prayer –
I pray I may continue:
To grow in understanding and effectiveness;
To take daily spot-check inventories of myself;
To correct mistakes when I make them;
To take responsibility for my actions;
To be ever aware of my negative and self-defeating attitudes and behaviors;
To keep my willfulness in check;
To always remember I need Your help;
To keep love and tolerance of others as my code;
And to continue in daily prayer how I can best serve You, my Higher Power.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 3rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 3rd

Daily Reflections

IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS

. . . . we tried to carry this message to alcoholics,
and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106

I find that carrying the message of recovery to other
alcoholics is easy because it helps me to stay sober
and it provides me with a sense of well-being about
my own recovery. The hard part is practicing these
principles in all my affairs. It is important that I
share the benefits I receive from A.A., especially at
home. Doesn’t my family deserve the same patience,
tolerance and understanding I so readily give to the
alcoholic? When reviewing my day I try to ask, “Did I
have a chance to be a friend today and miss it?” ” Did
I have a chance to rise above a nasty situation and
avoid it?” “Did I have a chance to say ‘I’m sorry,’
and refuse to?” Just as I ask God for help with my
alcoholism each day, I ask for help in extending my
recovery to include all situations and all people!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

There is some alcoholic thought, conscious or
unconscious, that comes before every slip. As long as
we live, we must be on the lookout for such thoughts
and guard against them. In fact, our A.A. training is
mostly to prepare us, to make us ready to recognize
such thoughts at once and to reject them at once. The
slip comes when we allow such thoughts to remain in
our minds, even before we go through the motions of
lifting the glass to our lips. The A.A. program is
largely one of mental training. How well is my mind
prepared?

Meditation For The Day

Fret not your mind with puzzles you cannot solve. The
solutions may never be shown to you until you have left
this life. The loss of dear ones, the inequality of life,
the deformed and the maimed, and many other puzzling
things may not be known to you until you reach the life
beyond. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye
cannot hear them now.” Only step by step, stage by stage,
can you proceed in your journey into greater knowledge and
understanding.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be content that things which I now see
darkly will some day be made clear. I pray that I may have
faith that someday I will see face to face.


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As Bill Sees It

The “Slipper” Needs Understanding, p. 99

“Slips can often be charged to rebellion; some of us are more rebellious
than others. Slips may be due to the illusion that one can be ‘cured’ of
alcoholism. Slips can also be charged to carelessness and
complacency. Many of us fail to ride out these periods sober. Things
go fine for two or three years–then the member is seen no more. Some
of us suffer extreme guilt because of vices or practices that we can’t or
won’t let go of. Too little self-forgiveness and too little prayer–well,
this combination adds up to slips.

“Then some of us are far more alcohol-damaged than others. Still
others encounter a series of calamities and cannot seem to find the
spiritual resources to meet them. There are those of us who are
physically ill. Others are subject to more or less continuous exhaustion,
anxiety, and depression. These conditions often play a part in
slips–sometimes they are utterly controlling.”

Talk, 1960

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Walk In Dry Places

Raising the frustration threshold
Achievement
What happens when we hit snags in our lives?  In drinking, it was a common practice to chuck everything and just get drunk.  This always made things worse, sometimes so much so that we forgot about the problem that triggered our frustrations.
Dealing with frustration is another part of growing up emotionally.  Self-understanding in sobriety will help us detect surges of anger and irritation when things aren’t going as planned.  We’ll recognize these feelings as being the same emotions that plagued us in our drinking days.
In sobriety, however, we are given choices.  We actually do have the choice of pausing, letting the anger drain away, and then taking charge of the situation by knowing that God is working along with us. By doing this, we can eventually raise our threshold of frustration.
If some task or issue makes me angry today, I’ll back off and place the outcome in God’s hands. I’ll know this is working when I have a change in feeling about it.

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Keep It Simple

And to practice these principles in all our affairs. Third part of Step Twelve.
This is a statement about us. We are now people of values. These values reflect our spiritual growth. We know how to help others. We know how to admit our wrongs.
We know how to look at ourselves and change our defects. We know how to live an honest life.
Step Twelve tells us. “Go use these tools for better living. Go be all you can be. Enjoy life and live a life you can be proud of.” Step Twelve also tells us about how to have loving relationships. By the time we complete Step Twelve, we make or regain many relationships. The most important one is with our Higher Power. As we grow in the program, we realize all our relationships are spiritual gifts.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I now have one face instead of many masks. Help me be a person who will stand before You with pride, not shame.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll talk with a friend and talk about my new values. I will talk about how much my life has changed.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Sometimes, sisters have the same journey in their hearts. One may help the other or betray her. Will they cross over? Will the ship sail without them?  –Louise Bernikow
Other women share our struggle. When we treat our women friends as sisters and fellow pilgrims, we find great joy in our mutual help. We pray for the wisdom to let go our feelings of insecurity and rivalry with other women.
Rivalry is not good for us. It leads us to forget our own unique qualities. We each are the best person in the world at one thing: being ourselves. When we compete, we need to retain a balanced perspective and to think well of ourselves whether we win or lose. We run the best race we can; therefore, let us not regard other women as rivals. They are our sisters, and they, too, are doing the best they can.
Today, I will pray for the serenity that will let me see when my sisters have the same journey in their hearts as I.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

But what about his responsibilities—his family and the men who would die because they would not know how to get well, ah—yes, those other alcoholics? There must be many such in this town. He would phone a clergyman. His sanity returned and he thanked God. Selecting a church at random from the directory, he stepped into a booth and lifted the receiver.

pp. 154-155

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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?”

Commitment and service were part of recovery. I was told that to keep it we have to give it away. At first I made the coffee and later volunteered at the intergroup office answering telephones on the evening shift. I went on Twelfth Step calls, spoke at meetings, served as group officer. Ever so gradually I began to open. Just a crack at a first, with my hand on the door ready to slam it shut in a moment of fear. But my fears subsided too. I found that I could be there, open to all kinds of people from this solid base that we shared. Then I began to go back into the world, carrying that strength with me.

p. 345

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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 continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities for us. We alcoholics have learned this the hard way. More experienced people, of course, in all times and places have practiced unsparing self-survey and criticism. For 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.

p. 88

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Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep it for yourself. In
giving it, you will accumulate a deposit of joy greater than you ever believed possible.
–Norman Vincent Peale

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
–English Proverb

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered
heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to
become discouraged by their defeats.”
–B. C. Forbes

“Spend unbroken chunks of time with the most important people in your life.”
–Brian Tracy

“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to
do now and do it.”
–William Durant

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WONDER

“Wonder rather than doubt is the
root of knowledge.”
— Abraham Heschel

Living with paradox is part of my sobriety. Things are never quite what they seem.
When I think I have something figured out, I am made to be confused again
especially around my life, relationships, people, events and the universe. Life is both
simple and incomprehensible. God seems to demand an agnostic faith! There is
so much I do not know or understand.

But all of this leads to a creative and exciting sobriety. It makes life an adventure. It
feeds that artistic part of me that is reborn in my sobriety. Things I used to dislike
when I drank, I now enjoy. People and writers that once bored me now fascinate me;
even modern art has a spiritual message!

O God, let the feelings of amazement always be a part of my faith.

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

“For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord;
walk as children of light.”
Ephesians 5:8

“Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
Romans 15:7

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes
in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

“God has given gifts to each of you from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage
them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.”
1 Peter 4:10


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

Daily Inspiration

Allow your mind to become quiet and less judgmental and you will feel improvements in all areas of your life. Lord, help my mind avoid twisting the words I hear and misjudging the intentions of others in order to justify my own righteousness. Help me to spread Your peace.

There is not one moment that we are separated from God’s care unless we choose to be. Lord, You provide for my daily needs and deliver me from evil. You are my refuge.

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

NA Just For Today

Vision Without Limits

“Perhaps for the first time, we see a vision of our new life.”
Basic Text pg. 34

In our addiction, our vision of ourselves was very limited. Each day, we went through the same routine: getting, using, and finding ways and means to get more. And that’s all we could reasonably expect for the duration of our lives. Our potential was limited.

Today, our prospects are changed. Recovery has given us a new vision of ourselves and our lives. We are no longer trapped in the endlessly gray routine of addiction. We are free to stretch ourselves in new ways, trying out new ideas and new activities. In doing so, we come to see ourselves in a new way. Our potential is limited only by the strength of the Higher Power that cares for us – and that strength has no limits.

In recovery, life and everything in it appears open to us. Guided by our spiritual principles, driven by the power given us by the God of our understanding, our horizons are limitless.

Just for today: I will open my eyes to the possibilities before me. My potential is as limitless and as powerful as the God of my understanding. Today, I will act on that potential.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields that it kisses them so gently. –Lewis Carroll
In different times and places, clouds can produce snowflakes, raindrops, or even hailstones. Each one seems to have its own purpose and mood as it falls from the sky. The snowflake is the lightest of these, and so it falls slowly and softly. Rainfall can be soft or hard. It sometimes feels angry, almost cleansing.
No matter how thick the snowfall is, it is still soft. We can rarely hear it land. It covers the world in a peaceful white. If we look closely, we can see that each small snowflake is unique.
Like the snowflakes, each of us has a unique design. Perhaps what we can learn from the snowflakes is how to gently touch the lives and growing things around us. Times of anger and rain are necessary, but a soft snowfall brings peace to all humanity.
How can I show my gentle side today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried, on great winds across the sky. –Ojibway
“Ah, poor me,” we sometimes say, “I have to work so hard!” “I have so much stress!” “If only my problem with money would get better, then I could be content!” “I just don’t understand women!” “Why can’t my family have fewer troubles?” This attitude of self-pity is as ancient as humanity. The Ojibway recognized blindness to the spiritual path. Every man has problems and challenges, and life often is not fair. Self-pity becomes a stumbling block when we get so narrowly focused upon our problems. We forget we are a part of a whole throng of fellow pilgrims on this path. It helps to notice others beside ourselves who are seeking courage to live their lives.
Sometimes we reawaken our awareness of our Higher Power by seeing that we are “carried on great winds across the sky.” We have many blessings; we are not alone. Often within problems we discover our greatest blessings.
God, help me find the spiritual path in the choices I make today. Help me turn away from self-pity.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Sometimes, sisters have the same journey in their hearts. One may help the other or betray her. Will they cross over? Will the ship sail without them? –Louise Bernikow
Other women share our struggle. When we treat our women friends as sisters and fellow pilgrims, we find great joy in our mutual help. We pray for the wisdom to let go our feelings of insecurity and rivalry with other women.
Rivalry is not good for us. It leads us to forget our own unique qualities. We each are the best person in the world at one thing: being ourselves. When we compete, we need to retain a balanced perspective and to think well of ourselves whether we win or lose. We run the best race we can; therefore, let us not regard other women as rivals. They are our sisters, and they, too, are doing the best they can.
Today, I will pray for the serenity that will let me see when my sisters have the same journey in their hearts as I.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Developing Healthy Tolerance
Many of us are skilled at denying and discounting what hurts us. We may endure a particular situation, telling ourselves repeatedly it’s not that bad; we shouldn’t be so demanding; it’ll change any day; we should be able to live with it; it doesn’t annoy us; the other person didn’t really mean it; it doesn’t hurt; maybe it’s just us.
We may fight and argue with ourselves about the reality and validity of our pain – our right to feel it and do something about it.
Often we will tolerate too much or so much that we become furious and refuse to tolerate any more.
We can learn to develop healthy tolerance.
We do that by setting healthy boundaries and trusting ourselves to own our power with people. We can lessen our pain and suffering by validating and paying attention to ourselves. We can work at shortening the time between identifying a need to set a boundary, and taking clear, direct action.
We aren’t crazy. Some behaviors really do bug us. Some behaviors really are inappropriate, annoying, hurtful, or abusive.
We don’t have to feel guilty about taking care of ourselves once we identify a boundary that needs to be set. Look at the experience as an experiment in owning our power, in establishing new, healthy boundaries and limits for ourselves.
We don’t have to feel guilty or apologize or explain ourselves after we’ve set a boundary. We can learn to accept the awkwardness and discomfort of setting boundaries with people. We can establish our rights to have these limits. We can give the other person room to have and explore his or her feelings; we can give ourselves room to have our feelings – as we struggle to own our power and create good, working relationships.
Once we can trust our ability to take care of ourselves, we will develop healthy reasonable tolerance of others.
God, help me begin striving for healthy boundaries and healthy tolerance for others and myself.

I am beginning to trust myself today. There is a place deep within me that tells me that I am okay and guides me along my path in recovery. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Let Go of Leftover Guilt

Why do you feel guilty when you’re doing what you’ve been led to do?

That nagging, gnawing feeling of guilt is leftovers– leftovers from another period when we didn’t love ourselves. It’s left over from another time when we didn’t trust ourselves. Left over from another place when we didn’t know life could be fun, easy, natural, and joy could be ours.

Feeling guilty and anxious about that new thing you’re doing, that new place you’re going, that new adventure you’re on is part of your resistance to the lesson. Part of your shying back from the idea that you can truly, absolutely, and fundamentally love yourself and enjoy all parts of your life.

Soon you will see that you’ve been led to the very place you’re at right now. The very thing you are feeling guilty and anxious about is the very thing you’ve been led to do to take you on your next adventure.

Life is abundant. We can bask in self-love and the healing resources around us. Our movements, our activities, our days and hours and nights can flow easily. Naturally. And we can do the things we’re led to do without feeling guilty.

Recognize the guilt and anxiety of resistance as just that: resistance. Then let yourself go on your journey of love without spoiling it with guilt.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Enjoy the void

We begin to walk down a path– recovery, a new job, a new relationship. We’re busy, even overwhelmed, with everything that lies before us. We work and work and walk our path and grow. Then one day the relationship changes. The job changes. Or we’re far anough along to look past the next minute of sobriety and when we look, we can’t see anything.

We get scared. Nothingness can be frightening. There’s no way to plan for the future. We can’t make the right move. We’re surrounded with decisions, and none of them feel like the right ones.

Relax. Savor this moment,too. Stop trying to fill it up. You’re in the void, that magical place from which all creation arises. Breathe the air, look at the flowers, feel the sun. Or build a fire to keep you warm. There’s no need to be frightened of this place; there’s nothing you need to do. Keep walking your path, and the creative way will become clear to you soon.

God, help me to let go of worry when I’m in the in-between places in my life. Help me to walk in peace and let the universe show me the path that I am to follow. Help me relax in this space and garner energy for the journey ahead.

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Relating to the Negative
The Danger of Repression by Madisyn Taylor

When negative thoughts arise it is best to address them rather than pushing them down where they will surface again.

For the last several years, there has been a lot of focus on the power of positive thinking. Many people have come to misinterpret this wisdom to mean that it is not okay to have a bad mood or a negative thought or feeling. This can lend a kind of superficiality to their relationship with life and relationships with other people. It can also lead them to feel that if a negative thought or feeling comes up, in themselves or someone else, they must immediately block it out. When they do this, they are engaging in the act of repressing a part of themselves that needs to seen, heard, and processed.

When we repress parts of ourselves, they don’t go away so much as they get buried deep within us, and they often come out when we least expect it. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to be fully human, honoring all the thoughts, feelings, and moods that pass through us on a given day, we create a more conscious relationship with ourselves. Instead of blocking out thoughts and feelings that we label as negative, we can simply observe them and then let them go. They only get stuck when we react to them negatively, pushing them down and out of sight where they get lodged in our unconscious minds. A healthier solution might be to develop a practice of following any negative thought we may have with a positive thought. This works well because positive thoughts are many times more powerful than negative thoughts.

Rather than setting our minds up in such a way that we become fearful of the contents of our own consciousness, blocking out anything that is less than 100 percent positive, we might resolve to develop a friendlier attitude toward ourselves, trusting in our inherent goodness. When we recognize our true inner worth, a few dark clouds passing through our minds will not intimidate us. We will see them for what they are—small, dark figures passing through an expansive sky of well-being and truth. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Our ancient enemy, self-will, wears a mask, confronting me with this sort of rationalization: “Why do I have to lean on God? Hasn’t He already given me the intelligence to think for myself?” I have to pause when such thoughts creep into my mind, remembering that I’ve never really been able to bring about the results I wanted simply by relying on my own devices. I’m not self-sufficient, nor do I know all the answers; bitter experience alone teaches me that. Do I know that I need God’s guidance? Am I willing to accept it?

Today I Pray

I pray that, as I become stronger in my conviction and in my sobriety, I will not begin to shrug off my dependence on a Higher Power. May I continue to pray for guidance, even when things seem to be going along smoothly. May I know that I need my Higher Power as much in times of triumph as in times of trauma.

Today I Will Remember

Self-sufficiency is a godless myth.

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One More Day

Happiness is not being pained in body nor troubled in mind. -Thomas Jefferson

Teenagers say it all the time: “Hey! Mellow Out! Hype down!” These words may be alien to us, but we can listen to these somewhat flippant admonitions.

Perhaps we do get too tense at times during certain phases of our lives. Pain, anxiety, or stress can cause us to tighten our muscles, to brace our bodies against the impact of our medical problems. The tighter our bodies become, the less patient and kind we are to those we love.

To help ourselves “mellow out” we first have to identify the feelings associated with tenseness. We can calm down by taking deep, slow, cleansing breaths. Let’s do ourselves a favor and learn to relax, to mellow out.

By learning to let my body rest and relax, I can concentrate on keeping my mind free and untroubled.

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Food For Thought

Insanity

The longer we maintain abstinence from compulsive overeating, the more we realize how insane we were before we found OA. Our withdrawal from people and reality into eating to excess was definitely not a sane way to live. As we work the Steps of this program, we see that many of our thoughts and attitudes were as insane as our destructive behavior.

It is our Higher Power who restores us to sanity, but He requires our surrender and cooperation. We can actively seek out the people and experiences which are life enhancing rather than detrimental to our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. The activities and associations, which went along with our compulsive overeating in the past, may have to be eliminated if we are to enjoy a sane, sober life in the present and future.

Continuing to beat our heads against the brick walls of past failures is insanity. We have a new life to live, provided we relinquish the attitudes and behavior, which we now know to be insane.

Preserve us from old insanities.

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One Day At A Time

INTUITION
Don’t listen to friends when the Friend inside you says, “Do this!”
Mahatma Gandhi

The Oxford dictionary describes intuition as “immediate apprehension by the mind without reasoning.” Well, I certainly never acted on intuition for most of my life because, in order for me to make any decision, it had to be based on cold hard logic. I would literally make a scientific “if – then hypothesis” based on all the possible consequences of any action I was contemplating, and by the time I’d looked into all the possible negative outcomes, I’d more than likely have talked myself out of it. Part of the problem was fear that if it didn’t turn out well, I would not be taken care of. How could I trust that my Higher Power would take care of me, seeing I had for a long time been angry at God and believed that He was definitely not there for me?

One of the miracles of the program has been my returning belief in a Higher Power who is always there for me when I need Him. I am slowly learning that I just need to turn my will and my life over to Him on a daily basis as it tells me in Step Three, and amazing things are beginning to happen. Because I wasn’t able to do this for many years, I had blocked my intuition, which we are told is the way in which we are in direct contact with our Higher Power. Slowly, the intuitive thoughts are returning as I work on a daily relationship with my Higher Power, and I am now more able to act on them, knowing that I will always be taken care of.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to turn my will and my life over to my Higher Power knowing that my connection with Him, my intuition, is getting stronger each day, and that I am more able to do God’s will for today.
~ Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. – Pg. 151 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Nothing comes easy for us right now. A lot of energy goes into just staying put and accepting this new way of life. We say that when the going gets tough, we hang tough! We know that it will pass, we make that promise to you. But it will be in God’s time, not yours.

Let me believe in myself, in this program, and in You, my Spiritual Source.

A Little Magic

Each day is a gift especially for me. I will look through innocent eyes at the world today and see the gifts that are meant just for me. Children think the sun rises for and because of them. They’re sure that the moon hangs in the sky because they waved their arm towards the heavens. That flowers bloom for their eyes alone to see. They are magical thinkers. They take delight in the antics of a squirrel, in a balloon sailing in a bright, blue sky. They see the world fresh, in color and alive each new day, each new moment. They are constantly being surprised. Today, I think I’ll borrow a little of their magic. Their magic and my maturity may just be a winning combination.

I believe anything is possible

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Some days you will be shocked at how nasty and short tempered you are. You’ll think, ‘This can’t be me being so unreasonable.’ Yet it is. You may deny it’s really you by jostling the blame on another, ‘If they hadn’t….’. No, your bad behavior is your fault. You have no excuse. Now, can you love you anyway?

I learn to love me even when I don’t like me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

On the first drink: When you get hit by a train, which kills you, the engine or the caboose?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am beginning to trust myself today. There is a place deep within me that tells me that I am okay and guides me along my path in recovery.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It’s fine to drink like a fish.
If you drink what fish drink. – Jim M.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 3

Helpfulness
Now you are getting back into the social life of this world. Don’t start to withdraw again just because your friends drink

liquor.
Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others,
so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful.
– Alcoholics Anonymous,p. 102

Thought to Ponder . . .
Trust God. Clean house. Help others.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O P E = Helping Other People Every day.

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

Fear
“We have had a much keener look at ourselves
and those about us.
We have seen that we were prodded by
unreasonable fears and anxieties
into making a life business of winning fame, money,
and what we thought was leadership.
So false pride became the reverse side
of that ruinous coin marked ‘Fear.’
We simply had to be Number One people
to cover up our deep-lying inferiorities.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 123

Thought to Consider . . .
Situations I fear are rarely as bad as the fear itself.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R = Frantic Efforts to Appear Recovered

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

An Avocation
From: “Foreword”
It is important that we remain anonymous because we are too few, at present to handle the overwhelming number of personal appeals which may result from this publication. Being mostly business or professional folk, we could not well carry on our occupations in such an event. We would like it understood that our alcoholic work is an avocation.
When writing or speaking publicly about alcoholism, we urge each of our Fellowship to omit his personal name, designating himself instead as “a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Very earnestly we ask the press also, to observe this request, for otherwise we shall be greatly handicapped.
1989, Carry the Message, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, [First Edition facsimile], page vii

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

“Only the sharing of despair can bring us … illumination.”
Pleasantville, N.Y., August 1959
“The Sense of Sobriety,”
Spiritual Awakenings

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

“When you discover a prospect for Alcoholics Anonymous, find out all
you can about him. If he does not want to stop drinking, don’t
waste time trying to persuade him. You may spoil a later opportunity.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 90

” When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the
Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our
ideas did not work. But the God idea did.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, Page 52~

Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.76

Our inventory enables us to settle with the past.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.89

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In A.A., we found that it did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it mattered greatly what our spiritual condition was. As we improved our spiritual outlook, money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and service with those about us.
One of A.A.’s Loners is an Australian sheepman who lives two thousand miles from the nearest town, where yearly he sells his wool. In order to be paid the best prices he has to get to town during a certain month. But when he heard that a big regional A.A. meeting was to be held at a later date when wool prices would have fallen, he gladly took a heavy financial loss in order to make his journey then. That’s how much an A.A. meeting means to him.

Prayer for the Day: Ninth Step Prayer – Higher Power, I pray for the right attitude to make my amends, being ever mindful not to harm others in the process. I ask for Your guidance in making indirect amends. Most important, I will continue to make amends by staying abstinent, helping others and growing in spiritual progress.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 2nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 2nd

Daily Reflections

SERENITY

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106

As I continued to go to meetings and work the Steps, something began to happen to me. I
felt confused because I wasn’t sure what it was that I was feeling, and then I realized I
was experiencing serenity. It was a good feeling, but where had it come from? Then I
realized it had come “. . .as the result of these steps.” The program may not always be
easy to practice, but I had to acknowledge that my serenity had come to me after working
the Steps. As I work the Steps in everything I do, practicing these principles in all my
affairs, now I find that I am awake to God, to others, and to myself. The spiritual
awakening I have enjoyed as the result of working the Steps is the awareness that I am
no longer alone.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The thoughts that come before having a slip seem to be partly subconscious. And yet it is
likely that at least part of these thoughts get into our consciousness. An idle thought
connected with drinking casually pops into our mind. That is the crucial moment. Will I
harbor that thought even for one minute or will I banish it from my mind at once? If I let it
stay, it may develop into a daydream. I may begin to see a cool glass of beer or a
Manhattan cocktail in my mind’s eye. If I allow the daydream to stay in my mind, it
may lead to a decision, however unconscious, to take a drink. Then I am headed for a
slip. Do I let myself daydream?

Meditation For The Day

Many of us have a sort of vision of the kind of person God wants us to be. We must be
true to that vision, whatever it is, and we must try to live up to it, by living the way we
believe we should live. We can all believe that God has a vision of what He wants us to be
like. In all people there is a good person whom God sees in us, the person we could be
and that God would like us to be. But many a person fails to fulfill that promise and God’s
disappointments must be many.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may strive to be the kind of a person that God would have me be. I pray that
I may try to fulfill God’s vision of what I could be.


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As Bill Sees It

Renew Your Effort, p. 68

“Though I know how hurt and sorry you must be after this slip, please
do not worry about a temporary loss of your inner peace. As calmly
as you can, just renew your effort in the A.A. program, especially
those parts of it which have to do with meditation and self-analysis.

“Could I also suggest that you look at excessive guilt for what it is?
Nothing but a sort of reverse pride. A decent regret for what has
happened is fine. But guilt–no.

“Indeed, the slip could well have been brought about by unreasonable
feelings of guilt because of other moral failures, so called. Surely,
you ought to look into this possibility. Even here you should not
blame yourself for failure; you can be penalized only for refusing to
try for better things.”

Letter, 1958

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Walk In Dry Places

Bringing Projects to Completion.
Fortitude
Starting projects without completing them can be part of our alcoholic nature. It’s related to immaturity and a tendency to become bored and discouraged quickly.
The 12 Step program can help us overcome this problem. First, we realize and admit to such tendencies, fearlessly facing what has really been a very bad habit. Then we become honest about our motives. We realize that we didn’t actually have the abiding interest that would have helped us complete some projects. In such cases, the projects never should have been started…   and in the future we’ll take are not to embark on similar projects.
When something does need to be completed, the program will help us stay with it until it’s done. We will always find that the satisfaction of completing a necessary project will be part of sober living.  We’ll also know that we’re growing in the program.
I’ll take the necessary steps today to move any project toward completion. This will also help with future projects.

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Keep It Simple

…we tried to carry this message to alcoholics...–Second part of Step 12.
In this part of Step 12, we carry the message of hope. But it’s not up to us if anyone accepts the message or not. This keeps us from playing God. We just gently deliver the message. We don’t force the program down people’s throats. In general, Step Twelve tells us, “Be helpful to those we can help.” When a neighbor is sick, mow her lawn. When a friend is in the hospital, visit him. Step Twelve reminds us that we make a difference. We have hope to give the world. And hope is what we stand for to the addict who still suffers. Hope is what we stand for to the addict’s family. How beautiful to stand for hope! Remember when our lives stood for despair?? What a change!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me shine brightly as a symbol of Your hope.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll help someone in need. It may be an alcoholic or other drug addict, or just someone in need. I’ll help make the world a better place.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The old woman I shall become will be quite different from the woman I am now. Another I is beginning . . .  –George Sand
Change is constant. And we are always becoming. Each chance, each feeling, each responsibility we commit ourselves to adds to the richness of our womanhood. We are not yesterday’s woman, today. Our new awarenesses have brought us beyond her. And we can’t go back without knowing, somehow, that she no longer meets the needs of today.
We can look forward to our changes, to the older woman we are becoming. She will have the wisdom that we still lack. She will have learned to live and let live. She will have acquired, through years of experiences, a perspective that lends sanity to all situations.
The lessons we are learning today, the pain that overwhelms us now and again, are nurturing the developing woman within each of us. If only we could accept the lessons and master them. If only we could trust the gift of change that accompanies the pain.
I am becoming. And with the becoming, comes peace. I can sense it today. I know where I was yesterday. 

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Bitterly discouraged, he found himself in a strange place, discredited and almost broke. Still physically weak, and sober but a few months, he saw that his predicament was dangerous. He wanted so much to talk with someone, but whom?
One dismal afternoon he paced a hotel lobby wondering how his bill was to be paid. At the end of the room stood a glass covered directory of local churches. Down the lobby a door opened into an attractive bar. He could see the gay crowd inside. In there he would find companionship and release. Unless he took some drinks, he might not have the courage to scrape an acquaintance and would have a lonely week-end.
Of course he couldn’t drink, but why not sit hopefully at a table, a bottle of ginger ale before him? After all, had he not been sober six months now? Perhaps he could handle, say, three drinks—no more! Fear gripped him. He was on thin ice. Again it was the old, insidious insanity—that first drink. With a shiver, he turned away and walked down the lobby to the church directory. Music and gay chatter still floated to him from the bar.

p. 154

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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?”

I was blessed to live in a city where there were meetings at all hours of the day and night. There I would be safe. And there, within a few blocks of my apartment, at last I would find the self I had traveled thousands of miles in search of. The slogans on the walls, which at first made me shudder, began to impress me as truths I could live by: “One Day at a Time.” “Easy Does It.” “Keep It Simple.” “Live and Let Live.” “Let Go and Let God.” “The Serenity Prayer.”

pp. 344-345

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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 work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical use, day by day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and live to good purpose under all conditions?

p. 88

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Destroying pride — man becomes endearing;
Destroying anger — man gets rid of sorrow;
Destroying desire — man acquires peace;
Destroying greed — man achieves happiness.
–Satya Sai Baba

Whoever seeks God . . . has already found God.
–unknown

It’s never too late to begin making an effort.
–unknown

When you find yourself rundown from life, pace yourself and take a refreshing break.
–unknown

BIG BOOK – Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge

WILLING – When I Live Life, I Need God

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PROBLEMS

“The certainties of one age are
the problems of the next.”
— R. H. Tawney

Life is a process of change that inevitably produces problems; the fear of the new, the
discomfort of old values being seen to be wrong, the confusion that so often accompanies
growth. Problems are part of life and we can only escape them in death. (Even then
nobody can be sure we will be free of problems!)

As an alcoholic I tried to run away from my problems by drinking. But the next day the
old problems were still there and my drinking had usually brought new problems. Alcohol
only produced a momentary escape but reality always returned.

Today, with the acceptance of my alcoholism and my decision not to “pick up the first
drink”, I face my problems. I deal with my problems. I live with the problems of life.

Teach me to accept joyously the problems that life and growth inevitably bring.

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“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.”
Matthew 13:16

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,
because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'”
Hebrews 13:5


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Daily Inspiration

Life will be so much easier if you can accept that things don’t always go as planned and see that these are often magnificent opportunities. Lord, help me learn from the occurences of today that seem to go awry and show me how to make the situation better through my own flexibility and creativity.

Enthusiasm keeps the mind young and the spirit growing. Lord, may I always see wonder in the ordinary happenings of my day.

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NA Just For Today

Recovery: Our First Priority

“We have to keep our recovery first and our priorities in order.”
Basic Text pg. 79

Before coming to NA, we used many excuses to justify our use of drugs: “He yelled at me” “She said this.” “My partner left.” “I got fired.” We used these same excuses for not seeking help for our drug problem. We had to realize that these things kept happening because we kept using drugs. Only when we made recovery our first priority did these situations begin to change.

We may be subject to the same tendency today, using excuses for not attending meetings and being of service. Our current excuses may be of a different nature: “I can’t leave my kids.” “My vacation wore me out.” “I have to finish this project so I can impress my boss.” But still, if we don’t make recovery our first priority, chances are that we won’t have to worry about these excuses anymore. Kids, vacations, and jobs probably won’t be in our lives if we relapse.

Our recovery must come first. Job or no job, relationship or no relationship, we have to attend meetings, work the steps, call our sponsor, and be of service to God and others. These simple actions are what make it possible for us to have vacations, families, and bosses to worry about. Recovery is the foundation of our lives, making everything else possible.

Just for today: I will keep my priorities in order. Number One on the list is my recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
When one is a stranger to oneself, then one is estranged from others, too. –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
There’s a person inside each of us just itching to be known and loved. But if we don’t get to know and love that person, how can we expect anyone else to know us?
That’s why it’s so important to spend time alone getting acquainted with ourselves. And how do we do that? We can sit quietly with ourselves, thinking and listening. Then we can write our thoughts in a journal, or we can draw or paint them. If we play a musical instrument, we can put our thoughts and feelings into music.
When we make the time and effort to know ourselves, it encourages others to want to know us, too. Since everything we do and feel begins inside us, we must feel good about ourselves in order to feel good about anything else. What wonders we are, that we have all the power we need to make our world a happy one!
How do I feel about myself today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The management assumes no responsibility for what is found. –Abraham Maslow
There are so many occasions when we would like to blame somebody–wife, child, parent, or “the management,” for our feelings. When we get frustrated, overworked, or angry, we want somebody else to take responsibility. In truth, each of us has his own path and is responsible for his feelings. One man said that living alone made it clear to him that his wife wasn’t creating his feelings. Until then he thought she was responsible.
This blaming and not taking responsibility keep a man in the role of victim. When we accept the difficult message that our feelings are ours to deal with and no one else’s, self-improvement begins. We begin to walk the difficult but self respecting path of spiritual awakening. We can do something about whatever hurts. Even in that awakening there are no guarantees that who we are will be totally what we want to find. Our only guarantee is that our Higher Power is with us to deal with the realities of our lives.
Today, help me be responsible for what I feel and do.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The old woman I shall become will be quite different from the woman I am now. Another I is beginning . . . –George Sand
Change is constant. And we are always becoming. Each chance, each feeling, each responsibility we commit ourselves to adds to the richness of our womanhood. We are not yesterday’s woman, today. Our new awarenesses have brought us beyond her. And we can’t go back without knowing, somehow, that she no longer meets the needs of today.
We can look forward to our changes, to the older woman we are becoming. She will have the wisdom that we still lack. She will have learned to live and let live. She will have acquired, through years of experiences, a perspective that lends sanity to all situations.
The lessons we are learning today, the pain that overwhelms us now and again, are nurturing the developing woman within each of us. If only we could accept the lessons and master them. If only we could trust the gift of change that accompanies the pain.
I am becoming. And with the becoming, comes peace. I can sense it today. I know where I was yesterday.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Putting Our Life on Hold
We cannot afford to put our needs on hold, waiting for another person to fulfill us, make our life better, or come around and be who and what we want that person to be. That will create resentment, hostility, an unhealthy dependency, and a mess to deal with later on.
If we have decided we want a particular relationship or want to wait about making a decision in a particular relationship, then we must go on with our own life in the interim.
That can be hard. It can feel natural to put our life on hold. That is when we get caught up in the codependent beliefs: That person can make me happy… I need that particular person to do a particular thing in order to be happy….
That’s a circumstance that can hook our low self-esteem, our self-doubt, and our tendency to neglect ourselves.
We can get into this situation in a number of ways. We can do this waiting for a letter, waiting for a job, waiting for a person, waiting for an event.
We do not have to put our life on hold. There will be repercussions from doing this. Go on with your life. Take life a day at a time.
What is something I could be doing now to take care of myself, make myself feel better, get my needs met in an appropriate, healthy way?
How can I own my power to take care of myself, despite what the other person is or isn’t doing?
What will happen if I break the system and begin taking care of myself?
Sometimes, we get the answer we want immediately. Sometimes, we wait for a while. Sometimes, things don’t work out exactly the way we hoped. But they always work out for good, and often better than we expected.
And in the meantime, we have manifested love for ourselves by living our own life and taking the control away from others. That always comes back to us tenfold, because when we actually manifest love for ourselves, we give our Higher Power, other people, and the Universe permission to send us the love we want and need. Stopping living our life to make a thing happen doesn’t work. All it does is make us miserable, because we have stopped living our life.
Today, I will force myself, if necessary, to live my own life. I will act in my own best interest, in a way that reflects self-love. If I have given power or control of my life to someone other than myself, and someone besides a Power greater than myself, I will take it back. I will begin acting in my own best interests, even if it feels awkward to do that.

No matter what is going on in my life today, I can always find something for which to be grateful. When I stop and think about this and make a gratitude list, there is no room for depression or self pity. There is so much to be grateful for today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Learn to Visualize Your Path

Learn to visualize what you would like to see happen in your life. Use your mind and your imagination, in connection with your heart, to create a picture of the future.

Visions can help create our future and guide us down the path. If we have a picture of where we’re going, it will help us know when we get there. It will help us know we’re on track.

At times, we find ourselves easily using our imaginations to create a clear picture. We can see ourselves doing something a particular way, comfortably functioning in a particular situation. We can see how what we’re working on is going to look. We can see ourselves living in a particular place, working at a particular job, or vacationing at that special spot. We know clearly what we want.

Other times, our vision may not be as clear. We may have only a few vague ideas about how a thing or place will look. We need to focus our attention and create as clear a picture as we can. Making a list of all we know about what we’d like it to be helps here.

Other times, we may be completely in the dark without a clue about where we’re going. That doesn’t mean we can’t get there or that there is no place for us to go. It means that we need to ask God, the universe, to help us become clear on what would be good, clear enough so we can recognize the answer when it comes.

Learn to use your imagination to create the life you want. Take time at the beginning to develop a vision, an idea about what you want. Visualize how you would like things to be. Then let your vision guide you where you need to go.

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More Language Of Letting Go

The lesson is joy

I was visiting a counselor in Minnesota one cold January day in 1991. We were talking about the present and speculating about the lessons to come. She grabbed my hand and looked at me, looked right into my eyes. “This I know for sure,” she said. “You’ve been through enough pain. Now you’re going to learn about joy.”

One week later, my son Shane died.

Mixed in with my grief was rage. I was so angry with her for saying that. It was another instance of getting my hopes up that I could finally be happy. Now, I felt tricked and let down.

The years passed slowly. I lost almost everything, including my desire to write. Nichole graduated from high school. Then she moved out of the house, and to New York. Life kept changing and moving along, in spite of how I felt.

One year I noticed that the anniversary of Shane’s death had passed, and I hadn’t become depressed. Then I began to notice something else. I was beginning to feel alive, vibrant, awestruck with life. It wasn’t a naive assumption that whatever I wanted, I’d get. It was a newfound ability to surrender to each moment and enjoy what life brought my way. I made new friends. My relationships with old friends changed. What inspired me was my new relationship with life. I stopped looking for outward circumstances to provide me with happiness. I began to see that I held that key myself.

If you’re going through something in your life that isn’t what you planned, a transformation is at hand. While we might prefer to be transformed in the twinkling of an eye, it usually doesn’t happen that fast. It takes all the moments added together, and sometimes those moments go on and on. But one day when you least expect it– a phoenix rises from the ashes. That phoenix is you.

Some of us encounter a lot of pain. Some of us have less. If I could sit across from you right now, I’d look into your eyes and say these words to you: “I know you’ve been through a lot. But there’s a new cycle coming. You’re going to learn about joy.”

Life is going to take you on your own journey of personal transformation. You may have let go of some things. But don’t worry, you’ll get some of those things back. And sometimes when we think something is lost, it’s not. It’s just moved to a different place. No pain, no gain, is what many people say. And usually they say that because when the lesson is learned, the pain stops. But then something happens. It just clicks in. The moments start getting better and better. And it’s not because of what we get. It happens because we’ve surrendered. And although it looks like what we’ve surrendered to is pain and heartache, we’ve really surrendered to God’s will.

There’s a world out there– right outside your door. And the key that opens the door is in your hand. The ultimate lesson is learning joy. Put your fears aside. Live your life, whatever that means to you today. It may happen today, tomorrow, next week, or in ten years. but you won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll throw your hat up in the air, look around, and shout, “Oh my God, how sweet life is.”

God, help me get through my lessons, one by one. Then bring me to that place where I learn about joy.

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Choosing Not To Be a Target
Emotional Attacks

Hurtful confrontations often leave us feeling drained and confused. When someone attacks us emotionally, we may wonder what we did to rouse their anger, and we take their actions personally. We may ask ourselves what we could have done to compel them to behave or speak that way toward us. It’s important to remember that there are no real targets in an emotional attack and that it is usually a way for the attacker to redirect their uncomfortable feelings away from themselves. When people are overcome by strong emotions, like hurt or anguish, they may see themselves as victims and lash out at others as a means of protection or to make themselves feel better. You may be able to shield yourself from an emotional attack by not taking the behavior personally. First, however, it is good to cultivate a state of detachment that can provide you with some protection from the person who is attacking you. This will allow you to feel compassion for this person and remember that their beha! vior isn’t as much about you as it is about their need to vent their emotions.

If you have difficulty remaining unaffected by someone’s behavior, take a moment to breathe deeply and remind yourself that you didn’t do anything wrong, and you aren’t responsible for people’s feelings. If you can see that this person is indirectly expressing a need to you—whether they are reaching out for help or wanting to be heard—you may be able to diffuse the attack by getting them to talk about what is really bothering them.

You cannot control other people’s emotions, but you can control your own. If you sense yourself responding to their negativity, try not to let yourself. Keep your heart open to them, and they may let go of their defensiveness and yield to your compassion and openness. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Once at a meeting held in a church, I saw a stained glass window on which was written, “God Is Love.” For some reason, my mind transposed the words into “Love Is God.” Either way is correct and true, I realized, looking about me and becoming even more conscious of the spirit of love and Power in the small meeting room. I’ll continue to seek out that love and Power, following The Program as if my life depended upon it — as indeed it does. Does life to me today mean living — in the active sense — joyously and comfortably?

Today I Pray

May I feel the spirit of love that gives our prayers their energy. May I feel the oneness in this room, the concentration of love that gives the group its power. May I feel the exemplary love of a Higher Power, which our love echoes.

Today I Will Remember

Love Is God.

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One More Day

Habituation is a falling asleep or fatiguing of the sense of time; which explains why young years pass slowly, while later life finds itself faster and faster upon its course.
–Thomas Mann

Our routines can become so rote that we’re unaware of making choices. Suddenly, we realize we haven’t done many of the things which matter most to us. With this realization comes another: sometimes making no choice is, in fact a choice in the same things, saying the same words, living a copy of the day before – we have chosen to live safely. But we may think, I wish I had…

We don’t have to completely change our lives in order to make better choices for ourselves. All we have to do is see all the choices open to us.

What and how I choose makes every day different from the last.

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Food For Thought

Guilt

It was often a feeling of guilt, which led us to overeat, and the more we overate, the guiltier we felt. A Fourth Step inventory can pinpoint the reasons for the guilt that we still experience, and by taking the Fifth Step we are able to express and release this guilt.

Some of our guilt feelings are unnecessary. We may experience a sense of guilt when we say no to requests and demands, which infringe on our legitimate rights. We may feel guilty when we do not live up to the expectations of someone close to us. We need to develop a strong sense of self worth so that we do not suffer from guilt at not conforming to someone else’s image of who we should be.

Working our program relieves us of unnecessary guilt. When we make amends to those we have in fact injured, we are freed from a heavy burden of real guilt. When we experience confirmation of who we are through contact with our Higher Power, we are liberated from the constraint of imagined guilt.

Show us how to deal with guilt.

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One Day At A Time

FAITH
I try to avoid looking forward or backward,
and try to keep looking upward.
Charlotte Bronte

If only I would remember to keep my focus on God and today, not yesterday and not tomorrow. The past is just that … the past. I can’t change any of it, the good memories or the bad. They are just memories. I don’t have to forget my past; I just have to stop hurting myself by constantly agonizing over what I consider mistakes and failures.

Tomorrow is in God’s hands. What better place for it to be! I have to learn to trust God to hold me in the palm of His hands, the same way He holds tomorrow. He isn’t going to drop me or close His fist around me so tightly that I can’t breathe.

We are all created with the ability to make choices, and He gives us that freedom. He will hold us securely, and help us make the right choices, if only we let go and let Him.

One day at a time . . .
I will forget yesterday and tomorrow. I will not look backward or forward. I will look up and put myself in God’s care, knowing He will hold me safely in the palm of His hand.
Debbie K.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. – Pg. 157 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We always wanted our image to be so good, yet we always seemed to come off bad. No amount of mind-affecting chemicals ever made us come off good, either. They just made us think we were OK. But there is nothing so bad right now, that a fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort won’t make it worse.

May I clearly see that drugs only provided an illusion of good time, not the real thing.

Hesitation

Today, I will walk the walk and talk the talk. It will not be good for me, ultimately, to half commit myself. In a way, the particular path that I take is less significant than that I take a path. I can second-guess myself and my experience. Commitment to a path is really commitment to myself. I am allowing myself to take a clear direction, one in which I can actualize my talents on a day-to-day basis, one that will allow me to build a foundation and a structure in which I can live. I will have a passion in life, a passion that takes me beyond myself, a passion to love, nourish, be led and challenged by. I will follow it, and it will follow me.

I deserve a passion in my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

There are a lot more reasons for working the Ninth Step than freedom, serenity, and moral responsibility. Making amends is a good way of having the last word.

I take my program seriously and myself lightly.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Thinking about what you’ll say before you share, or what you should have said after you share means you missed the meeting.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

No matter what is going on in my life today, I can always find something for which to be grateful. When I stop and think about this and make a gratitude list, there is no room for depression or self pity. There is so much to be grateful for today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I know if I take a drink, I’m gone. It’s going to just keep feeding itself. But I secretly suspected that everybody who drinks must surely get that same fired-up feeling and want more, but because they don’t have a problem with it they can control it. But in the AA Big Book Dr. Silkworth says that’s not true; non alcoholics never experience that phenomenon of craving. – Bob D.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 2

Instincts
We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole end of our lives.
If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before the horse; we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment.
But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first — then and only then do we have a real chance.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 114

Thought to Ponder . . .
A spiritual awakening is our greatest gift.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K I S S = Keeping It Simple, Spiritually.

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

Grandiosity
“In my teens, I had to be an athlete
because I was not an athlete.
I had to be a musician because I could not carry a tune.
I had to be first in everything
because in my perverse heart
I felt myself the least of God’s creatures.
I could not accept my deep sense of inferiority,
and so I strove to become captain of the baseball team,
and I did learn to play the fiddle.
Lead I must — or else.
This was the ‘all or nothing’ kind of demand
that later did me in.”
– Bill W., AA Comes of Age, p. 53
1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 214

Thought to Consider . . .
We claim spiritual progress
rather than spiritual perfection.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
N U T S = Not Using The Steps.

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

December 1944
AA History
The New York World-Telegram reported on the dinner held in honor of the tenth anniversary of Bill W’s sobriety (December 11, 1934). That newspaper erroneously called it the 10th anniversary of the founding of AA. There were 1500 members in attendance that night at the Commodore Hotel.
The New York Herald Tribune recounted that Bill’s report of AA’s 10 year history was impressive. AA went from 15 alcoholics released from the “drinking habit” in the first year to 40 “conversions” after 3 years. At the end of 4 years there were 100 members, and the book Alcoholics Anonymous had been written. After nearly 10 years there were more than 12,000 members in 370 groups throughout the United States and Canada and a “new unit” functioning successfully in Hawaii (Hawaii would not become a state for another 15 years – in August of 1959).

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

“I sabotage myself if I attach my sobriety to people, places, or things.”
Carbondale, Ill., August 1988
“It’s Always Dark at the Beginning,”
Spiritual Awakenings

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

“Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found
we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always
followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 127

“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 must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.14

We all need the light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.97

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We admitted we couldn’t lick alcohol with our own remaining resources, and so we accepted the further fact that dependence upon a Higher Power (if only our A.A. group) could do this hitherto impossible job. The moment we were able to accept these facts fully, our release from the alcohol compulsion had begun.
For most of us, this pair of acceptances had required a lot of exertion to achieve. Our whole treasured a lot of exertion to achieve. Our whole treasured philosophy of self-sufficiency had to be cast aside. This had not been done with sheer will power; it came instead as the result of developing the willingness to accept these new facts of living.
We neither ran nor fought. But accept we did. And then we began to be free.

Prayer for the Day: Eighth Step Prayer – Higher Power, I ask Your help in making my list of all those I have harmed. I will take responsibility for my mistakes and be forgiving to others as You are forgiving to me. Grant me the willingness to begin my restitution. This I pray.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 1st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 1st

Daily Reflections

“SUGGESTED” STEPS

Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing
all the Steps, we have each found something called a
spiritual awakening. . . . A.A.’s manner of making ready
to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve
Steps in our program.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07

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 a 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. So I try to remember daily
that I have a whole program of recovery based on all
Twelve of the “suggested” Steps.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The thoughts that come before having a slip are often
largely subconscious. It is a question whether or not
our subconscious minds ever become entirely free from
alcoholic thoughts as long as we live. For instance,
some of us dream about being drunk when we are asleep,
even after several years of sobriety in A.A. During the
period of our drinking days, our subconscious minds have
been thoroughly conditioned by our alcoholic way of
thinking and it is doubtful that they ever become
entirely free of such thoughts during our lifetime. But
when our conscious minds are fully conditioned against
drinking, we can stay sober and our subconscious minds
do not often bother us. Am I still conditioning my conscious
mind?

Meditation For The Day

Having sympathy and compassion for all who are in
temptation, a condition which we are sometimes in, we
have a responsibility towards them. Sympathy always
includes responsibility. Pity is useless because it does
not have a remedy for the need. But wherever our sympathy
goes, our responsibility goes too. When we are moved with
compassion, we should go to the one in need and bind up
his wounds as best we can.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have sympathy for those in temptation.
I pray that I may have compassion for others’ trials.


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As Bill Sees It

Quantity or Quality, p. 11

“About this slip business–I would not be too discouraged.  I think you
are suffering a great deal from a needless guilt.  For some reason or
other, the Lord has laid out tougher paths for some of us, and I guess
you are treading one of them.  God is not asking us to be successful.  He
is only asking us to try to be.  That, you surely are doing, and have been
doing.  So I would not stay away from A.A. through any feeling of
discouragement or shame.  It’s just the place you should be.  Why don’t
you try just as a member?  You don’t have to carry the whole A.A. on
your back, you know!

“It is not always the quantity of good things that you do, it is also the
quality that counts.

“Above all, take it one day at a time.”

Letter, 1958 

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Walk In Dry Places

Why do bad things happen?
Understanding life
No one has been able to explain why pain and misfortune must be part of the human condition.  Bad things can and do happen to everybody, and sometimes there’s no way to explain it.
Even in sobriety, AA members have misfortunes-–times when it appears that God is hiding. We even hear members share such experiences at meetings.
Many of us have found ways to use misfortunes constructively, however, by seeing how the program helps us deal with it. In some cases—but not all—we even learn that a misfortune was a disguised blessing.
Most important, by using the program, we are eliminating the drinking that has been the cause of many misfortunes in our lives. That alone makes our immediate world a much better place for everyone.
My life today can be both easy and hard. It gives me great comfort to know that I am not making conditions worse for myself and others.

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Keep It Simple

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps—First part of Step Twelve.
We are awake! Our spirits are alive. We are part of the world. Our addiction no longer clouds our vision. How? Step
Twelve answers this.
The beauty of Step Twelve is that if we feel our spirits starting to go dead, we know how to awaken them. It’s simple. Turn to the Steps. After all, working the Steps has awakened our spirits. The hope and serenity we feel are gifts given to us through the Steps of our program. And the more we turn to the Steps for help, the more life we’ll feel. The Steps are what feed and heal our souls. Prayer for the Day
Higher Power:  Thank you for the Steps. If I start to believe it is I who keeps me sober, remind me of my life before the Twelve Steps.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll read the Twelve Steps. I’ll think of how each Step helped awaken my spirit.

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Each Day a New Beginning

And it isn’t the thing you do, dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of a heartache
At the setting of the sun.
–Margaret Sangster
A quality we all share, a very human quality, is to expect perfection from ourselves, to expect the impossible in all tasks done. We must rejoice for the good we do. Each time we pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, our confidence grows a little bit more. Recovery is best measured by our emotional and spiritual health, expressed in our apparent confidence and trust in “the process.”
We need to recognize and celebrate our strong points, and they’ll gain even more strength. Likewise, we need to practice prayer and listening to guidance first to develop our ties to God, but more importantly to be able to acknowledge when help is at hand. We can do all we need to do with God’s help.
Having goals but keeping them realistic, for the day or the year, is a sign of emotional health. Not dwelling on those that can’t be accomplished, at the moment, is another sign. A change of attitude is all most of us need to move from where we are to a better place emotionally.
There’s never a better time than right now for rejoicing over what I’ve done.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

In the chapter “Working With Others” you gathered an idea of how we approach and aid others to health. Suppose now that through you several families have adopted this way of life. You will want to know more of how to proceed from that point. Perhaps the best way of treating you to a glimpse of your future will be to describe the growth or the fellowship among us. Here is a brief account:
Years ago, in 1935, one of our number made a journey to a certain western city. From a business standpoint, his trip came off badly. Had he been successful in his enterprise, he would have been set on his feet financially which, at the time, seemed vitally important. But his venture would up in a law suit and bogged down completely. The proceeding was shot through with much hard feeling and controversy.

pp. 153-154

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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?”

I read everything I could about this disease I have. My readings recounted the course I had lived and predicted the way I would die if I continued drinking. I had access to a good medical library, but after a while, I realized genetics and chemistry of the disease were of no use to me as an alcoholic. All that I needed to know about it, what would help get me sober, help me recover, I could learn in A.A.

p. 344

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Nine – “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Above all, we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not delaying because we are afraid. For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.

p. 87

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“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“There are no gains without pains.”
–Benjamin Franklin

Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is
anything that lifts another person.
–C. Neil Strait

Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
–Blaise Pascal

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

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.”
–Joseph Addison

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GOSSIP

“Great minds discuss ideas,
average minds discuss wants,
small minds discuss people.”
— Laurence J. Peter

Gossip is ultimately a form of malicious cowardice. It is a “blasphemy” because it
seeks to denigrate the human being that God has made in His image.

As a practicing alcoholic I was a gossip. I exaggerated and manipulated the truth with
my gossip. I made up stories against those people I had a resentment towards;
innocent people were abused and victimized by my gossip.

Also I loved listening to gossip. The listener plays an important role in the life of
“gossip” because without the listener it could not exist. It takes two to gossip!

Today gossip is unacceptable behavior in my program.

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

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds,
and I will show you my faith by what I do.
James 2:18

“If I say I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression and smile.”
Job 9:27


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

Daily Inspiration

Accept yourself for who you are because who you are has a purpose and an important reason for being. Lord, Your love for me makes me special and lovable.

Take care of yourself so that you may give care to others. Lord, may I never totally ignore myself and my feelings for the sake of others and fit in time daily to refresh my spirit.

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NA Just For Today

Life’s Rewards

“We begin to pray only for God’s will for us. That way, we get only what we are capable of handling.”
Basic Text pg. 47

Imagine what might happen if God gave us everything we wanted. A fabulous new car, straight A’s, a triple salary raise – all ours without effort, just for the asking.

Now imagine the problems that come along with unearned riches, new luxury cars, and unmerited scholastic recognition. What would we do with a huge salary raise that had been granted for no reason? How would we handle our new financial responsibilities? And how would we live up to that raise? Could we ever make it appear that we deserve such pay when we know we don’t?

What about that fantastic new car? Most come with expensive insurance premiums and hefty maintenance costs. Are we prepared to care for what we’ve asked for?

Academic honors? Could we perform like A students after we’d been given high marks we hadn’t earned? What would we do if we were exposed as frauds?

When we talk to God, we need to remember that we live in the real world. We earn rewards and learn to handle them as we do. Confining our prayers to requests for knowledge of God’s will, the power to carry it out, and the ability to live with the consequences will ensure that we get no more than we can handle.

Just for today: I will pray only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out in the real world.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Go rich in poverty. Go rich in poetry. –May Sarton
Poetry lets us put the beauty of nature–the clouds, the flowers, and the waterfall–into words. Poetry lets us see that things, which appear to be opposites, may just be different ways of looking at the same thing. How can we be rich in poverty? Wealth in poverty means finding pleasure in simplicity, finding the core of what’s important, and saying it in the fewest possible words.
We are so often caught up in the pursuit of more–more money, more toys, more prestige that we forget how satisfying the simple things can be. Think of the beauty of a sunset or a walk by the river, the fun of playing in a sandbox or swinging on the swings in the park, or in simply taking time to get something done the right way, without hurry.
What riches lie around me right this moment?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. –Albert Camus
Sometimes we suddenly see or sense opposite emotions within ourselves. The cold of winter presses in on us, and we may feel tested by its bite. Yet, when we think we cannot bear it a moment longer, we find a counterforce within, an inner reassurance that comes like a summer breeze and says we can do what we must. Perhaps it comes in a time of dark despair, and we realize that at least we’ve made it this far. We are pretty tough. In our deepest sadness about the loss of a love, we may find a more meaningful contact with our Higher Power.
The opposites in our lives may tempt us to fight them. One side may be very clear and obvious while the other side is hidden. When we are open, these extremes are spiritual teachers for us. As we think about life and our feelings today, what opposites do we find?
Today, I will remember that I have an invincible summer at the deepest part of winter in my life.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
And it isn’t the thing you do, dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of a heartache
At the setting of the sun.
–Margaret Sangster
A quality we all share, a very human quality, is to expect perfection from ourselves, to expect the impossible in all tasks done. We must rejoice for the good we do. Each time we pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, our confidence grows a little bit more. Recovery is best measured by our emotional and spiritual health, expressed in our apparent confidence and trust in “the process.”
We need to recognize and celebrate our strong points, and they’ll gain even more strength. Likewise, we need to practice prayer and listening to guidance first to develop our ties to God, but more importantly to be able to acknowledge when help is at hand. We can do all we need to do with God’s help.
Having goals but keeping them realistic, for the day or the year, is a sign of emotional health. Not dwelling on those that can’t be accomplished, at the moment, is another sign. A change of attitude is all most of us need to move from where we are to a better place emotionally.
There’s never a better time than right now for rejoicing over what I’ve done.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting People Be There for Us
Sometimes, we need nurturing. Sometimes, we need people to support us.
Many of us have been deprived of support and nurturing for so long we may not realize it’s something we want and need. Many of us have learned to block our stop ourselves from getting what we want and need.
We may not reach out to have our needs met. We may be in relationships with people who cannot or will not be available to meet our needs. Or we may be in relationships with people who would be happy to respond to a direct request from us.
We may have to give up something to do this. We may have to let go of our martyr or victim role. If we ask for what we want and need, and get those needs met, we will not be able to punish people, or push them away later on, for disappointing us.
We may have to let go of our fears enough to experience the intimacy that will occur when we allow someone to love and support us. We may even have to learn, one day at a time, how to be happy and content.
Learn to let others be there for us.
Today, I will be open to identifying what I need from people, and I will ask for what I want directly. I will let others be there for me.

I am okay about me today and that is terrific. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Let Yourself Be Who You Are

It’s difficult to be around people who are trying to be perfect– perfectly healthy , perfectly polite, perfectly poised, perfectly controlled.

Remember that being human means being imperfect, being flawed. Let yourself be. Let others be. Slouch in your chair. Eat with the wrong fork. Laugh out loud. Stand up and reveal who you are and know that you’re good enough.

Stop worrying that people will find out who you really are. Instead, hope that they do. Help them by openly sharing yourself and being not who you think you should be, but who you really are.

Freedom is just a small step away– a step into self-love and acceptance. When you take it, others will follow. And they’ll be grateful you led the way.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say how sweet it is

Many of us have been seeking diligently for the meaning of life, at least for the meaning of our lives. I thought I had found it when I began recovering from chemical dependency. Aha, I thought. The meaning of life is to stay sober. Then along came codependecy and my need to recover from those issues. Surely, the seach for enlightenment would culminate there.

No, not yet.

It was as if there was a big locked metal door. On one side of it was supreme knowledge of why we’re here, that elusive “thing” called enlightenment. I was on the other side of the door, locked out, searching for the key.

Over the years, I’ve been to therapists, doctors, and healers. I’ve used homeopathy, kinesiology, acupuncture, and acupressure. In my youth, I tried alcohol and drugs, thinking they were the answer. I looked for the answer to the meaning of life in relationships. Then I searched for enlightenent by avoiding commitment and romantic love at any cost. I’ve tried Gestalt therapy, transactional analysis, hypnotherapy, prayer, and meditation,too. Over the past twenty-seven years, I’ve actively participated in more than one Twelve Step program in this quest for truth.

I’ve dutifully plodded through the grinding work so many people have come to know as family of origin work. Hooray, I finally found and healed my inner child. I even have a fuzzy teddy bear on the floor next to my bed. After my son died, I stayed with every moment of my grief until I worked through it by finally accepting the lifetime handicap that I would live in spite of the loss of Shane.

I’ve perused A Course in Miracles, learning with Marianne Williamson’s help about the magic of love in all its myriad shapes and forms. At last, I opened my heart. But the search for enlightenment eluded me. I wasn’t depressed, but my spirit ached.

I started traveling, first around the United States and then around the world. I visited the vortexes of Sedona, the ancient Anasazi village in Chaco Canyon, and the Santuarior de Chimayo, the blessed Mexican church. I should have been glowing in the dark. Occasionally, I glimpsed the Light. But I still didn’t understand what life was all about. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find that key, I’d think. It seemed as if enlightenment was always one day, one step, one therapist, one book, one healer away. Over twenty years ago, when I was already well immersed in this quest, a trusted friend told me that the secret to life was simple: there wasn’t one. Maybe my friend was right. Maybe I was looking for something that didn’t exist.

One day, I stopped looking. It wasn’t that I gave up. I gave in. I stopped waiting to win the spiritual lottery. Stopped trying to become enlightened. Stopped looking for that perfect soul mate. And started surrendering to enjoying each moment of my life– just as it is.

That’s when I found joy. Or maybe joy found me.

The key to enlightenment might be simpler than we think. We’re here to experience joy. Look at each moment in your life and learn to say, How sweet it is.

God, help me learn joy.

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Learning To Meditate
From the Learning To Meditate On-Line Course by Madisyn Taylor

The following is an excerpt from the “Learning to Meditate” on-line course. If you would like to take the entire course, click here.

My wish for you is that meditation can be an opportunity to begin a simple practice of self-acceptance and self-love. If the mere idea of meditating feels uncomfortable—or scary even, that’s okay. Exploring unknown territory usually does. But don’t worry, you won’t turn into a hippie, have to change your friends, or pack up and move to a commune in order to reap the benefits of your meditation practice. This is a gift you’re giving yourself and nobody even needs to know you are meditating, but you just might love it so much that you will want to teach your friends and family.

Let’s take a moment to get clear on what meditation really is. The term “meditation” can refer to any process that leads you to an inner state of relaxed awareness. There needn’t be any big mystery or drama about the process itself, and there’s really no right or wrong way of doing it. There are simply different techniques that can be used as tools to help you focus and quiet your mind, and we’ll work with some of these as the weeks unfold. This will allow you to choose which method works best for you as a person. We have all seen the vision of the yogi sitting crossed legged wearing robes and perhaps meditating in a cave. This is not what meditation is about for most of us and starting with an unrealistic idea of what meditation is about won’t make it an enjoyable experience for you. I still have a hard time quieting my mind and I find that my meditation practice is more fulfilling for me while I’m in nature. Our main purpose here is to help you develop a meditation pra! ctice that’s right for you. It’ll be something you feel comfortable doing and that you’re willing and able to do regularly.

For those of us who already have a meditation routine, we’ve come to depend on the way our practice enhances our lives. We’ve discovered an ever-present source of inner peace and wisdom from which we can now draw strength, courage, clarity and compassion. It has become easier to respond to situations from a calm and grounded place, rather than acting out old dysfunctional patterns. We’re also better able to navigate our lives in alignment with our own needs and goals. By giving ourselves the space to simply be ourselves, many of the distractions from other people’s agendas melt away. For many of us, meditation has become an important way to take really good care of ourselves. You wouldn’t dream about leaving your house in the morning without bathing or brushing your teeth and this is eventually how you will feel about your practice. A morning meditation will give you the quiet confidence and the strength you will need for your day.

Research has linked a regular practice of meditation to reduced levels of anxiety and stress, in addition to improved immune function and a host of other health benefits. Studies have shown that the nervous system actually begins responding differently to stressful situations—creativity flows more freely and new solutions begin to emerge. What’s wonderful is that many of these advantages occur after just one session and continue evolving with regular practice. As you develop your own meditation program, you’ll be able to track the benefits for yourself, from changes in your mood to improvements in your energy. Soon you will find yourself reacting from a place of centered calm rather than from your head.

GETTING STARTED

The best results of meditation are seen in those who make it a regular practice. And as with anything, practicing consistently carves out a behavioral pattern that becomes more established and easier to follow over time. Try not to be hard on yourself as you begin this process. You’re the only one who can take this journey and the best place to start is right where you are. At first you may not be able to sit for more than a few minutes and that’s ok, but soon you’ll be meditating for 10, 20 or 30 minutes with ease. The idea is to get a habit started, so aim for consistency (i.e., meditating 10 minutes a day, every day) over longer sessions (i.e., meditating for a whole half hour, every once in a while).

You generally don’t need to purchase anything to start a meditation routine and no special equipment or clothing is required as long as you’re comfortable. Some people buy what’s known as a meditation cushion, but it’s certainly not necessary. Some also find that lighting a candle or incense signals an official start to their meditation and this can help the mind to focus. (Chimes, singing bowls and bells may also be used for this purpose.) Next week, we’ll be exploring some particular meditation practices that use candles and incense, so if you don’t already have these around your home, you may want to get some that you’ll enjoy working with.

It is not uncommon for inspiring ideas and solutions to emerge during meditation. I always have a journal with me so I can jot down what comes up and return to my session without fear of losing the idea. You may want to experiment with this as well. It can help your mind return to silence.

Positioning

Let’s explore a few different ways of sitting. You may be familiar with the classic lotus position or half-lotus position (see photos below) in which many long-term meditators are pictured. This position is ideal because it allows for a balanced and unobstructed flow of energy throughout the energy centers of your body. Some people cannot sit this way because they are physically inflexible or having back or knee issues. You may find that over time you gain the flexibility to meditate in the lotus position; or, you may simply decide that an alternate posture works better for you. Please don’t feel that you have to sit in these positions right away, it can take time to build up to it.

The key to remember when selecting your meditation position is that you’ll want to keep your back straight and your palms open or facing upward. There are a few different positions for your hands to take during meditation, but for the purpose of this course we will place our hands open toward the sky and having them rest on your thighs, knees or ankles depending on what is comfortable once you are in position with the rest of your body.

Here are some positions you might try:

Using a Chair: Sit with your feet on the floor, spine straight against the back of the chair, and your shoulders back. If needed, you can add a pillow behind you for lower back support.

On the Floor: Sit crossed legged or in half or full lotus position. You may want to place a pillow under your tailbone for comfort.

On the Floor, against the Wall: If you have trouble getting your back straight, start out sitting against a wall. If necessary, fold up a small towel to tuck under your tailbone. This is usually the easiest position for beginners, with a wall supporting the back. Over time your muscles will get stronger and the support of a wall will likely become unnecessary.

In Your Bed: If sitting up straight is difficult or painful for you, start out lying down. Most of us associate our bed with sleeping and this can be a problem, as it may create the tendency to fall asleep. But turn yourself 90 degrees on the bed if it’s big enough, or turn yourself 180 degrees and do not use pillows—this may trick your mind to stay awake, as your head will be at a different place than it usually is during the night. Once you have more meditation experience under your belt, try to move from the bed. The bed may also be used in a sitting position with your back against your headboard and pillows placed under your hipbones to get a nice straight spine. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

It has truly been said that “We become what we do.” It’s emphasized to us over and over in The Program that our thoughts and actions toward others color and shape our spiritual lives. Words and acts of kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness and forgiveness serve to strengthen those qualities within us that heighten our consciousness of God’s love. In asking God to direct and guide my life, am I also asking love to take over and lead me where it will?

Today I Pray

May I make a resolute attempt at acting out the way I want to be — loving, forgiving, kind, thoughtful. May I be aware that each small, attentive act carries with it an echo of God’s all-caring. For God so loved the world; may we make His love our example.

Today I Will Remember

We become what we do.

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One More Day

The wise man looks at death with honesty, dignityu and calm, recognizing that the tragedy it brings is inherent in the great gift of life.
– Corliss Lamont

Chronic illness trends to heighten our awareness of the fragility of life. Some of us may even become concerned that due to poor health we may not live as long as we’d once expected.

To ease our fears, we may feel better if we initiated a conversation with family members about dying. Since each one of us have personal ideas about how we would like our funeral handled — which hymns, who will say the eulogy, and where it should be held — it only makes sense to share that information with loved ones. Few people feel comfortable talking about the possibility of dying, but with a straightforward discussion we can, at least for a while, set aside our own anxieties.

I am comforted knowing my family understands my fears and needs.

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Food For Thought

Emotional Distress

In the past, we translated emotional distress into physical hunger. Physical hunger was something we could deal with when emotional pain was too much for us. The reason our hunger was not satisfied by any amount of food was that the hunger was really distressed emotion.

If as children we were unable to recognize and express our distress, we buried it. As adults, we may still have ignored painful feelings and tried to make them go away with quantities of food and drink. Eventually, we became so dishonest with ourselves that we did not know what it was we really felt. We may have pretended for so long that everything was fine that we believed it. The telltale sign that all was not fine was our compulsive overeating behavior.

When we abstain, we sometimes fear that we will be overwhelmed with the emotional pain that is no longer buried with food. By turning this distress over to our Higher Power, we are able to survive it and learn from it.

I give You the pain that I cannot handle.

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One Day At A Time

~ SPIRITUALITY ~
When the heart weeps for what it has lost,
the spirit laughs for what it has found.
Sufi proverb

Before I came into this program, I had thrown God out the window. In fact, I was plain angry at Him. Where was He when my only brother was killed in a car accident, when my only nephews were lost to me for many years as a result? Where was He when my parents died, when I went through my ugly divorce, when my step-son committed suicide, or when I had two major car accidents? I didn’t know how to deal with all the feelings around the grief, loss and pain. I was spiritually bereft, although I didn’t know it then. All I knew was that I was depressed a lot of the time, and had this great big hole in my soul that I had to keep feeding so I wouldn’t have to feel the pain or deal with anything in my life. But the truth was that no amount of food could relieve that constant ache, and all that happened was that I felt more and more fat, bloated and miserable. The food that was supposed to take away all the pain of living was really causing me more pain.

When I came into program and heard the three letter word, God, I nearly ran away. I’m a very rational, logical person so it was really hard for me to believe what these crazy people were saying, but I was desperate enough to keep coming back. I had to act as if I did believe that I could recover and that a Higher Power might help me. When the miracles started to happen, my faith began to develop, and I slowly realized that my Higher Power was always with me. I now have a far better way to fill that hole in my soul, and it is a far more satisfying and saner way than filling it with mountains of food.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray to keep my Higher Power in my heart and in my soul, because if I do, my life will be enriched immeasurably in ways that food could never do.
~ Sharon S.~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better. – Pg. 30 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Many people in meetings will talk about having a spiritual awakening or experience regarding recovery. These awakenings come in many forms, some in a flash of lightening, some in the slow revelation of sobriety. Whatever way it comes for you will be in your best interests.

Help me accept whatever awakening is right for me, so that I am not wishing for the experience of another but content with my own.

I Am Whole

Today, I see that my life is up to me. How I choose to live, what I will accomplish, how I conduct my intimate relationships, how I treat myself, all are in my own hands. I am no longer afraid that pain and anxiety will return me to a state of helplessness and vulnerability. Let it come; I am ready to meet it head-on. I am strong in the awareness that I can live as I choose to live. I have been willing to walk a path of recovery that, though difficult, has built a strength in me and a knowledge that I can survive my most painful feelings. I do not need to be afraid of my life if I am not afraid of myself or an emotional death. I have met and tamed the monsters that live inside me. I am comfortable in my own skin.

I am free to be who I am.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the new worlds which open for us.’ ~Alexander Graham Bell

God wants for me what I would want for myself, IF I had all the facts.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you must talk about others, speak as though they were standing next to you.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am okay about me today and that is terrific.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Sober: Son Of A ***** Everything’s Real. – Mickey B.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 1

Carry The Message
Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can.
You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.
Life will take on new meaning. . . .
— this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it.
Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Thought to Ponder . . .
In AA we don’t carry the alcoholic; we carry the message.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A W O L = A A Way Of Life.

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

Action
“But the program of action, though entirely sensible,
was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window.
That was not easy.
But the moment I made up my mind to go through
with the process, I had the curious feeling that my alcoholic condition
was relieved, as in fact it proved to be.
Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles
would solve all my problems.”
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 42

Thought to Consider . . .
Never mistake motion for action.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A C T I O N = Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature

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

Friendship
>From “Learning To Love Ourselves”:
“When I did my personal inventory I found that I had unhealthy relationships with most people in my life my friends and family, for example. I always felt isolated and lonely. I drank to dull emotional pain. “It was through staying sober, having a good sponsor and working the Twelve Steps that I was able to build up my low self-esteem. First the Twelve Steps taught me to become my own best friend, and then, when I was able to love myself, I could reach out and love others.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 123

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

“The greatest promise in the program is the one in the Twelfth Step. It tells me I will have a spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps. I know I need that awakening to have a chance to stay sober”
White Rock, British Columbia, May 2005
“Life — It Happens”
No Matter What: Dealing with Adversity in Sobriety

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

“The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost
the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes
practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring
into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the
suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are
without defense against the first drink.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 24~

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.
Alcoholics Anonymous page 14

I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.13

Both his pride and his fear beat him back every time he tries to look within himself.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.49

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Start by Forgiving
The moment we ponder a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive. To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us. Triumphantly we seize upon his slightest misbehavior as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own.
Right here we need to fetch ourselves up sharply. Let’s remember that alcoholics are not the only ones bedeviled by sick emotions. In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased.
If we are about to ask forgiveness for ourselves, why shouldn’t we start out by forgiving them, one and all?

Prayer for the Day: Seventh Step Prayer – 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.