Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 31st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 31st

Daily Reflections

OUR COMMON WELFARE COMES FIRST

The unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished
quality our Society has. . . . We stay whole, or A.A.
dies.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 129

Our Traditions are key elements in the ego deflation
process necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety in
Alcoholics Anonymous. The First Tradition reminds me
not to take credit, or authority, for my recovery.
Placing our common welfare first reminds me not to
become a healer in this program; I am still one of
the patients. Self-effacing elders built the ward.
Without it, I doubt I would be alive. Without the
group, few alcoholics would recover. The active role
in renewed surrender of will enables me to step aside
from the need to dominate, the desire for recognition,
both of which played so great a part in my active
alcoholism. Deferring my personal desires for the
greater good of group growth contributes toward A.A.
unity that is central to all recovery. It helps me to
remember that the whole is greater than the sum of all
its parts.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Drinking cuts you off from God. No matter how you were
brought up, no matter what your religion is, no matter
if you say you believe in God, nevertheless you build
up a wall between you and God by your drinking. You know
you’re not living the way God wants you to. As a result,
you have that terrible remorse. When you come into A.A.,
you begin to get right with other people and with God. A
sober life is a happy life, because by giving up drinking
we’ve got rid of our loneliness and remorse. Do I have real
fellowship with other people and with God?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that all sacrifice and all suffering is of value
to me. When I am in pain, I am being tested. Can I trust
God, no matter how I feel? Can I say Thy will be done, no
matter how much I am defeated? If I can, my faith is real
and practical. It works in bad times as well as in good
times. The Divine Will is working in a way that is beyond
my finite mind to understand, but I can still trust in it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may take my suffering in my stride. I pray
that I may accept pain and defeat as part of God’s plan
for my spiritual growth.


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As Bill Sees It

In God’s Economy, p. 31

“In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. through failure, we learn a
lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.”

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

We did not always come closer to wisdom by reason of our virtues; our
better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies.
Because this has been the essence of our individual experience, it is
also the essence of our experience as a fellowship.

  1. Letter, 1942
  2. Grapevine, November 1961

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Walk In Dry Places

Open-mindedness Means Growth___Facing Change
While open-mindedness is supposedly virtuous, many of us have difficulty with it. In our drinking, we continued to suffer because we were unwilling to believe that anything could relieve us of our condition.  We also feared that change would diminish us.
Our great liberation came in opening up our minds to new ideas.  This same process might be needed to sober living. We may have an investment in old attitudes and ideas that are keeping us from constructive growth. Without giving up our attitudes immediately, we can at least give new ideas hones consideration and study.
True open-mindedness does not mean empty-mindedness. We still can have strong convictions, consistent values, and definite opinions. But in the spirit of open-mindedness, we should continuously reexamine our views and adopt new ideas for improvement and growth.
Open-mindedness helped bring us to sobriety. It can also open the doors to other blessings that will bring enrichment and happiness.
I will be open-minded and curious today.  New ideas can bring wonderful benefits to me if I am willing to consider them.

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Keep It Simple

Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade.—Arabian proverb
We need to remember what got us well. The Twelve Steps heal us. The meetings we attend heal us.
Reading and listening to program tapes heals us. Talking with our sponsors heals us. The time we spend with program friends heals us. Sometimes we’re pressed for time. As a result, we have to make choices about how to use our time. We may think we know enough about the program. We
may feel like cutting down on meetings. These are danger signs. We only know how to stay sober One Day at a Time: by working the Steps. Let’s not forget them as we grow in this program. It may seem like we’ve been recovering a long time, but we’re all beginners.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I’ve found You in the program. Help me find ways to stay a “beginner” in the program.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll take time to read the Twelve Steps. I’ll meditate on how much these Steps have given me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.  –Margaret Sanger
Our desire to grow, to make a place for ourselves in the world of our friends, to know that we have counted in the lives of others, is healthy and necessary to our existence as whole women. The inner urging to move ahead, to try a new approach to an old problem, to go after a new job, to learn a new skill, is evidence of God’s eternal Spirit within.
Our meaning in this life is found through following the guidance that beckons us toward these new horizons, perhaps new friends, even new locations. We can trust the urge. We can reverence the urge. It will not lead us astray, provided we do not try to lead it. We each have a special gift to express in this life among those to whom we’ve been led.
For years, many of us quelled the inner urge out of fear; but, fortunately, it didn’t desert us. To be human is to have a constant desire to be more than we are. The fears still come, but as we move through them, with the support of other women, other friends, the program gives us the thrill of achievement. We know there is meaning in our existence.
The need to grow, to change, to affect the world around us is part of God’s plan for each of us. I will trust the urge; I will let it guide my steps.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Third Edition

Surveys of groups in the United States and Canada indicate that A.A. is reaching out, not only to more and more people, but to a wider and wider range. Women now make up more than one-fourth of the membership; among newer members, the proportion is nearly one-third. Seven percent of the A.A.’s surveyed are less than 30 years of age—among them, many in their teens.

p. xxii

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

Then a miracle occurred.  An evening came when I decided to have one drink outside and then go straight home.  I had that drink and left for my house.  The next thing I remember is waking up the next morning with a stranger I had picked up in a bar.  Apparently I had gone on autopilot and, in a blackout resulting from just one drink, had gone on a tear.  The look of disgust and pity on the face of the stranger was the jolt I needed.  I suddenly realized that my life was totally insane, that my drinking was out of control, and that I was either an alcoholic or a candidate for committal to the local asylum.  Not wanting to be locked up, I decided to try Alcoholics Anonymous.

p. 364

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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 we had taken the opposite tack and had insisted, like infants ourselves, that people protect and take care of us or that the world owed us a living, then the result had been equally unfortunate. This often caused the people we had loved most to push us aside or perhaps desert us entirely. Our disillusionment had been hard to bear. We couldn’t imagine people acting that way toward us. We had failed to see that though adult in years we were still behaving childishly, trying to turn everybody–friends, wives, husbands, even the world itself–into protective parents. We had refused to learn the very hard lesson that overdependence upon people is unsuccessful because all people are fallible, and even the best of them will sometimes let us down, especially when our demands for attention become unreasonable.

p. 115

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Half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision.
–Dean Hawkes

Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God.

Life is a mirror: If you frown at it, it frowns back; If you smile it returns the greeting.  –Thackeray

Today I get to try to be a good example of a good example. In the past all I could be was a good example of a bad example.  –unknown

The most important person in the room is sitting in my chair. The second most important person in the room is sitting in your chair.  –unknown

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in the past.

Maintaining my spiritual condition is like building a spiritual bank account, upon which I can draw. The problem is, I never get a statement from the bank, so I have to be careful to keep putting in, or some dark day I’ll find myself overdrawn.  –unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WAR

“We have the power to make this
the best generation of mankind
in the history of the world — or
to make it the last.”
— John F. Kennedy

War is tragic because it always destroys; it kills creation itself.
People, buildings, relationships, trust, hope, culture, history, youth —
they all disappear behind a puff of smoke. The immensity of war is
such that it cannot be fully comprehended. Only isolated aspects can
be understood: a child is maimed, a treaty is broken, a race is blamed,
bullets are heard and a history that existed within a human life is
ended in silence.

Addiction is a kind of war — a silent war that exists within an
individual and family. People, trust, buildings, hope, culture, history
and youth disappear behind a glass or a pill. Creation is attacked
from the inside; God is forgotten in an act of destructive selfishness.

Teach me to make peace in my life.

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“God is my strength and my power, and He makes my way perfect.”  2 Samuel 22:33

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Matthew 5:6

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God.  Matthews 5:16

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Daily Inspiration

Today can be your best day. This power is yours alone. Thank you, Lord, for this glorious day.

Greet all with gentleness and kindness so that all will know that you know Your God and will want to know Him too. Lord, may I be an instrument of Your peace.


NA Just For Today

Trust

” Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.”
Basic Text p. 90

Learning to trust is a risky proposition. Our past experience as using addicts has taught us that our companions could not be trusted. Most of all, we couldn’t trust ourselves.

Now that we’re in recovery, trust is essential. We need something to hang onto, believe in, and give us hope in our recovery. For some of us, the first thing we can trust is the words of other members sharing in meetings; we feel the truth in their words.

Finding someone we can trust makes it easier to ask for help. And as we grow to trust in their recovery, we learn to trust our own.

Just for today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.


You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Thou shalt not should thyself. –Anonymous
When someone tells us we should do something, do we want to do it, or do we feel mad that someone else is telling us what we want to do? Sometimes we forget that these messages are not our own, but are the desires of others. It’s important to listen to what we tell ourselves, to be aware of which messages we’re giving ourselves and which come from others. We can make a list of all our shoulds and identify where they came from: parent, boss, friend, self. Then we can decide which shoulds are want to’s, and throw out the rest. Doing what we want to is very different from doing what we should, and we can usually do a better job of it.
Have I freed myself of shoulds today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The body is the soul’s house. Shouldn’t we therefore take care of our house so that it doesn’t fall into ruin? –Philo Judaeus
Some men think it is a mark of a strong man to abuse his body and pay no heed to his health. Have we done this through drug use or abuse of food? Have we misused our bodies by our sexual behavior? Have we neglected our physical condition or health because of addictions or obsessions with other people?
To end abusive cycles, we need to act in self-respecting ways – sometimes before we feel self respecting. Recovery and spiritual awakening involve the body, mind, and spirit. We need nutrition, exercise, sleep, and health care. Treating ourselves as worthwhile men helps us feel worthwhile. Tuning in to how we feel physically may give us some direction. As we sense how we feel, do we get some physical messages to guide our recovery?
I will yield to the messages I get from myself so I can enjoy the physical pleasures of recovery and give my soul a better home.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression. –Margaret Sanger
Our desire to grow, to make a place for ourselves in the world of our friends, to know that we have counted in the lives of others, is healthy and necessary to our existence as whole women. The inner urging to move ahead, to try a new approach to an old problem, to go after a new job, to learn a new skill, is evidence of God’s eternal Spirit within.
Our meaning in this life is found through following the guidance that beckons us toward these new horizons, perhaps new friends, even new locations. We can trust the urge. We can reverence the urge. It will not lead us astray, provided we do not try to lead it. We each have a special gift to express in this life among those to whom we’ve been led.
For years, many of us quelled the inner urge out of fear; but, fortunately, it didn’t desert us. To be human is to have a constant desire to be more than we are. The fears still come, but as we move through them, with the support of other women, other friends, the program gives us the thrill of achievement. We know there is meaning in our existence.
The need to grow, to change, to affect the world around us is part of God’s plan for each of us. I will trust the urge; I will let it guide my steps.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Asking for What We Need
One evening, I was alone, weary, and exhausted. I was in the midst of extensive traveling, disconnected from friends and family. I had flown home for the evening, but it seemed like nobody noticed. People were used to me being gone.
It was late at night, and I began arguing with God.
‘I’m out there working hard. I’m lonely. I need to know someone cares. You’ve told me to tell you what I need, and tonight. God, I particularly need the presence of male energy. I need a friend, someone I can trust to care about me in a nonsexual, nonexploitive way. I need to be held. Now, where are you?”
I lay down on the couch and closed my eyes. I was too tired to do anything but let go.
The telephone rang minutes later. It was a former colleague who had since become my friend. “Hey, kid,” he said. “You sound really tired and needy. Stay right where you are. I’m going to drive out and give you a foot rub. It sounds exactly like what you need.”
Half an hour later, he knocked on my door. He brought a small bottle of oil with him, and gently massaged my feet, gave me a hug, told me how much he cared about me, then left.
I smiled. I had received exactly what I asked for.
It is safe to trust God.
Today, I will remember God cares about what I need, especially if I do.

I will take the time I need for me today to be quiet and listen to my Higher Power as I gently make new discoveries and gain new wisdom. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Value Your Connection to Truth

Trust what you know. Not what you think you know, but what you know in your heart.

We often know the truth long before we let ourselves see and believe it, long before we’re ready to acknowledge it. For many reasons– fear, timing, and a myriad of issues too long to list– we ignore and discount what we know in our heart. But the truth doesn’t go away. What’s true, what we know to be true, will nag us and haunt us. And even if we try to run from that truth, our experiences will ultimately lead us back to it.

Life may bring us many issues we want to run from, issues that are a challenge. But the real challenge we face is learning to trust ourselves and trust what we know to be true. Maybe someone once told us we couldn’t be trusted. That’s too bad. But what’s worse is that we began to believe it and started to tell ourselves that,too.

Your heart can be trusted. Don’t doubt it. It will inevitably connect you to what’s true. Love yourself enough to trust what you know. Then stay connected to truth.


More Language Of Letting Go

Speak the language of letting go

Sometimes in our lives, we can let go in an instant. We recognize that we’re dwelling on or obsessing about a particular situation, and we just let go. We drop it. Or we run into someone who has a problem, and we instinctively adapt a hands-off posture, knowing that it’s not our responsibility to take care of other people. We say what we need to say, and we almost automatically let go and focus on taking care of ourselves.

Other times, it’s not so easy. We may be entangled in a situation that feels utterly impossible to let go of. We get enmeshed with a problem, or a person, that seems to compel us to hang on more tightly when letting go is the key.

We know we shoudn’t be obsessing, but we can’t seem to stop.

One day, many years ago, back in Stillwater, Minnesota, my son was hugging me tightly. He didn’t want to let go. I started tipping over. I lost my balance.

“Shane,” Nichole scolded, “there comes a time to let go.”

Sometimes letting go happens in stages. Sometimes it means becoming more aware. Sometimes it involves going deeply into the feelings hidden underneath our behavior. Learning to let go may involve gaining more confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes it means simply practicing gratitude for the way things are.

Be gentle with yourself and others as you learn to practice the language of letting go.

Sometimes, no matter how much we know, letting go takes time.

God, help me remember that letting go is a powerful behavior, one that can change my life and impact the lives of others. Help me be patient with others and myself as letting go becomes a way of life.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

One of the most constructive things I can do is to learn to listen to myself and get in touch with my true feelings. For years, I tuned myself out, going along, instead, with what others felt and said. Even today, it sometimes seem that they have it all together, while I’m still stumbling about. Thankfully, I’m beginning to understand that people-leasing takes many forms. Slowly but steadily, I’ve also begun to realize that it’s possible for me to change my old patterns. Will I encourage myself to tune in to the real me? Will I listen carefully to my own inner voice with the expectation that I’ll hear some wonderful things?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may respect myself enough to listen to my real feelings, those emotions which for so long I refused to hear or name or own, which festered in me like a poison. May I know that I need to stop often, look at my feelings, listen to the inner me.

Today I Will Remember

I will own my feelings.


One More Day

I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.
– Lord Chesterfield

When a lifelong job is over, when a health problem occurs or mobility becomes impaired, when family moves away, the days may become long and lonely. Then, more than ever, it’s important that we take care of our own needs. Some needs may be immediate, for we have far more time than we know how to fill. We may look toward the future, afraid of all the time that must be filled.

This is a perfect time to reach out into the community, to begin volunteer work. There are always people who need us, and by offering our help we will be helping ourselves as well. Each day is new and has new possibilities.

I refuse to worry about the future or the past. Instead, I’ll try to make a difference today.


Food For Thought

Don’t Be a Garbage Can

A garbage can is round and unprotesting as it accepts the leftovers which are stuffed into it. How many times have you treated yourself as a garbage can? As we stood up at the sink scraping what was left on the plates into ourselves, we rationalized that we just couldn’t bear to waste good food. Why did we not remember the harm we were doing to our own bodies? “Is not the body more than food?” Certainly, it is more than a garbage can.

One way to eliminate waste is to prepare only what is needed for the meal. Sometimes we compulsive overeaters catch ourselves unconsciously overestimating quantities just so there will be something left to tempt us! Another way to avoid throwing out useable food is to keep a bowl in the refrigerator or freezer for scraps which can later be made into soup. We all know how to store complete servings for later use. It is the little bits here and there that get us into trouble.

If there is nothing that can be done with what is left in the bottom of the pan, then throw it away. Better to waste a small amount of food than to break abstinence, which is the most important thing in our lives.

Teach me to value my body more than food.


One Day At A Time

~ TOMORROW ~

Do not be anxious for tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.
The Bible, book of Matthew

I’ve spent too much of my life worrying about the future. This was especially true with every diet I was ever on. I was always concerned about how much weight I was going to be able to lose in a certain amount of time. I always thought about tomorrow and what tomorrow would bring instead of staying in the present.

Today, my Higher Power is teaching me to keep my eyes on Him instead of on the calendar. I am more successful and more at peace when I remain in the present and follow my Higher Power’s will.

One day at a time . . .
I will keep my thoughts in the present, for my Higher Power will take care of tomorrow.
Gina


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest. – Pg. 58 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

When intense cravings for our drug of choice overwhelm us, we immediately talk to another person in recovery, even if it is 4 AM. Call your contact number, we must be here for each other!

Give me the strength to contact another clean and sober person BEFORE I think of satisfying that craving.

Beyond What I See

I want to know in my heart that life has meaning and purpose beyond what I see. I want to train my eye for seeing what is beautiful in life the way that a musician trains his ear. I want to know that each day is a gift, that I can’t just expect it, that life is precious.

I say thank you for the gift of this day

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Anger is one letter away from danger.

If I am right, I don’t need to be angry. If I am wrong, I can’t afford to be angry.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When we remove me from ‘blame’ all that’s left is bla. bla, bla….

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I will take the time I need for me today to be quiet and listen to my Higher Power as I gently make new discoveries and gain new wisdom.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

God doesn’t care who carries the message. He just wants it carried. – Anne P.


AA Thought for the Day

January 31

Paradox
2. We GIVE AWAY TO KEEP.
That seems absurd and untrue.
How can you keep something if you give it away?
But in order to keep whatever it is we get in AA,
we must go about giving it away to others, for no fees or rewards of any kind.
– Experience, Strength & Hope, p. 154

Thought to Ponder . . .
We surrender to win; we give away to keep;
we suffer to get well; we die to live.

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

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

Surrender
On the face of it,
surrendering certainly does not seem like winning.
But it is in AA
Only after we have come to the end of our rope,
hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives
beyond which we can go no further;
only when we hit “bottom” in despair and surrender,
can we accomplish sobriety which we could
never accomplish before.
We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.
c. 1955 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, 2nd Edition, pp. 341-2

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

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

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

Stages

From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases, almost without
exception. But now younger folks began to appear. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs and homes and health
and even good social standing. These in their turn were able to persuade others like themselves of the need for A.A. Of
course it was necessary for these types of newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But we found they did not have to hit
every possible bottom there was in order to admit that they were licked. When one of these mild cases arrived at the
conviction that he already had the principal symptoms of alcoholism that was usually enough. He ‘hit bottom’ then and
there and so was spared years of anguish.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 199

~~~~^ Grapevine Quotes ^~~~~

“We well know that our defects, as people and as a Society, have been and still are very great. And we hope that we shall never cease to rededicate ourselves to their correction.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., March 1960
“After Twenty-Five Years”
The Language of the Heart

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

“We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from
it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will
find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new
attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or
effort on our part. It just comes!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 84~

“Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department
of our lives. When we do that, we find it solves our problems too;
the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful
thing.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Wives, pg. 116~

When, and how, and in just what instances did my selfish pursuit of the sex relation damage other people and me?
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 50

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.’
We did not always come closer to wisdom by reason of our virtues; our better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies. Because this has been the essence of our individual experience, it is also the essence of our experience as a fellowship.

Prayer for the Day:  Lord, show me how to live today with genuine concern for others. In expressing my care, may I show people that they are valued, loved and appreciated for who they are. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 30th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 30th

Daily Reflections

FREEDOM FROM . . . FREEDOM TO

We are going to know a new freedom. . . .
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 83

Freedom for me is both freedom from and freedom to.
The first freedom I enjoy is freedom from the slavery
of alcohol. What a relief! Then I begin to experience
freedom from fear – fear of people, of economic
insecurity, of commitment, of failure, of rejection.
Then I begin to enjoy freedom to – freedom to choose
sobriety for today, freedom to be myself, freedom to
express my opinion, to experience peace of mind, to
love and be loved, and freedom to grow spiritually.
But how can I achieve these freedoms? The Big Book
clearly says that before I am halfway through making
amends, I will begin to know a “new” freedom; not the
old freedom of doing what I pleased, without regard
to others, but the new freedom that allows fulfillment
of the promises in my life. What a joy to be free!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A drinking life isn’t a happy life. Drinking cuts you
off from other people and from God. One of the worst
things about drinking is the loneliness. And one of the
best things about A.A. is the fellowship. Drinking cuts
you off from other people, at least from the people who
really matter to you, your wife and children, your
family and real friends. No matter how much you love
them, you build up a wall between you and them by your
drinking. You’re cut off from any real companionship
with them. As a result, you’re terribly lonely. Have I got
rid of my loneliness?

Meditation For The Day

I will sometimes go into a quiet place of retreat with
God. In that place, I will find restoration and healing
and power. I will plan quiet times now and then, times
when I will commune with God and arise rested and
refreshed to carry on the work which God has given me
to do. I know that God will never give me a load greater
than I can bear. It is in serenity and peace that all
true success lies.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may strengthen my inner life, so that I
may find serenity. I pray that my soul may be restored
in quietness and peace.


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As Bill Sees It

Getting Off a “Dry Bender”, p. 30

“Sometimes, we become depressed. I ought to know; I have been a
champion dry-bender case myself. While the surface causes were a
part of the picture–trigger-events that precipitated depression–the
underlying causes, I am satisfied, ran much deeper.

“Intellectually, I could accept my situation. Emotionally, I could not.

“To these problems, there are certainly no pat answers. But part of
the answer surely lies in the constant effort to practice all of A.A.’s
Twelve Steps.”

Letter, 1954

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Walk In Dry Places

No Justified Resentments____Personal Inventory
One of the greatest hurdles in sobriety is the so-called justified resentment. We feel that we have a right to be angry at somebody who has hurt or offended us.  This feeling might be correct if our anger could remedy the matter and bring it to a just conclusion, but this hardly ever happens. If we are angry, we usually want revenge more than we want justice.  Uncontrolled anger will make us behave as unjustly as those who harmed us did. This means more trouble.
Whether revenge is sought or not, anger also poisons our own lives. Emmet Fox compared it to the insane practice of drinking prussic acid. People cannot take a drink of acid and then assign it to the person they detest.  They will bear its effect in their own bodies. In the same way, our anger produces its own acids, which destroy our peace of mind and make us ineffective.
We can deal with “justified resentment” by reminding ourselves that there’s no justification for the pain and sickness a festering resentment will cause in our lives.  There is no justified resentment.
Today I may have to swim against the tide by not getting upset over matters that enrage others. I will not let myself be drawn into the angry currents around me.

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Keep It Simple

Go and wake up your luck—Perian proverb
We’ve been given recovery. For this, we’re lucky. And we’re grateful. Now it’s up to us.
We must accept our choices. When we’re afraid, do we choose to be alone? Or do we choose to
go to extra meeting? When we’re not honest, do we keep it secret? Or do we admit it and try to be
more honest? No matter what we choose, we’re responsible for that choice. Through choices, we
either make our program strong or weak. We can choose to be lucky. Or we can choose not to be.
The choice is ours. Our addiction robbed us of choice. It taught us to blame others. Now we see ourselves as responsible.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to choose wisely. Help me remember I’m responsible for my choices.
Action for the Day:  Today I’ll work at being responsible for my choices. I’ll see myself as one of the lucky ones.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Fortunately [psycho]analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.
–Karen Horney
The passage of time, coupled with an openness to the messages gleaned from our conversations with others, can provide answers we need for the way out of painful situations. Life is ebb and flow, peaks and valleys, struggles and sweet times. What we fail to realize, all too often, is that the struggles make possible the times that are sweet.
Our conflicts are our special lessons in life. We can learn to flow with them, move through them, trust their value to us as growing, changing women. How good it feels to have found security with one another and that power greater than ourselves who can, when we are willing, show us the path to resolution.
Life will never be free of conflict–nor should it be. Our lessons move us to higher planes of awareness. We can experience the joy hidden within the conflict. We can help one another remember that the sweetness of a moment is tied to the pain of a former, forgotten moment.
All events, all experiences, are connected. The path I travel, alone and with others, is bringing me brighter days. I will trust my path. It’s right for me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Third Edition

BY March 1976, when this edition went to the printer, the total worldwide membership of Alcoholics Anonymous was conservatively estimated at more than 1,000,000, with almost 28,000 groups meeting in over 90 countries.

p. xxii

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

Then I began to hear whispers.  I became convinced that there were people living in my house.  I couldn’t see them, except for occasional glimpses out of the corner of my eyes, and so I concluded that they were small and somehow living in the walls or under the stairs.  I could hear them plotting to kill me.  There were nights when I went to bed with a knife in hand to protect myself.  Other nights I locked myself in the bathroom so they couldn’t get me.  One night I left a shot of vodka on the mantelpiece so they would go after that and leave me alone.

pp. 363-364

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

After we come into A.A., if we go on growing, our attitudes and actions toward security–emotional security and financial security–commence to change profoundly. Our demand for emotional security, for our own way, had constantly thrown us into unworkable relations with other people. Though we were sometimes quite unconscious of this, the result always had been the same. Either we had tried to play God and dominate those about us, or we had insisted on being overdependent upon them. Where people had temporarily let us run their lives as though they were still children, we had felt very happy and secure ourselves. But when they finally resisted or ran away, we were bitterly hurt and disappointed. We blamed them, being quite unable to see that our unreasonable demands had been the cause.

p. 115

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That light at the end of the tunnel may be you.

What other people think of you is none of your business!

Bricks and mortar make a house, but the laughter of children makes a home.  –Irish Proverb

“If I can just love you because here we are, then you are free to grow as you need to grow, because none of it’s going to change my feeling of love.”
–Ram Dass

God beats in my heart. I share his light with the world.  –Shelley

“What we must realize is that we cannot see everything. We do not know everything. More important, we must understand that it is impossible for us to control anything. The process of life is a spiritual one, governed by invisible, intangible spiritual laws and principles.”  –Iyanla Vanzant

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

POTENTIAL

“Treat people as if they were what
they ought to be, and you help
them to become what they are
capable of being.”
— Johann W. von Goethe

My program of recovery from alcoholism helps me have a
relationship with myself and helps me relate to and understand
others. The more I understand my strengths and weaknesses, the
more I am able to understand others.

Any understanding of spirituality involves other people. If spirituality
helps me become what God intends for me, then this is also true for
others. Today I choose to treat myself and other people as children of
God, remembering that we were created to reach for the skies!

Lord, our potential forever rests in You.

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Encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  2 Timothy 2:22-24

But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.  Job 36:15-16

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  1 Peter 3:8-12

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Daily Inspiration

Slow down and see the gracious blessings that God has for you. In my quient moments, Lord, I know that You are there.

When we have to justify our actions, it may be that our actions are not just. Lord, Your will is goodness. May I always have the strength and courage to choose Your way so that I can simplify my life and enjoy the peace of Your presence.

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NA Just For Today

Giving It Away

” We must give freely and gratefully that which has been freely and gratefully given to us.”
Basic Text p. 47

In recovery, we receive many gifts. Perhaps one of the greatest of these gifts is the spiritual awakening that begins when we stop using, growing stronger each day we apply the steps in our lives. The new spark of life within is a direct result of our new relationship with a Higher Power, a relationship initiated and developed by living the Twelve Steps. Slowly, as we pursue our program, the radiance of recovery dispels the darkness of our disease.

One of the ways we express our gratitude for the gifts of recovery is to help others find what we’ve found. We can do this in any number of ways: by sharing in meetings, making Twelfth Step calls, accepting a commitment to sponsorship, or volunteering for H&I or phoneline duty. The spiritual life given to us in recovery asks for expression, for ” we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”

Just for today: The gift of recovery grows when I share it. I will find someone with whom to share it.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Everyone has his own fingerprints. The white light streams down to be broken up by those human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that. –Charles R. Brown
We are often amazed at how different members of the same family seem to be. Contrasts are often great: one child might be loud and funny, one might be timid and quiet, and yet neither seems to take after the parents. A family is like a vegetable garden. The vegetables respond to outside influences. The one exposed to more sunlight will grow differently than the one growing in a damp, shady place. Vegetables growing in crowded areas of the garden may not be as developed as those around them, but they might be tastier. Although we may have common roots, outside experiences and friends mold us too, making each of us unique. We sometimes lose ourselves by comparisons and feel as if we don’t belong, but the variety of our family garden is what makes the world so interesting.
How can I honor another person’s uniqueness today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Man can live his truth, his deepest truth, but cannot speak it. –Archibald. MacLeish
For many men, being addicts meant living double lives. There were public selves whom others knew, and private selves whom no one met. It was a compulsive world, and both sides were false. Many of us grew up in addicted families and learned this double life early by hiding from outsiders what life was really like at home.
In this program we learn to live our truth before we can speak it. It is more in our actions than in what we say. We may never know the words for this truth because we do not consciously invent it. It comes to us quietly over time and slowly merges all our parts. Gradually we begin to feel whole again as we surrender our double lives for single, truthful ones.
Let me have the trust to give myself to the work of recovery and follow it where it takes me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Fortunately [psycho]analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.
–Karen Horney
The passage of time, coupled with an openness to the messages gleaned from our conversations with others, can provide answers we need for the way out of painful situations. Life is ebb and flow, peaks and valleys, struggles and sweet times. What we fail to realize, all too often, is that the struggles make possible the times that are sweet.
Our conflicts are our special lessons in life. We can learn to flow with them, move through them, trust their value to us as growing, changing women. How good it feels to have found security with one another and that power greater than ourselves who can, when we are willing, show us the path to resolution.
Life will never be free of conflict–nor should it be. Our lessons move us to higher planes of awareness. We can experience the joy hidden within the conflict. We can help one another remember that the sweetness of a moment is tied to the pain of a former, forgotten moment.
All events, all experiences, are connected. The path I travel, alone and with others, is bringing me brighter days. I will trust my path. It’s right for me.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Religious Freedom
“.. .a Power greater than ourselves….” “God as we understood Him.” These words introduce spirituality in the Twelve Steps. They are the first two references to God, and they are worded that way for a reason.
We each have the freedom to define, and understand, our Higher Power – God – as we choose.
That means we do not bring our religious affiliation into our recovery groups. It means that we do not try to impose our religious beliefs, or our understanding of God, on anyone else. We do not use our groups or meetings as a soapbox to gain religious converts. We do not try to force the particulars of our religious beliefs on others.
We give each person, the right to a personal understanding of a Higher Power and ourselves.
Today, I will respect other people’s understanding of God, as well as my own. I will not allow others’ judgment of my beliefs to cause me anxiety and. distress. I will seek to grow spiritually in recovery, with or without the assistance of a particular religion or denomination.

Today I give myself permission to take the quiet time I need to meditate and to improve my conscious contact with God.
–Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Warm Up

Sit in the sun and warm up.

Sit in the sun. Soak up the love and warmth from the world around you. Take that warmth into your everyday life. Open your heart more to the people you see, the people you meet, the people you greet, and the people you love. Practice being warm, loving, and open. Do more than just think loving thoughts. Say it. Do more than just think of something nice you’d like to do for someone. Do it.

Fear is cold. Sometimes, we become so afraid of life, people, ourselves– so afraid– that we become cold. Cold toward people, toward life, toward God. We may not be aware of how cold we have become. We may have been cold for so long, we just don’t see it. Being cold and afraid has become our everyday posture. It’s the way we interact with the world around us. Now it’s time to put warmth back in our lives.

Don’t let your fears turn you cold. Sit in the sun and warm up. Then radiate that warmth to the people around you. Warm up to people. Warm up to life. Warm up to yourself.

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More Language Of Letting Go

See the good in yourself,too

“Let me see your hands,” she said, gently holding my right hand up close to hers. “Look,” she said. “We have the same hands.”

My daughter was thrilled by the discovery that our fingers were the same size, curved the same way; even our wrists were the same shape. I was at her house visiting her, her child, and her husband that afternoon. We had snuck away for a few quiet moments together. Later that evening, when I returned home, she called me on the phone.

“You seem so excited and interested in our hands,” I said.

“I’ve always thought your hands were so beautiful. Then I started looking at my hands, and I though maybe they looked just like yours, but I wasn’t sure until we looked at them today. It’s just so cool,” she said, “that my hands look just like yours.”

It’s so easy to see and notice what we like in other people. Sometimes, it’s not easy to see the attributes and beauty in ourselves. It’s good to see the beauty in others. But sometimes, take a moment and get excited when you notice what’s beautiful in yourself,too.

We hear so much about people mirroring our negative qualities back to us. You know– what you don’t like in others is probably what you don’t like in yourself. And often that’s true. But people can also mirror our desires, our hopes, our attributes, and our strengths back to us. Chances are that what you see and admire in others is probably a mirror shining your good qualities back to you.

God, help me see the beauty and the good in life. Help me be aware of what I like in others, so that I can better define what I aspire to become.

Activity: Choose five people in your life whom you like and respect. Make a list of the qualities they have that you admire. Now, see how many of these qualities might correctly be used to describe yourself, as well. If you don’t believe you already possess these qualities, could you be selling yourself short? Or do these qualities describe who you aspire to be? If you define some new aspirations, transfer them to your goal list. See how easy it is to begin defining and clarifying our dreams?

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Have I gained freedom simply because one day I was weak and the next day I became suddenly strong? Have I changed from the helpless and hopeless person I once seemed to be simply by resolving, “from now on, things will be different…”? Is the fact that I am more comfortable today than ever before the result of my own willpower? Can I take credit for pulling myself up by my own bootstraps? I know better, for I sought refuge in a Power greater than myself — a Power which is still beyond my ability to visualize. Do I consider the change in my life a miracle far beyond the workings of any human power?

Today I Pray

As the days of sobriety lengthen, and the moment of decision becomes farther behind me, may I never lose sight of the Power that changed my life. May I remember that my sobriety is an ongoing miracle, not just a once-in-a-lifetime transformation.

Today I Will Remember

Life is an ongoing miracle.

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One More Day

If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone. – Maxwell Maltz

Sometimes, we frantically adopt other people’s problems to avoid confronting our own. Hiding from ourselves and our problems solved nothing. Yet some of us are so frightened by the challenge life has thrown before us that we are reluctant to confront it head-on.

Most important is being able to face ourselves, especially when we are alone. We can’t always hide in the hustle and bustle of a crowd. But we can find a comfort level within ourselves, regardless of what we face. Then, when our spirituality is deepened and we understand our own struggles — and only then — can we assist, support, and share with others.

My awareness of myself has been enhanced by my new life circumstances. The deeper I did, the more soul I find. The more and I find, the more I can share myself.

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Food For Thought

Eat Less, Enjoy More

Before we joined OA, we were eating more and enjoying it less. The more we ate, the more fat we had to lug around, and the harder it was to do anything, much less enjoy doing it. Feeling stuffed and guilty, we often did not even enjoy what it was that we were eating.

When our bodies are not overloaded with too much food and fat, we have energy for new activities. Our minds are sharper when they are not drugged with refined carbohydrates. Our emotions are more serene and positive when we are not full of despair and self-hatred.

Freed from the terrible compulsion to eat more and more, we have time and energy to spend learning a new sport, reading a story to a child, writing a poem. Whatever we choose to do, we enjoy it more when we are not overeating.

When we abstain, we feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we feel good about life.

May I understand that for me, less food means more enjoyment.

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One Day At A Time

~ NEW BEGINNINGS ~

…To dry my eyes and laugh at a fall, and baffled, get up and start again…
Robert Browning
(1812– 1889) British poet and playwright

When things didn’t go my way, I would stamp my feet, lose my temper, and walk away. I was the world’s greatest quitter!

The Twelve Step program of recovery teaches me that when I trip over something, I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over at any time. I can turn whatever I stumble over into an opportunity for growing and learning.

One Day at a Time . . .
When confronted by roadblocks to my recovery, I can humble myself and ask my Higher Power, “What do YOU want for me to learn from this?” I can turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones and move on in my recovery journey.
~ Linda K. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us. – Pg. 95 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

One hour at a time leads to one day at a time in our recovery program. Each hour is one of 24 building blocks of each day of our sobriety and clean time. My current building block is to be kind and considerate for this hour.

Help me center my emotions and be kind and considerate for this hour.

Empowering My Own Day

There are no victims, only volunteers. If there is something I don’t like in the way things are going for me, I will see what I can change. I can change the subject if someone goes on and on about things that I don’t want to talk about. I can change my routines or change the way I get to where I am going, I can set boundaries with my time if I am feeling over scheduled. My time and what I do with it is precious to me, it is all I have to call my very own. I won’t throw it away and then blame someone else gobbling it up. I have a right to protect the quiet and enjoyment of my day, to do more of those things that give me pleasure and fewer of those things that run me down. If I am living up to my responsibilities, that is enough.

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

They say both, ‘My best thinking got me drunk’ and ‘Think a drink through.’ Which is it? Are our thoughts friend or foe? Both, and the difference between ‘stink’n think’n’ and ‘straight thinking’ is simply self-honesty. We find a good place to start in Step Four.

I have to think everything I believe, but I don’t have to believe everything I think.

I won’t throw my time away with both hands

– Tian Dayton PhD

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you are right, you don’t need to be angry; if you are wrong, you can’t afford to be angry.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I give myself permission to take the quiet time I need to meditate and to improve my conscious contact with God.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

There a no passengers in AA, we’re all crew. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

January 30

Paradox
1. We SURRENDER TO WIN.
On the face of it, surrendering certainly does not seem like winning.
But it is in AA.  Only after we have come to the end of our rope,
hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives beyond which we can go no further;
only when we hit “bottom” in despair and surrender, can we accomplish sobriety,
which we could never accomplish before.
We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.
– Experience, Strength & Hope, pp. 153-154

Thought to Ponder . . .
We surrender to win; we give away to keep;
we suffer to get well; we die to live.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K I S S = Keep It Simple; Surrender.

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

Good Living
Understanding is the key to right principles and attitudes,
and right action is the key to good living;
therefore the joy of good living
is the theme of AA’s Twelfth Step.
With each passing day of our lives,
may every one of us sense more deeply
the inner meaning of AA’s simple prayer:

God grant us the serenity to accept
the things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,  p. 125

Thought to Consider . . .  .
The joy is in the journey.

~~AACRONYMS~~
T H I N K  =  The Happiness I Never Knew

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

Growth

From “The Keys of the Kingdom”:
“Letting go of everything at once was both painful and terrifying. I could never have accomplished this alone. It took the
help, understanding, and wonderful companionship that was given so freely to me by my ex-alkie friend this and the
program of recovery embodied in the Twelve Steps. In learning to practice these steps in my daily living, I began to
acquire faith and a philosophy to live by. Whole new vistas were opened up for me, new avenues of experience to be
explored, and life began to take on color and interest. In time, I found myself looking forward to each new day with
pleasurable anticipation.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 275

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

“I am finally learning really to live one day at a time and to appreciate and be alert to the beautiful, marvel-filled, albeit
sometimes infuriating world around me.”
Saratoga, Calif.,August 1985
“Beyond the Generation Gap,”
The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA

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

“We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us
how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 67~

The next question they asked was ,”You can quit twenty-four hours , can’t you?” I said , “Sure , yes , anybody can do
that , for twenty-four hours .” They said , “That’s what we’re talking about . Just twenty-four hours at a time .” That sure
did take a load off of my mind . Every time I’d start thinking about drinking , I would think of the long , dry years ahead
without having a drink; but this idea of twenty-four hours , that it was up to me from then , was a lot of help .
Alcoholics Anonymous , Page 188

Then fear, in turn, generates more character defects.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 49

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Sometimes, we become depressed. I ought to know; I have been a champion dry-bender case myself. While the
surface causes were a part of the picture – trigger-events that precipitated depression – the underlying causes, I am
satisfied, ran much deeper.
‘Intellectually, I could accept my situation. Emotionally, I could not.
‘To these problems, there are certainly no pat answers. But part of the answer surely lies in the constant effort to
practice all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps.

Prayer for the Day:  Father, by the grace you have given me, I trust you and your promises. You said that you would
never leave me nor forsake me. You are always with me, in every personal and business situation. Thank you for the
Holy Spirit who is my Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Teacher and Guide. Though
fear arises, I will not be dismayed because you uphold me with your victorious right hand in Jesus’ name. You are my Helper. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 29th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 29th

Daily Reflections

THE JOY OF SHARING

Life will take on 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. 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

To know that each newcomer with whom I share has the
opportunity to experience the relief that I have found
in this Fellowship fills me with joy and gratitude. I
feel that all the things described in A.A. will come to
pass for them, as they have for me, if they seize the
opportunity and embrace the program fully.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

What a load wasting money puts on your shoulders! They
say that members of A.A. have paid the highest initiation
fee of any club members in the world, because we’ve
wasted so much money on liquor. We’ll never be able to
figure out how much it was. We not only waste our own
money, but also the money we should have spent on our
families. When you come into A.A., that terrible load
of wasted money falls off your shoulders. We alcoholics
were getting round-shouldered from carrying all those
loads that drinking put on our shoulders. But when we
come into A.A., we get a wonderful feeling of release
and freedom. Can I throw back my shoulders and look
the whole world in the face again?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that the future is in the hands of God. He
knows better than I what the future holds for me. I am
not at the mercy of fate or buffeted about by life. I
am being led in a very definite way, as I try to rebuild
my life. I am the builder, but God is the architect. It
is mine to build as best I can, under His guidance.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may depend on God, since He has planned my
life. I pray that I may live my life as I believe God
wants me to live it.
< /span>


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As Bill Sees It

Alone No More, p.252

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded
by people who loved us. But when our self-will had driven
everybody away and our isolation became complete, we commenced
to play the big shot in cheap barrooms. Failing even in this, we
had to fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of
passers-by.

We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by
being dependent upon others. Even when our fortunes had not totally
ebbed, we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world. We still
vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or
dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In
this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who
understand us; we don’t have to be alone any more.

12 & 12, pp. 116-117

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Walk In Dry Places

Willingness is the Key___Strong Desire.
Although willpower alone does not work in overcoming alcoholism, there is a place for the will, or willingness, in the search for a happy sobriety.  Things can happen if we are willing to let them happen. More important, progress often depends on our willingness to give up what stands in our way. It also requires our willingness to take that actions necessary for success.
This same willingness, so vital to finding sobriety, is also applicable in other areas of our lives.  The pioneers of AA suggested that getting sober required being willing to go to any lengths. This is the key to other achievements and to the overcoming of problems besides alcohol.
We often have to put up with unpleasant conditions simply because we do not want to change them badly enough. For example, we may dislike the unpleasant coughing and risks of smoking, but lack the willingness to quit.  We may brood over lost opportunities, but be unwilling to take advantage of the opportunities we have now.
The key to constructive change in our lives is willingness… and that applies to other matters as well as to alcohol.
I’ll try to be honest today about what I really want. I will remind myself that if I want something badly enough, willingness is they key to action and to success

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Keep It Simple

An alcoholic spends his life committing suicide on the installment plan.–Laurence Peter
None of us woke up one morning and found we had suddenly turned into an addict. We got to be one by practice. And we practiced often. We ignored our families–we left work early–and went drinking and drugging. Daily, we chose chemicals over anything else. Likewise, getting sober is no accident. We work the program. At meetings, we’re reminded to help others. We all get sober on the installment plan. A day at a time. We got sick one day at a time; we recover one day at a time.
Prayer for the Day:  Today, with my Higher Power’s help, I’ll be happier, more honest, more sober. Sobriety is like a good savings account. Higher Power, help me to put in more than I take out.
Action for the Day:  I’ll go over my Step One to remind myself it’s no accident I’m an addict.

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Each Day a New Beginning

“I can’t help it” . . . that’s what we all say when we don’t want to exert ourselves.  –Eva Lathbury
Irresponsible behavior is not unfamiliar to us. Passivity is equally familiar. In the past, excusing ourselves of all responsibility prevented us from being blamed. We have learned that it also prevented us from feeling worthy, from fulfilling our potential, from feeling the excitement that comes with achievement.
Our fear of failure helped us to be irresponsible. We may still fear failure, but the program offers us an antidote. We can’t fail if we have turned our lives over to our higher power. We will be shown the way to proceed. Our fellow travelers have messages for us that will smooth our path.
I have chosen recovery. I have already said, “I can help it.” I will celebrate that I am taking responsibility for my life today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

At present, our membership is pyramiding at the rate of about twenty per cent a year. So far, upon the total problem of several million actual and potential alcoholics in the world, we have made only a scratch. In all probability, we shall never be able to touch more than a fair fraction of the alcohol problem in all its ramifications. Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly. Yet it is our great hope that all those who have as yet found no answer may begin to find one in the pages of this book and will presently join us on the high road to a new freedom.

pp. xx-xxi

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

The last few months were filled with fear and self-pity.  I began to comtemplate suicide with increasing regularity, yet I was afraid of dying.  I remember thinking that this life would go on and on, never getting better and slowly fading away to nothing.

p. 363

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

Like most people, we have found that we can take our big lumps as they come. But also like others, we often discover a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous problems of life. Our answer is in still more spiritual development. Only by this means can we improve our chances for really happy and useful living. And as we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts need to undergo drastic revisions. Our desires for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power, for romance, and for family satisfactions–all these have to be tempered and redirected. We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim 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.

p. 114

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The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

“Let us open our natures, throw wide the doors of our hearts and let in the sunshine of good will and kindness.”  –O. S. Marden

Prayer of St. Theresa
May today there be peace within
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are
meant to be….
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love
that has been given to you….
May you be content knowing you are a child of God….
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the
freedom to sing, dance and to bask in the sun….
It is there for each and everyone of you….
–St. Teresa

When you love someone, don’t let a single thing become bigger than that love. It can destroy you both. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in 20 years?”

The gift of Forgiveness is a gift you have given to yourself. The peaks and valleys of my life have become gentle rolling hills.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SUCCESS

“Success is a journey not a
destination.
— Ben Sweetland

So long as I am sober I know that I am successful. But I also know
that my sobriety is more than keeping away from the first drink. My
sobriety requires that I be a creative and successful human being in
all areas of my life — in my relationships, at work, with my family,
my business ventures and in my acts of charity. The road to success is
exactly that –it is a “road” that I am traveling along, and I will be on it until
the day I die. I suppose the danger is in thinking that I have arrived. Then
I get complacent and apathetic, I slow down and the energy for
recovery is diminished.

Today I know that I am successful so long as I keep moving along
with my spiritual program.

Let me always be confident as I walk in my journey of life.

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“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”  Psalm 19:7-8

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”  2 Thessalonians 3:16

Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.  Psalm 25:5

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Daily Inspiration

Call on God when you need a friend to make it through the day. Lord, may we share Your love and beauty so that our lives may not be lonely.

Holding on to hurts causes us to live the pain over and over. Lord, may I forgive so that I may heal.


NA Just For Today

The First Step – An Action Step

” Do we understand that we have no real control over drugs?”
Basic Text p. 18

At first, many of us may have thought the First Step required no action-we just surrender and go on to Step Two. But Step One does require action!

The action we take in the First Step will be evident in the way we live, even from our first day clean. If we truly believe that we are powerless over our addiction, we will not choose to be around drugs. To continue to live with or associate with practicing addicts may indicate a reservation in our program. An absolute belief that the First Step applies to us will insure that we clear our homes of all drugs and paraphernalia.

As time goes on, we’ll not only continue with the basics but add new actions to our First Step repertoire. We’ll learn to feel our feelings rather than trying to control them. We’ll stop trying to be our own and only guides on our recovery journey; self-sponsorship will cease. We’ll begin looking to a Power greater than ourselves more and more for spiritual satisfaction rather than trying to fill that void with something else.

Surrender is only the beginning. Once we surrender, we need to learn how to live in the peace we have found.

Just for today: I will take all the action necessary to practice the First Step. I truly believe it applies to me.


You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Think in terms of depletion, not depression . . .. You can understand how a body can replenish itself, whereas it may be difficult to understand the way out of depression. –Claire Weekes
Despair and depression may come over us suddenly, for no reason we can figure out. But if we stop and reflect, we may realize we are reacting to too much of something–too much work, too much excitement, too much fun. We may be having a letdown after holidays, after completing a project, or at the end of a school year. When we feel a letdown coming on, we must give ourselves time. We need to take some time off and do nothing, plan nothing. Then we can ask God to help us let go of the negative feelings that come along with a letdown. We can plan a small gift for ourselves–a walk by the lake, for instance. In our excitement with a rush of events, we often forget that we, like the infants we once were, need to take a rest and reenergize.
Do I need to do something just for myself today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We grow in time to trust the future for our answers. –Ruth Benedict
When we first started in recovery, we approached it as we did our codependent and addictive behaviors, wanting to possess it all – quickly and totally – and to do it right. Some of us thought we could learn all we needed to know about recovery in a few weeks. In living with this program, we begin to see we are engaged in a lifelong process. We are in a maturing process and this program is our guide. We can’t rush it or move on to the next stage too soon. An apple tree does not blossom in the fall, and we do not expect the newly forming apples to ripen before they’ve grown.
Our existence in this world is like walking through the woods on a rambling path. We can only see as far ahead as the next bend. We no longer seek some big moment when we finally get the outcome or a “cure” for life’s experiences. The experience along the way is all we need.
Today, I will think about (he tasks and rewards of this day and trust the future for what is unanswered.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
“I can’t help it” . . . that’s what we all say when we don’t want to exert ourselves. –Eva Lathbury
Irresponsible behavior is not unfamiliar to us. Passivity is equally familiar. In the past, excusing ourselves of all responsibility prevented us from being blamed. We have learned that it also prevented us from feeling worthy, from fulfilling our potential, from feeling the excitement that comes with achievement.
Our fear of failure helped us to be irresponsible. We may still fear failure, but the program offers us an antidote. We can’t fail if we have turned our lives over to our higher power. We will be shown the way to proceed. Our fellow travelers have messages for us that will smooth our path.
I have chosen recovery. I have already said, “I can help it.” I will celebrate that I am taking responsibility for my life today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Going to Meetings
I am still amazed, after years of recovering, at how easily I can begin to talk myself out of attending meetings. I am also still amazed at how good I feel when I go. –Anonymous
We don’t have to stay stuck in our misery and discomfort. An immediate option is available that will help us feel better: go to a meeting, a Twelve Step support group.
Why resist what can help us feel better? Why sit in our obsession or depression when attending a meeting – even if that means an extra meeting – would help us feel better?
Too busy?
There are 168 hours in each week. Taking 1 or 2 hours a week for a meeting can maximize the potential of the remaining 166 hours. If we get into our “codependent stuff,” we can easily spend a majority of our waking hours obsessing, sitting and doing nothing, lying in bed and feeling depressed, or chasing after other people’s needs. Not taking those 2 hours for a meeting can cause us to waste the remaining hours.
Too tired?
There is nothing as invigorating as getting back on track. Going to a meeting can accomplish that.
Today, I will remember that going to meetings helps.

Today I will treat myself to quiet time. Today I will be gentle with myself as I let myself do nothing but be who I am. Today I will value what I think. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Seek Peace

I drove down the winding road into King’s Canyon, California, not knowing what to expect. The road took me past lavender hills and ended alongside a rushing river spilling over with whitewater froth. “Beware of Turbulent Waters,” the sign warned. I parked the car and stepped outside, taking in the scenery. Soon, I knew– I felt– where this road had led.

It led to peace.

Cultivate peace. Commit to peace. Insist on it. Don’t setlle for peace based on outward circumstances or a particular arrangement in your life. Drive down the winding road and find the peace that prevails amidst the mountains, now purple in the setting sun. Find the peace that prevails even when the turbulent waters of the river roar through your life.

This is the peace the universe offers. Settle for nothing less.


More Language Of Letting Go

Protect yourself from negative influences

After a long rainstorm in the desert, I watched little drops of runoff splashing off of a rock face into little indentations in the rock. Each drop fell in exactly the same place as the drop before, and over the years, the procession had dug a tiny hole into the stone. I looked around at the other rocks in the area and saw that they,too, were pockmarked by the slow but steady effects of erosion over the years.

Poor relationships can be like that rain. We start out on a course of learning and self-improvement with the best of intentions, but little by little our efforts are undermined by the associations that we choose. We do have an advantage over those rocks though.

We can move.

Maybe you have allowed your efforts to be sabotaged by wrong friends, wrong thoughts, or negative input of some sort and kind. You have a choice. You can choose to stand in the rain of negativity and slowly be worn down by it, or you can find shelter, a support group of like-minded people, a good book or program, a minister or mentor, a helpful and positive friend.

Be aware of the negative rain in your life. If even a stone can be worn down over time by constant falling rain, how much more must we be aware of the influences in our lives. Seek out that which is edifying, and find shelter from that which can erode your resolve.

God, protect me from negative influences, which erode my beliefs. Help me protect myself. Surround me with that which is positive, edifying, and uplifting.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I used to imagine my life as a grotesque abstract painting; a montage of crises framed by end-upon-end catastrophes. My days all were grey and my thoughts greyer still. I was haunted by dread and nameless fears. I was filled with self-loathing. I had no idea who I was, what I was, or why I was. I miss none of those feelings. Today, step by step, I am discovering myself and learning that I can be free to be me. Am I grateful for my new life? Have I taken the time to thank God today for the fact that I am clean and sober — and alive?

Today I Pray

May calm come to me after the turmoil and nightmares of the past. As my fears and self-hatred dissipate, may the things of the spirit replace them. For in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is no empty space. May I be filled with the spirit of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

Morning scatters nightmares.


One More Day

There is one thing a man cannot change — his parents.
– David Ben-Gurion

Sometimes we carry anger for too long and may blame others for our problems. It’s time to let go if we have been harboring anger toward our parents or other adults. In our memory, in our perception, they may have harmed us. Regardless of what happened, whether it was imagined or real, we need to let go.

Unknowingly, we may have developed an attachment to this anger toward our parents, and it may take a professional therapist or a support group to help us break the dependency. We can take responsibility for ourselves and our own behaviors. By no longer blaming our inappropriate actions on anyone else, we can free ourselves of one unhealthy aspect of our lives.

I am attempting to own my life and not see it as an extension of others. Today, I can take responsibility for myself and my actions.


Food For Thought

Love Has No Calories

Moving through the Twelve Steps develops new ability to love. When pride and guilt are reduced, we can relate more genuinely to those we care about. OA gives us tools, which we may use to escape the prison of self.

Our false defenses begin to crumble. As we learn to accept and love ourselves by the grace of God, we can reach out to others and give to them. Overeating destroys us; loving makes us strong. Growing in the program, we love more and give more. In return, we are given new joy and satisfaction.

Loving more may begin with the simple act of writing down the phone number of a fellow OA member and calling sometime during the week. It may mean taking five minutes to fully concentrate on what a child or a friend is trying to say. Food is no substitute for interpersonal relationships. We need to nurture the ones we have and build new ones as we become less dependent on eating and more committed to loving.

Teach me Your love, dear God.


One Day At A Time

~ GRATITUDE ~

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.
Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.
Thankfulness may consist merely of words.
Gratitude is shown in acts.
David O. McKay

All the good I have ever been given in life, both before recovery and in recovery, has come from God. Even the ability to learn lessons from the bad has been one of His many gifts to me. I make gratitude lists and offer prayers of thanksgiving, but that is only the beginning. I only express true gratitude by sharing with others. I share it as experience, strength and hope at meetings. I share it by reaching out my hand to the compulsive overeater behind me and sponsoring them or befriending them. I share it by living a life that shows evidence of the realization of all that God has given me. I can only truly express my gratitude through action.

One day at a time… I will show my true gratitude by giving away to others what God has so freely given to me.
~ Vicki B. ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap. – Pg. 125 – The Family Afterwards

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Sometimes reality slaps us right in the face. We may be out of money, facing jail, losing a loved one, or hating our circumstances. However, right this hour we have only one true reality: SOBRIETY. Without sobriety all the above only gets worse!

I make contact with Divine Intelligence so that I am not preoccupied with things outside my control. I want to remember why I am here.

Learning from Life

There are no ‘buts’ today. I am what I am, others are what they are, life is what it is. I will not parenthesize my growth with a ‘but,’ or hold back my forward-moving spirit with second-guesses. For today, I am living with things as they are. As I give this gift to myself I feel relieved. I am exactly where I am meant to be, learning what I need to learn. All I need do is move through situations with willingness to learn and openness to feel. When feelings are brought up, I can accept them as what is happening within me-no need to resist and analyze them. I can witness, allow, observe, share and process rather than shut down and hide. I can tolerate the intensity of my own inner world. I trust that my life is unfolding in such a way that what I need to learn will be before me. I am willing to learn.

I see the ‘table prepared.’

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If something is right, it can be done. If it is wrong, it can be done without.

I can do that!

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you think handling everything is too much, try letting go.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will treat myself to quiet time. Today I will be gentle with myself as I let myself do nothing but be who I am. Today I will value what I think.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I got sober and I didn’t know if I was Arthur or Martha sexually.
Then a guy got up and said that when he came in he didn’t know whether he liked men, women, or sheep. So I sort of thought I was doing all right – because sheep weren’t on the agenda. – John.


AA Thought for the Day

January 29

Peace of Mind
More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life.
As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind,
as we discovered we could face life successfully,
we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today,
tomorrow, or the hereafter.  We were reborn.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Thought to Ponder . . .
Happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and free to anyone.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O P E = Hang On! Peace Exists.

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

Solution
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.
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25

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

~~AACRONYMS~~
S T E P S =  Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety.

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

Ready
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
“Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to A.A., and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and
only then, do we become as open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to
do anything which will lift the merciless obsessions from us.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 24

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

“Up to now AA seems to have taken the right turning at each new crossroad. This could scarcely have been our doing
alone. Our Fellowship has afforded a convincing proof of that wise old adage which declares that ‘man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1961
“Again at the Crossroads”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble?  Does this
mean we are going to get drunk. Some people tell us so. But this is
only a half-truth. It depends on us and on our motives.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 70~

“We never apologize to anyone for depending on our creator. We laugh at those who think spirituality the way of  weakness.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 183

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward.
‘In other words, if you carry the message to still others, you will be making the best possible repayment for the help
given to you.’
No satisfaction has been deeper and no joy greater than in a Twelfth Step job well done. To watch the eyes of men and
women open with wonder as they move from darkness into light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and
meaning, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives – these things are the
substance of what we receive as we carry A.A.’s message.

Prayer for the Day:  Dear Lord, we come to You to pray. We pray You will help us to prepare and begin our day. We may
have had a tough yesterday. We may have had a bad night. We may have things to do today we aren’t looking forward
to. However, we come to You first today to pray to give us the right attitude, the right mindset and to show us what to do
to give You the glory in all we do today. We also pray You will give us strength to resist temptation in all we do. In Jesus’
name. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 28th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 28th

Daily Reflections

THE TREASURE OF THE PAST

Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life
seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is
the greatest possession you have — the key to life and happiness for others. With it you
can avert death and misery for them.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 124

What a gift it is for me to realize that all those seemingly useless years were not wasted.
The most degrading and humiliating experiences turn out to be the most powerful tools in
helping others to recover. In knowing the depths of shame and despair, I can reach out
with a loving and compassionate hand, and know that the grace of God is available to me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

What a load hangovers put on your shoulders! What terrible physical punishment we’ve
all been through. The pounding headaches and jumpy nerves, the shakes and the jitters,
the hot and cold sweats! When you come into A.A. and stop drinking, that terrible
load of hangovers falls off your shoulders. What a load remorse puts on your shoulders!
That terrible mental punishment we’ve all been through. Ashamed of the things
you’ve said and done. Afraid to face people because of what they might think of you.
Afraid of the consequences of what you did when you were drunk. What an awful beating
the mind takes! When you come into A.A., that terrible load of remorse falls off your
shoulders. Have I gotten rid of these loads of hangovers and remorse?

Meditation For The Day

When you seek to follow the way of the spirit, it frequently means a complete reversal of
the way of the world that you had previously followed. But it is a reversal that leads to
happiness and peace. Do the aims and ambitions that a person usually strives for bring
peace? Do the world’s awards bring heart rest and happiness? Or do they turn to ashes in
the mouth?

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not be weary, disillusioned, or disappointed. I pray that I may not put
my trust in the ways of the world, but in the way of the spirit.


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As Bill Sees It

Troublemakers Can Be Teachers, p. 28

Few of us are any longer afraid of what any newcomer can do to our
A.A. reputation or effectiveness. Those who slip, those who
panhandle. those who scandalize, those with mental twists, those who
rebel at the program, those who trade on the A.A. reputation–all such
persons seldom harm an A.A. group for long.

Some of these have become our most respected and best loved. Some
have remained to try our patience, sober nevertheless. Others have
drifted away. We have begun to regard the troublesome ones not as
menaces, but rather as our teachers. They oblige us to cultivate
patience, tolerance, and humility. We finally see that they are only
people sicker than the rest of us, that we who condemn them are
Pharisees whose false righteousness does our group the deeper
spiritual damage.

Grapevine, August 1946

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Walk In Dry Places

Easy does it_____ Avoiding tension
As people of excess, alcoholics tend to swing between periods of great activity and times of complete lassitude. There is a tendency to waste time at one point, and then overcompensate for it by working feverishly and frantically to catch up. Both ways are out of balance.
We need to approach life in a relaxed manner, letting the natural rhythm of events take over and do some of the work for us.  Too much effort defeats itself.  The overanxious person strives too hard and makes things worse, like the salesman who talks too long and kills the sale.
In the AA way of life, we expect and accept responsibilities.  But we are not slavishly committed to success at any price.  We make a full commitment to any project we undertake, and we do our best at all times.  Then we let things unfold rather than trying to force them.
It is also common to hear people say, “EASY DOES IT, BUT DO IT!”  This is a reminder that t he slogan is not a prescription for laziness and indifference.  It is also a reminder to avoid high-pressure tactics and excessive pushing.
I’ll let things work out today. I’ll do whatever has to be done.

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Keep It Simple

We’re part of the fellowship we call “the program.” Let’s also remember that we’re part of a larger fellowship called ” the human race.” We all hurt the same. We all love the same. We all need understanding and care. Yet, in other ways, we are not all the same. Let’s remember to understand differences among people. If not, we’ll be afraid of anyone who’s not like us. And this isn’t God’s way.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to love all people. Help me be open to others who are different from me. Help me love my neighbor.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.  –Billie Jean King
Champions are made. How lucky we are to have the Steps to guide us to become champions. The program promises us self-awareness, but we have to put forth the effort. And the process isn’t always easy. We have liabilities, all of us, and it’s generally easier to see them than our assets. Self-awareness is recognizing both. To become a champion, whether as an athlete, a homemaker, a teacher, a secretary, or an attorney, is to maximize the assets and minimize the liabilities, but to accept the existence of both. The program that we share offers us daily opportunities to know ourselves, to help other women know themselves, and to strengthen our assets along the way. We can feel our assets growing, and it feels good. We can see our liabilities diminish, and it feels good. The program offers us a championship.
I can strengthen my assets, first by knowing them, and then by emphasizing them repeatedly. I’ll focus on one today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization. Neither does A.A. take any particular medical point of view, though we cooperate widely with the men of medicine as well as with the men of religion.
Alcohol being no respecter of persons, we are an accurate cross section of America, and in distant lands, the same democratic evening-up process is now going on. By personal religious affiliation, we include Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and a sprinkling of Moslems and Buddhists. More than 15% of us are women.

p. xx

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

For the last four years I lived alone in a small house.  The ceiling of one room had collapsed, and plaster dust was everywhere, coating the garbage and newspapers littered the floor.  Empty food cartons, beer cans, bottles, and dirty clothes lay where they were tossed.  I had gotten a cat because the mice were out of control.  But I was not conscientious about cleaning up after the cat.  It is not surprising that I had few visitors and neighbors tended to avoid me.

p. 363

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

Though the earning power of most A.A.’s is relatively high, we have some members who never seem to get on their feet moneywise, and still others who encounter heavy financial reverses. Ordinarily we see these situations met with fortitude and faith.

p. 114

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Listening feeds the spirit.

The two most dangerous words in a recovering alcoholic’s vocabulary are, “I’m different.”

Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober.

Newcomers are the lifeblood of the program. But our old-timers are the arteries.

The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.

Trust God. Clean house. Help others.

The peaks and valleys of my life have become gentle rolling hills.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WISDOM

“Education today, more than
ever before, must see clearly the
dual objectives: education for
living and education for making
a living.”
— James Mason Wood

The spiritual life is a productive life. Not only does it make for a prosperous
life in every sense of the word but it makes for a creative lifestyle. Nothing is
wasted on the spiritual man; he learns from his mistakes and doubts.

For too long I was stunted in my spiritual growth by negative and destructive
thinking. I became dependent upon a sick self and attracted equally sick
people. I used my education and knowledge to keep people out and
remained isolated. I needed to change. I wanted to change. But how? As
with everything else in life I needed to imitate those who were
successful. I needed to be shown how to live a different way. I
needed to discover the power of my spirituality. I found successful people. They
helped me. Today I am able to help myself.

I pray for the knowledge to imitate those who are successful in life.

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No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Genesis 1:26

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Daily Inspiration

How precious are the little joys throughout the day. Lord, You have such love for me. I find You everywhere I look.

Trials are part of life. How you respond to them determines the quality of your life. Lord, in Your justice, rescue and deliver me.


NA Just For Today

An Every-Day Addict

” We can never fully recover, no matter how long we stay clean.”
Basic Text p. 80

After getting a little time in the program, some of us begin to think we have been cured. We’ve learned everything NA has to teach us; we’ve grown bored with the meetings; and our sponsor keeps droning the same old refrain: ” The steps-the steps-the steps!” We decide it is time to get on with our lives, cut way back on meetings, and try to make up for the years we have lost to active addiction. We do this, however, at the peril of our recovery.

Those of us who have relapsed after such an episode often try to go to as many meetings as we can-some of us go to a meeting every day for several years. It may take that long for us to understand that we will always be addicts. We may feel well some days and sick on other days, but we are addicts every day. At any time, we are subject to delusion, denial, rationalization, justification, insanity-all the hallmarks of the typical addict’s way of thinking. If we want to continue living and enjoying life without the use of drugs, we must practice an active program of recovery each day.

Just for today: I am an addict every day, but today I have the choice to be a recovering addict. I will make that choice by practicing my program.
pg. 28


You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It is such a secret place, the land of tears. –Antoine de St. Exupery
Where do tears come from? Perhaps each of us has a private well where the tears rise from. Each of us has our own landscape of events that have hurt us or given us joy. And so we have our own private responses to the world around us. Something may hurt one of us that would not hurt another. Like the oceans and rivers, sometimes our well of tears is flowing. We do not always understand all the forces affecting the oceans, or our well of tears. The kind of bucket that draws water from a well is solid and durable, and it lowers itself deep enough to find water. Good friends and family members are like that. It is comforting to share our private well with such people.
Who will I invite to drink from my well today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
To perceive is to suffer. –Aristotle
As men in this program, we have given up our compulsive escapes from life. Our escapes may have been through dependent relationships with others, or with money, sex, food, drugs, work, or emotional binges. But now we are learning to live without them, and this has brought us in touch with our feelings. We feel more joy and more pain in recovery. Often the first feelings in recovery are painful or frightening.
We learn we can deal with life – all of it, a little at a time. We accept pain as part of life. Because of our escapes, our growing up was delayed. We didn’t learn how to deal with our pain because we escaped into an anesthetic, a high, and a relief.
Our spiritual recovery program brings us together with other men and women who have pledged to set aside these escapes. Among the many rewards is a reawakening to all of life. No longer will we filter out the suffering because that, too, is part of being aware.
Today, I am thankful for all the life that I perceive and pray for the strength to meet the pain.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion. –Billie Jean King
Champions are made. How lucky we are to have the Steps to guide us to become champions. The program promises us self-awareness, but we have to put forth the effort. And the process isn’t always easy. We have liabilities, all of us, and it’s generally easier to see them than our assets. Self-awareness is recognizing both. To become a champion, whether as an athlete, a homemaker, a teacher, a secretary, or an attorney, is to maximize the assets and minimize the liabilities, but to accept the existence of both. The program that we share offers us daily opportunities to know ourselves, to help other women know themselves, and to strengthen our assets along the way. We can feel our assets growing, and it feels good. We can see our liabilities diminish, and it feels good. The program offers us a championship.
I can strengthen my assets, first by knowing them, and then by emphasizing them repeatedly. I’ll focus on one today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Staying in the Present Moment
Often, one of our biggest questions is “What’s going to happen?” We may ask this about our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life. It is easy to tangle us up in worrisome thoughts.
Worrying about what’s going to happen blocks us from functioning effectively today. It keeps us from doing our best now. It blocks us from learning and mastering today’s lessons. Staying in the now, doing our best, and participating fully today are all we need to do to assure ourselves that what’s going to happen tomorrow will be for the best.
Worrying about what’s going to happen is a negative contribution to our future. Living in the here and now is ultimately the best thing we can do, not only for today, but also for tomorrow. It helps our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life.
Things will work out, if we let them. If we must focus on the future other than to plan, all we need to do is affirm that it will be good.
I pray for faith that my future will be good if I live today well, and in peace. I will remember that staying in the present is the best thing I can do for my future. I will focus on what’s happening now instead of what’s going to happen tomorrow.

As I take the time to let my stress go today I will be filled with love and peace and joy. I will be aware of these feelings through my day and share them with others. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

What Interests You?

It’s easy to talk ourselves out of trying something new, then sit at home whining that we’re bored. It’s just as easy, and a lot more fun, to find something interesting to do.

Learn to make a basket out of pine needles. Try spelunking, or take a tap dancing class. Learn to fly an airplane or carve a walking stick. Take lessons on that musical instrument you’ve always wanted to play. You can learn to braid your hair, write a poem, or even act in a play.

Have you talked yourself out of doing activities you used to like to do? Is there something new you’d like to learn or explore, something you’ve always thought you might like to do?

Begin a journey of discovery. Find out what interests you. Don’t limit your interests to activities connected just to work or spiritual growth. Opening up to the world and all it has to offer expands your creativity. Discovering what your interests are, then letting yourself pursue them will become part of your spiritual path.

There are many magical things in the world, and people happy to teach you how to do them. See all there is to do. Get out of your house and out of your rut and discover what interests you.


More Language Of Letting Go

There’s magic in our beliefs

There’s a church in the town of Chimayo, New Mexico. Rumor has it that the soil surrounding the church has special healing properties. Long before the church existed, there was a spring gushing up from the ground nearby. The Tewa Indians of the area believed that this spring held special magical properites and thought that by drinking the water, their infirnities could be healed. The water eventually stopped bubbling up, leaving only a muddy pool, and still the pilgrims came seeking healing. Finally, even the mud dried and turned to dust, and still the Tewa came. They ate the dust or mixed it with water and drank it. And many times it healed them.

Then the Spanish built a church in the area. When the stories of the magical healing dust persisted, the church decided to blend with the local beliefs instead of trying to eradicate superstition.

Today, people still come to the Santuario de Chimayo to be blessed or to take a little dirt from El Pocito, the little well in a back room. They still believe that the dust will heal them. And many times it does.

Is the dust magical? I don’t know. But there’s magic in what we believe.

Our beliefs tell our future better than any crystal ball or or psychic can. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, one holy book says. Be mindful of your thoughts and beliefs. What you think and believe today, whether it’s I can’t or I can, is what you will manifest tomorrow.

Do you have any beliefs right now that are holding you down or back? What are your I can’s and what are your I cant’s? Take a moment. Look into your heart. Examine what you believe to be true. Is there an area of your life that could be benefited by thinking and believing something else?

If you’re going to use the power of your mind, use it to form a positive belief. Sometimes, the littlest bit of magic is all we need to change our lives.

God, help me come to believe what is right and true about myself, life, and others. Show me, and help me understand, the power and magic of what I believe.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Now that I am in The Program, I am no longer enslaved by alcohol and other drugs. Free, free at last from the other drugs. Free, free at last from the morning-after tremors, the dry heaves, the three-day beard, the misplaced eyelashes. Free, free at last from working out the alibis and hopng they won’t unravel; free from blackouts; free from watching the clock so that I can somehow get that desperately-needed “first one.” Do I treasure my freedom from chemical enslavement?

Today I Pray

Praise God that I am free of chemicals. This is my first freedom, from which other freedoms will develop — freedom to appraise my behavior sanely and constructively, freedom to grow as a person, freedom to maintain relationships with others on a sound basis. I will never cease to thank my Higher Power for leading me away from my enslavement.

Today I Will Remember

Praise God for my freedom.


One More Day

Love received and love given comprise the best form of therapy. – Gordon W. Allport

Many of us with health problems are — by choice or by necessity — alone, and we may sometimes feel uneasy in a world geared for couples and families. Everywhere there seems to be yet another couple — on a park bench, strolling on the sidewalk, and on television. This is especially painful if we had, at one time in our lives, a happy, long-term relationship.

Now we are finding a more complete and less restrictive sense of companionship and still maintaining our independence. Romantic love is not the only basis for trust and friendship. A Friend we can trust may also become a confidante, a strong emotional supporter, and an all-around booster. We may be alone, but we realize that we need not be lonely.

I am lucky to have one close friend. I am blessed when I have several. I am no longer alone.


Food For Thought

Blessed Are the Hungry

When we are sated and overly full of food, there is no room left for the spirit. We feel like taking a nap, rather than working productively or playing enjoyably. During our overeating careers, how many hours have we wasted in bed, sleeping off the effects of a binge?

To eat no more than is necessary is to maintain our minds and bodies in a state of alertness and readiness for action. To say no to the sugars and starches which throw our blood sugar out of balance is to keep our energy level on an even keel.

As we lose excess weight and get rid of debilitating fat, we will probably experience some periods of hunger. There is nothing wrong with being hungry. Often it is when we are hungry that we are most humble and ready to listen to our Higher Power.

To accept physical hunger with serenity is to be spiritually strong.

I pray that my hunger may bring me closer to You, Lord.


One Day At A Time

~ SUCCESS ~

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill
(1874 – 1965) a highly decorated British politician who served as Prime Minister of the U.K.

My life before program consisted of one failure after the next. I could never master success with my eating, much less with my life in general.

Once I came into these rooms and started working the Twelve Steps, with a God of my understanding and the knowledge that God is in control of all in my life, I began to realize that life is NOT a series of failures, only slow successes.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am a success if I keep on trying regardless of the outcome, because it is truly God’s will for me.
~ Linda K. ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance.

Another principle we observe carefully is that we do not relate intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may criticize or laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably, but criticism or ridicule coming from another often produces the contray effect. – Pg. 125 – The Family Afterwards

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The most important thing to know about Step Three, turning our will over to a Higher Power, is that all we can do is DECIDE to do it. There is no ‘will’ we can wrap and send. Once we make the decision to do this, our Higher Power will work for us through the rest of the Steps.

I decide to align my will with that of the Source of my Spirit.

A Birthday Wish

Today I will make a wish. I will make a wish and trust that it will find wings. I will see it flying through the air, blown from a loving hand toward eternity. Birthdays are for wishing; wishing with a child’s excitement, with an innocent faith that what I wish for can come forth. I will see my wish as already fulfilled, I will experience it as if it is happening right now, as if it is real. I am making my wish right NOW.

My wishes have wings.

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Many meetings, many chances; few meetings, few chances; no meetings, no chances.

The trouble with staying home and isolating is I get a lot of bad advice.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Making amends is a good way to have the last word!

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

As I take the time to let my stress go today I will be filled with love and peace and joy. I will be aware of these feelings throughout my day and share them with others.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I get drunk – we stay sober. – Cubby S.



AA Thought for the Day

January 28

Isolation
Isolation sneaks up on us.
We can mask it with familiar props that are not in themselves bad.
We can isolate ourselves in an attempt to clean up our apartments (and then not do the cleaning);
we can isolate ourselves in churches or in sleep; we can use family, sweethearts,
compulsive working, television.  The list is long.
The nicest way to end it is the way you and I do: together.
Reach out — people can’t read your mind.
Say ouch!  Someone hears.  Always.
– The Best of the Grapevine, pp. 84-85

Thought to Ponder . . .
Isolation is a darkroom for developing negatives.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
Y A N A = You Are Not Alone.

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

Thankfulness
I try to hold fast to the truth
that a full and thankful heart
cannot entertain great conceits.
When brimming with gratitude,
one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love,
the finest emotion that we can ever know.
Bill W., AAGrapevine, March 1962
c. 1967 AAWS, As Bill Sees It,  p. 37

Thought to Consider . . .

The peaks and valleys of my life
have become gentle rolling hills.

~~AACRONYMS~~

G I F T S  =  Getting It From The Steps

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

Puzzle
From “More about Alcoholism”:
“The actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self
-knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it
has been revealed to us out of bitter experience.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 39

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

“Nothing improves if you drink.”
El Granada, Calif., March 2003
“How an Atheist Works the Steps,”
Beginners’ Book:
Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic
commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God. He
clamors for this or that, claiming he cannot master alcohol until
his material needs are cared for. Nonsense. Some of us have taken very
hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job  wife or no wife  we
simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other
people ahead of dependence on God.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 98~

“Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more
alcoholics than anything else.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

He thought it better to give comfort than to receive it; better to understand than to be understood; better to forgive than to be forgiven.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 101

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Few of us are any longer afraid of what any newcomer can do to our A.A. reputation or effectiveness. Those who slip, those who panhandle, those who scandalize, those with mental twists, those who rebel at the program, those who trade on the A.A. reputation – all such persons seldom harm an A.A. group for long.
Some of these have become our most respected and best loved. Some have remained to try our patience, sober nevertheless. Others have drifted away. We have begun to regard the troublesome ones not as menaces, but rather as our teachers. They oblige us to cultivate patience, tolerance, and humility. We finally see that they are only people sicker than the rest of us, that we who condemn them are the Pharisees whose false righteousness does our group the deeper spiritual damage.

Prayer for the Day:  Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas – Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 27th

Daily Reflections

FREEDOM FROM GUILT

Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word
“blame” from our speech and thought.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 47

When I become willing to accept my own powerlessness, I begin to
realize that blaming myself for all the trouble in my life can be an ego
trip back into hopelessness. Asking for help and listening deeply to
the messages inherent in the Steps and Traditions of the program
make it possible to change those attitudes which delay my recovery. Before
joining A.A., I had such a desire for approval from people in powerful
positions that I was willing to sacrifice myself, and others, to gain a
foothold in the world. I invariably came to grief. In the program I
find true friends who love, understand, and care to help me learn the truth
about myself. With the help of the Twelve Steps, I am able to build a
better life, free of guilt and the need for self-justification.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

An alcoholic carries an awful load around with them. What a load
lying puts on your shoulders! Drinking makes liars out of all of us
alcoholics. In order to get all the liquor we want, we have to lie all the
time. We have to lie about where we’ve been and what we’ve been
doing. When you are lying you are only half alive, because of the fear
of being found out. When you come into A.A., and get honest with
yourself and with other people, that terrible load of lying falls off
your shoulders. Have I got rid of that load of lying?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is
no empty space. As fears and worries and resentments depart out of
my life, the things of the spirit come in to take their places. Calm
comes after a storm. As soon as I am rid of fears and hates and
selfishness, God’s love and peace and calm can come in.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may rid myself of all fears and resentments, so that
peace and serenity may take their place. I pray that I may sweep my
life clean of evil, so that good may come in.


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As Bill Sees It

Daily Reprieve, p. 27

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve
contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

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

We of A.A. obey spiritual principles, at first because we must, then
because we ought to, and ultimately because we love the kind of life such
obedience brings. Great suffering and great love are A.A.’s
disciplinarians; we need no others.

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85
  2. 12 & 12, p. 174

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Walk In Dry Places

Live and let live____Tolerance
For countless reasons, people with drinking problems blunder into conflicts with others. It’s not unusual to hear that a person has not spoken to a relative for y ears as a result of some foolish misunderstanding. Some of us, sad to say, cling to old grievances even after we come into AA.
The key to peace in our lives is the slogan  “Live and Let Live.”  If we reflect on this slogan a bit, we want to live freely, and we ought to let others choose their lifestyles without interference from us. After all, if there was anything we alcoholics resented, it was the busybody who tried to shape our lives for us.
Nobody has the competence or understanding to tell us how we should live, nor  should we try to control other people. We have a big job to do in overcoming our own problems. We have neither the time nor the wisdom to run other people’s lives.
“Live and Let Live,” if followed by every person and nation, would bring universal peace.  We can use the slogan wisely to end conflicts in our lives and to terminate new ones before they develop into serious problems.
I’ll remember today that nobody appointed me guardian of my neighbors’ manners and morals.  I have a full-time job keeping myself straight.

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Keep It Simple

They is no they, only us .–Bumper sticker

For most of us, addiction was full of doubt. We stopped believing  in ourselves. Our thoughts had turned to “stinking thinking.” We didn’t believe in much of anything. We didn’t take risk. We always looked for the easier, softer way. In recovery, we start to believe again. We believe in the program. We believe in a Higher Power. We believe in people. And, over time, we believe in ourselves again. We become better at taking risk. We are able to stay sober because we believe,
because we take risk. As we stay sober, we can face almost anything—with the help of others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I have learned to believe in You. Help me believe in myself. I have something to give to this world. Help me give it freely.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Surviving meant being born over and over.  –Erica Jong
We have decided to live. And each day we make the decision anew. Each time we call a friend, work a Step, or go to a meeting, we are renewing our contract with life. We are being reborn. Before coming to this program we died, emotionally and spiritually, many times. Some of us nearly died physically. But here we are, starting a new day, looking for guidance from one another. We are the survivors. And survival is there for the taking.
We will have days when we struggle with our decision to live. We will want to throw in the towel. We will want to give in or give up. But we’ve learned from one another about choices. And the choice to survive, knowing we never have to do it alone, gets easier with time.
I am one of the survivors. Today is my day for celebration.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

Another reason for the wide acceptance of A.A. was the ministration of friends—friends in medicine, religion, and the press, together with innumerable others who became our able and persistent advocates. Without such support, A.A. could have made only the slowest progress. Some of the recommendations of A.A.’s early medical and religious friends will be found further on in this book.

p. xx

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

I found it increasingly difficult to do anything more than work and drink. I was afraid to use public transportation or even walk on the streets. My stomach was constantly upset and my doctor had diagnosed a number of intestinal disorders. Even though I rarely drank away from home, my body was covered with bruises because I often fell down during blackouts. I never wore short-sleeved shirts, even in summer, because people would ask me about the bruises. One morning I awoke with a numb leg and found that I had somehow ruptured two spinal discs while in a blackout at home.

p. 363

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but when an honest effort is made “to practice these principles in all our affairs,” well-grounded A.A.’s seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith. We have seen A.A.’s suffer lingering and fatal illness with little complaint, and often in good cheer. We have sometimes seen families broken apart by misunderstanding, tensions, or actual infidelity, who are reunited by the A.A. way of life.

p. 114

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Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  –Ovid

It’s not what you were, it’s what you are today.  –David Marion

Very little is needed to make a happy life.  –Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.  –Wilson Mizne

Times of fellowship with God are the foundation for serving others.  –Doris M. Orr

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SEX

“Sexual pleasure, wisely used
and not abused, may prove the
stimulus and liberator of our
finest and most exalted
activities.”
— Havelock Ellis

Sex is most beautiful because it enables the human being to
experience and give love at an intimate and personal level. It also
combines all the spiritual senses of body, mind and feeling in one
expression, balancing tenderness with strength, patience with desire,
need with selflessness.

Also the awareness and experience of a beautiful sexuality should be
taken into all other manifestations of life — work, leisure, friendship,
sports and prayer.

The gift of sex is one of our finest and most creative attributes and
leads to all that is noble in man, therefore, it should not be used
irresponsibly. Today I understand that I have a responsibility to the
gifts that God has shared with me.

May I find in my sexuality an awareness of You.

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“Take good care to observe the commandment, and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  Joshua 22:5

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths.  Psalm 25:4

“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually.”  1 Chronicles 16:11

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Daily Inspiration

There is no hurt that God cannot heal. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble and don’t know where to go.

It is far wiser to ask God for what He thinks is good for us, than for what we think is good for us. Lord, Your Will not mine be done.

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NA Just For Today

Learning how to live again

” We learn new ways to live. We are no longer limited to our old ideas.”
Basic Text p. 54

We may or may not have been taught right from wrong and other basics of life as children. No matter, by the time we found recovery, most of us had only the vaguest idea of how to live. Our isolation from the rest of society had caused us to ignore basic human responsibilities and develop bizarre survival skills to cope with the world we lived in.

Some of us didn’t know how to tell the truth; others were so frank we wounded everyone we talked to. Some of us couldn’t cope with the simplest of personal problems, while others attempted solving the problems of the whole world. Some of us never got angry, even when receiving unfair treatment; others busily lodged complaints against everyone and everything.

Whatever our problems, no matter how extreme, we all have a chance in Narcotics Anonymous to learn how to live anew. Perhaps we need to learn kindness and how to care about others. Perhaps we need to accept personal responsibilities. Or maybe we need to overcome fear and take some risks. We can be certain of one thing: Each day, simply by living life, we’ll learn something new.

Just for today: I know more about how to live than I did yesterday, but not as much as I’ll know tomorrow. Today, I’ll learn something new.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
When men are rightfully occupied, then their amusement grows out of their work as the color petals out of a fruitful garden.
–John Ruskin
What do we need most in order to be happy? Certainly we all need to be loved. Yet we need even more than that. The spirit also wishes to be needed. When we are needed, no matter what age we are, we serve a purpose for others. When we are needed, we will be loved, as well as respected, imitated, and rewarded with gratitude. Our needs are not great empty pits to be filled any way we can. They are the couplings by which we connect to those we love. Our needs also tell us what others want, and how to enrich their lives–which also enriches ours. How do we become needed? We have only to look at our own needs and give what we need to others–love, respect, kindness, and generosity. When we realize we are needed, we realize we also need others.
What do I need that I can give to another person today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
When nobody around you seems to measure up, it’s time to check your yardstick. –Bill Lemley
Being overcritical and irritable has been common to most of us. Some of us go around with controlled smiles while underneath we are grumbling. Others blast everyone around them. Some of us save our most critical reactions for those we love while staying sweet and friendly with the outside world. In any case, we are caught in a blinding trap. We may know we feel trapped but do not see that our problem is mainly with ourselves.
We need to look at our relationships. Have we been falling into a pattern where no one seems to measure up? Are we also being too critical or demanding of ourselves? Perhaps we don’t need to lower our standards so much as to hold them less tightly. If we can be friends to ourselves and give ourselves a little more leeway, we can be more easygoing with others.
I cannot force myself to be less critical, but I can let go of my willfulness so my more easygoing side comes forward. I can be less judgmental of others and myself.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Surviving meant being born over and over. –Erica Jong
We have decided to live. And each day we make the decision anew. Each time we call a friend, work a Step, or go to a meeting, we are renewing our contract with life. We are being reborn. Before coming to this program we died, emotionally and spiritually, many times. Some of us nearly died physically. But here we are, starting a new day, looking for guidance from one another. We are the survivors. And survival is there for the taking.
We will have days when we struggle with our decision to live. We will want to throw in the towel. We will want to give in or give up. But we’ve learned from one another about choices. And the choice to survive, knowing we never have to do it alone, gets easier with time.
I am one of the survivors. Today is my day for celebration.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Needing People
We can find the balance between needing people too much and not letting ourselves need anyone at all.
Many of us have unmet dependency needs lingering from the past. While we want others to fulfill our desire to be loved unconditionally, we may have chosen people who cannot, or will not, be there for us. Some of us are so needy from not being loved that we drive people away by needing them too much.
Some of us go to the other extreme. We may have become used to people not being there for us, so we push them away. We fight off our feelings of neediness by becoming overly independent, not allowing ourselves to need anyone. Some of us won’t let people be there for us.
Either way, we are living out unfinished business. We deserve better. When we change, our circumstances will change.
If we are too needy, we respond to that by accepting the needy part of us. We let ourselves heal from the pain of past needs going unmet. We stop telling ourselves we’re unlovable because we haven’t been loved the way we wanted and needed.
If we have shut off the part of us that needs people, we become willing to open up, be vulnerable, and let ourselves be loved. We let ourselves have needs.
We will get the love we need and desire when we begin to believe we’re lovable, and when we allow that to happen.
Today, I will strive for the balance between being too needy and not allowing myself to need people. I will let myself receive the law that is there for me.

As I stop today and take the time to be still, I become in touch with my Higher Power. I feel myself filling with love and with peace as I relax and let go of the stress in my day. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Open Your Heart As Often As You Need

Opening our hearts is not something we do once or twice. It is a way of life. How quickly life does things that make us want to close off, wall off, shut down, go away. But our commitment to staying open has little to do with what life does to us. It has to do with how we decide we want to live. Open. Loving. Safe. We’re safe because we know our ability and our willingness to love comes from within us. It is the ultimate form of learning to embrace our power.

A long time ago when we were young, you may have told yourself it was risky to love, to trust, to feel. You told yourself that everyone you trusted would in the end betray your trust. Your belief has many times been proven true. But it’s time now to believe something else. It’s time to believe that the opposite is true. It’s time to believe that the opposite is true. It is risky to not love, not trust, not feel.

Your security doesn’t come from trusting others. Your security comes from trusting and cherishing your own heart. Don’t let life shut you down. Open your heart as often as you need.


More Language Of Letting Go

Find the adventure in your life

He had quit his job eight weeks earlier, a prodigal son off to find his story in the world. He arrived back in town dirty, unshaven, tired, and smiling. He had $4.38 in his pocket, he said. Enough for a burger and fries, if someone would give him a ride– there wasn’t enough gas in his car to get him to the restaurant and back. We were just getting ready to go to dinner and one of the others asked if he wanted to come along. “My treat,” a friend said, “as long as you tell us some stories.”

He did.

And oh, what stories he told from his trip through the west– high mountains, deep canyons, altitude sickness, frigid nights. Story after story poured out as we listened over plates of tacos.

“But what will you do now?” I asked later. “You only have four dollars to your name.”

“It’s okay,” came the reply. “I’ll just go back to work for a while.”

“And then?”

“Take another trip. Next year I’m going to Europe to see what’s over there.”

Take a chance. We don’t have to settle in and live in the first safe, comfortable box that we find. We can live in the moment, pull all that we can from it, then stretch our wings and fly someplace else. I’m not saying to quit your job and go off on a backpacking adventure, unless that’s what you want to do. I’m just saying you might want to follow your heart. Learn to cook. Learn to paint, share what you know by teaching a class. Find the adventure in your life, calculate the risk, then take it.

God, put the adventure back in my life. If I’ve gotten too safe in my little world, help me take a risk. Help me learn to live big.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I can attain real dignity, importance and individuality only by a dependence on a Power which is great and good, beyond anything I can imagine or understand. I will try my utmost to use this Power in making all my decisions. Even though my human mind cannot forecast what the outcome will be, I will try to be confident that whatever comes will be for my ultimate good. Just For Today, will I try to live this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once?

Today I Pray

May I make no decision, engineer no change in the course of my life stream, without calling upon my Higher Power May I have faith that God’s plan for me is better than any scheme I could devise for myself.

Today I Will Remember

God is the architect. I am the builder.


One More Day

The ancient sage, who concocted the maxim, “Know Thyself” might have added, “Don’t tell anyone.!” – H. F. Heinriches

All too often people hide from their own feelings and from the reality of chronic illness. We may reason that if we ignore it long enough it will go away. Of course, this does not happen, and slowly we gain the knowledge of what our illness is and how we can best live with the changes it creates.

Perhaps we cannot change the course of a chronic illness or medical condition, but we can , and certainly should, change how we react. Bitterness only encourages the company of those who are also bitter. Acceptance, openness, and serenity will attract others who share our willingness to change and grow.

Today, I will be open and honest with myself as I move back into the path of life with an illness at my side.


Food For Thought

Enough Is a Feast

The frantic search for more and more has characterized many of our lives. We believed that if only we had more money, more clothes, more sex, more food, and more things – we would be happy and satisfied.

The more we consume, the more miserable we become. No amount of material things will satisfy our emotional and spiritual hunger. We learn to know our Higher Power, and we learn that He satisfies our need, not our greed. He feeds our hearts and our spirits with the abundance of His love, and when we are strengthened spiritually, physical control is possible.

Our measured food plan fills our bodily needs. The measured amount is enough. We accept it and become comfortable with it. More than that, we learn the truth of the ancient Zen saying that “Enough is a feast.”

May I be content with enough instead of grasping for more.


One Day At A Time

~ DECISIONS ~

We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing …
but even that is a decision.
Gary Collins, PhD.
Clinical psychologist and well-known author in the field of counseling

I can’t recall if I ever learned that I had choices. I think it’s something a person learns as they grow up, but in my home, it was pretty much Mom’s way or the highway, and she had us all so scared of the highway that even THAT wasn’t much of a choice!

Imagine my utter shock when I came into the Twelve Step rooms and heard I had choices! I was a married woman by that time, one who had gone along with what everyone else said about anything and everything, and the only choice I seemed to make was how much I’d binge that day, if I’d purge, or if I’d be anorexic. Even that choice wasn’t in my hands, but in the hands of my disease.

In these recovery rooms I slowly learned about making choices and the responsibility that went with them. It’s been a freedom. It’s also allowed me to feel like an adult. As a young child I was put in the position of doing things only adults should be doing. So on one hand, I knew I had done things way before “my time.” Yet I still felt immature and naive. Learning to make my own choices and decisions has helped me to feel more mature and confident.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not fear making difficult decisions. I will remember I can use the principles of the program to help me make the proper choice.
~ Rhonda ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Whether the family goes on a spiritual basis or not, the alcoholic member has to if he would recover. – Pg. 135 – The Family Afterwards

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever is on our mind at this time is probably something we can do nothing about just now. We’re fighting a fatal disease here and our recovery is our TOP PRIORITY. Other considerations will simply have to wait.

Help me to prioritize my needs: clean time, sober time, recovery.

I Am Aware

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. They are gifts of awareness that I can give myself. I can process my most frustrating and difficult emotions and bring them into my conscious awareness so that I can put them into proportion. I can reframe and see things in a new and more helpful light. I can stop running from what clouds and confuses my inner being, what obscures my inner light. I am strong in the awareness that I can live as I choose to live. I am willing to walk a path of self discovery that, though difficult, builds a strength in me and a knowledge that I can survive my most difficult feelings. I do not need to be afraid of my life if I am not afraid of my inner world. I am comfortable in my own skin.

I am free to be who I am.

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Witness the miracle of recovery happening for others, and you come to believe that this miracle can happen for you as well. Look at the miracles around you, one month off drugs, three years, 20 years or more. You are surrounded by living miracles.

I do not believe in miracles, I rely on them.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

It’s Anonymo-us, not Anonymo-me.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

As I stop today and take the time to be still, I become in touch with my Higher Power. I feel myself filling with love and with peace as I relax and let go of the stress in my day.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Tolerance: The ability to put up with those you’d like to put down. – Anon.


AA Thought for the Day

January 27

Housecleaning
Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves
certain facts about their lives.
Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods.
Almost invariably they got drunk.  Having persevered with the rest of the program,
they wondered why they fell.
We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 72-73

Thought to Ponder . . .
I cannot mend if I bend the truth.

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

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

Ghosts
AA experience has taught us we cannot live alone
with our pressing problems and the character defects
which cause or aggravate them.
If we have swept the searchlight of Step Four
back and forth over our careers,
and it has revealed in stark relief those experiences
we’d rather not remember,
if we have come to know how wrong thinking and action
have hurt us and others,
then the need to quit living by ourselves
with those tormenting ghosts of yesterday
gets more urgent than ever.
We have to talk to somebody about them.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 55

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

~~AACRONYMS~~
Y A N A = You Are Not Alone

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

Unity
Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first;
personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
“Most individuals cannot recover unless there IS a group. Realization dawns that he is but a small part of a great whole;
that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He learns that the clamor of desires and
ambitions within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the group. It becomes plain that the group must
survive or the individual will not.”
1981, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 130

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

“I didn’t need to learn how to meditate before meditating. It turned out to be one of those learn-as-you-go things — just as
learning how to stay sober is part of staying sober a day at a time.”
Anonymous, November 1991
“Trusting the Silence,”
Beginners’ Book:
Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time
to outgrow that serious handicap.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 125~

“Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction
of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of
Light who presides over us all.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 14~

Nothing short of continuous action upon these as a way of life can bring the much-desired result.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 40

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual
condition.
We of A.A. obey spiritual principles, at first because we must, then because we ought to, and ultimately because we
love the kind of life such obedience brings. Great suffering and great love are A.A.’s disciplinarians; we need no others.

Prayer for the Day:  Lord, we ask you to inspire us to encourage others by what we say and do today. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 26th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 26th

Daily Reflections

RIGOROUS HONESTY

Who wishes to be rigorously honest and tolerant?
Who wants to confess his faults to another and make
restitution for harm done? Who cares anything about
a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer?
Who wants to sacrifice time and energy in trying to
carry A.A.’s message to the next sufferer? No, the
average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme,
doesn’t care for this prospect – unless he has to
do these things in order to stay alive himself.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 24

I am an alcoholic. If I drink I will die. My, what
power, energy, and emotion this simple statement
generates in me! But it’s really all I need to know
for today. Am I willing to stay alive today? Am I
willing to stay sober today? Am I willing to ask for
help and am I willing to be a help to another suffering
alcoholic today? Have I discovered the fatal nature of
my situation? What must I do, today, to stay sober?

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

As we became alcoholics, the bad effects of drinking
came more and more to outweigh the good effects. But
the strange part of it is that, no matter what drinking
did to us, loss of our health, our jobs, our money and
our homes, we still stuck to it and depended on it. Our
dependence on drinking became an obsession. In A.A., we
find a new outlook on life. We learn how to change from
alcoholic thinking to sober thinking. And we find out
that we can no longer depend on drinking for anything.
We depend on a Higher Power instead. Have I entirely
given up that dependence on drinking?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to keep my life calm and unruffled. This is
my great task, to find peace and acquire serenity. I must
not harbor disturbing thoughts. No matter what fears,
worries and resentments I may have, I must try to think
of constructive things, until calmness comes. Only when
I am calm can I act as a channel for God’s spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may build up instead of tearing down.
I pray that I may be constructive and not destructive.


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As Bill Sees It

True Independence of the Spirit, p. 26

The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the
more independent we actually are. Therefore, dependence as A.A.
practices it is really a means of gaining true independence of the spirit.

At the level of everyday living, it is startling to discover how
dependent we really are, and how unconscious of that dependence.
Every modern house has electric wiring carrying power and light to its
interior. By accepting with delight our dependence upon this marvel of
science, we find ourselves personally more independent, more
comfortable and secure. Power flows just where it is needed. Silently
and surely, electricity, that strange energy so few people understand,
meets our simplest daily needs.

Though we readily accept this principle of healthy dependence in many
of our temporal affairs, we often fiercely resist the identical principle
when asked to apply it as a means of growth in the life of the spirit.
Clearly, we shall never know freedom under God until we try to seek
His will for us. The choice is ours.

12 & 12, p. 36

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Walk In Dry Places

Pray For Potatoes___Faith and Works
One of the sayings heard at AA meetings is “Pray for potatoes but grab a hoe.”  This says that both prayer and action are needed to get favorable results in our lives.
But recovering alcoholics do not really need to be told to “grab a hoe.”  One of our problems is that we often worked too hard for certain ends, only to lose out in the long run.  What we really need to know is that our prayers work with our actions to bring about good results.  The saying should be “Pray for potatoes and grab a hoe.”  Faith and actions are both needed.
In the strong belief that God is working through us, we can do our own work with confidence and gratitude.  Our own efforts are strengthened when we know that we are not alone.  We may even receive inspiration and new understanding as we continue on this path.  Changes in our lives will turn out to be positive and beneficial if we remind ourselves that God is in charge of the process.
Under the right conditions, potatoes grow in a miraculous way.  Other projects will also come to maturity in our lives under God’s direction.
I will be grateful for the opportunity to work today.  Moreover, I will know that a Higher Power is living and working in my life.

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Keep It Simple

The best way to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.—-Swedish proverb
During our illness, we hurt others. We hurt ourselves. We messed up a lot.
So, a lot of us come to recovery not trusting ourselves very much. The truth is, as addicts, we couldn’t be trusted.
But in recovery, we can be trusted again. We can again live and love ourselves. We do this by finding our spiritual center. This is the place inside of us where our Higher Power lives. We turn our will and our lives over to this spiritual center. We do as our spiritual center tells us. And from our spiritual center, we’ll find our values. We’ll live better lives. We’ll come to trust ourselves again.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, thank-you for helping me believe in myself again. I’ll treat myself with love and kindness. I know You want me to.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list four ways I couldn’t be trusted during my addiction. I’ll also list four ways I can now be trusted.


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Each Day a New Beginning

You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face,
And show the world all the love in your heart,
Then people gonna treat you better.
You’re gonna find, yes, you will,
That you’re beautiful as you feel.
–Carole King
“Act as if.” There’s magic in behaving the way we want to be, even though we don’t yet feel it. The behavior seems to lead the way. The attitude, the mental state, follows.
Many days we may not get up with love in our hearts for our family, our friends, our co-workers. We may, in fact, want them to show their love for us first. But if we reach out, give love unconditionally; focus on another’s needs, love will return tenfold. And the act of loving them will lift our own spirits. We will know love; we will feel love for ourselves and the many other persons close to us.
The attitude we cultivate, whether one of love or selfishness, inferiority or superiority, will determine how the events of our lives affect us. The principle is so simple. If we meet life with love, with a smile, we’ll find love and something to smile about.
My attitude will make this day what it becomes. Meeting it head-on, with love, will assure me of a lovely day.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

While the internal difficulties of our adolescent period were being ironed out, public acceptance of A.A. grew by leaps and bounds. For this there were two principal reasons: the large numbers of recoveries and reunited homes. These made their impressions everywhere. Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn’t want the program. But great numbers of these—about two out of three—began to return as time passed.

pp. xix-xx

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

In consequence, I made the seemingly logical decision not to drink outside the house. Instead, most of my drinking was now solitary. When I left work, I would have a few stiff drinks at dinner and then go home. I would stop off at the kitchen to pick up a glass, some ice, and some mixer. I would go to my bedroom, where I kept a half-gallon bottle of gin and vodka, and “read” while the ice melted, the mixer ran out, and sometimes the glass broke. Every night was black out drinking. The really bad times were when I would have to struggle outside to a liquor store or bar late at night, weaving and trying not to stagger, because I had miscalculated and run out of alcohol.

pp. 362-363

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

Then perhaps life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly hands us a great big lump that we can’t begin to swallow, let alone digest. We fail to get a worked-for promotion. We lose that good job. Maybe there are serious domestic or romantic difficulties, or perhaps that boy we thought God was looking after becomes a military casualty.
What then? Have we alcoholics in A.A. got, or can we get, the resources to meet these calamities which come to so many? These were problems of life which we could never face up to. Can we now, with the help of God as we understand Him, handle them as well and as bravely as our nonalcoholic friends often do? Can we transform these calamities into assets, sources of growth and comfort to ourselves and those about us? Well, we surely have a chance if we switch from “two-stepping” to “twelve-stepping,” if we are willing to receive that grace of God which can sustain and strengthen us in any catastrophe.

p. 113

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A.A. is not something you join, it’s a way of life.

He who has fed a stranger may have fed an angel.  –The Talmud

There’s no elevator; you have to take the Steps.

Look for God’s image in the people you meet.  –Robert E. Lea

“It takes no more time to see the good side of life than it takes to see the bad.”  –Jimmy Buffet

“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”  –Josiah Stamp

“One can easily understand a child’s fear of the dark, but what is the greatest tragedy in life is the grown man who is afraid of the light.”  –Plato

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FAITH

“The ablest men in all walks of
modern life are men of faith.”
— Bruce Barton

It is important for those of us who have been crushed by the disease
of addiction to have faith that life will get better. We stopped “using”
or being co-dependent because the behavior was destroying us. Our
lives were disintegrating in negative behavior and attitudes. Now we
have chosen a different way to live.

Today I seek to find God in my freedom of choice, my ability to
change. I have faith in the daily belief that my life will get better so
long as I avoid those things that hurt me. My faith enables me to
change.

O God, my faith in me reflects my belief in You.

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

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”  Psalm 1:1-3

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

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Daily Inspiration

We can show God that we truly love Him by the way we speak and live. May I be inspiring, Lord, and may everyone that I meet find You.

Avoid negative thinking because this leads to unnecessary worry. Lord, I rely on You to guide and sustain me and I know that with You I can move easily around life’s obstacles.

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NA Just For Today

Self-Centeredness

” The spiritual part of our disease is our total self-centeredness.”
Basic Text p. 20

What is self-centeredness? It is our belief that the world revolves around us. Our wishes, our demands are the only ones worth consideration. Our self-centered minds believe they are capable of getting everything they want if only they would be left to their own devices. SeIf-centeredness assumes total self-sufficiency.

We say that self-centeredness is the spiritual part of our disease because the self-centered mind cannot conceive of anything greater or more important than itself. But there is a spiritual solution to our spiritual malady: the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. The steps lead us away from self-centeredness and toward Godcenteredness.

We strip away our delusion of self-sufficiency by admitting our own powerlessness and seeking the aid of a Power greater than ourselves. We acknowledge the bankruptcy of our self-righteousness by admitting we’ve been wrong, making amends, and seeking knowledge of what’s right from the God our understanding. And we deflate our overwhelming sense of self-importance by seeking to serve others, not only ourselves.

The self-centeredness afflicting our spirit can be treated with a spiritual solution: the Twelve Steps.

Just for today: My guidance and my strength comes from a Higher Power, not from my own self. I will practice the Twelve Steps to become more God-centered and less self-centered.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Nothing is more difficult than competing with a myth. –Francoise Giroud
Sometimes we think we need to try and be something we’re not. Maybe we feel pressure from friends to behave or dress like someone else. All we need to do is remember when we were younger and dressed in our parents’ clothes and shoes. We pretended to be grownups, and it was fun for a while. Then the huge shoes on our feet grew clumsy and uncomfortable and the mountain of rolled-up sleeves kept falling down and getting in the way. Soon we grew tired of the game and stopped pretending. Today when we start feeling the pressure to be someone else, let’s remember how hard it is to play a role that doesn’t fit us.
What can I do today that is most like me?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Within every man there is the reflection of a woman, and within every woman there is the reflection of a man. Within every man and woman there is also the reflection of an old man and an old woman, a little boy and a little girl. –Hyemeyohsts Storm
This Cheyenne teaching reminds us of our connections – inside ourselves and with other people. Reading this passage, we are seeing it partly with the eyes of that small child who first learned to read. And perhaps, looking in the mirror today, we can see the traces of the old men we are becoming. We have been close to our mothers or sisters or lovers and have found parts of ourselves in them. By gently welcoming the children we once were, the old men we will be, the part of us that has a woman’s outlook, we become wiser, stronger, and more spiritual.
We don’t need to be frightened or disrespectful of the parts of ourselves that don’t feel 100 percent virile. We can have virility and many other sides too. Such awareness creates peace with ourselves.
I will notice the reflection of small children in old faces, old people in children’s faces, and men and women in each other.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face,
And show the world all the love in your heart,
Then people gonna treat you better.
You’re gonna find, yes, you will,
That you’re beautiful as you feel.
–Carole King
“Act as if.” There’s magic in behaving the way we want to be, even though we don’t yet feel it. The behavior seems to lead the way. The attitude, the mental state, follows.
Many days we may not get up with love in our hearts for our family, our friends, our co-workers. We may, in fact, want them to show their love for us first. But if we reach out, give love unconditionally; focus on another’s needs, love will return tenfold. And the act of loving them will lift our own spirits. We will know love; we will feel love for ourselves and the many other persons close to us.
The attitude we cultivate, whether one of love or selfishness, inferiority or superiority, will determine how the events of our lives affect us. The principle is so simple. If we meet life with love, with a smile, we’ll find love and something to smile about.
My attitude will make this day what it becomes. Meeting it head-on, with love, will assure me of a lovely day.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Off The Hook
We can learn not to get hooked into unhealthy, self-defeating behaviors in relationships – behaviors such as caretaking, controlling, discounting ourselves, and believing lies.
We can learn to watch for and identify hooks, and choose not to allow ourselves to be hooked.
Often, people do things consciously or without thinking that pulls us into a series of our self-defeating behaviors we call codependency. More often than not, these hooks can be almost deliberate, and the results predictable.
Someone may stand before us and hint or sigh about a problem, knowing or hoping that hint or sigh will hook us into taking care of him or her. That is manipulation.
When people stand around us and hint and sigh about something, then coyly say, “Oh, never mind, that’s not for you to worry about,” that’s a game. We need to recognize it. We’re about to get sucked in, if we allow that to happen.
We can learn to insist that people ask us directly for what they want and need.
What are the words, the signs, the looks, the hints, and the cues that hook us into a predictable and often self-defeating behavior?
What makes you feel sympathy? Guilt? Responsible for another?
Our strong point is that we care so much. Our weak point is that we often underestimate the people with whom we’re dealing. They know what they’re doing. It is time we give up our naive assumption that people don’t follow agendas of their own in their best interest, and not necessarily in ours.
We also want to check ourselves out. Do we give out hooks, looks, hints, hoping to hook another? We need to insist that we behave in a direct and honest manner with others, instead of expecting them to rescue us.
If someone wants something from us, insist that the person ask us directly for it. Require the same from us. If someone baits the hook, we don’t have to bite it.
Today, I will be aware of the hooks that snag me into the caretaking acts that leave me feeling victimized. I will ignore the hints, looks, and words that hook me, and wait for the directness and honesty others, and I deserve.

Nothing can stop me from growing today. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

See Life Through the Eyes of Your Soul

Once many, many years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night. Only I wasn’t in bed sleeping. I was on the ceiling looking down at my body lying on the bed. I studied myself, a little surprised at how unusual I looked from the outside. The next thing I knew, I was back in bed. My soul reconnected with my body. That experience was the beginning of a journey that led me to understand I was more than a body. I had a soul. I was about to embark on a path that would consciously connect me to that soul– experiences on the path to freeing my soul.

Throughout my life, I have had many conscious desires and expectations about my life. I wanted this, I wanted that. I wanted my life to be arranged just so. What I’ve understood over time is that the journey I’m taking is not one based on arranging my life in a particular way, then keeping it just so. The journey I’ve been on and what I’ve been seeking has been the journey of my soul.

Much in life can cause us distress and discomfort when we look with our conscious mind. But if we look beyond what we can see on the surface, we’ll begin to see with the eyes of the soul. The lessons run deep. Often they take time to learn. We learn about power. We learn about love. Courage. Faith. Saying good-bye. Embracing deep love for ourselves.

Learn to see life with the eyes of your soul. Experience all the emotions that are there. Discover your truths. Seek conscious peace as much as you can, and seek peace in your soul as well. Let your soul lead you through meadows and take you down deep into the valleys, for all your experiences are just that– experiences– on this mysterious journey of the soul.


More Language Of Letting Go

Be a thermostat

There’s a thermometer on my back porch. It tells me when it’s hot enough to go for a swim.

Inside the house, there’s a thermostat. The thermostat not only tells us how hot or cold it is, but will actually do something about it as well. If the temperature gets too warm, the thermostat tells the air conditioner to cool off the house. If it gets too cool, the thermostat tells the heater to warm things up a bit.

Which are you? Are you a thermometer– only reflecting the attitudes of those around you? Or are you a thermostat– determining your own course of action and following through with it? Thermometer people often know where they are; they just don’t do anything about it. I’m stuck in this relationship. I’m really angry, resentful, and upset. Thermostat people are aware of where they are,too. They just choose to do something about it, as well. I’m in this relationship, and I will do everything that I can to improve it. But if necessary, I will walk away from it.

Being a thermostat means we take appropriate action to take care of ourselves.

God, help me learn to respond to whatever environment I’m in by taking appropriate actions to take care of myself.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Personal freedom is mine for the taking. No matter how close are the ties of love and concern that bind me to my family and friends, I must always remember that I am an individual, free to be myself and live my own life in serenity and joy. The key word is this realization is personal. For I can free myself from many involvements that seem necessary. Through The Program, I am learning to develop my own personality. Am I reinforcing my personal freedom by leaving others free to control their actions and destinies?

today I Pray

May I find personal freedom, by reevaluating associations, establishing new priorities, gaining respect for my own person hood. May I give others equal room to find their own kinds of personal freedoms.

Today I Will Remember

Take the liberty; it’s yours.


One More Day

In human relationships, closeness and warmth only occur when we ask about one another . . . when we seek to know how we can help one another. Until we ask, we will never know. – Bernard S. Raskas

Who are our close friends? We should cherish friendships and protect them as vigorously as we would a newborn infant.

When a friend comes to us needing our help, we are forced into making a decision. One choice — abandonment — means we lose a friend. The other option means that the question, “What can I do to help you?” is no longer rhetorical, it is a commitment to helpfulness. We may even have to put ourselves at risk, especially emotionally, but we can bee a friend who stays around when a crisis occurs.


Food For Thought

Planning

There is a saying in our group to the effect that if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. If we do not have a food plan each day, we leave ourselves vulnerable to the attack of impulse and old habit.

Most of us find that we need to write down our three measured meals. Many of us continue to call them in to a food sponsor, even after the initial twenty-one days of abstinence. We can then go about the activities of the day without worrying about what we will eat. We become free to live without being obsessed with food.

Our pride often balks at the thought of calling another person and asking for help. We do not like to be committed to an eating plan. Let’s remember that we tried to go it alone our own way, and that old way did not work. Let’s be willing to try a new way that has worked for hundreds of OA members who are now at normal weight.

By Thy Grace, Lord, may I follow my food plan today.


One Day At A Time

~ HOPE ~

In the hour of adversity be not without hope,
For crystal rain falls from black clouds.
Persian poem

When I was a child, I lived in a fantasy world and dreamed of all the wonderful things that would happen to me when I grew up. I would have a wonderful husband, beautiful children, a fulfilling job and, of course, I would be thin. Unfortunately the fantasy never materialized, and even when I did lose weight my life wasn’t the perfect life that I had envisioned. I would lose weight and then promptly regain it. Life in general seemed so empty and futile. No matter how hard I tried, nothing seemed to work. I hated myself and my life; it often seemed pointless to go on.

When I walked into the doors of the first meeting I ever attended, there was something on the faces of the people I met there. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I saw something that I wanted. It wasn’t that they were all thin, because many of them were not. So what was it that these people had that I didn’t? What they had was the hope of recovery. If they were willing to reach out to a Higher Power of their understanding, and if they would work the program one day at a time, then this would guarantee them recovery.

I didn’t know what recovery meant then. Because all I wanted was to lose weight, and because I wanted what they had, I was prepared to do what they were doing. I realized then that it wasn’t only about the weight, although that does play a part. These people were learning how to live their life sanely, and even when they struggled with life, as we do from time to time, there was always the hope that they could get through those difficult times by using the tools and reaching out to others in the fellowship.

One Day at a Time . . .
Even when I am going through difficult times and the future looks gloomy, I have hope that it will get better if I’m willing to work a simple program.
~ Sharon S. ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end. – Pg. 152 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Sometimes we are confused about what to do. But we tell people, ‘Do the next right thing.’ We do know what is right and what is wrong from the age of seven. Often our mind tries to muddy our thinking by making excuses or rationalizing. You really do know the right thing to do.

Higher Power, of my understanding, please let me respond to the right and wrong of my Higher Self–for the basic knowledge that was once so clear.

Shifting My Feeling States

When I shift my own thinking and feeling states, I shift my body states as well, because emotions travel through me as body chemicals. In a way, I am what I think about all day. I can shift what I am feeling by consciously changing my thoughts and I can shift what I’m thinking, by consciously evening out my emotional states. I will place my attention on my heart and imagine myself in a calm and serene state. As my heart calms, so does my body. When I can consciously breathe in and out of my heart zone, and imagine that part of me entering a state of ease and serenity, I actually contribute to my emotional, psychological and physical health.

I calm my heart

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Egoism isn’t necessarily thinking a lot of yourself–just thinking of yourself a lot.

I begin this day by thinking of another first. Who is distressed or frightened that I may offer words of comfort?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Alcoholism is an incurable disease; loneliness is not.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Nothing can stop me from growing today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I’m hardest to love when I need love the most. – Anon.


AA Thought for the Day

January 26

Acceptance
When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away.

From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417

Thought to Ponder . . .
My serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Acknowledge Acceptance.

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

Prayer

“In AA we have found that the actual
good results of prayer are beyond question.
They are matters of knowledge and experience.
All those who have persisted have found
strength not ordinarily their own.
They have found wisdom beyond their
usual capability.
And they have increasingly found a peace of mind
which can stand firm in the face of
difficult circumstances.”

Bill W., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 104
As Bill Sees It, p. 127

Thought to Consider . . .
Trying to pray is praying.

~~AACRONYMS~~
PUSH
Pray Until Something Happens

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

Bottom

From “Total Acceptance”:
“The double standard that held me captive as an active alcoholic also filled me with terror and confusion: ‘If I don’t get a
drink I’m going to die,’ competed with ‘If I continue drinking it’s going to kill me.’ Both compulsive thoughts pushed me
ever closer to the bottom. That bottom produced a total acceptance of my alcoholism  with no reservations whatsoever
and one that was absolutely essential for my recovery. It was a dilemma unlike anything I had ever faced, but as I found
out later on, a necessary one if I was to succeed in this program.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 13

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

“Perhaps for some, ‘How It Work’ has become a tired, overworked bit of dogma, an opportunity to daydream. But not for
this alcoholic. I get more out of those words with each passing day. The words don’t change, but I do.”
Paradise, Calif.,October 2003
“How It Work’ Works for Me,”
Beginners’ Book:
Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and
our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent
ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our
own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved
our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 60~

“Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-
believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream
world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a
growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come
to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him,
but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where
our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done.
These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible
between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy
usefulness.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 130~

We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 21

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. Therefore, dependence as A.A. practices it is really a means of gaining true independence of the spirit.
At the level of everyday living, it is startling to discover how dependent we really are, and how unconscious of that dependence. Every modern house has electric wiring carrying power and light to its interior. By accepting with delight our dependence upon this marvel of science, we find ourselves personally more independent, more comfortable and secure. Power flows just where it is needed. Silently and surely, electricity, that strange energy so few people understand, meets our simplest daily needs.
Though we readily accept this principle of healthy dependence in many of our temporal affairs, we often fiercely resist the identical principle when asked to apply it as a means of growth in the life of the spirit. Clearly, we shall never know freedom under God until we try to seek His will for us. The choice is ours.

Prayer for the Day:  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord. Let your Holy Spirit guide me in my prayer and in thought, and grant me the grace to listen and hear your Word. Soften my heart, that I may be directed by your truth, and not the devices of my body and mind. In the name of Christ I ask this, Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 25th

Daily Reflections

WHAT WE NEED – EACH OTHER

. . . . A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker,
“You are an A.A. member if you say so . . . nobody can
keep you out.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 139

For years, whenever I reflected on Tradition Three
(“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire
to stop drinking”), I thought it valuable only to
newcomers. It was their guarantee that no one could bar
them from A.A. Today I feel enduring gratitude for the
spiritual development the Tradition has brought me. I
don’t seek out people obviously different from myself.
Tradition Three, concentrating on the one way I am
similar to others, brought me to know and help every
kind of alcoholic, just as they have helped me.
Charlotte, the atheist, showed me higher standards of
ethics and honor; Clay, of another race, taught me
patience; Winslow, who is gay, led me by example into
true compassion; Young Megan says that seeing me at
meetings, sober thirty years, keeps her coming back.
Tradition Three insured that we would get what we need
– each other.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We used to depend on drinking for a lot of things. We
depended on drinking to help us enjoy things. It gave us
a “kick.” It broke down our shyness and helped us to have
a “good time.” We depended on drinking to help us when we
felt low physically. If we had a toothache or just a
hangover, we felt better after a few drinks. We depended
on drinking to help us when we felt low mentally. If we
had a tough day at the office or if we’d had a fight with
our wives, or if things just seemed against us, we felt
better under the influence of alcohol. For us alcoholics,
it got so that we depended on drinking for almost
everything. Have I gotten over that dependence on drinking?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that complete surrender of my life to God is
the foundation of serenity. God has prepared for us many
mansions. I do not look upon that promise as referring
only to the after-life. I do not look upon this life as
something to be struggled through, in order to get the
rewards of the next life. I believe that the Kingdom of
God is within us and we can enjoy “eternal life” here
and now.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to do God’s will. I pray that such
understanding, insight and vision shall be mine, and
shall make my life eternal, here and now.


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

As Bill Sees It

We Cannot Stand Still, p. 25

In the first days of A.A., I wasn’t much bothered about the areas of
life in which I was standing still. There was always the alibi: “After
all,” I said to myself, “I’m far too busy with much more important
matters.” That was my near perfect prescription for comfort and
complacency.

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

How many of us would presume to declare, “Well, Im sober and I’m
happy. What more can I want, or do? I’m fine the way I am.” We
know that the price of such self-satisfaction is an inevitable backslide,
punctuated at some point by a very rude awakening. We have to grow
or else deteriorate. For us, the status quo can only be today, never for
tomorrow. Change we must; we cannot stand still.

  1. Grapevine, June 1961
  2. Grapevine, February 1961

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

Walk In Dry Places

Finding a Higher Good____Handling Trouble.
There are times when things just don’t work out, despite our best efforts. Even in sobriety, we can have business or marriage failures, accidents, sicknesses, or trouble in holding a job. Sobriety is no guarantee that things will always work out according to our expectancies.
But no disappointment or failure has to throw us or cause permanent distress. It is some comfort to remember that the meeting of the first two AA members came out of a business failure, not a success.  On many occasions, a disappointment or a setback can actually give a person the insight and understanding needed for a new, more successful effort.
We do not, of course, want to rationalize failure. We should also accept responsibility when failure has been the result of negligence or wrong action on our part.  Nevertheless, as we continue to seek and to follow God’s guidance, w will find the course of our lives that fits our needs and capabilities.  There is a higher good in everything. Even our drinking was indirectly beneficial in pushing us toward AA and the program’s healing principles.
I will not waste time today brooding over mistakes or losses. I’ll know that God is in charge of my life and can turn liabilities into assets and defeats into victories.

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

Keep It Simple

The best way to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.—-Swedish proverb
During our illness, we hurt others. We hurt ourselves. We messed up a lot.
So, a lot of us come to recovery not trusting ourselves very much. The truth is, as addicts, we couldn’t be trusted.
But in recovery, we can be trusted again. We can again live and love ourselves. We do this by finding our spiritual center. This is the place inside of us where our Higher Power lives. We turn our will and our lives over to this spiritual center. We do as our spiritual center tells us. And from our spiritual center, we’ll find our values. We’ll live better lives. We’ll come to trust ourselves again.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, thank-you for helping me believe in myself again. I’ll treat myself with love and kindness. I know You want me to.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list four ways I couldn’t be trusted during my addiction. I’ll also list four ways I can now be trusted.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

The time of discipline began. Each of us the pupil of whichever one of us could best teach what each of us needed to learn. –Maria Isabel Barreno
“When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.” Life’s lessons often come unexpectedly. They come, nevertheless, and they come according to a time frame that is Divine. As we grow emotionally and spiritually, we are readied for further lessons for which teachers will appear. Perhaps the teacher will be a loving relationship, a difficult loss, or a truant child. The time of learning is seldom free from pain and questioning. But from these experiences and what they can teach us, we are ready to learn. As we are ready, they come.
We all enjoy the easy times when the sailing is smooth, when all is well, when we are feeling no pain. And these periods serve a purpose. They shore us up for the lessons which carry us to a stronger recovery, to a stronger sense of ourselves. To understand that all is well, throughout the learning process, is the basic lesson we need to learn. All is well. The teacher is the guide up the next rung of the ladder.
Let me be grateful for my lessons today and know that all is well.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

This was the substance of A.A.’s Twelve Traditions, which are stated in full on page 564 of this book. Though none of these principles had the force of rules or laws, they had become so widely accepted by 1950 that they were confirmed by our first International Conference held at Cleveland. Today the remarkable unity of A.A. is one of the greatest assets that our Society has.

p. xix

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

The cases in which disaster struck when I drank outside my home increased. I made inappropriate passes at parties, or at people at work–both men and women. At other times I awakened battered or with my watch or wallet missing, or in the company of strangers whose names I did not remember and did not want to know. There were the inevitable injuries and accidents. I was ejected from bars because I would steal tips or change from bartenders or other customers to pay for the drinks I could no longer afford. At other times I would get into arguments and be forced to leave.

p. 362

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

The best intentioned of us can fall for the “two step” illusion. Sooner or later the pink cloud stage wears off and things go disappointingly dull. We begin to think that A.A. doesn’t pay off after all. We become puzzled and discouraged.

p. 113

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

“You cannot speak that which you do not know. You cannot share that which you do not feel. You cannot translate that which you do not have. And you cannot give that which you do not possess. To give it and to share it, and for it to be effective, you first need to have it. Good communication starts with good preparation.”  –Jim Rohn

Each day is a gift from God to be used in serving others.  –Ruth C. Borges

“Confidence never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.”  –Unknown

“Stress comes from within; it is your reaction to circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.”  –Brian Tracy

“Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”  –Anonymous

“Hope is a gift we give ourselves, and it remains when all else is gone.”  –Criswell Freeman

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”  –Wayne Dyer

“The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.”  –Les Brown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HONESTY

“Honesty is the first chapter of
the book of wisdom.”
— Thomas Jefferson

It is impossible to have a spiritual program without being honest. It is
impossible to be recovering from addiction without being honest. An
aspect of sobriety is honesty.

Today I can see that I was never really known when I was “using”
because I was so dishonest. I stopped other people from getting to
know me. I stopped me from getting to know me. Part of my pain
involved my dishonesty; part of my loneliness and feelings of isolation
was caused by my dishonesty; the unmanageability that nearly
destroyed my life grew in my dishonesty.

Today I need to be honest, rigorously honest — even in the small
things. I can no longer exist to please others — I need to please myself.
I need to love myself by being honest.

O God of wisdom, let me find truth in the honesty of my own life.

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

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you.”  1 Peter 5:6-7

“Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.” Psalm 105:3

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High,because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:35-38

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Daily Inspiration

Avoid saying “No one knows.” because God knows and understands more perfectly than we ourselves do. Calm my fears, Lord, and lift the burdens that I cannot carry alone.

To have a great day isn’t always doing what you like, but trying to like what you must do. Lord, today I will spruce up my attitude and have a great day no matter what my circumstances.

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

NA Just For Today

An Added Gift

” We see it happening among us every day This miraculous turnabout is evidence of a spiritual awakening.”
Basic Text p. 49

We watch them walk in to their first meeting defeated, their spirits broken. Their suffering is obvious, and their desire for help even more apparent. They collect a welcome chip and go back to their seats, shaken by the effort.

We see them again, and they seem a little more comfortable. They’ve found a sponsor and are attending meetings every night. They still won’t meet our glance, but they nod their heads in recognition as we share. We notice a spark of hope in their eyes, and they smile uncertainly when we encourage them to keep coming back.

A few months later, they are standing straight. They’ve learned how to make eye contact. They’re working the steps with their sponsor and are healing as a result. We listen to them sharing at meetings. We stack chairs with them afterward.

A few years later, they are speaking at a convention workshop, They’ve got a wonderful, humorous personality. They smile when they see us, they hug us, and they tell us they could never have done it without us. And they understand when we say, “nor could we, without you.”

Just for today: I will find joy in witnessing the recovery of another.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear. –Lao-tzu
A group of friends went swimming one day and one of them lost a ring in the bottom of the lake. Everyone started diving from different directions to find it until there was so much mud and sand stirred up that no one could see anything. Finally, they decided to clear the water. They waited silently on the edge of the shore for the mud from all their activity to settle. When it finally cleared, one person dove in slowly and picked up the ring. When we are confused about something in our lives, we will often hear answers and advice from all directions. Our friends will tell us one thing and our families another, until we feel pretty well mixed up. If we look away from our problem and let patience and time do their work, the mud inside us will settle and clear. Our answer will become visible, like the glimmer of silver in the water.
Am I overlooking the simple solution?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A richer, more fulfilling, and more peaceful masculine spirituality will depend in no small measure upon new ways of learning to be sexual. –James B. Nelson
For most men, sexuality is one of the central issues in recovery. Our addictive and codependent lives have been fed by an overemphasis on genital sexuality, satisfaction, and performance. Sex is so limited by this emphasis that many men have become more unhappy while becoming sexual athletes.
We need to learn how to deepen our sexual experiences. We can allow ourselves the vulnerability of learning from our partners. We need to know how they relate to us, and how we can have both a spiritual and a physical connection. We can allow ourselves to be in loving relationships and enjoy the pleasure of touch. Consummation may not always be in orgasm, but in intimacy.
Today, I may experience my sexuality in many ways. My spiritual growth cannot be separated from how I learn to be sexual.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The time of discipline began. Each of us the pupil of whichever one of us could best teach what each of us needed to learn.
–Maria Isabel Barreno
“When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.” Life’s lessons often come unexpectedly. They come, nevertheless, and they come according to a time frame that is Divine. As we grow emotionally and spiritually, we are readied for further lessons for which teachers will appear. Perhaps the teacher will be a loving relationship, a difficult loss, or a truant child. The time of learning is seldom free from pain and questioning. But from these experiences and what they can teach us, we are ready to learn. As we are ready, they come.
We all enjoy the easy times when the sailing is smooth, when all is well, when we are feeling no pain. And these periods serve a purpose. They shore us up for the lessons which carry us to a stronger recovery, to a stronger sense of ourselves. To understand that all is well, throughout the learning process, is the basic lesson we need to learn. All is well. The teacher is the guide up the next rung of the ladder.
Let me be grateful for my lessons today and know that all is well.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Step One
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. –Step One of Al-Alon
There are many different versions of the First Step for recovering codependents. Some of us admit powerlessness over alcohol or another’s alcoholism. Some of us admit powerlessness over people; some over the impact of growing up in an alcoholic family.
One of the most significant words in the First Step is the word we. We come together because of a common problem, and, in the coming together, we find a common solution.
Through the fellowship of Twelve Step programs, many of us discover that although we may have felt alone in our pain, others have experienced a similar suffering. And now many are joining hands in a similar recovery.
We. A significant part of recovery. A shared experience. A shared strength, stronger for the sharing. A shared hopes – for better lives and relationships.
Today, I will be grateful for the many people across the world who call themselves “recovering codependents.” Help me know that each time one of us takes a step forward, we pull the entire group forward.

As I go about my day I trust all my decisions to my positive inner guide. Nothing from the past will block me or hold me back. Today is mine to use for growth and recovery. I love myself today. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Cherish Your Favorite Spaces

Our world abounds with quiet, free sources of revitalization.

“I love going into fabric stores,” one woman told me recently. “I love touching, handling, fondling all the colorful bolts of material. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel happy.

“My favorite activity is spending an afternoon at the library,” one man told me. “If I could only do one thing in life, go one place, that’s what I’d choose. I lose myself in the pages of the books. They take me to faraway places, places I’ve never seen. And when I leave the library, I feel like I’ve been touched and changed.”

What are the places you like to visit in your town or city? Do you enjoy browsing through a bookstore? Is there a favorite shopping center in your neighborhood where the shopkeepers smile a little more and the window displays please your heart? Do you have a favorite restaurant where drinking a cup of tea changes your mood? Cherish old favorite spaces, and open yourself to discovering new places.

Healing doesn’t have to be extravagant, expensive, or traditional. Sometimes it just means going to the places that make us feel good.


More Language Of Letting Go

What do you want?

Imagine walking up to the counter at the local fast-food restaurant and asking if they had your order ready. “What order?” the counterperson would ask. “Did you phone one in?” “No, but I thought you might have something for me behind the counter anyway.”

It’s absurd, you might say. How could I expect them to have food ready for me when I hadn’t yet placed my order.

Exactly. And how can you expect the magic of the universe to start bringing you the things and experiences that you want for your life if you haven’t named them yet?

Have you placed an order yet? Maybe you thought about it at the beginning of the year, but put it off until you had more time to think about it. And every day you wake up and stand at the counter of life asking, “What do you have for me?”

If you haven’t asked for anything, you may have to settle for whatever life hands your way. Why not take the time to ask? You don’t have to be too specific, just ask for what you want. Want adventure? Put it on the list. Want love? Write it down. There is no guarantee that you’ll get everything you request. Life may have other plans for you. But you’ll never know whether you can get what you want unless you know what that is, and ask for it first.

God, help me have the courage to bring the desires of my heart to my conscious mind, and to you.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Even with a growing understanding of The Program and its Twelve Steps, we sometimes might find it difficult to believe that our new way of life leads to personal freedom. Suppose, for example, I feel imprisoned in an uncomfortable job or troublesome personal relationship. What am I doing about it? In the past, my reflex reaction was to try to manipulate the things and people around me into being more acceptable to me. Today, I realize that happiness can’t be won that way. Am I learning that freedom from despair and frustration can come only from changing, in myself, the attitudes that are perpetuating the conditions that cause me grief?

Today I Pray

May I be given clear eyes to see — and then to stop myself — when I am manipulating the lives of those around me, my daily associates, friends, family. May I always be aware that change must begin within myself.

Today I Will Remember

Change from the inside out.


One More Day

Self-Understanding rather than Self-Condemnation is the way to inner peace adn mature conscience.
– Joshua Loth Liebman

We can be committees of one, single-handedly striving to show others, by example, that having a chronic medical problem need not keep us out of the mainstream of life. Our health difficulties may heighten our awareness of the value of life, of other people, and of ourselves.

We can hold our heads up high and go out in public. In this way, we refuse to let our dimished health subdue us. By being comfortable with ourselves, smiling at passers-by, and not complaining, we can create an aura of strength and self-assurance. Doing this can challenge and inspire others, and – more importantly — it can do the same for us.

It’s difficult sometimes to leave the security of my home. The more I understand my fears, the easier it is to go out among other people.


Food For Thought

Sharpening Our Tools

What we do each day is not as important as how we do it. If we are abstaining, working the program, and staying in touch with the Higher Power, then whatever we do during the day will go as it should.

When we get careless and sloppy with abstinence, neglect to use the tools of OA recovery, forget the Twelve Steps, then we may expect trouble. When we are out of touch with our Higher Power and our OA friends, then nothing seems to go as it should.

If you feel yourself becoming careless, then make that neglected phone call, read and re-read the literature, go to a meeting today. Listen within yourself for the quiet voice God uses to give you enthusiasm and direction.

We may each become God’s tool if we keep ourselves in good working order through this program.

Make me an effective tool to do Your will.


One Day At A Time

~ MOVING ON ~

Dwell not on the past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind.
Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time.
Eileen Caddy

As a child, teen, and young adult, I was sexually, emotionally, mentally and physically abused. I was neglected as well. By the time I was a young woman, the “abuse” was history, and I was left dealing with a very sick family. But I could not let go of my abused past!

The abuse became the topic of every conversation I had. Anything I saw on TV or read in a book or newspaper brought to mind the past. I awoke in the middle of the night to relive my childhood nightmares for a few hours before crying myself back to sleep. I spent entire days staring at the television, eating to numb myself from my pain and anger.

Eventually, I wanted more from my life. I became disgusted with myself and what my life had become. I was led to a Twelve Step group. There I learned how to let go of the past, to work through it, to make amends for my part in things, and to forgive those who abused me.

Today, when I discuss the abuse I suffered, which is seldom, I can do so without the anger and pain bubbling up. I can help others with my story, and then I can let it go. It is my history, but it’s no longer ruling my present.

Like Thomas Raddall said, “Don’t brood on what’s past, but never forget it either.”

One Day at a Time . . .
I will make amends and forgive others, not for them, but for me. I pray to live in today, to make it the best day I can.
~ Rhonda ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. – Pg.64 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

‘Live and Let Live’ sounds like a simple phrase, but in fact it is imperative for us to practice. When we try to control the actions of others, it only leads to anger, resentment, fury, and finally to a slip.

Higher Power, increase my tolerance so I can ‘Live and Let Live’ so that I ‘Don’t Let Live and Die!

Inner Peace

There is peace within me that I can draw on each and every day. I will remind myself to take a few moments today, to center myself. I will breathe. I will sit. And when I go about my day I will carry that lovely feeling of inner peace around with me. There is nothing in my day that is more important than my serenity. Today, I will pay attention to the myriad of ways in which I am thrown off balance. When I feel myself losing my serenity, I’ll take a moment to center myself, to breathe, to connect with that part of me that is eternal and unchanging. I’ll remind myself that when I can calm my body, mind and spirit, I interact differently with the people, places and things of my day. I am here. My spirit is here. My serenity is at my fingertips. I am in charge of my deeper experience of living. I connect with my divine self and the diving energy that is ever present.

I give myself the gift of inner peace.

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Let go or be dragged.

I pray for the willingness to be willing to be willing to let go absolutely. (P 97, Meeting Wisdom)

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. Page 449. (From the Big Book, 4th edition-now Page 417 from the 5th edition)

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

As I go about my day I trust all my decisions to my positive inner guide. Nothing from the past will block me or hold me back. Today is mine to use for growth and recovery. I love myself today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I can’t get too cocky around AA. I can be a peacock one day and a feather duster the next. – Unknown origin.


AA Thought for the Day

January 25

Bankruptcy
Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness.
It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds
into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.
No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 21

Thought to Ponder . . .
Avoidance is not the key; surrender opens the door.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K I S S = Keep It Simple; Surrender.

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

Family Matters
Now and then the family will be plagued
by specters from the past,
for the drinking career of almost every alcoholic
has been marked by escapades, funny, humiliating,
shameful or tragic.
The first impulse will be to bury these skeletons
in a dark closet and padlock the door.
The family may be possessed by the idea
that future happiness can be based only upon
forgetfulness of the past.
We think that such a view is self-centered
and in direct conflict with the new way of living.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous,  pp. 123-4

Thought to Consider . . .
The spiritual life is not a theory.
We have to live it.

~~AACRONYMS~~
RACING = Real Alcoholics Centered Inward Needing God

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

Acceptance

From “‘No Man Is an Island'”:
“I needed to look no further than the Twelve Steps and the powerful wording of our Serenity Prayer, ‘to accept the things
we cannot change.’  With the tools and guideposts of Alcoholics Anonymous, we can learn a little of this precious gift
our gateway to human spirituality. ” New York, New York, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 120

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

“Genuine peace will always be a chief ingredient of AA’s freedom. But let none suppose that we shrink from major
conflict only because we are afraid. Nowadays we believe we keep the peace because we love each other.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1960
“Freedom Under God: The Choice Is Ours,”
The Language of the Heart

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

“For the type of alcoholic who is able and willing get well, little
charity, in the ordinary sense of the word, is need or wanted. The men
who cry for money and shelter before conquering alcohol, are on the
wrong track.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 97

“…we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun
in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on
enjoying life.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132

The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out
from ourselves toward others and toward God.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 76

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In the first days of A.A., I wasn’t much bothered about the areas of life in which I was standing still. There was always the
alibi: ‘After all,’ I said to myself, ‘I’m far too busy with much more important matters.’ That was my near perfect
prescription for comfort and complacency.
How many of us would presume to declare, ‘ Well, I’m sober and I’m happy. What more can I want, or do? I’m fine the
way I am. ‘ We know that the price of such self-satisfaction is an inevitable backslide, punctuated at some point by a
very rude awakening. We have to grow or else deteriorate. For us, the status quo can only be for today, never for
tomorrow. Change we must; we cannot stand still.

Prayer for the Day:  Father, I thank you for giving me the grace to believe in you and your Word even in the midst of the
storms of life, providing a place of rest for me. In the midst of seemingly impossible demands, deadlines and tasks at
hand, my heart is steadfast, fixed trusting in you. Your strength and boldness are released to me as I confidently rest in
your promises. In your presence I am refreshed, restored and renewed in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 24th

Daily Reflections


GETTING INVOLVED

There is action and more action. “Faith without works
is dead.” . . . To be helpful is our only aim.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , pp. 88-89

I understand that service is a vital part of recovery
but I often wonder, “What can I do?” Simply start with
what I have today! I look around to see where there is
a need. Are the ashtrays full? Do I have hands and feet
to empty them? Suddenly I’m involved! The best speaker
may make the worst coffee; the member who’s best
with newcomers may be unable to read; the one willing to
clean up may make a mess of the bank account –
yet every one of these people and jobs is essential
to an active group. The miracle of service is this:
when I use what I have, I find there is more available
to me than I realized before.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics who are living in a blind alley refuse to be really honest
with themselves or with other people. They’re running away from life
and won’t face things as they are. They won’t give up their
resentments. They’re too sensitive and too easily hurt. They refuse
to try to be unselfish. They still want everything for themselves. And
no matter how many disastrous experiences they have had with
drinking, they still do it over and over again. There’s only one way to
get out of that blind alley way of living and that’s to change your
thinking. Have I changed my thinking?

Meditation For The Day

I know that the vision and power that I receive from God are
limitless, as far as spiritual things are concerned. But in temporal and
material things, I must submit to limitations. I know that I cannot see
the road ahead. I must go just one step at a time, because God does
not grant me a longer view. I am in uncharted waters, limited by my
temporal and spatial life, but unlimited in my spiritual life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that, in spite of my material limitations, I may follow God’s
way. I pray that I may learn that trying to do His will is perfect
freedom.


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As Bill Sees It

Alike When The Chips Are Down, p. 24

In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent
sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high bottoms,” the
women said they were different; A.A. couldn’t be for them. But as the
communication was perfected, mostly by the women themselves, the
picture changed.

This process of identification and transmission has gone on and on. The
Skid-Rower said he was different. Even more loudly, the socialite (or
Park Avenue stumblebum) said the same–so did the artists and the
professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the
Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners.

But nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how
very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are
finally down.

Grapevine, October 1959

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Walk In Dry Places

No Hidden Thoughts_____Moral Inventory
It is fortunate that we can think in secret, because our thoughts would quickly get us in trouble if others could read them.  In our thoughts, we can choose what we wish to reveal to others before we speak or act.
In the long run, however, we do not really conceal our true thoughts and feelings. The nature of our thoughts shapes our character and becomes part of us.  It even affects our appearance. It is not difficult at all to identify people who are fearful, angry, or jealous.
This process has its good side, because kind thoughts and feelings also affect our appearance, and in positive ways. Norman V. Peale wrote that “God runs a beauty parlor,” meaning that plain people with gracious thoughts tend to become more attractive as years wear on.
We need not fear our own thoughts and feelings if we are continuing to work the program.  As the sober years stretch out, we will be improving our thoughts and feelings, and this will tell others what the program is doing for us and through us.
I’ll remember today that I don’t really keep my thoughts and feelings secret. I will think well of myself and all others.  I know that there are no hidden thoughts in the long run.

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Keep It Simple

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.   Bertand Russell
In recovery  learn to give up hate. We must stand for justice, not for hate. We must learn to respect people. They, in turn, will respect us in most cases. We begin to see how important it is to give up hate–if we want others to care for us. Hate is often our secret. Hate is found deep in our hearts and minds. It eats at our souls. It hurts our spiritual growth. Sometimes people are public about their hate. There are even dangerous groups based on hate. But, the most dangerous hate is the private and unspoken. Do I have public hates? Do I have secret hates?
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, search my hearts and show me any hates I have. Help me rid myself of them.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list any people, nations, to creeds I hate. I’ll pray to have this hate removed. I’ll pray for these people, nations, or creeds.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I look in the mirror through the eyes of the child that was me.  –Judy Collins
The child within each of us is fragile, but very much alive, and she interprets our experiences before we are even conscious of them. It is our child who may fear new places, unfamiliar people, strange situations. Our child needs nurturing, the kind she may not have received in the past. We can take her hand, coax her along, let her know she won’t be abandoned. No new place, unfamiliar person, or strange situation need overwhelm her.
It’s quite amazing the strength that comes to us when we nurture ourselves, when we acknowledge the scared child within and hold her, making her secure. We face nothing alone. Together, we can face anything.
I will take care of my child today and won’t abandon her to face, alone, any of the experiences the day may bring.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

As we discovered the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live, so we had to evolve principles by which the A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive and function effectively. It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society; that our leaders might serve but never govern; that each group was to be autonomous and there was to be no professional class of therapy. There were to be no fees or dues; our expenses were to be met by our own voluntary contributions. There was to be the least possible organization, even in our service centers. Our public relations were to be based upon attraction rather than promotion. It was decided that all members ought to be anonymous at the level of press, radio, TV and films. And in no circumstances should we give endorsements, make alliances or enter public controversies.

p. xix

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

The slide continued. Most of my friends were unwilling to put up with my conduct–the verbal and sometimes physical abuse, the midnight phone calls, the forgotten invitations, and the selfish disregard of anything but my own need to drink. Those few friends who did not withdraw were forced away by my resentments and increasing paranoia. I cut people out of my life, refusing to return phone calls and ignoring them when we met by chance. By the end of my drinking, only two people were willing to have anything to do with me on a social basis, and both were heavy drinkers who were not surprised by my actions.

pp. 361-362

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

Of course all A.A.’s, even the best, fall far short of such achievements as a consistent thing. Without necessarily taking that first drink, we often get quite far off the beam. Our troubles sometimes begin with indifference. We are sober and happy in our A.A. work. Things go well at home and office. We naturally congratulate ourselves on what later proves to be a far too easy and superficial point of view. We temporarily cease to grow because we feel satisfied that there is no need for all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps for us. We are doing fine on a few of them. Maybe we are doing fine on only two of them, the First Step and that part of the Twelfth where we “carry the message.” In A.A. slang, that blissful state is known as “two-stepping. ” And it can go on for years.

pp. 112-113

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Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace.  –Judith Martin

“One never knows what each day is going to bring. The important thing is to be open and ready for it.”  –Henry Moore

“You cannot plan the future by the past.” –Edmund Burke

Slow down to relish the wonder of God’s creation. –Glen Childress

God makes possible what we cannot accomplish alone. –Gary Shank

Faith in God changes our manner of living. –Chester L Schneider

God’s reassuring, caring love is with us moment by moment. –Walter N. Maris

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

OPPORTUNITY

“Too many people are thinking
of security instead of
opportunity; they seem more
afraid of life than death.”
— James Byrnes

Today I am aware of the opportunities that I did not recognize when I
was drinking. Drinking stopped me from seeing the life that was
before me. I drank myself away from the daily miracle. I missed the
sunsets, the fun of relationships, the joy of the theater and the
satisfaction of being “aware”.

In the business world I did not see the opportunity for profit and
expansion; I did not create or have faith in my ideas, and I was not
able to understand or absorb the new information to be successful in
my life. Alcoholism kept me on the outside of my life.

Today I am alive in my life, creating, expanding and enjoying my
leisure. With sobriety I have the opportunity to experience God in
the many aspects of life.

Teach me to find You in the risks of life.

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

“Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.”  Psalm 107:30

We are to grow up in all aspects into Him.  Ephesians 4:15

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3


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Daily Inspiration

If you can’t see more blessings than you can count, you aren’t looking hard enough. Thank you, Lord, for all of my blessings and especially those that I don’t recognize or take for granted.

Be joyful in whatever you do today because you have been blessed, are being blessed and have many more blessings waiting for you. Lord, I am so grateful for Your love.

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

NA Just For Today

From Isolation To Connection

” Our disease isolated us… Hostile, resentful, self-centered, and self-seeking, we cut ourselves off from the outside world.”
Basic Text p. 3-4

Addiction is an isolating disease, closing us off from society, family, and self. We hid. We lied. We scorned the lives we saw others living, surely beyond our grasp. Worst of all, we told ourselves there was nothing wrong with us, even though we knew we were desperately ill. Our connection with the world, and with reality itself, was severed. Our lives lost meaning, and we withdrew further and further from reality.

The NA program is designed especially for people like us. It helps reconnect us to the life we were meant to live, drawing us out of our isolation. We stop lying to ourselves about our condition; we admit our powerlessness and the unmanageability of our lives. We develop faith that our lives can improve, that recovery is possible, and that happiness is not permanently beyond our grasp. We get honest; we stop hiding; we “show up and tell the truth&quto; no matter what. And as we do, we establish the ties that connect our individual lives to the larger life around us.

We addicts need not live lives of isolation. The Twelve Steps can restore our connection to life and living-if we work them.

Just for today: I am a part of the life around me. I will practice my program to strengthen my connection to my world.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Only with winter patience can we bring The deep desired, long-awaited spring. –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Family life requires patience. We probably realized that a long time ago. The Greek origin of the word patience is pathos, which means “suffering.” In our lives together, we often suffer. Life is full of bumps and scrapes, both physical and emotional. In our search for greater family unity and harmony we need to realize that we will not be able to escape all suffering. This is why we need patience. It is a form of love. When we suffer the bumps and scrapes and still have faith something good will come of it, we are living out our love. From this winter- patience we will surely find a reward.
How have I practiced my patience already today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
You have got to know what it is you want, or someone is going to sell you a bill of goods somewhere along the line that can do irreparable damage to your self esteem, your sense of worth, and your stewardship of the talents that God gave you.
–Richard Nelson Bolles
In recovery, getting to know ourselves sometimes means developing a new form of toughness. As we deepen our relationships with ourselves, we have a clearer sense of what we care about, what is truly important, and what is not. Certainly we have learned there is evil in the world. Harm does come to good people and the good side does not always win. So we must be men who know ourselves and are not pushovers when our basic values and needs are challenged. We leave room for being wrong, and we continue to grow and learn. But we stand up for what we believe as we see it today.
We must not join the forces that would put us down or destroy us. Those negative forces are within us more often than they are outside. Wherever they come from, knowing clearly what we want and care about is our strongest defense.
I will seek the wisdom to know my values and the strength to defend my beliefs.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I look in the mirror through the eyes of the child that was me. –Judy Collins
The child within each of us is fragile, but very much alive, and she interprets our experiences before we are even conscious of them. It is our child who may fear new places, unfamiliar people, strange situations. Our child needs nurturing, the kind she may not have received in the past. We can take her hand, coax her along, let her know she won’t be abandoned. No new place, unfamiliar person, or strange situation need overwhelm her.
It’s quite amazing the strength that comes to us when we nurture ourselves, when we acknowledge the scared child within and hold her, making her secure. We face nothing alone. Together, we can face anything.
I will take care of my child today and won’t abandon her to face, alone, any of the experiences the day may bring.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Clearing the Slate
One of the greatest gifts we can give is an open, loving heart. And holding on to negative feelings from past relationships is our greatest barrier to that gift.
Most of us have had relationships that have ended. When we examine these relationships, we need to clear the emotional slate. Are we holding on to anger or resentments? Are we still feeling victimized? Are we living with the self-defeating beliefs that may be attached to these relationships – Women can’t be trusted…. Bosses use people…. There is no such thing as a good relationship….
Let go of all that may be blocking your relationships today. With great certainty, we can know that old feelings and self-defeating beliefs will block us today from giving and getting the love we desire. We can clear the slate of the past. It begins with awareness, honesty, and openness. The process is complete when we reach a state of acceptance and peace toward all from our past.
Today, I will begin the process of letting go of all self-defeating feelings and beliefs connected to past relationships. I will clear my slate so I am free to love and be loved.

Today I will accept all of me just as I am. I will put aside all judgments and I will rejoice at the miracle of my uniqueness.
–Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Stay in the present Moment

Stay in the present moment. That’s where you find life’s magic.

How overwhelmed we feel when we anitcipate the future, all that needs doing, all the tasks, the work, the potential problems, the responsibilities. How tired we become when we dwell on what we’ve done already, the energy we’ve expended, and the imperfect results.

Yes, sometimes to stay in the present we need to visit the past, to clear out an old feeling, to heal an old, limiting belief. But that visit can be brief. And sometimes we need to think about the future– to make commitments, to plan, to envision where we want to go. But to linger there can cause unrest. It can spoil the moment we’re in now. Stay in the present moment, and the past and the future will fall naturally and easily into place.

Stay in the present moment, and the magic will return.


More Language Of Letting Go

Learn to let

Someone said, “Let go and let God,” and this is a wonderful recipe for overcoming fear or getting out of a tight place. In any case, the rule for creation is always to let.
–Emmet Fox

Darren, a friend of mine, keeps Light Show in his computer. It’s a program of his own making. In this file, he records all incidences of Divine Guidance, Divine Intervention, answered prayers, and serendipitous events in his life. Whenever he begins to doubt the presence of a Benevolent Force, whenever he stops trusting life, whenever he feels abandoned or wonders exactly how wise it is to trust God, he turns to his own light show to remind himself how powerful and wise it really is to let go.

People can tell others how miraculous it is to let go, how beneficial it is to practice a hands-off policy when it comes to manipulating or controlling the affairs of others, how stunning it is to let go of goals and let nature take its course. I could tell you how beneficial letting go is in creating healthy relationships.

But that’s my light show. Why not create your own?

Don’t try, don’t force, don’t make it happen. Let. Let it happen.

Let go and let God.

God, show me how letting go can benefit my life.

Activity: Start a file in your computer or dedicate part of your journal to a light show. Document how you try to controll a problem, or a person, or the outcome of a particular situation. Enter that incident into your light show. Then, practice letting go. Make notes about what helped you, any tools you used such as meditation or prayer. When the problem gets solved, or the goal gets accomplished, or you simply get the peace and grace to live effortlessly with an unsolved problem, enter that into your logbook. Whenever you need reassurance, refer to your lightshow.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Among the many gifts that we are offered in The Program is the gift of freedom. Paradoxically, however, the gift of freedom is not without a price-tag; freedom can only be achieved by paying the price called acceptance. Similarly, if we can surrender to God’s guidance, it will cost us our self-will, that “commodity” so precious to those of us who have always thought we could and should run the show. Is my freedom today worth the price-tag of acceptance?

Today I Pray

May God teach me acceptance — the ability to accept the things I cannot change. god also grant me courage to change those things I can. god help me to accept the illness of my addiction and give me the courage to change my addictive behavior.

Today I Will Remember

Accept the addiction.
Change the behavior.


One More Day

The type of hugging I recommend is the bear hug. Use both arms, face your partner and perform a full embrace. – David Bresler

We all need physical contact. And this contact does more than put us in touch with other people; it reminds us of our human need to love as well as to be loved.

Some of us may have a sense of aloneness, regardless of how many or few people surround us. If we live alone, it can be most difficult to get our daily ration of hugging and touching. Perhaps we need to consider buying a pet. A bird, a cat, a dog will offer affection all the time. All they require is a good, loving home. Or perhaps we need to think about the contact we have with others. Our expressions of love bring us the unexpected bonus of physical well-being.

I need to love and be loved. I will share my caring nature more freely with other living creatures.


Food For Thought

Humility

It is the suffering we experience as a result of overeating compulsively, which eventually makes us humble enough to admit that we are powerless over food. Until we have the necessary humility, recovery is impossible. As long as we think we can successfully control and direct our lives by ourselves, we shall continue to fail.

Some of us hit bottom sooner than others. If we are lucky, we can see where the disease is leading us and what the inevitable result will be if we do not find help from a source outside ourselves. Whether we hit a high bottom or a low bottom, when we finally reach it the only way to go is up. When we are humble enough to seek help by turning over our will, we shall find the help we need.

Maintaining an attitude of humility is essential for our recovery. If we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of pride and egotism, we are headed for a slip. Understanding our weakness and dependence on God is the beginning of strength.

May I be granted humility.


One Day At A Time

~ POSITIVE ATTITUDE ~

Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money,
than circumstances, than what people do or say.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
Charles Swindoll

I can’t remember ever having a consistently good attitude. When I was younger, I usually wore a mask of a good attitude, so many people were attracted to the mask but not to the real me, and I knew it. It didn’t help my attitude grow more positive.

Coming into the Twelve Step program, my attitude was all negative. My theory was that if I expected the worst from everyone and everything, if by chance I got something better, I could be pleasantly surprised. This makes me laugh now. With that attitude, would ANYTHING ever be considered good enough to “pleasantly surprise” me? No, and it didn’t. I ignored the many good things that happened–or I created a dark side to them.

In a meeting, I once heard that positives attract positives, and negatives attract negatives. This has stuck with me for years. It might be a scientific thing, but for me it refers to attitude. When I make the choice to be in a bad mood, I struggle through the day. Nothing seems to go right, and if it does, I don’t notice it or appreciate it. When I make the simple choice to be in a good mood despite whatever problems I’m facing, good things happen to me. People smile back, elevating my mood. I can find humor in things around me. The sun is shining even on a rainy day. It’s all up to me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will make the choice to be happy for just today. I will look for the good in myself, in others and in the situations around me. I will keep my attitude positive.
~ Rhonda ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

To Christ I conceded the certainty of a great man, not too closely followed by those who claimed Him. His moral teachings – most excellent. For myself, I had adopted those parts which seemed convenient and not too difficult; the rest I disregarded. – Pg. 11 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Let us speculate on another subtle ‘trick’ of our disease: It lies to us! ‘It wasn’t so bad; I’m not really out of control; everyone drinks a little; these people are stupid.’ These are lies.

I pray that the subtle lies of addiction go in one ear and out the other!

Blessings

I can lose my blessings. If I don’t appreciate them, they can disappear. If I feel overly entitled, if I take what is mine for granted, if I behave as if it is simply owed me and I don’t need to notice or appreciate them, I am literally telling them to shrink. There is a wisdom, even a divine sort of self-centerdness to gratitude, because what I focus on with appreciation has a way of expanding in my life. If I erase my blessings, I don’t feed them with the grace of gratitude. If I give thanks for them, I show the creative force that brings forth all good things, that I am awake enough to appreciate what has been so generously given.

I know enough to say thank you

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

You are an exceptional human being. There has never been anyone with your personality, ability, and unique way of seeing things. Take the world by storm because you have what it takes!

I used to feel impending doom. Now I feel impending good.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Talking about the spiritual part of the program is like talking about the wet part of the ocean.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will accept all of me just as I am. I will put aside all judgments and I will rejoice at the miracle of my uniqueness.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The highest rank in AA: Sober. – Ken.


AA Thought for the Day

January 24

Divine Mystery
My memories no longer fill me with shame and remorse.
On the contrary, they fill me with gratitude and joy.
My whole story is a sort of divine mystery to me.
I don’t know how an intelligent human being ever could have got into such a mess,
and the more firmly established in sanity I become,
the more amazed I am that I ever got out of the mess.
– Came to Believe . . ., pp. 98-99

Thought to Ponder . . .
I saw, I felt, I believed.

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

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

Belief
Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed.
They flatly declare that since they have come to believe
in a Power greater than themselves,
to take a certain attitude toward that Power,
and to do certain simple things,
there has been a revolutionary change
in their way of living and thinking.
In the face of collapse and despair,
in the face of the total failure of their human resources,
they found that a new power, peace, happiness,
and sense of direction flowed into them.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous,  p. 50

Thought to Consider . . .
Newcomers are the lifeblood of the program.
But our old-timers are the arteries.

~~AACRONYMS~~
P R O G R A M  =  People Relying On God Relay A Message

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

Visibility

From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“The 1941-1945 period brought still other developments. Our downtown Vesey Street office was moved to 415 Lexington
Avenue, just opposite Grand Central [train] Station. We made this move because the need for serving the many A.A.
travelers through New York had become urgent. Our new location near Grand Central brought us into contact with
visitors who, for the first time, began to see Alcoholics Anonymous as a vision for the whole world.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 198-99

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

“I try to accept reality instead of trying to control it. When I make that adjustment, the struggle ends.”
El Granada, Calif., March 2003
“How an Atheist Works the Steps,”
Beginners’ Book:
Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a
fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from
care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will
mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your
existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 152~

“In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be
able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for
inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take
it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right
answers come after we have tried this for a while.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86

Then fear, in turn, generates more character defects.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 49

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the
‘high bottoms,’ the women said they were different; A.A. couldn’t be for them. But as the communication was perfected,
mostly by the women themselves, the picture changed.
This process of identification and transmission has gone on and on. The Skid-Rower said he was different. Even more
loudly, the socialite (or Park Avenue stumblebum) said the same – so did the artists and the professional people, the
rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners.
But nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we
admit that the chips are finally down.

Prayer for the Day:  Thank you, God, for all you have given me, for all you have taken from me, and for what you have left to me.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 23rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 23rd

Daily Reflections

HAVING FUN YET?

. . . we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no
joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We
absolutely insist on enjoying life. We try not to
indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor
do we carry the world’s troubles on our shoulders.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 132

When my own house is in order, I find the different
parts of my life are more manageable. Stripped from
the guilt and remorse that clocked my drinking years,
I am free to assume my proper role in the universe,
but this condition requires maintenance. I should stop
and ask myself, Am I having fun yet? If I find
answering that question difficult or painful, perhaps
I’m taking myself too seriously – and finding it
difficult to admit that I’ve strayed from my practice
of working the program to keep my house in order. I
think the pain I experience is one way my Higher Power
has to get my attention, coaxing me to take stock of
my performance. The slight time and effort it takes to
work the program – a spot-check inventory, for example,
or the making of amends, whatever is appropriate – are
well worth the effort.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics are people whose drinking got them into a “blind alley.”
They haven’t been able to learn anything from their drinking
experiences. They are always making the same mistakes and suffering
the same consequences over and over again. They refuse to admit
they’re alcoholic. They still think they can handle the stuff. They won’t
swallow their pride and admit that they’re different from ordinary
drinkers. They won’t face the fact that they must spend the rest of their
lives without liquor. They can’t visualize life without ever taking a
drink. Am I out of this blind alley?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that God has all power. It is His to give and His to withhold.
But He will not withhold it from the person who dwells near Him,
because then it passes insensibly from God to that person. It is
breathed in by the person who lives in God’s presence. I will learn to
live in God’s presence and then I will have those things which I desire
of Him: strength, power, and joy. God’s power is available to all who
need it and are willing to accept it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may get myself out of the way, so that God’s power may
flow in. I pray that I may surrender myself to that power.


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

As Bill Sees It

Worshipers All, p. 23

We found that we had indeed been worshipers. What a state of
mental goose flesh that used to bring on! Had we not variously
worshiped people, sentiment, things, money, and ourselves?

And then, with a better motive, had we not worshipfully beheld the
sunset, the sea, or a flower? Who of us had not loved something or
somebody? Were these not things the tissue out of which our lives
were constructed? Did not these feelings, after all, determine the
course of our existence?

It was impossible to say we had no capacity for faith, or love, or
worship. In one form or another, we had been living by faith and little
else.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 54

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

Walk In Dry Places

Thinking well of ourselves___  Raising self-esteem
Although there may have been conceit and cockiness in our past behavior, most of us suffered from feelings of low self-esteem.   We often felt alone and unworthy. Often, we had memories of parents and others who reminded us of our shortcomings or compared us unfavorably with others.
Whatever our past problems, we can raise our self-esteem in the present. We can begin by forgiving ourselves and others for past wrongs and mistakes.  We must become willing to give up any belief or practice that causes us to dislike ourselves. We can remember that our self-esteem does not depend on achievements or on winning  in competitions with others.  Despite our failings, now and in the past, we are worthy in the sight of God and are entitled to God’s grace.
Growth in the program usually brings growth in self-esteem.  If we think well of ourselves, in the right sense, others will tend to think well of us, too. With proper self-esteem, we will not be crushed or dismayed when someone seems to dislike us.  Our feelings about ourselves will be much more than a mirror of others’ opinions.
I will think well of myself today, I will not put myself down, even jokingly. I will know that if God is for me, no one can be against me.

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

Keep It Simple

Sex, like all else between human beings, is never prefect. — Theodore Isaac Rubin
Addiction made our sex lives a mess. Maybe we wanted prefect sex or we wanted no sex.
We were afraid. Maybe we wanted a high from sex we just couldn’t seem to get it. Some of us had lots of sex partners; some of us had none. What now?
We’re doing what we need to do by being in recovery. We’re getting to know ourselves. We’re living by our real values. We’re being honest with ourselves and others. We’re learning to love and care about others. It’s open, honest caring we express with our bodies. Thus, sex can be trusting and safe.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I turn over my sex life and my will to You—Just for today. I know You want me to be happy.
Action for the Day:  What do I believe about sex? How does it match with what’s said in the third paragraph above?

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

Each Day a New Beginning

She had trouble defining herself independently of her husband, tried to talk to him about it, but he said nonsense, he had no trouble defining her at all.  –Cynthia Propper Seton
To recover means to learn who we are, independent of friends, children, parents, or intimate partners. It means knowing how we want to spend our time, what books we like to read, what hobbies interest us, what our favorite foods are. It means understanding self-direction. It means charting a daily personal course and staying on it. It means defining our responsibilities and carrying them out.
Having an independent identity does not preclude depending on others for certain needs. Perhaps we revel in massage–both getting and giving. Maybe we share the expenses of a household or the responsibilities of raising children. Depending on others to meet their responsibilities does not negate our independent identity; it strengthens it. We choose where and when to be dependent. Healthy dependency complements healthy independence.
Recovery is giving me options. Each day gives me new opportunities.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

Our Society then entered a fearsome and exciting adolescent period. The test that it faced was this: Could these large numbers of erstwhile erratic alcoholics successfully meet and work together? Would there be quarrels over membership, leadership and money? Would there be strivings for power and prestige? Would there be schisms which would split A.A. apart? Soon A.A. was beset by these very problems on every side and in every group. But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experience the conviction grew that A.A.’s had to hang together or die separately. We had to unify our Fellowship or pass off the scene.

pp. xviii-xix

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

After a few years I was a nightly blackout drinker. My lover drank heavily as well, and I began to compare my drinking with his. I argued to myself that I could not have a problem because his drinking was worse than mine at times. In fact, I suggested that he might try A.A. When he did try this Fellowship, I did all I could to undermine his efforts to get sober–his recovery would present an obvious, if unacknowledged, threat to my drinking. Eventually, the stress became too much and we broke up, but not before I had succeeded in undermining his recovery.

p. 361

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?
The A.A. answer to these questions about living is “Yes, all of these things are possible.” We know this because we see monotony, pain, and even calamity turned to good use by those who keep on trying to practice A.A.’s Twelve Steps. And if these are facts of life for the many alcoholics who have recovered in A.A., they can become the facts of life for many more.

p. 112

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

I touch my feelings, knowing, I have never been so free, I have never been so happy, sobriety, has changed me.  –Shelley

There is a guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word… Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into your life. Then, without effort, you are impelled to truth and perfect contentment.  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Look for the beauty inside of each person.  –I. June Stephenson

The God who calls us into the unknown travels with us.  –Robert W. Rae

Spiritual vision means looking at life as God does.  –Lisa D. Wiener

Whatever our future holds for us, we will find God already there.  –Patricia Garrison

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SLEEP

“Sleep that knots up the raveled
sleeve of care.”
— William Shakespeare

When I was new in my recovery from alcoholism I was told to
remember the letters H.A.L.T.: Do not get too: Hungry, Angry, Lonely
or Tired.
Sleep is something my body needs, and even if I do not always know it,
my body does. The tiredness in my body is telling me to slow down.
Sleep is part of my spiritual program because it enables me to feel
rested, invigorated and alive. Through sleep I am able to be creative
and positive in my life — showing a practical love to my body. Sleep is
me taking care of self!
Thank You for the joy and rest that comes with sleep.

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

“But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.”  Psalm 71:14

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
Psalm 141:3,8,9,13,14,17,18,20


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

Daily Inspiration

Shine a little brighter today because someone needs your light. Lord, may I reflect You like sun hitting a mirror.

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

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

NA Just For Today

Serenity Check

” Lack of daily maintenance can show up in many ways.”
Basic Text p. 91

Ever had a perfect stranger remark about how great the weather was, only to reply “It stinks”? When this happens, we are probably suffering from a lack of daily maintenance in our program.

In recovery, life can get pretty hectic. Maybe those added responsibilities at work have got you hopping. Maybe you haven’t been to a meeting for awhile. Perhaps you’ve been too busy to meditate, or haven’t been eating regularly or sleeping well. Whatever the reason, your serenity is slipping.

When this happens, it is crucial that we take action. We can’t afford to let one “bad day”; complete with a bad attitude, slip into two days, four days, or a week. Our recovery depends on our daily maintenance program. No matter what is happening in our lives, we can’t afford to neglect the principles that have saved our lives.

There are many ways to recover our serenity. We can go to a meeting, phone our sponsor, meet another recovering addict for lunch, or try to carry the message to a newcomer. We can pray. We can take a moment to ask ourselves what simple things we haven’t been doing. When our attitudes head downhill, we can avert a crash with simple solutions.

Just for today: I will examine the maintenance of my daily program of recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Little girl, little girl, where have you been? –Mother Goose
She’s been everywhere and nowhere in and around the house. She’s been in her room crying with her doll, on the grass kicking her ball, on the floor big-eyed and blank in front of the TV. Her things are everywhere in the way, as if left there to block the path. She learns to be happiest alone in her room. There she can gather roses to give to the Queen and receive in return a diamond as big as a shoe. There she can wait for some prince, or dream of crossing the street without looking back. We are all the same way, even as adults. We live with our dreams and fantasies, and our secret lives thrive in privacy. All around us, our loved ones live out their private lives often unnoticed by us until we enter them. When we honor others’ unspoken needs, when we allow others their privacy without being asked, or when we appreciate something they’ve done, we share the joy of living together in natural harmony.
How invisible are those in our presence every day?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at the moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine a bit of unscheduled pleasure. –Richard Lannelli
The idea of turning our lives and our will over to the care of God is a very revolutionary thing to do. We are being told, “Let go of your excessive carefulness. Let the spirit guides you.” When we are in touch with ourselves, with the people around us, with God, we are free to experiment. We don’t learn from doing the same things correctly again and again. We learn from trying new things and making mistakes.
Over control is spiritually deadening. This is a program of life. Our renewal is a miraculous event. Why stop now? We can be in touch with the messages around us without trying to control the outcome. When we let God do the worrying, we find many possibilities open up,
As this adventure of life unfolds, I will not shy away from it.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
She had trouble defining herself independently of her husband, tried to talk to him about it, but he said nonsense, he had no trouble defining her at all. –Cynthia Propper Seton
To recover means to learn who we are, independent of friends, children, parents, or intimate partners. It means knowing how we want to spend our time, what books we like to read, what hobbies interest us, what our favorite foods are. It means understanding self-direction. It means charting a daily personal course and staying on it. It means defining our responsibilities and carrying them out.
Having an independent identity does not preclude depending on others for certain needs. Perhaps we revel in massage–both getting and giving. Maybe we share the expenses of a household or the responsibilities of raising children. Depending on others to meet their responsibilities does not negate our independent identity; it strengthens it. We choose where and when to be dependent. Healthy dependency complements healthy independence.
Recovery is giving me options. Each day gives me new opportunities.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
New Energy Coming
Fun becomes fun, love becomes love, and life becomes worth living. And we become grateful. –Beyond Codependency
There is a new energy, a new feeling coming into our life. We cannot base our expectations about how we will feel tomorrow, or even a few hours from now, on how we feel at this moment.
There are no two moments in time alike. We are recovering. We are changing. Our life is changing. At times, things haven’t worked out the way we wanted. We had lessons to learn. The future shall not be like the past.
The truly difficult times are almost over. The confusion, the most challenging learning experiences, the difficult feelings are about to pass.
Do not limit the future by the past!
Reflect on the beginning of your recovery. Haven’t there been many changes that have brought you to where you are now? Reflect on one year ago. Haven’t you and your circumstances changed since then?
Sometimes, problems and feelings linger for a while. These times are temporary. Times of confusion, uncertainty, times of living with a particular unsolved problem do not last forever.
We make these times doubly hard by comparing them to our past. Each situation and circumstance has had its particular influence in shaping who we are. We do not have to scare ourselves by comparing our present and future to a painful past, especially our past before we began recovering or before we learned through a particular experience.
Know that the discomfort will not be permanent. Do not try to figure out how you shall feel or when you shall feel differently. Instead, trust. Accept today, but do not be limited by it.
A new energy is coming. A new feeling is on the way. We cannot predict how it will be by looking at how it was or how it is, because it shall be entirely different. We have not worked and struggled in vain. It has been for and toward something.
Times are changing for the better. Continue on the path of trust and obedience. Be open to the new.
Today, God, help me not judge or limit my future by my past. Help me be open to all the exciting possibilities for change, both within and around me.

I let God guide me in my recovery today, knowing that all decisions that come from good and love will bring me joy. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Honor the Needs of Your Body

Take time to rest and regroup as often as you need. At the beginning of the journey and along the way take time to honor your body. When you honor your body, you honor your soul.

You have been working hard on yourself, on your spiritual growth. You are moving forward, evolving at a rapid pace. Give your body time to catch up. Your body isn’t a bother; it’s an ally. Your body knows what it needs, and what your soul needs,too.

Tune in to your body. Listen. On those days when your body is adjusting, regrouping, shifting because you’re growing and healing emotionally and spiritually, let it do that. Don’t ignore it. Don’t force it. Be gentle. Recognize its nuances. Ask it what it needs. Juice? Vitamins? Rest? Exercise? Let it tell you. Then go easy. Do tasks that are easier, that seem to fit what you can handle that day.

After a spiritual growth spurt, our body works diligently to flush the toxins released when emotions are cleansed and healed. After a day, week, or month of intense spiritual growth, our body is tired from flushing through so many emotions, going through so many changes. To deny the body’s connection to our growth, to push it when it needs rest, is denying the importance and impact of the spiritual work we’re doing.

By taking time to honor the body, to honor its shifts and needs, it will be there for you in a way it has never been before. Rest and care will help it come back to center quickly. You will have the benefit of a healed spirit and a body that was allowed to adjust and adapt to that healing process. You will be honoring the oneness of body, mind, and soul. You will be honoring your newfound connection.

Taking time to honor the needs of your body is taking time to respect the needs of your soul.


More Language Of Letting Go

Remember to let go

A friend called me into the next room. I didn’t want to move. I was head-deep in obsession, fretting about something I couldn’t change, at least not at that moment. I reluctantly walked to the window where he stood, walking in that stiff, unnatural way we jerk about when we’re obsessing.

“Look at the moonlight reflecting off the waves,” he said.

I stared at the white shimmering ripples in the ocean, like diamonds in the night.

We talked for a moment, about whether it was phosphorescence– that delightful and new phenomenon that causes the sea to glow in the dark– or whether it was simply moonlight bouncing off the waves. We decided it was light.

I walked away, a little more relaxed. Letting go isn’t something we do to manipulate the universe into giving us what we want. It’s a way of opening our hearts to receive the gifts it and God have for us.

God, help me remember that I don’t have to let go today, but I’ll be happier if I do.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We must never be blinded by the futile philosophy that we are just the hapless victims of our inheritance, of our life experience, an of our surroundings — that these are the sole forces that make our decisions for us. This is not the road to freedom. We have to believe that we can really choose. As addictive persons, we lost our ability to choose whether wee would pursue our addictions. Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. Do I believe that in “becoming willing,” I have made the best of all choice?

Today I Pray

May I shed the idea that I am the world’s victim, an unfortunate creature caught in a web of circumstance, inferring that others ought to “:make it up to me” because I have been given a bad deal on this earth. We are always given choices. May God help me to choose wisely.

Today I Will Remember

God is not a puppeteer.


One More Day

Those wrinkles are the map of my life. … They’re battle scars. – Etta Furlow

One woman calls her wrinkles a patina that glows only with age. When first we notice tiny sprinkles — crow’s feet or smile lines — we may lament our loss of youth.

Naturally, our faces change as we age. Our life experiences, both joy and pain, etch themselves on our faces as surely as they mold our minds and spirits. Our bodies may begin to change as well. Previously nimble fingers may stiffen; backaches and a slowed pace may become the norm.

Skin is but a wrapping for the inner soul, and the soul’s enjoyment of life is not diminished by its wrapping. Our spirits never grow old. Our belief in the beauty and joy of life is renewed with each season. And we remain strong.

My body will change as the years go by, but I will stay aware of my spirit and faith. This keeps me emotionally vibrant.


Food For Thought

Working the Steps

The OA program operates on three levels. Abstaining from compulsive overeating takes care of the physical aspect of our disease. For our emotional and spiritual health, we need to work the Twelve Steps.

In each of us, there is a need and desire to grow spiritually. At first, we may not acknowledge this need, but as our physical illness improves and our emotions begin to stabilize, we become aware of inner urgings and promptings that can come only from our Higher Power. If we set aside time each day to listen to this inner voice, we facilitate our spiritual growth.

Working the Steps requires that we be as honest as possible with ourselves at each stage of our development. A program sponsor who has walked the way before us is an invaluable aid. Above all, we must desire to grow. We have spent much of our lives overgrowing physically. Now is the time to catch up emotionally and spiritually. If we make a sincere beginning, our Higher Power will lead us through each Step as we become ready to take it.

Lead me, Lord, and bless my work.


One Day At A Time

~ CRITICISM ~

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard

For so many years, I thought I was the only kid who had been raised with criticism. Fear of criticism is one of the reasons I walked on eggshells at home. I learned to fear success in anything and everything. If I could only be “middle of the road,” maybe no one would notice me and I wouldn’t have to deal with criticism. I did what I had to do to survive.

As I grew older, I received constructive criticism by wise people, but sadly, I didn’t know how to utilize such a gift. It hurt me, and I turned away from well-meaning people. I rebelled against their advice.

The program has taught me that all criticism is not bad. I never thought a day would come where I was comfortable with it. I recently took a correspondence course to help me with my work, and naturally the instructor had to critique my work. I worried about that before I took the course. In fact, I’d wanted to take that class for years, but had not been able to handle the cold fear that stabbed at me when I looked at the application. I finished the class last month. There was much criticism to help me to learn, and I didn’t shrink from it. I learned from it. It’s all in the attitude.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will pray to remember I have choices. I will pray to keep my attitude in a good place so that I might see all the opportunities available to me.
~ Rhonda ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

…for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. – Pg. 55 – We Agnostics

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

To a practicing addict who lives wholly in the sensations of the body, the recovery state may seem like utter boredom. But as we learn to live balanced in body, mind, and soul we will wonder why we ever thought the state of addiction exciting.

May I know that it is not so much boredom as me being boring that’s my problem.

I Have Faith

I rely on faith. Faith sustains me and guides me. Faith is my constant companion. It leads me through passages of terrifying darkness and blinding light. Faith allows me to weave my life into a coherent whole, to walk on a path that others have lit, to strike out on my own and cut my way through the underbrush. There is nothing in my life that faith doesn’t make better. There is no day that faith doesn’t give meaning and purpose to. There is no relationship that faith doesn’t guide and sustain.

I need my faith to live

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘Nothing contributes more to the peace of the soul than having no opinion at all.’ -George Christopher Lichtenberg

When I have no opinion on outside issues, I cannot be drawn into controversy. (Tradition Ten)

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Few alcoholics or addicts blame themselves before exhausting all other possibilities.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I let God guide me in my recovery today, knowing that all decisions that come from good and love will bring me joy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

When I slide over from being ‘On the Program’ to ‘Self Will Run Riot’ it’s seamless. There’s no bump, no warning, I’m just there. That’s why I need Step 1O. – Trip S.


AA Thought for the Day

January 23

Persuasion
The Twelve Steps of our AA program are not crammed down anybody’s throat.
They are not sustained by any human authority.  Yet we powerfully unite around them
because the truth they contain has saved our lives, has opened the door to a new world.
Our experience tells us these universal truths work.
The anarchy of the individual yields to their persuasion.
– The Language of the Heart, p. 8

Thought to Ponder . . .
A new world came into view.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S T E P S = Solutions Through Each Positive Step,

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

Tolerance
Finally, we begin to see that all people,
including ourselves,
are to some extent emotionally ill
as well as frequently wrong,
and then we approach true tolerance
and see what real love for our fellows actually means.
It will become more and more evident as we go forward
that it is pointless to become angry,
or to get hurt by people who, like us,
are suffering from the pains of growing up.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,  p. 92

Thought to Consider . . .
Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober.

~~AACRONYMS~~
P U T = Patience, Understanding, Tolerance

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

Involvement

From “The Keys of the Kingdom”:
“A complete change takes place in our approach to life. Where we used to run from responsibility, we find ourselves
accepting it with gratitude that we can successfully shoulder it. Instead of wanting to escape some perplexing problem,
we experience the thrill of challenge in the opportunity it affords for another application of A.A. techniques, and we find
ourselves tackling it with surprising vigor.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 275-76

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

“Sincerity of purpose, humility in the knowledge of our own power to help, and confidence in our understanding of our
capacities in AA are likely to help in working with others.”
St. Paul, Minn., December 1945
St. Paul’s Four Discussion Groups
The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA

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

“Most alcoholics owe money. We do not dodge our creditors. Telling
them what we are trying to do, we make no bones about our drinking;
they usually know it anyway, whether we think so or not. Nor are we
afraid of disclosing our alcoholism on the theory it may cause
financial harm. Approached in this way, the most ruthless creditor
will sometimes surprise us. Arranging the best deal we can we let
these people know we are sorry. Our drinking has made us slow to
pay.
We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go,
for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 78~

“Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy
on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85

The key words ‘entirely ready’ underline the fact that we want to aim at the very best we know or can learn.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 65

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We found that we had indeed been worshipers. What a state of mental goose flesh that used to bring on! Had we not
variously worshiped people, sentiment, things, money, and ourselves?
And then, with a better motive, had we not worshipfully beheld the sunset, the sea, or a flower? Who of us had not loved
something or somebody? Were not these things the tissue out of which our lives were constructed? Did not these
feelings, after all, determine the course of our existence?
It was impossible to say we had no capacity for faith, or love, or worship. In one form or another, we had been living by
faith and little else.

Prayer for the Day:  God, I pray that I may not overlook thy blessings of beauty while endeavoring to perform my duties. Guide me that I may not struggle to be where thou wouldst not have me go. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 22nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 22nd

Daily Reflections

“LET’S KEEP IT SIMPLE”

A few hours later I took my leave of Dr. Bob. . . The
wonderful, old, broad smile was on his face as he said
almost jokingly, “Remember, Bill, let’s not louse this
thing up. Let’s keep it simple!” I turned away, unable
to say a word. That was the last time I ever saw him.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE, p 214

After years of sobriety I occasionally ask myself: “Can
it be this simple?” Then, at meetings, I see former
cynics and skeptics who have walked the A.A. path out
of hell by packaging their lives, without alcohol, into
twenty-four hour segments, during which they practice a
few principles to the best of their individual
abilities. And then I know again that, while it isn’t
always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In the beginning, you want to get sober, but you’re
helpless, so you turn to a Power greater than yourself
and by trusting in that Power, you get the strength to
stop drinking. From then on, you want to keep sober, and
that’s a matter of reeducating your mind. After a while,
you get so that you really enjoy simple, healthy, normal
living. You really get a kick out of life without the
artificial stimulus of alcohol. All you have to do is
look around at the members of any A.A. group and you will
see how their outlook has changed. Is my outlook on life
changing?

Meditation For The Day

I will never forget to say thank you to God, even on the
greyest days. My attitude will be one of humility and
gratitude. Saying thank you to God is a daily practice
that is absolutely necessary. If a day is not one of
thankfulness, the practice has to be repeated until it
becomes so. Gratitude is a necessity for those who are
seeking a better life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that gratitude will bring humility. I pray that
humility will bring me to live a better life.


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As Bill Sees It

Fear as a Steppingstone, p. 22

The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered
fear–primarily fear that we would lose something we already
possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a
basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual
disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless
we could find a means of reducing these demands.

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

For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the
starting point for better things. Fear can be a steppingstone to
prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to
justice, as well as to hate. And the more we have of respect and
justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much,
and yet be freely given. So fear need not always be destructive,
because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values.

1. 12 & 12, p. 76
2. Grapevine, January 1962

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Walk In Dry Places

No Humiliation in Humility____ Self-understanding.
With few exceptions, every alcoholic eventually meets humiliation and defeat. This is especially painful in a world that places high value on winning and on having the approval and admiration of others. We feel diminished by these defeats. Nobody likes to be humbled, to be made to appear less than other people.
Yet these humiliations serve a constructive purpose if they lead us to seek humility.  Truly humble people cannot really be humiliated, because they no longer rely on the false supports of worldly praise and approval.  We develop humility as we withdraw from a reliance on our own powers and personality and realize that we ourselves can do nothing; it is our Higher Power who does the work.
Still, there is a paradox in humility. The person who admits he or she can do nothing will, in the process, tap into powers that were never available in the previous state of mind. In truth, humility is never humiliation or weakness, though these may lead to it.  Humility is really a road to the power that only God can give us.
I’ll watch myself today for the crazy things that set me up for humiliation. I won’t try to impress others or win their admiration today.

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Keep It Simple

Go often to the house of your friend: for weeds soon choke up the unused path. —-Scandinavian proverb.
Our program has two parts: the Steps, and the fellowship. Both keep us sober. We can’t stay sober if we go it alone. We need to work the Steps. We also need people–the help of our friends daily
Recovery is about relationships. We get new friends. We get involved. We give. We get. In times of need, we may not want to ask our new friends for help. Maybe we don’t want to “burden them.”
“Maybe we’re afraid to ask for help.” Well, go ahead. Make that call. Ask your new friend to spend time with you. You deserve and need it. They deserve it; they need it.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to get help from my friends as if my life depends on it.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll see or call two program friends and let them know how I’m doing.

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Each Day a New Beginning

One cannot have wisdom without living life.  –Dorothy McCall
Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can’t handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.
When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It’s like watching a movie in black and white that’s supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.
Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

In the spring of 1940, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. gave a dinner for many of his friends to which he invited A.A. members to tell their stories. News of this got on the world wires; inquiries poured in again and many people went to the bookstores to get the book “Alcoholics Anonymous.” By March 1941 the membership had shot up to 2,000. Then Jack Alexander wrote a feature article in the Saturday Evening Post and placed such a compelling picture of A.A. before the general public that alcoholics in need of help really deluged us. By the close of 1941, A.A. numbered 8,000 members. The mushrooming process was in full swing. A.A. had become a national institution.

p. xviii

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

TIGHTROPE
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.

For a while things seemed to be going well. But the slide toward active alcoholism was slowly accelerating. I had had my first blackout several years before. At that time I told myself that if it ever happened again, I would stop drinking. It happened again–and again and again–but I didn’t stop. I was always able to come up with some explanation, excuse, or rationalization that justified my continued drinking. In time, personality changes began to occur with regularity when I drank. I had always had a sharp tongue; when drinking, I frequently became vitriolic. At other times I could be so charming and affectionate, sometimes too much so. People never knew just what I would do or say.

p. 361

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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.”

Now comes the biggest question yet. What about the practice of these principles in all our affairs? Can we love the whole pattern of living as eagerly as we do the small segment of it we discover when we try to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety? Can we bring the same spirit of love and tolerance into our sometimes deranged family lives that we bring to our A.A. group? Can we have the same kind of confidence and faith in these people who have been infected and sometimes crippled by our own illness that we have in our sponsors? Can we actually carry the A.A. spirit into our daily work? Can we meet our newly recognized responsibilities to the world at large? And can we bring new purpose and devotion to the religion of our choice? Can we find a new joy of living in trying to do something about all these things?

pp. 111-112

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There is no mountain, God cannot help us to climb.  –Shelley

Learn to listen to your inner voice. Listen to your heart. It’s your connection to God, to people, to the universe, and to yourself.  –Melody Beattie

“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”  –Author Unknown

“The tree in which the sap is stagnant remains fruitless.”  –Hosea Ballou

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.  –St. Augustine

There is a hole and empty place within us that we have tried to fill. Today we know that this is a God shaped hole, that only God can fill. A place where acceptance, understanding, love and support are a given.  –Author Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

POETRY

“Poetry is not an assertion of
truth, but the making of that
truth more fully real to us.”
— T. S. Eliot

God is able to communicate Himself in a thousand different ways and
one such way is poetry.

Spirituality is discovering God in His creation, and this involves more
than religion or denominationalism. Spirituality is a comprehensive
approach to God’s world and is the unifying factor at the center of
the universe. Spirituality is about what is true — wherever it is found
in the world.

Poetry and other art forms become part of the spiritual journey for
us as we struggle to understand and communicate truth.

In poetry may I find an expression of Your love for me; in my use of
poetry, may I express my love for You.

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“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  Psalms 34:4

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.  Psalm 147:5

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:36-38

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Daily Inspiration

Behave as though God is standing next to you because He is. Lord, we make a great team and together we are able to make a big difference.

If you think success and really believe it will happen, you will perform in a manner that leads to success. Lord, may I always avoid negative thoughts and visualize myself in the manner that You intended for me.

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NA Just For Today

The School Of Recovery

” This is a program for learning.”
Basic Text p. 16

Learning in recovery is hard work. The things we most need to know are often the hardest to learn. We study recovery to prepare ourselves for the experiences life will give us. As we listen to others share in meetings, we take mental notes we can refer to later. Tobe prepared, we study our notes and literature between “lessons.” Just as students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge during tests, so do we have the opportunity to apply our recovery during times of crisis.

As always, we have a choice in how we will approach life’s challenges. We can dread and avoid them as threats to our sereniW or we can gratefully accept them as opportunities for growth. By confirming the principles we’ve learned in recovery, life’s challenges give us increased strength. Without such challenges, however, we could forget what we’ve learned and begin to stagnate. These are the opportunities that prod us to new spiritual awakenings.

We will find that there is often a period of rest after each crisis, giving us time to get accustomed to our new skills. Once we’ve reflected on our experience, we are called on to share our knowledge with someone who is studying what we’ve just learned. In the school of recovery, all of us are teachers as well as students.

Just for today: I will be a student of recovery. I will welcome challenges, confident in what I’ve learned and eager to share it with others.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Animals are such agreeable friends they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. –George Eliot
A pet is often liked by everyone and seems to have no enemies. Why is this? Pets are friendly and interested in others. They seem to get joy out of just being with us. They do not have a critical attitude. When mistreated or neglected for a while, they are quick to forgive and quickly seek once again to be by our side. Each of us is a valuable part of the family. When we treasure one another and don’t waste our time finding each other’s faults, we will begin to have fewer faults. When we accept our loved ones as they are and enjoy sharing our lives with them, our lives become more enjoyable, and our family love grows because we are each more lovable.
What can I accept in others today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The human heart in its perversity finds it hard to escape hatred and revenge. –Moses Luzzatto
This program promises many rewards for those who follow it, but it does not promise to be easy. We search our conscience for resentments and face them. No man can progress in his recovery while holding onto resentments, old angers, and hatreds. When we hold them, we protect dark corners of our souls from the renewal we need. As we allow ourselves to be made new through this program, we no longer reserve those small corners for the game of power and resentment. They will eventually consume us and justify in our minds a return to the old patterns.
Nothing can be held back. We must be willing to surrender all – even if we do not know how. No one can stop being resentful simply by deciding to stop. When we are willing to be honest, to be humble, to be learners, to be led in a constructive direction, to allow time to be guided rather than seek instant cure, then we will learn trust and will surely make progress.
I do not need to know exactly how to let go of my resentments or what will happen after 1 do. I simply must toe ready to let them go.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
One cannot have wisdom without living life. –Dorothy McCall
Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can’t handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.
When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It’s like watching a movie in black and white that’s supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.
Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Appreciating Our Past
It is easy to be negative about past mistakes and unhappiness. But it is much more healing to look at ourselves and our past in the light of experience, acceptance, and growth. Our past is a series of lessons that advance us to higher levels of living and loving.
The relationships we entered, stayed in, or ended taught us necessary lessons. Some of us have emerged from the most painful circumstances with strong insights about who we are and what we want.
Our mistakes? Necessary. Our frustrations, failures, and sometimes–stumbling attempts at growth and progress? Necessary too.
Each step of the way, we learned. We went through exactly the experiences we needed to, to become who we are today. Each step of the way, we progressed.
Is our past a mistake? No. The only mistake we can make is mistaking that for the truth.
Today, God, help me let go of negative thoughts I may be harboring about my past circumstances or relationships. I can accept, with gratitude, all that has brought me to today.

I deserve to have wonderful things to happen in my life today. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Open to the Power of Comfort

Packed in the back of my Jeep I stored my favorite red woolen blanket. I didn’t need it for warmth because I didn’t sleep in the cold. I needed it to remind me of the importance of comfort.

Open yourself to receive comfort, the comfort that touches the heart and nurtures the soul. Many of us grew up and lived our lives without experiencing true comfort, true nurturing. Many of us didn’t know it existed. But at some level, that’s what we’ve been looking for.

Comfort is the loving arms of a mother who sees only the beauty of her child. A mother who attends to the needs, who nurtures the heart and soul of her child. This kind of comfort is acceptance and love at its finest.

Open your heart to receive comfort. Learn to give it,too. Comfort touches and heals our souls. Take it with you like a favorite blanket wherever you go.


More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of your plans

Letting go can feel so unnatural. We work hard for a promotion, a relationship, a new car, a vacation. Then the universe has the gall to come along and mess up our plans. How dare it! And so, rather than opening ourselves to the experiences that await us, we hold on to the plans that we made for ourselves. Or we hold on to bitterness about our plans going awry.

Sometimes losing our dreams and plans for our future can hurt as much as losing a tangible thing. Sometimes accepting and releasing our broken dreams is part of accepting a loss.

Let go of your expectations. The universe will do what it will. Sometimes your dreams will come true. Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes when you let go of a broken dream, another one gently takes its place.

Be aware of what is, not what you would like to be, taking place.

God, help me let go of my expectations and accept the gifts that you give me each day, knowing that there is beauty and wonder in each act of life.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

In a very real sense, we are imprisoned by our inability or unwillingness to reach out for help to a Power greater than ourselves. But in time, we pray to be relieved of the bondage of self, so that we can better do God’s will. In the words of Ramakrsihna, “The sun and moon are not mirrored in cloudy waters, thus the Almighty cannot be mirrored in a heart that is obsessed by the idea of ‘me and mine.’” Have I set myself free form the prison of self-will and pride which I myself have built? Have I accepted freedom?

Today I Pray

May the word freedom take on the meanings for me, not just “freedom from” my addiction, but “freedom to” overcome it. Not just freedom from the slavery of self-will, but freedom to hear and carry out the will of God.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom from means freedom to.


One More Day

To live happily is an inward power of the soul. – Marcus Aurelius

While we were still very healthy, we may not have realized how much we depended on others for our physical and emotional well-being. Perhaps we rarely turned toward our own strength or to a Power greater than ourselves. Because we had depended so little on ourselves, we may have, at first, felt defeated.

Ironically, we’ve become strengthened by illness. Sour searching and taking personal inventory are tools we used to discover the mental and spiritual reserves that were always available to us but little used.

The love and support of others are still important to us, but now we have a greater sense of balance which strengthens us and our relationships.

My inner spiritual messages transcend my need to depend on others. This strengthens me, my faith, and all the people touched by my life.


Food For Thought

There Is No Such Thing as “Have To”

The serenity and insight, which we gain from this program, help us realize that we do not have to do anything. There is always a choice. We may even choose not to live.

Our lives are gifts from our Higher Power, and the choice of what to do with them is ours. We can continue to overeat and watch our illness get progressively worse. We can isolate ourselves from other people and console ourselves with food. We can do as little as possible each day just in order to survive.

We do not have to follow the program; we also do not have to overeat. We do not have to turn our lives over to God; we also do not have to continue to bear the burden of self and self-will. It is a proven fact of experience for countless people that the most satisfying thing to do with the life given to each of us is to give it back to our Higher Power to use as He wills.

Thank You for my freedom, Lord.


One Day At A Time

~ SERVICE ~

The only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
Albert Schweitzer

In my first few 12 step meetings, I was so angry. On one hand, I didn’t think I needed to be there, although deep inside, I knew I did. People were nice enough, greeted me, made me feel welcome, but I kept myself apart with my anger. I was angry that there seemed to be a small core group of members who attended weekly and obviously knew each other well. I didn’t think they’d let me in their inner group; I didn’t get invited.

Next, I tried to get the program without working the Steps. That inner group talked about the Steps all the time. I’d show them how good I was; I’d get the program, get the recovery they’d gotten, by taking a shorter route. The Steps were for dummies, and I wasn’t dumb. I quickly found out the Steps are the only way to get the 12 step program, hence its name.

I struggled for a long time. Then I started giving service to my group. It started off by simply straightening up the room because I always got there early. I asked for a key so I could put out the books. I started greeting newcomers, who usually showed up early. When the person who’d signed on to do the topic didn’t make it one week, I agreed to lead the meeting.

To my shock, I was giving service. In looking back at my first weeks in the program, I realized that the “inner core” of my home group had become my very good friends. When had I been asked in? Never. I joined when I began to give service and became one of them, the service-givers to the group. I learned why they seemed to have such effortless growth– it came from giving service. With service I always get back much more than I put in.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember to give of myself. I will remember that giving service in the program gives me so many gifts in return.
~ Rhonda ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. For his sake, we do recount and almost relive the horrors of our past. But those of us who have tried to shoulder the entire burden and trouble of others find we are soon overcome by them. – Pg.132 – The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It doesn’t cost a lot of money for us to recover. It cost a lot of time. We have to be diligent and program consciousness from this hour to the next, every hour for the rest of our lives. We ‘have’ to do it, until we ‘want’ to do it.

I embrace our program in gratitude.

A Still Small Voice

I will have faith. I will follow that still small voice within me. When I have doubts, which of course I will have, I will reach down within myself and pull up something that I thought wasn’t even there, I’ll pull up faith that things will be all right. Whether or not things are going just the way I want them to, I’ll have faith that they will somehow right themselves in the end. It will work out, or it won’t work out, but still, all will be OK. I will give myself the gift of faith.

My faith sustains me

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘For a time we are living inside a scream where there seems to be no exit, only echoes. The small cares that seemed so important yesterday seem like nothing, and our daily concerns become petty and irrelevant. When we finally reclaim ourselves, as we ultimately do, we are changed.’ -Kent Nerburn, Simple Truths

Cooperating with God is the easier softer way.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Alcoholics make pour choices.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I deserve to have wonderful things to happen in my life today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Drinking is not a word, it’s a sentence. – Anon.


AA Thought for the Day

January 22

The Big Book
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, pp. 70-71

Thought to Ponder . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
B I G B O O K = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge.

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

Vigilance
Deliver us from temptation
must continue to be a prime ingredient of our every
attitude, practice, and prayer.
When things go well, we must never fall into the error
of believing that no great ill can possibly befall us.
Nor should we accuse ourselves of
“negative thinking” when we insist on facing
the destructive forces in and around us,
both realistically and effectively.
Vigilance will always be the price of survival.
Bill W., November 1960
c. 1988 AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, pp. 316-17

Thought to Consider . . .
Adversity introduces us to ourselves

~~AACRONYMS~~
P E A C E  =  Providing Experienced Attitude Changes Every day.

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

Bottoms
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
“Why all this insistence that every A.A. must hit bottom first? The answer is that few people will sincerely try to practice
the A.A. program unless they have hit bottom. For practicing A.A.’s remaining eleven Steps means the adoption of
attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking. Who wishes to be rigorously
honest and tolerant? Who wants to confess his faults to another and make restitution for harm done? Who cares
anything about a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer?”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 24

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

“By helping to insure the sobriety of others to come, we insure our own sobriety today.”
Rochester, N.Y., October 1987
“The Rise and Fall of a Home Group,”
The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA

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

“Another principle we observe carefully is that we do not relate
intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would
approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own
stories. A man may criticize or laugh at himself and it will affect
others favorably, but criticism or ridicule coming from another often
produces the contrary effect.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 125

“We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: ‘Once an
alcoholic, always an alcoholic.&#39; Commencing to drink after a period
of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33

Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word ‘blame’ from our speech and thought.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear – primarily fear that we would lose something we already
possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state
of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing
these demands.
For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the starting point for better things. Fear can be a
steppingstone to prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate. And the
more we have of respect and justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much, and yet be freely
given. So fear need not always be destructive, because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values.

Prayer for the Day:  God our Father, you call each of us by name, and you treasure each of us individually as though no
one else exists. Inspire us to respect and value each person who comes into our lives this day. Amen.