Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 30th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 30th

Daily Reflections

SACRIFICE = UNITY = SURVIVAL

The unity, the effectiveness, and even the survival of A. A.
will always depend upon our continued willingness to give
up some of our personal ambitions and desires for the
common safety and welfare. Just as sacrifice means survival
for the individual alcoholic, so does sacrifice means unity
and survival for the group and for A. A.’s entire Fellowship.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 220

I have learned that I must sacrifice some of my personality
traits for the good of A. A. and, as a result, I have been
rewarded with many gifts. False pride can be inflated through
prestige but, by living Tradition Six, I receive the gift of
humility instead. Cooperation without affiliation is often
deceiving. If I remain unrelated to outside interest, I am
free to keep A. A. autonomous. Then the Fellowship will be
here, healthy and strong for generations to come.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics are unable or unwilling, during their addiction
to alcohol, to live in the present. The result is that they
live in a constant state of remorse and fear because of
their unholy past and its morbid attraction, or the uncertain
future and its vague foreboding. So the only real hope for
the alcoholic is to face the present. Now is the time. Now is
ours. The past is beyond recall. The future is as uncertain
as life itself. Only the now belongs to us. Am I living in
the now?

Meditation For The Day

I must forget the past as much as possible. The past is over
and gone forever. Nothing can be done about the past, except
to make what restitution I can. I must not carry the burden of
my past failures. I must go on in faith. The clouds will clear
and the way will lighten. The path will become less stony with
every forward step I take. God has no reproach for anything
that He has healed. I can be made whole and free, even though
I have wrecked my life in the past. Remember the saying:
“Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not carry the burden of the past. I pray that
I may cast it off and press on in faith.

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As Bill Sees It

Imaginary Perfection, p. 181

When we early A.A.’s got our first glimmer of how spiritually prideful we could be, we
coined this expression: “Don’t try to be a saint by Thursday!”

That oldtime admonition may look like another of those handy alibis that can excuse us
from trying for our best. Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary. This is our A.A. way
of warning against pride-blindness, and the imaginary perfections that we do not possess.

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

Only Step One, where we made the 100 per cent admission that we were powerless over
alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state
perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which
we estimate our progress.

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 68

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Walk In Dry Places

Making all things new
Releasing the Past
A 12 Step program should give us a new way of life, our friends often say. We should have new attitudes, new experiences, new opportunities.
If we’re to grasp this new way of life, we must let go of the old habits of the past. No alcoholic can recover, for example, by choosing to remain in the old drinking environment.  We must also “recover” from other relationships and patterns that were destructive or kept us from our highest good.
“Behold, I make all things new,” is the ancient promise. As our thoughts and beliefs change, the old patterns drop away and the new life reveals itself to us.
Today I’ll drop the negative or outworn relics from the past and press on to find the things that are for my greatest good. 


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Keep It Simple

If you don’t know where you are going, You’ll probably end up somewhere else.—
Lawrence J. Peter
The Twelve Steps are our plan of living. We must have a plan. Without one, we waste our energy.
We react instead of think. This is what we did as an addict. We lived our lives as out-of-control people. This caused a lot of pain for us and those around us.
Recovery brings us the Twelve Steps, and each Step gives us direction and wisdom. Each Step builds on the progress we made from the Step before it. Sometimes we follow the plan well. Sometimes we think we can do better on our own. Do I believe the Twelve Steps are a good plan of living?
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You have shown me a new way of life, a plan for living. Thank you for leading me to the Twelve Steps. Help me follow them.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll take time out to read the Twelve Steps. Then I’ll list three reasons why the Steps are a good plan for living.

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Each Day a New Beginning

. . . in silence might be the privilege of the strong, but it was certainly a danger to the weak. For the things I was prompted to keep silent about were nearly always the things I was ashamed of, which would have been far better aired . . .  –Joanna Field
It has been said, “We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.” Our emotional health as recovering women is hindered, perhaps even jeopardized, each time we hold something within that we need to talk over with others.
Sharing our fears, our hurts, our anger, keeps open our channel to God. Secrets clutter our mind, preventing the stillness within where our prayers find answers. Secrets keep us stuck. Our health, emotional and spiritual, depends on our commitment to shared experiences.
Every secret we have and tell someone, frees that person also to be herself and to grow. Sharing experiences relieves us of our shame and invites the forgiveness we must allow ourselves.
Steps Four and Five facilitate the process of sharing those secrets that block our path to God and to one another. Never can we be fully at peace with secrets left untold. Self-revelation cleanses the soul and offers us life.
I will be alert to the opportunities to share myself and cherish the freedom offered.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was.

p. 47

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Against my better judgment, I went to a meeting with him that night and a strange thing began to happen.  The psychiatrist, who had generally been ignoring me, now became quite interested; every day he would ask me all kinds of questions about the A.A. meetings.  At first I wondered whether he was alcoholic himself and was sending me to find out about A.A.  But it quickly became obvious that he had this childish notion instead:  If he could get me to go to enough meetings while in the hospital, I would continue to go after he let me out.  So, for no better reason than to fool him, I asked Frank to take me to a meeting every night.  And Frank did set me up for a meeting every night except Friday, when he thought he might have a date with his girl friend.  “That’s a devil of a way to run an organization,” I thought, and I reported Frank to the psychiatrist, who didn’t seem perturbed; he just got someone else to take me on Fridays.

pp. 414-415

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of more than one hundred thousand* alcoholic men and women who are banded together to solve their common problems and to help fellow sufferers in recovery from that age-old, baffling malady, alcoholism.

*In 1998, it is estimated that nearly two million have recovered through A.A.

p. 15

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God, help me to lower my defenses today, to be open to the good in
the people around me and to the good that I have to offer them.
–Melody Beattie

If you desire to align yourself with God’s love, take an honest
assessment of where love is lacking in your life. Do you embrace the
difficult people in your family, work or neighborhood? Do you hold
grudges or do you forgive those who betray you? The only way to
keep in alignment is to practice choosing love, again and again, even
when it’s difficult.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
–John Wooden

Forget your old ideas. Forget the lies they told you.
Forget them all, and you will begin to remember.
–Marianne Williamson

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will
ever regret.
–Ambrose Bierce

Our outward behavior is just a reflection of our inner balance or our
out of balance.
–John-Roger

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HUMOR

“The one serious conviction that
a man should have is that
nothing is to be taken
seriously.”
–Nicholas Murray Butler

For years I used to take myself too seriously. I thought that everything
depended upon my thoughts, actions and decisions. Life was a series of
agendas that had to be met; life was too serious to be joked about. I
knew that I was not God, but I took responsibility for the whole
universe. I had opinions on everything and everybody and I was, of
course, always right.

As the years passed it grew painful being so responsible — my control
produced stress, tension and loneliness. Then a friend said to me, “Let
go and let God.” I began to detach and laugh at my insane behavior. I
laughed more as I began to accept my humanness. I discovered
spirituality in the joke. God must have a sense of humor — after all,
He made me.

Help me to laugh at myself in my search for the Kingdom.

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Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. Psalms 17:3

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 19:14

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks
what is just.
Psalms 37:30


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Daily Inspiration

Avoid distraction by concentrating on the task in which you are presently involved. Lord, much that bothers me is useless to my well-being. Help me identify when this happens and replace these thoughts with thoughts that treat me kindly.

God will give you strength because He will give of Himself. Lord, thank You for the many gifts of which You always bless me.

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NA Just For Today

Maintaining The Foundation

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.”
Basic Text p. 93

The foundation of our lives is what the rest of our lives is built upon. When we were using, that foundation affected everything we did. When we decided that recovery was important, that’s where we began to put our energy. As a result, our whole lives changed. In order to maintain those new lives, we must maintain the foundation of those lives: our recovery program.

As we stay clean and our lifestyles change, our priorities will also change. Work and school may become important because they improve the quality of our lives. And new relationships may bring excitement and mutual support. But we need to remember that our recovery program is the foundation upon which our new lives are built. Each day, we must renew our commitment to recovery, maintaining that as our top priority.

Just for today: I want to continue enjoying the life I’ve found in recovery. Today, I will take steps to maintain my foundation.
pg. 188

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Cultivate your garden. Let it take root in you until your thousand eyes open like violets to morning light. –Nancy Paddock
In our imaginations we can mix images and ideas from all over the world–imagine the thousand eyes of a peacock growing among the purple violets, or babies that grow on trees! In our imaginations we can also nurture feelings of love, affection, self-esteem.
All of us–not just writers–can learn to see the images in our own minds. We can do this by breathing slowly, relaxing, and looking at the movie in our minds. We may see a field of wildflowers, or find ourselves wading across a stream in the mountains. We might see happiness as wildflowers and grass coming up through the sidewalk, breaking the concrete into chunks and sand, growing so slowly yet with such great power. It may help us appreciate our growth today to look at it this way.
Can I visualize my happiness right now? What does it look like?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is nothing as easy as denouncing. It don’t take much to see that something is wrong, but it takes some eyesight to see what will put it right again. –Will Rogers
We come to this day with a choice of whether to be for something or against it. Shall we put energy into what we seek and admire or shall we give our energy to opposition and resistance of what we dislike? If someone asks a favor, we have a choice to resent and resist the intrusion or to engage with the person and see where it might lead. If a project we are working on is frustrating, we can wallow in criticizing it or try to get a clearer picture of what will work and what we want.
Criticizing may be a helpful first stage in learning, but it is seductive because it holds little risk and we feel safe doing it. In that comfort we forget to go for ward to create what we really want. Our negative energy, when we are seduced by it, creates negative results. When we look back upon today, we will admire those choices that risked creating something positive.
Today, I will not give my energy to denouncing but to creating what I believe is worthwhile.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
. . . in silence might be the privilege of the strong, but it was certainly a danger to the weak. For the things I was prompted to keep silent about were nearly always the things I was ashamed of, which would have been far better aired . . . –Joanna Field
It has been said, “We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.” Our emotional health as recovering women is hindered, perhaps even jeopardized, each time we hold something within that we need to talk over with others.
Sharing our fears, our hurts, our anger, keeps open our channel to God. Secrets clutter our mind, preventing the stillness within where our prayers find answers. Secrets keep us stuck. Our health, emotional and spiritual, depends on our commitment to shared experiences.
Every secret we have and tell someone, frees that person also to be herself and to grow. Sharing experiences relieves us of our shame and invites the forgiveness we must allow ourselves.
Steps Four and Five facilitate the process of sharing those secrets that block our path to God and to one another. Never can we be fully at peace with secrets left untold. Self-revelation cleanses the soul and offers us life.
I will be alert to the opportunities to share myself and cherish the freedom offered.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Accepting Change
One day, my mother and I were working together in the garden. We were transplanting some plant for the third time. Grown from seed in a small container, the plants had been transferred to a larger container; then transplanted into the garden. Now, because I was moving, we were transplanting them again.
Inexperienced as a gardener, I turned to my green thumbed mother. “Isn’t this bad for them?” I asked, as we dug them up and shook the dirt from their roots. “Won’t it hurt these plants, being uprooted and transplanted so many times?”
“Oh, no,” my mother replied. “Transplanting doesn’t hurt them. In fact, it’s good for the ones that survive. That’s how their roots grow strong. Their roots will grow deep, and they’ll make strong plants.”
Often, I’ve felt like those small plants – uprooted and turned upside down. Sometimes, I’ve endured the change willingly, sometimes reluctantly, but usually my reaction has been a combination.
Won’t this be hard on me? I ask. Wouldn’t it be better if things remained the same? That’s when I remember my mother’s words: That’s how the roots grow deep and strong.
Today, God, help me remember that during times of transition, my faith and my self are being strengthened.

Today I trust my instincts. Today I trust I will know at the right time the right answer. Today I have the faith to know that God guides me in my choices. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Cherish Your Connection to the Universe

My relationship with the universe used to be different. I felt separate, apart, disconnected from the rest of the world. My vision of God used to be different,too. I used to see God as sitting on a throne, separate and apart from this world. I still see God as the supreme creative force, but the separateness is melting, changing, transforming into something new. Now I see God, the energy of God, and Divine love as a part of all that is, the breath of life in every living thing.

I used to see the world as made up of individual and separate components. I used to see people as disconnected and essentially powerless in a world separated from God. Each thing, person, and action a distinctly different operation or event from any other, from the whole. Now I see a planet full of people connected to the Divine. Now I see a universe connected by a Divine thread that weaves throughout all that is, was, and will be. A living universe that is alive, magical, connected by universal love. Connected by Divine love.

Enter into a relationship with the universe, a relationship as alive, as active, as vital as any other relationship. Then know that you are connected to the world and everything in it. Know that universal love, Divine love, is real and you are an important part of it.

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more language of letting go
Make yourself at home

It was night, only a few months after I’d begun my skydiving adventure. It was too cold to stay in my tent; I had rented a cabin near the drop zone. Now I’d come back to hang out for a while, before retiring for the night.

One of the sky divers I’d met recently was sitting in a lawn chair, under the tarped area between the rows of trailors that had been turned into team rooms and student training areas. The evening lights had been turned on. He was wrapped up in a sleeping bag, reading a book under the hazy glow. He was one of the full-time sky divers, who had been attracted to the gypsy lifestyle of the skydiving community as much as the sport itself.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m in my living room, reading a book,” he replied. “Do you like the view of the backyard?” he asked, making a gesture toward the rolling hills that cascaded gently in the background. “That’s my patio,” he said, pointing to a small area just around the corner. “The morning sun hits there. It’s a warm place to sit and eat breakfast. Sometimes I sleep in that tent,” he said, pointing off to the side. “And sometimes I take my sleeping bag and curl up under the stars in the landing area, over there.”

I looked around, almost envious of his freedom.

Sometimes, we get so busy and involved creating a “home” for ourselves that we create a structure that’s too safe, limiting, and confined. We forget about our real home, the planet earth. It’s good to sleep indoors. It’s nice to make ourselves comfortable in our home. But don’t let your cozy nest become a locked, confining box.

Stretch your arms. Push the lid off the box. Get out into the world. Walk around. Move about. See the hills, the lakes, the forests, the mountain peaks, the valleys, the rivers.

See how big your world can be. See how connected everything is. See how connected you are,too– to all that is. Make yourself comfortable, wherever you are. Make yourself a home and be at home in the world.

God, help me relax and make myself at home in your beautiful world.

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Food for Thought

Praise God!

We did not create this program on our own, and we did not achieve abstinence by ourselves. Our recovery is a gift, just as life is a gift. Light, the natural world, our nourishment, talents, love, and fellowship – all come from our Higher Power. Our role is to receive, use wisely, share, and enjoy the blessings God has showered upon us.

When we get over the idea that we can do everything by ourselves, we become receptive to the moving force that creates and sustains us. As we stop looking at life from our own egotistical point of view, we begin to see God’s glory. No longer a slave to our appetites and desires for material things, we are able to rejoice in our Higher Power and to share our joy with those around us.

Our recovery from compulsive overeating makes us examples of God’s power to heal and renew. For all of His miracles, we praise Him.

In You, there is great joy.

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Focused Value
Quality vs. Quantity

It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment.

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I’ve learned in The Program that the trick, for me, is not stopping drinking, but staying stopped and learning how not to start again. It was always relatively easy to stop, if only by sheer incapacity alone; God knows, I stopped literally thousands of times. To stay stopped, I’ve had to develop a positive program of action. I’ve had to learn to live sober, cultivating new habit patterns, new interests and new attitudes. Am I remaining flexible in my new life? Am I exercising my freedom to abandon limited objectives?

Today I Pray

I pray that my new life will be filled with new patterns, new friends, new activities, new ways of looking at things. I need God’s help to overhaul my lifestyle to include all the newness it must hold. I also need a few ideas of my own. May my independence from chemicals or compulsive behavior help me make my choices with an open mind and a clear; appraising eye.

Today I Will Remember

Stopping is starting.

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One More Day

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one. Nay, it is obvious that the more active and swift the latter is the further he will go astray.
– Francis Bacon

As we travel through life, distractions keep us from reaching our destination. Sometimes a wonderful, happy circumstance changes our direction, or a goal may be changed by the intrusion of a serious medical condition.

Regardless of altered courses, we want to keep our goals in sight. We must set goals which, whatever our circumstances, we know are attainable. To feel successful and proud of ourselves, we must be able to attain our new goals. And we can if we aim forward ideals that provide dreams, challenges, and the possibility of success.

I know the path that is best for me and follow my own road map.

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One Day At A Time

PROCRASTINATION
“How does a project get to be a year behind schedule?
One day at a time.”
Fred Brooks

I have been given many talents, and I count them as gifts from my Maker. Throughout life I have discovered that there was virtually nothing that I could not make, bake, say or do with the help of my Higher Power. At the age of three years I learned to crochet and read. I learned to draw, paint, write poetry and quilt. The fact that I was not afraid of failing had a great influence on my ability to tackle any task.

Surprisingly, when I felt that I was “grown” and needed to leave home and start a life of my own, I found that finishing anything was almost impossible. I could start anything — but I seemed to complete nothing. Much to my dismay I had developed the art of procrastination. Just waiting to finish anything tomorrow puts me one day behind. Day by day, the project gets put on the back burner and forgotten. One day at a time I eventually find that I am years into finishing some things.

Thanks to this program and its wonderful steps and tools, I have found that by working “one day at a time” I can be — and am — a person who starts and finishes things. This is who God created me to be…not the person who continually puts things off. It took a lot of reading and prayer and meditating on God’s Word for me to get where I am today…a person who takes action on the tasks before me. I am far from perfect, but I am making progress.

One day at a time…
Just for today I will take action and not put off until tomorrow what I can do today.
~ Annie K.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The doctor’s theory that we have an allergy to alcohol interests us. As laymen, our opinion as to its soundness may, of course, mean little. But as ex-problem drinkers, we can say that his explanation makes good sense. It explains many things for which we cannot otherwise account. – Pg. xxvi – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

If by now, we don’t have a sponsor, now is the time. We must choose one and use one. A sponsor is not a tyrant. In the beginning we don’t have a program, so we use our sponsor’s program until we clear up enough to create our own.

Higher Power, as I understand You, may You show me this day who is to be my sponsor.

A Return to Living

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

I create my own self.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Sitting at a meeting and sharing how much you love everyone in the room is meaningless if you fail to help cleanup, talk to the newcomer, inquire after the old-timer, and make sure everyone has a ride home.

My well done is better than my well said.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Relapse is NOT a requirement.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will listen to the messages that go on in my head and decide for myself if they are healthy. Today I will choose to follow positive messages that I tell myself or create new messages that are positive and healthy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The highest rank in AA: Chief Servant. – Danny T.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 30

Radical Formula
We AA’s tried out a radical and old-time formula, one rather out of fashion nowadays,
and it had worked. “We admitted we were powerless — that our lives had become unmanageable.”
and “we made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to God as we understood Him.”
Every one of us who could make and fairly well maintain this humbling admission and sweeping decision
had found relief from obsession and had begun to grow
into a totally and wonderfully different mental, physical, and spiritual existence.
– Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 45

Thought to Ponder . . .
It works — it really does.

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

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

Anonymity
“We now fully realize that 100 per cent personal anonymity
before the public is just as vital to the life of AA
as 100 percent sobriety is to the life
of each and every member.
This is not the counsel of fear;
it is the voice of long experience.”
1957AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 293

Thought to Consider . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A N O N Y M O U S =
Actions, Not Our Names, Yield Maintenance Of Unity and Service.

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

Aware
>From “Bill’s Story”:
“My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, ‘Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?’
“That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 12

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

“Today, there are hundreds of [AA] centers shedding their warm illumination upon the lives of thousands, lighting the dark shoals where the stranded and hopeless lie breaking up — those fingers of light already stretching to our beachheads in other lands.
“Now comes another lighted lamp — this little newspaper called the Grapevine. May its rays of hope and experience ever fall upon the current of our AA life and one day illumine every dark corner of this alcoholic world.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., June 1944
“Editorial: The Shape of Things to Come”
AA Grapevine (Volume 1, Number 1)
Reprinted in The Language of the Heart

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

“…we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as
being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all
the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take
them all-every one? If we still cling to something we will not let
go, we ask God to help us be willing.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 76~

“To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and
attitude. We all had to place recovery above everything, for without
recovery we would have lost both home and business.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Employers, pg. 143~

“If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 71 (How it Works)

“Our inventory enables us to settle with the past.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 89 (Step Ten)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When we early A.A.s got our first glimmer of how spiritually prideful we could be, we coined this expression: ‘Dont try to be a saint by Thursday!’
That oldtime admonition may look like another of those handy alibis that can excuse us from trying for our best. Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary. This is our A.A. way of warning against pride-blindness, and the imaginary perfections that we do not posses.
Only Step One, where we made the 100 per cent admission that we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which we estimate our progress.

Prayer for the Day: Today I will settle with the past in order that my Higher Power allows me to live fully in the present.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 29th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 29th

Daily Reflections

A RIPPLING EFFECT

Having learned to live so happily, we’d show everyone else how. . .Yes,
we of A.A. did dream those dreams. How natural that was, since most
alcoholics are bankrupt idealists. . .So why shouldn’t we share our way
of life with everyone?
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 156

The great discovery of sobriety led me to feel the need to spread the
“good news” to the world around me. The grandiose thoughts of my
drinking days returned. Later, I learned that concentrating on my own
recovery was a full-time process. As I became a sober citizen in
this world, I observed a rippling effect which, without any
conscious effort on my part, reached any “related facility or outside
enterprise,” without diverting me from my primary purpose of staying
sober and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The program of Alcoholics Anonymous involves a continuous striving
for improvement. There can be no long resting period. We must try to
work at it all the time. We must continually keep in mind that it is a
program not to be measured in years, because we never fully reach
our goals nor are we ever cured. Our alcoholism is only kept in
abeyance by daily living of the program. It is a timeless program in
every sense. We live it day by day, or more precisely, moment by
moment – now. Am I always striving for improvement?

Meditation For The Day

Life is all a preparation for something better to come. God has a plan
for your life and it will work out, if you try to do His will. God has
things planned for you, far beyond what you can imagine now. But you
must prepare yourself so that you will be ready for the better things to
come. Now is the time for discipline and prayer. The time of
expression will come later. Life can be flooded through and through
with joy and gladness. So prepare yourself for those better things to
come.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may prepare myself for better things that God has in
store for me. I pray that I may trust God for the future.

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As Bill Sees It

Community Problem, p. 180

The answer to the problem of alcoholism seems to be in education–education in
schoolrooms, in medical colleges, among clergymen and employers, in families, and in the
public at large. From cradle to grave, the drunk and the potential alcoholic will have to
be completely surrounded by a true and deep understanding and by a continuous barrage
of information.

This means factual education, properly presented. Heretofore, much of this education
has attacked the immortality of drinking rather than the illness of alcoholism.

Now who is going to do all this education? Obviously, it is both a community job and a job
for specialists. Individually, we A.A.’s can help, but A.A. as such cannot, and should not,
get directly into this field. Therefore, we must rely on other agencies, on outside friends
and their willingness to supply great amounts of money and effort.

Grapevine, March 1958

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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 the 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 the key to action and to success.

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Keep It Simple

I don’t believe in the life afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.–-Woody Allen
Most of us have many questions about a Higher Power. Sometimes we have more questions than answers. No matter how much we believe about God, there are always questions. Why do bad things happen if God is good? Does God punish people?
Is God called Jesus, Buddha, the Great Spirit? Perhaps we’ve chosen a name for our Higher Power, or maybe we haven’t. Yet, we know there is some Power great than ourselves that’s helping us in recovery.
We know what we need to know about God for today. We know how to ask for help, and how to accept help.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to know You more clearly. There’s much I’m not sure about. For now, I will act as if the help I get comes from You.
Action for the Day:  I’ll think of three ways my Higher Power has done just the right thing for me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I am convinced, the longer I live, that life and its blessings are not so entirely unjustly distributed (as) when we are suffering greatly we are so inclined to suppose.  –Mary Todd Lincoln
Self-pity is a parasite that feeds on itself. Many of us are inclined toward self-pity, not allowing for the balance of life’s natural tragedies. We will face good and bad times–and they will pass. With certainty they will pass.
The attitude, “Why me?” hints at the little compassion we generally feel for others’ suffering. Our empathy with others, even our awareness of their suffering, is generally minimal. We are much too involved in our own. Were we less self-centered, we’d see that blessings and tragedies visit us all, in equal amounts. Some people respond to their blessings with equanimity, and they quietly remove the sting from their tragedies. We can learn to do both.
Recovery is learning new responses, feeling and behaving in healthier ways. Self-pity need not catch us. We can always feel it coming on. And we can let it go.
Self-pity may beckon, today. Fortunately, I have learned I have other choices.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Yes, we of agnostic temperament have had these thoughts and experiences. Let us make haste to reassure you. We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.
Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.

p. 46

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
One day as I sat there in the hospital, my psychiatrist walked up behind me and asked, “How’d you like to talk to the man from A.A.?”  My reaction was that I’d already helped all the patients on the ward, and I still had plenty of problems of my own without trying to help some drunk from A.A.  But, by the look on the psychiatrist’s face, I could tell that it would really make him happy if I agreed.  So, for no better reason than to make him happy, I agreed.  Very shortly, I realized that had been a mistake–when this big clown came bounding into the room, almost shouting, “My name is Frank, and I’m an alcoholic, ha-ha-ha!”  I really felt sorry for him; the only thing in his life he had to brag about was the fact that he was an alcoholic.  It wasn’t until later that he told me he was an attorney.

p. 414

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

These experiences taught us that anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality which today keynotes A.A. life everywhere. Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as A.A. members both among fellow alcoholics and before the general public. As we lay aside these very human aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity.
We are sure that humility, expressed by anonymity, is the greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can ever have.

p. 187

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A hug is a great gift. One size fits all, it can be given for any occasion
and it’s easy to exchange.
–Anon

“When you’ve got one foot in yesterday and the other in tomorrow,
you can only piss on today.”
–unknown

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look
so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been
opened for us.
–Helen Keller

Life’s short. If you don’t look around once in a while you might miss it.
–unknown

The butterfly often forgets it was a caterpillar.
–Swedish Proverb

Don’t reckon your eggs before they are laid.
–Italian Proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

RISK

“We should be careful to get out of
an experience only the wisdom
that is in it.”
–Mark Twain

I need to risk in life. I need to try again. I need to face life and not
run from it. Early in my sobriety I was scared to try new things
because I was afraid I might get hurt. I was afraid to express my
feelings. I hid in the idea of simply “not drinking”.

Spirituality is about being willing to reach out into new areas, engage
in new and different relationships, enjoy the richness of God’s world.
As I grow in sobriety I develop the capacity to react differently to
painful situations and overcome them. I learn that mistakes can make
for new conquests. That lasting joys and achievements are born in the
risk.

Teach me to overcome yesterday’s sorrows with today’s optimism.

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And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Job 42:10

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept
the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in
me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:9

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by
the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
Romans 8:13

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your
heart.”
Psalm 37:4


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Daily Inspiration

Spend less time trying to understand the behaviors of others and more time on the reasons you do things. Lord, help me to know myself better because then it will become possible to change the habits I don’t like and improve on the ones I do.

Many of God’s gifts are in the form of opportunities that we must recognize and then act upon. Lord, I will never say that You don’t answer my prayers, but I will pray that I will recognize Your answers.

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NA Just For Today

Keeping Recovery Fresh

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

After the first couple of years in recovery, most of us start to feel like there are no more big deals. If we’ve been diligent in working the steps, the past is largely resolved and we have a solid foundation on which to build our future. We’ve learned to take life pretty much as it comes. Familiarity with the steps allows us to resolve problems almost as quickly as they arise.

Once we discover this level of comfort, we may tend to treat it as a “rest stop” on the recovery path. Doing so, however, discounts the nature of our disease. Addiction is patient, subtle, progressive, and incurable. It’s also fatal-we can die from this disease, unless we continue to treat it. And the treatment for addiction is a vital, ongoing program of recovery.

The Twelve Steps are a process, a path we take to stay a step ahead of our disease. Meetings, sponsorship, service, and the steps always remain essential to ongoing recovery. Though we may practice our program somewhat differently with five years clean than with five months, this doesn’t mean the program has changed or become less important, only that our practical understanding has changed and grown. To keep our recovery fresh and vital, we need to stay alert for opportunities to practice our program.

Just for today: As I keep growing in my recovery, I will search for new ways to practice my program.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
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
Kindness is among the gifts we can most easily spread among others. The more we give of kind words and deeds, the more we discover that kindness is like a burning candle which lights many other candles without losing a trace of its own brightness. Our kindnesses are assets, which return unexpected dividends when we invest them in the happiness of others. Kindness is the very basis of love. It softens the most severe anger and gladdens the hardest hearts.
No kindness is too small to win and hold the affection of others because it is made up of gentleness, love, generosity, unselfishness, and caring.
What kindness do I have to offer today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A good indignation brings out all one’s powers. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Anger is a human emotion that gets us in touch with our energy and our vitality. But like any good thing, it can also be used in hurtful ways. When we examine the role anger has played in our lives, some of us can see where we used it to intimidate and dominate others. Maybe we can recall being terrified by someone else’s anger or even by our own. Some of us denied our anger and covered it with excessive helpfulness.
Examining the place anger has had in our lives Is one of the doorways we must pass through to regain our full masculine spirit. We learn to set aside the anger we used to cover fear or hurt. We express it respectfully and honestly when we feel it in a relationship. Expressing anger does not have to be abusive or rejecting. It can mean we care enough to be fully involved and we will not leave after we express it. We can learn to hear others in their anger rather than K attempt to control or evade their message. In the process we are invigorated and feel healthier because we are claiming a larger part of ourselves.
Today, I will first be honest with myself about angry feelings. Then I will find respectful ways to express them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I am convinced, the longer I live, that life and its blessings are not so entirely unjustly distributed (as) when we are suffering greatly we are so inclined to suppose. –Mary Todd Lincoln
Self-pity is a parasite that feeds on itself. Many of us are inclined toward self-pity, not allowing for the balance of life’s natural tragedies. We will face good and bad times–and they will pass. With certainty they will pass.
The attitude, “Why me?” hints at the little compassion we generally feel for others’ suffering. Our empathy with others, even our awareness of their suffering, is generally minimal. We are much too involved in our own. Were we less self-centered, we’d see that blessings and tragedies visit us all, in equal amounts. Some people respond to their blessings with equanimity, and they quietly remove the sting from their tragedies. We can learn to do both.
Recovery is learning new responses, feeling and behaving in healthier ways. Self-pity need not catch us. We can always feel it coming on. And we can let it go.
Self-pity may beckon, today. Fortunately, I have learned I have other choices.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
God’s Will
God’s will most often happens in spite of us, not because of us.
We may try to second guess what God has in mind for us, looking, searching, hyper vigilant to seek God’s will as though it were buried treasure, hidden beyond our reach. If we find it, we win the prize. But if we’re not careful, we miss out.
That’s not how it works.
We may believe that we have to walk on eggshells, saying, thinking, and feeling the right thing, while forcing ourselves somehow to be in the right place at the right time to find God’s will. But that’s not true.
God’s will for us is not hidden like a buried treasure. We do not have to control or force it. We do not have to walk on eggshells in order to have it happen.
It is right there inside and around us. It is happening, right now. Sometimes, it is quiet and uneventful and includes the daily disciplines of responsibility and learning to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, it is healing us when we’re in circumstances that trigger old grieving and unfinished business.
Sometimes, it is grand.
We do have a part. We have responsibilities, including caring for ourselves. But we do not have to control God’s will for us. We are being taken care of. We are protected. And the Power caring for and protecting us loves us very much.
If it is a quiet day, trust the stillness. If it is a day of action, trust the activity. If it is time to wait, trust the pause. If it is time to receive that which we have been waiting for, trust that it will happen clearly and with power, and receive the gift in joy.
Today, I will trust that God’s will is happening, as it needs to in my life. I will not make myself anxious and upset by searching vigorously for God’s will, taking unnecessary actions to control the course of my destiny or wandering if God’s will has passed me by and I have missed it.

Today I am becoming more and more aware that I can choose how I feel in the moment. Today I choose to let go of thoughts that are negative and destructive. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Stay Clear

Sometimes we don’t tell other people what we’re feeling. Sometimes we don’t tell ourselves.

Often on this journey, provocative events happen. We may become resentful. Angry. Or frightened. Emotional energy builds up within. If we don’t take the time to work it out, the emotion becomes a block. It blocks the channel to ourselves, it can block our connections to others and to God.

We may think we’re being polite and appropriate by not saying what we feel. We may think that most thoughts and emotions are so minor it would be a waste of time to acknowledge and express each and every one of them. It’s true that some aren’t worth mentioning, but many are. We need to take the time to feel and release the thoughts and beliefs that are important to us.

Is a relationship blocked? Are we feeling something we’re unable to discuss? The feeling won’t disappear. The energy of the unexpressed feeling will be present, blocking our connection until we take the time to get it out. We may not tell the other person what we’re feeling, but all of us are wiser than we think. And our bodies and emotions will begin reacting to what’s denied, despite what we say.

Many of us experiment with the technique of using affirmations to try to further our growth. The same principle applies. If we say we love ourselves, but we’ve got a chunk of self-reproach tucked down deep inside, we’ll continue to act as if we dislike ourselves until we clear the other energy out.

What are you feeling? No, what are you really feeling? Ask yourself as often as you need to. Then take the time to feel and release the emotion, thought, or belief.

You’ve connected to yourself. You’re connected to the world around you. Now, keep your connections clear.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Meditate

A mind too active is no mind at all.
–Theodore Roethke

It’s possible to learn to relax into the ordinary aspects in your life. Be aware of those normal moments; relax; allow your mind to be quiet. Allow your spirit to speak to you in those moments.

Look at the family sitting at breakfast, the birds gathered around the feeder, the dew on the grass when you step outside to pick up the morning paper, the pattern of the shadows on the walk in the moonlight.Be aware of the beauty of the ordinary. Be aware of these soothing moments and make the most of them. When you learn to be aware and relax into the ordinary, it will be easier to relax in the stressful moments when you need clarity and focus.

The practice of meditation is a practice of mindfulness. It is a practice of becoming aware of and in tune with our bodies, our spirit, and the spirit of God. One of the goals of meditation is to reach a point when we can carry this mindfulness with us throughout the day. When we can still the noise of our chattering minds, we can see the path with heart that we are to follow.

God, help me quiet my noisy, worrisome mind in my ordinary world. Help me to relax in the familiar and to be aware of and appreciate it.

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Moving Our Body
Poetry in Motion by Madisyn Taylor

Human bodies love flow and movement and respond in kind when used in this way.

Our bodies love movement. When we stretch or dance, our bodies adjust, realign and start to become fluid with the rhythm of life. Our mood lifts and we feel more connected with the world around us. If you are feeling stuck, ready to release old energy, or eager to feel more alive, try moving your body. By giving your muscles a chance to do what they were created for, you may find that all areas of your body and your life benefit as well.

Many times we can be so busy that we forget moving our body is even an option. Some of us remain seated at our computer for hours every day or rush from task to task with robotic precision. When we are caught up in crossing items off our to-do lists, we tend to neglect all the opportunities there are to enjoy our bodies in the process of living. If this is true for you, begin looking for opportunities to move. You might try dancing or moving about freely as you clean your home, tend your garden or care for your children. If you are able to devote a set amount of time to self-care, practices such as yoga, dance, tai chi and walking are all great ways to keep your body in motion.

Imagine how freeing it would feel to trust your body’s movements completely, knowing it has a perfect strength and rhythm of its own. See if you can sense your bones providing graceful support, your muscles and tendons expanding and contracting in just the right measure, your lungs changing pace to fill deeply with fresh air. Movement is a vital celebration of life. It is a way to proclaim your own existence and relish in the joy of being alive. Today, and into the future, give yourself the gift of your body in motion. Published with permission from Daily OM

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In God’s Care

The very best and utmost of attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in thee.
~~Meister Eckhart

Many of us find it hard to meditate because our mind is going at a furious pace. It’s not easy to quiet our thoughts; we have so much to say. We are so occupied with this mental chatter that we can’t hear God. God cannot get through to us in all the noise. We have to learn to be still.

This takes practice. We can’t just sit down and command silence; our mind is too accustomed to doing as it pleases. Our first step in meditation, therefore, is to be patient. Our mind will gradually quiet down as we wait, praying for silence, and putting ourselves in God’s presence. Focusing on that, we give God an opening. Guidance will follow.

I will take time today to be still and hear God.

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Day By Day

Living the “today” approach

We must understand from the very beginning that in the program, we learn to live one day at a time. We learn, for example, not to take that first fix, pill, or drink “today.” This is easier for us to do than to think of abstaining for years or a lifetime.

But many of us miss the fact that the “today” approach can be applied to all areas of our life, not just abstinence. It helps if we can deal with issues such as love, sex, death, honesty, and resentments one day at a time. God expects no more of us than to do what we can do today.

Am I living “today” today?

God, help me live the “today” approach in all areas of my life.

Today I will apply the “today” approach to…

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Food for Thought

The Joy of Abstaining

For someone who has suffered the physical, emotional, and spiritual anguish of compulsive overeating, abstaining is not a restriction but a release. We are released from indigestion, lethargy, fat, and the torment of never-satisfied craving.

If we dwell on the negative aspects of abstaining, such as the foods we are not eating, we will be unhappy. If we continue to concentrate on food, rather than on life and the spirit, we will find it difficult to abstain. The OA program gives us a new set of priorities and opens the door to new life if we are willing to leave our preoccupation with food outside and walk in.

It is good to feel full of energy rather than full of food. It is satisfying to discover new ways to give. There is deep joy in day-by-day spiritual growth. All of these joys become ours through abstaining.

We give thanks for the joy of abstaining.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Once we surrendered and came to The Program, many of us wondered what we could do with all the time on our hands. All the hours we’d previously spent planning, hiding, alibiing, getting loaded, coming down, getting “well,” juggling our accounts — and all the rest — threatened to turn into empty chunks of time that somehow had to be filled. We needed new energy previously absorbed by our addictions. We soon realized that substituting a new and different activity is far easier than just stopping the old activity and putting nothing in its place. Am I redirecting my mind and energy?

Today I Pray

I pray that, once free of the encumbrance of my addiction. I may turn to my Higher Power to discover for me how to fill my time constructively and creatively. May that same Power that makes human paths cross and links certain people to specific situations, lead me along good new roads into good new places.

Today I Will Remember

Happenstance may be more than chance.

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One More Day

Give thanks for sorrow that teaches you pity; for pain that teaches you courage – and give exceeding thanks for the mystery which remains a mystery still — the veil that hides you from the infinite, which makes it possible for you to believe in what you cannot see.
– Robert Nathan

We cannot run away from problems. Tremendous problems — like a spouse with a chronic illness — must be confronted and resolved. Fears can be overwhelming. Tasks se4em endless, and the challenge seems to great. It is comforting to realize we face nothing alone.

We can’t always be courageous, but fear is dispelled by our inner strength, by our trust that we will overcome problems and do as well as is possible. We can talk to ourselves in positive ways.

I will not allow fear and panic to overtake me today. Courage will open the door to wisdom and peace of mind.

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One Day At A Time

RESENTMENT
”When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound
to that person or condition by an emotional link that is
stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to
dissolve that link and get free.”
Catherine Ponder

I once had a situation in which someone I was acquainted with said unkind things about my weight and verbally attacked my spouse in front of my daughter. I worried and revisited the situation over and over for many years until the anger turned to resentment and became a major, entrenched grudge. Because so many of my eating issues stem from emotional ones, this would drive me to eat in an effort to dull, numb and forget my anger. That didn’t work ~ the eating didn’t stop that anger from turning into resentment.

When I would complain about this situation to a friend, she told me that I had to stop allowing that person to “rent space in my mind.” I came to realize that I had allowed — and even nurtured — a negative energetic link to that person and situation. I couldn’t let go of resentment until I was willing to take the needed steps in program and to forgive. Forgiving doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything from the situation, and I haven’t forgotten the unkind words. But I learned that I needed to be more cautious in my dealings with this type of individual. I learned I can’t surround myself with people who are overly-negative and say poisonous things without accepting any accountability for their actions. I have learned that I can be accountable for mine, and that I no longer have to allow myself to be bound by an emotional link to the situation.

One day at a time…
I will ask my Higher Power to help me to learn to forgive and forget. With the help of my Higher Power, I will let go of unnecessary baggage that causes resentment.
~ Deb B.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When the broker returned to New York in the fall of 1935, the first A.A. group had actually been formed, though no one realized it at the time.
A second small group promptly took shape at New York, to be followed in 1937 with the start of a third at Cleveland. Besides these, there were scattered alcoholics who had picked up the basic ideas in Akron or New York who were trying to form groups in other cities. By late 1937, the number of members having substantial sobriety time behind them was sufficient to convince the membership that a new light had entered the dark world of the alcoholic.
It was now time, the struggling groups thought, to place their message and unique experience before the world. This determination bore fruit in the spring of 1939 by the publication of this volume. The membership had then reached about 100 men and women. The fledgling society, which had been nameless, now began to be called Alcoholics Anonymous, from the title of its own book. The flying-blind period ended and A.A. entered a new phase of its pioneering time. – Pg. xvii – 4th. Edition – Forward To Second Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever your problem now, think of your ideal. Is it to be clean and whole? If so, ask yourself: What sort of neighbor is a clean and sober person? What sort of family member is a clean and sober person? What sort of 12-step program will a clean and sober person work?

Please guide me to the consciousness of a clean and sober person.

Having Fun

Today I will have fun.  What’s the point of all the work I do in recovery if my life doesn’t become lighter and happier?  Even though I am working through deep issues, there is no reason why I can’t have some enjoyment in the process.  Fun is when I relax and let things happen–when I can laugh at myself and other people–when I don’t take everything in life so seriously.  It is when I can enjoy a seemingly meaningless conversation just for its own sake.  Fun is when it doesn’t have to be all my way–when the heavy load is removed, when my meter is turned off and I just goof around in the moment.  Fun is something I don’t have enough of for a number of silly reasons.  Today I see that there is no reason not to enjoy myself.
I can let go and have fun.
On with the dance, let joy be unconfined is my motto, whether there’s any dance to dance or not.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘It works,’ is the shortest sentence in the AA Big Book and pretty much sums up what the book can do for you. But there’s a catch. Keep in mind, the program does not work. The program does not work. Just like alcohol doesn’t get you drunk. You have to drink alcohol in order to get drunk. You have to work the program in order for it to work.

It works if I work it.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

There are no chemical solutions to spiritual problems.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am becoming more and more aware that I can choose how I feel in the moment. Today I choose to let go of thoughts that are negative and destructive. Today I choose to FEEEEEL good.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I can’t control and enjoy my drinking. If I control it, I’m not enjoying it and vice versa. – Liz J.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 29

Meditation
Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure,
something which each one of us works out in his own way.
But its object is always the same:
to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love.
And let’s always remember that meditation is in reality intensely practical.
One of the first fruits is emotional balance.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 101-102

Thought to Ponder . . .
Meditation is our step out into the sun.

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

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

Skeletons
“Now and then the family will be plagued
by spectres 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.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 123-4

Thought to Consider . . .
It’s not making a mistake that will kill me.
It’s defending it that does the damage.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R = Forever Escaping And Retreating

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

Revelation
>From “Shattered Glass”:
“The crest of this experience lasted several hours. When I fell into an exhausted sleep, it was with the knowledge that I had at last begun my adjustment to life as an alcoholic. From that moment, things seemed to change from within. Gradually, I could recognize when I was getting in my own way, and I could step aside, for ‘Thy will, not mine’ had become more than mere words. There have been many times when this revelation has been hard to hold on to, but, little by little, it seems easier every day. My course has become two steps forward, one step backward, two more forward, instead of always complete retreat. The days are too short, and they are seldom dull. Each day is a new challenge to stay sober and to keep moving straight ahead. – Charleston, West Virginia”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 37

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

“Tolerance is the art of seeing yourself as others see you — and not getting mad about it.”
Concord, California, May 2012
“Weapons Down,”
AA Grapevine

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

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

“When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 57~

“To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 143 (To Employers)

“When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 91 (Step Ten)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The answer to the problem of alcoholism seems to be in educationeducation in schoolrooms, in medical colleges, among clergymen and employers, in families, and in the public at large. From cradle to grave, the drunk and the potential alcoholic will have to be completely surrounded by a true and deep understanding and by a continuous barrage of information.
This means factual education, properly presented. Heretofore, much of this education has attacked the immorality of drinking rather than the illness of alcoholism.
Now who is going to do all this education? Obviously, it is both a community job and a job for specialists. Individually, we A.A.s can help, but A.A. as such cannot , and should not, get directly into this field. Therefore, we must rely on other agencies, on outside friends and their willingness to supply great amounts of money and effort.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, relieve me of my constant thought of myself, and help me turn my thoughts to what I can do to benefit all others.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 28th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 28th

Daily Reflections

THE DETERMINATION OF OUR FOUNDERS

A year and six months later these three had succeeded with seven
more.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 159

If it had not been for the fierce determination of our founders, A.A.
would have quickly faded like so many other so-called good causes. I
look at the hundreds of meetings weekly in the city where I live and I
know A.A. is available twenty-four hours a day. If I had had to hang on
with nothing but hope and a desire not to drink, experiencing rejection
wherever I went, I would have sought the easier, softer way and
returned to my previous way of life.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

You can prove to yourself that life is basically and fundamentally an
inner attitude. Just try to remember what troubled you most a week
ago. You probably will find it difficult to remember. Why then should
you unduly worry or fret over the problems that arise today? Your
attitude toward them can be changed by putting yourself and your
problems in God’s hands and trusting Him to see that everything will
turn out all right, provided you are trying to do the right thing. Your
changed mental attitude toward your problems relieves you of their
burden and you can face them without fear. Has my mental attitude
changed?

Meditation For The Day

You cannot see the future. It’s a blessing that you cannot. You could
not bear to know all the future. That is why God only reveals it to you
day by day. The first step is to lay your will before God as an
offering, ready for God to do what is best for you. Be sure that, if
you trust God, what He does for you will be for the best. The second
step is to be confident that God is powerful enough to do anything He
wills, and that no miracle in human lives is impossible with Him. Then
leave the future to God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may gladly leave my future in God’s hands. I pray that I
may be confident that good things will happen, as long as I am on the
right path.

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As Bill Sees It

Coping With Anger, p. 179

Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. A burst
of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably
ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As
we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced
people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These “dry benders’ often led
straight to the bottle.

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

Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered
criticism, furious power-driven argument, sulking, and silent scorn. These are emotional
booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. When we are tempted by the bait, we
should train ourselves to step back and think. We can neither think nor act to good
purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.

12 & 12
1. p. 90
2. p. 91

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Walk In Dry Places

Why it works.
Confidence.
Twelve Step meetings often begin with a reading from a famous Fifth chapter, “How it works.”  We know that the program does work, but why?   Is there a secret or magic to it?
The real reason the program works is neither secret nor magic. The program actually relies on ancient principles that always amaze people when they are employed:  Help Others, and you help yourself. Clean up your own house. Put your trust in God, not frail human beings or shaky institutions. Remove false gods, such as alcohol and other drugs.
There may be additional reasons for the program’s success, but these are enough for a start. The Twelve Step program does work.
I’ll take comfort today in knowing that I’m walking in a way that has been tested and proven. The program works if I let it work.

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Keep It Simple

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form.  –Stanley J. Randall
Trying to be perfect get us into trouble. Trying to be perfect means we’re trying to control things.
We may be trying to cover up something. Maybe we aren’t facing our pain. Maybe we’ve hurt
someone and we need to make amends.
We need to practice being human. Humans aren’t perfect. In Steps Six and Seven, we face our human limits and our shortcomings. We then start the lifelong job of letting them go. To accept our human limits leads us to our Higher Power. We see how we need a guide in life. Our Higher Power makes a perfect guide.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me accept that I can’t be perfect. Help me be a good human being.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list my shortcoming. I’ll talk with a friend about them. I’ll ask my friend to tell me what my good qualities are.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Joy fixes us to eternity and pain fixes us to time. But desire and fear hold us in bondage to time, and detachment breaks the bond.  –Simone Weil
We live both in the material realm and the spiritual. In our material dimension we seek material pleasures, inherent in which is pain. Our human emotions are tied to our material attachments, and joy, at its fullest, is never found here. Real joy lies outside of the material dimension while living fully within us too, in the secret, small place inside where we always know that all is well.
We are on a trip in this life. And our journey is bringing us closer to full understanding of joy with every sorrowful circumstance. When you or I are one with God, have aligned our will with the will of God, we know joy. We know this, fully, that all is well. No harm can befall us.
Each circumstance in the material realm is an opportunity for us to rely on the spiritual realm for direction, security, and understanding. As we turn within, to our spiritual nature, we will know joy.
Every day in every situation I have an opportunity to discover real joy. It’s so close and so ready for my invitation.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We know how he feels. We have shared his honest doubt and prejudice. Some of us have been violently anti-religious. To others, the word “God” brought up a particular idea of Him with which someone had tried to impress them during childhood. Perhaps we rejected this particular conception because it seemed inadequate. With that rejection we imagined we had abandoned the God idea entirely. We were bothered with the thought that faith and dependence upon a Power beyond ourselves was somewhat weak, even cowardly. We looked upon this world of warring individuals, warring theological systems, and inexplicable calamity, with deep skepticism, We looked askance at many individuals who claimed to be godly. How could a Supreme Being have anything to do with it all? And who could comprehend a Supreme Being anyhow? Yet, in other moments, we found ourselves thinking, when enchanted by a starlit night, “Who, then, make all this?” There was a feeling of awe and wonder, but it was fleeting and soon lost.

pp. 45-46

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
In the hospital I hung on to the idea I’d had most of my life:  that if I could just control the external environment, the internal environment would then become comfortable.  Much of my time was spent writing letters, notes, orders, and lists of things for Max, who was also my office nurse, to do to keep the world running while I was locked up.  One has to be pretty sick to do that, and perhaps one has to be even sicker to come back every day for a new list, as she did.  (Today we don’t have to live that way.  Max still works with me in the office, but we have turned our lives and our wills and our work over to the care of God.  Each with the other as a witness, we took the Third Step out loud–just as it says in the Big Book.  And life keeps getting simpler and easier as we try to reverse my old idea, by taking care of the internal environment via the Twelve Steps, and letting the external environment take care of itself.)

pp. 413-414

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

The Missing Link

He looked at everything as the course of his unhappiness—except alcohol.

More often, I was having these little moments of clarity, times I knew for sure that I was an alcoholic.  Times when I was looking at the bottom of my glass asking myself, Why am I doing this?  Something had to give, something had to change.  I was suicidal, evaluating every part of my life for what could be wrong.  It culminated in one last night of drinking and staring at the problem.  It made me sick to think about it, and even sicker to continue drinking it away.  I was forced to look at my drinking as the chief suspect.

p. 284

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I can get more out of God by believing Him for one minute than
by shouting at Him all night.
–Smith Wigglesworth

I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming
conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.
–Abraham Lincoln

LORD, Let me want what I have.
–Anonymous

“A positive attitude is like a fire – Unless you continue to add fuel, it
goes out.”
–Alexander Lockhart

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

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not
seen.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

When life seems just a dreary grind; and things seem fated to annoy;
say something nice to someone else and watch the world light up with
joy.
–Unknown

Appreciative words are the most powerful force for good on earth!
–George W. Crane

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WINE

“One of the disadvantages of wine
is that it makes a man mistake
words for thoughts.”
–Samuel Johnson

Alcohol produced problems in my life. I was unable to control my
drinking and the result was catastrophe. I hurt people. I
endangered my health. I ruin my productivity. I became lonely. I
felt isolated. I was forever getting into arguments. The police were
often involved. People who loved me had to walk away from me
for their own sanity. Alcohol made my life a mess!

Today I can see this and I am glad I made the spiritual decision to
refuse the first drink. Today I am getting my life together. I am
becoming a productive citizen. I have friends and relationships again.
But I need to remember what I must never forget:

Alcohol + Me = Problems.

Lord, alcohol is a gift I can refuse.

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“I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life.”
John 5:24

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will
set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon
Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver
him and honor him.
Psalm 91:14-15

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
Proverbs 25:11
And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk
in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Isaiah 30:21


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Daily Inspiration

Be easier on yourself and more forgiving so that you can begin to recognize the depth of the wisdom you already possess. Lord, help me look beyond my shortcomings so that I am better able to get through my difficult moments and am able to spend more time enjoying who I am.

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

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NA Just For Today

Group Conscience

“Working with others is only the beginning of service work.”
Basic Text, p.56

Service work calls for a selfless devotion to carrying the message to the still-suffering addict. But our attitude of service cannot stop there. Service also requires that we look at ourselves and our motives. Our efforts at service make us highly visible to the fellowship. In NA, it is easy to become a “big fish in a small pond.” Our controlling attitude can easily drive away the newcomer.

Group conscience is one of the most important principles in service. It is vital to remember that the group conscience is what counts, not just our individual beliefs and desires. We lend our thoughts and beliefs to the development of a group conscience. Then when that conscience arises, we accept its guidance. The key is working with others, not against them. If we remember that we strive together to develop a collective conscience, we will see that all sides have equal merit. When all the discussions are over, all sides will come back to carry a unified message.

It is often tempting to think that we know what is best for the group. If we remember that it doesn’t matter if we get our way, then it is easier to allow service to be the vehicle it is intended to be – a way to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.

Just for today: I will take part in the development of group conscience. I will remember that the world won’t end just because I don’t get my way. I will think about our p[primary purpose in all my service efforts. I will reach out to a newcomer.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It’s the deepest channel that runs most true. –Kate Wolf
The greatest rivers spread themselves out wide and lazy over the earth. They roll over on themselves like great turtles turning in the warm sun. A river flows, drawn to the oceans, carving ever-deepening channels, nestling snug in the earth’s welcoming lap. The current is strongest in the deepest channel. Boat navigators know that finding that channel means finding the swiftest current and the safest voyage home.
When we look at a river, or at another person, we see only the surface. What keeps our attention is usually some movement or activity on the surface. But there is more than meets the eye, especially to people. When we overlook someone because that person is quiet or simple, we may be robbing ourselves of an eye-opening discovery.
Which deeper things can I look for in my day?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We fear our highest possibility (as well as our lowest one). We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments. –Abraham Maslow
In our daily lives, we may dream of success and achievement. We strive and compete in the workplace. We go to meetings and do our part on each Step in the program searching for better lives. When success comes, we are faced with a new problem we could not have expected. It comes as an outcome of some hard work, some good luck, and some help from our friends. It is frightening to have a good thing in our lives and not be in control of it.
We are just as powerless over our successes as we are over the worst of our behaviors. We can only be faithful to our duties and ourselves. The successes, which flow from our work come and go. Since we can’t nail them down, they may make us feel insecure. Many a man has destroyed his moment of success because he couldn’t stand the powerless feeling. We must return to our program and allow success to rise and fall, as it will.
Today, I turn to my Higher Power for help in accepting success.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Joy fixes us to eternity and pain fixes us to time. But desire and fear hold us in bondage to time, and detachment breaks the bond. –Simone Weil
We live both in the material realm and the spiritual. In our material dimension we seek material pleasures, inherent in which is pain. Our human emotions are tied to our material attachments, and joy, at its fullest, is never found here. Real joy lies outside of the material dimension while living fully within us too, in the secret, small place inside where we always know that all is well.
We are on a trip in this life. And our journey is bringing us closer to full understanding of joy with every sorrowful circumstance. When you or I are one with God, have aligned our will with the will of God, we know joy. We know this, fully, that all is well. No harm can befall us.
Each circumstance in the material realm is an opportunity for us to rely on the spiritual realm for direction, security, and understanding. As we turn within, to our spiritual nature, we will know joy.
Every day in every situation I have an opportunity to discover real joy. It’s so close and so ready for my invitation.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
When Things Don’t Work
Frequently, when faced with a problem, we may attempt to solve it in a particular way. When that way doesn’t work, we may continue trying to solve the problem in that same way.
We may get frustrated, try harder, get more frustrated, and then exert more energy and influence into forcing the same solution that we have already tried and that didn’t work.
That approach makes us crazy. It tends to get us stuck and trapped. It is the stuff that unmanageability is made of.
We can get caught in this same difficult pattern in relationships, in tasks, in any area of our life. We initiate something, it doesn’t work, doesn’t flow, we feel badly, then try the same approach harder, even though it’s not working and flowing.
Sometimes, it’s appropriate not to give up and to try harder. Sometimes, it’s more appropriate to let go, detach, and stop trying so hard.
If it doesn’t work, if it doesn’t flow, maybe life is trying to tell us something. Life is a gentle teacher. She doesn’t always send neon road signs to guide us. Sometimes, the signs are more subtle. Something not working may be a sign!
Let go. If we have become frustrated by repeated efforts that aren’t producing desired results, we may be trying to force ourselves down the wrong path. Sometimes, a different solution is appropriate. Sometimes, a different path opens up. Often, the answer will emerge more clearly in the quietness of letting go than it will in the urgency, frustration, and desperation of pushing harder.
Learn to recognize when something isn’t working or isn’t flowing. Step back and wait for clear guidance.
Today, I will not make myself crazy by repeatedly trying solutions that have proven themselves unsuccessful. If something isn’t working, I will step back and wait for guidance.

My quiet sitting meditation time helps me to develop new quiet times during the rest of the day. Today I can look at any problem I have and release its energy so that I can be free to allow harmony to unfold. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart
Feel Your Feelings

You don’t have to do anything about your feelings. Understand that. Believe that. They are only feelings. Emotional energy is important. It’s important not to block it, stop it, deny it, or repress it. It’s important to discharge it. To value it. To value ourselves.

But you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to act on every feeling. You don’t need to control every emotion or let your emotions control you. Doing something is the old way, the way of control. Simply feel whatever you need to feel. Become fully and completely conscious of what you feel. Take responsibility for the way you choose to express your feelings. Then let your feelings go. Release the emotional energy.

Soon you will know what to do next, know what lesson is under way. You will naturally take the action that’s right for you to take.

All you have to do about your feelings is feel them.

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more language of letting go
Relax now

“Only two more weeks until vacation,” we say. “Two more weeks until I can relax.” Then we return to our stressful lives of running here, hurrying there, and scrambling to get this or that done.

Why wait? Why not relax today? Part of living fully in the moment is taking a break when you need it. If you are tired, take a nap. Plan an afternoon away from work. Go to the park on a Saturday morning by yourself. Take a bubble bath; order dinner out; take the kids to the zoo.

So often we feel that we are running, running, just trying to keep up with the rest of the world. It’s an illusion. Much of the time we’re running in place. Stop. The only one keeping you on the treadmill is you. Yes, we all have responsibilities. But taking time to take care of ourselves is one of our responsibilities,too.

God, grant me the peace and grace to listen to my own needs.

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Healthful Slumber
The Importance of Sleep by Madisyn Taylor

Regular periods of sleep are key to a healthy body and a clear mind as it is during sleep that your body renews itself.

When life gets busy, sleep is often the first activity that we sacrifice. Considered a luxury by many busy people, sleep is actually as vital to sustaining a balanced life as are breathing, eating, and drinking. Getting sufficient sleep can be a potent energizer, just as not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. While eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults should generally aim for, the right amount of sleep varies for each person. Some people may thrive on just four hours, while others don’t feel well rested unless they’ve slept for ten hours. How much we sleep also varies, depending upon where we are in life. Young people often need more sleep, while older people may need less. The benefits of sleep always stay the same. Regular and consistent periods of wakefulness and sleep are key ingredients to fostering a healthy body and a clear mind. It is during sleep that your body renews itself.

The ability to forgo sleep is considered by some to be an asset. But while it may seem that the nighttime hours can be better used for more productive activities, sleep in itself is extremely productive. During sleep, your body and psyche are both regaining their strength for the coming day. You may even have the unique opportunity to explore the hidden recesses of your personality while you dream. Meanwhile, your long-term memories are reinforced.

Many cultures engage in an afternoon siesta. Taking a nap is refreshing and can increase both productivity and creativity. Author Lewis Carroll is said to have conceived his idea for Alice in Wonderland while dreaming. A good night’s sleep also has been known to bring with it the gifts of clarity, wisdom, and a fresh perspective. Even the ancient Greeks thought of sleep as a gift from the gods. Give yourself the gift of peaceful slumber and you will likely find yourself feeling alert, refreshed, and ready for life’s challenges. You may also find yourself feeling more centered, thoughtful, and aware throughout the day so you can live your full potential. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
Almost daily, I hear of seemingly mysterious coincidences in the lives of my friends in The Program. From time to time, I’ve experienced such “coincidences” myself: showing up at the right place at exactly the right time; phoning a friend who, unbeknownst to me, desperately needed that particular phone call at that precise moment; hearing “my story” at an unfamiliar meeting in a strange town. These days, I choose to believe that many of life’s so-called “coincidences” are actually small miracles of God, who prefers to remain anonymous.

Am I continuingly grateful for the miracle of my recovery?

Today I Pray
May my awareness of a Higher Power working in our lives grow in sensitivity as I learn, each day, of “coincidences” that defy statistics, illnesses that reverse their prognoses, hair-breadth escapes that defy death, chance meetings that change the course of a life. When the un-understandable happens, may I perceive it as just another of God’s frequent miracles. My own death-defying miracle is witness enough for me.

Today I Will Remember
My life is a miracle.

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One More Day

Believe and remember this: every saint and every sinner affects those whom he will never see, because his words and deeds stamp themselves upon the soft clay of human nature everywhere.
– Joshua Loth Liebman

In a world of billions of people, it’s easy to feel insignificant. As a result, we might excuse ourselves for not acting upon our sense of rightness. After all, we might reason, what difference does it make? At those times, we’ve forgotten about the ripple effect.

Occasionally we’ve even seen our words and actions rippling from one person to another, but more often we see nothing at all. Then we must choose — whether to bitterly reject the idea of making a difference or to trust that someone, somewhere, is being comforted by a ripple of the wave we dared to make.

My presence is felt by people I know — and by people I’ll never know.

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In God’s Care

Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeple chase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along, too.
~~Lawrence Bixby

Too often we let our fears prevent us from taking advantage of the opportunities God is sending our way. Part of our recovery is developing the trust that our experiences – both the painful and the joyful ones – are part of God’s design for our growth. The paradox is that trust can come only when we plunge headlong into the opportunity that’s beckoning, in spite of our fear and mistrust. This is the continual leap of faith we must make if we are to discover the full measure of joy that is meant for each of us.

Trusting others may seem difficult because of hurtful experiences in our past. But as we come to see the people who’ve hurt us as fallible, we can better accept our own handicaps and learn from them. Forgiving ourselves and others frees us to eventually trust God in every step we take, no matter how faltering.

Today I will use each obstacle as a reminder to trust God. My fallibility will teach me both courage and humility.

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Day By Day

Practicing

To recover, we must change; it doesn’t happen by itself. Change requires practice. If we get lazy about our recovery, if we get smug or self-satisfied, we may stop practicing. If so, we may lose what we have gained, risk a slip, or even relapse.

In recovery, practice is all-important. Staying clean and sober takes practice. For starters, we must practice carrying the message to others who still suffer.

Higher Power, help me practice the program so that I can keep growing and recovering.

Today I will work on…

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Food for Thought

Spiritual Awakening

Many of us remember back to a vague time in childhood when our world seemed right and we were full of enthusiasm. Somehow, somewhere along the way, we lost that feeling of rightness and security.

For some of us who experience a spiritual awakening through the OA program, childhood faith is rediscovered and takes on new meaning. We may have lost sight of our real selves and abandoned our original faith in a Higher Power. When we have a spiritual awakening as a result of the Twelve Steps, everything falls into place, and what was lost is recovered, plus much more.

This spiritual awakening continues as we continue to work the program. It gives new meaning to our present lives and new hope for the future. We see that spiritual growth is “where it’s at” and that nothing else will satisfy our needs and our longing.

May I continue to awaken.

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One Day At A Time

ISOLATION
”Solitude vivifies; isolation kills.”
Joseph Roux

As an introvert and an agoraphobic I relate to both sides of this quote. From an introverted point of view, I need solitude to regroup, renew, and refresh. It’s part of my process in life to have quiet time alone in order to “get it together”. When I’m alone and I read my OA literature and meditate on what I’m reading and learning, I’m able to gain new insight and a renewed sense of direction in my program.

From an agoraphobic point of view, isolation kills my ability to stick to my program. When my social anxiety cycles and it becomes difficult to get to meetings or make phone calls, I hide from the world ~ and from my friends and other OA members who can help me maintain my abstinence.

Solitude and Isolation are both active decisions. Both require some forethought. If solitude is what I need to in order to regroup, I have to make time for it. I have to take a walk, read a book, putter around my house. On the flip side, if I’m having a hard time with Program and my social anxiety is becoming unmanageable, I can either isolate and spiral down, or I can choose to take action and get to a meeting, make a phone call, or ask my sponsor to meet me for coffee. I don’t have to be alone in this program.

One day at a time…
I remember that I have control over my actions. Although I need solitude to heal, I don’t have to be alone in my disease.
~ Deb B.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Our behavior is as absurd and incomprehensible with respect to the first drink as that of an individual with a passion, say, for jay-walking. He gets a thrill out of skipping in front of fast-moving vehicles. – Pg. 37 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We merge in bonds of fellowship powerful enough to withstand the calls of our addiction. Our addiction is strong but not as strong as our new bonds of fellowship strengthened daily by the God of our understanding.

May my bonds of fellowship grow stronger with each hour of recovery by practicing these principles.

Being in the Moment

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

As you work to solve different dilemmas that arise in your life, don’t stay so focused on your troubles that you miss discovering the solutions. Give your attention to your Spiritual Source in prayer, meditation, or service to others. By taking your focus off the situation, soulutions have a way of finding you.

Through conscious contact, I allow soulutions to find me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Suicide is such a long term decision. While living has so many more variables.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote 

My quiet sitting meditation time helps me to develop new quiet times during the rest of the day. Today I can look at any problem I have and release its energy so that I can be free to allow harmony to unfold.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I don’t have a drinking problem, except when I can’t get a drink. – Tom Waits. ‘Bad Liver and a Broken Heart.’

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AA Thought for the Day

June 28

Progress
Walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress.
If you persist, remarkable things will happen. When we look back,
we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands
were better than anything we could have planned.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100

Thought to Ponder . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G O D = Good Orderly Direction.

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

Prayer
“The man said, ‘The thing I do is to say
“God here I am and here are all my troubles.
I’ve made a mess of things and can’t do anything about it.
You take me and all my troubles,
and do anything you want with me.” ‘
I return to bed. It doesn’t make sense. . .
I am in the bottom of hell.
And there a tremendous hope is born.
It might be true.
I tumble out of bed on my knees.
I know not what I say.
But slowly a great peace comes to me.
I feel lifted up. I believe in God.
I crawl back into bed and sleep like a child.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 504

Thought to Consider . . .
Faith is not belief without proof;
it’s trust without reservation.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A S A P = Always Say A Prayer

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

Foundations
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“In important matters there was still considerable disagreement between the Eastern and the Midwestern viewpoints.
Our people out there were still active Oxford Group members, while we in New York had withdrawn a year before. In
Akron and vicinity they still talked about the Oxford Groups absolutes: absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute
unselfishness, and absolute love. This dose was found to be too rich for New Yorkers, and we had abandoned the
expressions. But all of us, East and West, were placing increasing emphasis on Dr. Silkworth’s expression describing
the alcoholic’s dilemma: the obsession plus the allergy. By now we knew from experience that the new prospect had
to accept Step One or get no place.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 160-61

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

“I have no secrets, and I fear no man. I am not anxious about death. I am alive, forever, within this 24 hours.”
Brooklyn, New York, June 1974
“The Fifth Step — A Way to Stay High,”
Step By Step

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

“…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

“Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 68 (How It Works)

“Then fear, in turn, generates more character defects.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 49 (Step Four)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These ‘dry benders’ often led straight to the bottle.
Nothing pays of like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism, furious power-driven argument, sulking, and silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. We can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, remove my fear so that I may live in true faith today. I know that if I am in a true state of faith, the fear will dissipate.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 27th

Daily Reflections

CONFORMING TO THE A.A. WAY

We obey A.A.’s Steps and Traditions because we really want them for
ourselves. It is no longer a question of good or evil; we conform
because we genuinely want to conform. Such is our process of growth
in unity and function. Such is the evidence of God’s grace and love
among us.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 106

It is fun to watch myself grow in A.A. I fought conformity to A.A.
principles from the moment I entered, but I learned from the pain of
my belligerence that, in choosing to live the A.A. way of life, I opened
myself to God’s grace and love. Then I began to know the full
meaning of being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

If you can take your troubles as they come, if you can maintain your
calm and composure amid pressing duties and unending engagements,
if you can rise above the distressing and disturbing circumstances in
which you are set down, you have discovered a priceless secret of
daily living. Even if you are forced to go through life weighed down by
some unescapable misfortune or handicap and yet live each day as it
comes with poise and peace of mind, you have succeeded where most
people have failed. You have wrought a greater achievement than a
person who rules a nation. Have I achieved poise and peace of mind?

Meditation For The Day

Take a blessing with you wherever you go. You have been blessed, so
bless others. Such stores of blessings are awaiting you in the months
and years that lie ahead. Pass on your blessings. Blessing can and does
go around the world, passed on from one person to another. Shed a
little blessing in the heart of one person. That person is cheered to
pass it on, and so, God’s vitalizing, joy-giving message travels on. Be a
transmitter of God’s blessings.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may pass on my blessings. I pray that they may flow into
the lives of others.

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As Bill Sees It

Down To Earth, p. 178

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 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, p. 130

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Walk In Dry Places

Have I ever been helped?
Unselfishness.
Sometimes we hear hard luck stories by people who claim they never “had a single helping hand.”   Everybody was against them.
It’s true that certain people have had more than their share of abuse and abandonment. But it’s hard to believe that helping hands haven’t been extended… acts of kindness, often made by selfless but ordinary people.
Our problem has been in recognizing such helping hands. Lost in self-pity, we could hardly have recognized help when it was given. Nor were we capable of giving constructive assistance to others.
Furthermore, if people were against us, we may have provoked it. Our task is to change our thinking about the past and to be grateful for the people who were kind to us.
I realize that there are kind and decent people who have helped me.  There are many such people in the world, and I want to be one of them.

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Keep It Simple

Hell is not to love anymore.—Geogre Bernanos
Someone in an AA group said, “From the first day I started this program, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.” This person had walked into a room full of love. In recovery, we are spiritual people because we believe in love. We have faith in love.
Love is respect. Love is truth with kindness. Love is being willing to forgive and help others.
Love is thinking about how our Higher Power wants us to act. Love is what we do best. We have turned our will and our life over to love.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray that I may love all parts of life. Higher Power, help me seek out love, not material things.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll think about what I love about recovery. I will share this with a couple of friends and my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Often God shuts a door in our face, and then subsequently opens the door through which we need to go.  –Catherine Marshall
We try and try to control the events of our lives. And not seldom the events in others’ lives, too. The occasions are frequent when our will conflicts with God’s. Then for a time we feel at a loss. Our direction is uncertain. But always, always, another door opens. A better way beckons. How stubborn we are! And how simple life would be were we to daily, fully, turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. God’s help and direction in all things are always available. Turning a deaf ear is like trying to find a seat in a darkened movie theater unaided by the usher.
Every experience is softened when we face it accompanied by our higher power. Any past struggle, any present fear, is a testament to our attempts to do it alone. Too frequently we forge ahead, alone, only to have our way blocked. The detours need never be there. No door closes unless there is a better way. Divine order will prevail.
There is no need to struggle, today. I will breathe deeply and take my higher power with me, wherever I go. And the doors will be open for as far as I can see.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. we had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?
Well, that’s exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral. And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God. Here difficulty arises with agnostics. Many times we talk to a new man and watch his hope rise as we discuss his alcoholic problems and explain our fellowship. But his face falls when we speak of spiritual matters, especially when we mention God, for we have re-opened a subject which our man thought he had neatly evaded or entirely ignored.

p. 45

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Time went by very, very slowly on my second nut ward.  I never could quite get the knack of it and kept asking myself, “What’s a nice guy like me doing in a place like this?”  They wanted me to make leather belts, of all things!  Had I gone to school all those years just to sit and make leather belts?  Besides, I couldn’t understand instructions.  The girl had explained them to me four time, and I was too embarrassed to ask her again.  (I am pleased to state, however, that I had gone to only a few A.A. meetings before I was able to make a really beautiful pair of moccasins–and half of a wallet.  I wore those moccasins every night for the next seven years, until they wore out.  For my seventh A.A. birthday, my program-oriented, Al-Anon wife had my moccasins bronzed.  Now I own perhaps the most costly pair of moccasins anyone has ever seen, and they help me remember where I’ve been.)

p. 413

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

Then came our first few excursions into major publicity, which were breathtaking. Cleveland’s Plain Dealer articles about us ran that town’s membership from a few into hundreds overnight. The news stories of Mr. Rockefeller’s dinner for Alcoholics Anonymous helped double our total membership in a year’s time. Jack Alexander’s famous Saturday Evening Post piece made A.A. a national institution. Such tributes as these brought opportunities for still more recognition. Other newspapers and magazines wanted A.A. stories. Film companies wanted to photograph us. Radio, and finally television, besieged us with requests for appearances. What should we do?

pp. 186-187

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Set others free to achieve and experience the path that leads to their
highest good and you, too, will become free to find yours.
–Melody Beattie

Learn a lesson from the redwoods. Let them teach the power of
patience and calm. Life goes on. Things happen. People change.
Times move along. There are stories to live and stories to tell, but we
can be calm and know that, always, all is well.
–Melody Beattie

“Forgiving is not forgetting, it’s letting go of the hurt.”
–Mary McLeod Bethune

“Life holds so much–so much to be so happy about always. Most
people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can be felt only if
you don’t set conditions.”
–Artur Robinstein

Applaud others when they run. Console them when they fall. And
cheer them when they recover.
As water is to a flower so is praise to the heart of another.
–Unknown

Abundance comes from your gifts of love.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HYPOCRISY
“The devil can cite scripture for his
purpose.”
–William Shakespeare

This quotation reminds me that the disease of alcoholism is “cunning,
baffling and powerful”. I am aware of the need to walk like I talk, to
make the action fit the word, to live my program today rather than
talk about it for tomorrow. Why? Because the disease can talk
program! I have caught myself saying things that I do not practice in
my life. I catch myself saying things to others that I do not live out in
my own life. Today I am aware of my hypocrisy. Today I am aware of
the disease in my life.

I need to be aware of this aspect of the disease because I am such a
good talker, such a convincing talker, such a practiced manipulator!
Today I know that I am not perfect, but that should never be an
excuse to avoid dealing with my character defects. I must not “con”
myself into staying sick!

I pray that I may strive to live the message.

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

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:15-16

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is
not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices
with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always
perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8


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Daily Inspiration

It is normal to make mistakes, but it is the better person who is able to grow from them. Lord, I am not perfect, but may each day bring me a little closer.

Not only must we know God’s will, but we must do God’s will to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Lord, I commit myself to obeying the will of my heavenly Father.

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NA Just For Today

Change And Growth

“When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive. There will always be room for growth.”
Basic Text, p. 35

Recovery is a process that brings about change in our lives. We need that change if we are to continue our growth toward freedom. It’s important that we remain open-minded when others point out our shortcomings, for they are bringing to light opportunities for us to change and grow. Reacting defensively limits our ability to receive the help they are offering us; letting go of our defenses opens the door to change, growth, and new freedom.

Each day in the recovery process will bring an opportunity for further change and growth. The more we learn to greet change with an open mind and heart, the more we will grow and the more comfortable we will become with our recovery.

Just for today: I will greet each opportunity for growth with an open mind.
Pg. 185

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us. –Helen Keller
In the game of musical chairs, everyone walks around a circle of chairs. When the music stops, they scramble for the nearest open chair. If we were playing this game and found the nearest chairs taken, wouldn’t we quickly look around for the next open one? To remain immobilized, angry that the chair we wanted was taken, would undoubtedly lose our place in the game.
Sometimes in life, we set our sights on a particular chair. Perhaps there is an award we want to win, or we want to be the high scorer on our team. Perhaps there is a promotion or a job we would like to get. When we do not get what we want, it is easy to keep looking at what we didn’t get instead of seeing all we have.
It is important to be grateful for what we have–for the open doors and empty chairs waiting and inviting our attention. Loss and disappointment are a part of life–but the music will play again and our lives can move on.
What is available to me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The tremor of awe is the best in man. –Goethe
We have a spiritual experience in knowing and being touched by something much larger than us, something beyond what we understand, something of mysterious dimensions. It can happen as we stand on the banks of an ageless river, listen to beautiful music, read scripture, or say a prayer with a friend. When we set aside defiance, willfulness, and our demands to subdue whatever we meet, we become receptive to a larger reality. The experience of awe brings out the best in a man because it instills a spirit of respect and gratitude. It inspires humility and expands our minds into realms we can’t express in words.
The sense of awe is a kind of reverence. After we learn where our personal awe is inspired, we can return to it again and again. As we feel it more, we become more open to it in the mundane parts of our daily lives. Today we might feel the spirit in the visit of a wild bird on a branch, the spontaneous “Hi” from a small child, or the stillness before prayer at the dinner table.
Today, I will look for moments of awe in my life.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Often God shuts a door in our face, and then subsequently opens the door through which we need to go. –Catherine Marshall
We try and try to control the events of our lives. And not seldom the events in others’ lives, too. The occasions are frequent when our will conflicts with God’s. Then for a time we feel at a loss. Our direction is uncertain. But always, always, another door opens. A better way beckons. How stubborn we are! And how simple life would be were we to daily, fully, turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. God’s help and direction in all things are always available. Turning a deaf ear is like trying to find a seat in a darkened movie theater unaided by the usher.
Every experience is softened when we face it accompanied by our higher power. Any past struggle, any present fear, is a testament to our attempts to do it alone. Too frequently we forge ahead, alone, only to have our way blocked. The detours need never be there. No door closes unless there is a better way. Divine order will prevail.
There is no need to struggle, today. I will breathe deeply and take my higher power with me, wherever I go. And the doors will be open for as far as I can see.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Achieving Harmony
When a pianist learns a new piece of music, he or she does not sit down and instantly play it perfectly. A pianist often needs to practice each hand’s work separately to learn the feel, to learn the sound. One hand picks out a part until there is a rhythm and ease in playing what is difficult. Then, the musician practices with the other hand, picking through the notes, one by one, until that hand learns its tasks. When each hand has learned its part – the sound, the feel, the rhythm, and the tones – then both hands can play together.
During the time of practice, the music may not sound like much. It may sound disconnected, not particularly beautiful. But when both hands are ready to play together, music is created – a whole piece comes together in harmony and beauty.
When we begin recovery, it may feel like we spend months, even years, practicing individual, seemingly disconnected behaviors in the separate parts of our life.
We take our new skills into our work, our career, and begin to apply them slowly, making our work relationships healthier for us. We take our skills into our relationships, sometimes one relationship at a time. We struggle through our new behaviors in our love relationships.
One part at a time, we practice our new music note by note.
We work on our relationship with our Higher Power – our spirituality. We work at loving ourselves. We work at believing we deserve the best. We work on our finances. On our recreation. Sometimes on our appearance. Sometimes on our home.
We work on feelings. On beliefs. On behaviors. Letting go of the old, acquiring the new. We work and work and work. We practice. We struggle through. We go from one extreme to the other, and sometimes back through the course again. We make a little progress, go backward, and then go forward again.
It may all seem disconnected. It may not sound like a harmonious, beautiful piece of music – just isolated notes. Then one day, something happens. We become ready to play with both hands, to put the music together.
What we have been working toward, note by note, becomes a song. That song is a whole life, a complete life, and a life in harmony.
The music will come together in our life if we keep practicing the parts.
Today, I will practice my recovery behaviors through the individual parts of my life. I trust that, one day, things will come together in a full, complete song.

I have all the power I need today to say no to negative choices. The personal choices I make today are positive and healthy. I take responsibility for my life today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart
Learn to Be Calm

I felt strained and tense when I began the drive along the Redwood Highway in northern California.. I had wanted to take another road, one quicker but less scenic, to get to my destination. At the last moment, I decided to drive through the trees.

Thousands of redwoods grew hundreds of feet into the air. Some stood tall and proud. Some seemed to have their necks craned, so they could peer down onto the highway. Some grew with roots connected, like families. Some stood alone. Mile after mile after mile, for as far as I could see in any direction, thousands of trees surrounded me. Their power and message became inescapable. It was one of calmness, patience, and growth.

For hundreds of years they have been here, patiently seeing things through. Little ruffled them. They just kept on growing for all those years– steadily, patiently, peacefully, calmly. They have been through enough, seen enough, to know not to worry. Things work out. Change happens. Life continues to evolve.

I didn’t see one tree hurrying or worrying. They have been here long enough to learn life’s lessons well.

Learn a lesson from the redwoods. Let them teach the power of patience and calm. Life goes on. Things happen. People change. Times move along. There are stories to live and stories to tell, but we can be calm and know that, always, all is well.

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

The Language of Letting Go

Achieving Harmony

When a pianist learns a new piece of music, he or she does not sit down and instantly play it perfectly. A pianist often needs to practice each hand’s work separately to learn the feel, to learn the sound. One hand picks out a part until there is a rhythm and ease in playing what is difficult. Then, the musician practices with the other hand, picking through the notes, one by one, until that hand learns its tasks. When each hand has learned its part – the sound, the feel, the rhythm, and the tones – then both hands can play together.

During the time of practice, the music may not sound like much. It may sound disconnected, not particularly beautiful. But when both hands are ready to play together, music is created – a whole piece comes together in harmony and beauty.

When we begin recovery, it may feel like we spend months, even years, practicing individual, seemingly disconnected behaviors in the separate parts of our life.

We take our new skills into our work, our career, and begin to apply them slowly, making our work relationships healthier for us. We take our skills into our relationships, sometimes one relationship at a time. We struggle through our new behaviors in our love relationships.

One part at a time, we practice our new music note by note.

We work on our relationship with our Higher Power – our spirituality. We work at loving ourselves. We work at believing we deserve the best. We work on our finances. On our recreation. Sometimes on our appearance. Sometimes on our home.

We work on feelings. On beliefs. On behaviors. Letting go of the old, acquiring the new. We work and work and work. We practice. We struggle through. We go from one extreme to the other, and sometimes back through the course again. We make a little progress, go backward, and then go forward again.

It may all seem disconnected. It may not sound like a harmonious, beautiful piece of music – just isolated notes. Then one day, something happens. We become ready to play with both hands, to put the music together.

What we have been working toward, note by note, becomes a song. That song is a whole life, a complete life, and a life in harmony.

The music will come together in our life if we keep practicing the parts.

Today, I will practice my recovery behaviors through the individual parts of my life. I trust that, one day, things will come together in a full, complete song.

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

People Who Don’t Get It
Living with It by Madisyn Taylor

When dealing with people who seem very unaware, remember that everyone must find their own way to awakening.

You may be someone who understands the true nature of reality, perceiving deeply that we all emanate from the same source, that we are all essentially one, and that we are here on earth to love one another. To understand this is to be awakened to the true nature of the self, and it is a blessing. Nevertheless, people who just don’t get it are seemingly everywhere and, often, in positions of power. It can be frustrating and painful to watch them behave unconsciously. We all encounter individuals of this bent in our families, at work, and in all areas of public life. It is easy to find ourselves feeling intolerant of these people, wishing we could be free of them even though we know that separation from them is an illusion.

It helps sometimes to think of us all as different parts of one psyche. Just as within our own hearts and minds we have dark places that need healing, the heart and mind of the world has its dark places. The health of the whole organism depends upon the relative health of the individuals within it. We increase harmony when we hold onto the light, not allowing it to be darkened by judgment, anger, and fear about those who behave unconsciously. It’s easier to accomplish this if we don’t focus on the negative qualities of individuals and instead focus on how increasing our own light will increase the light of the overall picture.

When dealing with people who seem very unconscious, it helps to remember that every one must find their own way to awakening and that the experiences they are having are an essential part of their process. Holding them in the light of our own energy may be the best way to awaken theirs. At the same time, we are inspired by their example to look within and shed light on our own unconscious places, sacrificing the urge to judge and surrendering instead to humble self-inquiry. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
Little by little, I’m getting over my tendency to procrastinate. I always used to put things off till tomorrow and, of course, they never got done. Instead of, “Do it now,” my motto was, “Tomorrow’s another day.” When I was loaded, I had grandiose plans; when I came down, I was too busy getting “well” to start anything. I’ve learned in The Program that it’s far better to make a mistake once in a while than to never do anything at all.

Am I learning to do it now?

Today I Pray
May God help me cure my habitual tardiness and “get me to the church on time.” May I free myself of the self-imposed chaos of life-long procrastination; library books overdue, appointments half-missed, assignments turned in late, schedules unmet, meals half-cooked. May I be sure if I, as an addict, led a disordered life, I, as a recovering addict, need order. May God give me the serenity to restore order and organization to my daily living.

Today I Will Remember
I will not be put off by my tendency to put off.

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One More Day

Quote: The sky is not less blue because the blind man does not see it.
– Danish Proverb

Each day we make our choices anew. We can choose to believe that pain and disappointment are the bitter fruits of living, or we can trust in our ability to build harmony, enthusiasm, and gratefulness from our day’s experiences. We can hear the music of children’s voices at play or be irritated at the disruption. We can pray, or we can chew on our anger.

We choose how we will see the world. If we feel anger or despair, if we hear only noise, if we see only dark, threatening clouds — that is our reality. But our negative choices don’t change the world. Birds’ songs and childrens’s voices still fill the air. People still reach out to each other through love and caring. And the bright splash of sky is as blue as ever.

Today, my reality will be based on the positive things around me.

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In God’s Care

Our contempt says we matter if we can look down on another person or life itself.
~~Ellen Reiss

Putting someone down might have been the only way many of us could feel important. We went along telling ourselves how bad things were and how superior we were to everyone else – our family, teachers, friends, or people of different color or culture. We had a crick in our neck from looking down on others.

But our spiritual self knows that contempt is wrong and can see what a destructive attitude it is. We are all the same in the eyes of God, all loved equally. When we put others down, we bring ourselves down too. At the same time, we are short-circuiting the connection with our Higher Power.

Today I will try to raise, rather than lower, someone’s self-esteem.

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Day By Day

Dropping biases

Addiction is not biased, nor should we be biased in the program. Whatever our beliefs before we found this solution, it helps if we avoid letting them interfere with our Step Twelve work. There are few enough places where people are accepted regardless of status, religion, nationality, or appearance.

Each of us needs everyone else in the fellowship. Whether laborer or judge, white or black, addict or alcoholic, if she or he can carry the message of recovery, he or she can save your life. Am I letting go of all bias?

Higher Power, help me let go of my biases so that I can better help save lives.

Today I will take an inventory of my biases and practice letting them go by…

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Food for Thought

You Can Do It

If you really want what OA has to offer; there is nothing that can stop you from succeeding with the program. The program works if we work it. OA does not pass out recovery on a platter, but the tools for recovery are available and proven effective if we are willing to use them.

Go to a meeting today. Re-read your literature. Call another member. Call several members. Get a sponsor, if you do not already have one. Write out what is troubling you. Find a way to be of service to someone else. Abstain now.

Most important, take time to listen to your Higher Power. Ask for the spiritual insight, which you need. Remember that you are now committed to following God’s will for your life, not your own way. Seek the inspiration that comes from the people and the books, which lift up your spirit and show you the way. Then follow.

Lead me, Lord.

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One Day At A Time

EFFICIENCY AND FUNCTION
“In God’s economy, nothing is wasted.
Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility
which is probably needed, painful though it is.”
Bill W., Letter of 1942

I have spent a lot of time cultivating perfectionism in the vain attempt to make up for being a “failure” — or what I have now come to understand is compulsive eating and an illness. I was trying to make up with efficiency for that feeling of not being good enough ~ and that feeling seems to be a hallmark of our illness.

By my past behaviors, I wanted you to notice how efficient and functional I was despite my obese body that belied I had a problem. If I could somehow convince you that I was “normal” and “ok,” I would not have to admit my powerlessness. This is the single greatest obsession of every compulsive eater: that we are “normal” eaters. But we are not!

I built a lifetime around efficiency and function trying to show you how normal I was. Thank God I was brought to my compulsive eating knees time and time again until I could finally make that admission of failure as a normal eater and admit that I was powerless. The humility brought about by that admission afforded me an open-mindedness and willingness I had hitherto not known. I became teachable.

One day at a time…
I pray to remain teachable.
~ Lanaya

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. – Pg. 48 – We Agnostics

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

If you have one hand in the program and one hand in your Higher Power’s, you won’t have a hand to pick up with.

Take my hand God, as I understand You, and never let me let go.

Leaving Abuse Behind

Today, I see my life as my life. If I do not take care of it, make plans and dream dreams, who will? I am not second in my own heart – there has to be a place on this Earth where I come first, so that the little child inside me feels loved and held. I will come first with me. In the same way that I will protect my children from harm, I will protect myself. Chaos is a part of a dysfunctional family system. I hardly saw it as unusual – it was just what was, a painful way of life – the only one I knew. I do not need to recreate problem situations in my life today in order to feel stable or as if I have a home. I can live a calm and pleasant life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

I People often protest when they don’t get their prayers answered as if the Divine Source is not listening. What they fail to understand is that prayer is not intended to change the situation you are praying about; it is intended to change you.

Life is fragile; I ‘Handle with Prayer.’

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

An old-timer makes his time count; he doesn’t count his time.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am learning to be gentle with myself. Today I can look in the mirror and smile and know that I am okay just as I am. I am treating myself softly today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Drinking ‘Near Beer’ is like going to a house of prostitution to listen to the piano player. – Steve B.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 27

New Friends
I had found friends — understanding friends
who often knew what I was thinking and feeling better than I knew myself —
and who didn’t allow me to retreat into my prison of loneliness and fear over a fancied slight or hurt.
Talking things over with them, great floods of enlightenment showed me myself as I really was
— and I was like them.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 206-207

Thought to Ponder . . .
A friend is one who sees through you and still enjoys the view.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
T L C = Tears, Laughter, Caring.

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

Powerless
“Most certainly I was powerless over alcohol,
and for me, my life had become unmanageable.
It wasn’t how far I had gone, but where I was headed.
It was important to me to see what alcohol had done to me
and would continue to do if I didn’t have help.
At first it was a shock to realize I was an alcoholic,
but the realization that there was hope made it easier.
The baffling problem of getting drunk
when I had every intention of staying sober was simplified.
It was a great relief to know I didn’t have to drink any more.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 379

Thought to Consider . . .
Just because I’m powerless
does not mean that I am helpless.

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

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

Faith
>From “God is Good”:
“To go along with this deep-seated belief in God, I have developed an enormous faith in God. He is good. My
understanding is that everything He sends my way is for my benefit. But the growth of this understanding has taken
time, as well as a relinquishing of my resistance to change. I needed the trials and tribulations I have had, so that I
could surrender and give up self. Only in complete acceptance of the utter defeat of my pride and ego could I begin to win.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pgs. 86-87

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

“Tolerance is the art of seeing yourself as others see you — and not getting mad about it.”
June 1964
“Short Takes,”
AA Grapevine

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

“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

“In spite of the great increase in the size and the span of this
Fellowship, at its core it remains simple and personal. Each day,
somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with
another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Foreword To Third Edition, pg. xxii~

“We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek.”
– Alcoholics Anonymous p. 16 (Bill’s Story)

“In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 183 (Tradition Eleven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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 planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. There are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it. Help me this day to understand The true meaning of powerlessness. Remove from me all denial of my addiction.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 26th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 26th

Daily Reflections

A GIFT THAT GROWS WITH TIME

For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and
colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry.
It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 151

The longer I chased these elusive feelings with alcohol, the more out
of reach they were. However, by applying this passage to my sobriety,
I found that it described the magnificent new life made available to me
by the A.A. program. It “truly does get better” one day at a time.
The warmth, the love and the joy so simply expressed in these words
grow in breadth and depth each time I read it. Sobriety is a gift that
grows with time.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We must know the nature of our weakness before we can determine
how to deal with it. When we are honest about its presence, we may
discover that it is imaginary and can be overcome by a change of
thinking. We admit that we are alcoholics and we would be foolish if
we refused to accept our handicap and do something about it. So by
honestly facing our weakness and keeping ever present the knowledge
that for us alcoholism is a disease with which we are afflicted, we can
take the necessary steps to arrest it. Have I fully accepted my
handicap?

Meditation For The Day

There is a proper time for everything. I must learn not to do things at
the wrong time, that is, before I am ready or before conditions are
right. It is always a temptation to do something at once, instead of
waiting until the proper time. Timing is important. I must learn, in the
little daily situations of life, to delay action until I am sure that I am
doing the right thing at the right time. So many lives lack balance and
timing. In the momentous decisions and crises of life, they may ask God’s
guidance, but into the small situations of life, they rush alone.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may delay action until I feel that I am doing the right
thing. I pray that I may not rush in alone.

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As Bill Sees It

Money–Before and After, p. 177

In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply were inexhaustible, though between
binges we’d sometimes go to the other extreme and become miserly. Without realizing it,
we were just accumulating funds for the next spree. Money was the symbol of pleasure
and self-importance. As our drinking became worse, money was only an urgent
requirement which could supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of
oblivion it brought.

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

Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we find we cannot place
money first. For us, material well-being always follows spiritual progress; it never
precedes.

1. 12 & 12, p. 120
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 127

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Walk In Dry Places

Let it Happen
Easy Does it.
Student pilots learn a simple method for getting an airplane out of a stall; Release the stick forward, and the airplane rights itself. Continue to hold the stick back, and you cause a fatal spin.
Many times, we cling too tightly to conditions that could simply right themselves if we would only let go.  Situations often work themselves out when we stop pushing and pulling too hard.
If we’re living on a spiritual basis and following our 12 Step program, lots of unpleasant conditions will clear up without any strain or struggle on our part.  The secret, then, is to do our part and act prudently, but also to be willing to let things happen.
I’ll remember today not to push or pull too hard to get my way. Things might work themselves out if I simply let natural forces work properly in every situation. 


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Keep It Simple

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads.—Albert Camus
Sometimes we sat we’re getting out lives together. Together with what? With our selves. The Twelve Steps help us clean up the mess we’ve made. We’re fixing our mistakes. We’re looking at ourselves closely—at what we believe, what we feel, what we like to do, who we are. We’re asking our High Power to help us to be our best.
No wonder over lives are coming together! No wonder we feel more peace, harmony, and happiness!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me remember the best harmony comes when I sing from Your songbook.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll make choices that are in line with who I am.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Mental health, like dandruff, crops up when you least expect it.  –Robin Worthington
We’re responsible for the effort but not the outcome. Frequently, a single problem or many problems overwhelm us. We may feel crazy, unable to cope and certain that we have made no progress throughout this period of recovery. But we have. Each day that we choose sobriety, that we choose abstinence from pills or food, we are moving more securely toward mental health as a stable condition.
We perhaps felt strong, secure, on top of things last week, or yesterday.
We will again tomorrow, or maybe today. When we least expect it, our efforts pay off–quietly, perhaps subtly, sometimes loudly–a good belly laugh may signal a glimmer of our mental health.
No one achieves an absolute state of total mental health. To be human is to have doubts and fears. But as faith grows, as it will when we live the Twelve Steps, doubts and fears lessen. The good days will increase in number.
Meeting a friend, asking for a raise, resolving a conflict with my spouse, or friend, will be handled more easily, when I least expect it.
Looking forward with hope, not backward, is my best effort–today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.

pp. 44-45 

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
When we got home, I got a bottle of Scotch and went to bed.  The next day, Max called the neurologist and told him about the Mayo psychiatrist’s opinion.  He arranged for me to see a local psychiatrist, who quickly decided I should be in the mental-health unit of our local hospital.  The people there insisted on putting me in a ward, when Max and I both knew I ought to have a private room. Finally, she asked, “Do you realize he’s on the staff of this hospital?”  And I got my private room.

p. 413

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

But it became apparent that the word-of-mouth method was too limited. Our work, as such, needed to be publicized. The A.A. groups would have to reach quickly as many despairing alcoholics as they could. Consequently, many groups began to hold meetings which were open to interested friends and the public, so that the average citizen could see for himself just what A.A. was all about. The response to these meetings was warmly sympathetic. Soon, groups began to receive requests for A.A. speakers to appear before civic organizations, church groups, and medical societies. Provided anonymity was maintained on these platforms, and reporters present were cautioned against the use of names or pictures, the result was fine.

p. 186

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However many holy words you read, However many you speak,
What good will they do you, If you do not act upon them?
–Buddha

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always
yours. And if they don’t, they never were.
–Kahlil Gibran

The true test of character is not how much we know how to do,
but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.
–John Holt

Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for
only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the
right attitude toward others.
–Wilfred Peterson

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn,
whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
–Helen Keller

“Seven days without a meeting makes one weak.”
–unknown

“There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.”
–Peter A. Cohen

Words are powerful tools. Use them to help and not hurt.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GENIUS

“In the republic of mediocrity,
genius is dangerous.”
–Robert G. Ingersoll

Spirituality is a creative and positive energy that forever seeks new
ways to improve and heal itself. Spirituality is never satisfied with
mediocrity. God is alive in musicians, writers, singers and prophets —
and always the standard of “excellence” is searched for; best can be
made better!

As a drunk I often settled for convenience, “no sweat”, mediocrity.
My motto was “Why bother? It can be done tomorrow.” I had low
energy. Addiction robs the human being of God’s productive energy.

In recovery I seek the best because I believe I am the best; God made
me — and I respect His choice!

Lord, save me from the “comfortable way” that makes no demands on
my genius.

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As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor — this is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 5:19

“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with
Him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return home and tell how much
God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town
how much Jesus had done for him.”
Luke 8:38-39

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship
with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all
sin.”
1 John 1:7


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Daily Inspiration

Enjoy life while you’ve got the chance. Lord, may I view each day as a gift and a privilege.

Knowing about God and knowing God are very different things. Lord, may I recognize Your workings in my life so that I may really know You.

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NA Just For Today

Surrendering Self-Will

“Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender. We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression.”
Basic Text p. 26

Surrender is the beginning of a new way of life. When driven primarily by self-will, we constantly wondered whether we’d covered all the bases, whether we’d manipulated that person in just the right way to achieve our ends, whether we’d missed a critical detail in our efforts to control and manage the world.

We either felt afraid, fearing our schemes would fail; angry or self-pitying when they fell through; or guilty when we pulled them off. It was hard, living on self-will, but we didn’t know any other way.

Not that surrender is always easy. On the contrary, surrender can be difficult, especially in the beginning. Still, it’s easier to trust God, a Power capable of managing our lives, than to trust only ourselves, whose lives are unmanageable. And the more we surrender, the easier it gets.

When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power, all we have to do is our part, as responsibly and conscientiously as we can. Then we can leave the results up to our Higher Power. By surrendering, acting on faith, and living our lives according to the simple spiritual principles of this program, we can stop worrying and start living.

Just for today: I will surrender self-will. I will seek knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out. I will leave the results in my Higher Power’s hands.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
One cricket said to another, — come, let us be ridiculous, and say love! –Conrad Aiken
Let’s all sit in a circle and take turns being ridiculous about what our love is like. Let’s play tag with it, and pass it on. Let’s say that our love is like diamonds sprinkled on a clear moonless sky, and let’s pass it on. Let’s say it’s like one rose petal too tender to touch, and let’s pass it on. Let’s say it’s like rainbows filling a city sky, and pass it on. Let’s say it’s small and hard, like an agate or shell, and let’s keep passing it on.
We can find images for love all around us, and when we express it to others this way, it grows.
What is my love like today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
God is near me (or rather in me), and yet I may be far from God because I may be far from my own true self. –C. E. Roll
Our relationship with God and our relationship with ourselves are always interwoven. Sometimes we feel disconnected from ourselves or emotionally flat. We may block the flow of communication with our deeper selves by trying to evade a difficult or painful truth. At those times we grope for some kind of contact and may even ask, “Where is God?”
God is always with us, but sometimes we are the missing party. In the past, most of us were deeply alienated from ourselves and from our Higher Power. Our first moments of spiritual awakening may have been when we saw how far we were from our true selves. This honest message from ourselves to ourselves was painful but was also a re-contact with the truth that made it possible to find God.
I need not ask where God is because God is loving and always near. I only need to ask, “Where am I?”

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Mental health, like dandruff, crops up when you least expect it. –Robin Worthington
We’re responsible for the effort but not the outcome. Frequently, a single problem or many problems overwhelm us. We may feel crazy, unable to cope and certain that we have made no progress throughout this period of recovery. But we have. Each day that we choose sobriety, that we choose abstinence from pills or food, we are moving more securely toward mental health as a stable condition.
We perhaps felt strong, secure, on top of things last week, or yesterday.
We will again tomorrow, or maybe today. When we least expect it, our efforts pay off–quietly, perhaps subtly, sometimes loudly–a good belly laugh may signal a glimmer of our mental health.
No one achieves an absolute state of total mental health. To be human is to have doubts and fears. But as faith grows, as it will when we live the Twelve Steps, doubts and fears lessen. The good days will increase in number.
Meeting a friend, asking for a raise, resolving a conflict with my spouse, or friend, will be handled more easily, when I least expect it.
Looking forward with hope, not backward, is my best effort–today.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Surviving Slumps
A slump can go on for days. We feel sluggish, unfocused, and sometimes overwhelmed with feelings we can’t sort out. We may not understand what is going on with us. Even our attempts to practice recovery behaviors may not appear to work. We still don’t feel emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as good as we would like.
In a slump, we may find ourselves reverting instinctively to old patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, even when we know better. We may find ourselves obsessing, even when we know that what we’re doing is obsessing and that it doesn’t work.
We may find ourselves looking frantically for other people to make us feel better, the whole time knowing our happiness and well being does not lay with others.
We may begin taking things personally that are not our issues, and reacting in ways we’ve learned all to well do not work.
We’re in a slump. It won’t last forever. These periods are normal, even necessary. These are the days to get through. These are the days to focus on recovery behaviors, whether or not the rewards occur immediately. These are sometimes the days to let ourselves be and love ourselves as much as we can.
We don’t have to be ashamed, no matter how long we’ve been recovering. We don’t have to unreasonably expect “more” from ourselves. We don’t ever have to expect ourselves to live life perfectly.
Get through the slump. It will end. Sometimes, a slump can go on for days and then, in the course of an hour, we see ourselves pull out of it and feel better. Sometimes it can last a little longer.
Practice one recovery behavior in one small area, and begin to climb uphill. Soon, the slump will disappear. We can never judge where we will be tomorrow by where we are today.
Today, I will focus on practicing one recovery behavior on one of my issues, trusting that this practice will move me forward. I will remember that acceptance, gratitude, and detachment are a good place to begin.

Today I know that I am being guided and protected by a power greater than myself. I look forward to the unknown around the next bend in the road, the adventure over the next hill. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Say Good-Bye with Love

When traveling with another person, we sometimes come to a junction. It may be in the best interests of one person to go one way to see certain sights, gain certain experiences, learn particular lessons, and for the other to go in another direction. This is a difficult time of challenges, maybe hard choices.

Blending journeys sometimes is not always best, or even possible. We can accompany another on his or her journey, but there may be a price to pay for that. We may forgo our own journey and become passive observers. We can ask or insist that the other go along with us on our journey. But for the most part, he or she may be as bored and restless as we would be if the situation were reversed. Sometimes we need to let go. Sometimes we need to say good-bye.

These junctions can surprise us. They can appear early on or after years and years. They can occur in friendships, professional relationships, love relationships, or with family members. Although arriving at these junctions may be a surprise, it’s usually not an accident. often it’s an important part of the journey.

Feel all your feelings. Although you may need to feel angry for a while, clear all resentments from your heart as soon as possible. Say good-bye with blessings and love toward the other, thanking that person for all he or she has helped you learn. Remember that any curses you place on another will ultimately come back to harm you,too.

Grieve your losses. Say your good-byes. then let each travel down the road that he or she needs to go. Holding on won’t help. Let both be free to plan their own journeys, map their own trips, and embrace and enjoy their own destinies.

Set others free to achieve and experience the path that leads to their highest good and you, too, will become free to find yours.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Take a time-out

“Tickets! Tickets!” And you give yours to the big man in the beard and the T-shirt at the gate and step onto the carousel. So many choices! Horses and carriages of every color. The white one with the golden tail? The green one with fire in his eyes? Yes, he looks fast– but no, someone else got there first. You settle for the black-and-red horse with the sparkling silver saddle. Someone bumps past, leaving sticky cotton candy on your arm. And then the music starts– loud, creaky organ music, blaring through old blown-out speakers. The lights flash on and off, and the world spins around you. Children shriek in delight while you tug on the reins, guide your mount around the course, and try to let go of the nagging suspicion that the green horse would have been more fun. You vow to get back in line and get that one next time.

Step off of the carousel.

Take a break for a moment and watch all the horses go hurrying past. The green one is no better than the red one, just different, and certainly not any faster. All your frantic pulling on the reins is wasted effort,too. See, they come right back again. They keep right on going around whether you are there or not. Let them.

Sure, it’s fun to be on the ride, to be right in the middle of all the action, up and down,’ round and ’round, lights flashing, music blaring. Just remember that you have a choice. You can be on the ride, or you can get off. Be where you want to be, and occasionally, relax.

God, help me remember that I have choices, and relaxing and letting go are two of them.

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In God’s Care

Prayer for many is like a foreign land, when we go there, we go as tourists.
~~Robert McAfee Brown

One of the many benefits of our Twelve Step program is to make prayer a familiar experience in our life. If prayer has been difficult for us, we are encouraged when we hear other people talk about what prayer has meant in their lives.

Matthew Fox says prayer is nothing more than being joyfully attentive to life, moment by moment. We don’t have to speak certain words or assume a particular posture or demeanor. We simply must be awake to the currents in our life and be grateful.

The most wonderful gift of prayer is the friendship we discover with God. This friendship promises security in the midst of any turmoil. We can know this security at any time. It is available in the quiet of our mind when we recall God’s presence and hear, ever so softly, all is well. Making the choice to pray, to let God offer comfort will become easier with each surrender.

Today, I will seek God’s comforting presence through prayer, even if my words fail me.

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Day By Day

Listening by reading

We need to listen to drug-free members of the program to hear what it takes to stay clean and sober. But “listening” is not limited to meetings: There is a lot of literature that discusses the program and how to work it more effectively.

When we first come into the program, it is wise to keep our mouths shut and our eyes and ears open. Reading books, magazines, and pamphlets is an important way of listening. It is a gift from our fellow addicts that so much listening is available to us.

Am I well read on the program?

Higher Power, help me to “listen” in all the ways available to me

Today I will read…

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Food for Thought

Abstaining Is Not Easy

Abstaining is not easy, but it is much easier than overeating! The reason that we think it easy to overeat is because overeating was a habit. In actuality, processing the extra food was hard on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When we abstain, we break an old habit and learn a new one. The transition requires concentration and dedication. We abstain every minute of the day and night. Even when we are eating, we are abstaining, because we are eating only planned, moderate meals. We are not overeating compulsively, according to whim and irrational pressure.

Some of us apparently have to go through a certain amount of “white knuckled abstinence” before we arrive at the point where abstaining is easier than not abstaining. Others of us are able from the beginning to relax and abstain comfortably. Whatever our individual experience, we each have available to us the Higher Power that sees us through.

May I stay with You when the way is hard.

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Unhindered Movement
Get Out of Your Own Way by Madisyn Taylor

So often we are sabotaging ourselves by being in our own way without even know we are doing so.

When you find yourself facing obstacles that appear to be blocking you from your goals, it is important to try not to get discouraged. It can be easy to feel “stuck” or that “life” is creating circumstances preventing you from getting what you want. And while it is easy to look at everyone and everything outside of ourselves for the problem, perhaps even wanting to “get rid” of the person, object, or circumstance we may feel is blocking us, sometimes the best course of action to take may be to look inside ourselves first.

It is amazing how often we can get in our own way without even being aware that we are doing so. Even though we truly want to succeed, there are many reasons why we may sometimes block our own efforts. It may be that we are afraid to succeed, so we subconsciously create circumstances to keep ourselves stuck. Or it may even be that we are afraid that we will succeed, so we block ourselves by making the achievement of our goals more difficult than they really are. We may even approach our goals in a way that keeps creating the same unsuccessful results.

If you believe that you’ve been standing in your own way, you may want to take a piece of paper and record how you’ve done so. Write down the choices you’ve made that have hindered your efforts and the fears that may have prompted you to make these decisions. Take note of any thoughts and feelings that arise. It is important to be gentle and compassionate during this process. Try not to blame yourself for getting in your own way. Remember the choices we make always are there to serve us, until it is time to let them go. When you are finished, throw the paper away while setting an intention that you are getting rid of any obstacles you’ve created to block yourself. You can then let yourself start again with a clean slate. Doubts and fears are going to be natural, but with this new awareness, you should be able to prevent yourself from subconsciously thwarting yourself. Besides, now that you’ve decided to get out of your own way, the part of you that has always wanted to succ! eed can now do so. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

How many of us would presume to announce, “Well, I’m sober and I’m happy. What more can I want, or do? I’m fine just the way I am.” Experience has taught us that the price of such smug complacency — or, more politely, self-satisfaction — is an inevitable backslide, punctuated sooner or later by a very rude awakening. We have to grow, or else we deteriorate. For us, the status quo can only be for today, never for tomorrow. Change we must; we can’t stand still. Am I sometimes tempted to rest on my laurels?”

Today I Pray

May I look around me and see that all living things are either growing or deteriorating; nothing that is alive is static, life flows on. May I be carried along on that life-flow, unafraid of change, disengaging myself from the snags along the way which hold me back and interrupt my progress.

Today I Will Remember

Living is changing.

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One More Day

A man can’t retire his experience. He must use it.
– Bernard Baruch

We may want to pretend that some of our life experiences didn’t happen to us, but they did happen. We even helped create some of our bad experiences.

We can own our behaviors and attitudes and even admit to the ones we are not comfortable with. By doing so, we are not permanently passing judgment on ourselves. We can use our negative experiences as a basis for the changes we need to make. Our weaknesses can be useful to us when we let them teach us where we need to begin our change. They will lead us to new attitudes and strengths we will be proud to claim as our own. When we are ready, we can create and accept improvements in ourselves.

I am the sum total of my experiences. I can use my past experiences to guide me into positive change.

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One Day At A Time

TOOLS
”We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or tire…
give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
Winston Churchill

We use tools everyday to complete a task at hand. To cook, we need tools such as pots, pans, knives, and silverware; to tend to our laundry, we need soap and water; to clean our home, we use a vacuum, dust rags, and cleaners.

Our journey of recovery is handled in the same way. The tools we use to help us throughout each day include: Step Work, Sponsorship, Meetings, Prayer, Meditation, Writing, Literature, Meal Plan, Service and Abstinence. These tools assist us in keeping our days balanced and they allow for a meaningful, productive day, each day of our recovery.

We hold strong to our recovery with the assistance of these tools, building our endurance each day. Like soldiers marching across the field, we are on the frontline day-to-day. By using these tools and keeping them close to us, we are ready to take on anything that might come our way.

One day at a time…
Give us the tools, and I will keep them close to me.
~ Kimber

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Psychologists are inclined to agree with us. We have spent thousands of dollars for examinations. We know but few instances where we have given these doctors a fair break. We have seldom told them the whole truth nor have we followed their advice. Unwilling to be honest with these sympathetic men, we were honest with no one else. Small wonder many in the medical profession have a low opinion of alcoholics and their chance for recovery! – Pg. 73 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Some addicts have returned to using mind-affecting chemicals because they tried to ‘cope forever’ and couldn’t face never, ever using anything again. But you can maintain abstinence by just not picking up that first dose of anything NOW. Forget forever.

Give me the understanding that what I cannot do for a lifetime, I may easily do right now.

Healing Society

Today, I will light one candle and that candle is myself. I will keep my own flame burning. I turn my sight to light and love and goodness. For today, there is no need to be discouraged. So what if I see and identify all the ills of society and diagnose it as sick – what good will that do me or anyone else? I heal society by healing myself. Just as life is lived one day at a time, the world will heal one person at a time. Each time I think a positive, loving thought, it goes into the ether and vibrates. This is nothing particularly mystical; I have but to sit near someone and look at thier face to feel how their thoughts affect me. I take ownership of my owner inner workings and their effect on myself and others. I do my part to heal the world.
– Tian Dayton PhD

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Love is less a feeling than a thousand tiny acts of kindness.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am willing to let go of all the resentments that I am holding. My now is so much more important than the burden that I have been carrying from the past.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If you’re new, take off your pack and stay with us for a while. Because you are going to have a life that’s beyond your wildest dreams. You will get closer to knowing yourself, you will be introduced to yourself in this programme. – Sharon B.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 26

Now
Now is the time, the only time there is.
And if we are not kind to ourselves right now, we certainly cannot rightfully expect respect
or consideration from others.
We have found we can enjoy, sober, every good thing we enjoyed while drinking — and many, many more.
It takes a little practice, but the rewards more than make up for the effort. . .
Unless we cherish our own recovery, we cannot survive to become unselfish, ethical,
and socially responsible people.
– Living Sober, p. 42

Thought to Ponder . . .
Self-esteem doesn’t need an audience.

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

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

Surrender
“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.”
1955AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, 2nd Edition, p. 341

Thought to Consider . . .
Acceptance is not submission;
it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation,
then deciding what you’re going to do about it.

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

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

Bottom
>From Medicine Looks at Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“I heard of the need to hit bottom, of the necessity for accepting a higher Power, of the indispensability of humility.
These were ideas which had never crossed my professional horizon and certainly had never influenced my
nonprofessional thinking or attitudes. Revolutionary as they were, they nevertheless made sense, and I found myself
embarked on a tour of discovery.
“The individual alcoholic was always fighting an admission of being licked, of admitting that he was powerless. If and
when he surrendered, he quit fighting, admitted he was licked, and accepted the fact that he was powerless and
needed help. If he did not surrender, a thousand crises could hit him and nothing constructive would happen. The need
to induce surrender became a new therapeutic goal. The miracle of A.A. was now a little clearer, though the reason
was still obscure why the program and the fellowship of A.A. could induce a surrender which could in turn lead to a
period of no drinking.” — Dr. Harry Tiebout, 1955
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 247

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

“I know that my errors of yesterday still have their effect; that my shortcomings of today may likewise affect our future.
So it is, with each and all of us.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1965
“Responsibility Is Our Theme”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to
Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give
freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the
Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you
trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164~

“Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a
seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t we
laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132~

” The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house .”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 98 (Working With Others

“This was not only faith; it was faith that worked under all conditions.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 31 (Step Two)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply were inexhaustible, though between binges we’d sometimes go
to the other extreme and become miserly. Without realizing it, we were just accumulating funds for the next spree.
Money was the symbol of pleasure and self-importance. As our drinking became worse, money was only an urgent
requirement which could supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of oblivion it brought.
Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we find we cannot place money first. For us, material well-
being always follows spiritual progress; it never precedes.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, keep me out of my own will, and actively working to build my faith throughout my day.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 25th

Daily Reflections

A TWO-WAY STREET

If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case
does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our
cooperation.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 65

When I prayed, I used to omit a lot of things for which I needed to be
forgiven. I thought that if I didn’t mention those things to God, He
would never know about them. I did not know that if I had just
forgiven myself for some of my past deeds, God would forgive me also.
I was always taught to prepare for the journey through life, never
realizing until I came to A.A. when I honestly became willing to be
taught forgiveness and forgiving that life itself is the journey. The
journey of life is a very happy one, as long as I am willing to accept
change and responsibility.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

One of the most encouraging facts of life is that your weakness can
become your greatest asset. Kites and airplanes rise against the wind.
In climbing up a high mountain, we need the stony crags and rough
places to aid us in our climb. So your weakness can become an asset if
you will face it, examine it, and trace it to its origin. Set it in the very
center of your mind. No weakness, such as drinking, ever turned into
an asset until it was first fairly faced. Am I making my weakness my
greatest asset?

Meditation For The Day

Whenever we seek to worship God, we think of the great universe
that God rules over, of creation, of mighty law and order throughout
the universe. Then we feel the awe that precedes worship. I too must
feel awe, feel the desire to worship God in wondering amazement. My
mind is in a box of space and time and it is so made that I cannot
conceive of what is beyond space or time, the limitless and the eternal.
But I know that there must be something beyond space and time, and
that something must be the limitless and eternal Power behind the
universe. I also know that I can experience that Power in my life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may accept the limitless and eternal Spirit. I pray that It
may express Itself in my life.

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As Bill Sees It

Domination and Demand, p. 176

The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true
partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls.
Either we insist upon dominating people we know, or we depend upon them far too
much.

If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human,
too, and cannot possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows
and festers.

When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt,
and resist us heavily. Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a
desire to retaliate.

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

My dependency meant demand — a demand for the possession and control of other
people and the conditions surrounding me.

1. 12 & 12, p. 53
2. Grapevine, January 1958


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Walk In Dry Places

Transforming garbage.
Handling the past
Left to itself, nature takes ordinary garbage and transforms it into useful nutrients that help sustain life. It’s usually poor human action that makes garbage a problem.
Our mental and emotional garbage takes the forms of bad memories, festering resentments, and useless regrets. We waste time berating ourselves and others about bad decisions and experiences that are behind us.
The magic of the 12 Step program is that we can use it to transform this mental garbage into useful experience.  A past mistake can become as asset when we share it with others. Pain and suffering can teach a lesson that helps all of us to grow.  By forgiving others, a resentment can be turned into a friendship.
I’ll resolve today not to worry about garbage any longer than it takes to identify it and release it to my Higher Power for transformation.


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Keep It Simple

When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that three of his fingers are pointing at himself.—Louis Nizer
It’s so easy to blame others. Others are always making mistakes we can hide behind. That’s what blame is—hiding. When we blame others for our mistakes, we’re trying to hide our character defects.
It’s nobody else’s fault that we act the way we do. It’s our fault. We’re responsible for our actions.
And with the help of our Higher Power, we can change. We can turn over our character defects. Over time, we’re not afraid to learn about ourselves—even the parts we don’t like—because we want to know ourselves better.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray for help in facing my character defects.
Action for the Day:  I’ll think about the past week. I’ll list times I’ve used blame to hide from reality.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have a simple philosophy. Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. And scratch where it itches.  –Alice Roosevelt Longworth
All too often, we complicate our lives. We can wonder and worry our way into confusion; obsession or preoccupation it’s often called. “What if?” “Will he?” “Should I?” “What do you think?” We seldom stop trying to figure out what to do, where to do it, how to meet a challenge, until someone reminds us to “keep it simple.”
What we each discover, again and again, is that the solution to any problem becomes apparent when we stop searching for it. The guidance we need for handling any difficulty, great or small, can only come into focus when we remove the barriers to it, and the greatest barrier is our frantic effort to personally solve the problem. We clutter our minds; we pray for an answer and yet don’t become quiet enough, for long enough, to become aware of the direction to go, or the steps to take. And they are always there.
Inherent in every problem or challenge is its solution. Our greatest lesson in life may be to keep it simple, to know that no problem stands in our way because no solution eludes a quiet, expectant mind.
I have opportunities every day to still my mind. And the messages I need will come quietly. My answers are within me, now.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

But it isn’t so difficult. About half our original fellowship were of exactly that type. At first some of us tried to avoid the issue, hoping against hope we were not true alcoholics. But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life—or else. Perhaps it is going to be that way with you. But cheer up, something like half of us thought we were atheists or agnostics. Our experience shows that you need not be disconcerted.

p. 44

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
After nine days of tests at Mayo, I was put in the locked ward–of all places!  That’s when that steel door slammed shut, and Max was the one who went home.  I didn’t like being on the nut ward, and I particularly didn’t like being forced to ice cookies on Christmas Eve.  So I raised enough fuss that they finally agreed to let me sign out, against medical advice.  Max accepted responsibility for me after I had promised never to drink again, never to take another pill, never to swear again, and never to talk to girls again.  We got on the plane and immediately had a big fight over whether I’d drink the free booze.  Max won; I didn’t drink it.  But by God, I wouldn’t talk or eat either!  And that was how Max and I and our two daughters spent Christmas Day, eight years ago.

p. 412

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

As a rule, the average newcomer wanted his family to know immediately what he was trying to do. He also wanted to tell others who had tried to help him–his doctor, his minister, and close friends. As he gained confidence, he felt it right to explain his new way of life to his employer and business associates. When opportunities to be helpful came along, he found he could talk easily about A.A. to almost anyone. These quiet disclosures helped him to lose his fear of the alcoholic stigma, and spread the news of A.A.’s existence in his community. Many a new man and woman came to A.A. because of such conversations. Though not in the strict letter of anonymity, such communications were well within its spirit.

pp. 185-186

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It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
–John Wooden

“Never answer an angry word with an angry word. It’s the second one
that makes the quarrel.”
–W.A. Nance

Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own.
When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from
it–immediately.
–Stephen Covey

“Making prompt amends is the fresh air of each new day.”
–Sandra Little

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is
committing another mistake.
–Confucius

“He who angers you conquers you.”
–Elizabeth Kenny

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

INTEGRITY

“Integrity has no need of rules.”
–Albert Camus

The benefit of a spiritual program is the development of integrity in
my life. Integrity is having an honest respect for myself; it is
respecting who I am and how I live in the world. Integrity also
becomes a bridge by which I can reach my fellow man. My respect for
my life develops a respect for others. My determination to have
integrity affects the way I treat you. Integrity gives me freedom to be
— and this allows for an acceptance of you.

Of course I must follow some rules and guidelines in my life but today
they are not written in cement. Today I can be flexible with me and
this means that I can be flexible with you. My past need to control has
developed into an accepting serenity that brings peace. My spiritual
program forever teaches me to be free; now I can live.

I pray that I can see beyond the rules into the beauty of Integrity.

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Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5

For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but
your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in
Me, says the LORD.
Jeremiah 39:18

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in
glory by Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18


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Daily Inspiration

Those that least deserve your love are the ones that need it the most. Lord, may I have the humbleness of spirit to reach out even when my feelings may be hurt.

If you feel the need to get even, try getting even with those that have helped you. Lord, free me from any thoughts of revenge because this only shuts the door to my own happiness.

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NA Just For Today

Not Just Lucky

“The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief.”
Basic Text p. 24

Coming to believe is a process that stems from personal experience. Each of us has this experience; all addicts who find recovery in NA have solid evidence of a benevolent Power acting for good in their lives. Those of us who are recovering today, after all, are the fortunate ones. Many, many addicts die from our disease, never to experience what we have found in Narcotics Anonymous.

The process of coming to believe involves a willingness to recognize miracles for what they are. We share the miracle of being here clean, and each of us has other miracles that await only our acknowledgment. How many car accidents or overdoses or other near-catastrophes have we survived? Can we look back at our lives and see that we were not just “lucky”? Our experience in recovery, too, gives us examples of a Higher Power working for our good.

When we can look back at the evidence of a loving Higher Power acting on our behalf, it becomes possible to trust that this Higher Power will continue to help us in the future. And trust offers us the strength to move forward.

Just for today: My recovery is more than coincidence. My strength comes from the knowledge that my Higher Power has never let me down and will continue to guide me.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters, in the end. –Ursula K. LeGuin
Billy and his dad were excited about fan appreciation night. They wanted to get one of the souvenir baseballs thrown into the stands. As they hurried toward their seats, they saw a man drop a ten-dollar bill. Billy picked up the money.
“Hey, Mister,” he said loudly. The man in front of him turned around. “You dropped this.” Billy handed him the money.
“Thank you,” said the man. Billy returned to his dad. Just as they reached their row, a ball came sailing towards their empty seats. Someone from the row behind caught it. Billy swallowed hard.
“I know,” said his dad, looking at Billy, “But you did the right thing.”
For his effort, Billy will bring home a souvenir far more lasting and valuable than a baseball or a ten-dollar bill. He will know the bittersweet feeling of making a sacrifice to do what is right.
What sacrifice have I made to do what is right?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Some people greet the morning with a smile, but it’s more natural to protest its presence with sleepy sulkiness. “Who asked you to come again?” we feel like saying to it, as if it were a most unwelcome guest. –Brendan Francis
We begin with the truth and build on the firm foundation it provides. We often hear we should have a positive attitude, we should be grateful for the new day. Perhaps some days we feel enthusiasm, and it’s wonderful when we do. But we don’t need to turn it into a requirement because shoulds tend to keep us out of touch with our honest feelings.
All feelings are acceptable. Whatever they are, the entire range of color and intensity of feelings comes from our Creator. Our task is dealing with them and responding to them. We begin by acknowledging them as they are. We do not have license to do whatever we feel like doing, only to feel what we feel. This point of honesty is a solid stepping-stone to grow from. We often find we feel different as soon as we admit our feelings.
Today, I will admit my true feelings and accept them as stepping-stones.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have a simple philosophy. Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. And scratch where it itches. –Alice Roosevelt Longworth
All too often, we complicate our lives. We can wonder and worry our way into confusion; obsession or preoccupation it’s often called. “What if?” “Will he?” “Should I?” “What do you think?” We seldom stop trying to figure out what to do, where to do it, how to meet a challenge, until someone reminds us to “keep it simple.”
What we each discover, again and again, is that the solution to any problem becomes apparent when we stop searching for it. The guidance we need for handling any difficulty, great or small, can only come into focus when we remove the barriers to it, and the greatest barrier is our frantic effort to personally solve the problem. We clutter our minds; we pray for an answer and yet don’t become quiet enough, for long enough, to become aware of the direction to go, or the steps to take. And they are always there.
Inherent in every problem or challenge is its solution. Our greatest lesson in life may be to keep it simple, to know that no problem stands in our way because no solution eludes a quiet, expectant mind.
I have opportunities every day to still my mind. And the messages I need will come quietly. My answers are within me, now.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Withholding
Sometimes, to protect ourselves, we close ourselves off from a person we’re in a relationship with. Our body may be present, but we’re not. We’re not available to participate in the relationship.
We shut down.
Sometimes, it is appropriate and healthy to shut down in a relationship. We may legitimately need some time out. Sometimes it is self-defeating to close ourselves off in a relationship.
To stop being vulnerable, honest, and present for another person can put an end to the relationship. The other person can do nothing in the relationship when we are gone. Closing ourselves makes us unavailable to that relationship.
It is common to go through temporary periods of closing down in a relationship. But it is unhealthy to make this an ongoing practice. It may be one of our relationship sabotaging devices.
Before we close down, we need to ask ourselves what we are hoping to accomplish by shutting down. Do we need some time to deal? To heal? To grow? To sort through things? Do we need time out from this relationship? Or are we reverting to our old ways – hiding, running, and terminating relationships because we are afraid we cannot take care of ourselves in any other way?
Do we need to shut down because the other person truly isn’t safe, is manipulating, lying, or acting out addictively or abusively? Are we shutting down because the other person has shut down and we no longer want to be available?
Shutting down, shutting off, closing ourselves and removing our emotional presence from a relationship is a powerful tool. We need to use it carefully and responsibly. To achieve intimacy and closeness in a relationship, we need to be present emotionally. We need to be available.
God, help me be emotionally present in the relationships I choose to be in.

Today I sit quietly in prayer and meditation so that I can hear God’s Will for me. I know that I am being guided in this very moment. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Ground Yourself

So much of our growth is spiritual. Sometimes we fly so high, our soul soars into the heavens, touching life’s magic, sailing into the high spiritual realms. That is as it should be. But we need to be grounded,too. Even the tallest tree, the one that reaches hundreds of feet into the sky, has roots that go deep into the earth. The higher we want to travel on spiritual planes, the more we need to learn to ground ourselves. Our roots need to go deep into the earth,too.

Touch things that grow in the earth. Walk on the grass. Sit on the ground. Feel its presence, its solid grounding energy, rise up into you.

You are a soul, a spirit, but you have a body,too. Remember and nurture your spirit, but take time to attend to your body. Connect with what is physical, connect with the energy of the earth. Do the simple tasks that connect you to life on this planet– the day-to-day chores that connect you with your body and the rhythms of this world.

Grow spiritually, but let your spiritual growth be grounded in daily life and the things on earth. That is how you stay grounded; that’s how you honor your body and stay connected to it. Grow spiritually, but let that growth reflect and honor embodied life. Just as the body and workings of an airplane give shape to the idea of an airplane and allow it to fly, your body gives shape, form, and freedom to your soul. But even airplanes need to land sometimes.

Learn to tell when your body and soul need to come back to earth. Take time to get grounded. Then you’ll be able to soar.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Surrender to God’s will

It was a stressful time in my life. I didn’t know what to do. I had pressing business decisions to make, and painful relationship issues to face. Everything felt like a mess.

I gathered up a few favorite books, the Bible, a journal, and some clothes. Then I headed for the mountains, a resort that was a favorite place of mine to hide out in and gather my thoughts.

I told myself, “I’m going to stay in there. Write in my journal. Pray. And meditate. I’m not coming out until I know what to do.”

After forty-eight hours of writing about my problems, praying about my problems, and meditating about my problems, I remembered something a friend had said to me.

“What are you doing?” he had asked.

“I’m trying to surrender to God’s will.”

“No you’re not, you’re trying to figure it out.”

Within six months, each of the problems I was wrestling with worked themselves out. I was either guided into an action that naturally felt right at the time, or a solution came to me. The immediate solution to each problem was the same: let go. Just surrender to the situation taking place. Sometimes, what we need to do next is surrender.

If you don’t like the word surrender, try calling it making peace.

God, help me surrender to your will, especially when I don’t know what to do next.

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In God’s Care

Thinking about interior peace destroys interior peace.
The patient who constantly feels his pulse is not getting any better.
~~Hubert van Zeller

As goal-oriented people, we are often determined to do such things as lose ten pounds, bring our cholesterol down to 180, read three books a month, spend fifteen minutes a day in meditation. We are constantly measuring ourselves by one standard or another – standards that we create for ourselves. We are so intent upon measuring up that we end up putting ourselves down.

We all want peace of mind, but when that’s our focus, it eludes us. True peace comes not from trying to have peace, but in trying to find God’s will and doing it. Turning our will and our life over to the care of God is the formula for inner peace. And when we share God’s love with others, we are too pleasantly occupied to wonder if we’re happy – we just are.

It’s all right to have goals, but peace comes from letting God run my life.

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Day By Day

Analyzing

Our constant analyzing could mean we don’t work the Steps; eventually, it could cost us our lives. It’s as if we were standing in a burning building, in front of a fire escape, trying to understand the principles of oxidation.

What we need to do first is to get out of the fire; we can learn about oxidation – addiction and recovery – later. It is dangerous to stand on the fringes of addiction; it can be dangerous to delay a commitment.

Have I made a clear choice?

Higher Power, help me learn to relate to you as well as to my analytical mind.

Today I will let go of analyzing and take Steps!

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Food for Thought

Accepting Change

One day my mother and I were working together in the garden. We were transplanting some plant for the third time. Grown from seed in a small container, the plants had been transferred to a larger container; then transplanted into the garden. Now, because I was moving, we were transplanting them again.

Inexperienced as a gardener, I turned to my green-thumbed mother. “Isn’t this bad for them?” I asked, as we dug them up and shook the dirt from their roots. “Won’t it hurt these plants, being uprooted and transplanted so many times?”

“Oh, no,” my mother replied. “Transplanting doesn’t hurt them. In fact, it’s good for the ones that survive. That’s how their roots grow strong. Their roots will grow deep, and they’ll make strong plants.”

Often, I’ve felt like those small plants – uprooted and turned upside down. Sometimes, I’ve endured the change willingly, sometimes reluctantly, but usually my reaction has been a combination.

Won’t this be hard on me? I ask. Wouldn’t it be better if things remained the same? That’s when I remember my mother’s words – that’s how the roots grow deep and strong.

Today, God, help me remember that during times of transition, my faith and my self are being strengthened.

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Recognizing Our Own Abundance
Planting the Seeds of Generosity by Madisyn Taylor

One way to practice generosity is to give energy where it is needed whether that is in the form of time, money or love.

The most difficult time to be generous is when we ourselves are feeling poor. While some of us have experienced actually being in the red financially, there are those of us who would feel broke even if we had a million dollars in the bank. Either way, as the old adage goes, it is always in giving that we receive. Meaning that when we are living in a state of lack, the very gesture we may least want to give is the very act that could help us create the abundance that we seek. One way to practice generosity is to give energy where it is needed. Giving money to a cause or person in need is one way to give energy. Giving attention, love, or a smile to another person are other acts of giving that we can offer. After all, there are people all over the world that are hungry for love.

Sometimes when we practice generosity, we practice it conditionally. We might be expecting to “receive back” from the person to whom we gave. We might even become angry or resentful if that person doesn’t reciprocate. However, trust in the natural flow of energy, and you will find yourself practicing generosity with no strings attached. This is the purest form of giving. Remember that what you send out will always come back you. Selflessly help a friend in need without expecting them to return the same favor in the same way, and know that you, too, will receive that support from the universe when you need it. Besides, while giving conditionally creates stress (because we are waiting with an invisible balance sheet to receive our due), giving unconditionally creates and generates abundance. We give freely, because we trust that there is always an unlimited supply.

Being aware of how much we are always supported by the universe is one of the keys to abundance and generosity. Consciously remember the times you’ve received support from expected and unexpected sources. Remember anyone who has helped you when you’ve needed it most, and bless all situations that come into your life for the lessons and gifts they bring you. Remember that all things given and received emanate from generosity. Giving is an act of gratitude. Plant the seeds of generosity through your acts of giving, and you will grow the fruits of abundance for yourself and those around you. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If ever I come to the complacent conclusion that I don’t need The Program any longer, let me quickly remind myself that it can do far more than carry me through the anguish of living in the bondage of addiction. Let me further remind myself that I can make even greater strides in fulfilling myself, for The Program and the Twelve Steps is a philosophy — a way of life. Will I ever outgrow my need for The Program?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power lead me through the Twelve Steps, not just once, but again and again, until they become the guiding principles of my existence. This is no quickie seminar on improving the quality of my life; this is my life, restored to me through Divine Power and the friendship of my fellow addicts, who, like me, are recovering in the best known way.

Today I Will Remember

Step by Step, from bondage to abundant life.

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One More Day

Quote: Nothing is more fatal to health than an over-care of it.
– Benjamin Franklin

Let’s face it. There are certain times when we become preoccupied with our health. After all, if we’d broken a leg we’d be abnormal if we weren’t concerned with how we were going to walk or how frustrating it was. Long-term medical problems are a different matter. If we continue to constantly talk about our health, we will drive away the people we need most.

Talking less about our health problems may have benefits. We won’t be wearing down our friends and family members with our lengthy medical discussions, and we also may become more accepting. To be alive is to experience challenges, problems, and conflicts. Acceptance ensures that we’ll overcome some of the pain and that hope will be renewed.

Acceptance does bring relief and peace. God will grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

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One Day At A Time

STEP TWELVE
“One must really have suffered oneself to help others.”
Mother Teresa

Before coming into the program, I always worked in some sort of caring profession and was always either helping or “fixing” someone else ~ mostly in areas in which I had no personal experience. I was a people-pleaser and I would be there for someone else. If anything needed to be done, I was the one to offer to do it. But ultimately that backfired because I would feel used and resentful, and I would land up in the food as my way of compensating.

Since coming into program I have changed the way I help others. Instead of doing for others so they would like me — or so I would get a pat on the back — I share my experience, strength and hope with other compulsive overeaters. I have been where they have been, and I can share with them my struggles and how I’ve overcome them. Not only do I help others in the program with what I have learned, but, as they say, I can only keep what I have if I give it away. I get as much — if not more — from sharing with another in the program. How different this is from the way it was before I began the program, and I’m so grateful for that!

One day at a time…
I will share my experience, strength and hope with another compulsive overeater. By doing so, I get to keep what I have so generously been given in this program.
~ Sharon

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Never forget that resentment is a deadly hazard to an alcoholic. We do not mean that you have to agree with your husband whenever there is an honest difference of opinion. Just be careful not to disagree in a resentful or critical spirit. – Pg. 117 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

You are not your fault, but you are your responsibility. Others are not your fault either and they are their responsibility.

Help me concentrate on my own problems and growth and not accept blame or give blame for things that belong to another.

Being with Life

Today, I allow myself just to be with life. Somehow, it doesn’t have to prove anything to me or give me any more than I already have to be okay. The lessons I have learned through working through all that blocks my forgiveness have taught me that I can face my most difficult feelings and still come home to a place of love and acceptance. Life is always renewing itself; nothing lasts, good or bad, and that is just the way it is. It is enough today to enjoy my coffee, to take a walk, to appreciate the people in my life. I can rest in a quiet sort of understanding that this is what it’s all about; all the searching turned up such an ordinary but beautiful thing.

I am enraptured with the ordinary.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

It really is a daily program. Think about it, if you only quit one day at a time, every day that you don’t pick up will be an accomplishment. If you quit forever, you won’t have accomplished anything until you’re dead.

Today, my one day.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Some people move when they see the light; alcoholics move when they feel the heat.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I sit quietly in prayer and meditation so that I can hear God’s Will for me. I know that I am being guided in this very moment.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Which way did they go? How fast are they moving? How many are there? – I must find them, I’m their leader. ( Favorite of Ken D’s )

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AA Thought for the Day

June 25

Willingness
The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better
and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 115

Thought to Ponder . . .
What have I been given today
Am I willing to reach out and grasp it?

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
W H O = Willingness, Honesty, Open-mindedness.

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

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

Thought to Consider . . .
If I’m not comfortable within myself,
I can’t be comfortable with others.

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

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

Plan
>From “The Missing Link”:
“Following this spiritual path made a major difference in my life. It seemed to fill that lonely hole that I used to fill with alcohol. My self-esteem improved dramatically, and I knew happiness and serenity as I had never known it before. I started to see the beauty and usefulness in my own existence, and tried to express my gratitude through helping others in whatever ways I could. A confidence and faith entered my life and unraveled a plan for me that was bigger and better than I could have ever imagined.
“It wasn’t easy, and it has never been easy, but it gets so much better.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 287-88

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

“Even though some of the ghosts of the past may still be spooking around, popping up from time to time to scare me, today I can pretty much handle them. Today the only real monster I have to face is myself, that part of me that tries to urge me back to drinking.”
Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 1994
“Trick or Treat,”
AA Grapevine

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

“Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely
looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest,
self-seeking and frightened? Though a situation had not been entirely
our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely.
Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man’s.
When we saw our faults we listed them. We placed them before us in
black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to
set these matters straight.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 67~

“To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and
unselfish, constructive action.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 93

“If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 70 (How It Works)

“Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had wronged us.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 58 (Step Five)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much.L
If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human, too, and cannot possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows and festers.
When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily. Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate.
My dependency meant demand–a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, grant that I may forgive others just as You have forgiven me.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 24th

Daily Reflections

A SPIRITUAL KINDERGARTEN

We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which
people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace
to go on living to better effect.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 95

When I came to A. A., I was run down by the bottle and
wanted to lose the obsession to drink, but I didn’t really
know how to do that. I decided to stick around long enough
to find out from the ones who went before me. All of a
sudden I was thinking about God! I was told to get a Higher
Power and I had no idea what one looked like. I found out
there are many Higher Powers. I was told to find God, as I
understand Him, that there was no doctrine of the Godhead
in A.A. I found what worked for me and then asked that
Power to restore me to sanity. The obsession to drink was
removed and–one day at a time–my life went on, and I
learned how to live sober.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcohol is our weakness. We suffer from mental conflicts
from which we look for escape by drowning our problems in
drink. We try through drink to push away from the realities
of life. But alcohol does not feed, alcohol does not build,
it only borrows from the future and it ultimately destroys.
We try to drown our feelings in order to escape life’s
realities, little realizing or caring that in continued
drinking we are only multiplying our problems. Have I got
control over my unstable emotions?

Meditation For The Day

When I let personal piques and resentments interfere with
what I know to be my proper conduct, I am on the wrong track
and I am undoing all I have built up by doing the right
thing. I must never let personal piques interfere with
living the way I know God wants me to live. When I have no
clear guidance from God, I must go forward quietly along the
path of duty. The attitude of quiet faith will receive its
reward as surely as acting upon God’s direct guidance. I must
not weaken my spiritual power by letting personal piques
upset me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not let myself become too upset. I pray that
I may go quietly along the path I have chosen.

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As Bill Sees It

Aspects of Tolerance, p. 175

All kinds of people have found their way into A.A. Not too long ago, I sat talking in my
office with a member who bears the title of Countess. That same night, I went to an A.A.
meeting. It was winter, and there was a mild-looking little gent taking the coats. I said,
“Who’s that?”

And somebody answered, “Oh, he’s been around for a long time. Everybody likes him.
He used to be one of Al Capone’s mob.” That’s how universal A.A. is today.

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

We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can
be acquired. All of us, whatever our race, creed, or color, are the children of a living
Creator, with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms
as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 102
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 28


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Walk In Dry Places

Expressing gratitude
Self Improvement
How can we express gratitude when we feel it?  We can begin by simply using the proper forms of courtesy at all times; this reminds us that we can’t live without other people.
The best way to express gratitude, however, is to “ass on” the good that has come to us. This is more effective when we share ideas and experiences that have helped us on the way to self-improvement.
It’s also a good idea to dismiss thoughts and statements that are forms of prideful boasting. Even telling people how hard we’ve worked for the 12 Step program can detract from our gratitude. And never, under any circumstances, should we put others under obligation to us.
I’ll discover ways to express my gratitude today.  I’ll know that my best way of doing it is to pass on good ideas to others.


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Keep It Simple

Beauty is gift of God.—Aristotle
In our addiction, we often went after what was ugly in life. Maybe we hung out in bad places.
Maybe we saw people’s defects instead of their beauty. Addiction is ugly, painful disease. The worst part of addiction is how it doesn’t let us see beauty in the world.
There is much beauty in each of us. Recovery is beautiful. Our stories are beautiful. The way we help each other is beautiful. The way we become loving family members is beautiful. But sometimes, we may still see the world as ugly. At these times, we need to turn to our program.
Maybe we need to help someone by working Step Twelve. Maybe we need ask to give the Step at our meeting. Maybe we just need to read the Big Book. Whatever we do, one thing is sure— if we turn to our program, we’ll see how beautiful the world is.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me see beautiful today. Help me be beautiful today.
Action for the Day:  Today I’ll let myself feel beautiful. I’ll see recovery as beautiful.

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Each Day a New Beginning

If you attach yourself to one person, you ultimately end up having an unhealthy relationship.  –Shirley MacLaine
Needing people in our lives is healthy, human and natural. Needing a single person to love at a very deep level, is also soothing to the soul’s well-being. Love and attachment are not synonymous, however. They are close to being opposites. If we “attach” ourselves to others, our movements as separate individuals are hampered. Attachment means dependency; it means letting our movements be controlled by the one we are “hooked” to.
Dependency on mood-altering chemicals, on food, on people, means unmanageability in our individual lives. Many of us in this recovery program, though abstinent, still struggle with our dependency on a certain person or a certain friend.
The tools we are learning apply in all cases of dependency. It is healthy independence we are striving for–taking responsibility for our own lives–making choices appropriate for our personal selves. Loving others means letting them make their own choices unhampered by our “attachment.”
Are my relationships attachments or are they based on love? I will take an inventory of them today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

To one who feels he is an atheist or agnostic such an experience seems impossible, but to continue as he is means disaster, especially if he is an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.

p. 44

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
On two occasions, over weekends, I had decided I would take absolutely nothing.  On each occasion I had a convulsion on Sunday morning.  Both times my reaction was that I had had nothing to drink the night before, so obviously alcohol had nothing to do with it.  The neurologist in charge of my case didn’t think to ask me whether I drank, and I didn’t tell him.  As a result, he couldn’t figure out why I had the convulsions, and he decided to send me to the Mayo Clinic.  It seemed to me I needed a consultation first.  I happened to be the best diagnostician I knew at the time, and certainly I knew my case better than anyone else.  So I sat down with me and went over the facts behind the convulsions:  personality changes, daily headaches, sense of impending doom, sense of impending insanity.  Suddenly, it was obvious to me:  I had a brain tumor and would die, and everyone would be sorry for me.  The Mayo Clinic seemed like a good place to have my diagnosis confirmed.

pp. 411-412

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

This phenomenon of contrast really set us thinking. Squarely before us was the question “How anonymous should an A.A. member be?” Our growth made it plain that we couldn’t be a secret society, but it was equally plain that we couldn’t be a vaudeville circuit, either. The charting of a safe path between these extremes took a long time.

p. 185

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God, today I give you all of the guilt from my past. Take it from me,
and allow me to begin fresh right now. Help me make the amends I
need to make, then let my guilt go.
–Melody Beattie

“Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes
revenge, and dares forgive an injury.”
— E. H. Chapin

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare
up the steps; we must step up the stairs.
–Vance Havner

Trust, faith, love of God, makes light all my burdens.
–SweetyZee

“It’s not the load that breaks you down…it’s the way you carry it.”
–unknown

Worry about tomorrow saps today of its strength.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PERFECTION

“I have offended God and
mankind because my work didn’t
reach the quality it should
have.”
–Leonardo da Vinci

How I used to beat myself up! I was not good enough. I was not
attractive enough. I could not speak properly. I was too small. My
family was not prestigious enough. I was boring. My breath smelled,
etc., etc. I never saw my value in life. I could never see beyond my
failings into my God-given virtues. Sin was all too evident in my life!

Today I catch an egotism in my past criticism of self and others! Who
was I to think I should be perfect? I could find fault with the Archangel
Gabriel if he came to be my neighbor. My compulsive disease
extended beyond drugs to negative attitudes about life.

Today I see my value. Sobriety has restored my dignity. Today I am in
touch with that part of me that is noble. Today in my sobriety I am a
spiritual somebody, not a nobody.

Let my desire for “perfection” be tempered by reality.

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, `I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:5-10

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with
an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build
you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will
take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.
Jeremiah 31:3-4


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Daily Inspiration

You will have an easier time keeping your thoughts positive if you look for good in every situation. Lord, help me change my focus and develop an awareness that situations often have more good in them than bad.

If you live in the light of God, He will bless the work of your hands and you will see your efforts flourish. Lord, I am your servant. I do my daily work for You and I am filled with peace.

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NA Just For Today

Tolerance

“…ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
Tradition Twelve

Sometimes it’s hard to accept others’ character defects. As we recover together, we not only listen to others talk in meetings, we also watch how they walk through their recovery. The more we get to know other members, the more we become aware of how they live their lives. We may form opinions about how they “work their program.” We may find that certain members upset us, or we may even hear ourselves say, “If I worked their program, I would surely use.”

We have found tolerance to be a principle that not only strengthens our own recovery but also our relationships with individuals who are a source of irritation to us. It becomes easier to accept other members’ frailties when we remember that we ourselves rarely turn over our own character defects until we become painfully aware of them.

Just for today: I will strive to accept others as they are. I will try not to judge others. I will focus on the principles of love and acceptance.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. –Maxwell Maltz
The way we think about ourselves determines how we behave and who we become. If Eileen believes she is good at baseball, she will swing the bat more confidently and catch fly balls more easily. And her extra effort will generally pay off. At math, Steve thinks he’s a whiz and it makes him proud. He studies so he’ll continue to be a whiz.
The image we have of ourselves is like the blueprint the contractor follows when building a house. When we see ourselves sad or angry, our behavior and personality will match it. When we see ourselves withdrawn and afraid, we seem to avoid activities that involve others. How wonderful that we can change our behavior and thus ourselves by changing the picture we carry in our minds.
Do I have a good picture of myself today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The only intrinsic evil is lack of love. –John Robinson
When we have feelings of guilt or self-hate, we have spiritual problems. It is a time to turn to our program for help. In the early stages of recovery we may, at times, feel more shameful than we ever did before, simply because we are becoming honest about how we feel. We may even become ashamed of our guilty feelings, and then the problem escalates.
Lack of love for ourselves is at the heart of our problem. We cannot become self-loving by force of will, but we can stop being so willful by simply yielding to the care of a loving God. At those moments we do not feel deserving of love, but we can stop fending it off. Perhaps God’s love is coming to us in the concern of a friend or partner. Maybe it comes in the warm sunshine or in the smile of a child. As we yield to it, we take a spiritual leap into a world we don’t control and we didn’t create, but we can be healed by it.
Today, I will surrender to the love which comes from the world around me and let it teach me how to love myself.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
If you attach yourself to one person, you ultimately end up having an unhealthy relationship. –Shirley MacLaine
Needing people in our lives is healthy, human and natural. Needing a single person to love at a very deep level, is also soothing to the soul’s well-being. Love and attachment are not synonymous, however. They are close to being opposites. If we “attach” ourselves to others, our movements as separate individuals are hampered. Attachment means dependency; it means letting our movements be controlled by the one we are “hooked” to.
Dependency on mood-altering chemicals, on food, on people, means unmanageability in our individual lives. Many of us in this recovery program, though abstinent, still struggle with our dependency on a certain person or a certain friend.
The tools we are learning apply in all cases of dependency. It is healthy independence we are striving for–taking responsibility for our own lives–making choices appropriate for our personal selves. Loving others means letting them make their own choices unhampered by our “attachment.”
Are my relationships attachments or are they based on love? I will take an inventory of them today.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Detachment
Detachment doesn’t come naturally for many of us. But once we realize the value of this recovery principle, we understand how vital detachment is. The following story illustrates how a woman came to understand detachment.
“The first time I practiced detachment was when I let go of my alcoholic husband. He had been drinking for seven years –since I had married him. For that long, I had been denying his alcoholism and trying to make him stop drinking.
“I did outrageous things to make him stop drinking, to make him see the light, to make him realize how much he was hurting me. I really thought I was doing things right by trying to control him.
“One night, I saw things clearly. I realized that my attempts to control him would never solve the problem. I also saw that my life was unmanageable. I couldn’t make him do anything he didn’t want to do. His alcoholism was controlling me, even though I wasn’t drinking.
“I set him free, to do as he chose. The truth is, he did as he pleased anyway. Things changed the night I detached. He could feel it, and so could I. When I set him free, I set myself free to live my own life.
“I’ve had to practice the principle of detachment many times since then. I’ve had to detach from unhealthy people and healthy people. It’s never failed. Detachment works.”
Detachment is a gift. It will be given to us when we’re ready for it. When we set the other person free, we are set free.
Today, wherever possible, I will detach in love.

I love me because of all that I am, not just a part of me. I fully accept myself just as I am today and that feels so good. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Restore Your Natural Balance

Seek healing, a refilling of energy and spirit, as soon as you see that you need it. You don’t have to push yourself to give, do, or perform when what your body, mind, soul, and emotions need is to heal.

Seek and support your natural balance. Listen to your body, listen to your soul, and both will tell you what they need and when. If you aren’t certain what you need,ask. Ask your body what you need. Ask your heart what to do next. Ask God and the universe to help.

Find the balance that’s right for you. Become sensitive to your needs. When you become stressed, depleted, out of sync, in need of healing, seek help immediately. Nurture and care for yourself until you’re in balance again.

Inhale, receive. Exhale, give back. Your natural balance is as necessary as breathing. The inhaling is the breathing in of life’s energy. The exhaling is the sharing of your resources. You wouldn’t expect to exhale if you hadn’t inhaled. So it goes with healing, with our life force, with our energy. You cannot give it out if you don’t take it in.

Find the balance of receiving and giving, of the taking in of energy and the giving out of energy, that works for you.

Let the balance become natural. See how much more you do and are. See how much better you feel when you keep your life force vital.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Find ways to relax

Recovering alcoholics– and many people who choose not to drink or use drugs– need to find ways to relax that don’t involve alcohol, drugs, or medications.

Many of us remember daily that we are choosing not to drink or use drugs. But we may forget that it’s important to learn ways to relax our bodies and our minds. Maybe it’s time to assertively pursue options for helping us to unwind.

I can tell you things that help me: Hot water– whether it’s taking a long shower, sitting in a hot tub, or resting in a bathtub, meditation and visualization being near a large body of water and if that’s not possible, looking at a good picture of the ocean or a beautiful sea; drinking hot herbal tea; massage; music; meditation tapes; a good movie; laughter, deep, conscious breathing; playing the piano; and being outside in the sun.

We each have our own needs, our own methods of calming ourselves down. Do you have a list of what works for you? If you don’t, today is a good day to make one.

Today and each day do at least one thing deliberately that relaxes you. Begin allowing your body to memorize how it feels when it’s relaxed; then consciously duplicate that feeling throughout the day whenever you feel yourself become tense.

God, show me ways to relax.

Activity: Begin making a list of the things that help you relax. This is an important part of your self-care. If it’s a long one, great. If it’s a short one, pursue other methods of relaxing that are available to you, and add them to this list. Whenever you feel yourself becoming tense, take out your list and actually do one of the things on it– the one that most appeals to you at that moment. Part of getting to know yourself better means becoming acquainted with things that help your body relax.

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In God’s Care

Discipline is the basis of a satisfying life.
~~Katharine Hepburn

When trying to reach a goal, we may tire of the constant effort that is required of us, or we may rebel against the structure that’s necessary to keep us focused. We often long for what we remember as a freer, more spontaneous time in the past.

It’s helpful to remember that our goals come from our desire for change. We can see each yearning as God’s invitation for us to move in a new direction. And we can be sure that we have God as our helpmate throughout the journey wherever our destination may be.

Goals that inspire us to act bring meaning to our life. We make progress in moving toward them, and our feeling of satisfaction and renewed sense of purpose will motivate us to persevere to their completion.

The comfort of regular conscious contact with our Higher Power, as we seek always to align our goals with God’s will for us, will carry us to the fulfillment of our goals.

I will seek direction and strength from God while moving toward my goals today.

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Day By Day

Getting honest

There is an intuitive understanding between recovering addicts and newcomers. Old-timers know well the games that newcomers play at first. Newcomers are not asked what they’re thinking, they’re told what they’re thinking! They don’t need to be trapped into lies; old-timers tell them the lies they were about to tell.

Thus, in the beginning, we start to get honest because we hardly have a choice. We give up on playing games because there are no tricks left in the bag. Being confronted by others, we have to get honest – honest enough to save our lives.

Have I stopped playing games? Am I getting more honest?

Higher Power, let me be grateful for the intuition and quick tongue of my fellow members:
They can help me get honest.

I will practice honesty today by…

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Food for Thought

A Program for Living

The OA program does much more than promote our recovery from compulsive overeating, essential as that is. It gives us a structure for our daily lives. Before OA, we chased illusions and despaired when they let us down. Now we have a concrete plan of action for living richer, fuller lives.

We have found like-minded friends who help and encourage us. Instead of isolating ourselves and consuming, we are experiencing the fellowship of sharing. We find that the more we contribute to OA, the more we get out of it.

Practicing the Twelve Steps involves every aspect of our lives. We cannot be honest in our efforts to work this program without being honest in all our affairs. What we learn about ourselves through OA can be applied to our other activities as well. We were eating compulsively because we did not know how to cope with the rest of life. As we become better equipped for living through the guidance of our Higher Power, we recover from our disease.

Bless our program, we pray.

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Foundations of Evolution
Acknowledging Your Growth by Madisyn Taylor

Evolution of your soul is a natural fact of life and becomes a potent motivational force when celebrated.

Since personal evolution is most often a slow and gradual process, it can be difficult to recognize the scope of the changes taking place in our lives. Yet it is important that we regularly acknowledge our ongoing growth and reward ourselves for the many wonderful feats of self-improvement we have accomplished. When we intentionally contemplate our progress, we need never feel that we are languishing between past achievements and the realization of future goals. If we look closely at our lives, we may see that much of what brings us pleasure in the present is representative of the ambitions of our past that we worked so hard to attain. At one time, the abundance we enjoy currently likely seemed like a far-off dream. Now it is simply reality—a reality we created through our diligence, passion, and unflagging determination. Whether our progress is fast or slow, we deserve to congratulate ourselves for our successes.

To remind yourself of the insights you have gained with time, temporarily adopt an outsider’s perspective and carefully consider how your life in the present differs from the range of experiences you lived through in the past. Creating a written list, in a journal or otherwise, of those strengths, aptitudes, and inner qualities you now attribute to yourself can help you accept that you are not the same person you were one year ago, five years ago, or 10 years ago. Your attitudes, opinions, and values were likely markedly different, and these differences can be ascribed to your willingness to accept that you still have much to learn. If you have difficulty giving yourself credit for these changes, think about the goals you realized, the lives you touched, the wisdom you acquired, and the level of enlightenment you attained over the past years.

Recognizing growth is neither boastful nor immodest. Evolution is a natural fact of life and becomes a potent motivational force when celebrated. Knowing that you are brighter, stronger, and more grounded than you once were, you can look forward to the changes to come. In acknowledging your growth, you build a sturdy foundation upon which you can continue to blossom well into the future. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The primary purpose of The Program is freedom from addiction; without that freedom we have nothing. But that doesn’t mean I can say, for example, “Sobriety is my only concern. Except for my drinking, I’m really a sure person, so give me sobriety, and I’ve got it made.” If I delude myself with such specious nonsense, I’ll make so little progress with my real life problems and responsibilities that I’ll likely return to my addiction. That’s why The Program’s Twelve Step urges us to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” Am I living just to be free of chemical dependence, or also to learn to serve, and to love?

Today I Pray

May I relish and be grateful for my sobriety, which is where all good things begin. But let me not stop at that and give up trying to understand myself, the nature of God and of humanity. Freedom from dependency is the first freedom. May I be certain that there are more to come — freedom from tight-mindedness, from the unrest of bottled-up feelings, from over-dependence on others, from a Godless existence. May The Program which answered my acute needs also answer my chronic ones.

Today I Will Remember

Sobriety is just a beginning.

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One More Day

Quote: There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first.
– Paramahansa Yogananda

Friendships develop slowly and are based on mutual interests and understanding. They are tested by time, by changes in life circumstances, and even by health. To be a real friend means being there when the chips are down, even when no one else is. It means giving and not receiving, but trusting that our friends are prepared to do the same.

Real friends take risks for one another — especially emotional risks — and still don’t leave. A cherished friendship is not questioned, for we know, deep in our hearts, that we will always be there to help our close friends. We know they will always be there to help us.

I have strong and rewarding relationships. I cherish my friendships.

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One Day At A Time

ACCEPTANCE
“Because you’re not what I would have you be,
I blind myself to who in truth, you are.”
Madeleine L’Engle

The Big Book of AA says, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.” I am finding this to be true for me. Living in a household with several family members, I need to not focus on others’ faults. I can choose to practice acceptance by looking past what others do that I think they shouldn’t do, and instead I can love them for who they are.

In order to show unconditional love I must look past their shortcomings. I need to stop dwelling on the fact that they sometimes don’t do things the way I want them to. If I don’t do that, anger and resentments follow and I find myself trying to control things and play God. We all know that doesn’t work. It just causes misery and takes away my joy, peace and serenity.

As I work my program of recovery, I am better off to “let go and let God” and just accept others as they are. Putting others in God’s hands and resisting the temptation to try to make things turn out the way I want them to is the definition of acceptance for me. When I love others unconditionally I experience peace and serenity beyond my wildest dreams.

One day at a time …
I will practice the miracle of acceptance and unconditional love.
~ Bluerose

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Henry Ford once made a wise remark to the affect that experience is the thing of supreme value in life. That is true only if one is willing to turn the past to good account. We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets. The alcoholic’s past thus becomes the principle asset of the family and frequently it is almost the only one! – Pg. 124 – The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

If ‘I don’t wanna,’ ‘I don’t have time,’ and ‘Let someone else do it,’ are your major responses to people asking for help, remember this: the recovery that was there for you may not be there for others if you don’t serve. Service is one of the principles we practice.

Tonight at the meeting I will serve my group by helping to clean up.

Inner Hearing, Inner Sight

Today, I will trust my own heart. The clear message that whispers within me has more to tell me than a thousand voices. I have a guide within me who knows what is best for me. There is a part of me that sees the whole picture and knows how it all fits together. My inner voice may come in the form of a strong sense, a pull from within, a gut feeling or a quiet knowing. However my inner voice comes to me, I will learn to pay attention. In my heart I know what is going on. Though I am conditioned by the world to look constantly outside myself for meaning, today I recognize that it is deeply important for me to hear what I am saying from within.

I will trust my inner voice.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Our program does not teach us how to handle drinking and drugging. It teaches us how to handle recovery.

Another day, another recovery!

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

AA does not teach us how to handle drinking, it teaches us how to handle sobriety.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I love me because of all that I am, not just a part of me. I fully accept myself just as I am today and that feels so good.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The first time I drank alcohol, I was about 12 years old, and it made me feel so good that the way I felt without it was never really OK again. Never really. – Bob D.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 24

24-hour Plan
Getting away from the pull of the first drink is like putting a space vehicle in orbit.
It takes a lot of thrust to overcome the pull of gravity and get the vehicle off the ground.
But once it gets in orbit, all that’s required is a small correction from time to time.
That’s how the 24-hour plan works — a small daily checkup and correction
to keep us away from the pull of that first drink.
The 24-hour plan is a discipline whose yield is freedom.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 152

Thought to Ponder . . .
Just for today, I choose not to drink.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
J F T = Just For Today.

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

Self-will
“The first requirement is that we be convinced
that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.
On that basis we are almost always
in collision with something or somebody,
even though our motives are good.
Most people try to live by self-propulsion.
Each person is like an actor who wants
to run the whole show;
is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet,
the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way.
If his arrangements would only stay put,
if only people would do as he wished,
the show would be great.
Everybody, including himself, would be pleased.
Life would be wonderful.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 60-1

Thought to Consider . . .
It’s not making a mistake that will kill me.
It’s defending it that does the damage.

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

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

Orderly Transfer
From: “When AA Came of Age”
The full attendance of thousands of A.A.s at St. Louis, representing an accurate cross-section of A.A. opinion, now sat in convention before us. On the auditorium stage was the Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, about a hundred men and women who were the named and chosen representatives of the whole fellowship. The Conference, having completed the fifth year of its experimental period with a record of high success, was no longer an experiment. It was the instrument destined to become the heart of A.A.’s Third Legacy of Service and the whole of A.A.’s conscience, world-wide.
In the simple ceremony that followed, I offered a resolution to the effect that our society should now take its affairs into its own hands and that its Conference ought to become the permanent successor to the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Amid a roar of acclamation from the floor, the Convention carried that resolution. There was silence, and then we heard chairman Smith offer the resolution to the Conference for its confirmation. A simple show of hands expressed the consent of the Conference and marked the exact moment when A.A. came of age. It was four o’clock. [July 3, 1955]
1985, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, page 47

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

“Tradition Six enjoins the group never to go into business nor ever to lend the AA name or money credit to any ‘outside’ enterprise, no matter how good … We would thus divide the spiritual from the material, confine the AA movement to its sole aim and insure (however wealthy as individuals we may become) that AA itself shall always remain poor. We dare not risk the distractions of corporate wealth.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., April 1948
“Tradition Six”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Actually we were fooling ourselves, 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. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and
miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as
old as man himself.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 55

“We have three little mottoes which are apropos.
Here they are:
First Things First
Live and Let Live
Easy Does It.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 135~

“Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. 97 (Working with Others)

“Surrounded by so many A.A. friends, these so-called loners tell us they no longer feel alone.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – p. 120 (Step Twelve)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

All kinds of people have found their way into A.A. Not too long ago, I sat talking in my office with a member who bears the title of Countess. That same night, I went to an A.A. meeting. It was winter, and there was a mild-looking little gent taking the coats. I said, ‘Who’s that’
And somebody answered, ‘Oh, he’s been around for a long time. Everybody likes him. He used to be one of Al Capone’s mob.’ That’s how universal A.A. is today.
We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired. All of us, whatever our race, creed, or color, are the children of a living Creator, with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.

Prayer for the Day: God, forgive me where I have been resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid today. Help me to not keep anything to myself but to discuss it all openly with another person – show me where I owe an apology and help me make it. Help me to be kind and loving to all people. Use me in the mainstream of life, God. Free me of worry, remorse or morbid (sick) reflections that I may be of usefulness to others. AMEN

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 21st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 21st

Daily Reflections

FEAR AND FAITH

The achievement of freedom from fear is a lifetime
undertaking, one that can never be wholly completed.
When under heavy attack, acute illness, or in other
condition of insecurity, we shall all react to this
emotion – well or badly, as the case may be. Only the
self-deceived will claim perfect freedom from fear.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 263

Fear has caused suffering when I could have had more
faith. There are times when fear suddenly tears me apart,
just when I’m experiencing feelings of joy, happiness
and a lightness of heart. Faith–and a feeling of
self-worth toward a Higher Power -helps me endure
tragedy and ecstasy. When I choose to give all of my
fears over to my Higher Power, I will be free.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Intelligent faith in that Power greater than ourselves can
be counted on to stabilize our emotions. It has an
incomparable capacity to help us look at life in balanced
perspective. We look up, around, and away from ourselves,
and we see that nine out of ten things that at the moment
upset us will shortly disappear. Problems solve themselves,
criticism and unkindness vanish as though they had never
been. Have I got the proper perspective toward life?

Meditation For The Day

A truly spiritual man or woman would like to have a serene
mind. The only way to keep calm in this troubled world is to
have a serene mind. The calm and sane mind sees spiritual
things as the true realities and material things as only
temporary and fleeting. That sort of mind you can never obtain
by reasoning, because your reasoning powers are limited by
space and time. That kind of a mind you can never obtain by
reading, because other minds are also limited in the same way.
You can only have that mind by an act of faith, by making the
venture of belief.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have a calm and sane mind. I pray that I may
look up, around, and away from myself.

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As Bill Sees It

This Matter of Honesty, p. 172

“Only God can fully know what absolute honesty is. Therefore, each of us has to
conceive what this great ideal may be–to the best of our ability.

“Fallible as we all are, and will be in this life, it would be presumption to suppose that
we could ever really achieve absolute honesty. The best we can do is to strive for a
better quality of honesty.

“Sometimes we need to place love ahead of indiscriminate ‘factual honesty.’ We
cannot, under the guise of ‘perfect honesty,’ cruelly and unnecessarily hurt others.
Always one must ask, ‘What is the best and most loving thing I can do?'”

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Remember the Golden Key
Living in the Spirit
Whenever trouble arises, the first thing to do is to turn it over to our Higher Power. We can take all necessary practical steps to solve a problem, but we don’t need to decide what the answer may be. Do this, and you’ll soon be out of your difficulty.
This is essentially the formula of the Gold Key as taught by Emmet Fox. It is also the core idea os Steps three and Eleven. It is a manner of living one’s life iwht the constant knowledge that a Higher Power is always part of it.
We should also condition ourselves to believe that our Higher Power has been with us all along and will continue to show us the way. Nothing depends on our being “spiritual” or “saintly” or perfect in behavior. With all our shortcomings, we are and ever will be children of God.
My Higher Power is always with me today, supplying whatever I need for the accomplishment of any good purpose. 


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Keep It Simple

The future is much like the present, only longer.—Dan Quisenberry
In many way we don’t know what the future holds. But in terms of recovery, we know the future holds the Twelve steps. They will be with us for life.
We should never fall into the trap of thinking we “know” the program. We’ll never know all the truth and love the Steps hold for us. “Knowing the Steps” is a project we’ll never finish. As we change , the Steps change. As the seasons come and go, the same field or the same tree becomes a different picture.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I pray for Your help as I work the Steps and continue my recovery. Help me discover new treasures.
Action for the Day:  I will ask long-time members of my program how they keep the program fresh and alive.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are interesting monologues, that is all.  –Rebecca West
How often we want to be heard, to be truly listened to by our spouse, our children, friends and co-workers. And we deserve to be fully attended to. So do the other persons in our lives who come to us to be heard. We let our minds wander in the midst of important messages. And we may miss the very phrase that we need to hear–the answer to a problem, perhaps. Our minds wander, randomly, looking for a place to light, unconsciously searching for peace, the serenity promised by the Twelve Steps.
Living fully in the present, soaking up all the responses of the life we are immersed in for the moment, is the closest we can get to our higher power, our God. Being there–fully–is conversation with God. How can we know all that God intends for us to know if we don’t take advantage of God’s many messages? Every moment of every day offers us information, divine information. Each time we turn our minds away to self-centered thoughts, we’re refusing the chance to grow.
As I come together with friends and family today, I will remember to listen for God’s message. I will hear what I need to hear if I will but listen.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Many doctors and psychiatrists agree with our conclusions. One of these men, staff member of a world-renowned hospital, recently made this statement to some of us: “What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholics’ plight is, in my opinion, correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from divine help. Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution.”

p. 43

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
For the leveling-off process, I just loved intravenous Demerol, but I found it hard to practice good medicine while shooting morphine.  Following an injection, I would have to keep one hand busy scratching my constantly itching nose and would also have sudden uncontrollable urges to vomit.  I never got much effect out of codeine and Percodan and the tranquilizers.  However, for a period of time I was injecting Pentothal intravenously to put myself to sleep.  That’s the stuff used when the oral surgeon puts the needle in your vein and says, “Count to ten,” and before you get to two you’re asleep.  Instant blackout was what it was, and it seemed delightful.  I didn’t feel I could lie in bed and squirt the stuff in my veins while my kids and wife stood around watching me, so I kept the drug in my bag and bag in the car and the car in the garage.  Luckily, the garage was attached to the house.  In the garage I would put the needle in my vein and then try to figure out exactly how much medication to inject to overcome the pep pills while adding to the sleeping pills while ignoring the tranquilizers. in order to get just enough to be able to pull the needle, jerk the tourniquet, throw it the car, slam the car door shut, run down the hall, and fall in bed before I fell sleep.

pp. 410-411

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

When the Big Book appeared in 1939, we called it “Alcoholics Anonymous.” Its foreword mad this revealing statement: “It is important that we remain anonymous because are too few, at present, to handle the overwhelming number of personal appeals which may result from this publication. Being mostly business or professional folk, we could not well carry on our occupations in such an event.” Between these lines, it is easy to read our fear that large numbers of incoming people might break our anonymity wide open.

pp. 184-185

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Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
–Art Linkletter

It is in the silence of the heart that God speaks.
–Mother Teresa

“Our entire life–consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.”

–Jean Anouilh

“You are infinitely lovable, infinitely desirable, because the One who
most desires and loves you is also infinite.”
–Deepak Chopra

You will find that the spiritual energy will permit you to perform tasks
far beyond your conditioned capacity in terms of time and
accomplishment.
–John-Roger

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
–Italian Proverb

God, help me stay serene, confident, and joyful as I go through my
day.
–Melody Beattie

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LIES

“The cruelest lies are often told in
silence.”
–Robert Louis Stevenson

In treatment I said that I did not “tell” many lies – and although this
was not true (hence a lie), it missed the fact that most of my lies were
“lies of silence”. It was what I did not say that produced the
confusion; the pretended self-confidence that hid the pain and shame;
the half-spoken truth that harbored the disease.

Communication is the key to any spiritual relationship and a sick
silence creates the ultimate blasphemy. God created you and me to
relate. In the interchange of our ideas is the miracle born. A sick,
angry and ego-centered silence is our shouted “no” to God.

O Lord of the paradox, let me see how the lie of silence can be used to
destroy my world.

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“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Ephesians 6:11

“For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
I John 3:20b

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who
hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully
use you.”
Luke 6:27-28

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his
friends.”
John 15:13


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Daily Inspiration

Set aside time for quiet because it is here that you will come to know yourself and to know God. Lord, the distractions and interruptions of my day are many, but for a few moments each day we will talk.

When life seems hard and filled with troubles, look for reasons to be thankful. Lord, Your beautiful presence is always with me.

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NA Just For Today

New Levels Of Honesty

“We have been experts at self-deception and rationalization.”
Basic Text, p. 27

When we come to our first meeting and hear that we must be honest, we may think, “Well now, that shouldn’t be too difficult. All I have to do is stop lying.” To some of us, this comes easily. We no longer have to lie to our employers about our absence from work. We no longer have to lie to our families about where we were the night before. By not using drugs anymore, we find we have less to lie about. Some of us may have difficulty even with this kind of honesty, but at least learning not to lie is simple – you just don’t do it, no matter what. With courage, determined practice, the support of our fellow NA members, and the help of our Higher Power, most of us eventually succeed at this kind of honesty.

Honesty, though, means more than just not lying. The kind of honesty that is truly indispensable in recovery is self-honesty, which is neither easy nor simple to achieve. In our addiction, we created a storm of self-deception and rationalization, a whirlwind of lies in which the small, quiet voice of self-honesty could not be heard. To become honest with ourselves, we first must stop lying to ourselves. In our Eleventh Step meditations, we must become quiet. Then, in the resulting stillness, we must listen for truth. When we become silent, self-honesty will be there for us to find.

Just for today: I will be quiet and still, listening for the voice of truth within myself. I will honor the truth I find.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
To be able to invite pain to join in my experience and not have to control my life to avoid pain is such a freedom!
–Christina Baldwin
If we really stopped to think about it, we would be astounded to discover how much of our time is spent trying to avoid pain. We are afraid to say what we think or tell others our needs because we fear rejection. We are afraid to face the pain of our own anger. We are afraid of telling others who we are. When we are afraid of opening up to others for fear they will hurt us, we are not free, we are prisoners of our own fears.
Pain is a natural part of life, and we are gifted with the ability to feel it. Pain teaches us, makes us work harder sometimes, and it helps us appreciate pleasure.
When we accept pain, and stop exhausting ourselves trying to avoid it, we will be free to live life more fully and without so much worry.
How has my own fear limited my freedom?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
In the life of the Indian there is only one inevitable duty – the duty of prayer – the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. He sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, since to him all days are God’s. –Ohiyesa, Santee Dakota
Some of our past troubles came from our naive arrogance. We failed to acknowledge anything beyond ourselves. Whatever was unseen or eternal remained invisible to us. We were skeptical, scientific, task-oriented, self-centered, and unreflective. It’s like we had been racing down a country highway at top speed, hardly tuned in to the rich vitality of life that surrounded us. When we stopped the car and explored the road banks, we could suddenly smell the grasses, hear birds singing, perhaps see a whole community in an anthill, or watch a darting squirrel.
Coming to believe in a Power greater than ourselves is not something we create on our own. It is largely a matter of shifting our attention, of being open to the spiritual. We don’t need to force it. We need only be willing to quiet ourselves and notice. Ultimately, every moment is sacred.
Today, may I live from moment to moment.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are interesting monologues, that is all. –Rebecca West
How often we want to be heard, to be truly listened to by our spouse, our children, friends and co-workers. And we deserve to be fully attended to. So do the other persons in our lives who come to us to be heard. We let our minds wander in the midst of important messages. And we may miss the very phrase that we need to hear–the answer to a problem, perhaps. Our minds wander, randomly, looking for a place to light, unconsciously searching for peace, the serenity promised by the Twelve Steps.
Living fully in the present, soaking up all the responses of the life we are immersed in for the moment, is the closest we can get to our higher power, our God. Being there–fully–is conversation with God. How can we know all that God intends for us to know if we don’t take advantage of God’s many messages? Every moment of every day offers us information, divine information. Each time we turn our minds away to self-centered thoughts, we’re refusing the chance to grow.
As I come together with friends and family today, I will remember to listen for God’s message. I will hear what I need to hear if I will but listen.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
The Good Feelings
Let yourself feel the good feelings too.
Yes, sometimes-good feelings can be as distracting as the painful, more difficult ones. Yes, good feelings can be anxiety producing to those of us unaccustomed to them. But go ahead and feel the good feelings anyway.
Feel and accept the joy. The love. The warmth. The excitement. The pleasure. The satisfaction. The elation. The tenderness. The comfort.
Let yourself feel the victory, the delight.
Let yourself feel cared for.
Let yourself feel respected, important, and special.
These are only feelings, but they feel good. They are full of positive, upbeat energy – and we deserve to feel that when it comes our way.
We don’t have to repress. We don’t have to talk ourselves out of feeling good–not for a moment.
If we feel it, it’s ours for the moment. Own it. If it’s good, enjoy it.
Today, God, help me be open to the joy and good feelings available to me.

“Faith is the thread we hang on to when our life is falling apart” –Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse
Sometimes faith is right there, holding us up, keeping us light so that hard times feel manageable. And other times we have to ‘act as if’ we have faith to get through the tough times. We have to pray for faith. It feels so good to know that no matter what is going on today, I have the faith to know that my Higher Power is guiding and supporting me. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

You’re Right Where You Need to Be

You’re right where you need to be– on your path, guided, in just the right place for you today.

Many times on my journey I stopped short, convinced I would never find the place I was trying to find, only to discover that it was right in front of me all the time. I had gone there instinctively. Gone right where I needed to go, right where I was heading.

There is a part of us that knows where we need to be and understands where we really want to go. There’s a place in us that has the map, even if our eyes and conscious mind can’t see it, can’t figure it out, or aren’t certain it’s there.

If you’re spinning in circles, feeling lost and confused, trying to figure out where you need to be and not all that certain where you’re going,stop. Breathe deeply. Look around.

You’re right where you need to be. Maybe you’ve been there all along.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Calm yourself first

Calm yourself.

Many incidents will come to pass in our lives. Sometimes, things happen to get our attention, to point the next lesson out, to help guide us along our path. Sometimes, things just happen.

Our emotional responses to the world are important. How do you feel? What do you like? What don’t you like? Have you been denying something, something taking place before your eyes? What we sense, what we feel, and, more important, what we know deep inside is an important part of our spirit, our connection to the Divine.

It’s important not to underreact. It’s important not to overreact.

When something comes up, calm yourself. Feel your emotions. Don’t move into denial. Feel each wave of each feeling. Allow your thoughts to pass through you. But the key is not to act on these emotions. Let them pass through you first.

Your power comes from being centered and clear. That’s where your answers, insights, and lessons will come from,too.

The first thing to do when something happens is feel what you feel.

The second is calm yourself. From that place of calm, you’ll be guided into your next step.

God, teach me to take guided action, not action motivated by turbulent emotions.

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In God’s Care

It is well, when one is judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality. ~~Arnold Bennett

It’s amazing how well we know our friends and how we think they should behave. And isn’t it interesting that what we want others to do always benefits us in some way? When we are upset with people, it’s usually because they have failed to fulfill an assignment we have mentally given them – or because their errors are a little too much like our own.

We couldn’t fairly or accurately judge people without knowing an infinite number of things about them. And we would have to know how those things influenced their judgment. Too, we would have to be sure that our perception was without flaw before we could judge fairly.

God, of course, is the only competent judge of anyone. Only God knows everyone’s past, present, and future. Only God can be fair. What, then, are we doing in the judge’s chair?

My only judgment is that I’m not competent to judge anyone.

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Day By Day

Dealing with problems

Eventually we reach a point in recovery where one trying incident doesn’t have to ruin the whole day. We reach a point where we’re less sensitive or emotional. We learn to take each day with everything in it. We learn to take each day with humor, acceptance, and love.

This is not to say that we become doormats; it just means we’re going to find ways to calm down and not complicate existing problems. Just for today, let’s leave all our trials and complications to our Higher Power.

Am I learning to be less sensitive or emotional?

Higher Power, when I start to feel the pressure of today’s tribulations,
help me remember that you can handle anything.

My plan for handling problems today is…

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The Day the Sun Stands Still
The Summer Solstice by Madisyn Taylor

Summer solstice represents a time to reflect upon the blessings we have received in seasons past and look toward new growth.

On the longest day of the year, the sun, which has on the days preceding seemed to rise higher and higher into the sky, reaches its zenith and rises no more. This day, which in the Northern Hemisphere can occur between the 20th and 23rd of June, marks the start of summer and is known as the summer solstice. From time immemorial, the coming of summer’s light and warmth has been a time of gladness and celebration. In June, the snows had long since melted, the ground had thawed, the first fruits were ripening on their vines, and Mother Nature had once again renewed herself. Though most of us have turned away from our agricultural heritage, the summer solstice remains a time of new beginnings and life-enriching endings. It is the day the sun reaches the peak of its power as well as the day that heralds the shorter days that eventually bring with them autumn’s chills.

For ancient peoples of the Americas and Europe, the summer solstice was a particularly joyous day—and one auspicious for those seeking year-long luck, fertility, abundance, and prosperity. Men and women on two continents would gather to pay tribute to the sun’s magnificence, to pray for a bountiful harvest, and to bolster the sun’s energy with bonfires and fireworks. Today, the summer solstice represents an optimal time to reflect upon the blessings we have received in seasons past and visualize the new bounties we hope to receive in the season just beginning to flourish. At noon, when the sun is at its highest point, we can pay reverence to its incredible strength and its ability to create life while also musing on the impermanence of life as represented by the impermanence of the season. You can reestablish your innate connection to nature on the summer solstice by spending time outdoors; following the sun’s procession as the day passes; burning sun oils such as orange, be! nzion, or juniper; or decorating an altar with solar images, summer greens, or colorful blossoms.

Just as the summer solstice is symbolic of agricultural growth, so is it symbolic of personal growth. It is a wonderful time to nurture your potential as you would nurture a tiny seedling and let your creative energy express itself fully. On the summer solstice, you may feel compelled to emulate the noontime sun and be at one with the world around you or to let your inner brilliance shine forth at full strength, if only for a single day. Your life, like the seasons, follows a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and summers, whether literal or figurative, can always be celebrated. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Direct” is a key word in the Ninth Step. There are times, unfortunately, where many of us are hopeful that indirect amends will suffice, sparing us the pain and supposed humiliation of approaching people in person and telling them of our wrongs. This is evasion and will never give us a true sense of breaking with the wrong-doings of the past. It shows that we’re still trying to defend something that isn’t worth defending, hanging on to conduct that we ought to abandon. The usual reasons for sidestepping direct amends are pride and fear. As I make amends to others, do I realize that the real, lasting benefits accrue to me?

Today I Pray

May I be sure that the best reward for coming on straight as I try to repair my damages is, after all, my own. But may I avoid making amends purely for my own benefit — to be forgiven, to be reinstated, to flaunt the “new me.” Ego-puffing and people-leasing are not part of the real “new me.” God save me from opportunism.

Today I Will Remember

No puffery or people-pleasing.

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One More Day

One cloud is enough to eclipse all the sun.
– Thomas Fuller

Sometimes a beautiful day suddenly falls to pieces because of a criticism from a friend or being stuck in traffic before an important appointment. Later we may have wondered why one small happening could overshadow other happy events.

Quite possible the answer lies within us and our expectations. if we expect each day and all our relationships to be without mishaps or misunderstandings, we set ourselves up to be disappointment. If we direct our energies toward pleasing our friends and relatives at the expense of our own needs and values, we are placing too much responsibility in their hands. We can have more rewarding days when our expectations are realistic. Each day will have unexpected delays or unappreciated remarks, but they are just a scattering of clouds in a bright, wide, wonderful sky.

I will have more realistic expectations.

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Food for Thought.

Discipline

If we think of discipline in terms of punishment, we miss the more constructive meanings of the word. Discipline is order, training, practice, study. Without it, our lives are ineffective and full of chaos. Before we came to OA, our eating patterns were probably chaotic. We may have been short of order in other areas, too.

Discipline is a tool which produces self-respect and a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. When we discipline ourselves to eat three measured meals a day, we achieve physical and emotional results which make our spirits sing! The discipline of the OA program liberates us from the tyranny of self-will and self-indulgence.

As we develop trust in our Higher Power, we begin to see that the hardships and difficulties we face are means to spiritual development. Through them, we acquire self-discipline and strength. Our lives become ordered according to God’s plan.
Make me willing, Lord, to accept the discipline of an ordered life.

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One Day At A Time

A Person of Worth
“It is funny about life:
if you refuse to accept anything but the very best
you will very often get it.”
W. Somerset Maugham

Upon entering recovery, I found it ironic, even strange, that I was so very good at taking care of others and helping them secure the help that they needed, yet often in my life I have not done this for myself. I would grow depressed and very frozen in anger, grief, and fear. Why wasn’t I ever able to care properly for myself? At what point did I begin to expect the worst as my own allotment in life?

It is possible that I dreamed of a “rescue” or an intervention of some kind that would “save me.” It is likely that my Higher Power knew of my tendencies for magical thinking. He caught my attention by the introduction of someone who knew of a program that would point me in a realistic direction. In this program, I would be taught to take small actions — “One day at a time” — that would encourage and re-build my shattered self-esteem. I now am in possession of a wonderful program that has given me tools for recovery and change so that I can learn to treat myself as well as I treat others.

One day at a time…
I no longer accept anything but the best, as it will indirectly affect my recovery. This is my new mindset: that I am a person of worth.
~ January K.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. – Pg. xviii – 4th. Edition – Foreward To Second Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

As we learn to accept our disease, our circumstances and what we must do to recover, we come to realize that although we may not have control over these situations, we do have control over how we react to them. Bill W., co-founder of 12-step programs, wrote ‘We neither ran nor fought. But accept we did. And then we were free.’

I chose to accept this wonderful opportunity to grow spiritually and know this ‘new freedom and new happiness’ of which they speak.

Personal Truth

Today, I know that no one from my past needs to see things the way I do for me to get better and move on. Trying to convince others of what I have learned through my own journey can be an exercise in futility and delay my progress. First of all, each of us has our own truth that is unique unto itself. Second of all, each of us is at a different level of understanding and acceptance of who and where we are in life. Each member in my family had different experiences. That I thought we somehow matched up was an illusion. We each experienced our childhoods in our own way and have a right to our own perceptions. I do not have to get anyone to see it my way in order for me to feel comfortable. My truth is my truth, theirs is theirs.

I honor my own experiences and personal truth, as well as those of others.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

There is a difference between sharing our experience and imposing our opinions on someone. A sure way to set yourself up for a ‘slip’ is to be convinced that others will slip if they don’t listen to your opinion.

When my opinion means more to me than my sobriety, I set myself up for a SLIP (Sobriety Loses Its Priority).

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

In AA, we surrender to win, not to whine.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

‘Faith is the thread we hang on to when our life is falling apart’ – Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse

Sometimes faith is right there, holding us up, keeping us light so that hard times feel manageable. And other times we have to ‘act as if’ we have faith to get through the tough times. We have to pray for faith.

It feels so good to know that no matter what is going on today, I have the faith to know that my Higher Power is guiding and supporting me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

For an alcoholic, drinking alcohol is like dancing with a gorilla; you’re only finished dancing when the gorilla says so. Tom W.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 21

Why AA?
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.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Thought to Ponder . . .
Every recovery, though it may go unnoticed, improves the world in some way.

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

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

Change
“Let us never fear needed change.
Certainly we have to discriminate between
changes for worse and changes for better.
But once a need becomes clearly apparent
in an individual, in a group, or in AA as a whole,
it has long since been found out
that we cannot stand still and look the other way.
The essence of all growth is a willingness
to change for the better
and then an unremitting willingness
to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.”
Bill W., Grapevine, July 1965
1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 115

Thought to Consider . . .
God used two people to create me;
He used a whole Fellowship to change me.

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

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

Steps
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“Though subject to considerable variation, it all boiled down into a pretty consistent procedure which comprised six steps. These were approximately as follows:
1. “We admitted that we were licked, that we were powerless over alcohol.
2. “We made a moral inventory of our defects or sins.
3. “We confessed or shared our shortcomings with another person in confidence.
4. “We made restitution to all those we have harmed by our drinking.
5. “We tried to help other alcoholics, with no thought of reward in money or prestige.
6. We prayed to whatever God we thought there was for power to practice these precepts.
“This was the substance of what, by the fall of 1938, we were telling newcomers. Several of the Oxford Groups other ideas and attitudes had been definitely rejected, including any which could involve us in theological controversy.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 160

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

“Many blessings have been showered upon me during my five years and nine months of sobriety — great spiritual gifts, as well as the more ordinary supplies of money and goods. These great gifts come one after the other in spite of my own foolishness and fumbling, as I very slowly grope my way toward the light of reason and love.”
Universal City, California, February 1970
“Freedom Began in Prison,”
AA Grapevine

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

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

“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~

“Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 75 (Into Action)

“Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 89 (Step Ten)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Only God can fully know what absolute honesty is. Therefore, each of us has to conceive what this great ideal may be–to the best or our ability.
‘Fallible as we all are, and will be in this life, it would be presumption to suppose that we could ever really achieve absolute honesty. The best we can do is to strive for a better quality of honesty.
‘Sometimes we need to place love ahead of indiscriminate ‘factual honesty.’ We cannot, under the guise of ‘perfect honesty,’ cruelly and unnecessarily hurt others. Always one must ask, ‘What is the best and most loving thing I can do?’

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give me the willingness to sit quietly today with my thoughts and emotions. Let me not run from them, but acknowledge them with the help of Your love.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 20th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 20th

Daily Reflections

RELEASE FROM FEAR

The problem of resolving fear has two aspects. We shall
have to try for all the freedom from fear that is possible
for us to attain. Then we shall need to find both the
courage and grace to deal constructively with whatever
fears remain.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 61

Most of my decisions were based on fear. Alcohol made life
easier to face, but the time came when alcohol was no
longer an alternative to fear. One of the greatest gifts
in A.A. for me has been the courage to take action, which
I can do with God’s help. After five years of sobriety I
had to deal with a heavy dose of fear. God put the people
in my life to help me do that and, through my working the
Twelve Steps, I am becoming the whole person I wish to be
and, for that, I am deeply grateful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

You should be ready and willing to carry the A.A. message
when called upon to do so. Live for some purpose greater
than yourself. Each day you will have something to work for.
You have received so much from this program that you should
have a vision that gives your life a direction and a
purpose that gives meaning to each new day. Let us not
slide along through life. Let us have a purpose for each
day and let us make that purpose for something greater than
just ourselves. What is my purpose for today?

Meditation For The Day

To see God with eyes of faith is to cause God’s power to
manifest itself in the material world. God cannot do His
work because of unbelief. In response to your belief, God
can work a miracle in your personality. All miracles happen
in the realm of personality and all are caused by and based
on belief in God’s never-failing power. But God’s power
cannot manifest itself in personalities unless those
personalities make His power available by their faith.
We can only see God with the eyes of faith, but this kind
of seeing produces a great change in our way of living.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see God with the eyes of faith. I pray
that this seeing will produce a change in my personality.

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As Bill Sees It

Dividends and Mysteries, p. 171

“The A.A. preoccupation with sobriety is sometimes misunderstood. To some, this
single virtue appears to be the sole dividend of our Fellowship. We are thought to be
dried-up drunks who otherwise have changed little, or not at all, for the better. Such a
surmise widely misses the truth. We know that permanent sobriety can be
attained only by a most revolutionary change in the life and outlook of the
individual–by a spiritual awakening that can banish the desire to drink.”

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

“You are asking yourself, as all of us must: ‘Who am I?’ . . . ‘Where am I?’ . . .
‘Whence do I go?’ The process of enlightenment is usually slow. But, in the end, our
seeking always brings a finding. These great mysteries are, after all, enshrined in
complete simplicity. The willingness to grow is the essence of all spiritual
development.

1. Letter, 1966
2. Letter, 1955

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Walk in Dry Places

Estrangements
Amends
A number of alcoholics become estranged from members of their family. Sometimes these estrangements continue
into sobriety and fester as a source of resentment.
Where estrangements have occurred, we are always responsible for any wrongs on our part. We need to check
carefully to make sure that pride and bitterness on our part aren=t prolonging the estrangement.
But some of these estrangements have been chosen by others. We need to accept them if we’ve done everything
possible to correct the problem.
Honesty will be our guide as we look carefully at any estrangements in our rives. All that’s ever necessary is that we
use our best principles in dealing with any estrangements.
If I find today that an estrangement is bothering me or others in the program, I’ll examine it carefully with the thought
that either making amends or acceptance  might be required.

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Keep It Simple

Order is heaven’s first law.—Alexander Pope
We need order in our lives. It makes life simpler for us. Life without order would be like driving in a large city without traffic signals. Our lives as addicts were like this. We lived with no plan, no order.
Now that we’re sober, we can put some order in our lives. We can get up every morning. We can make our beds and be on time for work. These things make life so much easier and nicer. we need this order. It allows us to depend on ourselves.
We now look at the Twelve Steps to bring order to our lives. The Steps follow each other as summer follows spring. Do I allow myself to follow the natural order or do I fight it?
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You’ve put order in this world. Please put order in my life. Let me flow within this order instead of being on my own.
Action for the Day:  The Twelve Steps have a natural order. Today I’ll take time to read each Step and think about the order found in them.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There were deep secrets, hidden in my heart, never said for fear others would scoff or sneer. At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power.  –Deidra Sarault
There is magic in sharing ourselves with someone else. We learn from Steps Four and Five that what we thought were heinous acts are not unusual. Our shameful acts are not unique, and this discovery is our gift when we risk exposure.
Realizing how much we are like others gives us strength, and the program paves the way for us to capture that strength whenever and wherever we sense our need. Secrets block us from others and thus from God too. The messages we need to hear, the guidance offered by God, can’t be received when we close ourselves off from the caring persons in our lives. They are the carriers of God’s message.
How freeing to know we share the same fears, the same worries. Offering our story to someone else may be the very encouragement she needs at this time. Each of us profits from the sharing of a story. We need to recognize and celebrate our “sameness.” When we share ourselves, we are bonded. Bonding combines our strength.
Silence divides us. It diminishes our strength. Yet all the strength we need awaits us. I will let someone else know me today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Fred’s story speaks for itself. We hope it strikes home to thousands like him. He had felt only the first nip of the wringer. Most alcoholics have to be pretty badly mangled before they really commence to solve their problems.

p. 43

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
So I immediately started taking and shooting pep pills.  Eventually, I was taking forty-five milligrams of the long-acting Benzedrine and forty-five of the short-acting just to get out of bed in the morning.  I took more through the day to increase the high, and more to maintain it; when I overshot the mark, I’d take tranquilizers to level off.  The pep pills affected my hearing at times:  I couldn’t listen fast enough to hear what I was saying.  I ‘d think, I wonder why I’m saying that again–I’ve already said it three times.  Still, I couldn’t turn my mouth off.

p. 410

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

But in the beginning, anonymity was not born of confidence; it was the child of our early fears. Our first nameless groups of alcoholics were secret societies. New prospects could find us only through a few trusted friends. The bare hint of publicity, even for our work, shocked us. Though ex-drinkers, we still thought we had to hide from public distrust and contempt.

p. 184

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

“Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone
else to die.”
–unknown

Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.
–Anonymous

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

A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong,
which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was
yesterday.
–Jonathan Swift

“You can’t fly a kite unless you go against the wind and have a weight
to keep it from turning somersaults. The same with man. No man will
succeed unless he is ready to face and overcome difficulties and is
prepared to assume responsibilities.
–William J. H. Boetcker

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

THOUGHT

“Write down the thoughts of the
moment. Those that come
unsought are commonly the most
valuable.”
–Francis Bacon

My mind sometimes races with ideas: What should I do? What should I
write? Where should I go? Phrases that could prove useful in an
article. People I need to get in contact with, etc., etc. Many of these
ideas come late at night and so today I have a note pad and a pencil at
the side of my bed so that I can write down the thought and then go
back to sleep.

I am not God. I know that if I say I will remember the thought
tomorrow, it would be unrealistic. As an imperfect human being I take
any help I can get. The pad at the side of the bed is invaluable!

Let me employ discipline as an aid to joyful and creative living.

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in
which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:22

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what
you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I
forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I
will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Remember your leaders,
who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way
of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and
today and forever.
Hebrews 13:5-8


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Daily Inspiration

Don’t allow yourself to live in constant anticipation because the time for your happiness is right now. Lord, help me to see that no matter what, there is no better time for me than right now.

Everywhere we turn, there is so much need and so little time. Lord, give me the desire to reach out to just one person in Your name and share my blessings.

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NA Just For Today

Meditation For Beginners

“For some, prayer is asking for God’s help; meditation is listening for God’s answer. Quieting the mind through meditation brings an inner peace that brings us into contact with the God within us.”
Basic Text, pp.44-45

“Be patient when you’re learning to meditate,” many of us were told. “It takes practice to know what to ‘listen’ for.”

We’re glad someone told us that, or many of us would have quit after a week or two of meditating. For the first few weeks, we may have sat each morning, stilled our thoughts, and “listened”, just as the Basic Text said-but “heard” nothing. It may have taken a few more weeks before anything really happened. Even then, what happened was often barely noticeable. We were rising from our morning meditations feeling just a little better about our lives, a little more empathy for those we encountered during the day, and a little more in touch with our Higher Power.

For most of us, there was nothing dramatic in that awareness – no bolts of lightning or claps of thunder. Instead, it was something quietly powerful. We were taking time to get our egos and our ideas out of the way. In that clear space, we were improving our conscious contact with the source of our daily recovery, the God of our understanding. Meditation was new, and it took time and practice. But, like all the steps, it worked – when we worked it.

Just for today: I will practice “listening” for knowledge of God’s will for me, even if I don’t know what to “listen” for yet.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room, not to try to do or be anything whatsoever. –May Sarton
A whole world can be seen through even the smallest window. Knowing this can help us slow down and enjoy everyday events. We can listen to the regular rhythms of letter carriers and school children, dogs and delivery trucks, city buses and song birds playing out a piece of their daily lives outside the window.
We can greet the letter carrier who comes up the walk, feed the robin who lands on the sill, wave to the kids who’ve found a shortcut through our backyards on their way home from school.
It is not necessary, today, for us to fill our lives with important meetings, gala parties, expensive treats, toys, or outings to be happy. There is a whole world to be discovered just outside the nearest window.
What worlds lie on the other side of my window today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
“Wait’ll next year!” is the favorite cry of baseball fans, football fans, hockey fans, and gardeners. –Robert Orben
Hope was a casualty for many of us in our life of chaos and extremes. Some of us said to ourselves, “Life is just drab, I’d better get used to it.” We may have slowly changed our definition of normal to mean a hopeless existence. Others of us held onto some shred of hope that said “Better times are just around the comer,” but it only kept us from confronting how disastrous our lives had become. We are brothers in that we truly have been men on a dead-end path.
Our new lives have seen the dawning of true hope that has a solid base upon reality. We have the reality of friendships with our brothers and sisters. They provide comfort and support which are reliable and durable. We have the reality of our clearer thinking and our amended lives. We may not have everything we could desire, but we are actually on the road and progressing in directions we wish to go. We are engaged in the adventure of increasing our conscious contact with God. Our hope is founded in what we already feel in our lives.
Today, nothing is perfect, but hope underlies everything. With the return of hope, I have my life back again.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There were deep secrets, hidden in my heart, never said for fear others would scoff or sneer. At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power. –Deidra Sarault
There is magic in sharing ourselves with someone else. We learn from Steps Four and Five that what we thought were heinous acts are not unusual. Our shameful acts are not unique, and this discovery is our gift when we risk exposure.
Realizing how much we are like others gives us strength, and the program paves the way for us to capture that strength whenever and wherever we sense our need. Secrets block us from others and thus from God too. The messages we need to hear, the guidance offered by God, can’t be received when we close ourselves off from the caring persons in our lives. They are the carriers of God’s message.
How freeing to know we share the same fears, the same worries. Offering our story to someone else may be the very encouragement she needs at this time. Each of us profits from the sharing of a story. We need to recognize and celebrate our “sameness.” When we share ourselves, we are bonded. Bonding combines our strength.
Silence divides us. It diminishes our strength. Yet all the strength we need awaits us. I will let someone else know me today.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Relationship Martyrs
Many of us have gone so numb and discounted our feelings so completely that we have gotten out of touch with our needs in relationships.
We can learn to distinguish whose company we enjoy, whether we’re talking about friends, business acquaintances, dates, or spouses. We all need to interact with people we might prefer to avoid, but we don’t have to force ourselves through long term or intimate relationships with these people.
We are free to choose friends, dates, and spouses. We are free to choose how much time we spend with those people we can’t always choose to be around, such as relatives. This is our life. This is it. We can decide how we want to spend our days and hours. We’re not enslaved. We’re not trapped. And not one of us is without options. We may not see our options clearly. Although we may have to struggle through shame and learn to own our power, we can learn to spend our valuable hours and days with the people we enjoy and choose to be with.
God, help me value my time and life. Help me place value on how I feel being around certain people. Guide me as I learn to develop healthy, intimate, sharing relationships with people. Help me give myself the freedom to experiment, explore, and learn who I am and who I can be in my relationships.

My past experience no longer take up room and live in my mind and body. I am free to live in today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

You Are a Perfect Balance of Yin and Yang

I trudged to the top of the mesa in Sedona. A woman I’d met had told me what to look for. There it was: a rock formation, a naturally formed statue. On the left side, the formation looked like a woman, an Egyptian goddess with necklace and breasts. On the right, it had taken the shape of a male. I found it immediately. A statue with two sides– one male, one female.

For many years, I denied the feminine part of God, of the universe, of myself. I thought my strength and my power had to come from other parts, other sides. I resented my femininity, raged about it, because I thought being feminine meant being helpless and powerless. But I’ve learned something along the way. There is power in the feminine and power in the masculine. Both parts are in us. Both parts are valuable.

Our strength, courage, protectiveness and feminine energy, the yin and the yang in yourself, the universe, the people around you. Both parts are important. Both can be trusted. Learn to let them work together in harmony.

Climb to the top of the mountain. Look around. See the perfect balance of masculine and feminine. Let that balance come alive in you.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Relax and face the truth

Sometimes, we have to face things we’d rather not see.

That person we’ve been dating just isn’t someone who is good for us. Our spouse isn’t just a social drinker, he or she has a serious problem with alcohol. Our child isn’t just being a cute little child anymore, making up silly stories; that child is lying and stealing from us.

Sometimes, these moments of truth are big bombs in our lives. Other times, we run from those smaller moments of truth– we’ve done something that hurt someone, no matter how defensive and innocent we pretended to be, and we need to face up to that. Maybe our children have grown up and left home and we;ve been running from that truth, pretending that we still need to center our lives around them. Or maybe the truth is, we are feeling angry, abandoned, or hurt.

We all have moments of truth in our lives.

I was talking to a friend one day. He had been complaining that his air purifier didn’t work. I was going to the repair shop, so I offered to take his machine in and get it fixed.

“It’s plugged in,” he said. “I got it to turn on, and I can’t afford to be without it.”

“You’ve got it turned on, but it’s not working right?” I asked. “You’re without it now.”

Relax. Let your illusions go. Turn and face whatever you’re running from. Not facing the truth doesn’t make the truth go away, no matter how much we hope it will.

If you’ve been running from the truth in some area of your life, gently begin to face what you’ve preferred to avoid. The power is in the truth.

God, help me let go of my illusions. Help me understand the power that comes when I take the time to see clearly and have my moments of truth.

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In God’s Care

The crucial task of old age is blance.
~~Florida Scott Maxdwell

Finding balance is important at any age, not just when we’re old. We need balance in our diet, between work and rest, in our emotional life – any activity is more rewarding, more life enhancing when done in moderation.,

Most of us developed a belief that if a little of something is good, then a whole lot is better. Had we been able to practice moderation, we would not be sharing this fellowship today. It’s paradoxical that our drive to live on the edge, doing everyting to extreme, has rewarded us with a program for living quite a distance from the edge.

Many a friend or sponsor has suggested Easy Does It; Let Go and Let God; One Day at a Time. These slogans are simple and yet profound reminders to find balance and quiet moderation in all our activities. We can only fully know and appreciate this moment if we’re participating in it, not racing to the next thought, hour, or day.

Today I can enjoy moderation with the knowledge it will enhance my life.

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Day By Day

Looking for beauty

It is important that we look for beauty. There are beautiful things in the world each and every day, if we only know how to see.

In recovery, in serenity, beauty is everywhere – even in pain and suffering – if we only know how to see.

How good am I at seeing all the beauty there is to see?

Higher Power, help me to use my recovery, my new vision, to see beauty.

Today I will practice looking for beauty in…

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Food for Thought

Head Hunger

Those of us who overeat are responding to distorted signals. When we consume food that harms rather than helps our bodies, we are eating in response to some irrational demand in our head rather than because of legitimate physical hunger. The mental obsession with food is an illusion, but one to which we cling with great tenacity.

When we feel “hungry,” we need to stop and evaluate the signal. Is it coming from our stomach or from our head? Often, it is after a meal that we most strongly crave something more to eat. This is either because we ate so fast that our stomach has not had time to register satisfaction or because eating has awakened a giant, insatiable appetite for more. It is frequently our mind that wants more, even after our body has had quite enough.

Emotions such as fear, anger, and anxiety can trigger “head hunger.” We need perception and insight to know whether the hunger comes from our body or our mind.

May I learn to respond to the legitimate needs of my body.

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Technology as Distraction
Choosing True Connections by Madisyn Taylor

By always using our cell phones, texting and surfing the Internet, we actually become less connected and more distracted.

We are often lured by the promise of new technologies to make our lives easier and help connect us to others. While they do so in many ways, they also present each of us with opportunities to make new choices about how we spend our time and invest our energy. Most gadgets are generally meant to improve the quality of our lives, but it is when we spend too much time with them that they actually do the opposite. By always using our portable emailers, cell phones, video games, and surfing the Internet, we actually become less connected and more distracted. By becoming aware of these tendencies, we harness the power to overcome them and make better choices for ourselves and our families.

Once we decide to consciously put our gadgets to work for us, we become masters of our time. We can give our full attention to whatever we are doing and not let phone conversations and other distractions take the place of human contact. Each of us has the ability to consciously choose to be more present in our lives. We can decide at any time to leave our gadgets behind and become aware of the sights and sounds around us in order to expand our awareness and be fully present in our bodies and our surroundings.

When we use our discernment about how we invest our personal energy, we can be sure that we choose only the best for ourselves and those we love. Our gadgets can be useful tools for our journey in the material world, but we must not forget that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that means interacting with people on a personal level. Choices that enliven us and help us feel connected to our world and our loved ones always deserve our full attention and presence of mind, body, and spirit. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we take the Ninth Step, we must be willing to be absolutely honest. Obviously, though, indiscriminate “absolute honesty” would blow the roof off many a house and entirely destroy some relationships. We must hold nothing back through deceit and pride; we may need to hold something back by discretion and consideration of others. Just when and how we tell the truth — or keep silent — can often reveal the difference between genuine integrity and none at all. Am I grateful for the products of truth which, through the grace of God, I have been privileged to receive?

Today I Pray

May I have the wisdom to know the fine-line difference between tact and dishonesty. In my eagerness to make restitution, may I not be the charmer, the flatterer or the crawler who insists, “You’re so good, and I’m so bad.” All are forms of dishonesty and hark back to the role-playing days of my active addiction. May I recognize them.

Today I Will Remember

Tact is honest selectivity.

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One More Day

Be content to grow a little each day. If the improvement is the sort of thing which is very slow, do not measure it too often. Do a self-comparison every two weeks, or every six months — whatever is appropriate.
– Lewis F. Presnall

It’s now easy to change the way our minds have been set, but sometimes we really need to sit back and tak3e stock of how we have chosen to live — in both large and small ways. We may realize that we are racing about without so much as a moment for our own well-being. We might even delude ourselves that we enjoy what we are doing so much that it is for our well-being.

What matters most is that we vary the pace of our days. We need the fast times, but the slower, easier times are essential for our total health — emotional, physical, social, and spiritual.

I will slow down and spend some quiet time with myself today.

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One Day At A Time

STRUGGLE
“Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upward, forward,toward the sun.”  Ruth Westheimer

I’ve been in a Twelve Step program for a while now. When I look back, I sometimes think how easy the journey has been to find the peace, serenity and love I’ve been given — thanks to the program. I brought a lot of denial with me when I joined the program, and apparently I’m still in some denial. I’m so grateful to be where I am today that I have forgotten the struggles I’ve faced to get here.

No wonder some newcomers look at longtimers and think they’ll never be able to get there! When I stretch my memory, I remember running headlong into the Fourth Step and thinking it the scariest thing I’d ever faced in my life. I know that first one was traumatic–holding my pencil to do it, getting the first page down, and admitting so many things that had been shaming me for decades. I usually don’t think about that today. Now I know firsthand the cleansing of a good Fourth Step and I look forward to them as I peel the onion and find more defects.

When I look back over my journey, I can remember sitting in an emergency room using the slogan “One Day at a Time” for the first time. I changed “one day” to “five minutes” because it was all I could handle. But it got me through that day and the next two days. A few years ago I read that the slogans are the handrails to the Steps. I wish I’d known that before. For me to use that slogan when I did was an act of faith ~ and at the time my faith was shaky. After having proved to my satisfaction that there is a Higher Power out there who wants the best for me, I have faith now. Maybe this is why I look back on my journey and have a hard time finding the struggles. Maybe it’s my new attitude of gratitude that keeps me looking to the positive rather than the negative. Whatever the reason, I’d like to say that
I struggled in the program, but it was worth it.

One day at a time…
I will remember to turn to the program to help maintain my peace and serenity,especially through the bad times.
~ Rhonda

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. – Pg. 86 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The best decision you have ever made is to opt for the health that sobriety and clean time will give you. If the decision was someone else’s then your decision to accept it was the best one ever made. You will gain a new perspective on life and for this you need to thank yourself.

As I thank myself, I also thank any others, including a Higher Power, as I understand Him / Her, for giving me another hour without mind-affecting chemicals.

Inner Belief

I believe in this world; it is the place that I have been born into. I love the breeze and the grass, the sky and the water. I have an intimate exchange with nature – like a lover. I feel held and nourished by it. I believe in people; they are the species to which I belong. I recognize that, underneath our superficial differences, we all want and need the same things. I believe that truth and goodness will prevail. I have experienced and seen more healing than I thought would ever happen. I feel good with small gains. I see deep meaning in quiet things, and I am moved by a power that I cannot explain but that I sense inside and out. Today, I feel good.

I believe in life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Trying to pray is praying, even when we aren’t sure exactly what God wants from us. Trying means we have the desire to communicate with the Divine Source. Even if no words come, just hitting your knees means a prayer has occurred.

My healing begins in kneeling.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Pray and wait for the answer. If you don’t get an answer, that’s the answer.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

My past experience no longer take up room and live in my mind and body. I am free to live in today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

‘When you think that you’ve lost everything. You find that you can always lose a little more.’ – Bob Dylan. Tying To Get To Heaven’

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AA Thought for the Day

June 20

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

Thought to Ponder . . .
The first drink has the last say.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Absolute Abstinence.

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

Egomania
“Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls.
Either we insist on dominating the people we know,
or we depend upon them far too much.
If we lean too heavily on people,
they will sooner or later fail us,
for they are human, too,
and cannot possibly meet our own incessant demands. . .
We have not once sought to be one in a family,
to be a friend among friends,
to be a worker among workers,
to be a useful member of society.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 53

Thought to Consider . . .
It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes
and to make amends for them.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
E G O = Easing God Out

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

Staying stopped
>From “A.A. Taught Him To Handle Sobriety:”
“Like most alcoholics I have known, I DID quit drinking at various times — once for ten months on my own and during other interludes when I was hospitalized. It’s no great trick to stop drinking, the trick is to STAY stopped.”
1976, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 554

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

“For me, there is no better feeling than the one I get running into another alcoholic when I’m feeling down. We alcoholics are bonded together by the sadness of a deadly disease and the miracle of a spiritual solution.”
December 2006
“Between a Bartender and a Bad-Tempered Boss,”
AA Grapevine

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

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

“So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They
arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of
self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~

“We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 133 (The Family Afterward)

“If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 65 (Step Six)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The A.A. preoccupation with sobriety is sometimes misunderstood. To some, this single virtue appears to be the sole dividend of our Fellowship. We are thought to be dried-up drunks who otherwise have changed little, or not at all, for the better. Such a surmise widely misses the truth. We know that permanent sobriety can be attained only by a most revolutionary change in the life and outlook of the individual–by a spiritual awakening that can banish the desire to drink.’
‘You are asking yourself, as all of us must: ‘Who am I?’…’Where am I?’…’Whence do I go?’ The process of enlightenment is usually slow. But, in the end, our seeking always brings a finding. These great mysteries are, after all, enshrined in completely simplicity. The willingness to grow is the essence of all spiritual development.

Prayer for the Day: Let me forgive myself and live freely just as I believe I am meant to.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 19th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 19th

Daily Reflections

“A.A. REGENERATION”

Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising
out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old
life as a condition for finding a new one.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 46

A thousand beatings by Barleycorn did not encourage me to
admit defeat. I believed it was my moral obligation to
conquer my “enemy-friend.” At my first A.A. meeting I
was blessed with a feeling that it was all right to admit
defeat to a disease which had nothing to do with my
“moral fiber.” I knew instinctively that I was in the
presence of a great love when I entered the doors of A.A.
With no effort on my part, I became aware that to love
myself was good and right, as God had intended. My feeling
set me free, where my thoughts had held me in bondage. I
am grateful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We have this choice every day of our lives. We can take the
path that leads to insanity and death. And remember, our
next drunk could be our last one. Or we can take the path
that leads to a reasonably happy and useful life. The choice
is ours each day of our lives. God grant that we take the
right path. Have I made my choice today?

Meditation For The Day

Your real work in life is to grow spiritually. To do this you
must follow the path of diligently seeking good. The hidden
spiritual wonders are revealed to those who diligently seek
this treasure. From one point to the next, you have to follow
the way of obedience to God’s will until finally you reach
greater and greater spiritual heights. Work on the material
plane should be secondary to your real life’s work. The
material things that you need most are those that help you
to attain the spiritual.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep growing spiritually. I pray that I
may make this my real life’s work.

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As Bill Sees It

Whose Will? p. 170

We have seen A.A.’s ask with much earnestness and faith for God’s explicit guidance
on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to a
minor personal fault, like tardiness. A man who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of
prayer, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly
disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions, he instantly
proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small.

He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human
tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of
intentions, he tends to force his will into all sorts of situations and problems with the
comfortable assurance that he is acting under God’s specific direction.

12 & 12, pp. 103-104

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Walk In Dry Places

Open minded but concerned.
Responsibility
Open-mindedness is a quality that helps us attract new ideas for our self-imporovement. Oddly, many of us though we were open-minded long before we ever considered a 12 Step program.
We learned that what we considered open-mindedness was really indifference based on self-justification. It follow that people who are deep into selfish, compulsive behavior will appear to be open-minded and even very tolerant. This attitude is really the result of a desire to be accepted in spite of questionable behavior.  It reflects no concern for others.
In living the program, we seek to cultivate true open-mindedness. This means being open to new ideas and opportunities, but also being concerned about others and taking care not to harm them.
Today I’ll be open to what people are thinking and saying. I will be careful not to let my own prejudices keep me from viewpoints that will help me and others.

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Keep It Simple

If you tell the truth, you don’t need to remember anything.—Mark Twain
One thing is a lot easier in life now is this—we can keep our story straight! We are learning that there’s one really good way to get along with people. Keep It Simple. Just tell the truth.
It’s hard to do at first. We might think, “If people see the real me, what will happen?” We might be afraid of what will happen if we don’t lie or make excuses.
But telling the truth works! We find out we never did fool anyone anyway!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, make me honest.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list all the ways honesty will help me in recovery. I’ll sign-up to give a meeting on honesty.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There were deep secrets, hidden in my heart, never said for fear others would scoff or sneer. At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power.  –Deidra Sarault
There is magic in sharing ourselves with someone else. We learn from Steps Four and Five that what we thought were heinous acts are not unusual. Our shameful acts are not unique, and this discovery is our gift when we risk exposure.
Realizing how much we are like others gives us strength, and the program paves the way for us to capture that strength whenever and wherever we sense our need. Secrets block us from others and thus from God too. The messages we need to hear, the guidance offered by God, can’t be received when we close ourselves off from the caring persons in our lives. They are the carriers of God’s message.
How freeing to know we share the same fears, the same worries. Offering our story to someone else may be the very encouragement she needs at this time. Each of us profits from the sharing of a story. We need to recognize and celebrate our “sameness.” When we share ourselves, we are bonded. Bonding combines our strength.
Silence divides us. It diminishes our strength. Yet all the strength we need awaits us. I will let someone else know me today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. I have since been brought into a way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful than the life I lived before. My old manner of life was by no means a bad one, but I would not exchange its best moments for the worst I have now. I would not go back to it even if I could.”

pp. 42-43

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
The longer the drinking continued, the shorter the time the alcohol would keep me asleep; I would have to drink myself back to sleep again and again throughout the night.  But I never became a morning drinker.  Instead, I had a 5:00 a.m. shutoff time.  If it was one minute before five, I’d drink myself back to sleep.  If it was one minute after, I’d stay up and act like a martyr all day.  It became progressively harder to get up in the morning, until one day I asked myself what I would do for a patient who felt this rotten.  The answer came right back:  I ‘d give him something to pep him up.

p. 409-410

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

THE spiritual substance of anonymity is sacrifice. Because A.A.’s Twelve Traditions repeatedly ask us to give up personal desires for the common good, we realize that the sacrificial spirit–well symbolized by anonymity–is the foundation of them all. It is A.A.’s proved willingness to make these sacrifices that gives people their high confidence in our future.

p. 184

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“Praying is asking God for help, meditating is listening for God’s answer.” “Keep trying” is the rule that must be followed to become successful in anything.”

It isn’t “me” and “you” anymore; it’s “we” and “us.” I get drunk. We
stay sober! It’s a we program…..

“The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and
encouragement.”
–Charles Schwab

As thou valuest thyself, others will esteem thee.
–Gaelic Proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PREJUDICE

“A great many people think they
are thinking when they are only
rearranging their prejudices.”
–William James

An aspect of prejudice in my life is my refusal to listen. I tend to stay
with my own thinking and I “shut off” people or ideas I do not want to
hear. The problem with this attitude is that it does not lead to
discussion, growth or change.

Spirituality is having the capacity to hear what others are saying, even
people you may not like or respect, and also being prepared to live
with and alongside confusion and “difference”. Truth is a many-sided
diamond, and it cannot be comprehended from one viewpoint. I need to
remove my prejudices if I am ever to move towards an understanding
of God’s truth.

I need to learn in my heart that there is that “image” of God in every
person I meet.

Teach me to listen so that I may hear, so that I may grow.

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For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
Luke 12:32


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Daily Inspiration

Trust yourself more than you trust the pressures of society and the ways other people try to influence you. Lord, strengthen me and continue to bless me with wisdom so that I can stand firm on my beliefs and know that how I feel is very important to me.

It is not making a mistake, but repeating it that is cause for concern. Lord, may I use my mistakes to guide me to better choices.

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NA Just For Today

A Sense Of Humor

“We find that when we lose self-obsession, we are able to understand what it means to be happy, joyous, and free.”
Basic Text, p.103

The laughter in our meetings often surprises the newcomer. As a group, we appreciate the healing that healthy laughter brings. Even if we are deeply troubled, the joy that often fills the meeting rooms allows us, for a time, to have some fun with our recovery. Through humor, we can be temporarily relieved of our obsession with self.

Life on life’s terms is often anything but funny. But if we can keep a sense of humor about us, things that might overwhelm us can be made bearable. How often have we allowed ourselves to be upset by incidents that, taken with a bit of humor, are not all that intolerable? When we become annoyed with people and events, a search for the humor in the situation can put things in a brighter perspective. An ability to find humor in a difficult situation is a gift to develop.

Just for today: I will look to find the humor in adversity. When I make mistakes, I will find a way to laugh at the humor of my imperfections.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Jealousy is cruel as the grave. –Song of Solomon
Most bushes and small trees need trimming every year. They have branches that hang out over the sidewalk and get in people’s way. Sometimes the branches grow so long and low to the ground that the tree looks weighted down.
Jealousy is like an overgrown branch–it weighs us down. It is one of those feelings all of us deal with. We may be jealous of someone’s looks or talent, or maybe even their good luck. Like the overgrown branches, jealousy sticks out all over and gets in other people’s way as well as our own. It is a part of us we need to keep cutting back.
If we are good gardeners, we will get out the clippers. Seeing and talking about our jealousy is the best way to start using those clippers. If we do this, our own leaves will be healthier, and our blossoms will grow.
Is there someone I am jealous of? Can I use my clippers today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. –Helen Keller
When a man looks at his life and at the lives of others, it is clear that pain is part of life. We cannot escape this tragic truth; our growth and our wholeness must include it because our recovery stresses honesty. In our old way of living, we may have been bitter. Many of us felt sorry for ourselves. Some of us cursed God and wasted time in our self-centeredness, thinking life was especially unfair to us. Life is not fair; it just is. It is left to us to choose how we will respond.
People’s responses to life inspire us. We not only acknowledge the pain, but we see the heroic lives of others around us. They met their limitations and went forward with a willing spirit and faith. Today we can be grateful for the progress we have made in overcoming our suffering. We have friends who give us the joy of human contact. We have choices and possibilities where we never saw them before. We have a growing self-respect as men.
I accept the reality of life, and I will respond with faith in the choices I make today.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
One receives only that which is given. The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words, return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy. –Florence Scovel Shin
Each of us can attest to the truth of this passage. During the difficult times, however, it is not uppermost in our minds that “what goes around, comes around.” It feels all too easy to be justifiably resentful or to gossip, or to ignore another’s presence. And the repercussions are seldom immediate. They will come, though.
Goodness is likewise repaid. Giving love, attention, respect to the individuals who share our lives and to the people who cross our paths by chance, will smooth our own passage day by day. The effects of our goodness will often be felt quickly. A smile elicits a smile. Kind thoughts bless us as well as the receiver. Life events do come full circle.
With a bit of effort, I can smile at someone today, even though I’m frowning inside. Both will be better for it.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Making Life Easier
Life doesn’t have to be hard.
Yes, there are times we need to endure, struggle through, and rely on our survival skills. But we don’t have to make life, growth, recovery, change, or our day-to-day affairs that hard all the time.
Having life be that hard is a remnant of our martyrdom, a leftover from old ways of thinking, feeling, and believing. We are worthy, even when life isn’t that hard. Our value and worth are not determined by how hard we struggle.
If we’re making it that hard, we may be making it harder than it needs to be, said one woman. Learn to let things happen easily and naturally. Learn to let events, and our participation in them, fall into place. It can be easy now. Easier than it has been. We can go with the flow, take the world off our shoulders, and let our Higher Power ease us into where we need to be.
Today, I will stop struggling so hard. I will let go of my belief that life and recovery have to be hard. I will replace it with a belief that I can walk this journey in ease and peace. And sometimes, it can actually be fun.

I trust that I have all that I need in every moment of this day. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Your Heart Will Guide You Through

If you feel confused, alone, unsure of what to do next, go back to a place you can trust– your heart. In matters of work, money, love, play, go back to your heart.

The issues that arise in your life can be dealt with from the heart. You will be guided through gently, safely, with love and truth, along the path that’s best for you. Are you feeling upset? Do you wonder why things aren’t working out? Are you unsure of the map, uncertain of the next step, wondering how to untangle the mess of the past?

The answer isn’t in your head, it’s in your heart. It’s not outside of you, although sometimes we receive guidance from others. The answer you’re seeking, the guidance you’re looking for needs to feel right to you. It needs to resonate with your heart. Your heart is the center, the balance point for your emotions, your intellect, and your soul. Your heart is safe.

Go back to your heart. It will always lead you home.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Relax enough to face reality when life twists and turns

Sometimes in life, no matter how deeply we intend to make the best decisions possible for ourselves, things happen. Marriages end, jobs turn sour, friends wane. For reasons outside our control or understanding, the situation twists and turns into something other than what we bargained for.

Have you been waiting for a situation to revert to what it originally was–or what you hoped it would be when you got in? Are you telling yourself that there’s something wrong with you, when the reality is, the situation has changed into something other than what you thought it was? Things often don’t go as smoothly as we planned. Sometimes, we need to endure amd get through the rough spots. But I’m talking about those grindingly difficult moments when life suddenly twists on us.

These are the times we need to quit torturing ourselves. Let go of what you thought would happen. If life has twisted on you, don’t turn on yourself. Don’t try to make things be the way they were. Come up to speed. Return to now. Let yourself accept the new situation at hand.

The road isn’t always a straight course. Sometimes, even a path with heart unexpectedly twists and turns.

God, help me relax and trust myself enough to deal with reality, not my fantasy of what I hoped it would be.

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In God’s Care

Our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions to specific problems, and for the ability to help other people as we have already thought they shoud be helped. In that case, we are asking God to do it our way.
~~Bill W.

As much as we say we want God’s will to be done, we often find ourselves asking God to do what we think is best. Always, of course, with the best intentions. Who would not want a sick friend to get well, a spouse to earn a raise in pay? And what about our own needs? What’s the harm in a specific request? Surely we all do this. But isn’t it a bit presumptuous of us to decide what is best for ourselves or anyone else?

Love and compassion may motivate our prayers, but only God knows what each or us needs to experience and learn. If we insist on seeing things happen our way we’re not trusting God’s plan for us. A loving God will see that our needs are supplied without instructions from us.

Instead of asking for what I want, I will pray to be open to God’s will.

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Day By Day

Doing the footwork

We often ask our Higher Power for spiritual assets without recognizing the work we need to do to get them. To grow strong, we must learn to carry burdens; to gain patience, we must learn to handle stress; to follow God’s will, we must become willing to let go. To be courageous, we must practice faith in the face of fear; to be right, we must learn to admit wrongs; to be loved, we must learn to be loving.

Our Higher Power gives us opportunities to grow. The footwork is up to us.

Am I doing my part?

Higher Power, help me to recognize, and do, my part in recovery.

Today I will do the footwork necessary to…

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Just for Fun
Remembering Childhood Joys by Madisyn Taylor

Fun isn’t something that is given or done to you, it is something that you allow yourself to experience.

As adults, we often get so caught up in “grown up” business that we can forget how to have pure fun. This isn’t the kind of fun that comes from doing a specific kind of activity or being in a specific mood for fun. Rather, this is the fun born from the state of pure being. You see this kind of fun in small children who are so busy being fully present to their lives and in their own bodies that the glow of fun radiates from them just because they are alive: the delight that flashes across the eyes of a child who discovers that water flows with the turn of the tap knob or the squeal of pleasure from a young baby whose tongue is being tickled by cold ice cream; then there’s the full, infectious laughter of a child watching the same hat trick for the fiftieth time.

Back when we were children, this experience of pure delight didn’t have to come from a heightened, heady event in order for us to feel like our day had been made; and it can be that way for us again – if we are willing to remember and reconnect with that part of ourselves that knows how to be in the flow of fun. You can begin this process by reminiscing on what was fun for you as a child. Think about what caused you to giggle in delight or wriggle in pleasure or burst into endless laughter that you couldn’t sit up straight no matter how much you wanted to. Try to spend a few moments with each memory, and really feel what it was like to be in those experiences – allowing that feeling of pure fun to wash over you. It lives, in you – that feeling. It can’t be bottled, manufactured, or sold. You just have to call it back up in order to experience it again.

Pure fun happens when we are fully engaged with ourselves and our world in each moment. It is the spontaneous delight that bubbles out of us when we let go long enough to bring it through; it is the experience of natural, organic pleasure that springs up from our bellies, through our souls, up through our faces, and down to our toes. We’ve naturally known how to have pure fun since we were babies and the flicker of lights caused us to jump to attention from the sheer enjoyment of being able to see. Approach your life today with the knowledge that pure fun isn’t something that is given or done to you; rather, it is something that you allow yourself to experience. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Refection For The Day

The Program teaches us that only one consideration should qualify our desire to completely disclose the damage we’ve done. And that’s where a full revelation would seriously harm the one to whom we’re making amends. Or, just as important, other people. We can hardly unload a detailed account of extramarital misadventures, for example, on the shoulders of an unsuspecting wife or husband. When we recklessly make the burdens of others wavier, such actions surely can’t lighten our own burden. Sometimes, in that sense, “telling all” may be almost a self indulgence for us. So in making amends, we should be tactful, sensible, considerate, and humble — without being servile. As a child of God, do I stand on my feet and not crawl before anyone?

Today I Pray

May God show me that self-hatred has no role in making amends to others. Neither has the play-acting of self-indulgence. I ask most humbly for His guidance as I strive to maintain a mature balance in interpersonal relations, even in the most casual or fragile ones.

Today I Will Remember

Making amends is mending.

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One More Day

We can either change the complexities of life… or develop ways to enable us to cope more effectively.
– Herbert Benson

Our illnesses have brought many new complexities into our lives, and our reactions may become much more intense as time goes on — especially if we feel helpless or pity ourselves.

All people have crises in their lives. Our medical conditions don’t give us immunity from the normal problems, pains, and disappointments that all of us must face. If anything, we may have an advantage over people who have never had health problems; we have learned some coping skills in dealing with our medical conditions. Also, we have become more open to advice and support from others. We can be proud of how far we’ve come; we can be optimistic of how far we can go.

I will gladly exchange help and support with my friends.

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Food for Thought

Taking Inventory

Blaming circumstances and other people for our difficulties, including compulsive overeating, is counterproductive. We cannot control external circumstances or other people, but we can work on changing ourselves. In order to change, we first need to be aware of the attitudes and characteristics, which get us into trouble. If we overeat or have a tantrum when we do not get our own way, then we need to learn how to function without demanding that everything should go according to our personal schedule and preference.

We take inventory in Step Four and we continue to take it in Step Ten. It is a valuable tool for our growth. The amazing result is that as we recognize and begin to correct personal defects, our relationships with others improve tremendously. With a positive change in our attitude and behavior, there is a corresponding change in the way other people respond to us.

Taking inventory involves recognizing our good qualities as well as our weaknesses. In OA, we measure our wealth not by what we have but by what we have given.

Teach me to give.

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One Day At A Time

KIND WORDS
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”  Mother Teresa

How many times are we gifted with newcomers to our meetings? They are so easy to see as they huddle in the back of the room — usually as close to the exit as possible. Their oversized coat is a good giveaway, especially in July. Their eyes show the fear and anxiety that we all felt. Sure, we made it, and so can they.

I remember the elder who first said those magical words to me — those two simple words — “Welcome Home.” The warmth and safety those words held were immense. I felt that my body was huge, and I was embarrassed in a room full of people who looked very similar to me…but my eyes could not see that. They were filled with tears because of those two words. Welcome home. Whoever that person was, I have two words for you, “Thank you.”

What can you do to make a newcomer feel welcome to your meeting? Let us not forget that all-important first hug. I remember mine; do you remember yours? It felt good, I’ll bet. So welcome the newcomer and let them know they are home.

One day at a time…
I will do my part to welcome the newcomer into our fellowship.
~ Danny

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Some day we hope that every alcoholic who journeys will find a Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination. – Pg. 162 – A Vision For You

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 raise above fear and practice faith this hour.

Projection

Today, I understand that when I project my feelings outward and see them as belonging to other people and not to me, I postpone my own self-awareness. The only way I can deal with difficult feelings is first to claim them as my own. Sitting with anxiety, anger, rage and jealousy is not pleasant, but actually experiencing my own feelings is the only way to get through them.

I own my feelings and am willing to experience them.
– Tian Dayton PhD

‘Self-forgiveness brings your mental and emotional energy systems back into balance. That’s all. No big deal. It’s not necessarily religious or spiritual, it’s just good ol’ street sense – the missing link in intelligence that scientists are looking for. Once you practice forgiving and releasing yourself, you’ll realize the benefits soon in the way you feel overall.’
– Doc Childre

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Ramana Marhrshi talks about life’s journey and likens it to a train trip. He says that you can carry your baggage on your head or set it on the floor beside you. Either way, both you and your baggage arrive at your destination. This is because the train carries your baggage, not you. If you prefer to carry your burdens on your head, it doesn’t change the destination, it simply gives you a head ache.

I chose to let my Higher Power carry my baggage and my burdens.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You woke up this morning clean and sober. That’s your spiritual awakening.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I trust that I have all that I need in every moment of this day.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

A sober alcoholic is like a turtle on a fence post – You know it had help. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 19

Character Defects
If I drew a line between active alcoholism on one side
and life as God wants me to live and has equipped me to on the other,
then I’m somewhere in the middle, striving toward the ideal.
If I allow my character defects to rule my life again and forget the AA program,
forget where the power to change for the better comes from,
I will, in the long run, inevitably drink again.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 3], p. 187

Thought to Ponder . . .
I am as sick as my secrets.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Aways Aware.

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

Progress
“Day by day, we try to move a little
toward God’s perfection.
So we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt
for failure to achieve His likeness and image by Thursday next.
Progress is our aim,
and His perfection is the beacon, light-years away,
that draws us on.”
Bill W., Letter, 1966
1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 15

Thought to Consider . . .
There is no progress without change.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
G O D = Good Orderly Direction

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

It keeps getting better
>From “Getting Active:”
“After our first month’s sobriety, many of us notice a distinct difference. After three months, our minds seem still clearer. And during our second year of recovery, the change is striking. More mental energy seems available to us than ever before.”
Living Sober, page 16

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

“Sobriety isn’t a discrete list of tasks that you do and then check off; it’s a state of being that pervades every aspect of your life.”
Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008
“Lost in Translation,”
AA Grapevine

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

“We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much
more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our
respective homes, occupations and affairs.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19~

Humility…
Humility… is a perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing against. It is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in, shut the door, and kneel to my Higher Power in secret. Where I can be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.
— Inscription on Dr. Bob’s desk . . .

“In a few seconds he was overwhelmed by a conviction of the Presence
of God. It poured over and through him with the certainty and
majesty of a great tide at flood. The barriers he had built through
the years were swept away. He stood in the Presence of Infinite
Power and Love. He had stepped from bridge to shore. For the first
time, he lived in conscious companionship with his Creator.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 56~

“At last I was released from the bondage of my uniqueness.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 450 (He Lived Only to Drink)

“I insisted that few drunks could ever get well on their own steam, but that in our groups we could do together what we could not do separately.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 152 (Tradition Five)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We have seen A.A.’s ask with much earnestness and faith for God’s explicit guidance on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to a minor personal fault, like tardiness. A man who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of prayers, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions, he instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small.
He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable assurance that he is acting under God’s specific direction.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, remove my delusion of uniqueness and allow me to humbly connect with my fellows.