Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 7th
Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock
and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that
we can always open it some more.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 35
The willingness to give up my pride and self-will to a
Power greater than myself has proved to be the only
ingredient absolutely necessary to solve all of my
problems today. Even the smallest amount of willingness,
if sincere, is sufficient to allow God to enter and
take control over my problem, pain, or obsession. My
level of comfort is in direct relation to the degree of
willingness I possess at any given moment to give up my
self-will, and allow God’s will to be manifested in my
life. With the key of willingness, my worries and fears
are powerfully transformed into serenity.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
There are two important things we have to do if we want
to get sober and stay sober. First, having admitted that
we are helpless before alcohol, we have to turn our
alcoholic problem over to God and trust Him to take care
of it for us. This means asking Him every morning for the
strength to stay sober for that day and thanking Him
every night. It means really leaving the problem in God’s
hands and not reaching out and getting the problem back
to ourselves. Second, having given our drink problem to
God, we must cooperate with Him by doing something about
it ourselves. Am I doing these two things?
Meditation For The Day
I must prepare myself by doing each day what I can to
develop spiritually and to help others to do so. God tests
me and trains me and bends me to His will. If I am not
properly trained, I cannot meet the test when it comes. I
must want God’s will for me above all else. I must expect
to have what I am not prepared for. This preparation
consists of quiet communion with God every day and
gradually gaining the strength I need.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may really try to do God’s will in all my
affairs. I pray that I may do all I can to help others
find God’s will for them.
As Bill Sees It
For Emergencies Only?, p. 66
Whether we had been believers or unbelievers, we began to get over
the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-league pinch
hitter, to be called upon only in an emergency.
The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little
now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who had thought
ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing
to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help.
But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the
works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.
12 & 12, p. 75
Walk in Dry Places
First things First
The struggle to bring order into our lives starts with lots of little things. One recovering person discovered that it was a good exercise simply to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube in the morning. This was a reminder that things should be put in their proper place, and the discipline helped later in organizing larger matters.
It is very easy to overlook orderly procedures in the haste to get things done, or to avoid anything that seems unpleasant or demanding. But such oversight always carries a heavy price later on. When we don’t return things to their proper place, for example, we lose them or waste hours looking for them. We may bungle a job simply because we were too lazy to look up the right information or to read directions.
That’s why “First things First” is much more than just a slogan. It’s actually a principle for living, a guide that tells us there is an orderly approach to everything. If we can find that order without becoming slavishly compulsive about it, we’ll find that it simplifies lots of things later on.
I’ll try to do things in an orderly manner today. When I find myself taking short cuts or becoming too hurried, I’ll regain control by remembering to establish priorities.
Keep It Simple
To make the world a friendly place One must show it a friendly face.—James Whitcomb Riley
We are beginning to learn that we get what we expect. Why? If we believe that people are out to get us, we’ll not treat them well. We will think it’s okay to “get them” before they “get us.” Then, they’ll be angry and want to get even. And on it goes. It’s great when we can meet the world with a balance. We are honest people. We can expect others to be fair with us. We get the faith, strength, and courage to do this because of our trust in our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I put my life in Your care. Use me to spread Your love to others.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll spread friendliness. I will greet people with a smile.
Each Day a New Beginning
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. –Anne Frank
We must take responsibility for ourselves, for who we become, for how we live each day. The temptation to blame others may be ever present. And much of our past adds up to wasted days or years perhaps, because we did blame someone else for the unhappiness in our lives.
We may have blamed our own parents for not loving us enough. We may have labeled our husbands the villains. Other people did affect us. That’s true. However, we chose, you and I, to let them control us, overwhelm us, shame us. We always had other options, but we didn’t choose them.
Today is a new day. Recovery has opened up our options. We are learning who we are and how we want to live our lives. How exhilarating to know that you and I can take today and put our own special flavor in it. We can meet our personal needs. We can, with anticipation, chart our course. The days of passivity are over, if we choose to move ahead with this day.
I will look to this day. Every day is a new beginning.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
Abruptly in October 1929 hell broke loose on the New York stock exchange. After one of those days of inferno, I wobbled from a hotel bar to a brokerage office. It was eight o’clock-five hours after the market closed. The ticker still clattered. I was staring at an inch of the tape which bore the inscription XYZ-32. It had been 52 that morning. I was finished and so were many friends. The papers reported men jumping to death from the towers of High Finance. That disgusted me. I would not jump. I went back to the bar. My friends had dropped several million since ten o’clock-so what? Tomorrow was another day. As I drank, the old fierce determination to win came back.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories
FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
I do know that my life is different now. I haven’t had a drink since I came to A.A. I have fewer resentments, and I don’t spend much time thinking about the past. I’ve found my experience can be of help to other people. I have come to believe that hard times are not just meaningless suffering and that something good might turn up at any moment. That’s a big change for someone who used to come to in the morning feeling sentenced to another day of life. When I wake up today, there are lots of possibilities. I can hardly wait to see what’s going to happen next.
I keep coming back because it works.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”
Now comes the election. If the founder and his friends have served well, they may – to their surprise – be reinstated for a time. If, however, they have heavily resisted the rising tide of democracy, they may be summarily beached. In either case, the group now has a so-called rotating committee, very sharply limited in its authority. In no sense whatever can its members govern or direct the group. They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores. Headed by the chairman, they look after public relations and arrange meetings. Their treasurer, strictly accountable, takes money from the hat that is passed, banks it, pays the rent and other bills, and makes a regular report at business meetings. The secretary sees that literature is on the table, looks after the phone-answering service, answers the mail, and sends out notices of meetings. Such are the simple services that enable the group to function. the committee gives no spiritual advice, judges no one’s conduct, issues no orders. Every one of them may be promptly eliminated at the next election if they try this. And so they make the belated discovery that they are really servants, not senators. These are universal experiences. Thus throughout A.A. does the group conscience decree the terms upon which its leaders shall serve.
“I used to say, ‘I sure hope things will change.’ Then I learned that
the only way things are going to change for me is when I change.”
Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better
–Henry Ward Beecher
Expecting the world to be fair to you because you are a good person
is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.
Today I will do something I should have done yesterday.
–Nelle Bruner Weddington
It’s so important to treat others like you would expect to be treated.
It’s a universal law that the hurt and pain you have caused on others
will come back and affect you, but the love and joy you have inspired
in others, will also inspire you.
Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
“An idealist is one who, on
noticing that a rose smells
better than a cabbage,
concludes that it will also make
— H.L. Mencken
The spiritual program teaches me to be an idealist with my feet on
the ground. People will continue to hurt, get angry and tell lies;
wrestling with imperfections is not just my problem. I need to accept
that I live in an imperfect world and recovery involves reality, not
My responsibility in recovery is for my life. I cannot change other
people, events or relationships — I can only change me. I am not
God. Each time I forget this fact, I risk another hurt.
Help me to aspire for ideals that are within my grasp.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart
of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
It is not in the good times, but rather in the times of stress and misfortune, that our faith is tested. Lord, remove my doubts as they creep in and help me turn my times of turmoil into times of spiritual growth.
No matter what you must confront today, know that God is with you. Lord, today is part of Your plan for me. I do not doubt You and therefore I will not doubt You within me.
NA Just For Today
“The good times can also be a trap; the danger is that we may forget that our first priority is to stay clean.”
Basic Text, p. 42
Things can get really good in our recovery. Perhaps we’ve found our “soul mate” built a rewarding career, started a family. Maybe our relationships with our family members have healed. Things are going so well, we barely have time to attend meetings. Perhaps we begin to reintegrate into society so successfully that we forget that we don’t always react to situations like others do.
Maybe, just maybe, we’ve put some priorities ahead of themselves. Is meeting attendance still a priority with us? Do we still sponsor? Do we phone our sponsor? What step are we working? Are we still willing to drag ourselves out of bed at some ungodly hour for a Twelfth Step call? Do we remember to practice principles in all our affairs? If others in NA reach out to us, are we available? Do we remember where we came from, or have the “good times” allowed us to forget?
To stay clean, we must remember that we are only one drug away from our past. We stay grateful for the good times, but we don’t let them divert us from our continuing recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.
Just for today: I’m grateful for the good times, but I’ve not forgotten from where I’ve come. Today, my first priority is staying clean and growing in my recovery.
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
He who distributes the milk of human kindness cannot help but spill a little on himself. –James Barrie
We like ourselves best when we like those around us. When we smile at them, they smile back; when we ask them, they tell us about themselves. When we scowl at people, they’ll frown back; when we ignore them, they’ll walk away.
It’s true that we get back what we put into things, whether it’s work, play, love, or gardening. We decide by the extent of our commitment how valuable or enjoyable or depressing an experience can be for us.
Our actions toward others come right back to us. When we smile at people, they smile back, and we feel good. Sometimes feeling good about ourselves depends on feeling good about others. When we send out that smile of ours, those who get it pass it on, and we have added power to the happiness of the world.
What can I do to show my fondness for others today?
You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A controller doesn’t trust his/her ability to live through the pain and chaos of life. There is no life without pain just as there is no art without submitting to chaos. –Rita Mae Brown
It is very hard for most of us to see how controlling we are. We may feel uptight or careful, but we haven’t seen it as controlling ourselves or controlling how people respond to us. We may be worried about a loved one’s behavior or safety, but not realize our hovering over that person is a controlling activity. We may be keenly aware of other people’s controlling behavior with us, but unaware we have equaled their control by monitoring them and trying to change their behavior.
What a moment of spiritual adventure it is to risk living through the pain! When we do not seek an escape or a quick fix but have patience with the process, new possibilities often do develop. We can only let go of our control – or turn it over to our Higher Power. And we will do it and forget, taking control back within minutes or within an hour. Then we let go again.
Today, I will submit to the insecurity of a changing universe and have faith that 1 can live through the process and grow.
You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Everything I need shall be provided today. Everything. Say it, until you believe it. Say it at the beginning of the day. Say it throughout the day.
Sometimes, it helps to know what we want and need. But if we don’t, we can trust that God does.
When we ask, trust, and believe that our needs will be met, our needs will be met. Sometimes God cares about the silliest little things, if we do.
Today, I will affirm that my needs will be met. I will affirm that God cares and is the Source of my supply. Then I will let go and see that what I have risked to believe is the truth.
It is exciting to know that my thoughts and my actions in the present moment condition the next moment. I am responsible for my future. Today I am bringing awareness to my self-talk and replacing all negative thoughts with positive thoughts as soon as they appear on my mindscape. –Ruth Fishel
Journey to the Heart
Service is a key, an important one. It’s a key to joy, to love. And a gold key to the journey.
How long we thought service meant doing everything for everyone. How long we thought service had to be hard, taxing, boring– that it meant doing something we didn’t want to do to help someone who didn’t want to be helped.
Now, we’re defining service differently. Service is joyful. It’s an attitude, a belief, a way of looking at ourselves and our lives. Our very life is service. Our being is service. Service arises and springs naturally out of self-love. It arises from being who we are and from doing the things we want to do and are led to do. The things that bring us the most joy will bring the most service to the world. Doing things we don’t want to do will leave us and the world around us cold, untouched, unmoved.
Service is love and joy. Service is being who you are. Bask in self-love. Service will flow naturally from that. It will be freely given and freely received. And now what you do will really help.
More Language Of Letting Go
Herein lies an irony: the person who is trying to manipulate you views you as having greater strength or power than he or she does.
–George H. Green and Carolyn Cotter
Stop Being Manipulated
George Green and Carolyn Cotter describe manipulation as an encounter in which someone else attempts to control how you feel, behave, or think– without your permission– and it causes you discomfort as a result.
Most of us use manipulation, from time to time, to get what we want. Sometimes our manipulations are harmless’ even cute. Both people know a low-grade manipulation is at hand. Both people basically want what the manipulator is working so hard to get– dinner out, a movie, a walk through the park. It’s not a big deal.
Other times, the stakes are higher and the people involved don’t agree. That’s when manipulations can be harmful. When we don’t know what we want, when we’re not clear with others and ourselves about how we feel, a manipulation is in the air.
Sometimes manipulationx are conscious and deliberate. Other times they’re unconscious, foggy attempts to get what we want.
“Let’s simplify our definition of manipulation,” suggest Green and Cotter. “If an encounter leaves you feeling crummy, it probably involves manipulation of some sort.”
Isn’t it ironic that sometimes the very feeling we’re trying to deny is exactly what we need to be feeling to take care of ourselves?
Next time you’re faced with a situation that leaves you feeling crummy, take a moment to see if a manipulation was involved. Remember that whenever others try to manipulate you, they perceive you as having something they want and as being more powerful than they are. If you’re powerful enough to be a target for a manipulation, you’re powerful enough to take care of yourself.
God, help me let go of my belief that I need to manipulate other people to get what I want. Help me stop letting others manipulate me.
Letting Go of Understanding
by Madisyn Taylor
We don’t always need to know the deeper meaning of everything that happens in our lives.
All of us who seek to be conscious and aware regard our experiences as teachers, and we try to discern what lessons we are learning from the things that happen in our lives. Sometimes the lesson is very clear from the get-go, and other times we have to really search to understand the deeper meaning behind some event. While this search often yields results, there also comes a point in the search where what we really need to do is move forward. It is possible that we are not meant to know the deeper meaning of certain occurrences. Answers may come later in our lives, or they may come as a result of letting go, or they may never come.
We are all part of a complex system of being, and things work themselves out in the system as a whole. Sometimes we are just playing a necessary part in that process with a result larger than we can understand. It may have very little to do with us personally, and while that can be hard to understand, it can also free us from overthinking the matter. Sometimes it is best to see it in terms of karma, a past debt we have been able to repay in this way, or as the clearing of energy. We can simply thank the event for being part of our experience and let it go. This completes the process that the occurrence has made possible.
To make this letting go official, we can perform a ritual, make a final journal entry on the subject, or sit in meditation with the intention of releasing the event from our consciousness. As we do so, we summon it one last time, honoring it with our attention, thanking it, and saying good-bye. We then let it go out the door, out the window, out the top of our heads, or into the earth through the bottoms of our feet, liberating ourselves from any burden we have carried in association with it. Published with permission from Daily OM
A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day
It’s time for me to realize that my attitude — toward the life I’m living and the people in it — can have a tangible, measurable and profound effect on what happens to me day by day. If I expect good, then good will surely come to me. And If I try each day to base my attitude and point of view on a sound spiritual foundation, I know it will change all the circumstances of my life for the better, too. Do I accept the fact that I have been given only a daily reprieve that is contingent on my spiritual condition?
Today I Pray
since my illness was spiritual — as well as physical and emotional — may I mend spiritually through daily communion with God. May I find a corner of quiet within me where I can spend a few moments with Him. May He make His will known to me. May I worship Him from that inner temple that is in myself.
Today I will Remember
To spend a quiet moment with God.
One More Day
Life if you will, is a work of art, and if we have paid loving attention to its details, we will be able to take pride in the finished product.
– Harold Kushner
Without even realizing it, we often do things that are good for us and make us happy. We do something that creates well-being, and we have a successful day. When we pay attention to actions that create well-being we can have a successful week. Taking good care of our homes makes us feel proud and so does helping a fellow human being in need. Making volunteer work a part of how we live, showing kindness to others and ourselves, reaching out — all these choices enhance our well-being.
When we pay attention to those around us, a transformation occurs within our spiritual selves. Then we shall have given ourselves the gift of a meaningful life.
I will pay loving attention to the details of my day.
Food For Thought
Abstinence is not so much something we achieve as it is a gift from our Higher Power. It is given to us constantly, from the time we wake up in the morning through every minute of the day.
If we think of abstinence as something we have to acquire through great effort, we will be afraid that we will fail. We will think of weeks and months and years stretching ahead of us and say, “I’ll never make it.”
Abstinence is given to us now, each day, and all we need to do is accept it. It is not something we do only in order to lose a certain number of pounds. By abstaining, we will lose the pounds, but when we are at our desired weight we continue to maintain abstinence. Abstinence is our freedom from compulsive overeating and the gift of new life.
Thank you, Lord, for abstinence.
One Day At A Time
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil on it.
As a child I can still remember being terribly stubborn, and would even have a temper tantrum if I didn’t want to do something. As I grew up, the trait of stubbornness remained, and it would be hard to get me to budge if I had decided I didn’t want to do something. After coming into the program, I realized that stubbornness is actually a character defect of mine, and whilst I am praying to be relieved of it in its negative form, I also know that that same character defect in its positive form has helped me tremendously in the program, especially seeing my journey has been one which has been characterized with many slips along the way. But one of the things that I’ve never stopped doing is coming back, and I know that it is this very character defect of stubbornness, turned into perseverance, that has made me keep working at the program, even when it would be easier to just give up. So I have kept coming to meetings, and working the steps and the tools even when I was struggling, because I know that it is only when I do that, I have a chance of recovery.
It has been said that this is a program of action, and so I repeat on a daily basis the actions that have brought recovery to thousands. Some days it is harder than others, especially when the willingness is not there, and on those days my old pattern of wanting to block out the feelings with food resurfaces. But I also know that when I use the tools and work the steps, I can deal with the feelings without resorting to food, because my Higher Power will help me to get through the daily struggles when I turn them over to Him. So what I need to do on a daily basis is to ask for help from my Higher Power with my unmanageable life, instead of turning to food, and even on days where I’m struggling, I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and persevering with working the program.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will persevere with working the program, so that I can recover from this disease of compulsive overeating and be restored to sanity on a daily basis.
~ Sharon ~
AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote
The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt — and one more failure. – Pg. 151 – A Vision For You
Hour To Hour – Book – Quote
Right now, whatever is bothering you, set it aside. Turn to the next person you see and smile. Tell them hi and wish them well for the moment. That is the first step to getting out of self.
When I am tempted to obsess on myself, please show me the way to be kind to someone else.
Letting My Body Speak
I will let my body have a voice today and I will listen to what it’s trying to say to me. If my body’s voice has tears in it, I will allow those tears to come out. If my body is holding anger, I will allow myself to experience that anger so that it can dissolve and my cells no longer have to hold it for me. If my body wants to shiver and shake I will let it, knowing that it just needs to release something it doesn’t want to hang onto any more.
I allow my body to let go of the emotions it is holding
– Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote
‘Being angry at God won’t hurt God, and neither will it provoke Him to take measures against us. If it makes us feel better to vent our anger at Him over a painful situation, we are free to do it. The only thing wrong with doing it is that what happened to us was not really God’s fault.’ -Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Usually, things don’t happen TO make me angry; things happen THAT make me angry.
“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book
You may be the only copy of the Big Book some people ever see.
Time for Joy – Book – Quote
I feel so good knowing that I am a power of example for future generations today as I walk on my new path of truth. I am making a difference not only in my own life but in the lives of those who follow me.
Alkiespeak – Book – Quote
I had an open mind; everything went right through. – Anon.
AA Thought for the Day
We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again:
“Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.”
Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.
If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind,
nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 33
Thought to Ponder . . .
If we want to quit drinking, we are going to have to quit drinking.
AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K C B = Keep Coming Back.
~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~
“Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to AA, and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and only
then, do we become as open-minded and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to do anything which
will lift the merciless obsession from us.
Thought to Consider . . .
The best things in life aren’t things.
NUTS Not Using The Steps
*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*
>From “I Must Learn”:
“‘Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him,’ Paul Eldridge wrote. That is the way the
spiritual side of the A.A. program appears to me. I’m in trouble if I attempt to parse it: I don’t attempt to understand it.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 101
*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*
“AA gives us a Ph.D. in life and a black belt in common sense.”
Keego Harbor, Mich., June 1998
“Paradoxes of Sobriety”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA
~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*
“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to
Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give
freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the
Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you
trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164~
“It did not satisfy us to be told that we could not control our
drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in
full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives. These
things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent
with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as
well. In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out
this physical factor is incomplete.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxvi~
Then, in Step Seven, we humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings such as He could or would under the
conditions of the day we asked. In step Eight, we continued our house-cleaning, for we saw that we were not only in
conflict with ourselves, but also with people and situations in the world in which we lived. We had to begin to make our peace.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 108
Misc. AA Literature – Quote
For Emergencies Only?
Whether we had been believers or unbelievers, we began to get over the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-
league pinch hitter, to be called upon only in an emergency.
The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who
had thought ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived
ourselves of His help.
But now the words ‘Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works’ began to carry bright promise and meaning.
TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 75
Prayer For The Day: Holy God, as I face another day, I know I am going to face many challenges: to my faith, to my
patience, to my love for others. I am going to have constant temptations to lapse into sin. Come to me now, Lord, and
stay with me all day. Let your Spirit encompass my mind. Let me know your presence. Steer my hand, direct my words,
guide my thoughts in everything I think and say and do. I resolve to live this day as a beacon of your glory, the best I can,
with your help. I commit myself to give this day to you. In the name of Christ, be with me and help me. Amen.