Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 8th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 8th

Daily Reflections

AN EVER-GROWING FREEDOM, p.198

The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude
which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from
ourselves toward others and toward God.
12 & 12, p.76

When I finally asked God to remove those things blocking me
from Him and the sunlight of the Spirit, I embarked on a journey
more glorious than I ever imagined. I experienced freedom from
those characteristics that had me wrapped up in myself. Because
of this humbling Step, I feel clean. I am especially aware of this
Step because I’m now able to be useful to God and to my fellows. I
know that He has granted me strength to do His bidding and has
prepared me for anyone, and anything, that comes my way today. I
am truly in His hands, and I give thanks for the joy that I can be useful
today.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in Alcoholics Anonymous do not enter into theological
discussions, but in carrying our message we attempt to explain the
simple “how” of the spiritual life. How faith in a Higher Power can
help you to overcome loneliness, fear, and anxiety. How it can
help you get along with other people. How it can make it possible
for you to rise above pain, sorrow, and despondency. How it can
help you to overcome your desires for the things that destroy. Have
I reached a simple, effective faith?

Meditation For The Day

Expect miracles of change in people’s lives. Do not be held back
by unbelief. People can be changed and they are often ready and
waiting to be changed. Never believe that human nature cannot be
changed. We see changed people everyday. Do you have the faith to
make those changes possible? Modern miracles happen every day
in the lives of people. All miracles are in the realm of personalities.
Human nature can be changed and is always being changed. But we must
have enough faith so that we can be channels for God’s strength into
the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have the faith to expect miracles. I pray that I
may be used by God to help change the lives of others.

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As Bill Sees It

Experimenters, p. 189

We agnostics liked A.A. all right, and were quick to say that it had done miracles. But we
recoiled from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist who refused to
perform a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong.

When we finally did experiment, and unexpected results followed, we felt different; in
fact, we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer. And that, we
found, can happen to anybody who tries. It has been well said that “Almost the only
scoffers at prayer are those who never tried enough.”

12 & 12, p. 97

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Walk In Dry Places

God’s will for us.
Spiritual Guidance.
“I was afraid God would want me to do something unpleasant, like go off to become a monk,” a young man said at a 12 Step meeting. “That’s why I had a hard time seeking God’s will for me.”   This sort of comment is heard now and then at meetings. It reveals a belief that God is a harsh taskmaster who delights in imposing difficult conditions on us.
The truth is that God’s purpose is to help us be more of what we ought to be, which is always something better than what we’re experiencing now. Few people are ever called to be monks, but those who do are pleased with their choice and devote themselves to it.
We must always be interested in finding God’s direction in our lives. It will turn out to be something far better than anything we could have planned.
I need not fear God’s direction in my life. It’s actually what I need in order to reach my true place.

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Keep It Simple

Pain can’t be avoided. It’s as natural as joy.  – Unknown
We got into a lot of trouble trying to avoid pain. We used alcohol and other drugs to avoid pain. We didn’t want to accept pain as a fact of life.
We can’t avoid pain, but now we have the program. The program teaches us how to talk about our pain. The program teaches how to turn over our pain to our Higher Power.
We don’t have to be alone when we face pain. We have friends to go to. Before, when we hurt, we ran to alcohol or other drugs.
Now, when we hurt, we run to the comfort of our sponsor and our program friends.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me accept pain as part of life.  Help me remember that You are always there to help me with my pain. I’m not alone.
Today’s Action:  Today, I’ll list three painful events in my life. I’ll talk with a friend about them.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting.  –Ellen Glasgow
How often we turn minor challenges into monumental barriers by giving them undue attention, forgetting that within any problem lies its solution! However, the center of our focus must be off the problem’s tangle if we are to find the solution’s thread. The best remedy for this dilemma is the Serenity Prayer.
We cannot change our children, our husbands or partners, not even the best friends who we know love us. But with God’s help we can change the attitude that has us blocked at this time. A changed attitude, easing up on ourselves, lessening our expectations of others, will open the door to the kind of relationships we seek, the smooth flowing days we long for.
We need not take life so seriously. In fact, we shouldn’t take it so seriously. We can measure our emotional health by how heartily we laugh with others and at ourselves. The 24 hours stretching before us at this time promises many choices in attitude. We can worry, be mad, depressed, or frustrated, or we can trust our higher power to see us through whatever the situation. So, we can relax. It is our decision, the one decision over which we are not powerless.
I will be in control of my attitude today. I can have the kind of day I long for.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

In our personal stories you will find a wide variation in the way each teller approaches and conceives of the Power which is greater than himself. Whether we agree with a particular approach or conception seems to make little difference. Experience has taught us that these are matters about which, for our purpose, we need not be worried. They are questions for each individual to settle for himself.

p. 50

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
For years I was sure the worst thing that could happen to a nice guy like me would be that I would turn out to be an alcoholic.  Today I find it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.  This proves I don’t know what’s good for me.  And if I don’t know what’s good for me, then I don’t know what’s good or bad for you or for anyone.  So I’m better off if I don’t give advice, don’t figure I know what’s best, and just accept life on life’s terms, as it is today–especially my own life, as it actually is.  Before A.A. I judged myself by my intentions, while the world was judging me by my actions.

pp. 417-418

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

After three years of trial and error in selecting the most workable tenets upon which the Society could be based, and after a large amount of failure in getting alcoholics to recover, three successful groups emerged–the first at Akron, the second at New York, and the third at Cleveland. Even then it was hard to find twoscore of sure recoveries in all three groups.

pp. 16-17

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

Do what you can, for who you can, with what you have, and where you
are.
–Anonymous

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you
can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people
you can, as long as ever you can.
–John Wesley

Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at
things.”
–Henry Miller

Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required
to buy one necessity of the soul.
–Henry David Thoreau

“No one has ever done anything too bad to be forgiven.”
–Ruth Sheppard

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ART

“There is no must in art because
it is free.”
–Vasily Kandinsky

Now I understand why the religious people of the past persecuted
the artist. Now I understand why so many artists moved away
from religion and grew beyond it. The artist is always searching
for that which is different, that which cannot be contained or
codified; that which is free: Spirituality. As a drinking alcoholic I
found it necessary to control my life; control my thoughts and
behavior; control each and every situation — and it was depressingly
exhausting. Today sobriety enables me to risk that which is new and
different. Sobriety allows me to experiment and take risks in God’s
world. Sobriety is being free. I am discovering more of me in what
yesterday’s artists wrote and produced. The “musts” of yesterday
have been replaced by the shoulds and needs today. I am free to
listen and consider the person because he is a person and not
simply because of his credentials.

Supreme Artist, let me hear You in the whisperings of Your creatures.

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Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26

You are from God, little children, and have overcome; because
greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you
would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and
have seen him.”
John 14:5-7


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Daily Inspiration

Keep your mind open to the possibility that things can turn out even better than expected. Lord, I trust in You and graciously accept all blessings that You send to me.

God gives us power, love and self-discipline, not fear and timidness. Lord, I will not be afraid to proclaim that You are my God. All will see it in my actions.

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NA Just For Today

The “G” Word

“It is important for you to know that you will hear God mentioned at NA meetings. What we are referring to is a Power greater than ourselves that makes possible what seems impossible.”
IP No.22, “Welcome to NA”

Most of us come to Narcotics Anonymous with a variety of preconceptions about what the word “God” means, many of them negative. Yet the “G” word is used very regularly in NA, if not constantly. It occurs 92 times in the first 103 pages of our Basic Text, and appears prominently in a third of our Twelve Steps. Rather than sidestep the sensitivity many of us feel toward the word, let’s address it head on.

It’s true that Narcotics Anonymous is a spiritual program. Our Twelve Steps offer a way to find freedom from addiction through the help of a spiritual Power greater than we are. The program, however; doesn’t tell us anything about what we have to think about that Power. In fact, over and over again, in our literature and our steps and our meetings, we hear it said, “the God of our understanding” – whatever that understanding may be.

We use the word “God” because it’s used in our Basic Text and because it communicates most effectively to most people a basic understanding of the Power underlying our recovery. The word, we use for the sake of convenience. The Power behind the word, however, we use for more than convenience. We use that Power to maintain our freedom from addiction and to ensure our ongoing recovery.

Just for today: Whether I believe in “God” or not, I will use the Power that keeps me clean and free.

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You are reading from the book  Today’s Gift.
Hurry, hurry has no blessing.  –Swahili Proverb
In a busy family there is a lot of activity. We sometimes feel imprisoned by all the work, school, extracurricular activities, housework, meetings, and special events. In the press to do it all, we may lose our peace because of the hurry. We rush to eat; we rush to work; we rush to get there on time. Much of this cannot be helped. But hurry has no blessing, as the proverb goes. We can create quick tempers and a lot of frustration if we try to hurry too much.
When we allow enough time to slow things down, we give ourselves a chance to enjoy what we’re doing, and to develop along spiritual lines. Inner peace depends on our keeping a balance in all the things we do. Only then can we feel the joy that comes from having enough time to do things quietly and smoothly, and value the inner peace that comes when we do not hurry.
How can I take my time today and enjoy myself?

You are reading from the book  Touchstones.
He was shut out from all family affairs. No one told him anything. The children, alone with their mother, told her all about the day’s happenings, everything…. But as soon as the father came in, everything stopped.  –D. H. Lawrence
Many of us men are on the outer edge of our family circles. The closeness between our children and our wives often seems more comfortable, more intimate than our relationships with them. Perhaps it’s similar to the closeness we had with our mother while our father was outside. It is painful to us and probably not entirely our own fault. We were taught that our main job was outside the home – supporting our family by earning a living. But it is up to us to change the situation.
Many of us learned from our own father that grown men stay aloof from emotional relationships, but this has hurt our relationships and alienated us from the people we most care for. Learning to know our feelings and how to express them helps us move into the family circle of intimacy.
Today, I will let go of my aloofness with my family so they can know me better.

You are reading from the book  Each Day a New Beginning.
Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting.  –Ellen Glasgow
How often we turn minor challenges into monumental barriers by giving them undue attention, forgetting that within any problem lies its solution! However, the center of our focus must be off the problem’s tangle if we are to find the solution’s thread. The best remedy for this dilemma is the Serenity Prayer.
We cannot change our children, our husbands or partners, not even the best friends who we know love us. But with God’s help we can change the attitude that has us blocked at this time. A changed attitude, easing up on ourselves, lessening our expectations of others, will open the door to the kind of relationships we seek, the smooth flowing days we long for.
We need not take life so seriously. In fact, we shouldn’t take it so seriously. We can measure our emotional health by how heartily we laugh with others and at ourselves. The 24 hours stretching before us at this time promises many choices in attitude. We can worry, be mad, depressed, or frustrated, or we can trust our higher power to see us through whatever the situation. So, we can relax. It is our decision, the one decision over which we are not powerless.
I will be in control of my attitude today. I can have the kind of day I long for.

You are reading from the book  The Language of Letting Go.
Going with the Flow
Go with the flow.
Let go of fear and your need to control. Relinquish anxiety. Let it slip away, as you dive into the river of the present moment, the river of your life, your place in the universe.
Stop trying to force the direction. Try not to swim against the current, unless it is necessary for your survival. If you’ve been clinging to a branch at the riverside, let go.
Let yourself move forward. Let yourself be moved forward.
Avoid the rapids when possible. If you can’t, stay relaxed. Staying relaxed can take your safely through fierce currents. If you go under for a moment, allow yourself to surface naturally. You will.
Appreciate the beauty of the scenery, as it is. See things with freshness, with newness. You shall never pass by today’s scenery again!
Don’t think too hard about things. The flow is meant to be experienced. Within it, care for yourself. You are part of the flow, an important part. Work with the flow. Work within the flow. Thrashing about isn’t necessary. Let the flow help you care for yourself. Let it help you set boundaries, make decisions, and get you where you need to be when it is time. You can trust the flow, and your part in it.
Today, I will go with the flow.

Today I’m looking within to discover what I am holding on to from the past. Today I am willing to let go of all old anger and resentments that keep me stuck in tension and pain.  –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Sometimes the Road Gets Rough

Don’t be dismayed when you come to a pothole, a detour, a stretch of rough and rocky road. Don’t be surprised. Slow down a little. Be patient. It’s not the whole journey. It’s not the way it’ll always be. But it is part of your journey,too, part of your journey to your heart and soul. Even when we’re living with joy and freedom, we continue to learn, grow, feel, experience. And the road can still get rough.

Happiness doesn’t mean feeling gleeful all the time. Happiness doesn’t mean the road we’re traveling is always smooth. Happiness means feeling all we need to feel. And accepting each part of the journey, even the changes of course and direction.

Feel all your feelings. Feel your fear and frustration about slowing down, then settle in for the ride. You may not be going as fast as you’d like, but the journey hasn’t stopped. You’re not doing anything wrong. You are going slower, but you’re still moving forward.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Dump it

Sometimes, we don’t have one clear feeling to express. We have a bunch of garbage we’ve collected, and we just need to dump.

We may be frustrated, angry, afraid, and sick to death of something– all in one ugly bunch. We could be enraged, hurt, overwhelmed, and feeling somewhat controlling and vengeful,too. Our emotional stuff has piled up to an unmanageable degree.

We can go to our journal and write this whole mess of feelings out, as ugly as it looks and as awkward and ungrateful as it feels to put it into words. We can call up a friend, someone we trust, and just spill all this out over the phone. Or we can stomp around our living room in the privacy of our own home and just dump all this stuff out into the air. We can go for a drive in our car, roll the window down, and dump everything out as we drive through the wilderness.

The important idea here is to dump our stuff when it piles up.

You don’t always have to be that healthy and in control of what you feel. Sometimes, dumping all your stuff is the way to clean things out.

God, help me understand that sometimes the only thing preventing me from moving forward in my life is hanging on to all the stuff that I really need to dump.

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Food for Thought

Stronger or Weaker?

Every time I say no to the craving for just one small, extra bite, I become stronger. Every time I give in, I weaken myself and make it harder to say no the next time.

Abstinence from compulsive overeating is made up of many small decisions. We gradually acquire the knowledge of what we can handle and what we should avoid. This knowledge applies to situations and attitudes as well as food. As we work our program and make the right decisions, we gain strength.

Since none of us is perfect, we do not need to become discouraged when we make mistakes. We are learning how to live, and our failures teach us more than our successes. Growth is slow, but if we keep coming back to OA and the program, we will see results beyond our wildest expectations. OA gives us the strength to become new people.

For growing stronger, we thank You.

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Do unto Others
The Golden Rule by Madisyn Taylor

When we honor others by following the golden rule, we honor ourselves too.

All over the world, there exists a simple precept that, when followed, has the power to end conflict and banish strife. It is the Golden Rule, a key concept in many philosophies and spiritualities that admonishes us to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” Its meaning is clear: treat others only in ways that you would want to be treated. However, the golden rule is not always easy to follow. It can be a challenge to honor others as we wish to be honored. Yet, when we do so, we bestow a gift of loving kindness on our fellow human beings. And, in honoring others, we honor ourselves.

It is as uncomplicated a tenet as one could wish for. When we live by it, harming another person becomes nearly impossible. The Golden Rule is rooted in pure empathy and does not compel us to perform any specific act. Rather, it gently guides us to never let our actions toward others be out of harmony with our own desires. The Golden Rule asks us to be aware of the effect our words and actions may have on another person and to imagine ourselves in their place. It calls on us to ask ourselves how we would feel if what we were about to do were directed toward us. And yet this rule invites us to do more than not harm others. It suggests that we look for opportunities to behave toward others in the same ways that we would want others to act toward us. Showing compassion, being considerate of others, caring for the less fortunate, and giving generously are what can result when you follow the Golden Rule.

Adhering to the Golden Rule whenever possible can have a positive effect on the world around you because kindness begets kindness. In doing so, you generate a flow of positive energy that enfolds everyone you encounter in peace, goodwill, and harmony. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

When we speak with a friend in The Program, we shouldn’t hesitate to remind him or her of our need for privacy. Intimate communication is normally so free and easy among us that even a friend or sponsor may sometimes forget when we expect him to remain silent. Such “privileged communications” have important advantages. For one thing, we find in them the perfect opportunity to be as honest as we know how to be. For another, we don’t have to worry about the possibility of injury to other people, nor the fear of ridicule or condemnation. At the same time, we have the best possible chance to spot self-deception. Am I trustworthy to those who trust me.

Today I Pray

I pray for God’s assistance in making me a trusted confidant. I need to be a person others will be willing to share with. I need to be an open receiver, not just a transmitter. Today I pray for a large portion of tried-and-sureness, so that I may be a better and more receptive friend to those who choose to confide in me.

Today I Will Remember

Be a receiver.

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One More Day

They do me wrong who say I come no more, / Fear every day I stand outside your door.
– Walter Malone

Opportunity doesn’t just knock once, it’s there all the time. Perhaps we just don’t see it because we’re frightened to try new things. Or we may be complacent. One of the ways we know we are really making capable, mature decisions is when we become willing to open the door to opportunity again.

Occasionally, when a person retires, he or she may expect life to become automatically wonderful — all the time in the world and nothing in particular to do. It may take a little time for us to adjust. Opportunity is always there, waiting. We can learn to open our own doors.

I can renew my energies by becoming eager to burst forward, to pursue leisure-time efforts, to work with others.

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One Day At A Time

~ ACTION ~
“He does not believe who does not live his belief.”  Thomas Fuller

It’s an old axiom that actions speak louder than words. Our Twelve Step program is one of action, no matter how much we want to avoid working the Steps. The Big Book states that IF you want what we have, you will do what we did. That also means the opposite … if you don’t want what we have, don’t do it. The insanity of this disease is expecting a different result by continually doing the same old thing. Sanity is giving up what didn’t work and daring to try something new.

One day at a time …
I am going to trust that obedience to the program will, in time, restore me to sanity.
~ Jeremiah ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

3. – Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. – Pg. 563 – 4th. Edition – The Twelve Traditions ( The Long Form )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The slogans may sometimes annoy us in their simplicity. But repetition is an important learning tool. Think of the repetition that alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and depressants bring. Now you can understand the necessity of slogans to counteract the repetition of addiction.

As I go into this next hour of a clean and sober day, may I welcome the repetitions of recovery.

Having Fun

Today, I will have fun. What’s the point of all the work I do in recovery if my life doesn’t become lighter and happier? Even though I am working through deep issues, there is no reason why I can’t have some enjoyment in the process. Fun is when I relax and let things happen – when I can laugh at myself and other people – when I don’t take everything in life so seriously. It is when I can enjoy a seemingly meaningless conversation just for its own sake. Fun is when it doesn’t have to be all my way – when the heavy load is removed, when my meter is turned off and I just goof around in the moment. Fun is something I don’t have enough of for a number of silly reasons. Today I see that there is no reason not to enjoy myself.

I can let go and have fun.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

It doesn’t pay to argue with ‘slippers’ about the proper way of getting clean and sober. Why should people who are still drinking and drugging tell those who are sober why it can’t be done! We learn not to get in a pissing contest with a skunk. (or should we say drunk!)

The only thing I need to tell a drunk is how I got sober. I can’t tell him or her how they will get sober, because I don’t know.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Remember what you have left, not what you have lost.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I’m looking within to discover what I am holding on to from the past. Today I am willing to let go of all old anger and resentments that keep me stuck in tension and pain.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

To an alcoholic, changing drinks is like changing cabins on the Titanic. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 8

Humility
On his desk, Dr. Bob had a plaque defining humility:
“Perpetual quietness of heart.
It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore;
to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised,
it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door
and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness,
when all around and about is seeming trouble.”
– Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, p. 222

Thought to Ponder . . .
Humility comes before honor.

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

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

Resentment
“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment
leads only to futility and unhappiness.
To the precise extent that we permit these,
do we squander the hours
that might have been worth while.
But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance
and growth of a spiritual experience,
this business of resentment is infinitely grave.
We found that it is fatal.
For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off
from the sunlight of the Spirit.
The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again.
And with us, to drink is to die.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66

Thought to Consider . . .
We are prisoners of our own resentments.
Forgiveness unlocks the door and sets us free.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R = Frustration, Ego, Anxiety, Resentment

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

Humility at Work
Tradition Twelve: “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
“As this tide offering top public approval swept in, we realized that it could do us incalculable good or great harm.
Everything would depend upon how it was channeled. We simply couldn’t afford to take the chance of letting self-
appointed members present themselves as messiahs representing A.A. before the whole public. The promoter instinct
in us might be our undoing. If even one publicly got drunk, or was lured into using A.A.’s name for his own purposes,
the damage might be irreparable. At this altitude (press, radio, films, and television), anonymity – 100 percent
anonymity – was the only possible answer. Here, principles would have to come before personalities, without
exception. “These experiences taught us that anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality
which today keynotes A.A. life everywhere.”
1981, AAWS, Inc., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 187

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

“I’m becoming so secure in AA, I’ve even discarded the cute, funny, phony me my civilian friends used to know. I don’t
have to dance with a rose in my teeth; I can just dance. And I don’t have to be the only girl at the picnic who can swing
Tarzan-style from a rope into the river. I can swim calmly, like the forty-year-old mother of four I am.”
Houston, Texas, June 1976
“Growth,”
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~

“Let families realize, as they start their journey, that all will not
be fair weather. Each in his turn may be footsore and may straggle.
There will be alluring shortcuts and by-paths down which they may
wander and lose their way.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 122~

“But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 17 (There is a Solution)

“With clear understanding and right, grown-up attitudes, very happy results do follow.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 119 (Step Twelve)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We agnostics liked A.A. all right, and were quick to say that it had done miracles. But we recoiled from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist who refused to perform a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong.
When we finally did experiment, and unexpected results followed, we felt different; in fact, we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer. And that, we have found, can happen to anybody who tries. It has been well said that ‘Almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for the desire to grow and understand myself and others.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 7th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 7th

Daily Reflections

. . . AND LETTING GO OF IT

. . . primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed
or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis
of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual
disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had
unless we could find a means of reducing these demands. The
difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to
anyone.
12 & 12, p.76

Peace is possible for me only when I let go of expectations. When
I’m 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 the reality of my dependence on God, for then I find
peace, gratitude and spiritual security.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We had become hopelessly sick people; spiritually, emotionally,
and physically. The power that controlled us was greater than
ourselves–it was John Barleycorn. Many drinkers have said: “I
hadn’t gone that far; I hadn’t lost my job on account of drink; I
still had my family; I managed to keep out of jail. True, I took too
much sometimes and I guess I managed to make quite an a$$ of
myself when I did, but I still thought I could control my drinking. I
didn’t really believe that I was an alcoholic.” If I was one of these,
have I fully changed my mind?

Meditation For The Day

Painful as the present time may be; you will one day see the reason
for it. You will see that it was not only testing, but also a
preparation for the life-work which you are to do. Have faith that
your prayers and aspirations will someday be answered.
Answered in a way that perhaps seems painful to you but is the only
right way. Selfishness and pride often make us want things that
are not good for us. They need to be burned out of our natures.
We must be rid of the blocks which are holding us back, before we
can expect our prayers to be answered.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be willing to go through a time of testing. I pray that
I may trust God for the outcome.

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

As Bill Sees It

To Survive Trials, p. 188

In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes wholly to shield the
sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he
may succeed for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We
have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.
Release from alcohol, and not flight from it, is our answer.

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

“Faith without works is dead.” How appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic
fails to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he
cannot survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he does not work, he will surely
drink again, and if he drinks, he will surely die. Then faith will be dead indeed.

Alcoholics Anonymous
1. p. 101
2. pp. 14-15


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

Walk In Dry Places

What should I have said or done?
Second thoughts
After an intense discussion, we might rehash what we said and wish we’d said something else.  Perhaps some brilliant remark occurs to us long after the conversation has ended.
We can say only what comes to us at the time of the discussion.  Our best preparation for any such discussion.... however important…. is to place the matter in God’s hands, seeking the highest good for everyone involved.
It may be that the brilliant thoughts coming to us later would have actually been inappropriate. After all, important discussions also involve exchanges of strong feelings that influence the meeting. If our feelings are in line with the high principles of the program, the discussion should go well. In such cases, we will probably say what we’re supposed to say.
I’ll do my best today without trying to second-guess every word or action. 


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

Keep It Simple

Be brave enough to accept the help of others
Often is the past, we acted like we didn’t need anyone. It takes courage to let others help us.
As we get better, our courage grows. We invite people into our lives. We help others, and we let others help us.
We will learn to let others help us if we work our program. Why? Because we need others to stay sober. When we have a problem, we talk about it in our group. When we need a shoulder to cry on, we call a friend or our sponsor. Over time, our relationships become one of the biggest rewards of recovery.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me see my need for others as a test—a test to see if I’ll be brave enough and wise enough to ask for help when I need it.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list four times in my life when I needed help but didn’t ask for it. I’ll tell a friend about how these times would have been different if I had asked for help.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

. . . that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.  –Doris Lessing
As we are changed by our experiences, that which we know also changes. Our experiences foster growth and enlightenment, and all awarenesses give way to new understandings. We are forever students of life blessed with particular lessons designed only for us. There is joy in knowing that learning has no end and that each day offers us a chance to move closer to becoming the persons we are meant to be.
To understand something more deeply requires that we be open to the ideas of others, willing to part with our present opinions. The program offers us many opportunities to trade in the understandings we’ve outgrown. Throughout our recovery we have discovered new interpretations of old ideas. And we will continue to expand our understanding.
Every situation, every person, every feeling, every idea has a slightly different hue each time we encounter it. The wonder of this is that life is forever enriched, forever fresh.
Each moment offers me a chance to know better who I am and to understand more fully the real contribution that is mine to make in this life. I will let the anticipation of my changing ideas excite me.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Instead, we looked at the human defects of these people, and sometimes used their shortcomings as a basis of wholesale condemnation. We talked of intolerance, while we were intolerant ourselves. We missed the reality and the beauty of the forest because we were diverted by the ugliness of some its trees. We never gave the spiritual side of life a fair hearing.

p. 50

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”  He forgot to mention that I was the chief critic.  I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation.  And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did.  A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here.  When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God’s handiwork.  I am saying I know better than God.

p. 417

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

The basic principles of A.A., as they are known today, were borrowed mainly from the fields of religion and medicine, though some ideas upon which success finally depended were the result of noting the behavior and needs of the Fellowship itself.

p. 16

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

The way in which we think of ourselves has everything to do with how
our world sees us.
–Arlene Raven

Don’t believe everything you think.
–unknown

“Put love first. Entertain thoughts that give life. And when a thought
or resentment, or hurt, or fear comes your way, have another thought
that is more powerful — a thought that is love.”
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Keep your face to the sunshine of His love and the shadows will fall
behind you.”
–unknown

Take a walk with God. He will meet you at the Steps.
–unknown

It’s easier to tear a hole than to mend one.
–Russian Proverb

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
–unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

RELIGION

“Doubt isn’t the opposite of
faith; it is an element of faith.”
–Paul Tillich

That part of me that does not know is vibrant in spirituality.
Problems are part of what it is to be human and an element of
doubt is essential. With the doubt comes the growth. However, as
a younger man I was told that it was a sin to doubt; God demanded a
steadfast faith and doubt could have no part of faith! I remember
going to confession and feeling guilty and ashamed about my doubts —
but I did doubt and doubt has always played a part in my life. In some
ways I think that my religious doubts have been the most creative part
of me — certainly they have enabled me to grow and build a bridge of
understanding with others.

Master, hear, through the doubts, my love of You.

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

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret it only causes harm.
Psalm 37:7-8

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under
the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge
and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.
Psalm 81:1-2

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.
James 4:10

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your
labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors.
Proverbs 8:34


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

Daily Inspiration

Talking about how busy you are only adds stress to the stress you already feel. Lord, help me complete the tasks of my day and avoid taking on more than I can handle.

Rejoice and be happy for others when they are blessed. Lord, bless me with the ability to be free of envy so that I can truly share the joy of my neighbors.

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

NA Just For Today

God In Each Other

“One aspect of our spiritual awakening comes through the new understanding of our Higher Power that we develop by sharing another addict’s recovery.”
Basic Text, p.51

We’ve heard it said that we often see God most clearly in one another. We see the truth of this when we practice our Twelfth Step. When we carry the recovery message to another addict, we sense the presence of a Power greater than ourselves. And as we watch the message take hold, we realize something else.

It’s the message that brings recovery, not the messenger. A Higher Power, not our own power, is the source of the change that begins when we carry the message to a still-suffering addict. As the message does its work, transforming the life of another addict, we see a Higher Power in action. We watch as acceptance and hope replace denial and despair. Before our very eyes, the first traces of honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness begin to appear. Something’s happening inside this person, something bigger and more powerful than either of us. We’re watching the God we’ve come to understand at work in someone’s life. We see the Higher Power in them. And we know with greater certainty than ever that this Higher Power is in us, too, as the force driving our recovery.

Just for today: As I carry the message of recovery to other addicts, I will try to pay attention to the Power behind the message. Today, as I watch other addicts recover, I will try to recognize the God in them so I can better recognize the God in myself.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I found words to every thought I ever had, but one. . . . –Emily Dickinson
What kinds of thoughts can’t be put into words? We feel lost in space, mind-boggled by how small and big the stars are. We are sure and unsure about death, its blank and steady stare. Or we have done something that makes us feel both good and bad. Sometimes we hate someone we love, but we aren’t sure what hate is, or love. We are scared of crowds and afraid of being abandoned, always alone. Sometimes we just want to laugh and cry, and when words fail we expect someone to know what our silences mean.
What are some ways I try to express my feelings without using words?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Those who are mentally and emotionally healthy are those who have learned when to say yes, when to say no, and when to say whoopee! –Willard S. Krabill
We men have fallen into many difficulties because of poorly defined personal boundaries. Some of us never learned to say no to our mothers and felt invaded or ruled by them. Or we never truly said no to our fathers – never went through a teenage rebellion to establish ourselves as adults. Others have gotten stuck saying no and have never learned to yield and say yes.
Boundary problems have been part of the difficulty in many areas of our lives. We’ve told ourselves we have no right to our yes or no, or we’ve said we’re strong enough to sacrifice for someone else, or we’ve welcomed the escape from ourselves in discarding our choice. Not saying no when we needed to or not saying yes when we wanted to has led many of us into doctors’ offices, courts, jails, lost jobs, divorces, and bad marriages. Now the inner voice of our Higher Power is showing us our limits and encouraging us to stand up for them.
I am learning to know myself by defining my boundaries and choosing when and when not to cross them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
. . . that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way. –Doris Lessing
As we are changed by our experiences, that which we know also changes. Our experiences foster growth and enlightenment, and all awarenesses give way to new understandings. We are forever students of life blessed with particular lessons designed only for us. There is joy in knowing that learning has no end and that each day offers us a chance to move closer to becoming the persons we are meant to be.
To understand something more deeply requires that we be open to the ideas of others, willing to part with our present opinions. The program offers us many opportunities to trade in the understandings we’ve outgrown. Throughout our recovery we have discovered new interpretations of old ideas. And we will continue to expand our understanding.
Every situation, every person, every feeling, every idea has a slightly different hue each time we encounter it. The wonder of this is that life is forever enriched, forever fresh.
Each moment offers me a chance to know better who I am and to understand more fully the real contribution that is mine to make in this life. I will let the anticipation of my changing ideas excite me.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Getting It All Out
Let yourself have a good gripe session. From: ” Woman, Sex, and Addiction” — Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.
Get it out. Go ahead. Get it all out. Once we begin recovery, we may feel like it’s not okay to gripe and complain. We may tell ourselves that if we were really working a good program, we wouldn’t need to complain.
What does that mean? We won’t have feelings? We won’t feel overwhelmed? We won’t need to blow off steam or work through some not so pleasant, not so perfect, and not so pretty parts of life?
We can let ourselves get our feelings out, take risks, and be vulnerable with others. We don’t have to be all put together, all the time. That sounds more like codependency than recovery.
Getting it all out doesn’t mean we need to be victims. It doesn’t mean we need to revel in our misery, finding status in our martyrdom. It doesn’t mean we won’t go on to set boundaries. It doesn’t mean we won’t take care of ourselves.
Sometimes, getting it all out is an essential part of taking care of ourselves. We reach a point of surrender so we can move forward.
Self-disclosure does not mean only quietly reporting our feelings. It means we occasionally take the risk to share our human side-the side with fears, sadness, hurt, rage, unreasonable anger, weariness, or lack of faith.
We can let our humanity show. In the process, we give others permission to be human too. “Together” people have their not so together moments. Sometimes, falling apart – getting it all out – is how we get put back together.
Today, I will let it all out if I need a release.

Today I let go totally and give God the space to do His work. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Recognize the Signs

Sometimes, the universe gives us warnings.

I was driving down a local highway in New Mexico, a safe distance behind the car in front of me. Suddenly, the driver slammed on his brakes to avoid a huge puddle, a flood of water in front of him. I stopped short, but the car behind me was following too closely and rammed into the rear of my Jeep.

I got out and inspected the damage. My car was fine. The woman who rammed me had dented her bumper. No one was harmed. I got back in my Jeep, thinking it was over. But as I drove off, I began to wonder. Something about the incident still nagged at me.

Several weeks later, I was driving down a fast-moving two-lane highway. Behind me was a large truck loaded with cars. In front of me were several cars. In front of the cars was a school bus. The traffic was moving at at least fifty-five miles an hour.

Suddenly, I saw the brake lights from the cars ahead. The school bus had stopped to let a child disembark. I pulled to a stop behind the car in front of me. Then I remembered the lesson from the accident a couple of weeks ago: sometimes I can stop safely, but the driver behind me can’t.

I looked out my rearview mirror. The truck loaded with cars was frantically trying to stop. I pulled my car off the road onto the shoulder, giving him an extra car length. He screeched to a stop, right behind the car ahead of me. Had I not noticed, not pulled out, we’d all have been piled up. And the children in the bus…

Sometimes accidents happen without warning, but sometimes the universe gives us a nudge, a little sign. We don’t have to become paranoid, we don’t have to think every event means something, but we can trust ourselves to recognize a sign when we see one.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

It will get better

Sometimes things need to feel worse before they get better. Feelings are one of those things.

When a feeling comes to the surface, it presents itself boldly. Usually the feelings being stirred up are ones we label unpleasant– fear, hurt, rage, guilt, shame or deep sorrow and grief. They will feel intense, for a while. Some feelings take a moment to come to the surface and clear. Other feelings take more time.

Feeling the emotion that intensely means it’s finally clearing out of your system. Even though it may feel like it, it’s not really getting worse. It’s healing, it’s getting better. You’re cleaning out that old wound. To do that, you have to reopen it, but just for a little while. But finally, after you do that, it will truly heal.

What do you need to do with feelings? Acknowledge them. Feel them. Give each one its due. They like to be honored that way. Once you identify and feel them, then they’ll go away. And each time you do this, the pond becomes clearer and cleaner, until finally the water is pure.

Notice how you react to yourself when a feeling comes up that needs attention and care. Do you spend as much time resisting the feeling as you actually do feeling the emotion? Do you expend more energy than necessary worrying that the feeling won’t leave, that you won’t be able to handle it, or that the feeling will take over your life? Consciously and deliberately relinquish your resistance to your emotional world. In March we learned to say whatever as part of speaking the language of letting go. Now practice saying whatever in love to your feelings.

God, give me the courage to face what I feel now, and what I felt before and didn’t have the resources to feel. Help me trust that this process will help me feel better than I did before.

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

Food for Thought

Life Is Opportunity

Each morning when we wake up, we thank our Higher Power for another day of abstaining. Each hour that is given to us is a chance to grow and learn and serve. We can believe that God has a plan for every day that he gives us and that He will reveal the plan step by step as we listen for His guidance.

If we are too intent on carrying out our personal ideas and projects, we may miss the directions that come from God. We need to remain open and flexible so that He may use us as He chooses.

Considering the time and tasks that we have as opportunities to serve saves us from self-centered worry and anxiety. We do not have to be compulsive about our work and activities. God knows our capabilities and will not give us more than we can handle. He is always ready to direct our efforts when we turn to Him.

Thank You for the opportunity to live and serve today.

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

A Self-Created State
Worry

Worry is an extension of fear and can also set you up for attracting that which you don’t want in your life.

We have all had the experience of worrying about something at some point in our lives. Some of us have a habitual tendency to worry, and all of us have known someone who is a chronic worrier. Worry is an extension of fear and can be a very draining experience. In order for worry to exist, we have to imagine that something bad might happen. What we are worrying about has not happened yet, however, so this bad thing is by definition a fantasy. Understood this way, worry is a self-created state of needless fear. Still, most of us worry.

One reason we worry is because we feel like we’re not in control. For example, you might worry about your loved ones driving home in bad weather. There is nothing you can do to guarantee their safe passage, but you worry until you find out they have reached their destination unharmed. In this instance, worry is an attempt to feel useful and in control. However, worrying does nothing to ensure a positive outcome and it has an unpleasant effect on your body, mind, and spirit. The good news is that there are ways to transform this kind of worry so that it has a healing effect. Just as worry uses the imagination, so does the antidote to worry. Next time you find that you are worrying, imagine the best result instead of anticipating the worst outcome. Visualize your loved ones’ path bathed in white light and clearly see in your mind’s eye their safe arrival. Imagine angels or guides watching over them as they make their way home. Generate peace and well-being instead of nervousness and unease within yourself.

Another reason we worry is that something that we know is pending but are avoiding is nagging us—an unpaid parking ticket, an upcoming test, an issue with a friend. In these cases, acknowledging that we are worried and taking action is the best solution. If you can confront the situation and own your power to change it, you’ll have no reason to worry. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

What wonderful things could happen in my life if I could get rid of my natural impulse to justify my actions. Is honesty so deeply repr4essed under layers of guilt that I can’t release it to understand my motives? Being honest with ourselves isn’t easy. It’s difficult to search out why I had this or that impulse and, more importantly, why I acted upon it. Nothing makes us feel so vulnerable as to give up the crutch of The Alibi, yet my willingness to be vulnerable will go a long way toward helping me grow in The Program. Am I becoming more aware that self-deception multiplies my problems?

Today I Pray

May God remove my urge to make excuses. Help me to face up to the realities that surface when I am honest with myself. Help me to know, as certainly as day follows sunrise, that my difficulties will be lessened if I can only trust His Will.

Today I Will Remember

I will be willing to do His Will.

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

One More Day

Smiles form the channels of a future tear.
– Lord Byron

We have often watched smiles turn to laughter and laughter back to tears. At a family reunion, we hear the joyous sounds of people chattering away, trying to catch up in five minutes for twenty lost years.

People who have Parkinson’s disease sometimes complain that their faces don’t match the emotions they want to express. The mask of the illness slows down normal movement of facial muscles. Even more tragic is the person who doesn’t feel emotion. No laughter and no tears.

We are fortunate to be able to express our emotions, to show contentment and unhappiness. So what if today’s laughter becomes tomorrow’s tears? We know we’ll laugh again — and cry again. Our past experiences give meaning to the present.

I will accept all my emotions as an affirmation of my life. Changing emotions are a part of normal living.

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

One Day At A Time

FEAR
“Few persons live up to the faith which they really have.
Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud
practiced upon the evolving mortal soul.”
The Urantia Book

“Unreasoned fear” was my main problem for most of my life. I lived with a myriad of fears which seemed to be too awesome and terrible to face. I love the fact that since finding this recovery program, I no longer have to live in fear. What wondrous freedom I found in the realization that unreasoned fear is “intellectual fraud!”

One slogan I recall about fear says: “Future Events Appear Real.” That is the first one that really helped me to realize that most of my fears were not based on what was real. By working the Steps of this program I have managed to stop attempting to live in a future filled with fear. When I focus on just being here now — living in this moment only — I don’t have to run from fear.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will stay in this moment. I will look at the people and things that are here right now and enjoy what my Higher Power has given me.
~ Steph

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When you have carefully explained to such people that he is a sick person, you will have created a new atmosphere. Barriers which have sprung up between you and your friends will disappear with the growth of sympathetic understanding. You will no longer be self-conscious or feel that you must apologize as though your husband were a weak character. He may be anything but that. Your new courage, good nature and lack of self-consciousness will do wonders for you socially. – Pg. 115 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is necessary in the beginning to be clean from dry drugs and dry from wet drugs, but it is not all we want to obtain. We want wholeness and we want growth. This comes from living each hour according to the principles we are learning.

My Spiritual Source demonstrates that clean and dry is not my only goal–but growth is.

Dreaming Dreams

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

I can stretch myself.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Deal with the small stuff or it will deal with you. Do not allow the small stuff to pile up on the camel’s back. Take each situation that bothers you and deal with that as one unit, not as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

When I feel it, I deal with it and then can heal from it.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Do your Third Step every morning and turn your will over to the care of the God of your understanding. At night, take a Tenth Step to see how God’s doing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I let go totally and give God the space to do His work.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

A man was walking on a beach after a storm. Thousands of starfish were stranded on the shore. He saw a boy throwing starfish back into the ocean and asked the boy why. The boy replied: ‘The tide’s going out, the starfish will die in the sun. The man said; ‘But there’s so many of them, what difference can it make? The boy threw another starfish and said : It’ll make a difference to that one.’ Anon.

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 7

“If”
Alcoholism respects no ifs. It does not go away, not for a week, for a day, or even for an hour,
leaving us nonalcoholic and able to drink again on some special occasion,
or for some extraordinary reason — not even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration,
or if a big sorrow hits us, or if it rains in Spain or the stars fall on Alabama.
Alcoholism is for us unconditional, with no dispensations available at any price.
– Living Sober, p. 63

Thought to Ponder . . .
Nothing is so bad that a drink won’t make worse.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Absolute Abstinence.

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

Ready?
“We shall need to make a brand new venture
into open-mindedness.
We shall need to raise our eyes toward perfection,
and be ready to walk in that direction.
It will seldom matter how haltingly we walk.
The only question will be
‘Are we ready?’ ”
Bill W.
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 68

Thought to Consider . . .
Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Facing All In Trusting Him

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

Perspectives
From: “Preface”
“If you have a drinking problem, we hope that you may pause in reading one of the forty-two personal stories and think: “Yes, that happened to me; or, more important, Yes, I’ve felt like that, or most important, “Yes, I believe this program can work for me too.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page xii

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

“Many of us think today the main problem of Alcoholics Anonymous is this: How, as a movement, shall we maintain our humility — and so our unity — in the face of what the world calls a great triumph? Perhaps we need not look far afield for an answer. We need only adapt and apply to our group life those principles upon which each of us has founded his own recovery.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., October 1947
“Traditions Stressed in Memphis Talk”
The Language of the Heart

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

“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!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 58~

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

“We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance. “
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 125

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes wholly to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may success for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed. Release from alcohol, and not flight from it, is our answer.
‘Faith without works is dead.’ How appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic fails to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he cannot survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he does not work, he will surely drink again, and if he drinks, he will surely die. Then faith will be dead indeed.

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 6th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 6th

Daily Reflections

IDENTIFYING FEAR . . . .

The chief activator of our defects has been self –
centered fear. . . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 76

When I feel uncomfortable, irritated, or depressed, I
look for fear. This “evil and corroding thread” is the
root of my distress: Fear of failure; fear of other’s
opinions; fear of harm, and many other fears. I have
found a Higher Power who does not want me to live in
fear and, as a result, the experience of A.A. in my
life is freedom and joy. I am no longer willing to live
with the multitude of character defects that
characterized my life while I was drinking. Step Seven
is my vehicle to freedom from these defects. I pray for
help in identifying the fear underneath the defect, and
then I ask God to relieve me of that fear. This method
works for me without fail and is one of the great
miracles of my life in Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We tried to study our alcoholic problem, wondering what
was the cause of our strange obsession. Many of us took
special treatments, hospitalization, even confinement in
institutions. In every case, the relief was only temporary.
We tried through crazy excuses to convince ourselves that
we knew why we drank, but we went on regardless. Finally
drinking had gone far beyond even a habit. We had become
alcoholics, men and women who had been destroying
themselves against their own will. Am I completely free
from my alcoholic obsession?

Meditation For The Day

“Ask and ye shall receive.” Never let yourself think you
cannot do something useful or that you never will be able
to accomplish a useful task. The fact is that you can do
practically anything in the field of human relationships,
if you are willing to call on God’s supply of strength. The
supply may not be immediately available, because you may
not be entirely ready to receive it. But it will surely come
when you are properly prepared for it. As you grow spiritually,
a feeling of being plentifully supplied by God’s strength will
possess you and you will be able to accomplish many useful
things.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may claim God’s supply of strength by my faith
in Him. I pray that it shall be given to me according to my faith.

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As Bill Sees It

Talk or Action?, p. 187

In making amends, it is seldom wise to approach an individual who still
smarts from our injustice to him, and announce that we have gone
religious. This might be called leading with the chin. Why lay ourselves
open to being branded fanatics or religious bores? If we do this, we may
kill a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message.

But the man who hears our amends is sure to be impressed with our
sincere desire to set right a wrong. He is going to be more interested in
a demonstration of good will than in talk of spiritual discoveries.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 77

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Walk In Dry Places

Should we Intervene?
Recovery
The method of conducting interventions is considered an effective way of confronting alcoholics and drug addicts.  Interventions are done with the hope that this confrontation will “raise the bottom,” and that the addict will face the condition before there’s further anguish.
However effective interventions may be, they’re not part of the 12 Step program. Our work is based on attraction, not the admitted coercion that’s part of intervention.
If we take part in interventions, this separation should be clearly understood.  The person who still suffers should know that the 12 Step program depends on attraction, not any of the other methods that might be available.
It’s important to make this point clear, because the intervention may fail. Whether it does or not, the individual must not be left with the idea that intervention is a 12 Step activity. At any stage, the fellowship is always available to him or her.
I’ll probably see lots of people today who need help in facing their addiction. I’ll know that their recovery comes in God’s good time. 


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Keep It Simple

When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make lemonade.—Dale Carnegie
Our illness is one big lemon, but our recovery is lemonade. None of us signed up to be drunks or drugies, but we all signed up for recovery. That’s when the happiness began. Yes, there will be pain, but the joy will far outweigh the pain. The sweet joy of recovery becomes our drink—our lemonade. And, do we drink!
We have new friends. We love ourselves, our Higher Power, our family, and much more. We are creative when we give joy, love and help to others and to ourselves. If your lemonade isn’t sweet enough, add more of your program.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, it’s easy to forget how much You’ve given me. Thank you for all the joy and love You have given me.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll write down what part of recovery I really enjoy. I will then share this list with my group or friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Peace, she supposed, was contingent upon a certain disposition of the soul, a disposition to receive the gift that only detachment from self made possible.  –Elizabeth Goudge
Self-centeredness, egocentrism, and selfishness are familiar to most of us. We have judged our world and all the situations and people in it in terms of how their existence affects our own. We have become tied to him or to her or to a situation just as surely as an anchor to a boat. Most of us learned in very early childhood to read others’ behaviors. And we determined our own worth accordingly.
As adult women we still struggle, trying to read another’s actions, hoping to find acceptance. Which means we are always vulnerable, exposing our “self” to the whims of other, equally vulnerable “selves.” What we search for is peace and security. We think if others love and accept us, we’ll be at peace. We’ll know serenity. A most important lesson for us to learn in this life is that peace is assured when we anchor ourselves to our God. Peace, well-being, serene joy will accompany our every step when we expose our vulnerable selves to God’s care and only God’s care. We’ll no longer need to worry about the self we try to protect. It will be handled with care.
Peace awaits me today. I will look to God, and only God, to know that all is well, that I am all that I need to be.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of God’s ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn’t it?
We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions. People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. Actually, we used to have no reasonable conception whatever. We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually- minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves.

p. 49

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.  Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

p. 417

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935 at Akron, Ohio, as the outcome of a meeting between a well-known surgeon and a New York broker. Both were severe cases of alcoholism and were destined to become co-founders of the A.A. Fellowship.

p. 16

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Love yourself and all your emotions.
Be as honest with yourself as you can be.
Say how you really feel.
–Melody Beattie

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the
heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Though we travel the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it
within us or we will find it not.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

God, help me to lower my defenses today, to be open to the good in
the people around me and to the good that I have to offer them.
–Melody Beattie

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
–John Wooden

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

POWER

“The measure of man is what he
does with power.”
–Pittacus

With my recovery has come a certain success, and with the success
comes power. Power comes with the spiritual program, but it must be
exercised responsibly. Just as the disease used alcohol to destroy my
life, so it can use power to destroy me in sobriety. Power is a
doubled-edged sword that has led many back to drinking. Certainly an
abuse of power is not consistent with sobriety.

Today I am respectful of power because I know it can lead to an
inflated ego or an arrogant personality that continues to destroy the
quality of life. Today I surround myself with friends who will remind
me of my roots.

Teach me not to use my White Anglo-Saxon Protestant heritage to
belittle or patronize those from minority groups.

Teach me to exercise power responsibly.

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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. I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:8-13


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Daily Inspiration

Make few promises and keep the ones you make. Lord, grant me the strength to keep my commitments, especially the ones that I make to myself.

Life is what our thinking makes it. Lord, help me visualize myself richly living each day, believing, achieving, and then succeeding.

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NA Just For Today

“I’m Sorry”

“The main thing the Eighth Step does for us is to help build awareness that, little by little, we are gaining new attitudes about ourselves and how we deal with other people.”
Basic Text, p.38

To say “I’m sorry” probably isn’t such a foreign idea to most of us. In our active addiction, it may have been a very familiar phrase. We were always telling people how sorry we were, and were probably deeply surprised when someone, tired of our meaningless apologies, responded with, “You sure are. In fact, you’re the sorriest excuse for?” That may have been our first clue that an “I’m sorry” didn’t really make any difference to those we harmed, especially when we both knew that we’d just do the same thing again.

Many of us thought that making amends would be another “I’m sorry.” However, the action we take in those steps is entirely different. Making amends means to make changes and, above all, to make the situation right. If we stole money, we don’t just say “I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again now that I’m clean.” We pay the money back. If we neglected or abused our families, we don’t just apologize. We begin to treat them with respect.

Amending our behavior and the way we treat ourselves and others is the whole purpose of working the steps. We’re no longer just “sorry”; we’re responsible.

Just for today: I accept responsibility for myself and my recovery. Today, I will amend some particular thing I’m sorry for.

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You are reading from the book  Today’s Gift.
Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills.  –Catherine Ponder
Getting mad at someone, a friend perhaps, is normal. Everybody gets mad sometimes. But when we stay mad for very long, it ruins all the fun we’d planned on having throughout the day. Staying mad multiplies. Sometimes it seems we are mad at the dog, our mom, another friend, even the TV.
Forgiving the people we’re mad at works like magic. We don’t even have to forgive them out loud. We can forgive them in our own minds. The result is the same. Pretty soon the whole day looks bright again. When we’re mad, we are the ones who suffer most.
Who can I forgive today, and make my day a better one?

You are reading from the book  Touchstones.
Is the inventor of the ear unable to hear? Is the creator of the eye unable to see?  –Psalms 94:9
The way we have been restored to our spiritual path is partly a mystery. Our willingness to accept mystery in our lives has taught us we are part of a larger whole. There is more at work in the world than we can know. Acceptance of the larger whole restores us to health.
We are not just separate beings with a private world. Our existence is part of a larger process. We came into being with no control and no forethought on our own part. We arise from a past that no one remembers.
It was when we didn’t see our place – as part of creation – that we were in the greatest pain and difficulty. Now each day, each hour, when we remember we are not in charge, and our will is not in control, we are restored again.
I am thankful for the mystery of recovery. I accept this mystery as part of all the mysteries beyond my control.

You are reading from the book  Each Day a New Beginning.
Peace, she supposed, was contingent upon a certain disposition of the soul, a disposition to receive the gift that only detachment from self made possible.  –Elizabeth Goudge
Self-centeredness, egocentrism, and selfishness are familiar to most of us. We have judged our world and all the situations and people in it in terms of how their existence affects our own. We have become tied to him or to her or to a situation just as surely as an anchor to a boat. Most of us learned in very early childhood to read others’ behaviors. And we determined our own worth accordingly.
As adult women we still struggle, trying to read another’s actions, hoping to find acceptance. Which means we are always vulnerable, exposing our “self” to the whims of other, equally vulnerable “selves.” What we search for is peace and security. We think if others love and accept us, we’ll be at peace. We’ll know serenity. A most important lesson for us to learn in this life is that peace is assured when we anchor ourselves to our God. Peace, well-being, serene joy will accompany our every step when we expose our vulnerable selves to God’s care and only God’s care. We’ll no longer need to worry about the self we try to protect. It will be handled with care.
Peace awaits me today. I will look to God, and only God, to know that all is well, that I am all that I need to be.

You are reading from the book  The Language of Letting Go.
Step Seven
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.  –Step Seven of Al-Anon
In the Sixth and Seventh Steps of the program, we become willing to let go of our defects of character – issues, behaviors, old feelings, unresolved grief, and beliefs that are blocking us from the joy that is ours. Then we ask God to take them from us.
Isn’t that simple? We don’t have to contort ourselves to make ourselves change. We don’t have to force change. For once, we don’t have to “do it ourselves.” All we have to do is strive for an attitude of willingness and humility. All we have to do is ask God for what we want and need, and then trust God to do for us that which we cannot do and do not have to do for ourselves.
We do not have to watch with bated breath for how and when we shall change. This is not a self-help program. In this miraculous and effective program that has brought about recovery and change for millions, we become changed by working the Steps.
Today, God, help me surrender to recovery and to the process by which I become changed. Help me focus on the Step I need. Help me do my part, relax, and allow the rest to happen.

It is a great relief to know that all I have to do is turn to the twelve steps of recovery and help is with me today. Today I am given all the tools that I need and I am so grateful that I no longer have to struggle alone.  –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

See How Each Soul Has Touched You

Often in our lives, we don’t realize the significance of a relationship until later, when the experience has passed. Then we understand how the person helped us along the way, took us to the next part of our journey, opened us up to begin learning the next lesson. And we see how we, in turn, helped shape that person.

One evening, as I was readying for sleep, I had a vision. I saw clearly before me a scenario of the dance we do with each other. I saw in my heart, understood deeply, the tangible, shaping impact each soul had on my life. Each moment, each interaction with another person, had been important– the quiet interactions, the ones I barely noticed, and the more significant relationships. Each moment– the moments that hurt, the moments that brought joy– had helped. We had touched each other. We were joined in an intricate dance, a dance in which our souls learned and grew.

And we had taken our places with each other on time, for the dance was perfectly choreographed.

I could almost see us waving gleefully to each other, happy for how we had connected, joyful that we had helped each other learn the lessons of the soul: courage, love, forgiveness, gentleness, self-love.

See how each soul touches you? See how you touch them? Ask your heart to guide you with honesty, love, and responsibility in all your encounters. Honor the sacredness of love. Honor the lessons of planet earth and the people who help you learn them.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let the feelings go

Sometimes we get stuck on a feeling. We don’t want to acknowledge it and give it its due. So we tell ourselves we’re too intelligent or busy to feel that way. Maybe we’re scared of that feeling, afraid of what it might mean. We think if we feel that way, we’ll have to do something we don’t want to do. We’re afraid that feeling might mean we have to change. Or we think the feeling will mean we have to face a loss of something we value in our lives and don’t want to lose.

Sometimes we feel guilty about our emotions. We think it’s wrong to have that feeling; it makes us a bad person. So we tell ourselves we shouldn’t feel the way that we do.

We can become so used to a particular kind of feeling– such as anger, resentment, or fear– that it becomes a comfortable and familiar way to view our world.

We can use our feelings to control people: I feel this way when you do that, so don’t do that anymore. Some people call this using emotions to manipulate other people. It’s not a good thing to do. But some of us convince ourselves it’s the only way to get what we want.

Learn to say how it feels. Then learn to let that feeling go.

God, help me flow in the stream of my feelings.

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Food for Thought

Dual Personalities

It is as if we are each two people. When we are abstaining, we are calm, confident, and capable of handling the demands of every day. When we are in contact with our Higher Power, we have the right mental perspective and God’s peace and love in our hearts.

Slipping back into the old attitudes and habits of our compulsive overeating days brings back our frightened, confused, and despairing selves. We lose our ability to function efficiently. We are antagonistic to those around us. Worst of all, we are cut off from the source of strength and light.

Remembering that the negative personality will destroy us makes us more determined not to give in to it. Abstinence, day by day, is our safety. Reliance on the OA group, our Twelve Step program, and our Higher Power keeps us living the good, new life of freedom.

Deliver me from my negative personality.

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Interesting People Everywhere
Everyone Has a Story by Madisyn Taylor

Every person on this planet has a story to tell, something that makes them unique adding to the whole.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that everyone has a story to tell if we take the time to listen. We are so accustomed to hearing the stories of people in the news that we sometimes lose track of the fact that the random stranger on the bus also has a fascinating story about where they came from and how they got to be where they are. The sheer variety of paths taken in this world, from farmers to CEOs to homeless people to world travelers, is indicative of how much we can learn from each individual. Sometimes the shy, quiet person at work has the most amazing life story and the biggest dreams, it is up to us to take the time to find out.

Some people travel a path of wealth and privilege, while others struggle with only themselves to rely on, and both have great stories to tell. Each person learns lessons, makes choices, and develops a unique perspective, which only they can claim and share. Even two people who have had very similar lives will have slightly different experiences, leading them to a different point of view, so each person remains a treasure trove waiting to be explored. When we take the time to ask questions and listen, we find that every person has a fascinating story to tell and an utterly unique perspective from which to tell it.

Bearing this in mind, we have the opportunity to approach the world around us in a new way. There is never any reason to be bored at a party, or on the bus, or in a conversation with a stranger. When we retain the spark of curiosity and the warmth required to open someone up, we always have in front of us the makings of a great story. All we have to do is ask. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Some people in The Program don’t feel that they can do the things they want to do. They doubt their own ability. But actually, every person has untapped ability. We’re children of God, which should give us a strong clue as to the infinite nature of our ability. As spiritual beings, we’re unlimited. True, we may find it easier to accept this as true of some person who shines in a particular field. We may compare our own accomplishments with another’s and feel discouraged. But the only comparison we need make or should make is with ourselves. Am I a better, more productive person today?

Today I Pray

May I realize that I am a child of God. And His loving-parent promise to give me what I need, not what I might want, is His way of teaching me to be what I am, not what I dreamed I should be. As a spiritual being, I can truly become a productive person – perhaps even do some of the things I once felt unable to do without the aid of props — drinks, pills, excesses of food which hulled me into false confidence.

Today I Will Remember

To compare me with the old me.

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One More Day

Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have — so spend it wisely.
– Kay Lyons

Each day is a small fragment of a lifetime. This fact frees us to focus on the things we truly can influence. We can never return to the past, except within our memories. And we don’t know what the future holds in store. The only time we can “spend” is today; the only time we touch is right now.

The simplicity of the present allows us to let go of the past and to ignore the unknowns of the future. Thus freed, we can set about the business of enriching our lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Unpleasant debts to the past are paid, and we’ve mortgaged nothing to the future. We are free to invest in growth by using the “cash” we have on hand.

This day is a valuable piece of my life. I will spend it well.

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One Day At A Time

SUFFERING
“The desire to stop suffering
is not the same thing as the desire to stop the behavior
we are doing which causes us to suffer.”
Dr. James Golden

Our disease of addiction causes tremendous suffering to ourselves and to those around us. It consumes our lives and often leads to painful losses. No matter how profoundly we long to be rid of our disease, recovery is not something that falls into our laps just because we want it. We don’t magically stop being compulsive eaters just because that’s our desire. It would be great if recovery happened magically and all we’d have to do is say, “I don’t want this disease any more; I don’t want to suffer any longer.” If it were that easy, we’d immediately find ourselves in a place of complete and total recovery. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

In the depths of my disease I cried out to the God of my understanding to help me achieve abstinence and an alleviation of my suffering. What was the answer to my prayers? This wonderful Twelve Step program.

One of the first things I learned was that I could wish and hope and pray, but until I put feet to my prayers and actually started working the Steps, I wouldn’t recover from my disease. God will only do for us what He can do through us. If I’m not willing to do even a little bit of the work, I shouldn’t expect recovery. If I won’t take the first step on this journey, I can’t expect to reach my final destination. I can do some things for myself — like putting the Steps into practice — but what about the things I can’t do for myself? I’ll let God handle those.

One day at a time…
I’ll remember that it’s not enough
to want to stop suffering from my disease;
I also need to do some footwork to make it happen.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

One dismal afternoon he paced a hotel lobby wondering how his bill was to be paid. At one end of the room stood a glass covered directory of local churches. Down the lobby a door opened into an attractive bar. He could see the gay crowd inside. In there he would find companionship and release. Unless he took some drinks, he might not have the courage to scrape an aquaintance and would have a lonely week-end.
Of course he couldn’t drink, but why not sit hopefully at a table, a bottle of ginger ale before him? After all, had he not been sober six months now? Perhaps he could handle, say, three drinks – no more! Fear gripped him. He was on thin ice. Again it was the old, insidious insanity – that first drink. With a shiver, he turned away and walked down the lobby to the church directory. Music and gay chatter still floated to him from the bar.
But what about his responsibilities – his family and the men who would die because they would not know how to get well, ah – yes, those other alcoholics? There must be many such in this town. He would phone a clergyman. His sanity returned and he thanked God. Selecting a church at random from the directory, he stepped into a booth and lifted the receiver. – Pgs. 154-155 – A Vision For You

( Note: This is when Bill Wilson is subsequently introduced to Dr. Bob )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Stumbling blocks can become stepping stones if we use each adversity as a chance to practice our new way of life. Then problems become challenges so we can see what part of our program will solve them. What principle can you apply to your current situation?
Divine Intelligence encourages me not to escape my every problem, but face it and learn to practice this program in all my affairs.

Inside My Mind

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

I allow my mind its freedom.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Since life is 10% actuality and 90% re-actuality you must chose your reactions carefully. The program has given you choice and how you choose to react to this day can make the difference between simply being dry or being sober.
I live today as I want to remember my life.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you’re happy, notify your face. If you’re not, notify your sponsor.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

It is a great relief to know that all I have to do is turn to the twelve steps of recovery and help is with me today. Today I am given all the tools that I need and I am so grateful that I no longer have to struggle alone.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I got sicker, quicker, on less liquor. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 6

Higher Power
Walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen.
When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands
were better that anything we could have planned.
Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world,
no matter your present circumstances.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100

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

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

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

Restraint
“It is evident that the harmony, security, and
future effectiveness of AA will depend largely upon
our maintenance of a thoroughly nonagressive
and pacific attitude in all our public relations.
This is an exacting assignment,
because in our drinking days we were prone to anger,
hostility, rebellion and aggression.
And even though we are now sober,
the old patterns of behavior are to a degree still with us,
always threatening to explode on any good excuse.
But we know this,
and therefore I feel confident that in the conduct
of our public affairs we shall always find the grace
to exert an effective restraint.”
Bill W.
1962AAWS, Twelve Concepts for World Service, p. 68

Thought to Consider . . .
Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.
1953AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p, 91

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A C T I O N = Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature

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

Prayer
>From “‘Ask God for Strength'”:
“I went to the filthy bathroom and got down on my knees. ‘God, teach me to pray,’ I begged. I remained there a long time, and when I arose and left the room, I knew I never had to drink again. I came to believe, that day, that God would help me maintain my sobriety. Since then, I’ve come to believe that He will help me with any problem. “Birmingham, Alabama, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 36

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

“Let us AAs no longer be takers from society. Instead, let us be givers.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., June 1946
“Policy on Gift Funds”
The Language of the Heart

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

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

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

“Never forget that resentment is a deadly hazard to an alcoholic.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 117

“It mattered little whether our resentments were justified or not. “
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 90

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In making amends, it is seldom wise to approach an individual who still smarts from our injustice to him, and announce that we have gone religious. This might be called leading with the chin. Why lay ourselves open to being branded fanatics or religious bores? If we do this, we may kill a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message.
But the man who hears our amends is sue to be impressed with our sincere desire to set right a wrong. He is going to be more interested in a demonstration of good will than in talk of spiritual discoveries.

Prayer for the Day: “GOD, grant us knowledge that we may Serve according to Your Divine precepts. Instill in us a sense of Your purpose. Make us servants of Your will and grant us a bond of selflessness, that this may truly be Your work, not ours-in order that no addict, anywhere, need die from the horrors of addiction.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 5th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 5th

Daily Reflections

A NEW DIRECTION

Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient;
they failed utterly. . . Every day is a day when we must carry the
vision of God’s will into all our activities.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.45,85

I hear talk of the “weak-willed” alcoholic, but I am one of the
strongest-willed people on earth! I now know that my incredible
strength of will is not enough to save my life. My problem is not one of
“weakness,” but rather of direction. When I, without falsely
diminishing myself, accept my honest limitations and turn to God’s
guidance, my worst faults become my greatest assets. My strong will,
rightly directed, keeps me working until the promises of the program
become my daily reality.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Until we came into A.A. most of us had tried desperately to stop
drinking. We were filled with the delusion that we could drink like our
friends. We tried time and again to take it or leave it, but we could do
neither. We always lapsed into ceaseless, unhappy drinking. Families,
friends, and employers threw up their hands in hurt bewilderment, in
despair, and finally in disgust. We wanted to stop. We realized that
every reason for drinking was only a crazy excuse. Have I given up
every excuse for drinking?

Meditation For The Day

Many things can upset you and you can easily get off the track. But
remember that God is near you all the time, ready to help you if you
call on Him. You cannot forever stand against God’s will for you, nor
can you, forever upset God’s plan for your life, even though Gods plan
may be postponed by your willfulness and deliberate choice of evil. A
whole world of men and women cannot permanently change God’s
laws nor His purpose for the universe. The sea of life may look very
rough to us, but we can believe that our Captain steers the boat on a
straight course.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to steer a straight course. I pray that I may
accept God’s direction in my life’s journey.

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As Bill Sees It

“The Only Requirement. . .”, p. 186

In Tradition Three, A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, “You are an A.A. member if you say so.  You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out.  No matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications--even your crimes–we don’t want to keep you out.  We just want to be sure that you get the same
chance for sobriety that we’ve had.”

<< << <<      >> >> >>

We do not wish to deny anyone his chance to recover from alcoholism. We wish to be just as inclusive as we can, never exclusive.

1.  12 & 12, p. 139
2.  Grapevine, August 1946

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Walk In Dry Places

What brings change?
Inventory.
In human affairs, vast changes sometimes take place almost spontaneously, bringing on revolutionary upheavals.  What brings about such change?
These visible changes, for good or bad, occur because people come to accept new ideas. It’s easy to see how this works in one person’s life, but it works in the same way with socities.
The 12 Step movement is a most dramatic form of such change. We’ve become effective b ecause we have new forms of thinking to replace the old destructive forms that caused so much harm. Our movement will grow and develop only as long as we retain the new ways of thinging that first brought about this change.
I’ll hold to the idea that my life can only be as good as the thoughts I choose.


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Keep It Simple

If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average.—Ovid
Our program speaks of spiritual progress, not perfection. We can take all the time we need. Our bottom line is steady progress. We can ask ourselves, “Am I a little more spiritual than I was a year ago? A month ago?” If the answer is yes, we’re doing great. If the answer is no, we should look at why.
Our illness pushes us to be prefect. In recovery, we learn that we are free to be what we are—human. Even the world’s fastest runners are average in most other areas of their lives.. This is okay. Remember, “spiritual progress, not perfection.”
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I’ll not be ashamed of how average I am. I’ll remember I’m average—and that’s good.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list what is average about me. I’ll share this with a friend. Than I’ll ask my friend what is special about me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There are really only two ways to approach life–as victim or as gallant fighter–and you must decide if you want to act or react, deal your own cards or play with a stacked deck. And if you don’t decide which way to play with life, it always plays with you.
–Merle Shain
Being the victim is, or was, uncomfortably familiar to many of us. Perhaps some of us are only now realizing we have choices, that we need not let life happen to us. Becoming responsible to ourselves, choosing behavior, beliefs, friends, activities, that please us, though unfamiliar at first, soon exhilarates us. The more choices we make, the more alive we feel. The more alive we feel, the healthier our choices.
Our aim is recovery. Recovering means participating fully in our lives. It means self-assessment and self-direction. It means trusting to move forward, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, knowing all the while that no thoughtful action can trouble us.
Many opportunities to make choices will present themselves today. The choices I make will satisfy me; they will move me toward my goal of recovery.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Everybody nowadays, believes in scores of assumptions for which there is good evidence, but no perfect visual proof. And does not science demonstrate that visual proof is the weakest proof? It is being constantly revealed, as mankind studies the material world, that outward appearances are not inward reality at all. To illustrate:
The prosaic steel girder is a mass of electrons whirling around each other at incredible speed. These tiny bodies are governed by precise laws, and these laws hold true throughout the material world, Science tells us so. We have no reason to doubt it. When, however, the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that underneath the material world and life as we see it, there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface and we laboriously set out to convince ourselves it isn’t so. We read wordy books and indulge in windy arguments, thinking we believe this universe needs no God to explain it. Were our contentions true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.

pp. 48-49

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
At last, acceptance proved to be the key to my drinking problem.  After I had been around A.A. for seven months, tapering off alcohol and pills, not finding the program working very well, I was finally able to say, “Okay, God.  It is true that I–of all people, strange as it may seem, and even though I didn’t give my permission–really, really am an alcoholic of sorts.  And it’s all right with me.  Now, what am I going to do about it?”  When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away.  From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.

p. 416-417

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

There is, too, a rising interest in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Students of human relations are beginning to wonder how and why A.A. functions as a society. Why is it, they ask, that in A.A. no member can be set in personal authority over another, that nothing like a central government can anywhere be seen? How can a set of traditional principles, having no legal force at all, hold the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in unity and effectiveness? The second section of this volume, though designed for A.A.’s membership, will give such inquirers an inside view of A.A. never before possible.

p. 16

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God, guide me in making my commitments. Give me the courage to
make those that are right for me, the wisdom to not commit to that
which does not feel right, and the patience to wait until I know.
–Melody Beattie

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

Wisdom is using those things that work for you, for as long as they
work for you, and letting go of the things that are not working for you.
–John-Roger

“Allow God to speak through you and smile upon the earth through
you, because you are an unconditional giver, a purposeful being.”
–Dr. Wayne Dyer

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will
ever regret.
–Ambrose Bierce

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FORGIVENESS

“Without forgiveness life is
governed by . . . an endless cycle
of resentment and retaliation.
–Roberto Assagioli

So much of what I resent in others springs from my unhappiness with
self. I hate in others what I know to be in myself: arrogance, pride,
narrow-mindedness, snobbery and dishonesty.

Today I am learning that as long as I refuse to forgive others, I am not
capable of forgiving myself. Part of my denial is reflected in my
attitudes towards others. Those character traits I refuse to forgive in
others are buried within myself. I know that without forgiveness there
is no freedom — and I wish to grow in freedom.

Today I am learning the difference between forgiveness and
acceptance. I can forgive other people without accepting their
lifestyle. I can forgive myself and still see the need for change. In my
forgiveness is the hope for tomorrow.

Master, You taught that without forgiveness, there can be no pure
love. Help me grow in the forgiveness of self and others.

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Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when
you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy
in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16

Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and
glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you
have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere
love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For
you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable,
through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like
grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass
withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”
1 Peter 1:21-25


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Daily Inspiration

If you want those around you calm, you must be calm. Lord, when life becomes frantic, help me focus on solutions and restore the peace that the events of the moment try to destroy.

We are not always what we ought to be or want to be, but through God’s love we are not what we would be without Him. Lord, thank you for raising me to heights in this world that alone I could not reach and for giving me eternal life in the next.

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NA Just For Today

Exploring Spiritual Options

“The nature of our belief will determine the manner of our prayers and meditation.”
Basic Text, p.43

How do we pray? For each NA member, this is a deeply personal matter. Many of us find that, over time, we develop a manner of prayer and meditation based on what we learn from others and what we are comfortable with.

Some of us arrive in NA with a closed mind toward a Power greater than ourselves. But when we sit down with our sponsor and discuss our difficulty, looking at the Second Step in depth, we are pleased to find that we can choose any concept of a Higher Power that appeals to us.

Just as our definition of a Power greater than ourselves differs from addict to addict, so does our manner of achieving a “conscious contact” Some attend religious services; some chant; some sit quietly or talk with whatever is out there; some find a spiritual connection by communing with nature. The “right way” to pray and meditate is whatever way helps us improve our conscious contact with our own Higher Power.

Asking others how they found their spiritual guidance is always a good place to begin. Reading literature before we enter periods of meditation can also help us. Many have gone before us on this search. As we seek spiritual growth, we can greatly benefit from their experience.

Just for today: I will explore my options for improving my conscious contact with the God of my understanding.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In uplifting, get underneath. –George Ade
A sandpile in the summer is deceiving. The topmost sand burns hot on our
feet. But as we push down toward the center, we come to a damp, cool
place that soothes and oozes between our toes.
The nature of most things is not revealed at the surface. Like the
sandpile, many people and situations we encounter are, on the surface,
downright uncomfortable. The reward is in digging deeper–to the
essential goodness, the core or meaning, the true friend. It takes time,
a little knowledge, and abundant trust that we will not be burned.
What have I discovered by digging a little lately?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We shall describe conditions of the soul that words can only hint at. We shall have to use logic to try to corner perspectives that laugh at our attempt. –Huston Smith
As we live the spiritual life, we find words and logic are only capable of pointing in the direction of some truths. Words do not contain the entire truth our experience may be teaching us. This is like the difference between hearing about fishing versus actually being on the water, smelling the misty air, and feeling the fish tug on our line.
Spiritual development is a form of education. We are developing the part of us that learns by experience, that has a feeling without exactly knowing why, that understands stories better than statistics. Gradually, we accept more experiences in our lives as mysteries, as not fitting into any specific categories. Many experiences will have more meaning than cold facts could ever express. As this side of us develops, we don’t discard reason and judgment; we become deeper human beings.
Today, I will give my intuition more freedom. That will help my spiritual self grow.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There are really only two ways to approach life–as victim or as gallant fighter–and you must decide if you want to act or react, deal your own cards or play with a stacked deck. And if you don’t decide which way to play with life, it always plays with you.
–Merle Shain
Being the victim is, or was, uncomfortably familiar to many of us. Perhaps some of us are only now realizing we have choices, that we need not let life happen to us. Becoming responsible to ourselves, choosing behavior, beliefs, friends, activities, that please us, though unfamiliar at first, soon exhilarates us. The more choices we make, the more alive we feel. The more alive we feel, the healthier our choices.
Our aim is recovery. Recovering means participating fully in our lives. It means self-assessment and self-direction. It means trusting to move forward, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, knowing all the while that no thoughtful action can trouble us.
Many opportunities to make choices will present themselves today. The choices I make will satisfy me; they will move me toward my goal of recovery.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Survivor Guilt
We begin recovering. We begin taking care of ourselves. Our recovery program starts to work in our life, and we begin to feel good about ourselves.
Then it hits. Guilt.
Whenever we begin to experience the fullness and joy of life, we may feel guilty about those we’ve left behind – those not recovering, those still in pain. This survivor guilt is a symptom of codependency.
We may think about the husband we’ve divorced who is still drinking. We may dwell on a child, grown or adult, still in pain. We may get a phone call from a non recovering parent who relates his or her misery to us. And we feel pulled into their pain.
How can we feel so happy, so good, when those we love are still in misery? Can we really break away and lead satisfying lives, despite their circumstances? Yes, we can.
And yes, it hurts to leave behind those we love. But keep moving forward anyway. Be patient. Other people’s recovery is not our job. We cannot make them recover. We cannot make them happy.
We may ask why we were chosen for a fuller life. We may never know the answer. Some may catch up in their own time, but their recovery is not our business. The only recovery we can truly claim is our own.
We can let go of others with love, and love ourselves without guilt.
Today, I am willing to work through my sadness and guilt. I will let myself be healthy and happy, even though someone I love has not chosen the same path.

I am very grateful to be exactly where I am today. I do not need to be a victim of my past or controlled by circumstances. I am in recovery today and it feels wonderful! –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Become Excited About Life

I woke up one morning and found myself in a strange place. Instead of waking up to pain, I felt a new feeling coursing through my veins. I felt happy, at peace, and excited about being alive. This feeling had come around before, but never to stay or last. Now I knew that it was mine for good. It was where this journey had led.

Let excitement course through you. It is vitality; it is healing, life-giving energy. It is the life force. Feel it course through your veins. This excitement you are feeling is different from the pain of years past. It is a different feeling, but your birthright, my birthright, the birthright of us all. It is your reward for staying committed to your process of learning and growing.

Continue to clear out old, negative feelings and outdated beliefs. Stay committed to healing and discovering your soul, even when you wonder if it’s worth it. Even when you wonder where your path is going, or if it’s going anywhere. Love yourself. Love others. Then love yourself some more. Love yourself until you feel the life force, this exciting new energy, course through you.

Stay committed to your growth process until you wake up one morning and ask yourself, What is that strange thing I’m feeling? Then know what the answer is. The answer is joy.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Balance

In Western medicine, the practice has long been the correction of problems. We have a pain; the doctor identifies its source and treats it. The Eastern approach is different. Many of the Eastern medicines operate from the idea that a healthy body is one that is in balance. When we are sick, it is due to an imbalance in our bodies. The practitioner then seeks to identify the imbalance and restore the body to balance.

Instead of just treating the symptoms of pathos, Eastern medicines seek to maintain balance as a way of life.

That’s a good way to approach taking care of our souls.

Perhaps your heart has been injured through the carelessness of another, or maybe your mind is troubled by distressing, uncomfortable, and sometimes wrong thoughts. When we seek to restore balance, our hearts and our souls will heal.

Be aware of the imbalance in the thoughts in your mind and the emotions disturbing your peace. Then listen to your spirit. Let it tell you in its still quiet way what it needs to regain balance. Maybe you need some time alone, time in meditation or prayer, a quiet walk, a day at the zoo, or some sleep.

Give your body and soul what you need to regain balance, and then healing can begin. Learn to lovingly listen to and take care of yourself.

Maintain balance as a way of life.

God, help me listen to my spirit so I can restore myself to balance each day.

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Food for Thought

Ignore the Craving

Old habits die hard, and for a long time we may experience our old craving for that “small,” compulsive bite. The craving will not hurt us, and eventually it will pass if we ignore it. If we give in to the craving, it does not go away but becomes stronger. To feed the craving is to pour gasoline on a fire.

When we experience the craving for unnecessary food, we need to find something else to occupy our attention. If possible, we should physically remove ourselves from the tempting situation. If that is impossible, we need to ask our Higher Power for the strength to remain abstinent and to ignore the demands of our over blown appetite. God never allows us to be tempted beyond our ability to endure. He is always here to support us when we turn and ask for help.

May I listen to You and ignore harmful cravings.

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Grumps
Shining through the Clouds by Madisyn Taylor

We can shine like a beacon from a lighthouse when met with the force of a grumpy person.

When we’re in a good mood, we shine like the sun. But if we find ourselves in the presence of a person, or people, in a grumpy mood, it can feel like a dark cloud approaching to dim our radiance and block our positive way of seeing the world. We can remind ourselves that clouds pass, while the sun and stars continue to shine above. Then it’s easier to think of these “grumps” affectionately, knowing that they only have the power to affect our mood if we allow it. With the power of change firmly in our hands, we can choose how to respond to a grumpy person, or a grumbling group of people, with confidence and understanding.

Like a lighthouse, we can continue to shine through the darkness, offering our light to help others find their way back to their own. We can send them a silent prayer of peace or a sympathetic smile. We may sense that reaching out to offer a comforting touch or hug can ease their frustrations and cause the clouds to dissipate. If they need understanding, we can sympathize without reinforcing the negativity they may be experiencing by directing their attention someplace more positive. Helping them find the humor in their situation might be appropriate and is a great way to lift spirits, or a logical approach may help them see all the good in the situation, in their lives and in the world.

We might find that someone we encounter often seems to be in a perpetual state of gloom. Our tendency in such cases may be to try to avoid them, but instead we can make the choice to offer support that comes from the heart. We may be inspired to ask if they would like some help or to offer suggestions that have helped us in the past. We can include thoughts of their health and happiness in our times of prayer and meditation. When we lend our energy to uplift another in any way, we improve our own lives while making the world a better place for all of us. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I am free to be, to do, to accept, to reject. I am free to be the wise, loving, kind, and patient person I want to be. I’m free to do that which I consider wise — that which will in no way harm or hinder another person. I’m free to do that which will lead me into paths of peace and satisfaction. I’m free to decide for or against, to say no and to say yes. I’m free to live life in a productive way and to contribute what I have to give to life. Am I coming to believe that I’m free to be the best self I’m able to be?

Today I Pray

Let the freedom I am now experiencing continue to flow through my life into productiveness, into the conviction of life’s goodness I have always wanted to share. May I accept this freedom with God’s blessing — and use it wisely.

Today I Will Remember

Let freedom ring true.

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One More Day

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another! – Helen Keller

When we toss a pebble into a pond, the widening concentric circles continue to spread — the ripple effect — long after the pebble is out of sight. Often the actions we take have similar results.

We don’t always know what effect our lives and choices will have on other people. The immediate effects of our daily lives are probably easier to gauge, but often we don’t see the long-term effect we have on others. And that really doesn’t matter because all we are urged to do is to let kindness and responsibility rule our decisions. The immediate effect we see is the sense of growth within ourselves; the long-term effect we can trust to be miracle that we may never see.

I’ll remember that my actions affect many people beyond me.

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One Day At A Time

OVERCOMING RELAPSE
“Come, whoever you are! Wanderer, worshiper,
Lover of Leaving. Come, this is not a caravan of despair.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vow a thousand times.
Still, and yet again, come, come.”
Rumi

Perhaps the best thing my recovery plan has given me is finding the gift of inspiration almost anywhere. The above quote is such an example. Mevlana Jelalu’ddin Rumi was a Persian poet and theologian who lived from 1207 to 1273. Rumi also seemed to understand recovery quite well, judging from this quote.

I have fallen so many times on my recovery path. Once down, the disease really starts talking to me. “You’re already down; you may as well stay down,” it will say. Or, “You screwed up your food plan, so you might as well eat this, too.” On and on, it never fails.

That’s why this quote from Rumi means so much to me. My Higher Power sent it as an invitation to begin again, however many times I need. Even if I slip over and over and over, I can always begin again. My Higher Power and this program of recovery are very forgiving, and I can pick up and move on. I needn’t fear failure, because I only fail if I don’t get up and forge ahead.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that I may fall, but I can get up again. I can begin anew, and know that I will overcome relapse when I make a fresh start.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principle: we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom. – Pg. 62 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

All our past ‘good intentions’ were fragmentary at best, facades at worse. Some of us didn’t mean to mess things up (some of us did mean to), always justifying our inadequacies by blaming parents, spouses, society, or God. This hour we must accept who we are, and stop looking around for the culprit–he is us!

May I recognize, as this program teaches, that I am at the root of my own problems and this hour, I can be at the root of my recovery.

Friendship

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

I value friendship.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Try broadening your spiritual path by making your relationship with the Divine proactive. Ask not what the Universe can do for you, but rather what you can do for the Universe! Begin the morning with: Hi World, what can I do for You today?

Asking what I can do for the Creative Source will serve us both better than simply seeking what can be done for me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am very grateful to be exactly where I am today. I do not need to be a victim of my past or controlled by circumstances. I am in recovery today and it feels wonderful!

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It says ( pg. 68. AA Big Book ) ‘We put these fears on paper and ask ourselves why we had them. ‘That’s it. ( Yells ) I can’t work these steps they’re too difficult!! If they left you there, this could be difficult. If they left you with ‘Why do I have these fears?’ I could go back to ‘It’s Ma’s fault: bad milk. It’s my Dad’s fault: bad example. But they don’t leave me there. They tell us exactly why we have these fears: ‘Wasn’t it because self sufficiency failed us?’ It’s as simple as that. Do you know how much sense that makes to me? If I’ve got these fears and I’ve been relying on myself to remove them and I still have them, then obviously my power has failed me, so I better go to another power. How does that sound? Is that too tough? – Milt L.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 5

Character-building
Whenever we had to choose between character and comfort,
the character-building was lost in the dust of our chase after what we thought was happiness.
Seldom did we look at character-building as something desirable in itself,
something we would like to strive for whether our instinctual needs were met or not.
We never thought of making honesty, tolerance, and true love of man and God the daily basis of living.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 72

Thought to Ponder . . .
Honesty isn’t an event — it’s a process.

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

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

Simplicity

“A willingness to do whatever I was told to do
simplified the program for me.
Study the AA book – don’t just read it.
They told me to go to meetings,
and I still do at every available opportunity,
whether I am at home or in some other city.
Attending meetings has never been a chore for me.
Nor have I attended them with a feeling
of just doing my duty.
Meetings are both relaxing and refreshing to me
after a hard day.
They said ‘Get active,” so I helped whenever I could,
and still do.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 381

Thought to Consider . . .
The ankle-biters of everyday struggles will eat away at me
unless I go to meetings and share.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A C T I O N = Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature

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

Steps
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“It might be a long time before readers of the book in distant places and lands could be personally contacted. Therefore
our literature would have to be as clear and comprehensive as possible. Our steps would have to be more explicit.
There must not be a single loophole through which the rationalizing alcoholic could wiggle out.
“Finally I [Bill W.] started to write. I set out to draft more than six steps; how many more I did not know. I relaxed and
asked for guidance. With a speed that was astonishing, considering my jangling emotions, I completed the first draft. It
took perhaps half an hour. The words kept right on coming. When I reached a stopping point, I numbered the new
steps. They added up to twelve.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 161

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

“If you sponsor people, you’ll never need a mirror.”
August 2001
“The Mouth That Roared,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“Those having religious affiliations will find here nothing
disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction
among us over such matters.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, Page 28~

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

“I was to share generously in the profits.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 5 (Bill’s Story)

“And we can often ask ourselves, “Am I doing to others as I would have them do to me — today?”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 93 (Step Ten)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In Tradition Three, A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, ‘You are an A.A. member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out. No matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications–even your crimes–we don’t want to keep you out. We just want to be sure that you get the same chance for sobriety that we’ve had.’
We do not wish to deny anyone his chance to recover from alcoholism. We wish to be just as inclusive as we can. never exclusive.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, direct my thoughts away from myself, and allow me to extend compassion and love toward the world today.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 4th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 4th

Daily Reflections

A NATURAL FAITH

. . . 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, p. 55

I have seen the workings of the unseen God in A.A. rooms around the
country. Miracles of recovery are everywhere in evidence. I now
believe that God is in these rooms and in my heart. Today faith is as
natural to me, a former agnostic, as breathing, eating and sleeping.
The Twelve Steps have helped to change my life in many ways, but none is
more effective than the acquisition of a Higher Power.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In Alcoholics Anonymous there is no thought of individual profit. No
greed or gain. No membership fees, no dues. Only voluntary
contributions of our money and ourselves. All that we hope for is
sobriety and regeneration, so that we can live normal, respectable
lives and can be recognized by others as men and women willing to do
unto others as we would be done by. These things we accomplish by
the help of each other, by following the twelve steps and by the grace
of God. Am I willing to work for A.A. without material gain to myself?

Meditation For The Day

What is sometimes called by religion as conversion is often only the
discovery of God as a friend in need. What is sometimes called
religion is often only the experiencing of the help and strength of
God’s power in our lives. What is sometimes called holiness is often
only the invitation of God to be our Friend. As God becomes your
friend, you become a friend to others. We experience true human
friendship and from this experience we can imagine what kind of
Great Friend God can be. We believe Him to be a tireless, selfless, all
conquering, miracle-working Friend. We can reach out to the Great
Friend and figuratively take His hand in ours.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may think of God as a Great Friend in need. I pray that I
may go along with Him.

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

As Bill Sees It

Boomerang, p. 185

When I was ten, I was tall and gawky, and smaller kids could push me around in quarrels.
I remember being very depressed for a year or more, and then I began to develop fierce
resolve to win.

One day, my grandfather came along with a book about Australia and told me, “This
books says that nobody but an Australian bushman knows how to make and throw a
boomerang.”

“Here’s my chance,” I thought. “I will be the first man in America to make and throw a
boomerang.” Well, any kid could have a notion like that. It might have lasted two days
or two weeks. But mine was a power drive that kept on for six months, till I made a
boomerang that swung around the church yard in front of the house and almost hit my
grandfather in the head when it came back.

Emotionally, I had begun the fashioning of another sort of boomerang, one that almost
killed me later on.


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

Walk In Dry Places

Our common knowledge
Progress
One guiding factor in 12 Step groups is the sharing of experience and knowledge.  The fact that a few people seem especially gifted as speakers and workers doesn’t relieve us of the need for every person’s participation.
Such group efforts are important to all human progress. For every outstanding person, there are hundreds who contribute to the success of any venture.
What we bring to the group is our experience as well as a strong commitment to the group’s purpose. This makes our meetings warm, interesting, and helpful.  The group can always be such a center if its members really are part of it.
I’ll remind myself today that I can draw stength from the group and also make it stronger with my participation.


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

Keep It Simple

I have a dream.—Martin Luther King Jr.
During our addiction, maybe we dreamed of joy and laughter with our family—only to find tears and anger. Maybe we dreamed of respect at our job—only to be fired. Our dreams began to feel like burdens. We had lost hope.
With recovery, the hope starts to return. We start to trust ourselves again. We start to trust others again. We start to trust in our Higher Power. Over time, we even dare to dream again. In our dreams, we are loving people. We have something to offer others. We are not scared. This is a sign that hope is returning. We fall in love again with the world, our Higher Power, and ourselves.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, thank-you for giving back my future. Thank-you for giving back my dreams.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll tell my dreams to a friend. Do my future dreams include improving myself through the program?

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Each Day a New Beginning

One doesn’t recognize in one’s life the really important moments–not until it’s too late.  –Agatha Christie
Every moment is special and offers us an opportunity–to let an experience change us in an important way, to invite another person into our life, to nurture the growing, changing woman within. Life’s events move so rapidly we seldom relish the moments individually, but each day teems with tiny gifts divinely designed for our well-being. The woman smiled at in the grocery store yesterday or the man acknowledged on the bus last week felt special. And we were softened, too, by our expression.
We change, and we change our world when we acknowledge one another’s presence in it. The wonderful reality is that we are in another’s world because of the special qualities we each have and are able to share with one another.
For many of us, in times past, no moment felt important. The days were simply long and painful. But now, we can relish even the past pain for what it taught us. We know now that we can look to this day before us with expectation. We can be conscious of every moment, thankful for every experience and every person we encounter.
In this inner game of life, I share the court, and I will have my turn to serve. To really live, I must participate fully.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

The reader may still ask why he should believe in a Power greater than himself. We think there are good reasons. Let us have a look at some of them.
The practical individual of today is a stickler for facts and results. Nevertheless, the twentieth century readily accepts theories of all kinds, provided they are firmly grounded in fact. We have numerous theories, for example, about electricity. Everybody believes them without a murmur of doubt. Why this ready acceptance? Simply because it is impossible to explain what we see, feel, direct, and use, without a reasonable assumption as a starting point.

p. 48

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
It helped me a great deal to become convinced that alcoholism was a disease, not a moral issue; that I had been drinking as a result of a compulsion, even though I had not been aware of the compulsion at the time; and that sobriety was not a matter of willpower.  The people of A.A. had something new; there was a certain sense of security in the familiar.

p. 416

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Many people, nonalcoholics, report that as a result of the practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, they have been able to meet other difficulties of life. They think that the Twelve Steps can mean more than sobriety for problem drinkers. They see in them a way to happy and effective living for many, alcoholic or not.

pp. 15-16

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

Faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to.
–unknown

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
–John Cotton Dana

I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second
time into things that I am most certain of the first time.
–Josh Billings

A lot of growing up takes place between “It fell” and “I dropped it.”
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.
–Robert C. Dodds

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
–unknown

LIVE and let live
EASY does it
BUT for the grace of God
THINK think think
FIRST things first
When put in this order five of our sayings produce a sixth saying by
taking the first word of each one to make the sixth: LIVE EASY BUT
THINK FIRST.
–unknown

An old timer had shared in the meeting about praying for something,
and that God had answered her request. Someone asked her, “How
do you know it was God who granted your request?”
She replied… “I didn’t ask anyone else.”
–unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FREEDOM

“Freedom is nothing else but a
chance to be better.”
–Albert Camus

Human beings are not puppets. Sometimes when you hear people talk
about God and prayer, they imply that we have no choice and that all
actions in life are determined by God alone: a moment’s reflection
should make us hesitate from such a viewpoint. Murder, rape, child
molestation and prejudice do not stem from God but are the results of
God’s gift of freedom to mankind.

Addicts and alcoholics need to comprehend on a daily basis that
prayers that are not accompanied by actions are mere words. God’s
love for man does not obliterate man’s need to love himself through
choice and decision. Sobriety and serenity should be experienced in
our lives when divinity is revealed in our choice.

God, help me to appreciate my involvement in my desire to be a
winner.

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

…”but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12

Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.
Psalm 119:18


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

Daily Inspiration

To make no decision can be worse than making a wrong decision. Lord, help me to be an active part of my life and to realize that no decision is so firm that it can’t be modified, corrected or improved on as time passes.

Worry about nothing, pray for everything, and thank God for His answers. Lord, I ask You to handle my problems with me and care for my needs.

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

NA Just For Today

Conflict

“We learn that conflicts are a part of reality, and we learn new ways to resolve them instead of running from them.”
Basic Text, p.87

From time to time, we all experience conflicts. It may be that we just can’t get along with that new co-worker. Maybe our friends are driving us crazy. Or perhaps our partner isn’t living up to our expectations. Dealing with any conflict is difficult for recovering addicts.

When tempers rise, it is often a good idea to back away from the situation until cooler minds prevail. We can always return for further discussion when we have calmed down. We can’t avoid troubling situations, but we can use time and distance to find perspective.

Conflict is a part of life. We can’t go through our entire recovery without encountering disagreements and differences of opinion. Sometimes we can back away from these situations, taking time to reflect on them, but there always comes a time when conflict must be resolved. When that time comes, we take a deep breath, say a prayer, and apply the principles our program has given us: honesty, openness, responsibility, forgiveness, trust, and all the rest. We didn’t get clean to keep running from life-and in recovery, we don’t have to run anymore.

Just For Today: The principles my program has given me are sufficient to guide me through any situation. I will strive to confront conflict in a healthy way.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In Micronesian, there’s a word, kukaro, which has no corresponding word in English. When people say they are going to kukaro, they mean they are going to relax, sit around, and hang out. They are being, not doing. –Eli and Beth Halpern
As children, our best times are often trips to an amusement park, fishing at the lake, camping, or just sitting idly under a tree. These make the best memories, and times sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows or having a root beer after a family outing seem to bring out the love we share.
We don’t seem to be accomplishing anything at these times. No chores are getting done around the house, no schoolwork, no repairs, no moneymaking.
But these times of peace, relaxation, and a sense of endless time of being, not doing, may be essential to our ability to get other things done later. Certainly we are most receptive to our feelings, new ideas, and unplanned adventures at these moments. Maybe we should add kukaro to our vocabulary.
What timeless thing can I do today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Freedom means the right to be different, the right to be oneself. –Ira Eisenstein
Each of us is a unique creature and has special gifts to contribute to the world. We were not free in the past because we were slaves to addictions and codependency. We know that freedom is precious. Compulsions and pressures for conformity stifle our creativity and erode our dignity. As we grow in our relationship to our Higher Power, we get stronger and more balanced in our unique qualities. Some of us have a talent for empathizing with others, some for writing and art, others for sports and physical activities.
There is no recipe that prescribes exactly what kind of men we should be. Because we’re free, it is our creative task to discover what it means to be honest, masculine, contributing men within our particular circumstances. We don’t get a list of directions for each day, only guidelines for progress. Through groups and friendships, we develop in our own ways and learn to respect each other’s freedom.
I am grateful for the freedom to be uniquely and fully myself.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
One doesn’t recognize in one’s life the really important moments–not until it’s too late. –Agatha Christie
Every moment is special and offers us an opportunity–to let an experience change us in an important way, to invite another person into our life, to nurture the growing, changing woman within. Life’s events move so rapidly we seldom relish the moments individually, but each day teems with tiny gifts divinely designed for our well-being. The woman smiled at in the grocery store yesterday or the man acknowledged on the bus last week felt special. And we were softened, too, by our expression.
We change, and we change our world when we acknowledge one another’s presence in it. The wonderful reality is that we are in another’s world because of the special qualities we each have and are able to share with one another.
For many of us, in times past, no moment felt important. The days were simply long and painful. But now, we can relish even the past pain for what it taught us. We know now that we can look to this day before us with expectation. We can be conscious of every moment, thankful for every experience and every person we encounter.
In this inner game of life, I share the court, and I will have my turn to serve. To really live, I must participate fully.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Celebrate
Take time to celebrate.
Celebrate your successes, your growth, and your accomplishments. Celebrate you and who you are.
For too long you have been too hard on yourself. Others have spilled their negative energy – their attitudes, beliefs, and pain – on you. It had nothing to do with you! All along, you have been a gift to yourself and to the Universe.
You are a child of God. Beautiful, a delight, a joy. You do not have to try harder, be better, be perfect, or be anything you are not. Your beauty is in you, just as you are each moment.
Celebrate that.
When you have a success, when you accomplish something, enjoy it. Pause, reflect, and rejoice. Too long you have listened to admonitions not to feel good about what you have done, lest you travel the downward road to arrogance.
Celebration is a high form of praise, of gratitude to the Creator for the beauty of God’s creation. To enjoy and celebrate the good does not mean that it will be taken from you. To celebrate is to delight in the gift, to show gratitude.
Celebrate your relationships! Celebrate the lessons from the past and the love and warmth that are there today. Enjoy the beauty of others and their connection to you.
Celebrate all that is in your life. Celebrate all that is good. Celebrate you!
Today, I will indulge in the joy of celebrating.

Today I will find someone less fortunate than I and give them what I can. Today I will let go of my own troubles and self pity by finding someone I can help. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Learn to Relax

We need to learn how to relax, how to unwind.

Find something that’s relaxing, healing, soothing, and available to you. Sit in the sun. Take a trip to a nearby hot spring or mineral bath in your state. Perch atop a mountain or hill, taking in the view from above.

Let yourself sit and soak it in for a long as you can. Let yourself be still for as long as you can. Move around a bit if you need to. Then go back and try again.

Don’t just do it once. Try it often. Allow yourself to relax. Give yourself opportunities to unwind. Soon you’ll learn how.

Pay attention to what you think and feel when you try to relax. Watch, as a neutral observer, without judgement or reproach. What thoughts come to mind? How do you feel? What do you feel?

Go as deeply into your thoughts and feelings as you are able. Sit quietly for as long as you can. When your body is done, it will tell you.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Celebrate your freedom

Today in the United States, we celebrate our nation’s independence. Why not take a moment to celebrate your independence as well? Whether you’ve found freedom from an addiction or from codependency, or you’ve discovered the freedom to live your life as fully as possible, take a moment to honor and acknowledge how much that freeom means to you.

It’s good to identify our problems. Through the awareness of what’s wrong and what’s broken, we learn what to repair and fix. It’s good to focus on the health and the goodness in our lives,too. Becoming aware of what’s right and what’s working is how we discover joy.

Look back along the winding road of the path of your life. See how far you’ve come? It looks good to me. How does it look to you?

Hurray! We’re finally free.

God, thank you for setting me free.

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

Food for Thought

Holidays

Holidays come and holidays go. Our choice remains the same: to abstain or to overeat.

Most holidays are associated with an overabundance of special food. Those who are not compulsive overeaters may be able to indulge for a day. We cannot. For us, one day’s indulgence is usually the start of a downward skid into loss of control and the despair, which follows. What kind of a celebration is it if we end up back in the trap of compulsive overeating?

Every day we may celebrate our freedom by abstaining. When holidays come, we enjoy them more by abstaining than we ever did by indulging. We are free from guilt and remorse and the terrible panic that seizes us when we lose control. We are free to think about the deeper significance of the holiday-whatever the celebration, it is more than a reason to eat and drink.

When abstinence remains the most important part of our life, no matter what day it is, then every day is a celebration and holidays are blessings instead of disasters.

Lord, may I celebrate this day and every day by abstaining.

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A Concrete Dream
Goals by Madisyn Taylor

It is vital to take action on your goals in life rather than just daydreaming about them.

Our desires act as fuel, propelling us toward new horizons. Without something to strive for, we stagnate and become stuck in ruts of our own making because we are unsure of what to do next. Goals are the dreams that we are willing to work for. When we set goals, we take responsibility for our lives and choose to wholeheartedly devote ourselves to our aspirations. Even if we only take the smallest steps toward achieving our ambitions, it is vital that we actively pursue our goals rather than just daydreaming about them. Having goals makes us feel good because it adds a sense of purpose and direction to our lives.

When you endeavor to achieve clear and quantifiable goals, your choices and actions take on new significance. Consciously creating your goals can help ensure that the success you seek is attainable and serves you. Your plan must be conceivable, tangible, and measurable. If you cannot visualize your goal in great detail or believe that you can realize them, you may find it difficult to commit to your goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. Make sure that your goals have the potential to be emotionally satisfying. You may even want to write them down. Putting your goals into words can keep your intention fresh in your mind and remind you of your purpose. As you make progress toward realizing your goals, give yourself a reward each time you take a step forward so that you have the incentive to keep going. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, examine ways in which you can revise your strategy so that your plan can work.

In creating goals, you create your future by outlining your destiny. When you choose your goals using your head and heart, you take the first step in manifesting what you want. You grant your own wishes every time you achieve another goal. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

It’s time for me to start being responsible for my own actions. It’s time for me to be willing to take some chances. If my new life in The Program is valid and right, as I truly believe, then surely it can stand the test of exposure to real-life situations and problems. So I won’t be afraid to be human and, if necessary, to sometimes fall on my face in the process of living. Living is what The Program is all about. And living entails sharing, accepting, giving — interacting with other people. Now is the time for me to put my faith into action. Have I begun to practice what I preach by putting my new thoughts and ideas into action?

Today I Pray

May The Program, with God’s help, give me a chance to live a steady, creative, outreaching life, so that I may share with others what has been given to me. May I realize on this Declaration of Independence Day that I, too, have a celebration of freedom — freedom from my addiction.

Today I Will Remember

To celebrate my personal freedom.

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

One More Day

Judge a tree from its fruit; not from the leaves.
– Duripides

Sometimes we have a tendency to judge too quickly. Unfortunately, this is particularly true when we see people who are obviously physically impaired. We may form opinions of them based only on the fact that they walk differently or perhaps because they use a wheelchair.

We can judge people as individuals — not because of a medical condition. We can understand that people make their own individual marks on the world, not so much because of their physical abilities, but because of their mental and spiritual presence.

I will look beyond the external features of people and find the unique qualities within.

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

One Day At A Time

YES AND NO
“Let your ‘no’ be ‘no’ and your ‘yes’ be ‘yes.’”
The Bible, Book of James

The disease of compulsive eating really warps a person’s life. Many compulsive overeaters become people-pleasers and do not know how to set boundaries. We end up not being able to say “No.” However, we also end up saying “Yes” to our disease. In the depths of our disease we lose complete control in our lives.

This program of recovery helps us to set our lives back in order. When we give our disease over to our Higher Power, work the Twelve Steps and practice the principles of our program, we see that our lives can be turned around ~ and daily we have victory over our disease.

One day at a time…
I will say “No” to my disease and “Yes” to recovery by working the Twelve Steps, surrendering to my Higher Power, and living the principles of my program.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

But we saw that it really worked for others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed. – Pg. 25 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We make two great choices in life: one, the decision to get clean and sober; the other, the choice to stay that way.

God, as I understand You, help me stay away from that first fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort for this hour.

Standing in Self

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

Thank you, life, for letting me see this.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We make two great choices in life: one, the decision to get clean and sober; the other, the choice to stay that way.

God, as I understand You, help me stay away from that first fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort for this hour.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you put sobriety first, everything you put second will be first class.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will find someone less fortunate than I and give them what I can. Today I will let go of my own troubles and self pity by finding someone I can help.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

My mind would have killed me but it needed me for transportation. – Bob E.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 4

Gratitude
I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits.
When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love,
the finest emotion we can ever know.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 37

Thought to Ponder . . .
I have learned how a heart full of gratitude feels.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
T H I N K = The Happiness I Never Knew.

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

Freedom
“Looking back we see that our freedom to choose badly
was not, after all, a very real freedom.
When we chose because we ‘must,’
this was not a free choice either.
But it got us started in the right direction.
When we chose because we ‘ought to’
we were really doing better.
This time we were earning some freedom,
making ourselves ready for more.
But when, now and then, we could gladly make
right choices without rebellion, holdout, or conflict,
then we had our first view of what
perfect freedom under God’s will could be like.”
Bill W., May 1960
1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 302

Thought to Consider . . .
Within our wonderful new world,
we have found freedom from our fatal obsession.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F I N E = Free, Independent, New and Energetic

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

Acceptance
>From “Happiness”:
“Accept the things you cannot change. So simple. If the problem cannot be solved today why, simply drop it. I grant that this is not always easy; it takes self-discipline, a faculty infrequently found in newly sober alcoholics. ” New Hartford, New York, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 111

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

“The simple word ‘we’ stands at the entrance to the Steps, reminding me that my power is limited.”
West Henrietta, New York, July 2007
“Food for the Journey,”
Step by Step

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

“Sometimes we hear an alcoholic say that the only thing he needs to
do is to keep sober. Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be
no home if he doesn’t. But he is yet a long way from making good to
the wife or parents whom for years he has so shockingly treated.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 82~

“These men had found something brand new in life. Though they knew
they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that
motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they
found in giving themselves for others.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 159~

“But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 39

“Refusing to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 75

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When I was ten, I was tall and gawky, and smaller kids could push me around in quarrels. I remember being very depressed for a year or more, and then I began to develop a fierce resolve to win.
One day, my grandfather came along with a book about Australia and told me, ‘This book says that nobody but an Australian bushman knows how to make and throw the boomerang.’
‘Here’s my chance,’ I thought. ‘I will be the first man in America to make and throw a boomerang.’ Well, any kid could have had a notion like that. It might have lasted two days or two weeks. But mine was a power drive that kept on for six months, till I made a boomerang that swung around the church yard in front of the house and almost hit my grandfather in the head when it came back.
Emotionally, I had begun the fashioning of another sort of boomerang, one that almost killed me later on.

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, I’ve learned to trust your guidance, yet I still have my own ideas about how I want to live my life. Let me share those ideas with you, and then let me clearly understand your will for me. In the end, let your will, not mine, be done.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 3rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 3rd

Daily Reflections

EXPERIENCE: THE BEST TEACHER

Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious
contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to
be inspired at all times.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 87

Some say that experience is the best teacher, but I believe
that experience is the only teacher. I have been able to
learn of God’s love for me only by the experience of my
dependence on that love. At first I could not be sure of
His direction in my life, but now I see that if I am to be
bold enough to ask for His guidance, I must act as if He
has provided it. I frequently ask God to help me remember
that He has a path for me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous there were only two
persons. Now there are many groups and thousands of members.
True, the surface has only been scratched. There are probably
ten million or more persons in America alone who need our
help. More and more people are making a start in A.A. each
day. In the case of individual members, the beginning has
been accomplished when they admit they are powerless and turn
to a Power greater than themselves, admitting that their
lives have become unmanageable. That Higher Power works for
good in all things and helps us to accomplish much in
individual growth and in the growth of A.A. groups. Am I
doing my part in helping A.A. to grow?

Meditation For The Day

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be filled. Only in the fullness of faith can the
heart-sick and faint and weary be satisfied, healed, and rested.
Think of the wonderful spiritual revelations still to be found
by those who are trying to live the spiritual life. Much of life
is spiritually unexplored country. Only to the consecrated and
loving people who walk with God in spirit can these great
spiritual discoveries be revealed. Keep going forward and keep
growing in righteousness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not be held back by the material things of the
world. I pray that I may let God lead me forward.

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As Bill Sees It

Meeting Adversity, p. 184

“Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it
does upon our failures and setbacks. If you will bear this in mind, I think that your slip
will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down.

“We A.A.’s have had no better teacher than Old Man Adversity, except in those cases
where we refuse to let him teach us.”

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

“Now and then all of us fall under heavy criticism. When we are angered and hurt, it’s
difficult not to retaliate in kind. Yet we can restrain ourselves and then probe ourselves,
asking whether our critics were really right. If so, we can admit our defects to them. This
usually clears the air for mutual understanding.

“Suppose our critics are being unfair. Then we can try calm persuasion. If they continue
to rant, it is still possible for us–in our hearts–to forgive them. Maybe a sense of humor
can be our saving grace–thus we can both forgive and forget.”

1. Letter, 1958
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Battles we’ve won or lost.
Achievements.
Even the continuous sobriety we’re enjoying is no shield from traps we seem to set for ourselves. At times, we can find ourselves in the foolish game of continuing to fight battles we’ve won or lost.
One losing battle is the attempt to win the approval of someone who has always disliked us. That person may be gone, but we still fight….and lose….. the same battle when we find ourselves in a similar situation.
We also may have won some battles without knowing it. This can happen when we’ve set our goals unrealistically high. We may be fairly successful in our work, for example, but still feel that we have failed because a high goal we set eluded us. That goal, however, may have been all but impossible to attain, and while we mourn our perceived failure, we ignore the successes we many have achieved in the meantime. Consequently, we should never let any of these battles interfere with our plan for sobriety. We must stay sober at all costs.
This day, I’ll not strive to impress people who may always disapprove of me. I will also accept my successes even if they fall short of my highest dreams.


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Keep It Simple

We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.— Anonymous
It is dangerous for us to keep secrets. Shame builds, and we’ll want relief. We may turn to alcohol  or other drugs. True relief  comes by talking about our secrets, by sharing who we really are with others. Our program helps us live a life based on honesty. Our program helps us battle shame. We don’t keep secrets anymore. We start our meetings and share what we tried to keep secret before.
” Hi, my name is____________, and I’m am alcoholic.” ” Hi my name is_____________, and I’m a drug addict.” We keep telling our secret, and the shame gets less and less.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I pray to live an honest life.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list any secrets I’ve been keeping. I’ll talk with my sponsor about them.

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Each Day a New Beginning

No one can build (her) security upon the nobleness of another person.  –Willa Cather
Where do we look for our security? Do we look to our husbands or our lovers? Do we look to a parent or our children? Perhaps we seek our security in our jobs. But none of these avenues brings lasting contentment, as we’ve each probably discovered, just as pills, alcohol, or maybe food failed to give us lasting security.
Security of the spirit is with us from our birth. It’s just that we haven’t tapped into the source. Perhaps we don’t even know the source, but it’s been with us always, awaiting our realization of it.
No step do we ever take alone. Each breath we take is in partnership with the eternal source of strength and security within us. We have the choice to accept this partnership any time. And this guarantee of security in all things at all times is the gift of freedom.
Our desire for security is God-given. The security we desire is also given by God to us. We are secure today and every day.
Each step I take is in concert with my higher power. I need experience nothing alone. I can breathe in and tap the plentiful source of strength awaiting me, now.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference to spiritual things make us bristle with antagonism. This sort of thinking had to be abandoned. Though some of us resisted, we found no great difficulty in casting aside such feelings. Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process; we hope no one else will prejudiced for as long as some of us were.

pp. 47-48

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
I had already given up all the narcotics, most of the pills, and some of the alcohol when I first came to A.A.  By early July I had tapered off alcohol completely, and I got off all pills in the ensuing few months.  When the compulsion to drink left, it was relatively easy to stay off alcohol.  But for some time, it was difficult to keep from taking a pill when I had an appropriate symptom, such as a cough, pain, anxiety, insomnia, a muscle spasm, or an upset stomach.  It has gotten progressively easier.  Today I feel I have used up my right to chemical peace of mind.

p. 416

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Though the essays which follow were written mainly for members, it is thought by many of A.A.’s friends that these pieces might arouse interest and find application outside A.A. itself.

p. 15


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Deep within us is a place where we have found God and God has found
us. Once in a great while, we come to this place within us and we
realize it is the goal of our seeking. It feels like home. We may not be
consciously aware of our seeking. We may be living our lives day by
day. The wonder is that while this searching goes on within us, there is
also the One who seeks us out, calling to us, desiring that we find the
home within. It is God who takes the initiative of seeking and places
the desire in our hearts to be found.
–Unknown

The world needs all of our power and love and energy, and each of us
has something to give. The trick is to find it and use it, to find it and
give it away so there will always be more. We can be lights for each
other, and through each other’s illumination we will see the way. Each
of us is a seed, a silent promise, and it is always spring.
–Merle Shain

A true winner is one who congratulates the one receiving recognition
in heart felt words.
–unknown

Forgiveness is only one step in the healing process, but a very
important one to learn.
–unknown

Burdening yourself with trivial things only affects one person – YOU.
–unknown

There is no investment you’ll ever make which will pay you so well as
the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer wherever you are.
–unknown

We see God through eyes of faith.
–SweetyZee

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

CHOICES

“Destiny is not a matter of
chance, it is a matter of choice;
it is not a thing to be achieved.”
–William Jennings Bryan

It is so important for us to see that we create our destiny. We create
our futures in the choices we initiate today. During my addiction I was
like a ship without a sail. I drifted through life and was tossed in a
thousand directions. Today I am able to point myself in the direction I
want to go.

I do not believe that this attitude takes anything away from the power
of God because He gave me freedom in the first place! He created me
to be free and to have the gift of decision-making. He is not a dictator
God, and I am not a puppet on a string. He loves me enough to allow
me to learn from my mistakes and take personal pride in my
achievements. Addiction made me powerless. Sobriety puts me in
touch with my God-given power.

I am forever grateful and thankful for my involvement in my own life.
I pray today that I might live responsibly a day at a time.

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“Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Matthew 19:21

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of
childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait
eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in
this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who
hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet
have, we wait for it patiently.”
Romans 8:22-25

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full
armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s
schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark
world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 6:10-12

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like
a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm
in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the
world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
I Peter 5:8-9

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because
the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
I John 4:4


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Daily Inspiration

Stay close to God because He is the solution to all problems. Lord, I will live in Your presence, protected by You and Your peace will be mine.

Our lives should be productive and useful and we should always make a difference because we are alive. Lord, You have brought me to this new day. Work with me so that I will have a successful day with many accomplishments whether they are great or small.

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NA Just For Today

Quiet Time

“Many of us have found that setting aside quiet time for ourselves is helpful in making conscious contact with our Higher Power.”
Basic Text, p.92

Most of us pay lip-service to the value of conscious contact with a Higher Power. Yet how many of us consistently take time to improve that conscious contact? If we’ve not already established a regular regimen of prayer and meditation, today is the day to start one.
A “quiet time” need not be long. Many of us find that twenty to thirty minutes is enough time to quiet ourselves, focus our attention with a spiritual reading, share our thoughts and concerns in prayer, and take a few moments to listen for an answer in meditation. Our “quiet time” need not be lengthy to be effective, provided it is consistent. Twenty minutes taken once a month to pray will probably do little but frustrate us with the poor quality of our conscious contact. Twenty minutes taken regularly each day, however, renews and reinforces an already lively contact with our Higher Power.

In the hustle and bustle of the recovering addict’s day, many of us end up going from morning to night without taking time out to improve our conscious contact with the God we’ve come to understand. However, if we set aside a particular time of the day, every day, as “quiet time,” we can be sure that our conscious contact will improve.

Just for today: I will set aside a few moments, once I finish reading today’s entry, to pray and meditate. This will be the beginning of a new pattern for my recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
You are here for a purpose. There is not a duplicate of you in the whole wide world; there never has been, there never will be. You were brought here now to fill a certain need. Take time to think that over. –Lou Austin
No other person is exactly like you or me. No one can do exactly what we can, or touch another person in exactly the way we can. Out of all the people who could have been created, we were chosen to be a part of this time and place.
We are needed to fulfill a plan, in our families as well as in our relationships. Knowing we have unique abilities, we will spend less time feeling jealous of what others can do.
Through our dreams and yearnings, God shows us who we can be. It is up to us to have the courage to follow that dream with action.
What unique gift can I offer the world today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist but also in the ability to start over. –F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sitting in a stalled car on the railroad tracks with a train approaching, one needs to let go and start over. A man who persists in that situation will die. Many situations require fierce persistence, but in others we need to start over. Early in recovery, most of us haven’t had a good way of knowing the difference. Perhaps with every challenge we tried harder and held on tighter. Our codependent relationships and our addictions had been our escapes.
Often we long for some clear directions from God to tell us, “Now is the time to let go,” or “Now is the time to persist.” That is not how we hear from our Higher Power. We can practice being less automatic in rising to every challenge. We can learn to see the wisdom and vitality in starting over. Certainly our recovery is a good example. Gradually we develop our contact with our Higher Power to help discern the difference. As we do, we develop more options for leading healthier lives.
Today, I will not automatically persist with a challenge. I will notice when I have an opportunity to let go.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
No one can build (her) security upon the nobleness of another person. –Willa Cather
Where do we look for our security? Do we look to our husbands or our lovers? Do we look to a parent or our children? Perhaps we seek our security in our jobs. But none of these avenues brings lasting contentment, as we’ve each probably discovered, just as pills, alcohol, or maybe food failed to give us lasting security.
Security of the spirit is with us from our birth. It’s just that we haven’t tapped into the source. Perhaps we don’t even know the source, but it’s been with us always, awaiting our realization of it.
No step do we ever take alone. Each breath we take is in partnership with the eternal source of strength and security within us. We have the choice to accept this partnership any time. And this guarantee of security in all things at all times is the gift of freedom.
Our desire for security is God-given. The security we desire is also given by God to us. We are secure today and every day.
Each step I take is in concert with my higher power. I need experience nothing alone. I can breathe in and tap the plentiful source of strength awaiting me, now.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Directness
So much of our communication can reflect our need to control. We say what we think others want to hear. We try to keep others from getting angry, feeling afraid, going away, or disliking us. But our need to control traps us into feeling like victims and martyrs.
Freedom is just a few words away. Those words are our truths. We can say what we need to say. We can gently, but assertively, speak our mind.
Let go of your need to control. We do not need to be judgmental, tactless, blaming, or cruel when we speak our truths. Neither do we need to hide our light. Let go, and freely be who you are.
Today, I will be honest with others, and myself knowing that if I don’t, my truth will come out some other way.

It is exciting to know that the more I listen to the chattering that goes on in my mind, the quicker I can identify the blocks to my positive and creative energy. Today I release all negativity so that I can be fully alive in the moment. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Cherish Your Heart

A woman I met in Washington gave me a gift. It was a beautiful heart, sculpted by her son, an artist. It was a mosaic of broken pieces, a heart covered with break lines that had healed over and mended together.

“My son made this,” she said. “I want you to have it.” I thanked her for the gift. Now I keep it close. It’s a reminder to keep my heart open.

Keep your heart open. Take care lest life’s problems shut you down. When you close down, your passion, enthusiasm, faith, and zest will disappear.

Open your heart to all you meet. If it’s not safe, you’ll know. But don’t close your heart. Just move in another direction. Don’t worry about getting your heart broken. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it’s the price you pay for opening your heart, for taking the risk. But if it does happen, you can allow your heart to heal, then open it once again.

Remember the sculpture. Let it remind you that, once healed, a broken heart is a beautiful work of art.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say what’s up today

What’s up?

I don’t mean the events. You most likely are extremely aware fo the events taking place– or not occurring– in your life. What’s up emotionally?

Do you feel anxious, scared, ambivalent, wishy-washy, or fiercely determined? Do you feel clever, powerful, blissful, curious, or relieved?

There are many shades and colors, nuances of emotions. Some emotions get our attention quickly. They clearly present themselves and we immediately name them and claim them as ours. Sometimes the feelings are not that easy to identify. Those are usually the ones we need to pay the most attention to; those are often the ones that can be controlling our lives.

An important idea to remember about feelings is that they are just emotional energy and we’re allowed to feel however we feel. There’s no right and wrong about emotions; the names are just words we use to identify that particular emotional energy burst.

There’s another way we can feel, another space we’re each entitled to. That space is called “centered,balanced, and clear.” When we identify, feel, and release whatever feeling is up each day, we’ll easily and naturally return to that quiet, peaceful, centered place.

Sometimes, if the emotional burst is big– of the volcanic size– it might take a few days or a week to return to that clear, centered place. Other times, just an acknowledging nod in the direction of the emotion that’s up is all we need to do.

Don’t resist. Give in. Give in all the way to what and how you feel. Then just let that feeling float away. The more you give in to whatever you’re feeling, the less it will hurt and the more quickly it’ll disappear. The more specific you can be about the event or person that’s triggering the emotion, the more you’ll help yourself slide gracefully through the emotional burst.

Mastering your emotions means taking responsibility for how you feel. Feelings are important, but remember, they’re just feelings,too. Don’t let them define reality, control your life, or color your world. Mastering your emotions means clearing out your emotions so you can live, move, love, work, and play from that peaceful, centered place.

Take a moment today and each day of your life.

As yourself, “What’s up?”

God, help me become fluent with my emotions. Help me learn to feel whatever I feel, then regularly restore myself to that centered, balanced, place.

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Food for Thought

Rest in God

Fatigue is one of our worst enemies. Sometimes it is our own unnecessary busyness and over-ambition which wears us out, and sometimes the cause of our fatigue seems unavoidable. Depression and weariness go hand in hand.

It was our habit to reach for something to eat when we were tired. We may still crave refined sugar and carbohydrates as a quick boost when our energy lags. Instead of these substances, which we know will let us down, we need to turn to our Higher Power for rest and refreshment.

Even better than waiting until we are fatigued to ask for help is the habit of resting continuously in God. We may then carry on our activities knowing that we are upheld by His power, and we will avoid the exhaustion of trying to accomplish everything by our own efforts.

May I remember to rest in You.

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The Greater Cause
Some Good Reasons for Doing Good by Madisyn Taylor

Imagine what a different world we would live in if we all worked toward the greater good.

With all that takes place in our lives, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the fact that we’re part of something greater than ourselves—a collective consciousness, the Universe, a greater cause. Because of our tendency to forget this, we might make decisions in our lives that don’t reflect that responsibility that comes with this belonging. All too often, we focus just on the short-term, tangible gain to ourselves without worrying about its consequences. Other times, we may discard the greater cause because it seems like “hard work.” The challenge is to expand our minds so that we transcend the distinction between self and others, so we are aware of how our choices and actions can impact a greater cause.

Contributing to the greater cause doesn’t have to be all about self-sacrifice. For example, if you plant a tree in a community space, its shelter will cool and protect you as well as your neighbors. Or, your reward might be in the form of the beauty that you now see in that space or the sincere smiles of appreciation from neighbors. When you serve the greater cause you also serve your greater good. There is nothing that you cannot do for your highest good that will not benefit the good of all. For example, saying no to a relationship that isn’t right for you not only benefits you but serves the greater good of the other person that you are honoring with your honesty. Saying yes to your dream job not only fulfills you but also serves the people that will benefit from your enthusiasm and productivity.

When you know you are serving a greater cause, there is little room for fear and doubt. You know that what you do will benefit others, so there is no way the universe is not going to support your efforts – even if sometimes it may not look that way. Serving the greater cause allows you to live from the space of your greatness. When you know that what you do can serve a greater cause, you are aware of your power and ability to influence and create change in this world. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Chance is a part of the flow of life. Sometimes we’re frustrated because change seems slow in coming. Sometimes, too, we’re resistant to a change that seems to have been thrust upon us. We must remember that change, in and of itself, neither blinds us not frees us. Only our attitude toward change blinds or frees. As we learn to flow with the stream of life, praying for guidance as to any change that presents itself — praying, also, for guidance if we want to make a change and none seems in view — we become willing. Am I willing to let God take charge, directing me in changes I should make and the actions I should take?

Today I Pray

When change comes too fast — or not fast enough — for me, I pray I can adjust accordingly to make use of the freedom The Program offers to me. I pray for the guidance of my Higher Power when change presents itself — or when it doesn’t and I wish it would. May I listen for direction from that Power.

Today I Will Remember

God is in charge.

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One More Day

A chronic illness is a constant and sometimes overwhelming companion … only the power of a warm heart can alleviate the deep chill.
– Robert K. Massie

When our lifestyles change and an illness pervades our lives, we often feel lonely. It’s not like a bad mood we can just shake off.

We need our friends and family around us, but it’s up to us to give them the cue. People may stay at arm’s length until we all — even encourage — them to come closer. We need the support they can give us, and they need the satisfaction of contributing to our lives no matter how we’ve changed in our illness. We comfort and encourage each other, and we all feel blessed.

My illness has not changed the basic person I am. I needed the love and support of others before. I still do.

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One Day At A Time

HOPE
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Emily Dickinson

I wanted desperately to lose weight, be happy, be spiritually and emotionally fulfilled, and feel serenity in my soul. How long must one wait in a single lifetime to achieve these things? How long must one function day-to-day at a fairly high level, only to close the door at night to a world of emptiness? How long must one go without hope?

My compulsion for food had come close to destroying my life. I was in a constant state of denial that the simple act of eating food could account for a life run amok and totally unmanageable. But the truth of the matter is that it could … and it did.

I found Twelve Steps that empowered me to do things I’d never dreamed of doing. These Twelve Steps enabled me to see the simple reality that compulsive eating could destroy my life. They showed me that life was beautiful and that my disease could turn out to be my greatest blessing. The Twelve Steps gave me something so precious that I am in awe of their power …. something so empowering that I had to admit powerlessness in order to become powerful. The Twelve Steps gave me the most beautiful gift I have ever received … a gift that no one can ever take away from me … a gift that I treasure above all gifts: hope. They gave me the gift of hope.

One day at a time…
I will hold onto my hope.
One day at a time … I will treasure my hope.
One day at a time … hope perches in my soul.
One day at a time … hope sings its song.
~ Mari

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature. Our struggles with them are variously strenuous, comic, and tragic. – Pg. 16 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Another part of learning good hourly habits is to take time for physical exercise. This is part of the balance of our new lives. We need activity for the well-being of the body and for self-discipline. We can walk, swim, jog, take up sports, aerobics, dance, or even yoga–just as long as we are consistent and somehow active.

Give me the self-discipline to maintain some type of physical activity in my clean and sober life-style.

The Creative Power of My Thoughts

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

All good things are possible for me.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When you start the day with quiet meditation, you create a consciousness of serenity and peace. At anytime during the day you can bring your mind back to this moment.

When things get hectic or stressful, I bring my awareness back to the peace that I create now.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Sometimes before you can have a spiritual awakening, you have to have some rude awakenings.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Say I can search my own heart and discover whether my intentions are for positive or constructive reasons. Today I can trust that when I come from good and love, I am making the right choices.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Daily meditation for about twenty minutes is recommended for all in recovery – unless you’re very busy, then you should do half an hour. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 3

Choice
Like so many, I do not always surrender completely;
I allow the cares and worries of the day to distort my thinking.
But as soon as I get back on the right track, I realize I have everything I need.
Whatever problems confront me, large or small, they can be solved wisely.
Or they can be solved my way. The choice is mine.
– Came To Believe . . ., p. 60

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

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

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

Discovery
“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.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 42

Thought to Consider . . .
Sobriety is a choice and a treasure.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, and Trust

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

Egoism
>From “Medicine Looks at Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“The fact of hitting bottom to produce a surrender which cut the ego to size was evident fairly soon. In time two additional facts manifested themselves. The first was that a reduced ego has marvelous recuperative powers. The second was that surrender is an essential disciplinary function and experience.
“It is common knowledge that a return of the full-fledged ego can happen at any time. Years of sobriety are no insurance against its resurgence. No A.A., regardless of his veteran status, can ever relax his guard against the encroachments of a reviving ego. Recently one A.A., writing to another, reported that he was suffering, he feared, from ‘halo-tosis,’ a reference to the smugness and self-complacency which so easily can creep into the individual with years of sobriety behind him. Dr. Harry Tiebout, M.D.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 249

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

“On a daily basis I choose not to drink – or to fear, hate, be angry, or indulge in any other defect that’s raising its ugly head. They’re all there waiting, and when given a chance they charge into the center of my life and try to take over. But when I work Step Seven I find that my life is filled with good, and people actually like to be around me – something they never did in my drinking days.”
July 1995, Kathmandu, Nepal
“A Lifetime Supply,”
Step By Step: Real AAs, Real Recovery

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

“Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once.
Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find
someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We
find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not
work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become
convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time
on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity
to live and be happy.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 96~

“Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will
into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee—Thy will
(not mine) be done.” These are thoughts which must go with us
constantly.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85~

“We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 19

“We can further add that a beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 35

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks. If you will bear this in mind, I think that your slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down.
We A.A.’s have had no better teacher than Old Man Adversity, except in those cases where we refuse to let him teach us.’
‘Now and then all of us fall under heavy criticism. When we are angered and hurt, it’s difficult not to retaliate in kind. Yet we can restrain ourselves and then probe ourselves, asking whether our critics were really right. If so, we can admit our defects to them. This usually clears the air for mutual understanding.
‘Suppose our critics are being unfair. Then we can try calm persuasion. If they continue to rant, it is still possible for us–in our hearts–to forgive them. Maybe a sense of humor can be our saving grace–thus we can both forgive and forget.

Prayer for the Day: Take my will & my life, Guide me in my recovery, Show me how to live.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 2nd

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 2nd

Daily Reflections

THE HEART OF TRUE SOBRIETY

We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the
program. Willingness, honesty and open-mindedness are the essentials
of recovery. But these are indispensable.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 570

Am I honest enough to accept myself as I am and let this be the “me”
that I let others see? Do I have the willingness to go to any length, to
do whatever is necessary to stay sober? Do I have the
open-mindedness to hear what I have to hear, to think what I have to
think, and to feel what I have to feel?

If my answer to these questions is “Yes,” I know enough about the
spirituality of the program to stay sober. As I continue to work the
Twelve Steps, I move on to the heart of true sobriety: serenity with
myself, with others, and with God as I understand Him.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In the association with members of the A.A. group to which we belong,
we have the advantage of sincere friendship and understanding of the
other members who, through social and personal contact, take us away
from our old haunts and environments and help to remove in large
measure the occasions of alcoholic suggestion. We find in this
association a sympathy and a willingness on the part of most members
to do everything in their power to help us. Do I appreciate the
wonderful fellowship of A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

“Except ye become as little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of
heaven.” In this saying it is urged that all who seek heaven on earth or
in the hereafter’ should become like little children. In seeking things
of the spirit and in our faith, we should try to become childlike. Even
as we grow older, the years of seeking can give us the attitude of the
trusting child. Not only for its simple trust should we have the childlike
spirit, but also for its joy in life, its ready laughter, its lack of criticism,
and its desire to share. In Charles Dickens’s story, A Christmas Carol,
even old Scrooge changed when he got the child-spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may become like a child in faith and hope. I pray that I
may, like a child, be friendly and trusting.

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As Bill Sees It

A Viewer-with-Alarm, p. 183

“I went through several fruitless years in a state called ‘viewing with alarm for the good
of the movement.’ I thought it was up to me to be always ‘correcting conditions.’ Seldom
had anybody been able to tell me what I ought to do, and nobody had ever succeeded in
effectively telling me what I must do. I had to learn the hard way out of my own
experience.

“When setting out to ‘check’ others, I found myself often motivated by fear of what they
were doing, self-righteousness, and even downright intolerance. Consequently, I seldom
succeeded in correcting anything. I just raised barriers of resentment that cut off any
suggestion, example, understanding, or love.”

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

“A.A.’s often say, ‘Our leaders do not drive by mandate; they lead by example.’ If we
would favorably affect others, we ourselves need to practice what we preach–and forget
the ‘preaching,’ too. The quiet good example speaks for itself.”

1. Letter, 1945
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Sincerity at the Beginning
Self-Honesty
We were told at our first AA meeting that half-measures will avail us nothing.  What’s needed is a sincere desire to stop drinking and seek and way of life.
As we continue in the program, we learn that sincerity is an ingredient for success in everything we do. Quite often, we may find that we’re failing in something simply because our heart isn’t really in it.
We can’t force ourselves into a sincere posture.  Instead, the answer is to know ourselves well enough to know just how we feel about everything we do.
We’ll learn to be careful about attempting to do something when our heart is not really in it.  We may be doing something we dislike merely for the recognition and money it gives us. For real sincerity, we need more than that, and the truths of the program will help us find it.
I’ll be conscious today of the sincerity I have about the things I am attempting to do.  There may be some things I need to abandon or at least change.


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Keep It Simple

I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. — Albert Einstein
None of us know anything for sure about the future. We don’t know if we’ll be sober tomorrow.
But we can be sure of this moment. We get sober by moments. Our sober moments then stretch into hours, day, and years
Our program tell us to live in the present moment. This is because we can control this moment
We can’t control the past or the future. We need to have a sense of control in our life. In our illness, we were out of control. This was because we wouldn’t live from moment to moment.
Each moment is filled with as much life as we can handle. Each moment is filled with enough to keep us alive, interested, and growing.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me find You in each moment.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll stop and focus on the present moment. I will work to see how much control I can have if I stay with the moment at hand.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Humor is such a strong weapon, such a strong answer. Women have to make jokes about themselves, laugh about themselves, because they have nothing to lose.  –Agnes Varda
Laughter can cure a physical condition; it can and will positively affect an emotional illness as well. Laughter ushers in a new perspective which gives vent to a changed attitude. And our attitude toward any situation, any individual, is all-powerful.
A negative, critical attitude toward our financial situation, toward our disease, toward our boss, or spouse, or children, determines how we feel moment by moment. In like manner, when we raise our sights, look at the world with lightness in our hearts, expecting to enjoy the day, the people, the activity, we’ll succeed.
Finding humor in a situation, any situation prevents us from succumbing to feelings of powerlessness. Feeling powerless, behaving as victims, came easily for many of us before we chose this program and the Twelve Steps to live by. Choosing a humorous response, opting to laugh at our situation, at any point in time, keeps our personal power where it belongs–with ourselves.
My emotional health depends on my active involvement in deciding who I am, right now. Deciding to chuckle rather than snarl will give me an unexpected emotional boost.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

That was great news to us, for we had assumed we could not make use of spiritual principles unless we accepted many things on faith which seemed difficult to believe. When people presented us with spiritual approaches, how frequently did we all say, “I wish I had what that man has. I’m sure it would work if I could only believe as he believes. But I cannot accept as surely true the many articles of faith which are so plain to him.” So it was comforting to learn that we could commence at a simpler level.

p. 47

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
It seemed that all they talked about at meetings was drinking, drinking, drinking.  It made me thirsty.  I wanted to talk about my many big problems; drinking seemed a small one.  And I knew that giving up “one drink for one day” wouldn’t really do any good.  Finally, after seven months, I decided to try it.  To this day, I am amazed at how many of my problems–most of which had nothing to do with drinking, I believed–have become manageable or have simply disappeared since I quit drinking.

pp. 415-416

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

A.A.’s Twelve Traditions apply to the life of the Fellowship itself. They outline the means by which A.A. maintains its unity and relates itself to the world about it, the way it lives and grows.

p. 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BEAUTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

Avoid the tendency to presuppose that things will turn out for the worse. Lord, help me keep an open mind so that I am able to see other solutions to my situations and then give me the determination to make a difference when I can.

We take for granted so much of what God has planned for us. Lord, may I have sufficient preparation to meet the challenges of today and rejoice in the person that I am.

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NA Just For Today

Comparing

“Our personal stories may vary in individual pattern, but in the end we all have the same thing in common.”  Basic Text, p.84

We addicts are a varied bunch, coming from different backgrounds,
having used different drugs, and recalling different experiences. Our
differences don’t disappear in recovery; for some, those differences
become even more pronounced. Freedom from active addiction gives us the
freedom to be ourselves, as we truly are. The fact that we are all
recovering doesn’t mean that we all necessarily have the same needs or
goals. Each of us has our own lessons to learn in recovery.

With so many differences from one addict to the next, how do we help
one another in recovery and how do we use each other’s experience? We
come together to share our lives in light of the principles of
recovery. Though our lives are different, the spiritual principles we
apply are the same. It is by the light of these principles, shining
through our differences, that we illuminate one another’s way on our
individual paths.

We all have two things in common: addiction and recovery. When we
listen carefully, we hear others tell of suffering from the same
disease we have suffered from, regardless of their specific
backgrounds. When we open our ears, we hear other addicts talk of
applying spiritual principles that promise hope to us as well,
regardless of our personal goals.

Just for today: I have my own path to follow, yet I’m grateful for the
fellowship of others who’ve suffered from addiction and who are
learning to apply the principles of recovery, just like me.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Now my soul hath elbowroom. –William Shakespeare
If we spend too much time together we are bound to grow weary of one another. This would happen regardless of who the other person was. In a family, we need some time apart to pursue other interests and friendships. We may be able to meet many needs for each other, but there will be some we cannot meet. If we press too hard upon one another we will cramp our life together.
Our needs for space aren’t just physical. Freedom to think and feel what seems appropriate for us, to be alone if we want, is a large part of our lives together. Only with this kind of freedom is love possible. Love requires freedom. We need to value each other, and at the same time realize that no one person or family can fill us with all life has to offer.
What are my own freedoms at home?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us. –Eric Hoffer
As adults, we accept responsibility for our feelings and our circumstances. We haven’t chosen our own troubles, but we have the job of dealing with them. If a man falls and breaks a leg, he might say to someone, “It’s your fault, and I’ll make you pay for this!” But that won’t fix his leg. The healing still has to come from within.
Our impulse to blame others is an attempt to escape our responsibilities. We become overcritical. We want someone else to take the rap for our pain and our misdeeds, but this only delays our wholeness as men. There is no point in blaming ourselves either. When we first confront our discomfort directly and accept responsibility for dealing with it, we feel an inner urge to escape again. If we stay with the discomfort a while, a new stage begins – the healing and acceptance stage. A feeling of wholeness comes, a feeling of being a real person, of having reached our full size.
May I not indulge in blame today – toward myself or anyone else. Instead, may I be a strong, responsible man.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Humor is such a strong weapon, such a strong answer. Women have to make jokes about themselves, laugh about themselves, because they have nothing to lose. –Agnes Varda
Laughter can cure a physical condition; it can and will positively affect an emotional illness as well. Laughter ushers in a new perspective which gives vent to a changed attitude. And our attitude toward any situation, any individual, is all-powerful.
A negative, critical attitude toward our financial situation, toward our disease, toward our boss, or spouse, or children, determines how we feel moment by moment. In like manner, when we raise our sights, look at the world with lightness in our hearts, expecting to enjoy the day, the people, the activity, we’ll succeed.
Finding humor in a situation, any situation prevents us from succumbing to feelings of powerlessness. Feeling powerless, behaving as victims, came easily for many of us before we chose this program and the Twelve Steps to live by. Choosing a humorous response, opting to laugh at our situation, at any point in time, keeps our personal power where it belongs–with ourselves.
My emotional health depends on my active involvement in deciding who I am, right now. Deciding to chuckle rather than snarl will give me an unexpected emotional boost.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Who Knows Best?
Others do not know what’s best for us.
We do not know what’s best for others.
It is our job to determine what’s best for ourselves.
“I know what you need.” . . . “I know what you should do.” . . . “Now listen, this is what I think you should be working on right now.”
These are audacious statements, beliefs that take us away from how we operate on a spiritual plane of life. Each of us is given the ability to be able to discern and detect our own path, on a daily basis. This is not always easy. We may have to struggle to reach that quiet, still place.
Giving advice, making decisions for others, mapping out their strategy, is not our job. Nor is it their job to direct us. Even if we have a clean contract with someone to help us – such as in a sponsorship relationship – we cannot trust that others always know what is best for us. We are responsible for listening to the information that comes to us. We are responsible for asking for guidance and direction., But it is our responsibility to sift and sort through information, and then listen to ourselves about what is best for us. Nobody can know that but ourselves.
A great gift we can give to others is to be able to trust in them – that they have their own source of guidance and wisdom, that they have the ability to discern what is best for them and the right to find that path by making mistakes and learning.
To trust ourselves to be able to discover – through that same imperfect process of struggle, trial, and error – is a great gift we can give ourselves.
Today, I will remember that we are each given the gift of being able to discover what is best for ourselves. God, help me trust that gift.

I am accepting myself just as I am, imperfections and all. I am not striving to be perfect today. I only want to grow, to change, to become more and more open and let God and love be in charge of my life.” –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

What Would Make You Happy?

Why don’t you make yourself happy? Did someone tell you you couldn’t be happy, couldn’t let life help you out? It doesn’t matter who told you you couldn’t have what you wanted. What matters is if you’re still telling yourself that now.

Yes, there are many situations in life in which we need to go without, do what needs to be done, get the job done. There are times when a particular purpose is served by depriving ourselves. But there are also situations– many more than we think– in which we can have what we want. There are moments when what we want matters.

Look into your heart. Ask yourself what you want. What would feel good? What would bring joy? Is anything to be gained by depriving yourself a while longer? Get creative. Look around. What are some ways you could give yourself what you want? What could you do to create your life more to your liking?

Giving yourself what you want isn’t selfish. It teaches others they can have more of what they want from life,too.

Use your imagination. Set yourself free. Let yourself see the pictures and feel the emotions of what would make you happy. Then take a moment, pause, and smile. You’re beginning to get a glimpse of all you can have from God.

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More Language Of Letting Go

It’s good for your heart

“I know I’ve got some emotions up, just brewing right beneath the surface,” Jake said one day. “I’m edgy, irritable, and definitely not centered. But I don’t want to look. I don’t want to go into the emotions. I don’t like feelings. Whenever I give into them. I end up feeling like a piece of cooked spagetti– for days.”

Emotions can take a lot out of us. Feeling them, whether it’s anger, fear, or sadness, can leave us exhausted and drained.

Not feeling our emotions, however, can keep us edgy, irritable, and off-balance. Not feeling our feelings for an extended time can drive us to acting out, whether that means overeating, obsessing, staying in bed and hiding from the world, or staring at the television every night until we pass out.

Be gentle with yourself. Don’t force it. But don’t run away from your feelings, either. You might feel like cooked spagetti for a while, but what’s really softening up is your heart.

God, help me face and feel any feelings.

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Offerings of the Day
Finding Gifts in All by Madisyn Taylor

Before bed each night, take the time to review your day and review the gifts you received.

When we have good days, we often find ourselves going over the details later, enjoying them a second and third time as we feel the joy of our good fortune. When we have bad days, we may find ourselves poring over the details of our misfortunes. However, we can reframe those bad days by making it a daily practice to spend some time before going to bed each night to review the gifts we received that day. Regardless of our evaluation of the day—good, bad, mediocre—we can call forth the many blessings that were present. This practice transforms our consciousness as it reveals the fullness at the heart of our lives.

Some days it’s easy to recount the gifts we’ve received; on other days, we have to look harder for the offerings of the day, but once we do, we will find there are always quite a few. We can keep it simple and be grateful for the fact that we have a roof over our head, nature, food, and our health. Once we have fully experienced these gifts, we can move outward to the gifts that may require a little more thought such as the gifts of forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance that we may have learned that day. We can also always be grateful for the people in our lives who support us, no matter how bad our day may have been.

Just reviewing the many positive offerings in our lives provides a context for our difficulties that puts them in proper perspective, but we can also make an effort to see the gifts even in adverse circumstances. This can be challenging and may require some practice before it feels authentic, but we have all had the experience of a disappointment or loss leading to a surprising gain. Just remembering this and trusting the give and take of life can help us to remember that sometimes the best gifts of all are the ones we don’t recognize right away. In addition, the lessons we learn in the face of adversity are offerings in their own right, allowing us to count patience, wisdom, and fortitude alongside the other gifts of the day. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

During our days of active addiction, many of us displayed almost dazzlingly fertile powers of imagination. In no time at all, we could dream up more reasons — or, rather excuses — for pursuing our addictions than most people use for all other purposes in their entire lives. When we first come to The Program, our once-imaginative minds seem to become lethargic and even numb. “Now what do I do?” many of us wonder. Gradually, however, the lethargy disappears. We begin learning to live and become turned on to life in ways that we never dreamed possible. Am I finding that I can now enjoy activities that I wouldn’t even consider in the old days?

Today I Pray

May God give me a new surge of energy directed toward “turning on to life” rather than making excuses for not handling my responsibilities. May He allow my out-of-order imagination to be restored — not to the buzzing over activity of my compulsive days, but to a healthy openness to life’s boundless possibilities.

Today I Will Remember

Turn on to life.

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One More Day

If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
– Leon Eldred

We had few concerns when we were young other than eating, sleeping, and playing with friends. As we grew into young adulthood, we worked hard and played hard, often ignoring any signals our bodies gave us. We expected to be stiff after exercise, for example, and accepted it as part of our lifestyle.

By the time our chronic medical conditions became evident, our health habits were fairly well-established. We certainly can’t undo the early care — or neglect — of our bodies. But we can learn new habits that will serve us well all the days of our lives.

Ultimately, my physical and emotional health depends upon my willingness to take care of myself.

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You are reading from the book Food for Thought.

Spiritual Strength

What we compulsive overeaters need in order to control our disease is spiritual strength. If we are strong spiritually, we will not turn to food to fill our inner emptiness. We overate because we were spiritually impoverished, and overeating further depleted our spirits.

Paradoxically, we are strongest spiritually when we are most aware of our weakness. In order for our Higher Power to take over, we must recognize and admit our powerlessness. Spiritual strength comes to those who have the necessary humility to receive it.

We do not acquire this strength overnight. The more time we spend each day in communion with God, the stronger we become. Cultivating the awareness of His presence as we go about our activities enables us to rely more and more on His strength and less and less on our own.

Strengthen us with spiritual food so that we do not need to overeat.

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One Day At A Time

COMMITMENT
“One small step for a man ~
One giant leap for mankind.”
Neil Armstrong

When I came into program, I was very overwhelmed by the idea of commitment. The thought of committing to a food plan or exercise regime was more than I could comprehend; in fact, I would feel panic rising in me at the thought of it. I would have dreams of being a mouse caught in a corner with nowhere to run. I would throw in the proverbial monkey wrench after a short time, and soon be on my own turf … the desperation and depression which were my “old friends” would reappear, and I would be back into my “safe” and always-waiting disease.

This recovery program taught me “one day at a time;” it taught me to put one foot in front of the other; that for one day I could do what I couldn’t do, or even fathom doing, for a lifetime. This is how I found abstinence. Breaking up my days, weeks, months and years into 24-hour periods allows me to live in the now, and not feel swallowed up in thinking that I have to do this for the rest of my life.

One Day at a Time . . .
The steps may seem small, it may even look as though I’m not moving at all, but with God’s help I make giant leaps toward wellness and peace of mind.
~ Shana

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

I was not too well at the time, and was plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment. This sometimes nearly drove me back to drink, but I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day. Many times I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up and set on my feet. It is a design for living that works in rough going. – Pg. 15 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Although we don’t know it, there is a cloud over our brains in the first days. It takes just about 30 days for this drug cloud to lift from our thinking. Any time now, this cloud will leave and our vision will become clearer than it has been in years.

May my eyes clear, my mind clear, my desires clear as I begin my clean and sober days.

Reinvestment

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

I invest my energy with care and gusto.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Don’t let the therapeutically ‘correct’ way to run a group hijack your meeting. Leaders are reluctant to cut a newcomer off for fear of shaming their inner child, rejecting them, or appearing to be mean. We are not therapy and we can’t share with them if they can’t listen.

I do not let the newcomer’s inner child run our meetings. This is not play therapy.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

God does not want me to do extraordinary things; He wants me to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am accepting myself just as I am, imperfections and all. I am not striving to be perfect today. I only want to grow, to change, to become more and more open and let God and love be in charge of my life.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

You can tell an alcoholic – but you can’t tell him much. Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 2

Self-esteem
In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions,
our personal relationships (including sex) were hurt or threatened.
So we were “burned up.” . . . Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions,
our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with? . . .
We went back through our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 64-65

Thought to Ponder . . .
Self-esteem doesn’t need an audience.

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

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

Prayer
“All of us, without exception,
pass through times when we can pray
only with the greatest exertion of will.
Occasionally we go even further than this.
We are seized with a rebellion so sickening
that we simply won’t pray.
When these things happen we should not think
too ill of ourselves.
We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can,
doing what we know to be good for us.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Hang On; Pray Every day

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

Alike
>From “Because I’m an Alcoholic”:
“That sense of being different, which had long plagued me, disappeared when I saw the threads that run through all of us. Sharing our stories, our feelings, it is the areas where we are the same that impress me. The differences are but delightful flourishes on the surface, like different-colored costumes, and I enjoy them. But the basic ways we are human, the basic ways we simply are, stand out to me now. I came to see that we all are really one, and I no longer feel alone.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 347

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

“Today I think I can trace a clear linkage between my guilt and my pride. Both of them were certainly attention-getters. In pride I could say, ‘Look at me, I am wonderful.’ In guilt I would moan, ‘I’m awful.’ Therefore guilt is really the reverse of the coin of pride. Guilt aims at self-destruction, and pride aims at the destruction of others.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1960
“Freedom Under God: The Choice Is Ours”
The Language of the Heart

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

“We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can
laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.
Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is
that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust
their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him
demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our
fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once,
we commence to outgrow fear.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 68~

“In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 70 (How it Works)

“It is hoped that this volume will afford all who read it a close-up view of the principles and forces which have made Alcoholics Anonymous what it is.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 18 (ForeWord)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

I went through several fruitless years in a state called viewing with alarm for the good of the movement. I thought it was up to me to be always correcting conditions. Seldom has anybody been able to tell me what I ought to do, and nobody had ever succeeded in effectively telling me what I must do. I had to learn the hard way out of my own experience.
‘When setting out to check others, I found myself often motivated by fear of what they were doing, self-righteousness, and even downright intolerance. Consequently, I seldom succeeded in correcting anything. I just raised barriers of resentment that cut off any suggestion, example, understanding, or love.’
‘A.A.s often say, Our leaders do not drive by mandate; they lead by example. If we would favorably affect others, we ourselves need to practice what we preachand forget the preaching, too. The quiet good example speaks for itself.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for the gift of reading. Today I will read attentively.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 1st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 1st

Daily Reflections

THE BEST FOR TODAY

The principles we have set down are guides to progress.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 60

Just as a sculptor will use different tools to achieve desired effects in
creating a work of art, in Alcoholics Anonymous the Twelve Steps are
used to bring about results in my own life. I do not overwhelm myself
with life’s problems, and how much more work needs to be done. I let
myself be comforted in knowing that my life is now in the hands of my
Higher Power, a master craftsman who is shaping each part of my life
into a unique work of art. By working my program I can be satisfied,
knowing that in the doing the best that we can for today, we are
doing all that God asks of us.”

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In following the A.A. program with its twelve steps, we have the
advantage of a better understanding of our problems. Day after day
our sobriety results in the formation of new habits, normal habits. As
each twenty-four-hour period ends, we find that the business of staying
sober is a much less trying and fearsome ordeal than it seemed in the
beginning. Do I find it easier as I go along?

Meditation For The Day

Learn daily the lesson of trust and calm in the midst of the storms of
life. Whatever of sorrow or difficulty the day may bring, God’s
command to you is the same. Be grateful, humble, calm, and loving to
all people. Leave each soul the better for having met you or heard
you. For all kinds of people, this should be your attitude: a loving
desire to help and an infectious spirit of calmness and trust in God.
You have the answer to loneliness and fear, which is calm faith in the
goodness and purpose in the universe.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be calm in the midst of storms. I pray that I may pass
on this calmness to others who are lonely and full of fear.

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

As Bill Sees It

The Reality of Spiritual Experiences, p. 182

“Perhaps you raise the question of hallucination versus the divine imagery of a genuine
spiritual experience. I doubt if anyone has authoritatively defined what a hallucination
really is. However, it is certain that all recipients of spiritual experiences declare their
reality. The best evidence of that reality is in the subsequent fruits. Those who receive
these gifts of grace are very much changed people, almost invariably for the better. This
can scarcely be said of those who hallucinate.

“Some might think me presumptuous when I say that my own experience is real.
Nevertheless, I can surely report that in my own life and in the lives of countless others,
the fruits of that experience have been real, and the benefactions beyond reckoning.

Talk, 1960

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

Walk In Dry Places

Are we victimizing ourselves?
Finding the New Happiness
Some believe that people create their own trouble by attracting the wrong conditions and people in their lives. This may not be entirely true, but we can find that some element of it was at work with us. Time and time again during our drinking, we set ourselves up for abuse and rejection, though our motives seemed right.
Why did we do this? Supposedly to punish ourselves, the theory has it.
If this is true, then we should now call a halt to the process immediately. If we’ve emerged from the terrors of alcoholism, we’ve had all the punishment anybody needs.
We can change our bad patterns by looking carefully at the people and situations we seem to attract. Without resentment or condemnation, we can part company with any problems these have been bringing us. We can
start building new relationships and attracting better conditions that will be immensely successful in terms of happiness and well-being.
I’ll remember today that in the new life I’m seeking, there’s no need for punishment. I will not go out of my way to attract people or conditions that create problems in my life.  


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

Keep It Simple

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.—Step Seven
In Step Six, we got ready to give up our shortcomings. In Step Seven, we ask God to remove them. There is one catch. We humbly as God to remove them.
Being humble means we remember who we are: human beings who need God’s help. Being humble means not pretending we’re God. We admit we need God’s help. Being humble means seeing ourselves as we are. We’re a small but important part of God’s plan. We can change much, but only God can change some things about us. This is why we ask. Being humble is not a weakness, but a true strength.
Prayer for the Day:  God, please remove my shortcomings.
Action for the Day:  Throughout the day, I’ll pray to God to remove my shortcomings.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

It’s quite uncomfortable to be an adolescent at age thirty-two.  –Peggy Cahn
Our lives are in process every moment, which means change is ever-present. As new information is sorted and acquired, old habits are discarded. We don’t let go of some old behaviors easily, however. They are like comfortable shoes. They may be worn thin, and they probably embarrass us in certain company, but we slip them on unconsciously and then it’s too late.
Maturity is an “as if” behavior, initially. Emotional development was stunted, for most of us, with the onset of our addictive behavior, thus, we often respond to situations like adolescents. Application of the “as if” principle will result both in new personal attitudes and unfamiliar, yet welcome, responses from others. Acting as if we are capable, strong, confident, or serene will pave the way for making those behaviors real, after a time. If we believe in ourselves and our ability to become the women we strive to be, we can then move forward confidently.
When my behavior embarrasses or shames me, I will accept the responsibility for changing it. Changing it offers immediate rewards. The people around me will react in refreshing ways, and I’ll feel more fully alive.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. “Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?” As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.*

* Please be sure to read Appendix II on “Spiritual Experience.”

p. 47

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Eventually the psychiatrist discharged me from the hospital, and Max and I began to go to meetings ourselves.  Right from the start, I felt that they weren’t doing anything for me, but they sure were helping Max.  We sat in the back and talked only to each other.  It was precisely a year before I spoke at an A.A. meeting.  Although we enjoyed the laughter in the early days, I heard a lot of things that I thought were stupid.  I interpreted “sober” as meaning “drinking but not being drunk.”  When a big, healthy-looking young fellow stood up there and said, “I’m a success today if I don’t drink today,” I thought, “Man, I’ve got a thousand things to do today before I can brag about not taking a drink, for God’s sake!”  Of course, I was still drinking at the time.  (Today there is absolutely nothing in the world more important to me than my keeping this alcoholic sober; not taking a drink is far by the most important thing I do each day.)

p. 415

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

This book deals with the “Twelve Steps” and the “Twelve Traditions” of Alcoholics Anonymous. It presents an explicit view of principles by which A.A. members recover and by which their Society functions.

p. 15

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

I welcome solitude into my life today. I welcome the peace, serenity,
wisdom and spirituality I find when I take that special time for me.
–Ruth Fishel

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you
plant.
–Robert Louis Stevenson

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we
give.”
–Norman MacEwan

We’re not invited into relationship with God at a deeper level in the
absence of our challenges, but in the midst of all of life, including our
challenges. Difficulties provide us a chance for greater closeness.
Every situation in life carries with it an incredible opportunity for
sweetness, depth and wonder. Receive every experience today as an
opportunity and a gift.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“It is easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is the one who can smile, When everything
goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is troubled, And it always
comes with the years. And the smiles that is worth the praises of
earth, Is the smile that shines through tears.”
–Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold
well.
–Josh Billings

“Character is what you are in the dark.”
–Dwight L. Moody

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BELIEF

“Seek not to understand that you
may believe, but believe that you
understand.”
–St. Augustine

For years I tried to understand my behavior around alcohol and I only
came away more confused. Sometimes my efforts to understand led
me into dishonesty and manipulation. I drank because I was lonely,
angry, happy, overworked or because I had problems with my parents.
You see, I tried to understand “why”!

Science has no definitive answer as to why some people are alcoholic
other than to postulate the disease factor, with the emphasized advice,
“Don’t pick up the first drink.” So today I don’t understand why I am
an alcoholic. I also believe that I can never drink alcohol without
having alcohol problems. This cherished belief keeps me sober and
gives me a God I can understand; a life that I can love; and a world I
can live in.

Oh yes — and I can remember where I have been today!

Help me to believe in what I know and to be content with the
imperfection of my knowledge.

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

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:1-3

“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
Psalms 119:105


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

Daily Inspiration

It’s easy to give up, but no matter what the outcome is, if you do your best, you are always the winner. Lord, may I truly realize that it is the way I participate in life that counts for me.

Example is the best way to teach. Lord, may I teach Your goodness by the way I live my life.

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

NA Just For Today

A Simple Program

“The program is simply sharing, working the Twelve Steps, attending meetings, and practicing the principles of the program.”
Basic Text, p.188

Our complicated lives can be made a lot less complicated if we concentrate on a few simple things-sharing our experience, strength, and hope with others, regular meeting attendance, and practicing the principles of the program in our daily lives.

By sharing our experience, strength, and hope with other addicts, we provide a powerful example for newcomers to follow. The effort we put into helping others also helps keep self centeredness, the core of our disease, at bay.

Many of us pick one group, a “home group” whose meetings we attend faithfully. This regularity gives some routine to our lives, and lets others know where they can find us if they need us.

Practicing the Twelve Steps in our daily lives makes the difference between a balanced recovery and simply not using. The steps give us some much-needed guidance in managing our everyday affairs.

Yes, we are complex people. But the NA program simplifies our lives, enabling us to live a life free from active addiction. Our lives can be filled with serenity and hope when we live by the guidance of the simple principles of our program.

Just for today: I will remember that, while I am a complex person, NA is the simplest way for me to make my life less complicated.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. –Rachel Carson
Beauty is everywhere. It is in the daisies, in the lavender wildflowers, in the new green grass of spring. As we walk through life, noticing such beauty strengthens us. It reminds us of the spiritual creative force alive in this world On better days, we can feel our own creativity gaining power from such beauty. On harder days, nature’s sunset can help us step out of our suffering for a moment to be comforted and inspired by its splendor.
Even storms, in their wild and angry way, show us a power greater than ourselves. Such awesome beauty is beyond our understanding, and yet it is part of the earth we live on.
What lessons will nature teach me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. –Raymond Inmon
We all seek creative ideas from time to time – perhaps when we have a problem resting heavily on our minds, or when we are simply in a bad mood. We need to refresh ourselves at those times. Refreshment doesn’t solve a problem, but it can revitalize our thinking. Sometimes when we are feeling hopeless, we neglect to care for ourselves, forgetting a better environment will give us a stronger attitude, even toward the most difficult problems.
We must learn our own best methods for being refreshed – ways that allow angels to whisper to us. They should be simple, inexpensive, and accessible daily. Going for a walk is a very good example. Daily reading and study is another possibility. Observing nature, doing handicrafts or hobbies are refreshing for some men. These activities allow us to temporarily set aside our tasks and concerns and open us to creative ideas.
Today, I will give myself a creative break from the concerns I am facing.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It’s quite uncomfortable to be an adolescent at age thirty-two. –Peggy Cahn
Our lives are in process every moment, which means change is ever-present. As new information is sorted and acquired, old habits are discarded. We don’t let go of some old behaviors easily, however. They are like comfortable shoes. They may be worn thin, and they probably embarrass us in certain company, but we slip them on unconsciously and then it’s too late.
Maturity is an “as if” behavior, initially. Emotional development was stunted, for most of us, with the onset of our addictive behavior, thus, we often respond to situations like adolescents. Application of the “as if” principle will result both in new personal attitudes and unfamiliar, yet welcome, responses from others. Acting as if we are capable, strong, confident, or serene will pave the way for making those behaviors real, after a time. If we believe in ourselves and our ability to become the women we strive to be, we can then move forward confidently.
When my behavior embarrasses or shames me, I will accept the responsibility for changing it. Changing it offers immediate rewards. The people around me will react in refreshing ways, and I’ll feel more fully alive.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Receiving
Here is an exercise.
Today let someone give to you. Let someone do something nice for you. Let someone give you a compliment or tell you something good about yourself. Let someone help you.
Then, stand there and take it. Take it in. Feel it. Know that you are worthy and deserving. Do not apologize. Do not say, “You shouldn’t have.” Do you feel guilty, afraid, ashamed, and panicky? Do not immediately try to give something back.
Just say, “Thank you.”
Today, I will let myself receive one thing from someone else, and I will let myself be comfortable with that.

Today I will listen to the messages that go on in my head and decide for myself if they are healthy. Today I will choose to follow positive messages that I tell myself or create new messages that are positive and healthy. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Embrace Each Cycle of Your Life

It took me a long time to accept wearing glasses. I am still surprised when I need my spectacles to read a menu or scan the telephone directory. Sometimes I look in the mirror expecting to see the body, the face of my youth because I remember her. She’s still in me.

Now I’m learning to welcome aging, as each decade of life brings its own challenges, joys, sorrows, and teachings. I’m learning to trust the lessons of each cycle of my life. I don’t fear aging, for I know that it’s as much, and as important, a part of life as my youth.

“My mother just had her seventieth birthday,” the woman at the lodge told me. “My sister and I asked her what she wanted. She wanted a wet suit for diving because waterskiing had strained her back.”

What does getting older mean to you?

Young and old. All part of the same. Each moment is a moment of life, your life. Each cycle has its lessons. Dig out your glasses, if you must, but laugh whe you do it. And remember to make each moment count.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Learn to say how it feels

He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach.
–Ernest Hemingway

Many teachers of our time attribute consciousness– energy not just matter– to all creations that exist in God’s marvelous world. Many teachers from ancient times espoused this philosophy,too.

How does it feel when you sit next to a sprawling oak tree? How does it feel when you lie in the hot sand at the beach, listening to the waves splashing on the shore? How does it feel in your kitchen in the morning? How does it feel when you’re with your best friend? Or your spouse?

How does it feel to go into a store filled with beautiful objects, stuffy salesclerks, and signs that scream: DO NOT TOUCH?

Many of us are survivors. We learned the art of leaving our bodies early on, perhaps in our childhood or maybe later, as a way of coping with situations that didn’t feel good and that didn’t feel right to us. We learned to deny how a situation felt– and often how it felt to be with certain people– in order to cope with situations we found ourselves in that we didn’t have the tools or power to escape. We trained ourselves to ignore how things felt because either we told ourselves we had no choice, or we truly didn’t have a say in the matter.

We don’t have to survive anymore. That time is past. Now, it’s time to live.

Come back into your body. Stretch your senses, so that they fill up all of you– your sense of taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound, and your intuitive senses,too. How do you feel emotionally? If you can’t put words to it, just describe it as best as you can. Then go to the next level. Tune into the feelings and moods of the world around you, but not so much that you take these feelings on as yours. Tune in just enough to recognize how the energy of each situation feels to you.

Don’t judge your responses and feelings as either good or bad. And you don’t have to do anything to control how it feels– to you or anyone else. Just allow yourself to experience and recognize how it feels to be you.

Part of speaking the language of letting go means learning to delight and revel in all our senses, including our inner knowing.

Learn to say with trust and confidence, This is how I feel.

God, help me come fully to life.

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

Food for Thought

Saying No

There are times when all of us find it difficult to say no. Even though we realize intellectually that we cannot have and do everything, we have trouble saying no to the foods, activities, and people that are not good for us.

Abstaining means saying “No, thank you” when offered something not on our food plan. We may think that we are afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings by our refusal, but usually it is our own compulsive desire that prevents us from giving a firm no. Our sanity and health are more important than pleasing whoever is offering what we should not have.

As we work the program, we become more aware of the people and activities that use up our energies unnecessarily. Avoiding them gives us more time and strength for what means most to us. Learning when and how to say no is a very important part of our recovery. Most often, the person we need to say no to is ourself.

I pray for the strength to say no to what is not good for me.

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

A Refuge of Your Own
Creating a Garden Sanctuary by Madisyn Taylor

A personal outdoor sanctuary is an important part of feeling connected to all of life.

Each of us has been blessed with an innate need to celebrate and glorify life. At a most basic level, we honor the forces that came together to bring us into being by caring for our bodies and our souls. To truly rejoice in existence, we must also learn to cultivate loveliness in those special places that replenish the soul. When we create a garden sanctuary, we are reminded that we are a part of both nature’s essence and something more. An outdoor retreat is a place we can surround ourselves in nature, beauty, and the life force. It is not difficult to create a sanctuary—we should endeavor, however, to create sanctuaries that speak to us as individuals.

Whether we have a yard, a grassy corner, a patio, or a porch at our disposal, our creative potential is infinite. Any of these spaces can become a magnificent garden. When we feel drawn to specific themes such as Zen, angels, paradise, or the ethereal, we should explore them. Décor and furniture crafted from natural materials like wood and stone blend seamlessly into nature. Yet we can also augment the natural world by filling our garden sanctuaries with statues, bells or gongs, or colorful flags. Running water, like that in a created stream or fountain, helps energy flow smoothly. If space is a concern, crystals and mirrors can fulfill the same function. Hidden features like concealed swings and reflecting pools veiled in shadow can surprise and delight. As your garden sanctuary evolves, remember to invite the elemental spirits of nature to assist you in your efforts to create a small pocket of harmony, beauty, and peace in your own backyard. If you have not already felt th! eir presence, sit quietly in your garden and reach out to them. You will feel these earthly guides at your side as you continue to develop your sanctuary.

In the refuge of brilliant color, sweet scents, and stillness you create in your garden, the burdens imposed upon you by a sometimes hectic world will melt away. The splendor and tranquility of what you have brought into being will entrance you, allowing you to forget the constraints of time and space. No matter how large or small your garden sanctuary, the time you spend reveling in its pleasures will refresh your spirit and provide you with innumerable opportunities to celebrate life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
Fear may have originally brought some of us to The Program. In the beginning, fear alone may help some of us stay away from the first drink, pill, joint or whatever. But a fearful state is hardly conducive to comfort and happiness – not for long. We have to find alternatives to fear to get us through those first empty hours, days or even weeks. For most of us, the answer has been to become active in and around The Program. In no time, we feel that we truly belong; for the first time in a long time, we begin to feel a “part of” rather than “apart from.”
Am I willing to take the initiative?
Today I Pray
May God please help me find alternatives to fear – that watchdog of my earliest abstinence. I thank Him for directing me to a place where I can meet others who have experienced the same compulsions and fears. I am grateful for my feeling of belonging.
Today I Will Remember
I am “a part of,” not “apart from.”

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

One Day At A Time

THE BOTTOM
“Those who cannot remember the past
are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana

Sometimes we have to go to the absolute bottom. If we’re extremely lucky, the absolute bottom is where we find our inspiration. Sometimes I think that people who don’t hit absolute bottom are missing a valuable experience. Then again, living life on the edge of that precipice is no fun at all. The greatest gift is to be able to step away from the edge and live life without the fear of falling.

If we aren’t extremely lucky, what we find at the absolute bottom is a trapdoor that opens to a vast, empty space. The door opens and the empty space gratefully accepts the body and the soul given to it.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will stop living on the edge;
I will stop regretting my past;
I will avoid the trapdoor.
~ Richard H.

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. – Pg. xxix – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

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.

Letting Go

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

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

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. …You must do the thing you cannot do.’ -Eleanor Roosevelt

I do the thing I cannot do as I overcome F.E.A.R. I Face Everything And Recover.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The program fixes it so we don’t have to suffer from insanity anymore. Now we can enjoy it!

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I trust my instincts. Today I trust I will know at the right time the right answer. Today I have the faith to know that God guides me in my choices.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I only need one meeting a week, but I go to seven because I don’t know which one I need. – Anon.

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 1

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

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

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

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

Puzzle
“By nature touchy and suspicious,
the alcoholic likes to be left alone to work out his puzzle,
and he has a convenient way of ignoring the tragedy
which he inflicts meanwhile upon those
who are close to him.
He holds desperately to a conviction that,
although he has not been able to handle alcohol in the past,
he will ultimately succeed in becoming a controlled drinker.
One of medicine’s queerest animals,
he is, as often as not, an acutely intelligent person.
He fences with professional men and relatives
who attempt to aid him and he gets a perverse satisfaction
out of tripping them up in argument.”
The Jack Alexander Article
>From the March 1941 issue of The Saturday Evening Post

Thought to Consider . . .
There is no such thing as being ‘a little bit alcoholic.’

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
D E N I A L = Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying.

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

Blindness
Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
“This lack of anchorage to any permanent values, this blindness to the true purpose of our lives, produced another bad result. For just so long as we were convinced that we could live exclusively by our own individual strength and intelligence, for just that long was a working faith in a Higher Power impossible.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 72

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

“As devastatingly difficult as they have been, the last two years have been a giant Seventh Tradition workshop. Never in my married life or in any time before it had I truly understood what being self-supporting meant. I had relied on others to take care of me, not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually, too, and I let my life go to hell if they didn’t.”
Los Angeles, California, July 2007
“Self-Support,”
No Matter What: Dealing with Adversity in Sobriety

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

“The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy,
envy, frustration, and fear.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Employers, pg. 145~

“Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more
alcoholics than anything else.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

“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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 22~

“You will awaken to a new sense of responsibility for others.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.120 (To Wives)

“When by devoted service to family, friends, business, or community we attract widespread affection and are sometimes singled out for posts of greater responsibility and trust, we try to be humbly grateful and exert ourselves the more in a spirit of love and service.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.124 (Step Twelve)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Perhaps you raise the question of hallucination verses the divine imagery of a genuine spiritual experience. I doubt if anyone has authoritatively defined what an hallucination really is. However, it is certain that all recipients of spiritual experiences declare for their reality. The best evidence of that reality is in the subsequent fruits. Those who receive these gifts of grace are very much changed people, almost invariably for the better. This can scarcely be said of those who hallucinate.
‘Some might think me presumptuous when I say that my own experience is real. Nevertheless, I can surely report that in my own life and in the lives of countless others, the fruits of that experience have been real, and the benefactions beyond reckoning.

Prayer for the Day: My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good & bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character Which stands in the way of my usefulness to you & my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do your bidding.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 30th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 30th

Daily Reflections

SACRIFICE = UNITY = SURVIVAL

The unity, the effectiveness, and even the survival of A. A.
will always depend upon our continued willingness to give
up some of our personal ambitions and desires for the
common safety and welfare. Just as sacrifice means survival
for the individual alcoholic, so does sacrifice means unity
and survival for the group and for A. A.’s entire Fellowship.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 220

I have learned that I must sacrifice some of my personality
traits for the good of A. A. and, as a result, I have been
rewarded with many gifts. False pride can be inflated through
prestige but, by living Tradition Six, I receive the gift of
humility instead. Cooperation without affiliation is often
deceiving. If I remain unrelated to outside interest, I am
free to keep A. A. autonomous. Then the Fellowship will be
here, healthy and strong for generations to come.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics are unable or unwilling, during their addiction
to alcohol, to live in the present. The result is that they
live in a constant state of remorse and fear because of
their unholy past and its morbid attraction, or the uncertain
future and its vague foreboding. So the only real hope for
the alcoholic is to face the present. Now is the time. Now is
ours. The past is beyond recall. The future is as uncertain
as life itself. Only the now belongs to us. Am I living in
the now?

Meditation For The Day

I must forget the past as much as possible. The past is over
and gone forever. Nothing can be done about the past, except
to make what restitution I can. I must not carry the burden of
my past failures. I must go on in faith. The clouds will clear
and the way will lighten. The path will become less stony with
every forward step I take. God has no reproach for anything
that He has healed. I can be made whole and free, even though
I have wrecked my life in the past. Remember the saying:
“Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not carry the burden of the past. I pray that
I may cast it off and press on in faith.

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

As Bill Sees It

Imaginary Perfection, p. 181

When we early A.A.’s got our first glimmer of how spiritually prideful we could be, we
coined this expression: “Don’t try to be a saint by Thursday!”

That oldtime admonition may look like another of those handy alibis that can excuse us
from trying for our best. Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary. This is our A.A. way
of warning against pride-blindness, and the imaginary perfections that we do not possess.

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

Only Step One, where we made the 100 per cent admission that we were powerless over
alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state
perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which
we estimate our progress.

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 68

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

Walk In Dry Places

Making all things new
Releasing the Past
A 12 Step program should give us a new way of life, our friends often say. We should have new attitudes, new experiences, new opportunities.
If we’re to grasp this new way of life, we must let go of the old habits of the past. No alcoholic can recover, for example, by choosing to remain in the old drinking environment.  We must also “recover” from other relationships and patterns that were destructive or kept us from our highest good.
“Behold, I make all things new,” is the ancient promise. As our thoughts and beliefs change, the old patterns drop away and the new life reveals itself to us.
Today I’ll drop the negative or outworn relics from the past and press on to find the things that are for my greatest good. 


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

Keep It Simple

If you don’t know where you are going, You’ll probably end up somewhere else.—
Lawrence J. Peter
The Twelve Steps are our plan of living. We must have a plan. Without one, we waste our energy.
We react instead of think. This is what we did as an addict. We lived our lives as out-of-control people. This caused a lot of pain for us and those around us.
Recovery brings us the Twelve Steps, and each Step gives us direction and wisdom. Each Step builds on the progress we made from the Step before it. Sometimes we follow the plan well. Sometimes we think we can do better on our own. Do I believe the Twelve Steps are a good plan of living?
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You have shown me a new way of life, a plan for living. Thank you for leading me to the Twelve Steps. Help me follow them.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll take time out to read the Twelve Steps. Then I’ll list three reasons why the Steps are a good plan for living.

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Each Day a New Beginning

. . . in silence might be the privilege of the strong, but it was certainly a danger to the weak. For the things I was prompted to keep silent about were nearly always the things I was ashamed of, which would have been far better aired . . .  –Joanna Field
It has been said, “We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.” Our emotional health as recovering women is hindered, perhaps even jeopardized, each time we hold something within that we need to talk over with others.
Sharing our fears, our hurts, our anger, keeps open our channel to God. Secrets clutter our mind, preventing the stillness within where our prayers find answers. Secrets keep us stuck. Our health, emotional and spiritual, depends on our commitment to shared experiences.
Every secret we have and tell someone, frees that person also to be herself and to grow. Sharing experiences relieves us of our shame and invites the forgiveness we must allow ourselves.
Steps Four and Five facilitate the process of sharing those secrets that block our path to God and to one another. Never can we be fully at peace with secrets left untold. Self-revelation cleanses the soul and offers us life.
I will be alert to the opportunities to share myself and cherish the freedom offered.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was.

p. 47

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Against my better judgment, I went to a meeting with him that night and a strange thing began to happen.  The psychiatrist, who had generally been ignoring me, now became quite interested; every day he would ask me all kinds of questions about the A.A. meetings.  At first I wondered whether he was alcoholic himself and was sending me to find out about A.A.  But it quickly became obvious that he had this childish notion instead:  If he could get me to go to enough meetings while in the hospital, I would continue to go after he let me out.  So, for no better reason than to fool him, I asked Frank to take me to a meeting every night.  And Frank did set me up for a meeting every night except Friday, when he thought he might have a date with his girl friend.  “That’s a devil of a way to run an organization,” I thought, and I reported Frank to the psychiatrist, who didn’t seem perturbed; he just got someone else to take me on Fridays.

pp. 414-415

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of more than one hundred thousand* alcoholic men and women who are banded together to solve their common problems and to help fellow sufferers in recovery from that age-old, baffling malady, alcoholism.

*In 1998, it is estimated that nearly two million have recovered through A.A.

p. 15

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God, help me to lower my defenses today, to be open to the good in
the people around me and to the good that I have to offer them.
–Melody Beattie

If you desire to align yourself with God’s love, take an honest
assessment of where love is lacking in your life. Do you embrace the
difficult people in your family, work or neighborhood? Do you hold
grudges or do you forgive those who betray you? The only way to
keep in alignment is to practice choosing love, again and again, even
when it’s difficult.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
–John Wooden

Forget your old ideas. Forget the lies they told you.
Forget them all, and you will begin to remember.
–Marianne Williamson

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will
ever regret.
–Ambrose Bierce

Our outward behavior is just a reflection of our inner balance or our
out of balance.
–John-Roger

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HUMOR

“The one serious conviction that
a man should have is that
nothing is to be taken
seriously.”
–Nicholas Murray Butler

For years I used to take myself too seriously. I thought that everything
depended upon my thoughts, actions and decisions. Life was a series of
agendas that had to be met; life was too serious to be joked about. I
knew that I was not God, but I took responsibility for the whole
universe. I had opinions on everything and everybody and I was, of
course, always right.

As the years passed it grew painful being so responsible — my control
produced stress, tension and loneliness. Then a friend said to me, “Let
go and let God.” I began to detach and laugh at my insane behavior. I
laughed more as I began to accept my humanness. I discovered
spirituality in the joke. God must have a sense of humor — after all,
He made me.

Help me to laugh at myself in my search for the Kingdom.

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

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. Psalms 17:3

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 19:14

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks
what is just.
Psalms 37:30


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

Daily Inspiration

Avoid distraction by concentrating on the task in which you are presently involved. Lord, much that bothers me is useless to my well-being. Help me identify when this happens and replace these thoughts with thoughts that treat me kindly.

God will give you strength because He will give of Himself. Lord, thank You for the many gifts of which You always bless me.

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NA Just For Today

Maintaining The Foundation

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.”
Basic Text p. 93

The foundation of our lives is what the rest of our lives is built upon. When we were using, that foundation affected everything we did. When we decided that recovery was important, that’s where we began to put our energy. As a result, our whole lives changed. In order to maintain those new lives, we must maintain the foundation of those lives: our recovery program.

As we stay clean and our lifestyles change, our priorities will also change. Work and school may become important because they improve the quality of our lives. And new relationships may bring excitement and mutual support. But we need to remember that our recovery program is the foundation upon which our new lives are built. Each day, we must renew our commitment to recovery, maintaining that as our top priority.

Just for today: I want to continue enjoying the life I’ve found in recovery. Today, I will take steps to maintain my foundation.
pg. 188

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Cultivate your garden. Let it take root in you until your thousand eyes open like violets to morning light. –Nancy Paddock
In our imaginations we can mix images and ideas from all over the world–imagine the thousand eyes of a peacock growing among the purple violets, or babies that grow on trees! In our imaginations we can also nurture feelings of love, affection, self-esteem.
All of us–not just writers–can learn to see the images in our own minds. We can do this by breathing slowly, relaxing, and looking at the movie in our minds. We may see a field of wildflowers, or find ourselves wading across a stream in the mountains. We might see happiness as wildflowers and grass coming up through the sidewalk, breaking the concrete into chunks and sand, growing so slowly yet with such great power. It may help us appreciate our growth today to look at it this way.
Can I visualize my happiness right now? What does it look like?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is nothing as easy as denouncing. It don’t take much to see that something is wrong, but it takes some eyesight to see what will put it right again. –Will Rogers
We come to this day with a choice of whether to be for something or against it. Shall we put energy into what we seek and admire or shall we give our energy to opposition and resistance of what we dislike? If someone asks a favor, we have a choice to resent and resist the intrusion or to engage with the person and see where it might lead. If a project we are working on is frustrating, we can wallow in criticizing it or try to get a clearer picture of what will work and what we want.
Criticizing may be a helpful first stage in learning, but it is seductive because it holds little risk and we feel safe doing it. In that comfort we forget to go for ward to create what we really want. Our negative energy, when we are seduced by it, creates negative results. When we look back upon today, we will admire those choices that risked creating something positive.
Today, I will not give my energy to denouncing but to creating what I believe is worthwhile.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
. . . in silence might be the privilege of the strong, but it was certainly a danger to the weak. For the things I was prompted to keep silent about were nearly always the things I was ashamed of, which would have been far better aired . . . –Joanna Field
It has been said, “We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.” Our emotional health as recovering women is hindered, perhaps even jeopardized, each time we hold something within that we need to talk over with others.
Sharing our fears, our hurts, our anger, keeps open our channel to God. Secrets clutter our mind, preventing the stillness within where our prayers find answers. Secrets keep us stuck. Our health, emotional and spiritual, depends on our commitment to shared experiences.
Every secret we have and tell someone, frees that person also to be herself and to grow. Sharing experiences relieves us of our shame and invites the forgiveness we must allow ourselves.
Steps Four and Five facilitate the process of sharing those secrets that block our path to God and to one another. Never can we be fully at peace with secrets left untold. Self-revelation cleanses the soul and offers us life.
I will be alert to the opportunities to share myself and cherish the freedom offered.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Accepting Change
One day, my mother and I were working together in the garden. We were transplanting some plant for the third time. Grown from seed in a small container, the plants had been transferred to a larger container; then transplanted into the garden. Now, because I was moving, we were transplanting them again.
Inexperienced as a gardener, I turned to my green thumbed mother. “Isn’t this bad for them?” I asked, as we dug them up and shook the dirt from their roots. “Won’t it hurt these plants, being uprooted and transplanted so many times?”
“Oh, no,” my mother replied. “Transplanting doesn’t hurt them. In fact, it’s good for the ones that survive. That’s how their roots grow strong. Their roots will grow deep, and they’ll make strong plants.”
Often, I’ve felt like those small plants – uprooted and turned upside down. Sometimes, I’ve endured the change willingly, sometimes reluctantly, but usually my reaction has been a combination.
Won’t this be hard on me? I ask. Wouldn’t it be better if things remained the same? That’s when I remember my mother’s words: That’s how the roots grow deep and strong.
Today, God, help me remember that during times of transition, my faith and my self are being strengthened.

Today I trust my instincts. Today I trust I will know at the right time the right answer. Today I have the faith to know that God guides me in my choices. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Cherish Your Connection to the Universe

My relationship with the universe used to be different. I felt separate, apart, disconnected from the rest of the world. My vision of God used to be different,too. I used to see God as sitting on a throne, separate and apart from this world. I still see God as the supreme creative force, but the separateness is melting, changing, transforming into something new. Now I see God, the energy of God, and Divine love as a part of all that is, the breath of life in every living thing.

I used to see the world as made up of individual and separate components. I used to see people as disconnected and essentially powerless in a world separated from God. Each thing, person, and action a distinctly different operation or event from any other, from the whole. Now I see a planet full of people connected to the Divine. Now I see a universe connected by a Divine thread that weaves throughout all that is, was, and will be. A living universe that is alive, magical, connected by universal love. Connected by Divine love.

Enter into a relationship with the universe, a relationship as alive, as active, as vital as any other relationship. Then know that you are connected to the world and everything in it. Know that universal love, Divine love, is real and you are an important part of it.

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

more language of letting go
Make yourself at home

It was night, only a few months after I’d begun my skydiving adventure. It was too cold to stay in my tent; I had rented a cabin near the drop zone. Now I’d come back to hang out for a while, before retiring for the night.

One of the sky divers I’d met recently was sitting in a lawn chair, under the tarped area between the rows of trailors that had been turned into team rooms and student training areas. The evening lights had been turned on. He was wrapped up in a sleeping bag, reading a book under the hazy glow. He was one of the full-time sky divers, who had been attracted to the gypsy lifestyle of the skydiving community as much as the sport itself.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m in my living room, reading a book,” he replied. “Do you like the view of the backyard?” he asked, making a gesture toward the rolling hills that cascaded gently in the background. “That’s my patio,” he said, pointing to a small area just around the corner. “The morning sun hits there. It’s a warm place to sit and eat breakfast. Sometimes I sleep in that tent,” he said, pointing off to the side. “And sometimes I take my sleeping bag and curl up under the stars in the landing area, over there.”

I looked around, almost envious of his freedom.

Sometimes, we get so busy and involved creating a “home” for ourselves that we create a structure that’s too safe, limiting, and confined. We forget about our real home, the planet earth. It’s good to sleep indoors. It’s nice to make ourselves comfortable in our home. But don’t let your cozy nest become a locked, confining box.

Stretch your arms. Push the lid off the box. Get out into the world. Walk around. Move about. See the hills, the lakes, the forests, the mountain peaks, the valleys, the rivers.

See how big your world can be. See how connected everything is. See how connected you are,too– to all that is. Make yourself comfortable, wherever you are. Make yourself a home and be at home in the world.

God, help me relax and make myself at home in your beautiful world.

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

Food for Thought

Praise God!

We did not create this program on our own, and we did not achieve abstinence by ourselves. Our recovery is a gift, just as life is a gift. Light, the natural world, our nourishment, talents, love, and fellowship – all come from our Higher Power. Our role is to receive, use wisely, share, and enjoy the blessings God has showered upon us.

When we get over the idea that we can do everything by ourselves, we become receptive to the moving force that creates and sustains us. As we stop looking at life from our own egotistical point of view, we begin to see God’s glory. No longer a slave to our appetites and desires for material things, we are able to rejoice in our Higher Power and to share our joy with those around us.

Our recovery from compulsive overeating makes us examples of God’s power to heal and renew. For all of His miracles, we praise Him.

In You, there is great joy.

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

Focused Value
Quality vs. Quantity

It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment.

We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a thin spread of freshly made preserves can satisfy us more than a full bucket of a product that we aren’t very fond of. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together. It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage.

Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be meaningful. A modest portion of good, healthy food can nourish and satisfy you on multiple levels and, when organically grown, nourish the earth as well. Likewise, a few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one catching up on the important details about family, work, or community can carry more meaning than two hours spent watching television together.

Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality. Then again, quantity also plays a significant role in our lives. Certain elements, such as hugs, kisses, abundance, and love, are best had in copious amounts that are high in quality. But faced with the choice between a single, heartfelt grin and a lifetime of empty smiles, most would, no doubt, choose the former. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I’ve learned in The Program that the trick, for me, is not stopping drinking, but staying stopped and learning how not to start again. It was always relatively easy to stop, if only by sheer incapacity alone; God knows, I stopped literally thousands of times. To stay stopped, I’ve had to develop a positive program of action. I’ve had to learn to live sober, cultivating new habit patterns, new interests and new attitudes. Am I remaining flexible in my new life? Am I exercising my freedom to abandon limited objectives?

Today I Pray

I pray that my new life will be filled with new patterns, new friends, new activities, new ways of looking at things. I need God’s help to overhaul my lifestyle to include all the newness it must hold. I also need a few ideas of my own. May my independence from chemicals or compulsive behavior help me make my choices with an open mind and a clear; appraising eye.

Today I Will Remember

Stopping is starting.

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

One More Day

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one. Nay, it is obvious that the more active and swift the latter is the further he will go astray.
– Francis Bacon

As we travel through life, distractions keep us from reaching our destination. Sometimes a wonderful, happy circumstance changes our direction, or a goal may be changed by the intrusion of a serious medical condition.

Regardless of altered courses, we want to keep our goals in sight. We must set goals which, whatever our circumstances, we know are attainable. To feel successful and proud of ourselves, we must be able to attain our new goals. And we can if we aim forward ideals that provide dreams, challenges, and the possibility of success.

I know the path that is best for me and follow my own road map.

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

One Day At A Time

PROCRASTINATION
“How does a project get to be a year behind schedule?
One day at a time.”
Fred Brooks

I have been given many talents, and I count them as gifts from my Maker. Throughout life I have discovered that there was virtually nothing that I could not make, bake, say or do with the help of my Higher Power. At the age of three years I learned to crochet and read. I learned to draw, paint, write poetry and quilt. The fact that I was not afraid of failing had a great influence on my ability to tackle any task.

Surprisingly, when I felt that I was “grown” and needed to leave home and start a life of my own, I found that finishing anything was almost impossible. I could start anything — but I seemed to complete nothing. Much to my dismay I had developed the art of procrastination. Just waiting to finish anything tomorrow puts me one day behind. Day by day, the project gets put on the back burner and forgotten. One day at a time I eventually find that I am years into finishing some things.

Thanks to this program and its wonderful steps and tools, I have found that by working “one day at a time” I can be — and am — a person who starts and finishes things. This is who God created me to be…not the person who continually puts things off. It took a lot of reading and prayer and meditating on God’s Word for me to get where I am today…a person who takes action on the tasks before me. I am far from perfect, but I am making progress.

One day at a time…
Just for today I will take action and not put off until tomorrow what I can do today.
~ Annie K.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The doctor’s theory that we have an allergy to alcohol interests us. As laymen, our opinion as to its soundness may, of course, mean little. But as ex-problem drinkers, we can say that his explanation makes good sense. It explains many things for which we cannot otherwise account. – Pg. xxvi – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

If by now, we don’t have a sponsor, now is the time. We must choose one and use one. A sponsor is not a tyrant. In the beginning we don’t have a program, so we use our sponsor’s program until we clear up enough to create our own.

Higher Power, as I understand You, may You show me this day who is to be my sponsor.

A Return to Living

Today, I keep my house clean and let go of the rest – some of the ways that I wish to live as a recovered person will not be readily understood by others. I will keep my own scorecard clean and not worry about the results. I will act in a way that makes it easier for me to live with myself – that keeps my own conscience clear. Other people’s negative projections of me no longer run me. I am the one who makes the decisions about who I want to be. I need not defend and explain myself again and again. I need not ask permission to be who I am. I allow myself to be happy in my own skin today. I think well of myself, no matter what others think of me.

I create my own self.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Sitting at a meeting and sharing how much you love everyone in the room is meaningless if you fail to help cleanup, talk to the newcomer, inquire after the old-timer, and make sure everyone has a ride home.

My well done is better than my well said.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Relapse is NOT a requirement.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will listen to the messages that go on in my head and decide for myself if they are healthy. Today I will choose to follow positive messages that I tell myself or create new messages that are positive and healthy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The highest rank in AA: Chief Servant. – Danny T.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 30

Radical Formula
We AA’s tried out a radical and old-time formula, one rather out of fashion nowadays,
and it had worked. “We admitted we were powerless — that our lives had become unmanageable.”
and “we made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to God as we understood Him.”
Every one of us who could make and fairly well maintain this humbling admission and sweeping decision
had found relief from obsession and had begun to grow
into a totally and wonderfully different mental, physical, and spiritual existence.
– Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 45

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

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

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

Anonymity
“We now fully realize that 100 per cent personal anonymity
before the public is just as vital to the life of AA
as 100 percent sobriety is to the life
of each and every member.
This is not the counsel of fear;
it is the voice of long experience.”
1957AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 293

Thought to Consider . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A N O N Y M O U S =
Actions, Not Our Names, Yield Maintenance Of Unity and Service.

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

Aware
>From “Bill’s Story”:
“My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, ‘Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?’
“That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 12

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

“Today, there are hundreds of [AA] centers shedding their warm illumination upon the lives of thousands, lighting the dark shoals where the stranded and hopeless lie breaking up — those fingers of light already stretching to our beachheads in other lands.
“Now comes another lighted lamp — this little newspaper called the Grapevine. May its rays of hope and experience ever fall upon the current of our AA life and one day illumine every dark corner of this alcoholic world.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., June 1944
“Editorial: The Shape of Things to Come”
AA Grapevine (Volume 1, Number 1)
Reprinted in The Language of the Heart

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

“…we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as
being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all
the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take
them all-every one? If we still cling to something we will not let
go, we ask God to help us be willing.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 76~

“To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and
attitude. We all had to place recovery above everything, for without
recovery we would have lost both home and business.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Employers, pg. 143~

“If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 71 (How it Works)

“Our inventory enables us to settle with the past.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 89 (Step Ten)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When we early A.A.s got our first glimmer of how spiritually prideful we could be, we coined this expression: ‘Dont try to be a saint by Thursday!’
That oldtime admonition may look like another of those handy alibis that can excuse us from trying for our best. Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary. This is our A.A. way of warning against pride-blindness, and the imaginary perfections that we do not posses.
Only Step One, where we made the 100 per cent admission that we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which we estimate our progress.

Prayer for the Day: Today I will settle with the past in order that my Higher Power allows me to live fully in the present.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 29th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings June 29th

Daily Reflections

A RIPPLING EFFECT

Having learned to live so happily, we’d show everyone else how. . .Yes,
we of A.A. did dream those dreams. How natural that was, since most
alcoholics are bankrupt idealists. . .So why shouldn’t we share our way
of life with everyone?
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 156

The great discovery of sobriety led me to feel the need to spread the
“good news” to the world around me. The grandiose thoughts of my
drinking days returned. Later, I learned that concentrating on my own
recovery was a full-time process. As I became a sober citizen in
this world, I observed a rippling effect which, without any
conscious effort on my part, reached any “related facility or outside
enterprise,” without diverting me from my primary purpose of staying
sober and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The program of Alcoholics Anonymous involves a continuous striving
for improvement. There can be no long resting period. We must try to
work at it all the time. We must continually keep in mind that it is a
program not to be measured in years, because we never fully reach
our goals nor are we ever cured. Our alcoholism is only kept in
abeyance by daily living of the program. It is a timeless program in
every sense. We live it day by day, or more precisely, moment by
moment – now. Am I always striving for improvement?

Meditation For The Day

Life is all a preparation for something better to come. God has a plan
for your life and it will work out, if you try to do His will. God has
things planned for you, far beyond what you can imagine now. But you
must prepare yourself so that you will be ready for the better things to
come. Now is the time for discipline and prayer. The time of
expression will come later. Life can be flooded through and through
with joy and gladness. So prepare yourself for those better things to
come.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may prepare myself for better things that God has in
store for me. I pray that I may trust God for the future.

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As Bill Sees It

Community Problem, p. 180

The answer to the problem of alcoholism seems to be in education–education in
schoolrooms, in medical colleges, among clergymen and employers, in families, and in the
public at large. From cradle to grave, the drunk and the potential alcoholic will have to
be completely surrounded by a true and deep understanding and by a continuous barrage
of information.

This means factual education, properly presented. Heretofore, much of this education
has attacked the immortality of drinking rather than the illness of alcoholism.

Now who is going to do all this education? Obviously, it is both a community job and a job
for specialists. Individually, we A.A.’s can help, but A.A. as such cannot, and should not,
get directly into this field. Therefore, we must rely on other agencies, on outside friends
and their willingness to supply great amounts of money and effort.

Grapevine, March 1958

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Walk In Dry Places

Willingness is the Key
Strong Desire
Although willpower alone does not work in overcoming alcoholism, there is a place for the will, or willingness, in the search for a happy sobriety. Things can happen if we are willing to let them happen. More important, progress often depends on our willingness to give up what stands in our way. It also requires our willingness to take the actions necessary for success.
This same willingness, so vital to finding sobriety, is also applicable in other areas of our lives. The pioneers of AA suggested that getting sober required being willing to go to any lengths. This is the key to other achievements and to the overcoming of problems besides alcohol.
We often have to put up with unpleasant conditions simply because we do not want to change them badly enough. For example, we may dislike the unpleasant coughing and risks of smoking, but lack the willingness to quit. We may brood over lost opportunities, but be unwilling to take advantage of the opportunities we have now.

The key to constructive change in our lives is willingness.….. and that applies to other matters as well as to alcohol…..……….I’ll try to be honest today about what I really want. I will remind myself that if I want something badly enough, willingness is the key to action and to success.

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Keep It Simple

I don’t believe in the life afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.–-Woody Allen
Most of us have many questions about a Higher Power. Sometimes we have more questions than answers. No matter how much we believe about God, there are always questions. Why do bad things happen if God is good? Does God punish people?
Is God called Jesus, Buddha, the Great Spirit? Perhaps we’ve chosen a name for our Higher Power, or maybe we haven’t. Yet, we know there is some Power great than ourselves that’s helping us in recovery.
We know what we need to know about God for today. We know how to ask for help, and how to accept help.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to know You more clearly. There’s much I’m not sure about. For now, I will act as if the help I get comes from You.
Action for the Day:  I’ll think of three ways my Higher Power has done just the right thing for me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I am convinced, the longer I live, that life and its blessings are not so entirely unjustly distributed (as) when we are suffering greatly we are so inclined to suppose.  –Mary Todd Lincoln
Self-pity is a parasite that feeds on itself. Many of us are inclined toward self-pity, not allowing for the balance of life’s natural tragedies. We will face good and bad times–and they will pass. With certainty they will pass.
The attitude, “Why me?” hints at the little compassion we generally feel for others’ suffering. Our empathy with others, even our awareness of their suffering, is generally minimal. We are much too involved in our own. Were we less self-centered, we’d see that blessings and tragedies visit us all, in equal amounts. Some people respond to their blessings with equanimity, and they quietly remove the sting from their tragedies. We can learn to do both.
Recovery is learning new responses, feeling and behaving in healthier ways. Self-pity need not catch us. We can always feel it coming on. And we can let it go.
Self-pity may beckon, today. Fortunately, I have learned I have other choices.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Yes, we of agnostic temperament have had these thoughts and experiences. Let us make haste to reassure you. We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.
Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.

p. 46

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
One day as I sat there in the hospital, my psychiatrist walked up behind me and asked, “How’d you like to talk to the man from A.A.?”  My reaction was that I’d already helped all the patients on the ward, and I still had plenty of problems of my own without trying to help some drunk from A.A.  But, by the look on the psychiatrist’s face, I could tell that it would really make him happy if I agreed.  So, for no better reason than to make him happy, I agreed.  Very shortly, I realized that had been a mistake–when this big clown came bounding into the room, almost shouting, “My name is Frank, and I’m an alcoholic, ha-ha-ha!”  I really felt sorry for him; the only thing in his life he had to brag about was the fact that he was an alcoholic.  It wasn’t until later that he told me he was an attorney.

p. 414

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

These experiences taught us that anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality which today keynotes A.A. life everywhere. Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as A.A. members both among fellow alcoholics and before the general public. As we lay aside these very human aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity.
We are sure that humility, expressed by anonymity, is the greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can ever have.

p. 187

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A hug is a great gift. One size fits all, it can be given for any occasion
and it’s easy to exchange.
–Anon

“When you’ve got one foot in yesterday and the other in tomorrow,
you can only piss on today.”
–unknown

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look
so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been
opened for us.
–Helen Keller

Life’s short. If you don’t look around once in a while you might miss it.
–unknown

The butterfly often forgets it was a caterpillar.
–Swedish Proverb

Don’t reckon your eggs before they are laid.
–Italian Proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

RISK

“We should be careful to get out of
an experience only the wisdom
that is in it.”
–Mark Twain

I need to risk in life. I need to try again. I need to face life and not
run from it. Early in my sobriety I was scared to try new things
because I was afraid I might get hurt. I was afraid to express my
feelings. I hid in the idea of simply “not drinking”.

Spirituality is about being willing to reach out into new areas, engage
in new and different relationships, enjoy the richness of God’s world.
As I grow in sobriety I develop the capacity to react differently to
painful situations and overcome them. I learn that mistakes can make
for new conquests. That lasting joys and achievements are born in the
risk.

Teach me to overcome yesterday’s sorrows with today’s optimism.

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And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Job 42:10

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept
the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7

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.
Philippians 4:9

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by
the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
Romans 8:13

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your
heart.”
Psalm 37:4


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Daily Inspiration

Spend less time trying to understand the behaviors of others and more time on the reasons you do things. Lord, help me to know myself better because then it will become possible to change the habits I don’t like and improve on the ones I do.

Many of God’s gifts are in the form of opportunities that we must recognize and then act upon. Lord, I will never say that You don’t answer my prayers, but I will pray that I will recognize Your answers.

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NA Just For Today

Keeping Recovery Fresh

“Complacency is the enemy of members with substantial clean time. If we remain complacent for long, the recovery process ceases.”
Basic Text, p.80

After the first couple of years in recovery, most of us start to feel like there are no more big deals. If we’ve been diligent in working the steps, the past is largely resolved and we have a solid foundation on which to build our future. We’ve learned to take life pretty much as it comes. Familiarity with the steps allows us to resolve problems almost as quickly as they arise.

Once we discover this level of comfort, we may tend to treat it as a “rest stop” on the recovery path. Doing so, however, discounts the nature of our disease. Addiction is patient, subtle, progressive, and incurable. It’s also fatal-we can die from this disease, unless we continue to treat it. And the treatment for addiction is a vital, ongoing program of recovery.

The Twelve Steps are a process, a path we take to stay a step ahead of our disease. Meetings, sponsorship, service, and the steps always remain essential to ongoing recovery. Though we may practice our program somewhat differently with five years clean than with five months, this doesn’t mean the program has changed or become less important, only that our practical understanding has changed and grown. To keep our recovery fresh and vital, we need to stay alert for opportunities to practice our program.

Just for today: As I keep growing in my recovery, I will search for new ways to practice my program.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Let us open our natures, throw wide the doors of our hearts and let in the sunshine of good will and kindness. –O. S. Marden
Kindness is among the gifts we can most easily spread among others. The more we give of kind words and deeds, the more we discover that kindness is like a burning candle which lights many other candles without losing a trace of its own brightness. Our kindnesses are assets, which return unexpected dividends when we invest them in the happiness of others. Kindness is the very basis of love. It softens the most severe anger and gladdens the hardest hearts.
No kindness is too small to win and hold the affection of others because it is made up of gentleness, love, generosity, unselfishness, and caring.
What kindness do I have to offer today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A good indignation brings out all one’s powers. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Anger is a human emotion that gets us in touch with our energy and our vitality. But like any good thing, it can also be used in hurtful ways. When we examine the role anger has played in our lives, some of us can see where we used it to intimidate and dominate others. Maybe we can recall being terrified by someone else’s anger or even by our own. Some of us denied our anger and covered it with excessive helpfulness.
Examining the place anger has had in our lives Is one of the doorways we must pass through to regain our full masculine spirit. We learn to set aside the anger we used to cover fear or hurt. We express it respectfully and honestly when we feel it in a relationship. Expressing anger does not have to be abusive or rejecting. It can mean we care enough to be fully involved and we will not leave after we express it. We can learn to hear others in their anger rather than K attempt to control or evade their message. In the process we are invigorated and feel healthier because we are claiming a larger part of ourselves.
Today, I will first be honest with myself about angry feelings. Then I will find respectful ways to express them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I am convinced, the longer I live, that life and its blessings are not so entirely unjustly distributed (as) when we are suffering greatly we are so inclined to suppose. –Mary Todd Lincoln
Self-pity is a parasite that feeds on itself. Many of us are inclined toward self-pity, not allowing for the balance of life’s natural tragedies. We will face good and bad times–and they will pass. With certainty they will pass.
The attitude, “Why me?” hints at the little compassion we generally feel for others’ suffering. Our empathy with others, even our awareness of their suffering, is generally minimal. We are much too involved in our own. Were we less self-centered, we’d see that blessings and tragedies visit us all, in equal amounts. Some people respond to their blessings with equanimity, and they quietly remove the sting from their tragedies. We can learn to do both.
Recovery is learning new responses, feeling and behaving in healthier ways. Self-pity need not catch us. We can always feel it coming on. And we can let it go.
Self-pity may beckon, today. Fortunately, I have learned I have other choices.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
God’s Will
God’s will most often happens in spite of us, not because of us.
We may try to second guess what God has in mind for us, looking, searching, hyper vigilant to seek God’s will as though it were buried treasure, hidden beyond our reach. If we find it, we win the prize. But if we’re not careful, we miss out.
That’s not how it works.
We may believe that we have to walk on eggshells, saying, thinking, and feeling the right thing, while forcing ourselves somehow to be in the right place at the right time to find God’s will. But that’s not true.
God’s will for us is not hidden like a buried treasure. We do not have to control or force it. We do not have to walk on eggshells in order to have it happen.
It is right there inside and around us. It is happening, right now. Sometimes, it is quiet and uneventful and includes the daily disciplines of responsibility and learning to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, it is healing us when we’re in circumstances that trigger old grieving and unfinished business.
Sometimes, it is grand.
We do have a part. We have responsibilities, including caring for ourselves. But we do not have to control God’s will for us. We are being taken care of. We are protected. And the Power caring for and protecting us loves us very much.
If it is a quiet day, trust the stillness. If it is a day of action, trust the activity. If it is time to wait, trust the pause. If it is time to receive that which we have been waiting for, trust that it will happen clearly and with power, and receive the gift in joy.
Today, I will trust that God’s will is happening, as it needs to in my life. I will not make myself anxious and upset by searching vigorously for God’s will, taking unnecessary actions to control the course of my destiny or wandering if God’s will has passed me by and I have missed it.

Today I am becoming more and more aware that I can choose how I feel in the moment. Today I choose to let go of thoughts that are negative and destructive. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Stay Clear

Sometimes we don’t tell other people what we’re feeling. Sometimes we don’t tell ourselves.

Often on this journey, provocative events happen. We may become resentful. Angry. Or frightened. Emotional energy builds up within. If we don’t take the time to work it out, the emotion becomes a block. It blocks the channel to ourselves, it can block our connections to others and to God.

We may think we’re being polite and appropriate by not saying what we feel. We may think that most thoughts and emotions are so minor it would be a waste of time to acknowledge and express each and every one of them. It’s true that some aren’t worth mentioning, but many are. We need to take the time to feel and release the thoughts and beliefs that are important to us.

Is a relationship blocked? Are we feeling something we’re unable to discuss? The feeling won’t disappear. The energy of the unexpressed feeling will be present, blocking our connection until we take the time to get it out. We may not tell the other person what we’re feeling, but all of us are wiser than we think. And our bodies and emotions will begin reacting to what’s denied, despite what we say.

Many of us experiment with the technique of using affirmations to try to further our growth. The same principle applies. If we say we love ourselves, but we’ve got a chunk of self-reproach tucked down deep inside, we’ll continue to act as if we dislike ourselves until we clear the other energy out.

What are you feeling? No, what are you really feeling? Ask yourself as often as you need to. Then take the time to feel and release the emotion, thought, or belief.

You’ve connected to yourself. You’re connected to the world around you. Now, keep your connections clear.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Meditate

A mind too active is no mind at all.
–Theodore Roethke

It’s possible to learn to relax into the ordinary aspects in your life. Be aware of those normal moments; relax; allow your mind to be quiet. Allow your spirit to speak to you in those moments.

Look at the family sitting at breakfast, the birds gathered around the feeder, the dew on the grass when you step outside to pick up the morning paper, the pattern of the shadows on the walk in the moonlight.Be aware of the beauty of the ordinary. Be aware of these soothing moments and make the most of them. When you learn to be aware and relax into the ordinary, it will be easier to relax in the stressful moments when you need clarity and focus.

The practice of meditation is a practice of mindfulness. It is a practice of becoming aware of and in tune with our bodies, our spirit, and the spirit of God. One of the goals of meditation is to reach a point when we can carry this mindfulness with us throughout the day. When we can still the noise of our chattering minds, we can see the path with heart that we are to follow.

God, help me quiet my noisy, worrisome mind in my ordinary world. Help me to relax in the familiar and to be aware of and appreciate it.

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Moving Our Body
Poetry in Motion by Madisyn Taylor

Human bodies love flow and movement and respond in kind when used in this way.

Our bodies love movement. When we stretch or dance, our bodies adjust, realign and start to become fluid with the rhythm of life. Our mood lifts and we feel more connected with the world around us. If you are feeling stuck, ready to release old energy, or eager to feel more alive, try moving your body. By giving your muscles a chance to do what they were created for, you may find that all areas of your body and your life benefit as well.

Many times we can be so busy that we forget moving our body is even an option. Some of us remain seated at our computer for hours every day or rush from task to task with robotic precision. When we are caught up in crossing items off our to-do lists, we tend to neglect all the opportunities there are to enjoy our bodies in the process of living. If this is true for you, begin looking for opportunities to move. You might try dancing or moving about freely as you clean your home, tend your garden or care for your children. If you are able to devote a set amount of time to self-care, practices such as yoga, dance, tai chi and walking are all great ways to keep your body in motion.

Imagine how freeing it would feel to trust your body’s movements completely, knowing it has a perfect strength and rhythm of its own. See if you can sense your bones providing graceful support, your muscles and tendons expanding and contracting in just the right measure, your lungs changing pace to fill deeply with fresh air. Movement is a vital celebration of life. It is a way to proclaim your own existence and relish in the joy of being alive. Today, and into the future, give yourself the gift of your body in motion. Published with permission from Daily OM

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In God’s Care

The very best and utmost of attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in thee.
~~Meister Eckhart

Many of us find it hard to meditate because our mind is going at a furious pace. It’s not easy to quiet our thoughts; we have so much to say. We are so occupied with this mental chatter that we can’t hear God. God cannot get through to us in all the noise. We have to learn to be still.

This takes practice. We can’t just sit down and command silence; our mind is too accustomed to doing as it pleases. Our first step in meditation, therefore, is to be patient. Our mind will gradually quiet down as we wait, praying for silence, and putting ourselves in God’s presence. Focusing on that, we give God an opening. Guidance will follow.

I will take time today to be still and hear God.

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Day By Day

Living the “today” approach

We must understand from the very beginning that in the program, we learn to live one day at a time. We learn, for example, not to take that first fix, pill, or drink “today.” This is easier for us to do than to think of abstaining for years or a lifetime.

But many of us miss the fact that the “today” approach can be applied to all areas of our life, not just abstinence. It helps if we can deal with issues such as love, sex, death, honesty, and resentments one day at a time. God expects no more of us than to do what we can do today.

Am I living “today” today?

God, help me live the “today” approach in all areas of my life.

Today I will apply the “today” approach to…

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Food for Thought

The Joy of Abstaining

For someone who has suffered the physical, emotional, and spiritual anguish of compulsive overeating, abstaining is not a restriction but a release. We are released from indigestion, lethargy, fat, and the torment of never-satisfied craving.

If we dwell on the negative aspects of abstaining, such as the foods we are not eating, we will be unhappy. If we continue to concentrate on food, rather than on life and the spirit, we will find it difficult to abstain. The OA program gives us a new set of priorities and opens the door to new life if we are willing to leave our preoccupation with food outside and walk in.

It is good to feel full of energy rather than full of food. It is satisfying to discover new ways to give. There is deep joy in day-by-day spiritual growth. All of these joys become ours through abstaining.

We give thanks for the joy of abstaining.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Once we surrendered and came to The Program, many of us wondered what we could do with all the time on our hands. All the hours we’d previously spent planning, hiding, alibiing, getting loaded, coming down, getting “well,” juggling our accounts — and all the rest — threatened to turn into empty chunks of time that somehow had to be filled. We needed new energy previously absorbed by our addictions. We soon realized that substituting a new and different activity is far easier than just stopping the old activity and putting nothing in its place. Am I redirecting my mind and energy?

Today I Pray

I pray that, once free of the encumbrance of my addiction. I may turn to my Higher Power to discover for me how to fill my time constructively and creatively. May that same Power that makes human paths cross and links certain people to specific situations, lead me along good new roads into good new places.

Today I Will Remember

Happenstance may be more than chance.

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One More Day

Give thanks for sorrow that teaches you pity; for pain that teaches you courage – and give exceeding thanks for the mystery which remains a mystery still — the veil that hides you from the infinite, which makes it possible for you to believe in what you cannot see.
– Robert Nathan

We cannot run away from problems. Tremendous problems — like a spouse with a chronic illness — must be confronted and resolved. Fears can be overwhelming. Tasks se4em endless, and the challenge seems to great. It is comforting to realize we face nothing alone.

We can’t always be courageous, but fear is dispelled by our inner strength, by our trust that we will overcome problems and do as well as is possible. We can talk to ourselves in positive ways.

I will not allow fear and panic to overtake me today. Courage will open the door to wisdom and peace of mind.

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One Day At A Time

RESENTMENT
”When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound
to that person or condition by an emotional link that is
stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to
dissolve that link and get free.”
Catherine Ponder

I once had a situation in which someone I was acquainted with said unkind things about my weight and verbally attacked my spouse in front of my daughter. I worried and revisited the situation over and over for many years until the anger turned to resentment and became a major, entrenched grudge. Because so many of my eating issues stem from emotional ones, this would drive me to eat in an effort to dull, numb and forget my anger. That didn’t work ~ the eating didn’t stop that anger from turning into resentment.

When I would complain about this situation to a friend, she told me that I had to stop allowing that person to “rent space in my mind.” I came to realize that I had allowed — and even nurtured — a negative energetic link to that person and situation. I couldn’t let go of resentment until I was willing to take the needed steps in program and to forgive. Forgiving doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything from the situation, and I haven’t forgotten the unkind words. But I learned that I needed to be more cautious in my dealings with this type of individual. I learned I can’t surround myself with people who are overly-negative and say poisonous things without accepting any accountability for their actions. I have learned that I can be accountable for mine, and that I no longer have to allow myself to be bound by an emotional link to the situation.

One day at a time…
I will ask my Higher Power to help me to learn to forgive and forget. With the help of my Higher Power, I will let go of unnecessary baggage that causes resentment.
~ Deb B.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When the broker returned to New York in the fall of 1935, the first A.A. group had actually been formed, though no one realized it at the time.
A second small group promptly took shape at New York, to be followed in 1937 with the start of a third at Cleveland. Besides these, there were scattered alcoholics who had picked up the basic ideas in Akron or New York who were trying to form groups in other cities. By late 1937, the number of members having substantial sobriety time behind them was sufficient to convince the membership that a new light had entered the dark world of the alcoholic.
It was now time, the struggling groups thought, to place their message and unique experience before the world. This determination bore fruit in the spring of 1939 by the publication of this volume. The membership had then reached about 100 men and women. The fledgling society, which had been nameless, now began to be called Alcoholics Anonymous, from the title of its own book. The flying-blind period ended and A.A. entered a new phase of its pioneering time. – Pg. xvii – 4th. Edition – Forward To Second Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever your problem now, think of your ideal. Is it to be clean and whole? If so, ask yourself: What sort of neighbor is a clean and sober person? What sort of family member is a clean and sober person? What sort of 12-step program will a clean and sober person work?

Please guide me to the consciousness of a clean and sober person.

Having Fun

Today I will have fun.  What’s the point of all the work I do in recovery if my life doesn’t become lighter and happier?  Even though I am working through deep issues, there is no reason why I can’t have some enjoyment in the process.  Fun is when I relax and let things happen–when I can laugh at myself and other people–when I don’t take everything in life so seriously.  It is when I can enjoy a seemingly meaningless conversation just for its own sake.  Fun is when it doesn’t have to be all my way–when the heavy load is removed, when my meter is turned off and I just goof around in the moment.  Fun is something I don’t have enough of for a number of silly reasons.  Today I see that there is no reason not to enjoy myself.
I can let go and have fun.
On with the dance, let joy be unconfined is my motto, whether there’s any dance to dance or not.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘It works,’ is the shortest sentence in the AA Big Book and pretty much sums up what the book can do for you. But there’s a catch. Keep in mind, the program does not work. The program does not work. Just like alcohol doesn’t get you drunk. You have to drink alcohol in order to get drunk. You have to work the program in order for it to work.

It works if I work it.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

There are no chemical solutions to spiritual problems.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am becoming more and more aware that I can choose how I feel in the moment. Today I choose to let go of thoughts that are negative and destructive. Today I choose to FEEEEEL good.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I can’t control and enjoy my drinking. If I control it, I’m not enjoying it and vice versa. – Liz J.

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AA Thought for the Day

June 29

Meditation
Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure,
something which each one of us works out in his own way.
But its object is always the same:
to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love.
And let’s always remember that meditation is in reality intensely practical.
One of the first fruits is emotional balance.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 101-102

Thought to Ponder . . .
Meditation is our step out into the sun.

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

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

Skeletons
“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.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 123-4

Thought to Consider . . .
It’s not making a mistake that will kill me.
It’s defending it that does the damage.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R = Forever Escaping And Retreating

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

Revelation
>From “Shattered Glass”:
“The crest of this experience lasted several hours. When I fell into an exhausted sleep, it was with the knowledge that I had at last begun my adjustment to life as an alcoholic. From that moment, things seemed to change from within. Gradually, I could recognize when I was getting in my own way, and I could step aside, for ‘Thy will, not mine’ had become more than mere words. There have been many times when this revelation has been hard to hold on to, but, little by little, it seems easier every day. My course has become two steps forward, one step backward, two more forward, instead of always complete retreat. The days are too short, and they are seldom dull. Each day is a new challenge to stay sober and to keep moving straight ahead. – Charleston, West Virginia”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 37

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

“Tolerance is the art of seeing yourself as others see you — and not getting mad about it.”
Concord, California, May 2012
“Weapons Down,”
AA Grapevine

*~*~*~*~*^ 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

“When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 57~

“To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 143 (To Employers)

“When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 91 (Step Ten)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The answer to the problem of alcoholism seems to be in educationeducation in schoolrooms, in medical colleges, among clergymen and employers, in families, and in the public at large. From cradle to grave, the drunk and the potential alcoholic will have to be completely surrounded by a true and deep understanding and by a continuous barrage of information.
This means factual education, properly presented. Heretofore, much of this education has attacked the immorality of drinking rather than the illness of alcoholism.
Now who is going to do all this education? Obviously, it is both a community job and a job for specialists. Individually, we A.A.s can help, but A.A. as such cannot , and should not, get directly into this field. Therefore, we must rely on other agencies, on outside friends and their willingness to supply great amounts of money and effort.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, relieve me of my constant thought of myself, and help me turn my thoughts to what I can do to benefit all others.