Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 13th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 13th

Daily Reflections

THINKING OF OTHERS

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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As Bill Sees It

Compelling Love, p.273

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

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

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

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

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


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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

p. 158

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

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

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

p. 349

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 92

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SUFFERING

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

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

God, may my sufferings keep me real.

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Membership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Learn to Live with Ambiguity

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of afflicted emotional streams

Step out of afflicted streams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Greeting the Divine Spirit
Bowing by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Find the fixed stars and fix on them.

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One More Day

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

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

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

Trying again means I give myself room to grow.

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Food For Thought

Accepting Emptiness

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Learning My Own Lessons

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

My lessons come from my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Talk does not cook rice.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 12th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 12th

Daily Reflections

A COMMON SOLUTION

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

Going It Alone, p. 274

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

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

12 & 12, p. 60

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

pp. 157-158

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

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

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

p. 349

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 91-92

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

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

I can’t do His will my way.
–unknown

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PRINCIPLES

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

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

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

Help me to practice the principles I believe in.

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

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

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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Fear Of Change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Protect Your Energy

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Create an extraordinary life

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re richer than you think.

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

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Finding Your Pinnacle
Mountain Meditation by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

God teaches me how to trust.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

Meal by Meal

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

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

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

Keep me abstinent, meal-by-meal.

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

The Work of Living

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

I am held and open to divine instruction

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Practice makes progress.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 11th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 11th

Daily Reflections

A GENUINE HUMILITY

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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As Bill Sees It

We Need Outside Help, p.248

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

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

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

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

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


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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

p. 157

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

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

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

p. 348

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 91

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TODAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Misery Is Optional

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Make Time to Play

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Touch and taste your life

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

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

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

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

Revel in the experience you’re going through. Feel, touch, and taste each moment of your life. Then be aware of how exquisitely beautiful it is.

What’s you’re experience right now?

God, help me be aware of the beauty and power that flows through this universe. Help me remember how connected I am to that beauty and power through each experience I’ve been given.

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Blessing Our Bodies
Self-Body Scan by Madisyn Taylor

We can detect subtle changes in our own bodies by performing our own energy scan on a regular basis.

As the living vehicles for our spirits, our bodies deserve loving attention and care. We can positively affect our health, prevent illness, and heal injuries by regularly focusing our mental and spiritual energy on the workings of our bodies. This can be done by performing a body scan on yourself.

Begin by lying in a comfortable position and taking three deep cleansing breaths. Imagine, if you will, a sunbeam entering the top of your head. Feel this light slowly scanning each part of your internal body. Allow it to scan every cell in your body and keep breathing. Every time you exhale, blow out negative energy you may feel. Notice any changes in your body. Sensations may vary from person to person. You may feel a shift in body temperature, see a color or flash of light, or hear a voice offering you guidance. If you feel a block in a certain area of your body, sit with that block and feel into it. Ask your body why that block is there and what you need to do to release it. Try not to judge or analyze the wisdom that comes to you. Often, we experience energy blocks in our body because our body is trying to tell us something. You may want to breathe into that area until you feel the block dissolving. When you have finished your scan, take one last deep breath and exhal! e any energetic residue that you are ready to release.

The body doesn’t lie, and it has much wisdom to share with us. Any injuries or blocks that exist in our bodies are there so that we can learn from having them in our bodies. An existing injury can teach us to slow down or help us recognize that something is out of balance in our bodies. The more you scan your body, the better you will become at it. If you sense that something is not right in your body, you may want to visit a doctor and tell them about your experience. When you have finished your scan, don’t forget to thank your wonderful, amazing body. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Before I came to The Program — in fact, before I knew of The Program’s existence — I drifted from crisis to crisis. Occasionally, I tried to use my will to chart a new course; however, like a rudderless ship, I inevitably foundered once again on the rocks of my own despair. Today, in contrast, I receive guidance from my Higher Power. Sometimes, the only answer is a sense of peace or an assurance that all is well. Even though there may be a time of waiting before I see results, or before any direct guidance comes, will I try to remain confident that things are working out in ways that will be for the greatest good of everyone concerned?

Today I Pray

May I not expect instant, verbal communication with my Higher Power, like directions on a stamped, self-addressed post-card. May I have patience, and listen, and sense that God is present. May I accept my new feelings of radiant warmth and serenity as God’s way of assuring me that I am, finally, making some good choices.

Today I Will Remember

Patience: God’s message will come.

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One More Day

I’ve heard He works with broken people, I am sick, hurting, broken. I am waiting and willing now….
– Flora E. Meredith

Sometimes life can feel so hopeless. Pain, anxiety about health, and fear can plague our thoughts. Admitting things are out of our control can be so hard. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to admit that we need help. Giving ourselves over to the care of our Higher Power is frightening when we have become used to taking care of our own needs.

The hardest job is ours, though, for we must be willing to let go of that part of ourselves that is troubled, in order to become whole once again. We must be willing to let go in order to be helped.

I have made the hardest move and placed myself into the care of my Higher Power. Now I must wait.

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Food For Thought

Setting Realistic Goals

Part of growing up is learning to set realistic goals for ourselves. Our grandiose egos used to dare us into dreaming great dreams, which led to feelings of failure when the dreams did not materialize. If we expect the impossible of ourselves, we are bound to be disappointed.

Those of us who come into OA with many pounds to lose need to be realistic about the amount of time we allow for achieving the weight loss. We also need to be realistic about the fact that we may never look like fashion models. If we expect all other problems to vanish upon the attainment of a weight goal, we are not being realistic.

Maintaining abstinence, working the Twelve Steps, and attending meetings regularly keeps us in touch with the reality of our disease. The goals we set for ourselves are determined by where we are in actuality right now. Some of us have farther to go than others. The goals we set should challenge us rather than defeat us before we begin.

Show me the goals that are realistic for me today.

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One Day At A Time

REAL LIVING
“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
Tara Morice as Fran,
(From Baz Luhrmann’s film “Strictly Ballroom”)

When I first saw this movie in 1993, it spoke volumes to my life and to my recovery. I had spent my life afraid, afraid of everything and everybody. If I crossed you, I feared your wrath. If I disappointed you, I dreaded the loss of your love. If things were going well, I wondered, often aloud, when the other shoe was going to drop. I had nowhere to go, no one to trust, nothing I could believe in, because I knew it would be taken away from me. The only safe haven I had was in the food, but I was afraid of the consequences. The biggest thing that kept me in my disease was the fear of what might be on the other side.

The bravest thing I ever did was walk through the doors of my first program meeting. I had been shamed into it by a therapist, but once I got there I sensed that my fears would be vanquished. I saw people who had been there, done that, and designed the t-shirt of fear that I was wearing. They showed me, through the Steps and Traditions, that there was more to life.

The program of recovery has taught me that a life of fear indeed is a life half-lived. Living in fear, I only succeeded in quashing the joy, the adventure, the zest for life that was naturally planted in me. It also eliminated the biggest fear … that of a Higher Power. It has given me faith, the diametric opposite of fear. Faith shined its light on the darkness of my life, and allowed me to live a fuller existence that cannot be taken from me, save for retreat into fearful despair. I am so immensely grateful for what I have been given: life, instead of mere existence.

One Day at a Time . . .
Faith in a Power greater than myself is a powerful antidote to a fearful, half-lived life. I pray to keep the light of faith shining brightly in my life.
Mark

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code. – Pg. 84 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

One of the things you can learn right now is that it is OK not to have all of the answers. For the first time in a long time, no one expects you to know anything. Enjoy it!

Let me know it is OK to not be strong. It is OK to rely on my Higher Power.

Forgiving and Moving On

As I work through the blocks in the way of my own serenity I find that I consider forgiveness as a way to release the residue of resentment and pain that live inside me from unresolved issues from the past. As I put more and more energy into my own personal growth, I find that I value my own peace of mind more than holding onto anger and hurt. I find I want to lay the sword down. It becomes too heavy in my hand, the weight of carrying it encumbers my own freedom. Today, the present I will give myself is forgiveness.

I am ready to consider forgiveness

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The consequences of being dishonest, of being a liar, is not so much that others will not believe you, as it is that you can not believe others.

‘Does what I gain by lying balance out the integrity I lose?’ (P 54, CDA First Edition)

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Surrender, don’t quit.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Self Will: An alkie ship’s captain at night sees a light dead ahead, on collision course and sends a signal; ‘Change your course, 12 degrees west.’ A signal comes back; ‘Change your’s 12 degrees east.’ The captain begins to get angry; ‘I’m a captain.’ The reply: ‘I’m a seaman, 2nd class.’ The captain is furious now: ‘I’m on a destroyer, change your course, and call me sir!’ The reply; ‘I’m on a lighthouse, your call.. sir.’ – Jack K. (Amended)

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AA Thought for the Day

December 11

Happiness
Happiness happens when results exceed expectations. Maybe this is working after all.
Deep down, there is also a warm, small ball of faith, never dimmed, unexplainable, asking nothing, but giving much.
To define it or try to bounce it would distort or destroy it. It just is, that’s all.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], pp. 187-188

Thought to Ponder . . .
True happiness is found in the journey, not the destination.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H J F = Happy, Joyous, Free.

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

Show Business
“The first requirement is that we be convinced
that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.
On that basis we are almost always in collision
with something or somebody,
even though our motives are good.
Most people try to live by self-propulsion.
Each person is like an actor
who wants to run the whole show;
is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet,
the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way.
If his arrangements would only stay put,
if only people would do as he wished,
the show would be great.
Everybody, including himself, would be pleased.
Life would be wonderful.”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 60-1

Thought to Consider . . .
I can’t do His will my way.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P R I D E = Pretty Ridiculous Individual Directing Everything

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

Promoter among Promoters
AA History
In The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. Silkworth described a patient brought to him for treatment of chronic alcoholism who had
only partially recovered from a gastric hemorrhage, and seemed to be in a pathological state of mental deterioration.
This man was Hank P. His story in the first edition of the Big Book was titled “The Unbeliever” (Experience, Strength &
Hope, page 5). Hank worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey. He was a high-pressure kind of guy. He was called a
“promoter among promoters”. He was a partner with Bill W in the Honor Dealers Car Polish Company, which they
started to earn some money while AA was still being developed.
Chapter 7 of the Big Book, “Working with Others.

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

“After endless voting on a title for the new work we had decided to call it The Way Out. But inquiry by Fritz M., our Maryland alcoholic, at The Library of Congress disclosed the fact that 12 books already bore that title. Surely we couldn’t make our book the 13th. So we named it Alcoholics Anonymous instead! Though we didn’t know it, our movement then got its name — a name which because of the implication of humility and modesty has given us our treasured spiritual principle of anonymity.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1947
“Book Publication Proved Discouraging Venture,”
The Language of the Heart

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

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

“Our hope is that many alcoholic men and women, desperately in need, will see these pages, and we believe that it is
only by fully disclosing ourselves and our problems that they will be persuaded to say, ‘Yes, I am one of them too; I must
have this thing.’”
~Alcoholics Anonymous page 29

So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.132

Having learned to live so happily, we’d show everybody else how.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.156

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It is necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about ourselves
and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been
the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and
valuable rewards than this one.
Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which
were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the
whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay – and pay handsomely.

Prayer for the Day: For Families Torn by Addiction –
We pray, O God of hope,
for all families
whose lives are torn and disrupted
by drugs and alcohol.
Enable them to identify the illness.
Strengthen them to seek help.
Bless them with the power of your love,
which imparts transformation and wholeness
to those who trust in your name.
Grant that as they walk this tortured road,
they may journey together
and bound close in the bond of love.
Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 10th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 10th

Daily Reflections

CARRYING THE MESSAGE

Now, what about the rest of the Twelfth Step? The
wonderful energy it releases and the eager action by
which it carries our message to the next suffering
alcoholic and which finally translates the Twelve Steps
into action upon all our affairs is the payoff, the
magnificent reality, of Alcoholics Anonymous.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 109

To renounce the alcoholic world is not to abandon it,
but to act upon principles I have come to love and
cherish, and to restore in others who still suffer the
serenity I have come to know. When I am truly committed
to this purpose, it matters little what clothes I wear
or how I make a living. My task is to carry the message,
and to lead by example, not design.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Our drinking fellowship was a substitute one, for lack of
something better. At the time, we did not realize what
real fellowship could be. Drinking fellowship has a fatal
fault. It is not based on a firm foundation. Most of it
is on the surface. It is based mostly on the desire to use
your companions for your own pleasure and using others is
a false foundation. Drinking fellowship has been praised
in song and story. The “cup that cheers” has become famous
as a means of companionship. But we realize that the higher
centers of our brains are dulled by alcohol and such
fellowship cannot be on the highest plane. It is at best
only a substitute.  Do I see my drinking fellowship in its proper
light?

Meditation For The Day

Set for yourself the task of growing daily more and more
into the consciousness of a Higher Power. We must keep
trying to improve our conscious contact with God. This is
done by prayer, quiet times, and communion. Often all you
need to do is sit silent before God and let Him speak to
you through your thought. Try to think God’s thoughts after
Him. When the guidance comes, you must not hesitate, but go
out and follow that guidance in your daily work, doing what
you believe to be the right thing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be still and know God is with me. I pray
that I may open my mind to the leading of Divine Mind.


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

As Bill Sees It

True Tolerance, p. 203

Gradually we began to be able to accept the other fellow’s sins as well
as his virtues. We coined the potent and meaningful expression “Let
us always love the best in others–and never fear their worst.”

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

Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to
some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong. When this
happens, we approach true tolerance and we see what real love for
our fellows actually means.

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. 12 & 12, p. 92 12 & 12, p. 65


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

Walk In Dry Places

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
Good judgment.
All of our lives, many of us had to deal with “tempests in a teapot.”  These were minor problems that we somehow magnified until they became disasters.
Some of us also took refuge in the bottle when faced with problems. Remembering this with some guilt, we may feel a responsibility today to deal with every problem efficiently and promptly. This feeling might also create unnecessary anxiety.  We can easily get to the heart of such matters by asking ourselves, “How Important is it?”  We might be making something far more important than it really is.
The importance of problems is revealed by our inability to remember what was upsetting us a week ago.  Asking, “How important is it?” can be a useful test to avoid excessive worrying about any problem.
I’ll take a responsibility attitude today, but I’ll watch myself for a tendency to go to pieces over things that really aren’t important in the long run.

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

Keep It Simple

Kindness in giving creates love. –Lao-tzu.
In our illness, we takers. Now, we’ve changed this around. We are now givers. Giving is a big part of recovery. Our word for it is service. Our program is based on care, respect, and service. Our program tells us to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” No matter if it’s getting to our meeting early to put on the coffee, or going on a Twelfth Step call, we are giving of ourselves. We give so that we know we can make a difference. We give so that we can know how to love better. The healing power of recovery is love. As we give love and kindness to others, we heal. Why? Because people grow by giving kindness and love to others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power with Your help I’ll be a kind and loving giver. I’ll look for way to share Your kindness.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list five ways I can be of service to others. I’ll put at least one of these ways into action today.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good. No good thing can be withheld from the forgiving state of mind.  –Catherine Ponder
Forgiveness fosters humility, which invites gratitude. And gratitude blesses us; it makes manifest greater happiness. The more grateful we feel for all aspects of our lives, the greater will be our rewards. We don’t recognize the goodness of our lives until we practice gratitude. And gratitude comes easiest when we’re in a forgiving state of mind.
Forgiveness should be an ongoing process. Attention to it daily will ease our relationships with others and encourage greater self-love. First on our list for forgiveness should be ourselves. Daily, we heap recriminations upon ourselves. And our lack of self-love hinders our ability to love others, which in turn affects our treatment of them. We’ve come full circle–and forgiveness is in order. It can free us. It will change our perceptions of life’s events, and it promises greater happiness.
The forgiving heart is magical. My whole life will undergo a dynamic change when I develop a forgiving heart.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Hopelessness was written large on the man’s face as he replied, “Oh, but that’s no use. Nothing would fix me. I’m a goner. The last three times, I got drunk on the way home from here. I’m afraid to go out the door. I can’t understand it.”
For an hour, the two friends told him about their drinking experiences. Over and over, he would say: “That’s me. That’s me. I drink like that.”

p. 157

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

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

How can a person with a fine family, an attractive home, an excellent position, and high standing in an important city become an alcoholic?
As I later found out through Alcoholics Anonymous, alcohol is no respecter of economic status, social and business standing, or intelligence.

p. 348

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection.

p. 91

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

“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours”.
–SHASEC

God, help me remember that when I admit and accept the truth,
I’ll be given the power and guidance to change.
–Melody Beattie

Keep your sobriety first, to make it last.
–unknown

Today, I will focus on what’s right about me. I will give myself some of the caring I’ve
extended to the world.
–Melody Beattie

Learn to Let Go. That is the key to happiness.
–Buddha

Worry is like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you
anywhere.
–unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SERVICE

“There is no higher religion
than human service. To work for
the common good is the greatest
creed.”
— Albert Schweitzer

I enjoy doing things for other people. I enjoy seeing other people happy, seeing
gratitude in their eyes and experiencing their hug of thankfulness.

Some people need to restrict how much they do for others and begin doing more for
themselves but I am happy and pleased with my service towards others. Why?
Because I used to be a “taker”. For years I would walk away with all that you could give
me and only thank you because I wanted to return for more!

In sobriety I am beginning to change this. Now I am giving and I am enjoying it.

Lord, the gift of service is a precious gift.

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

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Matthew 5:6

I honor and love your commands.  I meditate on your principles.  Remember your
promise to me, for it is my only hope.  Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my
troubles.”
Psalm 119:48-50

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let
the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:9-11


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

Daily Inspiration

A blessing is an explosion of joy from God that ripples through your heart and fills your mind with God’s light and hope. Lord, help me speak the words of blessing when they are needed by someone who is lonely, or who is dying or who is depressed.

As you draw closer and closer to God, you won’t have to tell anyone because it will show in your face. Lord, teach me Your ways as I am ready and let Your love and peace flow through me even in my difficult moments.

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

NA Just For Today

Winners

“I started to imitate some of the things the winners were doing. I got caught up in NA. I felt good….”
Basic Text pg. 223

We often hear it said in meetings that we should “stick with the winners.” Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Winners are easily identified. They work an active program of recovery, living in the solution and staying out of the problem. Winners are always ready to reach their hands out to the newcomer. They have sponsors and work with those sponsors. Winners stay clean, just for today.

Winners are recovering addicts who keep a positive frame of mind. They may be going through troubled times, but they still attend meetings and share openly about it. Winners know in their hearts that, with the help of a Higher Power, nothing will come along that is too much to handle.

Winners strive for unity in their service efforts. Winners practice putting “principles before personalities.” Winners remember the principle of anonymity, doing the principled action no matter who is involved. Winners keep a sense of humor. Winners have the ability to laugh at themselves. And when winners laugh, they laugh with you, not at you.

Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Any one of us can be considered a winner. All of us exhibit some of the traits of the winner; sometimes we come very close to the ideal, sometimes we don’t. If we are clean today and working our program to the best of our ability, we are winners!

Just for today: I will strive to fulfill my ideals. I will be a winner.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
She must learn to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.
–Marge Piercy
Once there was a writer who was writing a book for children. He decided to ask his son for ideas. “What would you like to tell other children?” he asked. He thought the boy would say something like, “Everybody love everybody.” But instead the boy said, “Number one, ignore what your parents say about nutritious food. Number two, don’t go to school.”
The father laughed and thanked the boy for his ideas, even though they weren’t what he expected. He loved his son for being able to feel and express his desires so strongly.
We all have a child within us, no matter how old we are. When we honor that child, we also honor who we have become, and we free ourselves to express our truest feelings.
What does the child within me want to do today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you can just observe what you are and move with it, then you will find that it is possible to go infinitely far. –J. Krishnamurti
“Boys don’t cry” is bad training for males. Worse than that were ideas like, “Don’t pass up a dare,” “Nice guys finish last,” “Be a good provider,” “Be aggressive.” Some of these ideas have some value, but problems came from adopting them as the only way to be. We thought we had to work at being the strongest, the best, the least vulnerable. Now we are learning how weak and fragile such thinking actually makes men. It sets us up to go to the extremes we found in our addictions and codependency.
Weakness isn’t the alternative to this thinking. Developing our spiritual side, we see that we don’t have to work at being what we already are. A man can be strong enough to show his vulnerability. He can choose the opportunity to advance a relationship with his child over the opportunity to advance his career. He can choose to pass by a challenge without shame because he doesn’t wish to spend his energy there.
I will be stronger today by simply allowing myself to be true to my feelings.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good. No good thing can be withheld from the forgiving state of mind. –Catherine Ponder
Forgiveness fosters humility, which invites gratitude. And gratitude blesses us; it makes manifest greater happiness. The more grateful we feel for all aspects of our lives, the greater will be our rewards. We don’t recognize the goodness of our lives until we practice gratitude. And gratitude comes easiest when we’re in a forgiving state of mind.
Forgiveness should be an ongoing process. Attention to it daily will ease our relationships with others and encourage greater self-love. First on our list for forgiveness should be ourselves. Daily, we heap recriminations upon ourselves. And our lack of self-love hinders our ability to love others, which in turn affects our treatment of them. We’ve come full circle–and forgiveness is in order. It can free us. It will change our perceptions of life’s events, and it promises greater happiness.
The forgiving heart is magical. My whole life will undergo a dynamic change when I develop a forgiving heart.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Empowerment
You can think. You can make good decisions. You can make choices that are right for you.
Yes, we all make mistakes from time to time. But we are not mistakes.
We can make a new decision that takes new information into account.
We can change our mind from time to time. That’s our right too.
We don’t have to be intellectuals to make good choices. In recovery, we have a gift and a goal available to each of us. The gift is called wisdom.
Other people can think too. And that means we no longer have to feel responsible for other people’s decisions.
That also means we are responsible for our choices.
We can reach out to others for feedback. We can ask for information. We can take opinions into account. But it is our task to make our own decisions. It is our pleasure and right to have our own opinions.
We are each free to embrace and enjoy the treasure of our own mind, intellect, and wisdom.
Today, I will treasure the gift of my mind. I will do my own thinking, make my own choices, and value my opinions. I will be open to what others think, but I will take responsibility for myself. I will ask for and trust that the Divine Wisdom is guiding me.

Today I trust the positive and loving people to whom I am attracted. Today I am free to share from my heart, knowing that what I say will be treated with love and respect. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Heal from Past Betrayals

Healing from betrayal is connected to healing and opening the heart.

Many of us have become quite skillful at denying feelings of betrayal, ignoring those situations when we not only feel betrayed, we truly have been betrayed.

Life happens. Sometimes people do things that hurt us. People may have let us down, not protected us. People may have deceived us. We live in a world with people who have a lot of issues. We live in a world that moves fast and isn’t always kind, just, or fair.

We may be moving so fast that we gloss over situations where we have been betrayed. Things just weren’t right. The numbers don’t add up.

If we haven’t dealt with past betrayals, if we haven’t cleansed and healed those break lines on the heart, we won’t be able to deal with the betrayals going on right now. The part of our hearts that’s sensitive to betrayal has been numbed, sometimes damaged, because it hasn’t been allowed to heal. We may stay in situations much longer than is good for us to do. We may not speak up when we need to. We may quietly stand there saying, That’s just how people are. And so our hearts break a little more and we go a little more numb. And that beautiful, precious part of ourselves, our heart, closes– not just to the person betraying us, but to all the beauty in life.

Yes, sometimes, that’s just the way life is. But we don’t need to stand there and keep letting life do that. We can open our hearts by healing those break lines. We can keep it open by being vulnerable and safe enough to feel, express, and take whatever actions our heart leads us to when betrayal occurs.

The head is connected to the heart. This connection is important. Healing betrayal will help keep that connection clear.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Become amazed at what you see

We were on a trip through the Southwest when we turned around a bend in New Mexico. Lake Albiquiu, the sign said. The campground was seated on a bluff overlooking a large man-made lake. We decided it was so beautiful we’d camp there for the night. We selected just the right spot to give us the best view of the sun rising in the morning. We wanted to see the light hit the red rock cliffs in the distance.

Hiking around the edge of the bluff, we found a tiny cactus bursting with bright red flowers sitting in the shade of a windblown tree. We sat for a while then scrambled down to the water and sat on a big rock that jutted out into the lake. We swam. The water was cold, but refreshing, and the early summer sun felt good on our skin.

Later we cooked supper on the little gas stove. “Should we set up the tent?” I asked, eager to see the new tent set up in the wilderness.

“The weather is nice,” my friend said. “Let’s just throw our bags on the ground and sleep out.”

That was an idea! I had never slept under the stars before. We lay there in the gathering darkness and watched as one by one the stars softly glowed into view. I closed my eyes and dozed.

Moments later, a bird sang a goodnight song from a nearby tree, and I opened my eyes to see a blanket of stars overhead. The Milky Way cut a path through the night sky, and there were so many unfamiliar stars that I could hardly distinguish the constellations I knew. I didn’t want to close my eyes, I didn’t want to miss a moment of this incredible sight.

Camping in a state park may not count to some of the hard-core wilderness folks. But we each have different levels of freedom in our lives. Freedom means tasting new things, having new experiences, and pursuing our dreams no matter how small they might be. Recapture the magic of a time in your life when everything was new and amazing. Discover what’s possible for you. Then be amazed at what you see.

God, give me a sense of the possible in my life. Then help me be amazed at just how beautiful life can be.

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

Reflections of Self
We Are All Mirrors for Each Other

When we look at other people, we see many of their qualities in innumerable and seemingly random combinations. However, the qualities that we see in the people around us are directly related to the traits that exist in us. “Like attracts like” is one of the spiritual laws of the universe. We attract individuals into our lives that mirror who we are. Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them. Simply put, when you look at others, you will likely see what exists in you. When you see beauty, divinity, sweetness, or light in the soul of another, you are seeing the goodness that resides in your soul. When you see traits in others that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance, or hatred, you may be seeing reflected back at you those parts of yourself that you have disowned or do not like.

Because we are all mirrors for each other, looking at the people in your life can tell you a lot about yourself. Who you are can be laid bare to you through what you see in others. It is easy to see the traits you do not like in others. It is much more difficult to realize that you possess those same traits. Often, the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of others are closely linked to our unconscious and unresolved issues.

When you come into contact with someone you admire, search your soul for similarly admirable traits. Likewise, when you meet someone exhibiting traits that you dislike, accept that you are looking at your reflection. Looking at yourself through your perception of others can be a humbling and eye-opening experience. You can also cultivate in you the traits and behaviors that you do like. Be loving and respectful to all people, and you will attract individuals that will love and respect you back. Nurture compassion and empathy and let the goodness you see in others be your mirror. Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Have i ever stopped to think that the impulse to “blow off steam” and say something unkind or even vicious will, if followed through, hurt me far more seriously than the person to whom the insult is directed? I must try constantly to quiet my mind before I act with impatience or hostility, for my mind can be — in that very real way — an enemy as great as any I’ve ever known. Will I look before I leap, think before I speak — and try to avoid self-will to the greatest extent possible?

Today I Pray

May I remember that my blow-ups and explosions, when they are torrents of accusations or insults, hurt me just as much as the other person. May I try not to let my anger get to the blow-up stage, simply be recognizing it as I go along and stating it as a fact.

Today I Will Remember

Keep a loose lid on the teapot.

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

One More Day

In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.
– Antoine de St. Exupery

When we were younger, many of us had a prescribed course of life — first school, a job, marriage, and then children. we never realized, and luckily so, that we would be dealt cards in a game we wouldn’t want to play.

With the illness, sorrows, and pain have come jooy, delight, and happiness. We would not have wanted to see into the furture, but now that we are here, we all want to live life as well as we are able. The need to deal as best we can with our burdens advances us toward positive actions and thoughts. What good or bad things happen to us do not determine a life’s story as much as the choices we make. We can shoose to be challenged. We can choose our directions.

Changes or improvements can begin today with the decision I make.

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

Food For Thought

One Day at a Time

We can only work this program one day at a time. Tomorrow’s abstinence will take care of itself if we are abstinent today. It is when we look too far ahead that we become troubled and lose our confidence. Whatever happens, we can cope with it one day at a time.

Worrying about the possibility of being hungry next week destroys today’s serenity. Projecting ourselves into future tasks produces unnecessary tension. Wondering how someone may react to something we may say tomorrow causes needless anxiety and robs us of the here and now.

Our Higher Power is with us now, today. By learning to know Him in the present, we grow in faith that He will be with us in the future. He gives us the strength to maintain our abstinence today, and that is the best thing we can possibly do for ourselves. One day at a time, we walk out of darkness into light.

Thank You for this day.

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

One Day At A Time

FAULT FINDING
“When You Look For The Bad In Mankind
Expecting To Find It, You Surely Will.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got.” It seemed as though I spent half a lifetime discovering the faults in others. I used this information as a tool or weapon against them when the need would arise, or if I needed a victory to feel superior when I was feeling low. How very sick. It took me a long time to learn that all of us have weaknesses; it’s part of being an imperfect human being. We also have strengths and talents, sometimes waiting to be discovered. My job now is to search for the good in others, to overlook the pettiness, to understand that they are still growing and becoming. I am also to practice ongoing forgiveness, for them as well as for myself, to remember that God is still spiritually creating us all in His image.

One Day at a Time . . .
Have I quit fault finding others? Myself? God?
Jeremiah

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

God alone can judge our sex situation. Counsel with other persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge. We realize that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. We avoid hysterical thinking or advice. – Pgs. 69-70 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Don’t ever think you have it made, because you haven’t. You are only one drink away from a drunk, one hit away from a high. Staying in your program and close to the fellowship is your best bet right now.

Let me not get so carried away with my two weeks of sobriety that I get cocky and lose sight of the truth.

My Work

I am whole and in tact and as such I have a positive contribution to make to this world. My work needs me. Whatever my gifts are, I will share them. I will not hold back, telling myself I am not ready, not smart enough, not good enough. Today is the day. This is as good a place to begin as any. I will dig deep into myself and find beauty and wisdom. I will produce good works and I will share those openly with others. As I expand my own consciousness, it becomes my responsibility to share what I learn with the collective. I am available to find my mission. I will give myself the gift of feeling purposeful, today.

I will share my gifts

– Tian Dayton PhD

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.
Henry David Thoreau

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention. The smallest kindness is better than the best pitch.

It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Self-respect is the most important respect you can earn.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I trust the positive and loving people to whom I am attracted. Today I am free to share from my heart, knowing that what I say will be treated with love and respect.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The most effective prayer I ever said had only five words, the longest word being a swear word. God didn’t seem to mind. Trip S.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 10

Helping Others
When I talk to a newcomer to AA, my past looks me straight in the face.
I see the pain in those hopeful eyes, I extend my hand, and then the miracle happens: I become healed.
My problems vanish as I reach out to this trembling soul.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 274

Thought to Ponder . . .
In AA, we discover that it is impossible to give without receiving, or receive without giving.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H E L P = Hope, Encouragement, Love, Patience.

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

Selfishness
“So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.
They arise out of ourselves,
and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot,
though he usually doesn’t think so.
Above everything,
we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness.
We must, or it kills us!”
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Thought to Consider . . .
The smallest package in the world
is an alcoholic all wrapped up in himself.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P A C E = Positive Attitudes Change Everything

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

Giving
>From “A Vision for You”:
“He [Bill W.] now returned home, leaving behind his first acquaintance [Dr. Bob], the lawyer and the devil-may-care chap. These men had found something brand new in life. Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 159

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

“God grant that AA may ever stay simple.”
AA Co-Founder, Dr. Bob, September 1948
“The Fundamentals in Retrospect”

The Best of the Grapevine, Volume 2

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

“Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family
back. This just isn’t so. In some cases the wife will never come
back for one reason or another. Remind the prospect that his
recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his
relationship with God. We have seen men get well whose families have
not returned at all. We have seen others slip when the family came
back too soon.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 99~

Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition. A doctor said to us, “Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.” Let families realize, as they start their journey, that all will not be fair weather. Each in turn may be footsore and may straggle. There will be alluring shortcuts and by-paths down which they may wander and lose their way.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.122

If he wishes to talk, let him do so.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.91

We sit in A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which our presence can bring.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.110

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘As sobriety means long life and happiness for the individual, so does unity mean exactly the same thing to our Society as a whole. Unified we live; disunited we shall perish.’
‘We must think deeply of all those sick ones still to come to A.A. As they try to make their return to faith and to life, we want them to find everything in A.A. that we have found, and yet more, if that be possible. No care, no vigilance, no effort to preserve A.A.s constant effectiveness and spiritual strength will ever be too great to hold us in full readiness for the day of their homecoming.’

Prayer for the Day: The Morning Light –
Lord of the night,
Be with me through the hours of darkness.
Let all my questions,
Problems, decisions,
Be enveloped in sleep.
That through the mystery
Of the sleeping mind
The difficulties of this day
Will be seen easier
In the morning light.
Into Your hands, O Lord,
I commit my spirit.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 9th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 9th

Daily Reflections

LOVE WITH NO PRICE TAG

When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication,
it is really talking about the kind of love that has no
price tag on it.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106

In order for me to start working the Twelfth Step, I had
to work on sincerity, honesty, and to learn to act with
humility. Carrying the message is a gift of myself, no
matter how many years of sobriety I may have accumulated.
My dreams can become reality. I solidify my sobriety by
sharing what I have received freely. As I look back to
that time when I began my recovery, there was already a
seed of hope that I could help another drunk pull himself
out of his alcoholic mire. My wish to help another drunk
is the key to my spiritual health. But I never forget that
God acts through me. I am only His instrument. Even if the
other person is not ready, there is success, because my
effort in his behalf has helped me to remain sober and to
become stronger. To act, to never grow weary in my Twelfth
Step work, is the key. If I am capable of laughing today,
let me not forget those days when I cried. God reminds me
that I can feel compassion!

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of A.A. is the way of fellowship. We have read a
good deal about fellowship and yet it is such an important
part of the A.A. program that it seems that we
cannot think too much about it. Human beings were not meant
to live alone. A hermit’s life is not a normal or natural one. We
all need to be by ourselves at times, but we cannot really live
without the companionship of others. Our natures demand it.
Our lives depend largely upon it. The fellowship of A.A.
seems to us to be the best in the world. Do I fully appreciate what
the fellowship of A.A. means to me?

Meditation For The Day

We are all seeking something, but many do not know what they
want in life. They are seeking something because they are
restless and dissatisfied, without realizing that faith in
God can give an objective and a purpose for their lives.
Many of us are at least subconsciously seeking for a Power
greater than ourselves because that would give a meaning
to our existence. If you have found that Higher Power,
you can be the means of leading others aright, by showing them
that their search for a meaning to life will end when they
find faith and trust in God as the answer.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my soul will lose its restlessness by finding
rest in God. I pray that I may find peace of mind in the
thought of God and His purpose for my life.


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

As Bill Sees It

Carrying the Message, p. 192

The wonderful energy the Twelfth Step releases, by which it carries
our message to the next suffering alcoholic and finally translates the
Twelve Steps into action upon all our affairs, is the payoff, the
magnificent reality of A.A.

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

Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop;
simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him
how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship.

1. 12 & 12, p. 109
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 95


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Walk In Dry Places

Fixing things that aren’t broken
Self-acceptance.
At the beginning of our AA sobriety, we were reminded that we were not reformers. Yet we sometimes have a tendency to want to “reform” ourselves or others after we’ve established sobriety.
This can become a practice of “fixing things that aren’t broken”. We may not realize it, but many things in our lives and personalities were always all right, all along. In believing that we should be changed, we may be taking on the opinions of someone else. There might be no need for change at all.
We also may be trying to please people who disapproved of us. Perhaps we’re trying to obtain the affection of a parent who always rejected us. But if we’re already on a spiritual path and are living rightly, there’s no need for change. We’d be trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
I’ll accept myself and others as we are today. We are not out to reform anyone, including ourselves.

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Keep It Simple

There is no stronger bond of friendship than a mutual enemy.–Frankfort Moore.
A.A. is a fellowship united against the same enemy–alcoholism. Our bonds give us strength to recover. We may not even know each other’s last name, but we’ll do anything to help each other stay sober. Our illness has taken much. But it has also given us much. We have millions of new friends. Almost anywhere in the world, we can find a member of our fellowship. Our new way of life depends on the strength of the fellowship. We should do nothing to weaken it. When you don’t feel like going to a meeting–go, not only for yourself but for the sake of the fellowship. It truly needs you.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You have given me A. A. Now help me to keep it going. A.A. needs me, just as I need A.A. Help me give even when I don’t want to.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll give back to the program. I’ll call a new member, volunteer to put on a meeting, or make the coffee.”

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Each Day a New Beginning

To do nothing is failure. To try, and in the trying you make some mistakes and then you make some positive changes as a result of those mistakes, is to learn and to grow and to blossom.  –Darlene Larson Jenks
Life is a process, one that is continuously changing. And with each change, we are offered unexpected opportunities for growth. Change is what fosters our development as women. It encourages us to risk new behavior and may even result in some mistakes. Fortunately, no mistakes can seriously hinder us. In fact, most mistakes give us an additional opportunity to learn.
Where we stand today is far removed from our position last year, or even last week. Each and every moment offers us new input that influences any decision from this moment forward. The process that we’re participating in guarantees our growth as long as we remain conscious of our opportunities and willingly respond to them. We can be glad that the life process is, in fact, never static. always moving, always inviting us to participate fully.
I will have the courage to make a mistake today. It’s a promise of growth.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Here was a prospect all right but, by the description, none too promising. The use of spiritual principles in such case was not so well understood as it is now. But one of the friends said, “Put him in a private room. We’ll be down.”
Two days later, a future fellow of Alcoholics Anonymous stared glassily at the strangers beside his bed. “Who are you fellows, and why this private room? I was always in a ward before.”
Said one of the visitors, “We’re giving you a treatment for alcoholism.”

pp. 156-157

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

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

That sense of being different, which had long plagued me, disappeared when I saw the threads that run through all of us. Sharing our stories, our feelings, it is the area where we are the same that impress me. The differences are but delightful flourishes on the surface, like different-colored costumes, and I enjoy them. But the basic ways we are human, the basic ways we simply are, stand out to me now. I came to see that we all are really one, and I no longer feel alone.

p. 347

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of such disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose. The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.

pp. 90-91

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

“The craving to find serenity utterly evaporated–and in its place
there was serenity. I’d been looking out there for what was right here.”
–A.A. Grapevine, December, 2000, p. 49

Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

The minute a man ceases to grow, no matter what his years, that
minute he begins to be old.
–William James

The way you see things and the way others see things may not be the
same. Be tolerant of other people’s views.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

OLD

“Growing old isn’t so bad when
you consider the alternative.
— Maurice Chevalier

What is the alternative? Not to change! To stay rooted in adolescence, youth,
middle-age or whatever. Not to age is not to live, not to experience and not to grow
spiritually.

An aspect of age, for which I am beginning to be grateful, is “comparison”; today I
am able to look at the past and see the benefits of the present. Growth is measurable
only through the tunnel of age. I suppose my fear of age is my basic fear of the
“unknown” ; fear of “unmanageability” and “powerlessness”.

These words remind me of the spiritual program that teaches me to confidently place
my life in the loving arms of God. If I am responsible in life, I will be responsible in
old age.

Teach me to use the spiritual perspective that comes with the gift of age.

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

In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and
deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of
refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock
and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp
of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my
confidence since my youth.
Psalms 71:1-5

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children
of God; and such we are.”
1 John 3:1


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Daily Inspiration

Do not waste any time disliking who you are because of something you can no longer do anything about. Lord, help me to forgive myself all shortcomings of the past that I still hold on to and rather make the very best of this moment.

We never really know how far reaching our influence will be. Lord, may Your loving kindness always flow through me.

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

NA Just For Today

Listening

“This ability to listen is a gift and grows as we grow spiritually. Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift.”
Basic Text pg. 102

Have you ever watched two small children carry on a conversation? One will be talking about purple dragons while the other carries on about the discomfort caused by having sand in one’s shoes. We sometimes encounter the same communication problems as we learn to listen to others. We may struggle through meetings, trying desperately to hear the person sharing while our minds are busy planning what we will say when it’s our turn to speak. In conversation, we may suddenly realize that our answers have nothing to do with the questions we’re being asked. They are, instead, speeches prepared while in the grip of our self-obsession.

Learning how to listen – really listen – is a difficult task, but one that’s not beyond our reach. We might begin by acknowledging in our replies what our conversational partner is saying. We might ask if there is anything we can do to help when someone expresses a problem. With a little practice, we can find greater freedom from self-obsession and closer contact with the people in our lives.

Just for today: I will quiet my own thoughts and listen to what someone else is saying.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Faith is the seamstress
who mends our torn belief
who sews the hem of childhood trust
and clips the threads of grief.
–Joan Walsh Anglund
A seamstress takes large pieces of material and cuts them to size. Then, with the help of needle and thread and buttons, she goes to work to create a finished piece. Sometimes, in the beginning, it is hard to imagine a finished product. But the seamstress believes it is possible and goes to work on it.
Faith is like a seamstress. Faith is what can pull all the unfinished pieces of life into some sort of order. Faith is what lets us know we are all right even when life doesn’t seem to make sense. We all need the faith to believe our skills and dreams, and even our heartaches can be sewn into a shape that is beautiful and useful.
Our faith is the seamstress who guides the needle, mends the tears, and helps create a shape and meaning to our lives.
How can I show my faith today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. –Emily Dickinson
Life seems to be a continuous pattern of getting committed to things and having to let go – falling in love and losing the one we love, developing a job skill and having to change careers, caring for our children and letting them go off into the world. This is the rhythm of life, and our spiritual growth teaches us to make peace with it. Participating fully in the rhythm is how we become whole men. As addicts and codependents, we used our gambling, overspending, drugs, sex, work, or caretaking of others to avoid the pain of making deeper relationships and to avoid the grief over losing them.
Avoiding commitments and staying uninvolved may keep us safe from risks. They also keep us near our dangerous old patterns. Our program works when we can freely let ourselves go. First, we commit to our recovery program with no reservations. Then, in our increasing sanity we gradually let ourselves go in other attachments. We know we face losses as part of life. We will have the strength to grieve them and move on.
God, give me the inner-liberty today to let go of myself and care.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To do nothing is failure. To try, and in the trying you make some mistakes and then you make some positive changes as a result of those mistakes, is to learn and to grow and to blossom. –Darlene Larson Jenks
Life is a process, one that is continuously changing. And with each change, we are offered unexpected opportunities for growth. Change is what fosters our development as women. It encourages us to risk new behavior and may even result in some mistakes. Fortunately, no mistakes can seriously hinder us. In fact, most mistakes give us an additional opportunity to learn.
Where we stand today is far removed from our position last year, or even last week. Each and every moment offers us new input that influences any decision from this moment forward. The process that we’re participating in guarantees our growth as long as we remain conscious of our opportunities and willingly respond to them. We can be glad that the life process is, in fact, never static. always moving, always inviting us to participate fully.
I will have the courage to make a mistake today. It’s a promise of growth.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Asking for Help
It’s okay to ask for help.
One of the most absurd things we do to ourselves is not asking for the help we need from a friend, a family member, our Higher Power, or the appropriate resource.
We don’t have to struggle through feelings and problems alone. We can ask for help from our Higher Power and for support and encouragement from our friends.
Whether what we need is information, encouragement, a hand, a word, a hug, someone who will listen, or a ride, we can ask. We can ask people for what we need from them. We can ask God for what we need from God.
It is self-defeating to not ask for the help we need. It keeps us stuck. If we ask long and hard enough, if we direct our request to the right source, we’ll get the help we need.
There is a difference between asking someone to rescue us and asking someone in a direct manner for the help we need from him or her. We can be straightforward and let others choose whether to help us or not. If the answer is no, we can deal with that.
It is self-defeating to hint, whine, manipulate, or coerce help out of people. It is annoying to go to people as a victim and expect them to rescue us. It is healthy to ask for help when help is what we need.
“My problem is shame,” said one woman. “I wanted to ask for help in dealing with it, but I was to ashamed. Isn’t that crazy?”
We who are eager to help others can learn to allow ourselves to receive help. We can learn to make clean contracts about asking for and receiving the help we want and need.
Today, I will ask for help if I need it – from people and my Higher Power. I will not be a victim, helplessly waiting to be rescued. I will make my request for help specific, to the point, and I will leave room for the person to choose whether or not to help me. I will not be a martyr any longer by refusing to get the help I deserve in life – the help that makes life simpler. God, help me let go of my need to do everything alone. Help me use the vast Universe of resources available to me.

I have the right to have my needs met. In order to have them met, I am expressing them to the people who can help me today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Claim Your Own Life

Claiming our own lives creates fulfillment and joy. We don’t need to be controlled. We don’t deserve to be repressed or stifled. We don’t have to let anyone convince us that we do. We can trust ourselves. We know what we need, we know what we yearn for– we long to be set free.

What once seemed so overwhelming– creating and taking responsibility for our lives– wasn’t really so. It was our belief that we couldn’t do it, couldn’t handle it, couldn’t be trusted that made it so. We created our own prison by believing we were trapped, stuck. We became controlled by believing others knew better than we did what was best for us. We were afraid to take responsibility for our choices, so we gave up our power.

Now it’s time to step out, leave our prison of fear. We can take responsibility for our lives. We can take responsibility for what we create. We don’t have to be afraid of making a mistake or doing something wrong. If we create a situation we don’t like, we can create something different. We’re free to create the life we want.

We’re free now to claim our own lives and create fulfillment and joy. We always have been.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Discover a sense of wonder and awe

After lunch at Paradise Cove, one of our favorite places to eat, my friend and I went for a walk along the beach. Suddenly he bent down and picked up a little purple ball with spines all over it. “Look,” he said, “a sea urchin!” It was just an empty shell, but the purple was glowing, almost the color of amethyst. Neither of us had ever seen an urchin lying on the beach before. We touched it and debated whether we should take it home and put it on a shelf.

“Why don’t we leave it here,” he said. “Some kids will find it, and they can take it home. We’ve got enough stuff lying around.”

As soon as he put the treasure back on the sand, two children and their mother rounded the point in front of us. The oldest child, a girl about twelve, was curious and delighted when we called her over and handed her the little purple ball. Soon her brother and her mom crowded around. The boy couldn’t wait to touch the urchin’s tiny spines. My friend and I were both smiling as we walked back to the car.

Two of the sweetest experiences in life are discovering new things and sharing those things with someone else. Be aware of the new and exciting things that come into your life. They don’t have to be that big to give you a sense of delight. Enjoy them, learn from them, play with them. And then, for an even greater experience, share them with a friend.

God, help me discover a sense of wonder and awe about life. Then help me pass that feeling on to someone else.

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

Let It Flow
Tears

How wonderful it feels to give in and let tears flow when we are overwhelmed with emotions, whether we are happy or sad. Tears come from the soul, from our well of feelings rising from deep down. When we give in to the prickling behind our eyes and the lump in our throat to let teardrops fall from our eyes, we allow our feelings to surface so they can be set free.

Proud parents shed tears of pride in a child’s accomplishments, a baby’s first step, birthdays, and graduations. Long lost friends fall into each other’s arms, tears rolling down their cheeks when they reunite after years of separation. Tears may flow from us when we are witness to a commitment being made at a wedding or even while we are watching a love story. Tears of relief may spring forth from our eyes when we hear that a loved one has survived an ordeal, and tears may fall when we bow our head in sorrow over a loss or death. Tears born from heartache can flow like they’ll never cease, whether our tears are for a love that is over, a friendship lost, or an opportunity missed. We shed tears because of disappointment in ourselves, tragedy in the world, pain, and illness. Tears of anger can burn with emotion as they fall down our faces. Tears offer us a physical release of our feelings.

Shedding tears can sometimes make us feel better, although it can feel like the tears will never end once the floodgates are open. There is no shame in letting tears flow freely and frequently. Tears are as natural to us as is breathing. There is beauty in allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to shed tears. Open up, release your tears, and let your feelings flow. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Difficulties are God’s errands, and when we are sent upon them, we should esteem it a proof of God’s confidence.”
–Beecher
I’ve come to realize that my past troubles were really of my own making. Although I hardly thought so at the time, I was a primary example of what The Program calls “self-will run riot.” Today, I’ll accept my difficulties as sign posts to growth, and as evidence of God’s confidence in me. Do I believe that God will never give me more than I can handle?

Today I Pray

May I believe strongly that God has confidence in me to handle my troubles, that the difficulties I must face are in direct proportion to my strength and ability to bear up and keep a cool head in a crisis. May I also understand that it is my faith in God which keeps me from crumbling.

Today I Will Remember

God has faith in me, because I have faith in God.

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

One More Day

To see the goal of life as “winning” forces us to see other people as competitores, threats to our happiness. For us to “win,” they have to “lose.”
– Harold Kushner

Our thinking is healthier when we see our goals as individual accomplishments, not as outdoing someone else. Others don’t have to get less or be less in order for us to feel good about ourselves.

Rather than, “I beat someone out of a job,” we need to understand that it’s not a contest, but a matter of placing the most qualifeied person in a new position. We all have different skills, and it is usually the skill, not the person, that is recognized or rewarded. The person who possesses the needed skill is not necessarily better, nicer, or more worthwhile — even when that person is us. In accepting that, we are better able to work toward our persoanal goals without fear of competion.

The only winning I pursue is meeting my goals.

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

Food For Thought

Developing Our Potential

Abstinence is the key to developing our potential. For years, our illness has probably controlled our life and reduced our ability to function. Since so much of our energy was tied up in the mental obsession with food and the physical effects of overeating, we were unable to develop the talents and abilities we possessed.

Getting in touch with a Higher Power gives us contact with the source of our potential. Our self-centeredness kept us from believing in our capacity to be activated by a Power greater than ourselves. When we see and hear of the results produced by working the OA program, we develop faith in our own buried talents.

When food controlled our lives, we were using only a very small percentage of our actual potential for work, recreation, and relationships with other people. Through abstinence from compulsive overeating, we discover strengths, abilities, and energies we never knew we had!

Direct my efforts. Lord.

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One Day At A Time

~ LIFE ~
Life is the movie you see through your own unique eyes.
It makes little difference what’s happening out there.
It’s how you take it that counts.
Dennis Waitley in “The Winner’s Edge”

Life is a very precious resource. Everyone has a different interpretation of reality, and people who are happier in life make the most of what they have been given, no matter how good or bad it may seem at the time.

Everything happens for a reason. Although we may not understand something at first, we must seize the moment and make use of every single second that our Higher Power has blessed us with. Enjoy all the good times that you deserve, but remember to accept those down times for all the lessons that you will learn, too. It is important to remember the Serenity Prayer and keep on going.

Make the most of each day but remember to stop and smell the flowers along the way. Today only happens once.

One Day at a Time . . .
Life is not a dress rehearsal, so have a good day, unless you have other plans.
Natalie

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidence in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache. – Pg. 70 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We need to have our spiritual program replenished daily, by going to meetings and practicing the principles we are learning. Sometimes we need to replenish hourly. We replenish through prayer and service.

Thank you God, as I understand You, for the wealth of spiritual principles available for me to use.

Transformation

Count me in. Whatever are my talents, my usefulness; wherever you see me fitting into your grand scheme, God . . . place me there. I am willing to open my heart to your guidance. I am built to be part of this moment of transformation. I see a better world in my mind’s eye and I know that others see it too. Connect me with those people who wish to quietly usher in a new world. Together we can push through the eye of the needle – together we can help it happen.

We are transforming together

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do not be hung up on what you ought to be, what you were supposed to be or what you were going to be. You will never have time to be what you are.

I am the best me there is.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When we go too far, it is seldom in the right direction.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I have the right to have my needs met. In order to have them met, I am expressing them to the people who can help me today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to Him. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 9

Only One Reason
I believe we are all sober and alive for only one reason: God has a job for us to do.
I have also come to believe that I must please God first, myself second, and everybody else third.
When I can live and feel that way — and it isn’t all day every day — things seem to work out.
When I try to run the show, everything goes to hell.
– Came to Believe . . ., p. 97

Thought to Ponder . . .
No God, no peace — know God, know peace.

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

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

Belonging
“Perhaps one of the greatest rewards
of meditation and prayer
is the sense of belonging that comes to us.
We no longer live in a completely hostile world.
We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless.
The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will,
the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love
as the real and eternal things in life,
we are no longer deeply disturbed
by all the seeming evidence to the contrary
that surrounds us in purely human affairs.”
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Thought to Consider . . .
Veni, vidi, velcro … I came, I saw, I stuck around.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A A = Adventurers Anonymous

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

Not-Worrying
>From “A Practical Philosophy:”
“None of us has to understand God or worry
about things beyond our control. We can indulge
ourselves in the luxury of not-worrying. Any of
us can handle just one day; all each of us has to
try at is our own job, our own family life. We
don’t have to try fixing up the whole world or
understanding what no theologian of any faith
has ever understood.
“We simply stop messing in God’s business.”
c. 1973, Came to Believe…, page 116

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

“My soul remained a mystery until my Higher Power settled inside me, appearing to me as a very real feeling of love and caring. Kindness slowly took precedence, and I became comfortable with the idea that I didn’t need a drink.”
Cornwall, Ontario, January 2005
“From Rags to Riches”
Voices of Long-Term Sobriety

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

“In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed
people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships,(including sex) were hurt or threatened.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

“If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no
middle of the road solution. We were in a position where life was
becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which
there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives.
One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of
our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept
spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were
willing to make the effort.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 25~

Yet you must not expect too much.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.118

As we persist, a brand-new kind of confidence is born, and the sense of relief at finally facing ourselves is indescribable.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.50

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, his eloquence, or any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety.
In my first conversation with Dr. Bob, I bore down heavily on the medical hopelessness of his case, freely using Dr. Silkworth’s words describing the alcoholic’s dilemma, the ‘obsession plus allergy’ theme. Though Bob was a doctor, this was news to him, bad news. And the fact that I was an alcoholic and knew what I was talking about from personal experience made the blow a shattering one.
You see, our talk was a completely mutual thing. I had quit preaching. I knew that I needed this alcoholic as much as he needed me.

Prayer for the Day: Meeting Prayer No. 3 – God bless this meeting and the members gathered here tonight. Help us to make this group a haven of strength and comfort, giving to all who seek help here the beauty and friendliness of home, which shall be as a shield against temptation of all kinds and against loneliness and despair. Bless those who are going forth from this house to fight the gallant fight, to know suffering, and bless those who come here to rest, those who must readjust themselves to face life once more.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 8th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 8th

December 8

 

Daily Reflections

SERVICE

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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As Bill Sees It

Two-Way Tolerance, p. 73

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

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

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

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

p. 156

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

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

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

pp. 346-347

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 90

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ENJOYMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Calling A Defect A Defect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Don’t Pick Up Energy That’s Not Yours

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

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Enjoy the ordinary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Joy Of Being
Celebrating The In-Between Times

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Am I looking for Gods rubber stamp?

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

Decisions About Food

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The man in the bed was told of the acute poisoning from which he suffered, how it deteriorates the body of an alcoholic and warps his mind. There was much talk about the mental state preceding the first drink.

‘Yes, that’s me,’ said the sick man, ‘the very image. You fellows know your stuff all right, but I don’t see what good it’ll do. You fellows are somebody. I was once, but I’m a nobody now. From what you tell me, I know more than ever I can’t stop.’ At this both the visitors burst into a laugh. Said the future Fellow Anonymous: ‘**** little to laugh about that I can see.’

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Spirit Calls

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

I am in touch with spirit within and without

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Serenity comes when you stop expecting and start accepting.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 7th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 7th

Daily Reflections

TRUE AMBITION

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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As Bill Sees It

Foundation For Life, p. 33

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

p. 156

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

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

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

p. 346

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Before we ask what a spot-check inventory is, let’s look at the kind of setting in which such an inventory can do its work.
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.
If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.

p. 90

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

REALITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Surviving Our Emotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Let Go of Feeling Overwhelmed

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Enjoy your successes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Listening and Responding
Body Language by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Maturity is knowing where to go for help.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

A Permanent Disability

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

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

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

May I understand the full extent of my disability.

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Who Am I?

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

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

My adversities are opportunities in disguise.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 6th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 6th

Daily Reflections

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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As Bill Sees It

The Way Of Strength, p. 129

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

pp. 155-156

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

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

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

pp. 345-346

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 89-90

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FAILURE

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

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

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

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“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we
should be called children of God; and such we are.”
1 John 3:1

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Romance And Recovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Discover True Power

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

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Celebrate

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

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

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

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

And look forward to the adventure that lies ahead.

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

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A Clear Current
Maintaining the Flow by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

God has a better answer.

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One More Day

A leader is a dealer in hope.
–Napoleon Bonaparte

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

Stretching

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

Meditation

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

I search within.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 6

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

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

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

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

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

Thought to Consider . . .
Action conquers fear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 5th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 5th

Daily Reflections

A NEW STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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As Bill Sees It

Relapses–and the Group, p. 154

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

p. 155

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

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

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

p. 345

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 89

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

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

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

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

Today is full of miracles!
–Ruth Fishel

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BEAUTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Those Who Want To Recover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today is full of miracles! –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Life Can Be Fun

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

That’s how I was for a long time.

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

“Why?” I asked.

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Be happy now

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

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

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

Have your plans. Set goals.

Let yourself be happy now.

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

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Blue Skies
The Sky Is Blue Even on a Cloudy Day

by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

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

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

Challenges

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

One Foot In Front Of The Other

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

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 4th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 4th

Daily Reflections


INTO ACTION

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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

As Bill Sees It

Those Other People, p.268

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

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

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

Letter, 1946

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

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

p. 155

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

Because I’m An Alcoholic

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

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

p. 345

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 88-89

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PREJUDICE

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

God’s Will, Not Ours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

You Decide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Language Of Letting Go

The miracle of rebirth

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

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

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

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

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

Let yourself be reborn.

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

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Now Is the Time
Bloom Where You Are Planted

by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Never say “Never again.”

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

Our Daily Bread

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

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

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

Give us this day our daily bread.

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Feeling Good Inside

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

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Strive for perfection; accept progress.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They
arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of
self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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