Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 25th

If you would please,leave me a comment below if you are reading these posts. Trying to get an idea if they are getting to anyone.Thank You. Bsober

Daily Reflections

A POWERFUL TRADITION

In the years before the publication of the book “Alcoholics
Anonymous,” we had no name. . .by a narrow majority the verdict
was for naming our book “The Way Out.” . . .One of our early lone
members. . . found exactly twelve books already titled “The Way
Out.”. . . So “Alcoholics Anonymous” became first choice. That’s
how we got a name for our book of experience, a name for our
movement and, as we are now beginning to see, a tradition of the
greatest spiritual import.
“A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED.” pp. 35-36

Beginning with Bill’s momentous decision in Akron to make a
telephone call rather than a visit to the hotel bar, how often has a
Higher Power made itself felt at crucial moments in our history! The
eventual importance that the principle of anonymity would acquire
was but dimly perceived, if at all, in those early days. There seems to
have been an element of chance even in the choice of a name for our
Fellowship.
God is no stranger to anonymity and often appears in human affairs
in the guises of “luck”, “chance,” or “coincidence.” If anonymity,
somewhat fortuitously, became the spiritual basis for all of our
Traditions, perhaps God was acting anonymously on our behalf.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I am not so envious of other people, nor am I so jealous of other people’s possessions
and talents. When I was drinking, I was secretly full of jealousy and envy of those
people who could drink normally, who had the love and respect of their families, who
lived a normal life and were accepted as equals by their friends. I pretended to
myself that I was as good as they were, but I knew it wasn’t so. Now I don’t have
to be envious any more. I try not to want what I don’t deserve. I’m content to live with
what I have earned by my efforts to live the right way. More power to those who
have what I have not. At least, I’m trying. Have I got rid of the poison of envy?

Meditation For The Day

“My soul is restless till it finds its rest in Thee.” A river flows on, until it loses itself
in the sea. Our spirits long for rest in the Spirit of God. We yearn to realize a peace,
a rest, a satisfaction that we have never found in the world or its pursuits. Some are
not conscious of their need, and shut down the doors of their spirits against the
spirit of God. They are unable to have true peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may feel the divine unrest. I pray that my soul may find its rest in God.


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As Bill Sees It

Three Choices, p. 327

The immediate object of our quest is sobriety–freedom from alcohol
and from all its baleful consequences. Without this freedom, we have
nothing at all.

Paradoxically, though, we can achieve no liberation from the alcohol
obsession until we become willing to deal with those character defects
which have landed us in that helpless condition. In this freedom quest,
we are always given three choices.

A rebellious refusal to work upon our glaring defects can be an almost
certain ticket to destruction. Or, perhaps for a time, we can stay
sober with a minimum of self-improvement and settle ourselves into a
comfortable but often dangerous mediocrity. Or, finally, we can
continuously try hard for those sterling qualities that can add up to
fineness of spirit and action–true and lasting freedom under God.

Grapevine, November 1960

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Walk In Dry Places

What ought to work– but doesn’t
Understanding Alcoholism
One of the old theories about alcoholism was that we drink because we had deep psychological problems.  It followed that if we could clear up these problems, we would no longer need to drink excessively.
Another theory was that staying dry for a long period of time would dislodge one’s alcoholic tendencies. After a certain length of sobriety, we would be able to return to normal drinking.   (NOT)
Both theories sound plausible, but in practice neither has worked. Many  of us came to grief trying to make these ideas work.
What we eventually learn about psychological problems is that they may intensify our  troubles, but they are not the real cause of our alcoholism.  The cause may be rooted in some physical problem that enables us to achieve unusual highs from drinking.  We also know that one drink acts as a trigger for more drinking—  at least for us.
Our answer has been, first and foremost, to eliminate the first drink. Even if it doesn’t square with theories, it works.
No matter how long I’ve been sober, one drink would be deadly to me.  Accepting that fact enabled me to get sober after finding that theories about my problem weren’t working.

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Keep It Simple

Love is the reward of love.—Johann von Schiller
When we used alcohol and other drugs, we shared little as possible. There was little love in our hearts. We had become selfish. This caused us to be lonely.
Then something happened to change all of that. Remember the first time you walked into a meeting? You were met by people who shared. Maybe they shared a smile, their story, or just a cup of coffee with you. The sharing that goes on in a Twelve Step program is great. We learn that the more we give, the more we get. We get well by giving to others. Helping others is a great way to hold on to sobriety. Love is the reward of love.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray that I will be there when others need me. I pray that service will become a big part of my program.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll think of friends who could use my help. I’ll talk to them and offer to be there for them.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Change occurs when one becomes what she is, not when she tries to become what she is not.  –Ruth P. Freedman
Learning self-acceptance, and then loving the selves we are, present perhaps our two biggest hurdles to the attainment of emotional and spiritual health. Fortunately, they are not insurmountable hurdles. The program offers ready assistance.
Women everywhere are making great strides in self-love and self-acceptance. We are learning self-love. And we are changing. The support we can give our sisters, and the support we receive, multiplies many times the healthy energy created–healthy energy that touches us all.
Emotional and spiritual health are gifts promised by the program, when we work it. We must move beyond our perfectionism and relish our humanness. And the Steps are the way. We must learn humility and develop faith, and the Steps are the way. Learning to love all our parts, the qualities we like and the traits that discouragingly hang on, offers a new freedom. A freedom that invites change. A freedom that safeguards the emotional and spiritual well-being that we strive for.
Confidence will come with my healthy self-acceptance.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, “I don’t miss it at all. Feel better. Work better. Having a better time.” As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up his spirits. He fools himself. Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.

pp. 151-152

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic 

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

I had left the therapist who hadn’t been able to tell me why I drank, and on New Year’s Eve, I went to a party at the home of my new therapist. A few days later in the group, the therapist said, “You’re drinking even more than I realized. You’re an alcoholic. I think you should stop drinking, see a doctor, and go to A.A.”

p. 343 

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Much the same approach will apply at the office or factory. We shall at once think of a few people who know all about our drinking, and who have been most affected by it. But even in these cases, we may need to use a little more discretion than we did with the family. We may not want to say anything for several weeks, or longer. First we will wish to be reasonably certain that we are on the A.A. beam. Then we are ready to go to these people, to tell them what A.A. is, and what we are trying to do. Against this background we can freely admit the damage we have done and make our apologies. We can pay, or promise to pay, whatever obligations, financial or otherwise, we owe. The generous response of most people to such quiet sincerity will often astonish us. Even our severest and most justified critics will frequently meet us more than halfway on the first trial.

p. 84

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A recovering alcoholic without a sponsor is much like a ship without a rudder.
–unknown

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

We’re all going to have winds and waves in our lives but nothing that
happens can destroy your life unless you allow it to destroy what’s in you. Work on
building conscious contact with God that is stronger than anything in the world, so you
don’t look to the world as your guidance.
Look within and you will find the power and love of God.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“The sweetest of all sounds is praise.”
–Xenophon

Start living now.
Stop saving the good china for that special occasion.
Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes.
Every day you are alive is a special occasion.
Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for the day.”
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IDEALISM

“I am an idealist. I don’t know
where I am going but I’m on my
way.”
— Carl Sandburg

Today I am on the move. I feel an energy in my life that gets excited each day. New
people, new places, new ideas all give me “a spiritual charge” that help me enjoy my
life.

I don’t have all the answers and sometimes I am confused but today I can live with this
and enjoy it. God seems to reveal Himself more in the questions rather than the
answers; it is the problems that produce the growth.

The journey of my life is an adventure that is free and unchartered, even the pain and
problems produce a benefit that can be used for my recovery. Nothing need be wasted.

I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Light.

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“Your heart will be where your treasure is.”
Luke 12:34

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.
The wise person makes learning a joy; fools spout only
foolishness. The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye
on both the evil and the good. Gentle words bring life and health;
a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Only a fool despises a
parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.
Proverbs 15:1-5

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith,
we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord
has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into
this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we
confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
Romans 5:1-2


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Daily Inspiration

If you worry a little each day, it eventually will add up to years. Lord, without Your strength it is so easy to let circumstances rob me of my joy.

God is calling us to experience peace, satisfaction and joy as we have never experienced. Lord, I will follow You as You lift me to new levels of living.

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NA Just For Today

Meditation

“Quieting the mind through meditation brings and inner peace that brings us into contact with the God within us.”
Basic Text pg.45

As our recovery progresses, we often reflect on what brought us to Narcotics Anonymous in the first place and are able to appreciate how much the quality of our lives has improved. We no longer have to fear our own thoughts. And the more we pray and meditate, the more we experience a calm sense of well-being. The peace and tranquillity we experience during our quiet times confirms that our most important needs – our spiritual needs – are being met.

We are able to empathize with other addicts and strengthen our conscience in the process. We learn to avoid judging others and experience the freedom to be ourselves. In our spiritual reflection, we intuitively find “the God within us” and see that we are in harmony with a Power greater than ourselves.

Just for today: I will reflect upon the gift of recovery and listen quietly for my Higher Power’s guidance.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments. –Walt Whitman
A small group of friends sat in a room around a record player. It was a heavy old thing, with parts that had to be operated by hand and only one speaker–nothing like a modern stereo at all, but more like an antique phonograph. The record–a recording of their favorite music–was old, too, and scratched, its grooves worn smooth as a stone in some places. The tone arm skipped and scratched, and the sound was tinny, hard on the ears.
Most of the friends squirmed in their seats as they listened, and several grumbled that it was impossible to hear the music with such inferior equipment.
But one of the group sat listening, her eyes closed, swaying to the music and humming softly to herself.
“How can you enjoy this?” the others asked.
“Ah,” she said with a mysterious smile. “I am listening beyond the recording to the music I know is there!”
Can I find the music that’s playing for me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
It’s the awareness, the full experience… of how you are stuck, that makes you recover. –Frederick S. Perls
When we become aware of how far off our path we have strayed, when we see how cold and hard we were to someone we love, when we are no longer blind to our blindness – then we are touched by painful feelings. We feel guilty about the harm we caused. We grieve the lost moments and lost opportunities. We may feel angry with ourselves for our stubbornness. But even with our pain, we are worlds away from that blindness.
This new awareness is a spiritual place. It brings us back into contact with our Higher Power and makes us available to the words of wisdom and concern of others. It reminds us that no man can walk this path on his own power. We all must remain open and in contact with the healing relationships around us.
I pray for awareness today as my doorway to spiritual healing.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Change occurs when one becomes what she is, not when she tries to become what she is not. –Ruth P. Freedman
Learning self-acceptance, and then loving the selves we are, present perhaps our two biggest hurdles to the attainment of emotional and spiritual health. Fortunately, they are not insurmountable hurdles. The program offers ready assistance.
Women everywhere are making great strides in self-love and self-acceptance. We are learning self-love. And we are changing. The support we can give our sisters, and the support we receive, multiplies many times the healthy energy created–healthy energy that touches us all.
Emotional and spiritual health are gifts promised by the program, when we work it. We must move beyond our perfectionism and relish our humanness. And the Steps are the way. We must learn humility and develop faith, and the Steps are the way. Learning to love all our parts, the qualities we like and the traits that discouragingly hang on, offers a new freedom. A freedom that invites change. A freedom that safeguards the emotional and spiritual well-being that we strive for.
Confidence will come with my healthy self-acceptance.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Awareness
When we first become aware of a problem, a situation, or a feeling, we may react with anxiety or fear. There is no need to fear awareness. No need.
Awareness is the first step toward positive change and growth. It’s the first step toward solving the problem, or getting the need met, the first step toward the future. It’s how we focus on the next lesson.
Awareness is how life, the Universe, and our Higher Power get our attention and prepare us for change. The process of becoming changed begins with awareness. Awareness, acceptance, and change – that’s the cycle. We can accept the temporary discomfort from awareness because that’s how we’re moved to a better place. We can accept the temporary discomfort because we can trust God, and ourselves.
Today, I will be grateful for any awareness I encounter. I will display gratitude, peace, and dignity when life gets my attention. I will remember that it’s okay to accept the temporary discomfort from awareness because I can trust that it’s my Higher Power moving me forward.

Today I celebrate all of me exactly as I am. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Make Today a Healing Day

Take time for healing. Take time for what soothes your body, your mind, your soul.

Take a bath. Light a candle. Read a book. Take a walk. Get a massage. See your favorite healer if you desire. See a movie. Buy some flowers. Drink a cup of tea.

Sometimes we talk ourselves out of doing something healing for ourselves. We’re too busy, too tired. But that is when we most need to take care of ourselves. Listen to your heart. What does it want? Listen to your body. What does it need? Trust what you hear.

Make today a healing day. Then take some time and make every day a healing day.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Express your power gently

Express your power naturally and as gently as you can.

When I started learning what it meant to take care of myself and to own my power, I talked loudly, spoke up, and yelled in order to set boundaries, limits, and to express myself. That was the way to get my point across. That’s how I’d showed people I meant what I said.

I had to say it loudly.

About five years after I started this process of learning what it meant to own my power, I met a bear called Winnie the Pooh. The book that introduced me was The Tao of Pooh. Lights started coming on. The seeds of new lessons began to sprout.

To own my power, I could quietly say what I meant. The clearer I was about what I had to say and who I was, the less I had to shout. Owning my power wasn’t something I had to plan out, premeditate, and obsess about.

The more I took care of myself and connected to myself, and the clearer I became, the more natural and easier it became to own my power. My power–including setting limits, saying no, refusing to be manipulated, and saying I’d changed my mind– often became a natural, graceful, timely expression of me.

There are still times in our lives when we have to be firm, sometimes forceful, and repeat what we’ve said, sometimes loudly. The quieter and more relaxed we can be when we say what we mean is usually in direct proportion to how much we believe in ourselves.

Let your power, boundaries, and expressions of who you are arise naturally.

Learn and respect the value of responding as gently, but as firmly, as you can.

God, help your power flow through me. Teach me to take care of myself gently, in a way that reflects harmony with myself and as much as possible, the people in my life.

*****

A Gift of the Heart
Letting People Know You Love Them

It’s easy to take our feelings for granted and to assume that the people we care about know how we feel about them. But while those we love are often quite cognizant of our feelings, saying “I love you” is a gift we should give to our loved ones whenever we can. Letting people know you love them is an important part of nurturing any kind of loving relationship. Few people tire of being told they are loved, and saying “I love you” can make a world of difference in someone’s life, take a relationship to a new level, or reaffirm and strengthen a steady bond. Everyone needs to hear the words “I love you.” Three simple words – I – Love – You. When you declare your love for someone you admit to them that you care for them in the most significant way.

It can be difficult to express your love using words, particularly if you grew up around people that never expressed their affection verbally. But you should never be afraid to say “I love you” or worry that doing so will thrust you into a position of excessive vulnerability. It is important to share your feelings with those that matter to you. Part of the fulfillment that comes with loving someone is telling them that you love them. Besides, love exists to be expressed, not withheld.

If you love someone, let them know. Don’t be afraid of the strength of your emotions or worry that your loved one won’t feel the same way. Besides, the words “I love you” are often best said to another without expectation of a return investment. As each one of us is filled with an abundance of love, there is never any worry that you’ll run out of love if your expression of love isn’t said back to you. Saying, “I love you” is a gift of the heart sent directly via words to the heart of a recipient. Even though it may not always look that way, love from the heart is an offering that is always unconditional and given without strings attached. That is the true essence of the gift of “I love you.” Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“What you have may seem small; you desire so much more. See children thrusting heir hands into a narrow necked jar, striving to pull out the sweets. If they fell the hand, they cannot pull it out and then they fall to tears. When they let go a few, they can draw out the rest. You, too, let your desire go; cover not too much..”
– Epictetus

Let me expect not too much of anyone, particularly myself,. Let me learn to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to accept it and appreciate it. Do I accept gratefully and graciously the good that has already come to me in The Program?

Today I Pray

May I search my soul for those little hankerings of what which may keep me from delighting in all that I have. If I can just teach myself not to want too much, not to expect too much, then when those expectations are not satisfied, I will not be let down. May I accept with grace what the grace of God has provided.

Today I Will Remember

I , alone, can grant myself the “freedom from want.”

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One More Day

Be a football to Time and Chance, the more kicks the better, so that you inspect the whole game and know it’s utmost law.
– Ralph Wldo Emerson

There’s something attractive about having a controlled life, a life in which we’re never embarrassed or disappointed or fooled. Perhaps it’s safety we seek when we try to control everyone and everything around us. As is so often true, we can’t get one thing without forfeiting another. In this case, if we choose safety, wee lose spontaneity and excitement.

Although we don’t want to take dangerous risks or make foolish choices when clearly better ones present themselves, we may want to loosen our tight, controlling grasp on our lives. To live fully and joyously, we do want and need to examine the range of experiences life offers. Yes we may get a few bumps and bruises, but we’ll always find joy and contentment

Today, I will welcome the unexpected in my life.

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Food For Thought

Regaining Control

Temporary loss of control resulting in a slip does not need to send us off on a protracted binge. We have tools, which we may use to regain control and reestablish firm abstinence.

If we find ourselves deviating from our food plan, however slightly, we need to make contact with our sponsor or another OA member. Honestly admitting that we are having trouble prevents us from losing touch with reality and slipping back into our old habits. If we pretend that all is well when it is not, we cut ourselves off from the help and support we need.

When we are tempted, it is a good idea to remove ourselves from the source of temptation and get involved in another activity. Reading the literature or going to a meeting can renew our OA commitment.

In the last analysis, it is our Higher Power who provides the control, which we lack. To turn over our lack of control is to open ourselves to the Power that keeps us abstinent.

Control my life. Lord.

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One Day At A Time

~ CHOICE ~
The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
George Eliot

I spent most of my life blaming others for my woes and the fact that I was a compulsive overeater. I thought, “If you had had a mother like I did, an ex-husband or a tough life like mine, you would also have turned to food for comfort or to block all the painful feelings.” I was sure that had I had an easier life like I perceived others to have, I wouldn’t have had to do the things around food that I did. I never took responsibility for my part in all this because, in truth, I was the one who chose to react to my life in that way. Nobody forced me to behave the way I did and nobody held me down and forced food into my mouth.

I never used to realize that I do have choices in life. I can choose not to eat foods that are harmful to me; I can choose not to surround myself with unhealthy relationships; I can choose not to let other people’s problems become my own; in fact, I have choices in most things that I do. I can choose to have a more positive attitude today, instead of focusing on all the negatives. I do not have to react to life’s adversities with destructive behaviors. I can choose to be active in my life rather than being reactive, like a sailing ship in a stormy sea that is totally at the mercy of the weather. I can choose to seize life with both hands and live it the best I know how.

One day at a time… . . .
Today I choose to work this program of recovery knowing that, even with life’s difficulties, the promises of the program will come true in my life, and I will know serenity and peace.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We have elsewhere remarked how much better life is when lived on a spiritual plane. If God can solve the age-old riddle of alcoholism, He can solve your problems too. – Pg. 116 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It may be your family, friends, or co-workers that support you now or they all may have abandoned you. You may be surprised by who you can count on. Someone that you did not expect to come through might and others whom you thought you could count on may fall short of your expectations. Try not to blame the ones that fall short and be grateful for the ones who go the extra mile.

My friends and family, like myself all have different strengths and weaknesses. I ask that I not be too critical of the ones who can’t be the support I want today and I give blessings for those who can.

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.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We make two great decisions in life: one, the decision to get clean and sober; the other, the decision to stay that way. Never make the decision not to stay that way when you are depressed or unhappy.

‘Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time.’ ~Robert Schuller

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

We are only as sick as our secrets; we are only as healthy as our honesty.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I celebrate all of me exactly as I am.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The more my head swells the less my mind expands. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

November 25

Humility
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 done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised,
it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace,
as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.
– Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, p. 222

Thought to Ponder . . .
Many people haven’t even a nodding acquaintance with humility as a way of life.

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

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

Vision
“Vision is, I think, the ability to make good estimates,
both for the immediate and for the more distant future.
Some might feel this sort of striving to be a sort of heresy,
because we AA’s are constantly telling ourselves,
‘One day at a time.’
But that valuable principle really refers to
our mental and emotional lives
and means chiefly that we are not to foolishly
repine over the past nor wishfully
day-dream about the future. . .
Vision is therefore the very essence of prudence,
an essential virtue if ever there was one.
Of course we shall often miscalculate the future
in whole or in part,
but that is better than to refuse to think at all.”
Bill W., 1962
c. 1962AAWS, Twelve Concepts for World Service, 26th printing, p. 40

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
T I M E = Things I Must Earn

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

Look Squarely
Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step Four is our vigorous and painstaking effort to discover what these liabilities in each of us have been, and are. We want to find exactly how, when, and where our natural desires have warped us. We wish to look squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and ourselves. By discovering what our emotional deformities are, we can move toward their correction. Without a willing and persistent effort to do this, there can be little sobriety or contentment for us. Without a searching and fearless moral inventory, most of us have found that the faith which really works in daily living is still out of reach.
1981, AAWS, Inc., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pages 42-43

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

“I ask the newcomer to help me wash the coffeepot, or put chairs away, because service was, and still is, my key to belonging.”
Manchester, New Hampshire, September 2000
“The Key to Belonging,”
I Am Responsible: The Hand of AA

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

“Selfishness self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of
our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-
seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they
retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation,
but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made
decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.”
Alcoholics Anonymous page 30

Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.66

When these things happen we should not think too ill of ourselves.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.105

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In praying, 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 should be helped. In that case, we are asking God to do it our way. Therefore, we ought to consider each request carefully to see what its real merit is.
Even so, when making specific requests, it will be well to add to each one of them this qualification: ‘. . . if it be Thy will.’

Prayer for the Day: First Step Prayer – Today, I ask for help with my addiction. Denial has kept me from seeing how powerless I am and how my life is unmanageable. I need to learn and remember that I have an incurable illness and that abstinence is the only way to deal with it.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 24th

Daily Reflections

A UNIVERSAL SEARCH

Be quick to see where religious people are right.
Make use of what they offer.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87

I do not claim to have all the answers in spiritual
matters, any more than I claim to have all the
answers about alcoholism. There are others who are
also engaged in a spiritual search. If I keep an
open mind about what others have to say, I have much
to gain. My sobriety is greatly enriched, and my
practice of the Eleventh Step more fruitful, when I
use both the literature and practices of my
Judeo-Christian tradition, and the resources of other
religions. Thus, I receive support from many sources
in staying away from the first drink.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Instead of being pretended perfectionists, in A.A. we
are content if we are making progress. The main thing
is to be growing. We realize that perfectionism is
only a result of false pride and an excuse to save our
faces. In A.A. we are willing to make mistakes and to
stumble, provided we are always stumbling forward. We
are not so interested in what we are as in what we are
becoming. We are on the way, not at the goal. And we
will be on the way as long as we live. No A.A. has ever
“arrived.” But we are getting better. Am I making
progress?

Meditation For The Day

Each new day brings an opportunity to do some little
thing that will help to make a better world, that will
bring God’s kingdom a little nearer to being realized
on earth. Take each day’s happenings as opportunities
for something you can do for God. In that spirit, a
blessing will attend all that you do. Offering this
day’s service to God, you are sharing in His work. You
do not have to do great things.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that today I may do the next thing, the unselfish thing,
the loving thing. I pray that I may be content with doing
small things as long as they are right.


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As Bill Sees It

Welcome Criticism, p. 326

“Thanks much for your letter of criticism: I’m certain that had it not
been for its strong critics, A.A. would have made slower progress.

“For myself, I have come to set a high value on the people who have
criticized me, whether they have seemed reasonable critics or
unreasonable ones. Both have often restrained me from doing much
worse than I actually have done. The unreasonable ones have taught
me, I hope, a little patience. But the reasonable ones have always
done a great job for all of A.A. and have taught me many a valuable
lesson.”

Letter, 1955

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Walk In Dry Places

Are there better paths to sobriety?
Self-honesty
Now that alcoholism recovery has been well established, alternatives to the AA program are being developed.   These are designed to appeal to those who either will not or cannot accept AA.
Nobody in AA should feel threatened by these new programs.  We should, in fact, be delighted if ways are found to reach those whom we are unable to help.  The need is so great that we should welcome anything that helps alcoholics.
The only real test for any program is that it works.  More important, it must work for us.  No program is useful to us if we cannot apply it in our own lives.
If we have found sobriety in AA, we have no need to look further. If AA was able to help us in our hour of desperate need, it can help us as the days unfold into the future.
I’ll be thankful today for the sobriety AA has given me.  I’ll also remember that my need for help in maintaining sobriety will never end.

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Keep It Simple

Freedom is not enough.—Lyndon B. Johnson
We are free of alcohol and other drugs. We’ve been given a second chance or third chance.
For that, we thank our Higher Power. We’ve started a new life. But to keep this life, we need to change. We need new friends. We need to let a Higher Power guide our hearts, minds, and bodies. We need new friends. We need to let a Higher Power guide our hearts, and bodies. We need to learn new values and how to stand up for them. We need to learn how to give and receive.
Freedom from dependence is not enough. We also want to be happy, and to do something with our lives. So each day we keep learning, we keep growing. Each day without alcohol or other drugs is a gift, a gift from God.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You set me free. Now teach me to stay free. Guide me, for keeping my freedom is a big task
Action for the Day:  I will meditate on my freedom. I will take time to list all the ways I am now free.

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Each Day a New Beginning

“If onlys” are lonely.  –Morgan Jennings
The circumstances of our lives seldom live up to our expectations or desires. However, in each circumstance we are offered an opportunity for growth or change, a chance for greater understanding of life’s heights and pitfalls. Each time we choose to lament what isn’t, we close the door on the invitation to a better existence.
We simply don’t know just what’s best for us. Our vision is limited. Less so today than yesterday, but limited still. The experiences we are offered will fail to satisfy our expectations because we expect so much less than God has planned for us in the days ahead.
We get what we need, in the way of relationships, adventures, joys and sorrows, today and every day. Celebrating what we get and knowing there is good in it eases whatever trial we are undergoing. We are cared for, right now. We need not lament what we think we need. We do have what we need. We will always get what we need, when we need it.
I will breathe deeply and relax. At this moment my every need is being attended to. My life is unfolding exactly as it should.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did—then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen—Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand.

p. 151

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

Hands trembling, body shaky, head splitting, I survived the first day until I was fairly safe in bed in an alcohol-free apartment. Somehow I made it through a couple of more days, miserable in withdrawal. In spite of managing to stay dry that time, I have no doubt that resolution would have crumbled like the others and I would have been drinking again if I hadn’t found A.A.

p. 343

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Most of us begin making certain kinds of direct amends from the day we join Alcoholics Anonymous. The moment we tell our families that we are really going to try the program, the process has begun. In this area there are seldom any questions of timing or caution. We want to come in the door shouting the good news. After coming from our first meeting, or perhaps after we have finished reading the book “Alcoholics Anonymous,” we usually want to sit down with some member of the family and readily admit the damage we have done by our drinking. Almost always we want to go further and admit other defects that have made us hard to live with. This will be a very different occasion, and in sharp contrast with those hangover mornings when we alternated between reviling ourselves and blaming the family (and everyone else) for our troubles. At this first sitting, it is necessary only that we make a general admission of our defects. It may be unwise at this stage to rehash certain harrowing episodes. Good judgment will suggest that we ought to take our time. While we may be quite willing to reveal the very worst, we must be sure to remember that we cannot buy our own peace of mind at the expense of others.

pp. 83-84

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You cannot do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late.
–Cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES

A light heart lives long.
–Irish Proverb

People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but
when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.
–Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.
–Marguerite Gardiner Blessington

Seven days without a meeting makes one weak.
–unknown

It takes only a moment to be kind, but the result can last a lifetime.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SHAME

“If we are not ashamed to think
it, we should not be ashamed to
say it.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

I was afraid to tell you what I was thinking. I was afraid to speak or be noticed. I sat for
hours silent and at times I wished I could vanish into the furniture. I was afraid of my
shadow.

This reveals not only my lack of confidence but my low self-esteem. I did not think I
had anything to say, anything to offer, anything that might be considered interesting.
I would laugh at stupid things to please people.

Today I speak out. I do not hide what I am thinking. I believe I have something to
offer in the celebration of life. And it feels good. My spiritual growth is proportionate
to my willingness to let you know who I am and what I think.

I celebrate my joy in living by sharing it.

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Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love
does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong,
but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things. Love never ends…
I Corinthians 13

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory
to your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16

“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through
all generations.
Psalm 100:5

“Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us.”
Ephesians 5:2


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Daily Inspiration

Much time is spent fearing that which isn’t really there in the first place. Lord, help me conquer my fears and overcome my difficulties as they happen rather than giving up and letting my difficulties overcome me.

Our thoughts have a powerful effect on our bodies. Lord, may my thoughts be wholesome and loving and bear good results on me and my life.

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NA Just For Today

Gratefully Recovering

“We entertained the thought that staying clean was not paying off and the old thinking stirred up self-pity, resentment, and anger.”
Basic Text pg. 98

There are days when some of us wallow in self-pity. It’s easy to do. We may have expectations about how our lives should be in recovery, expectations that aren’t always met. Maybe we’ve tried unsuccessfully to control someone, or we think our circumstances should be different. Perhaps we’ve compared ourselves with other recovering addicts and found ourselves lacking. The more we try to make our life conform to our expectations, the more uncomfortable we feel. Self-pity can arise from living in our expectations instead of in the world as it actually is.

When the world doesn’t measure up to our expectations, it’s often our expectations that need adjusting, not the world. We can start by comparing our lives today with the way they used to be, developing gratitude for our recovery. We can extend this exercise in gratitude by counting the good things in our lives, becoming thankful that the world does not conform to our expectations but exceeds them. And if we continue working the Twelve Steps, further cultivating gratitude and acceptance, what we can expect in the future is more growth, more happiness, and more peace of mind.

We’ve been given much in recovery; staying clean has paid off. Acceptance of our lives, just for today, frees us from our self-pity.

Just for today: I will accept my life, gratefully, just as it is.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible day. –Judith Viorst
Some days, for all our good intentions, seem to go sour from the start. Maybe we’re tired or feeling ill or preoccupied with a problem that seems insurmountable. Maybe we just got up on the wrong side of the bed.
Living one day at a time means getting the most we can out of today. It also means we know today does not have to doom or dictate tomorrow. If we have a bad day today, that’s all it is–a bad day. It does not mean we’re bad or that the world is against us or that we might as well give in to our worst attitudes and behaviors since nothing is going right anyway. And it does not mean tomorrow will be a bad day, too.
When we have a bad day–and everyone does–there are a few things we can do while we wait it out. We can slow down. We can be quiet. We can pray. And we can let go. How else will we be able to recognize a wonderful day?
Am I living today–good or bad–and not tomorrow or yesterday?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. –Abraham Heschel
Most of us have struggled with our self-esteem. We believed if we felt better about ourselves we could change some of our behavior. In recovery we found the reverse to be true. First our behavior changed, then our self-esteem improved.
Only after we stop doing things we don’t respect can we hear and accept the goodwill of others around us. Then we see our value as men because we are upholding strong self-images by our actions. This is not easy to do. As we learn, we continue to say no to weak behaviors, and we are released to feel greater dignity.
Saying no to my negative behavior today will improve my self-respect.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
“If onlys” are lonely. –Morgan Jennings
The circumstances of our lives seldom live up to our expectations or desires. However, in each circumstance we are offered an opportunity for growth or change, a chance for greater understanding of life’s heights and pitfalls. Each time we choose to lament what isn’t, we close the door on the invitation to a better existence.
We simply don’t know just what’s best for us. Our vision is limited. Less so today than yesterday, but limited still. The experiences we are offered will fail to satisfy our expectations because we expect so much less than God has planned for us in the days ahead.
We get what we need, in the way of relationships, adventures, joys and sorrows, today and every day. Celebrating what we get and knowing there is good in it eases whatever trial we are undergoing. We are cared for, right now. We need not lament what we think we need. We do have what we need. We will always get what we need, when we need it.
I will breathe deeply and relax. At this moment my every need is being attended to. My life is unfolding exactly as it should.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Surrender
Surrender means saying, “Okay, God. I’ll do whatever You want.” Faith in the God of our recovery means we trust that, eventually, we’ll like doing that.
Today, I will surrender to my Higher Power. I’ll trust that God’s plan for me will be good, even if it is different than I hoped for or expected.

I immediately release everything I am struggling with today. I release everything to my Higher Power, knowing that I am getting all the help that I need today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

The Power of Gratitude Never Wanes

The haunting music of “Amazing Grace” followed me throughout my travels. I heard it first in the rustic cabin I rented in Arizona. The music from a distant flute wound through the air, filling it like incense, filling me with peace.

The next time I heard the music was at an old Montana hotel. The notes were clearer this time, as the soothing melody drifted across the courtyard.

Then, near the forest in Washington. I heard the hymn once more, again played on a flute. The notes rang out. The melody filled the air, gratitude flooded my soul.

“Amazing Grace” is following me, I thought. I thought again. No, grace wasn’t following me; grace had found me.

The power of gratitude never wanes. Say it when you feel and believe it. Say it when you don’t. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Soon you will hear the music,too. This song of grace will touch you with its haunting melody.

Amazing, amazing grace.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Move from your center

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.
–Ecclesiastes 9:10

Move from your center.

It’s a lesson I learned in aikido. But it’s more than a lesson about martial arts, it’s an ancient lesson about how we’re to live.

Try this exercise. Walk across the room wishing you were someplace else– in your chair, in your car, or with your friend. Then do an activity for five minutes, like washing dishes, concentrating the entire time on something else you’d rather be doing, or something you’re worrying about. Then, walk back to where you started.

Now, walk across the room conscious of each step, fully present in each move. Pay attention to where you’re at and how each step feels. And be willing and intending to be right where you are. Wash the dishes, present for the feel of the hot water, the smell of the soap, and for how the floor feels under your feet. Be conscious and aware. Be intending to wash those dishes. Be right there, in that moment in time. Be aware of washing until the dishes are clean and rinsing until they’re clear. Be happy and grateful for the task. Give that task your all.

That’s moving from your center. It means right there, completely present, focused, and aware. We’re not wishing we were someplace else. And we place great value on what we’re doing, no matter what the size of the task. How much richer our lives become when we put all into all that we do. The colors are brighter, the success sweeter, the loss sharper, and the lessons more true.

Move from your center in all that you do, even the ordinary tasks and moments of life. Pour all of your heart into your relationships. Give your best ideas at work. Don’t worry, the universe has more where those came from. Stop the car on the side of the road and watch the sunset.

Whatsoever you find to do, do it with all your might.

God, remind me to live my life fully every day.

*****

Combating Emotional Vampires
From the Combating Emotional Vampires On-Line Course by Dr. Judith Orloff

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

Relationships are always an energy exchange. To stay feeling our best, we must ask ourselves: Who gives us energy? Who saps it? It’s important to be surrounded by supportive, heart-centered people who make us feel safe and secure. It’s equally important to pinpoint the emotional vampires, who, whether they intend to or not, leech our energy.

To protect your sensitivity, it’s imperative to name and combat these emotional vampires. They’re everywhere: coworkers, neighbors, family, and friends. In Energy Psychiatry I’ve treated a revolving door of patients who’ve been hard-hit by drainers–truly a mental health epidemic that conventional medicine doesn’t see. I’m horrified by how many of these “emotionally walking wounded” (ordinarily perceptive, intelligent individuals) have become resigned to chronic anxiety or depression. Why the blind spot? Most of us haven’t been educated about draining people or how to emancipate ourselves from their clutches, requisite social skills for everyone desiring freedom. Emotional draining is a touchy subject. We don’t know how to tactfully address our needs without alienating others. The result: We get tongue-tied, or destructively passive. We ignore the SOS from our gut that screams, “Beware!” Or, quaking in our boots, we’re so afraid of the faux pas of appearing “impolite” that w! e become martyrs in lieu of being respectfully assertive. We don’t speak out because we don’t want to be seen as “difficult” or uncaring.

Vampires do more than drain our physical energy. The super-malignant ones can make you believe you’re an unworthy, unlovable wretch who doesn’t deserve better. The subtler species inflict damage that’s more of a slow burn. Smaller digs here and there can make you feel bad about yourself such as, “Dear, I see you’ve put on a few pounds” or “It’s not lady-like to interrupt.” In a flash, they’ve zapped you by prodding areas of shaky self-worth.

This is my credo for vampires: Their antics are unacceptable; you must develop a successful plan for coping with them. I deeply believe in the merciful message of The Lord’s Prayer to “forgive people their trespasses,” but I’m also a proponent of preventing the unconscious or mean-spirited from trespassing against us. Taking a stand against draining people is a form of self-care and canny communication that you must practice to give your freedom legs.

What turns someone into an emotional vampire? First, a psychological reason: children often reflexively mimic their parents’ most unflattering traits. A self-absorbed father can turn you into a self-absorbed son. Early modeling has impact. Studies of Holocaust survivors reveal that many became abusive parents themselves. The second explanation involves subtle energy. I’ve observed that childhood trauma–mistreatment, loss, parental alcoholism, illness–can weaken a person’s energy field. This energy leakage may condition those with such early wounds to draw on the vitality of others to compensate; it’s not something most are aware of. Nevertheless, the effects can be extreme. Visualize an octopus-like tendril extending from their energy field and glomming onto yours. Your intuition may register this as sadness, anger, fatigue, or a cloying, squirrelly feeling. The degree of mood change or physical reaction may vary. A vampire’s effects can stun like a sonic blast or make you! slowly wilt. But it’s the rare drainer that sets out to purposely enervate you. The majority act unconsciously, oblivious to being an emotional drain.

Let me tell you the secret of how a vampire operates so you can outsmart one. A vampire goes in for the kill by stirring up your emotions. Pushing your buttons throws you off center, which renders you easier to drain. Of all the emotional types, empaths are often the most devastated. However, certain emotional states increase everyone’s vulnerability. I myself am most susceptible to emotional vampires when I feel desperate, tired, or disempowered. Here are some others:

# Low self-esteem
# Depression
# A victim mentality
# Fear of asserting yourself
# Addiction to people-pleasing

When encountering emotional vampires, see what you can learn too. It’s your choice. You can simply feel tortured, resentful, and impotent. Or, as I try to do, ask yourself, “How can this interchange help me grow?” Every nanosecond of life, good, bad, or indifferent, is a chance to become emotionally freer, enlarge the heart. If we’re to have any hope of breaking war-mongering patterns, we must each play a part. As freedom fighters, strive to view vampires as opportunities to enlist your highest self and not be a sucker for negativity. Then you’ll leave smelling like a rose, even with Major-League Draculas. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Although we came into The Program to deal with a specific problem, we soon became aware that we would find not only freedom from addiction, but freedom to live in the real world without fear and frustration. We learned that the solutions are within ourselves. With the help of my Higher Power, I can enrich my life with comfort, enjoyment and deep-down serenity. Am I changing from my own worst enemy to my own best friends?

Today I Pray

May I praise my Higher Power for my freedoms — from addiction, from spiritual bankruptcy, from loneliness, from fear, from delusions, from shallowness, from doom. I give thanks for the way of life that has given me these freedoms and replace the empty spaces with extra goodness and peace of mind.

Today I Will Remember

To give thanks for all my freedoms.

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Food For Thought

Principles Before Personalities

One of the strengths of our fellowship lies in the fact that we place principles before personalities. OA is not a social club. We form meaningful and lasting friendships, but personal friendship is always subordinate to the program itself.

Putting principles before personalities means that we may expect help and consideration from any other member. Conversely, we are expected to give our attention and assistance to anyone who asks, regardless of how well we like that individual personally. The Twelve Steps and principles of OA unity are more important than the personal relationships of any members in our group.

Because we are committed to abstinence from compulsive overeating and to working the program, we respond honestly and say what we believe to be in the best interest of those we sponsor and those we talk with. We do no one a favor if we dilute our program in order to make it more palatable to someone we personally like.

May I remember to place principles before personalities.

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One Day At A Time

~ Gratitude ~
If the only prayer you said in your whole life
was, “Thank you,” that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart

I spent most of my life blaming my circumstances and those around me for the way I felt, for my eating problem and for my terrible life in general. There was nothing good in my life at all and I viewed everything through a dark cloud of negativity. I couldn’t see anything good in my life, and life became totally unbearable. Poor me, I thought. It really wasn’t fair that I had been made to suffer the way I had, and I felt awash with self pity. The more sorry I felt for myself, the more I ate, and the more I ate, the worse I felt; it became a vicious circle.

When I was brought to my knees by this disease and came into the fellowship, I was forced to take stock and look honestly at my life. For the first time ever I considered the losses and difficult situations in my life that I had perceived as unfair and negative. In each case there had been amazing gains. For example, the car accident I’d been in hadn’t been my fault at all. In fact, it became the catalyst that enabled me to change careers. One of the bereavements that I had brought a wonderful and special friend into my life. And so it went. Before, I had bemoaned my fate as a compulsive overeater. Now, I am actually grateful to be a compulsive overeater, because without my disease I never would have a wonderful program that helps me to live my life sanely and serenely, nor would I have all the very special people who love and support me through thick and thin.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am grateful for all the wonderful miracles that have happened in my life as a result of this program … may I never forget to thank my Higher Power for all these wonderful blessings.
~ Sharon S. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Suppose now you are making your second visit to a man. He has read this volume and says he is prepared to go through with the Twelve Steps of the program of recovery. Having had the experience yourself, you can give him much practical advice. Let him know you are available if he wishes to make a decision and tell his story, but do not insist upon it if he prefers to consult someone else. – Pg. 96 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

‘Living life on life’s terms, just what does this mean to us? It doesn’t mean we will get a brownie button for every day we stay abstinent. It simply means life can be tough and we can still stay sober if we chose to live by principle.

Help me live life on life’s terms by accepting the good along with bad realizing that ‘realities’ are not good excuses to use mind-affecting chemicals.

Dreaming Dreams

Today, I will dream dreams. There is nothing wrong with having a couple of dreams for myself if they are realistic and don’t remove me from life too much. To work toward a dream can be a constructive use of my talents and energies. It can give me a positive focus. If my dreams are wild and I am not willing to do the work necessary to realize them, they will only frustrate me and lower my self-esteem. If, however, I am able to dream what makes sense for me and work to put it within my reach, it can be a real process of growth and challenge. My energy and enthusiasm can help me move through blocks, and my commitment can show me that love and effort can be their own reward.

I can stretch myself.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

There are no magic wands or burning bushes in our program. Just footwork and faith.

As I feed my faith, my doubts will starve to death.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The Steps keep us from suicide; the Traditions, from homicide.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I immediately release everything I am struggling with today. I release everything to my Higher Power, knowing that I am getting all the help that I need today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I’m the type of alcoholic that when I stop drinking, for all practical purposes, that’s where my alcoholism begins. – Bob D.

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AA Thought for the Day

November 24

He Was Listening
It finally became obvious to me that the God I thought had judged and damned me had done nothing of the sort.
He had been listening, and in His own good time His answer came. His answer was threefold:
the opportunity for a life of sobriety; Twelve Steps to practice, in order to attain and maintain that life of sobriety;
fellowship within the program, ever ready to sustain and help me each twenty-four-hour day.
– Came To Believe . . ., p. 11

Thought to Ponder . . .
God never answers a question that starts with “why.”

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Answer Available.

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

Meetings
“A ‘spiritual experience’ to me meant attending meetings,
seeing a group of people,
all there for the purpose of helping each other;
hearing the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions
read at a meeting,
and hearing the Lord’s Prayer, which in an AA meeting
has such great meaning —
‘They will be done, not mine.’
A spiritual awakening soon came to mean
trying each day to be a little more thoughtful,
more considerate, a little more courteous to those
with whom I came in contact.”
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 381

Thought to Consider . . .
Seven days without a meeting makes one weak.

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

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

Alternatives
From: “We Agnostics”
In the preceding chapters you have learned something of alcoholism. We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the non-alcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.
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.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 44

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

“We sense that here in AA this shared darkness has become a shared light.”
Pleasantville, N.Y., August 1959
“The Sense of Sobriety”
Spiritual Awakenings

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

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

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone —even alcohol . For by this time sanity will have returned . We will seldom be interested in liquor . If tempted , we recoil from it as from a hot flame . We react sanely and normally , and we will find that this has happened automatically . We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part . It just comes! That is the miracle of it . We are not fighting it , neither are we avoiding temptation . We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality— safe and protected . We have not even sworn off . Instead , the problem has been removed .It does not exist for us . We are neither cocky nor are we afraid . That is our experience . That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition .
Alcoholics Anonymous , Page 84-85

At once, we commence to outgrow fear.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.68

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When dealing with a prospect of agnostic or atheistic bent, you had better use everyday language to describe spiritual principles. There is no use arousing any prejudice he may have against certain theological terms and conceptions, about which he may already be confused. Don’t raise such issues, no matter what your own convictions are.
Every man and woman who has joined A.A. and intends to stick has, without realizing it, made a beginning on Step Three. Isn’t it true that, in all matters touching upon alcohol, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection, and guidance of A.A.?
Already a willingness has been achieved to cast out one’s own will and one’s own ideas about the alcohol problem in favor of those suggested by A.A. Now if this is not turning one’s will and life over to a new-found ‘Providence,’ then what is it?

Prayer for the Day: The Fellowship Prayer – Dear Higher Power I am grateful that: I am part of the Fellowship, one among many, but I am one. I need to work the Steps for the development of the buried life within me. Our Program may be human in its organization, but it is Divine in its purpose. The purpose is to continue my spiritual awakening. Participating in the privileges of the movement, I shall share in the responsibilities, taking it upon myself to carry my fair share of the load, not grudgingly, but joyfully. To the extent that I fail in my responsibilities, the Program fails. To the extent that I succeed, the Program succeeds. I shall not wait to be drafted for service to my fellow members, I shall volunteer. I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, intuitive in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give to the Program my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion, and, most of all, myself.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 23rd

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 23rd

Daily Reflections

HOLD YOUR FACE TO THE LIGHT

Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the
Light, even though for the moment you do not see.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 3

One Sunday in October, during my morning meditation,
I glanced out the window at the ash tree in our
front yard. At once I was overwhelmed by its
magnificent, golden color! As I stared in awe at
God’s work of art, the leaves began to fall and,
within minutes, the branches were bare. Sadness
came over me as I thought of the winter months
ahead, but just as I was reflecting on autumn’s
annual process, God’s message came through. Like
the trees, stripped of their leaves in the fall,
sprout new blossoms in the spring, I had had my
compulsive, selfish ways removed by God in order
for me to blossom into a sober, joyful member of
A.A. Thank you, God, for the changing seasons and
for my ever-changing life.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I no longer refuse to do anything because I cannot
do it to perfection. Many of us alcoholics use the
excuse of not being able to do something perfectly
to enable us to do nothing at all. We pretend to be
perfectionists. We are good at telling people how a
thing should be done, but when we come to the effort
of doing it ourselves, we balk. We say to ourselves:
I might make a mistake, so I’d better let the whole
thing slide. In A.A. we set our goals high, but that
does not prevent us from trying. The mere fact that
we will never fully reach these goals does not
prevent us from doing the best we can. Have I stopped
hiding behind the smoke-screen of perfectionism?

Meditation For The Day

“In the world ye shall have tribulation. But be of
good cheer. I have overcome the world.” Keep an
undaunted spirit. Keep your spirit free and unconquered.
You can be undefeated and untouched by failure and all
its power, by letting your spirit overcome the world;
rise above the earth’s turmoil into the secret chamber
of perfect peace and confidence. When a challenge comes
to you, remember that you have God’s help and nothing
can wholly defeat you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have confidence and be of good cheer.
I pray that I may not fear the power of failure.


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As Bill Sees It

Humility Brings Hope, p. 325

Now that we no longer patronize bars and bordellos, now that we bring
home the pay checks, now that we are so very active in A.A., and now
that people congratulate us on these signs of progress–well, we
naturally proceed to congratulate ourselves. Of course, we are not
yet within hailing distance of humility.

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

We ought to be willing to try humility in seeking the removal of our
other shortcomings, just as we did when we admitted that we were
powerless over alcohol, and came to believe that a Power greater than
ourselves could restore us to sanity.

If humility could enable us to find the grace by which the deadly
alcohol obsession could be banished, then there must be hope of the
same result respecting any other problem we can possibly have.

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 76

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Walk In Dry Places

The only reason to drink
Staying  sober
“There’s only one real reason I can ever have for taking a drink,  and that’s because I want to.”
This remark at a meeting sums up AA’s position on why we drink.  We never really drink because of pressures and troubles. We drink because we want to, because we feel like taking a drink.
It’s true that a serious crisis, like going into bankruptcy, may make us conscious of an urger to drink. But we know that we’re also likely to have such urges in the face  of good fortune.  The alcoholic who would drink over a bankruptcy would also probably get drunk if he or she won the lottery.
By refusing to accept all of these alleged “reasons” for drinking, AA simplified our problem so we can deal with it.  We either want to drink or we don’t want to drink, period.  Even if we want to drink… and some members do..  AA can show us how to stay sober and eventually lose such desires.
Nothing has the power to make me drink today.  It is only my own willingness that can destroy my sobriety.

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Keep It Simple

Let me listen to me and not to them. —Gertrude Stein
Often we try to please everyone around us. But this may not make us happy, and so we get angry.
We feel taken advantage of.
We may be kind to others, but first we must love ourselves. How? By learning to listen to ourselves. To our dreams. To our higher power. By doing this we’ll be more happy. And those around us will probably be more happy too.
As our AA medallions say, “To Thine Own Self Be True.”
Prayer for the Day:  I pray that I’ll listen to that gentle, loving voice inside me. Higher Power, help me make me make my “conscious contact” with You better.
Action for the Day:  I will write down why I need to be true to myself.

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Each Day a New Beginning

When you send out real love, real love will return to you.  –Florence Scovel Shinn
Real love is selfless love. It expects nothing in return. It is not conditional. It doesn’t keep score. It is too seldom given. Many of us came into the program hurting, feeling unloved, looking desperately for love, unable to love selflessly. But we are learning.
We are climbing the same mountain, all of us. Our particular paths will cross the paths of many others before reaching the top, where we will find full enlightenment. And any path we cross has a special contribution to make to our own progress. We can be grateful for all intersecting paths, no matter how adverse they seem at the time. We can offer all our fellow-travelers real love, and our own trip will benefit manyfold.
We need not be ashamed of our desire for love. Nor need we feel shame that we’ve bargained for it. But we do need to understand that the kind of love we seek can only be gained when we quit searching for it and simply offer it to all the people in our midst.
I will look into the hearts of all the people I encounter today and offer them love. I’ll receive that which I give.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

FOR MOST normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt—and one more failure.

p. 151

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

The horrors grew. Inner horrors. On the surface it looked as though I was more or less keeping it together, but day by day I was dying inside, filled with fears I couldn’t name but which shook me to the core. My worst fear was that I was an alcoholic. I wasn’t sure what that was, except that I might end up down on the Bowery in New York, where I had seen drunks curled up on the sidewalk. I made another New Year’s resolution–to stop drinking entirely until I could handle it and then, I told myself, I could go back to wine and beer.

pp. 342-343

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

After we have made the list of people we have harmed, have reflected carefully upon each instance, and have tried to possess ourselves of the right attitude in which to proceed, we will see that the making of direct amends divides those we should approach into several classes. There will be those who ought to be dealt with just as soon as we become reasonably confident that we can maintain our sobriety. There will be those to whom we can make only partial restitution, lest complete disclosures do them or others more harm than good. There will be other cases where action ought to be deferred, and still others in which by the very nature of the situation we shall never be able to make direct personal contact at all.

p. 83

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Silence is also a form of speech.
–West Africa Proverb

Each day comes bearing its own gifts.
Untie the ribbons.
–Ruth Ann Schabacker

Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter
how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for. The more we
seek gratitude, the more reason the angels will give us for gratitude and joy to exist in
our lives.
–Terry Lynn Taylor

“Our personal dispositions are as windowpanes through which we see the world either as
rosy or dull. The way we color the glasses we wear is the way the world seems to us.”
–Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you,
knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better
than your current situation.”
–Brian Tracy

You will get nothing out of life unless you make the decision to go after it. Persistence is
the key to winning.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MEMORIES

“History is the seed bed of the
future.”
— Leo Booth

I talk about my drinking history, remembering the incidents and losses, because I
believe “there is no gain without pain.” To enjoy my sobriety I must share, on a
daily basis, the reality of my disease. My pain is rooted in my history. I must live with
my disease on a daily basis. I need to be aware of the disease process in my life.

This awareness requires a “rigorously honest” inventory of my past attitudes and
behaviors; ignorance is bliss for the disease of addiction! The acceptance and
awareness of my past is my treatment for today. The more I understand about my
yesterdays the better my recovery will be today. My life has a history and my spiritual
program demands that I understand it.

Teach me to face my past so that I can realistically live in my today.

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“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.”
Lamentations 3:25

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:17

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray
for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot
be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is
saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
Romans 8:26 -27

Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others. A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted. An honest witness tells the truth; a false
witness tells lies. Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring
healing. Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are
plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
Proverbs 12:15-20


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Daily Inspiration

One of life’s greatest pleasures is meeting and conquering our most difficult moments. Lord, teach me to trust myself and trust that You will never abandon me or my needs.

See opportunity in your difficulties, not difficulty in your opportunities. Lord, I will focus on the goodness today brings to me and look for the many reasons I have to feel joy.

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NA Just For Today

God’s Will

“The relief of ‘letting go and letting God’ helps us develop a life that is worth living.”
Basic Text pg. 26

In our addiction, we were afraid of what might happen if we didn’t control everything around us. Many of us made up elaborate lies to protect our use of drugs. Some of us manipulated everyone around us in a frenzied attempt to get something from them so we could use more drugs. A few of us went to great lengths to keep two people from talking to each other and perhaps discovering our trail of lies. We took pains to maintain an illusion of control over our addiction and our lives. In the process, we kept ourselves from experiencing the serenity that comes with surrender to a Higher Power’s will.

In our recovery, it is important to release our illusion of control and surrender to a Higher Power, whose will for us is better than anything we can con, manipulate, or devise for ourselves. If we realize that we are trying to control outcomes and are feeling afraid of the future, there is action we can take to reverse that trend. We go to our Second and Third Steps and look at what we have come to believe about a Higher Power. Do we truly believe that this Power can care for us and restore us to sanity? If so, we can live with all of life’s ups and downs – its disappointments, its sorrows, its wonders, and its joys.

Just for today: I will surrender and let a Higher Power’s will happen in my life. I will accept the gift of serenity this surrender brings.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Happiness is not a place to travel to. It’s a way of getting there. –Anonymous
Those of us who climb mountains find joy in reaching the top. However, the climb would not make much sense if there were not things to enjoy on the way up. If we groan and complain, it will be hard to feel joy at the summit. However, if we are able to enjoy each day’s journey, it makes all the difference in the world. In the midst of each chore, we can notice the sunset or the unique and beautiful surroundings of each day.
Each of our days is different. Happiness is not a goal we are struggling to reach some time in the future. It is a gift we can give ourselves today. If we enjoy some parts of each day of our hike, we will also feel joy at the summit.
What form will my gift of happiness take today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We shall not cease from exploration.
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
—T. S. Eliot
Our spiritual path is like a search leading home. We carry within us a yearning for the ideal, the perfect acceptance and love from our fathers and mothers. We long for fulfillment of our dreams, we long to feel strong and capable, and we want to understand, to truly come into our own.
As we peel back the layers of our defenses, we find what we knew all along. On a deep level, we knew no man could be totally self-sufficient. Now we are coming back to it as if it’s brand new. The best images of our parents’ love and acceptance of us are what we return to as models for how we can be. It is true we can never go home again. Yet our spiritual journey mysteriously leads us back to explore what we knew deeply all along.
I will make peace with my past and explore the deeper knowledge I’ve always held within me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
When you send out real love, real love will return to you. –Florence Scovel Shinn
Real love is selfless love. It expects nothing in return. It is not conditional. It doesn’t keep score. It is too seldom given. Many of us came into the program hurting, feeling unloved, looking desperately for love, unable to love selflessly. But we are learning.
We are climbing the same mountain, all of us. Our particular paths will cross the paths of many others before reaching the top, where we will find full enlightenment. And any path we cross has a special contribution to make to our own progress. We can be grateful for all intersecting paths, no matter how adverse they seem at the time. We can offer all our fellow-travelers real love, and our own trip will benefit manyfold.
We need not be ashamed of our desire for love. Nor need we feel shame that we’ve bargained for it. But we do need to understand that the kind of love we seek can only be gained when we quit searching for it and simply offer it to all the people in our midst.
I will look into the hearts of all the people I encounter today and offer them love. I’ll receive that which I give.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Healthy Sexuality
Many areas of our life need healing.
One important part of our life is our sexuality. Our feelings and beliefs about our sexuality, our ability to nurture, cherish, and enjoy our sexuality, our ability to respect ourselves sexually, our ability to let go of sexual shame and confusion, may all be impaired or confused by our codependency.
Our sexual energy may be blocked. Or for some of us, sex may be the only way we learned to connect with people. Our sexuality may not be connected to the rest of us; sex may not be connected to love – for others or ourselves.
Some of us were sexually abused as children. Some of us may have gotten involved in sexuality addictive behaviors – compulsive sexual behaviors that got out of control and produced shame.
Some of us may have gotten involved in sexual codependency: not paying attention to what we wanted, or didn’t want, sexually; allowing ourselves to get involved sexually because it was what the other person wanted; shutting off our sexuality along with our other feelings; denying ourselves healthy enjoyment of ourselves as sexual beings.
Our sexuality is a part of ourselves that deserves healing attention and energy. It is a part of us that we can allow to become connected to the whole of us; it is a part of us that we can stop being ashamed of.
It is okay and healthy to allow our sexual energy to open up and become healed. It is connected to our creativity and to our heart. We do not have to allow our sexual energy to control our relationships or us. We can establish and maintain healthy, appropriate boundaries around our sexuality. We can discover what that means in our life.
We can enjoy the gift of being human beings who have been given the gift of sexual energy, without abusing or discounting that gift.
Today, I will begin to integrate my sexuality into the rest of my personality. God, help me let go of my fears and shame around my sexuality. Show me the issues I need to face concerning my sexuality. Help me open myself to healing in that area of my life.

It feels so good to like myself today. It feels so good to accept myself today. It feels so good to know that I am exactly where I need to be, doing what is right for me in this day. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Open Up to Who You Are

Stop criticizing yourself. Stop telling yourself everything you think, feel, want and do is wrong. Or at least not quite right. You’ve been holding back, censoring yourself for too long. Your creativity, your intuition, the voice of your soul is the very voice you’ve been silencing.

For many reasons, we learn to criticize and censor ourelves. We may have grown up with people who stifled our inner voice, our wisdom, our knowledge of truth. Our sense of the truth may have caused them to feel uneasy. So they told us to hush. It met their needs to keep us quiet. So we learned to hush ourselves. It was how we survived.

No longer do we need to meet other people’s needs, not that way. We don’t have to be afraid of ourselves or what we will find if we look inside. We don’t need to run from ourselves. We don’t need to hide or hush ourselves. We are creative, loving, purposeful beings.

It’s time to open up to yourself, to your grandest dreams and aspirations, your real inclinations and desires, your wisdom and knowledge about what is true and what is real. Open up to who you are. Listen to yourself. Express yourself. Enjoy who you are, and you will find others enjoying you,too.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Practice the basics

Not being codependent? That’s a decision I need to make each day.
–Anonymous

Remember to practice the basics.

There’s a saying floating around that people talk about a lot: Lessons won’t go away until they’re learned. We can move, duck, hide, run, or escape by doing something else, but that lesson will still follow us around.

There’s another saying,too, one that’s not talked about as much. But it’s an important lesson to remember as we go through our daily lives: Just because the lesson has been learned doesn’t mean it will go away. Sometimes it appears in different shapes and forms.

I used to believe that once a lesson was learned, I had it under my belt. The pain from that lesson would stop once I realized what it was. Then I could just go on with my life and put that graduation certificate in a drawer.

It took me a while to realize that that wasn’t necessarily true. I was learning these lessons because I would need to use that skill, awakening, value, descipline, or practice as a tool for the rest of my life.

If you’ve got some important life lessons under your belt, congratulations. But don’t put that certificate away quite yet. Instead, why don’t you leave it out in plain sight?

When I first began skydiving, the first fifty jumps or so were dedicated to basic training. I was learning to save my life. After that, I began to add new skills to my repertoire. I was able to move my body around and have some fun in the air. I began to learn to fly. But each time I get to the door of the plane and get ready to jump, it’s important to remember everything I learned in the beginning– the basics– about how to save my life.

Practice the basics every day or as often as you need. Whether you’re in recovery, working at a craft, working on a relationship, or flying a plane, review your basics and remember to apply these principles each day in your life.

Spread your wings. Learn to fly. Have a ball with your life. Learn about all the mystery and magic the universe has to offer. See how good you can get. But don’t forget what you learned in the beginning.

Remember to save your own life.

God, help me remember to practice the basics of self-care every day of my life.

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Bird Meditation
Witnessing Nature through Meditation by Madisyn Taylor

When it becomes too cold to be outside with nature, bring her inside through your meditation.

When the weather gets colder it can be more difficult to get in touch with the marvel of nature as it exists around us. Finding innovative ways to really connect with nature brings us closer to the wonders that envelop our lives. One way to do this is to perform a meditation with our feathered friends, the bird kingdom.

Just by taking a few moments each day to watch the bird activity that goes on in our backyards through our windows can bring a sense of calm and well-being to our lives. Watching and being with the birds that we share our garden space with us allows us to experience greater feelings of relaxation and gratitude for the diversity that is always present around us. Simply watching, without judgment or expectations, heightens our awareness of the beauty of nature. If you watch the birds for a long enough period of time you will begin to feel a great sense of deep joy within you knowing we are all truly divine. Doing this with our family members will in turn introduce a meditative practice that can easily be shared and appreciated by all, as well as create deeper bonds with each other through the joy of experiencing the healing power of nature.

Looking through our windows and placing a feeder and bird bath in our gardens to attract the birds is a way to call forth beauty into our lives. As we consciously connect with our outer world—even when the weather inhibits us from physically being in it—we see that the splendor we view outside of our windows is simply a reflection of what lies within us. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess,” wrote de Tocqueville, “but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.” We learn in The Program that our defects do have value — to the extent that we use them as the starting point for change and the pathway to better things. Fear can be a stepping stone to prudence, for example, as well as to respect for others. Fear can also help us turn away from hate and toward understanding. In the same way, pride can lead us toward the road of humility. Am I aware of my direction today? Do I care where I’m going?

Today I Pray

I pray that my Higher Power will show me how to use my defects in a positive way, because nothing — not even fear or selfishness or greed — is all bad. May I trust that every quality that leads me into trouble has a reverse side that can lead me out. Pride, for instance, can’t puff itself up unduly without bursting and demonstrating that it is, in essence, only hot air. May I learn from my weaknesses.

Today I Will Remember

Good news out of bad.

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One More Day

Just pray for a thick skin and a tender heart.
– Ruth Graham

There are times when we become angry or hurt or disappointed by the words or actions of our friends. When we react in any of these ways, we are focusing on them instead of us. “He hurt my feelings.” we might say, or “She made me angry.” These statement point out the error in our reasoning. No one can “make” us feel a certain way.

Our lives are happier and our emotions more even when we realize we are choosing our reactions. “I let myself be angry (or hurt or disappointed).” Knowing this, gives us a choice in how we let others affect us. We can be less sensitive to real or imagined wrongs. Instead, we can use our sensitivity to understand the pain of others.

I will be more loving toward my friends by overlooking their flaws and underlining their strengths.

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Food For Thought

Turning On

Before OA, many of us were in a self-centered rut. We had little enthusiasm for anything except food, and food proved to be a false friend. When we come to OA and admit that we are powerless over food, we can turn on to a Power greater than ourselves.

Just as we do not need to understand the complexities of electricity in order to benefit from it, we do not need to understand everything about God in order to receive His power. Taking the Twelve Steps turns us on to a new way of life, motivated by faith in a Higher Power.

Turning on to this Power means that we are no longer alone. We do not have to try to run our lives by ourselves. God can and will relieve us of our obsession with food and our obsession with self. He gives us strength and enthusiasm for the living of our daily lives. Through surrender, we become recipients of the Power of the universe.

Take away the blindness that prevents us from turning on to Your Power.

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One Day At A Time

~ Successful Recovery ~
I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery
at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: ‘Here lies Jack
Williams. He done his damnedest.’ I think that is
the greatest epitaph a man can have.
Harry S. Truman

No matter what their drug of choice, compulsives all have one thing in common. If we don’t practice our program, we run the risk of relapsing back into the disease.

What separates those who find recovery and those who don’t is this: those who don’t find recovery slip and fall, and don’t get up again. They figure, “I’ve already relapsed, so why not just continue using my drug of choice? Why not wallow in my disease?”

Those who recover are like Jack Williams…they do their damnedest. They continue to read program literature, they continue to do service, they continue to reach out to others and to their Higher Power. The winners in this program don’t wallow…they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and keep on keeping on.

One day at a time… . . .
I will do my damnedest. I will work my program to the best of my ability, and if I fall, I won’t stay down.
Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since. – Pg. 13 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Inside My Mind

Today, I am grateful to feel alive and to recognize that life is a spiritual journey. All my life circumstances are spiritual challenges, if I choose to look at them that way. Getting free of my own over-attachment to people, places, things and ideas, mistaking them for me, releases my spirit. Once my spirit is released, it can travel and experience the real beauty of life. Life surrounds me; it is inside, outside and everywhere. If I am free and still inside, life is there. If I am not ruminating and filling my mind with unnecessary preoccupations – life is there, spirit is there – waiting to be seen and felt.

I allow my mind its freedom.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘Imagine if at every moment we each embraced the world as the gift it is: An apple is a gift; the color pink is a gift; the blue sky is a gift; the scent of honeysuckle is a gift. Hidden in every experience is a gift,’ ~Marcia Prager, The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine

What is my gift right now?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When you feel your worst, try your best.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

It feels so good to like myself today. It feels so good to accept myself today. It feels so good to know that I am exactly where I need to be, doing what is right for me in this day.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I spent fifteen years out there looking for my girlfriend. Then I came to the program and got sober, and I went home one day and I found her; She was my wife. And ain’t that the story of the alcoholic? I spent all that time looking for something I had all along. – Norm A.

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AA Thought for the Day

November 23

Perspective
Until I could honesty look at myself and see that I was the problem in many situations and react appropriately inside

and out;
until I could discard my expectations and understand that my serenity was directionally proportional to them,
I could not experience serenity and sound sobriety.
– Daily Reflections,p. 71

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

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

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

Faith

“We had seen spiritual release,
but liked to tell ourselves it wasn’t true.
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.”
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 55

Thought to Consider . . .
Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket,
then counting your blessings before they hatch.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Finding Answers In The Heart

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

Reliable
>From “God Is Good”:
“Each day, God gives us a new challenge. Sometimes, it is prosperity; sometimes, adversity. Prosperity can lead to complacency; adversity, to self-pity. Either one of these reactions is a luxury I cannot afford. I do not always fully accept my adversities as good while I am going through them, but the mere fact that I am now able to write these words proves the logic in my faith that God is good.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 87

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

“The Twelve Steps are deceptively simple but provide limitless spiritual growth for anyone with the patience to stay the course.”
Riverside, Ill., September 2007
“It Works for Me,”
Voices of Long-Term Sobriety

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

3rd Step Prayer:
“God, I offer myself to Thee to build with me and to do with
me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better
do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may
bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy
Way of life. May I do Thy will always!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 63~

“I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through , and though perhaps he came to scoff , he may remain to pray” Dr. W.D. Silkworth M.D.
Alcoholics Anonymous p.xxx

For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.15

When, with God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.122

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The immediate object of our quest is sobriety-freedom from alcohol and from all its baleful consequences. Without this freedom, we have nothing at all.
Paradoxically, though, we can achieve no liberation from the alcohol obsession until we become willing to deal with those character defects which have landed us in that helpless condition. In this freedom quest, we are always given three choices.
A rebellious refusal to work upon our glaring defects can be an almost certain ticket to destruction. Or, perhaps for a time, we can stay sober with a minimum of self-improvement and settle ourselves into a comfortable but often dangerous mediocrity. Or, finally, we can continuously try hard for those sterling qualities that can add up to fineness of spirit and action – true and lasting freedom under God.

Prayer for the Day: Teach Me –
Teach me, God, so that I might know
The way to change and the way to grow.
Give me the words to ask You how
To handle the here and live in the now.
Tempt me not with valleys of death,
Give me freedom from fear in every breath.
And though mistakes I make in my daily life,
Deliver me from aiding strife.
Understand me, God, as I am now
And show me the furrows I need to plow
To reach my goal as a ripening food,
So I might feed others all that is good.
Fill me with energy known as the Power,
Until I come to rest at the midnight hour.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 22nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 22nd

Daily Reflections

ONLY TWO SINS

. . . . there are only two sins; the first is to
interfere with the growth of another human being,
and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 542

Happiness is such an elusive state. How often do my
“prayers” for others involve “hidden” prayers for my
own agenda? How often is my search for happiness a
boulder in the path of growth for another, or even
myself? Seeking growth through humility and acceptance
brings things that appear to be anything but good,
wholesome and vital. Yet in looking back, I can see
that pain, struggles and setbacks have all contributed
eventually to serenity through growth in the program.
I ask my Higher Power to help me not cause another’s
lack of growth today – or my own.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I have got rid of most of my boredom. One of the
hardest things that a new member of A.A. has to
understand is how he can stay sober and not be bored.
Drinking was always the answer to all kinds of boring
people and boring situations. But once you have taken
up the interest of A.A., once you have given it your
time and enthusiasm, boredom should not be a problem
to you. A new life opens up before you that can be
always interesting. Sobriety should give you so many
new interests in life that you shouldn’t have time
to be bored. Have I got rid of the fear of being bored?

Meditation For The Day

“If I have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or
a tinkling cymbal.” Charity means to care enough about
your fellow man to really want to do something for
him. A smile, a word of encouragement, a word of love,
goes winged on its way, simple enough it may seem,
while the mighty words of an orator fall on deaf ears.
Use up the odd moments of your day in trying to do
some little thing to cheer up your fellow man.
Boredom comes from thinking too much about yourself.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my day may be brightened by some little
act of charity. I pray that I may try today to overcome
the self-centeredness that makes me bored.


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

As Bill Sees It

Spirituality and Money, p. 324

Some of us still ask, “Just what is this Third Legacy business anyhow?
And just how much territory does “service” take in?”

Let’s begin with my own sponsor, Ebby. When Ebby heard how serious
my drinking was, he resolved to visit me. He was in New York; I was in
Brooklyn. His resolve was not enough; he had to take action and he had
to spend money.

He called me on the phone and then got into the subway; total cost, ten
cents. At the level of the telephone booth and subway turnstile,
spirituality and money began to mix. One without the other would have
amounted to nothing at all.

Right then and there, Ebby established the principle that A.A. in action
calls for the sacrifice of much time and a little money.

A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 140-141

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

Walk In Dry Places

Too smart to stay sober
Humility
“I’ve never seen anybody who’s too dumb to stay sober. But I’ve met a few people who were too smart.”  These wise words by an older member sum up what we sometimes see…. people who feel turned off by the program because it seems to simple and involves so many people of ordinary education and backgrounds.
Alcoholism is much like other diseases in the way it strikes all people.  Diabetes, for example,  victimizes people of all intelligence and education levels.  We could never believe that being smart would give us an advantage in dealing with  such an illness.
In the same way, the very smart person, has no edge over others in gaining sobriety.  In fact, pride in such gifts can be a stumbling block.  It can be a barrier to the simple acceptance and surrender needed for success in the 12 Step Program.
We do have many very smart people in AA.  They are also wise enough to know that nobody can outsmart John Barleycorn.
We can feel grateful for mental abilities and education that halp us get along in the world.  Our sobriety, however, is a separate type of gift that we did not create.

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

Keep It Simple

We are healed of a suffering only be experiencing it in full.  —Marcel Proust
We must never forget our past. We need to remember the power that our illness has over us. Why? So we can remember how our recovery began. So we can remember we’re not cured. So we can tell our stories.
We must remember how we acted. Why? So we don’t act and think like addicts. Most of us had a poor relationships with friends, family, and ourselves. We need to remember how lonely we felt. That way, we’ll make recovery grow stronger One Day at a Time.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me always remember how my illness almost destroyed me. Help me face the pain of these memories.
Action for the Day:  I will talk about my past life with those who support my recovery. I will tell them what it is that I must remember about my past.

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Each Day a New Beginning

. . . as awareness increases, the need for personal secrecy almost proportionately decreases.  –Charlotte Painter
We hang onto secrets when we’re unsure of ourselves and the role we’re asked to play–secrets about our inner thoughts, our dreams and aspirations, our feared inadequacies.
Because we strive for perfection, assume it’s achievable, and settle for no less in all our activities, we are haunted by our secret fears of not measuring up. The more committed we become to this program, the greater is our understanding of the fallacy of this way of thinking. And as our awareness increases, the more accepting we become of our human frailty, and the less need we have to cover it up. Our mental health is measurable by the openness we offer to the world. Secrets belie good health and heighten the barriers to it.
The program’s Fourth and Fifth Steps are the antidotes to being stuck in an unhealthy state of mind. They push us to let go of our secrets, freeing us from the power they wield. Practicing the principles of the program offers the remedy we need for the happiness we deserve.
I will share a secret today and be free of its power over my life.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 – To Employers

Today I own a little company. There are two alcoholic employees, who produce as much as five normal salesmen. But why not? They have a new attitude, and they have been saved from a living death. I have enjoyed every moment spent in getting them straightened out.*

* See Appendix VI-We shall be happy to hear from you if we can be of help.

pp. 149-150

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

With my attempts to cut down, I stopped keeping alcohol around the house, drank up whatever was there, over and over deciding not to get more. Then on the way home after work or an evening out, I’d have to see if I could scrape together enough money for a bottle. There were liquor stores just about every block, and I rotated them so the salesmen wouldn’t know how much I drank. On Sundays when the liquor stores were closed, I had to make do with beer or hard cider from the grocery.

p. 342

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage, and prudence–these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine.

p. 83

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A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.
–Cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES

We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.
–Stevie Wonder

Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.
–Les Brown

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

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who
make our souls blossom.
–Marcel Proust

Gratitude is the heart’s memory.
–French proverb

Real thanksgiving is thanks-living.
–unknown

We don’t need more to be thankful for, we need to be more thankful.
–unknown

Life’s little duties should never come before love. Make time for those you care about.
–unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

OBESITY

“Obesity is really widespread.”
— Joseph O. Kern II

To be fat is to be lost. It is a self-imposed isolation that keeps people sad. The fat is
the result of an addiction to a series of chemicals in food that society finds
acceptable; the disease of bulimia is widespread.

But it can be changed. People can and do get well from a compulsion around food by
surrendering to the reality of their compulsion. The people-pleasing must be seen.
The mask must be removed. The pain in the family must be talked about. Feelings
that have been buried behind the food for years should be expressed. Feelings are to
be felt!

We need not remain fat, and recovery begins when we begin to have hope; we begin to
love ourselves; we begin to believe in ourselves.

O Lord, You hear the prayer of all Your children help me to hear my prayers, too!

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

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.”
Psalm 9:1

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to
him and bless his name.”
Psalm 100:4 


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

Daily Inspiration

Make it your goal to be someone that you would like to spend the rest of your life with. Lord, help me approach my day interested in everything that happens so that my life will truly be an adventure.

Through the power of God within me, I am stronger than any of my circumstances. Lord, I seek, I knock and I ask and You are always there and ready to give me the miracles that I need.

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

NA Just For Today

Foundation First

“As we begin to function in society, our creative freedom helps us sort our priorities and do the basic things first.”
Basic Text pg. 83

No sooner do we get clean than some of us begin putting other priorities ahead of our recovery. Careers, families, relationships – all these are part of the life we find once we’ve laid the foundation of our recovery. But we can’t build a stable life for ourselves before we do the hard, basic work of laying our recovery foundation. Like a house built on sand, such a life will be shaky, at best.

Before we begin putting all our attention to rebuilding the detailed framework of our lives, we need to lay our foundation. We acknowledge, first, that we don’t yet have a foundation, that our addiction has made our lives utterly unmanageable. Then, with the help of our sponsor and our home group, we find faith in a Power strong enough to help us prepare the ground of our new lives. We clear the wreckage from the site upon which we will build our future. Finally, we develop a deep, working familiarity with the principles we will practice in our continuing affairs: honest self-examination, reliance upon our Higher Power’s guidance and strength, and service to others.

Once our foundation is prepared, then we can go full steam ahead to put our new lives together. But first we must ask ourselves if our foundation is secure, for without our foundation, nothing we build can stand for long.

Just for today: I will take care to lay a secure foundation for my recovery. Upon such a foundation, I can build for a lifetime in recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. –Martha Washington
We all have friends who seem happy even though they run into lots of bad luck. And we all know other people who seem grumpy all the time. Nothing makes them happy. It’s puzzling, but some people have decided, maybe without even knowing it, that life is fun and should be enjoyed. No bit of bad luck has to make us miserable unless we let it.
A broken bike, a lost math assignment, a rained out picnic are things that might make us miserable. But we can decide they won’t. Feeling happy can be a habit — just like brushing teeth before bedtime.
Will I stop and think today before I let things make me unhappy?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Without heroes, we are all plain people and don’t know now far we can go. –Bernard Malamud
It is useful for us to reflect on our heroes for a time. Who do we greatly admire? Are they men or women? Are they closely involved in our lives, or are they distant and beyond our ability to reach on a personal level? Can we feel hopeful and open enough about life to have heroes?
Our heroes inspire us to find the new edges of our growth. We see in another man or woman the qualities and values we admire. We find our own best parts, perhaps partly hidden or undeveloped, in the people we hold as heroes. For example, if we admire a television personality, we can learn about our own values by asking what we admire in him or her. If we admire a friend, we may see a trait we hold dear in ourselves. As we grow and change, our heroes are replaced by others who fit our maturing values.
As I think about people I admire, I learn about myself from them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
All of the fantasies in your life will never match those I once tried to attain. Now older, it’s more important reaching the more realistic goals, and having them come true. –Deidra Sarault
Simply knowing that we are important creatures of the universe offers too little security for most of us. We do have a role to play; our talents are special and unique to each of us. Using them in a well-planned manner will benefit us emotionally and spiritually. Others will profit from our talents as well.
Fantasies have their place in our lives, too. They often tempt us to even greater heights. We can’t always collar our fantasies, but we can take the necessary steps to realize the goals that our fantasies have birthed.
Recovery is freeing us to achieve those goals we’d only dreamed of or perhaps feared tackling in the past. The defects that we hid behind before are, with patience, giving way to positive behavior. We can accomplish our heart’s pure desires. We need not let the fear of failure trap us again as it did so many of us for so long.
I will set my sights high and trust the program to coach my progress. My goals are attainable. It only takes one small step at a time.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
The Magic of Gratitude and Acceptance
Gratitude and acceptance are two magic tricks available to us in recovery. No matter who we are, where we are, or what we have, gratitude and acceptance work.
We may eventually become so happy that we realize our present circumstances are good. Or we master our present circumstances and then move forward into the next set of circumstances.
If we become stuck, miserable, feeling trapped and hopeless, try gratitude and acceptance. If we have tried unsuccessfully to alter our present circumstances and have begun to feel like we’re beating our head against a brick wall, try gratitude and acceptance.
If we feel like all is dark and the night will never end, try gratitude and acceptance.
If we feel scared and uncertain, try gratitude and acceptance.
If we’ve tried everything else and nothing seems to work, try gratitude and acceptance.
If we’ve been fighting something, try gratitude and acceptance.
When all else fails, go back to the basics.
Gratitude and acceptance work.
Today, God, help me let go of my resistance. Help me know the pain of a circumstance will stop hurting so much if I accept it. I will practice the basics of gratitude and acceptance in my life, and for all my present circumstances.

Today I am thinking about all the things I have to be grateful for and will write them down. I will make a gratitude list, adding to it every time I think of something new. By doing this I will be more aware of the things I have to be grateful for and will always have something about which I can feel good, no matter what is going on in my life. –Ruth Fishel

*****

journey to the heart
Open Up to Who You Are

Stop criticizing yourself. Stop telling yourself everything you think, feel, want, and do is wrong. Or at least not quite right. You’ve been holding back, censoring yourself for too long. Your creativity, your intuition, the voice of your soul is the very voice you’ve been silencing.

For many reasons, we learn to criticze and censor ourselves. We may have grown up with people who stifled our inner voice, our wisdom, our knowledge of truth. Our sense of the truth may have caused them to feel uneasy. So they told us to hush. It met their needs to keep us quiet. So we learned to hush ourselves. It was how we survived.

No longer do we need to meet other people’s needs, not that way. We don’t have to be afraid of ourselves or what we will find if we look inside. We don’t need to run from ourselves. We don’t need to hide or hush ourselves. We are creative, loving, purposeful beings.

It’s time to open up to yourself, to your grandest dreams and aspirations, your real inclinations and desires, your wisdom and knowledge about what is true and what is real. Open up to who you are. Listen to yourself. Express yourself. Enjoy who you are, and you will find others emjoying you,too.

*****

more language of letting go
Practice the basics

Not being codependent? That’s a decision I need to make each day.
–Anonymous

Remember to practice the basics.

There’s a saying floating around that people talk about a lot: Lessons won’t go away until they’re learned. We can move, duck, hide, run, or escape by doing something else, but that lesson will still follow us around.

There’s another saying,too, that’s not talked about as much. But it’s an important lesson to remember as we go through our daily lives: Just because the lesson has been learned doesn’t mean it will go away. Sometimes it appears in different shapes and forms.

I used to believe that once a lesson was learned, I had it under my belt. The pain from that lesson would stop once I realized what it was. Then I could just go on with my life and put that graduation certificate in a drawer.

It took me a while to realize that that wasn’t necessarily true. I was learning these lessons because I would need to use that skill, awakening, value, discipline, or practice as a tool for the rest of my life.

If you’ve got some important life lessons under your belt, congratulations. But don’t put that certificate away quite yet. Instead, why don’t you leave it out in plain sight?

When I first began skydiving, the first fifty jumps or so were dedicated to basic training. I was learning to save my life. After that, I began to add new skills to my repertoire. I was able to move my body around and have some fun in the air, I began to learn to fly. But each time I get to the door of the plane and get ready to jump, it’s important to remember everything I learned in the beginning– the basics– about how to save my life.

Practice the basics every day or as often as you need. Whether you’re in recovery, working at a craft, working on a relationship, or flying a plane, review your basics and remember to apply these principles each day in your life.

Spread your wings. Learn to fly. Have a ball with your life. Learn about all the mystery and magic the universe has to offer. See how good you can get. But don’t forget what you learned in the beginning.

Remember to save your own life.

God, help me remember to practice the basics of self-care every day of my life.

*****

Fully Committed to Now
Why We Are Not Shown the Big Picture by Madisyn Taylor

Often we want to be shown the big picture but it is not always in our best interest as we can easily become overwhelmed.

Sometimes, we may find ourselves wishing we knew what our lives are going to look like or what gifts and challenges are going to be presented to us in the coming months or years. We may want to know if the relationship we’re in now will go the distance or if our goals will be realized. Perhaps we feel like we need help making a decision and we want to know which choice will work out best. We may consult psychics, tarot cards, our dreams, and many other sources in the hopes of finding out what the future holds. Usually, at most, we may catch glimpses. And even though we think we would like to know the whole story in all its details, the truth is that we would probably be overwhelmed and exhausted if we knew everything that is going to happen to us.

Just think of your life as you’ve lived it up to this point. If you are like most of us, you have probably done more and faced more than you could have ever imagined. If someone had told you as a child of all the jobs and relationships you would experience, along with each one’s inherent ups and downs, you would have become overwhelmed. With your head full of information about the future, you would have had a very hard time experiencing your life in the present moment, which is where everything actually happens.

In many ways, not knowing what the future has in store brings out in us the qualities we need to grow. For example, it would have been difficult to commit yourself to certain people or projects if you knew they wouldn’t ultimately work out. Yet, it was through your commitment to see them through that you experienced the lessons you needed to grow. Looking back on your life, you would likely be hard pressed to say that anything in your past should not have happened. In fact, your most challenging experiences with their inevitable lessons may have ultimately brought you the greatest rewards. Not knowing the future keeps us just where we need to be—fully committed and in the present moment. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
“We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess,” wrote de Tocqueville, “but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.” We learn in The Program that our defects do have value – to the extent that we use them as the starting point for change and the pathway to better things. Fear can be a stepping stone to prudence, for example, as well as to respect for others. Fear can also help us turn away from hate and toward understanding. In the same way, pride can lead us toward the road of humility.

Am I aware of my direction today? Do I care where I’m going?

Today I Pray
I pray that my Higher Power will show me how to use my defects in a positive way, because nothing – not even fear or selfishness or greed – is all bad. May I trust that every quality that leads me into trouble has a reverse side that can lead me out. Pride, for instance, can’t puff itself up unduly without bursting and demonstrating that it is, in essence, only hot air. May I learn from my weaknesses.

Today I Will Remember
Good news out of bad.

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

One More Day

“Just pray for a thick skin and a tender heart.”
–Ruth Graham

There are times when we become angry or hurt or disappointed by the words or actions of our friends. When we react in any of these ways, we are focusing on them instead of us. “He hurt my feelings,” we might say, or “she made me angry.” These statements point out the error in our reasoning. No one can “make” us feel a certain way.

Our lives are happier and our emotions more even when we realize we are choosing our reactions. “I let myself be angry (or hurt or disappointed).” Knowing this, gives us a choice in how we let others affect us. We can be less sensitive to real or imagined wrongs. Instead, we can use our sensitivity to understand the pain of others.

I will be more loving towards my friends by overlooking their flaws and underlining their strengths.

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

Food For Thought

Depression

All of us go through times of depression. When we were overeating, we may have felt depressed almost continually. We find that abstinence and the OA program lift us out of depression. The outward circumstances of life may not change radically, but by means of our program we experience more inner joy and contentment and less gloom and despair.

When we do feel depressed, we can take positive action. We can work on a specific step. We can make a phone call. We can offer to help someone else. Focusing our attention on someone or something outside of ourselves is an effective means of combating depression.

Maintaining abstinence does not ensure that we will never again feel depressed. In general, however, our spirits do not sink as low as they did before and they do not stay down as long. As we improve our contact with our Higher Power, we find ourselves less and less despondent. We have new hope, faith, and love – all-powerful antidotes to depression.

Thank You for lifting me out of depression.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FAMILY ~
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
Jane Howard
(from the book “The Simple Abundance Journal of
Gratitude” by Sarah Ban Breathnach)

As an only child of parents who immigrated and left their own families behind, I have always felt that I was missing out on the great wealth of sharing and caring that I saw other people have in their families. That was before recovery.

Today, I have an extended family — not only by marriage — but by the simple fact that my Higher Power led me to the great wealth of caring and sharing that I have found in perhaps the strangest place of all — cyberspace — in the form of online recovery loops.

Being prone to isolation, my disease first led me to seek out others who have struggled with compulsive overeating, and that, in turn, led me to my new ‘family.’ As someone so wonderfully expressed it to me recently, it’s a “family of choice.” What a concept! My family of choice not only has sisters and brothers, it also is filled with mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles — more than I could ever have dreamed of before, and each brings into my life more experience, strength and hope than I could ever have imagined.

One Day at a Time . . .
I thank God that I have found this huge, loving family that constantly offers me hope, inspiration, understanding … and most of all love.
Lorraine

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt. – Pg. 62 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The natural anger, fear, and sadness that accompanies your life during early recovery can cause confusion, short temperedness, and a tendency to neglect your own needs. Allow yourself the luxury of leaning on family and friends, sponsors and counselors to make decisions, offer their advice, and give you gentle reminders of what needs to be done.

As I stay clean, may I learn to lean on family and friends, sponsors and counselors.

Friendship

Today, I make choices about my company and friends. Whom I choose to spend time with is very important to me, and the relationships that I begin I wish to respect and nurture. A handful of dear friends is far more meaningful to me than lots of acquaintances. I choose to share myself where I feel a return of good feeling. I want both to have a friend and to be a friend. One of the unusual gifts of growing up in a dysfunctional household was that I learned the value of friendship because I had to turn to my friends to meet very deep needs. I am grateful for my friends, and for what I learned and felt from them.

I value friendship.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Reputation: what others are not thinking about you.

What others think about me is never as important as what I think about them.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I refuse to allow the magnetic tape of self-pity to trap me. Today I avoid negative thinking and replace it as soon as I notice it is present in me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I was waking up with someone I didn’t like – and I was sleeping alone. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

November 22

“If”
Alcoholism respects no ifs. It does not go away, not even for a week, for a day, or even for an hour,
leaving us nonalcoholic and able to drink again on some special occasion or for some extraordinary reason —
not even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, or if a big sorrow hits us, or if it rains in Spain or the stars fall on

Alabama.
Alcoholism is for us unconditional, with no dispensations available at any price.
– Living Sober, p. 63

Thought to Ponder . . .
Alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful!

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

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

Gratitude
“A complete change takes place in our approach to life.
Where we used to run from responsibility,
we find ourselves accepting it
with gratitude that we can successfully shoulder it.
Instead of wanting to escape some perplexing problem,
we experience a thrill of challenge
in the opportunity it affords for another application
of AA techniques,
and we find ourselves tackling it with surprising vigor.”
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 311-12

Thought to Consider . . .
When brimming with gratitude,
one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love,
the finest emotion we can ever know.
Bill W., March 1962

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

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

Awareness
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“The [Saturday Evening Post] article appeared in the March 1, 1941, issue. Jack’s [Alexander] extensive investigation and his remarkable capacity for sympathy and rapport with us produced a piece which had immense impact. By mail and telegram a deluge of pleas for help and orders for the book Alcoholics Anonymous, first in hundreds and then in thousands, hit Box 658. Pawing at random through the incoming mass of heartbreaking appeals, we found ourselves crying. What on earth could we do with them? We were really swamped.
“We saw that we must have help. So we rounded up every A.A. woman and every A.A. wife who could use a typewriter. The upper floor of the Twenty-Fourth Street Club was converted into an emergency headquarters. For days [A.A. office manager] Ruth and the volunteers tried to answer the ever increasing tide of mail. They were almost tempted into using form letters. But experience had shown that this would not do at all. A warm personal communication must be sent to every prospect and his family.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 191

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

“For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the starting point for better things. Fear can be a stepping-stone to prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate. And the more we have of respect and justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much, and yet be freely given. So fear need not always be destructive, because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1962
“This Matter of Fear”
The Language of the Heart

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

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

Acceptance is the key to my relationship with God today. I never just sit and do nothing while waiting for Him to tell me what to do. Rather, I do whatever is in front of me to be done, and I leave the results up to Him, however it turns out, that’s God’s will for me.
I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance. When I remember this, I can see I’ve never had it so good. Thank God for A.A.!
Alcoholics Anonymous Page 452

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.77

When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.106

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘Thanks much for your letter of criticism. I’m certain that had it not been for its strong critics, A.A. would have made slower progress.’
‘For myself, I have come to set a high value on the people who have criticized me, whether they have seemed reasonable critics or unreasonable ones. Both have often restrained me from doing much worse than I actually have done. The unreasonable ones have taught me, I hope, a little patience. But the reasonable ones have always done a great job for all of A.A. – and have taught me many a valuable lesson.’

Prayer for the Day: To Be Honest – Higher Power, help me to be honest with myself. It is so easy to alibi, to make excuses for my shortcomings. It is so easy to blame others and circumstances as a child does. Help me to see myself honestly: a human being who needs You this day and every day. Help me to surrender my weak will to Your strength.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 21st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 21st

Daily Reflections

A CLASSIC PRAYER

Lord, make me a channel for thy peace – that where
there is hatred, I may bring love – that where there
is wrong. I may bring the spirit of forgiveness –
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony –
that where there is error, I may bring truth –
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith –
that where there is despair, I may bring hope –
that where there are shadows, I may bring light –
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than
to be comforted – to understand, than to be
understood – to love, than to be loved. For it is
by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by
forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying
that one awakens to Eternal Life.
Amen.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 99

No matter where I am in my spiritual growth, the
St. Francis prayer helps me improve my conscious
contact with the God of my understanding. I think
that one of the great advantages of my faith in
God is that I do not understand Him, or Her, or
It. It may be that my relationship with my Higher
Power is so fruitful that I do not have to understand.
All that I am certain of is that if I work the
Eleventh Step regularly, as best I can, I will
continue to improve my conscious contact, I will
know His will for me, and I will have the power to
carry it out.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I no longer waste money, but try to put it to good
use. Like all of us, when I was drunk, I threw money
around “like a drunken sailor.” It gave me a feeling
of importance–a millionaire for a day. But the
morning after, with an empty wallet and perhaps some
undecipherable checks to boot, was a sad awakening.
One of the hardest things to face is the fact of
wasted money. How could I have been such a fool? How
will I ever make it up? Thoughts like these get you
down. When we are sober, we spend our hard earned
money as it should be spent. Although some of us
could be more generous in our A.A. giving, at least
we do not throw it away. Am I making good use of my
money?

Meditation For The Day

You were meant to be at home and comfortable in the
world. Yet some people live a life of quiet
desperation. This is the opposite of being at home
and at peace with the world. Let your peace of mind
be evident to those around you. Men should see that
you are comfortable, and seeing it, know that it
springs from your trust in a higher power. The dull,
hard way of resignation is not God’s way. Faith
takes the sting out of the winds of adversity and
brings peace even in the midst of struggle.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be more comfortable in my way
of living. I pray that I may feel more at home and
at peace with myself.

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As Bill Sees It

Groping Toward God, p. 323

“More than most people, I think, alcoholics want to know who they
are, what this life is about, whether they have a divine origin and an
appointed destiny, and whether there is a system of cosmic justice and
love.

“It is the experience of many of us in the early stages of drinking to
feel that we have had glimpses of the Absolute and a heightened
feeling of identification with the cosmos. While these glimpses and
feelings doubtless have a validity, they are deformed and finally swept
away in the chemical, spiritual, and emotional damage wrought by the
alcohol itself.

“In A.A., and in many religious approaches, alcoholics find a great deal
more of what they merely glimpse and felt while trying to grope their
way toward God in alcohol.”

Letter, 1960

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Walk In Dry Places

Alcoholism in the workplace
Employment
Most of the personal stories in AA include troubles in the workplace. This is not surprising, because the disease itself almost guarantees that an active alcoholic is likely to make more mistakes, have higher absenteeism, and get into trouble with bosses and/or fellow employees. Who really wants a practicing alcoholic on the payroll? Who would want such a person as a manager or employer? Who wants to be treated by a doctor who is drunk or badly hung over.
If our alcoholism created problems in the workplace, we have no moral right to blame others who held us accountable for this. Far from blaming others who were critical of us, we owe personal amends for any harm we caused employers or fellow workers.
The good news is that recovery makes it possible for us to perform up to acceptable standards at work and carry out our responsibilities. In sobriety, we can write a new chapter and establish a good work history.
In my work today, I’ll keep in mind the wonderful advantages I have as a result of knowing and practicing the AA principles. As a recovering alcoholic, I can be a positive force in an organization.

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Keep It Simple

To love others, we must first learn to love ourselves.–-Anonymous
Sometimes we think our life would be fine if that dream person showed up. But loving someone isn’t easy. Our bad habits cause problems. We have to change. Sometimes we aren’t ready to have on especial person. We have to have a group of people—our recovery group—to love and help us get healthy. We must  learn to trust, to be honest, to give help, and to love others. The truth is, no one person can make our life wonderful—except us. We hold happiness inside of us. It’s in our spirit. Look no further.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me love myself
Action for the Day:  I’ll list five ways I will love myself today.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Continuous effort–not strength or intelligence–is the key to unlocking our potential.  –Liane Cordes
Perseverance may well be our greatest asset. As we forge ahead on a project, it loses its power over us. Our confidence and abilities grow in concert with our progress on the project, preparing us to tackle the next one too.
We have something special, uniquely our own to offer in this life. And we also have the potential to offer it successfully. However, we don’t always realize our potential. Many of us stifled our development with fears of failure, low self-worth, assumed inadequacies. The past need plague us no longer.
Help is readily available for us to discover our capacities for success. Abilities stand ready to be tapped, goals and projects await our recognition. Any commitment we make to a task that draws our interest will be reinforced by God’s commitment to our efforts. We have a partner. Our efforts are always doubled when we make them–truly make them.
I will not back away from a project today. I will persevere and find completion. I’ll feel completed.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 – To Employers

It is not to be expected that an alcoholic employee will receive a disproportionate amount of time and attention. He should not be made a favorite. The right kind of man, the kind who recovers, will not want this sort of thing. He will not impose. Far from it. He will work like the devil and thank you to his dying day.

p. 149

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

Somehow I still managed to keep my job and most of my friends, social drinkers who were urging me to cut down on the alcohol. That counsel only made me mad, but I was concerned myself. I asked the therapist I was seeing, sometimes with beer in hand, would I have to stop? His answer was that we had to find out why I drank. I’d already tried but was never able to find out why until I learned the answer in A.A.–because I’m an alcoholic.

p. 342

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Whenever our pencil falters, we can fortify and cheer ourselves by remembering what A.A. experience in this Step has meant to others. It is the beginning of the end of isolation from our fellows and from God.

p. 82

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Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
–Annette Funicello

Happiness is an inside job.
–unknown

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”
–Joseph Fort Newton

AA is not something you join, it’s a way of life.
–unknown

I trust God’s plan for me today.
I know that I am being guided at all times.
I know all I need to know in any given moment.
–Ruth Fishel

Don’t stare at the steps of success – step up the stairs.
–American Proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HEROES

“Self-trust is the essence of
heroism.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my recovery I have become my hero. It sounds egotistical but it is part of my
program of self-love. I have many other heroes but today I respect myself. Today I
believe that God is involved in my life; an aspect of divinity exists within me. I trust
me with my life, and I am proud of the daily choices I make for my sobriety.

Spirituality allows me to be my hero today because it is with my respect of self that I
can truly respect others; the awareness of my dignity affords dignity to others; my
personal healing brings healing to others.

Today I am the center of my universe.

Thank You for the awareness of the achievements and successes in my life; today I am
my own winner.

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“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give
glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”
Matthew 5:16

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalm 103:12

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the
beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
2 John 1:6

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18


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Daily Inspiration

Don’t spoil what you already have by using up your time wanting what you don’t have. Lord, may I live with gratitude and take back my life because my life is not and never will be in the hands of fate.

When you feel anger, allow yourself no more than 5 minutes because after that, anger is self-indulging and turns quickly to hatred and rage. Lord, You are a forgiving God. Heal my hurts.

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NA Just For Today

Letting Our Defects Go

“If [character defects] contributed to our health and happiness, we would not have come to such a state of desperation.”
Basic Text pg. 34

Getting started on the Sixth and Seventh Steps isn’t always easy. We may feel as though we have so much wrong with us that we are totally defective. We might feel like hiding under a rock. Under no circumstance would we want our fellow addicts to know about our inadequacies.

We will probably go through a time of examining everything we say and do in order to identify our character defects and make sure we suppress them. We may look back at one particular day, cringing at what we’re certain is the most embarrassing thing we’ve ever said. We become determined to be rid of these horrible traits at all costs. But nowhere in the Sixth or Seventh Steps does it say we can learn to control our defects of character. In fact, the more attention we focus on them, the more firmly entrenched they will become in our lives. It takes humility to recognize that we can’t control our defects any more than we can control our addiction. We can’t remove our own defects; we can only ask a loving God to remove them.

Letting go of something painful can be as difficult as letting go of something pleasant. But let’s face it – holding on is a lot of work. When we really think about what we’re holding onto, the effort just isn’t worthwhile. It’s time to let go of our character defects and ask God to remove them.

Just for today: I’m ready to have my defects removed. I will let go and allow a loving Higher Power to care for me.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
We decided that it was no good asking what is the meaning of life, because life isn’t an answer, life is the question, and you, yourself, are the answer. –Ursula K. LeGuin
How many times have we felt like we were drifting aimlessly, constantly searching for meaning in a world that seems so mixed up, seeking direction but getting nowhere? But looked at differently, “nowhere” becomes “now here.” When we take things apart, stand back, and examine them from a different angle, we often find we held the answer from the beginning. Sometimes, when we’re convinced we are the problem, we discover we were the solution all along.
When we look for true understanding, we can be sure it exists in this moment, and that we can find it within ourselves, with God’s help.
What question do I seek an answer to today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
For the trouble is that we are self-centered, and no effort of the self can remove the self from the centre of its own endeavor. –William Temple
This quagmire of troubles we men were caught in came, in part, from our best efforts to be self-sufficient. The harder we worked to provide our own cures, to control others in our lives, or to control ourselves, the more we fixed our attention upon ourselves. We could not see that the answers we were using were actually part of the problem, not the solution.
Even today we may be partially caught in the folly of this thinking. Whenever we think we see our problems and the answers clearly but don’t open our incomplete selves to the wisdom of others, we are in danger of intensifying our self-focus. When we have a pattern of telling our fellow members the completed stories of our pain only when our pain has passed, we are maintaining our self-centered system. We can’t lift ourselves out of our self-centeredness. We can only turn it over to our Higher Power and allow ourselves to be released.
I am grateful for the healing, which comes when I stop being so self-centered in my efforts.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
. . . as awareness increases, the need for personal secrecy almost proportionately decreases. –Charlotte Painter
We hang onto secrets when we’re unsure of ourselves and the role we’re asked to play–secrets about our inner thoughts, our dreams and aspirations, our feared inadequacies.
Because we strive for perfection, assume it’s achievable, and settle for no less in all our activities, we are haunted by our secret fears of not measuring up. The more committed we become to this program, the greater is our understanding of the fallacy of this way of thinking. And as our awareness increases, the more accepting we become of our human frailty, and the less need we have to cover it up. Our mental health is measurable by the openness we offer to the world. Secrets belie good health and heighten the barriers to it.
The program’s Fourth and Fifth Steps are the antidotes to being stuck in an unhealthy state of mind. They push us to let go of our secrets, freeing us from the power they wield. Practicing the principles of the program offers the remedy we need for the happiness we deserve.
I will share a secret today and be free of its power over my life.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Financial Fears
I sat in the car, looking at the sign on the door of the food shelf office: “Closed until Friday.” It was Wednesday. I had two hungry children and myself; I had no money.
I laid my head on the steering wheel. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I had been so strong, so brave, so trusting for so long. I was a single parent with two children, recently divorced. I had worked so courageously at being grateful for what I had, while setting financial goals and working at believing I deserved the best.
I had put up with so much poverty, so much deprivation. Daily, I worked the Eleventh Step. I worked so hard at praying for knowledge of God’s will for me only, and the power to carry it through. I believed I was doing what I needed to do in my life. I wasn’t lollygagging. I was doing my best, working my hardest.
And there just wasn’t enough money. Life had been a struggle in many ways, but the financial struggle seemed endless.
Money isn’t everything, but it takes money to solve certain problems. I was sick of “letting go” and “letting go” and “letting go.” I was sick of “acting as if” I had enough money. I was tired of having to work so hard daily at letting go of the pain and fear about not having enough. I was tired of working so hard at being happy without having enough. Actually, most of the time I was happy. I had found my soul in poverty. But now that I had my soul and my self, I wanted some money too.
While I sat in the car trying to compose myself, I heard God speak to me in that silent, still voice that whispers gently to our souls.
“You don’t ever have to worry about money again, child. Not unless you want to. I told you that I would take care of you. And I will.”
Great, I thought. Thanks a lot. I believe you. I trust you. But look around. I have no money. I have no food. And the food shelf is closed. You’ve let me down.
Again I heard His voice in my soul: “You don’t have to worry about money again. You don’t have to be afraid. I promised to meet all your needs.
I went home, called a friend, and asked to borrow some money. I hated borrowing, but I had no choice. My breakdown in the car was a release, but it didn’t solve a thing – that day. There was no check in the mailbox.
But I got food for the day. And the next day. And the next. Within six months, my income doubled. Within nine months, it tripled. Since that day, I have had hard times, but I have never had to go without – not for more than a moment in time.
Now, I have enough. Sometimes I still worry about money because that seems to be habitual. But now I know I don’t have to, and I know I never did.
God, help me work hard at what I believe is right for me in my life today, and I’ll trust You for the rest. Help me let go of my fears about money. Help me turn that area over to You. God. Take away the blocks and barriers in my life to financial success.

I trust God’s plan for me today. I know that I am being guided at all times. I know all I need to know in any given moment.
–Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart
November 21
Cherish Moments of Solitude

The clerk at the lodge guided me to my cabin, a small secluded house a mile away from the main lodge on the northern California coast. “Will you be okay here?” he asked. “All by yourself?” I answered yes. And meant it.

My ability to be at peace with solitude has taken a lifetime of cultivation. Peaceful solitude is different from isolation, being forced to be alone. It’s different from forced seclusion, where we grasp frantically for some kind of connection, something to make us feel not alone, then finally sink fearfully and unwillingly into isolation.

On our adventures, we are called to face many fears. The universe won’t let us hide from our fears, at least not for long. One of the fears we may be called to face is fear of being alone.

We may need to face it, feel it, heal fom it– or we will be grasping, settling for, surrounding ourselves with anything or anybody so we don’t have to be alone. If we don’t face it, solitude will become, instead, solitary confinement.

Cultivate moments of solitude. Learn to cherish your privacy, your quiet time. Learn to be comfortable being alone with yourself.

The more content you can become in moments of solitude, the more joy and love you’ll discover in times with others. Cultivate solitude. It will help you cultivate love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

You won’t get more than you can handle

… God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able, but with the temptation, will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
–The Bible

“I’m taking care of my roommate and worrying about three of my clients. People always say that you’ll never get more than you can handle. But that;s not true if you’re trying to handle other people’s stuff. that can be too much,” a therapist and friend of mine said.

Most of us have heard throughout our lives that we’ll never get more than we can handle or bear. The load will not be too heavy. If we’re given it, we can rise to the occasion and accomplish the task.

They didn’t say the load wouldn’t be heavy. They didn’t say the task could easily be done. And they didn’t say we’d be given the grace and strength to bear the load of burdens that weren’t ours.

Sometimes it feels like too much. I know how that feels.

It’s not.

You’re up to the task, whatever it is, whether it feels like you are or not.

God, please give me all I need today, including enough joy.

*****

Growing Day by Day
Becoming a Better Person by Madisyn Taylor

We understand that we want to be better but have no clear definition of what better means and that is part of the process.

At some point in our lives, many of us find ourselves overcome with the desire to become better people. While we are all uniquely capable of navigating this world, we may nonetheless feel driven to grow, expand, and change. This innate need for personal expansion can lead us down many paths as we develop within the context of our individual lives. Yet the initial steps that can put us on the road to evolution are not always clear. We understand that we want to be better but have no clear definition of “better.” To ease this often frustrating uncertainty, we can take small steps, keeping our own concept of growth in mind rather than allowing others to direct the course of our journey. And we should accept that change won’t happen overnight—we may not recognize the transformations taking place within us at first.

Becoming a better person in your own eyes is a whole-life project, and thus you should focus your step-by-step efforts on multiple areas of your existence. Since you likely know innately which qualities you consider good, growing as an individual is simply a matter of making an effort to do good whenever possible. Respect should be a key element of your efforts. When you acknowledge that all people are deserving of compassion, consideration, and dignity, you are naturally more apt to treat them in the manner you yourself wish to be treated. You will intuitively become a more active listener, universally helpful, and truthful. Going the extra mile in all you do can also facilitate evolution. Approaching your everyday duties with an upbeat attitude and positive expectations can help you make the world a brighter, more cheerful place. Finally, coming to terms with your values and then abiding by them will enable you to introduce a new degree of integrity and dignity into your l! ife.

As you endeavor to develop yourself further, you can take pride not only in your successes, but also in the fact that you are cultivating consciousness within yourself through your choices, actions, and behaviors. While you may never feel you have reached the pinnacles of awareness you hope to achieve, you can make the most of this creative process of transformation. Becoming a better person is your choice and is a natural progression in your journey of self-awareness. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Adversity introduces man to himself, a poet once said. For me, the same is true of even imagined adversity. If I expect another person to react in a certain way in a given situation — and he or she fails to meet my expectation — well, then I hardly have the right to be disappointed or angry. Yet I occasionally still experience feelings of frustration when people don’t act or react as I think they should. Through such imagined — or, better yet, self-inflicted — adversity, I come to face to face again with my old self — the one who wanted to run the whole show. Is it time for me to finally stop expecting and to start accepting?

Today I Pray

May I stop putting words in people’s mouths, programming them — in my own mind — to react as I expect them to. Expectations have fooled me before; I expect unbounded love and protection from those close to me, perfection from myself, undivided attention from casual acquaintances. On the adverse side, I expected failure from myself, and rejection from others. May I stop borrowing trouble — or triumph either — from the future.

Today I Will Remember

Accept. Don’t expect.

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One More Day

To most of us the real life is the life we do not lead.
–Oscar Wilde

We don’t enjoy feeling envious, but there are times when we find ourselves wishing we had what others do. “I wish my body could do what hers does.” “I wish I didn’t have to take all this medicine. He doesn’t have to.”

After feeling envious, we need to return to our own lives with enthusiasm. While we may not be able to do what others do or have what others have, our lives are filled with experiences that can make us rich and able people. Regardless of who we are, what we own, or how we live, each of us is living a very important life — complete with pain, memories, and pleasure.

I respect myself and this life I am living. Today, I will concentrate on it’s joys and treasures.

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Food For Thought

Moods

We used to allow our moods to determine what and how much we ate. If we were feeling good, charged up with enthusiasm, we were usually able to focus our energy on some activity other than eating. Perhaps being in a particularly good mood made it possible for us to stick to some kind of diet for a few days.

When the bad moods struck, we invariably turned to excess food for consolation, and we attempted to make the bad moods go away by eating to excess. Any sort of psychic distress became a signal for food.

Then, too, some of us found ourselves overeating in times of elation, because we had no other way to express our joy.

When we are committed to abstinence, we have a rock like foundation for our eating habits, which no shifting mood can destroy. No matter how we may feel at a given moment, we abstain from eating compulsively. Moods change and pass away, but abstinence remains.

Make firm my commitment to abstinence.

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One Day At A Time

~ WILLINGNESS ~
If you have decided you want what we have
and are willing to go to any length to get it
then you are ready to take certain steps.
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Willingness was one of the hardest concepts to get through my disease thinking. I was only willing to have my disease cured so I could continue indulging in my allergic substances of choice. According to the dictionary, the definition of will is “the power of choosing what one will do” and “willing, favorably inclined; ready.” My disease was in control and chose for me.

I didn’t want to stay stuck in the food. Then I found this program. Still, I had trouble with the concept of willingness. Then I relapsed, but the food didn’t cure anything. This program, like the Big Book says, had ruined it for me. So, when I found some online recovery loops I found renewed hope. Hope led me to learning about willingness from others’ sharing. Then I figured, ok God, I don’t want to give up the allergic substances, they are too strongly embedded in my fibers, but I am willing to ask You to grant me the willingness to let go of those substances that aren’t healthy for me.

I kept up this prayer for weeks. One day I discovered that it had been a week since I had thought about or eaten one of those allergic substances. I figured this must be what was meant by God doing for me what I can’t do for myself. So I changed my prayer and asked God to keep making me willing, just for today, to go without those foods. It is working, not because of me, but because I was finally ready to ask for willingness. As the saying goes, “Try it, you’ll like it!” I tried it and I liked the results… A God-given abstinence. Now, as I go about my day, it’s becoming easier to be willing to turn more and more of my will over to the God of my understanding.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will go to the God of my understanding and ask for the willingness to live according to His will for me; so that I may have a life, and not self-will run riot.
Judy

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. – Pg. 59 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

There is a certain universality to the truths taught in our 12 step programs. They are nothing new. These principles are derived from eons of experience and spirituality. What is new is our personal understanding that living these principles gives us a reprieve from our addiction.

Thank you God, as I understand You, for my daily reprieve from addiction based on my sincere attempt to practice these principles.

Standing in Self

Today, I own the truth of my recovery. If I am to stand centered and strong within my life and self, I will need to plant a garden within my own soul. A garden for me to nurture and to nurture me. A haven of beauty. I will find my own voice and sing my song because if I don’t sing it, it will not be sung. It is all I have and it is enough. I do not need to prove anything to anyone anymore. I have come home – to me. The truth is, I was here all along, only I forgot to look for myself. Instead, I searched for me in other people’s meaning and became lost in their stories. I am not lost today. I know that there is nowhere to look for me but within myself, and no one to lead me there but me.

Thank you, life, for letting me see this.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When working Steps Six and Seven we honestly have to ask ourselves ‘Do I really want to give up the defect? Or do I just want to give up the result of the defect?’

Being an alcoholic does not give me the excuse to act alcoholically.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You can be a human being-you don’t have to be a human doing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I trust God’s plan for me today. I know that I am being guided at all times. I know all I need to know in any given moment.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Knowing why I was an alcoholic doesn’t help. The ship hits an iceberg, it’s sinking, everyone is rowing away. But you’re on the deck saying; ‘I’m not leaving this baby until I understand what happened.’ – Clancy I.

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AA Thought for the Day

November 21

Step Eleven
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him,
praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Faith is a matter of degree. I am grateful for whatever faith I have now — far, so very far, from the kind of faith that

moves mountains.
There is so much more to know, and no limit to the growth of faith. So I shall continue trying to work the Eleventh Step,
trying to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand Him.
– The Best Of The Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 277

Thought to Ponder . . .
People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
F A I T H = Forever Always In The Heart.

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

Unity
“The unity of Alcoholics Anonymous
is the most cherished quality our Society has.
Our lives, the lives of all to come,
depend squarely upon it.
We stay whole, or AA dies.
Without unity, the heart of AA would cease to beat;
our world arteries would no longer carry
the life-giving grace of God;
His gift to us would be spent aimlessly.
Back again in their caves, alcoholics would reproach us
and say, ‘What a great thing AA might have been!’ ”
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 129

Thought to Consider . . .
AA is not something you join, it’s a way of life.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
T E A M = Together Everyone Achieves More

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

Complete Defeat
From: “From the Taproot”
The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered.
Twelve and Twelve, pages 21-22

Every newcomer is told, and soon realizes for himself, that his humble admission of powerlessness over alcohol is his first step toward liberation from its paralyzing grip.
So it is that we first see humility as a necessity. But this is the barest beginning. To get completely away from our aversion to the idea of being humble, to gain a vision of humility as the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit, to be willing to work for humility as something to be desired for itself, takes most of us a long, long time. A whole lifetime geared to self-centeredness cannot be set in reverse all at once.
Twelve and Twelve, pages 72-73
1967, AAWS, Inc., As Bill Sees It, page 305

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

“Until today, at least, I am getting further away from that first drink, which is the one that inevitably leads me to complete disaster.”
Caracas, Venezuela, May 1971
“My Name Is Adolfo,”
AA Around the World

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

“Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration,
and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have
carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of
His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We
have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further
and that means more action.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85~

The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others . Hearts are broken . Sweet relationships are dead . Affections have been uprooted . Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil . We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough . He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined . To his wife, he remarked , “Don’t see anything the matter here , Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stopped blowin’?”
Alcoholics Anonymous , Page-82

We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.85

“The actual experience of meditation and prayer across the centuries is, of course, immense.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.98

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Now that we no longer patronize bars and bordellos, now that we bring home the pay checks, now that we are so very active in A.A., and now that people congratulate us on these signs of progress – well, we naturally proceed to congratulate ourselves. Of course, we are not yet within hailing distance of humility.
We ought to be willing to try humility in seeking the removal of our other shortcomings, just as we did when we admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. If humility could enable us to find the grace by which the deadly alcohol obsession could be banished, then there must be hope of the same result respecting any other problem we can possibly have.

Prayer for the Day: Dear God, I had another anniversary today, one more year in recovery. It has been difficult at times, but it has allowed many blessings. I am a human being again. I feel new strength in my body, spirit, and mind. The world has never looked so good. I have the respect of my friends and family. I am productive in my work. I do not miss slippery people and places. When I have been tempted, You, my Higher Power, have sustained me. I have found a home in the Fellowship and friends support me. Stay close by me, God. I thank You. This is the life I love.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 20th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 20th

Daily Reflections

“THY WILL, NOT MINE”

. . . when making specific requests, it will be well
to add to each one of them this qualification. .” . . .
if it be Thy will.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 102-03

I ask simply that throughout the day God place in me the
best understanding of His will that I can have for that
day, and that I be given the grace by which I may carry
it out. As the day goes on, I can pause when facing
situations that must be met and decisions that must be
made, and renew the simple request: “Thy will, not mine,
be done.” I must always keep in mind that in every
situation I am responsible for the effort and God is
responsible for the outcome. I can “Let Go and Let God”
by humbly repeating: “Thy will, not mine, be done.”
Patience and persistence in seeking His will for me will
free me from the pain of selfish expectations.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I no longer try to escape life through alcoholism. Drinking
built up an unreal world for me and I tried to live in it.
But in the morning light the real world was back again and
facing it was harder than ever, because I had less resources
with which to meet it. Each attempt at escape weakened my
personality by the very attempt. Everyone knows that alcohol,
by relaxing inhibitions, permits a flight from reality.
Alcohol deadens the brain cells that preside over our highest
faculties and we are off to the unreal world of drunkenness.
A.A. taught me not to run away, but to face reality. Have I
given up trying to escape life?

Meditation For The Day

In these times of quiet meditation, try more and more to set
your hopes on the grace of God. Know that whatever the future
may hold, it will hold more and more of good. Do not set all
your hopes and desires on material things. There is weariness
in an abundance of things. Set your hopes on spiritual things
so that you may grow spiritually. Learn to rely on God’s power
more and more and in that reliance you will have an insight
into the greater value of things of the spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not be overwhelmed by material things.
I pray that I may realize the higher value of spiritual things.


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As Bill Sees It

Easy Does It–But Do It, p. 322

Procrastination is really sloth in five syllables.

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

“My observation is that some people can get by with a certain amount of
postponement, but few can live with outright rebellion.”

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

“We have succeeded in confronting many a problem drinker with that
awful alternative, ‘This we A.A.’s do, or we die.’ Once this much is
firmly in his mind, more drinking only turns the coil tighter.

“As many an alcoholic has said, ‘I came to the place where it was either
into A.A. or out the window. So here I am!”

1. 12 & 12, p. 67
2. Letter, 1952

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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 lives.  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

A man is too apt to forget that in this world he cannot have everything. A choice is all that is left him.—H. Mathews.
Sobriety is about choice. Each day we choose to stay sober, we teach ourselves how
to make better choices.
Life is about choice. To be spiritual people, we must make spiritual choices. Honesty is a spiritual choice. And working the Steps is a spiritual choice.
Our life is the sum total of our choices. We owe it to ourselves to choose wisely. We can do that now, thanks to the program.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me choose a spiritual way of life. Help me to see choice as my way to a better relationship with you.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll be aware of the many choices I make. At the end of the day, I’ll think about all the choices I’ve made. Am I proud of my choices?

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Each Day a New Beginning

Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.  –Minna Antrim
It is not by chance but by design that the sorrows we experience throughout our lives are countered by equal servings of joy. One offsets the other. And we are strengthened by their combination.
Our longing for only life’s joys is human–also folly. Joy would become insipid if it were our steady diet. Joyful times serve us well as respites from the trying situations that push our growth and development as women.
Laughter softens the cutting edges of the lessons we seek or are cornered by. It offers perspective when the outlook is bleak. And for those of us who are recovering, wallowing in the bleaker times used to be acceptable behavior. But no more. The reality is that each day will present both occasions for anguish and ones inviting easy laughter. Both are valuable. Neither should dominate.
Joy and sorrow are analogous to the ebb and flow of the ocean tide. They are natural rhythms. And we are mellowed by their presence when we accept them as necessary to our very existence.
Any pain today guarantees an equal amount of pleasure, if I willingly accept them both.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 – To Employers

Of course, this chapter refers to alcoholics, sick people, deranged men. What our friend, the vice president, had in mind was the habitual or whoopee drinker. As to them, his policy is undoubtedly sound, but he did not distinguish between such people and the alcoholic.

p. 149

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

When I passed out and fell into bed early, I woke up at four or five and had Irish coffee to start the day. I discovered beer was better than orange juice to ease my hangover. Afraid my colleagues or students would smell my breath at work, I was careful to keep my distance. When I got up late and rushed off to the lab, fortified only with coffee, my hands shook so badly it was impossible to weigh out the milligrams of compounds needed for an experiment. When I went out to lunch with another alcoholic, we might never make it back to work that day.

pp. 341-342

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Having carefully surveyed this whole area of human relations, and having decided exactly what personality traits in us injured and disturbed others, we can now commence to ransack memory for the people to whom we have given offense. To put a finger on the nearby and most deeply damaged ones shouldn’t be hard to do. Then, as year by year we walk back through our lives as far as memory will reach, we shall be bound to construct a long list of people who have, to some extent or other, been affected. We should, of course, ponder and weigh each instance carefully. We shall want to hold ourselves to the course of admitting the things we have done, meanwhile forgiving the wrongs done us, real or fancied. We should avoid extreme judgments, both of ourselves and of others involved. We must not exaggerate our defects or theirs. A quiet, objective view will be our steadfast aim.

pp. 81- 82

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“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
–Margaret Mitchell

“Faith is the only known cure for fear.”
–Lena K. Sadler

The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving
in the present.
–Barbara De Angelis

Love is the master key which opens the gates of happiness.
–Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.
–unknown

The right word spoken at the right time sometimes achieves miracles.
–unknown

Love is the only thing you get more of by giving it away.
–Tom Wilson

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

YESTERDAYS

“When I want to understand
what is happening today or try
to decide what will happen
tomorrow, I look back.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The writing is on the wall! My writing is on my wall and it is to be found in my life.
My history of my life teaches me about my alcoholism. Alcoholism is a personal
disease; it affects others through self.

Sometimes I am tempted to forget the past. Why live in yesterday? Because the
events of my yesterdays affect my today. The future is forged from the recognition of
my past. My disease grew strong in my denial. My recovery began with the acceptance
of reality my reality.

Today does not exist in a vacuum and my tomorrows are determined by the decisions I
make today. I also know and believe that my recovering life demands a true
recognition of my yesterdays.

Thank You for the historical progressiveness of my recovery.

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He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have
destruction.
Proverbs 13:3

“This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal
to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due
time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7


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Daily Inspiration

Time is yours to use or lose. Lord, teach me to avoid all upsetting thoughts and create a heart that glories in my time as a peaceful gift from You.

Begin each day with the certainty that today is the best day of your life and watch what happens. Lord, I celebrate my life and give thanks for everything because for everything there is a reason.

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NA Just For Today

Finding Fulfillment

“We weren’t oriented toward fulfillment; we focused on the emptiness and worthlessness of it all.”
Basic Text p. 86

There were probably hundreds of times in our active addiction when we wished we could become someone else. We may have wished we could trade places with someone who owned a nice car or had a larger home, a better job, a more attractive mate – anything but what we had. So severe was our despair that we could hardly imagine anyone being in worse shape than ourselves.

In recovery, we may find we are experiencing a different sort of envy. We may continue to compare our insides with others’ outsides and feel as though we still don’t have enough of anything. We may think everyone, from the newest member to the oldest old-timer, sounds better at meetings than we do. We may think that everyone else must be working a better program because they have a better car, a larger home, more money, and so on.

The recovery process experienced through our Twelve Steps will take us from an attitude of envy and low self-esteem to a place of spiritual fulfillment and deep appreciation for what we do have. We find that we would never willingly trade places with another, for what we have discovered within ourselves is priceless.

Just for today: There is much to be grateful for in my life. I will cherish the spiritual fulfillment I have found in recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Without solitude, there can be no real people. –John Euder
We all need some time alone. It’s a good idea to set aside a few minutes every day to be alone with ourselves. This is a very special time that is all our own. It’s a time to relax and refresh ourselves.
This goes for every member of the family, and it’s important that we allow others some time for themselves. It shows them we respect, love, and care about them. Without that solitude, they cannot be truly themselves–and neither can we.
Nature teaches us that each thing, even the earth itself, needs a retreat. Bears hibernate; cats crawl off out of sight, even the plants disappear for the winter. It is this time that refreshes life for the Spring to come. If we want to have healthy, fulfilling relationships with each other, we all need time to ourselves every day. Without being “real people”–truly ourselves–how can we be full members of our family?
How can I better spend my time alone today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The most important function of art and science is to awaken the cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive. –Albert Einstein
There is no need to be concerned about a conflict between science and the spiritual life. People have turned to the spiritual in many ways since the beginning of humanity. Some are tribal and primitive, some very emotional, some focused on ideas and philosophy, some centered on tradition. Perhaps in the very center of our humanness is a spiritual compass. When we disown that orientation, do we lose some of our humanness? This program did not invent the spiritual outlook. It only tells us recovery will come through awakening of the spiritual within us.
We are on an exploration. We give ourselves over to it and only discover where our awakening will lead as it unfolds. The Steps tell us to engage with the God of our understanding, to develop a relationship of trust, total openness and humility, and to improve the contact. As the center of our humanness is restored, we come alive and our daily tasks take on new meaning.
May I be awakened again to that cosmic feeling we all inherit.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Continuous effort–not strength or intelligence–is the key to unlocking our potential. –Liane Cordes
Perseverance may well be our greatest asset. As we forge ahead on a project, it loses its power over us. Our confidence and abilities grow in concert with our progress on the project, preparing us to tackle the next one too.
We have something special, uniquely our own to offer in this life. And we also have the potential to offer it successfully. However, we don’t always realize our potential. Many of us stifled our development with fears of failure, low self-worth, assumed inadequacies. The past need plague us no longer.
Help is readily available for us to discover our capacities for success. Abilities stand ready to be tapped, goals and projects await our recognition. Any commitment we make to a task that draws our interest will be reinforced by God’s commitment to our efforts. We have a partner. Our efforts are always doubled when we make them–truly make them.
I will not back away from a project today. I will persevere and find completion. I’ll feel completed.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Wants and Needs`
So many of us have been brainwashed to think that we can’t have what we want in life. That is the belief of the martyr. It is born of deprivation and fear.
Identifying what we want and need, then writing it down, sets in motion a powerful chain of events. It indicates that we are taking responsibility for ourselves, giving God and the Universe permission to supply our wants and needs.
The belief that we deserve to have a change in character, a relationship, a new dimension to an existing relationship, a possession, a certain level of health, living, loving, or success, is a powerful force in bringing that desire to pass.
Often, when we realize that we want something, that feeling is God preparing us to receive it!
Listen. Trust. Empower the good in your life by paying attention to what you want and need. Write it down. Affirm it mentally. Pray about it. Then, let it go. Give it to God, and see what happens.
The results may be better than you think.
Today, I will pay attention to what I want and need. I will take time to write it down, and then I will let it go. I will begin to believe I deserve the best.

Today I know that I have done the best I can with my life. Today I know that I am at choice, and what I choose right now creates new memories. Today I choose to continue to do the very best. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Let Yourself Play

How long has it been since you played? How long has it been since you played at your life, had fun with it?

Our imaginations are so delightful when we’re young. Watch a child sit in the middle of the floor and build castles with blocks. Watch a child play– any object can be anything, and anything can be fun. Life can pound that out of us if we let it.

Breathe life back into your imagination. Come back to life. Let yourself see dragons in clouds and leprechauns in trees and velvet in a rose. Imagine what it would be like to grab a handful of cloud. Then touch the tree. And put the rose in your cheek.

Let your imagination come alive. Play the game of “What if?” What if anything could be anything. What if life could be fun?

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More Language Of Letting Go

Be prepared

Did you ever have a teacher in school who warned you at the beginning of the year that he would give tests without previous notice, so be prepared? We might not have liked it, but we appreciated being warned. We knew in that class that we needed to do our homework in a timely manner if we wanted a good grade. We kept our awareness up. We knew we couldn’t slide by.

When that test came, we were either prepared for it or at the very least, aware. We had been warned. We knew the test was coming.

When I decided to stop using alcohol and drugs and live a life of abstinence and recovery, I was tested many times. People put drugs and alcohol in my hand. Once, in the early months, soon after my decision, I failed the test and felt awful. Then I learned that important lesson, life would challenge my decision from time to time. I had to be prepared not only to make the choice to be sober, but to stand behind that decision each day.

When I decided to become a writer, things moved along well for the first few years, then I began hitting some walls. I hit a dry spell. No words came out. The results weren’t as I had planned. It was time to decide if I wanted to stand behind my decision or fold.

We will be given tests without notice, on almost every decision we make and boundary we set. Each time we say I can, we will be tested. And drawing from personal experience, the test is never one we would have chosen. It’s often ugly, inconvenient, and hits us at our weakest spot.

Don’t feel victimized or tortured when out test comes. Be prepared. Let it teach you more about yourself, what you want, and how badly you want it. Use it as resistance, the kind we can push against to become clearer about who we are and what we want. Sometimes we don’t really want what we thought we did. Other times we do. We aren’t in school anymore, at least not grade school. The test isn’t for the teacher’s benefit. It’s for our benefit– to teach us how much we’ve learned.

Don’t worry. I’ve been told we’ll never be given a test we can’t pass.

So get ready. You’ve been warned.

Be aware.

The test could come at any time.

God, help me let go of my resistance to the little tests life throws my way. Instead, help me use these tests as a chance to get to know myself and you better. Help me do my best.

*****

Progressing with Patience
Doing the Best You Can by Madisyn Taylor

Try not to expect perfection when starting out on a spiritual path or attaining inner peace.

It isn’t always easy to meet the expectations we hold ourselves to. We may find ourselves in a situation such as just finishing a relaxing yoga class or meditation retreat, a serene session of deep breathing, or listening to some calming, soul-stirring music, yet we have difficulty retaining our sense of peace. A long line at the store, slow-moving traffic, or another stressful situation can unnerve you and leave you wondering why the tranquility and spiritual equilibrium you cultivate is so quick to dissipate in the face of certain stressors. You may feel guilty and angry at yourself or even feel like a hypocrite for not being able to maintain control after practicing being centered. However, being patient with yourself will help you more in your soul’s journey than frustration at your perceived lack of progress. Doing the best you can in your quest for spiritual growth is vastly more important than striving for perfection.

Just because you are devoted to following a spiritual path, attaining inner peace, or living a specific ideology doesn’t mean you should expect to achieve perfection. When you approach your personal evolution mindfully, you can experience intense emotions such as anger without feeling that you have somehow failed. Simply by being aware of what you are experiencing and recognizing that your feelings are temporary, you have begun taking the necessary steps to regaining your internal balance. Accepting that difficult situations will arise from time to time and treating your reaction to them as if they are passing events rather than a part of who you are can help you move past them. Practicing this form of acceptance and paying attention to your reactions in order to learn from them will make it easier for you to return to your center more quickly in the future.

Since your experiences won’t be similar to others’ and your behavior will be shaped by those experiences, you may never stop reacting strongly to the challenging situations you encounter. Even if you are able to do nothing more than acknowledge what you are feeling and that there is little you can do to affect your current circumstances, in time you’ll alter your reaction to such circumstances. You can learn gradually to let negative thoughts come into your mind, recognize them, and then let them go. You may never reach a place of perfect peace, but you’ll find serenity in having done your best.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I’ve come to measure success in a whole new way. My success today isn’t limited by social or economic benchmarks. Success is mine today, no matter what the undertaking, when I tap the power of god within me and allow myself to be an open channel for the expression of His good. The spirit of success works through me as creative ideas and useful service — as efficient use of my time and energy, and as cooperative effort with others. Will I try to keep my mind centered in the realization that within me is the God -implanted power to succeed?

Today I Pray

May I develop a new concept of success, based on measurements of the good qualities which come from God’s treasure-filled bank of good. To draw from that bank, all I have to do is look within myself. May I know that God’s riches are the only kind that are fully insurable, because they are infinite. May I look in God’s bank for my security.

Today I Will Remember

Spiritual “success” is my security.

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One More Day

There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.
– Baruch Spinoza

Most of us are frightened each time we go through a major life change, for we fear what we do not know. We thought we had our lived planned. Because a crisis occurs unexpectedly, there is no way to prepare for a burglary, a broken leg, or a loss of a loved one. these events can throw us and our lives into a tailspin.

If the event is short-lived, like a bad case of the flu or a minor injury, we forget it quickly. If, however, the effects are long-lasting, we work to incorporate them into our daily living. Adapting in this way forces us to look for the positive parts of the day. We get into the habit of remembering good times and hope — even expect — better times to come.

I can see that positive action and thought is needed. I will find good people and events in this day.

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Food For Thought

Eating For Mother

As babies and children, we made Mother happy by eating what she gave us. Since our emotions were closely tied to hers, when she was happy, we were also happy. We may have developed the mistaken notion that the more we ate, the happier Mother would be and, therefore, the happier we would be.

This illusion may be persisting into our adult life. On some level, we may not yet realize that no amount of food we can eat will make Mother permanently happy, anymore than it will make us happy. We may have eaten many times in the past in order to please Mother, rather than because we really wanted food. Subconsciously, we may still think we could please her by consuming more food than we need.

Working the OA program often brings to light other things we are doing in order to please someone else. Since each individual is responsible for his or her own happiness, there is nothing we can do to ensure the happiness of another individual. Realizing this on a gut level is a powerful tool for maintaining abstinence.

May I realize the/utility of eating to please someone else.

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One Day At A Time

~ PATIENCE ~
Patience is the key to paradise.
Turkish proverb

I used to be the queen of the “quick fix.” Anything I wanted done had to be done today, if not yesterday. I’d even do a job myself because I couldn’t wait for someone else to do it in their time. I ended up chasing my tail most days, and trying to run the show myself, simply because I couldn’t wait. Even all the many diets that I went on had to get results fast or they weren’t worth their salt. Small wonder, being the compulsive person that I was, that when I wanted to eat, there was no such thing in my vocabulary as delayed gratification. When I wanted it, I had to have it right then.

Imagine my horror at coming into the program and seeing that people who had been in the fellowship for years were still there. Surely they should have gotten it right by now and graduated from this program. But I soon learned that this is not something we graduate from. Recovery and abstinence happen in God’s time, not mine. I’ve had to learn that this a journey. Progress can sometimes be painfully slow, but the rewards for those who wait for the miracle is a gift I wouldn’t want to be without. Not only am I offered freedom from compulsive eating, but also sanity and serenity to live my life the way I was intended to do.

One Day at a Time . . .
Even when progress seems slow, I will keep coming back and working the program to the best of my ability, knowing that recovery will come to me if I wait.
~ Sharon S. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people – was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight? Of course it was. – Pg. 52 – We Agnostics

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

When intense cravings for our drug of choice overwhelm us, we immediately talk to another person in recovery, no matter the time. Our program teaches us to rely on each other and they will welcome the contact!

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

The Creative Power of My Thoughts

Today, I recognize that I tend to produce in my life what I feel is true for myself. Thoughts have a creative power of their own. If I look closely, I can see my thoughts come to life. I create the possibility of what I would like by first experiencing it in my mind. I will visualize what I would like to have in my life in my mind’s eye. I will accept what I see in my inner eye as being there for me, and I will fully participate in my vision as if it were mine. I will be specific about what I see, smell, feel, and I will accept my inner vision as fully as possible. I will enjoy my vision, then let it go and move on in my day, releasing it with no thought of controlling it further. I will let it happen, if it is right for me, in God’s time.

All good things are possible for me.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We may have empathy for your situation but we will not pity you. We know that pitying you leads to you pitying yourself which leads to mind-affecting chemicals. Rather than pity you, if you need an attitude adjustment, it’s very likely a fellow group member will let you know.

Attitudes are contagious. Is mine worth catching?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Don’t ‘people please’, ‘Higher Power Please.’

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that I have done the best I can with my life. Today I know that I am at choice, and what I choose right now creates new memories. Today I choose to continue to do the very best.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

They take good scotch, put juice, soda, bitters and God knows what in it, shake it up, stick an umbrella in it – That’s alcohol abuse. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

November 20

A Possibility
The idea that religion and spirituality were not one and the same was a new notion.
My sponsor asked that I merely remain open-minded to the possibility that there was a Power greater than myself,
one of my own understanding. . .
Reluctantly, I opened my mind to the fact that maybe, just maybe, there was something to this spiritual lifestyle.
Slowly but surely, I realized there was indeed a Power greater than myself.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 287

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Power within me is far greater than any fear before me.

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

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

Honesty
“I know the biggest word for me in AA is ‘honesty.’
I don’t believe this program would work for me
if I didn’t get honest with myself about everything.
Honesty is the easiest word for me to understand
because it is the exact opposite of what I’ve been doing
all my life.
Therefore, it will be the hardest to work on.
But I will never be totally honest — that would make me perfect,
and none of us can claim to be perfect.
Only God is.
If I work on it every day, it will be easier
to be honest with myself.
Then getting and staying honest with other people
will come automatically.
I know I will be grateful for a chance to make amends
to everybody I have hurt in the past.”
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 482

Thought to Consider . . .
Honesty is the absence of the intent to deceive.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Honest, Open, Positive, Environment

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

Structure of Service
From: Concept V:
Throughout our world service structure, a traditional Right of Appeal ought to prevail, thus assuring us that minority opinion will be heard and that petitions for the redress of personal grievances will be carefully considered.”
We believe that the spirit of democracy in our Fellowship and in our world service structure will always survive, despite the counter forces which will no doubt continue to beat upon us. Fortunately we are not obliged to maintain a government that enforces conformity by inflicting punishments. We need to maintain only a structure of service that holds aloft our Traditions, that forms and executes our policies thereunder, and so steadily carries our message to those who suffer.
Hence we believe that we shall never be subjected to the tyranny of either the majority or the minority, provided we carefully define the relations between them and forthwith tread the path of world service in the spirit of our Twelve Steps, our Twelve Traditions, and our Conference Charter – in which I trust that we shall one day inscribe these traditional Rights of Appeal and Petition.
1962, AAWS, Twelve Concepts of World Service, pages 24-25

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

“I’d like to develop Step Eleven further — for the benefit of the complete doubter, the unlucky one who can’t believe it has any real merit at all …. As he goes along with his process of prayer, he begins to add up the results. If he persists, he will almost surely find more serenity, more tolerance, less fear, and less anger. He will acquire a quiet courage, the kind that doesn’t strain him. He can look at so-called failure and success for what they really are. Problems and calamity will begin to mean instruction, instead of destruction. He will feel freer and saner … His sense of purpose and of direction will increase. His tensions and anxieties will commence to fade. His physical health is likely to improve. Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to happen. Twisted relations in his family and on the outside will unaccountably improve.
“Even if few of these things happen, he will still find himself in possession of great gifts. When he has to deal with hard circumstances he can face them and accept them. He can now accept himself and the world around him.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., June 1958
“Take Step Eleven”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental
defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither
he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense
must come from a Higher Power.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~

“Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.”
Alcoholics Anonymous Foreword to the Third Edition

We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.60

He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.65

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Some of us still ask, ‘Just what is this Third Legacy business anyhow? And just how much territory does ‘service’ take in?’
Let’s begin with my own sponsor, Ebby. When Ebby heard how serious my drinking was, he resolved to visit me. He was in New York; I was in Brooklyn. His resolve was not enough; he had to take action and he had to spend money.
He called me on the phone and then got into the subway; total cost, ten cents. At the level of the telephone booth and subway turnstile, spirituality and money began to mix. One without the other would have amounted to nothing at all.
Right then and there, Ebby established the principle that A.A. in action calls for the sacrifice of much time and a little money.

Prayer for the Day: Guide Me – Thank You, Higher Power, for this beautiful day, for strength, for health. Help me to live this day for You. Place in my path some way to serve You. Help me to know that no other walks in My shoes, that there is something that only I can do today. Guide my thoughts and deeds that I may feel Your presence today and in all the tomorrow.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 19th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 19th

Daily Reflections

“I WAS SLIPPING FAST”

We A.A.’s are active folk, enjoying the satisfactions
of dealing with the realities of life, . . . . So it
isn’t surprising that we often tend to slight serious
meditation and prayer as something not really necessary.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96

I had been slipping away from the program for some time,
but it took a death threat from a terminal disease to
bring me back, and particularly to the practice of the
Eleventh Step of our blessed Fellowship. Although I had
fifteen years of sobriety and was still very active in
the program, I knew that the quality of my sobriety had
slipped badly. Eighteen months later, a checkup revealed
a malignant tumor and a prognosis of certain death
within six months. Despair settled in when I enrolled in
a rehab program, after which I suffered two small strokes
which revealed two large brain tumors. As I kept hitting
new bottoms I had to ask myself why this was happening to
me. God allowed me to recognize my dishonesty and to
become teachable again. Miracles began to happen. But
primarily I relearned the whole meaning of the Eleventh
Step. My physical condition has improved dramatically, but
my illness is minor compared to what I almost lost
completely.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. we do not speak much of sex. And yet putting sex
in its proper place in our lives is one of the rewards that
has come to us as a result of our new way of living. The big
book says that many of us needed an overhauling there. It
also says that we subjected each sex relation to this test
— was it selfish or not? “We remembered always that our sex
powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used
lightly or selfishly, nor to be despised or loathed.” We can
ask God to mold our ideals and to help us to live up to them.
We can act accordingly. Have I got my sex life under proper
control?

Meditation For The Day

“I will lift up my eyes unto the heights whence cometh my
help.” Try to raise your thoughts from the depths of the
sordid and mean and impure things of the earth to the heights
of goodness and decency and beauty. Train your insight by
trying to take the higher view. Train it more and more until
distant heights become more familiar. The heights of the Lord,
whence cometh your help, will become nearer and dearer and
the false values of the earth will seem farther away.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not keep my eyes forever downcast.
I pray that I may set my sights on higher things.


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As Bill Sees It

Results of Prayer, p. 321

As the doubter tries the process of prayer, he should begin to add up
the results. If he persists, he will most surely find more serenity, more
tolerance, less fear, and less anger. He will acquire a quiet courage,
the kind that isn’t tension-ridden. He can look at “failure” and
“success” for what these really are. Problems and calamity will begin
to mean his instruction, instead of his destruction. He will feel freer
and saner.

The idea that he may have been hypnotizing himself by autosuggestion
will become laughable. His sense of purpose and of direction will
increase. His anxieties will commence to fade. His physical health will
be likely to improve. Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to
happen. Twisted relations in his family and on the outside will improve
surprisingly.

Grapevine, June 1958

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Walk In Dry Places

Is there bondage in attending meetings?
Sharing
A few critics have noted scornfully that AA members can be as enslaved by the need for meetings as we were by the bottle.  are we compulsively addicted to meetings.
When we hear such remarks, we must remember that our survival insobriety is always the main issue.  We might be going to more meetings that seems necessary , but we are the judges of our own needs.
In addition, meeting attendance is a constructive activity, while drinking was destructive... at least for us. If we’re gong to overdo something, at least it’s an activity that helps us.
We should never consider meeting attendance a form of bondage.  There are many activities in life that are required for our peace and freedom.  Meeting attendance is one of these things.  We can be grateful for the opportunities meetings provide for sharing our personal experiences.  No criticism should be allowed to intrude on this.
I’ll not let outside criticism interfere with any AA activity that is benefiting me and maintaining my sobriety.

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Keep It Simple

What we don’t live, we cannot teach others.—Day By Day
Remember – we don’t carry the message to others until we get to Step
Twelve. We must first learn to live in a sober way. Sobriety takes time.
We have to stop using alcohol and other drugs, but this is only the start.
Just as it takes time to build a home, it takes time to build a new way of
life. We talk with friends and sponsors about the Steps. We try using them in out lives. Then we talk about how the Steps work for us. We talk about where we get stuck with the Steps.
All this takes time. We aren’t in a hurry. We have a lifetime ahead of us.
Remember-the better we live our program, the better we help others.
Prayer for the day:  Higher Power, You’ll let me know when I’m to carry the message. Until then, be with me as I build a new way of life, a spiritual way of life.
Action for the day:  I’ll take time to think over where I’m with my program. I’ll talk about it with a friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Do not compare yourself with others, for you are a unique and wonderful creation. Make your own beautiful footprints in the snow.  –Barbara Kimball
Comparisons we make of ourselves to other women do destruction far greater than our conscious minds are aware of. Positioning ourselves or her on the “beloved pedestal” prevents the equality of sisterhood that offers each woman the freedom to be solely herself.
Comparisons in which we are the losers darken the moment, cut us off from the actual rhythms of that moment. The consequences can be grave. Within any moment might be the opportunity we’ve awaited, the opportunity to achieve a particular dream. We must not miss our opportunities.
Each life is symbolized by a particular set of footprints in the snow. How wonderful and how freeing to know that we each offer something uniquely our own. We need never compete to be noticed. Each of us is guaranteed recognition for what we contribute, because it is offered by us alone.
Envy eats at us; it interferes with all of our interactions. It possesses all of our thoughts, caging us, denying us the freedom to achieve that can be ours.
I will look with love on my sisters. I will free them and myself to be all we are capable of becoming.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 – To Employers

Perhaps this is a typical attitude. We, who have collectively seen a great deal of business life, at least from the alcoholic angle, had to smile at this gentleman’s sincere opinion. He might be shocked if he knew how much alcoholism is costing his organization a year. That company may harbor many actual or potential alcoholics. We believe that managers of large enterprises often have little idea how prevalent this problem is. Even if you feel your organization has no alcoholic problem, it may pay to take another look down the line. You may make some interesting discoveries.

p. 149

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

I needed a drink to go anyplace–to the theater, a party, a date, and later, to work. I would leave my apartment, lock the door, and start down the stairs, and then turn around and go back in for another drink to get me where I planned to go. I needed a drink to do anything–to write, to cook, to clean the house, to paint the walls, to take a bath.

p. 341

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Such gross misbehavior is not by any means a full catalogue of the harms we do. Let us think of some of the subtler ones which can sometimes be quite as damaging. Suppose that in our family lives we happen to be miserly, irresponsible, callous, or cold. Suppose that we are irritable, critical, impatient, and humorless. Suppose we lavish attention upon one member of the family and neglect the others. What happens when we try to dominate the whole family, either by a rule of iron or by a constant outpouring of minute directions for just how their lives should be lived from hour to hour? What happens when we wallow in depression, self-pity oozing from every pore, and inflict that upon those about us? Such a roster of harms done others–the kind that make daily living with us as practicing alcoholics difficult and often unbearable could be extended almost indefinitely. When we take such personality traits as these into shop, office, and the society of our fellows, they can do damage almost as extensive as that we have caused at home.

p. 81

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

I believe in God — this is a fine, praiseworthy thing to say, but to acknowledge God
wherever and however he manifest Himself, that in truth is heavenly bliss on earth.
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Maximize your productive time by focusing on positive outcomes.
–unknown

Perseverance can tip the scales from failure to success.
–unknown

If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be where you’ve always been.
–unknown

H O W = Honest, Open, Willing

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FORGIVING

“He that cannot forgive others
breaks the bridge over which he
must pass himself. For every
man has need to be forgiven.”
— Thomas Fuller

My failings as an alcoholic help me to live with others today. The fact that I made and
make mistakes helps me to have creative relationships today. Because I know what
it is to fail, I can understand the failings of others. My weaknesses are a bridge
to understanding my fellow man.

By contrast when I was drinking, I thought I was perfect, always right and this led to
judgments, arguments and a self-imposed alienation.

Alcohol fed my arrogance and pride; sobriety helps develop humility and
understanding.

God, I understand that even my failings can be made to work for me in sobriety.

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“The measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Luke 6:38

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you
will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1-2

In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
Psalm 118:5

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose
heart.”
Galatians 6:9

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with
wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not grow faint.”
Isaiah 40:31


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Daily Inspiration

Listen to hear and learn. Lord, help me to practice listening without judgment and interruption so that I fully benefit and truly comprehend the nature of what is being shared with me.

Learn to be peaceful in all situations and trust that through all stages of our lives, God has a plan. Lord, may I have the wisdom to be able to turn my stumbling blocks into building blocks.

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NA Just For Today

The Language Of Empathy

“… the addict would find from the start as much identification as each needed to convince himself that he could stay clean, by the example of others who had recovered for many years.”
Basic Text p. 85

Many of us attended our first meeting and, not being entirely sure that NA was for us, found much to criticize. Either we felt as though no one had suffered like we had or that we hadn’t suffered enough. But as we listened we started to hear something new, a wordless language with its roots in recognition, belief, and faith: the language of empathy. Desiring to belong, we kept listening.

We find all the identification we need as we learn to understand and speak the language of empathy. To understand this special language, we listen with our hearts. The language of empathy uses few words; it feels more than it speaks. It doesn’t preach or lecture – it listens. It can reach out and touch the spirit of another addict without a single spoken word.

Fluency in the language of empathy comes to us through practice. The more we use it with other addicts and our Higher Power, the more we understand this language. It keeps us coming back.

Just for today: I will listen with my heart. With each passing day, I will become more fluent in the language of empathy.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
We all fear what we don’t know–it’s natural. –Leo Buscaglia
If we put a blindfold over our eyes and begin to walk around an open field, we would feel unsure with each step. We might be afraid of falling, afraid of walking over some unseen edge and hurting ourselves.
When any of us face something and we don’t know what the outcome will be, we often feel blindfolded. We fear we may get hurt. We fear we can’t do it. We have a hard time trusting ourselves. A blind person often finds help or guidance from others, or will gain confidence by walking on–slowly at first, finding trust and sureness with each step.
These same things help us when we are afraid. It is also helpful to remember there is no right or wrong way to explore what faces us–only our own way.
What new trust can I place in myself today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Archie Bunker: What’s wrong with revenge? That’s a perfect way to get even. –Norman Lear
When we are locked within negative, hostile thinking patterns, we go around in mental circles. What seems perfectly rational to us at the time looks misguided and blind when we look back. Carrying a grudge or a desire to get even with someone is a cancer inside us. It belittles us and holds back our spirit.
We break through our mental circles by revealing our anger to others. We talk with other recovering men and let them know the details of our resentments. We listen to their experiences and apply them in our program. As long as we keep our thoughts and feelings to ourselves, we only recycle the same thinking system. When we take the risk and talk to friends, we build bridges that bring in new ideas.
I will not harbor my resentments within myself. I will talk with a trusted friend so I can learn to let them go.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills. –Minna Antrim
It is not by chance but by design that the sorrows we experience throughout our lives are countered by equal servings of joy. One offsets the other. And we are strengthened by their combination.
Our longing for only life’s joys is human–also folly. Joy would become insipid if it were our steady diet. Joyful times serve us well as respites from the trying situations that push our growth and development as women.
Laughter softens the cutting edges of the lessons we seek or are cornered by. It offers perspective when the outlook is bleak. And for those of us who are recovering, wallowing in the bleaker times used to be acceptable behavior. But no more. The reality is that each day will present both occasions for anguish and ones inviting easy laughter. Both are valuable. Neither should dominate.
Joy and sorrow are analogous to the ebb and flow of the ocean tide. They are natural rhythms. And we are mellowed by their presence when we accept them as necessary to our very existence.
Any pain today guarantees an equal amount of pleasure, if I willingly accept them both.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Accepting Our Feelings
Why do we struggle so with our feelings? Why do we work so hard to deny our emotions, especially concerning other people? They are only feelings!
In the course of a day, we may deny we feel frustrated in reaction to someone who is selling us a service.
We may deny that we feel frustrated, angry, or hurt in reaction to a friend.
We may deny feelings of fear, or anger, toward our children.
We may deny a whole range of feelings toward our spouse or the person with whom we’re in a love relationship.
We may deny feelings provoked by people we work for, or by people who work for us.
Sometimes the feelings are a direct reaction to others. Sometimes people trigger something deeper – an old sadness or frustration.
Regardless of the source of our feelings, they are still our feelings. We own them. And acceptance is often all that is necessary to make them go away.
We don’t have to let our feelings control our behavior. We don’t have to act on each feeling that passes through us. We do not need to indulge in inappropriate behavior.
It does help to talk about our feelings with someone we trust. Sometimes we need to bring our feelings to the person who is triggering them. That can breed intimacy and closeness. But the most important person we need to tell is ourselves. If we allow our feelings to pass through us, accept them, and release them, we shall know what to do next.
Today, I will remember that feelings are an important part of my life. I will be open to my feelings in family life, in friendships, in love, and at work. I will feel my feelings without judging myself.

I am so full of love and joy today. I see it everywhere I look, and feel it with every breath that I take. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Awaken to the Storyteller Within

Each of us has a story to tell, a story to share with the world.

Artists and writers are in the storytelling business. Others have different ways of telling and sharing their stories. The tackle shop owner sells bait, hooks, and sinkers and tells people where to fish and about the big one that got away. The master carpenter tells his story by carving and hanging a wooden door so well crafted that it swings shut gently on its own. The quilter tells her story by commemorating important moments from her life in quilts that are colorful works of art.

Each of us has a story to tell and our own way of sharing it with the world. It comes out through our words, through our work, and through the simple actions of our daily life. Listen to the stories of the people around you. Listen to your soul. Learn to value without judging and listen with an open heart to the beauty of each story and the importance of the storyteller. Learn to value and appreciate the story you are living now.

Awaken to the storyteller within and share your story with the world. Tell it with joy and flair. Commit to telling it with love and passion. Tell it through living your life fully, doing your work well, and creating the best life you can. Be who you are and love being that.

Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Respect the powers that be

I watched the man out the window as he dragged his kayak out to sea. Just as he’d get ready to launch, a huge frothy wave would come barreling over the top of him. The kayak would fly off in one direction. Then I’d see a paddle emerge form the sea. He’d walk back to his boat, try again, only to have himself and the boat tossed around by the wave. Finally, the last wave took the boat and threw it all the way to shore. When the man, in his thirties, stood up, he looked up at the heavens and stretched out his arms.

It was the surrender position, that what can I do but resign myself to the powers that be stance that some of us know so well.

Yes, we’re learning to believe in ourselves. We’re learning to say I can. But an important part of self-confidence and self-esteem is learning humilty
and respect for the powers that be. Set your goals. Pursue your dreams. Say what you want and learn to say when. Hold your head up high, but learn to sublimate yourself,too.

Sometimes you’ve just got to throw your hands up in the air and surrender to the powers that be.

God, help me let go of arrogance and receive the blessings that humility brings.

*****

The Dance of Intimacy
Coming Back to Center in a Relationship by Madisyn Taylor

In a long-term relationship it is often necessary to get back to basics and come back to center with each other.

Anyone in a long-term relationship knows that the dance of intimacy involves coming together and moving apart. Early in a relationship, intense periods of closeness are important in order to establish the ground of a new union. Just as a sapling needs a lot more attention than a full-grown tree, budding relationships demand time and attention if they are to fully take root. Once they become more established, the individuals in the union begin to turn their attention outward again, to the other parts of their lives that matter, such as work, family, and friendships. This is natural and healthy. Yet, if a long-term relationship is to last, turning towards one another recurrently, with the same curiosity, attention, and nurturance of earlier times, is essential.

In a busy and demanding world full of obligations and opportunities, we sometimes lose track of our primary relationships, thinking they will tend to themselves. We may have the best intentions when we think about how nice it would be to surprise our partner with a gift or establish a weekly date night. Yet somehow, life gets in the way. We may think that our love is strong enough to survive without attention. Yet even mature trees need water and care if they are to thrive.

One of the best ways to nourish a relationship is through communication. If you feel that a distance has grown between you and your partner, you may be able to bridge the gap by sharing how you feel. Do your best to avoid blame and regret. Focus instead on the positive, which is the fact that you want to grow closer together. Sometimes, just acknowledging that there is distance between you has the effect of bringing the relationship into balance. In other cases, more intense effort and attention may be required. You may want to set aside time to talk and come up with solutions together. Remember to have compassion for each other. You’re in the same boat together and trying to maintain the right balance of space and togetherness to keep your relationship healthy and thriving. Express faith and confidence in each other, and enjoy the slow dance of intimacy that can resume between the two of you. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I no longer argue with people who believe that satisfaction of our natural desires is the primary purpose of life. It’s not our business in The Program to knock material achievement. When we stop and think about it, in fact, no group of people ever made a worse mess of trying to live by that “la dolce vita” formula than we did. We always insisted on more than our share — in all areas. And even when we seemed to be succeeding, we fueled our addictions so that we could dream of still greater successes. Am I learning that material satisfactions are simply by-products and not the chief aim of life? Am I gaining the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values must come first?

Today I Pray

May I recognize that I never did handle excesses very well, based on my past experience. I have been apt to “want more” of whatever it is I have — love, money, property, things, chemicals, foods, winnings. May The Program teach me that I must concentrate on my spiritual, rather than my material bounty.

Today I Will Remember

It’s okay to be spiritually greedy.

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One More Day

There is no formula for easy living. Anyone who says he has one is either joking or lying.
–Harold Russel

We all have, in our mind’s eye, a picture of what life would be like if we were healthy and wealthy and could do whatever we wanted with our days. If given the choice between health and sickness, wealth and poverty,, most people would choose the former of both. Yet, there are no assurances of easy living no matter how healthy or wealthy we are.

When our wish to “have it easy” becomes a preoccupation — our whole system can become stressed. We need to recognize that this wish for “having it easy” creates stress that we could avoid. Ironically, to escape this stress, we need to return to the reality of our own beautiful lives.

I have no guarantee for easy living, but I am guaranteed the chance to change and grow as often as I want to.

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Food For Thought

Appetite Is Not Hunger

Confusing a “hearty” appetite with genuine, physical hunger is a mistake made consistently by compulsive overeaters. Our idea of how much food our body needs is usually a great exaggeration of the actual requirement. Because of an overdeveloped appetite, we are unfamiliar with the feeling of true hunger.

Since we cannot rely on subjective feelings to tell us how much we need to eat, we require an objective, definite plan. When we reach our normal weight, we continue to eat according to a measured food plan, rather than according to appetite. We will never be able to satisfy the demands of our appetite without destroying ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When we think we require more food than is called for by our plan, we need to examine our thinking. Usually we find that we are being deluded by the demands of our overdeveloped appetite. We would like to eat more, but in fact, our body does not need more.

I pray for the wisdom to distinguish between appetite and hunger.

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One Day At A Time

THE PROMISES
“We will intuitively know how to handle situations
which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that
God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
The Big Book

When I first came into program and heard these words I couldn’t grasp their meaning. Life baffled me. I had no idea who I was or what I was doing. I was completely in the grip of this disease. I felt like I was the disease. Why would God do anything for me?

Initially I thought these people were crazy and even worse off than I was. My opinion soon changed when I noticed wonderful differences between them and myself. They seemed calmer, verbalized their feelings more clearly, appeared to have their act together, and seemed to enjoy life. I was hooked! I wanted what they had. I finally wanted to want to live. I was drawn to those who demonstrated traits I wanted to have. I talked to them and listened when they shared. I asked them how to work the program and how to find my Higher Power. I started working the Steps. I began my search for a God I could relate to. I found online recovery loops and people who shared how they worked their program.

Then I had a crisis develop which almost overwhelmed me. Yet as I read the Big Book, I realized that the promises God had given to the other program people were given to me too. I had been so busy working this program that I needed to pause and examine all I had received. Yes, it does work when you work it. I proved it to myself by allowing God to prove it to me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that the promises really are for everyone and that they come into my life as I work my program to the best of my ability.
~ Judith A.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. If these thoughts occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove. – Pg. 24 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Reinvestment

I have been through a journey of forgiveness. I’ve faced my anger and hurt and brought order and clarity to my inner world. I’ve accepted the things I cannot change and changed the things that I could. Because I’ve shown the courage to face my inner demons and look them in the eye, I feel stronger and more competent. Forgiveness of my self and others has offered me a way out of pain and confusion, and now I find I have a renewed interest in life. I see things differently. I feel liberated from something that was tying up me energy. And I recognize and accept my own humanity, and the humanity of others. I am ready and willing to reinvest in the ideal of love. I want to find worthy projects and passions, and put my energy toward them. I have something to give to the world and the world has something to give to me. I am right where I am supposed to be and I’ve met the challenges of my life. I am ready to live.

I invest my energy with care and gusto
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

It is better to have some-one sober and hating you because you told them the truth, rather than have someone drunk and liking you because you told them a lie.

I don’t heap on the bull**** when the truth is like Miracle Grow

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Along the road well traveled, there are many pity potholes.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am so full of love and joy today. I see it everywhere I look, and feel it with every breath that I take.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If you went to a critical AIDS ward and said ‘I’ve got a deal for you; would you come with me to some meetings, meet and chat with some people, take some actions that seem strange to you – would you do that if I could arrest your AIDS? They’d sign over their homes to you. But, go to the alcoholism ward where they’re dying from this disease, and they won’t go to an AA meeting two doors down the hall. – Clancy I.

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AA Thought for the Day

November 19

Listening
For weeks I sat in the back of the rooms, silent when others shared their experience, strength and hope.
I listened to their stories and found so many areas where we overlapped — not all of the deeds,
but the feelings of remorse and hopelessness. I learned that alcoholism isn’t a sin, it’s a disease.
That lifted the guilt I felt.
– Alcoholics Anonymous,p. 344

Thought to Ponder . . .
I listen for direction now.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering Together.

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

Commitment
“No matter how much one wishes to try,
how can he turn his own will and his own life
over to the care of whatever God he thinks there is?
A beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed.
Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock,
and have the door ever so slightly open,
we find that we can always open it some more.”
c. 1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 122

Thought to Consider . . .
If you always do what you’ve always done,
you will always be where you’ve always been.

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

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

Ingredient
From: “Me An Alcoholic?”
Here I found an ingredient that had been lacking in any other effort I had made to save myself. Here was – power! Here was power to live to the end of any given day, power to have the courage to face the next day, power to have friends, power to help people, power to be sane, power to stay sober. That was seven years ago – and many AA meetings ago – and I haven’t had a drink during those seven years. Moreover, I am deeply convinced that so long as I continue to strive, in my bumbling way, toward the principles I first encountered in the earlier chapters of this book, this remarkable power will continue to flow through me. What is this power? With my AA friends, all I can say is that it’s a Power greater than myself. If pressed, all I can do is follow the psalmist who said it long before me: “Be still, and know that I am God.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 386-387

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

“The best university for me — the best school, the best teaching — was in analyzing mistakes that I’d made and problems I created because of these mistakes. Not my successes.”
Warsaw, Poland, October 1996
“A Smiling Man, A Happy Man,”
AA Around the World

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

“God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your
morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still
sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But
obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it
that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come
to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164~

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous page 30

Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.58

And so it is: the beginning of the end of his old life, and the beginning of his emergence into a new one.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.26

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

More than most people, I think, alcoholics want to know who they are, what this life is about,, whether they have a divine origin and an appointed destiny, and whether there is a system of cosmic justice and love.
It is the experience of many of us in the early stages of drinking to feel that we have had glimpses of the Absolute and a heightened feeling of identification with the cosmos. While these glimpses and feelings doubtless have a validity, they are deformed and finally swept away in the chemical, spiritual, and emotional damage wrought by the alcohol itself.
In A.A., and in many religious approaches, alcoholics find a great deal more of what they merely glimpsed and felt while trying to grope their way toward God in alcohol.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 18th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 18th

Daily Reflections

A SAFETY NET

Occasionally. . . We are seized with a rebellion so sickening that we
simply won’t pray. When these things happen we should not think too
ill of ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can,
doing what we know to be good for us.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

Sometimes I scream, stomp my feet, and turn my back on my Higher
Power. Then my disease tells me that I am a failure, and that if I stay
angry I’ll surely get drunk. In those moments of self-will it’s as if I’ve
slipped over a cliff and am hanging by one hand. The above passage
is my safety net, in that it urges me to try some new behavior, such as
being kind and patient with myself. It assures me that my Higher
Power will wait until I am willing once again to risk letting go, to land
in the net, and to pray.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I have got over my procrastination. I was always putting
things off till tomorrow and as a result that never got
done. “There is always another day” was my motto instead
of “Do it now.” Under the influence of alcohol, I had
grandiose plans. When I was sober I was too busy getting
over my drunk to start anything. “Some day I’ll do that”
— but I never did it. In A.A. I have learned it’s better
to make a mistake once in a while than to never do
anything at all. We learn by trial and error. But we must
act now and not put it off until tomorrow. Have I learned
to do it now?

Meditation For The Day

“Do not hide your light under a bushel. Arise and shine,
for the light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen
in thee.” The glory of the Lord shines in the beauty of a
man’s character. It is risen in you, even though you can
realize it only in part. “Now you see as in a glass darkly,
but later you will see face to face.” The glory of the Lord
is too dazzling for mortals to see fully on earth. But some
of this glory is risen in you when you try to reflect that
light in your life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to be a reflection of the Divine Light.
I pray that some of its rays may shine in my life.


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As Bill Sees It

Running The Whole Show, p. 320

Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor
who wants to run the whole show and is forever trying to arrange the
lights, 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.

What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well.
Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people
are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying.

Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be useful? Is he not
a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness
out of this world if he only manages well?

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 60-61

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Walk In Dry Places

The old friends who dropped us.
Personal relations.
As our drinking progressed, most of us lost old friends. Sometimes it was our behavior that drove them away; at other times, it was because they didn’t want to associate with “losers.”
In sobriety, some of our old friendships have been restored. These are real friendships based on trust and true affection.
But sobriety can also give us a deeper and finer understanding of friendships. We may acquire a new set of values on this subject. We may find that some of those whom we considered friends were only fair-weather drinking acquaintances.
Drinking acquaintances will probably ease away from us if we really means business in staying sober. This need not bother us if we’re thinking rightly.
The great news in all of this is that in the fellowship, we’ll be making some of the best friends we can ever have. We’ll also learn how to be great friends with ourselves.
In my thinking about friendship today, I’ll seek people I trust and like, not people I can use.

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Keep It Simple

Life is short: live it up. Nikita
We won’t stay sober long unless it’s more fun than using chemicals.
The truth is, using chemicals wasn’t fun anymore. It was work. We just
told ourselves it was still fun.
So live it up! Try new things. Meet new friends. Try new foods. Taking
risks and having adventures are a basic human need. So go for it.
Sobriety is fun. Living a spiritual life is fun. Get out there and live!
Prayer for the day:  Higher Power ,teach me to play. Teach me to have fun. Teach me to live!
Action for the day:  Today is for fun. I’ll try something new. I’ll see how many people
I can get to smile. And I’ll celebrate the fact that I’m sober.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Do not compare yourself with others, for you are a unique and wonderful creation. Make your own beautiful footprints in the snow.  –Barbara Kimball
Comparisons we make of ourselves to other women do destruction far greater than our conscious minds are aware of. Positioning ourselves or her on the “beloved pedestal” prevents the equality of sisterhood that offers each woman the freedom to be solely herself.
Comparisons in which we are the losers darken the moment, cut us off from the actual rhythms of that moment. The consequences can be grave. Within any moment might be the opportunity we’ve awaited, the opportunity to achieve a particular dream. We must not miss our opportunities.
Each life is symbolized by a particular set of footprints in the snow. How wonderful and how freeing to know that we each offer something uniquely our own. We need never compete to be noticed. Each of us is guaranteed recognition for what we contribute, because it is offered by us alone.
Envy eats at us; it interferes with all of our interactions. It possesses all of our thoughts, caging us, denying us the freedom to achieve that can be ours.
I will look with love on my sisters. I will free them and myself to be all we are capable of becoming.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 – To Employers

The other day an approach was made to the vice president of a large industrial concern. He remarked: “I’m glad you fellows got over your drinking. But the policy of this company is not to interfere with the habits of our employees. If a man drinks so much that his job suffers, we fire him. I don’t see how you can be of any help to us for, as you see, we don’t have any alcoholic problem.” This same company spends millions for research every year. Their cost of production is figured to a fine decimal point. They have recreational facilities. There is company insurance. There is a real interest, both humanitarian and business, in the well-being of employees. But alcoholism—well, they just don’t believe they have it.

pp. 148-149

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

The blackouts increased, and my terror increased with them. Telephone bills would inform me that I’d made late-night calls to distant places. I could tell from the numbers whom I called, but what had I said? Some mornings I woke up with a stranger who had brought me home from a party the night before. These things weighed heavily on me, but I couldn’t stop the drinking that had caused them. That too gnawed away at any remnants of self-respect I might have had. I was incapable of controlling my drinking and my life.

p. 341

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

We might next ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have “harmed” other people. What kinds of “harm” do people do one another, anyway? To define the word “harm” in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual damage to people. If our tempers are consistently bad, we arouse anger in others. If we lie or cheat, we deprive others not only of their worldly goods, but of their emotional security and peace of mind. We really issue them an invitation to become contemptuous and vengeful. If our sex conduct is selfish, we may excite jealousy, misery, and a strong desire to retaliate in kind.

p. 80

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“What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in
us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God.”
–Monica Baldwin

What you are is God’s gift to you,
What you do with yourself is your gift to God.
–White Buffalo Calf Woman

Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator.
–Native American Proverb

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.
–Carl Sandburg

Honesty is the best way to gain the trust of others. By being honest,
feelings may or may not be hurt. Whichever the case you will end up
respecting yourself more for it.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

STRENGTH

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”
— Seneca

My spiritual recovery means that I confront my disease and remember sick attitudes
and behavior patterns. I would rather not talk about my disease because it is
embarrassing and shameful particularly my cruelty to people and animals. My
alcoholism made me lash out at the weak; yes, my weakness inflicted pain and
cruelty on others.

I remember this only to rejoice in today’s strength that allows vulnerability. My past
weaknesses made me act strong. Today my strength allows me to be weak.

God, the recognition of my past cruelties enables me to forgive and
understand others.

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

“You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the
earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have
created it.
Isaiah 45:8

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will
provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.
Proverbs 19:18


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Daily Inspiration

Your life is yours to live as you choose with the results that you want. Lord, help me to be full of life, full of energy and greet my opportunities with a peaceful smile and a gentle gratitude.

Faith grows by speaking daily with God. Lord, You teach me Your promises when times are good so that I will be able to trust in You when times are hard.

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NA Just For Today

Self-discovery

“The Tenth Step can help us correct our living problems and prevent their recurrence.”
Basic Text p. 41

Our identities, how we think and feel, have been shaped by our experiences. Some of our experiences have made us better people; others have caused us shame or embarrassment; all of them have influenced who we are today. We can take advantage of the knowledge gained in examining our mistakes, using this wisdom to guide the decisions we’ll make today.

Acceptance of ourselves means accepting all aspects of ourselves – our assets, our defects, our successes, and our failures. Shame and guilt left unaddressed can paralyze us, preventing us from moving forward in our lives. Some of the most meaningful amends we can make for the mistakes of our past are made simply by acting differently today. We strive for improvement and measure our success by comparing who we used to be with who we are now.

Being human, we will continue making mistakes; however, we need not make the same ones over and over again. By looking over our past and realizing that we have changed and grown, we’ll find hope for the future. The best is yet to come.

Just for today: I will do the best I can with what I have today. Each day I’ll learn something new that will help me tomorrow.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
One comes in the end to realize that there is no permanent pure relationship and there should not be. –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Whether we are teenagers in love for the first time, or parents who have been married for twenty years, relationships can turn into obsessions if we’re not careful.
We can lose our sense of self and only feel complete when we’re with the other person. We can become totally attached and dependent on the primary person in our lives for all our needs.
We need to remember that we can be a good partner in a relationship only if we feel complete within ourselves. Keeping ourselves open to change in our surroundings, our loved ones, and especially ourselves helps us stay whole.
We learn, first, to be ourselves, to make independent choices. We dare to do things on our own. Things as simple as going for a walk by ourselves and smelling the scents of nature. Being ourselves means bringing our own world to meet the world of our loved ones, rather than depending on them to make our world.
Am I making my own happiness so I may share it with others?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I always entertain great hopes. –Robert Frost
In our honest journey, we must admit life is often difficult and painful.
But these facts do not describe all of life, and they do not determine how we respond. The sun rises warm and bright after a cold and dark night. The open, generous smile of a small child reaches into the soft part of us all. To be strong and hardy men on this spiritual path, we must be truthful about the pain and unfairness in life while holding firmly to a belief in all the generous possibilities.
Surrendering to despair, we trade the uncertainty of options for the certainty of gloom. Then we might say, “At least I’m never disappointed this way.” Life isn’t filled only with difficulty and pain. It is also filled with people whose dignity and spirit rise above their circumstances. There are situations when great sacrifice or love and wisdom turn a problem into an opportunity and strength. If we look at what has happened in our own lives and in those of others, we have ample reason to hope.
My own experience in recovery gives me great hope in what can be.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Do not compare yourself with others, for you are a unique and wonderful creation. Make your own beautiful footprints in the snow. –Barbara Kimball
Comparisons we make of ourselves to other women do destruction far greater than our conscious minds are aware of. Positioning ourselves or her on the “beloved pedestal” prevents the equality of sisterhood that offers each woman the freedom to be solely herself.
Comparisons in which we are the losers darken the moment, cut us off from the actual rhythms of that moment. The consequences can be grave. Within any moment might be the opportunity we’ve awaited, the opportunity to achieve a particular dream. We must not miss our opportunities.
Each life is symbolized by a particular set of footprints in the snow. How wonderful and how freeing to know that we each offer something uniquely our own. We need never compete to be noticed. Each of us is guaranteed recognition for what we contribute, because it is offered by us alone.
Envy eats at us; it interferes with all of our interactions. It possesses all of our thoughts, caging us, denying us the freedom to achieve that can be ours.
I will look with love on my sisters. I will free them and myself to be all we are capable of becoming.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Allowing Ourselves to be Nurtured
Let yourself be nurtured and loved. Let people be there for you. Allow yourself to be held when it would feel good. Let someone listen to you, support and encourage you when you need that. Receive comfort from someone’s physical presence when you need that. Allow yourself to be supported emotionally and cared about.
For too long, we’ve stood in the background, attending to the needs of others and claiming we have no needs of our own. We’ve shut off, for to long, the part of us that longs to be nurtured.
It is time, now, to claim those needs, to identify them, and to understand that we deserve to have them met.
What are our needs? What would feel good? What kinds of ways would we like others to nurture and support us? The clearer we can be about our needs, the greater the possibility they will be met.
Hugs. A listening ear. Support. Encouragement. The physical and emotional presence of people who care about us. Doesn’t that sound good? Tempting?
Someone once said to me, “The eighties have been a ‘me’ decade. Now, maybe the nineties can be a ‘you’ decade.”
My reply was immediate. “Let’s make the nineties a ‘me’ and ‘you’ decade.”
No matter how long we’ve been recovering, we never outgrow our need for nurturing and love.
Today, I will open to recognizing my needs for nurturing. I will be open to the needs of those around me too. I can begin taking a nurturing, loving attitude toward myself and by taking responsibility for my needs in relationships.

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

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Journey to the Heart

Live with Unsolved Problems

Sometimes we need to live for a while with a particular behavior, problem, or situation before we’re ready to change it.

Sometimes we have to live with it so long– conscious that it’s a problem but unable yet to solve or change it– that we can hardly bear it. We’re fully aware that we want and need something different, but the situation still hasn’t changed. The answer has not yet arrived. We worry that the situation will continue eternally and the problem will never be solved. During those times of living with a problem and the desire to solve it, we may long for the old days, those days when our denial system was intact and we didn’t know what we were doing.

If you can’t solve it yet, if you can’t change it yet, it’s okay to live with it, just as it is. Something is happening. The situation is changing. You’re on your way to change.

Trust that the waiting part of change is necessary. Trust that your desire for change is the beginning of change. Trust that each moment you are moving closer to the change you desire.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Improvise

Do not fear mistakes; there are none.
–Miles Davis

Life is a jazz tune. Sometimes it’s raucous, sometimes blue, but always full of unexpected twists and turns, and here and there a delightful new sound emerges. Viewed from a staunch classical viewpoint we might be tempted to call the new note or harmonization a mistake, but in the free flowing world of jazz, it becomes just another piece of the melodic whole.

So we took the wrong job, chose a career based on what others expected of you rather that what you expected of yourself. Was it a mistake? Only if you spent all your time there dwelling on the fact that you would rather be someplace else and missed the chance to learn something about yourself.

Admit your mistakes. Say sorry when you’re wrong.

But don’t feel trapped by the mistakes of your past and don’t trap yourself now by the possibility of future mistakes. Sure, we’ll continue to screw up. But, we just might invent a new note or two along the way.

*****

Staying Afloat Amidst the Spin
Taking Things Personally

Every time you interact with others, you have the choice to listen to, acknowledge, and let go of their words, or you can take what they are saying personally. Taking things personally is often the result of perceiving a person’s actions or words as an affront or slight. In order to take something personally, you must read negative intent in an individual’s words or actions. But what people do and say has no bearing upon you and is usually based on their own experiences, emotions, and perceptions. If you attempt to take what they do or say personally, you may end up feeling hurt without reason.

If you are tempted to take a comment or action personally, creating some distance between yourself and the other person can help you. Try to determine what is at the root of your feelings. Ask yourself if the other person’s words or actions are just reinforcing some insecurity within you or if you can really be sure that an offense was intended. You may even want to ask them what they meant. Finally, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Instead of taking their words as the truth, or as a personal affront, remember that whatever was said or done is based on their opinion and is more reflective of what is going on inside of them, rather than having anything to do with you. You may have been an easy target for someone having a bad day, and their comments may have been offered with no ill intentions.

When you recognize that what anyone says or does doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you, you will no longer feel hurt or attacked. While it’s easy to take things personally, you should never let anyone’s perceptions or actions affect how you see yourself or your worth. Your life is personal to you, and it is up to you to influence your own value and sense of well-being. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Nothing is enough to the man for whom enough is too little,” wrote the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Now that we’re free from addiction, rebuilding our self-respect and winning back the esteem of family and friends, we have to avoid becoming smug about our new-found success. For most of us, success has always been a heady brew; even in our new life, it’s still possible to fall into the dangerous trap of “big-shot-itis.” As insurance, we ought to remember that we’re free today only by the grace of God. Will I remember that any success i may be having is far more His success than mine?

Today I Pray

May I keep constant string-on-the-finger reminder that I have found freedom through the grace of God — just so I don’t let my pride try to convince me I did it all myself. May I learn to cope with success by ascribing it to a Higher Power, not to my own questionable superiority.

Today I Will Remember

Learn to deal with success.

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

One More Day

Life is not a static thing.
– Everet M. Dirkson

Sometimes change occurs so slowly within us that we don’t notice it. We accept it and may even welcome it when it happens gradually, but we’re less likely to accept those changes that arrive suddenly. Abrupt change doesn’t fit what we expect and can cause chaos in our lives.

When we finally realize we can’t prevent changes from happening, but can only alter our reactions to these changes, they become easier to accept. We can’t stop our declining health either, but we can certainly understand the influence a positive attitude can have on our lives.

I will accept the things I cannot change.

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Food For Thought

No Exit

We have tried many ways of avoiding problems and pain.  In addition to food, we may have used alcohol, drugs, sleep, sex, compulsive activity, or excessive daydreaming to try to escape whatever it was that we did not want to encounter.  Undoubtedly, we found that nothing worked permanently; the problem or pain remained.

It is the attempt to avoid discomfort that turned fear into panic.  Whatever troubles or threatens us becomes more unmanageable when we pretend that it does not exist.  Now that we have the OA program and contact with a Power greater than ourselves, we can confront our problems without searching frantically for an exit from reality.

Our pain is what teaches us the things we need to know.  By being willing to be broken, we are able to become whole.  Through our distress, we are watched over by the One who heals us.  We need no exit.

Thank You for the faith that overcomes panic.

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One Day At A Time

~ HONESTY ~
You never find yourself until you face the truth.
Pearl Bailey

I was brought up to be scrupulously honest, or so I thought. I still remember how my father would go back into a shop if he’d been given too much change, a practice that I adopted too. I found it hard to tell a lie, even a white lie, and I would never contemplate cheating on a test. But when it came to food, I only realized later, I was totally dishonest. I was even dishonest when it came to telling people how I felt, or for that matter who I really was. The person who did these things was a totally different person to the upright person I liked people to see.

I know now that all the things I’d hidden around food were obviously what I felt ashamed about. I wanted people to see only the “good” side of me and not the person who did all these devious things in secret. I kept thinking that I was a bad person and the shame stopped me from being totally honest about what I had been doing.

It has taken time, and the love and acceptance I have found in the fellowship, to be able to get totally honest with myself. It has taken time to look at all the things about me that I felt ashamed of. In the housecleaning necessary in the Steps, I have been able to face my shame. I learned that I am human, and that I have a disease. Some of the soul searching has been very painful, but at the same time it has been totally enlightening. I am amazed how I am beginning to know a new me, with faults and all, but a loveable me nevertheless. As I peel off more layers of the onion that represents the sum total of what makes me unique and truly one of God’s creatures, I am actually beginning to like the new me. I know now that I am not a bad person trying to get good, merely a sick person trying to get well.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will keep being honest about who I am, what I eat and how I am behaving in my relationships, so I can learn more about me. Even when I don’t like what I see, I know I am still a lovable person and a child of God, created in His image.
~ Sharon S. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Letting Go

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

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

November 18

Daily Discipline
Meditation and prayer also teach me the art of focusing and listening.
I find that the turmoil of the day gets tuned out as I pray for His will and guidance. . .
The daily discipline of prayer and meditation will keep me in fit spiritual condition,
able to face whatever the day brings — without the thought of a drink.
– Daily Reflections, p. 317

Thought to Ponder . . .
I listen for direction now.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A R T = Always Remain Teachable

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

Prayer
“As the alcoholic goes along with his process of prayer,
he begins to add up the results.
If he persists, he will almost surely find more serenity,
more tolerance, less fear, and less anger.
He will acquire a quiet courage, the kind that doesn’t strain him.
He can look at so-called failure and success
for what they really are.
Problems and calamity will begin to mean instruction,
rather than destruction.
He will feel freer and saner. . .
Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to happen.
Twisted relations with family and on the outside
will unaccountably improve.”
Bill W., June 1958
c. 1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 241

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Hang On; Pray Every day

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

Disturbing Reflection
Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
More realism and therefore more honesty about ourselves are the great gains we make under the influence of Step Five. As we took inventory, we began to suspect how much trouble self-delusion had been causing us. This had brought a disturbing reflection. If all our lives we had more or less fooled ourselves, how could we now be so sure that we weren’t still self-deceived? How could we be certain that we had made a true catalog of our defects and had really admitted them, even to ourselves? Because we were still bothered by fear, self-pity, and hurt feelings, it was probable we couldn’t appraise ourselves fairly at all. Too much guilt and remorse might cause us to dramatize and exaggerate our shortcomings. Or anger and hurt pride might be the smoke screen under which we were hiding some of our defects while we blamed others for them. Possibly, too, we were still handicapped by many liabilities, great and small, we never knew we had.
1981, AAWS, Inc., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pages 58-59

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

“How wonderful to be sober, to be able to think clearly (at times, at least), and to become aware of some portion of the greater wisdom concealed so deeply within myself.”
Columbus, OH, April 1981
“A New Way of Looking at Life,”
Voices of Long-Term Sobriety

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

“Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the
past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out
of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we
haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was
agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over
alcohol.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg.76~

Resentment is the “number one” offender . It destroys more alcoholics then anything else.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.64

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

The joy of living is the theme of A.A.’s Twelfth Step, and action is its key word.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.106

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘My observation is that some people can get by with a certain amount of postponement, but few can live with outright rebellion.’
‘We have succeeded in confronting many a problem drinker with that awful alternative, ‘This we A.A.’s do, or we die.’ Once this much is firmly in his mind, more drinking only turns the coil tighter.
As many an alcoholic has said, ‘I came to the place where it was either into A.A. or out the window. So here I am!

Prayer for the Day: Kindness and Service – O Lord, help me always to remember thankfully the work of those who helped me when I needed help. Reward them for their kindness and service, and grant that I may have the will, the time, and the opportunity to do the same for others.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 17th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 16th

Daily Reflections

OVERCOMING LONELINESS

Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by
loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad and people
began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the
feeling that we didn’t quite belong.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 90

The agonies and the void that I often felt inside occur
less and less frequently in my life today. I have
learned to cope with solitude. It is only when I am
alone and calm that I am able to communicate with God,
for He cannot reach me when I am in turmoil. It is good
to maintain contact with God at all times, but it is
absolutely essential that, when everything seems to go
wrong, I maintain that contact through prayer and
meditation.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Everyone has two personalities, a good and a bad. We
are all dual personalities to some extent. When we were
drinking, the bad personality was in control. We did
things when we were drunk that we would never do when
we were sober. When we sober up, we are different people.
Then we wonder how we could have done the things we did.
But we drink again, and again our bad side comes out.
So we are back and forth, always in conflict with our
other selves, always in a stew. This division of our
selves is not good; we must somehow become unified. We
do this by giving ourselves wholeheartedly to A.A. and
to sobriety. Have I become unified?

Meditation For The Day

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into
the joy of Thy Lord.” These words are for many ordinary
people whom the world may pass by, unrecognizing. Not
to the world-famed, the proud, the wealthy, are these
words spoken, but to the quiet followers who serve God
unobtrusively yet faithfully, who bear their crosses
bravely and put a smiling face to the world. “Enter into
the joy of Thy Lord.” Pass into that fuller spiritual
life, which is a life of joy and peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not desire the world’s applause.
I pray that I may not seek rewards for doing what I
believe is right.


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

As Bill Sees It

Two Authorities, p. 319

Many people wonder how A.A. can function under a seeming anarchy.
Other societies have to have law and force and sanction and
punishment, administered by authorized people. Happily for us, we
found that we need no human authority whatever. We have two
authorities which are far more effective. One is benign, the other
malign.

There is God, our Father, who very simply says, “I am waiting for you
to do my will.” The other authority is named John Barleycorn, and he
says, “You had better do God’s will or I will kill you.”

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

The A.A. Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. We obey
them willingly because we ought to and because we want to. Perhaps
the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving
communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in love.

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 105
2. A.A. Today, p. 11

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Walk In Dry Places

Are we doing well enough?
Success
Sometimes we can get off the track by mixing AA with the world’s ideas of success.
In AA, success means staying sober while using the AA principles in our daily affairs.  We can be successful people in all walks of life.
We should never think that a person is unsuccessful merely because he or she holds a low-paying job or has not regained any business or professional stature that has been lost.  One of our members, for example, had once been the senior member of a lucrative law partnership before drinking himself into the gutter. In his sober years, he found great satisfaction in a relatively low- paying judgeship.  In worldly terms, he could be seen as less successful.  In AA terms, however, this period was the truly successful part of his life.
Our Higher Power will show us where our place in life should be.  That should be success enough for any of us.
I’ll do my best today in whatever job I have, grateful for the sobriety that helps me stay self-supporting and happy.

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

Keep It Simple

Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.
—Herman Melville
We have hung on in hard times. We made it through our addiction. Some of us have lived through abuse. We’ve felt like our hearts were broken. But we’ve proven we are survivors. Now we’re learning that we can heal.
Being recovery doesn’t mean things will be easy. But we have a Higher Power to help us. We have friends who listen to us, care for us, and help us through the pain. Because of our recovery program, we’re able to keep hope and love in our lives—One Day at a Time.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me through the hard times. Help me trust in Your love and care.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll plan ahead with my sponsor. What will I do now so that I’ll have strong support when hard times come?

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Each Day a New Beginning

I think happiness is like the effect on an audience (when acting), if you think of it all the time you will not get it, you must get lost in the part, lost in your purposes and let the effect be the criterion of your success.  –Joanna Field
Happiness is a gift that accompanies every instance of our lives if we approach each situation with gratitude, knowing that what’s offered to us is special to our particular needs. The experiences we meet day to day are honing our Spirit, tempering our hard edges. For these we should offer gratitude.
Our well-being is the gift. Deciding what will make us happy, in fact, what we must have to be happy, prevents us from grasping the unexpected pleasure of the “chance” events of the moment. When we intently look for what we think we need, we may well be blind to more beneficial opportunities God has chosen for us.
Our self-centeredness hinders every breath we take. It prejudices every encounter. It stifles our creative potential. And most of all, it blocks any chance for a spontaneous reaction to the moment. Spontaneity is the breeding ground for creative living. And happiness is the byproduct.
Happiness is my decision, every moment.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 – To Employers

We think this method of approach will accomplish several things. It will permit the rehabilitation of good men. At the same time you will feel no reluctance to rid yourself of those who cannot or will not stop. Alcoholism may be causing your organization considerable damage in its waste of time, men and reputation. We hope our suggestions will help you plug up this sometimes serious leak. We think we are sensible when we urge that you stop this waste and give your worthwhile man a chance.

p. 148

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

One time we sailed from Guadelupe to a little island for a picnic, swam to shore from the ship. After lunch, and quantities of wine, I was with a French ski instructor talking to a troop of small boys on their way home from school, trying to explain to those tropical islanders what snow is like. I remember them giggling. The next thing I knew, I was back at the camp, walking to the dining room–apparently after swimming back to the ship, sailing to the port, then taking a rickety bus across the island. I had no memory of what I had done during those hours between.

p. 341

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

While the purpose of making restitution to others is paramount, it is equally necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about ourselves and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one. Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay–and pay handsomely.

p. 80

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

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked
with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a
grand thing.
–Agatha Christie

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our
thanksgiving.
–W.T. Purkiser

The source of love is deep in us, and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One
word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person
joy.
–Thich Nhat Hanh

Never let the word “impossible” stop you from pursuing what your heart and spirit urge
you to do. Impossible things come true every day.
–Robert K. Cooper

Nothing is impossible to the willing heart.
–Thomas Heywood

H O P E = Happy Our Program Exists.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

EXPERIENCE

“Experience is not what happens
to a man. It is what a man does
with what happens to him.”
— Aldous Huxley

Today I experience the joy of sobriety. Today I experience God in my world. Today I
experience the peace and serenity that for years eluded me.

Experience is the key. It locates all that is in my life. Experience allows me to
appreciate what living is all about.

Love is to be felt. Forgiveness is to be experienced. Humility is to be lived in action.
Hope is to be recognized in the brightness of the eye.

Life is to be experienced. That is spirituality.

May the God that I experience be reflected in daily life.

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

“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Revelation 7:17

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.”
Psalm 40:1

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth
in Thee.
Isaiah 26:3

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,
considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 3:17


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

Daily Inspiration

You will not create a new life by simply forgetting the old one. Lord, help me create new values and new goals so that I will become a peaceful spirit which will bring newness and freshness to my life and allow me to greet the day with enthusiasm.

Never underestimate the power of your presence nor your ability to comfort and encourage. Lord, thank You for my opportunities to do Your work.

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

NA Just For Today

Walking Through The Pain

“We never have to use again, no matter how we feel. All feelings will eventually pass.”
Basic Text p. 79

It hurts like never before. You get out of bed after a sleepless night, talk to God, and still don’t feel any better. “It will pass;” a little voice tells you. “When?” you wonder, as you pace and mutter and get on with your day.

You sob in your car and turn the radio all the way up so you can’t hear your own thoughts. But you go straight to work, and don’t even think about using drugs.

Your insides feel as though they’ve been torched. Just when the pain becomes unbearable, you go numb and silent. You go to a meeting and wish you were as happy as other members seem to be. But you don’t relapse.

You cry some more and call your sponsor. You drive to a friend’s house and don’t even notice the beautiful scenery because your inner landscape is so bleak. You may not feel any better after visiting your friend-but at least you didn’t visit the connection instead.

You listen to a Fifth Step. You share at a meeting. You look at the calendar and realize you’ve gotten through another day clean.

Then one day you wake up, look outside, and realize it’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. You take a deep breath, smile again, and know that it really does pass.

Just for today: No matter how I feel today, I’ll go on with my recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Down in a green and shady bed
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.
–Jane Taylor
Shyness can be painful. Those of us who are shy do not choose to be this way. There are no quick and easy solutions to shyness, but it isn’t the worst thing that could happen to us. And there are some things we can do about it. We can be willing to talk about it with someone we trust. We can exercise to build strength and self-confidence, and we can avoid dwelling on the problem. Most of all, we should not let shyness keep us from doing things. We may be a little uncomfortable, but that doesn’t have to stop us from doing the task at hand to the best of our ability.
We can be assured that the ability to succeed is within us, and keep in mind that, if we offer love to those around us, their answering love will help us overcome our shyness.
What am I no longer too shy to try today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
You cannot devalue the body and value the soul – or value anything else. The isolation of the body sets it into direct conflict with everything else in creation. –Wendell Berry
Our bodies are part of creation as much as trees, lakes, mountains, flowers, and animals. Part of our growth into full manhood is treating ourselves respectfully. It is a spiritual practice to be fully accepting, active, and alive physically.
We can no longer be content to be only spectator sportsmen in front of the television set. We need to get our own muscles moving. What we take in as food expresses the level of respect we feel for ourselves. Our sexual expressions reflect the value we feel for our own bodies and our partners’. Our spiritual feelings become part of all the basic details of our lives.
Today, I stand in God’s creation as a physical body. My spiritual experience includes all the ways I care for and accept my body.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I think happiness is like the effect on an audience (when acting), if you think of it all the time you will not get it, you must get lost in the part, lost in your purposes and let the effect be the criterion of your success. –Joanna Field
Happiness is a gift that accompanies every instance of our lives if we approach each situation with gratitude, knowing that what’s offered to us is special to our particular needs. The experiences we meet day to day are honing our Spirit, tempering our hard edges. For these we should offer gratitude.
Our well-being is the gift. Deciding what will make us happy, in fact, what we must have to be happy, prevents us from grasping the unexpected pleasure of the “chance” events of the moment. When we intently look for what we think we need, we may well be blind to more beneficial opportunities God has chosen for us.
Our self-centeredness hinders every breath we take. It prejudices every encounter. It stifles our creative potential. And most of all, it blocks any chance for a spontaneous reaction to the moment. Spontaneity is the breeding ground for creative living. And happiness is the byproduct.
Happiness is my decision, every moment.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Grief and Action
Trust in God and do something. –Mary Lyon
It’s important to let ourselves grieve as a passage between yesterday and tomorrow. But we do not have to be controlled unduly by our grief, or our pain.
There are times when we have grieved, surrendered to the heaviness, tiredness, and weariness of a circumstance long enough. It becomes time to break out. It comes time to take action.
We will know when it’s time to break the routine of grieving. There will be signs within and around us. We will become tired of the heaviness. An idea will occur; an opportunity will present itself. We may think: No. Too much effort… Do it anyway. Try something. Reach out. Stretch. Do something unusual, something different, and something special.
A new activity may help trigger the transformation process. Stay up two hours later than usual! Make an appointment to do something for yourself that is different from what you usually do. Visit someone you haven’t seen in years. Do something to encourage and help the new energy coming your way.
We may not feel like breaking out of grief. It may feel safer, easier, to remain in our cocoon. Begin pushing out anyway.
Test the walls of your cocoon. Push. Push a little harder. It may be time to emerge.
Today, I will trust God and the process, but I will also take action to help myself feel better.

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

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Journey to the Heart

Discover the Power of Loving Yourself

Sometimes it’s hard to trust life with all its sudden twists, turns, and storms. When something unexpected or painful happens, when we become blocked or frustrated, when life takes a different course than we hoped it would, it’s easy to stop trusting the flow of our lives. I didn’t ask for this. It’s not fair. I don’t want this, we think. This road isn’t leading anywhere, at least nowhere I want to go. Often, when we feel life has turned on us, we respond by turning on ourselves. But turning on ourselves doesn’t help. In fact, it can compound the situation. It can prevent us from hearing and acting on the very guidance that will lead us through, get us through, and take us to the next place. It can prevent us from hearing our heart.

Keep loving yourself, and taking care of yourself, no matter what– through the storms,the twists, the turns, and the blocks. Take a moment, breathe deep, restore yourself to that sacred place of self-love and self-responsibility. Feel all your feelings. Then let them go. Love yourself until you can hear your heart and what it tells you to do. Love yourself until you find the courage to act on that guidance.

Loving yourself is a powerful tool, a powerful force for change. It can reconnect you to creativity, to universal love, to the best possible flow of events within your life. It can and will reconnect you to life’s magic.

There is a trustworthy road through whatever life brings. Loving yourself will help you find it.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Undo your mistakes

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” This is the Tenth Step of the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step program. It’s also a step that many wise people not working a program practice,too.

Sometimes the mistakes we make are teeny, tiny ones. We say something that hurts another person. Or we behave in a way we know is inappropriate, and we feel badly about it. Sometimes the mistakes are bigger. We may have taken a job or gotten ourselves into a relationship thinking it was a good idea only to discover later that it wasn’t.

For whatever the reasons motivating us at the time, we made a mistake. We took a wrong turn on the path, and the direction we’re going isn’t where we meant to go and isn’t where we want to be. Or we’ve arrived at a dead end.

Step Ten is part of the program, one-twelfth of the program, because someone knew we were going to need it, maybe one-twelfth of the time. The words I’m sorry are in our language because we’ve developed a need for that phrase,too.

Not making amends can damage our relationships. When pride or shame prevent us from making amends, we close our hearts to God, ourselves, and the people we love.

Admit your mistake. Take any actions necessary to correct the situation for yourself and the people involved.

Just open your heart and say these five words: I’m sorry. I was wrong.

Then let it go and get one with your life. Have the courage to do what you need to do to get on track with your life.

God, help me admit to myself, you, and others when I’m wrong and have made a mistake– whether it’s a small one or a major wrong turn in my life. Then, help me to undo my actions and get back on track again.

*****

Decorating Life
The World as Home

There are few things more thrilling than having a new house or an empty room to decorate. Our imaginations soar as we consider the many possibilities. In the same way, our lives offer us the opportunity to express ourselves within various contexts, to ask ourselves questions about what we want to see as we move through our days and how we want things to flow. Some people do this instinctively, moving through the various environments they inhabit and shifting the energy with their presence. These people have a knack for decorating life. This can be as simple as the way they dress, the way they speak, or the fact that they always bring a bouquet of wildflowers when they come for a visit.

As we move through the world, we make a statement, whether we intend to or not. We shift the energy one way when we enter a room dressed elegantly and simply, and another when we show up in bright, cheerful colors and a floppy hat. One is not better than the other. It is simply a question of the mood we wish to create. What we wear is just one choice we can focus on. The way we speak to people, or touch them, shifts the energy more profoundly than almost anything else. The words we speak and the tone in which we say them are the music we choose to play in the world that is our home. Some of us fill the space with passionate arias, others with healing hymns. Again, one is not better than the other. We are all called to contribute.

Just as we consciously create an environment within our homes, we can consciously choose to decorate life itself with our particular energy. Ideally, in doing so, we express our deeper selves, so that the adornments we add to the world make it more meaningful, more beautiful, and as welcoming as a beloved home. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Many of us in The Program stubbornly cling to false ideas and positions simply because we fear we’d be left defenseless if we admitted having been wrong. The thought of “backing down” still seems distasteful to some of us. But we come to learn that our self-esteem soars when we’re able to push pride into the background and truly face the facts. Chances are that people with true humility have more genuine self-esteem than those of us who are repeatedly victimized by pride. Does pride deviously keep me from thorough and continuing attention to the Tenth Step?

Today I Pray

May pride stay out of my way, now that I’ve found a road to follow. May I avoid that familiar, destructive cycle of pride — the ego that balloons up out of all proportion and then deflates with a fizzle. May I learn the value of “backing down.”

Today I Will Remember

Pride is the arch-enemy of self-esteem.

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

One More Day

The People plan and God laughs.
–Yiddish Proverb

Through the ages our ancestors have recognized that sometimes what happens is due to a purely random selection. Natural disasters occur, accidents happen, and people are in the wrong places at the wrong times.

But what about being in the right place at the right time? It’s not very often that we hear those stories. We hear about trade dies and real triumphs. What we don’t hear are stories about people like us, who struggle along, doing the best they can, hoping for a break. We have learned there are times to let go of unrealistic plans and to let our Higher Power have a hand in our lives. By letting go we create our own well-being.

I make my plans and hope for success, knowing there is a Power greater than me who has the final word.

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

Food For Thought

Escape into Sleep

After we stop eating compulsively, we may be tempted to use sleep as a form of escape. Though not as detrimental as excess food, too much sleep can also make us lethargic and dull. The danger lies in allowing ourselves to escape the realities of living, rather than coping with them.

We all need adequate rest in order to feel good and function efficiently. Sleep becomes an escape, however, if we take long daytime naps instead of finding worthwhile and enjoyable activities. Just as we may have overeaten because of boredom, we may oversleep because we have nothing better to do.

Our Higher Power has a plan for the time and talents He gives us. It is our job to discover how and where we can best serve God and each other. With the new life we are given in OA goes the responsibility to use it productively. Since this is the only life we have, we do not choose to sleep it away. By facing our problems with the help of this program, we learn how to deal with them.

Deliver me from indolence.

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One Day At A Time

~ Aging ~
Those who love deeply never grow old;
they may die of old age, but they die young.
Benjamin Franklin

I used to be afraid of getting older. I was also afraid to become friends with older people, because I would come to love them and then they would die. I could not handle unpleasant feelings (other than if I overate to stop feeling them) because the feeling of unpleasantness would totally devastate me.

In working the Twelve Step program, my Higher Power has brought me great recovery in this area … I am now able to handle the grief and sorrow that come up when I allow myself to get to know and love older people and then they die. I am now free in this area! I get to enjoy the wisdom and beauty that they have to share, from all their life experiences, and from the beautiful people they are!

Another beautiful gift from my Higher Power came when I started relating to older people again. When the first one died, it really threw me, and I was very sad. But I got up the next day and had a great spiritual awakening: this person was missing and that was sad, but I looked around and saw all the other wonderful people still there in my life, with whom I got to share another day! Life suddenly became much more precious to me … to have one more day to be with and share with someone who touches my soul!

One Day at a Time . . .
I enjoy myself as I become older. I allow myself to enjoy friendships with those who are older than me. I thank my Higher Power for every day and every moment of precious life!
~ Lynne ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

A Return to Living

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

I create my own self.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

It begins with me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Going to any lengths are our strengths.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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

AA Thought for the Day

November 17

Depression
My depression deepened unbearably and finally it seemed to me as though I were at the very bottom of the pit.
I still gagged badly on the notion of a Power greater than myself, but finally, just for the moment,
the last vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed.
All at once I found myself crying out, “If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!”
Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. I was caught into an ecstasy which there are no words to describe.
It seemed to me, in the mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing.
And then it burst upon me that I was a free man.
(Bill W., AA co-founder)
– Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, p. 63

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

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

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

Affirmation!
“Taking advantage of technological advances, for example,
AA members with computers
can participate in meetings online,
sharing with fellow alcoholics across the country
or around the world.
Fundamentally, though, the difference between
an electronic meeting and the home group around the corner
is only one of format.
In any meeting, anywhere, AA’s share experience,
strength, and hope with each other,
in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics.
Modem-to-modem or face-to-face,
AA’s speak the language of the heart
in all its power and simplicity.”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, Foreword to Fourth Edition, p. xxiv

Thought to Consider . . .
AA is where “we” make miracles.

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

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

Baffling Feature
From: “More About Alcoholism”
For those who are unable to drink moderately the question is how to stop altogether. We are assuming, of course, that the reader desires to stop. Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not. Many of us felt that we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it – this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 34

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

“Few of us will ever be famous, but we can all be great because we serve each other.”
McAllen, TX, October 1997
“Internal Restoration,”
Thank You for Sharing

~*~*~*~*^ 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~

“Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.”
Alcoholics Anonymous Foreword to the Third Edition

It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.566

Where humility had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient which can give us serenity.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.74

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

As the doubter tries the process of prayer, he should begin to add up the results. If he persists, he will almost surely find more serenity, more tolerance, less fear, and less anger. He will acquire a quiet courage, the kind that isn’t tension-ridden. He can look at ‘failure’ and ‘success’ for what these really are. Problems and calamity will begin to mean his instruction, instead of his destruction. He will feel freer and saner.
The idea that he may have been hypnotizing himself by auto-suggestion will become laughable. His sense of purpose and of direction will increase. His anxieties will commence to fade. His physical health will be likely to improve. Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to happen. Twisted relations in his family and on the outside will improve surprisingly.

Prayer for the Day: Recovery Prayer – Today and every day, I pray to be ever mindful that recovery is the most important thing in my life, without exception. I may believe my job, or my home life, or one of many other things, comes first. But if I don’t stay with the Program, chances are I won’t have a job, a family, sanity, or even life. If I am convinced that everything in life depends on my recovery, I have a much better chance of improving my life. If I put other things first, I am only hurting my chances.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 16th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Nov 16th

Daily Reflections

 

A DAILY REPRIEVE

What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual
condition.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

Maintaining my spiritual condition is like working out every day, planning for the
marathon, swimming laps, jogging. It’s staying in good shape spiritually, and that requires
prayer and meditation. The single most important way for me to improve my conscious
contact with a Higher Power is to pray and meditate. I am as powerless over alcohol as I
am to turn back the waves of the sea; no human force had the power to overcome my
alcoholism. Now I am able to breathe the air of joy, happiness and wisdom. I have the
power to love and react to events around me with the eyes of a faith in things that are not
readily apparent. My daily reprieve means that, no matter how difficult or painful
things appear today, I can draw on the power of the program to stay liberated from my
cunning, baffling and powerful illness.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I have got rid of most of my inner conflicts. I was always at war with myself. I was doing
things that I did not want to do. I was waking up in strange places and wondering how I
got there. I was full of recklessness when I was drunk and full of remorse when I was
sober. My life didn’t make sense. It was full of broken resolves and frustrated hopes and
plans. I was getting nowhere fast. No wonder my nerves were all shot. I was bumping up
against a blank wall and I was dizzy from it. A.A. taught me how to get organized and to
stop fighting against myself. Have I got rid of inner conflicts?

Meditation For The Day

“When two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”
The spirit of God comes upon His followers when they are all together at one time, in one
place, and with one accord. When two or three consecrated souls are together at a
meeting place, the spirit of God is there to help and guide them. Where any sincere group
of people are together, reverently seeking the help of God, His power and His spirit are
there to inspire them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be in accord with the members of my group.
I pray that I may feel the strength of a consecrated group.


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

As Bill Sees It

Forgiveness, p. 318

Through the vital Fifth Step, we began to get the feeling that we could
be forgiven, no matter what we had thought or done.

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.

Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round forgiveness was
desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that
we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too.

12 & 12, pp. 57-58

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

Walk In Dry Places

Continuing to follow
A child learning to ride a bicycle discovers that it only take gentle pedaling to keep the bike in motion. The more difficult task was getting on the bike and maintaining a straight course in the right direction.
Staying sober in AA seems to be  the same kind of thing. It may take a lot of effort and self-honesty to establish sobriety, but a routine of simple steps can keep it going on a daily basis.  For most people, daily meditations and regular attendance at meetings are enough to maintain a straight course in the right direction.
The danger comes when  people become too lazy or careless to take even these simple steps.  Then, like a bike losing forward momentum, they can wobble and fall.
Even at the point of wobbling, one can get a bike up to speed again and gain stability. This is something to remember if we find our own sobriety becoming wobbly.
Nothing can be so important today that it keeps me from doing the simple things needed for continuous sobriety.  I’ll remember the bike.

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

Keep It Simple

Pray for powers equal to your task.—Phillips Brooks
Our task is to stay sober and to help others who still suffer from addiction. We will need patience and understanding. We will need much love. Most of all, we’ll need to work a strong program.
Pray that you come to know the Steps well. Pray that you’ll want to help others—always. Pray for these things, and you’ll have a strong program. In the program, we learn that prayer works. We see prayer change our lives and the lives of those around us. We came to know the power of prayer.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I pray for knowledge of Your will for me and the power to carry it out.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll admit my needs by praying for help from my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Rigidity is prevented most of the time as love and compassion mesh us into tolerant human beings.  –Kaethe S. Crawford
Looking outward with love, offering it freely to our friends and family, makes fluid, flowing, and fertile our existence. Each expression of love engenders more love, keeping tender our ties to one another, encouraging more ties.
The more flexible our lives, the more easily we’ll be attracted to an unexpected opportunity. And flexibility is fostered by a loving posture. As we approach the world, so it greets us. We are not mere recipients of life’s trials and tribulations. We find what our eyes are wanting to see. When our focus is rigid and narrow, so are our opportunities.
The Steps are leading us to be freer with our love, more tolerant in our expectations. The level of our compassion, fully felt and fully expressed, is the measure of our emotional health. Rigid attitudes, rigid behavior, rigid expectations of others recede as the level of our emotional health rises. Our approach to life changes and so do the results we meet.
I will love others. It’s my only assignment in life, and it guarantees the security I crave.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 – To Employers

It boils right down to this: No man should be fired just because he is alcoholic. If he wants to stop, he should be afforded a real chance. If he cannot or does not want to stop, he should be discharged. The exceptions are few.

p. 148

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”

Blackouts began, vacant places in my life when hours would disappear, lost to memory. The first time was after I’d given a dinner party. The next morning I woke up without remembering that I’d told my guests goodnight and gone to bed myself. I searched the apartment for clues. The table was cluttered with dessert glasses and coffee cups. Bottles were empty, and the glasses too. (It was my custom to polish off any drinks that were left.) My last memory was sometime during diner. Did we ever finish? But there were the plates. I was terrified that I’d done something horrendous, until my friends called to tell me they enjoyed the evening.

p. 340

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Though in some cases we cannot make restitution at all, and in some cases action ought to be deferred, we should nevertheless make an accurate and really exhaustive survey of our past life as it has affected other people. In many instances we shall find that though the harm done others has not been great, the emotional harm we have done ourselves has. Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. At the time of these occurrences, they may actually have given our emotions violent twists which have since discolored our personalities and altered our lives for the worse.

pp. 79-80

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

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love
what you are doing, you will be successful.
–Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

If I have the opportunity to help one person today, I’ll have done something
worthwhile if I’ve helped at least one person today.
–RJabo3

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?
–unknown

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

A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change.

“If you were walking back from a well, carrying a bucket of water & someone jostled you,
there could be spilled from the bucket only that which it contained. As you walk along the
way of life, people are constantly bumping into you. If your heart is full of ill nature, bad
temper, and ugly disposition, only those things will be spilled from it. On the other hand, if
it is full of love, you will spill a smile or pleasant remark. You can spill from your bucket
only that which it contains.”
–Author Unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FRIENDSHIP

“True friendship comes when
silence between two people is
comfortable.
— Dave Tyson Gentry

Part of the spiritual life that awakens serenity is silence or stillness. “Be still and
know that I am God.” I believe that true friendship is divine. It is a special love that
binds two hearts as one. It is a comfortableness that is the opposite of dis-ease.
Friendship is necessary to recovery and it involves the sharing of feelings. Often
the feelings are silent; unspoken emotions; cherished moments that exist in
“word-less-ness”.

As a recovering alcoholic, I have a thousand friends who attest to the silent witness of
love by simply being there.

Thank You for the joy of friendship that grows in silence.

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

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.”
Lamentations 3:22

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness,
peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17

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

Daily Inspiration

Life is a challenge so accept it for what it truly is. Lord, help me face what today brings with energy, determination and a joy that allows me to take control.

Pray about every task that you take on today and don’t take on those tasks which you have no time to pray about. Lord, tonight I will rest well because today You and I will accomplish many things. Thank You for Your constant blessings in my life.

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

NA Just For Today

Alone No More

“We gradually and carefully pull ourselves out of the isolation and loneliness of addiction and into the mainstream of life.”
Basic Text p. 35

Many of us spent much of our using time alone, avoiding other people – especially people who were not using – at all costs. After years of isolation, trying to find a place for ourselves in a bustling, sometimes boisterous fellowship is not always easy. We may still feel isolated, focusing on our differences rather than our similarities. The overwhelming feelings that often arise in early recovery-feelings of fear, anger, and mistrust-can also keep us isolated. We may feel like aliens but we must remember, the alienation is ours, not NA’s.

In Narcotics Anonymous, we are offered a very special opportunity for friendship. We are brought together with people who understand us like no one else can. We are encouraged to share with these people our feelings, our problems, our triumphs, and our failures. Slowly, the recognition and identification we find in NA bridge the lonely gap of alienation in our hearts. As we’ve heard it said – the program works, if we let it.

Just for today: The friendship of other members of the fellowship is a life-sustaining gift. I will reach out for the friendship that’s offered in NA, and accept it.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
One is forever throwing away substance for shadows. –Jennie Jerome Churchill
Sometimes we trade possessions with our friends. Maybe we want to add to our collection, or perhaps we just do it to get someone to like us. But if we try to buy friendship, we’ll be sad later when we realize we’ve lost a prized possession and not gained a friend.
Our friendships come when we least expect them, often with people who have something in common with us. They will not be friendships we have to buy, but relationships to treasure and have for years. These friendships will teach us to respect ourselves and our friends.
Am I making good friends, or bad trades?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A wise man never loses anything if he have himself. –Montaigne
As recovering men, perhaps we have learned more fully what it means to have ourselves because we know the extremes of losing ourselves. In the past we weren’t honest with others, or ourselves we didn’t have our self-respect, and our compulsive actions violated our values. In that condition, we were incapable of believing in ourselves or of standing up for ourselves. Some of us felt like phonies or nobodies.
In this program we pray for wisdom, and it comes to us as we take possession of ourselves. We develop a better match between our inner feelings and our outer actions. We become willing to make choices, and we are able to take a stand based on our personal feelings and hunches. The things we possess like our gadgets, our cars, or our audio equipment are just temporary. Our integrity, our selves, can never be taken from us.
Today, I am grateful for the growing feeling within that who I am and what I believe is acceptable to me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Rigidity is prevented most of the time as love and compassion mesh us into tolerant human beings. –Kaethe S. Crawford
Looking outward with love, offering it freely to our friends and family, makes fluid, flowing, and fertile our existence. Each expression of love engenders more love, keeping tender our ties to one another, encouraging more ties.
The more flexible our lives, the more easily we’ll be attracted to an unexpected opportunity. And flexibility is fostered by a loving posture. As we approach the world, so it greets us. We are not mere recipients of life’s trials and tribulations. We find what our eyes are wanting to see. When our focus is rigid and narrow, so are our opportunities.
The Steps are leading us to be freer with our love, more tolerant in our expectations. The level of our compassion, fully felt and fully expressed, is the measure of our emotional health. Rigid attitudes, rigid behavior, rigid expectations of others recede as the level of our emotional health rises. Our approach to life changes and so do the results we meet.
I will love others. It’s my only assignment in life, and it guarantees the security I crave.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
The Victim Trap
The belief that life has to be hard and difficult in the belief that makes a martyr.
We can change our negative beliefs about life, and whether we have the power to stop our pain and take care of ourselves.
We aren’t helpless. We can solve our problems. We do have power – not to change or control others, but to solve the problems that are ours to solve.
Using each problem that comes our way to “prove” that life is hard and we are helpless – this is codependency. It’s the victim trap.
Life does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be smooth. Life is good. We don’t have to “awfulize” it, or ourselves. We don’t have to live on the underside.
We do have power, more power than we know, even in the difficult times. And the difficult times don’t prove life is bad; they are part of the ups and downs of life; often, they work out for the best.
We can change our attitude; we can change ourselves; sometimes, we can change our circumstances.
Life is challenging. Sometimes, there’s more pain than we asked for; sometimes, there’s more joy than we imagined.
It’s all part of the package, and the package is good.
We are not victims of life. We can learn to remove ourselves as victims of life. By letting go of our belief that life has to be hard and difficult, we make our life much easier.
Today, God, help me let go of my belief that life is so hard, so awful, or so difficult. Help me replace that belief with a healthier, more realistic view.

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

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

Journey to the Heart

It’s Safe to Open Your Heart

You don’t have to be so afraid to love. You don’t have to fear losing your soul. You learned that lesson. It’s in the past. That doesn’t mean that people won’t try to control or manipulate you. Doesn’t mean that at times, you won’t try to control or manipulate them. Doesn’t mean that people with problems, agendas, addictions, and issues won’t sometimes come into your life. They may.

But the lessons of the past are yours, yours to keep. It may take you a moment to remember, but you will. Be gentle with yourself. Open up slowly, carefully, as you’re able.

It’s not that life and people are different, although how we see life and view people probably has changed. We’re different. We’ve learned about our powers. We’ve learned to take care of ourselves. We’ve learned how capable we really are.

Don’t be so afraid to love. Now it’s time to learn about the powers of the heart.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Be persistent

Earlier in this book, I talked about little drops of rain, over the years, could wear pockets and indentations into stones. I used this as an analogy to demonstrate how negative influences could wear away our resolve.

It goes both ways.

When I was first in recovery, one of the treatment center staff gave me one good quality about myself when I couldn’t see or find anything about myself to like.

“You’re persistent,” he said.

“Yes,” I thought. “You’re right. I am.”

I also thought if I took one-half the energy I used doing destructive things and channeled it into doing positive activities, there wouldn’t be anything in the world I couldn’t do.

Most of us are persistent. We persistently dwell. We have persistently tried to change what we cannot, usually a circumstance or someone else’s behavior. Take that energy, that persistence, that deoermination, that almost obsessive resolve, and persevere with the things you can do.

Don’t push.

Let go of concern about the seemingly impossible tasks in your life. Softly, steadily, like the rain, let your kind spirit naturally remove the obstacles in your path.

Life is better when we flow.

But sometimes it takes persistent flow to change the things we can.

Enough water, persistently applied, can be more powerful than rock.

God, grant me the courage to persevere and the strength to persist.

*****

You are reading from the book Food for Thought.

Alive to Truth

Being alive to truth requires being in touch with ourselves and with our Higher Power. It requires that we value spiritual truth more than material things. We come to realize that the insights and emotional growth we gain through this program are more valuable than the things we used to think we had to have.

Being alive to truth involves living each present moment. If we are obsessed with the past or preoccupied with the future, we will miss the truth of now. Today we can be who we are and give of our best in whatever situation we find ourselves.

Our Higher Power promises that if we ask for truth, we shall receive it. It will be found when we seek it more than status, money, or physical comfort. When we are alive to truth, we are open to the source of Power, which will never let us down.

Today, I will be alive to truth.

*****

Leaving a Positive Footprint
Blessing Space by Madisyn Taylor

We can bless each space we enter leaving a sweet energetic footprint behind.

Physical space acts like a sponge, absorbing the radiant of all who pass through it. And, more likely than not, the spaces we move through each day have seen many people come and go. We have no way of knowing whether the energy footprints left behind by those who preceded us will invigorate us or drain us. Yet we can control the energy footprint we leave behind for others. In blessing each space we enter, we orchestrate a subtle energy shift that affects not only our own experiences in that space but also the experiences of the individuals who will enter the space after us. While we may never see the effects our blessing has had, we can take comfort in the fact that we have provided grace for those that follow after us.

When you bless a room or an entire building, you leave a powerful message of love and light for all those who will come after you. Your blessings thus have myriad effects on the environments through which you pass. Old, stagnant energy is cleared, creating a vacuum into which fresh and invigorating energy can freely flow. The space is thus rendered harmonious and nourishing, and it becomes a hub from which positive feelings are transmitted. Intent is the key component of the blessings you leave in your physical wake. If your intent involves using your own consciousness as a tool for selflessly spreading grace, your blessings will never go awry. Whether you feel more comfortable performing a solo blessing or prefer to call upon your spirit guides for assistance, visualize each space you enter becoming free of toxins, chaos, and negativity as you speak your blessing. Then imagine the resultant emptiness being replaced by pure, healing white light and loving energy. Even a quic! k mindful thought of love can bless a space.

This type of blessing is cumulative and will grow each time you bestow it. Try blessing every home, business, and office you visit for an entire week and observing the effects of your goodwill. Your affirmative energy footprint will help brighten your day as you contemplate your blessing’s future impact on your siblings in humanity and your environment. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We sometimes hear humility defined as the state of being “teachable.” In that sense, most of us in The Program who are able to stay free of active addiction have acquired at least a smattering of humility, or we never would have learned to stay away from the first drink, the first tranquilizer, the first “side bet,” and similar destructive acts for those of us who are powerless over our respective addictions. Do I see increasing humility as a pathway to continuing improvements?

Today I Pray

Now that I have made a start at developing humility, may I keep it up. May I open my self to the will of God and the suggestions of my friends in the group. May I remain teachable, confrontable, receptive and conscious that I must stay that way in order to be healthy.

Today I Will Remember

To remain confrontable.

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

One More Day

The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.
– Jim Bishop

Perhaps we spend too much time looking into mirrors and being critical of what we see. There is no stage in life when we are wholly contented with what we see, but as we mature we gradually recognize that our lives are multidimensional. Now we know that there will be periods of time when we are more pensive, more introspective — and times when life will just roll along, with no concern from us.

Acceptance of our appearance gives us the time and energy to work on our inner selves. We look to the future by trying to prepare, and we live in the present by understanding that what we look like is not of important as what we do.

Today, I will decide which changes can give me and others the most joy.

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

Food For Thought

Alive To Truth

Being alive to truth requires being in touch with ourselves and with our Higher Power.  It requires that we value spiritual truth more than material things.  We come to realize that the insights and emotional growth we gain through this program are more valuable than the things we used to think we had to have.
Being alive to truth involves living each present moment.  If we are obsessed with the past or preoccupied with the future, we will miss the truth of now.  Today we can be who we are and give of our best in whatever situation we find ourselves.

Our Higher Power promises that if we ask for truth, we shall we receive it.  It will be found when we seek it more than status, or money, or physical comfort.  When we are alive to truth, we let open the resource of Power which will never let us down.

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

One Day At A Time

HONESTY
“Whatever games are played with us,
we must play no games with ourselves,
but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I began to study step one in OA I learned that the principle behind the step was honesty. That was difficult for me because I had spent so much time lying to myself and others about my eating. I was so ashamed of my eating habits and behaviors that when asked about them, it never occurred to me to tell the truth. I couldn’t conceive of being accepted, or even cared for, if anyone knew the truth.

Then I came into the program and began to hear people share. The denial and shell of lies began to melt. For the first time I found myself in a fellowship where I felt like I could tell the truth because I was surrounded by people whose stories were similar to mine. Most importantly, the people in the fellowship loved me and cared for me when I told my truth, no matter how ugly it seemed to me. I call this the magic of the fellowship. It makes me want to be that kind of loving, caring person for the newcomer taking his or her first step.

One day at a time…
I will honestly confront the reality of my compulsive eating, knowing that I am in a fellowship where I am unconditionally loved and cared for.
~ Carolyn H.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Learning from Life

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

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

November 16

A New Happiness
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-84

Thought to Ponder . . .
Happiness is part of the journey, not some distant destination.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
T H I N K = The Happiness I Never Knew.

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

Meditation
“We liked AA all right,
and were quick to say that it had done miracles.
But we recoiled from meditation and prayer
as obstinately as the scientist who refused to perform
a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong.
Of course, we finally did experiment,
and when unexpected results followed, we felt different;
in fact we knew different;
and so were sold on meditation and prayer.
And that, we have found, can happen to anybody who tries.
It has been said that ‘almost the only scoffers at prayer
are those who never tried it enough.’ ”
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 97

Thought to Consider . . .
Meditation means trusting the silence around me for a while,
as if it were an answer I had long sought.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Finding Answers In The Heart

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

Caring
>From “Brothers in Our Defects”:
“The identification that one alcoholic has with another is mysterious, spiritual almost incomprehensible. But it is there. I ‘feel’ it. Today I feel that I can help people and that they can help me.
“It is a new and exciting feeling for me to care for someone; to care what they are feeling, hoping for, praying for; to know their sadness, joy, horror, sorrow, grief; to want to share those feelings so that someone can have relief.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 118

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

“Times change, alcoholism doesn’t.”
Marysville, Wash., September 2001
“The Same Chance I Had,”
Voices of Long-Term Sobriety

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

“We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. ‘Do I now
believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power
greater than myself?’ As soon as a man can say that he does believe,
or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on
his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this
simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be
built.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 47

“Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly”
Alcoholics Anonymous p.85

We must take the lead.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.83

They do not drive by mandate; they lead by example.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.135

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show and is forever trying to arrange the lights, 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.
What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying.
Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be useful? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well?

Prayer for the Day: Prayer to Know – Grant it to me, Higher Power:
To know that which is worth knowing,
To love that which is worth loving,
To praise that which pleases You most,
To work for that which helps others,
Grant it to me:
To distinguish with true judgment things that differ, and above all to search out, and to do what is most pleasing to You.