Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 1st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 1st

Daily Reflections

LIVING IT

The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 83

When new in the program, I couldn’t comprehend living the spiritual
aspect of the program, but now that I’m sober, I can’t comprehend
living without it. Spirituality was what I had been seeking. God, as I
understand Him, has given me answers to the whys that kept me
drinking for twenty years. By living a spiritual life, by asking God for
help, I have learned to love, care for and feel compassion for all my
fellow men, and to feel joy in a world where, before, I felt only fear.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The Alcoholics Anonymous program has borrowed from medicine,
psychiatry, and religion. It has taken from these what it wanted and
combined them into the program which it considers best suited to the
alcoholic mind and which will best help the alcoholic to recover. The
results have been very satisfactory. We do not try to improve on the
A.A. program. Its value has been proved by the success it has had in
helping thousands of alcoholics to recover. It has everything we
alcoholics need to arrest our illness. Do I try to follow the A.A.
program just as it is?

Meditation For The Day

You should strive for a union between your purposes in life and the
purposes of the Divine Principle directing the universe. There is no
bond of union on earth to compare with the union between a human
soul and God. Priceless beyond all earth’s rewards is that union. In
merging your heart and mind with the heart and mind of the Higher
Power, a oneness of purpose results, which only those who experience
it can even dimly realize. That oneness of purpose puts you in harmony
with God and with all others who are trying to do His will.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may become attuned to the will of God. I pray that I may
be in harmony with the music of the spheres.

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As Bill Sees It

Complete the Housecleaning, p. 213

Time after time, newcomers have tried to keep to themselves
shoddy facts about their lives. Trying to avoid the humbling
experience of the Fifth Step, they have turned to easier methods.
Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest
of the program, they wondered why they fell.

We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning.
They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst
items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and
fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had
not learned enough of humility, fearlessness, and honesty, in the
sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else their
entire life story.

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 72-73

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Walk In Dry Places

Who is sincere?
Sincerity.
We sometimes dismiss others people’s relapses with the explanation that they didn’t really want to stay sober or that they lacked sincerity of purpose.
We have no way of gauging just how sincere anybody really is. Even in trying to understand ourselves, we may detect traces of double-mindedness that got us into trouble. Even if we’ve been sober for years, the old desire to drink can be lurking somewhere in the back of our minds.  It’s wise to assume that this is so even when there’s no conscious desire to drink.  If hidden desires to drink still persist even after years of sobriety, it points to the persistence of the disease….  Not to one’s insincerity.
It may even be that sincerity, like sobriety, has to be sought on a daily basis.  Perhaps we are capable of being sincere today, and then lapse into insincerity tomorrow.  To accept this is a sign of prudence and maturity, and perhaps even a measure of humility.
I’ll seek to be sincere today about the things that really count.  If I know I’m insincere in certain areas, I’ll seek more understanding about it.


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Keep It Simple

Made a list of all persons we had harmed . . .
—First half of Step Eight
By the time we get to Step Eight, we’re ready to work on our relationships.
We start by making a list of all persons we’ve harmed. We look at where we
have been at fault. We own our behavior.
Now we’re healing, and we must help others to heal too. Our list must be as
complete as we can make it. As our recovery goes on we’ll remember others
we have hurt. We add them to our list. By doing this, we heal even more.
Remember, this Step is for us. It is to help us stay sober.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me make a complete list. Help me keep it open-ended.
Allow me and those I’ve harmed to be healed.
Action for the Day:  Even if I’ve made a list before, I’ll make another one today. I will list
all those I have harmed.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit, till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.  –Annie Dillard
Our progress today, and certainly our serenity, is enhanced by our willingness to accept all that we are blessed with today. Not only to accept, but to celebrate, trusting that these events are moving us toward our special destiny.
Flowing with the twists and turns in our lives, rather than resisting them, guarantees smooth sailing, helps us to maximize our opportunities, increases our serenity. Accepting our powerlessness over all but our own attitude is the first step we need to take toward finding serenity.
Resistance, whether it is against a person or a situation in our lives, will compound the problem, as we perceive it. We can believe in the advantages for growth that all experiences offer. We can sail with our experiences. We can be open to them so they can carry us to our destination. We can trust, simply trust, that all is well and in our favor, every moment.
My serenity is in my control today. I will look to this day with trust and thanksgiving. And my Spirit will soar.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. we asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than our-selves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

pp. 59-60

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
Looking back, that may have been the first healthy decision I ever made with respect to alcohol.  One definition of a bottom is the point when the last thing you lost or the next thing you are about to lose is more important to you than booze.  That point is different for everyone, and some of us die before we get there.  For me, though, it was clear.  I was willing to do anything to get back into school.

pp. 425-426

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Sometimes A.A. comes harder to those who have lost or rejected faith than to those who never had any faith at all, for they think they have tried faith and found it wanting. They have tried the way of faith and the way of no faith. Since both ways have proved bitterly disappointing, they have concluded there is no place whatever for them to go. The roadblocks of indifference, fancied self-sufficiency, prejudice, and defiance often prove more solid and formidable for these people than any erected by the unconvinced agnostic or even the militant atheist. Religion says the existence of God can be proved; the agnostic says it can’t be proved; and the atheist claims proof of the nonexistence of God. Obviously, the dilemma of the wanderer from faith is that of profound confusion. He thinks himself lost to the comfort of any
conviction at all. He cannot attain in even a small degree the assurance of the believer, the agnostic, or the atheist. He is the bewildered one.

p. 28

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Lost time is never found again.
–Thelonious Monk

Time is a created thing. To say, “I don’t have time” is like saying “I
don’t want to…”
–Lao-Tzu

There are really only 2 choices: worry or trust God.
–unknown

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort
searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside.
Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only
in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you
cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
–Og Mandino

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.
–Native American Proverb

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
–Japanese Proverb

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall.”
–Confucius

If you put everything off till you’re sure of it, you’ll get nothing done.
–Norman Vincent Peale

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SELF-RELIANCE

“The way to greatness is the
path of self-reliance,
independence and steadfastness
in times of trial and stress.”
— Herbert Hoover

Today I take responsibility for my life. Today I take responsibility for
my disease. Today I take responsibility for my recovery. I know I am
not perfect and I have many pains and problems yet to face, but I take
hope in my daily conquests. Nothing is too great for me to overcome so
long as I have confidence in myself. It is my “yes” or “no” that
makes the difference. In the power of my choice rests my freedom.

God, I thank You for my daily trials that ensure my victories.

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“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who   seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that
I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.
Psalm 27:4

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we
must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself
said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
Acts 20:35

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of
trouble.
Psalm 46:1


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Daily Inspiration

The more blessings you thank God for, the more blessings you begin to realize that you have been given. Lord, thank you for Your constant Love and unending blessings.

Keep your heart clean by constant spring cleaning. Then there will be a place for beauty and peace. Lord, help me to remove carelessness and disrespect from my heart and in all things may I celebrate Your love for me.

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NA Just For Today

Freedom From Guilt

“Our addiction enslaved us. We were prisoners of our own mind and were condemned by our own guilt.”
Basic Text, p.7

Guilt is one of the most commonly encountered stumbling blocks in recovery. One of the more notorious forms of guilt is the self-loathing that results when we try to forgive ourselves but don’t feel forgiven.

How can we forgive ourselves so we feel it? First, we remember that guilt and failure are not links in an unbreakable chain. Honestly sharing with a sponsor and with other addicts shows this to be true. Often the result of such sharing is a more sensible awareness of the part we ourselves have played in our affairs. Sometimes we realize that our expectations have been too high. We increase our willingness to participate in the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.

Somewhere along the way, we discover who we really are. We usually find that we are neither the totally perfect nor the totally imperfect beings we have imagined ourselves to be. We need not live up to or down to our illusions; we need only live in reality.

Just for today: I am grateful for my assets and accept my liabilities. Through willingness and humility, I am freed to progress in my recovery and achieve freedom from guilt.
pg. 223

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Flying is largely a matter of having the right attitude–plus, of course, good wing feathers. –E. B. White
The swan flies with majesty, confidence, and grace. It is made to fly, of course, but it learns as much about flying from its parents as it knows by instinct. It is not born with the ability to fly, but with the potential.
Each of us is born with the potential to fly in many skies. We may sing or dance or write or run, fix machines, teach children, speak, listen, sympathize. And we can do all things well, as only humans can. It is not the ability to do these things that makes us human; it’s what we do with that ability.
Knowing how to prepare ourselves before we spread our wings is part of discovering what we can do. When we learn to ride a bike, we know we can do it; our parent’s hand on the seat helps us know it.
Wanting to soar is the first part of the flight; it is studying, practicing, and asking for help that allows us to get off the ground.
What steps can I take today toward reaching my potential?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The great artist is the simplifier. –Henri Amiel
Just as an artist creates through simplification, so a man’s recovery process grows and deepens as he simplifies his life. This isn’t easy to do in our fast paced and high-powered world. We have often complicated a problem by our way of thinking. Sometimes we take pride in how complex we can make something seem. We look for hidden meanings when the truth is on the surface. We give long explanations for our actions when none is called for. We suspect a person’s motives when taking him at face value loses nothing. We take on a battle when we could just as well let it pass.
Most of us don’t think of ourselves as artists. Yet we are each given a profound, creative opportunity – to fashion a meaningful and worthwhile pattern in our lives. As we seek to do the will of God today, it is as if we are taking a lump of clay and creating an image from it.
As I go about today’s activities, may I find ways to make it a simple and creative expression.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit, till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff. –Annie Dillard
Our progress today, and certainly our serenity, is enhanced by our willingness to accept all that we are blessed with today. Not only to accept, but to celebrate, trusting that these events are moving us toward our special destiny.
Flowing with the twists and turns in our lives, rather than resisting them, guarantees smooth sailing, helps us to maximize our opportunities, increases our serenity. Accepting our powerlessness over all but our own attitude is the first step we need to take toward finding serenity.
Resistance, whether it is against a person or a situation in our lives, will compound the problem, as we perceive it. We can believe in the advantages for growth that all experiences offer. We can sail with our experiences. We can be open to them so they can carry us to our destination. We can trust, simply trust, that all is well and in our favor, every moment.
My serenity is in my control today. I will look to this day with trust and thanksgiving. And my Spirit will soar.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Gratitude
We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more. –Codependent No More
Say thank you, until we mean it.
Thank God, life, and the universe for everyone and everything sent your way.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Gratitude makes things right.
Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situations or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude’s power. We can start with whom we are and what we have today, apply gratitude, then let it work its magic.
Say thank you, until you mean it. if you say it long enough, you will believe it.
Today, I will shine the transforming light of gratitude on all the circumstances of my life.

Today I choose to forgive instead of holding on to resentments. Today I choose to let go of all feelings that block me from feeling love. Today I choose to see everyone through the eyes of love. –Ruth Fishel

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Hidden Treasure
Finding Another Vantage Point by Madisyn Taylor

Seeing the world from another perspective can introduce you to all sorts of hidden treasures.

The ocean can look very different, depending on whether you are standing at the shore, soaring above in a plane, or swimming beneath its waves. Likewise, a mountain can look very different relative to where you are standing. Each living thing sees the world from its unique vantage point. While from your window you may be seeing what looks like a huge shrub, a bird in its nest is getting an intimate view of that tree’s leafy interior. Meanwhile, a beetle sees only a massive and never-ending tree trunk. Yet all three of you are looking at the same tree.

Just as a shadow that is concealed from one point of view is easily seen from another, it is possible to miss a fantastic view. That is, unless you are willing to see what’s in front of you through different eyes. Seeing the world from another perspective, whether spatially or mentally, can introduce you to all sorts of hidden treasures. The root of the discovery process often lies in finding another way of looking at the world. The common human reaction to insects is one example. Spinning its web in a dark corner, a spider may seem drab, frightening, and mysterious. But seen up close weaving silver snowflakes between the branches of a tree, they can look like colored jewels.

Sometimes, there are experiences in life that from your vantage point may seem confusing, alarming, or worrisome. Or there may be events that look insignificant from where you are standing right now. Try seeing them from another point of view. Bury your face in the grass and look at the world from a bug’s vantage point. Explore your home as if you were a small child. Take a ride in a small aircraft and experience the world from a bird’s eye view. Just as kneeling down sometimes helps you see more closely when you are looking for lost treasure, so can standing back help you appreciate the broader picture of what you are looking at. In doing so, you’ll experience very different worlds. Published with permission from Daily OM

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Journey to the Heart
You Have It All

I was sitting at a camp in Washington’s Olympic Forest, talking to a young woman. We were both enjoying the day.

“People forget that life and death are both part of life,” she said. “They forget that young and old are both part of life. We live in a society that has everything separated. We live in a society that’s forgotten the whole in holistic.”

The whole. All of it. Male and female. Young and old. Life and death. Tears and joy. All part of the same. Parts of the whole. I want to have it all… We may have heard those words many times. We may have said them ourselves many times. I want to have it all…

Connect to the parts. You do have it all. You’ve had it all, all along.

*****

more language of letting go

Learn to say thanks

This is my favorite story about letting go. Although some of you may already be familiar with it (I told it in Codependent No More), I’m going to tell it again.

Many years ago, when I was married to the father of my children, we bought our first house. We had looked at many houses with nice yards, family rooms, inviting kitchens. The house we actually bought wasn’t any of those. It was a run-down three story that had been built at the turn of the century and used for rental property for the past twenty years.

The yard was a sandlot where there should have been grass. There were huge holes in the house that went clear through to the outside. The plumbing was inadequate. The kitchen was grotesque. The carpeting was an old orange shag that was dirty, stained, and worn out. The basement was a nightmare of concrete, mildew, and spiders. It wasn’t a dream home. It was more like a house you’d see in a horror show.

About a week after we moved in, a friend came to visit. He looked around. “You’re really lucky to have your own house,” he said. I didn’t feel lucky. This was the most depressing place I had ever lived in.

We didn’t have money to buy furniture. We didn’t have the money or the skills to fix up the house. For now, that run-down barn of a house needed to stay just like it was. My daughter, Nichole, was almost two, and we had another baby on the way.

One day, right after Thanksgiving, I vowed I would take some action to fix up this house. I got a ladder and some white paint and tried painting the dining room walls. The paint wouldn’t stay on. There were so many layers of old peeling paper that the paint just bubbled up, and the paper– at least the three layers of it– came loose from the walls.

I gave up, and put the ladder and the paint away.

I had heard then about practicing gratitude. But I didn’t feel grateful. So I didn’t know how gratitude in this situation could possibly apply to me. I tried to have a good attitude, but I was miserable. Every evening after I put my daughter to bed, I went downstairs into the living room; then I sat on the floor and looked around. All I could do was feel bad about everything I saw. I didn’t see one thing I could possibly be grateful for.

Then I ran into a little paperback book that espoused the powers of praise. I read it, and I got an idea. I would put this gratitude thing to a deliberate test. I would take all the energy I had been using complaining, seeing the negative, and feeling bad and I’d turn that energy around. I’d will, force, and if necessary fake, gratitude instead.

Every time I felt bad, I thanked God for how I felt. Every time I noticed how awful this house looked, I thanked God for the house exactly as it was. I thanked God for the current state of my finances. I thanked God for my lack of skills to repair and remodel the house. I deliberately forced gratitude for each detail of my life– those areas that really bothered me, those things I couldn’t do anything about. Every evening, after I put my daughter to bed, I went down and sat in the same spot in the living room. But instead of complaining and crying, I just kept saying and chanting, Thank you, God, for everything in my life, just as it is.

Something began to happen so subtly and invisibly, I didn’t notice when it first began to change. First, I began keeping the house cleaner and neater, even though it was truly a wreck. Then people, supplies, and skills began coming to me. First, my mother offered to teach me how to repair a house. She said we could do it for almost no money. And she’d be willing to help.

I learned how to strip walls, repair holes in walls, paint, texture, plaster, hammer, and repair. I tore up the carpeting. There were real wood floors underneath. I found good wallpaper for only a dollar a roll. Whatever I needed, just began coming to me, whether it was skills, money, or supplies.

Then, I began looking around. I found furniture that other people had thrown away. By now, I was on a roll. I learned to paint furniture, refinish it, or cover it up with a pretty doily or blanket. Within six months, the house I lived in became the most beautiful home on that block. My son, Shane, was born while I lived there. I look back on it now as one of the happiest times in my life. My mother and I had fun together, and I learned how to fix up a house.

What I really learned from that situation was the power of gratitude.

When people suggest being grateful, it’s easy to think that means counting our blessings and just saying thank you for what’s good. When we’re learning to speak the language of letting go, however, we learn to say thanks for everything in our lives, whether we feel grateful or not.

That’s how we turn things around.

Make a list of everything in your life that you’re not grateful for. You may not have to make a list; you probably have the things that bother you memorized. Then deliberately practice gratitude for everything on the list.

The power of gratitude won’t let you down.

Being grateful for whatever we have always turns what we have into more.

God, show me the power of gratitude. Help me make it a regular, working tool in my life. 

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Self-pity is one of the most miserable and consuming defects I know. Because of its interminable demands for attention and sympathy. my self-pity cuts off my communication with others, especially communication with my Higher Power. When I look at it that way, I realize that self-pity limits my spiritual progress. It’s also a very real form of martyrdom, which is a luxury I simply can’t afford. The remedy, I’ve been taught, is to have a hard look at myself and a still harder one at The Program’s Twelve Steps to recovery. Do I ask my Higher Power to relieve me of the bondage of self-pity?

Today I Pray

May I know from observation that self-pitiers get almost no pity from anyone else. Nobody — not even God — can fill their outsized demands for sympathy. May I recognize my own unsavory feeling of self-pity when it creeps in to rob me of my serenity. May God keep me wary of it’s sneakiness.

Today I Will Remember

My captor is my self.

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One More Day

Oft when the white still dawn
Lifted the skies
and pushed the hills apart
I have felt it like glory in my heart.
– Edwin Markham

The world is one, a while, and we are a part of it. But sometimes, we are so enmeshed in ourselves — in the details of our lives, in the unfair limitations placed upon us — that we become closed and forget the rest of the world. We see nothing else. We hear nothing else.

But if we reenter the world, the natural balance there gives us peace and comfort. The beauty — splashes of color, fragrance of flowers, trees swaying in a breeze — is also our beauty. We inhale the breath of spring amid the sounds of life. All seems right with the world, and we are one with all life.

Today, I will find joy and meaning in being alive within a living world.

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In God’s Care

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible.
~~William Sloan Coffin, Jr

For many of us, the past is sprinkled with endeavors that were never pursued to completion. Perhaps some pursuits were more complicated than we were equipped to handle. But it’s likely that, at times, we gave up the idea, or ran from the struggle, before we’d experienced the first major barrier. Then, unlike now, we were short on hope, vision, and confidence. Most of all, we probably lacked faith that a power greater than ourselves could guide our steps and help us make the decisions that would bring our efforts to completion.

By working our program, we gain confidence and new vision. As our faith grows, so does our connection to God. God is the source of hope, of all the strength and understanding we need for any challenge or creative endeavor.

With hope, nothing is so overwhelming that we can’t move forward, and nothing we really need will be beyond our grasp.

I will make use of God’s gift of hope to overcome any barriers I meet today.

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Day By Day

Following the leader

Whether in the program, church, or any other organization, any mortal leader we may have is but an instrument. Should any of these leaders die, our true leader remains (as always.)

If we allow the absence of any person to turn us away from our Higher Power, we don’t know who our real leader is. If we allow the absence of any person to halt our spiritual progress or prevent us from doing what we know is right, we are not following our true leader, our Higher Power. All others are but temporary instruments.

Am I following my true leader faithfully?

Higher Power, help me recognize and acknowledge my true leader.

I will share my faith in my Higher Power today by..

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Food For Thought

Promptings

If we are listening, we will hear promptings from the inner voice. Often they are suggestions for small acts of kindness and love. Sometimes they are urgings to do a difficult deed in order to correct a wrong or to apologize for a mistake. Whatever the prompting, we are free to ignore it or act on it.

Often, ignoring the prompting would appear to be the easiest course. Why should we go out of our way to help someone else, particularly if that person is a stranger? Apologies are frequently embarrassing and deflate our pride. Reaching out to someone with love makes us vulnerable to rejection, and we fear exposure.

In the long run, to ignore the promptings of our inner voice is to commit spiritual suicide. These promptings are intended for our growth, and if we do not grow in love, we will atrophy and decay. Through the Twelve Steps, our Higher Power leads us to do many things, which we would prefer to avoid, but which ensure our recovery.

I pray for willingness to follow the promptings of the inner voice.

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One Day At A Time

THE PAST
“Our past is a story
existing only in our minds.
Look, analyze, understand, and forgive.
Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it.”
Marianne Williamson

Before I came into program I had the tendency to beat myself up over the things I’d done while in the throes of my disease. I would relive everything I’d done — especially my misdeeds. Guilt ruled my life.

Then I found Twelve Steps that set me on the road to recovery. And I found promises … promises that told me that if I were to rigorously and honestly work the program, I would find a new freedom and a new happiness. I was told that I would not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it, (as found on page 83 of the Big Book).

For me, the Big Book reminds me of where I came from and that I never want to go back. The Williamson quote (above) tells me that I don’t need to wallow in the guilt of yesterday.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember my past, release it and move on.
~ jar

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

But life among Alcoholics Anonymous is more than attending gatherings and visiting hospitals. Cleaning up old scrapes, helping to settle family differences, explaining the disinherited son to his irate parents, lending money and securing jobs for each other, when justified – these are everyday occurrences. No one is too discredited or has sunk too low to be welcomed cordially – if he means business. Social distinctions, petty rivalries and jealousies – these are laughed out of countenance. Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others, the things which matter so much to some people no longer signify much to them. How could they? – Pg. 161 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Spirit at Work

I am waiting in pleasant anticipation for spirit to work its quiet magic in my day. There is nothing that I can think, feel or do, that cannot be made lighter and truer by inviting spirit into it. I rest in the joyous awareness that spirit is with me. That spirit has never left me. If I feel an absence of spirit today I will remember that it is not spirit that moves away from me, but I that move away from spirit. I am uplifted by the thought that I am not alone, nor ever was I. Today I need no proof that I am on a spiritual journey because the miracle of life surrounds me everywhere and this is proof enough. I am living the gift.

Life is the remedy

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

No matter how hard you attempt to control the people in your life, you will not find your fulfillment there. If they don’t change, you will be frustrated; if they do change under your pressure, they will be frustrated.

If I look to others for fulfillment, I will never be fulfilled.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Don’t ‘keep coming back’ just stay.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I choose to forgive instead of holding on to resentments. Today I choose to let go of all feelings that block me from feeling love. Today I choose to see everyone through the eyes of love.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Once you become an alcoholic there’s no going back – a frog never goes back to being a tadpole. (Or a pickle a cucumber etc. ) Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 1

The Tyrant
The truth is, that in the life of each AA member, there still lurks a tyrant.
His name is alcohol. And his weapons are misery, insanity, and death.
No matter how long we may be sober, he always stands at each man’s elbow,
ever watchful of an opportunity to resume his destruction.
– The Language of the Heart, p. 34

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

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

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

Wonders
“Out of every season of grief or suffering,
when the hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust,
new lessons for living were learned,
new resources of courage were uncovered,
and that finally, inescapably,
the conviction came that God does
‘move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.’ ”
1953AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Thought to Consider . . .
Joy is the infallible presence of God.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
G O D = Good Orderly Direction

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

School Vacation
From: “Building a New Life”
The next summer I began working construction during school vacation. I was working with the older men, and at the end of the day, I went to the bar with them. The bartender would put the beer in front of the man next to me, but it was intended for me. I loved Fridays – payday – when we went out and got loaded. I started getting liquor on weekends so I could go to dances. I was hanging around with guys who drank like me. We’d put our money together to get enough booze for the night, and because I looked older, I bought the liquor. I could talk to the girls. I was a big shot with the guys because I had the booze and the girls.

2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 477

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

“Are you willing to be amazed?”
Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2014
“Big Sur-prise,”
AA Grapevine

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

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

“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered
a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree,
and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This
is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 17

“These were revolutionary and drastic proposals, but the moment I fully accepted them, the effect was electric.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 14 (Bill’s Story)

“So in a very complete and literal way, all A.A.’s have “become entirely ready” to have God remove the mania for alcohol from their lives.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 64 (Step Six)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Time after time, newcomers have tried to keep to themselves shoddy facts about their lives. Trying to avoid the humbling experience of the Fifth Step, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell.
We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness, and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else their entire life story.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to fully surrender my life today and accept what must be done.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 31st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 31st

Daily Reflections

A PRAYER FOR ALL SEASONS

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.
Courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the
difference.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

The power of this prayer is overwhelming in that its simple beauty
parallels the A.A. Fellowship. There are times when I get stuck while
reciting it, but if I examine the section which is troubling me, I find the
answer to my problem. The first time this happened I was scared, but
now I use it as a valuable tool. By accepting life as it is, I gain serenity.
By taking action, I gain courage and I thank God for the ability to
distinguish between those situations I can work on, and those I must
turn over. All that I have now is a gift from God: my life, my
usefulness, my contentment, and this program. The serenity enables
me to continue walking forward.
Alcoholics Anonymous is the easier, softer way.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

This leaves only one day – today. Anyone can fight the battles of just
one day. it is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful
eternity’s, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the
experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness
for something that happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow
may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time.
Am I living one day at a time?

Meditation For The Day

Give God the gift of a thankful heart. Try to see causes of
thankfulness in your everyday life. When life seems hard and troubles
crowd, then look for some reasons for thankfulness. There is nearly
always something you can be thankful for. The offering of
thanksgiving is indeed a sweet incense going up to God throughout a
busy day. Seek diligently for something to be glad and thankful about.
You will acquire in time the habit of being constantly grateful to God
for all His blessings. Each new day some new cause for joy and
gratitude will spring to your mind and you will thank God sincerely.

Prayer For The Day

I pray for a truly thankful heart. I pray that I may be constantly
reminded of causes for sincere gratitude.

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As Bill Sees It

Faith and Action, p. 212

Your prospect’s religious education and training may be far superior
to yours. In that case, he is going to wonder how you can add
anything to what he already knows.

But he will be curious to learn why his convictions have not
worked and yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of
the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be
accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.

Admit that he probably knows more about religion than you do,
but remind him that, however deep his faith and knowledge, these
qualities could not have served him very well, or he would not be
asking your help.

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

Dr. Bob did not need me for his spiritual instruction. He had
already had more of that than I. What he did need, when we first
met, was the deflation at depth and the understanding that only one
drunk can give to another. What I needed was the humility of
self-forgetfulness and the kinship with another human being of my
own kind.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93
2. A.A. Today, p. 10

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Walk In Dry Places

Group Intelligence
Getting Ideas
“All of us know more than any one of us” is the saying that applies to 12 Step groups. No matter how much experience any single individual has, it’s surpassed by the collective knowledge of the group.
That’s a good reason in itself for drawing upon these groups.
  And there are others as well. We need the pool of intelligence that the groups build up over time. We need the group’s strength when our own is waning.
We also learn help that comes in surprising ways. The person in the group who seems just knowledgeable may express an idea that is just what we need at the time.
The group can meet many of our needs if we give it a chance.  Regular attendance at meetings will keep us in touch with the group’s ideas.
I’ll stay in touch today with ideas that come from members of my group. Joined together, we have lots of knowledge. 


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Keep It Simple

Less is more.—Mies Vander Rohe
Our program is simple. It has four equal parts: sobriety, fellowship, service, and faith.
Sobriety means we don’t use alcohol or drugs any more.
Fellowship means we let people into our lives. We work at having a life that’s rich with friends.
Service means we help when we see the need. It means knowing we have much to offer.
Faith means we believe in a loving, caring Higher Power. It means using our Higher Power as a guide in life.
Ours is a simple, easy program. Just remember sobriety, fellowship, service and faith.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray that I may keep my program simple. I pray for sobriety, fellowship, service, and faith.
Action for the Day:  Throughout the day, I’ll remind myself that less is more.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The child is an almost universal symbol for the soul’s transformation. The child is whole, not yet divided….
When we would heal the mind… we ask this child to speak to us.   ~ Susan Griffin
Was there ever a time when we did not feel divided from ourselves? Occasionally we get a glimpse of what such spiritual wholeness would be like, but most of the time we struggle with feelings of conflict, unevenness, a divided heart.  Perhaps “the child” is a metaphor for a spiritual guide, like our own higher power, that can help us in our journey toward self-acceptance.
“I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent,” writes author Ashleigh Brilliant. If we can be happy with this proud, funny boast then perhaps we can stop berating ourselves for our imperfections. If we dwell on our own contradictory impulses, we give them too much importance, too much power.
Let me trust to my glimpses of harmony and wholeness and be grateful for the richness of my spirit.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

pp. 58-59

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
My college had a long history of drinkers, including Dr. Bob.  At the time of my accident, the deans were assessing how to respond to student alcohol abuse and were waiting to try out their latest idea.  Alcoholics Anonymous.  I was the test case.  They told me in no uncertain terms that I would never get back into this college unless I went to A.A.  Under that pressure, I went to my first meeting.

p. 425

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Consider next the plight of those who once had faith, but have lost it. There will be those who have drifted into indifference, those filled with self-sufficiency who have cut themselves off, those who have become prejudiced against religion, and those who are downright defiant because God has failed to fulfill their demands. Can A.A. experience tell all these they may still find a faith that works?

p. 28

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In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, step within
yourselves and be still. Wait upon God and feel His good presence;
this will carry you through your day’s business.
–William Penn

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
–Thomas Paine

God is gentle with me. I am gentle with myself. I am in awe of God’s
power; however it is God’s gentleness that moves me. God’s will for
me is that which is best for me; yet God does not force anything upon
me. Patiently, God waits for me to be still, to turn within and listen.
God’s gentle spirit is my foundation. When the cares of the world
seem to overwhelm me and when challenges cause me to forget the
truths that support me, God’s spirit gently caresses me, uplifting
and sustaining me. Because God is gentle with me, I am gentle with myself
and others. I do not condemn or speak hurtful words to others. My
actions are ones that encourage the unfoldment of God’s divine plan in
myself and others. Through gentleness and love, God’s work is done.
–unknown

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies
inside of us while we live.”
— Norman Cousins

“Worry is like a rocking chair it gives you something to do but it
doesn’t get you anywhere.”
–Dorothy Galyean

There’s as much risk in doing nothing as in doing something.
–Trammell Crow

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TEMPTATION

“What makes resisting
temptation difficult for many
people is that they don’t want to
discourage it completely.”
–Franklin P. Jones

Usually I am tempted because I want to be. I allow myself to get too
close to the object of my desire or I invite the problem into my life
knowing that I will not resist it. Then I use my “imperfection” as an
excuse! In this way I manipulate my spiritual program and become
dishonest.

When I first got sober, I did not allow alcohol in my house; I did not go
to bars; I did not spend time with heavy drinkers; I avoided airplanes
or places that I would associate with alcohol. This disciplined approach
to sobriety worked. If you don’t invite the enemy in, you won’t get
beaten up. I need to continue to remember these simple rules and not
get complacent in my sobriety.

Let me keep temptation out of my life by avoiding it.

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“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20b

If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in
Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers
of living water.”
John 7:37-38

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

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31


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Daily Inspiration

The more of God’s love that you share, the more you receive. Lord, help me to be compassionate when someone needs an ear and encouraging when someone needs a little support.

When you are troubled, comfort someone more troubled, when lonely, reach out to one that is lonelier and when unsure, give encouragement to the weary. To care for another makes us forget our own sorrows. Lord, You comfort me. Help me now to be a comforter.

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NA Just For Today

Freedom From Active Addiction

“Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise and that is freedom from active addiction, the solution that eluded us for so long.”
Basic Text, p.102

NA offers no promises other than freedom from active addiction. It is true that some of our members meet with financial success in recovery. They buy nice houses, drive new cars, wear fine clothes, and form beautiful families. These outward signs of prosperity are not the lot of all of our members, however. A great many of us never achieve financial success. This does not necessarily reflect on the quality of our recovery.

When we are tempted to compare ourselves to these other, seemingly more affluent members, it is good to remember why we came to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. We came because our lives had fallen down around us. We were emotionally, physically, and spiritually defeated. Our Basic Text reminds us that “in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous” We came because we were beaten. For addicts, even one day clean is a miracle. When we remember why we came to Narcotics Anonymous and in what condition we arrived, we realize that material wealth pales in comparison to the spiritual riches we have gained in recovery.

Just for today: I have been given a spiritual gift greater than material wealth: my recovery. I will thank the God of my understanding for my freedom from active addiction.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose. –Billie Holiday
We all see things differently. It is part of the wonderful variety of the world that we all have different points of view. We’ve all seen baseball players arguing with an umpire over a close call, but, in order to play the game, they must accept the umpire’s judgment.
When we stubbornly refuse to let friends or family members speak their ideas simply because we disagree with them, we risk the loss of a friend or the understanding of a family member. It is when we allow others to disagree that we take a step forward–a step that opens our ears and our hearts to all sorts of people and ideas.
How well can I accept other’s opinions today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Look at the post as a bullet. Once it’s fired it’s finished. –Catherine Bauby
Today is before us as an unformed experience. Yesterday took its own shape, and whatever it was has now gone. Our only opportunities exist in what we will do this day. Perhaps we can enhance the day by starting with a review of yesterday and then letting go. What were the major events in our experiences yesterday? How do we feel about them? Is something left unfinished in our feelings or actions that we need to complete or repair today? Can we take yesterday’s experience to build a better today?
We have centered ourselves in this day by reviewing where we just came from. We have taken a spot check inventory. Now we can let go of yesterday and move forward in the present. That does not mean we never think about the past again. It means we build on the past by learning from our experiences and letting them shape our activities now. In that way we draw ever closer into accord with the will of our Higher Power.
I will let go of the past by learning from it. I give myself to shaping today.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like brick; re-made all the time, made new. –Ursula K. LeGuin
We love to be loved; we love to be held; we love to be caressed. A show of appreciation we love too. And we love to know we’ve been heard. The friends, the spouses, the children in our lives want the same from us. Like a garden that needs water, sun, weeding to nurture the growth, so does love need attending to. To become whole and healthy women, we need tender nurturing. And we also need to give away what we get. Those we nurture will bless our growth.
Love is dynamic, not static. It is always changing, and it always changes those it enfolds. Since coming into this program where the sharing of oneself, the open expression of love, is profoundly evident, we each have changed. And our presence has changed others. We have learned to accept love and give it. But better yet, we have learned that we deserve love.
I will look around me today at others, and I will remember, my growth and theirs depends on loving and being loved. I will reach out. I can make love new.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of What We want
For those of us who have survived by controlling and surrendering, letting go may not come easily. –Beyond Codependency
In recovery, we learn that it is important to identify what we want and need. Where does this concept leave us? With a large but clearly identified package of currently unmet wants and needs. We’ve taken the risk to stop denying and to start accepting what we want and need. The problem is, the want or need hangs there, unmet.
This can be a frustrating, painful, annoying, and sometimes obsession-producing place to be.
After identifying our needs, there is a next step in getting our wants and needs met. This step is one of the spiritual ironies of recovery. The next step is letting go of our wants and needs after we have taken painstaking steps to identify them.
We let them go, we give them up – on a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical level. Sometimes, this means we need to give up. It is not always easy to get to this place, but this is usually where we need to go.
How often I have denied a want or need, then gone through the steps to identify my needs, only to become annoyed, frustrated, and challenged because I don’t have what I want and don’t know how to get it. If I then embark on a plan to control or influence getting that want or need met, I usually make things worse. Searching, trying to control the process, does not work. I must, I have learned to my dismay, let go.
Sometimes, I even have to go to the point of saying, “I don’t want it. I realize it’s important to me, but I cannot control obtaining that in my life. Now, I don’t care anymore if I have it or not. In fact, I’m going to be absolutely happy without it and without any hope of getting it, because hoping to get it is making me nuts – the more I hope and try to get it, the more frustrated I feel because I’m not getting it.”
I don’t know why the process works this way.
I know only that this is how the process works for me. I have found no way around the concept of letting go.
We often can have what we really want and need, or something better. Letting go is part of what we do to get it.
Today, I will strive to let go of those wants and needs that are causing me frustration. I will enter them on my goal list, then struggle to let go. I will trust God to bring me the desires of my heart, in God’s time and in God’s way.

My heart is full of gratitude today. I am free today to experience this day fully and to follow my spiritual path. I have been given a new day to live, to grow, to give love and to feel love. –Ruth Fishel

God help me to stay sober and clean today!

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Journey To The Heart

You Are Complete

Look around at all that lives, at all that is. See how connected each creation is to the workings of the universe. But see also that the essence of all that is, the core, lies within each. From the tiniest purple wildflower to the tallest redwood in the forest, each creation contains its own energy system, its own energy core for living. And so it is with us.

We’re intricately connected to the world. We receive energy, life-sustaining nourishment and support, from the world around us. But inside each of us is our own source for love, joy, and wisdom. Our ability to love, live, feel, and be happy comes from our own hearts.

Look inside yourself. Feel your vitality, your energy. Feel your essence. It is pure love. Everything you need in order to live and love is within you.

Nurture yourself. Let yourself grow. Learn to grow and walk in the ways of love. Learn from all who cross your path. Value your connections to others and the world around you. Receive and give freely as you walk down the road.

Take your place in the world. Know you are part of a complete universe. But remember, you are a complete universe,too.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Stay in the game

And it came to pass….
–The Bible

We can’t always be sure that things will always work out, but we will always have the strength to make it through. We can trust that eventually both the bad and the good will come to pass.

I’ve had the good ripped away from me and felt sorrow until I could drown. But it passed.

All I’m saying is that sometimes the bad guys win and the good guys lose. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Sometimes nothing that we do seems to swing the decision one way or the other, but we can always come back tomorrow. There’s a;ways another chance to play the game, dance, sweat, and cry. And maybe it’s the experience, not the outcome that is the true prize.

If you’re feeling a loss of strength or confidence, let go of the desperate need for a positive outcome in your life. Realize that this, too, will pass. Gain your strength from knowing that whether an event is good or bad, we’re enriched by our experiences. Only we can choose to learn from them or allow resentment and foolish expectations to destroy their value.

Dust yourself off. Pick yourself up. Step up to the plate and get back in the game.

God, give me hope, faith, and courage to live my life today.

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Food for Thought

Inner Guides

In a crisis situation, we cannot rely on another person, or a book, or any external source to tell us what to do. We may have to act immediately, and there may be no outside help available.

By getting in touch with our Higher Power, we cultivate a never failing source of inner strength and direction. In order to have it available when we need it, this inner voice must be consulted habitually. It is not something, which we may call on in times of emergency and forget about when things are going well.

Each of us has this inner source of strength and nourishment. By taking time each day to withdraw from the distractions of the external world, we grow in spiritual knowledge. When the chips are down, this spiritual strength, which we develop by daily prayer and meditation, is what will see us through.

May I know You more dearly each day.

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Making Over Our Partners
Changing the Way We Relate by Madisyn Taylor

It is dishonest to enter into a relationship with the idea that you are going to change or fix them.

A relationship, in the truest sense of the word, means relating to another. Usually when we say that we relate to someone, it is because we’ve found common ground. But part of relating is finding ways to make ideas that seem different come together. So often when we choose relationships, we try to fit another person into our predetermined ideal. When they don’t fit perfectly, we may try to make them over, creating our own vision from the raw material they’ve brought. But unless someone asks for guidance and direction, entering into a relationship with someone we want to change is dishonest. Then our relationship becomes with someone we’ve imagined, and anytime our partner steps outside of that imaginary projection, we will be disappointed. An honest relationship is one in which we accept each other as whole individuals, and find a way to share our life experiences together. Then, whenever we want, we can choose as a couple to give the relationship a makeover by renewing the ! way we interact.

By wanting to give another person a makeover, we are basically saying we don’t accept them for who they are. If we take a moment to imagine the roles reversed, we can get a sense of how it would feel if our beloved only committed to us because they thought we were, or would become, someone else entirely. In such an environment, we are not relating to each other from a real place, and we are keeping ourselves from being able to learn and grow from the different viewpoints that our partners offer.

If we feel that a change is needed in our relationship, the only makeover that we truly have the power to make is on ourselves. By accepting our partners for exactly who they are—the ideal and the not-so-ideal—we will create an energetic shift in our relationships, and we may find ourselves really appreciating our partners for the first time. Working from within, we determine how we relate to the people and the world around us, and when we can accept it and embrace it all, without conditions, we make every act of relating a positive one. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

One of the most serious consequences of the me-me-me syndrome is that we lose touch with practically everyone around us — not to mention reality itself. The essence of self-0pity is total self-absorption, and it feeds on itself. Rather than ignore such an emotional state — or deny that we’re in it — we need to pull out of our self-absorption, stand back, and take a good honest look at ourselves. Once we recognize self-pity for what it is, we can begin to do something about it. Am I living in the problem rather than the answer?

Today I Pray

I pray that my preoccupation with self, which is wound up tight as a Maypole, may unwind itself and let its streamers fly again for others to catch and hold. May the think, familiar wail of me-me-me become a chorus of us-us-us, as we in the fellowship pick apart our self-fullness and look at it together.

Today I Will Remember

Change me-me-me to us-us-us.

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One More Day

From happiness to suffering is a step; from suffering to happiness is an eternity.
– Jewish Proverb

The loss of normal good health can rock even the strongest person. In one fragile moment our life seems in shambles. All that we anticipated, all that we had planned, seems over forever. We wonder if we’ll ever get through this suffering.

For a while it may seem as though we are living underwater — nothing is clear or straightforward. The things that once gave us pleasure seem to disappear as grief takes their place. Friends offer to help — and they do help for a time — but ultimately we face our loss alone.

Finally we begin to understand that grief is a process, just as life is a process. We will be able to move toward acceptance and serenity, and eventually we can be happy again. We can continue to live.

I am consoled in knowing grief takes time, but it will end. I can continue to grow.

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One Day At A Time

NEGATIVE THINKING
“Condemn the fault and not the actor of it.”
William Shakespeare

How many times do we beat ourselves because we have failed to attain the goals we have set? We are human and we suffer from a disease that renders us helpless and out of control. Is it any wonder that we fail in trying to conquer such an unforgiving beast?

It is not ourselves we should be angry with, but the disease and how it affects our actions and reactions. Our inability – or unwillingness — to realize that we cannot achieve recovery alone is our only true failure. We need help. Without it we are weak and defenseless. This disease would have us believe we are failures ~ but in reality, all we have done is open the doors to our enemy. These doors can be closed again. Our disease not only manifests itself in the form of uncontrollable eating, but also in our negative thoughts and actions towards ourselves and towards the people around us.

It takes no more time to think positively than it does to think negatively. Our only job is to remember that we have a disease. We can choose to forget it, we can choose to beat ourselves up when we leave the door ajar, or we can choose to forgive ourselves and begin again.

One day at a time…
I will work on forgiving myself.
I am worth forgiving.
You are too.
~Sue

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

As wives of Alcoholics Anonymous. we would like you to feel that we understand as perhaps few can. We want to analyze mistakes we have made. We want to leave you with the feeling that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness too great to be overcome.
We have traveled a rocky road, there is no mistake about that. We have had long rendezvous with hurt pride, frustration, self pity, misunderstanding and fear. These are not pleasant companions. We have been driven to maudlin sympathy, to bitter resentment. Some of us veered from extreme to extreme, ever hoping that one day our loved ones would be themselves once more. – Pg. 104-105 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever you are feeling now that disturbs you, whatever thoughts or situations plague you, remember that it will pass. Sometimes when emotions are strong, we feel they will never end. But they do and whatever you are feeling now, you won’t be feeling tomorrow. We promise.

I to understand that my troubles are not forever that ‘this too shall pass.’

Seeing Me from the Inside Out

Today, I will become aware of that part of me that is separate and observes all that I say, do, think and feel. I have a witness within me that can become a very useful part of my life. Watching my thoughts, feelings and behavior with a little bit of objectivity will help me to see myself as I really am. Fear, for example, is only fear. When I experience small fears throughout my day I will simply see myself feeling them, I will watch them, experience them and allow them to dissipate. I will breathe in and out as they move through me. By allowing my mind to watch itself with no thought of controlling or participating, I can learn a great deal about the way I work. I can allow myself to change on the inside.

I am an uncritical observer of my own inner workings.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

You don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not. You don’t have to pretend to be strong (if you’re a man) or fem (if you’re a woman). You don’t have to pretend that you don’t want to use, if you do. Share what is real. The real you is enough.

I am enough; there is enough.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

20/20: Come 20 minutes before the meeting, stay 20 minutes after.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

My heart is full of gratitude today. I am free today to experience this day fully and to follow my spiritual path. I have been given a new day to live, to grow, to give love and to feel love.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If I quit causing my own trouble, I’ve got no trouble. All I have to do is trace this back – No matter what she had done – to where I had placed myself in a position to be hurt. – Milt L.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 31

Fear
When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister,
my capacity to love myself is increased;
when I accept pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness;
when I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light;
when I accept my vulnerability and surrender to a Higher Power,
I am graced with unforeseen strength.
– Daily Reflections, p. 62

Thought to Ponder . . .
A fear faced is a fear erased.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
F E A R = Face Everything And Recover.

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

Half Measures
“Remember that we deal with alcohol –
cunning, baffling, powerful!
Without help, it is too much for us.
But there is One who has all power –
that One is God.
May you find him now.
Half measures availed us nothing.
We stood at the turning point.
We asked His protection and care
with complete abandon.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 58-9

Thought to Consider . . .
Take a walk with God.
He will meet you at the Steps.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B O G G L E = Bad Or Good, God Loves Everyone

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

Out of Self
From: “Trying the Twelve Steps”
It may be that problem drinking is, indeed, as some psychological experts say, an ailment characterized especially by egocentricity. Not all alcoholics are egotistical, although many of us have learned to see that tendency in ourselves. Others of us felt inferior most of the time; we felt equal or superior to other people only when drinking.
No matter which type we were, we realize now that we were excessively self-centered, chiefly concerned about our feelings, our problems, other people’s reactions to us, and our own past and future. Therefore, trying to get into communication with and to help other people is a recovery measure for us, because it helps take us out of ourselves. Trying to heal ourselves by helping others works, even when it is an insincere gesture. Try it some time.
1975, AAWS, Inc., Living Sober, page 84

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

“Sometimes, the only place on earth that makes any sense to me is a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
December 1979
“The Root of Our Troubles,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

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

“We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 17 (There is a Solution)

“Like all the remaining Steps, Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God — or, if you like, a Higher Power — into our lives.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 34 (Step Three)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Your prospect’s religious education and training may be far superior to yours. In that case, he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows.
But he will be curious to learn why his convictions have not worked and why yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
Admit that he probably knows more about religion than you do, but remind him that, however deep his faith and knowledge, these qualities could not have served him very well, or he would not be asking your help.
Dr. Bob did not need me for his spiritual instruction. He had already had more of that than I. What he did need, when we first met, was the deflation at depth and the understanding that only one drunk can give to another. What I needed was the humility of self-forgetfulness and the kinship with another human being of my own kind.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to take action to help my fellows today. Remove my selfishness and self-seeking so that I may become interested in the needs of others.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 30th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 30th

Daily Reflections

GIVING BACK

. . . . he has struck something better than gold. . . . He may not see at
once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay
dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving
away the entire product.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 129

My part of the Seventh Tradition means so much more than just giving
money to pay for the coffee. It means being accepted for myself by
belonging to a group. For the first time I can be responsible, because I
have a choice. I can learn the principals of working out problems in my
daily life by getting involved in the “business” of A.A. By being
self-supporting, I can give back to A.A. what A.A. gave to me! Giving
back to A.A. not only ensures my own sobriety, but allows me to buy
insurance that A.A. will be here for my grandchildren.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its possible
adversities, its burdens, its large promise, and perhaps its poor
performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of
clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for
it is as yet unborn. Do I still worry too much about tomorrow?

Meditation For The Day

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen.” Faith is not seeing, but believing. Down through the ages, there
have always been those who obeyed the heavenly vision, not seeing
but believing in God. And their faith was rewarded. So shall it be to
you. Good things will happen to you. You cannot see God, but you
can see the results of faith in human lives, changing them from defeat to
victory. God’s grace is available to all who have faith-not seeing, but
believing. With faith, life can be victorious and happy.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have faith enough to believe without seeing. I pray
that I may be content with the results of my faith.

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As Bill Sees It

Reaching for Humility, p. 211

We saw we needn’t always be bludgeoned and beatened into
humility. It could come quite as much from our voluntary reaching
for it as it could from unremitting suffering.

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

“We first reach for a little humility, knowing that we shall perish
of alcoholism if we do not. After a time, though we may still
rebel somewhat, we commence to practice humility because this is
the right thing to do. Then comes the day when, finally freed in
large degree from rebellion, we practice humility because we
deeply want it as a way of life.”

1. 12 & 12, p. 75
2. Letter, 1966


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Walk In Dry Places

Founders with clay feet
Sound thinking
With any organization or society, the time comes when people find fault with the founders.  The faults of these pioneering leaders are examined and perhaps even used to discredit them.
Founders are only human beings, and they are likely to exhibit the human shortcomings all of us have. If these founders turn out to have clay feet, perhaps the fault is ours for idolizing them in the first place.
The real role of a founder is to lay the foundation for further building. Unless the society grows, improving over what the founder had in mind, it is not likely to survive. Its real work should be to surpass the fonder so as to be of  greater service to others.
I’ll be careful not to put anyone on a pedestal and then complain about his or her clay feet. 


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Keep It Simple

Beauty may be said to be God’s trademark in creation.—Henry Ward Beecher
Our addiction was like a veil over our heads. We saw the world as an ugly place.
We saw people as trouble. We thought our drinks and drugs were beautiful. But even they became ugly over time. Life became ugly because we had put distance between our Higher Power and ourselves.
Now we are blessed because the veil is lifted, and we are part of the healing process. We help others step into the beauty of recovery.
Our spirits are again free to seek a relationship with God and others. Through these relationships, we get our hope back. This hope help us focus on the beauty of the world. Hope is the rain that helps our souls grow.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, the world is both beautiful and ugly. For to long I only saw the ugly. Help me focus on the beauty.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll keep an eye out for the beauty recovery holds for me. Throughout the day, I’ll pray for this.

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Each Day a New Beginning

It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God.  –Mary Daly
God’s presence is within us, now and always, even though we feel alone, alienated, scared, and forgotten much of the time. We often overlook God’s presence because we don’t recognize it. Our talents, our desires, and our pursuits are the evidence–all the evidence we’ll ever need once we understand it–that God is present within and about us all the time.
The creative potential goes unrealized among so many of us, perhaps because we have a rigid definition of what creativity is. We are creative. We are all, each of us, creative. We must be because God’s presence is here now. When we choose to let it guide us, we’ll be able to offer our own unique gifts to the world of friends around us. Encouraging creativity, our own and someone else’s, may mean breaking old habits. It surely does mean stepping out of our own way. It also means giving ourselves fully to the experience of the moment and trusting that God’s presence will prompt the deliverance of our special gift.
In the moment lives God within us. In the moment I am creative, blessed with gifts like no other. I will stay in the moment and offer them, guided by the God within.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it–then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

p. 58

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
After insulting the emergency room personnel, I slipped into unconsciousness, where I remained for five days.  I awoke in a neck brace with complete double vision.  My parents were furious.  I was flown home and the future looked bleak.  God’s timing, however, is impeccable.

p. 425

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

“This is only one man’s opinion based on his own experience, of course. I must quickly assure you that A.A.’s tread innumerable paths in their quest for faith. If you don’t care for the one I’ve suggested, you’ll be sure to discover one that suits if only you look and listen. Many a man like you has begun to solve the problem by the method of substitution. You can, if you wish, make A.A., itself your `higher power.’ Here’s a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way. All of them will tell you that, once across, their faith broadened and deepened. Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God.”

pp. 27-28

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Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread,
remade all the time, made new.
–Ursula K. Le Guin

If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of
tomorrow, you have no today for which you can be thankful.
–Anonymous

God will never give you more than you & Him together can handle.
–unknown

“As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for
helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
–Audrey Hepburn

AA is my “God with skin on.”
–unknown

If you drink at the bad news you got today, you’ll never know you
could get through it without drinking.
–unknown

“Every single act of love releases blocked energy in your body.
Unconditional love heals the body and the mind. Keep reminding
yourself of this truth until it becomes your reality. Love is a frequency
that you can choose to tune into, just as you tune into a frequency on
the radio.”
–Wayne Dyer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WORDS

“Hear the meaning within the word.”
–William Shakespeare

When I hear or see the word “sobriety”, I am made to think of
relationships: my relationship with God, man and, more importantly,
myself. Sobriety means humor, hope and joy. It means a silence at the
center of my being that “wonders” at it all. Sobriety means a sexuality
that is both noble and free — that risks rejection and criticism.
Sobriety argues against prejudice and bigotry. It builds a bridge to
“the different” and reflects on the creative variety of man. It allows
me a God as I understand Him but also respects tradition and the
ancient philosophies of the world.

Sobriety evokes a feeling that is beyond words. It echoes the spiritual
life.

Let me learn to pray beyond words. Let my relationship with You
grow in silence.

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“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.”
Micah 7:8

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice.
Ephesians 4:31

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with
the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Romans 8:18

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to
listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger
does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore,
get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and
humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
James 1:19-21


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Daily Inspiration

Much can be said by the look on your face. Lord, may I be quick to smile and display an attitude of graciousness and peace so that I am able to put those around me at ease and bring out the best in them.

God’s blessings come in packages both large and small. Sometimes they are expected and sometimes not. Sometimes they are recognized and sometimes not. Lord, thank you for the joy You light in me, even in times of sorrow. Please use me to bless someone else.

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NA Just For Today

Regular Inventory

“Continuing to take a personal inventory means that we form a habit of looking at ourselves, our actions, attitudes, and relationships on a regular basis.”
Basic Text, p.41

Taking a regular inventory is a key element in our new pattern of living. In our addiction, we examined ourselves as little as possible. We weren’t happy with how we were living our lives, but we didn’t feel that we could change the way we lived. Self- examination, we felt, would have been a painful exercise in futility.

Today, all that is changing. Where we were powerless over our addiction, we’ve found a Power greater than ourselves that has helped us stop using. Where we once felt lost in life’s maze, we’ve found guidance in the experience of our fellow recovering addicts and our ever-improving contact with our Higher Power. We need not feel trapped by our old, destructive patterns. We can live differently if we choose.

By establishing a regular pattern of taking our own inventory, we give ourselves the opportunity to change anything in our lives that doesn’t work. If we’ve started doing something that causes problems, we can start changing our behavior before it gets completely out of hand. And if we’re doing something that prevents problems from occurring, we can take note of that, too, and encourage ourselves to keep doing what works.

Just for today: I will make a commitment to include a regular inventory in my new pattern of living.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The hopeful man sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm. –O. S. Marden
When wise men say, “Hope springs eternal,” they are reminding us that no matter how great are the obstacles, the hope of winning out in the long run still exists. Hope is our friend when all else has failed. When we have strength of character and an energetic mind, hope always flourishes.
We discover that, at the very brink of despair, we will find courage to keep trying as long as there is hope for success. After all, what have we got to lose? Without hope, we have no chance, anyway. Our chance for glory comes when we keep trying even though all seems lost. Our hearts remain strong and brave when hope reminds us that challenges last until a game is over.
What light of hope can I keep burning within me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Many could forego heavy meals, a full wardrobe, a fine house, et cetera; it is the ego they cannot forego. –Mohandas Gandhi
We inevitably confront our ego in this program. We face our macho self, our powerful self, or our always-right self. We have developed many trappings, which give us an identity: our car, our stereo system, our job, our popularity, or our place to sit in church. The more attached we are to these trappings, the tougher it is for us to make progress on this spiritual path.
In stepping across a stream we must leave the side we are on in order to get to the other side. The repeated challenge in our spiritual life is to leave the secure trappings we know and take comfort in the still unknown new self. That is the leap of faith. We take the risk and trust something will be there for us. We have faith that letting go of our immediate attachments will bring us to a better place, that God will be there for us.
I will let go of external images and use my faith to take the leap forward.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God. –Mary Daly
God’s presence is within us, now and always, even though we feel alone, alienated, scared, and forgotten much of the time. We often overlook God’s presence because we don’t recognize it. Our talents, our desires, and our pursuits are the evidence–all the evidence we’ll ever need once we understand it–that God is present within and about us all the time.
The creative potential goes unrealized among so many of us, perhaps because we have a rigid definition of what creativity is. We are creative. We are all, each of us, creative. We must be because God’s presence is here now. When we choose to let it guide us, we’ll be able to offer our own unique gifts to the world of friends around us. Encouraging creativity, our own and someone else’s, may mean breaking old habits. It surely does mean stepping out of our own way. It also means giving ourselves fully to the experience of the moment and trusting that God’s presence will prompt the deliverance of our special gift.
In the moment lives God within us. In the moment I am creative, blessed with gifts like no other. I will stay in the moment and offer them, guided by the God within.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Accepting Powerlessness
Since I’ve been a child, I’ve been in an antagonistic relationship with an important emotional part of myself: my feelings. I have consistently tried to ignore, repress, or force my feelings away. I have tried to create unnatural feelings or force away feelings that were present.
I’ve denied I was angry, when in fact I was furious. I have told myself there must be something wrong with me for feeling angry, when anger was a reasonable and logical response to the situation.
I have told myself things didn’t hurt, when they hurt very much. I have told myself stories such as “That person didn’t mean to hurt me.” . . . “He or she doesn’t know any better.” . . . “I need to be more understanding.” The problem was that I had already been too understanding of the other person and not understanding and compassionate enough with myself.
It has not just been the large feelings I have been at war with; I have been battling the whole emotional aspect of myself. I have tried to use spiritual energy, mental energy, and even physical exertion to not feel what I need to feel to be healthy and alive.
I didn’t succeed at my attempts to control emotions. Emotional control has been a survival behavior for me. I can thank that behavior for helping me get through many years and situations where I didn’t have any better options. But I have learned a healthier behavior – accepting my feelings.
We are meant to feel. Part of our dysfunction is trying to deny or change that. Part of our recovery means learning to go with the flow of what we’re feeling and what our feelings are trying to tell us.
We are responsible for our behaviors, but we do not have to control our feelings. We can let them happen. We can learn to embrace, enjoy, and experience – feel – the emotional part of ourselves.
Today, I will stop trying to force and control my emotions. Instead, I will give power and freedom to the emotional part of myself.

I am developing new and positive habits today. I am putting all my energy into moving forward and building a healthy life. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Find Your Own Healing Places

When I arrived in Sedona, I met Marianne. She and her husband ran the lodge where I stayed.

“You’ll like it here,” she said. “You’ll find the healing you need.”

“Where should I look?” I asked. “Where should I go? What things should I be sure to do?”

“There is no map for that,” she quietly replied. “You’ll find your own places. They’ll call to you or you’ll call them to you. You’ll be drawn to what you need.”

Sometimes, along the way, people specifically point things out to us. We get a clear plan about where to go next. But we can also reach a place for which there is no map, no itinerary, no set agenda for how to find our way. That’s because we’re supposed to be trusting our heart.

This is an important place on the journey. It tells us our heart can be trusted. It’s a time of joy, a time of trusting what we’ve learned and what we know, a time of trusting the universe and discovering that that trust is well placed.

You don’t need to be shown what to do next. Your heart and soul will lead the way. You’ll learn to tell when something is right, when something works.

Learn to find places of healing. Learn to find people, places, events, and rituals that work for you. Don’t worry about how to find them or wait for someone to point them out. They’ll call to you, or you’ll call them into your life.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Trust that feeling

“Let’s turn here,” he said, turning down a short road. We had been looking for a new restaurant to try, and lately they had all been disappointments. The sign at the start of the road was weathered, and I remembered eating at the place it adveritsed years ago. I didn’t like it very much.

The restaurant had changed some inside. We sat at a walk-in table next to a window looking out on the Pacific Ocean. Our server was gracious and genuine. We ordered crab cakes for breakfast. They were the best crab cakes that I ever had, and we ended up going back for dinner that same night.

The restaurant has become a regular place for us because we ignored what we thought we knew and went with a feeling instead.

After all the omelets, waffles, and crab cakes that we’ve eaten at that restaurant since then, I’m glad that my boyfriend trusted his intuition and his intuitive whim. Both men and women have been given the gift of intuition. It’s not a gender-specific thing, though sometimes we encourage men to focus more on the logical than the intuitive.

Open up. Trust your heart when it whispers quietly to you. Start small. Go for a drive and on a whim take a road you’ve never traveled before. Gradually, as you become more tuned in to your intuitive feelings, they will guide you along your path. Sometimes your intuition will help you find a nice place to eat; sometimes they’ll guide you to a winning career path and sometimes to a best friend.

Listen to your heart. Sometimes you need to ignore what you think you know, and go with your intuition.

God, teach me to listen to my heart.

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In God’s Care

Conscience is, in most men, an anticipation of the opinions of others. ~~Sir Henry Taylor

We are no longer in doubt about the right actions to take toward others. The program’s Steps clarify what is appropriate behavior. Thus we know that doing any injury — physical or emotional — to other people harms us as well as them.

One of the many rewards of recovery is being free to live without guilt. Name-calling, harmful gossip, intentional put-downs, hateful rejections no longer provide the perverse pleasure of years gone by. We now recognize the subtle joy of sincere and loving efforts. We find this joy in calling a frend who is faced with a painful decision, picking up groceris for an elderly neighbor, extending our friendship to the new person at work. We no longer need the fear of what others will think to curb our spiteful actions.

Our conscience may still guide our actions at times, but as we grow in our recovery, we begin to intuitively now what keeps us on track and in sync with God.

I will follow my God-given intuition today

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Day By Day

Realizing the consequences

No matter who we are as individuals, we all bear the consequences of our lifestyle and behavior. High, we experience pain, suffering, grief, and eventually insanity or premature death. Clean and sober, we experience rewarding lives.

Getting clean and sober doesn’t mean that we suddenly become conformists. But whoever or whatever we become, we must practice kindness and tolerance. If we do, our lives will be meaningful in ways we cannot imagine.

Am I fully aware of the consequences of my choices?

Higher Power, help me become more thoughtful and patient.

Today I will take stock of my lifestyle by…

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Food for Thought

Focus on Living

Before we found this program, we were obsessed with food and preoccupied with eating. Instead of concentrating our energies on love and work and play, we were side tracked into the unsatisfactory substitute of overeating.

Abstinence gives us a new lease on life. We can develop more satisfying relationships with our family and friends. Since it has been our habit to withdraw and please ourselves with food, it takes time and effort to learn to relate more closely to those we love. It also takes courage and the willingness to be open and vulnerable.

In our work, we have renewed energy and greater ability to concentrate. Where before we may have avoided difficult tasks, we now have the strength and confidence to attempt them.

When we give up eating as a favorite form of recreation, we can find other activities to enjoy. Being released from bondage to food and fat opens the door to all sorts of new possibilities. Less eating means much more living.

We are grateful for new life.

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Parental Fears
Breaking Family Ties that Bind by Madisyn Taylor

So often we come into this world carrying the fear of our parents as it is passed down to us and lived through us.

When we really examine our fears about something, we sometimes notice that the fear we have is not based on our own experience. Often, if we trace our fear back to its source, we find that one of our parents may have handed it down to us. For example, your mother or father may have had an intense fear of lack of money, stemming from their own life experiences. If that fear was not resolved by the time you came into the picture, chances are you inherited it. Meanwhile, you may have no actual experience of lacking money, so being fearful doesn’t make sense, and it may even block you from doing certain things you want to do.

Keeping in mind that your parents were only trying to protect you, and that most of the errors in judgment they made were made with the best intentions, it might be time to release this fear symbolically. You cannot resolve someone else’s fear for them, but you can decide to let go of it on your own behalf. Whether your parents are still alive or not, it is best to do this in a symbolic way, using visualization and, if you like, ritual. One simple visualization involves inviting your parent to sit across from you in your heart space and sharing your desire to move on from this fear, letting them know that you will not carry it anymore. You may be surprised at the response you get, because it’s possible they will be proud of you, grateful, and proud of your courage.

The more we do this deep inner work with our fears, the better we will be able to parent our own children without burdening them with fears that don’t belong to them. Some of us will do as much of this work as we can before we become parents, while others will be working on this even as our children become adults. Either way, the effects will be felt, because once we break our ties to the fears of the past, our children’s ties to those fears are greatly weakened, so it’s important to remember that it’s never too late. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we first come to The Program, the most common variety of self-pity begins: “Poor me! Why can’t I (fill in your own addiction) like everybody else? why me?” Such bemoaning, if allowed to persist, is a surefire invitation for a long walk off a pier — right back to the mess we were in before we came to The Program. When we stick around The Program for a while, we discover that it’s not just “me” at all; we become involved with people, from all walks of life, who are in exactly the same boat. Am I losing interest in my comfortably familiar “pity Pot?”

Today I Pray

When self-pity has me droopy and inert, may I look up, look around and perk up. Self-pity, God wills, vanishes in the light of other people’s shared troubles. may I always wish for friends honest enough to confront me if they see me digging my way back down into my old pity pit.

Today I Will Remember

Turn self-involvement into involvement.

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One More Day

There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.
– Joseph Addison

As children, most of us were unreceptive to advice. Our parents offered words of warning and frequently we refused to hear because we needed independence.

Today, when friends or family members make suggestions, we might have some of the same reactions as we did as children. We still need independence, and some advice — no matter how well meant — carries with it the implication that we are less than capable of clearly seeing dangers or knowing our options. We;re better able now to weigh the messages we receive. We have two choices. When our loved ones offer suggestions that we know to be bad or inappropriate for us, we can remind ourselves that they are meant well and merely say thank you. When the advice is good, we can do the same thing.

I will listen carefully to all the loving advice given me.

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One Day At A Time

~ FORGIVENESS ~
Forgiveness for ourselves
is the journey from guilt
over what we have done or not done
to the celebration of what we have become.
Dr. Joan Borysenko

Steps 8 and 9 are very important to our recovery from compulsive eating. The 8th Step says that we need to make a list of those people we have harmed because of our disease, and to be willing to make amends to them.

The 9th Step says that we need to make direct amends to those people, if possible.

I would never condemn a sick person for being sick, yet I was ready to level blame at myself for being a compulsive overeater. I was mentally cruel to myself.

I abused my physical body with food and excess weight. While working Step 8, I needed to realize that I didn’t hurt just my family or friends when I was deep in my disease. I had to understand that I hurt myself as well. I said and did things that I’m not proud of because I didn’t know that I had a disease of compulsion. I had to place myself at the top of my amends list.

Some of the ways I can work Step 9 include remembering that I am a good person who just happens to be sick with a potentially fatal disease of compulsion. If I can remember that I am sick, then I won’t add more pain to what the disease already heaps on me. I can remember that a slip in abstinence is just that…a slip. It doesn’t reflect on my worth as a human being. I can be gentle with myself whenever times are rough. I can lean more on my Higher Power, so that I don’t have to depend upon my own unsteady willpower. I can forgive myself for the past pain I’ve caused myself and resolve not to hurt myself any more.

One Day at a Time . . .
I give myself the gift of forgiveness and amends.
~ Jeff ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever upset you right now, whether a feeling of terror, someone is frustrating you, you are angry or bored–try living in the solution, not the problem. Pick up your program book, close your eyes and leaf through. Run your finger down the page and where ever you stop, read the next three paragraphs. It’s a random solution but often guided by Divine Presence.

May a Divinely Inspired solution find me now.

Inner Belief

I believe in this world; it is the place that I have been born into. I love the breeze and the grass, the sky and the water. I have an intimate exchange with nature – like a lover. I feel held and nourished. Caressed and soothed. I believe in people – they are the species to which I belong. I recognize that, underneath our superficial differences, we all want and need the same things. I believe that truth and goodness will prevail. I feel good with small gains. I see deep meaning in quiet things, and I am moved by a power that I cannot explain but that I sense inside and out. Today, I feel good, I am aware of the gifts of nature, of being alive. I am open to what lies around me.

I believe in life

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Some members of the fellowship say ‘Our mind is a dangerous neighborhood to be in alone.’ But together we can be on block watch! Don’t let your mind get the better of you. Turn that ‘M’ in me upside down, like we are asked to turn it over, and make a ‘We’ out of that ‘Me.’

It isn’t ‘me’ and ‘you’ anymore; it’s ‘we’ and ‘us.’

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Going to a meeting doesn’t make you sober any more than going to church makes you a minister.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am developing new and positive habits today. I am putting all my energy into moving forward and building a healthy life.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

There’s a test in the Big Book (p31) It says ‘Try some controlled drinking, try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. Well that sounds real good, but that’s not a viable test for me. I’d go into a bar, have two drinks and it would become very clear that this is just not a good test day. It’s a good test, but tomorrow is a much better test day. – Bob D.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 30

Growing Up in AA
Life is meant to be lived by facing the challenges it brings. Otherwise, I’m not living, just existing.
God didn’t give me this gift of sobriety to sit in a rocking chair,
imagining myself as some old wise woman who has arrived somewhere.
There is no easier, softer way.
– The Best Of The Grapevine [Vol.3], p. 320

Thought to Ponder . . .
Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional, growing spiritually is up to me.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G R O W T H = God Reveals Other Wways To Heal.

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

Daybreak
“On awakening let us think about the
twenty-four hours ahead.
We consider our plans for the day.
Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking,
especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity,
dishonest or self-seeking motives.
Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties
with assurance,
for after all God gave us brains to use.
Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane
when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86

Thought to Consider . . .
At first, I thought the “God thing” was a crutch.
Turns out to be stilts.

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

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

Friendship and Respect
From: “Another Chance”
Since I have been in A.A., I have more friends than I ever had in my life – friends who care about me and my welfare, friends who don’t care that I am black and that I have been in prison. All they care about is that I am a human being and that I want to stay sober. Since I’ve been home, I have been able to gain the respect of my two sons again.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 534

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

“The alcoholic is in no greater peril than when he takes his sobriety for granted.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1949
“A Suggestion for Thanksgiving”
The Language of the Heart

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

“…I humbly offered myself to God, as I then I understood Him, to do
with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and
direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was
nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and
became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and
branch.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 13~

“As each member of a resentful family begins to see his shortcomings
and admits them to the others, he lays a basis for helpful discussion. These
family talks will be constructive if they can be carried on without heated
argument, self-pity, self-justification or resentful criticism.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 127~

“The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 17 (There is a Solution)

“So why shouldn’t we share our way of life with everyone?”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 156 (Tradition Six)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We saw we needn’t always be bludgeoned and beaten into humility. It could come quite as much from our voluntary reaching for it as it could from unremitting suffering.
We first reach for a little humility, knowing that we shall perish of alcoholism if we do not. After a time, though we may still rebel somewhat, we commence to practice humility because this is the right thing to do. Then comes the day when, finally freed in large degree from rebellion, we practice humility because we deeply want it as a way of life.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank You for all that You have given me to share with my fellows.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 28th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 28th

Daily Reflections

THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER

Let us resist the proud assumption that since God has enabled us to do
well in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving grace for
everybody.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 232

A.A. groups exist to help alcoholics achieve sobriety. Large or small,
firmly established or brand-new, speaker, discussion or study group
has but one reason for being: to carry the message to the
still-suffering alcoholic. The group exists so that the alcoholic can find
a new way of life, a life abundant in happiness, joy, and freedom. To
recover, most alcoholics need the support of a group of other
alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope. Thus my
sobriety, and our program’s survival, depend on my determination to
put first things first.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

To continue the paraphrase of the psalm: “The judgments of the
Twelve Steps are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired
are they than whiskey, yea, than much fine whiskey, sweeter also than
wine. Moreover, by them are alcoholics warned and in keeping of them
there is great reward. Who can understand our alcoholism? Cleanse us
from secret faults. Keep us from presumptuous resentments. Let them
not have dominion over us. Then shall we be upright and free of the
great transgression.” Am I resolved that liquor will never again have
dominion over me?

Meditation For The Day

God can be your shield. Then no problems of the world can harm you.
Between you and all scorn and indignity from others is your trust in
God, like a shining shield. Nothing can then have the power to spoil
your inward peace. With this shield, you can attain this inward peace
quickly, in your surroundings as well as in your heart. With this inward
peace, you do not need to resent the person who troubles you. Instead,
you can overcome the resentment in your own mind which may have
been aroused by that person.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may strive for inward peace. I pray that I may not be
seriously upset, no matter what happens around me.

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As Bill Sees It

Never the Same Again, p. 209

It was discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of
another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the
same again. Following every spree, he would have to say to himself,
“Maybe those A.A.’s were right.” After a few such experiences,
often before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us
convinced.

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In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim
and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with
milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks
appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health,
and even good social standing.

Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom
emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in
order to admit that they were licked.

1. 12 & 12, p. 23-24
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 199


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Walk In Dry Places

The True Security
Security
We can feel insecure for many reasons, but the fundamental reason is that we do not have a firm anchorage in our Higher Power.  This anchorage must be our true security, and it is really the only form that can survive any attack.
Regardless of who we are, we can know and feel that our Higher Power is guiding and directing us at all times. If we find ourselves being threatened by a person or situation, we can deal with it by knowing that our Higher Power is in charge of all outcomes. If we envy somebody, we must get back to an acknowledgment of God as the source of everything.
If we feel inadequate around people who seem to be immensely self-confident and secure, we should not try to imitate their manner and behavior. Rather, we should simply put our trust in our own Higher Power, and our feeling of true security will express itself in proper ways.
All the things we view today as being secure are probably only temporary.  Our ture security can come only from God.

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Keep It Simple

The best leaders are those who know how to follow.—Anonymous
Am I a leader or a follower? The fact is, I am responsible for where I end up. If I choose to be a follower, I’d better follow leaders who know where they are going. And I had better know where they’re going.
If I choose to be leader, I’d better know that I’m responsible for getting myself on the right path. I also must be honest with my followers, so they can make good choices. I’m not responsible for my followers choices, but I must give them the truth. Being a leader doesn’t always mean that I know where I’ll end up. But it can mean that I know I’m on the right path, following the lead from my Higher Power—one step at a time.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, give me the faith and courage to choose good leaders to follow. When it is Your will, help me be a good leader.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list my leaders. They might be a Higher Power, a sponsor, or a friend. I’ll think of why I choose to follow these leaders.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The beauty of loving someone is the feeling of “wholeness” that I experience. The need for that individual in my life, the “I’m part of you and you’re part of me” feeling that connects two people and makes them necessary to each other.  –Kathleen Andrus
All that is asked of us by our Creator is that we love one another. Where love doesn’t flow easily, perhaps we can just decide to not hurt someone. If we each avoided hurting all people, for just one day, lives would be transformed. We’d each see the world with a fresh perspective.
The more we love others, any others, the deeper our love will grow for all others. Loving lifts our hearts and lightens our burdens. Every day’s tribulations can become triumphs when we carry love in our hearts. Love fills us up, and the more we share it, the fuller we become.
We are connected–each of us to one another, all of us together. Our contributions to the whole are necessary. Its completion is made perfect by our presence.
As I pass a friend today, I will be grateful for her contribution to my wholeness, too.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker—then he knew.
Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him.
When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!

p. 57

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
I went back to the dean who had guided me into counseling and, for the first time, admitted to myself and to someone else that I had a problem with alcohol.  I didn’t think I was an alcoholic.  I wasn’t even sure what that was.  But I knew my life was out of control.  The dean allowed me to withdraw from the class the day before the final exam on one condition–I had to enter a treatment center.  I agreed.

pp. 424-425

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

The sponsor continues, “Take, for example, my own case. I had a scientific schooling. Naturally I respected, venerated, even worshipped science. As a matter of fact, I still do–all except the worship part. Time after time, my instructors held up to me the basic principle of all scientific progress: search and research, again and again, always with the open mind. When I first looked at A.A. my reaction was just like yours. This A.A. business, I thought, is totally unscientific. This I can’t swallow. I simply won’t consider such nonsense.

pp. 26-27

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Spirit has placed a dream in your heart for a better world, starting
with your family, extending to your work, community, country and
stretching beyond your nation. Speak your truth and inspire others, for
you are meant to make a significant and sizable difference.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Guidance isn’t being told which action to take or not to take.
Guidance is God’s gift of peace – from which we proceed. The peace
dissolves the question, and we simply do what we do in peace.”
–Hugh Prather, Spiritual Notes to Myself

Today, I will ask my Higher Power for what I want and need. I will not
demand — I will ask. Then I will let go.
–Melody Beattie

Spiritual community is created when we come together on a regular
basis with a common intention: to extend love beyond our immediate
families. Through this shared affinity, we encourage, challenge and
remind one another that nothing is impossible.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

Be gentle with yourself. Don’t force it. But don’t run away from your
feelings, either. You might feel like cooked spaghetti for a while,
but what’s really softening up is your heart. God, help me face and
feel any feelings.
–Melody Beattie

Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.
–American Proverb

“Know that every struggle holds a blessing. Uncover the blessing and
say thanks.”
–Unknown

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing
that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to
write a new page.
–Mark Houlahan

To love is to be patient, thoughtful, kind and meek. Lord, increase my
ability to love so that I can see You working in my life.
–unknown

“Love is not blind – It sees more, not less. But because it sees more, It
is willing to see less.”
–Julius Gordon

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SIMILARITY

“Whatever you may be sure of,
be sure of this — that you are
dreadfully like other people.”
–James Russell Lowell

For many years I saw the differences and not the similarities. I was
always considering how I was unlike other alcoholics, rather than
perceiving the striking similarities. I kept myself on the outside, not
only in recovery from alcoholism but also in life.

Then I heard from another recovering alcoholic not only “my story”
but also my feelings. I belonged. I was with people who knew my
loneliness, isolation, confusion, guilt and despair. I had come home to
live amongst my people.

Thank You for enabling me to see that I am a member of the human
family and a recovering alcoholic.

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“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'”
Luke 18:16

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see
your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16


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Daily Inspiration

Patience with others brings peace to our own soul. Lord, help me to display patience even when I do not feel patient because everyone will benefit, but me most of all.

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”. Lord, I pray, I believe, and I thank you even before it is fulfilled.

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NA Just For Today

Secrets And Intimacy

“We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected.”
Basic Text, p.31

Having relationships without barriers, ones in which we can be entirely open with our feelings, is something many of us desire. At the same time, the possibility of such intimacy causes us more fear than almost any other situation in life.

If we examine what frightens us, we’ll usually find that we are attempting to hide an aspect of our personalities that we are ashamed of, an aspect we sometimes haven’t even admitted to ourselves. We don’t want others to know of our insecurities, our pain, or our neediness, so we simply refuse to expose them. We may imagine that if no one knows about our imperfections, those imperfections will cease to exist.

This is the point where our relationships stop. Anyone who enters our lives will not get past the point at which our secrets begin. To maintain intimacy in a relationship, it is essential that we acknowledge our defects and accept them. When we do, the fortress of denial, erected to keep these things hidden, will come crashing down, enabling us to build up our relationships with others.

Just for today: I have opportunities to share my inner self. I will take advantage of those opportunities and draw closer to those I love.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
One law for lion and ox is oppression. –William Blake
What would the forest be like if deer, squirrel, and owl alike were required to sleep only at noon? Or the sky, if all birds were forced by law to fly in lines? Or the sea, if all fish had to stay forever in schools? We all know a lion and an ox, and we’ve all acted like a chicken, jackass, goat, or fox. Now and then we’re slow or fast, bright or dull, willing or not.
So when others go the way we know we must go, we will follow the same law. But we don’t have to be as others are, just to avoid being thought “strange.” How truly strange life would be if everyone were the same. We have our own way, our own good time, and own free laws to discover and obey.
Will I need to obey someone else’s rules if I govern myself well?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I am ill because my mind is in a rut and refuses to leave. –Karen Giordino
We are vulnerable human beings. We are susceptible to accidents and disease, and we can get bogged down in unhealthy thinking. We aren’t at fault when we catch a cold or get a more serious illness, and accidents can happen to anyone. In the same way our addictions and the addictions of people we are close to are not our fault. We never asked for these afflictions, yet we must deal with them.
Physical and spiritual health can’t be separated. A thriving spiritual life creates an environment for physical healing and strength. In the same way, physical well-being infuses our spirit with hope and joy. Human beings cannot go through life without sometimes being ill in either mind or body. Living by this program helps make us healthier in all ways. When we are bogged down, we can turn to one of the Steps as a means of healing and release.
Today, I will remember that lama whole man, with body and spirit as one. As I turn to the Steps, my whole being is healed.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The beauty of loving someone is the feeling of “wholeness” that I experience. The need for that individual in my life, the “I’m part of you and you’re part of me” feeling that connects two people and makes them necessary to each other. –Kathleen Andrus
All that is asked of us by our Creator is that we love one another. Where love doesn’t flow easily, perhaps we can just decide to not hurt someone. If we each avoided hurting all people, for just one day, lives would be transformed. We’d each see the world with a fresh perspective.
The more we love others, any others, the deeper our love will grow for all others. Loving lifts our hearts and lightens our burdens. Every day’s tribulations can become triumphs when we carry love in our hearts. Love fills us up, and the more we share it, the fuller we become.
We are connected–each of us to one another, all of us together. Our contributions to the whole are necessary. Its completion is made perfect by our presence.
As I pass a friend today, I will be grateful for her contribution to my wholeness, too.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Fear
One day, I decided to try something new. I took my ten year old son out on the St. Croix River on a Waverunner. A Waverunner is a small boating vehicle resembling a motorcycle.
We donned life jackets and embarked on an experience that turned out to be both exhilarating and frightening; exhilarating when I let myself enjoy it; frightening when I thought too much about what I was doing and all the terrible things that could happen.
Midway though our ride, my worst fear came true. We took a spill. We were floundering in thirty feet of water. The Waverunner was bobbing on the waves in front of me, like a motorized turtle on it back.
“Don’t panic,” my son said calmly.
“What if we drown?” I objected.
“We can’t,” he said. “We have life jackets on. See! We’re floating.”
“The machine is upside down,” I said. “How are we going to turn it over?”
“Just like the man said,” my son answered. “The arrow points this way.”
With an easy gesture, we turned the machine right side up. “What if we can’t climb back on?” I asked.
“We can,” my son replied. “That’s what Waverunners were made for: climbing on in the water.”
I relaxed and as we drove off, I wondered why I had become so frightened. I thought maybe it’s because I don’t trust my ability to solve problems. Maybe it’s because once I almost drowned when I wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
But you didn’t drown then either; a small voice inside reassured me. You survived.
Don’t panic.
Problems were made to be solved. Life was made to be lived. Although sometimes we may be in over our heads – yes, we may even go under for a few moments and gulp a few mouthfuls of water, we won’t drown. We’re wearing – and always have been wearing – a life jacket. That support jacket is called “God.”
Today, I will remember to take care of myself. When I get in over my head, God is there supporting me – even when my fears try to make me forget.

It is exciting to know that I am at choice today and that my choices are limitless. I can choose exactly what I want to do to change how I am feeling. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Acknowledge Your Fears

I never knew how afraid I was. Maybe I was even too afraid to look at my fears.

People speak of facing fear of not being afraid of fear, of working through fear. How do we do that? Try this technique, recommended to me by a healing professional. Take out a sheet of paper and pencil, and write down everything you fear. Take as much time as you need. Let it roll out. Don’t be afraid of what you see. Some of your fears may be of the unknown. Write as much as you can about those,too.

We don’t need to list everything we need to do about each fear. All we need to do is acknowledge, honestly, what we fear. Once we do, the way will become clear. Acknowledging our fears will give us power. Acknowledging our fears will help set us free. Often, it moves us to the next place. It is the barrier we need to pass through.

Although some of our fears may be real, may be grounded in reality, facing them won’t make us more afraid. Facing our fears will bring us peace and power. The truth isn’t the enemy. Fear of the truth is the enemy.

Be gentle with yourself. Let yourself have your fears, and let yourself face them.

Having the wisdom to face the truth will bring us closer to peace.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Turn the switch on

Many of us have turned off our intuition switch, our sense of knowing the truth. We may have turned it off when were children, because our parents lied to us. Or we may have turned the switch off later on in life to be in relationship to people who were lying to themselves and us. Our inner voice, our sense of knowing the truth, had to be turned off in order for us to remain in the situation.

It is time to turn the intuition switch back on. Go into your circuit-breaker room and turn it on. You know and can feel it when somebody is lying to you. You may not know it right away, but you can tell before long. You know if you trust or mistrust somebody. And you probably know the truth right now about how you feel.

Can you trust yourself? Stop doubting. Begin trusting and listening to what you know is the truth.

You know when a thing feels right to you, and you know when it doesn’t. The problem isn’t that your intuition doesn’t work. The problem is that sometimes you choose to ignore it.

God, help me listen when you speak. Help me trust the radar you’ve built into me.

Activity: This is a meditation to help you activate your intuitive powers. Get yourself in a relaxed position, either sitting in a comfortable chair or lying on a couch. Spend a few minutes consciously relaxing your entire body, starting with your head, your face, then moving downward to your toes. Then picture yourself at the bottom of a staircase, standing in front of a door with your name on it. Open the door and go into the room. In this room are a lot of switches, similar to a circuit-breaker room. Look for the switch marked “Intuition.” See yourself going over to the switch, then turning it on. If it needs any repairs, see yourself making those repairs. If you’re having difficulty turning it on, ask what the problem is, what you need to clear up before you can turn it on. Once the switch is turned on, leave the room. Lock the door behind you; then walk back up the stairs and slowly move back into awareness. Whenever your intuition falters, check the switch in your switch room to make certain your switch is on.

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In God’s Care

When you betray sombody else, you also betray yourself.
~~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Any action or expression we make toward another comes back to us. Maybe not today, but it assuredly returns: we do sow what we reap. If we treat others hatefully, or with disdain and suspicion, we eventually get the same in return. And we can also have a love-filled, affirming life if we willingly, gladly, and honestly offer our love to others with no conditions.

We can bring ourselves misery or happiness through our actions. With the help of our Higher Power, we can sow only what we want to reap. It’s a small decision to turn within for guidance. Although it takes practice to remember to let our Higher Power direct our actions, it will become a habit in time – the healthiest habit we’ll ever develop.

I will experience what I give to others through my actions today.

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Day By Day

Testing the fellowship

Early in recovery, we may find ourselves testing the fellowship to see how much others will respond to us. Out of fear, anxiety, loneliness, or frustration, we may act out. But as wonderful as our fellowship is, it’s not a permanent bond; it will not hold up against repeated assaults and excessive demands.

When fellowship members have had enough, they may frankly object. We may feel hurt and rejected. If we then overreact and reject the fellowship, we lose. And so does the fellowship. We need to learn what issues we have along with chemical dependency and how to deal with them. We need to learn that the fellowship needs the care and respect we’d give any relationship.

Am I treating the fellowship and myself well?

Higher Power, help me understand my individual issue and to get help with them.

Today I will show respect for myself and the fellowship by…

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Food for Thought

God Cares

It may be hard to believe that the Power of the universe is concerned with everything we do, including how and what we eat. The awareness that God does indeed care about the minute details of our daily existence comes to us as we see evidence of that care. When we turn to Him and trust His support, we see that our lives go more smoothly.

When we are relying on our Higher Power for the little things as well as the big ones, our timing improves. We are at the right place at the right time. We do not waste energy trying to do what we are not meant to do. The way opens up in front of us and we pass through difficulties unscathed.

We can believe that God is concerned with our recovery from compulsive overeating. He is health and wholeness, and we are made in His image. All that prevents us from receiving His healing care is our ignorance and self-will. Through this program we learn how to accept God’s care.

We are grateful for the knowledge that You care.

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As Blessed as You Want to Be
The Power of Staying Positive

Positive thinking dramatically increases your chances of success in any endeavor.

Our thoughts are not simply ethereal pieces of information that enter our minds and then disappear. The words and ideas that we think can shape our lives and drive us toward success and happiness or failure and distress. How you think and feel can have a profound effect on your ability to recognize opportunity, how well you perform, and the outcome of the goals that you’ve set for yourself. When you maintain an optimistic outlook and make an effort to harbor only positive thoughts, you begin to create the circumstances conducive to you achieving what you desire. You feel in control and few of life’s challenges seem truly overwhelming because it is in your nature to expect a positive conclusion. An optimistic mind is also an honest one. Staying positive does not mean that you ignore difficulties or disregard limitations. Instead, it means spending time focusing only on the thoughts that are conducive to your well-being and progress.

Positive thinking dramatically increases your chances of success in any endeavor. When you’re sure that you are worthy and that achievement is within your grasp, you start to relax and look for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. You are more likely to imagine positive situations or outcomes and disregard the thoughts related to giving up, failure, or roadblocks. What the mind expects, it finds. If you anticipate joy, good health, happiness, and accomplishment, then you will experience each one. Thinking positively may sound like a simple shift in attention – and it is – but it is a mind-set that must be developed. Whenever a negative thought enters your mind, try immediately replacing it with a constructive or optimistic one. With persistence, you can condition your mind to judge fleeting, self-defeating thoughts as inconsequential and dismiss them.

It is within your power to become as happy, content, or successful as you make up your mind to be. Staying positive may not have an immediate effect on your situation, but it will likely have a profound and instantaneous effect on your mood and the quality of your experiences. In order for positive thinking to change your life, it must become your predominant mind-set. Once you are committed to embracing positive thinking, you’ll start believing that everything that you want is within your grasp. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We learn the value of mediation in The Program. As the beginning of the Eleventh Step suggest, we see through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as We understand Him. One of the great values of meditation is that it clears the mind. And as the mind becomes clearer, it becomes more capable and willing to acknowledge the truth. less pain is required to force honesty recognition of defects and their results. The real need of the whole person are revealed. Are prayer and meditation a regular part of my daily living?

Today I Pray

May God’s truth be revealed to me through meditation and these small prayers, through contact with my group which keeps me mindful of my need to clear my mind with daily meditation. For only an uncluttered mind can receive God; only a mind cleansed of self-interest can acknowledge the truth.

Today I Will Remember

.Meditation is a mind-cleanser

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One More Day

Life is not a “brief candle.” It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
– George Bernard Shaw

How lucky we are to have the splendid torch of our lives shining on our days. Some may think that a health problem is going to become a permanent barrier to our ability to enjoy life.

If we assume that each one of our “small candles” represents another of our strengths, we can blend them together to form a torch of hope. How we live the rest of our lives — forty months or forty years — is entirely our own making. Let the torch shine!

The possibilities of my life are endless when I am willing to see them and act on them.

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One Day At A Time

EXAMPLES
“Preach always … use words if necessary.”
St. Francis of Assisi

I’ve heard it said many times that the Twelve Step way of life is a way of attraction, not promotion. I can project an image of serenity and recovery by the way I conduct my life. By using the Twelve Steps to work on my inventory, by promptly making amends when needed, by striving daily to use the tools of recovery, I am assuring compulsive eaters who are living in chaos and confusion that there is a better way. When they ask my “secret,” I can then share the words of recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will preach recovery
by the examples of serenity and peace.
~ Hopeful

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When ready, we say something like this: ‘My Creator; I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding, Amen.’ We have then completed STEP SEVEN. – Pg. 76 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We are the inheritors of those who have gone before us, the originators of the 12 step and other recovery programs. Their blood, sweat, tears, and persistence is a gift to us today. Their sheer tenacity in educating the public, the government, the medical profession, and most of all themselves is our great legacy.

God, as I understand You, may I carry out the legacy one principle at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time.

Visualizing My Own Life

Today I will dream, I’ll use my capacity for visualization to imagine what I would like my life to be like. I will allow myself to see, in my mind, what I want to manifest in my life. Then I’ll let the universe to work it’s magic. Rather than stress and control and attempt to manipulate events, circumstances and people so that they conform to my idea of what I want to happen, I’ll hold my vision steadily and with faith and trust that the universe will provide. This life is a gift, this world is a gift. Nature is abundant. I am part of the world, part of nature. Life means to fulfill me. Today I will take all of the steps that I need to take in order to manifest my vision and let God do the rest. I’ll take the action and let go of the result.

I see the life I want to live

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The Twelve Steps: One to Three: Clear up; Four to Nine: Clean up; Ten to Twelve: Contact up. These are also called the Foundation Steps, the Action Steps, and the Maintenance Steps respectively. Are you looking for something easier?

The easier, softer way is the Twelve Steps.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Slogans are the Swiss army knives of Recovery.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

It is exciting to know that I am at choice today and that my choices are limitless. I can choose exactly what I want to do to change how I am feeling.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking. – Albert Einstein.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 28

The Ladder
No one who drank as I did wakes up on the edge of the abyss one morning and says:
Things look pretty scary; I think I’d better stop drinking before I fall in.
I was convinced I could go as far as I wanted, and then climb back out when it wasn’t fun anymore.
What happened was, I found myself at the bottom of the canyon thinking I’d never see the sun again.
AA didn’t pull me out of that hole.
It did give me the tools to construct a ladder, with Twelve Steps.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 316

Thought to Ponder . . .
The elevator is broken — use the Steps.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S T E P S = Solutions Through Each Powerful Step.

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

Trouble
“There was a time when we ignored trouble,
hoping it would go away.
Or, in fear and depression, we ran from it,
but found it was still with us.
Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame,
we fought back.
These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol,
guaranteed our destruction,
unless they were altered. . .
Then came AA.
Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could,
under God’s grace,
be converted into unimaginable blessings.”
Bill W., Letter, 1966
1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 110

Thought to Consider . . .
The peaks and valleys of my life
have become gentle rolling hills.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S O B E R = Son Of a Basket, Everything’s Real

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

Why?
From: “There Is A Solution”
Why does he behave like this? If hundreds of experiences have shown him that one drink means another debacle with all its attendant suffering and humiliation, why is it he takes that one drink? Why can’t he stay on the water wagon? What has become of the common sense and will power that he still sometimes displays with respect to other matters?
Perhaps there never will be a full answer to these questions. Opinions vary considerably as to why the alcoholic reacts differently from normal people. We are not sure why, once a certain point is reached, little can be done for him. We cannot answer the riddle.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 22

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

“Every older AA shudders when he remembers the names of persons he once condemned; people he confidently predicted would never sober up; persons he was sure ought to be thrown out of AA for the good of the movement. Now that some of these very persons have been sober for years, and may be numbered among his best friends, the old-timer thinks to himself, ‘What if everybody had judged these people as I once did? What if AA had slammed the door in their faces? Where would they be now?'”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., August 1946
“Who Is a Member of Alcoholics Anonymous?”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the
past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out
of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we
haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was
agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over
alcohol.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg.76~

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect
produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they
admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the
true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only
normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless
they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes
at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others
taking with impunity.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxviii~

“In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 66

“This improved perception of humility starts another revolutionary change in our outlook.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 74

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It was discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, Maybe those A.A.’s were right. After a few such experiences, often before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced.
In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health, and even good social standing.
Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in order to admit that they were licked.

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me bend with life’s wind and glory in its passing. Free me from rigidity.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 27th

Daily Reflections

GIVING FREELY

We will make every personal sacrifice necessary to insure the unity of
Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do this because we have learned to
love God and one another.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 234

To be self-supporting through my own contributions was never a
strong characteristic during my days as a practicing alcoholic. The
giving of time or money always demanded a price tag.
As a newcomer I was told “we have to give it away in order to keep
it.” As I began to adopt the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous in my
life, I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an
expression of the gratitude felt in my heart. My love of God and of
others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of
return. I realize now that giving freely is God’s way of expressing Himself
through me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

To paraphrase the psalm: “We alcoholics declare the power of liquor
and drunkenness showeth its handiwork. Day unto day uttereth
hangovers and night unto night showeth suffering. The law of A.A. is
perfect, converting the drunk. The testimony of A.A. is sure, making
wise the simple. The statutes of A.A. are right, rejoicing the heart.
The program of A.A. is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the
first drink is clean, enduring forever.” Have I any doubt about the
power of liquor?

Meditation For The Day

“Walk humbly with thy Lord.” Walking with God means practicing the
presence of God in your daily affairs. It means asking God for
strength to face each new day. It means turning to Him often during
the day in prayer for yourself and for other people. It means thanking
Him at night for the blessings you have received during the day.
Nothing can seriously upset you if you are “walking with God.” You
can believe that He is beside you in spirit, to help you and to guide you
on your way.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to walk humbly with God. I pray that I may turn
to Him often as to a close friend.

 

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As Bill Sees It

Reason–a Bridge to Faith, p. 208

We were squarely confronted with the question of faith.  We couldn’t
duck the issue.  Some of us had already walked along the bridge of
reason toward the desired shore of faith, where friendly hands
stretched out in welcome.  We were grateful that reason had brought
us so far.  Perhaps we had been relying too heavily on reason that last
mile, and we did not like to lose our support.

Yet, 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 to the god of
reason.  So, in one way or another, we discovered that faith had been
involved all the time!

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 53-54

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Walk In Dry Places

No tap dancing around problems.
Inventory
Our program calls for a “searching and fearless” moral inventory, not only in the beginning, but as we continue to follow our new way of life.
What this means is complete honesty about who and what we really are. We should not tap-dance around our problems in order to evade responsibility. This willnot bring the cleansing we need for real sober living.  We need deep changes, not mere surface ones.
Difficult as it is to be fully honest, it’s made easier when we remind ourselves that it’s all for our own recovery. We benefit in proportion to the amount of honesty we bring to our inventory. If it’s searching and fearless, the results will be far-reaching and substantial.
I will not shirk from facing the truth about myself as I go through the day. What I need for self-improvement will be revealed to me.


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Keep It Simple

To enjoy freedom, we have to con troll ourselves. Virginia Woolf
Freedom is a funny thing, in a way, it makes life harder. We are free to do what we want but every choice makes a difference in our lives. Some choices make us happy and some bring trouble.
We can make good choices. We can control our actions. We can start by having control in little ways: follow the law, pay the rent, and make the bed every day. These choices put order in our lives. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. These choices make us strong enough to live each day to the fullest.
These kinds of choices set us free.
Prayer for the day: Higher Power, I was drinking and drugging. I couldn’t enjoy my freedom. I had no control over the little things in my life. Help me stay sober today.
Action for the day: Today, I’ll be grateful  for having some control. I will list five way I am more free because I can control my actions.

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Each Day a New Beginning

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.  –Mother Teresa
Our spiritual nature must be nurtured. Prayer and meditation lovingly kindle the flame that guides us from within. Because we’re human, we often let the flame flicker and perhaps go out. And then we sense the dreaded aloneness. Fortunately, some time away, perhaps even a few moments in quiet communion with God, rekindles the flame.
For most of us, the flame burned low, or not at all, for many years. The flickering we may feel today, or tomorrow, or felt yesterday, will not last, so we may put away our fears. We can listen to the voice of our higher power in others. We can listen, too, as we carry the message. Prayer surrounds us every moment. We can fuel our inner flame with the messages received from others. We can let our spirit spring forth, let it warm our hearts and the hearts of others.
We each have a friend whose flame may be flickering today. I will help her and thus myself. A steady flame can rekindle one that’s flickering.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

One night, when confined in a hospital, he was approached by an alcoholic who had known a spiritual experience. Our friend’s gorge rose as he bitterly cried out: “If there is a God, He certainly hasn’t done anything for me!” But later, alone in his room, he asked himself this question: “Is it possible that all the religious people I have known are wrong?” While pondering the answer he felt as though he lived in hell. Then, like a thunderbolt, a great thought came. It crowded out all else:
“Who are you to say there is no God?”
This man recounts that he tumbled out of bed to his knees. In a few seconds he was overwhelmed by a conviction of the Presence of God. It poured over and through him with the certainty and majesty of a great tide at flood. The barriers he had built through the years were swept away. He stood in the Presence of Infinite Power and Love. He had stepped from bridge to shore. For the first time, he lived in conscious companionship with his Creator.
Thus was our friend’s cornerstone fixed in place. No later vicissitude has shaken it. His alcoholic problem was taken away. That very night, years ago, it disappeared. Save for a few brief moments of temptation the though of drink has never returned; and at such times a great revulsion has risen up in him. Seemingly he could not drink even if he would. God had restored his sanity.

pp. 56-57

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
About a year later I realized that I was in trouble.  I had failed a class during the winter term (I had rarely attended and had not turned in the term paper on which 50 percent of our grade was based.)  The spring term was looking equally bleak.  I was enrolled in a class that I had attended only once.  I had not written any of the required papers or bothered to show up for the midterm examination.  I was bound for failure and expulsion.  My life had become unmanageable, and I knew it.

p. 424

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

“Well,” says the newcomer, “I know you’re telling me the truth. It’s no doubt a fact that A.A. is full of people who once believed as I do. But just how, in these circumstances, does a fellow `take it easy’? That’s what I want to know.”
“That,” agrees the sponsor, “is a very good question indeed. I think I can tell you exactly how to relax. You won’t have to work at it very hard, either. Listen, if you will, to these three statements. First, Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions. Second, to get sober and to stay sober, you don’t have to swallow all of Step Two right now. Looking back, I find that I took it piecemeal myself. Third, all you really need is
a truly open mind. Just resign from the debating society and quit bothering yourself with such deep questions as whether it was the hen or the egg that came first. Again I say, all you need is the open mind.”

p. 26

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Today, I will focus on practicing one recovery behavior on one of my
issues, trusting that this practice will move me forward. I will
remember that acceptance, gratitude, and detachment are a good
place to begin.
–Melody Beattie

“God gives us abundance in all things, that we might use it on behalf of
the healing of the world.”
–Marianne Williamson

“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among
those who don’t.”
–Frank A. Clark

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I
can change.”
–Carl Rogers

He that gives should never remember, he that receives should never
forget.
–Talmud

“With every prayer and every thought of love, we release the light
that will cast out darkness. One light alone seems small and weak, but
no one’s light is ever alone, for all our lights are part of God.”
–Marianne Williamson

All time spent angry is time lost being happy.
— Mexican Proverb

Progress comes from caring more about what needs to be done than
about who gets the credit.
–Dorothy Height

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IDEAS

“Ideas shape the course of history.”
–John Maynard Keynes

I get so excited about my sobriety because it has given me ideas.
Today I can think, ponder and create. God is such a big idea today —
every thing is involved.

For years I had made God a prisoner of the Church or an idea in
history, but in my sobriety I have discovered Him in art, poetry, music
and literature. God is found in friendship, advice, sharing and
sexuality. God is forcibly experienced in nature, sunsets, animals and
the sea.

God can be found through my failures. He is perceived in suffering,
loneliness and resentments. The acknowledgment of my disease has
brought me closer to God as I understand Him.

My idea of God is alive and it makes me want to live.

May my ideas and thoughts always reflect Your beauty.

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

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with
joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalms 16:11

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my
heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26

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Daily Inspiration

Talents are not just artistic. They include the talent for compassion, care and for bringing harmony to our environment. Lord, help me to say the right words when what I say can make a helpful difference.

If we look to God for guidance, we will not be weighed down by the circumstances of our life. Lord, free me from the worries that come to distract me and keep me focused on that which is important.

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NA Just For Today

We Do Recover

“After coming to NA, we found ourselves among a very special group of people who have suffered like us and found recovery. In their experiences, freely shared, we found hope for ourselves. If the program worked for them, it would work for us.”
Basic Text, p.10

A newcomer walks into his or her first meeting, shaking and confused. People are milling about. Refreshments and literature are set out. The meeting starts after everyone has drifted over to their chairs and settled themselves in. After taking a bewildered glance at the odd assortment of folks in the room, the newcomer asks, “Why should I bet my life on this group? After all, they’re just a bunch of addicts like me.”

Though it may be true that not many of our members had much going for us when we got here, the newcomer soon learns that the way we are living today is what counts. Our meetings are filled with addicts whose lives have turned completely around. Against all odds, we are recovering. The newcomer can relate to where we’ve been and draw hope from where we are now. Today, every one of us has the opportunity to recover.

Yes, we can safely entrust our lives to our Higher Power and to Narcotics Anonymous. So long as we work the program, the payoff is certain: freedom from active addiction and a better way of life.

Just for today: The recovery I’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous is a sure thing. By basing my life on it, I know I will grow.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In summer I am very glad
We children are so small,
For we can see a thousand things
That men can’t see at all.
–Laurence Alma-Tadema
Out behind the house a little boy is turning over stepping-stones, which form the sidewalk. Underneath these stones he has discovered many different kinds of worms and bugs. They wiggle this way and that when their cover is removed. He is only four, but he is the only one in the family who has made this discovery.
In a child’s eyes there are many wonderful things, which escape the attention of the adult world. In order to see them, we must often take the time to let those younger than us show the way. Even though we may have lost our own childlike view of the world, others can guide us and thereby enrich our lives. We have much to teach and share with each other, regardless of our ages.
What can I learn from one younger than me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
You cannot get it by taking thought; You cannot seek it by not taking thought. –Zenrin poem
We are transported into unfamiliar worlds in this program by ideas that sometimes confound our mind. In the spiritual realms we learn things we didn’t learn anywhere else, and gradually they bring us peace. We can decide with our will to follow a spiritual direction, to turn our life and will over to the care of our God. We cannot control what God will do with them. When we learn that part of our problem was trying too hard, being too self sufficient, or being too controlling, our old ways tell us to try hard to control that. But then we are only doing more of the same old thing. We learn that after making our decision, our Higher Power takes over. Now it is possible to be released from our own trying, to move beyond our own efforts by falling into the caring hand of God.
I must give this program first priority in my life, remembering my spiritual progress comes as a gift, not as an achievement.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it. –Mother Teresa
Our spiritual nature must be nurtured. Prayer and meditation lovingly kindle the flame that guides us from within. Because we’re human, we often let the flame flicker and perhaps go out. And then we sense the dreaded aloneness. Fortunately, some time away, perhaps even a few moments in quiet communion with God, rekindles the flame.
For most of us, the flame burned low, or not at all, for many years. The flickering we may feel today, or tomorrow, or felt yesterday, will not last, so we may put away our fears. We can listen to the voice of our higher power in others. We can listen, too, as we carry the message. Prayer surrounds us every moment. We can fuel our inner flame with the messages received from others. We can let our spirit spring forth, let it warm our hearts and the hearts of others.
We each have a friend whose flame may be flickering today. I will help her and thus myself. A steady flame can rekindle one that’s flickering.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go
Stop trying so hard to control things. It is not our job to control people, outcomes, circumstances, and life. Maybe in the past we couldn’t trust and let things happen. But we can now. The way life is unfolding is good. Let it unfold.
Stop trying so hard to do better, be better, and be more. Who we are and the way we do things is good enough for today.
Who we were and the way we did things yesterday was good enough for that day.
Ease up on ourselves. Let go. Stop trying so hard.
Today, I will let go. I will stop trying to control everything. I will stop trying to make myself be and do better, and I will let myself be.

Today I release all thoughts and feelings that cause me harm. I am learning to put all fears aside and come from the place of truth and love. The rewards of this freedom are far greater than the negative results of my fear. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Be Vulnerable with Yourself

As we go through our days, we meet many people. We learn it’s safe to be vulnerable with some, not so safe or wise to be vulnerable with others. But there is one person it’s always safe to be vulnerable with. Yourself.

Share your deepest secrets with yourself. Whether you rise early in the morning and write your thoughts in a journal or take a few moments throughout the day to bring your deepest secrets to consciousness, you need to be clear, straight, and honest with yourself. Harboring secrets, ducking, dodging, and hiding from the truth will slow you down. It will block the pathway to your heart. It can even stop you cold if you get enough secrets tucked away.

Take time each day to recognize what you think, what you feel. You don’t have to act. The sheer acts of recognition, honesty, and acceptance are all that are necessary to keep you moving, growing, going forward.

Be as vulnerable as you saflely can with those you meet along the way. But always be vulnerable with yourself.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say how it feels intuitively

The first time intuition clonked me over the head is a story I’ve told many times in my writing. I was in treatment for chemical dependency at the time; I needed a job to get out. I had searched the ads and applied for every opportunity I thought I deserved. No job was too small, meager, or humble to overlook in the application process. No one wanted to hire me. I looked for weeks, months, without success.

One day, I was at the end of my resources. I was waiting for a bus to take me back to the hospital, where the treatment center was located, when a small voice in my heart urged, Look behind you. I did. I was standing in front of a bank. Next to it was a stairway leading to an attorney’s office, on the second floor.

Go upstairs and ask to talk to the head of the law firm. Tell him you want a job, were the words I heard next.

That’s crazy, I though. It doesn’t make any sense. But I did it anyway. That still, small voice kept urging me on. When I talked to the attorney, I told him where I lived and what was going on in my life. He said he understood; someone in his family had experienced problems with chemical dependency,too. Then he looked at me and said, “It’s funny you came in. I was thinking about creating a new position for a legal secretary in my office, but I haven’t gotten around to advertising yet.”

Two weeks later, he called me. I got the job. It was better than any I had applied for, it paid more, and it made the best possible use of the skills I possessed at that time.

We all have a special source of wisdom and guidance available to us, in times of trouble and in the day-to-day workings of our lives.

When faced with a dilemma, take a moment. Feel out the situation. Get out of your head. Make at least one decision intuitivley today.

God, help me trust my intuitive powers.

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In God’s Care

True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self, but the point is not only to get out – you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.
~~Henry James

When we are down, when everything seems to be going wrong for us, that’s when we probably notice that for some time our attention has been on ourselves. We may be concentrating on what we want and how we’re not getting it. We might be thinking of all the ways we have been slighted or ignored or rejected, and be keeping score.

It’s trite to say that we can get out of this painful self-absorption only by helping someone else, but it’s true. Helping others is a way to help ourselves. It is a spiritual principle, and our program is based on this principle of love for one another.

I will remember that happiness may be found in getting out of myself.

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Day By Day

Making progress

As addicts, we have a disease, as recovering addicts it is important for us to recognize that we are getting better. It is exciting and encouraging to see how we are changing.

We are sick, but we are getting better. For example, it used to be that every time something went wrong, we had to run; now we just want to run. The running feeling is still there, but we now have a choice. Later, by the grace of God, we may not even want to run.

Can I see the progress I am making?

Higher Power, while I know there is always room for improvement, help me see the progress I have already made.

I will seek to improve myself today by…

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Food for Thought

OA Unity

When we come into OA, we are amazed to find so many other people with the same problems and difficulties. We are even more amazed at the stories we hear of the successful solution of these problems, which have defeated us for so long.

We are united in our common illness – compulsive overeating – and we are united in our common program of recovery – abstinence and the Twelve Steps. What we could not accomplish alone, by our own efforts, becomes possible through the strength of the group and the Higher Power.

Each of us is responsible for the life of OA. We each have a role to play and an area in which to serve. If we do not do our part, the organization as a whole is weakened. By our service to the common goals, our own program is strengthened. “Letting someone else do it” will not work. Saying yes when there is a job that I can do is what maintains OA unity and my own recovery.

May I contribute to OA unity.

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Compulsive Apologies
The Feeling Underneath by Madisyn Taylor

Apologizing chronically can be a sign that you are not feeling that you have much self worth.

Many people suffer with the tendency to apologize all the time, chronically, for everything. On the one hand, apologizing is a social convention that keeps interactions between people polite, and in that way it can be very helpful. On the other hand, if we find ourselves apologizing for everything, it might be time to look at why we feel compelled to say “I’m sorry” so often. Ultimately, saying you’re sorry is saying that you are responsible for something that has gone wrong in the situation. Whether it’s negotiating a parking spot, moving through the aisles of the supermarket, or reaching for what you want, there are times when sorry is the right thing to say. But there are other times when “excuse me” is more accurate.

Sometimes saying you’re sorry is like saying that the other person in the equation has more of a right to be here than you do. Of course, it’s true that using the word sorry can simply be an innocuous way of defusing tension. However, if you find that you say sorry all the time, you might want to look a little deeper and see where in your psyche that might be coming from. If it’s a pattern, breaking it may simply take some awareness and practice.

The first step is observing yourself each time you say it, without being hard on yourself about it. Throughout your day simply notice when you apologize. At first, you might be surprised to see that you do it even more than you first realized. After a day or two of simply observing, try to tune in to what it is you are feeling right before you say it. You might be feeling threatened, embarrassed, intensely anxious, or a variety of other feelings. Over time, try to stop yourself before the words come out and just be with the feeling that’s there. You may recognize it as one from your childhood, one that’s been with you for a long time. The more you are able to see it, the freer you will be not to be sorry all the time. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Over and over, I see that those who make the best and steadiest progress in The Program are those who readily accept the help of a Higher Power. Once they can do that, it’s easier for them to get out of their own way. Their problems then seem to resolve themselves in a way that is beyond human understanding. Do I realize that the effectiveness with which I use the consciousness of God in my daily life depends not on Him, but on me?

Today I Pray

May I know that my recovery and growth depends on my being in touch with my Higher Power, not just once in a while, but always. It means turning to that Power several times a day to ask for strength and knowledge of his will. When I understand that my own life is part of a Higher Plan, I will be less apt to trip and fall, head off in the wrong direction, or just to sit tight and let life pass me by.

Today I Will Remember

to be God-conscious.

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One More Day

One of the signs of maturity is a healthy respect for reality — a respect that manifests its4elf in the level of one’s aspirations and in the accuracy of one’s assessment of the difficulties which separate the facts of today from the bright hopes of tomorrow.
– Robert H. Davies

If we don’t want to live our lives caught in the “what might have been” doldrums, we can assess where we are and how we happen to be here. We can stop feeling regretful about lost t9ime and concentrate on the possibilities now.

If we haven’t achieved any of the goals we previously set for ourselves, we can make new goals and achieve each of them one step at a time. We have the rest of our lives to live, and we can realistically shape new goals that are both challenging and reachable.

I will set realistic goals, realizing there is never a better time than now.

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One Day At A Time

FOOTWORK
“I’ve lost so much weight
that I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”
Erma Bombeck

I have lost and gained the same weight so many times I’ve lost count. Lack of willpower was never an issue with me. I’ve whipped myself into shape many times. There was nothing I didn’t do in order to lose weight. I just couldn’t keep it off.

The tide finally turned for me when I quit relying on my own power, turned my focus away from my weight problem and toward “trusting in God and cleaning house,” as the Big Book states.

I did Step work under the guidance of my sponsor. I passed along to others the lessons I’d learned. I did service work. I kept practicing a conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I went to meetings and talked to others. I kept a journal. Then one day I looked up from the tasks at hand to discover I was abstinent. God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

One day at a time…
I will do the footwork and leave the results up to God.
~ Shirley G.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

These observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first drink, thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion. Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body. If you ask him why he started on that last bender, the chances are he will offer you any one of a hundred alibis. Sometimes these excuses have a certain plausibility, but none of them really makes sense in the light of the havoc an alcoholic’s drinking bout creates. They sound like the philosophy of the man who, having a headache, beats himself on the head with a hammer so that he can’t feel the ache. If you draw this fallacious reasoning to the attention of an alcoholic, he will laugh it off, or become irritated and refuse to talk.
Once in a while he may tell the truth. And the truth, strange to say, is usually that he has no more idea why he took that first drink than you have. Some drinkers have excuses with which they are satisfied part of the time. But in their hearts they really do not know why they do it. Once this malady has a real hold, they are a baffled lot. There is the obsession that somehow, someday, they will beat the game. But they often suspect they are down for the count. – Pg. 23 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Mind is the path. Flesh is the vehicle. We must establish a new mind through the creative power of thought using the 12 steps. We must establish a new body, protecting it from drugs. Only then do we become an aspirant of a whole life.

I ask my Creator to make me WHOLE in body, mind, and spirit.

Spirit Calls

Spirit calls to me within and without. In a still, small voice I sense spirit whispering in my inner ear. My body feels an increasing sense of aliveness as I invite spirit to make itself known to me. I do not even need to make room for spirit, because spirit breathes in each pore within me. It fills the numbness with energy. It fills the emptiness and causes my cup to overflow with its presence. There are gifts in listening if I am willing to sense, hear and see them, lessons I can learn. Little hints that help me to appreciate what I already have and open myself to experiencing more.

I will look for evidence of spirit at work in my life

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Unity in our program does not mean conformity. Unity means joining for a common purpose, despite our differences.

I can disagree without being disagreeable.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

With the 12 Steps, you have break throughs, not break downs.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote 

Today I release all thoughts and feelings that cause me harm. I am learning to put all fears aside and come from the place of truth and love. The rewards of this freedom are far greater than the negative results of my fear.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I left my bathroom door open when I puked but I closed it when I prayed. – Sean A.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 27

How It Works
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. . . .
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it
— then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.
With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

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

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

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

Way of Life
“The AA way of life is the way we always
should have tried to live.
‘Grant us the serenity to accept the things
we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.’
These thoughts become part of our daily lives.
They are not ideas of resignation
but of the recognition of certain
basic facts of living.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 382-3

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B E S T = Been Enjoying Sobriety Today?

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

Progress
>From “A Glacier Melts”:
“A.A. provided for me a means by which I could overcome the compulsion to drink and, more important, a means by
which I could achieve a personality change or spiritual awakening— a surrender to life. Though I have had problems
and deep troubles since that summer ten years ago, my faith has not been shaken. I cannot say that I have found God
as I understand Him, but rather that I have faith in Something which remains a mystery to me and which I continue to
seek. – Fresno, California, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 59

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

“The great art of living is to make the best of things as they are.”
Cumbria, June 1975
“The Great Art of Living,”
Emotional Sobriety II

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

“Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are
using it constantly.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85

“We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 75

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We were squarely confronted with the question of faith. We couldn’t duck the issue. Some of us had already walked
along the bridge of reason toward the desired shore of faith, where friendly hands stretched out in welcome. We were
grateful that reason had brought us so far. But, somehow, we couldn’t quite step ashore. Perhaps we had been relying
too heavily on reason that last mile, and we did not like to lose our support.
Yet, 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!

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me serve other people, not demand that they serve me.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Daily Reflections

THE “WORTH” OF SOBRIETY

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside
contributions.
TWELVE AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 160

When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy
it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to
straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with
sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I
am either too bust to take money out of my purse, or I do not have
enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone
suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought,
that’s too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I
rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget
that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and
cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a
restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how
much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth?

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no
material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead
hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given
away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have
given our time and money for the good of A.A., we may take that with
us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what have
we gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done.
Those are the things that really matter in the long run. What will I
take with me when I go?

Meditation For The Day

“Hallowed be Thy Name.” What does that mean to us? Here “name”
is used in the sense of “spirit.” The words mean praise to God for His
spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful
for God’s spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is
base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a
conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in
our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for God’s spirit in me. I pray that I may
try to live in accordance with it.

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As Bill Sees It

The Fellowship’s Future, p.207

“It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and
under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once
have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older
members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the
surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached
enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon
God.”

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

Clearly, our first duty to A.A.’s future is to maintain in full strength
what we have now. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this.
Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide
acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle
temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance
disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and
transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How
well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

1. Letter, 1940
2. A.A. Today, p. 106

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Walk In Dry Places

Never withholding ourselves…………..Living Sober.
We may have let ourselves believe that were supposed to display an attitude that expresses our opinions of others. If a person is crude and boorish, we should be cool and defensive for our self-protection.  If a person is warm and friendly, we should respond in warm and friendly ways.
If we have believed these things, then were actually letting others control our attitudes and behavior. We are letting personalities interfere with the high principles we are learning in AA. We are not living at the best possible level.
In reality, we should always display an attitude that reflects kindness, optimism, friendliness, and concern. There other persons disposition, whether its sour or sweet, should have nothing to do with our being what we want to be.  We should never withhold the fine inner qualities that develop and grow as we continue to live the program.
In time, we begin to learn that this attitude always comes back to us in the form of greater peace and happiness.  And what’s great about it is that its always under our direct control.
As I go about my business today, I will express a kindliness and concern toward everybody. Nobody’s behavior can make me adopt a suspicious or defensive attitude

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Keep It Simple

I was never less alone when by myself.—Edward Gibson
To stay in this program, we need to accept that we have an illness. We need to accept that we were
out of control. And we need to accept that we need others and they need us. At times, we won’t want to accept these facts. We will want to deny we have an illness and our lives were out of control.
Many of us get into trouble when we don’t accept that we need others. This is why helping others is so important. It teaches us that we need others, and others need us. By helping others, we learn about the give-and-take of human relationships. There is no give-an-take in addiction. There is just take. Now, finally, we can give too!
Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that I need other people.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll help out. I will make coffee at the next meeting or offer to do the Step next week. I will let a fellow addict know I’m glad he or she is sober.

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Each Day a New Beginning

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.  –Jessamyn West
To live fully and creatively, to contribute what is only ours to give, requires that we be receptive, wholly, to the reverberations of each present moment. Even anticipation of what may transpire next can prejudice our minds, our level of awareness. Preconceptions cloud our senses. They prevent the actual situation from being fully realized. And it is only in the now, as sensed moment by moment, that we find our cues to proceed along the path chosen for us.
As we grow more comfortable with Step Three, daily turning our lives and wills over to the care of God, we’ll see how much more rewarding our experiences are. We’ll see, too, how much greater are our own contributions. Preconceptions of any situation, persons, anticipated experience, dulls the magic, the depth of the moment. And only when we attune ourselves to the invitation of the moment do we give of ourselves, wholly. Our partnership with God lives now, as we go forth in this moment.
I will look to each moment with childish eyes. I’ll find joy and contentment.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

In this book you will read the experience of a man who thought he was an atheist. His story is so interesting that some of it should be told now. His change of heart was dramatic, convincing, and moving.
Our friend was a minister’s son. He attended church school, where he became rebellious at what he thought an overdose of religious education. For years thereafter he was dogged by trouble and frustration. Business failure, insanity, fatal illness, suicide—these calamities in his immediate family embittered and depressed him. Post-war disillusionment, ever more serious alcoholism, impending mental and physical collapse, brought him to the point to self-destruction.

pp. 55-56

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
Because my college was fairly small, it did not take long for me to come to the attention of the college deans.  It was under their watchful eyes that I first agreed to enter counseling.  While the administration saw this as an opportunity to help a troubled student, I saw it as a bargain.  I would go to counseling to make them happy, and they would owe me one.  Not surprisingly, the counseling had no effect.  My daily drinking continued unabated.

p. 424

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

At this juncture, his A.A. sponsor usually laughs. This, the newcomer thinks, is just about the last straw. This is the beginning of the end. And so it is: the beginning of the end of his old life, and the beginning of his emergence into a new one. His sponsor probably says, “Take it easy. The hoop you have to jump through is a lot wider than you think. At least I’ve found it so. So did a friend of mine who was a one-time vice-president of the American Atheist Society, but he got through with room to spare.”

p. 26

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The future starts today, not tomorrow.
–Pope John Paul II

Don’t live in the past…you have already been there.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

The secret lies in how we handle today, not yesterday or
tomorrow. Today…that special block of time holding the key that
locks out yesterday’s nightmares and unlocks tomorrow’s dreams.
–Charles Swindoll

Let everyone try and find that as a result of daily prayer he adds
something new to his life, something with which nothing can be
compared.
–Mahatma Gandhi

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.”
–Robert Brault

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in
his way.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the
less control we have.
–Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ADVERSITY

“Adversity reveals genius,
prosperity conceals it.”
–Horace

Today I believe that the only way to understand God, the world,
my neighbor and myself is through some degree of suffering. Pain
and suffering are humbling in the truest sense; they stop you from
being arrogant, selfish and “prideful”.

I know this because I was a spoiled child. My family tried to give
me everything. Whatever I wanted was given to me; my way or no
way! This sick love robbed me of humility and separated me from
humanity: it made me feel different, selfish and place me on a
pity-pot. Being spoiled stopped me experiencing the real world and
stopped me from growing.

Today adversity is part of life and part of being human. Not to
grow through adversity is to die. To have everything is to
experience nothing. To feel in life — to have emotion — demands
adversity and pain.

Teach me to be grateful for the suffering that leads to growth.

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Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your
gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about
anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in
me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Phillipians 4:4-9

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD
require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly
with your God?”
Micah 6:8

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Daily Inspiration

Avoid being self-conscious and you will have more time to have fun and enjoy the moment. Lord, help me take myself less seriously and place my focus on those around me.

Courage gives us the trust in God to follow our hearts no matter what obstacles seem to block our way. Lord, I love You.

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NA Just For Today

Unconditional Surrender

“Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat. This can be frightening, but it is the foundation on which we have built our lives.”
Basic Text, p.22

Most of us have tried everything we can think of, exerted every ounce of force possible, to fill the spiritual hole inside us. Nothing – not drugs, not control and management, not sex, money, property, power, or prestige – has filled it. We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone. Our denial will not change that fact.

So we surrender; we ask a Higher Power to care for our will and our lives. Sometimes in surrendering, we don’t know that a Power greater than ourselves exists which can restore us to wholeness. Sometimes we’re not sure that the God of our understanding will care for our unmanageable lives. Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth: We are powerless. Our lives are unmanageable. We must surrender. Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide – wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter.

Just for today: I will surrender unconditionally. I can make it as easy or as hard as I choose. Either way, I will do it.
pg. 216

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Isn’t it great life is open-ended! –Brigitte Frase
Elizabeth Lawton, known as “Grandma Layton,” is an American artist who never drew a picture until she was sixty-eight years old. She spent all the years before that time trying to cope with depression. She had gone through therapy, medications, and shock treatment and continued to be severely depressed. But then she signed up for an art class and the act of drawing cured her depression. She continues to make fabulous pictures.
What does she think about the critical acclaim her artwork has received? She says she wants others to know about her art so it may give hope to those who have also “suffered from feelings.”
Many of us have suffered from feelings. We must remember that we can each turn to our creativity–at any age–as a source for our well-being. All we need to do is have faith in the potential goodness within ourselves and those we love.
What creative activity can I look to for comfort today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness. –Erich Fromm
Many of us have felt so insecure, so poor, or so much the underdog that we made a fervent promise to ourselves that we’d come out on top later. We know how weak we felt, and that image continues to be our guiding force long after the weakness was overcome. We may have spiritual problems because we are blind to the reality of our present life. While grasping for more security, more love, more money, or trying to lose more weight or attract more friends, we fail to stop and realize the real rewards we already have today. We are driven by the memory of pain and insecurity, rather than rising above it and relating to the higher principles and people around us. Getting more control or more achievements does not solve our spiritual problems, but by making peace with the fact that life is insecure.
Today, I will let go of my grasping for more. I will let go of it again and again throughout the day so I am not ruled by this weakness.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions. –Jessamyn West
To live fully and creatively, to contribute what is only ours to give, requires that we be receptive, wholly, to the reverberations of each present moment. Even anticipation of what may transpire next can prejudice our minds, our level of awareness. Preconceptions cloud our senses. They prevent the actual situation from being fully realized. And it is only in the now, as sensed moment by moment, that we find our cues to proceed along the path chosen for us.
As we grow more comfortable with Step Three, daily turning our lives and wills over to the care of God, we’ll see how much more rewarding our experiences are. We’ll see, too, how much greater are our own contributions. Preconceptions of any situation, persons, anticipated experience, dulls the magic, the depth of the moment. And only when we attune ourselves to the invitation of the moment do we give of ourselves, wholly. Our partnership with God lives now, as we go forth in this moment.
I will look to each moment with childish eyes. I’ll find joy and contentment.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Owning Our Power
Don’t you see? We do not have to be so victimized by life, by people, by situations, by work, by our friends, by our love relationships, by our family, by our feelings, our thoughts, our circumstances, and ourselves.
We are not victims. We do not have to be victims. That is the whole point!
Yes, admitting and accepting powerlessness is important. But that is the first step, an introduction to this business of recovery. Later, comes owning our power. Changing what we can. This is as important as admitting and accepting powerlessness. And there is so much we can change.
We can own our power, wherever we are, wherever we go, whomever we are with. We do not have to stand there with our hands tied, groveling helplessly, submitting to whatever comes along. There are things we can do. We can speak up. Solve the problem. Use the problem to motivate ourselves to do something good for ourselves.
We can make ourselves feel good. We can walk away. We can come back on our terms. We can stand up for ourselves. We can refuse to let others control and manipulate us.
We can do what we need to do to take care of our selves. That is the beauty, the reward, the crown of victory we are given in this process called recovery. It is what it is all about!
If we can’t do anything about the circumstance, we can change our attitude. We can do the work within: courageously face our issues so we are not victimized. We have been given a miraculous key to life.
We are victims no more unless we want to be.
Freedom and joy are ours for the taking, for the feeling, for the hard work we have done.
Today, I will remind myself as often as necessary that I am not a victim, and I do not need to be victimized by whatever comes my way. I will work hard to remove myself as a victim, whether that means setting and enforcing a boundary, walking away, dealing with my feelings, or giving myself what I need. God, help me let go of my need to feel victimized.

Today I will allow to just be without judgment, without criticism. I will accept all that happens with love and gentleness.
–Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Find Places of Repose

I was driving down a Nevada highway feeling tense and agitated when the sign appeared. “To the Nature Sanctuary.” Ignored the first entrance; then turned at the second one. In a few short feet, the road and scenery changed from barren, flat highway into a terrain of serene repose. A family of ducks bathed and swam in a small lake, surrounded by trees. Tiny wrens pecked at the gravel. A boy about thirteen sat fishing, a picnic lunch by his side. In only a few minutes, my agitation disappeared. I had found a place of peace.

Rest when you become tense, afraid, upset. Rest until peace returns. Stop what you’re doing. Take a moment, take an hour. Take the time you need to restore peace. Breathe deeply. Breathe in the quiet beauty of the world around you. Let it be a sanctuary that soothes and calms your soul.

Places of healing and repose are moments away. Find them in the world around you. Then discover those places in yourself. The universe holds the antidote for your fears and agitation. It offers all the healing you need. That healing is right around the corner.

Take a moment, take an hour. When you feel your peace interrupted, look for a place of repose.

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More Language Of Letting Go

See what feels right to you

“French Valley traffic, Cessna 80809 taking active runway one-eight for left crosswind departure. French Valley.”

I turned onto eighteen, pushed the throttle in, then held my breath as the little gold-and-white plane sped down the runway, then lifted off the ground. I pulled back on the yoke, lifting her gently, but not too gently. She needed to clear the trees, houses, and towers in front of me. But if I lifted her nose too fast, too high, we’d lose speed and go into a stall.

There was a lot to think about, trying to do this right.

We began to ascend, just past five hundred feet, when the plane began hopping about in the air. It was just the wind, but it was those same hurdles of air, the lifting and the dropping and the being bounced around, that made me feel like we were going to suddenly fall out of the sky.

“You’ve got the controls,” I screamed at Rob.

“No, you’ve got the controls,” he said, placing his hands resolutely in his lap.

“Rob, I’m scared,” I said. “I feel really uncomfortable.”

“Then breathe.”

I couldn’t breathe, at least not the way he meant– consciously, breath in, breath out, calming myself down. Holding my breath was a habit, one I’d acquired early in my life. Holding my breath was how I responded to my fear.

I got the plane up to one thousand feet, then two thousand. I wasn’t comfortable, but I climbed to five thousand feet so we could do the maneuvers we had planned.

I tried to relax and breathe, but I still felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t relax.

Rob was fidgeting with something; I wasn’t sure what. I kept watching outside the plane for other traffic, then watching inside the plane at the gauges. I was about to give up trying when suddenly, Rob began sticking pieces of paper over each of the dials.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Teaching you to trust yourself,” he said. “Tell me when it feels like we’re going at sixty-five knots,” he sad.

Now, I had to relax. “About now,” I said.

He uncovered the dial. We were at sixty-five knots.

“Now, do a coordinated turn of thirty degrees– without checking the instrument panel,” he said. “Tell me when it feels right to you.”

I relaxed even more deeply, gently guiding the plane into a slow coordinated turn.

“Perfect,” he said, showing me the gauges.

“See,” he said, confidently. “You’re just scaring yourself by confusing yourself in your head, with all these dials and all you think you have to do to get it right. All you really need to do is relax and trust what feels right to you.”

Let go of fear and confusion. Stop overwhelming yourself with all you have to do, and trying to get it right. Get information. Read books. Get help. Then relax. You know more than you think.

You’ll know when you’re getting ti right.

Trust what feels right to you.

God, help me learn to let go of my fears and trust when it feels right to me.

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In God’s Care

It is not the image we create of God which proves God. It is the effort we make to create this image.
~~Pierre Lecomte du Nouy

Not very many of us have the truly dramatic spiritual experience that dispells, for all time, our insecurity and our doubts about God’s existence. We may know someone who has been this fortunate, but most of us have to give frequent or daily attention to prayer, meditation, and perhaps affirmations in order to develop the faith that can come to everyone.

Our path for developing conscious contact with God makes God a familiar companion in our daily life. Our thoughts of God can remind us that God cares and is in charge. Exercising our mind in this way is not unlike exercising our body. Just as our repeated physical efforts strengthen our muscles, our belief is strengthened into faith when we make the remembrance of God’s presence a daily practice.

I will remember God today.

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Day By Day

Avoiding pity

Coming into the fellowship, newcomers may see older members as unsympathetic, unsupportive, or even rude. Old-timers don’t mince words with newcomers who aren’t ready to stop using: “Go back out and try some more if you haven’t had enough.” Old-timers don’t pity newcomers. While they understand the fear and pain, they also know that pity will kill because pity leads to self-pity and evgentually back to using.

So if old-timers seem harsh it’s out of loving, knowing hearts – it’s out of tough love.

Have I stopped pitying myself (and others)?

Higher Power, help me avoid self-pity so I can do what I need to do to recover.

Today I will avoid self-pity by…

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Food for Thought

Doing God’s Will

For a long time, most of us tried to achieve happiness by serving our self-will. We figured out what we wanted from life and then went about trying to attain it. When our efforts were frustrated, we turned to food and overeating.

The idea of giving our self-will to God and following His direction makes us fearful. We fear that we will lose out and be unhappy. We are reluctant to give up our illusions of autonomy and power. We wonder if there really is a Higher Power who can direct our way. We pray for guidance and then forget to listen for the response.

When we are willing to trust a Higher Power in even one small area of our lives, we begin to see results. As our faith grows, we become confident enough to relinquish more and more of the concerns, which by ourselves we are unable to manage. The more we work this program, the more sure we are that our peace and happiness lie in serving God, rather than ourselves.

I pray for courage to follow Your will.

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Half-Full Consciousness
Starting from Empty by Madisyn Taylor

Live your life as if your glass is half-full rather than half-empty, all you need is a change of thought.

We are all familiar with the metaphorical story of two people looking at the same glass and one perceiving it as half-full while the other sees it as half-empty. As much as we’ve heard this, it’s still a valuable exercise to really observe our minds and notice whether we are engaged in half-full or half-empty thinking. People will refer to themselves as being of one type or the other as if it was a permanent characteristic, but we are all capable of shifting into a half-full consciousness if we simply make the effort.

When we look at our lives with half-empty consciousness, we perceive a lack and think that the other half of what we want is missing. We are coming from a position of expectation and entitlement. On the other hand, when we look at our lives as half-full we perceive fullness. It is as if we recognize that our cup could be fully empty and so we are grateful for what we see as bounty—not something we expect or believe we are owed, but a gift. In half-full consciousness, we count our blessings. When we look at our lives we see all the elements that are in place and all the things we do have. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t seek more, but we seek from a place of fullness instead of from a place of lack. This fullness draws positive energy into our lives and often attracts more abundance.

If you would like to begin to make the shift into half-full consciousness, try imagining your life as an empty glass. This is your life without all the people you know, the work you do, your home, or your current state of physical wellbeing. This is just an empty, open space waiting to be filled. Once you have that feeling of openness in your mind, begin filling it with all the people, things, and places that make up your life. You may be surprised to find your glass overflowing. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Now that I avail myself of the letters H-O-W suggested by friends in The Program – Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness – I see things differently. In ways that I couldn’t have predicted and surely never expected, I’ve come to see things quite differently from the person I was before coming to The Program. I feel good most days. I seldom feel bad, and never for long. Certainly never as bad as I used to feel all of the time. Is my worst day now infinitely better than my best day previously?

Today I Pray

May I remember today to say “thank you” to my Higher Power, to my friends in the group and to the whole, vast fellowship of recovering chemically dependent persons for making me know that things do get better. I give thanks, too, for those verbal boosters, the tags and slogans which have so often burst into my brain at exactly the moments when they were needed, redefining my purp0ose, restoring my patience, reminding me of my God.

Today I Will Remember

How it was.

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One More Day

The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future. and the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.
– Tennessee Williams

“I’m going to work in the mills, like my Dad.” “I’m going to be a teacher.” “I want to be a soldier.” As children, we believed in these absolute, fixed goals. In adulthood, we learn that we can’t always get what we expect. Sometimes we don’t even come close. Those who manage to live happy and fulfilling lives are flexible, mature adults.

Flexibility means we can incorporate changes into our lives, ween when those changes cause indifference in the way we live. What’s most important is to remember that we can change goals and attain them, that happiness is there if we work and plan for it.

I am not afraid to make changes that are good for me.

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One Day At A Time

SURRENDER
“Most folks are as happy
as they make up their minds to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

More than seven years ago I weighed over 320 pounds and was living the painful life of a compulsive eater. Nothing I tried helped me to make lasting changes … until I began my recovery program. This healing process included Twelve Step recovery, therapy, and changing my life completely. I ended a long-term relationship and moved 2,300 miles away from all of my family and friends. I had no idea as to the extent of this journey I was beginning.

I’ve learned how ignorant I can be ~ and how wise I am. I’ve learned that humility is not humiliation ~ it is found by maintaining a willingness to learn. I’ve been taught how to walk through my fears. I’ve been shown that my HP and God are in all things ~ and that Spirit follows and supports me with each and every step I take. Some of those steps go forwards, some backwards … yet with each there is progress.

I’ve never forgotten the pain. Some days it’s very severe because I don’t have the food to numb it or to hide behind. Thanks to my program, I can always see hope and joy all around me now, even in the midst of pain.

I now weigh 220 pounds. Somehow I’ve lost 100 pounds of my old self and am beginning to see the new me. The new me is still losing weight. The new me is also incredibly beautiful, deserving, loving, and worthy … all things I thought I wasn’t. I’m slowly, gently, learning that with each day I live well … I AM WELL! I am only as happy as I am choosing to be.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray for complete surrender.
I ask for patience, abstinence and peace.
I reflect on where I’ve come from,
and remember to embrace the deepest gratitude
for where I am now. Today I am well.
~ Melanie S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

X. Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority will defined.

XI. The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.

XII. The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. traditions, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action. – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts ( Short Form )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Frequently, throughout the day we hear the Babbler, a silent running dialogue in our head ready to put us down at any opportunity, ‘You’re stupid; they’re stupid; who wants sobriety; boy, is this dumb.’ Babbler is not the voice of our Higher Power. It is the voice of addiction putting us down.

May the Babbler’s words fall on deaf ears. I am sober, worthy, and this program is where I belong.

Learning My Own Lessons

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

My lessons come from my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The AA Big Book, The NA Basic Text, and the CDA First Edition do not need to be rewritten. They need to be reread.

I begin this day by reading at least one page from my program’s basic book.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You spend more time with yourself than with anyone else. Doesn’t it make sense to put something into that relationship?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will allow to just be without judgement, with criticism. I will accept all that happens with love and gentleness.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

What works for one person may be good, but if it’s not in the program, not the steps, then it’s not AA. Which doesn’t mean it’s no good. It just means that it’s not the AA program. So you need an Owner’s Manual; a Big Book. Then you’ll be able to read it and know what’s in there, rather than count on someone else to tell you. – Ken D

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AA Thought for the Day

July 26

Emotional Sobriety
Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance
— urges quite appropriate to age seventeen — prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven or fifty-seven.
Since AA began, I’ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually.
My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally,
that all along we have had the cart before the horse!
– The Language of the Heart, p. 236

Thought to Ponder . . .
Spiritual and emotional growth does not depend so much upon success as it does upon failures and setbacks.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A G O = Another Growth Opportunity.

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

The Gift
“When asked, ‘Are there any conditions?’
we joyfully reply, ‘No, not a one.’
When skeptically he comes back saying,
‘But certainly there must be things
that I have to do and believe,’ we quickly answer,
‘In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts.’
Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires,
‘What is all this going to cost me?’
We are able to laugh and say,
‘Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues.’
Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed
of his suspicion and rebellion . . .
Alcoholics Anonymous is saying,
‘We have something precious to give,
if only you will receive.’
That is all.”
Bill W., February 1948
1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 79

Thought to Consider . . .
Sobriety is a gift, not a right

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
G I F T S = Getting It From The Steps

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

Stories
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“We had not gone much farther with the text of the book when it was evident that something more was needed. There would have to be a story or case history section. We would have to produce evidence in the form of living proof, written testimonials of our membership itself. It was felt also that the story section could identify us with the distant reader in a way that the text itself might not. At this point Dr. Bob and the Akronites played a vital role. The Akron group was the larger and had more case history material, and the means of putting it into story form now appeared. Two years earlier a former newspaperman, Jim S., had been lifted off skid row and nursed back to health and sobriety. Jim and Dr. Bob went after all the Akronites who had substantial sobriety records for testimonial material. In most cases Jim interviewed the prospects and wrote their stories for them. Dr. Bob wrote his own. By January the Akronites had produced eighteen fine stories.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 164

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

“My local meetings are big on this spot-check reminder: you get what you get; it’s what you do with it that counts.”
York Harbor, Maine, October 2001
“We Get What We Get,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members
identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely
personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of
past associations, or his present choice.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28

“To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for
guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the
strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw
ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs
and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the
imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 66

“We had to see that when we harbored grudges and planned revenge for such defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me discover what’s most important in my life. Help me learn patience, so that I can devote my resources to the important things.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 25th

Daily Reflections

THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER

For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting
danger to our own lives and sanity.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

I know the torment of drinking compulsively to quiet my nerves and
my fears. I also know the pain of white-knuckled sobriety. Today, I
do not forget the unknown person who suffers quietly, withdrawn and
hiding in the desperate relief of drinking. I ask my Higher Power to
give me His guidance and the courage to be willing to be His
instrument to carry within me compassion and unselfish actions. Let
the group continue to give me the strength to do with others what I
cannot do alone.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We are living on borrowed time. We are living today because of A.A.
and the grace of God. And what there is left of our lives we owe to
A.A. and to God. We should make the best use we can of our
borrowed time and in some small measure pay back for that part of
our lives which we wasted before we came into A.A. Our lives from
now on are not our own. We hold them in trust for God and A.A. And
we must do all we can to forward the great movement that has given
us a new lease on life. Am I holding my life in trust for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

You should hold your life in trust for God. Think deeply on what that
means. Is anything too much to expect from such a life? Do you begin
to see how dedicated a life in trust for God can be? In such a life
miracles can happen. If you are faithful, you can believe that God has
many good things in store for you. God can be Lord of your life,
controller of your days, of your present and your future. Try to act as
God guides and leave all results to Him. Do not hold back, but go all
out for God and the better life. Make good your trust.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may hold my life in trust for God. I pray that I may no
longer consider my life as all my own.

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As Bill Sees It

Praying For Others, p. 206

While praying sincerely, we still may fall into temptation. We form
ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other people. We say to
ourselves, “This one ought to be cured of his fatal malady” or “That
one ought to be relieved of his emotional pain,” and we pray for these
specific things.

Such prayers, of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they
are based upon a supposition that we know God’s will for the person
for whom we pray. This means that side by side with an earnest
prayer there can be a certain amount of presumption and conceit in us.

It is A.A.’s experience that partially in these cases we ought to pray
that God’s will, whatever it is, be done for others as well as for
ourselves.

12 & 12, p. 104

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Walk In Dry Places

Dealing with Disagreeable people
Personal relations
At every turn in the road, we=re likely to meet disagreeable people, sometimes unexpectedly.  Sometimes, we=re forced to deal with them.
The 12 Step program does not make this entirely painless, but it smooths the process. One thing we=ve learned is not to react with anger and contempt when we meet a disagreeable person, because such feelings on our part will only set off an explosion.
The 12 Step program shows us how to give the ASoft Answer Which Turns away Wrath.
It will not be us, but our Higher Power who does the work. In time, we will respond in this way naturally. This is not cowardice—- it is really another courageous way of dealing with human weaknesses.
I’ll be calm and controlled today, no matter who or what comes into my life.  My Higher Power supports me in my responses.

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Keep It Simple

If the spirit within us withers (dies), so to will all the world we build around us.—Theodore Roszab
This is what happened during our illness—our spirits were dying. Our relationships were dying. this is because addiction is death.
And recovery is life! The Steps breathe like into us. Our groups breathe life into us. We start to heal because we once again feel hope. We’re less afraid of what tomorrow may bring. As our hope grows, others feel it too.
We’re starting to slowly rebuild our world. We’re building our world on the Twelve Steps and their message of hope.
Prayer for the Day:  I give myself to life. Higher Power, work with me as I rebuild my world.
Action for the Day:  I’ll talk with a friend about hope. I’ll see my hope as a sign of how close I am to my program.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have a clear choice between life and death, between reality and fantasy, between health and sickness. I have to become responsible–responsible for mistakes as well as accomplishments.  –Eileen Mayhew
Choosing to participate actively in our own lives ushers in joy and sometimes fear. We are energized by our conscious involvement; making thoughtful choices regarding our development heightens our sense of well-being. But occasionally we may fear potential failure. About as frequently, we may fear probable success.
Not every day do we want the responsibility for our lives; but we have it. On occasion we only want the loving arms of a caretaker. The beauty of our lives at this time is that we do have a caretaker at our beck and call, a caretaker who has demonstrated repeatedly a concern for our safety, a caretaker who will help us shoulder every responsibility we face.
Clearly, our coming to this program shows that we have chosen to act responsibly. And just as clearly, every day that we ask for the guidance to live to the best of our abilities, we will be helped to accomplish the tasks right for us in this stage of our lives.
All I have to do is make the right choices. I will always know which they are, when I ask for guidance.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We can only clear the ground a bit. If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway. With this attitude you cannot fail. the consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.

p. 55

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
As I look back on that period, I realize how true it is that one of the primary differences between alcoholics and nonalcoholics is that nonalcoholics change their behavior to meet their goals and alcoholics change their goals to meet their behavior.  Everything that had been important to me, all of my dreams, goals, and aspirations, were swept away in a wave of booze.  I realized quickly that I could not drink and function at any high level.  That did not matter.  I was willing to give up anything so that I could keep drinking.  I went from being a solid A student to nearly flunking out of school, from being anointed a class leader to being shunned as a pariah.  I almost never went to class and did little of the required reading.  I never attended any of the cultural events sponsored by the college.  I forsook everything that makes college worthwhile in favor of drinking.  Occasionally, some sliver of pride would work its way through the chaos, resentment, and fear and cause me to look at my life.  But the shame was too great, and I would drink it back down with bottles of vodka and cases of beer.

p. 423-424

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Let’s look first at the case of the one who says he won’t believe–the belligerent one. He is in a state of mind which can be described only as savage. His whole philosophy of life, in which he so gloried, is threatened. It’s bad enough, he thinks, to admit alcohol has him down for keeps. But now, still smarting from that admission, he is faced with something really impossible. How he does cherish the thought that man, risen so majestically from a single cell in the primordial ooze, is the spearhead of evolution and therefore the only god that his universe knows! Must he renounce all this to save himself?

p. 25

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You can get off the elevator anytime, but if you get back on it’s only
going down.
–unknown

Happy memories never wear out. Relive them as often as you want.
–Anonymous

Our pasts are perfect in a way our minds can never fully understand.
We would not have the opportunities for awakening and experiencing
that are ours today, without exactly what happened. Now, it’s what
we do with our pasts that provides the opportunity for growth. Today,
spend some time thinking about the gifts in your past that you may
have overlooked.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

Live your life and forget your age.
–Norman Vincent Peale

In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber; so
long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, so
long are you young. When the wires are all down and your heart is
covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, and then
only, are you grown old.
–General Douglas MacArthur

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
–Yiddish Proverb

“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that
endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events
that occur.”
–Vince Lombardi

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MISFORTUNE

“Experience has taught me this,
that we undo ourselves by
impatience. Misfortunes have their
life and their limits, their sickness
and their health.”
–Michel de Montaigne

Nothing lasts forever. At times I feel sad, angry, resentful and
ashamed — but it passes. In my recovery I have learned to live in “my
day” and accept the consequences of that day. I can only deal with life
as I experience it. Tomorrow is a new day with new experiences. And
some of the experiences are painful. Reality teaches me this. At times
I wish I could go through life without pain or rejection but I know that
is fantasy. Sobriety does not mean that everything will be perfect —
only better!

Nothing is so bad that I need to drink or use over it. Today I know that
alcohol increases my pain; it is never a solution. God, who has given
me today, will also give me a tomorrow — and time eases the pain if I
work my program. Misfortunes are not worth drinking over. Nothing
lasts forever.

Thank You for the gift of a tomorrow.

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My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Jesus says,” Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can
bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you
bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
John 15:4

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
Psalm 54:4

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we
must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus
himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
Acts 20:35


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Daily Inspiration

God wants us happy right now and continually points us in that direction even when we look the other way. Lord, grant that nothing will turn me away from doing Your will.

They are wise who depend on God. Lord, Your perfect law revives my soul. Keeping Your law makes me rich.

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NA Just For Today

Twelfth Step “Failure”?

“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Step Twelve

There is no such thing as a “failed” Twelfth Step call. Even if our prospect doesn’t get clean, we have accomplished two purposes. We have planted the seed of recovery in the mind of the addict with whom we have shared our experience, strength, and hope. And we ourselves have stayed clean another day. Rarely does a recovering addict leave a Twelve Step call with anything but a deep dose of gratitude.

Sometimes we are practicing the Twelfth Step without realizing it. When our co-workers or other acquaintances know some of our history and see what kind of person we are today, they know where to go when they have a friend or loved one in need of our help. We are often the best attraction that NA has to offer.

For many addicts, the Twelfth Step is the cornerstone of recovery. We truly believe that “we can only keep what we have by giving it away” The paradox of the Twelfth Step is evident, for in giving, we receive.

Just for today: I will remember that I am a living example of the Twelfth Step. I cannot “fail” when I try to carry the message to another addict.
pg. 215

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
He wanted to hold onto his fury, to guard it like a treasure. He would not let it be stolen from him . . .. But already, he felt it slipping, softened by Ben’s compassionate touch. –Joe Johnson and Nilo Rodis-Jamero
The glassblower is an artist who takes broken glass and melts it in a very hot furnace. Then the glassblower blows through a long tube and creates objects such as cups and plates and pieces of art.
The sharp edges of our anger are like pieces of broken glass. We all have things in our lives that anger us–it is only human to bump into our sharp edges. One edge might be crabby, another silent and withdrawn, and still another yelling and screaming.
The heat of love and compassion can melt our anger. This may take the form of sympathy for ourselves, or for the people we love. More often, it is the compassion of those around us that helps melt our anger. Sometimes saying I’m sorry is a good way to melt anger and find the love underneath it.
What beauty can I create with my anger today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more. And we also once. Never again. But this having been once, although only once, to have been of the earth, seems irrevocable. –Rainer Maria Rilke
In the hopelessness of addiction and codependency, and as children of addicts, some of us have considered suicide, and some of us have actually tried to kill ourselves. We have maintained the option as an escape in case life got too difficult. Now, in recovery, we have chosen life. We’ve stopped killing ourselves in the slow ways of our old behaviors, yet some of us hold on to our ace in the hole. Either consciously or unconsciously, we haven’t made that unconditional commitment to life.
It may be one firmer step into recovery – a vote for the life we have been given – to say, “I will never choose suicide. Whatever comes my way, it is not an option for me.” When we give up that one final controlling maneuver, we may find ourselves freer to live in this one irretrievable life we’ve been given.
In choosing to be totally on the side of life, I step further into the care of God. Whatever 1 must meet, God is with me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have a clear choice between life and death, between reality and fantasy, between health and sickness. I have to become responsible–responsible for mistakes as well as accomplishments. –Eileen Mayhew
Choosing to participate actively in our own lives ushers in joy and sometimes fear. We are energized by our conscious involvement; making thoughtful choices regarding our development heightens our sense of well-being. But occasionally we may fear potential failure. About as frequently, we may fear probable success.
Not every day do we want the responsibility for our lives; but we have it. On occasion we only want the loving arms of a caretaker. The beauty of our lives at this time is that we do have a caretaker at our beck and call, a caretaker who has demonstrated repeatedly a concern for our safety, a caretaker who will help us shoulder every responsibility we face.
Clearly, our coming to this program shows that we have chosen to act responsibly. And just as clearly, every day that we ask for the guidance to live to the best of our abilities, we will be helped to accomplish the tasks right for us in this stage of our lives.
All I have to do is make the right choices. I will always know which they are, when I ask for guidance.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Keep at It
Keep practicing your recovery behaviors, even when they feel awkward, even when they haven’t quite taken yet, even if you don’t get it yet.
Sometimes it takes years for a recovery concept to move from our mind into our heart and soul. We need to work at recovery behaviors with the diligence, effort, and repeated practice we applied to codependent behaviors. We need to force ourselves to do things even when they don’t feel natural. We need to tell ourselves we care about ourselves and can take care of ourselves even when we don’t believe what we’re saying.
We need to do it, and do it, and do it – day after day, year after year.
It is unreasonable to expect this new way of life to sink in overnight. We may have to “act as if” for months, years, before recovery behaviors become ingrained and natural.
Even after years, we may find ourselves, in times of stress or duress, reverting to old ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
We may have layers of feelings we aren’t ready to acknowledge until years into our recovery. That’s okay! When it’s time, we will.
Do not give up! It takes time to get self-love into the core of us. It takes repeated practice. Time and experience. Lessons, lessons, and more lessons.
Then, just when we think we’ve arrived, we find we have more to learn.
That’s the joy of recovery. We get to keep learning and growing all of our life!
Keep on taking care of yourself, no matter what. Keep on plugging away at recovery behaviors, one day at a time. Keep on loving yourself, even when it doesn’t feel natural. Act as if for as long as necessary, even if that time period feels longer than necessary.
One day, it will happen. You will wake up, and find that what you’ve been struggling with and working so hard at and forcing yourself to do, finally feels comfortable. It has hit our soul.
Then, you go on to learn something new and better.
Today, I will plug away at my recovery behaviors, even if they don’t feel natural. I will force myself to go through the motions even if that feels awkward. I will work at loving myself until I really do.

When I turn a problem over to my Higher Power today, I will let go with the confidence that all is being handled for me. After I have done all my footwork, I know the results will work out just as they are supposed to. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

I pulled out the map. I’ll go here, I thought, and there. I’ll visit this place, then that one. My mind raced with excitement at all the places left to see. I felt overwhelmed, wondering if I could get to all the places I wanted to visit. For a moment I forgot to look around and appreciate where I was– in the forest at the foot of Mount Olympus in Olympic State Park.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. There are many wonderful places left to visit, many experiences to have, many people to meet and enjoy. But you aren’t there yet. There will be some trials,too. More lessons along the path. But you aren’t there yet,either.

Stay in this moment. It contains the experience you need to have. This moment contains your happiness. Living this moment, being fully present for it, is the way to get to the next experience, the next person, the next emotion, the next adventure. Cherish the moment. Feel all there is to feel. See all there is to see.

Learn the lessons of today, and you will be prepared for the adventures and joys of tomorrow.

Be here now. This is the only place you need to be. And from this place, all things are possible.

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More Language Of Letting Go

See how much courage you have

Everyone is in awe of the lion-tamer in a cage with half a dozen lions– everyone but a school bus driver.
–Unknown

You may not be a great warrior. You might not lead explorations to the North Pole or climb Mount Everest. But you still need courage.

Courage lies in the simple things as well as the grandiose. It’s fun and easy to speculate about how we would respond in our fantasy lives– climbing that mountain or leading knights into battle– but what about now?

Do you have the courage to live your life, to walk your path every day, right where you are?

Sometimes, it takes more courage to do the ordinary things in life than it does to walk to the door of the airplane and jump.

It takes courage to get sober, to stay sober, to get up every day and go to your job, support your family, pay the bills, and walk the path that you have been given to walk. We all need courage to do the thing that scares us and sometimes to do the thing that doesn’t scare us, over and over again.

God, please grant me the courage to do the right thing in my relationships, in my job, and in my spiritual growth. Please give me the courage to live my life.

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In God’s Care

To feel extraordinarily small and unimportant is always a wholesome feeling.
~~Robert H. Benson

There’s something spiritual about laying under the stars on a clear night. The immensity of the universe is enough to put our life into perspective. It can lift the weight of the world from our shoulders. While we may feel our burdens are heavy and our responsibilities endless, just a glimpse of that twinkling night sky helps us realize we are not quite as important as we sometimes think.

But just as each of those billions of stars has a place in the heavens, so do we have a place in God’s plan. Our influence may be small, our light may not shine far, but just as each star has a place, we too have a role in the Divine plan. Through God’s love, we can enjoy our connection to the universe.

Today I will enjoy being too small to carry the whole world on my shoulders.

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Day By Day

Practicing the principles

Our program and its principles apply to every area of our lives. Sometimes people say that they would lose their livelihood if they applied the principles to their work. But this is probably not true and speaks of fear. If we must lie or be hypocritical in any area of our lives, then we are not applying the principles.

Once we realize that it is reassuring and rewarding – not threatening – to let God work through us all the time, we will feel genuine, we will feel integrity, we will feel at peace.

Do I practice these principles in all my affairs?

Higher Power, help me see whether any area of my life is missing the benefit of the principles.

The principle I will apply today in all my affairs is…

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Food for Thought

Gifts

The OA program is a gift to us from our Higher Power. Without it, we would still be bogged down in compulsive overeating with no solution in sight. Our fellowship gives us the hope and love we need to sort ourselves out and begin to live a new life.

Recovery through abstinence is the gift, which we are offered every day. In order to receive it, we need to be sincere and earnest in our efforts to work the program. We can count on God’s support if we are willing to go to any lengths to stop eating compulsively.

With gratitude for these gifts from our Higher Power, we are able to give back what has come to us. We share our program and give our time and abilities where we see a need that we can fill. The more we give, the more we receive. God’s abundance is inexhaustible.

We thank You for Your gifts.

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Wave Motion
Hado by Madisyn Taylor

The study of hado tells us that the energetic vibrations from our thoughts affect our physical realities.

Walking through a Japanese garden, one truly feels the life force energy that is known as Hado. Hado isn’t just present in Japan, but it is a concept that has existed in Japan for centuries. The two Japanese characters that make up the word Hado mean “wave” and “move” – perfect words to describe the energy vibrations that permeate all life. Hado is present in all things, animate and inanimate. It resides everywhere, even in the air and in people.

The study of hado tells us that the energetic vibrations from our thoughts affect on our physical realities. Each of us has the ability to manifest a specific intention through the hado that we send out – from making our jewelry shine to changing the atmosphere of a room full of people to transforming the hado of an empty space. However, we are often unaware that our thoughts are creating vibrations in the world outside our minds. Once we know that this is the case, we can become more aware of our negative thinking and train ourselves to stay positive and think with intention.

Giving thanks for a meal before we eat can change the energy of our food. Expressing gratitude by thoughts or words makes a huge difference to both the giver and recipient because you are sending them hado. A kind smile really makes a difference when you work consciously with hado. Once we become aware of the power of hado, we can create positive changes in every area of our lives: our physical space, mental and emotional health, relationships, and businesses. One of the most important principles of hado is to monitor your thoughts and intentions every day. Enjoy the improvements that you will create in your life and the world around you by consciously working with hado. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The slogans of The Program are seemngly clear adn simple. Yet they may still have different meanings for different people, according to their own experience and reaction to the words and ideas. Take, for example, the slogan Let Go and Let God. For some people, it may suggest that all we have to do is sidestep teh challenges that confront us and , somehow, God will do all the work. We must remember that God gives us free will, intelligence and good senses — it is clearly His intention that we use these gifts. If I’m receptive, God will make His will known to me step by step, but I must carry it out. Do I sometimes act as if surrender to God’s will is a passport to inertia?

Today I Pray

May my “passport” be stamped with “action.” May my travels be motivated by challenges I can readily recognize as things to do, not things to watch. I pray that I may make the most of my gifts from God, of talents that I am aware of and some I have yet to discover. May I not “let go” and give up but keep on learning, growing, doing, serving, praying, carrying out the will of God as I understand It.

Today I Will Remember

God meant me to make the most of myself.

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One More Day

He who knows others is learned, he who knows himself is wise.
– Lao Tsze

We sometimes let how we think we should act keep us from showing our deepest feelings. We may behave the way others expect us to act, while burying within ourselves the pain and fears associated with our changing health.

Acting upon our own thoughts and feelings can be difficult; acting according to what others think is frustrating — and impossible. Gradually we find more stability and confidence within ourselves. This self-trust allows us to show our emotions and to express our ideas and feelings. We might be short-tempered sometimes, or impatient, or angry. None of us is perfect. We accept that truth, and are freed of the burden of pleasing others; we discover the joy of acting on our inner messages of growth and honesty.

I am most free to grow when I am acting honestly on my own values and feelings.

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One Day At A Time

~ OPPORTUNITIES ~
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
Francis Bacon

There is a promise that more will be revealed as we trudge the road of happy destiny. We all start by building on the basics, the foundation that must be in place. In grade school I learned to read and write; in high school, how to research and train myself to acquire information. In college, I gained specific advanced information that allowed me to build upon, and advance my interests. When I applied the same principles to the program, I got similar results, but even more so. When my mind was opened to spiritual principles, I received much more than that I was seeking. My thoughts were lifted to a much higher plane of ethics.

In searching for an answer to compulsive overeating, I was exposed to additional opportunities to grow by doing. Often I tried them. These exercises sent my thoughts to other areas, which I again explored. I am amazed at what I have learned while looking for something else.

We can all learn truth if we will open our hearts and minds. We will then be without excuse not to exercise every opportunity to practice it.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I taking advantage of every opportunity to grow?
Some opportunities?
Any opportunities?
~ Jeremiah ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

VII. The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.

VIII. The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities.

IX. Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees. – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts ( Short Form )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

One hour at a time leads to one day at a time in our recovery program. Each hour is one of 24 building blocks of each day of our sobriety and clean time. My current building block is to radiate love for this hour.

Help me center my emotions and radiate love for this hour.

The Work of Living

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

I am held and open to divine instruction

– Tian Dayton PhD

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you lose your temper, you lose.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

When I turn a problem over to my Higher Power today, I will let go with the confidence that all is being handled for me. After I have done all my footwork, I know the results will work out just as they are supposed to.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I wanted to be Jimi Hendrix but I was Pat Boone. – Peter N.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 25

Expectations
Peace is possible for me only when I let go of expectations.
When I am trapped in thoughts about what I want and what should be coming to me,
I’m in a state of fear or anxious anticipation and this is not conducive to emotional sobriety.
I must surrender — over and over — to my dependence on God,
for then I find peace, gratitude and spiritual security.
– Daily Reflections, p. 197

Thought to Ponder . . .
My disappointments are equal to my expectations.

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

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

New Life
“We die to live.
That is a beautiful paradox straight out of the Biblical idea of being “born again” or “in losing one’s life to find it.”
When we work at our Twelve Steps,
the old life of guzzling and fuzzy thinking,
and all that goes with it, gradually dies,
and we acquire a different and a better way of life.
As our shortcomings are removed, one life of us dies,
and another life of us lives.
We in AA die to live.”
1955AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, 2nd edition., pp. 341-2

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

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

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

Accept My Humanness
From: “A Nourishing Ingredient
Where humility had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient
which can give us serenity.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 74
How often do I focus on my problems and frustrations? When I am having a “good day” these same problems shrink in
importance and my preoccupation with them dwindles. Wouldn’t it be better if I could find a key to unlock the “magic” of
my “good days” for use on the woes of my “bad days”?
I already have the solution! Instead of trying to run away from my pain and wish my problems away, I can pray for
humility! Humility will heal the pain. Humility will take me out of myself. Humility, that strength granted to me by that
“power greater than myself,” is mine for the asking! Humility will bring balance back into my life. Humility will allow me
to accept my humanness joyously.
1990, AAWS, Inc., Daily Reflections, page 204

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

“I did not know what real happiness was when I came through the doors of AA. I needed someone to teach me.”
One On One: AA Sponsorship in Action
Greensboro, North Carolina, May 2003
“Shopping for a Sponsor,”

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

“On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We
consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to
direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-
pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we
can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God
gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much
higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86~

“Liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 5~

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

While praying sincerely, we still may fall into temptation. We form ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other
people. We say to ourselves, ‘This one ought to be cured of his fatal malady’ or ‘That one ought to be relieved of his
emotional pain,’ and we pray for these specific things.
Such prayers, of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they are based upon a supposition that we know
God’s will for the person for whom we pray. This means that side by side with an earnest prayer there can be a certain
amount of presumption and conceit in us.
It is A.A.’s experience that particularly in these cases we ought to pray that God’s will, whatever it is, be done for others
as well as for ourselves.

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what I must accept. Please help me gratefully accept the life I’ve been given.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 24th

Daily Reflections

HELPING OTHERS

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

Self-centeredness was my problem. All my life people had been doing
things for me and I not only expected it, but I was ungrateful and
resentful they didn’t do more. Why should I help others, when they
were supposed to help me? If others had troubles, didn’t they deserve
them? I was filled with self-pity, anger and resentment. Then I
learned that by helping others, with no thought of return, I could
overcome this obsession with selfishness, and if I understood humility,
I would know peace and serenity. No longer do I need to drink.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. is like a dike, holding back the ocean of liquor. If we take one
glass of liquor, it is like making a small hole in the dike and once such a
hole has been made, the whole ocean of alcohol may rush in upon us.
By practicing the A.A. principles we keep the dike strong and in
repair. We spot any weakness or crack in that dike and make the
necessary repairs before any damage is done. Outside the dike is the
whole ocean of alcohol, waiting to engulf us again in despair. Am I
keeping the dike strong?

Meditation For The Day

Keep as close as you can to the Higher Power. Try to think, act, live
as though you were always in God’s presence. Keeping close to a
Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth’s
problems. Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think
and do. That is the secret of personal power. It is the thing that
influences the lives of others for good. Abide in the Lord and rejoice in
His love. Keep close to the Divine Spirit in the universe. Keep God
close behind your thoughts.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep close to the Mind of God. I pray that I may live
with Him in my heart and mind.

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As Bill Sees It

Virtue and Self-Deception, p. 205

I used to take comfort from an exaggerated belief in my own honesty.
My New England kinfolk had taught me the sanctity of all business
commitments and contracts, saying, “A man’s word is his bond.” After
this rigorous conditioning, business honesty always came easy; I never
flim-flammed anyone.

However, this small fragment of readily won virtue did produce some
interesting liabilities. I never failed to whip up a fine contempt for
those of my fellow Wall Streeters who were prone to shortchange
their customers. This was arrogant enough, but the ensuring
self-deception proved even worse.

My prized business honesty was presently converted into a
comfortable cloak under which I could hide the many serious flaws
that beset other departments of my life. Being certain of this one
virtue, it was easy to conclude that I had them all. For years on end,
this prevented me from taking a good look at myself.

Grapevine, August 1961

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Walk In Dry Places

Overcoming A Bad Disposition
Temperament
People with bad dispositions, like people with drinking problems, do not recognize how difficult they are. They accept their bad disposition as normal. Some people even declare proudly that they’re in a bad mood until they’ve been awake several hours or had three cups of coffee.
We do not have to put up with a BAD DISPOSITION. If we find ourselves touchy or grumpy at times, we should immediately release this to our Higher Power. There is a better pattern of thought and feeling to replace anything that comes across to others as a bad disposition.
It’s surprising to learn that we don’t have to live with a bad disposition. What’s even more surprising is that we’ll also be happier and more relaxed without it.
A bad disposition, we learn, is just so much unnecessary baggage we don’t have to carry.
I’ll be relaxed and friendly at all times today.  I have neither a need nor an excuse for a bad disposition.

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Keep It Simple

The work of adult life is not easy.—Gail Sheehy
We used to look for a easier, softer way. We tried to take care of ourselves by staying clear of hard task. The result? We haven’t known what the work of adult life is.
The work of adult life is this: to become spiritually centered. And to do this, we work at getting rid of our self-will. There will be many great rewards for doing this. We will wake up spiritually. We will connect with those we love. The result? We will receive self-love to replace self-will. Our work will not be easy, but it will be rewarding.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to give all to my recovery program. Then help me to be open to the rewards this will bring.
Action for the Day:  I will list the hard parts of my program. Then I’ll talk about them with my sponsor, friends, family, and Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

… The idea has gained currency that women have often been handicapped not only by a fear of failure–not unknown to men either, but by a fear of success as well.  –Sonya Rudikoff
It was our practice, before coming to this program, to eat, drink, and smoke our fears away. What we came to realize, profoundly, was that the fears couldn’t be escaped even while high. This program is helping us to understand that fears are human, normal and survivable when we let God and our friends in the program lend a helping hand.
Drugs and alcohol distorted our perceptions. Our fears, whether large or small, were distorted. And we still distort those fears, on occasion, because we move away from the spiritual reality of our lives. Remember, we are confronted with no situation too big to handle, no experience for which we are unprepared, if we but turn to that greater power that the program offers us.
We cannot fail in whatever we try today. The outcome of any task attempted is just as it should be. And however we succeed today, we will be shown the steps, at the right time, to make use of that success.
I shall not fear failure or success. I am not alone in experiencing either; both are stepping-stones on my life’s journey.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.

p. 55

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
My drinking career was short and destructive, and my alcoholic progression was very fast.  I got drunk for the first time in October.  By November people were willing to wager money that I could not go one week without a drink.  (I won and, in celebration, drank myself sick.)  By January I was a daily dry drunk and by April a daily drug user as well.  I didn’t last too long.

p. 423

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

The moment they read Step Two, most A.A. newcomers are confronted with a dilemma, sometimes a serious one. How often have we heard them cry out, “Look what you people have done to us! You have convinced us that we are alcoholics and that our lives are unmanageable. Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession. Some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others
who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle. Yes, you’ve got us over the barrel, all right–but where do we go from here?”

p. 25

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“Our ability to identify a teacher and to learn is directly related to
how open-minded we are and the attitude with which we approach
everyone and everything that comes our way.”
–Bonnie Friedman

“When God measures a man, he puts the tape around the heart
instead of the head.”
–anonymous

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

“The remarkable thing we have is a choice every day regarding the
attitude we will embrace for that day. ”
–Charles Swindoll

“Just when I found out the meaning of life, they changed it!”
–George Carlin

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.
–Laurence Couglin

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LONELINESS

“This great misfortune — to be
incapable of solitude.”
–Jean de la Bruyere

Today I am able to live with my loneliness. I know the difference
between being “alone” and being “lonely” — and even in sobriety I
experience loneliness. But today I can live with it.

When I was drinking, I had an overwhelming feeling of being lost and
isolated; today it is tolerable. I can live with it. It is part of being
“imperfect”. I am not God.

The reality of spirituality demands that I do not escape into a fantasy
that denies my feelings of loneliness. It is part of my journey towards
God. I will never appreciate perfect happiness until I rest in God. This
I accept. In sobriety I have many days of happiness and moments of
joy — but I am, at times, lonely — with feelings of being lost. Today I
can accept this — and talk about it.

I accept that part of me will be forever lost until I rest in God.

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

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just
as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat
or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more
important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look
at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more
valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to
his life?”
Matthew 6:25

For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred
us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
Colossians 1:13


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

Daily Inspiration

The things in life that mean the most have no price tag. Lord, thank you for the moments that I am able to spend with my family and friends.

If your family is a mess, you are not a success. Lord, bless me with the wisdom and strength to bring unity and peace to my family.

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

NA Just For Today

The Masks Have To Go

“… we covered low self-esteem by hiding behind phony images that we hoped would fool people. The masks have to go”
Basic Text, p.32

Over-sensitivity, insecurity, and lack of identity are often associated with active addiction. Many of us carry these with us into recovery; our fears of inadequacy, rejection, and lack of direction do not disappear overnight. Many of us have images, false personalities we have constructed either to protect ourselves or please others. Some of us use masks because we’re not sure who we really are. Sometimes we think that these images, built to protect us while using, might also protect us in recovery.

We use false fronts to hide our true personality, to disguise our lack of self-esteem. These masks hide us from others and also from our own true selves. By living a lie, we are saying that we cannot live with the truth about ourselves. The more we hide our real selves, the more we damage our self-esteem.

One of the miracles of recovery is the recognition of ourselves, complete with assets and liabilities. Self esteem begins with this recognition. Despite our fear of becoming vulnerable, we need to be willing to let go of our disguises. We need to be free of our masks and free to trust ourselves.

Just for today: I will let go of my masks and allow my self esteem to grow.
pg. 214

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I had crossed the line. I was free: but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land. –Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was a Black woman who devoted her life to helping slaves escapes their bondage. In her youth, she had been hit on the head so she suffered dizzy spells for the rest of her life. In spite of this, and at great risk to her own life, she guided many slaves on the Underground Railroad to freedom.
Freedom from slavery is different today but just as necessary. It may mean freedom from being a slave to what others think of us, freedom from eating more than is healthy for us, freedom from jealousy, and freedom from trying to force others to do what we want them to do.
We are free to be the very best persons we can be. Our own freedom can be even more fulfilling when we welcome others enthusiastically into that land of freedom by allowing them the room to be themselves without fear of judgment. In this way, by freeing ourselves, we free one another.
How can I free myself today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Many things are lost for want of asking. –English proverb
It’s a principle of this program that we grow, in part, by learning to ask for what we need. Perhaps today we are struggling with a problem that could be eased if we talked to another man in the program. We could call him on the phone and just ask him if he has a few minutes to talk. Maybe we’re wondering about a physical pain. Maybe we feel strange about something we said and would like to ask someone’s opinion.
Mistaken notions about masculinity get in the way of recovery when we refuse to ask for help. We think we should know the answers and be self-sufficient. Maybe we feel stupid if we have to ask. Those notions drop by the wayside as we get healthier and learn the rewards of connecting with others to satisfy our mutual needs. No longer does false pride have to keep us isolated and struggling alone.
Today, I will notice what I need and practice asking for help.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
… The idea has gained currency that women have often been handicapped not only by a fear of failure–not unknown to men either, but by a fear of success as well. –Sonya Rudikoff
It was our practice, before coming to this program, to eat, drink, and smoke our fears away. What we came to realize, profoundly, was that the fears couldn’t be escaped even while high. This program is helping us to understand that fears are human, normal and survivable when we let God and our friends in the program lend a helping hand.
Drugs and alcohol distorted our perceptions. Our fears, whether large or small, were distorted. And we still distort those fears, on occasion, because we move away from the spiritual reality of our lives. Remember, we are confronted with no situation too big to handle, no experience for which we are unprepared, if we but turn to that greater power that the program offers us.
We cannot fail in whatever we try today. The outcome of any task attempted is just as it should be. And however we succeed today, we will be shown the steps, at the right time, to make use of that success.
I shall not fear failure or success. I am not alone in experiencing either; both are stepping-stones on my life’s journey.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Denial
Denial is a powerful tool. Never underestimate its ability to cloud your vision.
Be aware that, for many reasons, we have become experts at using this tool to make reality more tolerable. We have learned well how to stop the pain caused by reality – not by changing our circumstances, but by pretending our circumstances are something other than what they are.
Do not be too hard on yourself. While one part of you was busy creating a fantasy reality, the other part went to work on accepting the truth.
Now, it is time to find courage. Face the truth. Let it sink gently in.
When we can do that, we will be moved forward.
God, give me the courage and strength to see clearly.

Today I am going to spend more time looking for all the positive things about myself. Today I recognize myself and acknowledge myself as a terrific human being. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Joy Is the Way

The woman was in her fifties, maybe sixties. She had retired from the big city and was now working as a waitress in Mary’s Restaurant, a small cafe in a small Montana town. She looked as if she lived alone. She looked as if she had been through her share of disappointments, joys, and awakenings. She brought me a plate of bacon and eggs, set them down, and gave me a radiant smile. “It’s a beautiful day,” she said.

“Yes it is,” I said. I looked at her. “Are you happy to be here?”

She thought for a moment, then replied. “Yes,” she said with joy in her voice. “Yes, I am.”

Joy is the way. Joy in the morning. Joy throughout the day. Joy at twilight. Joy in our dreams, waking and sleeping. For so long we believed that our joy depended on specific outward circumstances, on a particular situation being a certain way, or on the presence or behavior of a particular person. While getting what we want and being with those we love can add to our joy, we have learned another kind of joy, a deeper kind of joy. A joy that abides and carries us through.

Joy doesn’t come from outside, although the energies of the universe and universal love can add to our joy and fill our wellspring. Joy comes from doing the Divine will each moment. Joy comes from living in harmony with ourselves each moment of each day. Joy is a choice that comes from accepting and living fully each moment of our lives, knowing that each day and each event is important.

Joy comes from trusting each moment. That’s the secret of joy. Receive it now, then pass it on with a smile and a kind word to all who come along your path.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of fear

Sometimes, we say we want to go to the next level in our lives– in work, in play, or in love. But it feels like the door is shut. Fear can disguise itself behind many different faces: we want to do it our way; we’re not interested; or it’s just not time. What we’re coming up against isn’t a closed door, it’s the fear we’re repressing and holding inside.

If you’re confused about why you’re not moving forward naturally in some area of your life, take a closer look. See if you’ve got some hidden fears that might be holding you back. If you’re blocked and trying to move forward, remember to feel and release your fear first. Then see if that wasn’t just the key you needed to unlock and open that door.

God, help me see, feel, and release my fears about moving forward in my life.

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

In God’s Care

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind.
~~Helen Keller

How difficult it is still to simply enjoy the gifts of the moment and not obsessively try to control the people and circumstances in our life. Sometimes we can persuade others to go along with our wishes. Perhaps we can positively influence a tense situation by our involvement in the solution. But we can’t ultimately control anyone or anything, only the choices we make about ourselves. We can decide the attitude we will cultivate; we can decide the behavior we will exhibit; we can decide to let God participate in our life.

Our willingness to follow God’s will assures us greater peace. Work, relationships, day-to-day struggles become less stressful when we’ve let God in. By trusting guidance from a friend, reading a meditation, or perhaps just by being still, we’ll discover the peace of letting go and be enriched by the serenity that follows.

I will let others live the way they choose. Today I will live the way that pleases me – and God.

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

Day By Day

Sharing a common goal

Since we’re going the same way, let’s go together. We may have some differences, but let’s work them out and respect each other’s opinions. Since our goal is the same, you help me and I’ll help you.

But let’s never withhold love as a weapon against one another. Since we are held together by a critical common solution, let’s not cause one another any suffering.

Am I learning to emphasize our common purpose?

Higher Power, help me see that what we share in the fellowship is more important than what separates us.

Today I will strengthen our common cause by…

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

Food for Thought

Living Is a Privilege

When we were overeating, how often did we drag ourselves out of bed wondering how we were going to make it through the day? Many of us felt that life was treating us unfairly, and we blamed those around us for our misery. We may have thought we believed in a Power greater than ourselves, but we were unable to apply the belief so that it made a difference in the way we were living. Trying to manage our own life pushed us further and further into despair.

The OA program shows us how to commit our will and our life to the management of God. We stop trying to “go it alone,” and we listen for His direction. By the grace of our Higher Power, we abstain from compulsive overeating one day at a time, and we walk a new way of humility and obedience.

Little by little, we recover in mind and body, and we no longer feel crushed by an uncaring fate. We accept each day as a gift from the hand of God, and we live it to the best of our ability.

Thank You for the privilege of living and abstaining today.

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

Cleansing Your Power Center
Trusting Your Gut by Madisyn Taylor

Gut feelings earn their name from the place in the body where they make themselves known. A pang in your gut when you may be doing the wrong thing, or a vibrant zing when your body approves, can guide you reliably at times when logic fails. Sometimes, when logic prevails, we ignore our gut and live to regret it, understanding later that a rational approach is only one way of determining what is going on in a situation and how we should react.

Our gut resides in the neighborhood of our solar plexus and the third chakra just above your belly button. When it is functioning well, we can trust its guidance and adjust our actions accordingly. Many of us have a tendency to hold in this area of our bodies. We may take shallow breaths that never reach this vital nexus that is the source of our empowerment. It is in this place that we find the courage to act, to reach out into the world and create change. When our power center is out of balance, we are timid and out of sync, wishing we had said something we were only able to phrase later when we were alone; wishing we had acted on an opportunity we didn’t see until it was past.

In order to utilize your power center, you may want to focus your attention on it more regularly and make time to care for it. You can begin right now by taking a deep breath into your belly. On the exhale, pull your navel in toward your spine so as to empty out completely before taking another deep breath into your belly. When you empty completely, you release stagnant energy and create more space to be filled with fresh, nourishing breath. The more you practice this simple, cleansing exercise, the more clear and communicative your gut feelings will be and the more comfortable you will feel acting on them. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

How, exactly, can a p4erson turn his own will and his own life over to the care of a Power greater than himself? All that’s needed is a beginning, no matter how small. The minute we put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open. Then the door itself starts to open, perhaps even so slightly; in time we find that we can always open it wider. Self-will may slam the door shut again, and it often does. But the door can always be reopened, time and time again if necessary, so long as we use our key of willingness. Have I reaffirmed my decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him?

Today I Pray

May I reaffirm my decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power. May my faith be staunch enough to keep me knowing that there is, indeed, a power greater than I am. May I avail myself of that Power simply by being willing to “walk humbly with my Lord.”

Today I Will Remember

Self-will minus self equals will.

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

One More Day

Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Each of us harbors secret fears. “how will I manage?” “Can I make it through today?” “Will my family still love me if my behavior has been inappropriate?”

We learn, rather early in the game, that a defeatist attitude drives our friends away after a period of time. Therefore, it’s often up to us to deal with our own fears. We do our best to ease ourselves through each crisis — and at times we will need additional help — but by and large we can do it. It isn’t so much that we’re overly independent or angry. It’s that we need to help our loved ones learn how to cope with our illness, so we keep our fears from becoming irrational as best we can. And that often passes for courage.

I will put my fears into proper perspective because this helps me — and my loved ones.

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

One Day At A Time

IDENTITY
“Resolve to be thyself:
And know that he who finds himself loses his misery.”
Matthew Arnold

Life before recovery was a theatrical production in which I played all parts to all audiences. I gave a performance which aimed to satisfy everyone’s requirements but my own. I proffered whatever I felt others wanted, giving no thought to my own needs. Some may say that’s a worthy attitude, but it was influenced by a desire to be accepted — not for who I am — but for whom I thought everyone wanted me to be. I used my performance to control situations and to avoid any nasty surprises. I furnished more than I could afford, often lavishing what wasn’t mine to give. Frequently I didn’t feel that I had gained the acceptance I so fervently sought, and this yielded feelings of incompetence.

To be everything to all people took time and sapped considerable quantities of energy physically, spiritually and emotionally. Often I found I couldn’t keep up with this self-inflicted regimen of people-pleasing. I began to resent the performance and gained no satisfaction from the results.

Through my recovery I realized that I had never been happy with the results of my role-playing. It had been a compulsion to seek the approval from others because I couldn’t grant myself the authorization to be me. The only person I can be is me. The only person I have a right to be is me.

One day at a time …
I give myself permission to be who I truly am: ME!
~ Sue G.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

IV. At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional ‘Right of Participation,’ allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.

V. Throughout our structure, a traditional ‘Right of Appeal’ ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

VI.The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board. – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts (Short Form)

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Our sobriety grows out of an awareness of and response to a spiritual program. Nothing works better for more people. To try other means is probably not in our best interests.

May I accept the spiritual foundation of my recovery.

Forgiving and Moving On

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

I am ready to consider forgiveness

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Resentment is from the Latin, meaning to ‘feel again.’ Rather than feeling that again, think of how it could have been worse, then be grateful it isn’t. Once you get to the grateful part, you can’t be resentful.

I cannot be grateful and resentful at the same time; I can’t serve two masters.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you marry your past, you must divorce your future.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am going to spend more time looking for all the positive things about myself. Today I recognize myself and acknowledge myself as a terrific human being.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

A relationship to me is what I have to do after we’ve had sex rather than say: ‘You know this was just a sexual thing, I don’t want to get involved.’ I’d rather drag it out for four or five years. – Charlie C.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 24

Helping Others
We realize now that we were excessively self-centered,
chiefly concerned about our feelings, our problems, other people’s reactions to us,
and our own past and future.
Therefore, trying to get into communication with and help other people is a recovery measure for us,
because it helps take us out of ourselves.
Trying to heal ourselves by helping others works, even when it is an insincere gesture.
Try it some time.
– Living Sober, p. 85

Thought to Ponder . . .
Trust God. Clean house. Help others.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
E S H = Experience, Strength and Hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sobriety is a constant process of uncovering, discovering, and discarding.”
Craig, Colorado, January 1997
“Paying the Price for Improvement,”
Emotional Sobriety II

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

“Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man,
woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured
by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or
other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and
miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as
old as man himself.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 55

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

“An illness of this sort—and we have come to believe it an
illness—involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can.
If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no one is angry or
hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes
annihilation of all the things worth while in life.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 18~

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

“If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 65

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

I used to take comfort from an exaggerated belief in my own honesty. My New England kinfolk had taught me the sanctity of all business commitments and contracts, saying, ‘A man’s word is his bond.’ After this rigorous conditioning, business honesty always came easy; I never flim-flammed anyone.
However, this small fragment of readily won virtue did produce some interesting liabilities. 1 never failed to whip up a fine contempt for those of my fellow Wall Streeters who were prone to shortchange their customers. This was arrogant enough, but the ensuing self-deception proved even worse.
My prized business honesty was presently converted into a comfortable cloak under which I could hide the many serious flaws that beset other departments of my life. Being certain of this one virtue, it was easy to conclude that I had them all. For years on end, this prevented me from taking a good look at myself.

Prayer for the Day: “Mistakes aren’t tragedies. But please, Higher Power, help me learn from them!”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 23rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 23rd

Daily Reflections

I ASK GOD TO DECIDE

“I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character
which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

Having admitted my powerlessness and made a decision to turn my will
and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him, I don’t
decide which defects get removed, or the order in which defects get
removed, or the time frame in which they get removed. I ask God to
decide which defects stand in the way of my usefulness to Him and to
others, and then I humbly ask Him to remove them.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We should remember that all A.A.’s have “clay feet.” We should not
set any member upon a pedestal and mark her or him out as a perfect
A.A. Its not fair to the person to be singled out in this fashion and if
the person is wise she or he will not wish it. If the person we single
out as an ideal A.A. has a fall, we are in danger of falling, too. Without
exception, we are all only one drink away from a drunk, no matter how
long we have been in A.A. Nobody is entirely safe. A.A. itself should
be our ideal, not any particular member of it. Am I putting my trust in
A.A. principles and not in any one member of the group?

Meditation For The Day

The inward peace that comes from trust in God truly passes all
understanding. That peace no one can take from you. No person has
the power to disturb that inner peace. But you must be careful not to
let in the world’s worries and distractions. You must try not to give
entrance to fears and despondency. You must refuse to open the door
to distractions that disturb your inward peace. Make it a point to allow
nothing today to disturb your inner peace, your heart-calm.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not allow those about me to spoil my peace of mind. I
pray that I may keep a deep inner calm throughout the day.

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As Bill Sees It

The Building Of Character, p. 204

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t
strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose.
When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us
with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is
the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God
wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character
defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.

If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case
does he render us white as snow and keep us that way without our
cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work
toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to
make progress in the building of character.

12 & 12, p. 65

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Walk In Dry Places

Sensing Rejection
Self-Esteem and Maturity
We laugh when a recovering person tells how he “learned to quit just before he got fired.”  We sometimes can tell when a rejection is coming, and we take steps…. such as quitting.. To avoid further pain and humiliation.
In the recovery process, there still may be times when we sense a coming rejection. If it does come, we must remember that rejections is part of living. People receive rejection for all sorts of reasons, including wrong ones.
When we do sense any kid of a rejection in the works, our best course is to let it happen, accept it, and put it behind us. If we are living our program, we don’t need to feel pain or humiliation, as rejection is simply part of normal human experience.
I’ll try today to be as accepting as possible in everything I do.  If others choose to reject me, I will also accept this without resentment or self-reproach.

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Keep It Simple

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.—Laurence Couglin
“Do I talk to much?” Most of us wonder this sometimes. There are some ways to find out.
Asked yourself these questions: “How much do I know about people in my life?”
“What do they think and feel?” “Do I listen to them?” “Do I often feel that I say too much?”
Then ask a few trusted friends these questions: “Do you think I talk to much?” “How well do you think I listen to you?”
Silence help us listen—to ourselves, to others, and to our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me enjoy the silent moments in my day.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll think before I speak. what do I really want to say.

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Each Day a New Beginning

For this is wisdom; to live,  To take what fate, or the Gods, may give.  –Laurence Hope
We can’t control the events of our lives, but we do have mastery over our attitudes. The chances will be many, today, to react negatively or positively to circumstances we find ourselves in. We can consider that each circumstance has something special in it for us.
Positive expectations regarding the planned as well as spontaneous activities of the day will influence the activity’s flow, our involvement with it, and our interactions with the other people involved. A positive attitude seems to breed positive experiences. In other words, we attract into our lives that which we expect. How often do we get up angry, feeling behind when the day has only begun, short-tempered with our children, “ready” for a tough one at work? And we generally find it.
The Serenity Prayer offers us all the knowledge, all the wisdom we’ll ever need. We can accept what has to be, change what we can, and not get confused between the two. We can inventory our attitude. Are we taking charge of it? Our attitude is something we can change.
I won’t get trapped today by a negative attitude. I will accept the challenge of turning my day around.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.

p. 55

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
Then I discovered alcohol.  I had tried it a few times in high school, but never enough to get drunk.  I knew that getting drunk meant being out of control.  My escape plan required that I always keep my wits about me.  I was too afraid to be out of control.  When I got to college, however, that fear left me.  In order to fit in, I pretended, at first, that I had as extensive a drinking history as any of my classmates.  It was not long before my history surpassed everyone’s.

p. 423

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. ”

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

p. 24

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The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your
mind, but how to get old ones out.
–Dee Hock

“One faces the future with one’s past.”
–Pearl S. Buck

This day is not a rehearsal. It is real. What you choose to do with it
will have lasting consequences for you and for those around you. It is
an awesome responsibility and a tremendous opportunity. Give it the
best that you have.
–Ralph Marston

As you teach, you learn.
–Jewish Proverb

At the beginning of your day, spend a few minutes in silence to
commune with God. At the end of your day, do the same. And in the
course of your day, join with others. Pray for those in your life and
allow them the honor of praying for you. The energy you hold in
prayer is real, and over time, will take form.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Notice the acts of kindness other people do rather than their
wrongdoing. This is how the loving presence views you. We are all
good, decent, loving souls who occasionally get lost. When you can
focus on the good in another and hold that in your mind, you are acting
from your higher self. This can help dissipate fear and anger.
–Wayne Dyer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WEALTH

“The only question with wealth
is what you do with it.”
–John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Prosperity, if it is truly to be appreciated, needs to be shared.
Wealth only makes sense when it is put to use for the benefit of the
many. To horde treasure is to miss the value of that treasure. Money
makes the world go around but it can only produce joy and excitement
when it is spent or put to work.

This is also true for those who have a “wealth” of ideas or talents —
they need to be expressed, shared and valued by others to be of any
real benefit. A writer needs to write, a musician needs to play, a
painter demands a canvas — and the world needs to appreciate.

God is at work in His world and He requires recognition.

Let me find You in the talents that You have shared with me.

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A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
Proverbs 15:30

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength
is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

Then I said, `Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll– I have
come to do your will, O God.'”
Hebrews 10:7

“O God, why have you abandoned me? I sit and wait for you and you
do not come. I watch everyone who passes, but it is not you. I sit by
myself on the side of life and cry to you, but you do not come. I
stand and look from the window, but you are nowhere in sight. I need
you, O God, but you have left me all alone. I try to talk myself into
believing that you’re on the way, perhaps tomorrow, or the next
day…but you do not appear. How can I walk in this pain all alone?
How can I stand knee-deep in suffering without you? Where are you,
O God of my life? Where are you when I’m in such danger? Will you
let me slip away simply because you didn’t get here on time? O God of
mercy, do not abandon me. Show me your face at my window and
wipe the tears from my life. Please come to me. Please take care of
me. I will shout your name from the rooftops! I will dance your praise
among the stars. I will tell the world that you would never abandon
me.”
Psalm 15


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Daily Inspiration

You will be happier if you spend less time insisting that everything be your way. Lord, help me remain objective and open to new ideas when they are presented, but at the same time give me the courage to not compromise my beliefs and values.

How easy it is to blame God for circumstances that don’t go as we want. Lord, grant me wisdom and understanding to know that You are Love and, as a loving God, You only want the best for me.

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NA Just For Today

Surrendering Self-Will

“We want and demand that things always go our way. We should know from our past experience that our way of doing things did not work.”
Basic Text, p.78

All of us have ideas, plans, goals for our lives. There’s nothing in the NA program that says we shouldn’t think for ourselves, take initiative, and put responsible plans into action. It’s when our lives are driven by self-will that we run into problems.

When we are living willfully, we go beyond thinking for ourselves – we think only of ourselves. We forget that we are but a part of the world and that whatever personal strength we have is drawn from a Higher Power. We might even go so far as to imagine that other people exist solely to do our bidding. Quickly, we find ourselves at odds with everyone and everything around us.

At this point, we have two choices. We can continue in our slavery to self-will, making unreasonable demands and becoming frustrated because the planet doesn’t spin our way. Or we can surrender, relax, seek knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out, and find our way back to a condition of peace with the world. Thinking, taking initiative, making responsible plans-there’s nothing wrong with these things, so long as they serve God’s will, not merely our own.

Just for today: I will plan to do God’s will, not mine. If I find myself at odds with everything around me, I will surrender self-will.
pg. 213

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
There is no reality except the one contained within us. –Herman Hesse
Claude Gellee painted lovely pictures of the English countryside. Europeans loved his landscapes, with their blue hues and mild distortions. But when the people went for the carriage rides in the country, they were disappointed because it didn’t look the way Gellee had painted it. Then someone discovered that if you held blue glass up to your eyes and looked through it, the trees and hills and sky looked just like a Gellee painting! Soon everyone was looking through “Claude glasses” when they traveled.
We often let others do our seeing for us. We get lazy and rely on the images of television and movies, instead of really seeing with our own eyes. Our world becomes distorted and we lose sight of the natural beauty that surrounds us.
Each of us carries reality inside ourselves, and as we grow stronger within, we discover that we can see clearest when we trust our own eyes. There is a glorious world, full and rich, just waiting for us to glimpse it.
Will I see the world through my own eyes today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
He that to what he sees, adds observation, and to what he reads, reflection, is in the right road to knowledge. –Caleb Colton
We are not just feathers blown on the winds of a powerless life. We bring ourselves to our experiences. The dynamics of learning include, first, what happens – what we see or read or hear – and, second, what we make of it. So in our observations and reflections we consider what an event means to us.
As men in a spiritual program, we need some time to think and reflect. That is, we need time away from the phone, away from interruptions and work, where we can let ourselves learn and grow from our experiences. Some men get that by leaving the radio off while driving alone, others get it on the bus, others light a candle in a quiet room at home and meditate. In this way we are conscious and aware of what is happening in our lives and we bring our wisdom to it. Through time we deepen and grow stronger as we grow older rather than only accumulating more experiences.
Today, I will reflect on the meaning of my experiences and bring my wisdom to them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
For this is wisdom; to live, To take what fate, or the Gods, may give. –Laurence Hope
We can’t control the events of our lives, but we do have mastery over our attitudes. The chances will be many, today, to react negatively or positively to circumstances we find ourselves in. We can consider that each circumstance has something special in it for us.
Positive expectations regarding the planned as well as spontaneous activities of the day will influence the activity’s flow, our involvement with it, and our interactions with the other people involved. A positive attitude seems to breed positive experiences. In other words, we attract into our lives that which we expect. How often do we get up angry, feeling behind when the day has only begun, short-tempered with our children, “ready” for a tough one at work? And we generally find it.
The Serenity Prayer offers us all the knowledge, all the wisdom we’ll ever need. We can accept what has to be, change what we can, and not get confused between the two. We can inventory our attitude. Are we taking charge of it? Our attitude is something we can change.
I won’t get trapped today by a negative attitude. I will accept the challenge of turning my day around.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Making It Happen
Stop trying so hard to make it happen.
Stop doing so much, if doing so much is wearing you out or not achieving the desired results. Stop thinking so much and so hard about it. Stop worrying so about it. Stop trying to force, to manipulate, to coerce, or to make it happen.
Making things happen is controlling. We can take positive action to help things happen. We can do our part. But many of us do much more than our part. We overstep the boundaries from caring and doing our part into controlling, caretaking, and coercing.
Controlling is self-defeating. It doesn’t work. By overextending ourselves to make something happen, we may actually be stopping it from happening.
Do your part in relaxed, peaceful harmony. Then let it go. Just let it go. Force yourself to let it go, if necessary. “Act as if.” Put as much energy into letting go as you have into trying to control. You’ll get much better results.
It may not happen. It may not happen the way we wanted it to and hoped it would. But our controlling wouldn’t have made it happen either.
Learn to let things happen because that’s what they’ll do anyway. And while we’re waiting to see what happens, we’ll be happier and so will those around us.
Today, I will stop forcing things to happen. Instead, I will allow things to happen naturally. If I catch myself trying to force events or control people, I will stop and figure out a way to detach.

Today I will put aside all negative and destructive thoughts so that I can come from the place of love. Today I will let go of all blame and anger and resentments so that my heart and my mind will be open and free to feel love and give love. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Make a Fresh Start

Sometimes we need to start over– in work, in love, in our place of residence, in creating our lives. Sometimes we have to start over again when we don’t want to, didn’t plan on it, and don’t think it’s fair.

We may end a relationship, move, start a new job, start a new career, or begin an entirely different part of our lives, a part so different we don’t recognize it as being connected to the earlier ones. It’s new. We’re new. Life is new. We’re starting over again.

Sometimes it feels like we’re starting from scratch. While we may feel a sense of excitement about this new beginning, we may also harbor a sense of dread. Not again. Not one more time. I can’t. I don’t want to. That reaction is understandable. We become tired, frightened. We feel uncertain.

Honor all your feelings, all your emotions. Remember all your lessons.Clear the way to the heart. Then make a decision.

It’s time for a fresh start.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Fill up your life

I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
–Duke Ellington

One of the good things about the blues is their power to make me feel better. No matter how bad it gets in my little world, I can be pretty sure that B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, or Stevie Ray Vaughn has seen worse. Sometimes, it just feels good to vocalize all those bad feelings.

Bad things happen in life. Sometimes they are small annoyances; sometimes they are the major grief mongers. What matters is not what happens to us, but how we react to it. He left you. That is a fact. Now, after you get done with the quart of Breyers’ rocky road that you are drowning your sorrows in, what are you going to do about it? You can sit around and complain to your friends about how unfair life is, or you can get up, put the empty bowl in the dishwasher, and go fill up your life.

Feelings are one of the blessings of being human. All of them. Sometimes we feel good; sometimes we feel bad. Take some time. Take some energy and be upset. Be aware of the feeling of being upset. But then get up, go out, and make positive use of your life.

God, help me put to positive use all of the feelings in my life.

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In God’s Care

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
~~Dante Gabriel Rossetti

We can look back on our old life and be thankful for what we are like now. Although it is useless to dwell on the past, it is sometimes helpful to cast a backward glance. It sharpens our gratitude. The blessings we experience today are in such stark contrast to the misery we use to endure.

We examine the serendipity – all the good things that are happening to us – and we know not to take credit ourselves. We express gratitude to God because we know the good things are not accidental.

I pray that I remain grateful for God’s help.

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Day By Day

Baby-sitting

If someone truly wants our help to stop using mood-altering chemicals, we have a responsibility to do all we can. But demanding that someone accept our help or baby-sitting someone who continues to use probably does more harm than good.

Deep down, we know when someone is sincerely seeking help. While it is our job to carry the message, we must avoid trying to fix someone who is not yet ready to quit. It works better if we tell them we’re happy to talk anytime they want to call.

Am I learning the boundary between helping and fixing?

Higher Power, help me help others according to their needs,
in the best way I can.

I will concentrate on helping myself today by…

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Food for Thought

Food: Servant or Master?

Food used to be our master. The mental obsession with food and the craving for more controlled our life. As we recover, we begin to see just how much we were in slavery to food and our appetite. We know that no matter how long we abstain and recover from our disease, we will always be powerless over food. The idea that we will one day be able to eat spontaneously is the most dangerous delusion we can entertain.

By abstaining from compulsive overeating every day of our life, we make food our servant rather than our master. We eat what we need to nourish our body, but we do not permit eating for comfort, excitement, or any other emotional reason. Whatever it takes to remain abstinent is what we are willing to do each day.

Never forgetting that we are always one mouthful away from a binge ensures that food will remain our servant.

Today and every day, may I serve You instead of food.

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Guided Meditation
Accessing the World Within by Madisyn Taylor

Guided meditation is a wonderful way to start a meditation practice and can be deeply relaxing.

A guided meditation uses the sound of a person’s voice to direct you through an inner process of relaxing your body and shifting your mind’s focus. The voice may be a person in the room with you or a recording—even something downloaded from the internet—and it is generally spoken in soothing, soft tones. You may be guided to focus on aspects of your physical body, such as on your breathing, relaxing your muscles one-by-one, or on an area in need of healing. Sometimes it might involve visualizing a journey through the beauty of the natural world. Other times, you may be led to envision yourself working with light or energy, accomplishing your goals, or repeating positive thoughts in your head. Your guide may walk you through relaxation or motivation to help you change a habit, access untapped potential, or perhaps merely to find the silence within you.

Whether you are familiar with meditation or you are a beginner, being guided gives you the opportunity to benefit from the insight of others. There are numerous meditation and visualization techniques based in various spiritual philosophies and psychological applications. You may want to try several techniques to see what appeals to you the most, or just to gain a fresh perspective.

Guided meditation allows you to learn from others in a way that is similar to ones used by ancients the world over. Once learned, meditation is a tool that will always be available to you. Like having a tour guide while traveling in a foreign country, a guided meditation takes you on an inner journey. But this tour allows you to see and experience your own inner world, a place that truly only exists within you. The scenes created in your mind’s eye can be revisited at anytime, without a guide, because once you have seen the fascinating landscape of your own inner terrain, there will always be more to explore. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Today I’ll try to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to not only accept it but to appreciate it. Today, I’ll not expect too much of anyone — especially myself. I’ll try to remember that contentment comes from gratefully accepting the good that comes to us, and not from being furious at life because it’s not “better.” Do I realize the difference between resignation and realistic acceptance?

Today I Pray

May I not set my sights unrealistically high, expect too much. May I look backwards long enough to see that my self-set, impossible goals were the trappings of my addiction; too often I ended up halfway there, confronted by my own failure. Those “foiled-again,” “I’ve-failed-again” feelings became monumental excuses to give in to my compulsion, which blanketed my miseries. May I avoid that sick old pattern. May I be realistic.

Today I Will Remember

Good is good enough.

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One More Day

A friend is clearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were extinguished than that we should be without friends.
– St. John Chrysostom

Friendship is our greatest achievement and reward. Our friends are people to care about, celebrate with, and count on. Even condition, friends are there fo reach other. Within the closest friendships we find the best of each other at all times.

Friendships enrich our lives. It is no accident that we become close and maintain our contact. Our paths crossed for reasons, and we are forever a part of each other’s life. We really listen. We open up. We offer help and hope. We share each other’s pain and enhance each other’s growth. We appreciate our friend’s unique qualities. We let each other know who we really are.

I bring myself honestly to my friendships.

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One Day At A Time

CHOICE
“Destiny is not a matter of chance;
it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for;
it is a thing to be achieved.”
William Jennings Bryan

I have often wished that my life were easier. I have resented the fact that others seemed to have been given a free ride, whereas I have had to walk the distance. I often prayed that on waking one morning, I would find that the shadow I cast the day before had been vastly reduced overnight.

Wallowing in self-pity has taken me nowhere. It has wasted time that I could have spent reaching my recovery. I could choose to waste my days wishing for something that I obviously don’t have — and will never have — unless I actively do the legwork to obtain it. I could sit back and expect the world to come to my door, but I would find that it passes me by.

Often I find myself slipping down the emotional slide into the depths of depression. In those dark times, walking through life is as easy as walking waist-deep through wet tar. It’s a place where the sun never shines, thus its warm rays don’t land on my skin.

Recovery comes only when I make the choice and do the work needed to attain it.

One day at a time …
I choose to use the wisdom, strength and shelter of God; my Higher Power. I choose to follow the Twelve Steps and use the tools provided in the recovery program. I choose to be guided by the Big Book. In essence … I choose life
~ Sue G

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

I. Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

II. The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our Society in its world affairs.

III. To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A. – the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives – with a traditional ‘Right of Decision.’ – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts (Short Form)

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Now we must choose and use a sponsor. Just one. More than one sponsor gives us more than one answer and allows us to play games with the program. We ask for guidance in choosing a sponsor, then we use them.

Higher Power, as I understand You, please guide me to the sponsor that will give me the answers I need.

My Work

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

I will share my gifts

– Tian Dayton PhD

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

Henry David Thoreau

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘Each place along the way is somewhere you had to be to be here.’ ~Wayne Dyer

I cannot get ahead until I learn to be here.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Reality can be as painful to accept as it was to escape.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will put aside all negative and destructive thoughts so that I can come from the place of love. Today I will let go of all blame and anger and resentments so that my heart and my mind will be open and free to feel love and give love.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I was so grateful I couldn’t stop crying, because I thought about all the friends of mine that I’ve known through the years who couldn’t make it. Who missed it all. And I thought ‘No matter what happens I’ve got no quarrel. Not with God, not with life, not with anything. And I stood there – with cancer – feeling like one of the most fortunate women on earth. – Gayle W.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 23

A New Life
When we work at our Twelve Steps,
the old life of guzzling and fuzzy thinking, and all that goes with it, gradually dies,
and we acquire a different and better way of life.
As our shortcomings are removed, one of us dies, and another life of us lives.
We in AA die to live.
– Experience, Strength and Hope, p. 156

Thought to Ponder . . .
Life will take on new meaning.

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

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

Ambition
” . . . the certainty that we are no longer isolated
in self-constructed prisons,
the surety that we need no longer be
square pegs in round holes
but can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things –
these are the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of
right living for which no amount of pomp and
circumstance,
no heap of material possessions,
could possibly be substitutes.
True ambition is not what we thought it was.
True ambition is the deep desire
to live usefully and walk humbly under
the grace of God.”
1953AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 124-5

Thought to Consider . . .
The mighty oak tree was once a little nut
that held its ground.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F I T = Faith, Intuition, and Trust

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

Small Miracles
From: “A Late Start”
Small miracles keep offering new opportunities just when I need change and growth. New friends have shown me hidden truths in those sayings that I once found so shallow. The lessons of tolerance and acceptance have taught me to look beyond exterior appearances to find the help and wisdom so often lurking beneath the surface. All my sobriety and growth, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, are dependent upon my willingness to listen, understand, and change.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 542

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

“A large part of my recovery has been in learning how not to listen to myself.”
Tucson, Arizona, March 1988
“The Work at Hand,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us
a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is
indescribably wonderful.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 17~

“Now and then the family will be plagued by spectres from the past,
for the drinking career of almost every alcoholic has been marked by
escapades, funny, humiliating, shameful or tragic. The first impulse
will be to bury these skeletons in a dark closet and padlock the
door. The family may be possessed by the idea that future happiness
can be based only upon forgetfulness of the past. We think that such
a view is self-centered and in direct conflict with the new way of
living.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 123~

“If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 95

“Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 80

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me live in accordance with spiritual principles. Only then can I approve of myself.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Daily Reflections

A PRICELESS GIFT

By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of
release from our more devastating handicaps. We enjoy moments in
which there is something like real peace of mind. To those of us who
have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety–in other
words, to all of us–this newfound peace is a priceless gift.
12 & 12, p. 74

I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a
heart that is willing to receive God’s grace in all my affairs; in this
way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result
of surrender. It has been proven that an act of surrender,
originating in desperation and defeat, can grow into an ongoing act
of faith, and that faith means freedom and victory.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

If we feel the need of saying something to put another member on the
right track, we should try to say it with understanding and
sympathy, not with a critical attitude. We should keep everything
out in the open and aboveboard. The A.A. program is wonderful, but
we must really follow it. We must all pull together or we’ll all be
sunk. We enjoy the privilege of being associated with A.A. and we
are entitled to all its benefits. But gossip and criticism are not
tolerance, and tolerance is an A.A. principle that is absolutely
necessary to group unity. Am I truly tolerant of all my group’s
members?

Meditation For The Day

“Faith can move mountains.” That expression means that faith can
change any situation in the field of personal relationships. If you
trust Him, God shows you the way to “move mountains.” If you are
humble enough to know that you can really do little by yourself to
change a situation, if you have enough faith to ask God to give you
the power you need, and if you are grateful enough for the grace He
gives you, you can “move mountains.” Situations will be changed for
the better by your presence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have enough faith to make me really effective. I
pray that I may learn to depend less on myself and more on God.

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As Bill Sees It

The Hour of Decision, p. 202

“Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and
cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary as this process is. We
cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When there
is doubt about our logic, we wait upon God and listen for the voice of
intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may
well gain sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic.

“If, after an exercise of these two disciplines, we are still uncertain,
then we should ask for further guidance, and, when possible, defer
important decisions for a time. By then, with more knowledge of our
situation, logic and intuition may well agree upon a right course.

“But if the decision must be now, let us not evade it through fear.
Right or wrong, we can always profit from the experience.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Creating good impressions
Attitude
There’s a saying that we have only one chance to make a good first impression. That’s true, but we always have the opportunity to make good lasting impressions.
The secret of making good impressions is contained in one word: ATTITUDE.  Whatever we really feel will be expressed to others as our true character and the impression we give will be authentically us.
The way to control the impressions we are making is simply to continue cultivating an attitude that’s consistent with humility, acceptance, and graciousness.  We should have others’ best interests at heart without being meddlesome.  We should be genuinely helpful.
This attitude will create any good impressions we need to make.
Working to make sure I’m thinking the right way.  I’ll forget about the impressions I’m making.  If my attitude is right, the impression will take care of itself.

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Keep It Simple

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.  —Gore Vidal
Many of us used a “know it all” act to keep people away. We kept everyone around us on edge. They were afraid of our judgments, just we were secretly afraid of theirs. Why were we so busy with everyone else’s life? So we didn’t have to look at our own! We were afraid of what was happening to us. But we didn’t want to see how sick we were becoming. Now we’re not afraid. We don’t need to keep people away. We don’t need to run their lives. We have our life to live. And we’re enjoying it.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You are the expert, not me. Teach me. I am Your student.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list the ways I chased away those who cared about me.. I’ll work on the Steps on these items for the next week.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation and the joy of being truly alive. And I’m thankful for this day.  –Angela L. Wozniak
Being open to the day’s offering, all of it, and looking for the positive experiences therein, becomes habit only after a firm commitment and dedicated practice. Today is special for each of us.
These next twenty-four hours will be unlike all others. And we are not the persons we were, even as recently as yesterday. Looking forward to all of the day’s events, with the knowledge that we are in the care of our higher power, in every detail, frees us to make the most of everything that happens.
We have been given the gift of life. We are survivors. The odds against survival in our past make clear we have yet a job to do and are being given the help to do it. Confidence wavers in all of us, but the strength we need will be given to each of us.
In this day that stands before me, I can be certain that I’ll have many chances for growth, for kindness to others, for developing confidence in myself. I will be thoughtful in my actions today. They are special and will be repeated no more.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Imagine life without faith! Were nothing left but pure reason, it wouldn’t be life. But we believed in life—of course we did. We could not prove life in the sense that you can prove a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, yet, there it was. Could we still say the whole thing was nothing but a mass of electrons, created out of nothing, meaning nothing, whirling on to a destiny of nothingness? Or course we couldn’t. The electrons themselves seemed more intelligent than that. At least, so the chemist said.

p. 54

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
Like many alcoholics, I had spent much of my life feeling different, as though I just didn’t quite fit in.  I covered those feelings and my low self-esteem by being one of the smartest people in any group, if not the smartest.  Additionally, I became a performer in crowds, always ready with a quick joke to point out the humor in any situation.  I managed to bring a great deal of laughter into my life.

p. 422

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

It was obviously necessary to raise the bottom the rest of us had hit to the point where it would hit them. By going back in our own drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that it was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression. To the doubters we could say, “Perhaps you’re not an alcoholic after all. Why don’t you try some more controlled drinking, bearing in mind meanwhile what we have told you about alcoholism?” This attitude brought immediate and practical results. It was then discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, “Maybe those A.A.’s were right…” After a few such experiences, often years before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced. He had hit bottom as truly as any of us. John Barleycorn himself had become our best advocate.

pp. 23-24

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Ability is what you’re capable of doing… Motivation determines what
you do… Attitude determines how well you do it.
–unknown

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.
–Buddha

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

Instead of being aggressive toward a difficulty, be quiet before it,
and notice the new feeling.
–Vernon Howard

P R O G R A M = People Relying On God Relay A Message.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IGNORANCE

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of
ignorance is the death of
knowledge.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

How little I understood when I was living as an alcoholic. How little
I wanted to know. Ignorance was bliss in my addiction. And the
real tragedy was that I was ignorant of the extent of my ignorance!
I had no idea how serious my alcoholism was, how pervasive in all
areas of my life it had developed, how destructive and negative I had
become until I was made to “see” reality in treatment. Reluctantly I
opened my eyes to see my ignorance and I knew I needed to change
my attitude if I was to recover.

The enemy of the spiritual life is ignorance because it stops us
from realizing that the strength and healing power of spirituality
has been given by God — all we need do is discover it and appreciate
it.

I pray that I and others will have the courage to confront the
ignorance in my life.

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

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:17

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that
seeketh Him.
Lamentations 3:24-25

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. No one will come before My
Father except through me.”
John 14:6


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Daily Inspiration

Forgiveness is a wonderful way to lift yourself up and it is the best way to encourage yourself and others to do better. Lord, grant me greater understanding and wisdom so that I can move past my problems into a new day.

Keep your feet firmly planted in your faith and your eyes raised to the heavens. Lord, You are my strength, my encouragement and my source of all that is good.

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NA Just For Today

Surrender Is For Everyone

“If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery.”
Basic Text, p.92

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!

After we’ve been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to old-timers. We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves-and we do. The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough. But it’s what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.

Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble. When we find that “applying the principles” on our own power just isn’t working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender. When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves. And when we discover that self-therapy isn’t so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another.”

Just for today: I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own. I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power-I will do something that says, “I surrender.”
pg. 211

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Dependency (on another human being) is the inability to experience wholeness or to function adequately without the certainty that one is being actively cared for by another. –M. Scott Peck
No matter what we may think, overdependence on another can be very unloving because it drains others of any chance for personal growth. Those of us who have been dependent on other people are so busy acquiring love that we ourselves have no energy left to truly give love. It’s as if we’re starving, and scrambling for every little bit of love we can find, with no thought to offering it to others. No wonder they often quickly get tired of us.
We can’t force or expect others to do things with us, talk to us, or love us. The way to be surely loved is to be worthy of it. We can work at being worthy by exercising our freedom to feel and do things without others’ permission, and to allow them the same opportunity.
What can I do on my own today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Some people regard themselves as perfect, but only because they demand little of themselves. –Hermann Hesse
Many of us men in this program have a struggle with perfectionism. This is a central spiritual issue. Sometimes we feel ashamed or frightened by our imperfections, or we strive so hard to overcome them that we successfully close our lives down to a very narrow, controllable scale. Spiritual awakening means we have zest for life and accept our imperfections.
We know today will be shaky and insecure in some ways. We probably will make some mistakes or offenses. Our solution is not our old behavior of attempting to control whatever happens; it is to join life with a spiritual feeling. We let go of ourselves, and what happens? We are part of a larger whole. We are not in control of the process of life, and whatever we do is part of an ongoing dialogue, so we will have another chance to respond, even to our own mistakes.
Today, I pray for liberation from my perfectionism so I can more fully engage in life’s adventure.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation and the joy of being truly alive. And I’m thankful for this day. –Angela L. Wozniak
Being open to the day’s offering, all of it, and looking for the positive experiences therein, becomes habit only after a firm commitment and dedicated practice. Today is special for each of us.
These next twenty-four hours will be unlike all others. And we are not the persons we were, even as recently as yesterday. Looking forward to all of the day’s events, with the knowledge that we are in the care of our higher power, in every detail, frees us to make the most of everything that happens.
We have been given the gift of life. We are survivors. The odds against survival in our past make clear we have yet a job to do and are being given the help to do it. Confidence wavers in all of us, but the strength we need will be given to each of us.
In this day that stands before me, I can be certain that I’ll have many chances for growth, for kindness to others, for developing confidence in myself. I will be thoughtful in my actions today. They are special and will be repeated no more.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Being Is Enough
We are not always clear about what we are experiencing, or why.
In the midst of grief, transition, transformation, learning, healing, or discipline – it’s difficult to have perspective.
That’s because we have not learned the lesson yet. We are in the midst of it. The gift of clarity has not yet arrived.
Our need to control can manifest itself as a need to know exactly what’s going on. We cannot always know. Sometimes, we need to let ourselves be and trust that clarity will come later, in retrospect.
If we are confused, that is what we are supposed to be. The confusion is temporary. We shall see. The lesson, the purpose, shall reveal itself – in time, in its own time.
It will all make perfect sense – later.
Today, I will stop straining to know what I don’t know, to see what I can’t see, to understand what I don’t yet understand. I will trust that being is sufficient, and let go of my need to figure things out.

Today I am open to everyone who is on my path, whether I know them or not. Somewhere there will be someone who needs my help and I want to be there for them. My Higher Power will tell me what needs to be done. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Value Work

We need to value the simple tasks of life and the workwe do professionally to earn income, fulfill purpose, and bring our gifts to the world.

There are many tasks to be done in life– our personal responsibilities to others, our professional commitments, our responsibilities to ourselves. There is value and honor in work, in performing the tasks that make up our daily lives.

When we joyfully perform the tasks of life– whether we’re taking care of ourselves or fulfilling a commitment to another– we connect with the very rhythms and workings of life and the universe. Many important spiritual lessons are connected with work. It’s better not to use work as an escape, a way to avoid life. But work done with an attitude of honor, love, and joy can be a tool on our spiritual path.

Work can take us into the rhythm of life. Work can bring us back to service, back to our hearts, back to our souls. We don’t have to leave ourselves behind when we do the tasks of life. We can take all we’ve learned into our work, then learn more lessons from the tasks we do.

Remember to honor and value the work and the tasks that are yours to do– from the smallest to the grandest. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, hold a buisness meeting, rake the yard. Each task is important.

Value work. Let it connect you to the rhythms of life.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Maybe it’s not supposed to feel good

Every night for months, Laurie went home from work, turned on her computer, and wrote and rewrote the same thing: I hate my job. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

For six weeks in a row, Jonathan complained daily to his friends about his roommate: I can’t stand him. He’s driving me nuts. I don’t like him.

For years, right before falling asleep at night, Mindy calculated the number of years she thought it would be until her husband died and she was free from her wedding vows: Just fifteen more years, then he’ll be gone and I can have a life.

None of these three people were going through what we call a “love-hate” relationship with their spouse, roommate, or job. All three were involved in hate-hate relationships. They all had one thing in common: they felt guilty for how they felt. Laurie kept trying to make herself like her job; Jonathan turned himself inside out trying to get along with his roommate; Mindy continued trying to be a better wife.

Be patient with yourself if you have moments and times of not liking someone or something, whether it’s your job, your roommate, your home, or your spouse. But if you’re consistently and blatantly not liking someone or someplace, maybe it’s time to move on.

Watch for patterns in your emotional responses to your life. If you’re consistently responding to something or someone in a particular way, entertain the possibility that that person, place, or thing might have outworn its usefulness in your life.

God, grant me the wisdom to discern when my feelings are urging me to move on. Help me let go of my guilt about how I’m feeling and find a path with heart.

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

In God’s Care

The goal isn’t to do a successful inventory. The goal is to dig to the deepest levels of self-honesty.
~~Anonymous

The Fourth Sep is the hardest one for many newcomers in the program. It is so difficult, in fact, that some of us still waiting to do it are no longer newcomers.

It’s so hard to be honest with ourselves, that some of us never accomplish it. The consequences of this are a low sef-esteem, which draws us toward failure.

Help is available, though. God, who knows all about us, is willing to help us get honest with ourselves. We only need to ask. Until we become honest with ourselves, we can’t grow spiritually.

Today I pledge to be honest.

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

Day By Day

Judging other addicts

As addicts we tend to judge each other in a cruel way; it can help us feel better about ourselves. For example, alcoholics look down on junkies, junkies look down on speed freaks, and everyone looks down on glue-sniffers. But what’s the difference?

We’re all in this together. We’re dealing with life-and-death matters. Making value judgments about the kind or severity of another’s addiction is a childish and dangerous game.

Have I stopped judging other addicts?

Higher Power, help me accept myself – and accept others – in all aspects of life.

I will acknowledge someone addicted to another chemical today by…

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

Food for Thought

Following the Rules

When we were eating compulsively, we thought we could make up our own rules as we went along. We thought we were entitled to eat what we wanted when we wanted it. The result was chaos. We found that living according to self-will did not work.

Commitment to the OA program involves the willingness to accept a set of rules, which we did not make. Following the abstinence guidelines is what enables us to control our disease. When we ignore the discipline, which has worked for others and insist on doing it our way, our chances for recovery diminish.

The rules of abstinence – three measured meals a day with nothing in between, no binge foods, a definite plan, etc. – are the means to freedom. To rebel against them is to delay or prevent our liberation from compulsive overeating.

I pray for the honesty to follow the rules.

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Things We Can’t Control
Allow, Trust

We develop grace as we learn with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should.

The idea of trusting the universe is a popular one these days, but many of us don’t know what this really means and we often have a hard time doing it. This is partly because the story of humankind is most often presented as a story about struggle, control, and survival, instead of one of trust and collaboration with the universe. Yet, in truth, we need to adhere to both ideas in this life.

On the one hand, there is much to be said about exerting control over our environment. We created shelter to protect ourselves from the elements. We hunted for animals and invented agriculture to feed ourselves. We built social infrastructures to protect ourselves and create community. This is how we survive and grow as a civilization. However, it is also clear that there are plenty of things that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try, and we often receive support from an unseen force – a universe that provides us with what we cannot provide for ourselves.

It is a good idea to take responsibility for the things in life that we can control or create. We work so we can feed, clothe, and shelter our loved ones and ourselves. We manifest our dreams and visions in physical form with hard work and forethought. But at a certain point, when we have done all that we can, we must let go and allow the universe to take over. This requires trust. It requires a trust that runs deeper than just expecting things to turn out the way we want them to. Sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t. We develop equanimity and grace as we learn to trust that, with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should. We are engaged in an ongoing relationship with a universe that responds to our thoughts and actions. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we’re faced with some condition or situation not to our liking, how can we have faith that all things are working together for good? Perhaps we have to ask ourselves just what is faith. Faith has its foundation in truth and love. We can have faith, if we so choose, no matter what the situation. And, if we so choose, we can expect ultimate good to come forth. Have I made my choice?

Today I Pray

May I be grateful for my God-given ability to make a choice. Out of this gratitud3e and my sense of the nearness of God, I have chosen faith. May the faith, as my chosen way, become strong enough to move mountains, strong enough to keep me free of my compulsion, mighty enough to hold back the tide of temptations which threaten me, optimistic enough to look past my present pain to ultimate good.

Today I Will Remember

With faith, nothing is impossible.

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One More Day

An hour of pain is a long as a day of pleasure.
– Proverb

When we look back at our lives, do the painful experiences come through first? We may remember the difficult times that led to the end of a relationship or losing a job. Life seemed at a standstill during those times, as we wondered whether we’d ever get close to another person, find another job, or feel confident again.

We probably learned much later that failures could be opportunities for growth. As we sift through our hardest memories, we can settle back into the happy once again, knowing we have learned and grown from our pain. And as our “hour” of pain comes to an end, we can see the large and small pleasures of today and remember those of yesterday.

I will not let pain obscure my joys and pleasures.

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One Day At A Time

GROWING OLDER
“I think, therefore I am.”
Rene Descartes

Before beginning my recovery process with our online groups, I used to look in the mirror and want to cry. I’m not a young, lovely creature anymore. I’m showing my age. Inside I’m still a young girl, but now I have a grandma’s face.

The Twelve Steps to recovery have opened up a whole new world to me ~ and it is a world that is ageless. Its principles are timeless: honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, love, forgiveness, self-discipline, perseverance, spiritual awareness and service. Maturing without benefit of these principles would be choosing to simply get old.

Through my program of recovery, I have been inspired to keep my body strong and well — the way my Higher Power made it. I am encouraged to stay as attractive as possible for as long as possible, out of concern for myself and for others. By the time I reached the 9th Step, the worry lines in my face began to soften … now they look like smile lines. It seems that participating in our program of recovery has reversed my age.

One day at a time…
I will grow older, but also much wiser.
~ SAG

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We have shown how we get out from under. You say, ‘Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring, and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?’
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. If is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you. – Pg. 152 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is now time to forgive ourselves for the trials of our addiction and it is time to forgive others who let us down. We are not well yet, but have made the first giant steps: admittance of our disease and forgiveness for not being well yesterday.

Grant me the humbleness to work for and accept my marker tokens knowing I could not do it alone. Grant me the pride to realize that without me it could not be done at all.

Spirit Calls

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

I am in touch with spirit within and without

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When making amends, a subtle shift occurs in our thinking. We go from thinking we were a mistake to acknowledging we made a mistake.

I may make mistakes but my Higher Power doesn’t and my Higher Power made me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You can’t run from God, so let God run you.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am open to everyone who is on my path, whether I know them or not. Somewhere there will be someone who needs my help and I want to be there for them. My Higher Power will tell me what needs to be done.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Poor me, poor me…pour me a drink. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 21

Today
But today is always here. Life is daily; today is all we have;
and anybody can go one day without drinking.
First, we try living in the now just in order to stay sober — and it works.
Once the idea has become a part of our thinking, we find that living life in 24-hour segments
is an effective and satisfying way to handle many other matters as well.
– Living Sober, p. 7

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

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S I T = Stay In Today.

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

Defects
“What we must recognize now is that
we exult in some of our defects.
We really love them.
Who, for example, doesn’t like to feel
just a little superior to the next fellow,
or even quite a lot superior?
Isn’t it true that we like to let greed masquerade as ambition?
To think of liking lust seems impossible.
But how many men and women speak love with their lips,
and believe what they say,
so they can hide lust in a dark corner of their minds?
And even while staying within conventional bounds,
many people have to admit
that their imaginary sex excursions are apt to be
all dressed up as dreams of romance.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 66-7

Thought to Consider . . .
If I want God to remove my character defects,
I’ll have to stop doing them.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B A T H = Behavior, Attitude, Thinking, and Habits

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

Control the Situation
From: “Bill’s Story”
Liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity. “Bathtub” gin, two bottles a day, and often three, got to be routine. Sometimes a small deal would net a few hundred dollars, and I would pay my bills at the bars and delicatessens. This went on endlessly, and I began to waken very early in the morning shaking violently. A tumbler full of gin followed by half a dozen bottles of beer would be required if I were to eat any breakfast. Nevertheless, I still thought I could control the situation, and there were periods of sobriety which renewed my wife’s hope.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 5

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

“By the fall of 1937 we could count what looked like forty recovered members. One of us had been sober three years, another two and a half, and a fair number had a year or more behind them. As all of us had been hopeless cases, this amount of time elapsed began to be significant. The realization that we ‘had found something’ began to take hold of us. No longer were we a dubious experiment. Alcoholics could stay sober.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., October 1945
“The Book Is Born”
The Language of the Heart

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

“When ready, we say something like this: ‘My Creator, I am now
willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you
now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in
the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as
I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.’ We have then
completed Step Seven.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 76~

“I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that
will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental
blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said
that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a
crushing blow.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 42~

“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, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

“We relax and take it easy.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 86 (Into Action)

“His sponsor probably says, ‘Take it easy.'”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 26 (Step Two)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary as this process is. We cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When there is doubt about our logic, we wait upon God and listen for the voice of intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may well gain sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic. ‘If, after an exercise of these two disciplines, we are still uncertain, then we should ask for further guidance and, when possible, defer important decisions for a time. By then, with more knowledge of our situation, logic and intuition may well agree upon a right course. ‘But if the decision must be now, let us not evade it through fear. Right or wrong, we can always profit from the experience.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for the ability to laugh and have fun, to take it easy today, and to not take myself so seriously.