Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 5th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 5th

Daily Reflections

TRUE BROTHERHOOD

We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among
friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of
society. Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide
underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership
relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we
had small comprehension.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 53

This message contained in Step Four was the first one I heard loud and clear;
I hadn’t seen myself in print before! Prior to my coming into
A.A., I knew of no place that could teach me how to become a person among persons.
From my very first meeting, I saw people doing just that and I wanted what they had.
One of the reasons that I’m a happy, sober alcoholic today is that I’m learning this most important lesson.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

People often ask what makes the A.A. program work. One of the
answers is that A.A. works because it gets people away from
themselves as the center of the universe. And it teaches them to rely
more on the fellowship of others and on strength from God. Forgetting ourselves in fellowship, prayer, and working with others is what makes the A.A. program work. Are these things keeping me sober?

Meditation For The Day

God is the great interpreter of one human personality to another.
Even personalities who are the nearest together have much in their
natures that remains a seated book to each other. And only as God
enters and controls their lives are the mysteries of each revealed to the other. Each personality is so different. God alone understands
perfectly the language of each and can interpret between the two. Here we find the miracles of change and the true interpretation of life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be in the right relationship to God. I pray that God
will interpret to me the personalities of other people, so that I can
understand them and help them.

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As Bill Sees It

Spiritual Kindergarten, p. 95

“We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are
enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to
better effect. Each man’s theology has to be his own quest, his own
affair.”

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

When the Big Book was being planned, some members thought that it
ought to be Christian in the doctrinal sense. Others had no objection
to the use of the word “God”, but wanted to avoid doctrinal issues.
Spirituality, yes. Religion, no. Still others wanted a psychological
book, to lure the alcoholic in. Once in, he could take God or leave
Him alone as he wished.

To the rest of us this was shocking, but happily we listened. Our
group conscience was at work to construct the most acceptable and
effective book possible.

Every voice was playing its appointed part. Our atheists and
agnostics widened our gateway so that all who suffer might pass
through, regardless of their belief or lack of belief.

1. Letter, 1954
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 162, 163, 167

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Walk in Dry Places

Letting Go of Resentment___ Releasing the Past
How can we really put an end to festering resentments toward other people?  “Pray for these people,” the Old-timers said. “Go out of your way to do something good for them.”   This is a big order for most of us, but we are working for a big reward:  Sobriety, peace of mind, and personal progress.
When we pray for others in this manner, we’re practicing the noble art of forgiveness. How do we know when it’s staring to work?  Lewis B. Smedes, a master teacher of forgiveness, offers this thought: “You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.”
Forgiveness also is supposed to include forgetting the wrong. What we really  forget is the hurt connected with it.  When anything that once evoked pain comes to mind, we’re growing spiritually if it no longer has the power to hurt us.
We then discover that we had been letting go our resentments hurt us again and again. We also learn that one effort to forgive is not nearly enough. Forgiveness takes the same amount of practice and emotional power we put into carrying the resentment!
Today will bring enough problems. I don’t have either the time or the energy to play the old tapes that cause me pain.  I’ll practice praying for those who hurt me, and I’ll take it for granted that my HIgher Power is removing my resentments.

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Keep It Simple

Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture happiness in yourself and in God.—Anne Frank
Many of us look at the joy and beauty of the program with caution. It was different from our addictive joy. Was it to be trusted? When we started working the Steps, we found inner joy and beauty. As we let go and gave in to the program, we found more happiness. We found joy in ourselves, our friends, our Higher Power, and those around us. Our self-pity changed to self-respect. We were truly out in the sunshine. We were no longer lost in misery. We know how to walk through misery to find joy.
Prayer for the Day:  May I become better friends with myself. Higher Power, let me see the world through Your innocent, yet wise and loving eyes
Action for the Day:  Today I’ll work to make my life and the lives of others more joyful. I’ll greet myself and others with much joy.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I came to the conclusion then that “continual mindfulness”. . . must mean, not a sergeant-major-like drilling of thoughts, but a continual readiness to look and readiness to accept whatever came.  –Joanna Field
Resistance to the events, the situations, the many people who come into our lives blocks the growth we are offered every day. Every moment of every day is offering us a gift: the gift of awareness of other persons, awareness of our natural surroundings, awareness of our own personal impact on creation. And in awareness comes our growth as women.
Living in the now, being present in the moment, guarantees us the protection of God. And in the stretches of time when we anxiously anticipate the events of the future, we cheat ourselves of the security God offers us right now.
We are always being taken care of, right here, right now. Being mindful, this minute, of what’s happening and only this, eases all anxieties, erases all fears. We only struggle when we have moved our sights from the present moment. Within the now lies all peace.
The most important lesson I have to learn, the lesson that will eliminate all of my pain and struggle, is to receive fully that which is offered in each moment of my life.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

At the hospital I was separated from alcohol for the last time. Treatment seemed wise, for I showed signs of delirium tremens.
There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since.

p. 13

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
To be sure, I learned many fascinating things and many things that were to prove helpful later.  I learned what a devastating effect it can have on a child to coddle him and build him up, and then turn and beat him savagely, as had happened to me.

p. 384

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

When A.A. was still young, lots of eager groups were forming. In a town we’ll call Middleton, a real crackerjack had started up. The townspeople were as hot as firecrackers about it. Stargazing, the elders dreamed of innovations. They figured the town needed a great big alcoholic center, a kind of pilot plant A.A. groups could duplicate everywhere. Beginning on the ground floor there would be a club; in the second story they would sober up drunks and hand them currency for the back debts; the third deck would house an educational project – quite noncontroversial, of course. In imagination the gleaming center was to go up several stories more, but three would do for a start. This would all take a lot of money – other people’s money. Believe it or not, wealthy townsfolk bought the idea.

p. 147

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You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice
because thorns have roses.
–Tom Wilson

“Not to transmit an experience is to betray it.”
–Elie Wiesel

A friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

“The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.”
–Anon.

“None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what
unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting to change all the tenor of our lives.”
–Kathleen Norris

The beauty of God is evident when we work together for God’s glory.
–Jacki Work

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FAILURE

“No man is a failure who is
enjoying life.”
–William Feather

Spirituality is fun. I enjoy my sobriety today and I do not take myself too seriously.

For years I thought I was a failure and this “thought” manifested the behavior of a failure. I hid, sulked, was jealous, carried resentments
and isolated myself from life – and then blamed the world.

Today because I really understand and accept that I am a child of God, I know that I am not a failure and I have a glorious future in recovery.
Today I have hope. Today I have confidence. Today I am able to
accept and forgive. Today I am able to love my neighbor because I love myself.

In my enjoyment of life may I reflect your love for the world.

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“For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
Psalm 91:11

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not
from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of
truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:6

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in a advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10

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Daily Inspiration

In a day when almost everything goes right, don’t ruin it by focusing on the one thing that didn’t. Lord, help me to allow the good in my life to prevail.

To live with anger or resentment creates even more anger and resentment. Lord, increase my ability to forgive and free me from all that separates me from You so that I may be filled with Your peace.

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NA Just For Today

Identification

“Someone finally knew the crazy thoughts that I had and the crazy things I’d done.”
Basic Text p. 175

Addicts often feel terminally unique. We’re sure that no one used drugs like we did or had to do the things that we did to get them. Feeling that no one really understands us can keep us from recovery for many years.

But once we come to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous, we begin to lose that feeling of being “the worst” or “the craziest.” We listen as members share their experiences. We discover that others have walked the same twisted path that we’ve walked and still have been able to find recovery. We begin to believe that recovery is available to us, too.

As we progress in our own recovery, sometimes our thinking is still insane. However, we find that when we share the hard time we may be having, others identify, sharing how they have dealt with such difficulties. No matter how troubled our thinking seems, we find hope when others relate to us, passing along the solutions they’ve found. We begin to believe that we can survive whatever we’re going through to continue on in our recovery.

The gift of Narcotics Anonymous is that we learn we are not alone. We can get dean and stay clean by sharing our experience, our strength, and even our crazy thinking with other members. When we do, we open ourselves to the solutions others have found to the challenges we face.

Just for today: I am grateful that I can identify with others. Today, I will listen as they share their experience, and I’ll share mine with them.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, Eyes– I wonder if it weighs like Mine– Or has an easier size. –Emily Dickinson
How can we measure all the grief we feel, and how can we put up with it? Doesn’t the Grief of Death weigh a ton or more? Doesn’t it stretch out to a month, a year, or longer still? Is the Grief of Failure lighter than the Grief of Despair, but maybe longer? Isn’t the Grief of Emptiness the heaviest of all? Whether we try to ignore or make light of it, our grief, like a ton of feathers or a ton of rocks, is all the same to us. This much is sure: if we lock our grief in, it will weigh more on us and lengthen out; if we open our hearts with weeping and words, others will help carry it away.
What old sadness can I let go of by sharing it today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
When angry, count four; when very angry, swear. –Mark Twain
Feelings of anger are a knotty problem for many men. Some of us as children were injured or so frightened by an angry adult that we have instinctively avoided anger ever since. Or we have been appalled by ourselves when we lost control of our anger. Still, we are taught that it is masculine to be aggressive. Some of us have tried so hard to squelch our anger that we don’t even know when we feel it. We treat anger like a rejected child once rejected we no longer have good discipline over it. So it comes out in hurtful jokes and sarcastic comments, or bursts out of us in scary and destructive ways.
For some of us, overly controlled anger turns inward against ourselves. We get physically ill or depressed and self-hating. Every recovering man needs an honest relationship with his anger. We must acknowledge this feeling within us when it is there. It is healthy to express anger directly, honestly, and respectfully.
Thanks to God for the richness of my emotional life. Today, I will notice my feelings of anger and accept them so I can learn to relate to them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I came to the conclusion then that “continual mindfulness”. . . must mean, not a sergeant-major-like drilling of thoughts, but a continual readiness to look and readiness to accept whatever came. –Joanna Field
Resistance to the events, the situations, the many people who come into our lives blocks the growth we are offered every day. Every moment of every day is offering us a gift: the gift of awareness of other persons, awareness of our natural surroundings, awareness of our own personal impact on creation. And in awareness comes our growth as women.
Living in the now, being present in the moment, guarantees us the protection of God. And in the stretches of time when we anxiously anticipate the events of the future, we cheat ourselves of the security God offers us right now.
We are always being taken care of, right here, right now. Being mindful, this minute, of what’s happening and only this, eases all anxieties, erases all fears. We only struggle when we have moved our sights from the present moment. Within the now lies all peace.
The most important lesson I have to learn, the lesson that will eliminate all of my pain and struggle, is to receive fully that which is offered in each moment of my life.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Detaching in Love
Detachment is a key to recovery from codependency. It strengthens our healthy relationships – the ones that we want to grow and flourish. It benefits our difficult relationships – the ones that are teaching us to cope. It helps us!
Detachment is not something we do once. Its a daily behavior in recovery. We learn it when were beginning our recovery from codependency and adult children issues. And we continue to practice it along the way as we grow and change, and as our relationships grow and change.
We learn to let go of people we love, people we like, and those we don’t particularly care for. We separate ourselves, and our process, from others and their process.
We relinquish our tight hold and our need to control in our relationships. We take responsibility for ourselves; we allow others to do the same. We detach with the understanding that life is unfolding exactly as it needs to, for others and ourselves. The way life unfolds is good, even when it hurts. And ultimately, we can benefit from even the most difficult situations. We do this with the understanding that a Power greater than ourselves is in charge, and all is well.
Today, I will apply the concept of detachment, to the best of my ability, in my relationships. If I cant let go completely, Ill try to hang on loose.

Today I am open to all of who I am. As I bring my attention to all of me, without judgment, I grow in wisdom and freedom. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Develop a Sense of the Sacred

During my stay in New Mexico, I found myself repeatedly– almost magnetically– drawn to the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. The grounds weren’t fancy, soaking cost only $8.00. But I felt safe, healed, spiritually connected when I was there. At times, I felt almost an electric energy coursing through my body when I roamed the grounds. On my third visit, I noticed a small marker hidden on the side of the parking lot and I began to understand my feelings. The ancient spring was actually a Native American sacred site. The energy I felt there was real. I was standing on holy ground.

Develop a sense of the sacred. Develop a sense of what is sacred to you. Allow yourself to see and feel the holy grounds in your life as you go through your days and years. Many times what we’re going through, what we’re seeing is sacred, but our minds diminish that idea. So much in life is holy, but often we don’t make the connection. Listen to your soul as you experience life. Let yourself connect with what is holy and sacred to you.

Stop chattering for a moment. Be still. Experience. Ask your soul to show you what’s holy. The electric energy will rise through you. Your soul will come to attention. Learn to feel, see, and know the beauty of the journey you’re on.

Develop a sense of the sacred. Where you’re standing is holy ground.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Just do what you can

Dear God,
I am doing the best that I can.
–Children’s Letters to God

Sometimes all we can do is all we can do.

“Maybe my talent is being a good listener,” said John. “Maybe I’m not supposed to be rich and famous. I’m supposed to be the person who just sits and listens.”

The world needs listeners,too. If everyone were the storyteller, it would be a noisy place, and no one would ever get to hear the stories. Maybe you are a storyteller, maybe you are a listener. Maybe both. Maybe it will be your path to achieve recognition and fame; maybe yours is an anonymous path of service.

If you’ve done all you can– whether it’s to pursue your dreams, work on that relationship, help someone else, or take care of yourself– then you’ve done your part.

Maybe all we can do is all we’re meant to do, that day.

God, help me do what I can and not torture myself about what I can’t.

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In God’s Care

Conscience is the perfect interpreter of life.
~~Karl Barth

In a moment’s pause, before we respond to a person or situation, may come a clear message indicating how we are to act or what we are to say. In that quiet moment, our conscience calls to us. Our willingness to pause, listen, and then act as our Inner Guide suggests, will ensure that our relations with others will reflect our true values.

Many of us feel God’s presence most through our conscience. Seldom are we truly in doubt about the proper response to a friend. And yet we may still refuse to pause and listen to God’s message – to remember and affirm our values. And then we experience guilt and shame.

We complicate our relationships needlessly when we act before we think. Our agitated ego takes over, and we lose sight of the sure knowledge that God is the director, we are the actors. A quiet mind lets us hear the directions.

I will be quiet, if only for a moment, before sharing my thoughts today.

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Playing Your Part
Life Is an Illusion

by Madisyn Taylor

As we become more enlightened on our journey of life, we become more compassionate and wise and have less attachment.

As children, most of us sang that mesmerizing, wistful lullaby that ends with the words, “Life is but a dream.” This is a classic example of a deep, sophisticated truth hiding, like an underground stream, in an unlikely place. It winds its way through our minds like a riddle or a Zen koan, coming up when we least expect it and asking that we consider its meaning. Many gurus and philosophers agree with this mysterious observation, saying that this world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected on a screen. Most of us are so involved in the projection that we don’t understand it for what it is. We are completely caught up in the illusion, imagining that we are in a life and death struggle and taking it very seriously.

The enlightened few, on the other hand, live their lives in the light of the awareness that what most of us perceive as reality is a passing fancy. As a result, they behave with detachment, compassion, and wisdom, while the rest of us struggle and writhe upon the stage in the play of our life. Having the wisdom to know that life is but a dream does not mean that we ignore it or don’t do our best with the twists and turns of our fate. Rather, like an actress who plays her role fully even as she knows it’s only a role, we engage in the unfolding drama, but with a little more freedom because we know that this is not the totality of who we are.

And life is more of an improvisation than it is like a play whose lines have already been written, whose end is already known. Like an improviser, we have choices to make and the more we embrace the illusionary quality of the performance, the lighter we can be on the planet, on others, and on ourselves. We can truly play with the shadows cast by the light of the projector, fully engaging without getting bogged down. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Still another common thread we invariably see among slippers is that many of them felt dissatisfaction with today. “I forgot we live one day at a time,” or “I began to plan results, not just plan.” They seemed to forget that all we have is Now. Life continues to get better for them and, as many of us do, they forgot how bad it had been. They began to think, instead, of how dissatisfying it was compared to what it could be. Do I compare today with yesterday, realizing, by that contrast, what great benefits and blessings I have today?

Today I Pray

If I am discouraged with today, may I remember the sorrow and hassles of yesterday. If I am impatient for the future, let me appreciate today and how much better it is than the life i left behind. May I never forget the principle of “one day at a time.”

Today I Will Remember

The craziness of yesterday

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One More Day

Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right. Pray, if thou canst with hope, but even pray.
– Harley Coolidge

“Now I lay me down to sleep” may have been one of our fist childhood prayers, perhaps even on of our first memories. As we grew, we may have learned to recite other prayers by rote, with little understanding.

Now, we are beginning to understand and feel the need for prayer. many of us came to a belief in a Power greater than ourselves, one which can nature and sustain us. We can pray for those we love; we can pray for ourselves. Prayer can enhance and bond us with our Higher Power. It nourishes and satisfies our souls — the inner self.

Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs. It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continually reminds me of all life’s forces.

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Food For Thought

Fears

Do you eat when you are afraid? Many of us do. When we were babies, being fed brought the safety of our mother’s arms. As adults, we subconsciously give food a sort of magic ability to ward off real or imagined danger.

There are times when food may serve as a temporary tranquilizer, but overeating prevents us from facing what we fear and learning how to deal with it. Eating compulsively, moreover, usually produces a feeling of guilt and a fear of “getting caught.” The fear that we will not be able to stop eating is added to the fear that prompted us to reach for food, and the more we eat, the greater our fears.

Many of our fears are groundless and irrational. Through contact with our Higher Power, we are given the sanity, which causes them to disappear. Those fears that remain are often the result of the self-centeredness, which prevents us from turning our lives completely over to God. When we give Him absolute control, we have nothing to fear.

May I love You enough to let go of my fears.

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One Day At A Time

~ Acceptance ~
Until you make peace with who you are,
you will never be content with what you have.
Doris Mortman

Through abstinence and recovery, I can begin to accept myself. I can pay attention to my likes and my dislikes as I continue to grow and learn about me. Learning about myself is a new adventure. There are so many layers that have been hidden under years of food abuse and weight obsession. Exploring and discovering the new me requires a lot of acceptance. There are parts of me that I do not like, and there are also wonderful surprises. By accepting all parts of myself, I am honoring my Higher Power and demonstrating spiritual recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept myself. By learning to accept myself, I will find myself growing in my acceptance of others.
~ Christine S. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee – Thy will ( not mine ) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will. – Pg. 85 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it. What does this new life, seemingly full of discipline and deprivation, offer us anyway? There are many promises that only time can bring. Until then we must cherish our new freedom–freedom from the expense, cravings, and cost to our personal lives in that old chemical world.

Let me see the bondage of my addiction and remember not the questionable good times but the very real chains that bound me.

Shifting My Feeling States

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

I calm my heart

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

In our fellowship, there are always those who feel they have the ultimate wisdom to impart to you. These highly verbose people may set your nerves on edge with incredibly self-serving ‘words of wisdom.’ They may be full of themselves, but they are probably not trying to hurt you.

If I judge people, I have no time to love them.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

We came to AA to save our ass, and found out our soul was attached.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am open to all of who I am. As I bring my attention to all of me, without judgment, I grow in wisdom and freedom.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If you can’t turn over everything, turn over ‘right now.’ – Tom W.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 5

This Precious Gift
None of us can ever fathom the glories and the uncharted regions of the universe.
But we can live on earth and love one another.
We can let in the beginnings of concern, compassion, consideration, and watch ourselves grow.
With the tools and guideposts of Alcoholics Anonymous,
we can learn a little of this precious gift — our gateway to human spirituality.
– Came To Believe . . ., p. 120

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Three “C’s” — Concern, Compassion, Consideration.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G I F T S = Getting It From The Steps.

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

Virtues
“We of AA are apt sometimes to brag
of the virtues of our fellowship.
Let us remember that none of these are earned virtues.
We have been forced into them, to begin with,
by the cruel lash of John Barleycorn.
We have adopted these attitudes, these practices,
this structure, not at first because we wished to
but because we had to.
But today I think we stand
willing to conform permanently and gladly
to the principles which experience,
under the grace of God,
has taught us.”
Bill W., Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 224

Thought to Consider . . .
Unless I accept my virtues,
I will be overwhelmed with my faults.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
LET GO
Leave Everything To God, Okay?

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

Traditions
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“You will remember that episode back in our living room on Clinton Street. That was the time when my group told me I
[Bill W.] could never become an A.A. professional. With nearly every Tradition much the same thing has happened. At
first, I obeyed because I had to; I would have lost my standing in A.A. if I had not. After a while I began to obey because I
saw that the Traditions were wise and right. While I conformed because it was right to do, I still resisted inwardly.
“This was particularly true of anonymity. Today I hope I have come to a time in my A.A. life when I can obey because I
really want to obey, because I really want the Traditions for myself as well as for A.A. as a whole.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 136

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

“My basic flaw had always been dependence — almost absolute dependence — on people or circumstances to supply
me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and
specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1958
“The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get
well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in
God and clean house.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 98~

“Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant
thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 20

We become as open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 24

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Spiritual Kindergarten
We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect. Each man’s theology has to be his own quest, his own affair.
When the Big Book was being planned, some members thought that it ought to be Christian in the doctrinal sense. Others had no objection to the use of the word ‘God,’ but wanted to avoid doctrinal issues. Spirituality, yes. Religion, no. Still others wanted a psychological book, to lure the alcoholic in. Once in, he could take God or leave Him alone as he wished.
To the rest of us this was shocking, but happily we listened. Our group conscience was at work to construct the most acceptable and effective book possible.
Every voice was playing its appointed part. Our atheists and agnostics widened our gateway so that all who suffer might pass through, regardless of their belief or lack of belief.
1. LETTER, 1954
2. A.A. COMES OF AGE, PP. 162, 163, 167

Prayer For The Day: Dear heavenly Father, I praise you for all of Your goodness to us as Your children. I am blessed to know You and to follow You. Lord, help me to make wise decisions in all the things that I daily face. Give me Your love for all that I meet. Lord, in all of my affairs, help me not to procrastinate in dealing with the responsibilities that are before me. I do need Your guidance to know the things that should be priorities in my life, as sometime I do not know what needs to be taken care of first. Help me, in all my daily activities at home and at the office, to demonstrate Your nature. I ask this in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 4th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 4th

Daily Reflections

CRYING FOR THE MOON

“This very real feeling of inferiority is magnified by his childish
sensitivity and it is this state of affairs which generates in him that
insatiable, abnormal craving for self-approval and success in the eyes
of the world. Still a child, he cries for the moon. And the moon, it
seems, won’t have him!”
LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 102

While drinking I seemed to vacillate between feeling totally invisible
and believing I was the center of the universe. Searching for that
elusive balance between the two has become a major part of my
recovery. The moon I constantly cried for is, in sobriety, rarely full; it
shows me instead its many other phases, and there are lessons in them
all. True learning has often followed an eclipse, a time of darkness,
but with each cycle of my recovery, the light grows stronger and my
vision is clearer.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., I found men and women who had been through
the same things I had been through. But now they were thinking more
about how they could help others than they were about themselves.
They were a lot more unselfish than I ever was. By coming to meetings
and associating with them, I began to think a little less about myself
and a little more about other people. I also learned that I didn’t have
to depend on myself alone to get out of the mess I was in. I could get a
greater strength than my own. Am I now depending less on myself and
more on God?

Meditation For The Day

You cannot help others unless you understand the person you are
trying to help. To understand the problems and temptations of others,
you must have been through them yourself. You must do all you can to
understand others. You must study their backgrounds, their likes and
dislikes, their reactions and their prejudices. When you see their
weaknesses, do not confront the person with them. Share your own
weaknesses, sins, and temptations and let other people find their own
convictions.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may serve as a channel for God’s power to come into the
lives of others. I pray that I may try to understand them.


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As Bill Sees It

“. . .In All Our Affairs, p. 94

“The chief purpose of A.A. is sobriety. We all realize that without
sobriety we have nothing.

“However, it is possible to expand this simple aim into a great deal of
nonsense, so far as the individual member is concerned. Sometimes
we hear him say, in effect, “Sobriety is my sole responsibility. After
all, I’m a pretty fine chap, except for my drinking. Give me sobriety,
and I’ve got it made!’

“As long as our friend clings to this comfortable alibi, he will make so
little progress with his real life problems and responsibilities that he
stands in a fair way to get drunk again. This is why A.A.’s Twelfth
Steps urges that ‘we practice these principles in all our affairs.’ We
are not living just to be sober; we are living to learn, to serve, and to
love.

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

You are not alone
Fellowship
If you feel isolated and lonely, tape the letters ~~ YANA~~ to the dash in your car.  “You Are Never Alone”  can help bring a surge of confidence when you most need it.
We are not alone because we have thousands of friends who have shared our experience and who understand our feelings.  We also are not alone because we have a Higher Power who presides over the affairs of all humankind.  We can never be separated from this Power except in our own minds.
We must remember that we will always need other people.  Virtually everything that benefits us is supplied by the skills and knowledge of others.We can believe that we are completely independent, but the truth is that no person survives completely alone.
The typical problem for many of us is in failing to seek help from others. If extreme loneliness is closing in on us, the best prescription is a meeting and the company of other members.
I’ll not be too proud to ask for help today or to explain to others that I need them and appreciate them.  I should also freely admit that help from others led me to sobriety—and helps maintain it today.


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Keep It Simple

Pray without resentment in your heart. —The Little Red Book
Resentment is anger that we don’t want to turn over to our Higher Power.
Sometimes we want to keep our anger. Maybe we want to “get even.” it’s hard to be spiritual and full of anger at the same time. When we hold on to anger, it turns into self-will. We get angry from time to time. This is normal. But we now have a program to help us let go of anger. We also know that stored-up anger can drive us back to alcohol and other drugs. Instead of trying to “get even,” let’s work at keeping anger out of our hearts.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray without anger in my heart. Higher Power, I give You my anger. Have me work for justice, instead of acting like a judge.
Action For the Day:  I’ll list any resentments I now have. I’ll talk about them at my next meeting. This is the best way to turn resentments over to my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

All we are asked to bear we can bear. That is a law of the spiritual life. The only hindrance to the working of this law, as of all benign laws, is fear.  –Elizabeth Goudge
There is no problem too difficult to handle with all the help available to us. Let’s not be overwhelmed. The program tells us to “Let go and let God,” to turn it over. And that’s where the solution lies.
Our challenges, the stumbling blocks in our way, beckon us toward the spiritual working-out of the problem which moves us closer toward being the women we are meant to be. Our fear comes from not trusting in the power greater than ourselves to provide the direction we need, to make known the solution.
Every day we will have challenges. We have lessons to learn which mean growing pains. If we could but remember that our challenges are gifts to grow on and that within every problem lies the solution.
I will not be given more than I and my higher power can handle today, or any day.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

The real significance of my experience in the Cathedral burst upon me.  For a brief moment, I had needed and wanted God.  There had been a humble willingness to have Him with me—and He came.  But soon the sense of His presence had been blotted out by worldly clamors, mostly those within myself.  And so it had been ever since.  How blind had I been.

pp. 12-13

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
My growing inward unhappiness was a very real thing, however, and I knew that something would have to be done about it.  A friend found help in psychoanalysis.  After a particularly ugly one-nighter, my wife suggested I try it, and I agreed.  Educated child of the scientific age that I was, I had complete faith in the science of the mind.  It would be a sure cure and also an adventure.  How exciting to learn the inward mysteries that govern the behavior of people, how wonderful to know, at last, all about myself!  To cut a long story short, I spent seven years and $10,000 on my psychiatric adventure, and emerged in worse condition than ever.

p. 384

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

This meant, of course, that we had been given the courage to declare each A.A. group an individual entity, strictly reliant on its own conscience as a guide to action. In charting this enormous expanse of freedom, we found it necessary to post only two storm signals: A group ought not do anything which would greatly injure A.A. as a whole, nor ought it affiliate itself with anything or anybody else. There would be real danger should we commence to call some groups “wet,” others “dry,” still others “Republican” or “Communist,” and yet others “Catholic” or “Protestant.” The A.A. group would have to stick to its course or be hopelessly lost. Sobriety had to be its sole objective. In all other respects there was perfect freedom of will and action. Every group had the right to be wrong.

p. 147

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“In forgiving ourselves, we make the journey from guilt for what we
have done (or not done) to celebration of what we have become.”
–Joan Borysenko

Pitying yourself will get you nowhere. Things aren’t always going to
go the way you want them to, but still you must set the rules regarding
how you respond to them.

There is incredible beauty, in the gentle and quiet spirit, precious in
God’s direction.
–SweetyZee

“He who cannot rest, cannot work; He who cannot let go, cannot hold
on; He who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.”
–Harry Emerson Fosdick

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far
more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting
moment.”
–Benjamin Franklin

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first
examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better
changed in ourselves.
–Carl Jung

Voices we prefer to ignore may speak words we need to hear.
–Don Deal


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BEAUTY

“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
–Emily Dickinson

So many people think that beauty is what you do to yourself; what you
wear, makeup, clothes, hairstyles or expensive jewelry. Again it is so
easy to get caught up in “things”. Reality is not about what we wear
but who we are.

The beauty that God has created comes from within. The twinkle in
the eyes that says “hello”. The hug that says “I love you”. The gentle
embrace and smile that says “I forgive you”. The tear that cries “I
understand”.

When God said to the world, “It is good”, Beauty was born. Drugs and
crazy relationships only get in the way of us being what we were
intended to be: beautiful for God.

Today I seek to put God’s beauty in my actions, words and attitudes.

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“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the
Lord.”
Psalm 31:24

For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from
being snared.
Proverbs 3:26


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Daily Inspiration

Today is an opportunity to love, to work and to play. Lord, may I recognize the opportunities that come today and participate in them as much as I can.

In life it is those that persevere that will succeed. Lord, every day is a fresh beginning. With You, I will come closer to my goals each day if only I don’t give up and quit.

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NA Just For Today

Guarding Our Recovery

“Remember that we… are ultimately responsible for our recovery and our decisions.”
Basic Text p. 99

Most of us will face choices that challenge our recovery. If we find ourselves in extreme physical pain, for example, we will have to decide whether or not we will take medication. We will have to be very honest with ourselves about the severity of our pain, honest with our doctor about our addiction and our recovery, and honest with our sponsor In the end, however, the decision is ours, for we are the ones who must live with the consequences.

Another common challenge is the choice of attending a party where alcohol will be served. Again, we should consider our own spiritual state. If someone who supports our recovery can attend the event with us, so much the better. However, if we don’t feel up to such a challenge, we should probably decline the invitation. Today, we know that preserving our recovery is more important than saving face.

All such decisions are tough ones, requiring not only our careful consideration but the guidance of our sponsor and complete surrender to a Higher Power Using all of these resources, we make the best decision we can. Ultimately, however, the decision is ours. Today, we are responsible for our own recovery.

Just for today: When faced with a decision that may challenge my recovery I will consult all the resources at my disposal before I make my choice.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
One day at a time–this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone. –Ida Scott Taylor
It’s not always easy to understand that the day stretching before us is all that counts. Daydreaming about the party last week, or getting upset all over again about a fight we had yesterday with a friend doesn’t help us right now. When our minds are on the past, we miss out on the conversation or the activity that is going on around us.
Every moment of the day is special, and guaranteed to help us grow and understand life. All of us have been taught to pay attention in school, or to pay attention when others talk to us. But we should also pay attention to the birds, the sky, even the grass. And we can learn a lot by paying attention to the conversations going on around us, and to the small voice inside us that helps us know right from wrong.
What’s going on today is enough to pay attention to.
Am I ready to pay attention to what is around me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
What is obvious to me is that we did not create ourselves… life is something inside of you. You did not create it. Once you understand that, .you are in a spiritual realm. –Virginia Satir
We do not belong to ourselves, but to the universe. No man planned to come into existence; he just happened to find himself here. We are the expressions of a life force whose beginnings are in the forgotten past. What does this mean on a practical level for how we will live today? For one thing, maybe we don’t need to take ourselves so seriously. And we certainly are not to judge our existence. We have a right to be here, just as everyone does.
We can live this day fully and not hold ourselves back. We may work hard, play, and enjoy it. We need not rein in or attempt to control this force which so far exceeds our individual powers. Rather, today we can learn to flow with the current.
Today, may I remember my Higher Power is within every cell of my being, whether I notice it or not.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
All we are asked to bear we can bear. That is a law of the spiritual life. The only hindrance to the working of this law, as of all benign laws, is fear. –Elizabeth Goudge
There is no problem too difficult to handle with all the help available to us. Let’s not be overwhelmed. The program tells us to “Let go and let God,” to turn it over. And that’s where the solution lies.
Our challenges, the stumbling blocks in our way, beckon us toward the spiritual working-out of the problem which moves us closer toward being the women we are meant to be. Our fear comes from not trusting in the power greater than ourselves to provide the direction we need, to make known the solution.
Every day we will have challenges. We have lessons to learn which mean growing pains. If we could but remember that our challenges are gifts to grow on and that within every problem lies the solution.
I will not be given more than I and my higher power can handle today, or any day.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Negotiating Conflicts
Recovery is about more than walking away. Sometimes it means learning to stay and deal. Its about building and maintaining relationships that work. –Beyond Codependency
Problems and conflicts are part of life and relationships – with friends, family, loved ones, and at work problem solving and conflict negotiation are skills we can acquire and improve with time.
Not being willing to tackle and solve problems in relationships leads to unresolved feelings of anger and victimization, terminated relationships, unresolved problems, and power plays that intensify the problem and waste time and energy.
Not being willing to face and solve problems means we may run into that problem again.
Some problems with people cannot be worked out in mutually satisfactory ways. Sometimes the problem is a boundary issue we have, and there is not room to negotiate. In that case, we need to clearly understand what we want and need and what our bottom line is.
Some problems with people, though, can be worked out. worked through, and satisfactorily negotiated. Often, there are workable options for solving problems that we will not even see until we become open to the concept of working through problems in relationships, rather than running from the problems.
To negotiate problems, we must be willing to identify the problem, let go of blame and shame, and focus on possible creative solutions. To successfully negotiate and solve problems in relationships, we must have a sense of our bottom line and our boundary issues, so we don’t waste time trying to negotiate non-negotiable issues.
We need to learn to identify what both people really want and need and the different possibilities for working that out. We can learn to be flexible without being too flexible. Committed, intimate relationships mean two people are learning to work together through their problems and conflicts in ways that work in both peoples best interest.
Today, I will be open to negotiating conflicts I have with people. I will strive for balance without being too submissive or too demanding. I will strive for appropriate flexibility in my problem solving efforts.

Today I am hanging in no matter what. Even when my conscious mind wants to give up,
I will reach for that healthy loving part deep within me and with the help of prayer and meditation and the good people in my life, I will find a rainbow. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Wait for Timely Action

Watch the surfer as he works his way out to sea. See him watching the waves, waiting for the right movement, the right timing, the right swell. Sometimes the wave comes quickly. Sometimes he has to tread water patiently for a long time, waiting and watching before he can ride the wave.

Learn to ride the waves of energy in your life. Learn to wait for the right time to take action. Learn to wait until your senses, your emotions, your body, and the universe give you the signal you need. Yes, you have a list of things you want to do. But as soon as you have made that list, visualized what you want, you’ve already begun a powerful force. You’ve already begun to engage the universe in helping bring you want you want. There are moments that are more perfect than others to initiate action, to make that phone call, to finish that task.

Untimely action will not get the job done any sooner. It will simply waste your energy and send you back to sea, waiting for the right wave. Focus on your goal, muster all your forces, and head out to sea. Then wait patiently for the right time, for the right energy, for the right wave.

The right wave will come. When it does, grab your board, jump on, and ride it for all its worth.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Ask for guidance

Sometimes things seem like good ideas and aren’t, really.
–Piglet

Ask for guidance first.

Self-will is a tricky thing. So are impulse behaviors.

We’ve heard of impulse buying– making a purchase quickly and without thought, based on monetary impulse. It’s easy to get caught up living our lives that way,too. So often, we run off in the heat of the moment.

Spontaneity is good. Saying yes to life is good,too. But impulse living can get us into trouble. We can overreact to a problem, then sit in a heap of regrets. Sometimes, the next step presents itself clearly, in a flash of inspiration. Sometimes, we’re meant to go forward and not let our fears and negative thoughts hold us back. Sometimes, we’re acting on impulse and may end up sabotaging ourselves.

Ask for guidance first. It takes only a second to check the map and see if the turn we’re thinking of making is where we really want go.

God, show me what your will is for me. Show me if the decision I’m about to make is in my best interest or if there is a better path for me to explore.

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In God’s Care

The hand that gives gathers.
~~English proverb

Maybe we grew up believing somehow that to give is to lose. We were taught to believe, or came to the conclusion on our own, that when we give away something, we have to do without it; to give meant to experience loss.

Now, our spiritual friends show us a love that demands nothing in return, and we have a different attitude. We discover that when we give in a spirit of generosity, we lose nothing at all. When we share a material possession we feel rich. The opposite is true, too, of course. When we withhold love, we feel unloved, and when we don’t share what we have, we feel the loss of something.

There is a spiritual maxim at work here. We can give of ourselves and have everything, or we can withhold ourselves and experience spiritual poverty.

I give of what I have. It is the way to be truly happy.

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Physical Bodies on Earth
Spiritual Being–Physical Experience

by Madisyn Taylor

While we are incarnated in a body on this earth, we must remember that we still are a spiritual being at our core.

We are on this earth, in our physical bodies, because our souls have things to learn that we could not learn in any other way. It is through our physical body and the physical world that we can experience life. Purely spiritual beings are just that – they are in a state of being rather than doing – in a place that is beyond the limitations of time and space. But when we incarnate on the physical plane, we are automatically subject to the laws of physics and the world of dualities. In this place, we know what happiness is because we have experienced sadness, and we understand the value and power of light because we have known darkness. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to let ourselves be spiritual beings having a physical experience.

There is no pain in the spiritual realm, because we know we are one with the limitless source of the universe. But here, in the material realm, our sense of limitation and separation allows us to feel our emotions and to learn about love, forgiveness, and compassion. We go from a spiritual state of oneness to learning how to be in relationship with people who are different and distinct individuals. We learn to understand ourselves through our relationships with the world around us—its seasons and landscapes, challenges and opportunities. And through our journey to find our place among so many others, we begin to recognize our own glimmer of light in a constellation of stars.

Once we remember that we are spiritual beings, we can revel in the experience of being human while knowing we are all connected. We can live from the place of oneness while truly appreciating the beauty of diversity, the bittersweet feel of love and loss, and the elation of triumph over challenges and adversity. It is through these opposites that we experience life itself, and we can ride through the dark times with the understanding that it will help us to appreciate the light of life and love and spirit more fully. We are here now because we made the choice to experience an earth life, so now we can choose to enjoy the journey as completely as possible. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Another common denominator among those who slip is failure to use the tools of The Program — the Twelve Steps. The comments heard most often are, “i never got past the First Step,’ “I worked The Steps too slow,” or “too fast” or “too soon.” What it boils down to, is that these considered the Steps, but didn’t conscientiously and sincerely apply the Steps to their lives. Am I learning how to protect myself and help others?

Today I Pray

May I be a doer of the Steps and not a hearer only. May I see some of the common mid-Steps which lead to a fall: Being too proud to admit Step One; Being too tied to everyday earth to feel the presence of a Higher Power; Being over-whelmed by the thought of preparing Step Four, a complete moral inventory; Being too reticent to share that inventory. Please, God, guide me as I work the Twelve Steps.

Today I Will Remember

To watch my Steps.

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One More Day

The mind leaps, and leaps perhaps with a sort of elation.
– Joseph Wood Krutch

A chronic medical problem can be incorporated into our total picture of life. If we allow problems, medical or otherwise, to overwhelm and exclude everything else, we are defeated before we begin. We don’t have to be defeatist.

Everyday dawns fresh with opportunities to change, to find happiness, and to live our lives well. By searching deeply within, we can redefine our faith in ourselves and in our Higher Power. A joy, and elation, can be ours when we allow ourselves to express our natural human curiosity through growth, learning, and a willingness to try new things. We can hold our heads up high and be proud.

Regardless of my physical condition, I have dignity and worth.

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Food For Thought

Resting

We compulsive overeaters often used food as a stimulant when we felt the need to be busy about something. Of course, food did not keep us stimulated for long, since we usually ate too much and ended up in a stupor.

With this program, we can be more in touch with how our bodies really feel. There are times when the craving for food may mask our fatigue, times when what we need is rest, not food. When we are tired and feel that we cannot continue with what we are doing, it is very possible that we need to rest rather than eat. A short nap can refresh us much more than unnecessary food.

True rest for our spirit as well as our body comes from our Higher Power. A period of meditation can lift us out of mental and emotional depression. Only a brief moment is required to take our attention away from the daily routine and let our consciousness be drawn to God. These frequent pauses during the day tap a vast storehouse of energy and power.

I rest in Your greatness, Lord.

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One Day At A Time

~ Commitment ~
Shallow men believe in luck ~
Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Abstinence did not happen for me until I made a commitment to it. I realized that I would have abstinence until something was a bit too uncomfortable for me to face or feel. Then I would have a slip. So it became a game for me. Was this event or circumstance enough to justify another slip? Sure, why not? That’s the nature of the disease. Everything and anything was an excuse to eat.

It wasn’t until I made a commitment to abstinence that I was forced to find my solutions in the Twelve Steps and really let go of my addiction. I’m grateful to my Higher Power that I hit the bottom I did. By accepting the truth about myself and my food addiction, I am now free to live in the solution.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will renew my commitment by receiving the gift of abstinence and practicing my program to the best of my ability.
~ Christine S. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. – Pg. 85 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

When we describe recovery as ‘accepting a fate worse than death,’ we don’t understand the true nature of acceptance. This is called the ‘sigh and die’ syndrome. Rather than dwell on what can’t be changed, we learn to do what is right at this moment, in this hour.

I don’t want to be a part of the ‘sigh and die’ syndrome. Right this moment, I will pick up another book on recovery and read one page, any page, and that will break the spell.

Inner Peace

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

I give myself the gift of inner peace.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The diversity of people seeking recovery is extraordinary. Whether an old salty dog, young gang member, grandparent, or teen with attitude, we remember: as cancer is no respecter of victims, neither is addiction. Same disease, same recovery.

‘We all came on different ships, but we’re all on the same boat now.’ ~Martin Luther King

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Talk to your sponsor first.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am hanging in no matter what. Even when my conscious mind wants to give up, I will reach for that healthy loving part deep within me and with the help of prayer and meditation and the good people in my life, I will find a rainbow.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

We can’t discover new worlds until we have the courage to let go of the shore. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 4

Change
It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet conditions, whatever they were.
But in AA we slowly learned that something had to be done about our vengeful resentments,
self-pity, and unwarranted pride. . .
We learned that if we were seriously disturbed, our first need was to quiet that disturbance,
regardless of who or what we thought caused it.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 47

Thought to Ponder . . .
Without change I am just a non-drinking drunk.

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

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

Sunlight
“When the thought was expressed to me
that there might be a God personal to me,
I didn’t like the idea.
So my friend Ebby made what then seemed
a novel suggestion.
He said, ‘Why don’t you choose
your own conception of God?’
That statement hit me hard.
It melted the icy intellectual mountain
in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years.
I stood in the sunlight at last.”
Bill W., Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12
As Bill Sees It, p. 313

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
LET GO
Leave Everything To God, Okay?

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

Release
From “On a Winter Day”:
“I knew I had to have a new beginning, and this beginning had to be here. I could not start anywhere else. I had to let go
of the past and forget the future. As long as I held on to the past with one hand and grabbed at the future with the other
hand, I had nothing to hold on to today with. So I had to begin here, now.
“The next time I went back to my A.A. group, the “happy hypocrites” looked different to me. I began to see love in their
eyes, a greater warmth than I had ever seen before. I mentioned it to my sponsor, and he said, ‘The reason you see
love in these people’s eyes is because you are beginning to love them. The love that we see in their eyes is the
reflection of our own love. We have got to love to be loved.’–Decatur, Georgia”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 46

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

“I am responsible as a trusted servant to be informed — my group expects and deserves that. That responsibility
requires me to take action, to do some reading, and to find out what the principles say — not what I think … The beautiful
thing about AA is that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We have directions and guidelines that we can follow; they
were hammered out on the anvil of experience by those who have gone before us.”
San Carlos, California, October 1994
“The Anvil of Experience,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ 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. Pg. 85 – Into Action

“God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors,
psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to
take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give
freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

Prayer is the raising of the heart and mind to God – and in this sense it includes meditation.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 102

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

…In All Our Affairs
The chief purpose of A.A. is sobriety. We all realize that without sobriety we have nothing.
However, it is possible to expand this simple aim into a great deal of nonsense, so far as the individual member is
concerned. Sometimes we hear him say, in effect, ‘Sobriety is my sole responsibility. After all, I’m a pretty fine chap,
except for my drinking. Give me sobriety, and I’ve got it made!’
As long as our friend clings to this comfortable alibi, he will make so little progress with his real life problems and
responsibilities that he stands in a fair way to get drunk again. This is why A.A.’s Twelfth Step urges that we ‘practice
these principles in all our affairs.’ We are not living just to be sober; we are living to learn, to serve, and to love. LETTER, 1966

Prayer For The Day: May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 3rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 3rd

Daily Reflections

ACCEPTING OUR HUMANNESS

We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not
the other man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and
became willing to set these matters straight.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 222

Why is it that the alcoholic is so unwilling to accept
responsibility? I used to drink because of the things
that other people did to me. Once I came to A.A. I was
told to look at where I had been wrong. What did I have
to do with all these different matters? When I simply
accepted that I had a part in them, I was able to put
it on paper and see it for what it was – humanness. I
am not expected to be perfect! I have made errors before
and I will make them again. To be honest about them
allows me to accept them – and myself – and those with whom
I had the differences; from there, recovery is just a
short distance ahead.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I was drinking, I was absolutely selfish, I thought
of myself first, last, and always. The universe revolved
around me at the center. When I woke up in the morning
with a hangover, my only thought was how terrible I felt
and about what I could do to make myself feel better. And
the only thing I could think of was more liquor. To quit
was impossible. I couldn’t see beyond myself and my own
need for another drink. Can I now look out and beyond my
own selfishness?

Meditation For The Day

Remember that the first quality of greatness is service.
In a way, God is the greatest servant of all, because He
is always waiting for us to call on Him to help us in all
good endeavors. His strength is always available to us,
but we must ask it of Him through our own free will. It
is a free gift, but we must sincerely seek for it. A
life of service is the finest life we can live. We are
here on earth to serve others. That is the beginning and
the end of our real worth.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may cooperate with God in all good things.
I pray that I may serve God and others and so lead a
useful and happy life.

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As Bill Sees It

Atmosphere Of Grace, p. 93

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it
than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse
air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer,
we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.

As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the
light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace.
To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. life confirm this ageless truth.

12 & 12, pp. 97-98

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Walk in Dry Places

More will be revealed
Spiritual Growth
There’s an old saying,  “To him that hath, more shall be given.”    That saying applies to our growth in AA.  If we dedicate ourselves to the program, new information and understanding will continue to flow in our direction.
This is not because God is singling us out for special favors.  It’s simply a law of life.  When we are interested in a subject, we find more knowledge coming to us almost “Out of the blue” as we continue to seek it.  It’s almost as if hidden forces were gathering up ideas and pushing them in our direction.
What’s happened is that we have put ourselves in line for such growth.  We have our antennae out, and we become conditioned to recognize useful ideas as they come to us.  We are Open-Minded to our good.
This same process has also led to more general knowledge about alcoholism.  When the early AA’s attained sobriety, most of the information about alcoholism was summed up in a handful of books. Now there are hundreds of books, symposia, and speeches dealing with the subject.  More was revealed, and we can hope that even more will be revealed as we continue to focus on recovery.
I can expect useful information to come to me from a number of sources. My interest in my recovery and self-improvement helps attract the information and understanding I need.


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Keep It Simple

Rest is the guardian of health.—Melba Colgrave
Now that we are sober, we’re feeling better than we have in years. We’re busy too. We attend meetings and visit friends. We have work,
school, families, and homes to keep up with.
It’s easy to forget to rest. We forgot that our bodies and minds need time off. We need plenty of sleep each night. And we need a lazy weekend now and than to let our bodies recover from to go,
go, go of daily life.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me listen to my body. Remind me to slow down and rest now and then.
Action for the Day:  How much have I rested lately? Have I gotten enough sleep each night? What can I do in the next two days to rest my body, mind, and spirit?

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Each Day a New Beginning

Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.  –Golda Meir
We all know people who live on the fringes of life. They seem uninvolved with the activity in their midst, as though a pane of glass separated them from us. And there are times when we join the persons standing alone away from the vibrancy of life. Fears keep people apart, particularly the fear of letting go of the vulnerable self and joining in the feelings of the moment.
To fully reap the benefits of life, we have to risk full exposure to one another and to the experience of the moment. Full involvement in the ebb and flow of life will bring the weeping that accompanies both the pain and the joy of life. It will also bring the fruits of laughter.
Both laughter and weeping cleanse us. They bring closure to an experience. They make possible our letting go. And we must let go of pain, as well as joy, to ready ourselves for the next blessing life offers us.
When we keep ourselves apart, when we hold off the tears or the laughter, we cheat ourselves of the richness of life. We have to go through an experience fully in order to learn all it can teach us and then be free of it.
Past experiences never let me go until I fully grieve those that need to be grieved or laugh over those that deserve the light touch. The present is distorted when the past shadows it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough. At long last I saw, I felt, I believed. Scales of pride and prejudice fell from my eyes. A new world came into view.

p. 12

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
How easy it was, in the beginning, to forget that those binges ever happened!  After a day or two of groveling remorse, I’d come up with an explanation.  “The nervous tension had piled up and just had to spill over.”  Or, “My physical plant had got a little rundown and the stuff rushed right to my head.”  Or, “I got to talking and forgot how many I was taking and it hit me.”  Always we emerged with a new formula for avoiding future trouble.  “You’ve got to space your drinks and take plenty of water in between,” or “Coat the stomach with a little olive oil,” or “Drink anything but those damn martinis.”  Weeks would go by without further trouble, and I’d assume I’d at last hit on the right formula.  The binge had been just “one of those things.”  After a month it seemed unlikely that it happened.  Intervals between binges were eight months.

p. 383

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

When A.A.’s Traditions were first published, in 1946, we had become sure that an A.A. group could stand almost any amount of battering. We saw that the group, exactly like the individual, must eventually conform to whatever tested principles would guarantee survival. We had discovered that there was perfect safety in the process of trial and error. So confident of this had we become that the original statement of A.A. tradition carried this significant sentence: “Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group provided that as a group they have no other affiliation.”

pp. 146-147

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“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what
direction we are moving.”
–Oliver Wendell Holmes

“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even
as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or
Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all
the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, here lived a great
streetsweeper who did his job well.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
–Anon.

A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.
–Unknown

God, help me accept all the twists and turns along my path. Help me to
say whatever to the good and the unfortunate incidents that come my
way.
–Melody Beattie

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WONDER

“Men love to wonder, and that is
the seed of science”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my sobriety the world is a wonderful place. I often sit back and am
amazed at the splendor of life, at the simple happenings that give such
joy, at the nobility that is revealed in man, at the creative adventure and
mystery of life. I meditate in wonder.

Now I see how drugs kept me blind from so much. Alcohol kept me a
prisoner of mediocrity and much of the wonder of life passed me by. As a
drinking alcoholic I existed in life, rather than lived life. I was a bored
spectator rather than a participant. I reacted to things, rather than
initiated events Alcoholism equals dullness. Recovery symbolized energy.

Today I can dream dreams and rest in the wonder of it all. God is Good.

O Lord, let me see the wonderful mystery of life even in the ordinary.

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“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.”
I Peter 5:7

“I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will
glorify Your name forevermore.”
Psalm 86:12

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Daily Inspiration

We are extremely precious to God and are never left alone not even for one second. Lord, Thank You for Your promise to protect and care for me always.

It is important to remember that different can be better. Lord, as I resist change and cling to the familiar, help me to remember that Your plan is perfect and will truly make me happy.

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NA Just For Today

For You Alone

“The idea of a spiritual awakening takes many different forms in the different personalities that we find in the fellowship.”
Basic Text p. 48

Though we all work the same steps, each of us experiences the spiritual awakening resulting from them in our own way. The shape that spiritual awakening takes in our lives will vary, depending on who we are.

For some of us, the spiritual awakening promised in the Twelfth Step will result in a renewed interest in religion or mysticism. Others will awaken to an understanding of the lives of those around them, experiencing empathy perhaps for the first time. Still others will realize that the steps have awakened them to their own moral or ethical principles. Most of us experience our spiritual awakening as a combination of these things, each combination as unique as the individual who’s been awakened.

If there are so many different varieties of spiritual awakenings, how do we know if we’ve truly had one? The Twelfth Step provides us with two signs: We’ve found principles capable of guiding us well, the kind of principles we want to practice in all our affairs. And we’ve begun to care enough about other addicts to freely share with them the experience we’ve had. No matter what the details of our awakenings are like, we all are given the guidance and the love we need to live fulfilling, spiritually oriented lives.

Just for today: Regardless of its particular shape, my spiritual awakening has helped me fill my place in the world with love and life. For that, I am grateful.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves. –Carl Jung
Children are smart. Remember how we used to imitate our parents’ behavior? We’d dress up like them, mimic their words, even copy their attitudes. We wanted to be just like them because we thought they were the most wonderful people in the world. We can see this happen all around us, younger ones imitating parents, older brothers and sisters, and older friends. It’s very flattering.
The problem is that children imitate not just healthy behavior and attitudes, but also sometimes the not-so-healthy. We get very uncomfortable when we look at a younger person misbehaving and see ourselves in that person. Suddenly, we aren’t flattered any more.
When we see things we don’t like in others, we must first look at ourselves to see if we need changing. This is all we can do–change ourselves. Others may follow our example or they may not, but we can be sure that, when we watch our own behavior, most of what we see of ourselves in others will be flattering.
What change can I make in myself to set a good example today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work. –Jacques Cousteau
What is faith? It is believing in possibilities. It is the ability to carry on with our plans or to be true to our work even though we feel discouraged or tired. It is staying active in relationships even when we receive little in return or when our friends aren’t able to respond.
If there were no doubt, there would be no need for faith. Faith is temporarily putting our doubts on the shelf and working toward our goals. Faith is trusting that help and support will be there for us even though they’re not in view. It is looking at a map and choosing a new destination, getting on the road to go there, and trusting the marks on the map symbolize a real place that we will find.
I will leave room for my doubts and discouragement, but I will not indulge them. I will choose to go with hope. I will give my energy to the better possibilities.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. –Golda Meir
We all know people who live on the fringes of life. They seem uninvolved with the activity in their midst, as though a pane of glass separated them from us. And there are times when we join the persons standing alone away from the vibrancy of life. Fears keep people apart, particularly the fear of letting go of the vulnerable self and joining in the feelings of the moment.
To fully reap the benefits of life, we have to risk full exposure to one another and to the experience of the moment. Full involvement in the ebb and flow of life will bring the weeping that accompanies both the pain and the joy of life. It will also bring the fruits of laughter.
Both laughter and weeping cleanse us. They bring closure to an experience. They make possible our letting go. And we must let go of pain, as well as joy, to ready ourselves for the next blessing life offers us.
When we keep ourselves apart, when we hold off the tears or the laughter, we cheat ourselves of the richness of life. We have to go through an experience fully in order to learn all it can teach us and then be free of it.
Past experiences never let me go until I fully grieve those that need to be grieved or laugh over those that deserve the light touch. The present is distorted when the past shadows it.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Acceptance
Surrender to the moment. Ride it out and through, for all its worth. Throw yourself into it.
Stop resisting.
So much of our anguish is created when we are in resistance. So much relief, release, and change are possible when we accept, simply accept.
We waste our time, expend our energy, and make things harder by resisting, repressing, and denying. Repressing our thoughts will not make them disappear. Repressing a thought already formed will not make us a better person. Think it. Let it come into reality. Then release it. A thought is not forever. If we don’t like it, we can think another one or change it. But to do that, we must accept and release the first thought.
Resistance and repression will not change a thing. They will put us at war with our thoughts.
We make life harder by resisting and repressing our feelings. No matter how dark, how uncomfortable, how unjustified, how surprising, how inappropriate we might deem our feelings, resisting and repressing them will not free us from them. Doing that will make them worse. They will swirl inside us, torment us, make us sick, and make our body ache, compel us to do compulsive things, keep us awake, or put us to sleep.
In the final analysis, all that were really called on to do is accept our feelings by feeling them, and saying, Yes, this is what I feel.
Feelings are for the present moment. The more quickly we can accept a feeling, the more quickly we will move on to the next.
Resisting or repressing thoughts and feelings does not change us or turn us into the person we want to be or think we should be. It puts us in resistance to reality. It makes us repressed. Eventually, it makes us depressed.
Resisting events or circumstances in our life does not change things, no matter how undesirable the events or circumstances may be.
Acceptance turns us into the person we are and want to be. Acceptance empowers the events and circumstances to turn around for the better.
What do we do if were in resistance, in a tug of war with some reality in our life? Accepting our resistance can help us get through that too.
Acceptance does not mean were giving our approval. It does not mean surrendering to the will and plans of another. It does not mean commitment. It is not forever. It is for the present moment. Acceptance does not make things harder; it makes things easier. Acceptance does not mean we accept abuse or mistreatment; it does not mean we forego boundaries, our hopes, dreams, desires, wants, or ourselves. It means we accept what is, so we know what to do to take care of ourselves and what boundaries we need to set. It means we accept what is and who we are at the moment, so we are free to change and grow.
Acceptance and surrender move us forward on this journey. Force does not work.
Acceptance and surrender – two concepts that hurt the most before we do them.
Today, I will practice accepting my present circumstances and myself. I will begin to watch and trust the magic that acceptance can bring into my life and recovery.

I am open to positive changes in my life today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Value Your Connection to Creativity

Creativity is a force– a living, real force. It’s the power of love, the power of life, a gift of the Divine. You’re connected to that force.

Open up to your creative powers– in work, in play, in love. Make creations that are beautiful to look at. Make creations you like to see, creations that are pleasing to you. Creativity comes in many forms– cooking, decorating, speaking, drawing, writing, or building a castle in sand at the beach. How you choose to create is up to you.

“I used to love taking pictures when I was a child,” one man said. “Then one day, in a rage, my father smashed my camera to the floor. He told me taking pictures was nonsense. It was twenty years before I let myself take a picture again. Now, I can’t stop.”

Who told you you weren’t creative? Stand tall, speak up, and tell them they’re wrong. Own your creative powers. Allow your creativity to heal and flourish.

Value your connections to creativity. Value the way you choose to express your creative power. It’s your expression of love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Pray and manifest your power

The Sufis have a saying: Praise Allah, and tie your camel to a post. This brings together both parts of practice: pray, yes, but also make sure that you do what is necessary in the world.
–Jack Kornfield, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom

It’s easy to play the martyr. We spend our lives in struggle and turmoil longing for the sweet by-and-by when everything will be fine.

Today is the sweet by-and-by. Yes, right now. It’s here. If we’re to have good in our lives, it’s up to us to seek it out.

Here are two things the Bible teaches about faith. One, it says that faith is like a mustard seed. The tiniest bit of it can grow tall and in its own time will sprout. The other thing the Bible says is that faith without works is dead. If you’re not doing something, then you’re not keeping your faith alive.

Pray. Turn it over to God. But do something, too.

Stop waiting for someone to come along and rescue you.

Learn to rescue yourself.

God, help me take guided actions today to make my life a better place.

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In God’s Care

This instant is the only time there is.
~~Gerald Jampolsky

How many precious moments of sunshine, birds’ song, or friends’ laughter we never lay claim to because we’re lost in our thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow. God has given us these moments we’re experiencing right now, and in each one is a gift – intended for each of us.

The smile we get from a loved one or a stranger is precious and worthy of cherishing; but to cherish it, we must notice it When our mind is not quietly and intently immersed in the present, we fail to garner the strength God is offering us every moment.

Our higher Power is evident wherever we look, but we must see; our Higher Power is evident in every voice, but we must hear. Our Higher Power is evident within, but we must be quiet and know.

I will quiet my mind so I can see and hear and know that God is present, now.

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Wanting to Join
Dumbing Ourselves Down

by Madisyn Taylor

Playing it small in order to fit in with a group of people robs the essence of your soul level self.

The ability to go into any social situation and sense the level of consciousness in that situation is a gift. It enables us to move considerately in a world that holds people of all levels of awareness. However, there is a difference between shifting our energy to accommodate people and dumbing ourselves down to a regrettable degree. Sometimes, when we get into a particular social situation, we may feel pressure to play it small in order to fit in. Perhaps everyone is drinking or smoking excessively, engaging in gossipy small talk, or complaining bitterly about politics. It is one thing to notice this and modify our expectations and another thing entirely to join in.

When we notice where people are coming from and acknowledge to ourselves that their energy is not in alignment with ours, we have several choices as to how to proceed. One viable option is to quietly endure the situation, keeping to ourselves until it is time to leave. In this way, we take care of our own consciousness and protect our growth process. Another option is to interact in a way that honors and pays respect to the people in the group, while gently attempting to shift the level of consciousness with our input. In order to do this, we must maintain our own vibration, which means that joining in by dumbing down is not an option.

When we choose to dumb ourselves down to fit in, we not only sell ourselves short but we also lose a possible opportunity to influence the situation for the good of all concerned. Our desire to join in may come from our natural yearning to feel connected to the people around us. There is no shame in this, but being able to stand on our own, separate from the crowd, is a powerful milestone on any spiritual path. It can be difficult in the moment, but when we arrive on the other side, our integrity intact, we may find ourselves feeling positively smart. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

In almost every instance, the returned slipper says, “I stopped going to meetings,” or “I got fed up with the same old stories and the same old faces,” or “My outside commitments were such that I had to cut down on meetings,” or “I felt I’d received the optimum benefits from meetings, so I sought further help from more meaningful activities.” In short, they simply stopped going to meetings. A saying I’ve heard in The Program hits the nail on the head: “Them which stops going to meetings are not present at meetings to hear about what happen to them what stops going to meetings.” Am I going to enough meetings for me?

Today I Pray

God keep me on the track of The Program. May I never be too tired, too busy, too complacent, too bored to go to meetings. Almost always those complaints are reversed at a meeting if I will just get myself there. My weariness dissipates in serenity. My busyness is reduced to its rightful proportion. My complacency gives way to vigilance again. And how can I be bored in a place where there is so much fellowship and joy?

Today I Will Remember

Attend the meetings.

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One More Day

Excessive fear is always powerless.
– Aeschylus

Something may be interfering with our sleep. Eyes wide, we lie in bed night after night. We move through the days like robots, just getting by. Our lack of sleep may stem from worries and problems that we can’t face.

Our confrontation with illness may have suddenly made us see how powerless we are over some parts of our lives. Where once we had felt that everything had an acceptable answer, we now have to live with an answer we don’t like and we can’t change. We may pull that original sense of helplessness into other areas of our lives. Gradually, we understand that life has always been unpredictable; we just refused to see it until we were forced to. We learn to accept the things we can’t change and work toward changing the things we can. We deal wit our problems. Our anxiety subsides. We’re able to rest.

Today, I’ll accept unchangeable answers.

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Food For Thought

Trusting God

Most of us have spent a great amount of time and energy trying to order and arrange our own lives. We have searched frantically for something to hang on to which would solve our problems – a new diet, a new job, a new lover. Nothing has worked permanently. The harder we have tried to straighten ourselves out the more our problems have defeated us.

When we came into the OA program, we were advised to “let go and let God.” At first, this may have seemed to us to be a huge cop out. The idea of passively waiting for a Higher Power to do for us what we could not do for ourselves was an insult to our pride and our illusions of self-sufficiency. We were afraid to let go.

Our Higher Power requires that we be willing to trust Him with our lives in order to receive His strength and direction. From our vantage point of limited knowledge, there is a risk involved in letting go. If we are willing to take this risk and if we have the courage to face our fear, we will eventually receive the peace and support which we so desperately need. Besides, what do we have to lose except our own weakness?

Grant me courage to trust You completely.

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One Day At A Time

~ The Future ~
When I look into the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.
Oprah Winfrey

I receive the gift of abstinence one day at a time. I am relieved from the obsession to eat one day at a time. With the help of my Higher Power, I can live life on life’s terms… one day at a time.

As my recovery builds and builds, I start to imagine all the possibilities for my life. Things I never had the confidence or emotional stability to pursue are options for me. Now that I am free from the despair and self-destruction of overeating, there is space to actualize new adventures. But before I become overwhelmed or grandiose in my thinking, the Program gently reminds me that it is STILL just one day a time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program so that I have a future.
~ Christine S. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Cling to the thought that in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have – the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. – Pg. 124 – The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Compulsion is a word you will hear a lot now that you have made the decision to begin recovery. You may often feel compelled to drink or use drugs again even when you don’t want to. Compulsion is a symptom of our disease and we use all the new tools of our program to counteract compulsions.

Please help me understand that compulsion is a symptom of my disease and as such need not be acted upon. I offer my compulsive behavior to God, as I understand God.

Blessings

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

I know enough to say thank you

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When things go wrong, they are not particularly anyone’s fault. You can’t expect every meeting to be perfect and your sponsor to have every answer. You know you can’t control or fix everything that goes wrong and neither can ‘they.’

When things go wrong, I don’t let them get too far.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

To the mind that is still, the world surrenders.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am open to positive changes in my life today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

This deal is as simple as A.B.C. – Accept, Begin and Continue. It doesn’t take a lawyer or some intellectual gorilla to decipher that. And you can do it downtown or uptown or anywhere else. It doesn’t make any difference. And if you’ll hold on to the God of your understanding, the truth about yourself – namely that you cannot take one drink – and hold on to your AA friends, you’ll hold on to total abstinence. And that’s the name of this game. – John C.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 3

Seeking Approval
Today I still enjoy getting the approval of others,
but I am not willing to pay the price I used to pay to get it.
I will not bend myself into a pretzel to get others to like me.
If I get your approval, that’s fine; but if I don’t, I will survive without it.
I am responsible for speaking for what I perceive to be the truth,
not what I think others may want to hear.
– Daily Reflections, p. 101

Thought to Ponder . . .
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
P R I D E = Personal Recovery Involves Deflating Ego.

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

Open Mind
“To get sober and to stay sober,
all you really need is a truly open mind.
Just resign from the debating society and
quit bothering yourself with such deep questions
as whether it was the hen or the egg that came first.
Again I say, all you need is the open mind.”
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 26

Thought to Consider . . .
Minds are like parachutes –
they won’t work unless they’re open.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ABC Acceptance, Belief, Change

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

Publicity
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“Meanwhile, a great tide of public approval, stimulated by A.A.’s friends of press, radio, and in recent times television,
began to sweep in upon us and it has never ceased. Each month a clipping service feeds our Headquarters
scrapbooks with a very large amount of material. Writers constantly ask Headquarters to check their manuscripts. A.A.
members are helped to appear anonymously on radio and TV programs. The making of arrangements for publicity has
become a constantly increasing activity of our A.A. office. How many lives have been saved, how many years of misery
have thus been averted for thousands of alcoholics and their families, only God knows.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 206-07

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

“In AA … I was once again able to hear the sounds of nature. I looked at a pine tree one day and began to cry at how
beautiful it was. I learned to laugh again.”
Marina, California, October 1994
“Birches,”
AA Grapevine

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

“We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of
drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be
the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us
or, if you prefer, “a design for living” that really works.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28~

“An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 16~

For it is only by accepting and solving our problems that we can begin to get right with ourselves and with the world
about us and with Him who presides over us all.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 125

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Atmosphere of Grace
Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food,
or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away
from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.
As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s reality, the
nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace. To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. life confirm this
ageless truth. TWELVE AND TWELVE, PP. 97-98

Prayer For The Day: A Prayer for Being Grateful – Lord God, may we be grateful for our lot, and compassionate toward
all those who are suffering every kind of distress at this difficult time. May we hold back nothing, and hasten to be the
ministers of prayer and mercy, like the disciples of Him who went about doing good in times of need.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 2nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 2nd

Daily Reflections

CHARACTER BUILDING

Demands made upon other people for too much attention,
protection, and love can only invite domination or
revulsion….
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 44

When I uncovered my need for approval in the Fourth Step,
I didn’t think it should rank as a character defect. I
wanted to think of it more as an asset (that is, the desire
to please people). It was quickly pointed out to me that
this “need” can be very crippling. Today I still enjoy
getting the approval of others, but I am not willing to
pay the price I used to pay to get it. I will not bend
myself into a pretzel to get others to like me. If I get
your approval, that’s fine; but if I don’t, I will
survive without it. I am responsible for speaking what
I perceive to be the truth, not what I think others may
want to hear.
Similarly, my false pride always kept me overly
concerned about my reputation. Since being enlightened
in the A.A. program, my aim is to improve my character.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Since I’ve been in A.A., have I made a start toward
becoming more loving to my family and friends? Do I visit
my parents? Am I more appreciative of my spouse than I was
before? Am I grateful to my family for having put up with
me? Have I found real understanding with my children? Do I
feel that the friends I’ve found in A.A. are real friends?
Do I believe that they are always ready to help me and
do I want to help them if I can? Do I really care now about
other people?

Meditation For The Day

Not what you do so much as what you are, that is the miracle-
working power. You can be a force for good, with the help of
God. God is here to help you and to bless you, here to company
with you. You can be a worker with God. Changed by God’s grace,
you shed one garment of the spirit for a better one. In time,
you throw that one aside for a yet finer one. And so from
character to character, you are gradually transformed.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may accept every challenge. I pray that each
acceptance of a challenge may make me grow into a better
person.


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As Bill Sees It

Walking Toward Serenity, p. 92

“When I was tired and couldn’t concentrate, I used to fall back on an
affirmation toward life that took the form of simple walking and deep
breathing. I sometimes told myself that I couldn’t do even this–that I
was too weak. But I learned that this was the point at which I could
not give in without becoming still more depressed.

“So I would set myself at a small stint. I would determine to walk a
quarter of a mile. And I would concentrate by counting my
breathing–say, six steps to each slow inhalation and four to each
exhalation. Having done the quarter-mile, I found that I could go on,
maybe a half-mile more. Then another half-mile, and maybe another.

“This was encouraging. The false sense of physical weakness would
leave me (this feeling being so characteristic of depressions). The
walking and especially the breathing were powerful affirmations
toward life and living and away from failure and death. The counting
represented a minimum discipline in concentration, to get some rest
from the wear and tear of fear and guilt.”

Letter, 1960

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Walk in Dry Places

Accepting Risk
Facing Reality.
Like it or not, life seems to have certain risks that just can’t be avoided. Alcoholics are not really comfortable with risk-taking. This is especially true in situations that include risk of rejection, risk of defeat, or risk of loss.
If we try to get through life without accepting some risk, however, we’re simply not being realistic. The refusal to accept risk may also mean that we miss wonderful opportunities in the process.
What should we do?  We should face risk intelligently and with spiritual preparation. FIRST, we do everything possible to reduce risk in any situation (thus making it a “calculated risk”). THEN we pray for guidance and inspiration (but not a certain outcome).  FINALLY, we do our very best to succeed in the situation, whether it’s a courtship, a job search, competition in sports, or whatever.
We might surprise ourselves by succeeding more times than we fail.  But even in temporary failure, we gain if we follow through in accepting reasonable and necessary risks.
I’ll exercise prudence and good judgment in all my undertakings today, but I won’t expect to be able to “play it safe” in everything.  As  a human being, I have to take risks in life.


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Keep It Simple

To know all things is not permitted.— Horace
In recovery, we give up trying to be perfect. We give up trying to know
everything. We work at coming to know and accept our short-comings.  In
Step Four and Five, we look at our good points and our bad points. In Step
Six, we become ready to have our Higher Power remove our “defects of
character.” Then in Step Seven we ask our Higher Power to remove our
“shortcomings.”
Recovery is about coming to accept that we’re not prefect. We admit that
trying to be perfect got in the way of being useful to ourselves, our
Higher Power, and those around us. Pretending to be prefect doesn’t allow
us to be real. It’s also boring and no fun—you never get to mess up.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You will let me know what I need to know. Allow me to claim
my mistakes and shortcomings.
Action for the Day:  I will work at being okay today. Not prefect, just okay.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.  –Amelia Earhart
We have learned from experience that a wave of peacefulness washes over us after we have successfully finished a task that was difficult to face. Courage has its reward. However, from time to time, and from task to task, we find we need the reminder that peace will come once the loose ends have been tied by us.
Our search for peace was desperate and unending in past years. Our fears overwhelmed us more often than not. Courage was seldom displayed. Tasks were often left half done or not done at all. Challenges went unmet. And peace eluded us.
We are so lucky that the program found us, and that we found the program! We are looking forward, at last, with the courage that trusting a higher power has given us. Peace is ours, now and always, as we go forth with the strength of the program to bolster us. New jobs, new friends, new situations may still elicit our old fears. But their hold on us is gone. We have learned that we face nothing alone. What relief that simple truth brings.
Courage is one of the program’s gifts. I will have courage to go forward: to meet the new day, to handle whatever confronts me. Peace is coupled with courage, now and forever.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?”
That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.
It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend. Would I have it? Of course I would!

p. 12

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
Of course I drank.  Everybody did in the set which I regarded as the apex of civilization.  My wife loved to drink, and we tied on many a hooter in the name of marital bliss.  My associates, and all the wits and literary lights I so much admired, also drank.  Evening cocktails were as standard as morning coffee, and I suppose my average daily consumption ran a little more or less than a pint.  Even on my rare (at first) binge nights, it never ran over a quart.

p. 383

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

AUTONOMY is a ten-dollar word. But in relation to us, it means very simply that every A.A. group can manage its affairs exactly as it pleases, except when A.A. as a whole is threatened. Comes now the same question raised in Tradition One. Isn’t such liberty foolishly dangerous?
Over the years, every conceivable deviation from our Twelve Steps and Traditions has been tried. That was sure to be, since we are so largely a band of ego-driven individualists. Children of chaos, we have defiantly played with every brand of fire, only to emerge unharmed and, we think, wiser. These very deviations created a vast process of trial and error which, under the grace of God, has brought us to where we stand today.

p. 146

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“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit
there.”
–Will Rogers

Laughter is by definition healthy.
–Doris Lessing

He who laughs, lasts.
–Mary Pettibone Poole

The best portion of a good man’s life is in his little nameless,
unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
–William Wordsworth

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
–Aesop

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never
thrown away.
–Arthur Helps

“We get so much in the habit of wearing a disguise before others that
we eventually appear disguised before ourselves.”
–Jim Bishop


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PROBLEMS

“The real problem is in the
hearts and minds of men.”
–Albert Einstein

We are facing not so much a “drug problem” as a people problem – and
this requires a solution from the people. I believe the solution and
recovery has already been given by God, but it must be discovered from
within. We need to seek out what is truly in our minds and hearts: what
are our problems, what are our needs, what do we long for, where are
we going in our lives?

Today it is not enough for me to know my problems, I need also to talk
about them. Today I choose to express my feelings.

God, I thank You for the creative gift of communication.

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

O, come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the
LORD our maker.
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and
the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice.
Psalm 95:6-7

When you lie down you will not be afraid; when you lie down , your sleep
will be sweet.
Proverbs 3:24


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Daily Inspiration

There are always better things to come than that which we have left behind. Lord, I look with excitement toward the enexpected joys of today.

Forget what you have done for others and remember what they have done for you. Lord, a gift is given freely with no expection. May I become a truly giving person.

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NA Just For Today

Attraction

“Our public image consists of what we have to offer: a successful, proven way of maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.”
Basic Text p. 72

Yes, we are attracting new members. More and more addicts are finding Narcotics Anonymous. But how do we treat our newest members when they arrive, worn out from their struggles with addiction? Do we reach out to newcomers who are standing by themselves at our meetings, confused and uncertain? Are we willing to give them rides to meetings? Do we still work one-on-one with the addict who suffers? Do we give out our phone numbers? Are we eager to go on a Twelfth Step call, even if it means getting up from our comfortable beds in the middle of the night? Will we work with someone who has a different sexual orientation or is from another culture? Are we generous with the gift of our time?

No doubt we were met with love and acceptance by our fellow addicts. What attracted many of us to Narcotics Anonymous was the feeling that we had finally found a place where we belonged. Are we offering that same sense of belonging to our newer members? We cannot promote Narcotics Anonymous. But when we put principles into action in our lives, we attract newer members to the NA way, just as we were attracted to recovery.

Just for today: I will work with a newcomer. I will remember that I was once a newcomer myself. I will seek to attract others with the same sense of belonging I’ve found in NA.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It is wealth to be content. –Lao-tzu
On the evening of the first day of spring, a woman gave her husband a bright red geranium in a clay pot. To celebrate, he placed it on the windowsill, and together they marveled at the delicate petals.
In the harsher light of morning, though, the man frowned at the geranium and said to his wife, “How shabby it makes the sofa look.” They spent the day at the furniture store and came home with a new couch, blue with red flowers, like the geranium. They placed the couch in front of the windowsill and admired together its grace and line and fashionable upholstery.
But the next morning, the man frowned at the couch and said, “How shabby it makes the carpet look.” Soon they had a lavish new carpet, which led to new curtains, lamps, and chairs. When the room was completely redone, they set the geranium back in the window and surveyed the finest room in the neighborhood. The man frowned. “The geranium,” he said, “it’s out of place. It will have to go.”
Will I be able to appreciate life’s simple pleasures today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The universe is the primary revelation of the divine, the primary scripture, the primary focus of divine human communion. –Thomas Berry
In this program we learn about being receptive. A man in search of conscious contact with a Higher Power can simply stand still and open his eyes and ears to creation. Forcing a spiritual awareness is mostly wasted effort. Learning theology doesn’t create a spiritual experience either. We only need to see and hear what is around us. This is a vast and marvelous universe, and it speaks for itself. It has always been there, and when we are ready to receive the message, we will.
It stirs our spirit to be at a meeting and hear another man describe the awakening of his spirituality. As we men become more receptive to the spiritual, we open a whole new realm in our lives.
May my growing ability to be a receptive man lead me to a deeper spiritual contact.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. –Amelia Earhart
We have learned from experience that a wave of peacefulness washes over us after we have successfully finished a task that was difficult to face. Courage has its reward. However, from time to time, and from task to task, we find we need the reminder that peace will come once the loose ends have been tied by us.
Our search for peace was desperate and unending in past years. Our fears overwhelmed us more often than not. Courage was seldom displayed. Tasks were often left half done or not done at all. Challenges went unmet. And peace eluded us.
We are so lucky that the program found us, and that we found the program! We are looking forward, at last, with the courage that trusting a higher power has given us. Peace is ours, now and always, as we go forth with the strength of the program to bolster us. New jobs, new friends, new situations may still elicit our old fears. But their hold on us is gone. We have learned that we face nothing alone. What relief that simple truth brings.
Courage is one of the program’s gifts. I will have courage to go forward: to meet the new day, to handle whatever confronts me. Peace is coupled with courage, now and forever.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Facing Our Darker Side
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. –Step Four of Al Anon
By the time we get to the Fourth of the Twelve Steps, we are ready to face our darker side, the side that prevents us from loving others, from letting others love us, and from enjoying life and ourselves. The purpose of Step Four is not to make ourselves feel worse; our purpose is to begin to remove our blocks to joy and love.
We look for fears, anger, hurt, and shame from past events–buried feelings that may be affecting our life today. We search for subconscious beliefs about others and ourselves that may be interfering with the quality of our relationships. These beliefs say: Im not lovable. . .. Im a burden to those around me. . .. People cant be trusted. . . . I cant be trusted . . .. I don’t deserve to be happy and successful. . .. Life isn’t worth living. We look at our behaviors and patterns with an eye toward discerning the self-defeating ones. With love and compassion for ourselves, we try to unearth all our guilt – earned and unearned – and expose it to the light.
We perform this examination without fear of what we shall find, because this soul searching can cleanse us and help us feel better about ourselves than we ever dreamt possible.
God, help me search out the blocks and barriers within myself. Bring what I need to know into my conscious mind, so I can be free of it. Show me what I need to know about myself.

Today I wait in peace and rest in the knowledge that God is working for me while I am resting. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Discover the Power of Meditation

I saw Spirit Rock Center, a meditation center, as I drove along the highway in Northern California. I turned into the parking lot and watched as people moved about the grounds very slowly. They were practicing a walking meditation.

Meditation teaches us to relax, to connect with our body, to let spirit and body become one. Many of us spent years abandoning ourselves, our emotions, and our bodies. We’ve been present for others, and now is the time for us to stay present for ourselves, fully and completely.

Meditation helps us leave our routine for a bit and slow down. We deliberately exhale stress, tension, and fear. Then we inhale light, beauty, peace, and love. We slow our minds and slow our bodies until we reach that quiet place. Meditation can renew us and help us return to our lives refreshed.

Meditate. Take time to inhale peace and exhale fear. Then take your meditation back to your life. Walk slowly. Stay present for yourself, more fully and completely than ever before. You too can turn your life into a walking, waking, deliberate meditation.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Learn to say yes

Learn to say yes, and mean it.

How long has it been since you’ve said yes to someone in your life? Yes, I’d like to do that. Yes, that sounds good to me. Yes, I’ll take a chance.

How long has it been since you’ve said yes to yourself? Yes, I recognize what you’re feeling. Yes, I heard what you want. Yes, I realize you’re tired. Yes, we’ll rest for a while.

When opportunities come our way– whether for personal, spiritual, or business growth– don’t always be so cautious and shy. So what if yes means you’re not living up to someone’s expectations? Sometimes we learn to say no so well that saying no becomes a habit. We don’t even consider what we’re turning down.

A well timed yes is as important in manifesting our power as learning to say no. It’s a sign of an open heart.

Next time someone asks you out, suggests an opportunity, or your body tries to talk to you, stop, Instead of immediately saying no, like a parent on automatic pilot, listen to the offer. Could it be an important one? Something that might help guide you along your path? Maybe you’re scared. Maybe you’re worried that you aren’t up to the occasion. Maybe you like the safety of saying no all the time.

Learn to say yes to life.

Honesty, openness, and willingness to try. Hmmmm. Sounds a lot like yes to me.

God, help me learn to say yes and mean it, when that’s the appropriate response.

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In God’s Care

God does not comfort us to make us comfortable but to make us comforters.
~~J. H. Jowett

We weren’t in any kind of condition to comfort others when we were in the grips of our addictions. It’s only now when we have been blessed with comfort for ourselves, that we can turn our attention to others. Now that we can, we discover another spiritual paradox: We find comfort in giving comfort. It is part of the “to-give-is-to-receive” principle.

Perhaps we didn’t come by our addictions accidentally. There’s a purpose for each of us, and comforting others is part of our purpose. God relies on us to carry the message, as those who went before us brought it to us. That’s why we can never be complacent about our progress. The minute we isolate ourselves from others, discomfort sets in – for us and for those who need the comfort of our presence.

My comfort depends on being a comforter.

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The Life Cycle
Bud and Blossom and Beyond

by Madisyn Taylor

It is through watching the cycles of nature that we more fully understand the cycles of our own lives.

Flowers and leaves both begin their lives as organisms so tiny we cannot see them with the naked eye. With time, they become visible, curled in upon themselves, colorful buds slowly softening and releasing. With the proper warmth and moisture, they unfold little by little, revealing with each degree of opening a new color, shape, or dimension. Sometimes buds open seemingly all at once, unfolding the full majesty of their potential, of what looks to the human eye like courage, openness, and generosity.

As days go by, the bloom slowly moves through more stages, revealing still more colors, shapes, and dimensions of its essence. It falls apart, strewing its petals on the ground, or it wilts, or it closes back in on itself. When we can appreciate the full beauty of each stage of the cycle of life, from bud to blossom to disintegration, we feel more at home with our own earthly process. We can be inspired not to hold back the fullness of what we have to offer, knowing that our time to give of ourselves in this way will come to pass. At the same time, we can honor others, and the little processes that go on within the larger process of living our lives.

Each stage we go through has its time of fulfillment and recession, as do all living things. Every moment of every stage has its own particular beauty, and we can appreciate that, even as most of us tend to love the spectacular moment of full blossoming most of all. When we feel the wisdom contained in the budding, blossoming, and dissolution of a simple flower, we begin to feel it everywhere, in each moment that comes and goes, in each sunrise and sunset, in every hello and goodbye, as the very essence of the pulsating ebb and flow of existence. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

What causes slips? What happens to a person who apparently seems to understand and live the way of The Program, yet decides to go out again? What can I do to keep this from happening to me? Is there any consistency among those who slip, any common denominators that seem to apply? We can each draw our own conclusions, but we learn in The Program that certain in-actions will all but guarantee an eventual slip. When a person who has slipped is fortunate enough to return to The Program, do I listen carefully to what he or she says about the slip?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power — if I listen to Him — show me if I am setting myself up to get high again. May I glean from the experiences of others that the reasons for such a lapse of resolve or such an accident of will most often stem from what I have not done rather than from what I have done. May I “keep coming back” to meetings.

Today I Will Remember

Keep Coming Back.

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One More Day

The joy of life is to put out one’s power in some natural and useful or harmless way. There is no other, and the real misery is not to do this.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

If our health changes and fatigue are frequent problems, we may become unable to do all we did for ourselves in the past. If we push ourselves too far, something will suffer. We may pay with our joints or we may pay with depression. But we do pay.

If we liken our daily energy level to money in a bank account, we realize we can make only so many withdrawals before our resources run out. We decide each day how we want to spend — or waste — that precious energy. It takes a while to get our priorities rearranged, but living a good life is important, and eventually we learn how to invest our energy well.

Each day presents itself new and fresh. It’s up to me to decide how to spend my energy.

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Food For Thought

Food Is Not God

Though we may not have admitted it, food was probably the most important thing in our lives when we were overeating. How many times did our relationships with family and friends suffer because of our slavery to our appetites? How often did we hurt those we loved by placing our craving above their needs?

Instead of loving God first, most of us . . .

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One Day At A Time

~ Love ~
There is only one happiness in life … to love and be loved.
George Sand

It took me many, many years to really and truly discover what turned out to be something that I have yearned for all of my life. That “something” was love ~ both the ability to love and to accept love.

As a child, I felt I had to achieve to be loved and, in the process of achieving, lost a great deal of my childhood. This carried over to adulthood and thus began the years of doing what was expected of me (or so I thought) in order to be loved, valued and respected.

Recovery has taught me so much about myself and about love. One of the greatest truths I have learned about myself and my ability to love is that for me to love someone, it is not necessary that they love me back. My loving someone else never depends on their loving me … but how wonderful it is when they do.

One Day at a Time . . .
Let me realize that love is something that just happens … I can’t make it happen … and I can’t stop it from happening.
~ Mari ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The darker the shadow, the brighter the Light. As we stop using and leave the shadow of drug addiction, we slowly begin to see the new light of our life. Sometimes its so bright, it hurts. We are not used to it.

God, as I understand You, as I clean up and the Light of recovery hurts, help me understand, adjust, and be grateful to leave the shadow.

I Have Faith

I rely on faith. Faith sustains me and guides me. Faith is my constant companion. It leads me through passages of terrifying darkness and blinding light. Faith allows me to weave my life into a coherent whole, to walk on a path that others have lit, to strike out on my own and cut my way through the underbrush. There is nothing in my life that faith doesn’t make better. There is no day that faith doesn’t give meaning and purpose to. There is no relationship that faith doesn’t guide and sustain.

I need my faith to live

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Some people quote the Bible, Qur’an, Torah, or some other holy text claiming that it is your only road to recovery. You may or may not find that comforting. Whether or not it is comforting you, remember it is comforting them. Be tolerant and gracious.

I may not find something personally helpful, but I find it helpful to be personable.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

First we work the program because we have to. Then we work the program because we are willing to. Finally we work the program because we want to.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I wait in peace and rest in the knowledge that God is working for me while I am resting.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The thing I have to do for my personal recovery is to apply the Steps into my life. But the thing I owe to future generations of suffering alcoholics – and maybe my own children – is to maintain the fellowship with the simplicity, purity and integrity that I found when I came in. And the only way to do that is to pay careful attention to the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. – Doug D.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 2

Willingness
All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open.
There is only one key, and it is called willingness.
Once unlocked by willingness, the door opens almost of itself,
and looking through it, we shall see an inscription.
It reads: “This is the way to a faith that works.”
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 34

Thought to Ponder . . .
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
and we never even know we have the key.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
W O W = Willingness Over Willpower.

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

Humility
“Our AA program is spiritually centered.
Most of us have found enough humility
to believe in and depend upon God.
We have found that humility by facing the fact
that alcoholism is a fatal malady
over which we are individually powerless.”
Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, September 1945
The Language of the Heart, p. 7

Thought to Consider . . .
Humility is not thinking less of yourself,
but thinking of yourself less.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
YET
You’ll End UpThere

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

Powerless
From “The Vicious Cycle”:
“When I finally got Hank on the telephone he fired me right then. This was when I really took my first good look at myself.
My loneliness was worse than it had ever been before, for now even my own kind had turned against me. This time it
really hurt, more than any hangover ever had. My brilliant agnosticism vanished, and I saw for the first time that those
who really believed, or at least honestly tried to find a Power greater than themselves, were much more composed and
contented than I had ever been, and they seemed to have a degree of happiness I had never known.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 228-29

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

“For all the slow mornings, there are just as many when I arise with an open mind, willing to see what God has in store
for me that day. Every chapter of self-pity ends when I am willing to abandon my pride and reach out to another alcoholic.”
Xian, China, October 1994
“Distilled Spirits,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ 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~

“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~

Even the chief architect, standing in the ruins of his dream, could laugh at himself – and that is the very acme of humility.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 149

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When I was tired and couldn’t concentrate, I used to fall back on an affirmation toward life that took the form of simple
walking and deep breathing. I sometimes told myself that I couldn’t do even this–that I was too weak. But I learned that
this was the point at which I could not give in without becoming still more depressed.
So I would set myself a small stint. I would determine to walk a quarter of a mile. And I would concentrate by counting
my breathing–say, six steps to each slow inhalation and four to each exhalation. Having done the quarter-mile, I found
that I could go on, maybe a half-mile more. Then another half-mile, and maybe another.
This was encouraging. The false sense of physical weakness would leave me (this feeling being so characteristic of
depressions). The walking and especially the breathing were powerful affirmations toward life and living and away from
failure and death. The counting represented a minimum discipline in concentration, to get some rest from the wear and
tear of fear and guilt. LETTER, 1960

Prayer For The Day: Guide me Lord. You are my heart. You are my strength. You are my hope. Teach me Lord, and
guide my way. I love You more each passing day. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 1st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 1st

Daily Reflections

LOOKING WITHIN

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 42

Step Four is the vigorous and painstaking effort to discover what the
liabilities in each of us have been, and are. I want to find exactly how,
when, and where my natural desires have warped me. I wish to look
squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and myself. By
discovering what my emotional deformities are, I can move toward
their correction. Without a willing and persistent effort to do this,
there can be little sobriety or contentment for me.

To resolve ambivalent feelings, I need to feel a strong and helpful
sense of myself. Such an awareness doesn’t happen overnight, and no
one’s self-awareness is permanent. Everyone has the capacity for
growth, and for self-awareness, through an honest encounter with
reality.
When I don’t avoid issues but meet them directly, always trying to
resolve them, they become fewer and fewer.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Since I’ve been in A.A., have I made a start toward becoming more
honest? Do I no longer have to lie to my loved ones? Do I try to have
meals on time, and do I try to earn what I make at work? Am I trying
to be honest? Have I faced myself as I really am and have I admitted
to myself that I’m no good by myself, but have to rely on God to help
me do the right thing? Am I beginning to find out what it means to be
alive and to face the world honestly and without fear?

Meditation For The Day

God is all around us. His spirit pervades the universe. And yet we
often do not let His spirit in. We try to get along without His help and
we make a mess of our lives. We can do nothing of any value without
God’s help. All our human relationships depend on this. When we let
God’s spirit rule our lives, we learn how to get along with others and
how to help them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may let God run my life. I pray that I will never again
make a mess of my life through trying to run it myself.


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As Bill Sees It

Courage and Prudence, p. 91

When fear persisted, we knew it for what it was, and we became able
to handle it. We began to see each adversity as a God-given
opportunity to develop the kind of courage which is born of humility,
rather than of bravado.

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

Prudence is a workable middle ground, a channel of clear sailing
between the obstacles of fear on the one side and of recklessness on
the other. Prudence in practice creates a definite climate, the only
climate in which harmony, effectiveness, and consistent spiritual
progress can be achieved.

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

“Prudence is rational concern without worry.”

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. Twelve Concepts, p. 62
3. Talk, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

There are no coincidences
Guidance
Here’s an exercise that can strengthen your belief in a Higher Power:  Review your life for seemingly insignificant things that were actually major turning points.  A chance meeting, for example, may have resulted in an astonishing career opportunity for lifelong romance. Such surprises come to everybody, and people often wonder what their lives would have been like without these “coincidences.
The founding of AA also seemed to be a series of coincidences and chance happenings.  The message reached Bill W. by a circular route, and then an unexpected business opportunity took him to Akron, Ohio, where he finally met Dr. Bob. The unusual aspect was that Akron just “Happened” to have stalwart members of the Oxford Group, the same fellowship that had helped Bill W.
People with strong spiritual foundations in AA have come to see these happenings not as coincidences but as the guidance of a Higher power.  This Higher Power was…and is… continuously working through inspired people.
We’ll find similar chance happenings for good in our own lives.  We don’t control them except by keeping our own house in order. This assures us that the outcome of any ” coincidence” will be favorable.
I’ll carry on my activities today without trying to second-guess what my Higher Power has in mind for me.  At the same time, I’ll know that a superior intelligence is directing my affairs in wonderful ways.


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Keep It Simple

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. — Step Fourof Alcoholics Anonymous.
We avoid the Fourth Step. We put it off. We’re scared of what we will find inside of us. We may find out we’re mean, angry, selfish, afraid. We might see how badly we’ve acted to others, to ourselves. We have all these things inside us.  We also have love, trust, faith, and hope. We love art, music, nature, or sports. We have power to heal, and we have used it too. The Fourth Step helps us to know our inner power. As we learn about our own power, we can use it carefully, on purpose, to do good.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me use my power to do Your will. Let your power work through me too.
Action for the Day:  Today Ill watch my own actions and words. I’ll see how my power affects others. I’ll talk about this with my sponsor.

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Each Day a New Beginning

To be wildly enthusiastic, or deadly serious–both are wrong. Both pass. One must keep ever present a sense of humor.
–Katherine Mansfield
How familiar wild enthusiasm and deadly seriousness are to most of us. We experience life within the extremes. The thrill of wild enthusiasm we try to trap, to control. We are exhilarated and feel good. Our serious side traps us, controls us, lowers a pall on all our activities. Both expressions keep us stuck. Neither expression allows the freedom of spontaneity so necessary to a full, healthy life.
Through our addiction–the liquor, the upper, the person, the food–we were searching for a feeling we didn’t feel. We were searching for an unnatural state of happiness, even perhaps wild enthusiasm, because we had so little of any enthusiasm for life. Our search failed. Again and again we’d “catch it,” only to have it elude us.
We may not have given up the search. But we will come to accept both states of mind as temporary and search instead for the middle ground. A sense of humor will make all of life’s loads easier to bear. A sense of humor will offer us the balance that has been missing for so many years.
Today will offer me a chance to be wildly enthusiastic and a chance to be deadly serious. I’ll try to focus on the middle ground and cultivate my sense of humor.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

I saw that my friend was much more than inwardly reorganized. He was on a different footing. His roots grasped a new soil.
Despite the living example of my friend there remained in me the vestiges of my old prejudice. The word God still aroused a certain antipathy. When the thought expressed that there might be a God personal to me this feeling was intensified. I didn’t like the idea. I could go for such conceptions as Creative Intelligence, Universal Mind or Spirit of Nature but I resisted the thought of a Czar of the Heavens, however loving His sway might be. I have since talked with scores of men who felt the same way.

pp. 11-12

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
The insidiousness of alcoholism is an appalling thing.  In all the twenty-five years of my drinking, there were only a few occasions when I took a morning drink.  My binges were one-night stands only.  Once or twice, during my early drinking, I carried it over into the second day, and only once, that I can remember, did it continue into the third.  I was never drunk on the job, never missed a day’s work, was seldom rendered totally ineffective by a hangover, and kept my liquor expenses well within my adequate budget.  I continued to advance in my chosen field.  How could such a man possibly be called an alcoholic?  Whatever the root of my unhappiness might turn out to be, I thought, it could not possibly be booze.

pp. 382-383

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

Nowadays, when oldtimers who know Ed foregather, they exclaim, “What if we had actually succeeded in throwing Ed out for blasphemy? What would have happened to him and all the others he later helped?”
So the hand of Providence early gave us a sign that any alcoholic is a member of our Society when he says so.

p. 145

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And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin
to climb.
–Kahlil Gibran

God, help me own my power to love and appreciate
myself. Help me give myself validity instead of looking
to others to do that.
–Melody Beattie

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all;
but whatever I have placed in Gods hands, that I still possess.”

Fear is everywhere, and many fears lie within us, whether screaming
loudly or sitting dormant. We must cast away fear, as we would the
plague.
–SweetyZee

To help each other, is to help ourselves.

C A R E = Comforting And Reassuring Each other.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TIME

“I would I could stand on a busy
corner, hat in hand, and beg
people throw me their wasted
hours.”
–Bernard Berenson

I enjoy my sobriety so much that I hate to waste my time. Part of my
spiritual program involves a correct use of time. I will not spend time
with negative or destructive people. I will not spend time in useless
gossip or doing things I do not enjoy to please other people.

I am enjoying life so much I do not wish to waste any of it. Spirituality
involves a creative stewardship of time.

As an alcoholic I wasted so much time. For most of my life I was “out
to lunch”! Today I spend time enjoying my life – and I spend quality
time alone with “self”. I enjoy my little conversations with self – the
thoughts I have and need to ponder upon. I need time to rest in the
peace of my life. Time is a precious gift from God that should not be
wasted.

Lord, let me live each day as if it were my last.

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“May you be blessed by the Lord.”
Psalm 115:15

Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off
your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full
of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and
attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in
God’s likeness–righteous, holy, and true. So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor
the truth” because we belong to each other. And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control
over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty
foothold to the Devil. If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest
work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let
everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to
those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.
Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be
saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander,
as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:21-32


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Daily Inspiration

It is the little bits of kindness and love that make this world happy. Lord, may I do my part to make today happy for someone.

Have the courage to forgive. Lord, may I bring myself to a place of peace by never holding a grudge.

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NA Just For Today

Love And Addiction

“Some of us first saw the effects of addiction on the people closest to us. We were very dependent on them to carry us through life. We felt angry, disappointed, and hurt when they found other interests, friends, and loved ones.”
Basic Text p. 7

Addiction affected every area of our lives. Just as we sought the drug that would make everything alright, so we sought people to fix us. We made impossible demands, driving away those who had anything of worth to offer us. Often, the only people left were those who were themselves too needy to be capable of denying our unrealistic expectations. It’s no wonder that we were unable to establish and maintain healthy intimate relationships in our addiction.

Today, in recovery, we’ve stopped expecting drugs to fix us. If we still expect people to fix us, perhaps it’s time to extend our recovery program to our relationships. We begin by admitting we have a problem—that we don’t know the first thing about how to have healthy intimate relationships. We seek out members who’ve had similar problems and have found relief. We talk with them and listen to what they share about this aspect of their recovery. We apply the program to all our affairs, seeking the same kind of freedom in our relationships that we find throughout our recovery.

Just for today: Loving relationships are within my reach. Today, I will examine the effects of addiction on my relationships so that I can begin seeking recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Then Bacchus. . .gave him the choice of making a wish come true. . . . So Midas said, “Make everything I touch turn gold.” –Ovid
Poor King Midas, already rich as a king, was made poorer by his poor wish. Everything he touched–small shoots, wet clay, a ripe head of wheat, apples from a tree–all suddenly went bad, turned into gold, pure gold. And how could he eat when bread and fruits, even fresh running water, suddenly shined at him, yellow, hard, and cold? He could have wished for a wiser, smaller success. He could have had all familiar things turn kind at his touch, or loving and good. Then imagine how he would have touched everyone he came near.
If some wishes are too good to be true, are others too bad?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Any idea, person or object can be a Medicine Wheel, a mirror for man. The tiniest flower can be such a mirror, as can a wolf, a story, a touch, a religion, or a mountaintop. –Hyemeyohsts Storm
The ancient spiritual teachings of the Cheyenne Indians tell us that we meet ourselves in almost everything we confront. A group of men spending a night on a mountaintop will each have a different experience. One may be overcome with a sense of awe, another may spend every moment gripped by fear, and another may sleep the night away. While the mountain is the same, each has brought himself to it and has a different experience. When we meet an animal, feel a touch, or take a hike down the street, we see a reflection of ourselves and of humanity.
This day is a Medicine Wheel for each of us. Our response to today’s circumstances will tell us more about ourselves. We need not waste energy judging ourselves harshly, but learn from our feelings and reactions. Our reflections point the way for further growth.
Today, I will look for my own reflection in what I meet and for the reflection of all humanity.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To be wildly enthusiastic, or deadly serious–both are wrong. Both pass. One must keep ever present a sense of humor.
–Katherine Mansfield
How familiar wild enthusiasm and deadly seriousness are to most of us. We experience life within the extremes. The thrill of wild enthusiasm we try to trap, to control. We are exhilarated and feel good. Our serious side traps us, controls us, lowers a pall on all our activities. Both expressions keep us stuck. Neither expression allows the freedom of spontaneity so necessary to a full, healthy life.
Through our addiction–the liquor, the upper, the person, the food–we were searching for a feeling we didn’t feel. We were searching for an unnatural state of happiness, even perhaps wild enthusiasm, because we had so little of any enthusiasm for life. Our search failed. Again and again we’d “catch it,” only to have it elude us.
We may not have given up the search. But we will come to accept both states of mind as temporary and search instead for the middle ground. A sense of humor will make all of life’s loads easier to bear. A sense of humor will offer us the balance that has been missing for so many years.
Today will offer me a chance to be wildly enthusiastic and a chance to be deadly serious. I’ll try to focus on the middle ground and cultivate my sense of humor.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Going Easy
Go easy. You may have to push forward, but you don’t have to push so hard. Go in gentleness – go in peace.
Do not be in so much of a hurry. At no day, no hour, no time are you required to do more than you can do in peace.
Frantic behaviors and urgency are not the foundation for our new way of life.
Do not be in too much of a hurry to begin. Begin, but do not force the beginning if it is not time. Beginnings will arrive soon enough.
Enjoy and relish middles, the heart of the matter.
Do not be in too much of a hurry to finish. You may be almost done, but enjoy the final moments. Give yourself fully to those moments so that you may give and get all there is.
Let the pace flow naturally. Move forward. Start. Keep moving forward. Do it gently, though. Do it in peace. Cherish each moment.
Today, God, help me focus on a peaceful pace rather than a harried one. I will keep moving forward gently, not frantically. Help me let go of my need to be anxious, upset, and harried. Help me replace it with a need to be a peace and in harmony.

I accept myself today and am grateful that I can grow from where I am. As I bring more and more love to myself, I continue to blossom and expand, growing to be the best of who I can be. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Learn to Clear Your Path

I met a woman at the mineral springs in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico. She had a gentle, open way. She talked to me about rituals, about miracles, about change. “My husband and I badly wanted a child, but I couldn’t get pregnant,” she said. “One night, I decided to go to a mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath. My decision felt powerful. But every obstacle you could imagine happened when I tried to get there. I could barely get out of my house. Then when I did, I got lost and had to go back home for directions. When I finally got to the bath, it was just beginning, but I knew I needed to be there. The night was electric. The air felt as if it were charged with lightning. It was a full moon. I went through the ritual and returned home. That night, my daughter was conceived. She’s now seven years old.

There are often obstacles on our path. Roadblocks, barricades, detours. Things to go over, around, or under. Sometimes, the roadblocks are telling us no, this door isn’t opening. Find another way. Other times the roadblocks are telling us that the road we have chosen is very special. If we want to go down it, we will have to try. We will have to focus. We will have to muster our energy and show the world how badly we want it. We will have to overcome each and every obstacle, one by one, as they appear.

What do you want badly? Are you willing to go through an obstacle course, if need be, to achieve it? Are you willing to be tested by the universe? Are you willing to focus, push forward, go the distance?

Sometimes, the road ahead is blocked, but clearing the way becomes part of our journey. Learn to tell when it’s time to let go, to surrender, to search for another road, a different path, another dream. But also learn to tell when it’s time to move forward, through obstacles if need be, because the dream is electric, charged by Divine energy and love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Learn to say what

It was one of those luxurious mornings. The surf was pounding– just loud enough to be heard. We stood on the balcony, watching the rising tide.

“It’s rhythms vary so much,” I said. “Sometimes you can’t walk on the beach in the morning. Other times it’s way up in the late afternoon.” Then I pointed out a spot about a hundred feet away.” And sometimes it’s way out there.”

“We really need to get a tide chart to help us understand what’s going on. A lot of businesses hand them out free.”

Then, that thought and those words were gone.

“Let’s go get some breakfast,” he said.

“I have an idea,” I said. “Let’s go to the seafood place.”

The traffic was gentle and easy that morning. We didn’t need reservations. We immedately got a place to sit. Twenty minutes later, we were picking away at a huge plate of crab legs and Key lime pie. It wasn’t on the breakfast menu, but it was what we wanted, we said.

Next we drove down to the cove, a hidden inlet down the coast. We had to walk and walk to get there. And once we did, we still had to walk down a hundred stairs. So we slid and clambered down the hill instead. We wandered around the tiny bay, getting our feet wet and dirty in the sand. We climbed on rocks and stared at each of the beautiful things we saw, things that God made.

“What’s this?” I said, barely touching a round ball of prickly things.

“A sea anemone,” he said.

I didn’t want to touch it completely, so I picked up a piece of a shell and touched the anemone with that.

The prickly, fuzzy ball of stuff just opened up and sucked that crab shell in. Crunch. Crunch. I giggled. I wanted to see it do it again.

We strolled around the bay. Starfish, rocks, and pretty shells lined the way. “No Nude Bathing,” a weathered sign commanded. A patrol helicopter flew by, just to make certain we compled. We climbed back up to the street. We didn’t use the stairs this time either.

When we got back in the car, we drove to town again. The surf shop was open, so we ambled on in. We looked at sunglasses, wet suits, kayaks, and shorts. We didn’t want to buy anything, so we said thanks and headed out the door. As we were leaving the store, a man suddenly burst out after us, shouting and waving something in his hand.

“Don’t forget your tide chart,” he said, giving the little booklet to us.

We looked at each other, then laughed out loud. Even though we had forgotten what we said we wanted, the universe remembered and insisted on giving it to us.

There’s a lot of things we have to let go of. Probably everything, in fact. But it’s important to say what we want first– before we let go– because sometimes when we let go, what we want comes back to us.

An important part of speaking the language of letting go means learning to identify and say what we want.

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In God’s Care

The manner in which one endures what must be endured is more important than the thing that must be endured.
~~Dean Acheson

Nearly every day most of us experience a few small, though troubling, inconveniences. Some days we suffer through a major setback and, on occasion, even a personal tragedy. When we trust that God is in our life, and we look for comfort and guidance every moment of every day, we are prepared for any upset, whether minor or grave.

Practicing the presence of God provides us with a refuge, even in the throes of turmoil. In time, as we make this a daily routine, we’ll seldom doubt God’s closeness or feel forsaken, even when all about us is dark. The darkness will give way to the light of hope in the mere moment it takes to remember God’s presence.

We can endure whatever lesson today offers with confidence and hope and the security of knowing that God is both teacher and protector.

I will go through this day confidently in the presence of my Higher Power.

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Symbols of Versatility
Ducks

by Madisyn Taylor

We can learn a lot from our duck friends as they are able dive deep but also have the ability to float gracefully.

If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world that is also a home to ducks, you will no doubt be familiar with the image of their cute feathery bottoms sticking up in the air as their heads disappear under the surface of the water. Perhaps you’ve even taken a moment to wonder what they see in their underwater world, and if they will resurface with a fish or a water bug in their beaks. As we observe them, we see that ducks are denizens of three worlds—the world of air, the world of water, and the world of earth. As such, they have adapted themselves to be able to swim, fly, and walk, and they seek and find nourishment in more than one place. They are symbols of versatility and can inspire us to explore our own ability to adapt and find nourishment in a variety of places.

Ducks are able to float, swim, and dive into the water, fishing for food. They can walk on the ground, eating vegetation and bugs, and they fly in the air to travel long distances relatively quickly. Equipped with feet that are equally good at paddling and walking, as well as wings to fly, ducks seem comfortable in just about any natural environment. Next time you see a duck bottom, you might be inspired to examine your own ability to both float on the surface and to dive beneath it. In many traditions, water symbolizes the emotions—to duck our heads into our emotions means we are able to surrender our minds to our hearts, to go into the watery realm of feeling and see what there is to see, often coming to the surface with nourishment and treasure.

At the same time, we share the duck’s ability to get solid ground under our feet by connecting to the earth on which we live simply by walking on it. And finally, when we reside in our spirits, we fly above the mental, emotional, and material realms, free of all the ties that bind us to this earth, traveling faster and farther than we ever thought possible. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If we don’t want to slip, we’ll avoid slippery places. For the alcoholic, that means avoiding old drinking haunts; for the overeater, that means by-passing a once-favorite pastry shop; for the gambler, that means shunning poker parties and race tracks. For me, certain emotional situations can also be slippery places; so can indulgence of old ideas such as a well pronourished resentment that is allowed to build to explosive proportions. Do I carry the principles of The Program with me wherever I go?

Today I Pray

May I learn not to test myself too harshly by “asking for it,” by stopping in at the bar or the bakery or the track. Such “testing” can be dangerous, especially if I am egged on, not only by a thirst or an appetite or a craving for the old addiction, but by others still caught in it whose moral responsibility has been reduced to zero.

Today I Will Remember

Avoid slippery places.

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One More Day

Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don’t know what to do with my heart.
– Emily Dickinson

Remember the sheer joy of spring during childhood? How we would race around the backyard, checking out the wonderful sights and smells. Spring in those days meant no more snow pants and boots. It meant being able to dash out with just a light sweater and no admonishments from Mom. And most importantly, the new season heralded a few short months until summer vacation.

We can recapture our youthful openness, for that child is still within us. We can smell the same scents, experience the same joy, but when the depth of understanding we have gained as adults. Regardless of our level of independence, regardless of whether we can plant the garden or just enjoy its flowers, spring can still delight us.

My heart sill delights in spring. I am grateful to be here to absorb it all.

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Food For Thought

Came to Believe

Perhaps we have believed in a Higher Power all our lives, or perhaps we have been agnostic. In either case we have been unable to apply faith and belief to our greatest problem – compulsive overeating.

OA asks only that we be willing to believe and that we keep an open mind. As we hear the stories of members who have come to believe through the program, our own faith grows. As we experience God’s grace, our belief increases.

Steps One, Two, and Three work together. Only by admitting that the problem has us defeated, that we are powerless – only then do we become open to a Higher Power. If there is no way that we can stop eating compulsively by our own strength, then we require a strength greater than our own. Others have found this strength in God, as He is understood by each individual. When we turn our will and our lives over to our Higher Power and practice the Twelve Steps every day, we apply our belief and faith. The belief may be very small and weak in the beginning, but like the mustard seed, it grows. Gradually, we become convinced of what we had known all along, but were afraid to believe.

Strengthen my belief, I pray.

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One Day At A Time

HAPPINESS

Happiness is an achievement brought about by inner productiveness.
People succeed at being happy by building a liking for themselves.
Erich Fromm

It has been said that if one of us ever treated another human being the way we treated ourselves, we would be liable for criminal charges. I did not treat myself as a friend, someone I loved; I constantly fed into my unhappiness.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W. was asked, shortly before he died, to sum up the program in the lowest common denominator. He replied, “Get right with yourself, with God, then with your neighbor.” Therefore, it stands to reason that I must start making friends with myself. I must treat myself with love and dignity, and the result will be happiness. To be happy, joyous, and free is the by-product of obedience to the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I going to try being happy?
Am I going to make friends with myself?
If not today, when?
~ Jeremiah ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did. – Pg. 52 – We Agnostics

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Things go wrong and they are not particularly anyone’s fault. You can’t expect every meeting to be perfect, all the words you hear perfect wisdom, your treatment center to meet every need, or court rulings in your favor. You will experience many imperfect actions and reactions. You know you can’t control or fix everything that goes wrong and neither can ‘they.’

I correct only the things that are under my immediate control and I allow other imperfections to be corrected by others, or not corrected at all. What a relief.

A Still Small Voice

I will have faith. I will follow that still small voice within me. When I have doubts, which of course I will have, I will reach down within myself and pull up something that I thought wasn’t even there, I’ll pull up faith that things will be all right. Whether or not things are going just the way I want them to, I’ll have faith that they will somehow right themselves in the end. It will work out, or it won’t work out, but still, all will be OK. I will give myself the gift of faith.

My faith sustains me

– Tian Dayton PhD

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Is your program powered by Will Power or Higher Power?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I accept myself today and am grateful that I can grow from where I am. As I bring more and more love to myself, I continue to blossom and expand, growing to be the best of who I can be.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Don’t miss this (AA). If you do, you won’t miss what’s coming. – Bruce from Manly Australia.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 1

Self-worth
I know that I am not a total loss, even when I think I am.
I know that freedom, and usefulness, love, outgoingness and sharing
are the important things in life.
But even more important, I have to care for me and achieve a sense of self-worth.
So I continue to listen. I am still open to suggestions.
I continue on my way. And I am on my way up.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 24

Thought to Ponder . . .
Learn to listen; listen to learn.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A R T = Always Remain Teachable.

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

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

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

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
PUSH
Pray Until Something Happens

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

Depression
Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
“If temperamentally we are on the depressive side, we are apt to be swamped with guilt and self-loathing. We wallow in
this messy bog, often getting a misshapen and painful pleasure out of it. As we morbidly pursue this melancholy activity,
we may sink to such a point of despair that nothing but oblivion looks possible as a solution. Here, of course, we have
lost all perspective, and therefore all genuine humility. For this is pride in reverse. This is not a moral inventory at all; it is
the very process by which the depressive has so often been led to the bottle and extinction.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 45

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

“Despite the happy transcendence of the difficulties of yesterday and of today, we nevertheless deeply realize that our
negative traits are still with us, and always will be. Therefore our constant responsibility should be that of taking a
fearless inventory of our defects as we go along, the better to undertake their mending.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1965
“Responsibility Is Our Theme”
The Language of the Heart

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

“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

Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. xxiv

With a proper display of honesty and morality, we’d stand a better chance of getting what we really wanted.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 72

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘Courage and Prudence’
When fear persisted, we knew it for what it was and we became able to handle it. We began to see each adversity as a
God-given opportunity to develop the kind of courage which is born of humility, rather than of bravado.
Prudence is a workable middle ground, a channel of clear sailing between the obstacles of fear on the one side and of
recklessness on the other. Prudence in practice creates a definite climate, the only climate in which harmony,
effectiveness, and consistent spiritual progress can be achieved.
‘Prudence is rational concern without worry.’ 1. GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1962 – 2. TWELVE CONCEPTS, P. 65 – TALK, 1966

Prayer For The Day – Lord, Help me to remember that nothing is going to happen today that you and I together can’t handle. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 31st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 31st

Daily Reflections

NO ONE DENIED ME LOVE

On the A.A. calendar it was Year Two . . . . A newcomer appeared at
one of these groups . . . . He soon proved that his was a desperate
case, and that above all he wanted to get well. . . . [He said], “Since I
am the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than
alcoholism, you may not want me among you.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 141-42

I came to you — a wife, mother, woman who had walked out on her
husband, children, family. I was a drunk, a pill-head, a nothing. Yet no
one denied me love, caring, a sense of belonging. Today, by God’s grace
and the love of a good sponsor and a home group, I can say that —
through you in Alcoholics Anonymous — I am a wife, a mother, a
grandmother and a woman. Sober. Free of pills. Responsible.
Without a Higher Power I found in the Fellowship, my life would be
meaningless. I am full of gratitude to be a member of good standing in
Alcoholics Anonymous.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Since I’ve been in A.A., have I made a start toward being more
unselfish? Do I no longer want my own way in everything? When things
go wrong and I can’t have what I want, do I no longer sulk? Am I
trying not to waste money on myself? And does it make me happy to see
my family and my home have enough attention from me? Am I trying not
to be all “get” and no “give”?

Meditation For The Day

Each day is a day of progress, steady progress forward, if you make it
so. You may not see it, but God does. God does not judge by outward
appearance. He judges by the heart. Let Him see in your heart a simple
desire always to do His will. Though you may feel that your work has
been spoiled or tarnished, God sees it as an offering for Him. When
climbing a steep hill, people are often more conscious of the weakness of
their stumbling feet than of the view, the grandeur, or even of the
upward progress.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may persevere in all good things. I pray that I may advance
each day in spite of my stumbling feet.


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As Bill Sees It

To Watch Loneliness Vanish, p. 90

Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. Even
before our drinking got bad and people began to cut us off, nearly all
of us suffered the feeling that we didn’t quite belong. Either we were
shy, and dared not draw near others, or we were noisy good fellows
constantly craving attention and companionship, but rarely getting it.
There was always that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount
nor understand.

That’s one reason we loved alcohol too well. But even Bacchus
betrayed us, we were finally struck down and left in terrified
isolation.

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

Life takes on new meaning in A.A. 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 not to be
missed.

1. 12 & 12, p. 57
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

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Walk in Dry Places

A Journey, Not a Destination.
How it Works
“Now that you’re sober, why do you stay in AA?”  AA members frequently hear this from others not familiar with the fellowship, but it’s understandable.  They see AA as a place where one goes to be ” cured,” whereas we learn to see it as an ongoing recovery process that is never really completed.
Sobriety is not an object that one can acquire and then put on a shelf somewhere or on the wall like a diploma.  It is more of a JOURNEY IN LIVING, with each day’s march being a goal in itself.
You could also say that sobriety is like the “MANNA FROM HEAVEN” described in the Old Testament. Fresh manna arrived each day, but could not be saved for the future. It is the same with us.  Today’s experience in sobriety is what sustains us, and we’re in trouble if we’re trying to depend on what was accomplished in the past.
Though we do use the term “permanent sobriety”, we never truly possess it.  Our quest for sobriety is a lifetime journey.
I’ll be on guard against any feeling of “having it made.”  Sure, past success should be helpful in maintaining today’s sobriety. But the quality of today’s sobriety will depend only on today’s thinking and behavior.


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Keep It Simple

You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.—Ethel Barrymore
There was a time when we wouldn’t let anyone laugh at us—even ourselves. We had to much shame. We had to much pain. We took the world too seriously. If we laughed it was at others—not at ourselves. Over time , real honest laughter returns to us. Laughter is a way of accepting ourselves as human. To be human means we can make mistakes. It means we can lighten up. It also means growing up. And growing up means being happy with all of who we are—even parts of us that may seem odd or funny. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, we shut ourselves off from the world. We shut ourselves off from the parts of us we need to accept. Am I willing to accept the fact that I’m human.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You made laughter. Help me us it to make my life easier. Help me accept all of me a funny mistake I’ve made.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll share with someone close to me a funny mistake I’ve made.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Anger repressed can poison a relationship as surely as the cruelest words.  –Joyce Brothers
Anger is familiar to us all. We feel it toward others and from others. The expression and acceptance of anger is where we often falter. Most of us were told when we were small girls that we shouldn’t be angry, but we were. And we are, even yet. However, we often still feel like a little girl when it comes to angry feelings.
We need to accept our anger and learn to express it, honestly, openly and assertively, not aggressively. We can’t afford to hang onto anger. It grows and then festers and then boils. Soon it is interfering in all our relationships, and it provides a ready excuse for an old, self-destructive pattern we don’t want to entertain for even a moment.
Nothing we set out to do today will have the right outcome, if we carry anger within us. How we interpret life, how we treat our friends, what we do with our opportunities and our challenges–all these are determined by our attitudes. Repressed anger always blocks the way to a positive attitude.
Every experience can uplift me if anger doesn’t weigh me down.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Had this power originated in him? Obviously it had not. There had been no more power in him than there was in me at that minute; and this was none at all.
That floored me. It began to look as though religious people were right after all. Here was something at work in a human heart which had done the impossible. My ideas about miracles were drastically revised right then. Never mind the musty past; here sat a miracle directly across the kitchen table. He shouted great tidings.

p. 11

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
The other side of the coin is sinister, baffling.  I was inwardly unhappy most of the time.  There would be times when the life of respectability and achievement seemed insufferably dull–I had to break out.  This I would do by going completely “bohemian” for a night, getting drunk, and rolling home with the dawn.  Next day, remorse would be on me like a tiger.  I’d claw my way back to respectability and stay there–until the inevitable next time.

p. 382

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

In a neighboring state, Ed had holed up in a cheap hotel. After all his pleas for help had been rebuffed, these words rang in his fevered mind. “They have deserted me. I have been deserted by my own kind. This is the end . . . Nothing is left.” As he tossed on his bed, his hand brushed the bureau near by, touching a book. Opening the book, he read. It was a Gideon Bible. Ed never confided any more of what he saw and felt in that hotel room. It was the year 1938. He hasn’t had a drink since.

pp. 144-145

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“Don’t hurry, don’t worry. You’re only here for a short visit. So be sure
to stop and smell the flowers.”
–Walter Hagen

Always put yourself in others’ shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it
probably hurts the other person, too.

Getting sober is like learning to ride a horse, if you fall off, get back on,
you can’t learn to ride on the ground….
–Patricia D.

“It is no disgrace to start all over. It is usually an opportunity.”
–George Matthew Adams, author

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if
you’re alive, it isn’t.
–Richard Bach


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WORLD

“All wars are civil wars,
because all men are brothers . . .
Each one owes infinitely more to
the human race than to the
particular country in which he
was born.”
— Francois Fenelon

My disease of addiction kept me separate, isolated and alone. I was so
busy seeing how I was different from other people that I missed the
similarities. I missed the “oneness” of this creation by always placing
myself above it, below it, outside it: and I was the loser.

Even my religion kept me separate. I was a Christian and not a Jew,
Muslim or Hindu — but I failed to see the similarities of these major
philosophies; I failed to see what all religious people have in common; I
failed to see the inclusiveness of Love, Truth and Forgiveness.

God is to be found in the “difference” and “sameness” of His people.

O Lord, I am discovering that even the differences, when understood,
become the same.

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

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to
God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who
diligently seek Him”
Hebrews 11:6

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.”
Psalm 62:5

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my
salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. Blessed is the
man who does this.”
Isaiah 56:1-2a


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Daily Inspiration

We have never before had today and we will never have it again. Lord, as I have the opportunity, let me use this day to do good.

Worse than being a quitter is the one who is afraid to begin. Lord, grant me the courage to believe in myself and the ability to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do.

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NA Just For Today

“Insides Outsides”

“Our real value is in being ourselves.”
Basic Text p. 101

As we work the steps, we’re bound to discover some basic truths about ourselves. The process of uncovering our secrets, exposing them, and searching our characters reveals our true nature. As we become acquainted with ourselves, we’ll need to make a decision to be just who we are.

We may want to take a look at what we present to our fellow addicts and the world and see if it matches up with what we’ve discovered inside. Do we pretend that nothing bothers us when, in truth, we’re very sensitive? Do we cover our insecurities with obnoxious jokes, or do we share our fears with someone? Do we dress like a teenager when we’re approaching forty and are basically conservative?

We may want to take another look at those things which we thought “weren’t us:” Maybe we’ve avoided NA activities because we “don’t like crowds!” Or maybe we have a secret dream of changing careers but have put off taking action because our dream “wasn’t really right” for us. As we attain a new understanding of ourselves, we’ll want to adjust our behavior accordingly. We want to be genuine examples of who we are.

Just for today: I will check my outsides to make sure they match my insides. I will try to act on the growth I have experienced in recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Withdrawal is a preparation for emergence. –Nor Hall
A man lost his family in a car accident and wanted to be alone for a while, but he worried whether he was doing the right thing. Then one day a friend told him that when pine cones fall off the lodge pole pine trees, they are sealed shut so the seeds inside can’t get out. The pine cones lie on the forest floor–sometimes for decades–until a forest fire sweeps through. Heat from the fire melts the seal and the seeds fall out and finally grow, and that’s why the lodge pole pine is called a “fire-origin species.”
The man felt good about himself when he heard the story. “Fire-origin species” is a good name for people who’ve been burned by life and find new growth as a result.
How have I grown because of pain and difficulty?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Shared joy is double joy, and shared sorrow is half sorrow. –Swedish proverb
As recovering men, we know relief and peace when we express our pain and share the burden of a sorrow with each other. Life is too difficult, a day is too long, to carry grief alone and keep our joys to ourselves. We have spent long periods of time in loneliness. Like anyone who has been alone and finally gets a chance to speak, we have much to say to one another.
In this program we tell our stories, and the telling heals us. We tell about our pain and unmanageable past lives. We tell each other about our spiritual experiences. We share our honest doubts and worries about ourselves and events in our daily lives. Full communication at a truly spiritual meeting includes our questions and the incomplete thoughts in our stories as well as the thoughts that are fully concluded. As we talk, we unburden ourselves and learn from each other about closeness and manhood.
Today, I will let the people around me know about my joys and my sorrows. It will enrich my whole experience.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Anger repressed can poison a relationship as surely as the cruelest words. –Joyce Brothers
Anger is familiar to us all. We feel it toward others and from others. The expression and acceptance of anger is where we often falter. Most of us were told when we were small girls that we shouldn’t be angry, but we were. And we are, even yet. However, we often still feel like a little girl when it comes to angry feelings.
We need to accept our anger and learn to express it, honestly, openly and assertively, not aggressively. We can’t afford to hang onto anger. It grows and then festers and then boils. Soon it is interfering in all our relationships, and it provides a ready excuse for an old, self-destructive pattern we don’t want to entertain for even a moment.
Nothing we set out to do today will have the right outcome, if we carry anger within us. How we interpret life, how we treat our friends, what we do with our opportunities and our challenges–all these are determined by our attitudes. Repressed anger always blocks the way to a positive attitude.
Every experience can uplift me if anger doesn’t weigh me down.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Finances
Taking financial responsibility for ourselves is part of recovery. Some of us may find ourselves in hard financial times for a variety of reasons.
Our recovery concepts, including the Steps, work on money issues and restoring manageability to that area of our life. Make appropriate amends – even if that means tackling a $5,000 debt by sending in $5 a month.
Start where you are, with what you’ve got. As with other issues, acceptance and gratitude turn what we have into more.
Money issues are not a good place to act as if. Don’t write checks until the money is in the bank. Don’t spend money until you’ve got it in your hand.
If there is too little money to survive, use the appropriate resources available without shame.
Set goals.
Believe you deserve the best, financially.
Believe God cares about your finances.
Let go of your fear, and trust.
Today, I will focus on taking responsibility for my present financial circumstances, no matter how overwhelming that area of my life may feel and be.

With softness and gentleness I am turning around all negative thinking so that my mind is positive. It feels so good to be in charge of the world that I am creating for myself. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Take the Pressure Off

Sometimes we need a little pressure to get moving, but sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves. I must do this, we think, and I must do it better and faster. We begin to believe that only by worry and fear and pressuring ourselves can we got the job done– whether the job is spiritual growth, making a particular decision, or accomplishing a task.

That kind of pressure doesn’t get the job done any better or faster. It simply makes you tense and fearful, and stops the creative juices. Too much pressure can take you out of the present moment. It can inhibit the life force, the flow of life within you. That kind of pressure can make so much noise in your mind that you can’t hear your heart.

We have responsibilites. We have time frames and commitments to others. And there are times when we need to get the job done. But the most pressing job can be done best when we’re relaxed. The most urgent decision can be made most clearly when we’re at peace. It doesn’t help to force ourselves to go faster, be somewhere else, or be someone we’re not. There are few things we need to do that can be enhanced by becoming tense, fearful, and worried. The more pressing the situation, the more pressing the need to be present for ourselves, and be present for each moment.

Let off some steam. Release your emotions. Clear the pathway to the heart. The answer will come. The job will get done.

Give yourself some relief. Take the pressure off.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Change what you can

There are times when it’s best to say whatever and times when it’s best to say enough. Be aware of the difference in these times, and be ready to say both.

Are you being abused or merely annoyed? Is your anger based on a legitimate hurt, or has someone just not lived up to your expectations? Be aware that there’s a difference. Then learn to apply the strategies, as needed, for that particular situation.

Are there any rules for knowing? No, there aren’t. You need to decide and choose what’s best for you at any given time. Trust yourself and your Higher Power. You’re wiser than you think.

Seek balance in your life. Learn when it’s time to let go, and learn when it’s time to act.

God, help me let go of situations that are out of my control and help me take action, when it’s time.

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In God’s Care

I came to this program to save my ass and found out it was attached to my soul.
~~Anonymous

God gets our attention in a lot of different ways. To a great many of us, it was through accdident or illness, coming close to death. All of us come to this program frightened for our life or our sanity or both. God has our attention.

And now we are learning about the spiritual aspect of our life, the one we had so long neglected. Now we are partaking of God’s love–Soul food–and discovering that the spiritual life is fuller and more rewarding than anything we thought possible. Nothing we do to please our body can compare to the joy of unconditional love. When we lend a loving hand to anyone, we realize once again that the pain we suffered was worth it to bring us to this awareness.

Today I will look for ways to help others–and bless my soul!

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Protecting Your Flow
How Fear Blocks Creativity

To understand how fear blocks creativity, take a moment to imagine yourself telling a story. First, imagine telling the story to someone you love and who loves you. You probably feel warmth and energy as you fill in the details of your tale to your friend’s delight. Now, imagine telling the same story to someone who, for whatever reason, makes you uncomfortable. The wonderful twists and turns, the fine points and colorful images that unfolded in your mind for your friend probably won’t present themselves. Instead of warmth, energy, and creativity, you will probably feel opposite sensations and a desire to close down. When we feel unsafe, whether we fear being judged, disliked, or misunderstood, our creative flow stops. Alternately, when we feel safe, our creativity unfolds like a beautiful flower, without conscious effort.

Knowing this, we can maximize our creative potential by creating the conditions that inspire our creativity. In order to really be in the flow, we need to feel safe and unrestricted. However, achieving this is not as simple as avoiding people who make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes we can be alone in a room and still feel totally blocked. When this happens, we know we have come up against elements in our own psyches that are making us feel fearful. Perhaps we are afraid that in expressing ourselves we will discover something we don’t want to know, or unleash emotions or ideas that we don’t want to be responsible for. Or maybe we’re afraid we’ll fail to produce something worthy.

When you’re up against fear, internal or external, ritual can be a powerful—and creative—antidote. Before you sit down to be creative, try casting a circle of protection around yourself. Visualize yourself inside a ring of light, protective fire, or angels. Imagine that this protective energy emanates unconditional love for you and wants to hear, see, and feel everything you have to express. Take a moment to bathe in the warmth of this feeling and then fearlessly surrender yourself to the power that flows through you. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

My illness is unlike most other illnesses in that denial that I am sick is a primary symptom that I am sick. Like such other incurable illnesses as diabetes and arhritis, howeever, my illness is characteriezed by relapses. In The Program, we call such relapses “slips.” The one thing I know for certain is that I alone can cause myself to slip. Will I remember at all times that the thought precedes the action? Will I try to avoid “stiinking thinking?”

Today I Pray

May God give me the power to resist temptations. May the responsibility for giving in, for having a “slip,” be on my shoulders and mine only. May I see beforehand if I am setting myself up for a slip by blame-shifing, shirking my responsibility to myself, becoming the world’s poor puppet once again. My return to those old attitudes ccan be as much of a slip as the act of losing my sobriety.

Today I Will Remember

Nobody’s slip-proof.

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One More Day

Why, why, why?
– James Joyce

“it doesn’t seem fair,” we privately lament. “How could I have this rotten medical condition just when I’ve hit my stride — the prime time of my life?”

That’s a question we all wonder about. Many of us may get down on our knees and pray to our Higher Power for understanding. We might as, “Why Me?” We might implore, “Why now, when I’m nearly on my feet again?”

We might ask these questions, yet often there are no answers. Our ways are not His ways. Sometimes life just isn’t fair; there are no easy answers.

I have adjusted to other changes in my life, and I can adjust to this one too. It may take some time, and I may go through the gamut of emotions first, but I am willing.

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

Food For Thought

Sanity

Once, a long time ago, I was able to eat a small amount of extra food between meals and then stop. I enjoyed it very much. Over the years, that small amount became more and more. Somewhere along the line, I crossed the boundary of rational eating and moved into an area of insane bingeing.

Now, when the old urge comes for a small amount of extra food, I need to remember that I am incapable of stopping after a reasonable amount. For me, the first compulsive bite is now the point of no return. Once I take it, I cross immediately into insanity.

How do I remember? I need protection against the arrogant, willful delusion that “This time I will be able to handle it; this time I will get away with cheating just a little bit.” How can I protect myself?

Step One says that we are powerless over food. From sad experience, I know this to be a fact. Step Two says that we “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” My protection comes from this Higher Power.

Keep me sane, Lord.

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One Day At A Time

LOYALTY

“Health is the greatest gift,
contentment the greatest wealth,
faithfulness the best relationship.”
Buddah

I have a history of chaotic relationships filled with destructive drama and a lack of loyalty. For many years, however, I believed that I was in fact a very loyal friend – and that it was my friends who were disloyal to me.

I was an avid — even rabid — people-pleaser. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what people wanted and how I could best provide that for them. Because I thought I knew what was best for everybody, I failed to truly listen to the people in my life. Instead, I tried to impose my will upon them … then I wondered why they didn’t appreciate all of my efforts on “their” behalf. When they inevitably became frustrated with me, I was wounded by what I perceived to be their lack of loyalty to me.

Only recently in my recovery program have I come to learn that my efforts at people-pleasing were actually symptoms of my own disloyalty. I was failing to relate with people as they are – rather, I was relating to them as I thought they “should be.” That is perhaps the most egregious form of disloyalty… insisting that others be loyal to my concept of them and myself.

Now I am taking steps to honestly listen to people and to relate with them as they are – and as I truly am. I am no longer hiding behind food. In order to be loyal in my relationships, I must be loyal to the ‘Truth of Reality.’ Only then can we share the joy of faithful relationships.

One day at a time … I will practice listening to the people in my life and I will honor them as they are. Each day I can choose to be loyal, rather than critical or people-pleasing.
Lisa

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Though we work out our solution on the spiritual as well as an altruistic plane, we favor hospitalization for the alcoholic who is very jittery or befogged. More often than not, it is imperative that a man’s brain be cleared before he is approached, as he has then a better chance of understanding and accepting what we have to offer. – Pg. xxvii – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

You want to be able to respond, not just react to the chaos of early recovery. Reaction is simply from the genes, primal and mostly instinctual. To respond requires thought. Think about your situation and how you want to respond to what happens to you.

I do not simply react to situations in an instinctual mode. I respond in a thoughtful, thought-out manner.

Bearing Witness

When I have an undesirable thought today, like jealousy, anger or self doubt I will just observe it in my mind. I will allow the thought to really be there. I won’t try to deny it or eradicate it. I will simply give it space and witness it. As I do this, the thought transforms. As I see it for what it is and accept it as a part of me, I give it the breathing room it needs to play itself through, to change into something else. I cannot hide from me, nor do I wish to. I can be my own best friend by allowing myself the space to think what I am really thinking and feel what I am really feeling knowing that it doesn’t have to lead to blind action. There is another more powerful and fruitful action that I can take. It is in simply witnessing, allowing and trusting that this process will lead to awareness, transformation and a more permanent change than is possible through denial. Today I will give myself the gift of self reflection.

I observe the workings of my inner mind

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The person you were will use again. That is why you must ‘smash all your old ideas’ so that the new you is a member of the program, not the person you were. The person you were was a practicing alcoholic. The person you are is not.

Some people say that the 12 Steps brain wash us. Thank God, because that’s how I got clean!

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

With softness and gentleness I am turning around all negative thinking so that my mind is positive. It feels so good to be in charge of the world that I am creating for myself.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Faith is capitalizing on the belief of others.- Fr. Ed Dowling.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 31

Independence
Over and over, we have found we cannot stay sober long just for the sake of wife,
husband, children, lover, parents, other relative, or friend,
nor for the sake of a job, nor to please a boss (or doctor, or judge, or creditor)
— not for anyone other than ourselves. . .
Independent, unaffiliated with anything else, our sobriety can grow strong enough
to cope with anything — and everybody.
– Living Sober, p. 64

Thought to Ponder . . .
Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

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

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

Give Thanks
“Though I still find it difficult
to accept today’s pain and anxiety
with any degree of serenity-
as those more advanced in the spiritual life
seem able to do-
I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless.
I can remember how the agonies of alcoholism,
the pain of rebellion and thwarted pride,
have often led me to God’s grace,
and so to a new freedom.”
Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, March 1962
As Bill Sees It, p. 266

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
HOPE
Hearing Other Peoples’ Experience

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

Enlightenment
From “Bill’s Story”:
“These were revolutionary and drastic proposals, but the moment I fully accepted them, the effect was electric. There
was a sense of victory, followed by such a peace and serenity as I had never known.
“For a moment I was alarmed, and called my friend, the doctor, to ask if I were still sane. He listened in wonder as I talked.
“Finally he shook his head saying, “Something has happened to you I don’t understand. But you had better hang on to it.
Anything is better than the way you were.” The good doctor now sees many men who have such experiences. He
knows that they are real.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 14

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

“If I am in pain, it may be beneficial to me if I am aware of those in even more pain … The answer for my pain is in the Twelfth Step.”
New York, N.Y., October 2006
“Gruff Love”
AA Grapevine

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

“‘There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which
is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in
everlasting ignorance that principle is contempt prior to investigation.'”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Appendice II, Spiritual Experience, pg. 568~

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

To Watch Loneliness Vanish
Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad and people began to
cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the feeling that we didn’t quite belong. ? Either we were shy, and dared not draw near
others, or we were noisy good fellows constantly craving attention and companionship, but rarely getting it. There was
always that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor understand.
That’s one reason we loved alcohol too well. But even Bacchus betrayed us; we were finally struck down and left in
terrified isolation.
Life takes on new meaning in A.A. 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 not to be missed.
1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 57
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, P. 89

Prayer For The Day: Dear heavenly Father, I praise You for Your abundant love and mercy toward us. Thank you for being patient with me as I am learning not to say things that would hurt You or others. I do ask that You help me to guard my lips from saying unkind things. Lord, even as David prayed these words, I ask that they be my prayer also. “Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Help us all, as Your children, to say edifying things about one another. Thank you for the abundant life that is ours as we hear, speak, and obey the Words of God. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 29th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 29th

Daily Reflections

TRUSTED SERVANTS

They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless
privilege of doing the group’s chores.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 134

In Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis describes an
encounter between his principle character and an old
man busily at work planting a tree. “What is it that
you are doing?” Zorba asks. The old man replies: “You
can see very well what I am doing, my son, I’m planting
a tree.” “But why plant a tree,” Zorba asks, “if you
won’t be able to see it bear fruit?” And the old man
answers: “I, my son, live as though I were never going
to die.” The response brings a faint smile to Zorba’s
lips and, as he walks away, he exclaims with a note of
irony: “How strange — I live as though I were going
to die tomorrow!”
As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have found that
the Third Legacy is a fertile soil in which to plant
the tree of my sobriety. The fruits I harvest are
wonderful: peace, security, understanding and twenty-four
hours of eternal fulfillment; and with the soundness of
mind to listen to the voice of my conscience when, in
silence, it gently speaks to me, saying: You must let go
in service. There are others who must plant the harvest.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Before I met A.A. I was very dishonest. I lied to my wife
constantly about where I had been and what I’d been doing.
I took time off from the office and pretended I’d been
sick or gave some other dishonest excuse. I was dishonest
with myself, as well as with other people. I would never
face myself as I really was or admit when I was wrong. I
pretended to myself that I was as good as the next fellow,
although I suspected I wasn’t. Am I now really honest?

Meditation For The Day

I must live in the world and yet live apart with God. I can
go forth from my secret times of communion with God to the
work of the world. To get the spiritual strength I need, my
inner life must be lived apart from the world. I must wear
the world as a loose garment. Nothing in the world should
seriously upset me, as long as my inner life is lived with
God. All successful living arises from this inner life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may live my inner life with God. I pray that
nothing shall invade or destroy that secret place of peace.

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As Bill Sees It

Will Power And Choice, p. 88

“We A.A.’s know the futility of trying to break the drinking
obsession by will power alone. However, we do know that it takes
great willingness to adopt A.A.’s Twelve Steps as a way of life that
can restore us to sanity.

“No matter how grievous the alcohol obsession, we happily find that
other vital choices can still be made. For example, we can choose to
admit that we are personally powerless over alcohol; that
dependence upon a ‘Higher Power’ is a necessity, even if this be
simply dependence upon an A.A. group. Then we can choose to try
for a life of honesty and humility, of selfless service to our fellows
and to ‘God as we understand Him.’

“As we continue to make these choices and so move toward these
high aspirations, our sanity returns and the compulsion to drink
vanishes,”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

Stick with the winners
Making the Right Choices
In the world of drinking, people lead each other down paths of further destruction. In the world of AA, that same destructive process can still go on through wrong thinking.  It’s possible for AA members to encourage resentments, criticism, gossip, and other dead-end practices.
That’s why people are urged to “stick with the winners” in order to find and maintain sobriety.  Seek out people who are doing well in the program, people whose progress is noticeable and admirable. The can be of real help as sponsors, as friends, or simply as role models.
It’s important to remember that the winners can be from all walks of life. The first AA member in Detroit earned only a modest living, while the second Detroit member became a wealthy manufacturer after finding sobriety.  In AA terms, both men were winners. They stayed sober, they stayed active in the fellowship, and they helped others.
“Sticking with the winners” does not mean we should shun people who are having difficulty with the program.  It does mean we should avoid accepting ideas and ways of living that do not lead to sobriety.
I’ll spend time in the company of people who have a good record of following the program.


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

Keep It Simple

Whatever is in the heart will come up to the tongue.—Persian proverb
During our illness, we wouldn’t let people get close to us. We spoke of what was in our heart. And much of what filled our heart was sadness, anger, and hopelessness. Those who want to be close to us heard what was in our heart. In short, we had become our illness. Recovery is about changing what’s in our heart. We open our hearts up to our Higher Power. The first three Steps are about honesty and needing others. They’re about turning our will and our lives over to a Higher Power.
If you’re wondering where you are with these Steps, listen to the words you speak.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, keep my heart open to the first three Steps.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll work at really listening to what I have to say.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one’s own values in the person of another.  –Ayn Rand
The struggle to love one another may be a daily one for us, and it is made more difficult because we are still stumbling in our attempts at self-love. Many of us have lived our whole adult lives feeling inadequate, dull, unattractive, fearing the worst regarding our relationships with others.
But this phase, this struggle, is passing. We see a woman we like in the mirror each morning. We did a task or a favor yesterday that we felt good about. And when we feel good about our accomplishments, we look with a loving eye on the persons around us. Self-love does encourage other love.
Self-love takes practice. It’s new behavior. We can begin to measure what we are doing, rather than what we haven’t yet managed to do, and praise ourselves. Nurturing our inner selves invites further expression of the values that are developing, values that will carry us to new situations and new opportunities for accomplishments, and finally to loving the woman who looks back at us every morning.
Self-love makes me vulnerable and compassionate towards others. It’s the balm for all wounds; it multiplies as it’s expressed. It can begin with my smile.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

The wars which had been fought, the burnings and chicanery that religious dispute had facilitated, made me sick. I honestly doubted whether, on balance, the religions of mankind had done any good. Judging from what I had seen in Europe and since, the power of God in human affairs was negligible, the Brotherhood of Man a grim jest. If there was a Devil, he seemed the Boss of the Universal, and he certainly had me.

p. 11

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
In working the Twelve Steps, my life and my old way of thinking have changed.  I have no control over some of the things that happen in my life, but with the help of God I can now choose how I will respond.  Today I choose to be happy, and when I’m not, I have the tools of this program to put me back on track.

p. 381

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

Quite a while later, Ed got a sales job which took him out of town. At the end of a few days, the news came in. He’d sent a telegram for money, and everybody knew what that meant! Then he got on the phone. In those days, we’d go anywhere on a Twelfth Step job, no matter how unpromising. But this time nobody stirred. “Leave him alone! Let him try it by himself for once; maybe he’ll learn a lesson!”

p. 144

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People always ask, “How did you succeed?” Simply put, I chose not to
fail.
–Xernona Clayton

“Real friendship is shown in times of trouble; prosperity is full of
friends.”
–Euripides

Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober.
–Bill W.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”
–George MacDonald

“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

“Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not
that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.”
–St. Basil

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would
suffice.”
–Meister Eckhart

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

OPINIONS

“Opinions cannot survive if one
has no chance to fight for them.”
— Thomas Mann

An opinion is worth fighting for, and I have opinions on a great number
of subjects — as a result of sobriety.

Drugs have a tendency to make insane remarks appear brilliant; the
drunk is always the unsung poet or victimized genius when he is “in
alcohol”. I did not have opinions when I was drinking but rather a series
of chaotic and incoherent reactions.

But today I have considered opinions. I am able to think and make
decisions. I am able to make a contribution to life and the world in which
I live. I am involved.

More than this, today I have the spiritual confidence to fight for what I
believe and “speak out” my concerns in love. Today I am alive and I
love it — also I love me.

Let me always hear the opinions of others but not fail to express my
own.

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

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

‘Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be
saved; for thou art my praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God
is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can
stand up under it.”
I Corinthians 10:13

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Daily Inspiration

Few things are worthy of worry and fewer are worthy of anger. Lord, bless me with patience for my circumstances and wisdom to overcome the obstacles.

We only have so much time and so much energy in a day. To use it grumbling leaves less time for enjoyment and accomplishment. Lord, may I focus on looking for Your blessings in every part of my life.

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

NA Just For Today

Our Own True Will

“God’s will for us consists of the very things we most value. God’s will… becomes our own true will for ourselves.”
Basic Text p. 46

It’s human nature to want something for nothing. We may be ecstatic when a store cashier gives us back change for a twenty though we only paid with a ten. We tend to think that, if no one knows, one small deception won’t make any difference. But someone does know—we do. And it does make a difference.

What worked for us when we used, frequently doesn’t work long in recovery. As we progress spiritually by working the Twelve Steps, we begin to develop new values and standards. We begin to feel uncomfortable when we take advantage of situations that, when we used, would have left us gloating about what we had gotten away with.

In the past, we may have victimized others. However, as we draw closer to our Higher Power, our values change. God’s will becomes more important than getting away with something.

When our values change, our lives change, too. Guided by an inner knowledge given us by our Higher Power, we want to live out our newfound values. We have internalized our Higher Power’s will for us—in fact, God’s will has become our own true will for ourselves.

Just for today: By improving my conscious contact with God, my values have changed. Today, I will practice God’s will, my own true will.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Drag your thoughts away from your troubles . . . by the ears, by the heels or any other way you can manage it. It’s the healthiest thing a body can do. –Mark Twain
It requires very little effort–and no imagination–to start feeling sorry for ourselves. Often, it is easy to feel sorry for ourselves in our families. Instead of being inspired by the sports talents of an older brother, the popularity of a lovely sister, or the fame of a parent or relative, we often take the easier attitude: “I’m denied all that he or she has.”
If we work hard at developing our own abilities so that we can excel, we will find ourselves proud of, and applauding, what others do. If a personal problem brings us self-pity, we must remind ourselves that all people have problems. We can cope as well as the best of people if we learn from them and think positively.
Who among those close to me can I be proud of today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Restless man’s mind is,
So strongly shaken
In the grip of the senses…
Truly I think
The wind is no wilder.
–Bhagavad Gita
What passions have swept away our reasoning powers? What lust have we pursued at the cost of our values and better judgment? As men in this program, we know the ferocious winds of addiction and codependency. Now we are in a program of recovery, learning to combine our sensual side with our mind and our morals.
Every day we feel the winds of our senses, and they are part of what gives us life. We can let them blow and not be carried away by them. In this way we take pleasure in being human beings and men. We have our minds, our thoughts, and our knowledge to turn to for guidance. And we have our inner voice – our Higher Power – on which we can rely through even the wildest hurricane.
I am learning to make room in life for my senses, my mind, and my Higher Power.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one’s own values in the person of another. –Ayn Rand
The struggle to love one another may be a daily one for us, and it is made more difficult because we are still stumbling in our attempts at self-love. Many of us have lived our whole adult lives feeling inadequate, dull, unattractive, fearing the worst regarding our relationships with others.
But this phase, this struggle, is passing. We see a woman we like in the mirror each morning. We did a task or a favor yesterday that we felt good about. And when we feel good about our accomplishments, we look with a loving eye on the persons around us. Self-love does encourage other love.
Self-love takes practice. It’s new behavior. We can begin to measure what we are doing, rather than what we haven’t yet managed to do, and praise ourselves. Nurturing our inner selves invites further expression of the values that are developing, values that will carry us to new situations and new opportunities for accomplishments, and finally to loving the woman who looks back at us every morning.
Self-love makes me vulnerable and compassionate towards others. It’s the balm for all wounds; it multiplies as it’s expressed. It can begin with my smile.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Getting Needs Met
Picture yourself walking through a meadow. There is a path opening before you. As you walk, you feel hungry. Look to your left. There’s a fruit tree in full bloom. Pick what you need.
Steps later, you notice you’re thirsty. On your right, there’s a fresh water spring.
When you are tired, a resting place emerges. When you are lonely, a friend appears to walk with you. When you get lost, a teacher with a map appears.
Before long, you notice the flow: need and supply; desire and fulfillment. Maybe, you wonder, someone gave me the need because someone planned to fulfill it. Maybe I had to feel the need, so I would notice and accept the gift. Maybe closing my eyes to the desire closes my arms to its fulfillment.
Demand and supply, desire and fulfillment – a continuous cycle, unless we break it. All the necessary supplies have already been planned and provided for this journey.
Today, everything I need shall be supplied to me.

God gives me all the strength and courage to accept whatever happens in my life today. It is so freeing to know that I am no longer a victim of people, places and things. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Move Gently into Forgiveness

“I never knew how much I blamed and hated myself. I never knew how much shame and self-contempt I picked up from situations I’d been through until I really forgave myself and felt how that feels,” one woman said to me.

Loving yourself, forgiving yourself, accepting yourself– all of these feel different from judging yourself. Many of us have lived with so much judgement of ourselves that we take these feelings for granted. We just think that’s how we’re doomed to feel. Until we do forgive ourselves, we don’t realize how much we need to, and how good, how great, how absolutely terrific that feels.

I was leery of forgiveness for many years. I thought forgiving implied judging. And because judging was wrong and I shouldn’t do it, I didn’t need to forgive. The problem was, whether right or wrong, I had judged myself. And now I needed forgiveness.

Self-judgements set us apart, separate us from the rest of the world in an undesirable way. Forgiving ourselves reconnects us to the world, to God, to ourselves.

We can forgive ourselves for what we’ve done wrong, what we’ve done badly, and what we think we could have done better. We can transcend our judgements of ourselves.

Move gently into forgiveness. Love, forgive, and accept yourself. See how connected you feel. See how free you really are and always have been. See how much better you feel!

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Thy will be done

You can clear the land, plow the field, spread the fertilizer, and plant the corn. but you cannot make it rain. You cannot prevent an early frost. You cannot determine exactly what will happen in your life. The rain may or may not fall, but one thing is certain: you will get a harvest only if you planted something in the field.

It’s important to do everything in our power to ensure our success, but we also need to let the universe take its course. Getting mad won’t help. Dwelling on a situation only takes energy away from us, while yielding few positive results.

The Serenity Prayer comes to mind. It begins:”Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

Clear the land, plow the field, plant the crop, and then let go. Things will work out, sometimes the way we want them to, sometimes not. But they will work out.

Sometimes all you can do is shrug your shoulders, smile, and say whatever.

Thy will, not mine, be done.

God, help me take guided action, then surrender to your will. Help me remember that true power comes from aligning my will, intentions, and desires with you.

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

In God’s Care

We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.

People today are taught at an early age to be self-sufficient. Independence is considered a strength, and dependence a weakness. As a result, we come to believe that we can make it on our own. And we can, but at what cost? Many of us fill our loneliness with chemical substances, Humans are social creatures; we need each other for physical and emotional support, and for a healthy exchange of ideas.

Even more, we need each other for spiritual development. God loves us equally and often speaks to us through one another. We truly learn about our spiritual nature in the loving acts we exchange

I am never lonely when showing someone that I care.

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Alive in Joy
Dispelling Drama

by Madisyn Taylor

Some people are so used to creating drama that a peaceful existence seems uncomfortable for them.

There are scores of people in the world who seem to be magnets for calamity. They live their lives jumping from one difficult to the next, surrounded by unstable individuals. Some believe themselves victims of fate and decry a universe they regard as malevolent. Others view their chaotic circumstances as just punishments for some failing within. Yet, in truth, neither group has been fated or consigned to suffer. They are likely unconsciously drawing drama into their lives, attracting catastrophe through their choices, attitudes, and patterns of thought. Drama, however disastrous, can be exciting and stimulating. But the thrill of pandemonium eventually begins to frustrate the soul and drain the energy of all who embrace it. To halt this process, we must understand the root of our drama addiction, be aware of our reactions, and be willing to accept that a serene, joyful life need not be a boring one.

Many people, so used to living in the dramatic world they create, feel uncomfortable when confronted with the prospect of a lifetime of peace and contentment. The drama in their lives serves multiple purposes. Upset causes excitement, prompting the body to manufacture adrenaline, which produces a pleasurable surge of energy. For those seeking affection in the form of sympathy, drama forms the basis of their identity as a victim. And when drama is familial, many people believe they can avoid abandonment by continuing to play a key role in the established family dynamic. The addiction to drama is fed by the intensity of the feelings evoked during bouts of conflict, periods of uncertainty, and upheaval.

Understanding where the subconscious need for drama stems from is the key to addressing it effectively. Journaling can help you transfer this need from your mind onto a benign piece of paper. After repeated writing sessions, your feelings regarding the mayhem, hurt feelings, and confusion often associated with drama become clear. When you confront your emotional response to drama and the purpose it serves in your life, you can reject it. Each time you consciously choose not to take part in dramatic situations or associate with dramatic people, you create space in your inner being that is filled with a calm and tranquil stillness and becomes an asset in your quest to lead a more centered life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

What is the definition of humility? “Absolute humility,” said AA co-founder Bill W., “would consist of a state of complete freedom from myself, freedom from all the claims that my defects of character no lay so heavily upon me. Perfect humility would be a full willingness, in all times and places, to find and to do the will of God” Am I striving for humility?

Today I Pray

May God expand my interpretation of humility beyond abject subservience or awe at the greatness of others May humility also mean freedom from myself, a freedom which can come only through turning my being over to God’s will. May I sense the omnipotence of God, which is simultaneously humbling and exhilarating. May I be willing to carry out His will.

Today I Will Remember

Humility is freedom.

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One More Day

Happiness should not depend on physical wellness.
– K. o’Brien

Without even recognizing that we have done so, we sometimes structure our entire lives on the foundation of good health. We assume good health for our future. And we refuse to even acknowledge that nature’s somewhat random selection process can change the way we live. We may never even give a moment’s thought to changing our habits because of illness. We feel exempt, confident it will never happen to us.

And when it does and our lifestyle changes — sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly — we feel we’ve lost the right to happiness. Then we begin to adjust. Family and friends stick with us, and an awareness comes forth that they, not physical activity, are the reasons for true happiness.

I accept and will adjust to chronic illness. Poor health has changed my life not ended it.

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Food For Thought

Slow Success

We say that there are no failures in OA, only slow successes. Some of us take longer than others to catch on to the program. It is important to keep trying, to continue to attend as many meetings as possible, and to refuse to become discouraged.

There are some of us who spent months and years experimenting before we were finally able to accept abstinence and stay with it. Sometimes we left the program for a time, until we realized how much we needed OA and came back to try again.

When we have accepted the program and maintained abstinence, yet found weight loss to be extremely slow, it is easy to become discouraged. It helps to remember that we are not only losing weight–however slowly–we are also learning a new way of life. Our spiritual and emotional growth in this program is even more rewarding than the eventual weight loss. By living each day as it comes and working the Twelve Steps, we achieve the serenity and confidence that make us satisfied with slow success.

May I be granted patience and persistence.

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One Day At A Time

ISOLATION

“Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.”
Thomas Carlyle

This past summer I was forced to play “catch-up” at work in order to compensate for time lost while recovering from a serious ankle injury. As a result of my increased responsibilities, I stopped touching base with my friends and family — Program family included — except via the occasional email or phone call.

Fortunately, my friends and my sponsor are not the “shrinking violet” types. They took me to task about my whereabouts and well being. Because COE is a disease of isolation, it’s extremely important to make sure we’re making contact with others. We do this by using the tools of the Program: sharing with our support group, meetings, and sponsor.

When we don’t allow ourselves to have regular, daily social outflow and personal accountability – even with a good excuse – we are more likely to relapse.

One day at a time…
I will make a determined effort to connect and share with others.
Rob R.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly. – Pg. 45 – We Agnostics

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Anger is one letter short of Danger. ( Dolores )

I Will Be Me

I will be me, today. One thing I never seem to do well at, is trying to be someone else. I can imitate and learn from others, but I cannot be them. Only they know how to do that, it’s a natural outgrowth of all that they have experienced in life, of all they are. That’s the bad news. The good news is no one can be me as well as me. Being me builds on who I already am. It’s exercise for my personality and my spirit. If I allow myself to actualize my own unique gifts and visions they will have originality to them, a freshness.

I am a better me than anyone else can be

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

In the words of Wayne Dryer ‘You will be happy to know that the universal law that created miracles has not been repealed.’

I Expect a Miracle today.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

There is an easy answer to your problem that is neat, plausible, and wrong.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

God gives me all the strength and courage to accept whatever happens in my life today. It is so freeing to know that I am no longer a victim of people, places and things.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Relationships: I’ve learned how to get into them and now how to get out of them.
Now all I’ve got to do is learn how to do the bit in the middle. – Lochie.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 29

Surrender
At one time the admission that I was and am an alcoholic
meant shame, defeat, and failure to me.
But in the light of the new understanding that I have found in AA,
I have been able to interpret that defeat and that failure as seeds of victory.
Because it was only through feeling defeat and failure,
the inability to cope with my life and with alcohol,
that I was able to surrender and accept the fact that I had this disease
and that I had to learn to live again without alcohol.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 295

Thought to Ponder . . .
We surrender to win.

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

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

Housecleaning
“Somehow, being alone with God
doesn’t seem as embarrassing
as facing up to another person.
Until we actually sit down and talk aloud
about what we have so long hidden,
our willingness to clean house
is still largely theoretical.
When we are honest with another person,
it confirms that we have been honest
with ourselves and with God.”
Bill W., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 60

Thought to Consider . . .
If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 72

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
STEPS
Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety

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

Selfless
From “When A.A. Came of Age”:
“As this tidal offering of top public approval swept in, we realized that it could do us incalculable good or great harm.
Everything would depend upon how it was channeled. We simply could not afford to take the chance of letting self-
appointed members present themselves as messiahs representing A.A. before the whole public. The promoter instinct
in us might be our undoing. If even one such person publicly got drunk or was lured into using A.A.’s name for his own
purposes, the damage might be irreparable. At this altitude (press, radio, films, and television [and the internet] ),
anonymity 100 per cent anonymity was the only possible answer. Here principles would have to come before
personalities, without exception.
“These experiences taught us that anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality which today
keynotes A.A. life everywhere.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 134

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

“Until I was at my complete bottom, alcohol wasn’t even my problem. But thankfully, when I did hit bottom, AA was not
hard to find.”
November 2013
“Why Not Tell the World?”
AA Grapevine

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

“The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep
and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our
whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God’s
universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute
certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a
way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish
those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 25~

“The age of miracles is still with us. Our own recovery proves that!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 153~

But in A.A. we slowly learned that something had to be done about our vengeful resentments, self-pity, and unwarranted pride.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘Will Power and Choice’
‘We A.A.’s know the futility of trying to break the drinking obsession by will power alone. However, we do know that it
takes great willingness to adopt A.A.’s Twelve Steps as a way of life that can restore us to sanity.
‘No matter how grievous the alcohol obsession, we happily find that other vital choices can still be made. For example,
we can choose to admit that we are personally powerless over alcohol; that dependence upon a ‘higher Power’ is a
necessity, even if this be simply dependence upon an A.A. group. Then we can choose to try for a life of honesty and
humility, of selfless services to out fellows and to ‘God as we understand Him.’
‘As we continue to make these choices and so move toward these high aspirations, our sanity returns and the
compulsion to drink vanishes.’ LETTER, 1966

Prayer For The Day: Lord God, help me to remember that I may not only be forgiven for my transgression, but with thy help I may be led away from the wrong. May I be content to follow where thou dost lead. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 25th

Daily Reflections

A FULL AND THANKFUL HEART

I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and
thankful heart cannot entertain certain conceits. When
brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely
result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we
can ever know.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37

I believe that we in Alcoholics Anonymous are fortunate
in that we are constantly reminded of the need to be
grateful and of how important gratitude is in our
sobriety. I am truly grateful for the sobriety God has
given me through the A.A. program and am glad I can give
back what was given to me freely. I am grateful not only
for sobriety, but for the quality of life my sobriety
has brought. God has been gracious enough to give me
sober days and a life blessed with peace and contentment,
as well as the ability to give and receive love, and the
opportunity to serve others — in our Fellowship, my
family and community. For all of this, I have “a full
and thankful heart.”


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Strength comes from coming to believe in a Higher Power
that can help you. You can’t define this Higher Power, but
you can see how it helps other alcoholics. You hear them
talk about it and you begin to get the idea yourself. You
try praying in a quiet time each morning and you begin to
feel stronger, as though your prayers were heard. So you
gradually come to believe there must be a Power in the
world outside of yourself, which is stronger than you and
which you can turn to for help. Am I receiving strength from
my faith in a Higher Power?

Meditation For The Day

Spiritual development is achieved by daily persistence in
living the way you believe God wants you to live. Like the
wearing away of a stone by steady drops of water, so will
your daily persistence wear away all the difficulties and
gain spiritual success for you. Never falter in this daily,
steady persistence. Go forward boldly and unafraid.
God will help and strengthen you, as long as you are trying
to do His will.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may persist day by day in gaining spiritual
experience. I pray that I may make this a lifetime work.


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As Bill Sees It

Benefits of Responsibility, p. 84

“Happily, A.A.’s per capita expenses are very low. For us to fail to
meet them would be to evade a responsibility beneficial for us.

“Most alcoholics have said they had no troubles that money would not
cure. We are a group that, when drinking, always held out a hand for
funds. So when we commence to pay our own service bills, this is a
healthy change.”

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

“Because of drinking, my friend Henry had lost a high-salaried job.
There remained a fine house–with a budget three times his reduced
earnings.

“He could have rented the house for enough to carry it. But no!
Henry said he knew that God wanted him to live there, and He would
see that the costs were paid. So Henry went on running up bills and
glowing with faith. Not surprisingly, his creditors finally took over the
place.

“Henry can laugh about it now, having learned that God more often
helps those who are willing to help themselves.”

1. Letter, 1960
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

Expect Miracles____Belief
Some have claimed that there have been no miracles since the fourteenth century.  This is a smug way of saying that miracles do not happen.
Emmet Fox conceded that miracles don’t happen in the sense of violating the perfect, universal system of law and order.  But there is such a thing as appealing to a higher law, and this too is part of the constitution of the universe.  Prayer is a means of doing this, and enough prayer will get you out of any difficulty, Fox insisted.
People who have found sobriety in AA are actually modern miracles.  They expect more miracles to continue happening”  otherwise, there would be no point in continuing to work with newcomers. And while we’re expecting miracles, let’s remember that countless other human problems will yield to a spiritual approach.  Life itself is miraculous when we study it:  why shouldn’t there be more miracles ahead?
I’ll keep an open mind on the subject of miracles.  Since we still can glipmse only a fragment of the universe, it should follow that there’s also much more to learn about the spiritual processes that rescued us from alcoholism.


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Keep It Simple

The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.—Eugene Delacroix
Trying to be prefect puts distance between us and our Higher Power. Trying to be perfect shows we’re ashamed of being human. In recovery, we accept that we’re human. We try to be the best human we can be. We used to get high to feel powerful and god-like. But God is not just power. God is also gentleness. Gentleness and love are the power we look for on recovery. We work to be human. We work to know the loving, gentle side of ourselves and our Higher Power. Remember, if we try to be god, we’ll fail. If we try to be human, we’ll win.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me give up trying to be perfect. Help me always keep in mind that I’m human—which means, I’m not perfect.
Action for the Day:  Part of being human is making mistakes. Today, I’ll see my mistakes as chances to learn.

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Each Day a New Beginning

When I slow down long enough to smell the roses, I usually see the beauty and all else that is ours to share.  –Morgan Jennings
We overlook so many joys, so many hidden treasures, when we hurry from place to place, person to person, experience to experience, with little attention anywhere. All that matters passes before us now, at this moment. And assuredly, we will not pass this way again.
It has been said the greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention; additionally, living life fully attentive to the breezes, the colors, the sorrows and the thrills as well, is the most prayerful response any of us can make in this life. Nothing more is asked of us. Nothing less is expected.
We have just this one life to live, and each day is a blessing. Even the trials we shall understand as blessings in the months, the years ahead, as we can see now how the painful moments of the past played their part. Our attitude toward the lessons life has offered makes all the difference in the world.
I will look closely at everything in my path today. The women and children, the trees and squirrels, the silent neighbors. I will never see them again as I see them today. I will be at attention.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

He talked for hours. Childhood memories rose before me. I could almost hear the sound of the preacher’s voice as I sat, on still Sundays, way over there on the hillside; there was that proffered temperance pledge I never signed; my grandfather’s good natured contempt of some church folk and their doings; his insistence that the spheres really had their music; but his denial of the preacher’s right to tell him how he must listen; his fearlessness as he spoke of these things just before he died; these recollections welled up from the past. They made me swallow hard.
That war-time day in old Winchester Cathedral came back again.

p. 10

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
In working the steps, my life changed.  I think differently today; I feel differently today.  I am new.  We have a sign at the A.A. meetings I go to that says, “Expect a Miracle.”  My sobriety is full of miracles.  When my son filled out an application for college, I filled out one too, and was accepted.  Soon I will be a senior, and I have a 3.71 grade point average.  Thanks to A.A.  I have come a long way from being near the bottom of my high school class.  It takes me a lot longer to read the material, so I have CCTV (I put my book under this camera and it comes out in large print on a monitor).  I have a talking calculator that helped me get through statistics and a telescope that can help me see the board.  I accept help from the disabled students services and gladly make use of the volunteer notetakers.

pp. 380-381

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire
to stop drinking.”

Not long after the man with the double stigma knocked for admission,
A.A.’s other group received into its membership a salesman we shall call
Ed. A power driver, this one, and brash as any salesman could possibly
be. He had at least and idea a minute on how to improves A.A. These
ideas he sold to fellow members with the same burning enthusiasm with
which he distributed automobile polish. But he had one idea that wasn’t
so salable. Ed was an atheist. His pet obsession was that A.A. could get
along better without its “God nonsense.” He browbeat everybody, and
everybody expected that he’d soon get drunk – for at the time, you see,
A.A. was on the pious side. There must be a heavy penalty, it was
thought, for blasphemy. Distressingly enough, Ed proceeded to stay sober.

p. 143

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Nine requisites for contented living:
Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all the anxious fears concerning the future.
–Johann von Goethe

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
–Chinese proverb

“All fortune belongs to him who has a contented mind.”
–The Panchatantra

“If we lead good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.”
–St. Augustine

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.”
–Sir Arthur Helps


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PERSEVERANCE

“I know of no more encouraging
fact than the unquestionable
ability of man to elevate his life by
a conscious endeavor.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Life is exciting to me when I am creating, when I am pursuing a dream,
when I am making miracles in my life.

I suppose “perseverance” stems from a belief that things get better
when we roll-up our sleeves and do something. Sobriety is about
comprehending that in our lives we reflect the message.

God has created man with the ability to make the dream come true;
this is not to say it is easy . . . but it is harder not to dream!

Teach us to wonder at the stars with a spade in our hands.

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Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore.
Psalm 105:1-4

My peace I give you … Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not
be afraid.
John 14:27


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Daily Inspiration

Things are not always what they seem, so take time to think before you react. Lord, grant me patience and resolve when I have the urge to assume the worst or jump to false conclusions.

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

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NA Just For Today

I Can’t, But We Can

“From the isolation of our addiction, we find a fellowship of people with a common bond… Our faith, strength, and hope come from people sharing their recovery…”
Basic Text, pg.94-95

Admit no weakness, conceal all shortcomings, deny every failure, go it alone-that was the creed many of us followed. We denied that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable, despite all evidence to the contrary. Many of us took our First Step only when we had evidence that addicts could recover in Narcotics Anonymous.

In NA, we find others who’ve been in the same predicament, with the same needs, who’ve found tools that work for them. These addicts are willing to share those tools with us and gibe us the emotional support we need as we learn to use them. Recovering addicts know how important the help of others can be because they’ve been given that help themselves. When we become a part of Narcotics Anonymous, we join a society of addicts like ourselves, a group of people who know that we help one another recover.

Just for today: I will join in the bond of recovery. I will find the experience, strength, and hope I need in the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
My most irrational fear is that I’ve forgotten how to cook. –Pam Sherman
Once there was a teacher who was having nightmares about doing a good job. In one dream, he couldn’t find his classroom and he had to run from building to building. In another dream, he started teaching the lesson in the middle of the woods and didn’t notice he was in the wrong place!
Then one Sunday morning, he read an article about a wonderful baker. She baked every day, started bakeries, and fixed food for her friends, yet when the reporter asked her about her fears, she said, “My most irrational fear is that I’ve forgotten how to cook.”
Suddenly the man felt better. He realized someone else had the same kinds of fears. In a miraculous way, our fears become less powerful when we discover that we share them with other people.
What fear can I share with someone right now?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did. –Henry James
Many of us have learned to control the responses of others by always being pleasing and charming. Maybe we feel it’s better to have others like us than to take a stand. Maybe we only feel okay about ourselves if others approve. Some of us have certainly learned we have a sense of power and control over people when they like us. Many of us have carried our people pleasing behavior so far that we have really sold our souls for the applause of others.
Are there problems or tensions in our lives from trying to please someone? Is fear of criticism preventing us from taking an action that would be good for us? Have we neglected our inner voice by listening so hard to others? As we get stronger, healthier, more fully into our manhood, not everyone will like us. Some people will be angry; others, not interested. Once we have faced our own life crises, we are not so dependent on having everyone’s approval.
I pray for God’s blessing upon the man I’m becoming. I will let go of this need to please everyone.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
When I slow down long enough to smell the roses, I usually see the beauty and all else that is ours to share. –Morgan Jennings
We overlook so many joys, so many hidden treasures, when we hurry from place to place, person to person, experience to experience, with little attention anywhere. All that matters passes before us now, at this moment. And assuredly, we will not pass this way again.
It has been said the greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention; additionally, living life fully attentive to the breezes, the colors, the sorrows and the thrills as well, is the most prayerful response any of us can make in this life. Nothing more is asked of us. Nothing less is expected.
We have just this one life to live, and each day is a blessing. Even the trials we shall understand as blessings in the months, the years ahead, as we can see now how the painful moments of the past played their part. Our attitude toward the lessons life has offered makes all the difference in the world.
I will look closely at everything in my path today. The women and children, the trees and squirrels, the silent neighbors. I will never see them again as I see them today. I will be at attention.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Worry
What if we knew for certain that everything were worried about today will work out fine?
What if . . . we had a guarantee that the problem bothering us would be worked out in the most perfect way, and at the best possible time? Furthermore, what if we knew that three years from now wed be grateful for that problem, and it solution?
What if . . . we knew that even our worst fear would work out for the best?
What if . . . we had a guarantee that everything that’s happening, and has happened, in our life was meant to be, planned just for us, and in our best interest?
What if . . . we had a guarantee that the people we love are experiencing exactly what they need in order to become who they’re intended to become? Further, what if we had a guarantee that others can be responsible for themselves, and we don’t have to control or take responsibility for them?
What if . . . we knew the future was going to be good, and we would have an abundance of resources and guidance to handle whatever comes our way?
What if . . . we knew everything was okay, and we didn’t have to worry about a thing? What would we do then?
We’d be free to let go and enjoy life.
Today, I will know that I don’t have to worry about anything. If I do worry, I will do it with the understanding that I am choosing to worry, and it is not necessary.

My Higher Power is with me in the sun as well as the rain, in pain as well as joy. As long as I know I am protected by the power of faith and love, I will remain centered and balanced throughout all of this day. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Break Through Your Blocks

I was walking at a good clip down sandy Colony Beach when it happened. Without warning, I began running. I ran the longest distance I had ever before run. Instead of collapsing in a panting heap, I kept running. Another stretch. Then another. By the time I tired, I had run a mile. The furthest I had ever before run in my life was about a quarter block.

I didn’t intend to make this breakthrough. I was so blocked in this area I didn’t think I could. Running wasn’t even a goal. I had simply incorporated regular walks into my lifestyle as a way of exercising my body. This event surprised me because I’m not a physical fitness buff. I hadn’t been allowed to participate in any physical education or sports activities as a child or teenager because of chronic health ailments. I spent many years neglecting my body. Lately, I had put some effort into connecting with my body and working out in an amateurish fashion. But running? Not me. Or so I used to think.

The next time I went walking, I felt timid, almost afraid to even try running. I wondered if what I had experienced was a fluke. It wasn’t. I ran again and again. Now, running is a regular part of my physical activity, one I truly enjoy.

Sometimes, we’re so blocked in a particular area we don’t even consider a breakthrough a possibility. We’re so blocked we don’t even see our blocks. Stay open. Don’t limit yourself. Something that yesterday seemed entirely unfeasable and forever beyond your grasp may tomorrow, next month, next year– or today– become something you can do naturally, something that’s available to you. It can come as a total surprise, in an area you hadn’t considered. Your breakthrough may happen in an area you’ve been struggling with and working on.

Life is more than setbacks, and it’s not static. Appreciate and respect where you are now. But let yourself move to the next level when it’s time. Celebrate your breakthroughs when they come. Listen to that quiet voice, that fleeting thought that says, Why don’t you…? even if it’s something you’ve never done before.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of resentments

Resentments are sneaky, tricky little things. They can convince us they’re justified. They can dry up our hearts. They can sabotage our happiness. They can sabotage love.

Most of us have been at the receiving end of an injustice at some time in our lives. Most of us know someone who’s complained of an injustice we’ve done to him or her. Life can be a breeding ground for resentments, if we let it.

“Yes, but this time I really was wronged,” we complain.

Maybe you were. But harboring a resentment isn’t the solution. If it was, our resentment list would resemble the Los Angeles telephone directory. Deal with your feelings. Learn whatever lesson is at hand. Then let the feelings go.

Resentments are a coping behavior, a tool of someone settling for survival in life. They’re a form of revenge. The problem is, no matter who we’re resenting, the anger is ultimately directed against ourselves.

Take a moment. Search your heart. Have you tricked yourself into harboring a resentment? If you have, take another moment and let that resentment go.

God, grant me the serenity that acceptance brings.

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The Road to New Beginnings
Completion

by Madisyn Taylor

Just as new beginnings are important, so is honoring the experience of closure.

Life is a collage of beginnings and endings that run together like still-wet paint. Yet before we can begin any new phase in life, we must sometimes first achieve closure to the current stage we are in. That’s because many of life’s experiences call for closure. Often, we cannot see the significance of an event or importance of a lesson until we have reached closure. Or, we may have completed a certain phase in life or path of learning and want to honor that ending. It is this sense of completion that frees us to open the door to new beginnings. Closure serves to tie up or sever loose ends, quiets the mind even when questions have been left unanswered, signifies the end of an experience, and acknowledges that a change has taken place.

The period of completion, rather than being just an act of finality, is also one of transition. When we seek closure, what we really want is an understanding of what has happened and an opportunity to derive what lessons we can from an experience. Without closure, there is no resolution and we are left to grieve, relive old memories to the point of frustration, or remain forever connected to people from our past. A sense of completion regarding a situation may also result when we accept that we have done our best. If you can’t officially achieve closure with someone, you can create completion by participating in a closure ritual. Write a farewell letter to that person and then burn your note during a ceremony. This ritual allows you to consciously honor and appreciate what has taken place between you and release the experience so you can move forward.

Closure can help you let go of feelings of anger or uncertainty regarding your past even as you honor your experience – whether good or bad – as a necessary step on your life’s path. Closure allows you to emotionally lay to rest issues and feelings that may be weighing down your spirit. When you create closure, you affirm that you have done what was needed, are wiser because of your experience, and are ready for whatever life wants to bring you next. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If a chemically-dependent person wants to live successfully in society, he or she must replace the power of chemicals over his/her life with the power of something else — preferably positive, at least neutral, but not negative. That is why we say to the agnostic newcomer: If you can’t believe in God, find a positive power that is as great as the power of your addiction, and give it the power and dependence you gave to your addiction. In The Program, the agnostic is left free to find his or her Higher Power, and can use the principles of The Program and the therapy of the meetings to aid in rebuilding his/her life. Do I go out of my way to work with newcomers?

Today I Pray

May the Power of The Program work its miracles equally for those who believe in a personal God or in a Universal Spirit or in the strength of the group itself, or for those who define their Higher Power in their own terms, religious or not. If newcomers are disturbed by the religiosity of The Program, may I welcome them on their own spiritual terms May I recognize that we are all spiritual beings.

Today I Will Remember

To each his own spirituality.

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One More Day

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
– Arthur Schopenhauer

It’s not easy to get used to the idea of a “forever” kind of illness. When we first learned about it, we may have allowed it to overtake our lies. Perhaps we lost the pleasure of taking a walk, playing a card game with friends, or spending time helping others. We were obsessed with the memory of how life used to be.

We can learn to put illness into its correct position. We have the chronic condition; it doesn’t own us. We will know we have reached true acceptance when the medical issue doesn’t dominate our days.

Of course a chronic illness affects us, but now we an see it properly as only one facet of our lives. We can choose to once again have full and meaningful days.

I — not my illness — can choose how well and how fully I will live my life.

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Food For Thought

Living Day by Day

“Life by the mile is a trial; by the inch it’s a cinch.” In the past, we got into trouble when we thought we had to have our lives mapped out forever. That just did not work.

We need only deal with the problems and joys of today. If we try to see too far ahead, we lose touch with the reality of the here and now. The Lord lets us know what we need to know when we need to know it.

What seems impossible when looked at in total –writing a book, putting the children through college, abstaining for the rest of our lives — becomes manageable when worked at step-by-step, day-by-day.

So many of the things we worry about never happen. How much better it is to concentrate our energies on the real demands and challenges of today, insignificant as they may seem. When we turn our lives over to our Higher Power, we trust Him to manage the master plan and to direct us in the small details of living each day.

Show me, Lord, how to best live each day. I leave the years to You.

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One Day At A Time

Present Moment

“Do not dwell in the past, do not
dream of the future, concentrate on
the present moment.”
Buddha

Staying focused, serene and receptive requires that we keep our attention placed in the present moment. If we allow our minds to be overly focused in the future (ie on outcomes such as “what if’s” or “if only’s”) or in the past (ie past resentments, past embarrassments, or “would’ve beens, “could’ve beens”) we allow ourselves to be subject to the psychological and emotional roller coaster ride that can go with these states. These meanderings into the past or present, colour our judgement and play a major role in contributing to our eating disorder. Therefore, it is imperative that we practise staying in the moment in order to maintain a healthy recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will choose to live in the serenity of the present moment.
~ Rob R.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We realize that we have been giving you much direction and advice. We may have seemed to lecture. If that is so we are sorry, for we ourselves don’t always care for people who lecture us. But what we have related is based upon experience, some of it painful. We had to learn these things the hard way. That is why we are anxious that you understand, and that you avoid these unnecessary difficulties. – Pg. 121 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The restless changing tides of the sea seem to parallel our recovery. The tide comes in, the tide goes out. A fact of life. Whatever is high tide in your emotion now, will eventually ebb to low tide. Remember: This too shall pass.

Help me recognize that my emotions are like the tides of the sea. Nothing is forever. This too shall pass.

Loving Myself through Action

I want to do something special for myself today. Giving to others and withholding from myself doesn’t work. I tend to treat other people the way that I treat myself. If I am stingy with me, I will, somewhere along the line, act that out with other people. If I am hard on myself, I will tend to be hard on others. I am the only person who is with me all hours of the day and I know what feels good and warm to me. I know what makes me feel sustained from within. Today, I will encourage, support and congratulate myself. Each time I do something that pleases me I’ll say ‘thank you’ to myself. Each time I do something well, I’ll tell myself ‘good job.’ I will be my own best cheerleader.

I will encourage and support myself.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When one door closes, another door opens. It’s waiting in the hallway that’s hell.
I am not a slow learner. I am just, sometimes, a slow accepter.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

No matter how fast or how far you go, you can’t outrun God.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

My Higher Power is with me in the sun as well as the rain, in pain as well as joy. As long as I know I am protected by the power of faith and love, I will remain centered and balanced throughout all of this day.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

This old codger saying he’d spilt more than I’d drunk. I thought; ‘If you hadn’t spilt so much you might have got here earlier.’ – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 25

Resentments
It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness.
To the precise extent we permit these,
do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic,
whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience,
this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66

Thought to Ponder . . .
Resentment is like acid, eating away at the vessel it is stored in.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, Trust.

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

“There are those in AA whom we call ‘destructive’ critics.
They power-drive, they are ‘politickers,’
they make accusations to gain their ends–
all for the good of AA, of course!
We ought to listen carefully to what they say.
Sometimes they are telling the whole truth;
at other times, a little truth.
If they are talking nonsense, we can ignore it,
or else try to persuade them.
There are few better means of self-survey
and of developing patience than the workouts
these usually well-meaning but erratic members
so often afford us.”
Bill W., Twelve Concepts for World Service, p. 40
As Bill Sees It, p. 215

Thought to Consider . . .
Every problem arrives bearing a gift in its hands.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
GIFTS
Getting It From The Steps

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

Decision
Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
“Therefore, we who are alcoholics can consider ourselves fortunate indeed. Each of us has had his own near-fatal
encounter with the juggernaut of self-will, and has suffered enough under its weight to be willing to look for something
better. So it is by circumstance rather than by any virtue that we have been driven to A.A., have admitted defeat, have
acquired the rudiments of faith, and now want to make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to a Higher Power.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pgs. 37-38

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

“I’m better able to love people when the storm of my judgmental mind settles, when I understand and empathize rather
than criticize and condemn.”
September 2008
“The Fine Art of Listening”
AA Grapevine

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

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

“…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~

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

Many people, nonalcoholics, report that as a result of the practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, they have been able to meet other difficulties of life.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 15

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Benefits of Responsibility
‘Happily, A.A.’s per capita expenses are very low. For us to fail to meet them would be to evade a responsibility beneficial for us.
‘Most alcoholics have said they had no troubles that money would not cure. We are a group that, when drinking, always held out a hand for funds. So when we commence to pay our own service bills, this is a healthy change.’
‘Because of drinking, my friend Henry had lost a high-salaried job. There remained a fine house–with a budget three times his reduced earnings.
‘He could have rented the house for enough to carry it. But no! Henry said he knew that God wanted him to live there, and He would see that the costs were paid. So Henry went on running up bills and glowing with faith. Not surprisingly, his creditors finally took over the place.
‘Henry can laugh about it now, having learned that God more often helps those who are willing to help themselves.’
1. LETTER,1960
2. LETTER, 1966

Prayer For The Day: Almighty God, grant that I may never succumb to the controlling influences of the body, and lose the power of my mind. May I guard the dictates of my heart and keep my mind in command to obey thy will. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 24th

Daily Reflections

ACTIVE, NOT PASSIVE, p. 92

Man is supposed to think, and act. He wasn’t made to God’s image to
be an automation.
As Bill Sees It, p. 55

Before I joined A.A., I often did not think, and reacted to people and
situations. When not reacting I acted in a mechanical fashion. After
joining A.A., I started seeking daily guidance from a Power greater
than myself, and learning to listen for that guidance. Then I began to
make decisions and act on them, rather than react to them. The
results have been constructive; I no longer allow others to make
decisions for me and then criticize me for it.
Today–and every day–with a heart full of gratitude, and a desire for
God’s will to be done through me, my life is worth sharing, especially
with my fellow alcoholics! Above all, if I do not make a religion out of
anything, even A.A., then I can be an open channel for God’s
expression.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Strength comes from honestly telling your own experiences with
drinking. In religion, they call it confession. We call it witnessing or
sharing. You give a personal witness, you share your past experiences,
the troubles you got into, the hospitals, the jails, the break-up of your
home, the money wasted, the debts, and all the foolish things you did
when you were drinking. This personal witness lets out the things you
had kept hidden, brings them out into the open, and you find release
and strength. Am I receiving strength from my personal witnessing?

Meditation For The Day

We cannot fully understand the universe. The simple fact is that we
cannot even define space or time, which we have manufactured by our
own minds and on that depends all our so-called knowledge of the
universe. The simple fact is that we can never know all things, nor are
we made to know them. Much of our lives must be taken on faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my faith may be based on my own experience of the power
of God in my life. I pray that I may know this one thing above all else
in the universe.

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As Bill Sees It

We Cannot Live Alone, p. 83

All of A.A.’s Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural
desires; they all deflate our egos.  When it comes to ego deflation, few
Steps are harder to take than the Fifth.  Scarcely any Step is more
necessary to long-time sobriety and peace of mind.

A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone with our pressing
problems and the character defects which cause or aggravate them.  If
Step Four has revealed in stark relief those experiences we’d rather
not remember, then the need to quit living by ourselves with those
tormenting ghosts of yesterday gets more urgent than ever.  We have
to talk to somebody about them.

<< << <<      >> >> >>

We cannot wholly rely on friends to solve all our difficulties.  A good
adviser will never do all our thinking for us.  He knows that each final
choice must be ours.  He will therefore help to eliminate fear,
expediency, and self-deception, so enabling us to make choices which
are loving, wise, and honest.

1.  12 & 12, p. 55

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Walk in Dry Places

This Too Shall Pass____  Fortitude
Growing older in sobriety, w soon become aware of the fact that both good and bad experiences eventually pass on.  No matter how beautiful or ugly a situation becomes, it must change in time. In discussions, we catch this idea by reminding ourselves that “This too shall pass.”
We are very fortunate that this is true.  Were it otherwise, intolerable conditions would last forever.  Our business is to make sure that our own thoughts and actions lead to betterment, for ourselves and others.  While we should be willing to accept unpleasantness if the re is no way of avoiding it, we should always hope…. And work….. for improvement.
When unpleasant experiences do pass on. We must also be careful not to resurrect them by brooding about how badly we were treated or trying to get even with others.  This only prolongs the trouble. The good news in AA is that we can survive any experience and put it behind us.
Whatever I’m facing today, I’ll know that it is temporary and has no power to keep me from the deeper happiness and gratitude I have in the 12 step program.

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Keep It Simple

Love your enemy it will drive him nuts.Eleanor Doan
Love you enemy. It’s a lot easier on you! Hating someone takes so much time and energy.
Loving your enemy means, instead of trying to get even, you let your Higher Power handle that person. Of course, loving your enemy is also hard. It means giving up control. It means giving up self-will. We addicts naturally want to control things and people.
This is where we turn to our program for help. We learn to love our enemies, not for some grand reason. We simply do it because hate can cause us to use alcohol or other drugs again.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, watch over my family, friends, and my enemies. Take from me my desire to control. Take from me all reasons to get high.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list all my enemies. I’ll say each of their names, and then I’ll read the Third Step out loud.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Love has a hundred gentle ends.  –Leonora Speyer
Letting go is a process that is seldom easy. For many, its meaning is elusive. How do we “let go”? Letting go means removing our attention from a particular experience or person and putting our focus on the here and now. We hang on to the past, to past hurts, but also to past joys. We have to let the past pass. The struggle to hang on to it, any part of it, clouds the present. You can’t see the possibilities today is offering if your mind is still drawn to what was.
Letting go can be a gentle process. Our trust in our higher power and our faith that good will prevail, in spite of appearances, eases the process. And we must let each experience end, as its moment passes, whether it is good or bad, love or sorrow. It helps to remember that all experiences contribute to our growth and wholeness. No experience will be ignored by the inner self who is charting our course. All are parts of the journey. And every moment has a gentle end, but no moment is forgotten.
My journey today is akin to yesterday’s journey and tomorrow’s too. I will savor each moment and be ready for the next.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

He had come to pass his experience along to me—if I cared to have it.  I was shocked, but interested.  Certainly I was interested.  I had to be, for I was hopeless.

pp. 9-10

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
This is an example of how God works in my life.  No longer did I have to drink, but it was much more than that.  Everything I needed was provided.  I had a God of my understanding that helped me in every aspect of my life.

p. 380

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

Overjoyed, the newcomer plunged into Twelfth Step work. Tirelessly he laid A.A.’s message before scores of people. Since this was a very early group, those scores have since multiplied themselves into thousands. Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty. A.A. had taken its first step in the formation of Tradition Three.

p. 142

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I keep my sobriety by giving it away.

Humility does not mean you think less of yourself.
It means you think of yourself less.
–Ken Blanchard

“Recovery is a path, not a sudden landing.”
–Sandra B

“The two major sources of value today are time and knowledge. Find
new ways every day to use them better.”
–Brian Tracy

Action is the antidote to despair.
–Joan Baez

Even though our love may waiver, God’s love for us never fails.
–Howard Coop

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LANGUAGE

“Language is the light of the mind.”
John Stuart Mill

When I was drinking, I never really thought about how I behaved, how
I dressed or the language I used. Today I believe I should be
responsible for the whole of me.

Language is important because it is my bridge to others; it is also the
vehicle for understanding the ideas of others. Spirituality involves the
concept of language because it is the means of growth, communication
and relationship. My words help me to be known. My ability to
understand the ideas and aspirations of others helps me to feel that I
belong.

God is perceived in this world and the gift of language is one of the
ways God is revealed. My words are spiritual.

May the light of God’s eternal truth be manifested in the way I talk
and relate to others.

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Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let
God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice
that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands, and moves
toward the goal of true maturity.”
Romans 12:2

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Daily Inspiration

A house becomes a home when it is filled with love and friendship. Lord, bless my life with laughter and many shared moments that I may in turn be a source of sunshine to others.

Live as a responsible adult, but approach God as a child, full of faith and trust. You cannot help but perfect one by the other. Lord, You are my Father. Who else will so lovingly listen to me and care for my desires.

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NA Just For Today

Letting Go Of The Past

“It is not where we were that counts, but where we are going.”
Basic Text, pg.22

When we first find recovery, some of us feel shame or despair at calling ourselves “addicts.” In the early days, we may be filled with both fear and hope as we struggle to find new meaning in our lives. The past may seem inescapable and overpowering. It may be hard to think of ourselves in any way other than the way we always have.

While memories of the past can serve as reminders of what’s waiting for us if we use again, they can also keep us stuck in a nightmare of shame and fear. Though it may be difficult to let go of those memories, each day in recovery can bring us that much farther away from our active addiction. Each day, we can find more to look forward to and less to punish ourselves for.

In recovery, all doors are open to us. We have many choices. Our new life is rich and full of promise. While we cannot forget the past, we don’t have to live in it. We can move on.

Just for today: I will pack my bags and move out of my past into a present filled with hope.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The things we hate about ourselves aren’t more real than things we like about ourselves. –Ellen Goodman
It is so easy, and tempting, to get down on ourselves, to focus on an imperfect face, a dismal batting average, our fear of math, or our big feet. The trouble is, the more we feel sorry for ourselves, and the more we have to feel sorry about. And though it probably doesn’t hurt to indulge in a little self-pity once in a while, how unfortunate–and limiting–it can be to let those attitudes define us.
The things we hate about ourselves are no more real than the things we like about ourselves. The trick is to dwell on the things we like instead of those we don’t. Even on days when we are sure we are the least lovable creatures in the world, we can “act as if” we like ourselves. What a surprise at the end of the day, to find out that we actually do!
What can I like about myself today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I don’t like a man to be too efficient. He’s likely to be not human enough. –Felix Frankfurter
On our path we seek balance. Pursuing any single value and ignoring another, whether it is efficiency, hard work, or leisure, will make one sided men of us. Psychology tells us our right brain is the creative, intuitive side and our left brain is the concrete, fact gathering side. Spending our energies developing only one part of ourselves will leave us incomplete. We males have been taught we should be decisive, practical, and have our feet on the ground.
As men we are also creative and sensitive. We think in stories, pictures, and metaphors and we love music. At our best, we are willing to place people and relationships ahead of things and goals. When we are wisest and most human, we draw on the many sides of ourselves.
Today, I will use both the creative, intuitive part of me and the practical, decisive part that can get a job done.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Love has a hundred gentle ends. –Leonora Speyer
Letting go is a process that is seldom easy. For many, its meaning is elusive. How do we “let go”? Letting go means removing our attention from a particular experience or person and putting our focus on the here and now. We hang on to the past, to past hurts, but also to past joys. We have to let the past pass. The struggle to hang on to it, any part of it, clouds the present. You can’t see the possibilities today is offering if your mind is still drawn to what was.
Letting go can be a gentle process. Our trust in our higher power and our faith that good will prevail, in spite of appearances, eases the process. And we must let each experience end, as its moment passes, whether it is good or bad, love or sorrow. It helps to remember that all experiences contribute to our growth and wholeness. No experience will be ignored by the inner self who is charting our course. All are parts of the journey. And every moment has a gentle end, but no moment is forgotten.
My journey today is akin to yesterday’s journey and tomorrow’s too. I will savor each moment and be ready for the next.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Appreciating Ourselves
We are the greatest things that will ever happen to us. Believe it. It makes life much easier. –Codependent No More
It is time to stop this nonsense of running around picking on ourselves.
We may have walked through much of our life apologizing for ourselves either directly or indirectly – feeling less valuable than others, believing that they know better than we do, and believing that somehow others are meant to be here and we are not.
We have a right to be here.
We have a right to be ourselves.
We are here. There is a purpose, a reason, and an intention for our life. We do not have to apologize for being here or being who we are.
We are good enough, and deserving.
Others do not have our magic. We have our magic. It is in us.
It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in our past. We all have a past, woven with mistakes, successes, and learning experiences. We have a right to our past. It is ours. It has worked to shape and form us. As we progress on this journey, we shall see how each of our experiences will be turned around and used for good.
We have already spent too much time being ashamed, being apologetic, and doubting the beauty of ourselves. Be done with it. Let it go. It is an unnecessary burden. Others have rights, but so do we. We are neither less than nor more than. We are equal. We are who we are. That is whom we were created and intended to be.
That, my friend, is a wonderful gift.
God, help me own my power to love and appreciate myself. Help me give myself validity instead of looking to others to do that.

I forgive myself and all others today. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Tap into Life’s Energy

Life is not something separate or apart from you, as you once believed. There is a power, a life force, that moves, guides, directs, and inspires you. You are one with life, with life’s energy.

Do things that energize you, charge your soul. Soak up the sun. Soak up color. Soak up beautiful sounds. Immerse yourself in nature, in a world the refreshes, restores, and renews. Don’t worry about the task or the day that looms ahead, the work, and love and play, the problems and choices that are on the way. If you energize yourself, restore yourself, the power to take action will come naturally like water from a spring.

Look around. What do you see that feels right to do? Which direction do you see as the right way to go? Trust the smallest glimmer. Give in to the urge, to the guidance that’s there. Do it once. Do it again. Soon you will find yourself in harmony.

You will have all the guidance, energy, ideas, creativity, power, and ability you need to do all you’re meant to do. And you will be given the power to enjoy it.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Cultivate inner peace

According to my experience, the principle characteristic of genuine happiness is peace, inner peace.
–His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Cultivate a sense of peace, an abiding inner peace that doesn’t depend on outward circumstance.

So much chaos, so much drama, so many emotions surge through us. It is so easy, so tempting to believe that once we get through this circumstance, once we achieve this goal, once we solve this problem, then we will be peaceful.

That’s an illusion.

“I’m happy when I get what I want,” said Kent. “For a few minutes.”

Getting what we want may cause us to feel happy for a moment, but it will bring a limited, transient happiness. The next problem or emotion will present itself. Or we will begin resenting that person or job, because he, she, or it did not bring the happiness we believed it would. Like a carrot on a stick, happiness will always be the next problem, acquisition, or emotion away.

Be peaceful now.

Be happy now.

Take the limits off your joy.

God, help me remember to be peaceful first, no matter what situation I face.

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A Great Teacher
Living Like Water

The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life. Water begins its residence on earth as it falls from the sky or melts from ice and streams down a mountain into a tributary or stream. In the same way, we come into the world and begin our lives on earth. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity. We are born in a specific time and place, within a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way just as a river flows.

Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility. When a river breaks at a waterfall, it gains energy and moves on, as we encounter our own waterfalls, we may fall hard but we always keep moving on. Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what’s familiar. Water is brave and does not waste time clinging to its past, but flows onward without looking back. At the same time, when there is a hole to be filled, water does not run away from it in fear of the dark; instead, water humbly and bravely fills the empty space. In the same way, we can face the dark moments of our life rather than run away from them.

Eventually, a river will empty into the sea. Water does not hold back from joining with a larger body, nor does it fear a loss of identity or control. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance. Each time we move beyond our individual egos to become part of something bigger, we can try our best to follow the lead of the river. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

All of us are faced with the troubles and problems of daily living, whether we’ve been in The Program two days or 20 years. We’d sometimes like to beieve we could ake care of all our problems right now, but it rarely works that way If we remember the slogan “Easy Does It” when we are ready to panic, we mayb come to know that the very best way to handle all things is “Easy.” We put one foot in front of the other, doing the best we are capapble of doing. We say “Easy Does It.” and we do it. Are The Pogram’s slognas gtwoing with me as I grow with The Program?

Today I Pray

May even the words “Easy Des It’ serve to slow me down in my hadlong rush to accomplis too much too fast. May just that world “Easy” be enough to make me ease up on he ships that drive my ambitions, ease up on the accelerator which plunges me into new situations without enough forethought, ese off on the number of hours spent in material pursuits. May I hark to the adage that Rome wasn’t built in a single day. Niether can I builde solutions to my problems all at once.

Today I Will Remember

Easy Does It.

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One More Day

Our safety is not in blindness, but in facing our danger.
– Johann Cristoph Schiller

Sometimes our difficulties are compounded when we take more drugs than needed to treat our illnesses. This can be due to our getting prescriptions from than one doctor or from using over-the-counter drugs in addition to our prescribed medications.

Certainly, we need to use the drugs that will keep us as healthy and functional as possible, but over medication can be an accidental side-effect of chronic medical problems. Also, psychological or physical dependence can also occur.

Besides necessary medications, the joy of living and the love of ourselves and others can help us deal with our illnesses. By learning to live with our limitations we can gain back some of the personal power that chronic illness has taken from us.

I am strengthened by facing my problems.

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Food For Thought

Action

Ours is a program of Action. It does no good to develop new awareness if we do not take appropriate new actions. When we become aware of the damage done by compulsive overeating and realize that OA has the answer to our problem, we take action by going to meetings, making phone calls, and working the steps. We follow a food plan and abstain from eating compulsively.

Taking inventory, admitting our mistakes, and making amends involves action. Our Higher Power gives us courage to change the things we can. He gives us the confidence to get involved in new activities, to be more assertive, to make new friends, to go back to school, to change jobs.

By abstaining from the type of eating that paralyzed us, we have strength and energy to do new things. One step at a time, we are led into action. Not to move according to the direction of God as we understand Him is to fall backwards and stagnate. Each positive action we take strengthens our recovery.

Direct my actions, Lord.

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One Day At A Time

Positive Thinking

“It takes but one positive when given
a chance to survive and thrive to overpower
and entire army of negative thoughts.”
Robert H. Schuller

A positive attitude is crucial for a successful recovery. This summer, I wasn laid up with two torn tendons in my left ankle. This happened right at the start of my summer vacation. When it first happened, I was VERY dejected. This had to happen NOW!!! Just when my holidays are starting? (not that ANY time is a good time to receive an injury!). However, upon reflection it WAS good timing. I didn’t have get myself to and from work. My daughter was finished school for the summer and was able to be home to assist me with day to day stuff. Plus I had just taken on some new OA service responsibilities and being home allowed me the time to really focus and internalize my new roles. Instead of looking at this as a negative – I think HP gave me an opportunity here to rest up and do some service at the same time. My daughter and I did some wonderful bonding as well. It would have been very easy just to turn negative and feel sorry for myself . But I simply would have made myself (and everyone around me) miserable during the my six weeks of recovery. Instead, it’s turned out to be a wonderful learning experience (not to mention it provided a good idea for this meditation topic!). Life’s too short for cheap wHine, n’est past?

One Day at a Time . . .
I will look at life from a positive point of view.
~ Rob R.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

‘The way you fellows put this spiritual stuff makes sense. – Pg. 159 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Do you sometimes feel like fate made a fool of you with this disease? This is a normal reaction to any chronic disease just like diabetes, lupus, or others. We are the fortunate ones because we can arrest this disease with a simple behavior change, many others can’t.

God, as I understand You, grant me the willingness to be grateful for a way out of this devastating disease of addiction.

Golden Moments

I will pay attention to guidance from within and without. There are moments when I know I am doing what lights my spirit and challenges me. Moments when I feel alive and in tune; in touch with a force beyond me that is guiding me towards something that’s right for me. Those moments are golden. They carry me through my fears and hard times, they sustain me when inevitable doubts creep in, they give me strength to carry on and stay on course.

I will hold inspiration close to me heart.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

They say you don’t have to like your sponsor; they just have to have something you want-like a life. It is your sponsor’s job to give you a program to work until you develop a program of your own.

People who sponsor themselves have fools for sponsors.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Action Not Distraction

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I forgive myself and all others today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

There are two types of people to watch in AA; those who make it, and those who don’t. – Dr. Bob S.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 24

Stability
My stability came out of trying to give, not out of demanding that I receive.
Thus I think it can work out with emotional sobriety.
If we examine every disturbance we have, we will find at the root of it
some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand.
Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands.
– The Best of Bill, p. 58

Thought to Ponder . . .
Sobriety is a journey, not a destination.

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

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

Traditions
“The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous
are a distillate of our experience of living and working together.
They apply the spirit of the Twelve recovery Steps
to our group life and security.
They deal with the world outside and with each other;
they state our attitudes toward power and prestige,
toward property and money.
They would save us from tempting alliances
and major controversies;
they would elevate principles far above personal ambitions.
And as a token of this last, they request that we
maintain personal anonymity before the open public
as a protection to AA and as proof of the fact that
our society intends to practice true humility.”
Bill W., The Language of the Heart, p. 96

Thought to Consider . . .
The reason they are called Principles is
because they always work.
If they didn’t always work we’d just call them “good ideas.”

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
WILLING
When I Live Life, I Need God

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

Growth
>From “A Vision for You”:
“So our fellow worker will soon have friends galore. Some of them may sink and perhaps never get up, but if our experience is a criterion, more than half of those approached will become fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. When a few men in this city have found themselves, and have discovered the joy of helping others to face life again, there will be no stopping until everyone in that town has had his opportunity to recover if he can and will.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 163-64

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

“My emotional bottom came in sobriety … I actually had to sit and feel all those feelings I had worked so hard to drown out with alcohol.”
New York, N.Y., January 2006
“Attitude Adjustment”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

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

“we have ceased fighting anything or anyone— even alcohol.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 84~

We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 93

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

WE Cannot Live Alone
All of A.A.’s Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural desires; they all deflate our egos. When it come to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than the Fifth. Scarcely and Step is more necessary to long-time sobriety and peace of mind.
A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone with our pressing problems and the character defects which cause or aggravate them. If Step Four has revealed in stark relief those experiences we’d rather not remember, than the need to quit living by ourselves with those tormenting ghosts of yesterday gets more urgent than ever. We have to talk to somebody about them.
We cannot wholly rely on friends to solve all our difficulties. A good adviser will never do all our thinking for us. He knows that each final choice must be ours. He will therefore help to eliminate fear, expediency, and self-deception, so enabling us to make choices which are loving, wise, and honest.
1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 55
GRAPEVINE, AUGUST 1961

Prayer For The Day: Dear heavenly Father, I am grateful for Your constant provision. You have never failed me, Lord and I know that You never will. You are a faithful God, and I ask You to help me to trust You before my answer arrives. Lord, You are my source, and I know as I continue to look to You, I need never to worry about how You will provide. I just know that You will. Guard my mouth and remind me to speak what Your Word says about my situation. Deliver me from every vestige of fear, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will always walk in faith. Lord, I pray that all my brothers and sisters in the family of God will also be granted this favor. May we each fulfill Your will in our lives. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 22nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 22nd

Daily Reflections

NO MORE STRUGGLE

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone —
even alcohol.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

When A.A. found me, I thought I was in for a struggle,
and that A.A. might provide the strength I needed to
beat alcohol. Victorious in that fight, who knows what
other battles I could win. I would need to be strong,
though. All my previous experience with life provided
that. Today I do not have to struggle or exert my will.
If I take those Twelve Steps and let my Higher Power do
the real work, my alcohol problem disappears all by
itself. My living problems also cease to be struggles.
I just have to ask whether acceptance — or change —
is required. It is not my will, but His, that needs
doing.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We’re all looking for the power to overcome drinking. A
fellow comes into A.A. and his first question is: How do
I get the strength to quit? At first, it seems to him that
he will never get the necessary strength. He sees older
members who have found the power he is looking for, but he
doesn’t know the process by which they got it. This
necessary strength comes in many ways. Have I found all the
strength I need?

Meditation For The Day

You cannot have a spiritual need which God cannot supply.
Your fundamental need is a spiritual need, the need of
power to lead the good life. The best spiritual supply is
received by you when you want it to pass on to other
people. You get it largely by giving it away. God gives
you strength as you pass it on to another person. That
strength means increased health; increased health means
more good work, and more good work means more people
helped. And so it goes on, a constant supply to meet all
spiritual needs.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my every spiritual need will be supplied by
God. I pray that I may use the power I receive to help
others.


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As Bill Sees It

“Selfish”?, p.81

“I can see why you are disturbed to hear some A.A. speakers say,
‘A.A. is a selfish program.’ The word ‘selfish’ ordinarily implies that
one is acquisitive, demanding, and thoughtless of the welfare of
others. Of course, the A.A. way of life does not at all imply such
undesirable traits.

“What do these speakers mean? Well, any theologian will tell you
that the salvation of his own soul is the highest vocation that a man
can have. Without salvation–however we may define this–he will
have little or nothing. For us of A.A., there is even more urgency.

“If we cannot or will not achieve sobriety, then we become truly lost,
right in the here and now. We are of no value to anyone, including
ourselves, until we find salvation from alcohol. Therefore, our own
recovery and spiritual growth have to come first–a right and
necessary kind of self-concern.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

Let Go and Let God
Guidance.
Though it came from outside AA, the idea of “letting go and letting God” has taken root in the fellowship. The trouble comes when we try to decide what it really means.  We obviously need to continue working and we still have to make important decisions. SO how d o we let God take charge?
Surrendering to God’s will is a shift that takes place in our attitude. We take whatever actions seem reasonable and proper according to our view of things. We remember, however, that a better plan may be unfolding in every situation. In many cases, it can even be a case of wanting too little rather than too much. One member, for example, sought guidance in a business decision. He was disappointed when the deal feel through, but discovered, only a few weeks later, an even better opportunity that worked out perfectly.
“Letting God” is really a form of working Step Eleven.. Seeking “Knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”  As we do that, our lives must become enriched and improved in every way.
I’ll approach the day with the idea that God is working it out for the highest good of everybody. Temporary setbacks won’t bother me if I know that God’s plan is unfolding in my life.

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Keep It Simple

If anything, we have tended to be people who wanted it all now. To hope is not
Not to demand.  — On Hope
Maybe we were a bit demanding. Maybe we were a bit impatient. Maybe that’s why we had such little hope.
Hope is believing good will come even in bad time. Hope is knowing that “this, too, shall pass.”
Hope is knowing that no matter how afraid we are, God will be with us. Hope is knowing we never
have to be alone again. It is knowing that time that time is on our side. Hope is giving up control. Hope is knowing we never had control in the first place. Hope is believing in ourselves. Hope is what our program is all about.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, in our program we share our experiences, our strengths, and our hopes. Thank you for giving all three of these to me to share.
Action for the Day:  I will share my hope for the future with myself, my Higher Power, and my friends. I also will share this with someone who has lost hope.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Reared as we were in a youth and beauty oriented society, we measured ourselves by our ornamental value.  –Janet Harris
Rare is the woman who doesn’t long for a svelte body, firm breasts, pretty teeth, a smooth complexion. Rare is the woman who feels content, truly satisfied with her total person. We are often torn between wanting to be noticed and yet not wanting eyes to gaze upon us.
We are all that we need to be today, at this moment. And we have an inner beauty, each of us, that is our real blessing in the lives of others. Our inner beauty will shine forth if we invite it to do so. Whatever our outer appearance, it doesn’t gently touch or bring relief where suffering is–like our words which come from the heart, the home of our inner beauty.
Perhaps a better mirror for reflecting our true beauty is the presence or absence of friends in our lives. We each have known stunning women who seemed to cast only cold glances our way and handsome men who arrogantly belittled others. It’s our inner beauty that is valued by others. The surprise in store for each of us is discovering that the glow of our inner beauty transforms our outer appearance too.
My beauty today will be enhanced by my gentle attention to the other people sharing my experiences.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

My musing was interrupted by the telephone. The cheery voice of an old school friend asked if he might come over. HE WAS SOBER. It was years since I could remember his coming to New York in that condition. I was amazed. Rumor had it that he had been committed for alcoholic insanity. I wondered how he had escaped. Of course he would have dinner, and then I could drink openly with him. Unmindful of his welfare, I thought only of recapturing the spirit of other days. There was that time we had chartered an airplane to complete a jag! His coming was an oasis in this dreary desert of futility. The very thing – an oasis! Drinkers are like that.

pp. 8-9

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
Through the commission for the blind, I got involved in a program that helps blind people become self-employed.  After three months of training, I moved to a city a couple of hundred miles away where I knew no one.  I lived in an apartment that was about a mile from a coffee shop that I operated.  I would walk to work at 6:30am, carrying $200 in opening cash on a dark road, and I was afraid.  I had two people working for me, and on my second day one of them did not show up.  I had never run a business before, and my three months of training just didn’t seem enough.  It was a hard time for me.  A lady from a major food company came by to take my grocery order, and I didn’t have a clue how much coffee, bacon, or hamburger meat I needed.  She shared with me what the previous manager had ordered and helped me place an order.

pp. 379-380

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

A newcomer appeared at one of these groups, knocked on the door and asked to be let in. He talked frankly with that group’s oldest member. He soon proved that his was a desperate case, and that above all he wanted to get well. “But,” he asked, “will you let me join your group? Since I am the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than alcoholism, you may not want me among you. Or will you?”
There was the dilemma. What should the group do? The oldest member summoned two others, and in confidence laid the explosive facts in their laps. Said he, “Well, what about it? If we turn this man away, he’ll soon die. If we allow him in, only god knows what trouble he’ll brew. What shall the answer be – yes or no?”

pp. 141-142

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God, please show me how to put ideas like fun and joy back into my
life. Show me how to have more fun in work, in love, and in play.
–Melody Beattie

“There are lessons to be learned in every place. The mark of spiritual
mastery is the ability to remember God wherever we go, and through
whatever we experience.”
–Alan Cohen

“A friend will see us at our worst, as well as our best.
A friend will not close his or her heart when we have made a mistake.
A friend will not condemn us but will compassionately support our
return to a state of grace.”
–Marianne Williamson

Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
–Les Brown

However I pray, God hears my prayers.
–Katrina Cassel


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FORGIVENESS

“God will forgive me; that’s his
business.”
— Heinrich Heine

It took me a long time to accept that God had forgiven the deeds done
in my addiction. It took me a long time to comprehend that God is
forgiveness, “forgiving love”. Forgiveness unites us with God because
it is His nature to forgive.

When I am living the spiritual life, I can unite myself with Him by my
acts of forgiveness. And when I forgive others, I am doing a kindness,
an act of forgiveness, to myself. Hate used to drain me of energy and
it still can if I get caught up in resentments. Forgiveness restores
energy and peace.

When I forgive, I am at one with God.

In the forgiveness of others I discover me.

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“But You, O GOD the Lord, Deal with me for Your name’s sake;
Because Your mercy is good, deliver me”
Psalm 109:21

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life,
righteousness, and honor.
Proverbs 21:21


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Daily Inspiration

Think often of your friends and seldom of your enemies and you will surround yourself with good thoughts, leaving little or no room for darkness. Lord, help me search for goodness so that it is goodness that I find.

We take for granted so much of what God has planned for us. Lord, may I have sufficient preparation to meet the challenges of today and rejoice in the person that I am.

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NA Just For Today

The Principle Of Self-Support

“In our addiction, we were dependent upon people, places, and things. We looked to them to support us and supply the things we found lacking in ourselves.”
Basic Text pg. 67

In the animal kingdom, there is a creature that thrives on others. It is called a leech. It attaches itself to people and takes what it needs. When one victim brushes the leech off, it simply goes to the next.

In our active addiction, we behaved similarly. We drained our families, our friends, and our communities. Consciously or unconsciously, we sought to get something for nothing from virtually everyone we encountered.

When we saw the basket passed at our first meeting we may have thought, “Self-Support! Now what kind of odd notion is this?” As we watched, we noticed something. These self-supporting addicts were free. By paying their own way, they had earned the privilege of making their own decisions.

By applying the principle of self-support in our personal lives, we gain for ourselves the same kind of freedom. No longer does anyone have the right to tell us where to live, because we pay our own rent. We can eat, wear, or drive whatever we choose, because we provide it for ourselves.

Unlike the leech, we don’t have to depend on others for our sustenance. The more responsibility we assume, the more freedom we’ll gain.

Just for today: There are no limits to the freedom I can earn by supporting myself. I will accept personal responsibility and pay my own way today.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Real men don’t vacuum. –Anna Genich
Once, not so long ago, there was a family who tried to divide up housework equally. The father signed up for vacuuming, but he never got around to doing it.
One morning he told everyone about his dream the night before. He was lined up in the dining room with an entire football team, and they all ran in a line through the house, pushing the clutter and dirt up against the walls and out of the way. They came to a finish at the picture window, where the father turned and raised his arms in victory. Then he saw his wife watching him, so he explained, “Heroes don’t vacuum.”
Perhaps each of us is a hero at one time or another. In that case, we might take turns at different chores, rewarding the day’s hero with a day off from vacuuming or dishwashing. When we work together to get the chores done, we become a family of heroes, and can feel a healthy pride in our warm, loving, and clean home.
How can we share housework more equally?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other. –M. C. Richards
Recovering men know this path is not always easy. We usually talk about the benefits of recovery and the many promises of the program. Today, in our fellowship, we talk of the challenges we must face in order to recover. Honesty may be the greatest challenge. It is frightening to be honest with ourselves about things we have never really admitted or faced before.
Sometimes we have new and confusing feelings and think something must be wrong with us. But we may be just experiencing the logical outcome of our earlier commitment to be honest. No one recovers by thinking about it. We must actively take each Step and meet the challenges presented. We are not alone with our difficulties. We are part of a large movement of men committed to recovery, and this quiet moment is one way in which we are simply putting one foot in front of the other.
Today, I pray for the courage to remain faithful when the fears and pains of my transformation are overwhelming.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Reared as we were in a youth and beauty oriented society, we measured ourselves by our ornamental value. –Janet Harris
Rare is the woman who doesn’t long for a svelte body, firm breasts, pretty teeth, a smooth complexion. Rare is the woman who feels content, truly satisfied with her total person. We are often torn between wanting to be noticed and yet not wanting eyes to gaze upon us.
We are all that we need to be today, at this moment. And we have an inner beauty, each of us, that is our real blessing in the lives of others. Our inner beauty will shine forth if we invite it to do so. Whatever our outer appearance, it doesn’t gently touch or bring relief where suffering is–like our words which come from the heart, the home of our inner beauty.
Perhaps a better mirror for reflecting our true beauty is the presence or absence of friends in our lives. We each have known stunning women who seemed to cast only cold glances our way and handsome men who arrogantly belittled others. It’s our inner beauty that is valued by others. The surprise in store for each of us is discovering that the glow of our inner beauty transforms our outer appearance too.
My beauty today will be enhanced by my gentle attention to the other people sharing my experiences.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Being a Victim
Its okay to have a good day. Really.
Its okay to be doing okay and to feel like our life is manageable and on track.
Many of us have learned, as part of our survival behaviors, that the way to get the attention and approval we want is to be victims. If life is awful, too difficult, unmanageable, too hard, unfair, then others will accept, like, and approve of us, we think.
We may have learned this from living and associating with people who also learned to survive by being a victim.
We are not victims. We do not need to be victimized. We do not need to be helpless and out of control to get the attention and love we desire. In fact, the kind of love we are seeking cannot be obtained that way.
We can get the love we really want and need by only owning our power. We learn that we can stand on our own two feet, even though it sometimes feels good to lean a little. We learn that the people we are leaning on are not holding us up. They are standing next to us.
We all have bad days- -days when things are not going the way wed like, days when we have feelings of sadness and fear. But we can deal with our bad days and darker feelings in ways that reflect self-responsibility rather than victimization.
Its okay to have a good day too. We might not have as much to talk about, but well have more to enjoy.
God, help me let go of my need to be a victim. Help me let go of my belief that to be loved and get attention I need to be a victim. Surround me with people who love me when I own my power. Help me start having good days and enjoying them.

As I start this day with quiet meditation, I feel myself becoming still and at peace. At any time during the day I can bring my mind back to this moment. I will bring my attention and awareness back to the peace that I have when I am with my breath and I know that my breath is with me at all times, whether I remember it or not. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Don’t Be Controlled by Love

Using love to control and manipulate is heartbreaking. It can break the heart of the person doing it, it can break the heart of the person it’s being done to.

So often, controlling through love is done almost unconsciously. It’s a dance people do out of habit to get their needs met. Their reasons don’t matter, although it’s easier to have compassion for those who control unknowingly than those who use the power of love maliciously and viciously.

What matters is how you respond if it’s being done to you. What matters is that you don’t do it to other people.

Open your heart and see the truth. Set yourself free. If someone is controlling you by using your love for them or your need to be loved, acknowledge it. If you are doing it to someone else, acknowledge that,too. Once you see the truth, you can set yourself free.

So much of what we need to do to free our hearts and souls is simply to acknowledge the truth. The rest will happen naturally.

Love has no price. It’s only love if it’s free.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of the future

Many years ago, in ancient times, Moses led a group of slaves out of Egypt and back to their homeland. Along the way, they had to wander for many years through the Sinai Peninsula, a barren, rocky, lifeless stretch of land.

During their extended stay in the wilderness, God provided them with manna, a food that appeared out of nowhere and sustained the people with the nourishment they needed each day. The trick to this rhythm of trusting God, and receiving what they needed, was that any manna they received had to be used that day.

Manna couldn’t be hoarded. It could not be stored or saved up for a rainy day. If the people hoarded their manna, it would spoil and rot away. Or it would mysteriously disappear as magically and certainly as it had appeared.

Most of us know what it means to receive our daily bread. It’s the love, the guidance, the grace, and the material things we need each day on our journey.

Sometimes, we can sit down and anticipate the times to come. We can look at our money, our strength, our abilities, our stamina, and say wearily, “There just won’t be enough.” That’s because we’re looking too far ahead.

Look around at what you have available, this moment or this hour. Use the resources and gifts you’ve been given. Tomorrow’s manna will come at its appointed hour.

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Yellow Miracles
Daffodils

by Madisyn Taylor

Almost nothing else represents the emergence of spring as the beloved yellow daffodil happy and bright after a long winter’s nap.

Some things on this earth look as if they were designed to bring happiness to the hearts of humans. The daffodil, with its bright yellow coloring and green stem, is one such creation. The daffodil makes its appearance in the spring, abundant and inexpensive, bringing gladness as sure as sunshine itself to whoever is lucky enough to receive a single stem, or a bunch, of these delicate yellow miracles. It is as if the sun has shed a layer of skin and fashioned a flower out of it.

Color psychologists suggest that too much yellow can be too stimulating, but in small doses it inspires hope and good cheer. The daffodil is a perfect-sized package of yellow for anyone feeling glum or energetically low. It can spur us to action or simply imbue us with a feeling of optimism as it vibrantly glows in our homes or on our desks at work. The daffodil’s presence is ideal in any region where sunshine is scarce as it seems to carry the sun in the soft flesh of its petals. The bulbs are not expensive, and the flowers give so much that you may decide to plant a few in your yard or in a window box. Then again, you may simply wait until they arrive in neat little bundles in the grocery store or flower shop. They are usually very reasonably priced, so you can afford to spoil yourself, and those you love, with a large bouquet.

A daffodil placed under the windshield wiper of a loved one’s car says, “Be happy! Spring has sprung! I love you!” A collection of stems gathered and placed in a Mason jar can be left on someone’s doorstep to remind them of the simple beauties that abound in this life. Don’t forget to bless yourself with a vase of these bright blossoms on your kitchen table or nightstand. Every time you see them, you will be filled with the happiness and warmth of the sun. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Once in a great while, I find myself thinking that perhaps things weren’t quite so bad as they seemed to be. At such moments, I force myself to realize that my illness is talking to me, trying to tempt me in to denying that I am. In fact, afflicted with an illness. One of the key action steps of The Program is that we give our illness to God as we understand Him, accepting our powerlessness in the face of His greater Power. Do I believe that the grace of God can do fo rme what I could never do for myself?

Today I Pray

May I know that much of our lives depends on faith. For we cannot know the limits of space and time — or explain the mysteries of life and death. But when we see God working through us – and through others who have found new life in The Program — it is all the evidence we need to know that He exists.

Today I Will Remember

The Big Wheel runs by faith.

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One More Day

Courage is the resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
– Mark Twain

So many of us suffer from flagging self-esteem. This may occur for many reasons, all complex. When we finally decide we are going to create change in our lives, we may be uncertain as to how to make the change. How do we start? One of the best starting places is to adopt on premise of the Twelve Step Programs and begin to act “as if” we have all the confidence in the world, “as if” we have great faith in ourselves. We start to spend time thinking about the possibilities, rather than the impossibilities.

We all fear the unknown, but to act “as if” helps us deal with the things we can’t see. Eventually, contrived as it feels, our new behavior will become new habits, and we won’t need to act “as if” – because we truly “are.”

I am willing to try to act “as if” I can create change.

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Food For Thought

Abstinence Is a Way of Life

Each morning when we wake up, we give thanks for another day of abstinence. Our bodies feel good, function well, and look better. To go back to our old ways of eating compulsively would be to give up the new health and peace of mind, which we have acquired through OA.

We do not want to go back. We are learning a new way of life, one that is infinitely preferable to our old ways. In order to maintain our abstinence and continue to make progress, we need a program. For most of us, this involves working the Twelve Steps each day.

Program sponsors can help us with this new way of life. Other OA members share their experience and tell us what has worked for them. Most of us find that we need the spiritual part of the program if we are to maintain our abstinence. Abstaining purely for weight control is usually not enough.

If we are to keep what OA has given us, we have to share it with others. We find that the more we give it away, the more progress we make with our own program.

To abstain is no sacrifice; it is growth and life.

I am grateful for this new life.

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One Day At A Time

PUSHING BUTTONS & PATIENCE

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is Patience.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I first came to Program, I didn’t really know what abstinence was. I thought it was a diet. It turned out to be far more than I ever imagined. Since beginning, I’ve gained abstinence, I’ve lost weight and my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being has changed more than I ever thought possible. I’ve come so far … beyond my wildest dreams … yet, sometimes it feels like it’s still not enough. I’ll get in a row with my 12 year old daughter over some minor issue. She has a way of pushing my buttons which sends me into “fingerpointing” and “lecture” mode – good intentions gone totally awry! She’ll ultimately tune me out – and I’ll walk away feeling like a bad parent. The guilt will set in and I’ll deride myself for lacking patience and having bad judgement! But once I’ve calmed down – I’ll remind myself that my intentions were good and – as in my food plan – progress not perfection has to apply to my parenting just as it does to my any other aspect of my recovery. This requires me to be patient with MYSELF as well as with others.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to be patient with myself as well as with others.
Rob R.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day ‘Thy will be done.’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves. – Pg 87-88 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Reliance for our recovery must be placed upon spiritual faculties and not objective things. People, places, and things are transitory, flitting through our lives at different speeds. We can trust no person, no place, and often not even our own best intentions. We can only trust our spiritual foundation.

I know that staying clean and sober is a gift based on the spiritual foundation I lay hour to hour, one day at a time.

Actualizing the Gifts that are In Me

I will actualize that gifts that are in me today. I will be less preoccupied with who I’m not and more occupied with who I am. When I spend all of my time looking outside of me or wanting what others have, I forget that I have my own special gifts. God has placed gifts within me that I am meant to develop and share. My responsibility is to come to know what my gifts are, then to cultivate and strengthen them as I share them with the world.

I look for the gifts that are in me.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader. This could be a good time!’ Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation

I enjoy the Fellowship of the Spirit.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you are clean and sober, the miracle has already happened. Stick around, the impossibilities take a little longer.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

No matter how busy I am today, I will begin and end my day with quiet time. I look forward to that time when I stop all outward activity, rest and look within for my peace and truth.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I’m definitely an alcoholic. My friend asked; ‘If they discovered a pill that if you took one you could drink safely, what would you do?’ I said; ‘I’d want to know what happens if you take two.’ – Larry S.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 22

Emotional Pain
When I am hurt or upset, I have to continually look for the cause in me,
and then I have to admit and correct my mistakes.
It isn’t easy, but as long as I know I am progressing spiritually,
I know I can mark my effort up as a job well done.
I have found that pain is a friend . . ..
– Daily Reflections, p. 284

Thought to Ponder . . .
Pain is what I walk through. Misery is what I sit in.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
T R U S T = Try Relying Upon Steps and Traditions.

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

Tolerance
“Honesty with ourselves and others gets us sober,
but it is tolerance that keeps us that way.
In other words, once an alcoholic fully realizes
that he can’t get well alone,
he will somehow find a way to get well and stay well
in the company of others.
It has been that way from the beginning of AA
and probably always will be so.”
Bill W., Letter, 1943
As Bill Sees It, p. 312

Thought to Consider . . .
Together we can do what we could never do alone.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
TIME
Things I Must Earn

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

Nameless
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“[Tradition Eleven] represents more than a sound public relations policy. It is more than a denial of self-seeking. Tradition Eleven is certainly a constant reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A., but it also implies that each member ought to become an active guardian of our fellowship in its relation with the general public.
“As we have seen, anonymity is the protective mantle that covers our whole society. But it is more than protection; it has another dimension, a spiritual significance. And this leads to Tradition Twelve, which reads: ‘Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.’
“In my belief, the entire future of our fellowship hangs upon this vital principle. If we continue to be filled with the spirit and practice of anonymity, no shoal or reef can wreck us. If we forget this principle, the lid to Pandora’s box will be off and the spirits of Money, Power, and Prestige will be loosed among us.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 131

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

“In AA, we discover that it is impossible to give without receiving, or receive without giving.”
North Hollywood, Calif., February 1993
“The Gift of Sobriety”
AA Grapevine

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

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the
brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal
men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66~

“If a repetition is to be prevented, place the problem, along with
everything else, in God’s hands.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Wives, Page 120~

Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 90

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘Selfish’?
‘I can see why you are disturbed to hear some A.A. speakers say, ‘A.A. is a selfish program.’ The word ‘selfish’ ordinarily implies that one is acquisitive, demanding, and thoughtless of the welfare of others. Of course, the A.A. way of life does not at all imply such undesirable traits.
‘What do these speakers mean? Well, any theologian will tell you that the salvation of his own soul is the highest vocation that a man can have. Without salvation–however we may define this–he will have little or nothing. For us of A.A., there is even more urgency.
‘If we cannot or will not achieve sobriety, then we become truly lost, right in the here and now. We are of no value to anyone, including ourselves, until we find salvation from alcohol. Therefore, our own recovery and spiritual growth have to come first–a right and necessary kind of self-concern.

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for being the hope I need, the peace I look for, and the answer I seek.