Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 7th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 7th

Daily Reflections

THE KEY IS WILLINGNESS

Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock
and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that
we can always open it some more.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 35

The willingness to give up my pride and self-will to a
Power greater than myself has proved to be the only
ingredient absolutely necessary to solve all of my
problems today. Even the smallest amount of willingness,
if sincere, is sufficient to allow God to enter and
take control over my problem, pain, or obsession. My
level of comfort is in direct relation to the degree of
willingness I possess at any given moment to give up my
self-will, and allow God’s will to be manifested in my
life. With the key of willingness, my worries and fears
are powerfully transformed into serenity.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

There are two important things we have to do if we want
to get sober and stay sober. First, having admitted that
we are helpless before alcohol, we have to turn our
alcoholic problem over to God and trust Him to take care
of it for us. This means asking Him every morning for the
strength to stay sober for that day and thanking Him
every night. It means really leaving the problem in God’s
hands and not reaching out and getting the problem back
to ourselves. Second, having given our drink problem to
God, we must cooperate with Him by doing something about
it ourselves. Am I doing these two things?

Meditation For The Day

I must prepare myself by doing each day what I can to
develop spiritually and to help others to do so. God tests
me and trains me and bends me to His will. If I am not
properly trained, I cannot meet the test when it comes. I
must want God’s will for me above all else. I must expect
to have what I am not prepared for. This preparation
consists of quiet communion with God every day and
gradually gaining the strength I need.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may really try to do God’s will in all my
affairs. I pray that I may do all I can to help others
find God’s will for them.

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As Bill Sees It

For Emergencies Only?, p. 66

Whether we had been believers or unbelievers, we began to get over
the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-league pinch
hitter, to be called upon only in an emergency.

The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little
now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who had thought
ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing
to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help.

But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the
works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.

12 & 12, p. 75

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Walk in Dry Places

First things First
Order
The struggle to bring order into our lives starts with lots of little things.  One recovering person discovered that it was a good exercise simply to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube in the morning.  This was a reminder that things should be put in their proper place, and the discipline helped later in organizing larger matters.
It is very easy to overlook orderly procedures in the haste to get things done, or to avoid anything that seems unpleasant or demanding. But such oversight  always carries a heavy price later on.  When we don’t return things to their proper place, for example, we lose them or waste hours  looking for them. We may bungle a job simply because we were too lazy to look up the right information or to read directions.
That’s why “First things First” is much more than just a slogan.  It’s actually a principle for living, a guide that tells us there is an orderly approach to everything.   If we can find that order without  becoming slavishly compulsive about it, we’ll find that it simplifies lots of things later on.
I’ll try to do things in an orderly manner today.  When I find myself taking short cuts or becoming too hurried, I’ll regain control by remembering to establish priorities.

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Keep It Simple

To make the world a friendly place One must show it a friendly face.—James Whitcomb Riley
We are beginning to learn that we get what we expect. Why? If we believe that people are out to get us, we’ll not treat them well. We will think it’s okay to “get them” before they “get us.” Then, they’ll be angry and want to get even. And on it goes. It’s great when we can meet the world with a balance. We are honest people. We can expect others to be fair with us. We get the faith, strength, and courage to do this because of our trust in our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I put my life in Your care. Use me to spread Your love to others.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll spread friendliness. I will greet people with a smile.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.  –Anne Frank
We must take responsibility for ourselves, for who we become, for how we live each day. The temptation to blame others may be ever present. And much of our past adds up to wasted days or years perhaps, because we did blame someone else for the unhappiness in our lives.
We may have blamed our own parents for not loving us enough. We may have labeled our husbands the villains. Other people did affect us. That’s true. However, we chose, you and I, to let them control us, overwhelm us, shame us. We always had other options, but we didn’t choose them.
Today is a new day. Recovery has opened up our options. We are learning who we are and how we want to live our lives. How exhilarating to know that you and I can take today and put our own special flavor in it. We can meet our personal needs. We can, with anticipation, chart our course. The days of passivity are over, if we choose to move ahead with this day.
I will look to this day. Every day is a new beginning.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Abruptly in October 1929 hell broke loose on the New York stock exchange. After one of those days of inferno, I wobbled from a hotel bar to a brokerage office. It was eight o’clock-five hours after the market closed. The ticker still clattered. I was staring at an inch of the tape which bore the inscription XYZ-32. It had been 52 that morning. I was finished and so were many friends. The papers reported men jumping to death from the towers of High Finance. That disgusted me. I would not jump. I went back to the bar. My friends had dropped several million since ten o’clock-so what? Tomorrow was another day. As I drank, the old fierce determination to win came back.

p. 4

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
I do know that my life is different now.  I haven’t had a drink since I came to A.A.  I have fewer resentments, and I don’t spend much time thinking about the past.  I’ve found my experience can be of help to other people.  I have come to believe that hard times are not just meaningless suffering and that something good might turn up at any moment.  That’s a big change for someone who used to come to in the morning feeling sentenced to another day of life.  When I wake up today, there are lots of possibilities.  I can hardly wait to see what’s going to happen next.
I keep coming back because it works.

p. 374

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

Now comes the election. If the founder and his friends have served well, they may – to their surprise – be reinstated for a time. If, however, they have heavily resisted the rising tide of democracy, they may be summarily beached. In either case, the group now has a so-called rotating committee, very sharply limited in its authority. In no sense whatever can its members govern or direct the group. They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores. Headed by the chairman, they look after public relations and arrange meetings. Their treasurer, strictly accountable, takes money from the hat that is passed, banks it, pays the rent and other bills, and makes a regular report at business meetings. The secretary sees that literature is on the table, looks after the phone-answering service, answers the mail, and sends out notices of meetings. Such are the simple services that enable the group to function. the committee gives no spiritual advice, judges no one’s conduct, issues no orders. Every one of them may be promptly eliminated at the next election if they try this. And so they make the belated discovery that they are really servants, not senators. These are universal experiences. Thus throughout A.A. does the group conscience decree the terms upon which its leaders shall serve.

p. 134

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“I used to say, ‘I sure hope things will change.’ Then I learned that
the only way things are going to change for me is when I change.”
–Jim Rohn

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better
things.
–Henry Ward Beecher

Expecting the world to be fair to you because you are a good person
is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.

Today I will do something I should have done yesterday.
–Nelle Bruner Weddington

It’s so important to treat others like you would expect to be treated.
It’s a universal law that the hurt and pain you have caused on others
will come back and affect you, but the love and joy you have inspired
in others, will also inspire you.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IDEALS

“An idealist is one who, on
noticing that a rose smells
better than a cabbage,
concludes that it will also make
better soup.”
— H.L. Mencken

The spiritual program teaches me to be an idealist with my feet on
the ground. People will continue to hurt, get angry and tell lies;
wrestling with imperfections is not just my problem. I need to accept
that I live in an imperfect world and recovery involves reality, not
illusion.

My responsibility in recovery is for my life. I cannot change other
people, events or relationships — I can only change me. I am not
God. Each time I forget this fact, I risk another hurt.

Help me to aspire for ideals that are within my grasp.

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“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1

For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:6

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart
of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezek 36:26

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Hebrews 12:1


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Daily Inspiration

It is not in the good times, but rather in the times of stress and misfortune, that our faith is tested. Lord, remove my doubts as they creep in and help me turn my times of turmoil into times of spiritual growth.

No matter what you must confront today, know that God is with you. Lord, today is part of Your plan for me. I do not doubt You and therefore I will not doubt You within me.

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NA Just For Today

Priorities

“The good times can also be a trap; the danger is that we may forget that our first priority is to stay clean.”
Basic Text, p. 42

Things can get really good in our recovery. Perhaps we’ve found our “soul mate” built a rewarding career, started a family. Maybe our relationships with our family members have healed. Things are going so well, we barely have time to attend meetings. Perhaps we begin to reintegrate into society so successfully that we forget that we don’t always react to situations like others do.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve put some priorities ahead of themselves. Is meeting attendance still a priority with us? Do we still sponsor? Do we phone our sponsor? What step are we working? Are we still willing to drag ourselves out of bed at some ungodly hour for a Twelfth Step call? Do we remember to practice principles in all our affairs? If others in NA reach out to us, are we available? Do we remember where we came from, or have the “good times” allowed us to forget?

To stay clean, we must remember that we are only one drug away from our past. We stay grateful for the good times, but we don’t let them divert us from our continuing recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: I’m grateful for the good times, but I’ve not forgotten from where I’ve come. Today, my first priority is staying clean and growing in my recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
He who distributes the milk of human kindness cannot help but spill a little on himself. –James Barrie
We like ourselves best when we like those around us. When we smile at them, they smile back; when we ask them, they tell us about themselves. When we scowl at people, they’ll frown back; when we ignore them, they’ll walk away.
It’s true that we get back what we put into things, whether it’s work, play, love, or gardening. We decide by the extent of our commitment how valuable or enjoyable or depressing an experience can be for us.
Our actions toward others come right back to us. When we smile at people, they smile back, and we feel good. Sometimes feeling good about ourselves depends on feeling good about others. When we send out that smile of ours, those who get it pass it on, and we have added power to the happiness of the world.
What can I do to show my fondness for others today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A controller doesn’t trust his/her ability to live through the pain and chaos of life. There is no life without pain just as there is no art without submitting to chaos. –Rita Mae Brown
It is very hard for most of us to see how controlling we are. We may feel uptight or careful, but we haven’t seen it as controlling ourselves or controlling how people respond to us. We may be worried about a loved one’s behavior or safety, but not realize our hovering over that person is a controlling activity. We may be keenly aware of other people’s controlling behavior with us, but unaware we have equaled their control by monitoring them and trying to change their behavior.
What a moment of spiritual adventure it is to risk living through the pain! When we do not seek an escape or a quick fix but have patience with the process, new possibilities often do develop. We can only let go of our control – or turn it over to our Higher Power. And we will do it and forget, taking control back within minutes or within an hour. Then we let go again.
Today, I will submit to the insecurity of a changing universe and have faith that 1 can live through the process and grow.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Fulfillment
Everything I need shall be provided today. Everything. Say it, until you believe it. Say it at the beginning of the day. Say it throughout the day.
Sometimes, it helps to know what we want and need. But if we don’t, we can trust that God does.
When we ask, trust, and believe that our needs will be met, our needs will be met. Sometimes God cares about the silliest little things, if we do.
Today, I will affirm that my needs will be met. I will affirm that God cares and is the Source of my supply. Then I will let go and see that what I have risked to believe is the truth.

It is exciting to know that my thoughts and my actions in the present moment condition the next moment. I am responsible for my future. Today I am bringing awareness to my self-talk and replacing all negative thoughts with positive thoughts as soon as they appear on my mindscape. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Redefine Service

Service is a key, an important one. It’s a key to joy, to love. And a gold key to the journey.

How long we thought service meant doing everything for everyone. How long we thought service had to be hard, taxing, boring– that it meant doing something we didn’t want to do to help someone who didn’t want to be helped.

Now, we’re defining service differently. Service is joyful. It’s an attitude, a belief, a way of looking at ourselves and our lives. Our very life is service. Our being is service. Service arises and springs naturally out of self-love. It arises from being who we are and from doing the things we want to do and are led to do. The things that bring us the most joy will bring the most service to the world. Doing things we don’t want to do will leave us and the world around us cold, untouched, unmoved.

Service is love and joy. Service is being who you are. Bask in self-love. Service will flow naturally from that. It will be freely given and freely received. And now what you do will really help.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Recognize manipulations

Herein lies an irony: the person who is trying to manipulate you views you as having greater strength or power than he or she does.
–George H. Green and Carolyn Cotter

Stop Being Manipulated

George Green and Carolyn Cotter describe manipulation as an encounter in which someone else attempts to control how you feel, behave, or think– without your permission– and it causes you discomfort as a result.

Most of us use manipulation, from time to time, to get what we want. Sometimes our manipulations are harmless’ even cute. Both people know a low-grade manipulation is at hand. Both people basically want what the manipulator is working so hard to get– dinner out, a movie, a walk through the park. It’s not a big deal.

Other times, the stakes are higher and the people involved don’t agree. That’s when manipulations can be harmful. When we don’t know what we want, when we’re not clear with others and ourselves about how we feel, a manipulation is in the air.

Sometimes manipulationx are conscious and deliberate. Other times they’re unconscious, foggy attempts to get what we want.

“Let’s simplify our definition of manipulation,” suggest Green and Cotter. “If an encounter leaves you feeling crummy, it probably involves manipulation of some sort.”

Isn’t it ironic that sometimes the very feeling we’re trying to deny is exactly what we need to be feeling to take care of ourselves?

Next time you’re faced with a situation that leaves you feeling crummy, take a moment to see if a manipulation was involved. Remember that whenever others try to manipulate you, they perceive you as having something they want and as being more powerful than they are. If you’re powerful enough to be a target for a manipulation, you’re powerful enough to take care of yourself.

God, help me let go of my belief that I need to manipulate other people to get what I want. Help me stop letting others manipulate me.

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Letting Go of Understanding
Deeper Meanings

by Madisyn Taylor

We don’t always need to know the deeper meaning of everything that happens in our lives.

All of us who seek to be conscious and aware regard our experiences as teachers, and we try to discern what lessons we are learning from the things that happen in our lives. Sometimes the lesson is very clear from the get-go, and other times we have to really search to understand the deeper meaning behind some event. While this search often yields results, there also comes a point in the search where what we really need to do is move forward. It is possible that we are not meant to know the deeper meaning of certain occurrences. Answers may come later in our lives, or they may come as a result of letting go, or they may never come.

We are all part of a complex system of being, and things work themselves out in the system as a whole. Sometimes we are just playing a necessary part in that process with a result larger than we can understand. It may have very little to do with us personally, and while that can be hard to understand, it can also free us from overthinking the matter. Sometimes it is best to see it in terms of karma, a past debt we have been able to repay in this way, or as the clearing of energy. We can simply thank the event for being part of our experience and let it go. This completes the process that the occurrence has made possible.

To make this letting go official, we can perform a ritual, make a final journal entry on the subject, or sit in meditation with the intention of releasing the event from our consciousness. As we do so, we summon it one last time, honoring it with our attention, thanking it, and saying good-bye. We then let it go out the door, out the window, out the top of our heads, or into the earth through the bottoms of our feet, liberating ourselves from any burden we have carried in association with it. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

It’s time for me to realize that my attitude — toward the life I’m living and the people in it — can have a tangible, measurable and profound effect on what happens to me day by day. If I expect good, then good will surely come to me. And If I try each day to base my attitude and point of view on a sound spiritual foundation, I know it will change all the circumstances of my life for the better, too. Do I accept the fact that I have been given only a daily reprieve that is contingent on my spiritual condition?

Today I Pray

since my illness was spiritual — as well as physical and emotional — may I mend spiritually through daily communion with God. May I find a corner of quiet within me where I can spend a few moments with Him. May He make His will known to me. May I worship Him from that inner temple that is in myself.

Today I will Remember

To spend a quiet moment with God.

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One More Day

Life if you will, is a work of art, and if we have paid loving attention to its details, we will be able to take pride in the finished product.
– Harold Kushner

Without even realizing it, we often do things that are good for us and make us happy. We do something that creates well-being, and we have a successful day. When we pay attention to actions that create well-being we can have a successful week. Taking good care of our homes makes us feel proud and so does helping a fellow human being in need. Making volunteer work a part of how we live, showing kindness to others and ourselves, reaching out — all these choices enhance our well-being.

When we pay attention to those around us, a transformation occurs within our spiritual selves. Then we shall have given ourselves the gift of a meaningful life.

I will pay loving attention to the details of my day.

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Food For Thought

Accepting Abstinence

Abstinence is not so much something we achieve as it is a gift from our Higher Power. It is given to us constantly, from the time we wake up in the morning through every minute of the day.

If we think of abstinence as something we have to acquire through great effort, we will be afraid that we will fail. We will think of weeks and months and years stretching ahead of us and say, “I’ll never make it.”

Abstinence is given to us now, each day, and all we need to do is accept it. It is not something we do only in order to lose a certain number of pounds. By abstaining, we will lose the pounds, but when we are at our desired weight we continue to maintain abstinence. Abstinence is our freedom from compulsive overeating and the gift of new life.

Thank you, Lord, for abstinence.

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One Day At A Time

Perseverance
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil on it.
Mother Teresa

As a child I can still remember being terribly stubborn, and would even have a temper tantrum if I didn’t want to do something. As I grew up, the trait of stubbornness remained, and it would be hard to get me to budge if I had decided I didn’t want to do something. After coming into the program, I realized that stubbornness is actually a character defect of mine, and whilst I am praying to be relieved of it in its negative form, I also know that that same character defect in its positive form has helped me tremendously in the program, especially seeing my journey has been one which has been characterized with many slips along the way. But one of the things that I’ve never stopped doing is coming back, and I know that it is this very character defect of stubbornness, turned into perseverance, that has made me keep working at the program, even when it would be easier to just give up. So I have kept coming to meetings, and working the steps and the tools even when I was struggling, because I know that it is only when I do that, I have a chance of recovery.

It has been said that this is a program of action, and so I repeat on a daily basis the actions that have brought recovery to thousands. Some days it is harder than others, especially when the willingness is not there, and on those days my old pattern of wanting to block out the feelings with food resurfaces. But I also know that when I use the tools and work the steps, I can deal with the feelings without resorting to food, because my Higher Power will help me to get through the daily struggles when I turn them over to Him. So what I need to do on a daily basis is to ask for help from my Higher Power with my unmanageable life, instead of turning to food, and even on days where I’m struggling, I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and persevering with working the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will persevere with working the program, so that I can recover from this disease of compulsive overeating and be restored to sanity on a daily basis.
~ Sharon ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt — and one more failure. – Pg. 151 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Right now, whatever is bothering you, set it aside. Turn to the next person you see and smile. Tell them hi and wish them well for the moment. That is the first step to getting out of self.

When I am tempted to obsess on myself, please show me the way to be kind to someone else.

Letting My Body Speak

I will let my body have a voice today and I will listen to what it’s trying to say to me. If my body’s voice has tears in it, I will allow those tears to come out. If my body is holding anger, I will allow myself to experience that anger so that it can dissolve and my cells no longer have to hold it for me. If my body wants to shiver and shake I will let it, knowing that it just needs to release something it doesn’t want to hang onto any more.

I allow my body to let go of the emotions it is holding

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘Being angry at God won’t hurt God, and neither will it provoke Him to take measures against us. If it makes us feel better to vent our anger at Him over a painful situation, we are free to do it. The only thing wrong with doing it is that what happened to us was not really God’s fault.’ -Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Usually, things don’t happen TO make me angry; things happen THAT make me angry.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You may be the only copy of the Big Book some people ever see.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I feel so good knowing that I am a power of example for future generations today as I walk on my new path of truth. I am making a difference not only in my own life but in the lives of those who follow me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I had an open mind; everything went right through. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 7

No Reservation
We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again:
“Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.”
Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.
If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind,
nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 33

Thought to Ponder . . .
If we want to quit drinking, we are going to have to quit drinking.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K C B = Keep Coming Back.

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

Obsession
“Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to AA, and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and only
then, do we become as open-minded and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to do anything which
will lift the merciless obsession from us.

Thought to Consider . . .
The best things in life aren’t things.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
NUTS Not Using The Steps

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

Illogical
>From “I Must Learn”:
“‘Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him,’ Paul Eldridge wrote. That is the way the
spiritual side of the A.A. program appears to me. I’m in trouble if I attempt to parse it: I don’t attempt to understand it.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 101

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

“AA gives us a Ph.D. in life and a black belt in common sense.”
Keego Harbor, Mich., June 1998
“Paradoxes of Sobriety”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

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

“It did not satisfy us to be told that we could not control our
drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in
full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives. These
things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent
with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as
well. In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out
this physical factor is incomplete.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxvi~

Then, in Step Seven, we humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings such as He could or would under the
conditions of the day we asked. In step Eight, we continued our house-cleaning, for we saw that we were not only in
conflict with ourselves, but also with people and situations in the world in which we lived. We had to begin to make our peace.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 108

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

For Emergencies Only?
Whether we had been believers or unbelievers, we began to get over the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-
league pinch hitter, to be called upon only in an emergency.
The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who
had thought ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived
ourselves of His help.
But now the words ‘Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works’ began to carry bright promise and meaning.
TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 75

Prayer For The Day: Holy God, as I face another day, I know I am going to face many challenges: to my faith, to my
patience, to my love for others. I am going to have constant temptations to lapse into sin. Come to me now, Lord, and
stay with me all day. Let your Spirit encompass my mind. Let me know your presence. Steer my hand, direct my words,
guide my thoughts in everything I think and say and do. I resolve to live this day as a beacon of your glory, the best I can,
with your help. I commit myself to give this day to you. In the name of Christ, be with me and help me. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 6th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 6th

Daily Reflections

THE IDEA OF FAITH

Do not let any prejudice you might have against
spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself
what they mean to you.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 47

The idea of faith is a very large chunk to swallow when
fear, doubt and anger abound in and around me. Sometimes
just the idea of doing something different, something I
am not accustomed to doing, can eventually become an act
of faith if I do it regularly, and do it without
debating whether it’s the right thing to do. When a bad
day comes along and everything is going wrong, a meeting
or a talk with another drunk often distracts me just
enough to persuade me that everything is not quite as
impossible, as overwhelming as I had thought. In the
same way, going to a meeting or talking to a fellow
alcoholic are acts of faith; I believe I’m arresting
my disease. These are ways I slowly move toward faith
in a Higher Power.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A., we must surrender, give up, admit that we’re
helpless. We surrender our lives to God and ask Him for
help. When He knows that we’re ready, He gives us
by His grace the free gift of sobriety. And we can’t take
any credit for having stopped drinking, because we didn’t
do it by our own willpower. There’s no place for pride or
boasting. We can only be grateful to God for doing for us
what we could never do for ourselves. Do I believe that
God has made me a free gift of the strength to stay sober?

Meditation For The Day

I must work for God, with God and through God’s help. By
doing all I can to bring about a true fellowship of human beings,
I am working for God. I am also working with God, because
this is the way God works, and He is with me when I am
doing such work. I cannot do good work, however, without
God’s help. In the final analysis, it is through the
grace of God that any real change in human personality
takes place. I have to rely on God’s power and anything
I accomplish is through His help.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may work for God and with God. I pray that
I may be used to change human personalities through
God’s help.

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As Bill Sees It

Growth By The Tenth Step, p. 65

In the years ahead A.A. will, of course, make mistakes. Experience
has taught us that we need have no fear of doing this, providing that
we always remain willing to admit our faults and to correct them
promptly. Our growth as individuals has depended upon this healthy
process of trial and error. So will our growth as a fellowship.

Let us always remember that any society of men and women that
cannot freely correct its own faults must surely fall into decay if not
into collapse. Such is the universe penalty for the failure to go on
growing. Just as each A.A. must continue to take his moral inventory
and act upon it, so must our whole Society if we are to survive and if
we are to serve usefully and well.

A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 231

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Walk in Dry Places

Example, not exception___Helping Others.
It’s always heady stuff when others congratulate us on our victory over alcohol.  Fair-minded people will have considerable admiration for what appears to be a bootstrap effort to make a comeback from despair and defeat.
We can accept this praise with grace and modesty.  At some point, however, we should emphasize that our recovery was an example of spiritual principles at work and that thousands have been able to follow in the same path.  Sober AA members are not exceptions; they are examples of what the program can do in people’s lives.
It is important to emphasize that we are ordinary people.  The marvelous thing about the program is that it works for ordinary people like ourselves.  Many people in the fellowship have great talent and ability, but those gifts have nothing to do with staying sober.  The gifted person gets sober the same way anybody does…..  by admitting powerlessness over alcohol and by accepting the program.
We are also helped most by people who can serve as examples in our lives.  It is always inspiring to know that we can follow in their paths and find what has been given to them.
I want to provide a good example for others today.  I will go through the day remembering that my sobriety is a gift that can be bestowed on anybody___it was not an exception just for me.


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Keep It Simple

When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.
Remember how we tried to make others think we were not in trouble? We walked and talked like addicts. We acted like addicts. Most everyone knew the truth but us. We were like ducks pretending to be eagles.
We see ourselves as we really are. But sometimes we can’t see ourselves that way. This is normal.
That’s why we need others to help us see what we can’t. We were addicts. We are now recovering addicts. We need friends, sponsors, and family members to tell us when we may be acting like addicts again. It may save our lives.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, give my friends and family members the strength to tell me when I’m acting like an addict.
Action for the Day:  I’ll go to people whom I trust and ask them to tell me when I’m acting like an addict.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Life is made up of desires that seem big and vital one minute, and little and absurd the next. I guess we get what’s best for us in the end.  –Alice Caldwell Rice
It is often said that we will be granted our heart’s “pure desires.” When we have many unmet desires, maybe we should be grateful. Wants, ultimately not for our good, can open the way to many unneeded and painful experiences.
How often we sit, wishing for a better job, a more loving relationship, a different weather forecast. How seldom we take positive advantage of what is at hand, not realizing that whatever is, right now, is the ticket to the next act in the drama of our lives.
We have before us a very limited picture. We cannot possibly know just what we need to travel the distance that’s in store for us. Our desires, when they are pure, will carry us to the right destination. They are inspired. But the desires that are motivated by our selfish egos will lead us astray. Many times in the past we did not give up those desires. And the painful memories linger.
Desiring God’s will is my most fruitful desire. It’s also what is best for me; thus, what I need. All things are working for good when I let my higher power determine my desires.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

In 1929 I contracted golf fever. We went at once to the country, my wife to applaud while I started out to overtake Walter Hagen. Liquor caught up with me much faster than I came up behind Walter. I began to be jittery in the morning. Golf permitted drinking every day and every night. It was fun to carom around the exclusive course which had inspired such awe in me as a lad. I acquired the impeccable coat of tan one sees upon the well-to-do. The local banker watched me whirl fat checks in and out of his till with amused skepticism.

pp. 3-4

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
More than eleven years later it’s hard to recapture the feelings of that night.  What do I believe as a result?  I can say that doubting God’s existence was no barrier at all to spiritual experience.  Also, I can say that having such an experience didn’t lead me to any certainty about God.  Alcoholics Anonymous gives me the freedom to believe and to doubt as much as I need to.

p. 373-374

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

Growing pains now beset the group. Panhandlers panhandle. Lonely hearts pine. Problems descend like an avalanche. Still more important, murmurs are heard in the body politic, which swell into a loud cry: “Do these oldtimers think they can run this group forever? Let’s have an election!” The founder and his friends are hurt and depressed. They rush from crisis to crisis and from member to member, pleading; but it’s no use, the revolution is on. The group conscience is about to take over.

pp. 133-134

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We surrender to win.

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is
never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants
kindness gathers love.
–Basil (329-379 A.D.)

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

“Age is a matter of feeling…not of years.”
–George William Curtis

“The future comes one day at a time.”
–Dean Acheson

Sharing love and life with someone is the one of the greatest gifts of
all. Take the time to appreciate it and enjoy it.

“Joy is the feeling of grinning on the inside.”
–Dr. Melba Colgrove

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HYPOCRISY

“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo.”
— Ambrose Bierce

As a religious person I could be such a hypocrite. I thought that my
“goodness” was dependent upon my judging others to be inferior. I
was always putting other people down so that I could appear terrific.

But a part of me always knew this was wrong. I ignored the religious
teaching that emphasized forgiveness and acceptance and instead
focused on judgment and condemnation. It was all part of my sickness.
Inside I was hurting and feeling guilty but I hid these feelings with a
mask of hypocrisy and respectability.

Today I do not need to do this. I have a religion that can accept the
non-religious and rejoice in the different cultures and creeds. I do not
fear those who are different, and I am slowly beginning to accept my
many imperfections.

You, who have loved me through forgiveness, help me to forgive.

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“Put away your former way of life, your old self … be renewed in the spirit of your
minds … according to the likeness of God.”
Ephesians 4:22-24

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

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what
you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body
more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom
or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you
by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing,
why do you worry about the rest?
Luke 12:22-26


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Daily Inspiration

Repeatedly remind yourself what a wonderful person you are. Lord, help me to believe in myself as You believe in me and focus on my goodness.

God’s plans for you are beyond your imagination. Lord, may I not limit myself to my past experiences, but be willing to accept new opportunities and challenges into my life.

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NA Just For Today

Rationalizing Away Our Recovery

“As a result of the Twelve Steps, I’m not able to hold on to old ways of deceiving myself.”
Basic Text, pg. 176

We all rationalize. Sometimes we know we are rationalizing, admit we are rationalizing, yet continue to behave according to our rationalizations! Recovery can become very painful when we decide that, for one reason or another, the simple principals of the program don’t apply to us.

With the help of our sponsors and others in NA we can begin to look at the excuse we use for our behavior. Do we find that some principals just don’t apply to us? Do we believe that we know more that everyone else in Narcotics Anonymous, even those who have been clean for many years? What makes us think that we’re so special

There is no doubt, we can successfully rationalize our way through part of our recovery. But, eventually, we must squarely face the truth and start acting accordingly. The principals in the Twelve Steps guide us to a new life in recovery. There is little room for rationalization there.

Just for today: I cannot work the steps and also continue deceiving myself. I will examine my thinking for rationalizations, reveal them to my sponsor, and be rid of them.

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This Mouse must give up one of the Mouse ways of seeing things in order that he may grow. –Hyemeyohsts Storm
There is an American Indian tale of a mouse who heard a roaring in his ears and set out to discover what it was. He encountered many animals who helped him on his way. Finally, the mouse had a chance to offer help to another. He gave away his eyes to help two other animals.
Without his sight, defenseless, he waited for the end. Soon he heard the sound eagles make when they dive for their prey. The next thing the mouse knew, he was flying. He could see all the splendor around him. Then he heard a voice say, “You have a new name. You are Eagle.”
Like the mouse, we also feel something inside us we’d like to explore. That secret, like all others, has its answer hidden deep within us, yet right under our very nose. Often, we merely have to give up our eyes and see in a different way. When we do this, we are rewarded with a new kind of vision, one that lets us discover our true potential.
How can I look at things differently today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A boy must be initiated into the world of men. It doesn’t happen by itself; it doesn’t happen just because he eats Wheaties. And only men can do this work. –Robert Ely
Many of us grew into manhood with a surface picture of what it means to be masculine. We had images of tough guys playing rough, but we weren’t emotionally close enough to another man to really know him. Many of us never knew our fathers’ strengths, passions, and weak points. It left us with a distorted picture of masculinity and not with an inner knowing. Getting close to other men is a new experience, and it may feel frightening or threatening.
We can develop close friendships with other males and let them know us as we are, rather than as this picture we try to imitate. This kind of relationship in play and work and troubled times is a central part of our spiritual recovery. Close relationships with other men teach us confidence in ourselves and give us inner security.
I will be aware today of men with whom 1 can develop a friendship and will take one small step toward them.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Peace
Anxiety is often our first reaction to conflict, problems, or even our own fears. In those moments, detaching and getting peaceful may seem disloyal or apathetic. We think: If I really care, Ill worry; if this is really important to me, I must stay upset. We convince ourselves that outcomes will be positively affected by the amount of time we spend worrying.
Our best problem solving resource is peace. Solutions arise easily and naturally out of a peaceful state. Often, fear and anxiety block solutions. Anxiety gives power to the problem, not the solution. It does not help to harbor turmoil. It does not help.
Peace is available if we choose it. In spite of chaos and unsolved problems around us, all is well. Things will work out. We can surround ourselves with the resources of the Universe: water, earth, a sunset, a walk, a prayer, a friend. We can relax and let ourselves feel peace.
Today, I will let go of my need to stay in turmoil. I will cultivate peace and trust that timely solutions and goodness will arise naturally and harmoniously out of the wellspring of peace. I will consciously let go and let God.

I am learning to trust my instincts and move away from unpleasant and stressful people, places and things. I no longer have to stay in situations that bring me unhappiness and pain. I am turning around today to see the joy. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Let Your Sexuality Be Connected to Your Heart

He was a handsome man. An acotr. “Something happened to me lately,” he shared. “It’s about my sexuality. I used to be sexual when and where I felt like it. No more. And it’s not connected to fear of disease, although that’s certainly a concern. What happened to me is that my sexuality has become connected to my heart.”

Let go of sexual shame. Embrace your sexuality. Value your senses, all of them– touch, smell, taste, seeing, and hearing. Value your other senses,too– your intuition, your spirituality, your spirit’s reaction to the world that dances around you. Open up to colors, textures, scents, and sounds.

Open up to your energy, all of it, including your sexuality. Let yourself see that all expressions of your love and your being are beautiful. Let yourself learn to express and receive love in sensual ways, ways that work for you.

Be done with sexual shame. Trust your body and what it likes. We aren’t disconnected parts. Open up. Discover your sexuality. Let it be connected to your heart.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Neutralize conflicts

Unless you want a fight or an argument, don’t give people anything to push against.

Here is a key to harmonizing with people who are upset or have a point of view different from your own. Stay so relaxed when you talk to them that you allow yourself to empathize with how they think and feel. That doesn’t mean that you give in to people’s every whim. It means, instead, that you are so clear and focused that you can genuinely let other people be who they are, too.

It’s both naive and egotistical to think that everyone thinks and feels the same as us. It’s ridiculous to beliieve that everyone will agree with our point of view. One of the true signs of a person who is growing in consciousness is that he or she recognizes that each person has individual motives, desires, and feelings.

“Instead of meeting a verbal attack with a verbal conterattack you respond first by coming around to your attacker’s point of view, seeing the situation from his or her viewpoint,” wrote George Leonard in the Way of Akido.

He was talking about using a concept called “blending” to deal with verbal confromtations in our daily lives. “The response, whether physical or verbal, is quite disarming, leaving the attacker with no target to focus on. It’s a means by which you can multiply your options in responding to any kind of attack.”

If the person espousing his or her point of view is just trying to get us to react or has no desire for reconciliation, we can still neutralize the conflict by staying relaxed, letting the other person be, and responding by saying “hmmmm.” It’s a polite way of saying whatever, when expressing your disagreement would only lead to a senseless fight. At the least, you’ll become a great conversationalist, a respectable art to be acquired. At best, you’ll bring about world peace, at least in your corner of the world.

God, help me be so clear on who I am that I can generously afford to let other people be who they are,too. Help me to set aside my defensive behavior, and teach me to blend with other people and see their point of view while not relinquishing my own.

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Exploring an Alternate Universe
What Makes People Tick?

by Madisyn Taylor

Interacting peacefully with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from.

All people have their own way of being in the world. It is easiest to comprehend this basic yet profound fact when we consider that every human being on the planet occupies a distinct role in the universe. We grow up in different environments, affected by a unique range of influences. The preferences, values, and beliefs we embrace are frequently related intimately to our origins. And the need to individualize our experiences is instinctive, as doing so enables us to cope when we must face challenges on our own. Consequently, each of us has developed a perspective that is uniquely ours. Interacting peacefully and constructively with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from. Then we can adjust our expectations so that we avoid making undue assumptions about what they are about.

In the face of emerging interpersonal conflict, it is easy to assume that others are being difficult, unreasonable, or stubborn. We are apt to grow frustrated when someone in our environment does not share our opinions or feel compelled to support us in our endeavors. It is likely that the individual or individuals before us may simply possess differing notions with regard to what is and what is not important in this life. We can ease the tension that exists between us by reaffirming our belief in the fundamental right of all beings to determine their own destinies. To foster a harmonious relationship, we need to do our best to relate to the unique universes they inhabit. And as we discover what makes them tick, our ability to find a mode of interaction that is pleasing to both of us is enhanced.

When there are barriers keeping you from connecting with someone else, think of questions you can ask them to gain a more thorough understanding of their point of view. You may discover that in addition to the differences in perspective dividing you, they are subject to insecurities and other personal issues that influence their way of seeing the world. It is likely that you will never fully grasp the myriad complexities embodied by humanity, but you can go a long way toward encouraging mutually satisfying relations by reaching out to others in the spirit of sympathetic comprehension. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

There is no advantage, no profit and certainly no growth when I deceive myself merely to escape the consequences of my own mistakes. When I realize this, I know I’ll be making progress. “We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know a truth that is outside us,” wrote Thomas Merton in No Man Is An Island. “But we make ourselves true inside by manifesting the truth as we set it.” Am I true to myself?

Today I Pray

May I count on my Higher Power to help me carry out the truth as I see it. May I never duck a consequence again. Consequence-ducking became a parlor game for chemically addictive persons like me, until we lost all sense of relationship between action and outcome. Now that I am healing, please God, restore my balance.

Today I Will Remember

Match the Act with the consequence.

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One More Day

The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.
–Somerset Maugham

Old habits often die hard, especially bad ones. We may need to be tactfully silent when we become irritated with the behavior or habits of our loved ones. It may seem at times as though everyone around us is either nail biting, smoking, cussing, or overeating. When illness enters the scene, or any other stressor for that matter, bad habits tend to resurface. We may be less tolerant of others’ faults and even of their good health.

It’s hard to put away old habits, especially the old pattern of being critical, but we can learn to let go. Even with extra stress in our lives we can begin to work on developing new habits. We can learn to recognize the growth we’ve achieved and to feel proud.

I can begin today to develop strong, new habits and to hold on to my old, strong habits.

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Food For Thought

Living Now

When we were eating compulsively, we left the here and now. We escaped into fantasy, and we were often unaware of how much we were eating. By some strange mental quirk, we were able to forget that we should have been burning up our excess fat, not adding more.

God is now. To make contact with Him is to bring ourselves in touch with what is real. When we first came to OA, we may have had doubts, if not downright disbelief, about the reality of God, but concrete experience has convinced most of us that a Higher Power is indeed in control.

In order to be rid of the mental obsession which drives us to the insane behavior of compulsive overeating, we practice being constantly tuned in to our Higher Power. He can restore us to sanity and keep us living in the present. By giving Him our past resentments and future fears, we become free to focus on the here and now. Without resentment and fear, we can see the beauty of the present moment.

Lord, keep me living in the here and now.

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One Day At A Time

Scars

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
I’ve lived most of my life filled with bitterness towards people, God and myself. My mind, soul, and body were consumed by hatred, self-pity, pain, hopelessness, and a complete sense of powerlessness. I focused my energy on reviewing my scars. I counted them, checked them, nurtured them, and flaunted them. They were proof of all the wrongs I’d endured. They were my source of energy. They were my identity. They were my badge of sorrow.

As I work my recovery, I am beginning to see everything from a new perspective. Gradually my head is lifted and my eyes are turned away from my once-beloved scars. The more I allow myself to accept that my powerlessness is not a prison of doom, the more I discover that it is my doorway to faith, surrender, and serenity.

My scars are still here. There is no magic potion to remove them. What is magical, however, is that I see them so differently. I find that I have a choice to make every day: I can cherish my scars as proof of the pain I have suffered, or I can be thankful for them as evidence of things I have survived. Scar tissue forms and creates a stronger, thicker skin in its place. I can either pick at it and make it bleed, or I can welcome the lessons and endurance it has built into my life.

One day at a time…
I will choose to see my scars as proof of the difficulties I have survived. I will choose to appreciate them as evidence that God has brought me through suffering and has used all things to strengthen my faith in Him, my hope for tomorrow, and my serenity for today.

Lisa
A TRG Member

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

This fourth edition of ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ came off the press in November 2001, at the start of a new millennium. Since the third edition was published in 1976, worldwide membership of A.A. has just about doubled, to an estimated two million or more, with nearly 100,800 groups meeting in approximately 150 countries around the world. – Pg. xxiii – Forward To Fourth Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Even in the confusion and chaos of beginning sobriety, a place exists for spiritual promise and character. Freud once remarked, gazing on a crystal, that the place where that crystal is broken is the very place where we can see its structure. The place where you are broken is the very place that reveals your character.

I use my broken places to show what I am made of–integrity, courage, and determination.

Prayer 

Prayer helps me to heal. Study after study scientifically prove that prayer is beneficial to my health. I will pray for my healing throughout my day when ever it occurs to me. I will accept and be grateful or the prayers of others knowing that they are being carried to me by unseen hands. Just as radio waves pulse through the air and become voices, prayers come to me in an inner voice. I will ask my body to hear the prayers that are coming toward me and to invite them into each and every cell.

I accept the power of prayer to heal

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

You certainly are not good at every aspect of service to your group. You may be good at opening meetings, emptying ash trays, remembering to contact people, or going out on Twelve Step calls. Maybe you are lousy at greeting people at the door, holding office, getting birthday cakes, or paying the rent. Whatever you lack skills for, others can pick up; whatever you are good at, recognize!

For my shortcomings, I delegate; for my strengths, I congratulate.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am learning to trust my instincts and move away from unpleasant and stressful people, places and things. I no longer have to stay in situations that bring me unhappiness and pain. I am turning around today to see the joy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Being a speaker is not the measure of an alcoholic. Some of the finest speakers I’ve heard in AA died drunk. And some of the finest AA members I’ve ever known never spoke from podiums. – Gayle W.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 6

Challenges
There is no easier, softer way.
To bring the great escape act into sobriety is to travel with a companion
that led me to despair long ago.
The teaching I receive in Alcoholics Anonymous about courage and love
helps me to continue to grapple with the challenges of life as they are given to me, one day at a time.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol.3], p. 320

Thought to Ponder . . .
Life is a steady drizzle of small things — carry an umbrella.

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

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

Lessons
“I find the willingness to give thanks by contemplatingthe lessons learned from past suffering–lessons which have led to
blessings I now enjoy. 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 1962As Bill Sees It, p. 266

Thought to Consider . . .
Remember that we deal with alcohol —
cunning, baffling, powerful!

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
TRUST
Try Relying Upon The Steps

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

Self-sufficient
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“At the Foundation, meanwhile, we had taken a significant action that was incorporated in these Traditions. In 1945 we
wrote [our early supporters] Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the 1940 dinner guests that we would no longer need their
financial help. The book royalties could now look after Dr. Bob and me; group contributions could pay the general office
expenses. If these were insufficient, the reserve accumulated out of literature sales could meet the deficit. This meant
that we had finally declared for full self-support. Since that time A.A.’s Board of Trustees has steadfastly refused outside
contributions.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 203-04

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

“Today, my short version of the Third Step is this: Keep taking care of me, Lord, because I appreciate it now.”
Berrien Springs, Mich., April 1991
“Dear God: Keep Coming Back”
AA Grapevine

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

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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 87~

“Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We
must, or it kill us! God makes that possible. And there often seems
no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us
had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live
up to them even though we would have liked to.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~

It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us. To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 40

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Growth by the Tenth Step
In the years ahead A.A. will, of course, make mistakes. Experience has taught us that we need have no fear of doing this, providing that we always remain willing to admit our faults and to correct them promptly. Our growth as individuals has depended upon this healthy process of trial and error. So will our growth as a fellowship.
Let us always remember that any society of men and women that cannot freely correct its own faults must surely fall into decay if not into collapse. Such is the universal penalty for the failure to go on growing. Just as each A.A. must continue to take his moral inventory and act upon it, so must our whole Society if we are to survive and if we are to serve usefully and well. A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 231

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Please give me the strength to move in the direction I need to go. Help me realize that if I just stay were I am I will get no where.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 5th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 5th

Daily Reflections

A LIFELONG TASK

“But just how, in these circumstances, does a fellow ‘take it easy?’
That’s what I want to know.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 26

I was never known for my patience. How many times have I asked,
“Why should I wait, when I can have it all right now?” Indeed, when
I was first presented the Twelve Steps, I was like the proverbial “kid
in a candy store.” I couldn’t wait to get to Step Twelve; it was surely
just a few months’ work, or so I thought! I realize now that living
the Twelve Steps of A.A. is a lifelong undertaking.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Sometimes we try too hard to get this program. It is better to relax
and accept it. It will be given to us, with no effort on our part, if we
stop trying too hard to get it. Sobriety can be a free gift of God,
which he gives us by His grace when He knows we are ready for it.
But we have to be ready. Then we must relax, take it easy, and
accept the gift with gratitude and humility. We must put ourselves in
God’s hands. We must say to God: “Here I am and here are all my
troubles. I’ve made a mess of things and can’t do anything about it.
You take me and all my troubles and do anything you want with me.”
Do I believe that the grace of God can do for me what I could never
do for myself?

Meditation For The Day

Fear is the curse of the world. Many are our fears. Fear is
everywhere. I must fight fear as I would a plague. I must turn it out
of my life. There is no room for fear in the heart in which God
dwells. Fear cannot exist where true love is or where faith abides.
So I must have no fear. Fear is evil, but “perfect love casteth out all
fear.” Fear destroys hope and hope is necessary for all of humanity.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have no fear. I pray that I may cast all fear out of
my life.

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As Bill Sees It

Search For Motives, p. 64

Some of us clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt
anybody but ourselves.  Our families didn’t suffer, because we always
paid the bills and seldom drank at home.  Our business associates
didn’t suffer, because we were usually on the job.  Our reputations
didn’t suffer, because we were certain few knew of our drinking.
Those who did would sometimes assure us that, after all, a lively
bender was only a good man’s fault.  What real harm, therefore, had
we done?  No more, surely, than we could easily mend with a few
casual apologies.

This attitude, of course, is the end result of purposeful forgetting.  It
is an attitude which can be changed only by a deep and honest search
of our motives and actions.

12 & 12, p. 79

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Walk in Dry Places

A vision for you___A Positive attitude
One of the methods that helps in recovery is to see yourself as a sober person living a clean life.  This is the “vision for you” that society’s founders offered in AA’s early days, and it’s still powerful today.
While being careful to avoid self-will, we can use this method with great success in living each day. Along with seeing ourselves sober, we can see ourselves living and working according to the best principles we know.  We can see a business relationship improving. We can see some long-standing problems being solved.  We can see a brighter side to negative situations that have persisted in spite of our best efforts to change them.
One author also talked about “seeing God on both sides of the table in any business negotiation.”  We desire success, of course, but it’s also important to know that any negotiation ought to be successful for both parties. If we’re really practicing spiritual principles in all our affairs, there should be no desire to outmaneuver another person in any negotiation. There is always a price that is fair and satisfactory for both parties, and there are always terms suitable for both sides.
I will go through this day visualizing it as I think it should be according to the highest and best principles I know.  I will put aside self-will and see everybody benefiting fro any negotiations in which I am involved.


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Keep It Simple

I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.—William Allen White
Big changes are happening to us, but we can trust that changes will bring good things. After all, what have we got to lose? We have lived through the days and years of our addiction. Now, with the help of our Higher Power, the pain of those days has ended. We have no reason to worry.
Yet, recovery won’t make our lives perfect. Hard things still happened. But we never have to lose hope again. We never have to feel alone with our problems. What will come next? We don’t know the details, but we can be sure the future will be good if we stay on our path of recovery.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I know life holds many new things for me. Help me and protect me as I live in Your care today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll trust that each day of my life will bring me good. I will share this idea with one friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Loving, like prayer, is a power as well as a process. It’s curative. It is creative.  –Zona Gale
The expression of love softens us and the ones we love. It opens a channel between us. It invites an intimate response that closes the distance.
It feels good to express love, whether through a smile, a touch, or a prayer. It heightens our sense of being alive. Acknowledging another’s presence means that we, too, are acknowledged. Each of us is familiar with feeling forgotten, unnoticed, or taken for granted, and recognition assures us all that we haven’t been overlooked.
Knowing we are loved may be the key to our doing the things we fear. Love supports us to charge ahead, and we can support others to charge ahead. We know that if we fail, we have someone to turn to.
Love heals. It strengthens, making us courageous both when we receive it and when we give it. Knowing we are loved makes our existence special. It affirms that we count in another’s life. We need to honor our friends by assuring them of their specialness, too.
I need others. I need to strengthen my supports, my connections to others for the security, even success, of each of us. I can express my love today, and assure my loved ones that they are needed. Then, they and I will surge ahead with new life.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

My drinking assumed more serious proportions, continuing all day and almost every night. The remonstrances of my friends terminated in a row and I became a lone wolf. There were many unhappy scenes in our sumptuous apartment. There had been no real infidelity, for loyalty to my wife, helped at times by extreme drunkenness, kept me out of those scrapes.

p. 3

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
I know that I took the Third Step (turning my will and my life over to a Higher Power) that night because I began writing a Fourth Step inventory the next day, and I continued to write until I did the Fifth Step with my sponsor.  Soon I had a list of people I had harmed.  I talked about each of the amends with my sponsor.  By the time I had started setting things right with my family, I began to feel a lot better.

p. 373

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

Being the founder, he is at first the boss. Who else could be? Very soon, though, his assumed authority to run everything begins to be shared with the first alcoholics he has helped. At this moment, the benign dictator becomes the chairman of a committee composed of his friends. These are the growing group’s hierarchy of service – self-appointed, of course, because there is no other way. In a matter of months, A.A. booms in Middletown.

p. 133

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Today I will ignore “what might have been,” and concentrate on
“what is…”

“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.”
-Jonathan Larson

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
–George Eliot

God, help me welcome all the new experiences in my life. Give me
the courage to calmly walk my path today, knowing I’m right where I
need to be.
–Melody Beattie

When hate, anger, fear, attack, victimization is thrown at us, we find
solace in returning to Spiritual sanity. These emotions only harm us if
we embrace them, rather than embrace Gods love.

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

The past and the future are great places to visit, but you don’t want to live there.
–Tom Payne

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

DENTITY

“Without freedom, no one really
has a name.”
— Milton Acorda

Part of my identity involves my disease. I am an alcoholic and my
name is . . . And with this recognition of who I am comes the liberty
and freedom to live and create in God’s world. Who I am involves
what I am; in the fusion of the two is my spiritual identity.

For years I ran from myself because I wanted to be different. I felt
that I would not be acceptable or good enough for you. In running
from me, I lost my identity; the seed of low self-esteem was sown.

With the spiritual recognition that I can only be who I am came the
freedom of existence and identity. I am what I am!

Lord, You said once, “I am who I am.” Well, so am I!

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Turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding.
Proverbs 2 : 2

“But surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
Psalm 54:4


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Daily Inspiration

Shine and give praise and it will encourage others to do the same. Lord, may my actions show those in my life that I appreciate and love them.

When we give in to fears and worries they will take charge of our lives. Lord, I place my trust in You so that I may experience every opportunity and not miss in life that which is meant for me.

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NA Just For Today

From Rude Awakening To Spiritual Awakening

“When a need arises for us to admit our powerlessness, we may first look for ways to exert power against it. After exhausting these ways, we begin sharing with others and find hope.”
Basic Text, p. 79

We’ve sometimes heard it said in our meetings that “rude awakenings lead to spiritual awakenings.” What kind of rude awakenings do we have in recovery? Such an awakening might occur when some undesirable bit of our behavior that we thought safely hidden away is suddenly revealed for all the world to see. Or our sponsor might provoke such an awakening by informing us that, just like everyone else, we have to work the steps if we expect to stay clean and recover.

Most of us hate to have our covers pulled; we don’t like being laid naked in full view. The experience delivers a strong dose of humility. Our first reaction to such a disclosure is usually shock and anger, yet we recognize the truth when we hear it. What we are having is a rude awakening.

Such awakenings often disclose barriers that block us from making spiritual progress in our recovery. Once those barriers are exposed, we can work the steps to begin removing them from our lives. We can begin experiencing the healing and serenity which are the preludes to a renewed awakening of the spirit.

Just for today: I will recognize the rude awakenings I have as opportunities to grow toward spiritual awakening. 

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The farmer may only be planting a seed, but if he opens his eyes he is feeding the whole world. –Omaha Bee
A traveler journeying through a small village came upon some workers building an impressive structure. “What are you doing?” he asked. The first worker, a young, impatient man, replied in disgust, “I am making three dollars an hour and I’m getting very tired!” The visitor asked another man the same question. “I’m mixing concrete, as you can plainly see,” came the sarcastic reply. Finally, a woman working nearby left her wheelbarrow full of bricks and approached the stranger. “We are building a hospital,” she said with pride. “Now we will be able to care for all the region’s people. Babies will be born here. Lives will be saved.”
The stranger looked at the woman with admiration and spoke directly to her. “I know, for this is my hospital. Only you hold the vision of what it is you are creating.” The wealthy benefactor then put the woman in charge of construction so his hospital would be built by one who truly understood.
Will I see the importance of even the small things I do today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If not for the beast within us we would be castrated angels. –Hermann Hesse
Let’s not confuse the surrender, humility, and serenity of this program with the perfection of angels. Today we are more alive because we are no longer destroying ourselves, or numbing ourselves, or shaming ourselves. We are men with the strength we need to meet the problems and excitements of the day. We may also get ourselves into trouble by our shortsightedness or mistaken ideas. That is why we need to continue to take inventory of ourselves and continue to be accountable.
We are on a spiritual path that leads toward fuller manhood. We accept the beast within. More than that, we like him and take pleasure in him. He has the same source as our spiritual strength. As we get better acquainted with him, he brings a sense of awe and mystery about the untamed parts of ourselves. He instills us with zest and vitality that we release as explosions of energy and power. He is in the music we love and in our dancing. He comes out in our daydreams and night dreams – in our labor and sweat. And he is in our trickery and humor.
I am filled with gratitude for the beast within.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Be Who You Are
When I meet people or get in a new relationship, I start putting all these repressive restrictions on myself. I cant have my feelings. Cant have my wants and needs. Cant have my history. Cant do the things I want, feel the feelings Im feeling, or say what I need to say. I turn into this repressed, perfectionistic robot, instead of being who I am: Me. –Anonymous
Sometimes, our instinctive reaction to being in a new situation is: Don’t be yourself.
Who else can we be? Who else would you want to be? We don’t need to be anyone else.
The greatest gift we can bring to any relationship wherever we go is being who we are.
We may think others wont like us. We may be afraid that if we just relax and be ourselves, the other person will go away or shame us. We may worry about what the other person will think.
But, when we relax and accept ourselves, people often feel much better being around us than when we are rigid and repressed. Were fun to be around.
If others don’t appreciate us, do we really want to be around them? Do we need to let the opinions of others control our behavior and us?
Giving ourselves permission to be who we are can have a healing influence on our relationships. The tone relaxes. We relax. The other person relaxes. Then everybody feels a little less shame, because they have learned the truth. Who we are is all we can be, all were meant to be, and its enough. Its fine.
Our opinion of ourselves is truly all that matters. And we can give ourselves all the approval we want and need.
Today, I will relax and be who I am in my relationships. I will do this not in a demeaning or inappropriate way, but in a way that shows I accept myself and value who I am. Help me, God, let go of my fears about being myself.

Today I will accept what I have and what I am and what I see in this moment. I will be fully alive in this moment and feel the joy of knowing that it is all that there is right now. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Operate from Desire, Not Will

There are times when we need to force ourselves to put one foot in front of the other and do what needs to be done. But when we operate that way for too long, we can be separated from our heart, separated from our desres, instincts, and healthy inclinations. Separated from that part of us that lives and loves naturally. Separated from joy.

After years of grieving the loss of my son, I needed to come back to life. To do that, I had to force myself through the motions of living, those acts that I knew would create a good life for myself and my daughter. I was operating from sheer will, and that will was struggling hard to overcome the desire to give up. After a time of doing that though, I noticed that forcing myself forward had come habitual. Somewhere along the journey, I had forgotten about relaxing, trusting my heart, trusting my desires to carry me through. I became tired. Tired of forcing myself. Tired of pushing through.

I realized something else. It was safe to let go of willing my way through life. I had climbed the mountain. I was over the top. I was coming alive again. I had survived the toughest time. It was okay to relax and trust the guidance and desires of my heart. It was safe to relax and enjoy life again, to celebrate being alive.

If you’ve been operating from will, that was probably what you needed to do at that point in your life. It helped you survive, learn the lessons, get to the place you are now. But it no longer fits, not on a journey of joy. Not on the journey to the heart.

Let desire and inclination replace will. Let your heart and soul lead you forward. Then trust that they will, and trust where they lead. Let living from your heart’s desires reconnect you to joy.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Don’t let anger run your life

Cheryl’s husband was a tyrant. His anger controlled most of her moves. He didn’t get angry often, but when he did, he exploded in a rage. He broke things; he carried on. His rage terrified her.

“I’ve never done well with anger,” Cheryl said, “either my own, or someone else’s. I spent my childhood walking on eggshells, trying not to annoy my dad. Then I married a man whom I allowed to completely control me by the mere threat of his rage.”

Whether we call them rageholics, tyrants, or bullies, a lot of people in our world get their way by being mean. We may find ourselves instinctively walking on eggshells around these people, praying to God we don’t set them off.

Anger is a powerful emotion. But we don’t have to let anybody else’s rage take control of our lives. If somebody you know or love is a bully or a tyrant, don’t take it on yourself. Stop walking on eggshells and letting their rage control your every step. Instead of taking on their problem, try something different. Give their problem with being a bully back to them.

How do you deal with anger? Does somebody in your life use anger as a way of controlling you? It may be time to let go of your fear of setting off people.

If you are in a dangerous situation, then by all means, get out. If you are just allowing yourself to be controlled by the fear of an emotional outburst, then learn to say whatever when someone spouts off.

God, please don’t let anyone’s anger, including my own, be the master of my life.

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Positivity Revisited
Keeping a Diary with Purpose

by Madisyn Taylor

A diary that is kept for a specific purpose can be a great way to focus on a specific issue that you want to work through.

A diary can play many roles. It can be a confidant, a vehicle of self expression, a tool that facilitates clarity of thought, or a repository of dreams. A diary can also be a powerful source of comfort during challenging or traumatic periods. When you record those insights and incidents that clearly demonstrate you are on the right track, you can return to your words days, weeks, or months later and find uniquely soothing reassurance. A diary with a specific purpose can be a good tool for keeping track of experiences before the passage of time can skew your perception of events. It reflects the immediacy of your life and thus provides you with a landmark to return to when you begin to doubt yourself. If doubt does arise, simply open your diary to reaffirm your experiences. The confidence, surety, passion, and bravery you felt in a single moment is preserved, giving you a means to recapture those feelings in any place, at any time.

Your diary serves as a repository of personalized encouragement. Since a diary is, by its very nature, as individual as you are, you should give some thought to the type of diary that will serve you best. A synchronicity-and-connections diary might describe those instances where seemingly random occurrences came together in a meaningful way, propelling you forward. Or you may find strength in the pages of a pride diary that makes note not only of those times you felt proud of yourself but also precisely why you were pleased with your efforts. And a cause-and-effect diary can help you become more decisive by reminding you of all the wise, life-affirming choices you have made. Your diary should be small enough to be readily portable and on hand whenever possible because the faster you put your thoughts down on paper, the more authentic your declarations are apt to be.

Regardless of the type of focused diary you choose to keep, your recollections will create a positive feedback loop that helps you cope with doubt in a constructive way. Reading through your diary when life seems uncertain can show you that your misgivings are unfounded. As you draw consolation from your uplifting words, you will know without a doubt that you are indeed living your purpose and following the path that you committed to before birth. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Before I became sober in The Program, I blamed all my problems on other people, or on places and things. Now I’m learning to look squarely at each difficulty, not seeking whom to “blame,” but to discover how my attitude helped create my problem or aggravate it. I must also learn to face the consequences of my own actions and words, and to correct myself when I’m wrong. Do I practice the Tenth Step by continuing to take personal inventory? When I am wrong, do I promptly admit it?

Today I Pray

May I know the blessed relief and unburdening that comes when I admit I have done something wrong. May I learn — perhaps for the first time in my entire life — to take responsibility for my own actions and to face the consequences. May I learn again how to match actions with consequences.

Today I Will Remember

To take responsibility for my own actions.

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One More Day

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts.
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Our inner messages are much like tuning a radio; we choose what we want to hear. With a turn of the radio dial, the music changes from mellow and happy to sad and lonely and back again.

The inner messages we choose to hear may fill our days with memories that are difficult to hear. But we can tune our minds to more positive thoughts, by noticing the beauty of our surroundings, by focusing on more pluses and on fewer minuses. We can, willingly, switch our minds to thoughts that are better for us and for our health.

Why should we listen to the sad, lonely sounds when we have other choices? We can choose a daily program to suit our goals and needs, one that enhances desires and improves general well-being.

Today, I will turn my personal dial to more positive messages.

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Food For Thought

Old Tapes

In the recesses of our minds, each of us has old tapes stored away which tend to be played over and over again. These tapes may have been recorded so long ago that they have little if anything to do with our present situation.

The tapes, which are recordings of positive thoughts and experiences, can be helpful when replayed. Unfortunately, we each possess many tapes which are negative and self-destructive. They include resentments, fears, and hates. When one of these negative tapes begins to play, we may find ourselves opening the refrigerator or going out to buy food which we should not have. Often the tapes continue to play while we are eating.

Taking an inventory each day makes us increasingly aware of our negative emotions: anger, envy, irrational anxiety. Admitting mistakes and making amends relieves us of the guilt associated with our character defects.

By giving our lives to God and staying in contact with Him, we are able to turn off the negative tapes. We receive new thoughts and positive feelings: hope, faith, love.

I pray that my thoughts and feelings may be purified.

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One Day At A Time

~ IMPULSIVENESS ~

“It is especially important not to make major life changes
when you are guided by emotions. If you are emotionally excited
(either in the positive or negative), wait until you calm down before taking action.”
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

When I first entered into recovery this was one of my main character defects. Since my life was out of control and spiraling downward, I acted impulsively and rarely did any thinking before acting. I wouldn’t even admit that my actions were impulsive. I would get so mad at people if they said I was impulsive.

Thanks to the steps I now have the tools that allow me to look at my actions in a new light – one of sanity and direction. Step One allowed me to admit that I was addicted to food and my life was unmanageable. Step Two allowed me to let others in to help with my problem. I was not in this alone. Step Three gave me a loving G-d to take care of growing me up and helping me with all my problems. Step Four brought things into perspective, Step Five brought healing from the shame of making those irreparable mistakes. Steps Six and Seven helped me look at what in me could be prayed about and improved. They taught me that this character defect was just a character asset being used improperly. Steps Eight and Nine brought me back into a right relationship with others. Step Ten keeps me focused in the now not the “what if’s” or “you need to’s” of the past. Sanity seemed to be coming from that awareness of living in today. Step Eleven gave me the gift of a G-d that is ever caring and always present to help me if I just do my side of the work. As a result I have a spirit of love today rather than a spirit of resentment and self-pity. Step Twelve might be the most important one because it is what keeps me in recovery and living a productive life.

Today I do not have to react immediately to every thing that happens, I can even go to my sponsor and ask for guidance. If my sponsor doesn’t have experience in that area I have a world full of people like me to go to who understand what I am experiencing. The tools give me a way to handle life on life’s terms.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will chose to live and recover in the 12 steps.
~ Judith ~ 

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people’s shortcomings and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which make us more useful to others. Our very lives , as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs. – Pg. 19-20 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The first few months are the hardest task we’ll ever have to complete. Anyone who tells us how ‘wonderful’ it is, has lost touch with the pain and agony of beginning recovery. Although it is not wonderful in these first hours, first weeks, we can say, IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

I sometimes feel this sucks, but grant me the ability to go clean and sober into the next hour.

Inside My Mind

I am changing, I can feel it. I am learning and growing just by being still. I am sensing more than I normally sense and feeling more than I normally feel. I am grateful to feel alive and to recognize that life is a spiritual journey. All my life circumstances are spiritual challenges, opportunities to see new sides of myself, new sides of life. Life surrounds me; it is inside, outside and everywhere. If I am open and still inside, life is there. If I am not lost in a million unnecessary distractions, life is there, spirit is there-waiting to be seen and felt.

I allow my mind its freedom.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

He who laughs, lasts! ‘But why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered.’ (P 132, AA Big Book)

My laughter is good medicine.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Count your blessings so your blessings count.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will accept what I have and what I am and what I see in this moment. I will be fully alive in this moment and feel the joy of knowing that it is all that there is right now.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I look inside these bars and know that seconds and inches are between me and that girl sitting on that bar-stool, or that person vomiting on their shoes, or that one getting beat up around the corner. It’s just seconds and inches. – Sharon B. 

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AA Thought for the Day

March 5

Service to Others
Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others
and how we may help to meet their needs.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 20

Thought to Ponder . . .
Into service out of self.

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

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

Self-will
“No matter how one wishes to try, exactly how can he turn his own will and his own life over to the care of whatever God
he thinks there is? A beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed. Once we have placed the key of willingness in
the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may
slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.
“Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 35As Bill Sees It, p. 35

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
EDI not DIE Easy Does It not Does It Easy

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

Explanation
>From “More about Alcoholism”:
“We learned we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery.
The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
“We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever
recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals usually brief were inevitably
followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 30

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

“I still don’t have answers for all the eternal questions, like why bad things happen to good people, or why babies die. But
I have found that life works better when I focus more on how I am contributing to God’s world than musing about what he
is or is not doing in mine.”
Woodinville, Wash., November 2013
“The Scoop”
AA Grapevine

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

“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could
not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that
either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He
isn’t.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53~

“Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things
alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go
where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must
shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show
drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide
their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be
reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not
necessarily so.
We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet
them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with
his spiritual status.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 100~

Next came the expression of an aspiration and a hope for himself.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 101

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Search for Motives
Some of us clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt anybody but ourselves. Our families didn’t suffer, because we always paid the bills and seldom drank at home. Our business associates didn’t suffer, because we were usually on the job. Our reputations didn’t suffer, because we were certain few knew of our drinking. Those who did would sometimes assure us that, after all, a lively bender was only a good man’s fault. What real harm, therefore, had we done? No more, surely, than we could easily mend with a few casual apologies.
This attitude, of course, is the end result of purposeful forgetting. It is an attitude which can be changed only by a deep and honest search of our motives and actions. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 79

Prayer For The Day: Father as we come to you in prayer today, we give you praise once again for your word of comfort. So often we go through the day filled with anxiety and pain. We carry our burdens around with us, and they consume us. We are filled with fear and uncertainty, and are searching for answers that never come. Will you lead us today to a place of rest and comfort? Will you forgive us and teach us how to listen with our heart to your word of truth?

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 4th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 4th

Daily Reflections

WEEDING THE GARDEN

The essence of all growth is a willingness to make a
change for the better and then an unremitting
willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this
entails.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 115

By the time I had reached Step Three I had been freed
of my dependence on alcohol, but bitter experience has
shown me that continuous sobriety requires continuous
effort. Every now and then I pause to take a good look
at my progress. More and more of my garden is weeded
each time I look, but each time I also find new weeds
sprouting where I thought I had made my final pass with
the blade. As I head back to get the newly sprouted
weed (it’s easier when they are young), I take a moment
to admire how lush the growing vegetables and flowers
are, and my labors are rewarded. My sobriety grows and
bears fruit.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Having surrendered our lives to God and put our drink
problem in His Hands doesn’t mean that we’ll never be
tempted to drink. So we must build up strength for the
time when temptation will come. In this quiet time, we
read and pray and get our minds in the right mood for
the day. Starting the day right is a great help in keeping
sober. As the days go by and we get used to the sober
life, it gets easier and easier. We begin to develop a
deep gratitude to God for saving us from that old life.
And we begin to enjoy peace and serenity and real quiet
happiness. Am I trying to live the way God wants me to live?

Meditation For The Day

The elimination of selfishness is the key to happiness
and can only be accomplished with God’s help. We start
out with a spark of the Divine Spirit but a large amount
of selfishness. As we grow and come in contact with other
people, we can take one of two paths. We can become more
and more selfish and practically extinguish the Divine
Spark within us or we can become more unselfish and develop
our spirituality until it becomes the most important thing
in our lives.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may grow more and more unselfish, honest, pure
and loving. I pray that I may take the right path every day.

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As Bill Sees It

Free Of Dependence, p. 63

I asked myself, “Why can’t the Twelve Steps work to release me
from this unbearable depression?” By the hour, I stared at the St.
Francis Prayer: “It is better to comfort than to be comforted.”

Suddenly I realized what the answer might be. My basic flaw had
always been dependence on people or circumstances to supply me
with prestige, security, and confidence. Failing to get these things
according to my perfectionists dreams and specifications, I fought for
them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.

Reinforced by what grace I could find in prayer, I had to exert every
ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional
dependencies upon people and upon circumstances. Then only could I
be free to love as Francis had loved.

Grapevine, January 1958

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Walk in Dry Places

Don’t feed the Habit _____  Enhancing Sobriety
We quickly learn that it’s wrong to do anything that “feeds” a drinking habit. A recovering person would be foolish, for example, to spend time in a drinking environment simply to “be with friends.”
It’s constructive to take that same approach toward other problems we’d like to get out of our lives.  If gossip has been my problem, I should not feed it by listening to gossip or even by reading gossipy articles and books.  IF I have accumulated debts through overspending, I should cut off window shopping and other practices that may bring on more unnecessary debt.  And if I want to rid my life of self-pity, I should not spend a single moment brooding over the bad breaks I have had in the past.
Bad habits have a life of their own. They are somewhat like rodents that have found their way into the house and have become star borders. One way to control rodents is to eliminate their food supply.  That same principle applies to bad habits we want to eliminate from our own lives.
I’ll make a strong effort to cut off any line of thinking that feeds my bad habits, whatever they are.  This might include avoiding practices that others see as harmless and trivial.  However, nothing is harmless or trivial if it has become destructive in my life.

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Keep It Simple

Better bend than break.——-Scottish proverb
Our program is based on bending. We call it “surrender.” We surrender our self-will to the care of God. We do what we believe our Higher Power want us to do. We learn this as an act of love.
Many of us believed surrender was a sign of weakness. We tried to control everything. But we change as we’re in the program longer and longer. We learn to bend. We start to see that what is important is learning. We learn to do what’s best for us and others. To learn, we need an open mind. To bend, we must stay open. Love and care become the center of our lives.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, teach me that strength comes from knowing how and when to bend.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll check myself. How open am I? Do I bend when I need to?

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Each Day a New Beginning

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.  –Ursula K. LeGuin
Goals give direction to our lives. We need to know who we are and where we want to go. But the trip itself, the steps we travel, offer us daily satisfaction moment by moment–fulfillment, if we’d but realize it. Too often we keep our sights on the goal’s completion, rather than the process–the day-to-day living that makes the completion possible.
How often do we think, “When I finish college, I’ll feel stronger.” Or, “After the divorce is final, I can get back to work.” Or even, “When I land that promotion, my troubles are over.” Life will begin “when”–or so it seems in our minds. And when this attitude controls our thinking, we pass up our opportunity to live, altogether.
Looking back on goals already completed in our lives, what so quickly follows the end of a job well done is a let-down. And how sad that the hours, the days, the weeks, maybe even the months we toiled are gone, with little sense of all they could have meant.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition

BILL’S STORY

For the next few years fortune threw money and applause my way. I had arrived. My judgment and ideas were followed by many to the tune of paper millions. The great boom of the late twenties was seething and swelling. Drink was taking an important and exhilarating part in my life. There was loud talk in the jazz places uptown. Everyone spent in thousands and chattered in millions. Scoffers could scoff and be damned. I made a host of fair-weather friends.

p. 3

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
Something happened.  A barrier collapsed.  Without moving or speaking, I was carried away on a flood of emotion, yet at the same time, I was completely aware of myself and my surroundings.  I could hear my friend’s voice asking what had happened to me.  I couldn’t answer.  I still can’t explain it.

p. 373

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

What are these facts of A.A. life which brought us to this apparently impractical principle?
John Doe, a good A.A. moves – let us say – to Middletown, U.S.A. Alone now, he reflects that he may not be able to stay sober, or even alive, unless he passes on to other alcoholics what was so freely given him. He feels a spiritual and ethical compulsion, because hundreds may be suffering within reach of his help. Then, too, he misses his home group. He needs other alcoholics as much as they need him. He visits preachers, doctors, editors, policemen , and bartenders … with the result that Middletown now has a group, and he is the founder.

pp. 132-133

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God, help me find and create true joy and peace in my world.
–Melody Beattie

I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine.

It doesn’t matter what we have done in the past.
–Melody Beattie

Learning and maturation in the life of the spirit cannot be hurried,
and as in physical and intellectual development, a great deal depends
on our readiness.
–Mary McDermott Shideler

God’s will never takes me where his grace will not sustain me.
–Ruth Humlecker

Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door to everlasting love.

Antidote for stress:
Take a deep breath and think of something that pleases you.

An argument had with a spouse is a loving moment lost forever.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HELL

“The hottest places in Hell are
reserved for those, who in time
of great moral crises, maintain
their neutrality.”
— Dante Alighieri

Each human being makes a personal hell here on earth. Often we do
it not by what we perpetrate but in what we allow to happen. So much
of the loneliness and isolation that many addicts and their families
experience is caused by them remaining hidden and silent. The
pretense that everything is okay is not only untrue but deadly.
Silence and compliance kills more addicts than a thousand needles!

Today I choose not to be neutral in my life. I speak about my
alcoholism so that I can on a daily basis make war on the disease that
nearly killed me. I speak out about the disease of addiction so that
society cannot say that it did not know what was happening. I speak
up for treatment and recovery because I know it can work in the vast
majority of cases. I am not neutral when it comes to addiction
because I am fighting for my life.

God, give me the courage to speak up in the crowd; let me live the
message I was privileged to receive.

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

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be
dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

God is not unjust, he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you
have helped people and continue to help them.
Hebrews 6:10

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we
do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially
to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:9-10

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Daily Inspiration

Life isn’t always fair, but don’t let that stop you from making the world a better place every chance you get. Lord, help me to serve You where I am right now.

The first and most powerful commandment is love. Through love we unite ourselves together with God and with each other and bring ourselves closer to our desired goal. Lord, I love You with all my heart and soul and mind.

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NA Just For Today

The Process

“This program has become a part of me…. I understand more clearly the things that are happening in my life today I no longer fight the process.”
Basic Text, p. 78

In active addiction, things happened seemingly without rhyme or reason. We just “did things”; often without knowing why or what the results would be. Life had little value or meaning.

The Twelve Step process gives meaning to our lives; in working the steps, we come to accept both the dark and the bright sides of ourselves. We strip away the denial that kept us from comprehending addiction’s affect on us. We honestly examine ourselves, picking out the patterns in our thoughts, our feelings, and our behavior We gain humility and perspective by fully disclosing ourselves to another human being. In seeking to have our shortcomings removed, we develop a working appreciation of our own powerlessness and the strength provided by a Power greater than we are. With our enhanced understanding of ourselves, we gain greater insight into and acceptance of others.

The Twelve Steps are the key to a process we call “life”: In working the steps, they become a part of us—and we become a part of the life around us. Our world is no longer meaningless; we understand more about what happens in our lives today. We no longer fight the process. Today, in working the steps, we live it.

Just for today: Life is a process; the Twelve Steps are the key. Today, I will use the steps to participate in that process, understanding and enjoying myself and my recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume, you shall assume. –Walt Whitman
Some of us may think Walt Whitman must have been terribly conceited to have written words like that. But he wasn’t. He knew himself well, and accepted himself, even his darker side. He could laugh at himself and celebrate his humanness.
And because he loved and accepted himself just as he was, others could do the same. That’s difficult to understand sometimes, but it’s true: no one else is going to love and accept us until we come to love and accept ourselves.
We teach others how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves, so perhaps it makes sense to apply a variation of the Golden Rule: “Do unto ourselves as we would have others do unto us.”
Can I allow my kindness to myself overflow to another person today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act. –Sophocles
Growing into masculine wholeness is a journey into greater responsibility for our lives. We have choices to make every day. Taking responsibility means choosing between the options we have and then accepting the consequences. Sometimes both choices are undesirable, but we have to choose anyway. Do I expect to be perfect in my choices? Do I demand that someone else take responsibility for me? Do I defiantly refuse to accept the options I have?
This program seems like a paradox- the First Step asks us to accept our powerlessness, then we are expected to go on and stop being passive in our lives. The Serenity Prayer speaks to us about this dilemma. We ask for the serenity to accept what we cannot change and the courage to change what we can. Fully admitting our powerlessness sheds a burden and frees us to go on from there, actively doing what we can.
If something is awaiting my action today, may I have the courage to move forward with it. Even small movement is progress.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Higher Power as a Source
I’ve learned I can take care of myself, and what I cant do, God will do for me. –Al Anon member
God, a Higher Power as we understand Him, is our source of guidance and positive change. This doesn’t mean were not responsible for ourselves. We are. But we aren’t in this alone.
Recovery is not a do it yourself project. We don’t have to become overly concerned about changing ourselves. We can do our part, relax, and trust that the changes well experience will be right for us.
Recovery means we don’t have to look to other people as our source to meet our needs. They can help us, but they are not the source.
As we learn to trust the recovery process, we start to understand that a relationship with our Higher Power is no substitute for relationships with people. We don’t need to hide behind religious beliefs or use our relationship with a Higher Power as an excuse to stop taking responsibility for ourselves and taking care of ourselves in relationships. But we can tap into and trust a Power greater than ourselves for the energy, wisdom, and guidance to do that.
Today, I will look to my Higher Power as a source for all my needs, including the changes I want to make in my recovery.
I will not forget that every moment of every day I can be God-centered and joyous. The goal I’m striving toward will carry with it a special gift; it will offer the growing person within me an extra thrill, if I’ve attended to the journey as much as its end.

Today I will stop and ask, “How important is it?” When I find myself defending or trying to prove my point, I am in the process of learning to trust my own truth. When it feels right inside, I am seeing that is all that I need. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

One Step at a Time

One step at a time. That’s all you can take, That’s all you have to take,

Yes, you have visions you’ve created of where you want to go. But you don’t get there in one leap. You get there one step at a time. That’s how you receive your guidance. That’s how you respond to the guidance you’ve received.

Let your faith be strong. Your faith will keep you going through those moments in between steps. When your faith is strong, you don’t look in fear at the journey ahead, wondering if you will get all the guidance you need, or if you will get to where you’re going. You know you will, so take the simple steps, one at a time, that lie ahead. You take them in joy, because you know you’re being guided. You have faith that the simple steps you are led to do will take you to your destination.

One step at a time. That’s how you will get where you are going. You are being led, each step of the way.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Allow for differences

He’s rational. He wants examples of the problem and wants to focus on and find a solution.

She wants to talk about how she feels.

He wants to sit in front of the television and click the remote control.

She wants to cuddle on the couch and look into his eyes.

He deals with his stress by playing basketball with his friends, tinkering with the car or going for a hike.

She wants to go to a movie, preferably one that makes her cry.

I spent much of my life thinking that men and women– and generally all people– should just be the same. It took me a long time to realize that while we have much in common with other people, we’re each unique.

It took me even longer to realize that the practical application of this meant I had to learn to allow for differences between the people I loved and myself.

Just because we have something in common with someone, and might even think we’re in love, doesn’t mean that each person is going to respond and be the same.

So often in our relationships, we try to get the other person to behave the way we want. This forcing of our will on them will ultimately become a great strain. It can also block love. When we’re trying to change someone else, we overlook his or her gifts. We don’t value the parts of the person that are different from us, because we’re too busy trying to change the person into someone else.

Allow for differences, but don’t just allow. Appreciate the differences. Value what each person has to offer and the gifts each person can bring.

Learn to say whatever, with a spark of amusement and curiosity, when someone isn’t the same as you. Try getting a kick out of the unique way each person approaches life.

God, help me understand the rich gifts that letting go of control will bring to my life.

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The Energy of an Embrace
Hugs

The need to touch and be touched is established early in our lives, as we develop and grow in the omnipresent embrace of our mother’s womb. Once we are born, separated from that sanctuary of connectivity, we begin to crave the physical embrace of our parents. As we age, we become more independent. Yet during times of triumph or trouble and during those moments when we are in need of reassurance, we can’t help but long for a hug.

Because a hug requires two active participants, each individual taking part in the embrace experiences the pleasure of being embraced and the joy that comes from hugging someone. As both individuals wrap their arms around one another, their energy blends together, and they experience a tangible feeling of togetherness that lingers long after physical contact has been broken. A heart hug is when you put your left arm over someone’s shoulder and your right arm around their waist. As they do the same to you, your hearts become aligned with one another other and loving, comforting energy flows between the two of you to flood your souls with feelings of love, caring, and compassion.

A hug is a pleasurable way to share your feelings with someone who is important to you. Depending on your relationship with the other person and the kind of message you wish to send to them, a hug can communicate love, friendship, romance, congratulations, support, greeting, and any other sentiment you wish to convey. A hug communicates to others that you are there for them in a positive way. In an instant, a hug can reestablish a bond between long lost friends and comfort those in pain. The next time you hug someone, focus all of your energy into the embrace. You will create a profound connection that infuses your feelings and sentiments into a single beautiful gesture. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We may not know any specifics about the activities of today; we may not know whether we’ll be alone or with others. We may feel the day contains too much time — or not enough. We may be facing tasks we’re eager to complete, or tasks we’ve been resisting. Though the details of each person’s day differ, each person’s day does hold one similarity: We each have the opportunity to choose to thing positive thoughts. The choice depends less on our outside activities than on our inner commitment. Can I accept that I alone have the power to control my attitude?

Today I Pray

May I keep the fire of inner commitment alive through this whole, glorious day, whether my activities are a succession of workaday tasks or free-form and creative. May I choose to make this a good day for me, and for those around me.

Today I Will Remember

Keep the commitment.

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One More Day

Whatever limits us, we call fate.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We like to plan ahead, but w cannot plan for the ravages of chronic illness. No one expects to travel down the winding road of an unhidden, unwanted trip. Unused to the whims of a chronic illness, we may at first try to chart, plan, and control its course. We may dwell too much on the medical conditions.

We cannot change the course of illness, but we can influence its twists and turns by keeping a positive frame of mind. Rather than being obsessed with how our medical conditions are affecting us, we can focus on the many things we can still do. Can we enjoy a sunset? Watch a child smile? Can we listen to music or pursue a handcraft? Our angry, dour thoughts can be replaced so easily with pleasant dreams, fond memories, and hope for the future.

I am feeling comfortable once again as I finally realize that I can still make choices in how I want to live my life.

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

Food For Thought

Doing What Feels Good

Doing anything as long as it feels good is a trap. We like to eat for the sheer sensual pleasure of the experience, and we would like to continue long after our need for nourishment has been met. Once our appetites are out of control, we cannot stop, not even when the pleasure has turned to pain.

Unbridled, uncontrolled sensuality will destroy us. Rational knowledge of when to stop is not enough. We may know with our minds that we should not be eating, but still be unable to stop the action of our bodies. If we are unable to control our sensuality with our minds, then how is it to be done?

OA members testify that there is One who has all power, including the power to enlighten our darkness and prevent our self destruction. Through daily contact with this Higher Power, we develop spiritual strength which will control and direct our physical drives so that they do not control and destroy us.

Take my sensuality, Lord, and control it.

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One Day At A Time

March

“March is the month of expectation, the things we do not know,
The ‘Persons of Prognostication’ are coming now.”
~ Emily Dickinson
I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m embroiled at the moment in working the Steps I love so much … or whether the beginnings of Springtime are beginning to happen … but there is a feeling that I have that “something” is beginning. The long winters of life have taken their toll on me and when I experience this awesome feeling of hope I am grateful.

If there were doubts of the promises coming true, March overshadows them. If the Spring and Summer times of program loomed large in the distance, they are no longer. Just the smell of a new Spring morning is enough to know that hope for spiritual, emotional and physical wellness abounds.

One day at a time … I must forget the winters of my life and hold on to the promises of March … and of my Twelve Step program.

~ A TRG Member

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so. – Pg. 100-101 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

Thank you, God, for the beautiful day I’m going to have if I can just get rid of my attitude.

Recall a Pleasant Moment: Soothe the Heart and You Soothe the Self

You can calm and nourish your heart by regularly meditating or praying. These activities produce the ‘relaxation response’ – a physiological state that is exactly the opposite of stress – a state that reduces blood pressure and increases blood flow to the heart. Many forms of meditation and prayer organically incorporate feelings of love, appreciation and forgiveness. Some traditional Buddhist practice use ‘loving-kindness meditation,’ during which they focus their attention on the heart and generate feelings of loving kindness for others and themselves. Not only does this create the feelings in your mind, but it creates them in the body as well. A form of such ‘intentional heart focus’ has been found by the HeartMath researchers to create greater coherence in the heart in as little as one minute. To experience the benefits of this ‘intentional heart focus,’ try the following next time you’re feeling stressed: Take a break and mentally disengage from the situation. Bring your attention to the area of your heart. Recall an experience with a loved one in which you felt happiness, love or appreciation or just meditate for a moment on those kinds of thoughts and feelings.

Re-experience these feelings while keeping your attention on your heart. Let your breathing be relaxed and regular.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

There are no victims, only volun-teers. When we cry, ‘They did this to me. They did that to me.’ what we are really saying, is I placed myself in a position for this or that to happen. I volunteered for it.

I volunteer for sobriety today.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

What if there is no God? Believe anyway.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Where I am at this moment is perfect. My past is my friend today as I take the lessons that I can learn from it and say thank you. Everything that has brought me to this moment is a gift and I am a stronger and wiser person because of it.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

We’re all here because we’re not all there.- Fr Joe M.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 4

Perfection
I never have been and never can be perfect.
As that realization became a part of me — and it took time —
it brought me one of the greatest of the many blessings that have come to me from AA.
I learned to accept myself as a fallible human being.
I do not have to strive for perfection. Mistakes are permissible. I have the right to be wrong.
And what a comfort that thought is to me, as I make my bemused way through life,
one foot in a bucket, pushing on doors marked “Pull.”
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], pp. 167-168

Thought to Ponder . . .
Give me the courage to be imperfect.

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

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

Motives
“Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell
us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on us and our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the
honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we
are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink.
“Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 70

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
TRUST Try Relying Upon The Steps

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

Fear
>From “Fear of Fear”:
“Many women who have reached the stage that I had reached in my drinking have lost husbands, children, homes,
everything they hold dear. I have been very fortunate in many ways. The important thing I lost was my own self-respect. I
could feel fear coming into my life. I couldn’t face people. I couldn’t look them straight in the eyes, although I had always
been a self-possessed, brazen person. I’d brazen anything out. I lied like a trooper to get out of many scrapes.
“But I felt a fear coming into my life, and I couldn’t cope with it. I got so that I hid quite a bit of the time, wouldn’t answer
the phone, and stayed by myself as much as I could. I noticed that I was avoiding all my social friends, except for my
bridge club. I couldn’t keep up with many of my other friends, and I wouldn’t go to anyone’s house unless I knew they
drank as heavily as I did. I never knew it was the first drink that did it. I thought I was losing my mind when I realized that I
couldn’t stop drinking. That frightened me terribly.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 291-92

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

“Alcoholics have short memories.”
Paradise, Calif., October 2003
“‘How It Works Works for Me”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“When we decide who is to hear our story, we waste no time. We have
a written inventory and we are prepared for a long talk. We explain
to our partner what we are about to do and why we have to do it. He
should realize that we are engaged upon a life-and-death errand.
Most people approached in this way will be glad to help; they will be
honored by our confidence.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 75

“Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going
to believe they are in that class. By every form of self deception
and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to
the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability
to control his drinking can do the right about face and drink like a
gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard
enough and long enough to drink like other people!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 31~

For alcoholism had been a lonely business, even though we had been surrounded by people who loved us.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 116

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Free of Dependence
I asked myself, ‘Why can’t the Twelve Steps work to release me from this unbearable depression?’ By the hour, I stared
at the St. Francis Prayer: ‘It is better to comfort than to be comforted .’
Suddenly I realized what the answer might be. My basic flaw had always been dependence on people or circumstances
to supply me with prestige, security, and confidence. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams
and specifications, I fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.
Reinforced by what grace 1 could find in prayer, I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty
emotional dependencies upon people and upon circumstances. Then only could I be free to love as Francis had loved.
GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1958

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, please help me to do what I can, and understand that I cannot do everything. Help me make what I can do count.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 3rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 3rd

Daily Reflections

OVERCOMING SELF-WILL

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

For so many years my life revolved solely around
myself. I was consumed with self in all forms–
self-centeredness, self-pity, self-seeking, all
of which stemmed from pride. Today I have been
given the gift, through the Fellowship of Alcoholics
Anonymous, of practicing the Steps and Traditions
in my daily life, of my group and sponsor, and the
capacity–if I so choose–to put my pride aside in
all situations which arise in my life. Until I could
honestly look at myself and see that I was the problem
in many situations and react appropriately inside and
out; until I could discard my expectations and
understand that my serenity was directly proportional
to them, I could not experience serenity and sound
sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

After we’ve made a surrender, the drink problem is out
of our hands and in the hands of God. The thing we have
to do is to be sure that we never reach out and take the
problem back into our own hands. Leave it in God’s hands.
Whenever I’m tempted to take a drink, I must say to
myself: “I can’t do that. I’ve made a bargain with God not
to drink. I know God doesn’t want me to drink and so I
won’t do it.” At the same time I say a little prayer to
God for the strength needed to keep the bargain with Him.
Am I going to keep my bargain with God?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to grow in this new life. I will think of
spiritual things often and unconsciously I will grow. The
nearer I get to the new life, the more I will see my
unfitness. My sense of failure is a sure sign that I am
growing in the new life. It is only struggle that hurts.
In sloth–physical, mental or spiritual–there is no sense
of failure or discomfort. But with struggle and effort, I
am conscious not of strength but of weakness, until I am
really living the new life. But in the struggle, I can
always rely on the power of God to help me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see signs of my growth in the new life.
I pray that I may always keep trying to grow.

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As Bill Sees It

A Different Swinging Door, p. 62

When a drunk shows up among us and says that he doesn’t like the
A.A. principles, people, or service management, when he declares that
he can do better somewhere else–we are not worried. We simply say,
“Maybe your case really is different. Why don’t you try something
else?”

If an A.A. member says he doesn’t like his own group, we are not
disturbed. We simply say, “Why don’t you try another one? Or start
one of your own.”

To those who wish to secede from A.A. altogether, we extend a cheerful
invitation to do just that. If they can do better by other means, we are
glad. If after trial they cannot do better, we know they face a choice:
They can go mad or die or they can return to A.A. The decision is
wholly theirs. (As a matter of fact, most of them do come back.)

Twelve Conceptions, p. 72

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Walk in Dry Places

What will this change bring?    ____  Change
When facing change, it’s not unusual to feel both apprehension and expectancy. We are apprehensive because we know that change includes risk. We feel expectancy, however, because we know that improvement can come only through some kind of change.
The way to handle change is to see it as part of the higher plan working in our lives.  If we believe that our lives are in the care and keeping of our Higher Power, we have to know that everything is in good hands.  As change occurs, it is simply part of a plan that is unfolding in order to bring more good into our lives.
We should not expect change without temporary disruptions or even surprises that appear to be setbacks.  All that’s necessary is to know that change is good if we maintain the right attitude toward it.
It’s also helpful to review the past changes that have been so important in our lives.  Once change has occurred, we come to accept it as normal, forgetting that it involved a lot of anxiety at one time. So it is with any change that is unfolding now.  It’s part of a wonderful plan that cannot fail.
I accept change without fear or superstition.  Change is built into the nature of things, and will always be part of our lives.  I accept it as readily as I accept change of the seasons.

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Keep It Simple

But the alcoholic . . . will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge.  Alcoholics Anonymous
Our program says three things are more important than knowing ourselves: (1) admitting we have no control over our addiction, (2) believing in a Higher Power, and (3) turning our lives over to the care of that Higher Power. knowing ourselves makes our lives better in recovery. But it does not give us sobriety. Sobriety starts with surrender to our Higher Power. We now know we need faith and strength we get from a Higher Power. We also need the support of others in our program.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, thanks you for my sobriety today. Teach me what I need to know about myself to do Your will today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll talk with my sponsor about the change in my spirit that keeps me sober.

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Each Day A New Beginning

Most kids hear what you say; some kids do what you say; but all kids do what you do.  –Kathleen Casey Theisen
We are role models for many people:  our children, our co-workers, other women in the program.  Step Twelve encourages us to set good examples for anyone who might be looking on.  Living a principled life takes practice, and progress, not perfection, is hoped for.
Abstinence has offered is a new set of tools for shaping our behavior.  No longer must we regret what we did yesterday or last week.  We are learning to monitor our actions, but even more importantly, we are defining our values.  They, in turn, influence what we say and do.
Thoughtful responses to the situations we encounter require conscious attention to those events.  We need reminding, perhaps, that our behavior is continuously telling others who we are, what we value, and how we view people close to us.  All of us, consciously or otherwise, imitate behavior patterns of persons we admire.  Unfortunately, we sometimes mimic unfavorable behavior, too.
There are those casting their attentions our way.  The opportunity to model favorable behavior awaits us.
People will follow my lead.  I shall walk softly, humbly and lovingly.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition

BILL’S STORY

We gave up our positions and off we roared on a motorcycle, the sidecar stuffed with tent, blankets, a change of clothes, and three huge volumes of a financial reference service. Our friends thought a lunacy commission should be appointed. Perhaps they were right. I had had some success at speculation, so we had little money, but we once worked on a farm for a month to avoid drawing on our small capital. That was the last honest manual labor on my part for many a day. We covered the whole eastern United States in a year. At the end of it, my reports to Wall Street procured me a position there and the use of a large expense account. The exercise of an option brought in more money, leaving us with a profit of several thousand dollars for that year.

pp. 2-3

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.

I knew where to look in the Big Book, and I had been careful to avoid it until then.  I turned to the Third Step Prayer and quietly read it to her over the phone.  Nothing happened.  I didn’t expect anything to happen.  Then, for some reason, I turned back to the words, “No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.”  They echoed in my mind.

p. 373

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

Where does A.A. get its direction? Who runs it? This, too, is a puzzler for every friend and newcomer. When told that our Society has no president having authority to govern it, no treasurer who can compel the payment of any dues, no board of directors who can cast an erring member into outer darkness, when indeed no A.A. can give another a directive and enforce obedience, our friends gasp and exclaim, “This simply can’t be. There must be an angle somewhere.” These practical folk then read Tradition Two, and learn that the sole authority in A.A. is a loving God as He may express Himself in the group conscience. They dubiously ask an experienced A.A. member if this really works. The member, sane to all appearances, immediately answers, “Yes! It definitely does.” The friends mutter that this looks vague, nebulous, pretty naive to them. Then they commence to watch us with speculative eyes, pick up a fragment of A.A. history, and soon have the solid facts.

p. 132

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Let us always love the best in others – and never fear their worst.

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light,
and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal
clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”
–Mahatma Gandhi

Whenever you fail or miss out on something you always have
tomorrow.
Every dawn is a symbol of renewal, telling you to get up, go out and
try again.

The night of fear has passed, the light of God defines my pathway.

God, help me let go of my unreasonable fears, the ones that are
preventing me from living my life.
–Melody Beattie

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

We surrender to win.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GENIUS

“The principal mark of genius is
not perfection but originality,
the opening of new frontiers.”
— Arthur Koestler

I need to remember that genius is often simplicity itself. The original
thought need not be abstract, intellectual or technical; the thought
exists to transmit the message.

In the slogans “Keep it Simple”, “One Day at a Time”, and “Don’t
Pick up the First Drink”, wisdom combines with simplicity to produce
sobriety. God is at work outside of His church and the spiritual
message always brings healing. A.A. is more than a “fellowship of
genius”, it is divinity set to a program. What began with a group of
alcoholics will cross new frontiers into the healing of the world.

Lord of Truth, let us always be open and receptive to Your voice.

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The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and
no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
Isaiah 57:1

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.”
Psalms 25:4

Physical birth only gains us physical life. Spiritual life, the eternal life Christ promises to
those who come to Him, is only gained through spiritual birth.
John 3:36

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Daily Inspiration

Know that you make a difference, so choose to make your contribution one of goodness. Lord, help me to touch my world in a positive manner.

Each day has a new door. It is up to you to open it. Lord, help me to remember that my life is my choice. Bless me with wisdom and give me guidance as I make my choices.

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NA Just For Today

Relapse

“There will be times, however, when we really feel like using. We want to run, and we feel lousy We need to be reminded of where we came from and that it will be worse this time. This is when we need the program the most.”
Basic Text, p. 78

If we’re contemplating a relapse, we should think our using through to the bitter ends. For many of us, those ends would include severe medical problems, imprisonment, or even death. How many of us have known people who relapsed after many years clean, only to die from their disease?

But there is a death that accompanies a return to active addiction that may be worse than physical death. That is the spiritual death we experience when we are separated from our Higher Power. If we use, the spiritual relationship we have nurtured over the years will weaken and perhaps disappear. We will feel truly alone.

There is no doubt that we have periods of darkness in our recovery. There is only one way we can make it through those troubling times: with faith. If we believe that our Higher Power is with us, then we know that all will be well.

No matter how badly we may feel in our recovery, a relapse is never the answer. Together, we find recovery. If we stay clean, the darkness will lift and we will find a deeper connection to our Higher Power.

Just for today: I thank my Higher Power for the gift of NA. I know that relapse is not the way out. Whatever challenges I face, I will face them with the God of my understanding.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. –Thomas Jefferson
Some of the necessary things we do are tiring and annoying. Many of these things we must do regardless of how we feel about them. Doing dishes day after day can be a tiresome job but, no matter how much we hate it, it must be done sooner or later. We might discover, if we look hard enough, how chores like this can actually be enjoyable, if we do them right. Perhaps dish washing is a time for listening to music and singing along, or an opportunity for conversation between family members as we help one another.
Our willingness to look for the hidden treasure and opportunities in tasks we might otherwise consider dreary will never fail to reward us.
What opportunity can I see in my next chore?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
“Why are you rushing so much?” asked the rabbi. “I’m rushing after my livelihood,” the man answered.
“And how do you know,” said the rabbi, “that your livelihood is running on before you, so that you have to rush after it? Perhaps it’s behind you, and all you need to do is stand still.” –Tale about Rabbi Ben Meir of Berdichev
Most of us accept the standard ideas we were taught. “Men should be good providers.” “We will get self-esteem from hard work.” “It is a virtue to be productive.” “It’s better now to have too much time to think.”
A major crisis can quickly change our perspective. Perhaps someone close to us dies, and we are faced with how temporary life is. Or we have a health crisis, or a relationship crisis, or an addiction crisis. The standard ideas come crashing down. We look closely at the rush of our lives and ask deeper questions: Are we hurrying to a worthwhile goal? Or are we losing out in our great rush? These doubts can teach us personal things that society can never teach us. Wisdom comes out of pain and the willingness to learn from it.
Today, I will allow some time to stand still and reflect.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Accepting Ourselves
While driving one day, a woman’s attention focused on the license plate of the car ahead. The license read: “B-WHO-UR.” How can I? she thought. I don’t know who I am!
Some of us may have felt confused when people encouraged us to be ourselves. How could we know ourselves, or be who we are, when, for years, many of us submerged ourselves in the need of others?
We do have a self. We’re discovering more about ourselves daily. We’re learning we’re deserving of love.
We’re learning to accept ourselves, as we are for the present moment–to accept our feelings, thoughts, flaws, wants, needs, and desires. If our thoughts or feelings are confused, we accept that too.
To be who we are means we accept our past–our history–exactly as is.
To be ourselves means we are entitled to our opinions and beliefs–for the present moment and subject to change. We accept our limitations and our strengths.
To be who we are means we accept our physical selves, as well as our mental, emotional, and spiritual selves, for now. Being who we are in recovery means we take that acceptance one step further. We can appreciate ourselves and our history.
Being who we are, loving and accepting ourselves, is not a limiting attitude. Accepting and loving ourselves is how we enable growth and change.
Today, I will be who I am. If I’m not yet certain who I am, I will affirm that I have a right to that exciting discovery,

Today I am open to all the powers of the universe. I am letting them work for me and carry me to my next step…JOY! –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Treasure Your Experiences

Gather experiences. Treat them as precious jewels.

The purpose of the journey is not to guard and restrain yourself. The purpose is to learn. You do not teach and lead your soul. Your soul leads and teaches you. It takes you wading across streams, strolling through meadows, deep into valleys, and high onto mountaintops. It takes you down winding, narrow roads and long fast-moving four-lane highways. It takes you into tiny cafes, bustling cities, and out-of-the-way hostels where people break bread and tell what they have learned.

Let yourself have all your experiences. Don’t limit or judge yourself or the adventure you have had. All were necessary, all were important, all have helped shape and form you. Your heart will lead you, guide you where you are to go. Don’t worry about getting lost or off track. Don’t worry about being wrong, or in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gather experiences. Go through them. Select the gems from each. Listen while others tell their stories, their adventures, and show you their jewels, the triths that they have learned. Then, when your friends break and sip soup with others, open your heart and joyfully share what has happened to you along the way.

Having experiences is called living. Sharing experiences is called loving. Let yourself enjoy both.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Don’t take storms personally

Somewhere out in the Pacific, a storm brewed and swirled and thrashed and died without ever touching the land. Three days later, under a clear blue sky, the storm surge reached the California coast near Los Angeles. The sea threw rocks at my house, and the waves stacked up and crashed down against the pilings of the foundation. Farther up the street, the ocean ate the back porch of two houses. All night the shoreline trembled and shook from the power of the sea.

The next morning the tide pulled back, the swells calmed, and the sky stayed blue. I walked down the beach, impressed at the way the ocean had littered it with huge chunks of driftwood and rocks. Then I walked back upstairs and drank my morning coffee.

Sometimes, storms aren’t about us.

Sometimes, friends or loved ones will attack us for no apparent reason. They’ll fuss, fume, and snap at us. When we ask them why, they’ll say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I had a bad day at work.”

But we still feel hurt and upset.

Hold people accountable for their behavior. Don’t let people treat you badly. But don’t take the storms in their lives personally. These storms may have nothing to do with you.

Seek shelter if necessary. Get away from curt friends until they have time to calm down; then approach when it’s safe. If the storm isn’t about you, there’s nothing you need to do. Would you stop the ocean waves by standing in the surf with your arms outstetched?

Say whatever. Let the storms blow through.

God, help me not to take the storms in the lives of my friends and loved ones too personally.

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Quiet Please!
Taming Monkey Mind In Meditation

It’s been called the monkey mind – the endless chattering in your head as you jump in your mind from thought to thought while you daydream, analyze your relationships, or worry over the future. Eventually, you start to feel like your thoughts are spinning in circles and you’re left totally confused.

One way to tame this wild creature in your head is through meditation – although the paradox is that when you clear your mind for meditation you actually invite the monkey in your mind to play. This is when you are given the opportunity to tame this mental beast by moving beyond thought – to become aware of a thought rather than thinking a thought. The difference is subtle, but significant. When you are aware of your thoughts, you can let your thoughts rise and float away without letting them pull you in different directions. Being able to concentrate is one of the tools that allows you to slow down your thought process and focus on observing your thoughts.

To develop your concentration, you may want to start by focusing on the breath while you meditate. Whenever your monkey mind starts acting up, observe your thoughts and then return your focus to your breath. Some breathing meditations call on you to focus on the rise and fall of the breath through the abdomen, while others have you concentrate on the sound of the breath. Fire can also be mesmerizing, and focusing on a candle flame is another useful tool for harnessing the mind. Keep the gaze soft and unfocused while observing the color, shape, and movement of the flame, and try not to blink. Close your eyes when you feel the need and continue watching the flame in your head. Chanting, devotional singing, and mantras also still the mind. However you choose to tame the monkey mind, do so with firm kindness. The next time the chattering arises, notice it and then allow it to go away. With practice, your monkey mind will become quiet and so will you. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I’ve begun to better understand myself since I’ve come to The Program. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that opinions aren’t facts. Just because I feel that a thing is so doesn’t necessarily make it so. “Men are not worried by things,” wrote the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “but by their ideas about things. When we meet with difficulties, become anxious or troubled, let us not blame others, but rather ourselves. That is: our ideas about things.” Do I believe that I can never entirely lose what I have learned during my recovery?

Today I Pray

May I learn to sort out realities from my ideas about those realities. May I understand that situations, things, — even people — take on the colors and dimensions of my attitudes about them.

Today I Will Remember

To sort the real from the unreal.

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One More Day

People, by and large, will relate to the image you project …. If you project the image of a sick, dependent person, that’s how you’ll be treated.
– Chyatte

Accepting chronic illness is not easy. Our whole lives are different. We can’t do all the things we used to do. We may feel changed and be afraid of the changes our illnesses will bring. But as we learn to project a strong, positive image, we feel better about ourselves.

For the benefit of ourselves, we must act as if we are doing all right. When we act as if we are strong, our new behavior can become a new habit, and that habit can actually develop greater emotional strength within us. We can put illness into perspective as being just one of the changes that occur during a lifetime.

Today, I will allow myself the right to change. I can survive my health change and live a worthwhile life.

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Food For Thought

Precision

For the success of our program, many of us have found that it is important to be precise when we weigh and measure our food. It has been our experience that carelessness and sloppiness lead to cheating and bingeing.

An extra spoonful or ounce here and there may not seem important, but it can soon become an extra portion. Then it is easy to think that since we have not followed our plan exactly, we might as well go ahead and really indulge.

There are circumstances when weighing and measuring is impossible; then we estimate as best we can. However, for most of us, most of the time, precise measurements are possible and are a valuable aid in maintaining abstinence. Each time we put back the extra spoonful of carrots and cut away the extra ounce of meat, we are stronger. It is always the first extra bite that is the downfall of the compulsive overeater. If we are careful and precise in our measurements, we will not take it.

Accuracy is honesty.

Make me honest with myself, Lord.

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One Day At A Time

A Disease?

“Doc! What do you mean – nothing! What? An incurable disease?
Doc, you’re kidding me! You’re trying to scare me into stopping!
What’s that you say? You wish you were?
Why are there tears in your eyes, Doc?”
The Big Book, The Unbeliever, Page 196

For a very long time I scoffed at those who said my overweight was because I had a disease. Yes, my body had doubled in size … but it was because I ate more calories than my body burned. My doctor said so … he didn’t say I had a disease. His “treatment” was to tell me to go on a diet and join a gym. The diet lasted for a few months and I believe I used the gym about six or seven times. I know now without a single doubt that I have a disease … a serious one. I know that it is incurable and that I will have to live with this disease for the rest of my life. Dieting made me fat. Somewhere along the way I didn’t “get it.”

One day at a time…
I will resist thinking that being a compulsive eater is not a disease. I will aggressively and tenaciously do the footwork necessarily to combat it.
A TRG Member

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking — ‘What do I have to do?’

It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done. – Pg. 20 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We have been known to think that dishonesty with others was OK as long as it didn’t ‘hurt’ them. We really don’t know what will hurt another or not. Being dishonest with other people deprives them of the information they need to run their own lives.

Honesty is honesty. Let me understand that ‘little’ dishonesties are a disservice to others as well as myself.

Accepting Caring from Others

I will soak up any extra attention that I get while I’m not feeling up to par. Even if I don’t need it at the moment, I will soak it into my pores and store it up for a time when I do need it. I will let the attention feel good. I will allow it to restore my faith in and affection for people. I enjoy the little things people are willing to do for me, going a bit out of their way, worrying about how I’m doing. It feels good if I let it. It restores me if I willing to feel good.

Feeling grateful for what is coming my way has a healing power all its own.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

All of us chemical dependents have come from the same place, no where. We all enter the world of recovery by changing our place to now here. No Where to Now Here. It works.

NOW is the working unit of my life.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You used to be good at being bad. Now you’re going to get good a being good.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will stop and ask, ‘How important is it?’

When I find myself defending or trying to prove my point, I am in the process of learning to trust my own truth. When it feels right inside, I am seeing that it is all I need.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Alcoholics Anonymous has the best record for recovery from alcoholism in the world. Why not avail yourself of the best. – Bede.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 3

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

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

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

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

Meetings
“We have also found that going to meetings is not something to
be done only when we feel the temptation to drink. We often
get more good from the meetings by attending them when we
feel fine and haven’t so much as thought of drinking. And
even a meeting which is not totally, instantly satisfying, is
better than no meeting at all.
“Living Sober, p. 81

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ALCOHOLICS = A Life Centered On Helping Others Live In Complete Sobriety

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

Bottom
From “Bill’s Story”:
“No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me
in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 8

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

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater willingness to accept and to act upon clear obligations —
these are truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1966
“The Guidance of AA’s World Affairs”
The Language of the Heart

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

“We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: ‘Once an
alcoholic, always an alcoholic.’ Commencing to drink after a period
of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.”
“We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths
may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions.
People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 49

“Many of us keep liquor in our homes. We often need it to carry
green recruits through a severe hangover. Some of us still serve it
to our friends provided they are not alcoholic. But some of us think
we should not serve liquor to anyone. We never argue this question.
We feel that each family, in the light of their own circumstances,
ought to decide for themselves.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 102~

The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody,
has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 93

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

A Different Swinging Door
When a drunk shows up among us and says that he doesn’t like the A.A. principles, people, or service management, when he declares that he can do better elsewhere – we are not worried. We simply say, ‘Maybe your case really is different. Why don’t you try something else?’
If an A.A. member says he doesn’t like his own group, we are not disturbed. We simply say, ‘Why don’t you try another one? Or start one of your own.’ To those who wish to secede from A.A. altogether, we extend a cheerful invitation to do just that. If they can do better by other means, we are glad. If after a trial they cannot do better, we know they face a choice: They can go mad or die or they can return to A.A. The decision is wholly theirs. ( As a matter of fact, most of them do come back. ) TWELVE CONCEPTS, pp. 72 – 73

Prayer For The Day: Lord, protect me as I strive everyday to draw closer to You! Remind me that I am not alone for You are my help. You are my strong shelter that I know I can trust and rely on. Thank you for never leaving me.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 2nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 2nd

Daily Reflections

HOPE

Do not be discouraged.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 60

Few experiences are of less value to me than fast sobriety. Too
many times discouragement has been the bonus for unrealistic
expectations, not to mention self-pity or fatigue from my wanting to
change the world by the weekend. Discouragement is a warning
signal that I may have wandered across the God line. The secret of
fulfilling my potential is in acknowledging my limitations and believing
that time is a gift, not a threat.

Hope is the key that unlocks the door of discouragement. The
program promises me that if I do not pick up the first drink today, I
will always have hope. Having come to believe that I keep what I
share, every time I encourage, I receive courage. It is with others
that, with the grace of God and the Fellowship of A.A., I trudge the road
of happy destiny. May I always remember that the power within me is
far greater than any fear before me. May I always have patience, for
I am on the right road.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Over a period of drinking years, we’ve proved to ourselves and to
everybody else that we can’t stop drinking by our own willpower. We
have been proved helpless before the power of alcohol. So the only
way we could stop drinking was by turning to a Power greater than
ourselves. We call that Power God. The time that you really get this
program is when you get down on your knees and surrender yourself
to God, as you understand Him. Surrender means putting your life
into God’s hands. Have I made a promise to God that I will try to live
the way He wants me to live?

Meditation For The Day

Spirit-power comes from communication with God in prayer and
times of quiet meditation. I must constantly seek
spirit-communication with God. This is a matter directly between me
and God. Those who seek it through the medium of the church do not
always get the joy and the wonder of spirit communication with God.
>From this communication comes life, joy, peace, and healing. Many
people do not realize the power that can come to them from direct
spirit-communication.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may feel that God’s power is mine. I pray that I may be
able to face anything through that power.

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

As Bill Sees It

Resolving Fear, p. 61

Fear somehow touched about every aspect of our lives. It was an evil
and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through
with it. It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us
misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve. But did we not often set the
ball rolling ourselves?

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

The problem of resolving fear has two aspects. We shall have to try
for all the freedom from fear that is possible for us to attain. Then
we shall need to find both the courage and the grace to deal
constructively with whatever fears remain.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 67-68
2. Grapevine, January 1962

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

Walk in Dry Places

Do we need some Fear?
Courage
It’s easy to get into an argument about the role of fear in our lives. Some say that we need some fear…. It helps us get out of the path of an oncoming truck.
Is that really true?  If it is, it’s still not like the fear that was present with alcoholism. This fear was more likely to make us freeze and lose all power of action in the face of a threat. It was the sort of fear that paralyzes us, making us unable to move out of the way when the truck is bearing down on us.
Fear is even more destructive when it keeps us from doing the simple things we need to function in our lives.  Fear certainly can’t be helpful when it makes us unable to face a new customer or ride in an airplane for necessary business travel.  Some people even put off medical exams simply because they fear bad news… and thus delay treatment, so that their condition becomes worse.
We might not need to get rid of all fear, but we do need to dispose of the unhealthy kind that keeps us from necessary actions on our own behalf.
A really strong sense of the program can help me deal with fear today. One good idea for coping with fear is to remember that if God is for us, nobody can really be against us.  Keeping that thought in mind can help stabilize our feelings in the face of threatening situations.

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

Keep It Simple

Love conquers all; let us surrender to love.—Virgil
In Step Three, we turn our lives over to God’s care, God love. If we turn our lives over to a loving God, we can conquer all. If you need proof, look around at your next meeting. The room will be full of people who know that love conquers addiction. Like them, we’ve surrendered to love. Once we’ve done this, we  can’t use again. For us, using alcohol or others drugs is an act of hate, not love. To Face the hard things in life,
we’ll need a lot of love. We’ll find love in our Higher Power, groups, and friends .We’re all working at turning our lives over to love.
Prayer for the Day:  There was a time that love scared me. It still does, at times. Higher Power, help me see that You are love, and I must follow where love takes me.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.  –Erica Jong
There was a time when we didn’t believe we had any talents. We couldn’t imagine we had any purpose or any gift to give to the world. But it’s true: We all have talents, many of them. If we each haven’t yet discovered ours, we soon will. With time and the Steps and friends, we will be encouraged to recognize them, to celebrate them, to cultivate them, to dare to give them away.
Utilizing our talents fully, which is part of life’s bigger plan, may lead us to new jobs, new friends, to places presently unknown. The prospect of new horizons may excite us. It may also elicit dread. We can trust that, just as we are given no problems too big to handle, we are given no talents too great to develop. The strength to move ahead will always be available if we have faith. And the program offers us faith.
I will look for my talents today. I will also look for talents in my friends. I can celebrate them, and soon the way to use them will become clear.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition

BILL’S STORY

By the time I had completed the course, I knew the law was not for me. The inviting maelstrom of Wall Street had me in its grip. Business and financial leaders were my heroes. Out of this alloy of drink and speculation, I commenced to forge the weapon that one day would turn in its flight like a boomerang and all but cut me to ribbons. Living modestly, my wife and I saved $1,000. It went into certain securities, then cheap and rather unpopular. I rightly imagined that they would some day have a great rise. I failed to persuade my broker friends to send me out looking over factories and managements, but my wife and I decided to go anyway. I had developed a theory that most people lost money in stocks through ignorance of markets. I discovered many more reasons later on.

p. 2

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.

After not drinking for three months, I was on the phone with the friend who had taken me to that first meeting.  I was complaining to her about problems at work and how my sponsor didn’t understand me.  Later in the conversation I mentioned that even when I described myself as agnostic, I thought maybe something was watching out for me.  She asked, “Isn’t it about time you made a decision?”

p. 373

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition One – “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.”

Thus has it been with A.A. By faith and by works we have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible experience. They live today in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which – God willing – shall sustain us in unity for so long as He may need us.

p. 131

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

The alcoholic is in no greater peril than when he takes sobriety for
granted.

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

Laughter, like a drenching rain, settles the dust, cleans and brightens
the world around us, and changes our whole perspective.
–Jan Pishok

A big part of my “conversion” has been full acceptance of myself,
warts and all.
–Mary Zink

God is all around us, all the time.
–Martha Leonard

“Let us always be open to the miracle of the second chance.”
–Reverend David Stier

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

INTEGRITY

“Men of integrity, by their very
existence, rekindle the belief
that as a people we can live
above the level of moral
squalor.”
— John Gardner

I understand integrity to be a willingness to make sacrifices for what
we believe to be true. The living of a spiritual program must lead to
integrity.

Not so many years ago integrity was not an understood word in my
vocabulary because of my unwillingness to make sacrifices. I was so
selfishly preoccupied with my “wants” that I gave little thought to
the needs of others. The more I lost myself in “self”, the greater was
the emotional pain.

Today I live the paradox that it is only in giving that I truly receive.

May I daily express the paradox of sacrifice in my life.

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

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His
own special people, that you may proclaim the praises
of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Of Him
1 Peter 2:9

“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your
heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!”  Psalms 27:14

“We can rejoice when we run into problems… they help us learn to be
patient. And patience develops strength of character in us
and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope
and faith are strong and steady.”  Romans 5:3-4

In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.  Isaiah 30:15

[God] is not far from each of us.  Acts 17:27

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

Daily Inspiration

Speak to God openly and honestly from your heart and then do not allow yourself to worry. Lord, You are my protection and my provider when I put my trust in you.

Keep yourself young in spirit always by thinking new thoughts and getting rid of old habits. Lord, may my spirit never become frail and my abilities never become barren.

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

NA Just For Today

Success

“Any form of success was frightening and unfamiliar.”
Basic Text, p. 14

Before coming to NA, few of us had much experience with success. Every attempt to stop using on our own had ended in failure. We had begun to give up hope of finding any relief from active addiction. We had grown accustomed to failure, expecting it, accepting it, thinking it was just part of our makeup.

When we stay clean, we begin to experience success in our lives. We begin to take pride in our accomplishments. We start to take healthy risks. We may take some knocks in the process, but even these can be counted as successes if we learn from them.

Sometimes when we fulfill a goal, we hesitate to “pat ourselves on the back” for fear that we will seem arrogant. But our Higher Power wants us to succeed, and wants us to share with our loved ones the pride we take in our accomplishments. When we share our successes with others in NA, they often begin to believe that they can achieve their goals as well. When we succeed, we help lay the groundwork for others who follow in our path.

Just for today: I will take time to savor my successes. I will share my victories with an “attitude of gratitude.”

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.
–William Blake
We have a right to claim our own feelings. Sometimes we get angry, but hold it inside because we think it’s wrong to feel it. If anger builds inside us, it expands like a balloon ready to burst. If not released, it can make us depressed, or even physically ill. When we give ourselves permission to feel anger, we are better able to get rid of it in a healthy way. Our inner voice can tell us how to let go of our anger. And once we’ve released it, we can easily get in touch with the feelings that caused it.
When we recognize our anger for what it is–one feeling among many others that makes us unique–it loses its significance, and we can prevent it from consuming us. Indira Ghandi said, “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” When we let go of our anger we can honestly embrace each other with open arms.
Am I carrying around anger which could be released today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The fir tree has no choice about starting its life in the crack of a rock…. What [nourishment] it finds is often meager, and above the ground appears a twisted trunk, grown in irregular spurts, marred by dead and broken branches, and bent far to one side by the battering winds. Yet at the top … some twigs hold their green needles year after year, giving proof that – misshapen, imperfect, scarred – the tree lives. –Harriet Arrow
We often wish we had been born into better circumstances or blame our parents for our problems. Like the fir tree we could say, “If only I had taken sprout in a fertile meadow, life would be easier.” “If only I had had a better life as a boy . . .” “If only I didn’t have my particular hardships . . .”
By accepting the facts of our own lives, we mature into feelings of joy and pleasure alongside our griefs. Every man has to struggle with his own unique set of circumstances, even if they are not fair. Fairness is not an issue. Reality is what we have to deal with.
I will accept life on its own terms and rejoice in it.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Feelings on the Job
Im furious about my job. Another man got a promotion that I believe I deserve. Im so mad I feel like quitting. Now my wife says I should deal with my feelings. What good will that does? He still got the promotion. –Anonymous
Our feelings at work are as important as our feelings in any other area of our life. Feelings are feelings – and wherever we incur them, dealing with them is what helps us move forward and grow.
Not acknowledging our feelings is what keeps us stuck and gives us stomachaches, headaches, and heartburn.
Yes, it can be a challenge to deal with feelings on the job. Sometimes, things can appear useless. One of our favorite tricks to avoid dealing with feelings is telling ourselves its useless.
We want to give careful consideration to how we deal with our feelings on our job. It may be appropriate to take our intense feelings to someone not connected to our workplace and sort through them in a safe way.
Once we’ve experienced the intensity of the feelings, we can figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves on the job.
Sometimes, as in any area of our life, feelings are to be felt and accepted. Sometimes, they are pointing to a problem in us, or a problem we need to resolve with someone else.
Sometimes, our feelings are helping to point us in a direction. Sometimes, they’re connected to a message, or a fear: Ill never be successful. . .. Ill never get what I want. . .. Im not good enough. . . .
Sometimes, the solution is a spiritual approach or remedy. Remember, whenever we bring a spiritual approach to any area of our life, we get the benefit.
We wont know what the lesson is until we summon the courage to stand still and deal with our feelings.
Today, I will consider my feelings at work as important as my feelings at home or anywhere else. I will find an appropriate way to deal with them.

Today I am letting go of all energy that is resisting the truth about me. That energy is being replaced with positive and loving energy, and I am accepting that I am okay just the way that I am. I am now open to see the miracle of love in my life. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Value Your Past

Value your past and all the lessons you have learned.

How easy it is to diminish the importance of our past and look on our history with a critical eye. We see the mistakes, we see what we think we should have known, we see what we could have done better. What we forget is that the reason we are able to see so clearly is because of the past and because of what we have learned. Often, it is the very experiences we regret that have created this clear vision.

Value what you’ve learned in your past. Each lesson has led to the next. Every person and event in each part of your life has been invaluable in shaping and forming you– in creating the person you are today. Each part of your past, each person who has come into your life and shared experiences with you has helped you to open your heart more to life, love, God, others, and yourself. Even those experiences you think of as wrong, or mistakes, have been an important and necessary part in creating you. Sometimes, those experiences formed the most important parts of you because they created in you compassion and understanding for others. Often the most painful events of your life are the ones that opened you to your ability to bring healing, help, and hope to others. Your past taught you to love– others and yourself. It has helped you become a channel for Divine love and a force for good in this world.

When you look back at your past, look tenderly and gently at all you have been through. Look with the eyes of the soul. See that each experience was necessary to bring you home to your heart.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Don’t stir the emotional pot

“My bill collector called today,” a friend said to me one day. “I love it when she calls. Every time she does, we have a good fight. She tells me that I owe her company money. Then I say I know. She tells me that my balance is due. I tell her I know that,too. Then she asks why I haven’t sent a payment. I tell her that the reason I didn’t send a payment is because I told her last month I could send only twenty dollars a month and she said not to send it, because that wasn’t enough. That’s when the screaming starts. Then she yells at me to get a job. I scream back that I’m trying and she ought to get a better job herself. Then we both slam down the phone and don’t talk to each other until she calls again next month.”

Some of us intentionally stir up drama to release emotions, get the pot brewing, and add a little energy to our lives. Sometimes we can cause trouble in areas where we’d be better off without it. Turning our home into a battleground doesn’t leave us a good place to live.

Sometimes when we’re stressed, we just like to get those emotions out. And what better way to get them out than by engaging in a good, old-fashioned fight. Just make sure you’re not making an enemy out of someone whom you’d rather have as a friend. And check to see that you’re not taking your stress out on an innocent bystander, a lover, family, or friend.

God, help me let go of my need for dysfunctional drama in my life. Help me make sure I’m not taking my stress out on the people I love. If I am, show me another way to release my emotions.

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

That Which Sustains You
Home and Land Meditation

Just as we take care of our friends and families, our homes and Mother Earth take care of us. Our homes give us a place of refuge—a sanctuary that stands between us and the elements of nature and the rest of the world. The earth is an unselfish giver of life and the steward of our physical and spiritual needs. The earth’s bountiful plant life nourishes us, gives us air, and offers us cooling shade. Her waters quench our thirst, and her beauty stirs our souls. Yet it is easy to take both of these wonderful sources of our blessings for granted. Expressing the gratitude you feel toward your home and the earth for the blessings each provides you can help you stay conscious of where many of the gifts in your life come from. Each time you give thanks, you’ll be reminded of the importance of caring for your home and for Mother Earth. There is a simple and beautiful meditation you can perform to show your gratitude. Begin by finding a quiet place where you can be alone. Sit comforta! bly and breathe deeply until you feel relaxed and then read the following out loud:

“Thank you, home, for allowing me to live within your walls. Thank you for giving me shelter, warmth, and security. Thank you for allowing me to live my life in your womb, for staying strong and sturdy, for supporting me, and for your beauty.

Thank you, earth, for the land that I live on and for allowing me to steward life with you. Thank you for allowing me to walk upon your soil, cultivate you, and live in partnership with you. Thank you for supporting my home and my family.

Thank you, plants, minerals, and animals that dwell on the land that I steward. Thank you for allowing me to experience your beauty, share in your wonderment of life, and for the honor of living with all of you on this earth. Thank you for the wisdom and joy you bring to humanity.

I honor you.”

You can perform this meditation as often as you like and anytime you feel particularly thankful for the many blessings that you have received. Each time you do, you’ll reaffirm and strengthen your connection with all that protects, supports, and sustains you. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Why don’t I spend part of today thinking about my assets, rather than my liabilities? Why not think about victories, instead of defeats — about the ways in which I am gentle and kind? It’s always been my tendency to fall into a sort of cynical self-hypnosis, putting derogatory labels on practically everything I’ve done, said or felt. Just for today, I’ll spend a quiet half hour trying to gain a more positive perspective on my life. Do I have the courage to change the things I can?

Today I Pray

Through quietness and a reassessment of myself, may I develop a more positive attitude. If I am a child of God, created in His image, there must be goodness in me. I will think about that goodness, and the ways it manifest itself. I will stop putting myself down, even in my secret thoughts. I will respect what is God’s. I will respect myself.

Today I Will Remember

Self-Respect is Respect For God.

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

One More Day

Bitterness and anger seem to be very closely related and are interchangeable words for the same emotion.
– Robert Lovering

Why me? We may rage with anger or disbelief when we finally realize we may never fully regain good health. In the beginning, while we are still getting used to our new situation, this happens to most of us. And then we ask, “Why me?”

Having a chronic medical condition is not as likely to create bitterness as much as making poor choices about how to respond to it. If we choose loneliness or a lifestyle which allows no room for laughter, we choose bitterness.

By making healthier choices, we affirm our belief in ourselves, in the possibilities life has to offer. We feel more loving toward the people around us and in doing so, are more loving toward ourselves.

I can learn to balance my negative feelings with contentment and happiness. I can gain strength from my illness.

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

Food For Thought

Changing

As we lose weight, we adjust to a new self. Part of the body we had is disappearing, and this can be frightening. As our physical appearance changes, others may react to us differently. Along with the physical changes come new attitudes and expectations. Though for years we may have wished to be rid of the fat, when it actually begins to go we may fear the change.

What is new and unknown is often frightening. We may have used food and fat to retreat from uncomfortable situations. We may have spent so much time eating that there was little left for anything else. We may have expected all our troubles to vanish with the excess pounds. Now we can no longer hide behind fat or kill time with food, and our troubles may very well still be with us. What do we do?

It takes courage to change, to become a new person. We may decide at age forty to learn to play tennis. That takes lots of courage. New activities, new attitudes, changes in relationships with others–all require courage.

Change is frightening, but it is also an adventure. We are not alone. We have OA. Others have gone through the same changes and can reassure us, one step at a time.

May I not be afraid to change.

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

One Day At A Time

EXPERIENCE

“I’m not afraid of storms . . .
for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott

We spend our youth living and experiencing life. At some point our experiences become lessons. We who are compulsive eaters weren’t aware of that when we began to eat out of control. Deep down, however, we were living and experiencing food issues. These issues later would become our lessons.

I am so grateful that the Twelve Steps made it possible for me to look at my past experiences and see the reality they presented. If not, I may have continued life in denial.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will use the lessons I have learned to make the quality of my life better.
~ Mari ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. – Pg. 19 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

During crisis, we must not act as isolated persons with nothing gained from fellowship. We stick together. If one of us pulls away, we pull them back. WE recover as WE, not as an I.

As I walk this road of recovery, let me know I don’t walk alone. In fact I march in an army of WE.

Being Authentic

I will stop fighting with myself and give my mind, body and heart the rest and inner quiet that they are craving. I’m not going to rush myself into wellness or force my thoughts into a phony sort of gaiety. I will accept myself as I am and feel what I feel. Thoughts and feelings won’t kill me. Resisting the ones I don’t want to experience puts me in a constant struggle with my own insides. My random thoughts and feelings are trying to tell me something. If I turn away and refuse to listen, I only hurt myself. Instead I will let the adult in me listen to those younger, fearful or anxious selves that are bubbling up inside of me just as a loving parent would allow a child who is hurt to pour out all of their feelings knowing that the simple act of pouring, it in itself, the cure.

I am willing to know myself

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If people don’t agree with you, so what? If people do agree with you, so what? Our program is one of suggestions, not conformity.

I do not need to conform to be comfortable. ‘Comfortable’ is conscious contact, not conscious copycat.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Change your behavior to meet your goals, not your goals to meet your behavior.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am letting go of all energy that is resisting the truth about me. That energy is being replaced with positive and loving energy, and I am accepting that I am okay just the way I am.

I am now open to see the miracle of love in my life.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If everyone approached getting their driver’s license like they approach the Twelve Steps, I’d have the highways to myself. – Ted H.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 2

Tradition Two
“For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority —
a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.”
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 132

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Twelve Steps tell us how it works; the Twelve Traditions tell us why it works.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
T R U S T = Try Relying Upon Steps and Traditions.

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

Why Worry?
“There are many short phrases and expressions in AA
which make sound sense.
‘First Things First’: solving our immediate problems
before we try to solve all the others . . .
‘Easy Does it.’ Relax a little.
Try for inner contentment. No one individual
can carry all the burdens of the world.
Everyone has problems. Getting drunk won’t solve them.
‘Twenty-four hours a day.’
Today is the day. Doing our best,
living each day to the fullest is the art of living.
Yesterday is gone, and we don’t know whether
we will be here tomorrow.
If we do a good job of living today,
and if tomorrow comes for us,
then the chances are we will do a good job when it arrives –
so why worry about it?”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 382

Thought to Consider . . .
Every day is a gift.
That is why we call it the present.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S I T = Stay In Today

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

Within
>From “Inner Voice”:
“Long before nagging and pressures from others concerning my excessive use of alcohol made any impression on me,
the nagging voice of conscience my own inner voice of truth and right apprised me of the irrevocable fact that I had lost
control of alcohol, that I was powerless. I know now that the inner voice was God, as I understand Him, speaking. For,
as I had been taught from earliest memory and as A.A. has emphasized, God or good emanates from within each of
us. Lakewood, Ohio, USA
1973 AAWS, Inc.; 30th Printing 2004, Came to Believe, pg. 83

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

“I started to understand that while I didn’t believe in churches, I had to see that something or someone was working in
my life that hadn’t been there before.”
Naples, Italy, January 1994
“Get With the Program”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found
we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always
followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 127~

“So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we
have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars,
nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee
parties. To a person who has had experience with an alcoholic, this
may seem like tempting Providence, but it isn’t.
You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore,
ask yourself on each occasion, ‘Have I any good social, business, or
personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a
little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?’ If you
answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have no
apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure
you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your
motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will
get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if
you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 101

These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations of whatever sort of life we try to build.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 49

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Resolving Fear
Fear somehow touched about every aspect of our lives. It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence
was shot through with it. It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve.
But did not we often set the ball rolling ourselves?
The problem of resolving fear has two aspects. We shall have to try for all the freedom from fear that is possible for us
to attain. Then we shall need to find both the courage and the grace to deal constructively with whatever fears remain.
1. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 67-68 – 2. GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1962

Prayer for the Day: Dear Father in heaven, we ask you from our hearts to give us your peace. Grant that nothing may take your peace from us, and protect us from all that is evil. May we always be mindful that we should serve you in self-denial. May we be faithful on all our ways, looking to the great promise you have given each one of us. Keep us under your protection, as you have always done. We praise and thank you for all that comes to our hearts from you, making us full of trust and certain of your further help. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 1st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 1st

IT WORKS
It works — it really does.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 88

When I got sober I initially had faith only in the program of Alcoholics
Anonymous. Desperation and fear kept me sober (and maybe a caring
and/or tough sponsor helped!). Faith in a Higher Power came much
later. This faith came slowly at first, after I began listening to
others share at meetings about their experiences — experiences that
I had never faced sober, but that they were facing with strength from
a Higher Power. Out of their sharing came hope that I too would —
and could — “get” a Higher Power. In time, I learned that a Higher
Power — a faith that works under all conditions — is possible. Today
this faith, plus the honesty, openmindedness and willingness to work
the Steps of the program, gives me the serenity that I seek. It works
— it really does.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I find myself thinking about taking a drink, I say to myself.
“Don’t reach out and take that problem back. You’ve given it to God
and there’s nothing you can do about it.” So I forget about the
drink. One of the most important parts of the A.A. program is to give
our drink problem to God honestly and fully and never to reach out
and take the problem back to ourselves. If we let God have it and
keep it for good and then cooperate with Him, we’ll stay sober. Have
I determined not to take the drink problem back to myself?

Meditation For The Day

Constant effort is necessary if I am to grow spiritually and develop
my spiritual life. I must keep the spiritual rules persistently,
perseveringly, lovingly, patiently, and hopefully. By keeping them, every
mountain of difficulty shall be laid low, the rough places of poverty of
spirit shall be made smooth, and all who know me shall know that God is
the Lord of all my ways. To get close to the spirit of God is to find
life and healing and strength.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God’s spirit may be everything to my soul. I pray that
God’s spirit may grow within me.


As Bill Sees It

Brain Power Alone?, p. 60

To the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman, many A.A.’s can
say, “Yes, we were like you–far too smart for our own good. We
loved to have people call us precocious. We used our education to
blow ourselves up into prideful balloons, though we were careful to
hide this from others. Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest
of the folks on our brain power alone.

“Scientific progress told us there was nothing man couldn’t do.
Knowledge was all powerful. Intellect could conquer nature. Since
we were brighter than most folks (so we thought), the spoils of
victory would be ours for the thinking. The god of intellect displaced
God of our fathers.

“But John Barleycorn had other ideas. We who had won so
handsomely in a walk turned into all-time losers. We saw that we had
to reconsider or die.”

12 & 12, pp. 29-30


Walk in Dry Places

Danger in excitement____Mood alterations
The lure of excitement is hard to understand. While we may think of ourselves as sensible, practical people, the hard truth is that many alcoholics have a strong need to feel excited. This excitement can take many forms, and some of them are dangerous.
One lure of excitement comes through the impulsive need for change.  Some of us have had weird habits of suddenly quitting jobs and pulling up stakes for no reason other than being bored.  An even more destructive attraction is the belief that a new romance can restore our zest for living and bring new joys and happiness.
The sober truth is that nobody can live sensibly and sanely by seeking continuous excitement and stimulation.  We are better off with steady growth in the patterns we know best than with seeking excitement that finally leads to destruction.
At the same time, we should not belittle the pleasures and joys we get through ordinary living.  If we earn those pleasures and joys through responsible actions, they will give us far more happiness than momentary feelings of excitement.
In quietness and confidence is our strength.  I do not need to be excited in any way today.  I am more effective and more in control when I am not being swayed by feverish emotion that distorts my judgment.

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

Keep It Simple

Made the decision to turn our will and lives over to God as we understand Him.–Step Three
Care. This is what turn our will and lives over to care of our Higher Power. What peace follows! We see our God as caring, as loving. We turn everything over to this Higher Power, who can take better care of us than we can by ourselves. Care can guide us. If we want to do something, we can ask ourselves, “Would my Higher Power see this as an act of care?” If the answer is yes, then we go ahead. If the answer is no, we don’t it. If we can’t be sure, we wait and talk it over with our friends and sponsor. We wait until we know whether it would be an act of care or not. What wonderful guidance!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I give to You my will. I give to you my life. I gladly jump into Your loving arms.
Action for the day:  Today, I’ll care about others. I’ll find as many as I can to care for others.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

What a strange pattern the shuttle of life can weave.  –Frances Marion
Each experience we have plays its part in the total picture of our lives. The steps we have taken, the path we travel today, and our direction tomorrow are not by chance. There is a pattern. We each have a destiny. We may have veered off the path in the past, and we may veer off it again. But we’ll be guided back, and our paths intersect. None of us is traveling alone. We have each other and the creative force that is at the helm.
When we look around us and reflect on how our lives are influenced by the persons close to us, we become aware that our presence affects their lives as well. Most of us could never have predicted the events that have influenced us. Nor can we anticipate what the future may hold. We can be certain, however, that we are safe; a power greater than ourselves is orchestrating our affairs.
There were times we feared we’d never survive an experience. Perhaps we still struggle with fears about new experiences. But every experience adds a necessary thread to the pattern our life is weaving. We have the gift of reflection. We can understand, today, the importance of particular events of the past. Next month, next year, we’ll understand today.
I shall enjoy the richness of today. My life is weaving an intricate, necessary pattern that is uniquely mine.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

I took a night law course, and obtained employment as an investigator for a surety company. The drive for success was on. I’d prove to the world I was important. My work took me about Wall Street and little by little I became interested in the market. Many people lost money – but some became very rich. Why not I? I studied economics and business as well as law. Potential alcoholic that I was, I nearly failed my law course. At one of the finals I was too drunk to think or write. Though my drinking was not yet continuous, it disturbed my wife. We had long talks when I would still her forebodings by telling her that men of genius conceived their best projects when drunk; that the most majestic constructions of philosophic thought were so derived.

p. 2

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.

I remember telling a friend years ago that I didn’t have a drinking problem, I had a stopping problem.  We laughed.  It was true, but there was something else going on, something that never occurred to me until I came to A.A.  I didn’t just have a stopping problem.  I had a starting problem too.  No matter how often I stopped, or for how long, I always started drinking again.

pp. 372-373

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition One – “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.”

Countless times, in as many cities and hamlets, we reenacted the story of Eddie Rickenbacker and his courageous company when their plane crashed in the Pacific. Like us, they had suddenly found themselves saved from death, but still floating upon a perilous sea. How well they saw that their common welfare came first. None might become selfish of water or bread. Each needed to consider the others, and in abiding faith they knew they must find their real strength. And as they did find, in measure to transcend all the defects of their frail craft, every test of uncertainty, pain, fear, and despair, and even the death of one.

p. 131

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

Those who laugh…last.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

Don’t give up before the miracle happens.

“When I dig another out of trouble, the hole from which I lift him
is the place where I bury my own.”
–Chinese proverb

“Winners do what they have to do and losers do what they want.”

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo
or willow survives by bending with the wind.
–Bruce Lee

“The spiritual journey, the path of recovery and personal growth,
is a detoxification process in which we bring up and out the negative
beliefs we have carried with us from the past and that now poison the
present.”
–Marianne Williamson

“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

Sometimes there are no answers, there are only examples.
–Mark Kostew

Part of intimacy with God is listening.
–Lori Sweety


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

UNDERSTANDING

“Understanding is the reward of
faith. Therefore seek not to
understand that thou mayest
believe, but believe that thou
mayest understand.”
— Saint Augustine

Today I understand that God is love and that it makes more sense to
live my life with love than with anger, resentment and despair. I know
that the answer to life, with all the problems that may arise, is love.
Not simply loving those people who love me, but beginning to love and
understand those who dislike or hate me. Being imperfect people in
an imperfect world produces enemies. Today I love my world by
listening to my critics, changing unreasonable attitudes, growing in
the humility that comes from silence. Change is part of God’s blessing
of love.

This I believe. This I understand. And step by step it is beginning to
work in my life.

May my love for the world give me an understanding of self.


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

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause
trouble and defile many.”
Hebrews 12:15

“Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with
wings like eagles.”
Isaiah 40:31.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more
than those who watch for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6


Daily Inspiration

If you look for things that make you happy, those are the things that you’ll find. Lord, help me remember how lucky I am to be alive and how much goodness surrounds me.

Determination and faith will carry you through to your goals. Lord, You and I together can accomplish my dreams.


NA Just For Today

Anxiety Attack?

“[The] Power that brought us to this program is still with us and will continue to guide us if we allow it.”
Basic Text, p. 26

Ever had a panic attack? Everywhere we turn, life’s demands overwhelm us. We’re paralyzed, and we don’t know what to do about it. How do we break an anxiety attack?

First, we stop. We can’t deal with everything at once, so we stop for a moment to let things settle. Then we take a “spot inventory” of the things that are bothering us. We examine each item, asking ourselves this question: “How important is it, really?” In most cases, we’ll find that most of our fears and concerns don’t need our immediate attention. We can put those aside, and focus on the issues that really need to be resolved right away. Then we stop again and ask ourselves, “Who’s in control here, anyway?” This helps remind us that our Higher Power is in control.

We seek our Higher Power’s will for the situation, whatever it is. We can do this in any number of ways: through prayer, talks with our sponsor or NA friends, or by attending a meeting and asking others to share their experience. When our Higher Power’s will becomes clear to us, we pray for the ability to carry it out. Finally, we take action.

Anxiety attacks need not paralyze us. We can utilize the resources of the NA program to deal with anything that comes our way.

Just for today: My Higher Power has not brought me all this way in recovery only to abandon me! When anxiety strikes, I will take specific steps to seek God’s continuing care and guidance.


You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next. –Ursula LeGuin
The world around us changes constantly. Trees turn from green to beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and brown in the fall. Yet, even if we watched the trees carefully, every minute of the day, we could not actually see the colors change. Change requires time, preparation, and patience.
To make the changes we want, we need to let go of unhealthy but comfortable patterns that we’re stuck in, the way the trees let their colors change and finally let go of their leaves altogether. We can’t have total change right now, no matter how much we want it. It’s important to accept both who we are now and who we are becoming. Just as the tree trusts without question that its leaves will grow and lets go of them when the time comes, we can believe in our own power to grow and let go of our accomplishments when the time is right.
When we do, we can be assured that our lives will blossom again, like trees in the spring coming to life after a cold winter.
Do I have any new blossoms today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
As my fathers planted/or me, so do I plant for my children. –The Talmud
The first seeds of this spiritual program were planted years ago by men who also were desperately in need. Rather than restrict their attention to their own painful circumstances, they broke through to a new creative idea – it is in helping others that we help ourselves. They reached out eagerly to help fellow men and women in need. In the process they carried the message to others and found new healing relationships for themselves. This program, which is saving our lives, is here because men before us were willing to reach out and pass it along.
We inherit countless resources and teachings from both our biological and our “foster” fathers in this program. The gift of a spiritually full life inspires and requires us to do as they did – pass it on. We keep the benefits of our recovery, not by holding on to them, but by planting new seeds from our harvest for those who come after us.
I will give freely of my time and resources because the giving enriches me.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Anger
In recovery, we often discuss anger objectively. Yes, we reason, its an emotion were all prone to experience. Yes, the goal in recovery is to be free of resentment and anger. Yes, its okay to feel angry, we agree. Well, maybe. . ..
Anger is a powerful and sometimes frightening emotion. Its also a beneficial one if its not allowed to harden into resentment or used as a battering ram to punish or abuse people.
Anger is a warning signal. It points to problems. Sometimes, it signals problems we need to solve. Sometimes, it points to boundaries we need to set. Sometimes, its the final burst of energy before letting go, or acceptance, settles in.
And, sometimes, anger just is. It doesnt have to be justified. It usually cant be confined to a tidy package. And it need not cause us to stifle our energy or ourselves.
We don’t have to feel guilty whenever we expense anger. We dont have to feel guilty.
Breathe deeply. We can shamelessly feel all our feelings, including anger, and still take responsibility for our behaviors.
I will feel and release any angry feelings I have today. I can do that appropriately and safely.

Today I will feel good about myself and accept myself just the way I am. I am open and ready to discover all the miracles of this day. –Ruth Fishel


Journey to the heart for March

Find Healing and Magic Within Yourself

She was an Osage shaman. Her land, next to Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona, was landscaped with a totem pole, a fire pit, a bridge leading to her house, and a garden of flowers and rocks. A river ran across her property, singing to all who quieted themselves enough to listen. A teepee stood close by, one used to house the sweat lodge ceremonies.

It was during one such ceremony I had met her. I returned later to talk with her for a while. She welcomed me back, welcomed all who visited her to return to her land. She didn’t call it her land, she called it the land. She said it belonged to us all.

“You don’t have to take this journey,” she said. “You don’t have to travel around searching for spiritual spots. All the wisdom, the experiences, the spiritual places you seek on this quest are within you.”

While it’s fun to go on a trip, and trips often coincide with going to new places in our personal lives, we don’t have to load up the car and hit the road to find what we’re looking for. The places of power we seek are within us. Places of comfort, joy, wisdom, silence, healing, peace. The places we visit often reflect those qualities, reinforce them, remind us that they’re there. But the places, the locations we visit, are only mirrors, extensions of ourselves.

The healing and magic we seek are not someplace else. They are within each of us.


More Language Of Letting Go

Learn to say whatever

“Do you have issues with drama addiction?” I asked my daughter one day, in a serious interviewer kind of voice.

“Of course I do,” she said. “I’m the original drama queen.”

“Can I interview you about it?” I asked.

There was a long pause on the phone. “I’ve got a better suggestion,” she said. “Why don’t you interview yourself?”

I’ve been addicted to many things this lifetime– alcohol, heroin, morphine, Dilaudid, cocaine, barbituates, Valium, and any other substance that physically or psychologically promised to change the way I feel. I’ve been addicted to caffeine, tobacco and nicotine– cigarettes and Cuban cigars– and opium and hashish,too. I’ve been caught up in other people’s addictions to these substances as well. Some people might say I have an addictive personality. I don’t know if I agree with the concept that we can become addicted to people, but if the folks say you can are right. I’ve probably been addicted to certain of those,too.

But of all the addictions possible on this planet, I’ve found my addiction to drama absolutely the hardest to recognize, accept, deal with, and overcome. The rush of emotional energy I feel from drama at the theater, on television (small or big screen), in a book, and most preferably acted out in real life (mine) is the last legal, legitimate jones that society allows.

It’s not politically correct to smoke, act out sexually, be a nonrecovering alcoholic, or shoot drugs. But despite all the evolution in consciousness that’s unfolded and gotten us to this point, drama addiction is more than politically correct.

Drama addiction is in. Right now, for many people, it’s one of the only things giving meaning to life.

Potential guests line up, volunteering to have their relationship and court battles– things which once were guarded secrets– broadcast on international cable and satellite TV. Our society can’t wait to peek and snoop into their lives. Broadcasting real-life soap operas guarantees the ratings will soar.

In 1999, I wrote the above words in a chapter on drama addiction in my book called Playing It By Heart. But the concept of drama addiction, and transcending it, has been around for a long, long time.

In 1937, author Emmet Fox wrote an essay in Find and Use Your Inner Power. The essay’s title was “Don’t Be a Tragedy Queen.”

“Self pity, by making us feel sorry for ourselves, seems to provide an escape from responsibility, but it is a fatal drug nevertheless,” he wrote. “It confuses the feelings, blinds the reason, and puts us at the mercy of outer conditions. … Don’t be a tragedy queen– whether you are a man or a woman, for it is not a question of gender but of mental outlook. Absolutely repudiate a crown of martyrdom. If you cannot laugh at yourself (which is the best medicine of all), at least try to handle the difficulty in an objective way, as though it concerned somebody else.”

Maybe the antithesis to being a drama king or queen has been around even longer than that.

Three tiny Buddha statues sit before me on my writing desk. One is Serene. One is Smiling. One is Sorrowful, doubled over in compassion for the world. All you can see is the top of his head.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” Jesus said.

“Nirvana is a state of consciousness,” wrote Anne Bancroft, in an introduction to the Dhammapada, a book containing the teachings of Buddha.

Enlightenment and paradise aren’t places we visit. They’re within our hearts and heads.

Say, “It’s a nightmare,” if you must. Even say, “Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening, much less happening to me.” But whether you say the words with calmness and serenity, bursting with laughter or a mere giggle, or doubled over with compassion for the pain of the world, learning to speak the language of letting go in the days, months, and years of the millennium ahead means learning to say whatever,too.


Decorating Life
The World as Home

by Madisyn Taylor

Each day we choose to decorate our life just as we do our homes.

There are few things more thrilling than having a new house or an empty room to decorate. Our imaginations soar as we consider the many possibilities. In the same way, our lives offer us the opportunity to express ourselves within various contexts, to ask ourselves questions about what we want to see as we move through our days and how we want things to flow. Some people do this instinctively, moving through the various environments they inhabit and shifting the energy with their presence. These people have a knack for decorating life. This can be as simple as the way they dress, the way they speak, or the fact that they always bring a bouquet of wildflowers when they come for a visit.

As we move through the world, we make a statement, whether we intend to or not. We shift the energy one way when we enter a room dressed elegantly and simply, and another when we show up in bright, cheerful colors and a floppy hat. One is not better than the other. It is simply a question of the mood we wish to create. What we wear is just one choice we can focus on. The way we speak to people, or touch them, shifts the energy more profoundly than almost anything else. The words we speak and the tone in which we say them are the music we choose to play in the world that is our home. Some of us fill the space with passionate arias, others with healing hymns. Again, one is not better than the other. We are all called to contribute.

Just as we consciously create an environment within our homes, we can consciously choose to decorate life itself with our particular energy. Ideally, in doing so, we express our deeper selves, so that the adornments we add to the world make it more meaningful, more beautiful, and as welcoming as a beloved home. Published with permission from Daily OM


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Now that we’re free and no longer chemically-dependent, we have so much more control over our thinking. More than anything, we’re able to alter our attitudes. Some members of Alcoholics Anonymous, in fact, choose to think of the letters AA as an abbreviation for “Altered Attitudes.” In the bad old days, I almost always responded to any optimistic or positive statement with “Yes, but…” Today, in contrast, I’m learning to eliminate that negative phrase from my vocabulary. Am I working to change my attitude? Am I determined to “accentuate the positive…”?

Today I Pray

May I find that healing and strength which God provides to those who stay near Him. May I keep to the spiritual guidelines of The Program. Considering the Steps, taking the Steps — one by one — then practicing them again and again. In this is my salvation.

Today I Will Remember

To practice at least one Step.


One More Day

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.
– A. J. Muste

So often we look for the easy answers and quick remedies. We want to reach our goals — now. Whatever we’re looking for (peace, love, acceptance) we may be making the mistake of seeing these qualities as concrete, hold-in-my-hand goals.

Gradually, we’re coming to the understanding that those qualities we seek are not destinations; they are paths and directions; we can consiously take. We can’t go out and find love, but we can choose to be loving. There is no path to peace or to acceptance or to understanding, but we can base our lives on these qualities, and by doing so we claim them.

What I seek may already be within my soul.


Food For Thought

Other People’s Problems

Sometimes we wear ourselves out trying to solve another person’s problem. Is this not perhaps a form of egotism? We feel that somehow we should have all the answers and be able to find a solution to every problem, especially when someone close to us is in trouble.

We may be sympathetic and supportive and helpful, but we cannot play the role of God in another person’s life. Even our children must learn from their mistakes, just as we continue to learn from our own. If I trust my Higher Power to lead and direct me, then surely He will also direct my family and friends.

The best thing I can do for anyone else is to maintain my own sanity and sobriety. If I eat over a problem–whether it is mine or yours or ours–then I am less able to deal with it.

There are times when no solution seems forthcoming, when an unfortunate or tragic circumstance must be accepted and lived with in the best manner possible. We may not be able to change the circumstance, but we can be sure that God will give us the strength to deal with it.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.


One Day At A Time

ANONYMITY

Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Albert Camus

When I first joined OA, the tool and tradition of Anonymity seemed a little strange to me. What’s wrong with people knowing what members do for work? I’m not ashamed of my career, why should I not talk about it? What’s with this cult-like behavior around initials for names? And what do they mean by Anonymity being the spiritual foundation of recovery?

And then, bit by bit, it dawned on me. When we don’t talk about our jobs, when we don’t care about our last names, three very important things happen. First, we don’t get distracted. Second, it makes us all equal. Third, it starts us on the road of leaving judgment behind. An Elizabeth is just an Elizabeth, whether she’s a queen, a unemployed single mother or an actress. The equality that comes with that means that I am not more or less, not better or worse than you. This equality strengthens our unity. We are all in the same boat. And with this equality we can row in unity towards recovery.

One day at a time …
I will remember that my fellow OA members are my equals, that I can let go of judgment, and that the freedom that comes with this helps me concentrate on recovery.
~ Isabella


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

Well, that’s exactly what this book is about. It’s main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. – Pg. 45 – We Agnostics

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

You transform into your own best ally as you face your fears. Humanity’s greasiest fear is the fear of death, physiologists tell us. The death of your addiction is forcing you to confront how close you brushed by death and in this confrontation an equally potent force will rise up to meet your fear and demonstrate your courage.

Even in the face of fear and death my true ally inside arises to demonstrate my courage.

Healing Light

I am surrounding myself with healing light. I am inviting a warm, yellow/white light to surround me. I breathe it in deeply into all parts of me and I breathe out any lingering fear or darkness. Healing energy is quietly pulsing in and around me, imbuing me with a feeling of well being. I allow this energy to fill each pore of my body. This healing energy has its own intelligence and I become one with it and direct it towards those parts of me that need healing. I rest in this vibrating yellow-white light and let it fill me, surround me and make me well. Even the act of allowing this lifts me up.

I am filled with healing energy

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Even when it hurts like hell, hold fast. The pain is the arrow coming out, not the arrow going in. Faith is not about trusting a God who will rescue you from arrows but trusting in the process. Faith will center you, not rescue you.

As the pain and fear pass, I hold fast.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you believe the Big Book, live it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will feel good about myself and accept myself just the way I am.

I am open and ready to discover all the miracles of this day.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It takes a whole lot of medicine darlin’, for me to pretend I’m somebody else.- ‘Guilty’ Randy Newman.


AA Thought for the Day

March 1

Step Three
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

I was at one of my meetings when I suddenly realized that the pivotal word in this Step is .. care.
So I looked it up. Foremost, the word has no shame to it.
There is no control, servitude, or any other form of denigration, humiliation or degradation implied by that word.
But I had chosen to infer that there was. I realize now that I was just unwilling.
– AA Grapevine, March 2014

Thought to Ponder . . .
Scales of pride and prejudice fell from my eyes.

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

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

Selfishness
Selfishness, self-centeredness!
That, we think, is the root of our troubles.
Driven by a hundred forms of fear,
self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity,
we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.
Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation,
but we invariably find that at some time in the past
we have made decisions based on self
which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Thought to Consider . . .
Swallowing your pride will not get you drunk.

~~AACRONYMS~~
A A = Altered Attitudes

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

Opinion

From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“As by some deep instinct, we have known from the very beginning that, no matter what the provocation, we must never
publicly take sides, as A.A.s, in any fight, even a worthy one. All history affords us the spectacle of striving nations and
groups finally torn asunder because they were designed for, or tempted into, controversy. Others fell apart because of
sheer self-righteousness while trying to force upon the rest of mankind some millennium of their own specification. In
our own times we have seen millions die in political and economic wars often spurred by religious and racial differences.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 123

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

“If I want to be of some use to someone (my family, my employer, my community) then I can be a leader by becoming a
servant. This is one of those crazy paradoxes we find all over the AA program: being a servant to be a leader.”
Humbolt, Saskatchewan, February 1996
“I Wish You Well”
AA Grapevine

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

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

“Many of us keep liquor in our homes. We often need it to carry
green recruits through a severe hangover. Some of us still serve it
to our friends provided they are not alcoholic. But some of us think
we should not serve liquor to anyone. We never argue this question.
We feel that each family, in the light of their own circumstances,
ought to decide for themselves.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 102~

His sponsor probably says, “Take it easy.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 26

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Brain Power Alone?
To the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman, many A.A.’s can say, ‘Yes, we were like you – far too smart for our
own good. We loved to have people call us precocious. We used our education to blow ourselves up into prideful
balloons, though we were careful to hide this from others. Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest of the folks on
our brain power alone.
‘Scientific progress told Us there was nothing man couldn’t do. Knowledge was all powerful. Intellect could conquer
nature. Since we were brighter than most folks (so we thought), the spoils of victory would be ours for the thinking. The
god of intellect displaced the God of our fathers.
‘But John Barleycorn had other ideas. We who had won so handsomely in a walk turned into alltime losers. We saw that
we had to reconsider or die.’ TWELVE AND TWELVE, pp. 29-30

Prayer for the Day: Father, As we quietly wait in your presence this early morning, we give you praise for a new day. The storms of life may rage around us, but if we are grounded in you, we will not lose our footing. As we listen to the storm with the wind and rain, we know that we dwell in your peace, for we are surrounded with shelter. So it is in the midst of the many issues that so many are facing, your are their stillness, comfort, hope, and peace. May we draw from your strength today and know that you alone see our heart, and know us. How we praise you for your forgiving love and grace.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 28th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 28th

Daily Reflections
WHAT? NO PRESIDENT?

When told that our Society has no president having authority to govern it, no treasurer
who can compel the payment of any dues. . . . our friends gasp and exclaim, “This
simply can’t be . . .”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 132

When I finally made my way to A.A., I could not believe that there was no treasurer to
“compel the payment of dues.” I could not imagine an organization that didn’t require
monetary contributions in return for a service. It was my first and, thus far, only
experience with getting “something for nothing.” Because I did not feel used or conned
by those in A.A., I was able to approach the program free from bias and with an open
mind. They wanted nothing from me. What could I lose? I thank God for the wisdom of
the early founders who knew so well the alcoholic’s disdain for being manipulated.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We should be free from alcohol for good. It’s out of our hands and in the hands of God,
so we don’t need to worry about it or even think about it any more. But if we haven’t
done this honestly and fully, the chances are that it will become our problem again. Since
we don’t trust God to take care of our problem for us, we reach out and take the problem
back to ourselves. Then it’s our problem again and we’re in the same old mess we were
in before. Do I trust God to take care of the problem for me?

Meditation For The Day

No work is of value without preparation. Every spiritual work must have behind it much
spiritual preparation. Cut short times of prayer and times of spiritual preparation and
many hours of work may be profitless. From the point of view of God, one poor tool
working all the time, but doing bad work because of lack of preparation, is of small value
compared with a sharp, keen, perfect instrument working only for a short time, but that
turns out perfect work because of long hours of spiritual preparation.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may spend more time alone with God. I pray that I may get more strength
and joy from such times, so that they will add much to my work.

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As Bill Sees It

Conviction and Compromise, p. 59

One qualification for a useful life is give-and-take, the ability to
compromise cheerfully. Compromise comes hard to us “all or nothing”
drunks. Nevertheless, we must never lose sight of the fact that
progress is nearly always characterized by a series of improving
compromises.

Of course, we cannot always compromise. There are circumstances in
which it is necessary to stick flat-footed to one’s convictions until the
issue is resolved. Deciding when to compromise and when not to
compromise always calls for the most careful discrimination.

Twelve Concepts, pp. 39-40

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Walk In Dry Places

Seeking Excitement____ Seeking Serenity
“I haven’t found anything to replace the excitement I felt while drinking,” a member complained.  “Sure, Im grateful to be sober.  But sometimes it’s so darned boring!
Let’ talk about that need for excitement, or “high.”  For many of us, it was an important part of our drinking.  At times, our drinking was exciting—it came with celebrations, graduations, marriage receptions, engagements, and just about anything else out of the ordinary.  Along with it, we wanted other excitement:  exciting love affairs, exciting experiences, exciting stories.
For us, however, excitement always ended with a crash, often a terrible one.  Waking up after an exciting binge was a horrible moment.  It stretched out to become horrible It never seemed to have a happy ending.
We can take this addiction to excitement in hand by recognizing it as a component of our alcoholism.  We’ll still be able to be excited at times, but it must be a type of excitement that brings neither crash nor hangover.
I will not let boredom push me into actions that I know will be destructive in the long run.  I do not want thrills at the expense of my self-respect and sense of well-being.

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

Keep It Simple

Leave yourself alone.—Jenny Janacek
We often pick on ourselves. We put ourselves down. But doing this isn’t part of our recovery.
In fact, it goes against our program. Our program is based on loving care. We have turned our lives over to a caring, loving Higher Power who will give us the answers. We are told Easy Does It. We back off. As recovering addicts, we learn not to judge. Instead, we learn to be kind to ourselves. Our job is not to figure out the world, butt to add more love to it. Let’s start with ourselves.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, stop me from judging. Help me know what You want to do. Help me work the Steps Two and Three.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll leave myself alone. I will remember that picking on myself is another from of control.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The weariest night, the longest day, sooner or later must perforce come to an end.  –Baroness Orczy
The difficult spells in our lives come to an end. And no matter the depth of our disturbance, we will survive. We forget that the depths teach us how to better appreciate the heights.
Sorrow heightens joy. Depression heightens laughter. We wouldn’t know the joys and laughter were it not for the sorrows. In them we learn to be patient, waiting for the wisdom which will light our way. In them we learn to listen for the guidance that beckons us forth.
We must reflect on the troubling experiences we’ve passed through of late. They made us wiser; they gave us strength. They changed us, moving us ever closer to the women, whole and happy, we desire to be.
Difficulties often precede enlightenment. They pull us inward, perhaps push us to search for our connectedness to God, a connectedness that is at home in our hearts. The paradox is that these painful periods strengthen our oneness with the Spirit.
If the day looks bleak, I will accept it as a hand reaching toward me, to pull me forward, to secure my place in the spiritual family.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Twenty-two, and a veteran of foreign wars, I went home at last. I fancied myself a leader, for had not the men of my battery given me a special token of appreciation? My talent for leadership, I imagined, would place me at the head of vast enterprises which I would manage with the utmost assurance.

p. 1

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.

I called him everyday.  I told him that I just didn’t want to be an alcoholic.  He said it didn’t matter what I wanted.  The question I had to answer for myself was whether I was or wasn’t.  He suggested that I could try a little controlled drinking if I wasn’t sure.  I knew I had never been able to do that.  I didn’t have to do any more “research.”  All I really had to do was review the drinking I had already done.

p. 372

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition One – “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.”

So at the outset, how best to live and work together as groups became the prime question. In the world about us we saw personalities destroying whole peoples. The struggle for wealth, power, and prestige was tearing humanity apart as never before. If strong people were stalemated in the search for peace and harmony, what was to become of our erratic band of alcoholics? As we had once struggled and prayed for individual recovery, just so earnestly did we commence to quest for the principles through which A.A. itself might survive. on anvils of experience, the structure of our Society was hammered out.

pp. 130-131

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“The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them …”
–Michel de Montaigne

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.”
–Frank Lloyd Wright

There is in each of us a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill.
–Blaise Pascal

Expectation is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses
today.
–Seneca

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
–Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.
–Seneca

“This day I choose to spend in perfect peace.”
–A Course in Miracles

When we are fearful, God’s love can help us to be confident.
–Amanda Graham

O God, help us let your love conquer our fears.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PERFECTION

“He that is without sin amongst
you, let him cast the first stone.”
— Jesus Christ

It is so easy for me to focus on the failings of others and miss my own. My attraction to
gossip is that it is usually about other people and that keeps the attention away from me.
Sometimes I am made to “feel good” by exposing the weaknesses of others.

This attitude needs to be changed if I am ever to fully enjoy the fruits of sobriety. I do not
need to be drinking to behave like a drunk; gossip and character assassination are
reminiscent of my past addictive behavior. I do not need the side of me that seeks to
destroy the character of others. With my spiritual program, I am trying to change.

May I grow in my forgiveness and acceptance of others.

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

God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility
consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not
only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4

Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure,
pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into
your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:38

“If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”
Matthew 5:41

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Luke 6:31


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Daily Inspiration

Set your priorities daily because some things in our path are just not important enough to use up our time and energy. Lord, with Your help I can have a full and enjoyable day.

God doesn’t always end the storm, but He will calm your spirit and give you the courage you need. Lord, I have come to know and believe in the love You have for me.


NA Just For Today

The Greatest Gift

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.”
Basic Text, p. 93
When we begin coming to meetings, we hear other addicts talking about the gifts they have received as a result of this program, things we never thought of as “gifts” before. One such “gift” is the renewed ability to feel the emotions we had deadened for so long with drugs. It’s not difficult to think of love, joy, and happiness as gifts, even if it’s been a long time since we’ve felt them. But what about “bad” feelings like anger, sadness, fear, and loneliness? Such emotions can’t be seen as gifts, we tell ourselves. After all, how can we be thankful for things we want to run from?

We can become grateful for these emotions in our lives if we place them in their proper perspective. We need to remember that we’ve come to believe in a loving Higher Power, and we’ve asked that Power to care for us – and our Higher Power doesn’t make mistakes. The feelings we’re given, “good” or “bad;” are given to us for a reason. With this in mind, we come to realize that there are no “bad” feelings, only lessons to be learned. Our faith and our Higher Power’s care give us the courage we need to face whatever feelings may come up on a daily basis.

As we heard early in recovery, “Your Higher Power won’t give you more than you can handle in just one day.” And the ability to feel our emotions is one of the greatest gifts of recovery.

Just for today: I will try to welcome my feelings, firm in the belief that I have the courage to face whatever emotions may come up in my life.


You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Nothing that is worth doing can be done alone, but has to be done with others. –Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr
We who are blessed with a closely-knit family life, where thoughts and actions can be discussed and developed, are aware that what is given is not as important as what is shared. As we help one another, we learn that sharing can never exist unless we care first. This is the major ingredient of love.
Albert Schweitzer described human service toward a common goal as the greatest of deeds. Charles Dickens assured us that when we lighten the burdens of another; we can never consider ourselves useless. Those of us who are led today may show the way tomorrow. In giving, we receive, and in getting we cannot avoid being givers.
What do I receive by giving today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
All of my life I been like a doubled up fist… poundin’, smashin’, drivin’ – now I’m going to loosen these doubled up hands and touch things easy with them. –Tennessee Williams
Every man has many sides. Some sides are highly developed and other sides aren’t at all. We need not fear turning to a new side and exploring it. This recovery program has enabled us to pursue sides of ourselves that were closed before. When we were lost in our narrow world of codependency and addiction, we had fewer options. Now we have far greater access to our strength and our self-esteem, and we find new parts of ourselves.
Many of us have found relationships, which were never possible before, job choices we would never have had, and the pleasure of greater involvement in life. It is reassuring to see that we don’t always have to give up one side of ourselves to add new ones.
Thanks to God for the many options opening up to me in this renewed life.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Denial
We are slow to believe that which if believed would hurt our feelings. –Ovid
Most of us in recovery have engaged in denial from time to time. Some of us relied on this tool.
We may have denied events or feelings from our past. We may have denied other people’s problems; we may have denied our own problems/ feelings, thoughts, wants, or needs. We denied the truth.
Denial means we didn’t let ourselves face reality, usually because facing that particular reality would hurt. It would be a loss of something: trust, love, family, perhaps a marriage, a friendship, or a dream. And it hurts to lose something or someone. ‘
Denial is a protective device, a shock absorber for the soul It prevents us from acknowledging reality until we feel prepared to cope with that particular reality People can shout and scream the truth at us, but we will not see or hear it until we are ready.
We are sturdy yet fragile beings. Sometimes, we need time to get prepared, time to ready ourselves to cope. We do not let go of our need to deny by beating ourselves into acceptance; we let go of our need to deny by allowing ourselves to become safe and strong enough to cope with the truth
We will do this, when the time is right. We do not need to punish ourselves for having denied reality; we need only love ourselves into safety and strength so that each day we are better equipped to face and deal with the truth. We will face and deal with reality – on our own time schedule, when we are ready, and in our Higher Power’s timing. We do not have to accept chastisement from anyone, including ourselves, for this schedule.
We will know what we need to know, when it’s time to know it.
Today, I will concentrate on making myself feel safe and confident. I will let myself have my awarenesses on my own time schedule.

I am at choice today. I accept the responsibility of my life with a new sense of maturity, confidence, and even excitement.
–Ruth Fishel


Journey to the Heart

Let Life’s Rhythm Find You

I sat in my room, a small cabin in Chimayo, New mexico. The clock whizzed through the hours, but I didn’t whiz through my morning. I felt overwhelmed. Lost. I had more to do than I could handle. I didn’t know where to begin. So there I sat. Stuck.

Genera, who ran the hostel, knocked on my door about noon. “Are you okay?” she asked. “Come have coffee and fruit with us.” Her quiet kindness, her gentle concern, and the simple act of having coffee and fruit with a friend brought me back to balance.

There’s a life force, a movement, a momentum that transcends our fears and hopes, our limitations, our overwhelmed feelings, and even our confusion. There’s a heartbeat, a rhythm to life and the universe. It’s gentle, easy, natural. It’s in us; it’s around us. It comes gently, naturally, like a friend knocking quietly on the door, asking if we are okay, if we have lost our way.

There is purpose, meaning, and rhythm to each step, each beat of your life. Each step, each feeling, each beat of your life is another mile traveled on your journey, your journey to your heart.

If you’ve lost your way and can’t find life’s rhythm, don’t worry. Keep your heart open and it will find you.


More Language Of Letting Go

Experience life for yourself

We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way.
–John Holt

“I’m an armchair adventurer,” I’ve heard more than one person say. This means that they never actually go out and do anything. They let others take all the risk. Through books, they’ve climbed Mount Everest, sailed around the world, hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, and snowshoed to the South Pole. They were even able to tell me all about how to fly a plane before my first lesson.

It’s one thing to spend our time reading books or listening to lectures about how to do this or that– how to have a successful relationship, how to build a business, how to live life more fully, whatever comes after how to. The trick is to finally put the books down, walk away from the lecture, and do it. Getting information, support, and encouragement is helpful. Necessary,too. But life was meant to be lived, not studied. The only way that you’ll have a successful career, relationship, or hobby is to go out and get one for yourself.

God, help me take the risk of actually doing something I want to learn to do.


Dealing with Difficult People
Opening the Channels of Communication

by Madisyn Taylor

We all have the experience of difficult people in our lives at one point or another and honest but clear communication is the answer.

We encounter a wide variety of people throughout our lives. Many of them touch us in some positive way. Occasionally, however, we encounter those individuals who, for whatever reason, can be difficult to deal with. Perhaps this person is a colleague or close friend that you feel is deliberately being obtuse, inviting in trouble, or doing foolish things that you find annoying. Sometimes, it may be possible to appease or avoid those people short term. Dealing with them in the long term, however, can be exhausting. The behavior of difficult people can even make you feel like losing your temper, but keep your cool. Staying calm is the first step, especially when you are ready to confront them.

Avoiding a difficult person can improve impossible and not in your best interest, especially if you live or work together. Likewise, attempts to steer clear of them can become a source of stress and anxiety when they are a part of your social circle. When this is the case, it is best to kindly address the problem. Try not to let their actions or mood affect you. You also may want to try expressing your feelings directly. Tell to the person how their actions make you feel and encourage them toward a more positive course of action. Speak assertively, but respectfully, and don’t portray yourself as a victim. Another approach for dealing with a difficult individual is to gain a deeper understanding of who that person is. Ask them why they do or say certain things. If you disagree with their motives, question them further so you can try and discover the root of their behaviors. In doing so, you may be able to gently shift their perceptions, or at least help them understand your ! point of view.

You may want to think about what you want to say to a difficult person before you actually talk to them. If you can, avoid being judgmental or defensive, and try to approach the conversation objectively. If the person is open to the idea, try coming to an agreement. If approaching them fails, let it go and move on. There is no reason to let difficult person or situation have power over your state of being. Remember that a lot can be accomplished when you take the time to listen and offer up alternative perspectives. Published with permission from Daily OM


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We’re taught in The Program and the Twelve Steps that the chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear — mainly fear that we would lose something we already possessed or that we would fail to get something we demanded. Living on the basis of unsatisfied demands, we obviously were in a state of continuable disturbance and frustration. Therefore, we are taught, no peace will be ours unless we find a means of reducing these demands. Have I become entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character?

Today I Pray

May I make no unrealistic demands on life, which, because of their grandiosity, can be met. May I place no excessive demands on others, which, when they are not fulfilled, leave me disappointed and let down.

Today I Will Remember

The set-up for a let-down.


One More Day

We all like to forgive, and we all love best not those who offend us least, not those who have done the most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them.
– Samuel Butler

None of us likes to harbor angry or bitter feelings toward another person. We know that friends may drift apart because of disagreements in which either of us will bend or compromise.

More and more, we know what our values are and the importance of how we reflect those values. When a friendship is threatened by anger or misunderstanding, we’re able to let our values guide us. We’ve been less willing o sacrifice our values to save a weak relationship. We’ve let go of some friends. If we’ve been stubborn or selfish, we’re better able now to preserve the friendship by making amends.

I will nurture my friendships and myself by letting my principles guide my life.


Food For Thought

Conserving Resources

In this fight against compulsive overeating, we need all the strength we can muster. We can learn to conserve our energy for what is important, rather than wasting it on non-essential activities.

An extra hour of sleep may do more for our program than an hour spent reading a novel or watching television. We have to guard against compulsive overactivity as well as overeating. Often, we tend to push too hard to complete something which can just as well wait until tomorrow. If we are tired, we are less able to resist temptation.

Choosing the foods, which will provide us with necessary proteins, vitamins, and minerals, is a vital part of maintaining energy. To take care of our bodies is to nurture the most valuable physical resource we have.

Conserving our resources often means saying no to people and activities, which drain them unnecessarily. Only we ourselves, with the guidance of our Higher Power, can decide how best to use the strength and energy we have.

Teach me to conserve the resources You have given me.


One Day At A Time

~ RECOVERY ~

The people who get on in the world are the people
who get up and look for the circumstances they want.
George Bernard Shaw

There was a time, not so long ago, that my life was much different than it is right now. My weight was skyrocketing because my eating compulsion was out of control. I couldn’t walk very far without huffing and puffing. My lower back hurt because my stomach pulled my spine out of alignment. My feet and ankles were swollen, my knees hurt, just standing was painful. I was hot all the time because my fat acted as insulation, keeping my body temperature high. My wife was hounding me about losing the weight, my doctor was taking her side, and even the kids at my son’s daycare were asking me why I was so big.

I didn’t start the recovery process (and it IS a process!) until I got to the point where I was so uncomfortable with myself that I had to do something. It wasn’t just that I was physically uncomfortable. I had to get past the comfort zone I had mentally and emotionally set up for myself; I had to get uncomfortable. I had to jump into the unknown, which was the most frightening thing I’d ever done.

Sitting around, moaning about my circumstances and suffering the physical consequences of my weight, didn’t get me anywhere. It was only when I became ready to see my life change, mentally, emotionally AND physically, that I began the footwork of this Program. That was the key to the beginning of my recovery, the getting up and actually doing something about it. When I took that first Step, the miracle began.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will take the necessary steps to maintain my
recovery from compulsive eating.
~ JAR ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others. – Pg. 159 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We must always fan the flame of inspiration and enthusiasm or our slight hold on sobriety will flicker and fade. We fan the flame by going to meetings, listening to the professionals we hire, choose and use a sponsor, and we must help others.

God, as I understand You, please show me one person I can give an encouraging word to in this hour.

New Life

I can feel my body and my spirit trying to come back to health. I am breathing in and out with relaxed, complete breaths and with each breath I take, I feel more serene. I sense the life within each pore of my body and it feels good, it feels right, it feels alive. My body needed to fall apart a little, it needed to get my attention and tell me it needed tender, loving care. Today, I will pay attention to what my body is trying to tell me it wants and needs and I will give it what it is calling out for.

I listen to what my body is asking for and I do something about it

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do you think you deserve special treatment because you are clean and sober? Most of us do at one time or another. Treat us special and we feel normal; treat us normal and we feel rejected.

Do I want my ego to be the first thing people see when I walk into a room?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

People may not always believe what you say, but they will always believe what you do.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am at choice today. I accept the responsibility of my life with a new sense of maturity, confidence, and even excitement.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

…And the unlived life is not worth examining. – Serenity Sam.


AA Thought for the Day

February 28

Happy, Joyous, and Free
We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free.
We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears,
though it once was just that for many of us.
But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it.
Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes,
cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 133

Thought to Ponder . . .
The joy is in the journey, so enjoy the ride.

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

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

Self-appraisal
“I used to be a champ at unrealistic self-appraisal.
I wanted to look only at the part of my life
which seemed good.
Then I would greatly exaggerate whatever virtues
I supposed I had attained.
Next I would congratulate myself on the grand job
I was doing.
So my unconscious self-deception never failed
to turn my few good assets into serious liabilities.
This astonishing process was always a pleasant one. . .
I was falling straight back
into the pattern of my drinking days. . .
I shall forever regret the damage I did to people around me.
Indeed, I still tremble when I realize
what I might have done to AA and to its future.”
Bill W., June 1961
1988 AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, pp. 256-7

Thought to Consider . . .
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

~~AACRONYMS~~
A A = Altered Attitudes

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

Renewed

From “An Open Heart”:
“I had nothing to do with this gift coming to me, so my gratitude is beyond description. It did not take me back to the
person I was before drinking. It gave me a new life rather, life itself, because I had attempted suicide and had been
hospitalized in private and state mental hospitals. It must have been spiritual; it was neither intellectual nor physical,
that’s for sure. I believe it was God as I understand Him, working through the love and understanding available in A.A.
May I keep my heart open. The joy which can come to an open heart is unlimited.–New York, New York, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 51

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

“We found that all progress, material or spiritual, consisted of finding out what our responsibilities actually were and then
proceeding to do something about them … We found that we didn’t always have to be driven by our own discomforts as,
more willingly, we picked up the burdens of living and growing … We discovered that full acceptance and action upon
any clear-cut responsibility almost invariably made for true happiness and peace of mind.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1965
From: “Responsibility Is Our Theme”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Without knowing it, had we not been brought to where we stood by a
certain kind of faith? For did we not believe in our own reasoning?
Did we not have confidence in our ability to think? What was that
but a sort of faith? Yes, we had been faithful, abjectly faithful to
the God of Reason. So, in one way or another, we discovered that
faith had been involved all the time!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53~

“Highly competent psychiatrists who have dealt with us have found it
sometimes impossible to persuade an alcoholic to discuss his
situation without reserve. Strangely enough, wives, parents and
intimate friends usually find us even more unapproachable than do the
psychiatrist and the doctor.
But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is
properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire
confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an
understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 18~

And as we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts need to undergo drastic revisions.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 114

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Conviction and Compromise
One qualification for a useful life is give-and-take, the ability to compromise cheerfully. Compromise comes hard to us
‘all or nothing’ drunks. Nevertheless, we must never lose sight of the fact that progress is nearly always characterized
by a series of improving compromises.
Of course, we cannot always compromise. There are circumstances in which it is necessary to stick flat-footed to one’s
convictions until the issue is resolved. Deciding when to compromise and when not to compromise always calls for the
most careful discrimination. TWELVE CONCEPTS, pp. 40-41

Prayer for the Day: May the God of hope fill me and all of us with the joy and peace that comes from believing, so that
we may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 27th

Daily Reflections

A UNIQUE STABILITY

Where does A.A. get its direction? . . . These practical
folk then read Tradition Two, and learn that the sole
authority in A.A. is a loving God as He may express
Himself in the group conscience. . . The elder statesman
is the one who sees the wisdom of the group’s decision,
who holds no resentment over his reduced status, whose
judgment, fortified by considerable experience, is
sound, and who is willing to sit quietly on the sidelines
patiently awaiting developments.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 132, 135

Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven
the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. As my
recovery progressed, I realized that the new mantle was
tailor made for me. The elders of the group gently
offered suggestions when change seemed impossible.
Everyone’s shared experiences became the substance for
treasured friendships. I know that the Fellowship is
ready and equipped to aid each suffering alcoholic at
all crossroads in life. In a world beset by many
problems, I find this assurance a unique stability.
I cherish the gift of sobriety. I offer my gratitude
for the strength I receive in a Fellowship that truly
exists for the good of all members.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we first came into A.A., the first thing we did was
to admit that we couldn’t do anything about our drinking.
We admitted that alcohol had us licked and that we were
helpless against it. We never could decide whether or not
to take a drink. We always took the drink. And since we
couldn’t do anything about it ourselves, we put our whole
drink problem into the hands of God. We turned the whole
thing over to that Power greater than ourselves. And we
have nothing more to do about it, except to trust God to
take care of the problem for us. Have I done this honestly
and fully?

Meditation For The Day

This is the time for my spirit to touch the spirit of God.
I know that the feeling of the spirit-touch is more
important than all the sensations of material things. I
must seek a silence of spirit-touching with God. Just a
moment’s contact and all the fever of life leaves me. Then
I am well, whole, calm and able to arise and minister to
others. God’s touch is a potent healer. I must feel that
touch and sense God’s presence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that the fever of resentment, worry and fear may
melt into nothingness. I pray that health, joy, peace and
serenity may take its place.

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As Bill Sees It

Righteous Indignation, p. 58

“The positive value of righteous indignation is theoretical–especially
for alcoholics. It leaves every one of us open to the rationalization
that we may be as angry as we like provided we can claim to be
righteous about it.”

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

When we harbored grudges and planned revenge for defeats, we
were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended
to use on others. We learned that if we were seriously disturbed, our
very first need was to quiet that disturbance, regardless of who or
what we thought caused it.

1. Letter, 1954
2. 12 & 12, p. 47

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Walk In Dry Places

Selling myself____ Personal Relations
Thoughtful people tell us that every person has to “sell” himself or herself in daily work.  As alcoholics, we can find that threatening. Uncertainty and the fear of rejection or failure put us under stress.
We can avoid this stress and tension by putting all responsibility for results in God’s hands.  While it is true that we want to succeed and to be accepted, we can never be sure that our idea of success is the right one.  There are times when our strong determination to succeed at all costs makes us overbearing and demanding in our approach. We may be so anxious to appear competent and knowledgeable that we overreach our selves and make stupid blunders.
God can show us how to handle each day’s affairs in an orderly, reasonable way. It is not necessary to win every argument or to make every sale.  We can sell ourselves mor effectively when we go through the day calmly and take a genuine interest in the ideas and concerns of others.
I will look upon my customers and fellow workers as friends and allies. I don’t have to bludgeon every person into accepting my point of view.  If I am sincerely trying to follow God’s will in all my affairs, others will sense my sincerity and will be glad to consider what I have to say.

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Keep It Simple

Without work all life goes rotten.—Albert Camus
Work is more than earning money. Work means using our time and skills to make life better for those around us. Our work can be our hobbies. Growing food or growing flowers can be our work.
Raising children or caring for older people who need help can be our work. Building homes or helping people live in them can be our work. Thanks to our program of recovery, we can do our best work again. What a change from the drugged-up and hung over days when we didn’t do anything well. We are sober, and we have something to offer.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me see that work makes me part of the human family. Help me do Your will in my work today.
Action for the Day:  Good work teaches us good habits. How do the things I’ve learned in my work help me in my recovery program? I’ll list five ways.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Being alone and feeling vulnerable. Like two separate themes, these two parts of myself unite in my being and sow the seeds of my longing for unconditional love.  –Mary Casey
How easily we slip into self-doubt, fearing we’re incapable or unlovable, perhaps both. How common for us to look into the faces of our friends and lovers in search of affirmation and love.
Our alienation from ourselves, from one another, from God’s Spirit which exists everywhere causes our discontent. It is our discontent. When souls touch, love is born, love of self and love of the other. Our aloneness exists when we create barriers that keep us separate from our friends, our family. Only we can reach over or around the barriers to offer love, to receive love.
Recovery offers us the tools for loving, but we must dare to pick them up. Listening to others and sharing ourselves begins the process of loving. Risking to offer love before receiving it will free us from the continual search for love in the faces of others.
I won’t wait to be loved today. I will love someone else, fully. I won’t doubt that I, too, am loved. I will feel it. I will find unconditional love.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

We landed in England. I visited Winchester Cathedral. Much moved, I wandered outside. My attention was caught by a doggerel on an old tombstone:
“Here lies a Hampshire Grenadier
Who caught his death
Drinking cold small beer.
A good soldier is ne’er forgot
Whether he dieth by musket
Or by pot.”
Ominous warning – which I failed to heed.

p. 1

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.

From time to time I would tell the truth.  I said in a meeting that I was afraid to get a sponsor because I was afraid he might ask me to do something.  I left that meeting with a phone number.  I called it, and sure enough, my new sponsor started leading me through the steps, using the Big Book.

p. 372

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition One – “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.”

Those who look closely soon have the key to this strange paradox. The A.A. member has to conform to the principles of recovery. His life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If he deviates too far, the penalty is sure and swift; he sickens and dies. At first he goes along because he must, but later he discovers a way of life he really wants to live. Moreover, he finds he cannot keep this priceless gift unless he gives it away. Neither he nor anybody else can survive unless he carries the A.A. message. The moment this Twelfth Step work forms a group, another discovery is made – that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group. Realization dawns that he is but a small part of a great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He learns that the clamor of desires and ambitions within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the group. It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not.

p. 130

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The road to recovery is always under construction.

A cool head keeps you out of hot water.

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without
forgetting.
–Elizabeth Bibesco

God, help me take a deep breath and holler woohoo.
–Melody Beattie

A deeper bonding with one’s spirit and with others at an essence level is
the spiritual opportunity of the new millennium, yet the first step is an
inside job — starting with oneself. People have an innate desire to bond
with others in the spirit of love, but an essential first step is rolling up
our sleeves and applying some elbow grease toward managing attitudes
and emotions that are not in line with our heart or authentic self.
Then bonding becomes not an action you do but a way of being, the
way of love.
–Doc Childre

When the storms clouds threaten
And on the sea of life we’re tossed,
When we don’t know where we are going,
Feeling all alone and lost…….
There is a friend to turn to.
A calming hand to guide your way
He will make the dark clouds scatter
and brighter grows the day.
–Gloria Hall Wood

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FACTS

“To treat your facts with
imagination is one thing, but to
imagine your facts is another.”
— John Burroughs

When I was drinking, I was always confusing fantasy with reality. Lies
got mingled with the facts and the facts became exaggerated. It was
almost impossible for me to distinguish between reality and fantasy,
imagination and fact. My life was a complicated lie.

Today I have a program of “rigorous” honesty; I must be rigorous and
stop the game before it starts. I need to practice the principles of
recovery in every area of my life. The spiritual road involves a
comprehensive journey and nothing need be left out.

God, who created the mountains, help me to take responsibility for the
grit between my toes.

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

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My
heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”
Psalm 28:7

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither
you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on
every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 8:3

“Come to me all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept
my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find
rest for your lives. The teaching I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is
light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

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Daily Inspiration

Time passes too quickly so waste none of it on anger, self-pity or the irritations of life. Lord, may my choices remove stress and free me to enjoy the goodness of today.

In your pursuit of happiness, pause to relax and be happy. Lord, slow me down just enough to enjoy all that You have given to me.

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NA Just For Today

“Pure Motives”

“We examine our actions, reactions, and motives. We often find that we’ve been doing better than we’ve been feeling.”
Basic Text, p. 42

Imagine a daily meditation book with this kind of message: “When you wake up in the morning, before you rise from your bed, take a moment for reflection. Lie back, gather your thoughts, and consider your plans for the day. One by one, review the motives behind those plans. If your motives are not entirely pure, roll over and go back to sleep.” Nonsense, isn’t it?

No matter how long we’ve been clean, almost all of us have mixed motives behind almost everything we do. However, that’s no reason to put our lives on hold. We don’t have to wait for our motives to become perfectly pure before we can start living our recovery.

As the program works its way into our lives, we begin acting less frequently on our more questionable motives. We regularly examine ourselves, and we talk with our sponsor about what we find. We pray for knowledge of our Higher Power’s will for us, and we seek the power to act on the knowledge we’re given. The result? We don’t get perfect, but we do get better.

We’ve begun working a spiritual program. We won’t ever become spiritual giants. But if we look at ourselves realistically, we’ll probably realize that we’ve been doing better than we’ve been feeling.

Just for today: I will examine myself realistically. I will seek the power to act on my best motives, and not to act on my worst.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. –Walter Babehot
Everyone knew Jacob was a bitter old hermit who hated people. He lived by himself in a cabin in the woods. He never came to town, never talked to anyone, and never put up a mailbox or put in a phone. But he had one thing the townsfolk wanted–the very first Bible brought by a preacher when the town was first settled. They wanted it for their centennial celebration.
Little Tom listened as the townsfolk complained daily about how much they wanted the old book to put on display. One day, he walked on out to the little cabin and just asked the old man if he could borrow the book, just for a week. Imagine the surprise on the faces of the people when the boy wandered back to town with the old dusty book in hand.
Are we like the townspeople sometimes? Do we assume things won’t work out without even trying? Sometimes help is there, just waiting to be asked. What have we got to lose?
What can I request today that I have been afraid to ask for?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender. –Henri Amiel
When we were lost in our addictive ways, we were driven by self-interest. We didn’t necessarily like ourselves or want to be so self centered. But we had no inner resources to help us escape the trap of our egos. When we were there, we could not see outside ourselves well enough to ask for help. Surrender, we thought, brought only defeat and humiliation.
The inspiration of this program brings us possibilities that cannot originate from within. When we surrender, we are no longer captives within our skins. We are actually restored to a more natural state as men in community with others, who literally cannot survive as isolated individuals. We must be a part of the give and take within the group, just as it has been for human beings since the beginning of time.
Today, I surrender my self-interest again, knowing I must do it over and over.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
People Pleasers
Have you ever been around people pleasers? They tend to be displeasing. Being around someone who is turned inside out to please another is often irritating and anxiety producing.
People-pleasing is a behavior we may have adapted to survive in our family. We may not have been able to get the love and attention we deserved. We may not have been given permission to please ourselves, to trust ourselves, and to choose a course of action that demonstrated self-trust.
People pleasing can be overt or covert. We may run around fussing over others, chattering a mile a minute when what we are really saying is, “I hope I’m pleasing you.” Or, we may be more covert, quietly going through life making important decisions based on pleasing others.
Taking other people’s wants and needs into consideration is an important part of our relationships. We have responsibilities to friends and family and employers. We have a strong inner responsibility to be loving and caring. But, people pleasing backfires. Not only do others get annoyed with us, we often get annoyed when our efforts to please do not work as we planned. The most comfortable people to be around are those who are considerate of others but ultimately please themselves.
Help me, God, work through my fears and begin to please myself.

Today I will trust myself when something does not feel smooth and flowing. I will begin to look around for alternatives for anything that feels rough and irritating. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Open to Life’s Magic

“I will never forget my mother’s words to me the first time she took me to the Hob rain forest,” a woman told me, when she learned I was going there. “We were at the edge of the forest, about to enter. My mother stopped walking and turned to me. “There’s magic here,” she said. It wasn’t her words that impressed me. What struck me was the absolute certainty and matter-of-fact way she said it. It was like she had just told me, ‘Dinner’s ready,’”

There’s magic in the air. It’s the next place on the journey. It’s inevitable. We have been clearing the path so we could do more than merely trudge down the road. The road leads to magic– a magical way of living. A magical way of being here. The magic in the air isn’t an illusion, isn’t a trick. You have done your work. You have stuck with the journey. Now is the time for fun,the time to see and know more of life’s magical ways.

Walk lightly. Enter the enchanted forest. Look around. Keep your eyes and ears open. Tell others what you see. The journey to the heart is a journey of wonder and awe.

“The ancient ones, the trees, are waiting for you,” the woman said. “When you get there, tell them I said hi.” Open to life’s magic. It’s been waiting for your call.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Live your life

A painting of a rice cake does not satisfy hunger.
–Ancient saying

An old man was telling his grandson about how poor he was when he was younger. “Why when I was a kid, we couldn’t even afford cheese for the mousetraps,” he said. “We had to cut out pictures of cheese and use that.”

“Wow, did you catch anything gramps?”

“Yes. We caught pictures of mice.”

I have a picture in my house of a Buddhist ceremony in Tibet. The picture was taken by a photographer who lives close to the Blue Sky Lodge. She told me all about the picture when I bought it from her– told me about the smells in the air, the temperature, the crush of the people around her, the tastes, smells, and sights of that place. When I close my eyes and remember her words, I can almost go there. Almost, but not quite. I hope to travel there sometime, to see those things and to feel my soul filled with the spirituality of a monastery high on a hill. The picture is like a menu. It sits on the counter, tempting me with all that is offered in it. But it doesn’t satisfy my hunger.

We can share our experience, strength, and hope with each other. But I can’t learn your lessons and you can’t learn mine.

I’m planning my trip to Tibet, as I write this book. Will it all work out like the trip in the picture? I don’t know. I do know that I won’t get the experience– the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and the impact on my soul– from looking at the picture on my wall.

Have you been trying to gain sustenance from looking at a picture of an experience– reading books, taking classes, going to seminars, listening to mentors– instead of going out and living life for yourself? Take another look at your menu, the list you wrote at the beginning of the year. Order something from it.

Stop looking at the picture and go live for yourself.

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Short Getaways
Taking a Day Trip

by Madisyn Taylor

We need not go on an expensive vacation to feel we have had time off as your local park or beach can offer a blissful refuge.

We tend to think of a vacation as something that requires an enormous amount of preparation, but small daylong excursions can be just as refreshing and fulfilling as their lengthier counterparts. A short drive can be the channel that transports you into a world of novel experiences and blissful relaxation. Solo day trips can be a wonderful way to unwind from the stresses of routine existence while simultaneously feeding the soul. And when you choose to share your day trip with someone you care about, a leisurely drive becomes a chance to talk about childhood, recall favorite songs, or simply spend time enjoying one another’s presence.

You may be surprised to see how many day-trip possibilities exist within a mere hour’s time from your home. Forests, beaches, lakes, mountains, rivers, and deserts can serve as the perfect spot for a mini-vacation. The physical and mental rejuvenation you experience in an unfamiliar and engaging setting are enhanced by meditation, journaling, deep breathing, or just being still with nature. Though the cost of gasoline can make taking a day trip seem frivolous, and our commitment to environmental well-being may cause us to hesitate before utilizing our cars in this manner, there are numerous ways we can effectively offset our carbon signature while still seeing to the needs of ourselves on a soul level.

Since day trips tend to require much smaller investments of time and money than traditional outings, you can enjoy a diverse range of experiences day by day. On one weekend, you may be motivated by a need to connect with your natural heritage to explore a vast state park or nature preserve. On another, your curiosity can inspire you to visit a historical site that has long piqued your interest. In the end, where you go will often be less important than your willingness to broaden your horizons by removing yourself from the environment already so familiar to you. Each mini-getaway you take will imbue your existence with a sensation of renewal that prepares you for whatever lies ahead. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If I live just one day at a time, I won’t so quickly entertain fears of what might happen tomorrow. As long as I’m concentrating on today’s activities, there won’t be room in my mind for worrying. I’ll try to fill every minute of this day with something. Then, when the day is ended, I’ll be able to look back on it with satisfaction, serenity and gratitude. Do I sometimes cherish bad feeling so that I can feel sorry for myself?

Today I Pray

That I will get out of the self-pity act and live for today. May I notice the good things from dawn to nightfall, learn to talk about them and thank God for them. May I catch myself if I seem to be relishing my moans and complaints more often than appreciating the goodness of my life.

Today I Will Remember

Today is good.

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One More Day

I shall not pass this way again;
Then let me now relieve some pain,
Remove some barrier from the road,
Or brighten someone’s heavy load.
– Eva Rose York

Sometimes we help other through – neighborhood clean-up committees, recycling stations, and paint-a-tons. Maybe we’ve volunteered through school or church or community organizations.

Illness has helped us better understand the relationship between those who help and those who need help. Loving help is not prompted by pity or superiority, but by empathy and shared humanness. Also, we’ve learned that no one is always the helper or always the one needing help. We are both. We are bonded to others through what we give — and what we receive.

I will show my love by helping and being willing to be helped.

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Food For Thought

No Standing Still

Life is movement, and to be alive is to change. There is no standing still. Either we are making progress in the control of our disease, or we are getting worse.

Progress forward is an upward climb. To look back with longing at a time which in retrospect seems easier, or to think about the so-called pleasure we once got from food, is to invite disaster. We have long passed the point of being satisfied with a small amount of uncontrolled eating. Now, a small amount will inevitably become a large amount, and instead of pleasure we will eventually feel much physical and emotional pain.

If we are making progress, let’s keep at it and not be deluded into going backwards. If we are losing control and slipping, let’s recognize that we are on a downward course and that our disease is getting worse. Let’s stop rationalizing and making excuses. Right now we can turn around and start climbing.

May I keep climbing.

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One Day At A Time

~ FIGHTING ~

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone …
The Big Book, page 84

When one goes through life at full speed ahead as I have done, it’s hard to really step back and look at one’s life. Everything is happening too fast and each day seems to blend into the next and, before you know it, the next segment of life seems to take over.

When I began my Twelve Step recovery program, I found myself slowing down … examining my life … observing those around me … and reflecting on my past. I began to know who I was and I didn’t like one of the things I discovered: I was a fighter. I didn’t accept people, places or things unless and until they met my expectations of what they should be. I tried to control situations that I should have walked away from. I clung to people I should have distanced myself from. I tried to manipulate things that were toxic to me, and make them un-toxic … and, in the process, did myself great harm.

When I first read those words from the AABB, “We have ceased fighting anything or anyone,” I felt it didn’t apply to me … because at that point, I hadn’t categorized myself as a fighter. It took living and working the Steps to realize that. And it took living and working the Steps to take the action necessary to stop being a fighter.

Life is calmer now. Relationships are smoother. I sometimes miss the excitement of going through like as though I were on a roller coaster … but I won’t go back there. Serenity means too much to me. Fighting is something I have put away forever.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will direct my thinking and doing to those things in my life which will contribute to a meaningful and pleasant journey.
~ Mari ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. – Pg. 133 – The Family Afterwards

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Sometimes you won’t be able to trust that all will be well. You’ll think ‘it isn’t well’ and ‘I don’t want to hear others telling me it will be all right.’ OK. Be angry. Now go do something that is suggested to you today. Make a phone call to your sponsor, make a meeting, help another in early recovery. Channel your anger toward action.

Grant me the strength to do one activity today that is suggested in the books or by a fellow member in recovery.

Unseen Hands 

There are forces in this ever alive and vibrating universe that want to help me if I can let them. I will pray to unseen hands to guide me toward wellness, to lift me towards God. If I am low, I will allow this legion of tiny hands to lift me in the blink of an eye. I will ask and trust that help is at hand. I will free my mind so that it can include more experience that it normally does. I will allow the veil to be lifted so that I can see this spiritual and alive universe for what it is and people for the tender and vulnerable creatures that we all are.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

It’s a very interesting thing about human nature, when you stop treating yourself poorly, it will become unacceptable for others to do so.

If I don’t take care of myself, why should anyone else?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Daily meditation for about 20 minutes is recommended for all in recovery; unless, of course, you’re very busy, then you should meditate for an hour.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will trust myself when something does not feel smooth and flowing. I will begin to look around for alternatives for anything that feels rough and irritating.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

This is a disease of insight. I could see the filth, the deceit, the ugliness, the infidelity. The pain of alcoholism and me. It was all very clear. I could see through myself like glass – As Socrates said: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Tom M.

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AA Thought for the Day

February 27

Rallying Point
Step Two is the rallying point for all of us.
Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step.
True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith,
and every AA meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity
if we rightly relate ourselves to Him.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 33

Thought to Ponder . . .
I sit at a meeting until the bus of sanity comes by; then, I climb aboard.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
W E = Walls Evaporate.

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

Foundation
There is a direct linkage among self-examination,
meditation, and prayer.
Taken separately, these practices can bring
much relief and benefit.
but when they are logically related and interwoven,
the result is an unshakable foundation for life.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 98

Thought to Consider . . .
Prayer is asking a question.
Meditation is listening for the answer.

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

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

Hope
>From “Tightrope”:
“He put me in contact with an individual who took me to my first meeting. Although I can barely recall anything about that
meeting, I heard two things I have never forgotten. The first was ‘You don’t have to drink again.’ This was a total
revelation to me. For a long time I had believed that alcohol was one of the few positive things left in my life. I looked
forward to my first drink every evening and thought that alcohol was holding my life together. I had to drink to survive, let
alone to have any comfort. Yet here, people who had been in the same boat were telling me that I didn’t have to drink. I
don’t think I believed them that night, but it gave me enough hope to avoid drinking the rest of the day.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 364-65

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

“Today, I don’t have the home, the husband, the three cars in the garage. I have one old clunker that takes me to
meetings. I am not financially well off, but I have a peace of mind I never dreamed possible. My needs are always met —
and even some of my wishes. I am truly happy for the first time in my life. Thank you AA.”
Milwaukie, Ore., June 1999
From: “A Lady After All”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“Though there is no way of proving it, we believe that early in our
drinking careers most of us could have stopped drinking. But the
difficulty is that few alcoholics have enough desire to stop while
there is yet time.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 32

“Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider
another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate,
was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with
Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative
Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of
things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and
direction, provided we took other simple steps.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 46~

“Perhaps we shall need to share with this person facts about ourselves which no others ought to know.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 61

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Righteous Indignation
‘The positive value of righteous indignation is theoretical – especially for alcoholics. It leaves every one of us open to the
rationalization that we may be as angry as we like provided we can claim to be righteous about it.’
When we harbored grudges and planned revenge for defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger
we had intended to use on others. We learned that if we were seriously disturbed, our very first need was to quiet that
disturbance, regardless of who or what we thought caused it. 1. LETTER, 1954 – 2 .TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 47

Prayer for the Day: God, I pray that I may not neglect my soul in trying to fathom immortal life. If I may be hesitating
between comfort and work, remind me of the greatness of the place which I started to reach. May I not grow weary of
climbing and falter on the stair. Breathe upon me thy inspiration and love, that I may continue in faith all the way. Amen.