Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 5th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 5th

Daily Reflections

TOTAL ACCEPTANCE

He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will
be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without
it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will
be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.152

Only an alcoholic can understand the exact meaning of a
statement like this one. The double standard that held
me captive as an active alcoholic also filled me with
terror and confusion: “If I don’t get a drink I’m going
to die,” competed with “If I continue drinking it’s
going to kill me.” Both compulsive thoughts pushed me
ever closer to the bottom. That bottom produced a total
acceptance of my alcoholism – with no reservations
whatsoever – and one that was absolutely essential for
my recovery. It was a dilemma unlike anything I had
ever faced, but as I found out later on, a necessary
one if I was to succeed in this program.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Have I turned to a Higher Power for help? Do I believe
that each man or woman I see in A.A. is a demonstration
of the power of God to change a human being from a
drunkard into a sober, useful citizen? Do I believe that
this Higher Power can help me from drinking? Am I living
one day at a time? Do I ask God to give me the power to
stay sober for each twenty-four hours?  Do I attend A.A.
meetings regularly?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that God’s presence brings peace and that peace,
like a quiet flowing river, will cleanse all irritants
away. In these quiet times, God will teach me how to rest
my nerves. I will not be afraid. I will learn how to relax.
When I am relaxed, God’s strength will flow into me. I
will be at peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray for that peace which passes all understanding.
I pray for that peace which the world can neither give
nor take away.


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As Bill Sees It

Maintenance and Growth, p. 5

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility
and unhappiness. To the precise extent we permit these, do we squander
the hours that might have been worthwhile. But with the alcoholic,
whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this
business of harboring resentment is infinitely grave. For then 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.

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the
sudden rage were not for us. Anger is the dubious luxury of normal
men, but for us alcoholics it is poison.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66
Letter, 1962

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Walk In Dry Places

The problem of Gossip____Breaking free from faults.
Our character defects hand on tenaciously because we secretly enjoy or need them.  Gossip is an example of this problem. Most of us know that gossip is mean and malicious, yet we enjoy the spurious self-satisfaction and self-importance it gives us.
However, this feeling of self-satisfaction and self-importance is fleeting. When we engage in GOSSIP, we feel guilty, uneasy, and ashamed. We also know the fear of being gossiped about when our own backs are turned, because those who gossip will betray their friends.
Our search for real growth in sobriety should include wiliness to part company with gossip. We also should not permit ourselves to gossip indirectly; that is, by pretending to “understand” another person to induce them to share personal information, or by introducing a subject with the intention of having gossip shared with us.  We can also help ourselves by turning away from gossipy news stories and magazines.  We cannot grow mentally and spiritually by reading about the misbehavior and shortcomings of others.
Knowing that my true good is in keeping straight, I will go through this one day without engaging in gossip.

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Keep It Simple

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.–Chinese proverb.
Life holds so many choices now that we are sober. We’d like to go so many places. We’d like to see so many things. We have so much to do. We are slowly learning how to trust our dreams and reach for them. Our program teaches us that we live One Day at a Time. We make progress by doing First Things First. Easy Does It. Our dreams may seem very big and far away. We wonder if we’ll ever get there. But our faith tells us to go for it. And we know how: one step at a time.
PRAYER: Higher Power, help me know this gentle truth: my life matters. Help me set goals that I can grow toward, one step at a time.
ACTION: Today, I’ll think about one of my goals. I will list ten little steps that will help me get there.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Instead of concentrating on why we can’t do a thing, we would be wise to change our “Yes, but . . .” attitude to a more positive one. Saying “yes” means I really do want to change my life for the better.  –Liane Cordes
We truly can do these things that are our “hearts’ pure desires.” However, most of us look at the whole task and feel overwhelmed. We need, instead, to look at the task’s many parts. One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves. I know a recovering woman who wrote a 300-page dissertation, the final achievement to obtain her PhD. When asked at a meeting how she ever did it, her reply was, “One word at a time.” That’s wonderful advice. No matter how many goals were missed or plans dashed when we were still using, now that we are recovering, each of us can do whatever is in our hearts–if we do it little by little, not all at once, today.
Today, I will do one small task that will contribute toward the achievement of a life goal.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

PREFACE

In the third edition, Part I (“Pioneers of A.A.”) was left unchanged.  Nine of the stories in Part II (“They Stopped In Time”) were carried over from the second edition; eight new stories were added.  In Part III {“They Lost Nearly All”), eight stories were retained; five new ones were added.

p. xii

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

The explanation that alcoholism was a disease of a two-fold nature, an allergy of the body and obsession of the mind, cleared up a number of puzzling questions for me.  The allergy we could do nothing about.  Somehow our bodies had reached the point where we could no longer absorb alcohol in our systems.  The why is not important; the fact is that one drink will set up a reaction in our system that requires more, that one drink is too much and a hundred drinks are not enough.

p. 355

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Of course, it is reasonable and understandable that the question is often asked: “Why can’t we take a specific and troubling dilemma straight to God, and in prayer secure from Him sure and definite answers to our requests?”
This can be done, but it has hazards. We have seen A.A.’s ask with much earnestness and faith for God’s explicit guidance on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to correcting a minor personal fault, like tardiness. Quite often, however, the thoughts that seem to come from God are not answers at all. They prove to be well-intentioned unconscious rationalizations. The A.A., or indeed any man, who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of prayer, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions he instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small. He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his own will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable assurance that he is acting under God’s specific direction. Under such an illusion, he can of course create great havoc without in the least intending it.

pp. 103-104

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“You can’t brag that you’re humble … and be humble.”  –Terry McEwen

Be still like a mountain and flow like a river.  –Lao-Tze

See how many people you personally can make smile today.  –unknown

We experience peace, not panic, when we trust the power of God.  –unknown

Your words can bring satisfaction, life, and death. We must take the consequences for what we say.  –unknown

Speak kind words and you will hear kind echoes.  –unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

CHANGE

“It’s the most unhappy people
who most fear change.”
— Mignon McLaughlin

When I was drinking, I hated change. I hated things not being the same. I feared
anything being different. Rarely did I want to go anywhere new. My attitudes were
fixed and rigid. I resented any criticism of my behavior. The unexpected was seen as
sabotage or a threat. My paranoia was extreme.

Today I have decided to let go of the control, the pretense and the arrogance. I face
life as it comes — and today I do not drink. I am responsible for my life but I cannot
control the world. Today I am learning to relax in the acceptance of my disease.

May I always discover the courage to change the things I can.

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The fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth.  Ephesians 5:9

The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.  Psalm 145 : 14

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:2-3

“If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”  Matthew 17:20

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Daily Inspiration

People make mistakes, but seldom on purpose. Lord, may my patience with others grow and may I replace my frowns with smiles.

If you want peace and goodness in your life you must be kind and loving. Lord, may I avoid creating misery so that my life will reflect my love for You.

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NA Just For Today

January 5

Recovery at Home

“We can enjoy our families in a new way and may become a credit to them instead of an embarrassment or a burden.”
Basic Text p. 100

We’re doing great in recovery, aren’t we? We go to a meeting every day, we spend every evening with our friends in the fellowship, and every weekend we dash off to a service workshop. But if things are falling to pieces at home, we’re not doing so great after all.

We expect our families to understand. After all, we’re not using drugs anymore. Why don’t they recognize our progress? Don’t they understand how important our meetings, our service, and our involvement with the fellowship are?

Our families will not appreciate the change NA is working in our lives unless we show them. If we rush off to a meeting the same way we rushed off to use drugs, what has changed? If we continue to ignore the needs and desires of our partners and children, failing to accept our responsibilities at home, we aren’t “practicing these principles in all our affairs.”

We must live the program everywhere we go, in everything we do. If we want the spiritual life to be more than a theory, we have to live it at home. When we do this, the people we share our lives with are sure to notice the change and be grateful that we’ve found NA.

Just for today: I will take my recovery home with me.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
We, too, the children of the earth, have our moon phases all through any year; the darkness, the delivery from darkness, the waxing and waning.
–Faith Baldwin
Let us think, for a moment, about the changes of the moon. In the beginning of its cycle, it is just a sliver in the darkness. Each night it grows larger until it reaches its full size. When the moon is full and rising, its orange glow fills the sky. All night its gentle light brightens everything it touches. But this fullness is only part of the life of the moon. For a while it grows smaller, then turns its dark side toward us before reappearing as a sliver and growing again to fullness. We are children of the earth, and we have our different moods and phases, too. There will be periods of darkness when we try to find our way by the light of the stars. Again and again we will grow to our full size, only to fade and grow again in a new way.

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Being human is difficult. Becoming human is a lifelong process. To be truly human is a gift. –Abraham Heschel
The processes of becoming more human, becoming a real person, and finding spiritual enlightenment are very similar. They require slow growth over time. We can only follow these paths in small steps, one day or one hour at a time. Many of us grew up in families with an addicted parent. We, too, went to great excesses and have been abusive to others and ourselves. Because of these problems, we developed a distorted outlook on life. Now we still demand quick and complete fixes for recovery.
Our program says, “Look to this day.” It is a difficult path to learn, but we only take it in small steps. There are no instant fixes for any human being. Yet, when we surrender to the reality of life, we are given the gift of true humanity. We feel like real people, we love others, and we enjoy the pleasure of true contact with them.
I am grateful I can be a part of the process. Help me give up my drive to control it.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There are as many ways to live and grow as there are people. Our own ways are the only ways that should matter to us.
–Evelyn Mandel
Wanting to control other people, to make them live as we’d have them live, makes the attainment of serenity impossible. And serenity is the goal we are seeking in this recovery program, in this life.
We are each powerless over others, which relieves us of a great burden. Controlling our own behavior is a big enough job. Learning to behave responsibly takes practice. Most of us in this recovery program have behaved irresponsibly for much of our lives. Emotional immaturity is slow to depart, but every responsible action we take gives us the courage for another–and then another. Our own fulfillment is the by-product of the accumulation of our own responsible actions. Others’ actions need not concern us.
Today, I will weigh my behavior carefully. Responsible behavior builds gladness of heart.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Relationships
If we are unhappy without a relationship, we’ll probably be unhappy with one as well. A relationship doesn’t begin our life; a relationship doesn’t become our life. A relationship is a continuation of life. –Beyond Codependency
Relationships are the blessing and bane of recovery. Relationships are where we take our recovery show on the road.
Each day, we are faced with the prospect of functioning in several different relationships. Sometimes, we choose these relationships; sometimes, we don’t. The one choice we usually have in our relationships concerns our own behavior. In recovery from codependency, our goal is to behave in ways that demonstrate responsibility for us.
We’re learning to acknowledge our power to take care of ourselves in our relationships. We’re learning to be intimate with people when possible.
Do we need to detach from someone who we’ve been trying to control? Is there someone we need to talk to, even though what we have to say may be uncomfortable? Is there someone we’ve been avoiding because we’re afraid to take care of ourselves with that person? Do we need to make an amend? Is there someone we need to reach out to, or show love?
Recovery is not done apart from our relationships. Recovery is done by learning to own our power and to take care of ourselves in relationships.
Today, I will participate in my relationships to the best of my ability. I will make myself available for closeness and sharing with people I trust. I will ask for what I need and give what feels right.

Even when I have doubt I know a power greater than myself is guiding me on my path today. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Let Life Reveal Itself to You

You don’t have to strain so, trying to get your revelations. The guidance, the inspiration, the awareness you need will come to you.

The way we’re living now– from the heart– is much easier than the way we lived before. Sometimes it is so natural we might not understand what’s happening. We may even be uncomfortable at first with how easy it is. We find ourselves straining to lift a heavy bowling ball, when what we have to pick up is only a Ping Pong ball. Then we wonder why it feels so light. We may question whether there’s something wrong because it feels so different.

Just because your life feels lighter doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.

Your next step, the answer to the question you’ve been mulling about– the direction for the next stage of your growth, where you will live next, what you need to do next about work, money, or that problem you’ve been struggling with– will come. If you’re fussing and straining you may not hear it. Don’t worry about getting all your answers or your agenda for the years ahead. That is not how this process works. In order to participate in this more magical way of life, trust that all you need will be revealed to you when it is time.

Relax. You’re on a journey of discovery. Let life reveal itself to you.


More Language Of Letting Go

Move when it’s time

We were touring the ruins at Hovenweep National Monument in the southwestern United States. A sign along the interpretive trail told about the Anasazi who had lived along the small, narrow canyon so long ago. The archaelogists have done their best to determine what those ancient Indians did and how they lived their lives. The signs told about the strategic positioning of the buildings perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, and questioned what had caused this ancient group to suddenly disappear long ago.

“Maybe they just got tired of living here and moved,” my friend said.

We laughed as we pictured a group of wise ancients sitting around a campfire one night. “You know,” says one of them. “I’m tired of this desert. Let’s move to the beach.” And in our story they did. No mystery. No aliens takiing them away. They just moved on, much like we do today.

It’s easy to romanticize what we don’t know. It’s easy to assume that someone else must have a greater vision, a nobler purpose than just going to work, having a family, and living a life. People are people, and have been throughout time. Our problems aren’t new or unique. The secret to happiness is the same as it has always been. If you are unhappy with where you are, don’t be there. Yes, you may be here now, you may be learning hard lessons today, but there is no reason to stay there. If it hurts to touch the stove, don’t touch it. If you want to be someplace else, move. If you want to chase a dream, then do it. Learn your lessons where you are, but don’t close off your ability to move, and to learn new lessons someplace else.

Are you happy with the path that you’re on? If not, maybe it’s time to choose a new one. There need not be a great mysterious reason. Sometimes it’s just hot and dry, and the beach is calling your name.

Be where you want to be.

God, give me the courage to find a path with heart. Help me move on when it’s time.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Vision is, I think, the ability to make good estimates,” wrote Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. “Some might feel this sort of striving to be heresy against ‘One Day At A Time.’ But that valuable principle really refers to our mental and emotional lives, and means chiefly that we are not foolishly to repine over the past nor wishfully daydream about the future.” Can i believe that “A day has a hundred pockets when one has much to put in them…”?

Today I Pray

I pray that the bright colors of this day may not be blurred by muted vagaries of the future or dulled by storm-gray remnants from the past. I pray that my Higher Power will help me to choose my actions and concerns out of the wealth of busyness that each day offers.

Today I Will Remember

I will not lose for today,
If I choose for Today.


One More Day

We are never as fortunate or as unfortunate as we suppose.
– La Rouchefoucauld

Pain, especially continual pain, is very draining and is often one of the largest problems associated with chronic illness. In the beginning we may have reacted to our pain with anger or whining and, in doing so, came to see ourselves as victims or martyrs. That self-image made us feel helpless, powerless.

Now, we’re better able to understand pain, not as a curse thrust upon us, but as our bodies’ normal function. Pain, is a signal and sometimes a warning. But pain can assist us now in better management of our illnesses by helping us regain some of our personal power and inner strength. Methods such as relaxation therapy, biofeedback, and self-hypnosis can all work on different levels to control our pain. Appropriate exercise can also be an excellent method of pain control.

I will explore ways to deal with my pain.


Food For Thought

Less Food, More Energy

When we have used excess food as a crutch for years, we think we need it to “keep up our energy.” We have become especially dependent on the refined carbohydrates, sugar and flour, to give us a quick pickup when we are tired.

The truth of the matter is that the pickup, that sharp rise in blood sugar we got when we ate refined sugar and flour, was soon followed by an even sharper letdown. We ended up more tired than when we began! Excess food of any kind makes us groggy and lethargic.

When we eliminate the wrong kind of food and eat only the amount, which our bodies need for optimum functioning, we are amazed at the supply of energy we suddenly have. Jobs, which we have put off doing for years, begin to get done. We feel good. Instead of spending unnecessary time for extra eating and digesting, we have that time to use in productive, enjoyable activity.

Try it and see.

Lord, strengthen my body to serve You.

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One Day At A Time

PERSEVERANCE

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

It’s always been easy for me to feel sorry for myself. My life has been difficult since I was a very young child, and early on I developed a chip on my shoulder the size of a boulder. “Surely no one has ever suffered what I suffer,” I often told myself. I used my pain and loneliness as excuses for bitterness, cynicism, arrogance, and harshness. In a twisted manifestation of my sickness, I held onto my suffering as though it were a precious testament to how “special” I was. I was actually Proud of my hardships! By doing this, I was mocking James’ instruction to consider trials of our faith as reasons to rejoice, and I was sentencing myself to years of immaturity, lack of faith, conflict, resentment, and heartache.

Because I held onto my arrogant, self-defeating attitude, the trials I faced led only to more and more illnesses of my body, mind, soul, and spirit. I was a prisoner in my own mind – ignoring the fact that I held in my hand the key to my freedom.

In the last six months I have been hit with more profoundly chaotic, agonizing, destructive trials of faith than I’ve encountered in the last ten years. The number, frequency, and intensity of these events did what my rational mind could not do – they brought me to my knees and led me to finally surrender my efforts to control my life.

I thank God for the friends He’s given me in Recovery. Trusted Servants have prayed for me, listened to me, and encouraged me. They have shared with me their own stories of suffering and the growth they have gained through it. With God’s grace and the support of dear friends, I am learning to release my twisted hold on Suffering, and to instead cooperate with God’s work in me. As I focus my attention on the lessons He has for me, I find that even the most painful trials I face can – and will – produce perseverance and maturity, one day at a time.

One day at a time … I will choose to welcome the lessons and growth that God has for me – even when they come disguised as horrific events in my life. I will choose perseverance over bitterness.

~ Lisa

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

In our belief any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes 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. – Pg. 101 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

This is the greatest journey of our life. Before we lived to the dictates of that first fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort. Today we begin living to the dictates of spiritual law. It is our most difficult task. It will take everything we have and it will be worth a thousand times more then that.

Take my hand God, as I understand You, and direct me in this most difficult task.

Opening to the New

Each new day is a gift. Today I will open the day slowly, like a present that’s wrapped in hours. I will be open to what my world offers me. The world comes to greet me like an old friend each morning. My daily habits comfort and ground me. The thought of moving into my day pleases me. Life unfolds one second at a time and today I will be present to witness it. How much of my life do I let pass by unnoticed? How many of my feelings go unfelt? Today I will recognize that my time on earth is limited. I choose to value my life a day at a time and embrace it while I have it.

I am open to life.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.’ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson. Every thought you have can be part of a continuous prayer and everything you do can be your practice of healing.

If I’m not happy today, what am I waiting for?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

It is One Day At A Time – In A Row!

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am willing to let go and let God in my life. I am getting my self-will out of the way.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

A man can be a drunk sometimes, but a drunk can’t be a man. – George Jones song.

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AA Thought for the Day

January 5

Fantasy
The more I drank, the more I fantasized everything.
I imagined getting even for hurts and rejections.
In my mind’s eye I played and replayed scenes in which I was plucked magically
from the bar where I stood nursing a drink
and was instantly exalted to some position of power and prestige.
I lived in a dream world.
AA led me gently from this fantasizing to embrace reality with open arms.
And I found it beautiful!  For, at last, I was at peace with myself.
And with others.  And with God.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 559

Thought to Ponder . . .
Few people have the imagination to see reality.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S O B E R = Son Of A Basket, Everything’s Real!

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

Resentments
Few people have been more victimized by resentments
than have we alcoholics.
It mattered little whether our resentments
were justified or not.
A burst of temper could spoil a day,
and a well-nursed grudge could make us
miserably ineffective.
Nor were we ever skillful in separating
justified from unjustified anger.
As we saw it, our wrath was always justified.
Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people,
could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely.
These emotional “dry benders” often led
straight to the bottle.
Other kinds of disturbance — jealousy, envy,
sef-pity, or hurt pride — did the same thing.
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 90

Thought to Consider . . .
Anger is the hot wind that extinguishes the light of reason.

~~AACRONYMS~~
C A L M =  Can Anger Leave Me.

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

Essentials

From “‘Let’s Keep It Simple'”:
“After years of sobriety I occasionally ask myself: ‘Can it be this simple?’ Then, at meetings, I see former cynics and skeptics who have walked the A.A. path out of hell by packaging their lives, without alcohol, into twenty-four hour segments, during which they practice a few principles to the best of their individual abilities. And then I know again that, while it isn’t always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 30

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

“I learned … that I was a sick man emotionally and physically. As every AA today knows, this knowledge can be an enormous relief. I no longer needed to consider myself essentially a fool or a weakling.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1960
The Language of the Heart

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

“Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going
to be our Director. He is the Principal; 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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~

“To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis
are not always easy alternatives to face.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, Page 44~

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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 worthwhile. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of harboring resentment is infinitely grave. For then 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.
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the sudden rage were not for us. Anger is the dubious luxury of normal men, but for us alcoholics it is poison.

Prayer for the Day:  My Design – God, my purpose is to help others. Give me this work, till my life shall end and life till my work is done.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 4th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 4th

Daily Reflections

BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE

We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a
beginning. A much more important demonstration of our
principles lies before us in our respective homes,
occupations and affairs.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.19

It’s usually pretty easy for me to be pleasant to the
people in an A.A. setting. While I’m working to stay
sober, I’m celebrating with my fellow A.A.s our common
release from the hell of drinking. It’s often not so
hard to spread glad tidings to my old and new friends
in the program.  At home or at work, though, it can be
a difference story. It is in situations arising in
both of those areas that the little day-to-day
frustrations are most evident, and where it can be
tough to smile or reach out with a kind word or an
attentive ear. It’s outside of the A.A. rooms that
I face the real test of the effectiveness of my walk
through A.A.’s Twelve Steps.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Have I admitted I am an alcoholic? Have I swallowed my
pride and admitted I was different from other drinkers?
Have I accepted the fact that I must spend the rest of
my life without liquor? Have I any more reservations, any
idea in the back of my mind that some day I’ll be able to
drink safely? Am I absolutely honest with myself and with
other people? Have I taken an inventory of myself and
admitted the wrong I have done? Have I come clean with my
friends? Have I tried to make it up to them for the way I
have treated them?

Meditation For The Day

I will believe that fundamentally all is well. Good things
will happen to me. I believe that God cares for me and will
provide for me. I will not try to plan ahead. I know that
the way will unfold, step by step. I will leave tomorrow’s
burden to God, because He is the great burden-bearer. He
only expects me to carry my one-day’s share.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not try to carry the burden of the
universe on my shoulders. I pray that I may be satisfied to
do my share each day.


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

As Bill Sees It

Can We Choose?, p. 4

We must never be blinded by the futile philosophy that we are just the
hapless victims of our inheritance, of our life experience, and of our
surroundings--that these are the sole forces that make our decisions for
us. This is not the road to freedom. We have to believe that we can
really choose.

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

“As active alcoholics, we lost our ability to choose whether we would
drink. We were the victims of a compulsion which seemed to decree
that we must go on with our own destruction.

“Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. We
came to believe that alone we were powerless over alcohol. This was
surely a choice, and a most difficult one. We came to believe that a
Higher Power could restore us to sanity when we became willing to
practice A.A.’s Twelve Steps.

“In short, we chose to ‘become willing,’ and no better choice did we ever
make.”

  1. Grapevine, November 1960
  2. Letter, 1966

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

Walk In Dry Places

God’s will for us
Higher Will
More than one alcoholic has trouble learning and accepting God’s will. This difficulty may grow out of the old belief that God’s will is going to be something unpleasant or dull.  “I was afraid of learning God’s will, because I thought I might have to go off to Africa as a missionary,” one young person said at a meeting.
But God only intends what is best for us; therefore, the only real happiness and security comes from learning and carrying out God’s will.  God’s plan is always better and greater than anything we might produce when depending solely on human reason.  Our own view and understandings are limited, but God can see a breathtaking sweep of wonderful activities and opportunities for us.
Most of us, by yielding to self-will, lose out in the search for real joy, true success, and genuine happiness.  Our alcoholism was perhaps the best example of self-will in action. It was only when we turned to a Higher Power that we began to find the things that we had been vainly seeking in the bottle.  God has brought us this far and will not fail us when we ask for guidance and understanding in other matters.
I will keep in mind today that God’s will for me is good, and that God gives me the power to live in peace and harmony with others.

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

Keep It Simple

He who is swift to believe is swift to forget.—-Abraham Joshua Herschel
Life is full of questions. Many people tell us they have the answers. We have to be careful of who and what we believe. Other people’s ideas may not fit us. The program doesn’t tell us much about what to believe. It teaches us how to believe. How well the program works for us depends on what we believe and how well we live it. When we face all the facts, we can really believe. We believe we are powerless over our addiction. We believe we must and can change some things in our lives. We believe we can trust a Higher Power to care for us. When we choose to believe, we want to choose the best beliefs we can. And once we believe, we must not forget.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me know You, and help me know the truth.
Action for the Day:  Today I’ll think about my First Step. Do I truly believe I’m powerless over my disease?

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Once I knew that I wanted to be an artist, I had made myself into one. I did not understand that wanting doesn’t always lead to action. Many of the women had been raised without the sense that they could mold and shape their own lives, and so, wanting to be an artist (but without the ability to realize their wants) was, for some of them, only an idle fantasy, like wanting to go to the moon.
–Judy Chicago
There are probably not many of us, in this recovery program, who grappled with life as straight on as Judy Chicago did. It is likely we didn’t understand that we could mold and shape our lives. How lucky we are to be learning that now with the help of the Twelve Steps and one another. Each day we are confronted with many opportunities to make responsible choices, reasonable decisions. These choices and decisions are the molders, the shapers, of who we are becoming. Our identity as women is strengthened each time we thoughtfully make a choice. The action we take through making each choice gives our identity more substance–our wholeness as women is guaranteed through these choices.
Many opportunities to make choices will arise today. I can be thoughtful and make choices that will lead to my greater wholeness.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

PREFACE

The second edition added the apprentices, the Twelve Traditions, and the directions for getting in touch with A.A.  But the chief change was in the section of personal stories, which was expanded to reflect the Fellowship’s growth.  “Bill’s Story,” “Dr. Bob’s Nightmare,” and one other personal history from the first edition were retained intact; three were edited and one of these was retitled; new versions of two stories were written, with new titles; thirty completely new stories were added; and the story section was divided into three parts, under the same headings that are used now.

pp. xi-xii

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

From the start I like everything about the A.A. program. I like the description of the alcoholic as a person who has found that alcohol is interfering with his social or business life. The allergy idea I could understand because I am allergic to certain pollens. Some of my family are allergic to certain foods. What could be more reasonable than that some people, including myself, were allergic to alcohol?

p. 355

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

As the day goes on, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request: “Thy will, not mine, be done.” If at these points our emotional disturbance happens to be great, we will more surely keep our balance, provided we remember, and repeat to ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to us in our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of all–our search for God’s will, not our own, in the moment of stress. At these critical moments, if we remind ourselves that “it is better to comfort than to be comforted, to understand than to be understood, to love than to be loved,” we will be following the intent of Step Eleven.

pp. 102-103

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Situations I fear are rarely as bad as the fear itself.  –unknown

“Growl all day and you’ll feel dog tired at night.”  –Anonymous

“Laughter is as good as jogging for our heart, lungs, and brain.”  –Gail Grenier Sweet

If you touch, you feel. If you ask, you learn. If you look, you see. If you love, you live.  –unknown

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.  –St. Augustine of Hippo

The heart of AA is the act of one person giving to another.

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FREEDOM

“A hungry man is not a free man.”
— Adlai Stevenson

For years I craved food. It was my escape from reality. It stopped the pain, loneliness
and anger — for a moment. It felt good. Eventually I began to feel bad — but I could
not stop. I was addicted to sugar and sodium. My freedom was being exchanged for
doughnuts!

I heard a man talk about his compulsion around cocaine and gambling. I asked how he
managed to abstain and he replied:  “Talk about it, a day at a time!”

Today I am compulsive about getting well, and I talk about my disease every day. The
price of freedom is vulnerability. God is in the risk. I have taken it.

God, let me experience freedom in the choices I make today.

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

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving towards all He has made.  Psalm 145:13

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

Daily Inspiration

It is you, not where you are or what you have, that makes the difference. Lord, may I always blossom where I am planted.

Kindness can accomplish that which force won’t. Lord, may I pause when I am about to react to irritations and respond as though it is You to whom I speak.

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

NA Just For Today

January 4

The Love of the Fellowship

“Today secure in the love of the fellowship, we can finally look another human being in the eye and be grateful for who we are.”
Basic Text p. 89

When we were using, few of us could tolerate looking someone in the eye-we were ashamed of who we were. Our minds were not occupied with anything decent or healthy, and we knew it. Our time, money, and energy weren’t spent building loving relationships, sharing with others, or seeking to better our communities. We were trapped in a spiral of obsession and compulsion that went only in one direction: downward.

In recovery, our journey down that spiral path has been cut short. But what is it that has turned us around, drawing us back upward into the open spaces of the wide, free world? The love of the fellowship has done this.

In the company of other addicts, we knew we would not be rejected. By the example of other addicts, we were shown how to begin taking a positive part in the life around us. When we were unsure which way to turn, when we stumbled, when we had to correct a wrong we had done, we knew our fellow members were there to encourage us.

Slowly, we’ve gotten the feel of our freedom. No longer are we locked up in our disease; we are free to build and grow and share along with everyone else. And when we need support to take our next step, it is there. The security we’ve found in the love of the fellowship has made our new lives possible.

Just for today: I can look anyone in the eye without shame. I am grateful for the loving support that has made this possible.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
A tip-off to an abusive family system is a situation in which nobody ever apologizes. –Karen Shaud
When we get a tip-off, we can open the door to a whole new way of looking at the world. The tip-off about apologies can help us learn to have a healthier family. It is hard to apologize, but with practice, it will get easier. We are learning that we can make mistakes, and admit them, and that other people will accept our apologies. In the same way, we are learning we can accept others’ apologies. Apologies are sometimes hard to make. It helps to keep in mind that we make them as much for ourselves and our own growth as for the person we apologize to. We are not worthless just because we make mistakes, but we increase our value t
o ourselves and others by being able to recognize them and apologize.

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is no method or discipline or system of any kind that can ever command the spirit to be present. –Tom Sampon
A man in the process of growth and recovery asks the question, “How shall I develop a relationship with my Higher Power?” The first answer is usually, “You can decide to be open to the spiritual messages that come your way.” Some experiences in life can be mastered and directed, as in performing a task or going on a trip. We can have other experiences only by being receptive. They come our way, as in the growing of a friendship or the unpredictable events on a trip.
To be receptive, we must not be so busy with what we can control that we fail to notice all the experiences, which are there for us. Our senses need to be open to see what is around us and hear what is in the air. We must breathe in the beauty and pain of life. When there is a message in our experiences, let us read it and not demand it fit our narrow, logical minds.
Today, I pray that I will be open to receive the spirit on its own terms.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Once I knew that I wanted to be an artist, I had made myself into one. I did not understand that wanting doesn’t always lead to action. Many of the women had been raised without the sense that they could mold and shape their own lives, and so, wanting to be an artist (but without the ability to realize their wants) was, for some of them, only an idle fantasy, like wanting to go to the moon.
–Judy Chicago
There are probably not many of us, in this recovery program, who grappled with life as straight on as Judy Chicago did. It is likely we didn’t understand that we could mold and shape our lives. How lucky we are to be learning that now with the help of the Twelve Steps and one another. Each day we are confronted with many opportunities to make responsible choices, reasonable decisions. These choices and decisions are the molders, the shapers, of who we are becoming. Our identity as women is strengthened each time we thoughtfully make a choice. The action we take through making each choice gives our identity more substance–our wholeness as women is guaranteed through these choices.
Many opportunities to make choices will arise today. I can be thoughtful and make choices that will lead to my greater wholeness.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Separating from Family Issues
We can draw a healthy line, a healthy boundary, between our nuclear family and ourselves. We can separate ourselves from their issues.
Some of us may have family members who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs and who are not in recovery from their addiction.
Some of us may have family members who have unresolved codependency issues. Family members may be addicted to misery, pain, suffering, martyrdom, and victimization. We may have family members who have unresolved abuse issues or unresolved family of origin issues.
We may have family members who are addicted to work, eating, or sex. Our family may be completely enmeshed, or we may have a disconnected family in which the members have little contact.
We may be like our family. We may love our family. But we are separate human beings with individual rights and issues. One of our primary rights is to begin feeling better and recovering, whether or not others in the family choose to do the same.
We do not have to feel guilty about finding happiness and a life that works. And we do not have to take on our family’s issues as our own to be loyal and to show we love them.
Often when we begin taking care of ourselves, family members will reverberate with overt and covert attempts to pull us back into the old system and roles. We do not have to go. Their attempts to pull us back are their issues. Taking care of ourselves and becoming healthy and happy does not mean we do not love them. It means we’re addressing our issues.
We do not have to judge them because they have issues; nor do we have to allow them to do anything they would like to us just because they are family.
We are free now, free to take care of ourselves with family members. Our freedom starts when we stop denying then issues, and politely, but assertively, hand their stuff back to them – where it belongs – and deal with our own issues.
Today, I will separate myself from family members, lama separate human being, even though I belong to a unit called a family. I have a right to my own issues and growth; my family members have a right to their issues and a right to choose where and when they will deal with these issues. I can learn to detach in love from my family members and their issues. I am willing to work through all necessary feelings in order to accomplish this.

This is your TIME for JOY! Know that it is here and now. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Go with What You Know

The commercial on the radio sang to me as I drove across the Southern California desert. “Don’t just go with the flow. Go with what you know.”

Sometimes answers come from outside us. The universe is abundant in its supply of guidance for us. It can’t wait to share its signals, teachings, lessons, and words of wisdom. It is eager to give us guidance if we just watch, wait, and listen. Sometimes this guidance comes from people we know, other times from people we barely know. But even when this help comes from those we are closest to and love most, the answer must resonate with that place deep inside us. It must resonate with our core. It must ring true for us.

Listen to those around you. Listen to the guidance of the universe and all the voices it uses to speak to you. But always trust yourself. Trust your inner voice. Trust what you know, because ultimately your path will bring you back to that place. No matter what you do, if it’s not right for you, you will need to return to your center, your place of peace, and figure out the action that is right.

It’s good to go with the flow. But it’s better to go with what you know– what you know to be true for you. Trusting yourself is the ultimate lesson. It’s where all the guidance leads.


More Language Of Letting Go

Know when to compromise

Sometimes compromise is important. Sometimes it’s better to give in to someone else’s wishes in order to have fun as a group or as a couple, or for the benefits of the team. Sometimes compromise is dangerous. We need to guard against compromising our standards to gain the approval or love of someone else.

Decide when you can, and when you cannot compromise. If it’s not harmful and you are ambivalent about a decision, then compromise. If it could lead to breaking your values, compromise isn’t a good idea.

Is it okay to have lunch with an attractive colleague if you’re married? Possibly, but not if lunch will lead to dinner, which then leads to more time spent together, culminating in an affair. Is it okay to go to the bar with friends after work? Maybe, but not if it leads to one rationalized decision after another until you have broken your commitment to stay sober.

Remember that what may be an acceptable compromise for one person might not be acceptable for you. Know your limits, know your values, and be aware of the dangers that can come from compromising them.

God, help me be aware of my limits. Give me the strength not to compromise the values that I need to help me on my path.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

For a good part of my life, I saw things mostly in negative terms. Everything was serious, heavy, or just plain awful. Perhaps now I can truly change my attitude, searching out the winners in The Program who have learned how to live comfortably in the real world — without numbing their brains with mood-altering chemicals. If things get rough today, can I take a quiet moment and say to myself, as the philosopher Homer once said, “Bear patiently, my heart — for you have suffered heavier things…”?

Today I Pray

May the peace of God that passes all human understanding fill the place within me that once harbored my despair. May an appreciation for living — even for life’s trials — cancel out my old negative attitudes in heart-heavy moments, help to remind me that my heart was once much heavier still.

Today I Will Remember

I, to, am a winner.


One More Day

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.
– Faith Baldwin

Each stage of life brings its own gifts. Every age gives us a chance to examine where we are right now. When we were young, many of us still insisted that we could change the world. We even thought we could change people. The next stage in life may have given us the gift of seeing that we could only change ourselves.

Whatever stage we are in right now is the perfect place to reassess our priorities again. It has become obvious to us by now which things we cannot change, and are busily accepting that truth.

Time itself alters us and our expectations. The time we have lived has already created change, and the passing of time will create more. The alterations we make today can help us accept this stage in life as being the best place to be.

Now is the time to alter my expectations of myself, to tailor them to my current needs.


Food For Thought

Three Meals a Day

For most of us, abstinence from compulsive overeating means three measured meals a day with nothing in between. Before we joined OA we often ate one enormous meal, all day long. Through this program, we find the discipline to eat according to our needs rather than our self-destructive cravings.

Unless a doctor has told us differently, we do not need more than three meals a day. As we practice this pattern, we retrain our overgrown appetites and learn to function in the real world. We can eat with our families instead of secretly snacking and bingeing.

We plan our three meals for the day, write them down, and report them to our food sponsor. Then, instead of nibbling here and there and thinking about food all day, we can forget about eating except when it is time for a planned, measured meal. As we acquire disciplined eating habits, we find that other areas of our lives become more ordered and productive. Freed from the bondage of self-will and impulse, we are guided by the sure hand of our Higher Power.

I am grateful for the order and sanity OA has brought into my life.

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

One Day At A Time

HAPPINESS

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

Erich Fromm

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

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

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

~ Jeremiah ~

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Live and let live is the rule. If you both show a willingness to remedy your own defects, there will be little need to criticize each other. – Pg. 118 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The reality of our illness is simple; we have it! Once we see that we have the disease of chemical dependency, then we can admit that we are addicted to whatever, and then we can accept the help we are offered.

I accept my humanness and accept my non-perfection in order to accept the help of those in recovery.

Today

I will live in the present grateful to be alive and in this radiant world for one more day. Living in the present brings its own perspective. What is not worth getting preoccupied about falls away while what is truly meaningful and important rises up and into focus. I am here to appreciate and live life, to grow, to share my heart and soul with those around me. If I miss today, I will not get it back. If I allow it to work its beauty inside of me, it will fertilize tomorrow’s garden. Today is what I know I have. All of life is here, woven into the atoms of the world that surrounds me. If I am with this day, I am with all of life.

I am part of an alive universe.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Wet the bed and blame the blanket-that is the life we led. With the Twelve Steps, we learn that problems are basically of our own making.

At the end of BLAME is ME.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

UFO’s: Unidentified Fear Objects.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

This is your TIME for JOY! Know that it is here and now.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

We have these two forces; this insatiable thirst, compulsion, hunger, yearning, call it what you will. We don’t know what we’re looking for but we’re searching. And the other force; the escape. We’re running, not knowing what from. – Eddie E.

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AA Thought for the Day
January 4

Promises
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. . .
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not to for ourselves.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-84

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

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

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

Coping
God willing, we members of AA may never again
have to deal with drinking,
but we have to deal with sobriety every day.
How do we do it?
By learning — through practicing the Twelve Steps
and through sharing at meetings — how to cope with
the problems that we looked to booze to solve,
back in our drinking days. . .
We learn how to level out the emotional swings
that got us into trouble
both when we were up and when we were down.
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 160
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 558-9

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

~~AACRONYMS~~
C A R D S  =
Call your sponsor,
Ask for help from your Higher Power,
Read the Big Book,
Do the Twelve Steps,
Stay active in your group.

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

Duty

From “Reason or Conscience”:
“When, in all humility, I try to pass our message on to other less fortunate alcoholics, I know that the plan of the Higher Power comes to us through the medium of people. To us alcoholics, this does not mean common or garden people, but special people, such as other alcoholics. And I am guided to include among the people from whom I might receive guidance, and to whom I must demonstrate the life of my conscience or Higher Power, those who married me, loved me, befriended me, and stuck by me, as others stuck by other alcoholics.  Bulawayo, Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe]”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 82

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

“As I trudge the Road of Happy Destiny, AA holds my left hand, God holds my right, and I have no hands left to pick up a drink.”
Albuquerque, N.M., January 2002
“Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?”
AA Grapevine

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

“God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your
morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still
sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But
obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it
that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come
to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164~

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 — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that 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 not 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.
Alcoholics Anonymous page 417

Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.93

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘We must never be blinded by the futile philosophy that we are just the hapless victims of our inheritance, of our life experience, and of our surroundings – that these are the sole forces that make our decisions for us. This is not the road to freedom. We have to believe that we can really choose.
‘As active alcoholics, we lost our ability to choose whether we would drink. We were the victims of a compulsion which seemed to decree that we must go on with our own destruction.
‘Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. We came to believe that alone we were powerless over alcohol. This was surely a choice, and a most difficult one. We came to believe that a Higher Power could restore us to sanity when we became willing to practice A.A.’s Twelve Steps.
In short, we chose to become willing, and no better choice did we ever make.

Prayer for the Day:  God of Promise, you have fulfilled the prophets’ words and taught us to long for your coming again: stir in us a desire to build your kingdom in our time; God of Hope, you sent your son, Jesus Christ, into a world of fear to bring glad tidings of your love: turn our hearts from fear to hope and inspire us to share the Good News; God of Light, creation sang Christ’s glory at his birth: kindle in us the light of your love, that we might be bearers of your truth and life in  our land; In a world of chaos, may we find time and silence to hear your still, small voice. Bless us with your presence. Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 3rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 3rd

Daily Reflections

POWERLESS

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become
unmanageable.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p.  21

It is no coincidence that the very first Step mentions powerlessness: An
admission of personal powerlessness over alcohol is a cornerstone of
the foundation of recovery.  I’ve learned that I do not have the power
and control I once thought I had.  I am powerless over what people
think about me.  I am powerless over having just missed the bus.  I am
powerless over how other people work (or don’t work) the Steps.  But
I’ve also learned I am not powerless over some things.  I am not
powerless over my attitudes.  I am not powerless over negativity.  I am
not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery.  I
have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones,
and the world in which I live.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., I learned what an alcoholic was and then I
applied this knowledge to myself to see if I was an alcoholic. When I
was convinced that I was an alcoholic, I admitted it openly. Since then,
have I been learning to live accordingly? Have I read the book
Alcoholics Anonymous? Have I applied the knowledge gained to
myself? Have I admitted openly that I am an alcoholic? Am I ready to
admit it at any time when I can be of help?

Meditation For The Day

I will be renewed. I will be remade. In this, I need God’s help. His spirit
shall flow through me and, in flowing through me, it shall sweep away
all the bitter past. I will take heart. The way will open for me. Each day
will unfold something good, as long as I am trying to live the way I
believe God wants me to live.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be taught, just as a child would be taught. I pray that
I may never question God’s plans, but accept them gladly.


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

As Bill Sees It

Pain And Progress, p. 3

“Years ago I used to commiserate with all people who suffered. Now I
commiserate only with those who suffer in ignorance, who do not
understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain.”

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

Someone once remarked that pain is the touchstone of spiritual
progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for we know
that the pains of alcoholism had to come before sobriety, and
emotional turmoil before serenity.

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

“Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though
for the moment you do not see.”

  1. Letter, 1950
  2. 12 & 12, pp. 93-94
  3. Letter, 1950

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Walk In Dry Places

Forgiving others___Releasing the past
There is a general reluctance on the part of most people to forgive old injuries. Some of us wasted lots of time brooding about old wrongs done to us or trying to get even for some past injuries.
But the only way we can ever really get even is to forgive others completely and without the slightest hidden reservation.  If we haven’t forgiven others, the old resentments are a poison in our own lives.  We continue to feel the pain of the original injury, and the ensuing resentment destroys our peace of mind and endangers our relationships.
In forgiving others, we do not grant a favor to them, but to ourselves.  By extending forgiveness, we release thoughts and feelings that have been like a cancer in our lives. We are not giving up a possession or a right; instead, we are freeing ourselves from a burden that nobody needs to carry.  We are letting go of garbage that we do not need in our lives. When we forgive others, we also realize that we are forgiven.  As it is stated in closing meetings, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
I will not review past hurts and injuries this day. I will go through the day knowing that God forgives me to the extent that I forgive.

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

Keep It Simple

Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.—Unknown
As we work Step One, we accept that alcohol and other drugs are poison to us. We accept our limits.
This means we know that hanging around our using “buddies” can remind us of “the good old days.”
Hanging around “slippery places” means we could “slip” back into our old ways. This isn’t testing our sobriety; it’s being reckless with it. So let’s accept our limits. Everybody has limits. When we know our limits, we protect our recovery against the people and places that pull us from our spiritual center. This is what true acceptance means.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray for true acceptance. Higher Power, help me to stay away from slippery places. I will protect the gift You’ve given me.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list the people and places that are risky for me to be around. I will share this list with my sponsor, my group, and my sober friends.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore.  –Dorothy Bryant
Sometimes we feel buried in sand, blocked, clogged, unable to move. Then we must remember that we are not alone. Help is at hand, if only we will ask for it. If we invoke our higher power, our source of spiritual strength can help us to believe that there is gold somewhere in all this sand, and that the sand itself is useful.
No one and no thing is good all the time. Let us remember that if we expect nothing but gold, we are distorting life, getting in our own way. We don’t want to falsify the texture of our lives; the homespun quality helps us to appreciate the gold when it appears.
I will find some gold among the sand, today.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

PREFACE

Because this book has become the basic text for our Society and had helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists strong sentiment against any radical changes being made in it.  Therefore, the first portion of this volume, describing the A.A. recovery program, has been left untouched in the course of revisions made for the second, third, and fourth editions.  The section called “The Doctor’s Opinion” has been kept intact, just as it was originally written in 1939 by the late Dr. William D. Silkworth, our Society’s great medical benefactor.

p. xi

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

I was told that I must want my sobriety for my own sake, and I am convinced this is true. There may be many reasons that bring one to A.A. for the first time, but the lasting one must be to want sobriety and the A.A. way of living for oneself.

pp. 354-355

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

In the morning we think of the hours to come. Perhaps we think of our day’s work and the chances it may afford us to be useful and helpful, or of some special problem that it may bring. Possibly today will see a continuation of a serious and as yet unresolved problem left over from yesterday. Our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions to specific problems, and for the ability to help other people as we have already thought they should be helped. In that case, we are asking God to do it our way. Therefore, we ought to consider each request carefully to see what its real merit is. Even so, when making specific requests, it will be well to add to each one of them this qualification: “…if it be Thy will.” We ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out.

p. 102

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

Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm.  –unknown

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry
about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely
and earnestly.  –Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

“The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes.”  –Amy Grant

Envy shoots at others and wounds herself.  –Costa Rican Proverb

If you dig a grave for others, you might fall into it yourself.  –Irish Proverb

I embrace the beauty of life, and depend deeply upon God.  –Shelley

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ISOLATION

“No man is an island, entire of
itself; every man is a piece of
the continent, a part of the
main.”
— John Donne

For years I thought that I was alone; lost isolated and afraid. Today I understand this
to be a symptom of my alcoholism, an aspect of my disease. Alcoholism is “cunning,
baffling and powerful”; it is a mystery that we have only begun to understand. One
thing we know, the disease, the “ism” of alcoholism, involves more than the act
of drinking. Feelings of inadequacy, isolation and fear keep us from recovering until
we discover the spiritual strength to confront the disease in our lives. The initial risk of
“letting go” and trusting others is an essential part of the recovery process.

When we discover that we are not alone, then relationships and hope are reactivated;
life is worth living again.

O Lord, I believe I am part of this world and an important part of You.

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

“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with
God all things are possible.”  Mark 10:27

Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Matthew 6:34

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

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

Daily Inspiration

It is good to know where you are, but better to know where you are going. Lord, may I use every day to grow closer to You.

When you feel you aren’t as blessed as your neighbor, consider the troubles that you have been spared. Lord, thank You for the trials that I do not have to endure.


NA Just For Today

Our Greatest Need

“We eventually redefine our beliefs and understanding to the point where we see that our greatest need is for
knowledge of God’s will for us and the strength to carry that out”
Basic Text p. 46

When we first arrived in NA, we had all kinds of ideas of what we needed. Some of us set our sights on amassing
personal possessions. We thought recovery equaled outward success. But recovery does not equal success. Today,
we believe that our greatest need is for spiritual guidance and strength.
The greatest damage done to us by our addiction was the damage done to our spirituality. Our primary motivation was
dictated by our disease: to get, to use, and to find ways and means to get more. Enslaved by our overwhelming need
for drugs, our lives lacked purpose and connection. We were spiritually bankrupt.
Sooner or later, we realize that our greatest need in recovery is “for knowledge of God’s will for us and the strength to
carry that out” There, we find the direction and sense of purpose our addiction had hidden from us. In our God’s will we
find freedom from self-will. No longer driven only by our own needs, we are free to live with others on an equal footing.
There’s nothing wrong with outward success. But without the spiritual connection offered by the NA program, our
greatest need in recovery goes unmet, regardless of how “successful” we may be.
Just for today: I will seek the fulfillment of my greatest need: a vital, guiding connection with the God of my
understanding.


You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. –Faith Baldwin
Change surrounds us. It lies within us, too. The trees in the yard have changed. They’ve grown taller. Their leaves die
and scatter on the ground in the fall. We don’t resemble our baby pictures much anymore, either. Like trees, we’ve
grown up. As babies, we couldn’t walk. But we learned to run, ride bikes, go out alone to movies and parties. Some
changes we don’t notice while they’re going on. The snow melts; the birds fly south; our hair grows a little every day.
Other changes startle us. A best friend moves away. Perhaps a favorite grandparent dies. These changes we wish
hadn’t happened, and we have to remember that change is as natural as breathing. We can’t keep it from happening,
but we can trust that change never means to harm us. It’s a sign we’re growing up.

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. – Ursula K. Le
Guin
Our relationships are alive. We don’t control them and neither do the other people involved. We certainly influence our
relationships – and if we are aware, we see they also have their own yeast. Whether we are talking of a love
relationship with our spouse, lover, children, friends, or parents, it is a very fluid and dynamic affair. If we are actively
involved with the other person and give time and nourishment to the relationship, it will grow. But if we are passive and
only waiting, the relationship will grow stale.
God speaks to us through other people. Our relationship with our Higher Power influences our relationships with all the
people in our lives. Today we can nurture our relationships with time, tolerance, and honesty. In turn, we will be
nourished.
May this day be one in which I give attention to those I love.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later
patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore. –Dorothy Bryant
Sometimes we feel buried in sand, blocked, clogged, unable to move. Then we must remember that we are not alone.
Help is at hand, if only we will ask for it. If we invoke our higher power, our source of spiritual strength can help us to
believe that there is gold somewhere in all this sand, and that the sand itself is useful.
No one and no thing is good all the time. Let us remember that if we expect nothing but gold, we are distorting life,
getting in our own way. We don’t want to falsify the texture of our lives; the homespun quality helps us to appreciate the
gold when it appears.
I will find some gold among the sand, today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Nurturing Self Care
.. .there isn’t a guidebook for setting boundaries. Each of us has our own guide inside ourselves. If we continue to work
at recovery, our boundaries will develop. They will get healthy and sensitive. Our selves will tell us what we need to
know,’ and we’ll love ourselves enough to listen.
–Beyond Codependency
What do we need to do to take care of ourselves?
Listen to that voice inside. What makes you angry? What have you had enough of? What don’t you trust? What
doesn’t feel right? What can’t you stand? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want? Need? What don’t you
want and need? What do you like? What would feel good?
In recovery, we learn that self care leads us on the path to God’s will and plan for our life. Self-care never leads away
from our highest good; it leads toward it.
Learn to nurture that voice inside. We can trust ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. We are wiser than we think.
Our guide is within, ever present. Listen to, trust, and nurture that guide.
Today, I will affirm that lama gift to the Universe and myself. I will remember that nurturing self care delivers that gift in
its highest form.

Today my body guides me to refocus and God heals me deep within as I again become strong and free. –Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Trust Your Heart

For so long, you relied on your head. Now it’s time to make the shift– the great leap into your heart.
Are you beginning to see how your head gets in the way? How it creates so much noise? The chatter, the limited
vision, the fear? Are you beginning to see how what you’ve relied on– your intellect, your assessments, and
sometimes your logic– has complicated your life?
It isn’t the head that sees clearly, nor does the head always see with love. Often, it sees with eyes of fear. The heart
sees clearly. It balances the mind and emotions. It takes what’s real and processes it into truth, then into action. It
takes into account all that needs to be done, then draws a map, an itinerary, for how to accomplish that. Yes, you say,
but my head does that too. And then I don’t need to feel.
Your heart can do it better because it maps the way in love.
Learn to listen to your inner voice. Listen to your heart. It’s your connection to God, to people, to the universe, and to
yourself.


More Language Of Letting Go
Bring your ideals to life
There is a Zen story about two monks walking down a street after a heavy rain. Arriving at a corner, they came upon a
beautiful girl in fine clothing unable to cross the muddy street without getting filthy.
“Here, I’ll help you,” said one monk. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her to the other side. The two monks walked in
silence for a long time.
“We’ve sworn a vow of celibacy and are not supposed to go near women. It’s dangerous,” the second monk said to
the first. “Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl back at the corner,” the first monk said. “Are you still carrying her?”
Sometimes, we may find ourselves in a situation where our ideals conflict. Being kind and loving to another person
may conflict with our value of being committed and loving toward ourselves.
When one ideal imposes on another, then use your judgement. Do the right thing by others. Do the right thing by
yourself,too. Then let the incident pass and move on.
For the monks in our story, right action usually meant not having contact with women. However, when encountering a
stranded person on the road, right action became helping others. Ideals remain. Right thought, right action, right
speech– but the path to those ideals may twist and turn throughout life. Be sensitive and aware that you are following
an ideal and not a rigid belief.
God, help me learn when it’s time to let go.
Activity: In an earlier activity, we explored our goals and dreams list. Now, ;et’s determine the ethics and ideals we
want to live by, the code of conduct we want to follow. What’s of foremost importance to you, whether or not your
dreams come true and you achieve your goals? Examples of ideals may be staying clean and sober, honoring your
commitments to others, and honoring your commitment to yourself. Many people choose additional spiritual values,
such as compassion, honesty, tolerance. Some people choose to live by an ideal they call “Christ Consciosness,”
some “Buddha consciousness,” some of the “Twelve Steps,” and some of the Ten Commandments. List your ideals,
and put that list with your goals. Let these ideals be a light that guides your path and allows you to live in harmony with
others and yourself.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day
My addiction is three-fold in that it affects me physically, mentally and spiritually. As a chemically-dependent person, I
was totally out of touch not only with myself, but with reality. Day after miserable day, like a caged animal on a
treadmill, I repeated my self-destructive pattern of living. Have I begun to break away from my old ideas? Just for today,
can I adjust myself to what is, rather than try to adjust everything to my own desires?

Today I Pray
I pray that I may not be caught up again in the downward, destructive spiral which removed me from myself and from
the realities of the world around me. I pray that I may adjust to people and situations as they are instead of always
trying, unsuccessfully and with endless frustration, to bend them to my own desires.

Today I Will Remember
I can only change myself.


One More Day

Laugh at yourself first, before anybody else can.
– Elsa Maxwell

A sense of humor is an essential living tool. Unfortunately, it is most difficult to keep a sense of humor when we’re
under stress, and that’s the time we need it most. In the face of a crisis, we may have found it easier to be dour and
nasty, even if we knew, deep in our hearts, that such an attitude was not in our best interests.
Ironically, our medical problems have helped many of us cultivate a humorous attitude toward life. Making the choice
between bitterness and acceptance is easier when we take ourselves less seriously. Seeing the funny side of life
helps us deal with the most difficult situations life has to offer. Humor cleanses us through spontaneous laughter. It
draws others to us and bonds us.
I choose to see humor and lightness in my life. I will allow this attitude to brighten my life and that of those around me.


Food For Thought

Responding

Many of us find it difficult to accept the OA program at the beginning. Many of us cannot believe or are afraid to believe the good news at first. All we need to start is the desire to stop eating compulsively.

If we will be open to the program, we will find that it gradually unfolds. What we do not understand at the beginning becomes clear as we become ready to accept it. We shall never achieve perfection, but we can make progress every day.

When we are willing to grow and to change, God can work His miracles. OA is filled with members whose stories attest to the Power that has changed their lives.

I open myself to Your power, Lord.


One Day At A Time

CHARACTER DEFECTS

God seldom delivers virtues all wrapped
in a package and ready for use. Rather He puts
us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues.

C. R. Findley

I have been reading and studying a lot about the 6th and 7th Steps lately. I have realized that these steps are threefold. I must first become aware of the defect of character. Next, I must accept that I own it and it no longer works for me as it once did.
Lastly, I need to surrender that defect of character to my Higher Power. In the meantime, it is my job to act as if the change has already occurred. This means that I may come into contact with some seemingly obnoxious people who will mirror my character defects. I must remember that “Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake,” and they are here to teach me something. Maybe I am here to be the lesson for them. I may be the only example they ever see of a person trying to work and walk a spiritual path, in a 12 Step program of recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
God, I ask that You continue to help me to be aware of my actions and how they affect others, and to accept and become willing to relinquish my character defects to You.

~ Jeanine ~


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort. – Pg. 25-26 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

In the beginning of recovery we usually don’t like ourselves very well. Consequently, we usually don’t like others too well either. But we can grant others this: the right to be human, the right to be wrong, and the right to be right!

When people really bug me, let me let them be.

Forgiveness

I forgive myself for being less than perfect, that’s how I will love myself and others today. Perfection is that myth that I carry around in my head to beat myself up with and to make it seem others fall short. That celluloid image against which I measure myself and come out feeling lacking, that yard stick with which I hit my own back side. Today, I will see perfection and beauty in what is. I will have an attitude of forgiveness toward myself and others for being other than what is expected. We’re all just bumbling along mostly doing the best we can, sometimes worse than we should, sometimes better. Just for today, I won’t get hung up on imperfection.

I forgive imperfection

  • Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When we pray for strength, the Universe gives us difficulties to make us strong. When we pray for courage, the Universe gives us danger to overcome. When we pray for patience, the Universe gives us long lines and traffic jams. What are you praying for?
I may ask for favors but the Universe gives me opportunities.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If anyone speaks badly of you, live so no one will believe it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today my body guides me to refocus and God heals me deep within as I again become strong and free.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

On a good day things are OK and I don’t drink. On a great day things are lousy and I don’t drink. – Anon.


AA Thought for the Day

January 3

Powerlessness
Who cares to admit complete defeat?  Practically no one, of course.
Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness.
It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds
into such an obsession for destructive drinking
that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 21

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

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Achieve Anything.

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

Joyous
We have been speaking to you of serious,
sometimes tragic things.
We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspects.
But we aren’t a glum lot.
If newcomers could see no joy in our existence,
they wouldn’t want it.
We absolutely insist on enjoying life.
We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state
of  the nations,
nor do we carry the world’s troubles on our shoulders.
c. 1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 132

Thought to Consider . . .
Laughter is the sound of recovery.

~~AACRONYMS~~
H J F  =  Happy, Joyous, Free

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

Prayer
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“A news clipping whose content was to become famous was called to our attention by a New York member, newsman
Jack. It was an obituary notice from a New York paper. Underneath a routine account of the one who had died there
appeared these words: ‘God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things
we can, and wisdom to know the difference.’ [Usually attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr]
“Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words. While Ruth and I were admiring the prayer, and wondering how to
use it, friend Howard walked into the office. Confirming our own ideas, he exclaimed, ‘We ought to print this on cards
and drop one into every piece of mail that goes out of here. I’ll pay for the first printing.’ For several years afterward we
followed his suggestion, and with amazing speed the Serenity Prayer came into general use and took its place
alongside our two other favorites, the Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer of St. Francis.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 196

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

“I used to think that having a pint was the only way to have fun; now I know that, for me, it’s the only way to destroy the
fun that I’m having!”
Toronto, Ontario, August 2003
“Front Row on Fun”
AA Grapevine

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

“Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to
find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and
direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal
consequences may be.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 79~

“…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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, Page 25~

An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things
tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.95

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Years ago I used to commiserate with all people who suffered. Now I commiserate only with those who suffer in
ignorance, who do not understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain.’
Someone once remarked that pain is the touchstone of spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for
we know that the pains of alcoholism had to come before sobriety, and continued turmoil before serenity.
‘Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though the moment you do not see.

Prayer for the Day:  Fill our minds with Wisdom, our hearts with thanksgiving, and our lips with praise. In all things, may
we ever be grateful for our redemption and quick to share the Good News; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 2nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 2nd

Daily Reflections

FIRST, THE FOUNDATION


Is sobriety all that we can expect of a spiritual awakening?  No,
sobriety is only a bare beginning.
As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Practicing the A.A. program is like building a house.  First I had to
pour a big, thick concrete slab on which to erect the house; that, to
me, was the equivalent of stopping drinking.  But it’s pretty
uncomfortable living on a concrete slab, unprotected and exposed to
the heat, cold, wind and rain.  So I built a room on the slab by starting
to practice the program.  The first room was rickety because I wasn’t
used to the work.  But as time passed, as I practiced the program, I
learned to build better rooms.  The more I practiced, and the more I
built, the more comfortable, and happy, was the home I now have to
live in.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

What makes A.A. work? The first thing is to have a revulsion against
myself and my way of living. Then I must admit I was helpless, that
alcohol had me licked and I couldn’t do anything about it. The next
thing is to honestly want to quit the old life. Then I must surrender
my life to a Higher Power, put my drinking problem in His hands and
leave it there. After these things are done, I should attend meetings
regularly for fellowship and sharing. I should also try to help other
alcoholics. Am I doing these things?

Meditation For The Day

You are so made that you can only carry the weight of twenty-four
hours, no more. If you weigh yourself down with the years behind and
the days ahead, your back breaks. God has promised to help with the
burdens of the day only. If you are foolish enough to gather again
that burden of the past and carry it, then indeed you cannot expect
God to help you bear it. So forget that which lies behind you and
breathe in the blessing of each new day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may realize that, for good or bad, past days have ended.
I pray that I may face each new day, the coming twenty-four hours,
with hope and courage.


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

As Bill Sees It

In God’s Hands, p. 2

When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when
we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could
have planned.

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

My depression deepened unbearably, and finally it seemed to me as
though I were at the very bottom of the pit. For the moment, the last
vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found myself
crying out, “If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do
anything, anything!”

Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. It seemed to me, in the
mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of
spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man.
Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in
another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through
me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself,
“So this is the God of the preachers!”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 63

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

Walk In Dry Places

The Delusion of “Just one more”
Other Excesses
A binge is a chain reaction that starts with one drink.  After a grim period of enforced abstinence, that first drink may have brought us intense emotional release and a peak feeling of euphoria. For the rest of the binge, there was a continuing delusion that the next drink would help us recapture that peak experience.
Delusion leads us to other excesses.  Some alcoholics also binge on smoking, food, sex, and power and recognition.  In this frantic seeking, our basic delusion is that substances and things can satisfy what is really a spiritual need.  Instead of realizing that there is a law of diminishing returns in the enjoyment of such things, we cling to the delusion that “just one more” will bring the relief and satisfaction we want.
Delusions brought disillusionment, and only the truth set us free from alcohol.  Other excesses might not hurt us to the extent alcohol did, but the excesses of our drinking years carry lessons that are equally applicable to other human problems.
I will carry out the day’s activities knowing that I already have enough of everything I need for this day alone.

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

Keep It Simple

..our lives had become unmanageable. Second half of Step One.
The First Step tells us a lot about our addiction. We were out of control. Our addiction was in control. Addiction managed everything. It managed our relationships. It managed how we behaved with our families. As Step One says, “…our lives had become unmanageable.” But we pretended we managed our lives. What a lie! Addiction ran our lives–not us. We weren’t honest with ourselves. Our program heals us through self-honesty. We feel better just speaking the truth. We are becoming good people with spiritual values. Our spiritual journey has begun.
Prayer:  Higher Power, I give YOU my life to manage. When I’m faced with a choice, I’ll ask myself, “What would my Higher Power choose for me?”
Action: Today, I’ll be honest with a friend about how unmanageable my life had become.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I believe that true identify is found . . . in creative activity springing from within. It is found, paradoxically, when one loses oneself. Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own.  –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Creative activity might mean bird watching, tennis, quilting, cooking, painting, writing. Creative activity immerses us fully in the here and now, and at the same time it frees us. We become one with the activity and are nourished by it. We grow as the activity grows. We learn who we are in the very process of not thinking about who we are.
Spirituality and creativity are akin. There is an exhilaration rooted deep within us that is a lifeline to God. Creative activity releases the exhilaration, and the energy goes through us and out to others. We find ourselves and our higher power through the loss of our self-conscious selves while creating–a picture, a sentence, a special meal.
Creativity is a given. It is another dimension of the spiritual presence guiding us all. I’ll get out of its way today.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

PREFACE

This is the fourth edition of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous.”  The first edition appeared in April 1939, and n the following sixteen years, more than 300,000 copies went into circulation.  The second edition, published in 1955, reached a total of more than 1,150,500 copies.  The third edition, which came off press in 1976, achieved a circulation of 11,698,000.

p. xi

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

At first it was a shock to realize I was an alcoholic, but the realization that there was hope made it easier. The baffling problem of getting drunk when I had every intention of staying sober was simplified. It was a great relief to know I didn’t have to drink any more.

p. 354

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Now, what of prayer? Prayer is the raising of the heart and mind to God–and in this sense it includes meditation. How may we go about it? And how does it fit in with meditation? Prayer, as commonly understood, is a petition to God. Having opened our channel as best we can, we try to ask for those right things of which we and others are in the greatest need. And we think that the whole range of our needs is well defined by that part of Step Eleven which says: “…knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” A request for this fits in any part of our day.

p. 102

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

“Making prompt amends is the fresh air of each new day.”  –Sandra Little

“We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.”  –Albert Einstein

“Never settle for anything less than your best.”  –Brian Tracy

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry
about the future, not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and
earnestly.  –Siddhartha Gautama

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up.  –unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MARTYRS

“A thing is not necessarily true
because a man dies for it.”
— Oscar Wilde

I came to the conclusion in my battle with alcoholism that my involvement with God’s
will for me was crucial; my choice is the result of God’s bestowed gift of freedom. And
freedom is awfully real! The price of freedom is Auschwitz; the price of freedom is
the world’s starving millions; the price of freedom is the dead drunk in a derelict
building. Men do insane and destructive things, usually because they think they know
best. Men die to protect their ego. The sin of Adam, wanting to be like God, haunts us
all.

Today I am learning to detach spiritually in order to discover a pure and selfless love.
I stand back and consider before I act; often after a time of reflection I see the event
differently — and it is okay to change my mind.

Lord, I understand choice to be the key to my humanity.

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

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a
way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  Psalm 119:105

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give
light to those who sit in darkness.”  Luke 1:78-79


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

Daily Inspiration

Peace is one of our greatest needs because it provides for the strength we
need in times of turmoil. Lord, I turn to You because You are my source of
peace.

Laughter is a great way to reduce stress and prevent taking ourselves too
seriously. Lord, bless me with a healthy sense of humor
.

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

NA Just For Today
Take a deep breath and talk to God
“Sometimes when we pray, a remarkable thing happens: We find the means, ways, and energies to perform tasks far
beyond our capacities.”  Basic Text p. 44

Coping successfully with life’s minor annoyances and frustrations is sometimes the most difficult skill we have to learn
in recovery. We are faced with small inconveniences daily. From untangling the knots in our children’s shoelaces to
standing in line at the market, our days are filled with minor difficulties that we must somehow deal with.
If we’re not careful, we may find ourselves dealing with these difficulties by bullying our way through each problem or
grinding our teeth while giving ourselves a stern lecture about how we should handle them. These are extreme
examples of poor coping skills, but even if we’re not this bad there’s probably room for improvement.
Each time life presents us with another little setback to our daily plans, we can simply take a deep breath and talk to
the God of our understanding. Knowing we can draw patience, tolerance, or whatever we need from that Power, we
find ourselves coping better and smiling more often.
Just for today: I will take a deep breath and talk to my God whenever I feel frustrated.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Happiness is like manna; it is to be gathered and enjoyed every day. –Tryon Edwards
Life is like a winding path surrounded by flowers, butterflies, and delicious fruit, but many of us spend much of life
looking for happiness around the next corner. We do not bend to enjoy the happiness which is ours for the taking just
at our feet.
In our desire to reach the “pot of gold,” the complete and lasting happiness we all want to fill our lives, we ignore
anything which doesn’t seem worthy of such a large ambition, or which can’t give us the whole thing all at once.
Happiness is all around us, but it often comes in small grains. When we gather it grain by grain, we soon have a
basketful.

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
When you can’t stand criticism you learn to be a perfectionist. –Anonymous
It’s human to make mistakes and to feel incomplete. Perhaps if we were all smooth plastic printouts we could expect
perfection of ourselves. Each man is actually a process. We are not things, but events — happenings–and the events
are still unfolding. These are our creative spiritual adventures.
We have somehow learned that openness to criticism is dangerous. Perhaps we thought someone would not like us if
we were wrong, or that we would get hurt or belittled. When we live with a relationship to our Higher Power, we can
stand up for ourselves. A man has a right to make some mistakes! We grow more if we allow ourselves the leeway of
simply being in process.
I will not ask to have the power of perfection. I will only ask that I not be alone in the process of living my life.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I believe that true identify is found . . . in creative activity springing from within. It is found, paradoxically, when one loses
oneself. Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own. –Anne Morrow
Lindbergh
Creative activity might mean bird watching, tennis, quilting, cooking, painting, writing. Creative activity immerses us
fully in the here and now, and at the same time it frees us. We become one with the activity and are nourished by it.
We grow as the activity grows. We learn who we are in the very process of not thinking about who we are.
Spirituality and creativity are akin. There is an exhilaration rooted deep within us that is a lifeline to God. Creative
activity releases the exhilaration, and the energy goes through us and out to others. We find ourselves and our higher
power through the loss of our self-conscious selves while creating–a picture, a sentence, a special meal.
Creativity is a given. It is another dimension of the spiritual presence guiding us all. I’ll get out of its way today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Healthy Limits
Boundaries are vital to recovery. Having and setting healthy limits’ is connected to all phases of recovery: growing in
self esteem, dealing with feelings, and learning to really love and value ourselves.
Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs
about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes dearer, so will our boundaries.
Boundaries are also connected to a Higher Timing than our own. We’ll set a limit when we’re ready, and not a moment
before. So will others.
There’s something magical about reaching that point of becoming ready to set a limit. We know we mean what we
say; others take us seriously too. Things change, not because we’re controlling others, but because we’ve changed.
Today, I will trust that I will learn, grow, and set the limits I need in my life at my own pace. This timing need only be
right for me.

I am beginning to trust myself. I am beginning to discover that I am okay. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart
Map Your Own Journey
Go on your own journey. Don’t let others hold you back; don’t hold them back. Don’t judge their journey, and don’t let
them judge yours.
All persons are free to have the experiences their souls lead them to. Many of us started our journey by having the
experiences others thought we should. Some of us tried to dictate the lessons and adventures of others,too. This
caused pain and confusion for all. Learning those lessons, the lessons of setting each other free, became an
important part of our journey. But now we’re on to a new part.
Pack your bags. Get out your map. Don’t worry about where you’ll go and what you’ll see. Go where your heart leads.
Your soul knows the way. It will speak quietly through the voice of your heart, your wisdom, your intuition. Listen to the
voice, the quiet voice within, that assures you you’re safe. You will meet and learn from everyone you need to along the
way. Don’t limit your own experiences. Don’t limit the experiences of those you love, or those you meet along the way.
Start today to follow your heart. Map out your own journey. Have the adventure of a lifetime.

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

More Language Of Letting Go
Doing my part
The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard– one that thinks too
much.  –Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

The universe will help us, but we need to do our part as well. Here’s an acronym, My part, to help you remember what
it means to do that.

Manifest
Your
Power
Accept
Relax
Trust

Too often, we tell ourselves the only way to get from point A to point B– or Z is to tense up, obsess a little (or a lot), and
live in fear and anxiety until what we want takes place.
That isn’t the path to success. It’s the path to fear and anxiety.
Accept. Relax. Breathe. Let go. Trust yourself, God, and the universe to manifest the best possible destiny when the
time is right for you.
God, help me make the journey from fear and control to letting go and stepping into my true power.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day
Before I came to The Program, I hadn’t the faintest idea of what it was to “Live In The Now.” I often became obsessed
with the things that happened yesterday, last week, or even five years ago. Worse yet, many of my waking hours were
spent cleaning away the “wreckage of the future.” “To me,” Walt Whitman once wrote, “every hour of the day and night
is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” Can I truly believe that in my heart?

Today I Pray
Let me carry only the weight of 24 hours at one time, without the extra bulk of yesterday’s regrets or tomorrow’s
anxieties. Let me breathe the blessings of each new day for itself, by itself, and keep my human burdens contained in
daily perspective. May I learn the balance of soul that comes through keeping close to God.

Today I Will Remember
Don’t borrow from tomorrow.

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

One More Day

Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning …
– Emily Dickinson

We pray for one more day. One more week. Just until the next marker of time or the next major event occurs. “Just let
me live until spring,” we pray, “until my newest grandchild is born … until my next birthday.” We pray and may not even
recognize these silent, secret pleas as being prayers. It’s human nature to ask for a little more time. Most of us feel as
though we have not completed our role on earth.
Time, however, is gradually becoming more of a friend than an enemy. We have today, which is all that anyone —
healthy or chronically ill — really ever has. No one has an iron-clad promise of weeks, months, or years. Our
acceptance of life’s unpredictability frees us of our preoccupation with more time and allows us to use this time —
today.

Life is now — today — and I value it by living fully.

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

Food For Thought

Help!

When we hit bottom and are ready to swallow our pride, help is available. When we admit that by ourselves we are powerless, a Higher Power takes over. Most of us have tried for years to control what we eat by ourselves. Often it seems that the harder we try, the more miserably we fail. We despair. When we are truly desperate and ask for help, OA can help us.

We have proven that we cannot solve our problem alone. A diet is not enough. We need a program that fills our emotional and spiritual needs as well as our physical ones.

Step by step and day by day we can learn to live without overeating. We will gradually become convinced that no amount of physical food will ever satisfy our emotional and spiritual hunger. The Higher Power, which infuses each OA GROUP, becomes our lifesaver and our nourishment.

God, save me from myself.

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

One Day At A Time

LETTING GO

“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
Prior to walking through the doors of this program, my goal in life was to set up barricades against possible attacks. My
mind was cluttered with battle strategies and defense tactics. I tried to predict every conceivable plot to topple me from
my self-appointed throne. I sought to control situations in order to dominate the outcomes. To that end, I would bend
over backwards to do for others what I didn’t want them to do for themselves. I maneuvered myself into positions of
power so that I wasn’t presented with any surprises. Every situation was weighed for the probability of failure. I never
took chances.
This process took time and vast amounts of energy. My mind was in a constant cacophony. Consequently, there was
no room for growth, no space for acquiring new skills and no time to develop old ones. Every day was a constant
juggling act between an ever-decreasing energy supply and an escalating demand to feel secure. The more I sought to
control, the less I controlled.
Working through Step One brought my whole crusade to an end. I learned to let go of what I had laughingly called
control. I learned to relinquish the helm and acknowledge that I wasn’t such a good driver. Almost instantly I became
aware of a path beneath my feet. I was, for the first time in the longest time, moving forward. The scenery was
changing and the outlook was brighter.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept what I cannot do alone, and let go and let God.

~ Sue G

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

In addition to these casual get-togethers, it became customary to set apart one night a week for a meeting to be
attended by anyone or everyone interested in a spiritual way of life. Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime
object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems. – Pg. 160 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The most basic thing you can do right now is to understand the basics. Don’t drink, pop pills, shoot dope, snort coke,
smoke crack AND listen to the people you came to for help.
My divine Source aids me in putting everything in perspective this hour–the basics are: don’t use and listen!

Staying with Myself
Today, I see that taking care of myself begins inside of me. It is not just a function of what I do, but the attitude with
which I move through my day. Having my own life is about checking in with myself to see how I’m doing. It’s wearing a
sweater if I’m cold and taking a break if I’m tired. It’s making sure that I’m having enough fun in my life, paying attention
to what I enjoy doing, doing more of that and finding ways of reducing what doesn’t feel good. Having a life that is well
suited to me is letting myself have my own unique likes and dislikes, and acting on them in constructive ways. It is not
organizing my life so that it is good enough for everyone else, forgetting that it needs to be good enough for me as well.
I occupy the center of my own life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If you think you are having a problem with God, just try to imagine the problem He/She is having with you!
There is no way to know God’s Will unless I do it.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Surrender means following the direction God’s finger is pointing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am beginning to trust myself. I am beginning to discover that I am okay.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Look back on the past
– but don’t stare. – Anon.

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

AA Thought for the Day

January 2

Living Sober
Somewhat to our surprise, staying sober turns out not to be the grim,
wet-blanket experience we had expected!
While we were drinking, a life without alcohol seemed like no life at all.
But for most members of AA, living sober is really living — a joyous experience.
We much prefer it to the troubles we had with drinking.
One more note: anyone can get sober.  We have all done it lots of times.
The trick is to stay and to live sober.  That is what this booklet is about.
– Living Sober, Foreword

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

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

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

Faith
When I was driven to my knees by alcohol,
I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith.
And all was changed.
Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding,
would I experience my former desolation.
I saw the universe to be lighted by God’s love;
I was alone no more.
Bill W., Letter, 1966
c. 1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 51

Thought to Consider . . .
Sorrow looks back, worry looks around,
and faith looks up.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Finding Answers In The Heart.

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

Allergy
From “It Might Have Been Worse”:
“The explanation that alcoholism was a disease of a two-fold nature, an allergy of the body and an obsession of the
mind, cleared up a number of puzzling questions for me. The allergy we could do nothing about. Somehow our bodies
had reached the point where we could no longer absorb alcohol in our systems. The why is not important; the fact is
that one drink will set up a reaction in our system that requires more, that one drink is too much and a hundred drinks
are not enough.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 355

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

“Let it never be said that the spiritual way is a cowardly or escapist approach to life. On the contrary, it requires
maximum diligence and persistence to seek divine guidance when all the evidence of our eyes and ears tries to tell us
that life is largely physical, intellectual and emotional.”
Jackson, Mississippi, November 1964
“Let Go and Let God,”
AA Grapevine

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

“Everybody knows that those in bad health, and those who seldom play,
do not laugh much. So let each family play together or separately as
much as their circumstances warrant. We are sure God wants us to be
happy, joyous, and free.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132~

“For a brief moment, I had needed and wanted God. There had been a
humble willingness to have Him with me — and He came.
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, Page 12~

I must quickly assure you that A.A.’s tread innumerable paths in their quest for faith.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.27

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better
than anything we could have planned.
My depression deepened unbearably, and finally it seemed to me as though I were at the very bottom of the pit. For the
moment, the last vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found myself crying out, ‘If there is a God,
let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!’ Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. It seemed
to me, in the mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing. And then it burst
upon me that I was a free man. Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in another
world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence , and I
thought to myself, ‘So this is the God of the preachers!’

Prayer for the Day:  For Today – O God:  Give me strength to live another day; Let me not turn coward before its
difficulties or prove recreant to its duties; Let me not lose faith in other people; Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in
spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness; Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them; Help me to keep
my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of
conscious integrity; Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things; Grant me this day some new
vision of thy truth; Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in
the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 1st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 1st

Daily Reflections

“I AM A MIRACLE”

The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our
Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed
miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us
which we could never do by ourselves.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 25

This truly is a fact in my life today, and a real miracle. I always
believed in God, but could never put that belief meaningfully into my
life. Today, because of Alcoholics Anonymous, I now trust and rely on
God, as I understand Him; I am sober today because of that! Learning
to trust and rely on God was something I could never have done alone.
I now believe in miracles because I am one!

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., was I a desperate person? Did I have a
soul-sickness? Was I so sick of myself and my way of living that I
couldn’t stand looking at myself in a mirror? Was I ready for A.A.?
Was I ready to try anything that would help me to get sober and to get
over my soul-sickness? Should I ever forget the condition I was in?

Meditation For The Day

In the new year, I will live one day at a time. I will make each day one
of preparation for better things ahead. I will not dwell on the past or
the future, only on the present. I will bury every fear of the future, all
thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all my dislikes, my resentments,
my sense of failure, my disappointments in others and in myself, my
gloom and my despondency. I will leave all these things buried and go
forward, in this new year, into a new life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God will guide me one day at a time in the new year. I pray
that for each day, God will supply the wisdom and the strength that I
need.


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

As Bill Sees It

Personality Change, p. 1

“It has often been said of A.A. that we are interested only in alcoholism.
That is not true. We have to get over drinking in order to stay alive.
But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by firsthand contact
knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without
undergoing a profound personality change.”

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

We thought “conditions” drove us to drink, and when we tried to
correct these conditions and found that we couldn’t do so to our entire
satisfaction, our drinking went out of hand and we became alcoholics. It
never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet
conditions, whatever they were.

  1. Letter, 1940
  2. 12 & 12, p. 47

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

Walk In Dry Places

A year to grow.
Growth.
This new year can be a time of growth in sobriety. While we have no crystal ball that tells us what luck and fortune the year will bring, we do have a program that gives us the power to make the best of this year, to grow in sobriety. We can make progress in overcoming resentment and selfishness, we can help others in their search for happy sobriety, and we can make better use of our talents and opportunities.
We can live sober, and we also can find happiness and true self-esteem in sobriety. In our drinking, a desperate search for happiness and self-esteem compelled us to drink, but we could never find our happy destiny in the bottle. No matter what came to us, things had a way of turning sour as we continued to drink and to take other harmful substances.
In our new life, we have good reason to feel confident and optimistic. We have friends who understand us; we have sponsors who will share with us their own experience and hope. We have a Higher Power who is, as the poet Tennyson said, “closer to us than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.” We face nothing alone, and in the new year all experiences can help us grow.
I face this day with confidence, courage, and optimism. I will know that my Higher Power is present in every person and situation.

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

Keep It Simple

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol…–First part of Step One.
In Step One, we accept our powerlessness over alcohol and other drugs. But we are powerless over many parts of life. We are powerless over other people. We are powerless over what our HP has planned for us. Before recovery, we only believed in control. We tried to control everything. We fought against a basic truth, the truth that we are powerless over much of life. When we accept this truth, we begin to see what power we do have. We have the power to make choices. When we’re lonely, we have the power to reach out to others. We have power over how we live our own lives.
PRAYER:  HP, help me to know that it’s You who is running my life. Help me to know that power comes from accepting I am powerless.
ACTION:  I am powerless over much of life. Today, I’ll look to see how this is true. I’ll look to see what I really have control over and what I don’t.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

We don’t always understand the ways of Almighty God–the crosses sent us, the sacrifices demanded . . . But we accept with faith and resignation the holy will with no looking back, and we are at peace.  –Anonymous
Acceptance of our past, acceptance of the conditions presently in our lives that we cannot change, brings relief. It brings the peacefulness we so often, so frantically, seek.
We can put the past behind us. Each day is a new beginning. And each day of abstinence offers us the chance to look ahead with hope. A power greater than ourselves helped us to find this program. That power is ever with us. When we fear facing new situations, or when familiar situations turn sour, we can look to that power for help in saying what needs to be said and for doing what needs to be done. Our higher power is as close as our breath. Conscious awareness of its presence strengthens us, moment by moment.
The past is gone. Today is full of possibilities. With each breath I will be aware of the strength at hand.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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.
May God bless you and keep you—until then.

p. 164

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

Most certainly I was powerless over alcohol, and for me, my life had become unmanageable. It wasn’t how far I had gone, but where I was headed. It was important to me to see what alcohol had done to me and would continue to do if I didn’t have help.

p. 354

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

This much could be a fragment of what is called meditation, perhaps our very first attempt at a mood, a flier into the realm of spirit, if you like. It ought to be followed by a good look at where we stand now, and a further look at what might happen in our lives were we able to move closer to the ideal we have been trying to glimpse. Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. 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 its first fruits is emotional balance. With it we can broaden and deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand Him.

pp. 101-102


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

A WORD
A CARELESS WORD MAY KINDLE STRIFE….
A CRUEL WORD MAY WRECK A LIFE……..
A TIMELY WORD MAY LEVEL STRESS…….
BUT A LOVING WORD MAY HEAL AND BLESS.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
–Helen Keller

In the process of growing to spiritual maturity, we all go through many adolescent
stages.
–Miki L. Bowen

“Don’t water your weeds.”
–Harvey Mackay

“A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”
–Thomas Carruthers

Ah the dawn of a New Year! May we find inner peace, gentle spirit, God’s grace,
forgiveness, dreams and prayers, Recovery.
–Shelley

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SPIRITUALITY

“It is not that I think or believe
[in spirituality] but that I
know.”
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Some things I seem to know intuitively: and I know that spirituality is involved in and
affects everything. In a human being it combines the physical, mental and emotional
but it also reaches beyond the human being and connects the peoples of the world.
Spirituality is the force for good and wholeness in this universe.

This is not just an opinion or a thought. It is a feeling that runs so deep in my being
that I know it must be true. When I read, hear music or see movies, this feeling is often
evoked, and I know God is alive in His world and wanting it to be ONE.

In the silence of Your world I know You.

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The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.
Psalm 145 : 9

“I will sing praises to my God my life long.”
Psalm 146:2

“Protect me. O God, for in you I take refuge…. You show me the path of life.”
Psalm 16:1,11


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Daily Inspiration

Begin every day as if it were your very first because you really are always at the beginning. Lord, thank you for the constant ability to stop any offensive behaviors that I have and the gift of being forgiven and being able to forgive myself.

To be wise, you must first find peace, for peace opens the door to a freer and fuller life. Lord, continue to draw me close to You so that I can know more and more of Your peace within me.


NA Just For Today

Vigilance

“We keep what we have only with vigilance … ”
—Basic Text, p. 57

How do we remain vigilant about our recovery? First, by realizing that we have a disease we will always have. No matter how long we’ve been clean, no matter how much better our lives have become, no matter what the extent of our spiritual healing, we are still addicts. Our disease waits patiently, ready to spring the trap if we give it the opportunity.

Vigilance is a daily accomplishment. We strive to be constantly alert and ready to deal with signs of trouble. Not that we should live in irrational fear that something horrible will possess us if we drop our guard for an instant; we just take normal precautions. Daily prayer, regular meeting attendance, and choosing not to compromise spiritual principles for the easier way are acts of vigilance. We take inventory as necessary, share with others whenever we are asked, and carefully nurture our recovery. Above all, we stay aware.

We have a daily reprieve from our addiction as long as we remain vigilant. Each day, we carry the principles of recovery into all we do, and each night, we thank our Higher Power for another day clean.

Just for today: I will be vigilant, doing everything necessary to guard my recovery.


You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose. –Hada Bejar
Nothing is more attractive than sharing with others. No trait will be admired as much as generosity. There is no surer way to gain the respect of friends and neighbors than to show by what we give that we care about others. We can give many things besides money, shelter, clothing, or food to those in need. We can give the rich person love and understanding that money can’t buy. We can sympathize with those who are troubled, even though they appear wealthier than ourselves. We can share experience, strength, and hope with those who are ill or unhappy. We can even share our suffering with others who suffer, and hold up a light for them on the road to recovery.

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.
–Dutch proverb
When we see how far we’ve strayed from being the kind of men we wanted to be, we are overwhelmed by how far we have to go to get back on the track. Perhaps we see clearly for the first time how unfair we were or how much we hurt those we love. Maybe we see how pervasive our compulsions are in our lives and how much we missed.
That is when we are most ready to do the work of recovery and become most spiritual. It is helpful at those times to remember that this program is a journey. Although at times the distance seems overwhelming, all of us are on the path. As long as we live, we never reach a point where we can stop growing. The important thing is, we are on the path, and we have a good part of our journey behind us. Once begun, outside the door, we are progressing like all our brothers and sisters in the program.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
We don’t always understand the ways of Almighty God–the crosses sent us, the sacrifices demanded . . . But we accept with faith and resignation the holy will with no looking back, and we are at peace. –Anonymous
Acceptance of our past, acceptance of the conditions presently in our lives that we cannot change, brings relief. It brings the peacefulness we so often, so frantically, seek.
We can put the past behind us. Each day is a new beginning. And each day of abstinence offers us the chance to look ahead with hope. A power greater than ourselves helped us to find this program. That power is ever with us. When we fear facing new situations, or when familiar situations turn sour, we can look to that power for help in saying what needs to be said and for doing what needs to be done. Our higher power is as close as our breath. Conscious awareness of its presence strengthens us, moment by moment.
The past is gone. Today is full of possibilities. With each breath I will be aware of the strength at hand.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
The New Year
Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.
Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level.
Goals give our life direction.
What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?
What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?
Remember, we aren’t controlling others with our goals – we are trying to give direction to our life.
What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?
What would you like to see happen inside and around you?
Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down – as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.
Certainly, things happen that are out of our control. Sometimes, these events are pleasant surprises; sometimes, they are of another nature. But they are all part of the chapter that will be this year in our life and will lead us forward in the story.
The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.
Today, I will remember that there is a powerful force motivated by writing dawn goals. I will do that now, for the year to come, and regularly as needed. I will do it not to control but to do my part in living my life.

Today I am on my spiritual path to recovery. A NEW YEAR! AND A HAPPY, PEACEFUL AND JOYOUS ONE FOR EVERYONE! –Ruth Fishel


Journey to the heart

Honor the Beginning

Beginnings can be delicate or explosive. They can start almost invisibly or arrive with a big bang. Beginnings hold the promise of new lessons to be learned, new territory to be explored, and old lessons to be recalled, practiced, and appreciated. Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear, and hope.

Don’t let the lessons, the experiences of the past, dampen your enthusiasm for beginngs. Just because it’s been hard doesn’t mean it will always be that difficult. Don’t let the heartbreaks of the past cause you to become cynical, close you off to life’s magic and promise. Open yourself wide to all that the universe has to say.

Let yourself begin anew. Pack your bags. Choose carefully what you bring, because packing is an important ritual. Take along some humility and the lessons of the past. Toss in some curiosity and excitement about what you haven’t yet learned. Say your good-byes to those you’re leaving behind. Don’y worry who you will meet or where you will go. The way has been prepared. The people you are to meet will be expecting you. A new journey has begun. Let it be magical. Let it unfold.

All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. Take time now to honor the beginning.


more language of letting go
Trust that good will come

It was a slow, bring January day at the Blue Sky Lodge. We had just moved in. The house was a mess. Construction hadn’t begun yet. All we had was a plan, and a dream. It was too cold and rainy to skydive or even be outdoors. There wasn’t any furniture yet. We were lying around on the floor.

I don’t know who got the idea first, him or me. But we both picked up Magic Markers about the same time. Then we started drawing on the wall.

“What do you want to happen in your life?” I asked. He drew pictures of seaplanes, and mountains, and boats leaving the shore. One picture was a video-camera man, jumping out of a plane. “I want adventure,” he said.

I drew pictures of a woman tromping around the world. She went to war-torn countries, then sat on a fence and watched. She visited the mountains and the oceans and many exciting places. Then I drew a heart around the entire picture, and she sat there in the middle of all the experiences on a big stack of books.

“I want stories,” I said, “ones with a lot of heart.”

Across the entire picture, in big letters, he wrote the word “Woohoo.”

As an afterthought, I drew a woman sky diver who had just jumped out of the plane. She was frightened and grimacing. Next to her I wrote the words “Just relax.”

On the bottom of the wall I wrote, “The future is only limited by what we can see now.” He grabbed a marker, crossed out “only,” and changed it to “never.”

“There,” he said, “it’s done.”

Eventually, the house got cleaned up and the construction finished. Furniture arrived. And yellow paint covered the pictures on the wall. We didn’t think much about that wall until months later Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, and sometimes in ways we’d least expect, each of the pictures we’d drawn on that wall began to materialize and manifest.

“It’s a magic wall,” I said.

Even if you can’t imagine what’s coming next, relax. The good pictures are still there. The wall will soon become covered with the story of your life. Thank God, the future is never limited by what we can see right now.

The wall isn’t magic.

The magic is in us and what we believe.

Before we start speaking the language of letting go, we need to understand what a powerful behavior letting go and letting God really is.

God, help me do my part. Then help me let go, and let you do yours.

Activity: Meditate for a moment on the year ahead. Make a list of things you’d like to see happen, attributes you’d like to gain, things you’d like to get and do, changes you’d like to occur. You don’t have to limit the list to this year. What do you want to happen in your life? Make a list of places you’d like to visit and things you’d like to see. Leave room for the unexpected, the unintended. But make room for the possibility of what you’d like,too– your intentions, wishes, dreams, hopes, and goals. Also, list what you’re ready to let go of,too– things, people, attitudes, and behaviors you’d like to release. If anything were possible, anything at all, what are the possibilities you’d like to experience and see.


A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
In the old days, I saw everything in terms of forever. Endless hours were spent rehashing old mistakes. I tried to take comfort in the forlorn hope that tomorrow “would be different.” As a result, I lived a fantasy life in which happiness was all but nonexistent. No wonder I rarely smiled and hardly ever laughed aloud.

Do I still think in terms of “forever?”

Today I Pray
May I set my goals for the New Year not at the year-long mark, but one day at a time. My traditional New Year’s resolutions have been so grandly stated and so soon broken. Let me not weaken my resolve by stretching it to cover “forever” – or even one long year. May I reapply it firmly each new day. May I learn not to stamp my past mistakes with that indelible word “forever.” Instead, may each single day in each New Year be freshened by my new-found hope.

Today I Will Remember
Happy New Day.


One More Day

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

– Plato

On occasion we feel a bit sad as we ready ourselves for bed, knowing that our bedtime routine marks the end of another day. We may experience a slight sense of loss — time lost, opportunities lost, a piece of life gone forever. Or we may be filled with regret over words uttered harshly.

We can put this back into perspective with the realization that the nicest part about going to bed at night is knowing the daylight will come in the morning. We can’t erase today’s mistakes, but we can leave them with the day now past. We can set our sights on tomorrow. The dy we awaken to will hold a golden opportunity — to make amends, to make changes, to use our time well, to start the rest of our lives anew.

My life is made of some endings and many beginnings. I can choose to end an unproductive pattern by seeing it as a chance to begin.


Food For Thought

Good News

There is good news for those of us who overeat compulsively. We do not have to be trapped by our appetites. We do not have to carry a load of unnecessary fat. We can have a new life.

Others have become free and are standing by, ready to show us the way. The more OA meetings we attend, the more we learn. The more phone calls we make, the more encouragement and support we are given in our fight to break old, self destructive patterns of thinking and acting. The more we rely on the Power greater than ourselves, the stronger we become.

Learning to live a new life requires time and patience. The good news is that change is possible. Others have done it. So can you.

Lord, make me willing to change.


One Day At A Time

STEP THREE

“This only God may be had for the asking.”
James Russell Lowell

When I first came to the program and looked at the steps on the walls, my ego told me that I had Step Three already made. Of course, I had skipped right over Steps One and Two! I thought because I had experienced a religious experience many years ago, I didn’t need to take Step Three. What I was to discover in the next few months on my wonderful journey in recovery is that spirituality and religion were two different things. That my religion today is part of my spirituality, but my spirituality is so much more.

I finally in Step One “Came”. I kept coming to meetings and admitted my powerless and unmanageability. Then I “Came to.” Through Step Two a portion of my sanity was restored and continues to be restored on a daily basis. Then at the point of taking Step Three I “Came To Believe”. I realized that I had not turned my will and my life over to the care of God in the area of my compulsive overeating. That was a task yet to be done. And I offered myself to my God to do with as He would. I said the Third Step prayer which can be found in Alcoholic Anonymous on page 63, “God, I offer myself to Thee – the build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!” I had taken the Third Step. I was moved into a new dimension in my spiritual life.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will take Step Three this day, turning my will and life over to the care of my God.

~ Carolyn


AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

… If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find and easier, softer way. But we could not. – Pg. 58 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Many times we thought we used chemicals because we were unhappy, but coming to this program, we discovered that using too many chemicals is what made us unhappy. Now is the time to break the old unhappy pattern.

This hour, I begin a new clean and sober pattern of my life.

Co-Creation

I live in a world of possibilities. I live in a world in which my imagination walks ahead of me. What I can see in my mind’s eye can manifest. First, I have to see it, feel it, experience it as real. Then I open a door within me through which my vision can manifest in God’s time. I am limited only by what I am willing to accept as possible. Life is a creative process in which I am the co-creator. God and I work together to make this world a better place to be. I co-create a beautiful world.

If not now, when? If not you, who? If not here, where?

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do not regret the past. ‘The past is but the beginning of a beginning/and all that is and has been/is but the twilight of the dawn.’ ~H. G. Wells from Beside Prayers. Your past is the beginning of this beginning.

I ‘will not regret the past nor wish to close the door on it.’ (P 83, AA Big Book)

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching today?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

A NEW YEAR!

AND A HAPPY, PEACEFUL AND JOYOUS ONE FOR EVERYONE!

Today I am on my spiritual path to recovery.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I don’t know if I was born an alcoholic. I do know that when I had my first drink an alcoholic was born. – Keith D.


AA Thought for the Day

January 1

Hope
Each day, somewhere in the world,
recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic
sharing experience, strength, and hope.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. xxii

Thought to Ponder . . .
Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, AA’s speak the language of the heart.
Hope is the key that unlocks the door of discouragement.

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

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

Promises
We are going to know a new freedom
and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past
nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity
and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone,
we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity
will disappear.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity
will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle
situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us
what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises?
We think not.
They are being fulfilled among us —
sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
They will always materialize if we work for them.
c. 1976, 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-4

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

~~AACRONYMS~~
G R A C E =  Gently Releasing All Conscious Expectations.

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

Seed
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—  that our lives had become unmanageable.
“It was then discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, ‘Maybe those A.A.’s were right. . . .’ After a few such experiences, often years before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced. He had hit bottom as truly as any of us. John Barleycorn himself had become our best advocate.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pgs. 23-24

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

“If humility can expel the obsession to drink alcohol, then surely humility can be our antidote for that subtle wine called success.”
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 ^~~~~*

“We have three little mottoes which are apropos.
Here they are:
First Things First
Live and Let Live
Easy Does It.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 135~

“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~

In Step Eleven we saw that if a Higher Power had restored us to sanity and had enabled us to live with some peace of mind in a sorely troubled world, then such a Higher Power was worth knowing better, by as direct contact as possible.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.109

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It has often been said of A.A. that we are interested only in alcoholism. This is not true. We have to get over drinking in order to stay alive. But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by firsthand contact knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without undergoing a profound personality change.
We thought conditions drove us to drink, and when we tried to correct these conditions and found that we couldn’t do so to our entire satisfaction, our drinking went out of hand and we became alcoholics. It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet conditions, whatever they were.

Prayer for the Day:  God, I offer myself to Thee To build with me & to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love & Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 31st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 31st

Daily Reflections

Daily Resolutions

The idea of “twenty-four-hour” living applies primarily to the
emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking, we must not
live in yesterday, nor in tomorrow.
As Bill Sees It, p. 284

A New year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600
minutes–a time to consider directions, goals, and actions. I must
make some plans to live a normal life, but also I must live emotionally
within a twenty-four hour frame, for if I do, I don’t have to make
New Year’s resolutions! I can make every day a New Year’s day! I
can decide, “Today I will do this . . . Today I will do that.” Each day
I can measure my life by trying to a little better, by deciding to follow
God’s will and making an effort to put the principles of our A.A.
program into action.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative
in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give A.A. my interest, my
enthusiasm, my devotion, and most of all, myself. The Lord’s Prayer has become part
of my A.A. thoughts for each day: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy
name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this
day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass
against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Have I given myself?

Meditation For The Day

As we look back over the year just gone, it has been a good year to the extent that
we have put good thoughts, good words, and good deeds into it. None of what we have
thought, said, or done need be wasted. Both the good and the bad experiences can be
profited by. In a sense, the past is not entirely gone. The result of it, for good or
evil, is with us at the present moment. We can only learn by experience and none of our
experience is completely wasted. We can humbly thank God for the good things of the
year that has gone.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may carry good things into the year ahead. I pray that I may carry on
with faith, with prayer, and with hope.


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As Bill Sees It

Wider Understanding, p.255

To reach more alcoholics, understanding of A.A. and public good will
towards A.A. must go on growing everywhere. We need to be on
still better terms with medicine, courts, prisons, mental hospitals, and
all enterprises in the alcoholism field. We need the increasing
good will of editors, writers, television and radio channels. These
publicity outlets need to be opened ever wider.

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

Nothing matters more to A.A.’s future welfare than the manner in
which we use the colossus of modern communication. Used unselfishly
and well, it can produce results surpassing our present
imagination. Should we handle this great instrument badly, we
shall be shattered by the ego manifestations of our own people.
Against this peril, A.A. members’ anonymity before the general
public is our shield and our buckler.

1. Twelve Concepts, p.51
2. Grapevine, November 1960


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Walk In Dry Places

Has it been a Year of Growth?
Growth
As any year draws to a close, we should reflect on how we have grown in sobriety. We should also identify changes during the year that enabled us to overcome bad habits and to move closer to better patterns of living.
Though we never are guaranteed favorable outcomes, we should always remember that sobriety is its own reward. We want a full life of course, but it must begin with a decision to seek and to maintain sobriety at all costs.
We find that with sobriety, lots of other problems seem to solve themselves. Even if they don’t we have the tools to move forward and to achieve goals that always eluded us while we were drinking. Every year in sobriety is a year of growth.
I’ll be conscious today of recent improvements I’ve made in my life and all my affairs. With sobriety, these improvements will go on for a lifetime.

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Keep It Simple

May you live all the days of your life’–Jonathan Swift.
Tonight, at midnight, a New Year will begin. None of us know what the New Year will hold. But we can trust ourselves to hold on to the spirit of recovery as we go through the year. As a New Year is about to begin, we can rejoice in our new way of life. We can give our will and our life to our HP. By doing these things, we’ll be ready for the New Year.
PRAYER
:  
Higher Power, I pray that I’ll start the New Year safe in Your loving arms. I pray that I’ll keep working my program.
ACTION:  Tonight, at midnight, I’ll say the Serenity Prayer. I will think of all the others who have read this meditation book and who will join me in this prayer. We are a recovering community.

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Each Day a New Beginning

In the process of growing to spiritual maturity, we all go through many adolescent stages.  –Miki L. Bowen
Progress, not perfection, is our goal in this recovery program. And many days we’ll be haunted by the feeling that we’ve regressed. We will display old behavior. We will feel unable to change, to go on, to make gains once again. But these periods will pass, and soon progress will be evident again.
We must be wary of our need for perfection. It’s this need that makes normal progress seem not good enough. And yet, that’s all we’re capable of–and all we’ll ever need to be capable of. The program, its Steps and the promises offered, provide the tools we have lacked, yet need to use in order to accept ourselves wholly and imperfectly.
Daily attention to our spiritual side will foster the spiritual and emotional health we long for. Prayer and meditation, combined with honest inventory-taking, can show us the personal progress needed, the personal progress made. However, we will falter on occasion. We will neglect our program some days. But it won’t ever be beyond our reach. And each day is a new beginning.
Today is before me, and I can make progress. I will begin with a quiet prayer and a moment of meditation.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.

p. 164

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

Could I be an alcoholic without some of the hair raising experiences I had heard of in the meetings? The answer came to me very simply in the first step of the Twelve Steps of A.A. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.” This didn’t say we had been in jail, ten, fifty, or one hundred times. It didn’t say I had to finally live on skid row and drink bay rum, canned heat, or lemon extract. It did say I admitted I was powerless over alcohol–that my life had become unmanageable.

p. 354

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Next came the expression of an aspiration and a hope for himself. He hoped, God willing, that he might be able to find some of these treasures, too. This he would try to do by what he called self-forgetting. What did he mean by “self forgetting,” and how did he propose to accomplish that?
He thought it better to give comfort than to receive it; better to understand than to be understood; better to forgive than to be forgiven.

p. 101

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“Wherever you go, whomever you meet, look for an opportunity to help, to inspire, to
lend support.”
–Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Most people search high and wide for the keys to success. If they only knew, the key to
their dreams lies within.
–George Washington Carver

Look for the Good.
–unknown

The traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous help me play well with others,
when what I really want to do is take my toys and go home!
–unknown

“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”
–Henry Ford

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

CHANGE

“It is not necessary to get away
from human nature but to alter
its inner attitude of heart and
mind.”
— J. F. Newton

An understanding of sobriety and serenity that has proved helpful to me is that we
are not only changing but involved in change. We determine the results of the
change.

I can change for good or bad. I can stay sober or drink. I can be cheerful and creative
or negative and destructive. My attitude determines the results of my changing life.

Spirituality has been given, but it also needs to be nurtured. I need to surround myself
with loving and honest people if I am to allow my spirituality to grow in my life. My
continued willingness is essential to my sobriety and serenity.

Thank You for making me with a mind and heart that together create the action.

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

I believe that I am now a child of God .
1 John 3:1-3

I believe that I was saved by the grace of God through faith, that it was a gift and not
the result of any works on my part.
Ephesians 2:8

I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Ephesians 6:10


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Daily Inspiration

To have courage, think courageous, act courageous, and pray to God for courage. Lord, You are full of love for all who come to You.

Abundance is God’s to give, so shut out all limited thoughts. Lord, my faith in You and my faith in the talents and abilities You have given me makes me able to achieve my goals.

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NA Just For Today

Being Of Service

“Working with others is only the beginning of service work.”
Basic Text, pg 56

We’re in recovery now. Through living the program, we’ve attained some stability in our lives. Our faith in a Higher Power has grown. Our individual spiritual awakening is progressing comfortably. So now what? Do we simply sit still and enjoy? Of course not. We find a way to be of service.

We tend to think of service only in terms of committee service or holding a position at some level, but service goes far beyond this understanding. In fact, we can find opportunities to be of service in nearly every area of our lives. Our jobs are a form of service to our communities, no matter what our occupation. The work we do in our homes serves our families. Perhaps we do volunteer work in our communities.

What a difference our service efforts make! If we doubt this, we can just imagine what the world would be like if no one bothered to be of service to others. Our work serves humanity. The message we carry goes beyond the rooms of recovery, affecting everything we do.

Just for today: I will look for opportunities to be of service in everything I do.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Finish each day and be done with it. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two of the most useless phrases in the English language are “what if” and “if only.” We waste so much time and energy thinking about what we might have done and wishing we had acted or reacted differently. We imagine how things might have turned out “if only . . .”
All of us make mistakes. To go back and wonder and wish about our yesterdays prevents us from living fully today. Each day is a fresh chance; a new beginning. We can only squeeze what we can out of the moment and let the drops fall where they may. Some will evaporate and some will form rainbows.
Can I forget about yesterday and start a fresh new day?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Dawns another year,
Open it aright;
Thou shalt have no fear
In its fading light.
–Joseph Krauskopf
New Year’s Eve is a good time to reflect upon the closing year and set our direction for the year ahead. This day reminds us that every day of the year is lived just one at a time. Looking back, we can see a year’s change in ourselves. We see the progress we have made as men on our journey. Perhaps we see how much stronger we are emotionally. Maybe we see relationships that have developed because of our growing ability to love. Certainly all of us have some things we regret and some changes we mourn. They too have their place today.
As we begin the coming year, let us review our relationship with each of the Steps. We may perceive aspects of our program that call for more attention. One or two particular Steps may speak to our needs at this time or may have been overlooked in this past year. On this last day of the year, we can again turn our lives and will over to the care of a loving God.
I look to the New Year with a renewed commitment to the Steps.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
In the process of growing to spiritual maturity, we all go through many adolescent stages. –Miki L. Bowen
Progress, not perfection, is our goal in this recovery program. And many days we’ll be haunted by the feeling that we’ve regressed. We will display old behavior. We will feel unable to change, to go on, to make gains once again. But these periods will pass, and soon progress will be evident again.
We must be wary of our need for perfection. It’s this need that makes normal progress seem not good enough. And yet, that’s all we’re capable of–and all we’ll ever need to be capable of. The program, its Steps and the promises offered, provide the tools we have lacked, yet need to use in order to accept ourselves wholly and imperfectly.
Daily attention to our spiritual side will foster the spiritual and emotional health we long for. Prayer and meditation, combined with honest inventory-taking, can show us the personal progress needed, the personal progress made. However, we will falter on occasion. We will neglect our program some days. But it won’t ever be beyond our reach. And each day is a new beginning.
Today is before me, and I can make progress. I will begin with a quiet prayer and a moment of meditation.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Affirming the Good
Fun becomes fun, love becomes love, life becomes worth living. And we become grateful. –Beyond Codependency
Wait, and expect good things – for yourself and your loved ones.
When you wonder what is coming, tell yourself the best is coming, the very best life and love have to offer, the best God and His universe have to send. Then open your hands to receive it. Claim it, and it is yours.
See the best in your mind; envision what it will look like, what it will feel like. Focus, until you can see it clearly. Let your whole being, body and soul, enter into and hold onto the image for a moment.
Then, let it go. Come back into today, the present moment. Do not obsess. Do not become fearful. Become excited. Live today fully, expressing gratitude for all you have been, all you are, and all you will become.
Wait, and expect good things.
Today, when I think abut the year ahead, I will focus on the good that is coming.

Today I have all the willingness… all the energy and all the guidance to continue to choose the path of peace and love and joy. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Honor the Ending

“How was your trip?” a friend asked, as my trip drew to a close.

I thought for a moment, then the answer came easily. “It had its ups and downs,” I said. “There were times I felt exhilarated and sure I was on track. Other days I felt lost. Confused. I’d fall into bed at night certain that this whole trip was a mistake and a waste. But I’d wake up in the morning, something would happen, and I’d see how I’d been guided all along.”

The journey of a year is drawing to a close. Cherish the moments, all of them, even the ups and downs. Cherish the places you’ve visited, the people you’ve seen. Say good-bye to those whose journey have called them someplace else. Know you can always call them back by thinking loving thoughts. Know all those you love will be there for you when you need them most. Honor the lessons you’ve learned, and the people who helped you learn them. Honor the journey your soul mapped out for you. Trust all the places you’ve been. Make a scrapbook in your heart to help you remember.

Look back for a moment. Reflect in peace. Then let this year draw to a close. All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. You’ve learned that by now. Take time to honor this ending– though it’s never really the end. Go to sleep tonight. When you wake up tomorrow, a new adventure will begin.

Remember the words you were told when this last adventure began, the words whispered quietly to your heart: Let the journey unfold. Let it be magical. The way has been prepared. People will be expecting you. Yes, you are being led.

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More Language Of Letting Go

The adventure is in the trip

We were on our way to the drop zone when Chip turned to me.

“Let’s go to San Francisco and see a widgeon.”

“Widgeon?” I said. “Okay. Let’s go.”

“These are the rules,” he said, pulling off the highway and getting back on the exit ramp heading north. “We’ll stop at the house for a minute. But we can’t pack. We can only take with us what we have on us now. We’ll have to trust ourselves to get whatever else we need on the way.”

“Okay,” I said. “You’re on.”

I didn’t know what a widgeon was.

Four hours later, we were walking barefoot on Morro Beach, just south of Big Sur. A big rock, one that looked like the fossil remains of a dinosaur hunched over in the water, beckoned. So did the impending sunset. I still didn’t know what a widgeon was, but I was glad we were searching for one.

“You’d better call Andy,” I said, watching the waves crash against the dinosaur rock. “You guys were supposed to go climbing tomorrow.”

Chip took the cell phone I was handing him.

“I’ve got an idea,” I said. “Tell Andy to get on a plane, fly to San Francisco, wait for us to pick him up, then come with us to find a widgeon.”

Chip called Andy. Thirty-five mintues later, Andy called back. “I’ll be at the United gate at the San Francisco airport at 9:34. See you!” he said.

Chip and I looked at each other. It was 6:34. We were two hundred miles south of San Francisco and had already started traveling the One through Big Sur– a winding two lane highway that climbed high banks, offered a breathtaking view, and needed to be traveled slowly and cautiously.

Half an hour later, we looked at the odometer. We had gone twelve miles.

Chip turned east on a road the suddenly appeared. It was slightly bigger than a one-lane road, winding its way through the mountains that separated us from the interstate and a sixty-five mile per hour limit. He drove like a Daytona master. Forty-five minutes later, we had traveled another twelve miles.

Focus, focus, focus. Focus on the destination, not the journey. Just get there.

At 10:35, one hour past Andy’s arrival time, we pulled up in front of the baggage claim. A six foot, two inch Texas blond guy sat on a bench, reading a book. We honked. He looked up, waved, then lumbered over to the car and slid into the backseat.

“What’s a widgeon?” he said.

The next morning, we set out for Ace Aviation, the home of the widgeon. We didn’t know where it was, but we headed in what we thought was the right direction. Suddenly, Chip pointed to a sign. “Seaplanes!” We pulled off the road, and went in.

“Have you heard of Ace Aviation?” we wasked.

“Yup,” she said.

“Is there a widgeon there?” we asked.

“Yup,” she said.

“Will you tell us where it is?” we asked.

She did.

One hour later, we pulled into the parking lot for Ace Aviation. For the next hour, we fawned over widgeons– amphibious planes with a peculiar yet immediate and undeniable charm. The name painted on one widgeon read, “Da Plane.” It was the seaplane from Fantasy Island.

We found a hot springs motel on the lasr evening of the trip. Sitting in the outdoor hot tub, I found many things remarkable: the almost full moon in the sky, the calming effect of the water, and the toothpaste provided by the hotel. All along the trip, our wishes seemed to magically appear– from a restaurant on a desolate strip of beach, to a restroom in the middle of a forest, to a widgeon in a widgeon hospital.

I’ve said before; I’ll say it again. It’s good to have a destination, but the adventure is in the trip.

Take a moment. Review where you’ve been this past year. Be grateful for all you’ve experienced and the people who have come into your life. Search your heart. Let go of any resentments. Take a moment and reflect on your successes. Be grateful for them; be grateful for all the ordinary moments,too. Take a look at your goal list. Some things have taken place. Other things may not have materialized yet. Don’t give up yet. Let go. Tomorrow, you can make a new list.

God, thank you for this year. Clear my heart so I can start yomorrow with a clean slate.

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New Year’s Resolutions: The Two Lists
A Message from DailyOM Co-Founder Scott Blum

I was fortunate to spend time with an enigmatic man named Robert during a very special period of my life. Robert taught me many things during our days together, and this time of year reminds me of one particular interaction we had.

“Now that you are becoming more aware,” Robert said, “you need to begin to set goals for yourself so you don’t lose the momentum you have built.”

“Like New Year’s resolutions?” I asked.

“That’s an interesting idea,” he smirked. “Let’s do that.”

By then I was used to his cryptic responses, so I knew something was up because of the way his eyes sparkled as he let out an impish laugh.

“Tonight’s assignment is to make two lists,” Robert continued. “The first is a list of all the New Year’s resolutions you WANT to keep, and the second is a list of all the New Year’s resolutions you WILL keep. Write the WANT List first, and when you have exhausted all of your ideas, then write the second list on another sheet of paper.”

That night I went home and spent several hours working on the two lists. The WANT List felt overwhelming at first, but after a while I got into writing all the things I had always wanted to do if the burdens of life hadn’t gotten in the way. After nearly an hour, the list swelled to fill the entire page and contained nearly all of my ideas of an ideal life. The second list was much easier, and I was able to quickly commit ten practical resolutions that I felt would be both realistic and helpful.

The next day, I met Robert in front of the local food Co-op, where we seemed to have most of our enlightening conversations. “Tell me about your two lists,” Robert said as the familiar smirk crept onto his face.

“The first list contains all the things I SHOULD do if I completely changed my life to be the person I always wanted to be. And the second list contains all the things I COULD do by accepting my current life, and taking realistic steps towards the life I want to lead.”

“Let me see the second list,” he said.

I handed him the second list, and without even looking at it, he ripped the paper into tiny pieces and threw it in the nearby garbage can. His disregard for the effort I had put into the list annoyed me at first, but after I calmed down I began to think about the first list in a different light. In my heart, I knew the second list was a cop out, and the first list was the only one that really mattered.

“And now, the first list.” Robert bowed his head and held out both of his hands.

I purposefully handed him the first list and held his gaze for several seconds, waiting for him to begin reading the page. After an unusually long silence, he began to crumple the paper into a ball and once again tossed it into the can without looking at it.

“What did you do that for?!” I couldn’t hide my anger any longer.

Robert began to speak in a quiet and assured voice. “What you SHOULD or COULD do with your life no longer matters. The only thing that matters, from this day forward, is what you MUST do.”

He then drew a folded piece of paper from his back pocket and handed it to me.

I opened it carefully, and found a single word floating in the middle of the white page:

“Love.” Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference — living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it: Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever in the next. Amen.

Today I Pray

May I look back at this past year as a good one, in that nothing I did or said was wasted. No experience — however insignificant it may have seemed — was worthless. Hurt gave me the capacity to feel happiness; bad times made me appreciate the good ones; what I regarded was my weaknesses became my greatest strengths. I thank God for a year of growing.

Today I will Remember

Hope is my “balance brought forward” — into a new year’s ledger.

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One More Day

Afflictions are not really a good gift — neither they nor their consequences. However, if afflictions do come, it is well that we convert them into afflictions of love. Herein lies the power of man.
–Chaim Nachman Bialik

All around us we hear cries of “Happy New Year,” and we wonder if this next year is going to be happier than last year was. Carrying the burden of chronic pain or a chronic illness is far more demanding than most people can imagine;. It can overwhelm our days.

We alone have the power to convert that pain, loneliness, and any feelings of guilt into external expressions of ourselves, such as helping others. It’s almost impossible to be completely wound up in ourselves when we are doing for others.

I feel positive thoughts about this New Year. My goal is to reach out to at least one person each day.

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Food For Thought

No Exceptions

Abstinence is the most important thing in my life without exception. Since I am a compulsive overeater, any exception would mean that I might lose control. If I do not control my disease, it controls me. Therefore, there are no exceptions to the rule that abstinence is the most important thing in my life.

In order to follow this rule, I need to depend on a Power greater than myself. Alone, I am not strong enough to maintain abstinence at all times and in all places, but through the grace of God and the support of the OA fellowship, I can do it.

With abstinence, the rest of my life falls into place. I have an incurable illness, but one which can be controlled day by day through following the OA program, working the Twelve Steps, and staying in contact with my Higher Power. There are good days and bad days. but there is always abstinence. I am grateful to be an abstaining, recovering, compulsive overeater.

May I remember each day there are no exceptions to abstinence.

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One Day At A Time

Life Is Worth Living
“These, then, are my last words to you:
Be not afraid of life.
Believe that life is worth living.
and your belief will help create the fact.
William James (1842 ~ 1910)

I have lived my life as a compulsive eater and I have known many other compulsive eaters. I believe I can say unequivocally that life is much more difficult in so many ways for us than for many others. I denied that what I suffered from was a disease; yet I watched as over the years it robbed me of so many things others take for granted. Most of us will acknowledge early on that the manifestations of compulsive eating affects us spiritually, emotionally and physically. Volumes have been written about each of these so most reading this know the devastation it causes. When I began to inventory my life and saw how much the quality of it had suffered, it saddened me greatly.

I believe one of the most difficult ways the disease of COE, or any compulsive illness, affects us is the way society looks upon us. Because I have experienced life both ways, I know how behavior and attitudes change in interacting with a COE vs a non-COE. We wear our disease on the outside … but the extensive damage is far more wide-spread than just the physical. The disease wrecks havoc in every area of our lives as we silently go about our life doing the things expected of us. We don’t dare scapegoat the disease. After all, this is not a cancer … or heart disease. Yet it can be just as serious.

Many decades ago, a group of alcoholics gathered and, as a result, life began to change for those of us who struggled with the disease. When I reached the point in my life that I could actually acknowledgement that compulsive eating was affecting it and that I had done everything possible to stop it and couldn’t, it was one of the most freeing moments I’ve ever experienced. I learned that I was as powerless over this as I would have been suffering a heart attack. I also learned that I couldn’t handle it alone. I learned that there were twelve steps that were absolutely necessary if I were to survive emotionally and, perhaps even physically.

I went from fighting the disease to acknowledging it. Because of the Steps I learned that there were tens of thousands of others exactly like me and that we all spoke the same beautiful language. I learned not to be afraid of life … and that, despite this despicable disease, life is truly worth living. I was told to “act as if” and by doing this it became no longer an act.

One day at a time …
I affirm that my life is worth living. One day at a time, I affirm that I will not be afraid of anything that makes me feel otherwise.
~ Mari

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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.

May God bless you and keep you – until then. – Pg. 164 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Under stress men are more likely to do the ‘fight or flight’ thing and counter stress with anger or desertion. Women are more likely to adopt the ‘tend and befriend’ mode where they begin to nurture others and make alliances. You will be adopting a number of strategies in your growing recovery. Try to make as many of them proactive as you can. The more you respond (with thought and deliberation) than react (instinctively), the better you will weather the journey.

I seek solutions and guidelines for my behaviors and the coming decisions I must make. I do not ‘react’ but ‘respond’ to the situations in my life.

I Will Live in My Body as Well as My Head

I cannot hold onto life any more than I can hold onto a rain storm, a cloud or a sun set. I will not know how to be, what to do or how to act if I am ever living in my head. I have to live in my body, too, in the present, spontaneously part of the moment with head and heart in balance so I can sense where I am and where the current of life is taking me. So that we can be free of what is in the way of manifesting our own good. So that we can live in the present unencumbered with unresolved pain from the past. So that we can stop repeating the same old dysfunctional patterns from our past in our relationships in the present.
Emotional balance allows us to live in this alive and ever changing present so that we can respond spontaneously to any given moment or any given situation. So that we have the inner balance to be responsive, flexible and alive. So that we can live in the present.

Living in my head limits my spontaneity.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The sole purpose of AA is to help the alcoholic stop drinking. The sole purpose of NA is to help the addict stop using. The sole purpose of CDA is to help the chemically dependent give up mind affecting chemicals. The soul purpose of all these fellowships is service, unity, and recovery.

‘I do not put the sole purpose of any fellowship above the soul purpose.’ ~Shelly Marshall

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

To be considered trustworthy, one must be trust-wordy.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that I am at choice. Today I have all the willingness, all the energy, and all the guidance to continue to choose the path of peace and love and joy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Keep coming back. Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 31

Faith
When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands
were better than anything we could have planned.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 2

Thought to Ponder . . .
Breathe in faith, breathe out fear.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
F A I T H = Finding Answers In The Heart.

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

Guidance
Walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress.
If you persist, remarkable things will happen.
When we look back, we realize the things which came to us
when we put ourselves in God’s hands,
were better than 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 what your present circumstances!
1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100

Thought to Consider . . .
Look for the Good.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A A = Adventurers Anonymous

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

Diagnosis
>From “More About Alcoholism”:
“We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 31-32

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

“It’s only when I stop thinking about it, stop trying to run the show, that my life may become as God intends.”
Tucson, Ariz., March 1988
“The Work at Hand,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a
seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t we
laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132~

“We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality
safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem
has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor
are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long
as we keep in fit spiritual condition.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 85~

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When we reached A.A., and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. We thought the isolation problem had been solved.
But we soon discovered that, while we weren’t alone any more in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness. Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong.
Step Five was the answer. It was the beginning of true kinship with man and God.

Prayer for the Day: Kindess Prayer –
Keep us, O God, from closed mindedness, let us Be large in thought, in work, in deed.
Let us be done with faultfinding, and Leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other face-to-face, without Self pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in our judgement And be always generous and helpful.
Teach us to put into action our better Impulses, straightforward and unafraid.
Let us take time for the right things. Make us Grow calm, serene, and gentle.
Grant that we may realize it is the Little things that create difference, That in the big things in life we are one.
And may we strive to touch and know The great common heart of us all, and O God, let us not forget to be kind.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 30th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 30th

Daily Reflections

ANONYMITY

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our Traditions,
ever reminding us to place principles before
personalities.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 564

Tradition Twelve became important early in my sobriety
and, along with the Twelve Steps, it continues to be a
must in my recovery. I became aware after I joined the
Fellowship that I had personality problems, so that
when I first heard it, the Tradition’s message was very
clear: there exists an immediate way for me to face,
with others, my alcoholism and attendant anger,
defensiveness, offensiveness. I saw Tradition Twelve as
being a great ego-deflator; it relieved my anger and
gave me a chance to utilize the principles of the
program. All of the Steps, and this particular
Tradition, have guided me over decades of continuous
sobriety. I am grateful to those who were here when
I needed them.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

To the extent that I fail in my responsibilities, A.A.
fails. To the extent that I succeed, A.A. succeeds. Every
failure of mine will set back A.A. work to that extent.
Every success of mine will put A.A. ahead to that extent.
I shall not wait to be drafted for service to others,
but I shall volunteer. I shall accept every opportunity to
work for A.A. as a challenge, and I shall do my best to
accept every challenge and perform my task
as best I can. Will I accept every challenge gladly?

Meditation For The Day

People are always failures in the deepest sense when they seek
to live without God’s sustaining power. Many people try to be
self-sufficient and seek selfish pleasure and find that it
does not work too well. No matter how much material wealth
they acquire, no matter how much fame and material power,
the time of disillusionment and futility usually comes.
Death is ahead, and they cannot take any material thing
with them when they go. What does it matter if I have gained
the whole world, but lost my own soul?

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I will not come empty to the end of my life. I
pray that I may so live that I will not be afraid to die.


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As Bill Sees It

We Cannot Stand Still, p. 25

In the first days of A.A., I wasn’t much bothered about the areas of
life in which I was standing still. There was always the alibi: “After
all,” I said to myself, “I’m far too busy with much more important
matters.” That was my near perfect prescription for comfort and
complacency.

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

How many of us would presume to declare, “Well, Im sober and I’m
happy. What more can I want, or do? I’m fine the way I am.” We
know that the price of such self-satisfaction is an inevitable backslide,
punctuated at some point by a very rude awakening. We have to grow
or else deteriorate. For us, the status quo can only be today, never for
tomorrow. Change we must; we cannot stand still.

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. Grapevine, February 1961


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Walk In Dry Places

Maturity means principles
Right Action
A principle is sometimes defined as a fundamental guide to action. The more mature we become, the more likely it is that we’ll work from principles rather than blind feelings.
The principles outlined in the Twelve Steps are good guide for mature living. They call for honesty in motive, fair and considerate treatment of others, and reliance on our Higher Power throughout each day.
As we continue on such a path, we will outgrow the childish selfishness and reactions that were so destructive in our old lives. We will be viewed by others as mature, responsible, reliable people.
We also grow into maturity by acting according to sound principles even when we don’t always feel like it. Whatever our feelings might be at any given moment, we can choose actions that are sound and constructive.
Whatever my feelings might be from moment to moment, I”ll act according to the best principles today. I know this is a part of growing up.

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Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple.—AA slogan
Addiction messed up our thinking. We know that from taking Step One. We forgot things. We had blackouts. We made excuses, and we even started to believe them. We were mixed up. We couldn’t figure things out. We decided to get high and forget about it. Now our minds are clear. We can keep thinking clearly if we work our program and  Keep It Simple. Don’t drink or use other drugs. Go to meetings. Work the Steps. Be yourself. Ask for help. Trust your Higher Power. Two thoughts will always mess us up if we let them in. They are “Yes, but…” and “What if?” Don’t let them in. Keep It Simple.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, thanks for recovery. Help me stay sober and clean today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll take one thing at a time and Keep It Simple.

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Each Day a New Beginning

And what a delight it is to make friends with someone you have despised!  –Colette
What does it mean to say we “despise” someone? Usually it means that we have invested a lot of energy in negative feelings; it means that we have let ourselves care deeply about someone. We would never say we “despised” someone who wasn’t important to us. Why have we chosen to let negative feelings occupy so much of our hearts?
Sometimes, in the past, that negative energy has become almost an obsession, consuming our time, gnawing at our self-esteem. But in recovery there comes a moment of lightning change; a moment of release from the bonds of obsession. The other person is, after all, just another person–a seeker, like ourselves. And, since we cared enough to devote our time and energies to disliking her, she is probably someone who would be rewarding to know.
Recovery has given us the opportunity to turn over many negative feelings, to discover that “friend” and “enemy” can be two sides of the same person.
Today, I will look into my heart and see whether I am clinging to obsessive concerns with other people. I will resolve to let them go.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Still you may say: “But I will not have the benefit of contact with you who wrote this book.” We cannot be sure. God will determine that, so you must remember that your real reliance is always upon Him. He will show you how to create the fellowship you crave. [NOTE:  Alcoholics Anonymous will be glad to hear from you. Address P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10017]

p. 164

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

However, after I heard a few stories of jails, sanitariums, broken homes, and skid row, I wondered if I really was an alcoholic. After all, I hadn’t started to drink early in life, so I had some stability and maturity to guide me for a while. My responsibilities had been a restraining influence. I had had no bruises with the law, though I should have had many. I had not yet lost my job or family, even though both were on the verge of going. My financial standing had not been impaired.

pp. 353-354

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

When, by such simple devices, we have placed ourselves in a mood in which we can focus undisturbed on constructive imagination, we might proceed like this:
Once more we read our prayer, and again try to see what its inner essence is. We’ll think now about the man who first uttered the prayer. First of all, he wanted to become a “channel.” Then he asked for the grace to bring love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy to every human being he could.

pp. 100-101

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Don’t hate – it’s too big a burden to bear.
–Martin Luther King, Sr.

Never be afraid to entrust the unknown future to the all-knowing God.”
–unknown

“We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.”
–unknown

God can make all things new, even you.
–unknown

When you find you are upset over a situation, stop and ask yourself one very important
question. “Is this something I can change?” Whether it is or not, turn your negative
energy in to productive energy. You can either change the situation, or change your
perspective of the situation.
–unknown

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
–Oliver Goldsmith

You cannot raise a man up by calling him down.
–William Boetcker

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.
–Will Rogers

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BALANCE

“A society that gives to one class
all the opportunities for leisure,
and to another class all the
burdens of work, dooms both
classes to spiritual sterility.”
— Lewis Mumford

Spirituality brings with it balance. In order to be relaxed, healthy and alive, I need
both work and leisure. For me I need to remember it is okay to take a day off; to stay
in and relax is not a waste; play time is creative time!

I was not only compulsive around alcohol and people but I was also obsessive about
work. I was and am a work-aholic. I need to remember to H.A.L.T.: Don’t get too
Hungry. Don’t get too Angry. Don’t get too Lonely. Don’t get too Tired.

Work for me can be a form of escape. In leisure I have the opportunity to meet with
myself.

Go on enjoy yourself, with yourself!

You, who made me a laborer in the vineyard, also expected me to sit and enjoy it.

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“I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right
hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

“Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off
everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with
perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and
perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its
shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured
such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3


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Daily Inspiration

Begin every day as if it were your very first because you really are always at the beginning. Lord, thank you for the constant ability to stop any offensive behaviors that I have and the gift of being forgiven and being able to forgive myself.

Imagine that you were paid for every kindness and charged for every unkindness. Would you be rich or poor? Lord, I often pray for material wealth. Let me not neglect my soul by now praying for the ability to build my spiritual wealth also.

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NA Just For Today

Action And Prayer

“… growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer”
Basic Text, pp. 35-36

Sometimes it seems as if our recovery is growing much too slowly. We struggle with the steps; we wrestle with the same problems; we labor under the same uncomfortable feelings day after day. We wish that recovery would move a little faster so we could find some comfort!

Wishing doesn’t work in recovery; this isn’t a program of magic. If wishes cured addiction, we all would have been well long ago! What does give us relief in recovery is action and prayer.

Narcotics Anonymous has worked for so many addicts because it is a carefully designed program of action and prayer. The actions we undertake in each of the steps bring more and more recovery to each area of our lives. And prayer keeps us connected to our Higher Power. Together, action and prayer keep us well-grounded in recovery.

Just for today: My recovery is too precious to just wish about it. Today is a good day for action and prayer.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Telling the truth is a pretty hard thing. –Thomas Wolfe
Lying can be like sailing choppy waters. The more we lie, the higher the waves get, and the harder the sailing. When we lie, we feel we’ve failed ourselves and others. We have to work hard to cover up our lies, and the fear of someone finding out is always with us.
If we ask God for courage to tell the truth, we can be like the sailboat on a clear and calm day. We can enjoy the small waves and the light warm breeze we’ve given ourselves. Honesty is a good habit, and is easy. With a little faith in our own worth, we can choose the calm waters’ honesty and apply our creativity to new, growth-oriented activities instead of covering up old mistakes.
How can I smooth my waters right now?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
When we are reduced to our last extreme, there is no further evasion. The choice is a terrible one. It is made in the heart of darkness … when we who have been destroyed and seem to be in hell miraculously choose God! –Thomas Merton
There are many ways we benefit from a life crisis. Perhaps none of us could achieve true adult maturity – or a relationship with God – without having the foundations of our lives shaken. One of our pathways to crisis was the willful pursuit of control in our codependent and addictive lives. Our lifestyles were extreme, the consequences were extreme, and our surrender had to be absolute.
Most of us are surprised by how our weaknesses can turn to strengths. When our defiant wills led us to the utter bottom of our despair, we finally turned to a Power greater than ourselves and found a new way to live. This spiritual story is told in endless variations in our meetings, and it is renewed in small ways every day in each of our lives.
God, lift my defiant willfulness from me and renew my day.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
And what a delight it is to make friends with someone you have despised! –Colette
What does it mean to say we “despise” someone? Usually it means that we have invested a lot of energy in negative feelings; it means that we have let ourselves care deeply about someone. We would never say we “despised” someone who wasn’t important to us. Why have we chosen to let negative feelings occupy so much of our hearts?
Sometimes, in the past, that negative energy has become almost an obsession, consuming our time, gnawing at our self-esteem. But in recovery there comes a moment of lightning change; a moment of release from the bonds of obsession. The other person is, after all, just another person–a seeker, like ourselves. And, since we cared enough to devote our time and energies to disliking her, she is probably someone who would be rewarding to know.
Recovery has given us the opportunity to turn over many negative feelings, to discover that “friend” and “enemy” can be two sides of the same person.
Today, I will look into my heart and see whether I am clinging to obsessive concerns with other people. I will resolve to let them go.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Laying the Foundation
The groundwork has been laid.
Do you not see that?
Don’t you understand that all you have gone through was for a purpose?
There was a reason, a good reason, for the waiting, the struggle, the pain, and finally the release.
You have been prepared. The same way a builder must first tear down and dig out the old to make way for the new, your Higher Power has been cleaning out the foundation in your life.
Have you ever watched a builder at construction? When he begins his work, it looks worse than before he began. What is old and decayed must be removed. What is insufficient or too weak to support the new structure must be removed, replaced, or reinforced. No builder who cares about his or her work would put a new surface over an insufficient support system. The foundation would give way. It would not last.
If the finished product is to be what is desired, the work must be done thoroughly from the bottom up. As the work progresses, it often appears to be an upheaval. Often, it does not seem to make sense. It may appear to be wasted time and effort, because we cannot see the final product yet.
But it is so important that the foundation be laid properly if the fun work, the finishing touches, is to be all that we want it to be.
This long, hard time in your life has been for laying of groundwork. It was not without purpose, although at times the purpose may not have been evident or apparent.
Now, the foundation has been laid. The structure is solid.
Now, it is time for the finishing touches, the completion.
It is time to move the furniture in and enjoy the fruits of the labor.
Congratulations. You have had the patience to endure the hard parts. You have trusted, surrendered, and allowed your Higher Power and the Universe to heal and prepare you.
Now, you shall enjoy the good that has been planned.
Now, you shall see the purpose.
Now, it shall all come together and make sense.
Enjoy.
Today, I will surrender to the laying of the foundation – the groundwork – in my life. If it is time to enjoy the placement of the finishing touches, I will surrender to that, and enjoy that too. I will remember to be grateful for a Higher Power that is a Master Builder and only has my best interests in mind, creating and constructing my life. I will be grateful for my Higher Power’s care and attention to details in laying the foundation – even though I become impatient at times. I will stand in awe at the beauty of God’s finished product.

It feels so good to help other people and to know that I have something to give them. It feels so good to have turned my own life around so that it can benefit others. (Author’s note: Please know that we all have so much to give. The world really needs us recovering folks now. We have been given an extraordinary gift of a way of life second to none, and as we continue to grow spiritually, we do make a difference in the world.) –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Joy Is Your Next Lesson

Learning compassion, understanding love, and experiencing joy. That’s our purpose, our reason for being here. That’s our true mission on this planet.

Learning compassion may have been difficult, because in order to feel compassion for others without judging, we had to go through difficult times ourselves. Times when despite our best efforts we couldn’t help ourselves, times when despite our searching we couldn’t find the answers. As many say, it is usually our own pain and problems that makes us compassionate.

Understanding love may have taken many years, many heartbreaks, and much searching and grasping until we discovered that the key to love was our own heart. Until we discovered that love wasn’t exactly what we thought or hoped it would be. Now it’s different. And better.

Don’t give up. Don’t stop now. Don’t let the residue, the pain from the early parts of your journey, stop you from going forward. We first had to learn about compassion and love in order to learn joy.

The hard work is done. Now you have reached your reward. Now it is time to learn joy.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Slow down and let go

On a road trip up the California coast a while back, I tried to call home only to find that the batteries in my cell phone had died. I worried. What if someone needed to get in touch with me? What if there was a problem with the house? What if my family couldn’t find me and got worried?

I passed the exit to the beach that I had always wanted to see.

I obessed some more.

I stopped for breakfast at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I asked if they had a pay phone. They didn’t. I barely noticed the stunning view, the smell or the sound of the surf, and I can’t remember eating my eggs and toast.

I put off seeing things until another trip; I took the freeway and got home early.

When I got home, there were no messages. No one had needed me; no one had even been aware that I was gone. But I had missed out on the treasures of the trip. I had spent so much time obsessing, I could barely remember where I’d been.

Are you missing out on the wonder of your trip because you’re in too big of a hurry? Let go. Breathe deeply. As long as you’re taking the journey, you might as well relax and enjoy the ride.

God, help me enjoy where I am right now.

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The Ways We Love
Choosing to Have a Mate or Being Single

The way we choose to love can be as unique as the way we choose to make a living, maintain our health, or entertain ourselves. Some choose to seek out a mate and enter into a partnership with a special individual, while others find immense satisfaction in staying single. There is no right or wrong way to be in your life when it comes to deciding whether or not to be in a relationship, even though society tends to put an emphasis on romantic partnerships. Whether you choose to go through life as part of a romantic relationship or live as a single unit, there are benefits to both. Feel free to be comfortable with whatever choice is right for you.

Choosing to be single is a wonderful way to spend time discovering yourself. You have more time and space to figure out what and how you want your life to be without having to keep someone else’s choices in mind. Being single gives you the freedom to do what you want at a moment’s notice and the pride that comes with facing life on your own terms. Companionship, support, and affection can be found while spending quality time with friends, colleagues, and relatives. There is also the fun that comes with being able to date many different people without having to make a commitment. Choosing to have a mate, on the other hand, brings with it an opportunity to share your life with another person. There is comfort in the knowledge that you are facing the world with someone as a united front. When life is challenging, you are in a position to strengthen, as well as give each other comfort. There is also the inevitable transformation of self that comes from allowing another person t! o so intimately be a part of your life.

Remember that what is right for one person may not be right for another, and people can transition between wanting to be with another person and wanting to be alone many times over the course of their lives. Whether you seek out a mate or live the single life, embracing it fully will ensure that either choice is as fulfilling as possible for you. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

My life before coming to The Program was not unlike the lives of so many of us who were cruelly buffeted and tormented by the power of our addictions. For years, I had been sick and tired. When I became sick and tired of being sick and tired, I finally surrendered and came to The Program. Now I realize that I had been helped all along by a Higher Power; it was He, indeed, who allowed me to live so that I could eventually find a new way of life. Since my awakening, have I found a measure of serenity previously unknown in my life.

Today I Pray

May I realize that my Higher Power has not suddenly come into my life like a stranger opening a door when I knocked. The Power has been there all along, if I will just remember how many brushes with disaster I have survived by a fraction of time or distance. Now that I have come to know my Higher Power better, I realize that I must have been saved from something — for helping others like me.

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful to be alive and recovering.

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One More Day

To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness. – Robert Muller

When we are trying to cope with a newly diagnosed illness, feelings may be hurt a little too easily, especially when we feel slighted by the very people we feel should understand. We probably are more vulnerable to hurt at first, and we may even at times feel sorry for ourselves.

There comes a time, however, when we can see the futility of carrying old grudges. There’s no longer a need to know or prove who was right and who was wrong. As we’ve learned to cope with our illness, we’ve become emotionally stronger — strong enough to let go of anger and to forgive. The more we forgive, the calmer and more serene we will become, until ultimately our reward will be inner peace and trust.

I can let go of past hurts. I can bridge the gap caused by misunderstandings.

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Food For Thought

Fear of Failure

It is often the fear of failure, which prevents us from attempting what we really want to do. When we are new to OA, we may be reluctant to commit ourselves to abstinence because we fear we will break it. When we are able to maintain abstinence from compulsive overeating, we may be afraid to make some other kind of commitment for fear of not being able to succeed.

Our past failures can undermine our confidence in our present abilities. For this reason, we need to let go of the past and be willing to try something new. For many of us, belief in a Higher Power is a new commitment. The fear that we will be disappointed sometimes blocks us from the wholehearted trust that such a commitment entails.

The fear of failure is best dealt with by living one day at a time. We can risk a small failure today; it is the large failure in the future that terrifies us. By taking a small step today toward maintaining abstinence or working on an important project, we build the confidence that we can eventually succeed.

With Your support, may I be willing to risk failure.

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One Day At A Time
WILLINGNESS
Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. We came to believe that alone we were powerless over [food]. This was surely a choice, and a most difficult one. We came to believe that a Higher Power could restore us to sanity when we became willing to practice [program’s] twelve steps. In short, we chose to ‘become willing,’ and no better choice did we ever make.”
from “As Bill Sees It”

I floundered in program for a good while. I was not willing to do the Fourth Step; it scared me. Then I did it, and recovery continued.

I floundered in program again. I was not willing to do the extra work I knew I would have to do to stay in the program. I was scared of being a sponsor, so I left. The disease gradually took me over.

I came back to program. This time I was willing. No longer did the phrase “going to any lengths” scare me. I knew I needed to do whatever it took. The disease had beaten me down to where I had no choice if I wanted to recover. I took the steps … all the steps. I became a sponsor. I also discovered that abstinence is only the beginning of recovery – that life is joyful and free. It all began with willingness on my part. I didn’t have the power to change my life, but my Higher Power was able to change it once I became willing to follow the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will ask for and receive the willingness to work this program.
~ Julie ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, ‘a design for living’ that really works. – Pg.28 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Life is not fair. You see it in the headlines; you see it in people racked with chronic pain; you see it in senseless street violence and children starving in third world countries. It will be a challenge for you in the coming weeks to understand it is not an unfair thing that has just happened, addiction and then recovery, but the greatest fight you shall ever receive.

I do not know why good people suffer addiction. It is the very act of not understanding and still trusting in the good of the universe that comprises the very essence of faith.

Life is a Spiritual Journey

No one can learn the alphabet for me. And no one can develop wisdom, appreciation or inner strength for me. These are things I have to do for myself. What is life but growth and expansion, increasing my understanding so that I can deepen my experience of feeling alive? There are gifts in healing if I am willing to see them, lessons I can learn, awareness’s that I need in order to appreciate what I already have. Sickness can be my teacher if I let it. Even as I wait for strength to return to my body, still my spirit and my character can grow stronger and better and more refined. I am not doing nothing as I lie here, I am growing on the inside. Today I will use this moment that puts me into a deeper part of myself to come in contact with an openness to grow. I am in touch with a part of life that I normally don’t get in touch with.

I am understanding and expanding my inner world.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When you can’t find the solution to a problem, look for the soulution to the problem.

I keep whispering my heart’s desires because I never know when my angel is listening.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The program is for participants, not spectators.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

It feels so good to help other people and to know that I have something to give them. It feels so good to have turned my own life around so that it can benefit others.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

We must think of all those sick ones still to come to AA. As they try to make their return to faith and to life, we want them to find everything in AA that we have found, and yet more, if that be possible. No care, no vigilance, no effort to preserve AA’s constant effectiveness will ever be too great to hold us in full readiness for the day of their homecoming. Bill W. 1959.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 30

Acceptance
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 — some fact of my life —
unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that 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.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417

Thought to Ponder . . .
My serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.

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

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

Slip
“I had commenced to drink
as though the cocktails were ginger ale.
I now remembered what my alcoholic friends had told me,
how they prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind,
the time and place would come —
I would drink again. . .
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.”
c. 1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 41-2

Thought to Consider . . .
I have learned it’s the first drink that gets me drunk.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S L I P = Sobriety Loses Its Priority

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

Action
>From “Daily Resolutions:”
“A New Year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days,
8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes — a time to consider
directions, goals, and actions. I must make some plans
to live a normal life, but also I must live emotionally
within a twenty-four-hour frame, for if I do, I don’t
have to make New Year’s resolutions! I can make
every day a New Year’s day! I can decide, ‘Today
I will do this….Today I will do that.’ Each day I can
measure my life by trying to do a little better, by
deciding to follow God’s will and by making an
effort to put the principles of our A.A. program into
action.”
c. 1990, Daily Reflections, page 374

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

“I never thought that a day like today would be a high point of my life. All that excitement that I used to crave and strive for was not there. I don’t have to live on the edge anymore. And tonight as I lay my head on my pillow I can’t think of one single thing that I did today that I have to go back and redo and make amends for.”
Oceanside, Calif., June 2000
“As Unique as Ham and Eggs,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time
to outgrow that serious handicap.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 125~

“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~

We’ll listen politely to those who would advise us, but all the decisions are to be ours alone.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.37

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless.
The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter.

Prayer for the Day: Father, as I think of you, I feel your love. I become still and feel your everlasting arms of love around me. God I know without a doubt that you love me, so I trust you completely. I feel safe and secure. God you soothe my thoughts and enrich my soul. I am ready to face my day feeling your loving presence.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 29th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 29th

Daily Reflections

THE JOY OF LIVING

. . . . therefore the joy of good living is the theme
of A.A.’s Twelfth Step.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

A.A. is a joyful program! Even so, I occasionally balk
at taking the necessary steps to move ahead, and find
myself resisting the very actions that could bring about
the joy I want. I would not resist if those actions did
not touch some vulnerable area of my life, an area that
needs hope and fulfillment. Repeated exposure to
joyfulness has a way of softening the hard, outer edges
of my ego. Therein lies the power of joyfulness to help
all members of A.A.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Participating in the privileges of the movement, I shall
share in the responsibilities, taking it upon myself to
carry my fair share of the load, not grudgingly but
joyfully. I am deeply grateful for the privileges I
enjoy because of my membership in this great movement.
They put an obligation upon me which I will not shirk.
I will gladly carry my fair share of the burdens.
Because of the joy of doing them, they will no longer be
burdens, but opportunities. Will I accept every opportunity
gladly?

Meditation For The Day

Work and prayer are the two forces which are gradually
making a better world. We must work for the betterment of
ourselves and our fellow men. Faith without works is dead.
But all work with people should be based on prayer. If we
say a little prayer before we speak or try to help, it
will make us more effective. Prayer is the force behind
the work. Prayer is based on faith that God is working
with us and through us. We can believe that nothing is
impossible in human relationships, if we depend on the
help of God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my life may be balanced between prayer and
work. I pray that I may not work without prayer or pray
without work.


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As Bill Sees It

Unlimited Choice, p. 201

Any number of alcoholics are bedeviled by the dire conviction that if
they ever go near A.A. they will be pressured to conform to some
particular brand of faith or theology.

They just don’t realize that faith is never an imperative for A.A.
membership. That sobriety can be achieved with an easily acceptable
minimum of it, and that our concepts of a Higher Power and God–as
we understand Him–afford everyone a nearly unlimited choice of
spiritual belief and action.

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

In talking to a prospect, stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man
be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to
agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he
likes, provided it makes sense to him.

The main thing is that he is willing to believe in a Power greater than
himself and that he live by spiritual principles.

1. Grapevine, April 1961
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93


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Walk In Dry Places

Mending the past
No Regrets of the Past
“The past is best mended by living so fully today that its errors have no place in our lives.” These words by an AA member suggest an approach for healing from the past.
All of us would benefit to use today’s knowledge to deal with situations we mishandled in the past. But we must remember that whatever mistakes we made, we had available only the knowledge and resources we possessed the, and we may have done about as well as we possibly could at this time.
We should also remember that active alcoholism is a crippling and ugly disease with many terrible consequences. It’s not surprising that bad things happened to others and us when we were drinking. We can only be grateful that we are now recovering and that matters are better, not worse, than they once were.
I’ll live fully today, allowing no thoughts of regret from my past to intrude.

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Keep It Simple

Many people are living in an emotional jail without recognizing it. Virginia Satir.
Our disease was our jail. We felt so bad that we were sure we must have done something awful. But we didn’t cause our disease. We have done nothing to deserve our disease. We aren’t responsible for the fact that we have a disease. But we ARE responsible for our recovery. We have been granted probation. The terms of our probation are simple: don’t drink or use other drugs, and work the Steps. If we follow these simple rules, we’ll be free. And it will be clear to us that only a Power greater than ourselves could give us this freedom.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to stay free. For this next twenty-four – hour period, take from me any urge to drink or use other drugs. With Your help, I’ll be free.
Action for the Day:   Today, I’ll think about my disease. I am not morally weak. I have a dangerous illness. What can keep me free from my disease?

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Each Day a New Beginning

Kindness and intelligence don’t always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships.  –Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Relationships with other people are necessary to escape loneliness; however, relationships do not guarantee freedom from pain. Nurturing a meaningful relationship with another human being takes patience, even when we don’t have any. It takes tolerance, even if we don’t feel it. It takes selflessness, at those very moments our own ego is crying for attention.
Yet, we need relationships with others; they inspire us. We learn who we are and who we can become through relationships. They precipitate our accomplishments. Our creativity is encouraged by them, and so is our emotional and spiritual development.
We can look around us, attentively. We can feel blessed, even when it’s a negative situation. Every situation is capable of inspiring a positive step forward. Every situation is meant for our good.
There’s risk in human relationships, and it’s often accompanied by pain. But I am guaranteed growth, and I will find the happiness I seek. I will reach out to someone today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

So our fellow worker will soon have friends galore. Some of them may sink and perhaps never get up, but if our experience is a criterion, more than half of those approached will become fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. When a few men in this city have found themselves, and have discovered the joy of helping others to face life again, there will be no stopping until everyone in that town has had his opportunity to recover — if he can and will.

pp. 163-164

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

Early the next morning a man whose name I knew well, a lawyer, called on me. Within thirty minutes I knew A.A. was the answer for me. We visited most of that day and attended a meeting that night. I don’t know what I expected, but I most certainly didn’t visualize a group of people talking about their drinking problems, making light of their personal tragedies, and at the same time enjoying themselves.

p. 353

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

The actual experience of meditation and prayer across the centuries is, of course, immense. The world’s libraries and places of worship are a treasure trove for all seekers. It is to be hoped that every A.A. who has a religious connection which emphasizes meditation will return to the practice of that devotion as never before. But what about the rest of us who, less fortunate, don’t even know how to begin?
Well, we might start like this. First let’s look at a really good prayer. We won’t have far to seek; the great men and women of all religions have left us a wonderful supply. Here let us consider one that is a classic. Its author was a man who for several hundred years now has been rated as a saint. We won’t be biased or scared off by that fact, because although he was not an alcoholic he did, like us, go through the emotional wringer. And as he came out the other side of that painful experience, this prayer was his expression of what he could then see, feel, and wish to become:
“Lord, make me a channel of thy peace–that where there is hatred, I may bring love–that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness--that where there is discord, I may bring harmony–that where there is error, I may bring truth–that where there is doubt, I may bring faith–that where there is despair, I may bring hope–that where there are shadows, I may bring light–that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted–to understand, than to be understood–to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.”
As beginners in meditation, we might now reread this prayer several times very slowly, savoring every word and trying to take in the deep meaning of each phrase and idea. It will help if we can drop all resistance to what our friend says. For in meditation, debate has no place. We rest quietly with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may experience and learn.
As though lying upon a sunlit beach, let us relax and breathe deeply of the spiritual atmosphere with which the grace of this prayer surrounds us. Let us become willing to partake and be strengthened and lifted up by the sheer spiritual power, beauty, and love of which these magnificent words are the carriers. Let us look now upon the sea and ponder what its mystery is; and let us lift our eyes to the far horizon, beyond which we shall seek all those wonders still unseen.

pp. 98-100

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Keep your sobriety first to make it last.
–unknown

Having the world’s best idea will do you no good unless you act on it. People who want
milk shouldn’t sit on a stool in the middle of a field in hopes that a cow will back up to
them.
–Curtis Grant

When you make a mistake, make amends immediately. It’s easier to eat crow while
it’s still warm.
–Sherrie R.

“When nobody around you measures up, it’s time to check your yardstick.”
–Bill Lemly

Without God’s inner source of enlightenment and refreshment, I would soon stagnate
and feel despair.
–Shelley

The heart of AA is the act of one person giving to another.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MADNESS

“The madman who knows that he
is mad is close to sanity.”
— Juan Ruiz de Alarcon

An alcoholic who continues to drink is committing suicide. An addict who continues to
use is committing suicide. An overeater who continues to eat compulsively and
destructively is committing suicide. Madness.

It is like a man standing in the town square stabbing himself with a knife and asking
the passer-by, “Why am I bleeding?”

Today I accept my past destructive behavior and try to change it on a daily basis.
Spirituality is loving yourself enough to “see” the writing on the wall and do something
about it. Change is sanity for the madman!

God, You seem to have given me a dose of insanity. Let me use it to Your glory.

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“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the
door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
Revelation 3:20

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you
regard one another as more important than himself.
Philippians 2:3

“Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls;
and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”
Romans 14:4

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in
you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17


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Daily Inspiration

Today picture yourself as the happiest person that you know and watch how contagious this enthusiasm for life is. Lord, may I bring out the best in those with whom I share today so they can in turn bring out more of my best.

Choose God instead of choosing to worry. Lord, in Your justice, rescue and deliver me.

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NA Just For Today

Through Others’ Eyes

“When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive….[But] if we truly want to be free, we will take a good look at input from fellow addicts.”
Basic Text pg. 35

At some point in our recovery, we come to the awkward realization that the way we see ourselves is not necessarily the way others do. We are probably neither as bad, as good, as beautiful, or as ugly as we think we are – but we are too close to ourselves to really tell for sure. That’s where our friends in the program come in, caring enough to share with us what they see when they look in our direction. They tell us the good things about ourselves we might not know – and they tell us the hard things, too, that we might not be able to see.

We may react defensively to such “help” and, in some cases, justly so. However, even malicious remarks about our supposed shortcomings can shed light on aspects of our recovery that we cannot see ourselves. Wherever a useful insight comes from, for whatever reason it is offered, we cannot afford to discount it.

We don’t need to wait for others to spontaneously offer their insight. When we spend time with our sponsor or other NA members we trust, we can make the first move and ask them to tell us what they see about particular areas of our lives to which we are blind. We want a broader vision of our life than just our own; we can have that vision by seeing ourselves through the eyes of others.

Just for today: I seek to see myself as I truly am. I will listen to what others say about me, and see myself through their eyes.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The price of dishonesty is self-destruction. –Rita Mae Brown
There once was a woman who told her husband what she thought he wanted to hear. She told him she was happy when she wasn’t. She told him she liked his friends when she didn’t. She tried to figure out what he wanted so she could do it for him. She felt hurt when he didn’t do the same for her. She felt he should also try to read her mind and do what she wanted without her having to express it. She was scared to tell him how she really felt.
However, her pain and resentment grew so much she couldn’t stand it any longer, so she told him her true feelings. He was so used to hearing her lies that he called her a liar when she told the truth. Now she knew how much she had hurt herself by trying to please him at the cost of her own honesty and needs.
Honesty is necessary for a good relationship with anyone. When we lie to ourselves, we cannot tell the truth to others. By being honest, we open our doors to others, we trust them with our true feelings, and they love us for who we really are.
Who can I tell how I really feel today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
After we get a new understanding about ourselves we think, “Now I will never have to make the same mistake again!” But our lessons are usually not that easily learned. We have to get them into our muscles and bones as well as our heads. Some of us have to learn how to be kind; others, how to be good listeners or how to stand up for ourselves in many different ways. Every new situation calls on a little different way of knowing, and perhaps we have to fall a few times in the learning.
The most important asset in our lives is the faith to get up again and continue. We must accept our imperfections. Each time we fall and with each mistake we make, we’re vulnerable to doubting and losing faith. By rising again, we make progress in our learning and continue to become better men.
Today, I will have faith, even in the midst of my mistakes.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Kindness and intelligence don’t always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships. –Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Relationships with other people are necessary to escape loneliness; however, relationships do not guarantee freedom from pain. Nurturing a meaningful relationship with another human being takes patience, even when we don’t have any. It takes tolerance, even if we don’t feel it. It takes selflessness, at those very moments our own ego is crying for attention.
Yet, we need relationships with others; they inspire us. We learn who we are and who we can become through relationships. They precipitate our accomplishments. Our creativity is encouraged by them, and so is our emotional and spiritual development.
We can look around us, attentively. We can feel blessed, even when it’s a negative situation. Every situation is capable of inspiring a positive step forward. Every situation is meant for our good.
There’s risk in human relationships, and it’s often accompanied by pain. But I am guaranteed growth, and I will find the happiness I seek. I will reach out to someone today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Moving On
Learn the art of acceptance. It’s a lot of grief. –Codependent No More
Sometimes, as part of taking care of ourselves, it becomes time to end certain relationships. Sometimes, it comes time to change the parameters of a particular relationship.
This is true in love, in friendships, with family, and on the job.
Endings and changes in relationships are not easy. But often, they are necessary.
Sometimes, we linger in relationships that are dead, out of fear of being alone or to postpone the inevitable grieving process that accompanies endings. Sometimes, we need to linger for a while, to prepare ourselves, to get strong and ready enough to handle the change.
If that is what we are doing, we can be gentle with ourselves. It is better to wait until that moment when it feels solid, clear, and consistent to act.
We will know. We will know. We can trust ourselves.
Knowing that a relationship is changing or is about to end is a difficult place to be in, especially when it is not yet time to act but we know the time is drawing near. It can be awkward and uncomfortable, as the lesson draws to a close. We may become impatient to put closure on it, but not yet feel empowered to do that. That’s okay. The time is not yet right. Something important is still happening. When the time is right, we can trust that it will happen. We will receive the power and the ability to do what we need to do.
Ending relationships or changing the boundaries of a particular relationship is not easy. It requires courage and faith. It requires a willingness on our part to take care of ourselves and, sometimes, to stand-alone for a while.
Let go of fear. Understand that change is an important part of recovery. Love yourself enough to do what you need to do to take care of yourself, and find enough confidence to believe that you will love again.
We are never starting over. In recovery, we are moving forward in a perfectly planned progression of lessons. We will find ourselves with certain people – in love, family, friendships, and work – when we need to be with them. When the lesson has been mastered, we will move on. We will find ourselves in a new place, learning new lessons, with new people.
No, the lessons are not all painful. We will arrive at that place where we can learn, not from pain, but from joy and love.
Our needs will get met.
Today, I will accept where I am in my relationships, even if that place is awkward and uncomfortable. If I am in the midst of endings, I will face and accept my grief. God, help me trust that the path I am on has been perfectly and lovingly planned for me. Help me believe that my relationships are teaching me important lessons. Help me accept and be grateful for middles, endings, and new beginnings.

Through prayer and meditation God guides me to the appropriate people for guidance in the important decisions I must make in my life. I trust my answers to be there when the time is right. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Experience the Thrill of the Climb

Don’t stop now. You’re almost there.

You’ve worked so hard to climb this mountain. In the beginning, you were excited. Exhilarated at the prospect of the mountain you were about to climb.

Now you are almost to the top. You’ve struggled, gotten weary, and kept going. Now, your goal is in sight.

Keep going. Guidance is still there to help you. The life force, the one that keeps you going, keeps you moving forward, is still there too, burning brightly within you, charging all that you do with its energy. It is more difficult for you to feel it, but that is only because you’re tired.

See the mountain climber as he climbs the mountain. There are dangers and precipices and challenges along the way. But the higher he climbs, the steeper it gets. The more tired he is, the more energy he has to put into the climb. Don’t tell yourself that the way you feel is an indication you should stop. The way you feel now is the way anyone would feel who was so deeply committed to life. It’s the way anyone would feel who had committed to climbing that mountain.

Don’t stop now. Relax as much as you can. Knowing that the rhythm of life is still there, moving you forward. Don’t look back. Focus intently on each step. Soon you will reach the top. Soon you will reach your goal. Soon you will experience the victory. Keep your eyes focused on the path, look straight ahead. Embrace the thrill of the climb.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let the adventure consume you

The spirit of adventure settles over us slowly sometimes. In the beginning, when those old winds of change blow, we turn our backs, fight, and resist. We just want things to stay the same. Gradually we let go of the need to control. We allow things to change and us to change with them.

We accept the change.

Then we round the corner and find a wonderful lesson there, and then another, and another. Soon we find ourselves looking forward to taking the next step, anxious to see what lies in front of us today. Where will my path lead? Who will I meet? What will I learn? What wonderful lesson is taking place right now?

And the adventure begins to consume us.

The steps that you have been taking have been slowly leading you down a path with more wonder and goodness at every turn of the road. You learned to tolerate change. Now learn to embrace it.

Adventure isn’t something you do. The adventure is your life. Recognize how sweet it is. Let those winds of change blow.

God, help me cultivate a spirit of adventure in my life.

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A Self-Created State
Worry

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 nervousn! ess 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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The success of The Program, i’ve been taught, lies in large measure in the readiness and willingness of its members to go to any lengths to help others tyrannized by their addictions. If my readiness and willingness cools, then I stand in danger of losing all that I’ve gained. I must never become unwilling to give away what I have, for only by so doing will I be privileged to keep it. Do I take to heart the saying, “Out of self into God into others…”?

Today I Pray

May I never be too busy to answer a fellow addict’s call for help. May I never become so wound up in my pursuits that I forget that my own continuing recovery depends on that helping — a half-hour or so on the telephone, a call in person, a lunch date, whatever the situation calls for. May I know what my priorities must be.

Today I Will Remember

Helping helps me.

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One More Day

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
– Jack London

We are on a remarkable journey that holds wonderful possibilities. Sometimes people who have undergone a crisis think they have arrived at the end of the journey. The excitement of living decreases each day.

Surrounding ourselves with loving, caring people gives us the greatest chance of coming out of the depression caused by our problems. Also, treating ourselves gently can improve our outlook. When we show loving care for others and ourselves, we will once again be moving back into the mainstream of life. We will be filled once again with the excitement and joy of the journey that lies ahead.

I owe myself the excitement of each day to come. Today, I will savor my life.

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Food For Thought

Working Compulsively

We do not want to turn from compulsive overeating to compulsive working. This, too, is an attempt to escape reality. Compulsive working holds a particular danger for us, since when we allow ourselves to get overtired, we run the risk of breaking our abstinence.

Working compulsively includes the fear that what we do will not be good enough. It is when we are unsure of our self worth that we have to continually prove how much we can accomplish. Compulsive work is also a way to avoid meaningful relationships with family and friends. If we fear intimacy and exposure, we sometimes try to hide behind a facade of busyness.

When God controls our will and our lives, we work according to His direction. We have the faith that what we do will be acceptable and enough. Believing that God cares for us, we do not rely only on our own abilities. Working for a Higher Power means that we work with serenity and confidence, knowing that He directs and sustains our efforts.

Teach me how to work productively for You.

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One Day At A Time

~GRATITUDE FOR ADVERSITY ~
He was my greatest teacher.
He taught me patience.
The Dalai Lama on Mao Tse Tung

Whenever I feel downtrodden or disappointed by the hand that life has dealt me, I often think of this quote. It moves me beyond speech. Here was a man who had lost his homeland to communist China, yet he still had a good thing to say about the man who started it all. It forces me to come to a realization that what has happened to me is peanuts!

Too often I am caught up with feeling sorry for myself because of my disease, while ignoring the fact that I am so fortunate to have found recovery. Sometimes I feel so poor, yet I live in a large home with a wonderful spouse and delightful pets. I have a car, and enough food to eat every day. I have the luxury of obtaining my degree. Most of all, though I often complain about how unfair it all is, I am even fortunate to have an eating disorder. Because it is through admitting I have a problem that I am beginning to taste recovery, and it is sweeter than any binge item. And it has taught me that it is through our adversities that we learn compassion and patience.

I have to realize that life just isn’t fair. If it were, how boring it would be! Nothing worthwhile is easy to obtain, and that includes recovery. What would it be worth if there was no effort going into it? Sometimes bad things happen, and they are unfortunate. But that’s the end of it. I cannot make things be the way I want them to be. I cannot change life. I must accept life on life’s terms, and learn the art of patience, so well demonstrated by the above quote. How fortunate that I have the opportunity to learn these precious skills in the safety and security of my own home, with my wonderful friends, spouse, and my program family!

One Day at a Time . . .
I will avoid dwelling on the misery that accompanies hardship. I will develop the willingness to be grateful for the opportunity for me to learn compassion and patience.
Claire

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane. It’s strong language – but isn’t it true? – Pg. 38 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

You will probably misjudge and misunderstand many people and their motives for a time. The muddled thinking of early recovery has a way of making us take things the wrong way. Remember your vulnerability and that withdrawal distorts thinking. Don’t be hard on yourself or those around you. Do nothing permanent for eight months to a year. This way your regrets will be minimized.

God, as I understand You, hold my tongue from uttering words and restrain my steps from moving in directions that I may one day regret.

Body Memories

Understanding and thought are distributed throughout all the cells in my body. Who I am is stored in my physical self. My body carries memory and knowledge about how I have responded to the circumstances of my life, about what I brought into this world to begin with.. Today when I think positively, I will allow and invite my entire body to carry a positive thought. I will instruct each cell within me to be active, healthy and vibrant. Each time that I feel I am getting low on reserves, I will open all of my body to receiving uplifting light and energy from the universe. I am not a talking head. I am a body, mind and spirit, alive in all of me.

I ask my body to wake up and live.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If you are clean and sober, the miracle has already happened. Stick around, the impossibilities take a little longer.

Nothing is impossible in God’s world.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Prevent truth decay-read your Big Book.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Through prayer and meditation God guides me to the appropriate people for guidance in the important decisions I must make in my life. I trust my answers to be there when the time is right.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Give me your hand o brother mine and even I may help you up. – Henry Lawson.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 29

Pickles
We are convinced, after the countless attempts we made to prove otherwise, that alcoholism in incurable —
just like some other illnesses. It cannot be “cured” in this sense: We cannot change our body chemistry
and go back to being the normal, moderate social drinkers lots of us seemed to be in our youth.
As some of us put it, we can no more make that change than a pickle can change itself back into a cucumber.
– Living Sober, p. 8

Thought to Ponder . . .
If you think you are an alcoholic, chances are you are.

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

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

Motives
We were depressed and complained we felt bad,
when in fact we were mainly asking
for sympathy and attention.
This odd trait of mind and emotion,
this perverse wish to hide a bad motive
underneath a good one,
permeates human affairs from top to bottom.
This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness
can underlie the smallest act or thought.
Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws
is the essence of character building and good living.
An honest regret for harms done,
a genuine gratitude for blessings received,
and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow
will be the permanent assets we shall seek.
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 94-5

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P U T = Patience, Understanding, Tolerance

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

Pleasure
>From “The Joy of Living”:
“A.A. *is* a joyful program! Even so, I occasionally balk at taking the necessary steps to move ahead, and find myself
resisting the very actions that could bring about the joy I want. I would not resist if those actions did not touch some
vulnerable area of my life, an area that needs hope and fulfillment. Repeated exposure to joyfulness has a way of
softening the hard, outer edges of my ego. Therein lies the power of joyfulness to help all members of A.A.”
1990 AAWS, Inc. Daily Reflections, pg. 372

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

“Serenity is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”
Tacoma, Wash., April 1984
“Short Takes”
AA Grapevine

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

“Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this
mean we are going to get drunk. Some people tell us so. But this is
only a half-truth. It depends on us and on our motives.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 70~

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. we had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater
than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?
page 45 Alcoholics Anonymous

A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities for us.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.88

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from hate to love, from childish dependence to adult responsibility – all this and infinitely more represent change for the better.
Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a practice of sound principles. Here we must needs discard bad or ineffective principles in favor of good ones that work. Even good principles can sometimes be displaced by the discovery of still better ones.
Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is.

Prayer for the Day: God created me to express a full and happy life. Every second of every day spiritual energy flows through every cell, organ, muscle, tissue and fiber of my being, revitalizing and renewing me. I do not allow symptoms or medical terms to alarm me. I am filled with the spirit of health. I make positive statements about my health. I am complete and whole because the spirit of God fills me with ever-renewing life.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 28th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 28th

Daily Reflections

SUIT UP AND SHOW UP

In A.A. we aim not only for sobriety – we try again
to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and
of the world that once rejected us. This is the
ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work
is the first but not the final step.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 21

The old line says, “Suit up and show up.” That action
is so important that I like to think of it as my motto.
I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not.
Showing up at meetings starts me toward feeling a part
of that meeting, I can talk with newcomers, and I can
share my experience; that’s what credibility, honesty,
and courtesy really are. Suiting up and showing up are
the concrete actions I take in my ongoing return to
normal living.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. may be human in its organization, but it is divine
in its purpose. The purpose is to point me toward God and
the good life. My feet have been set upon the right path.
I feel it in the depths of my being. I am going in the
right direction. The future can be safely left to God.
Whatever the future holds, it cannot be too much for me
to bear. I have the Divine Power with me, to carry me
through everything that may happen. Am I pointed toward
God and the good life?

Meditation For The Day

Although unseen, the Lord is always near to those who
believe in Him and trust Him and depend on Him for the
strength to meet the challenges of life. Although veiled
from mortal sight, the Higher Power is always available to
us whenever we humbly ask for it. The feeling that God is
with us should not depend on any passing mood of ours, but
we should try to be always conscious of His power and love
in the background of our lives.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that today I may feel that God is not too far away
to depend on for help. I pray that I may feel confident of
His readiness to give me the power that I need.

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

As Bill Sees It

Alone No More, p.252

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded
by people who loved us. But when our self-will had driven
everybody away and our isolation became complete, we commenced
to play the big shot in cheap barrooms. Failing even in this, we
had to fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of
passers-by.

We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by
being dependent upon others. Even when our fortunes had not totally
ebbed, we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world. We still
vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or
dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In
this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who
understand us; we don’t have to be alone any more.

12 & 12, pp. 116-117

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Walk In Dry Places

Rehearing Rejection
Fortitude
The possibility of rejection exists with almost everything we do, if we are free to choose. We might not like rejection, but we want the same freedom to reject others. As freely choosing people, we need to turn down ideas or proposals we don’t like.
One thing we should never do, however, is rehearse rejections before they occur. If we do this, we may give up even before we have attempted what we hope to accomplish. In effect, we will be killing our hopes even before others have a chance to review them. This is always a ticket to failure.
Rejection is really a feedback mechanism that reports information we ought to have. It tells us either to change our approach or to seek acceptance elsewhere. It is not evidence that we’re completely unacceptable.
Our problem with any single rejection may be that it causes us to recall all the rejections we ever had. We can learn to see any rejection as a normal event that can be beneficial if we accept it properly.
I’ll not let any fear or visualization of rejection keep me from actions I ought to take today. I am an acceptable person, and there is a place for what I have to offer.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making. –Lillian Smith
As the sore tooth draws our tongue, so do rejections, affronts, painful criticisms, both past and present draw our minds. We court self-pity, both loving and hating it. But we can change this pattern. First we must decide we are ready to do so. The program tells us we must become “entirely ready.” And then we must ask to have this shortcoming removed.
The desire to dwell on the injustices of our lives becomes habitual. It takes hours of our time. It influences our perceptions of all other experiences. We have to be willing to replace that time-consuming activity with one that’s good and healthy.
We must be prepared for all of life to change. Our overriding self-pity has so tarnished our perceptions that we may never have sensed all the good that life daily offers. How often we see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full!
A new set of experiences awaits me today. And I can perceive them unfettered by the memories of the painful past. Self-pity need not cage me, today.

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

Keep It Simple

If You Walk With Lame Men You’ll soon Limp Yourself. Seaman McManus
Before recovery, we kept company with people who were as sick as us, or worse. We got angry and made fun of people who were trying to improve their lives. They scared us. They were like mirrors that reflected how spiritually lost we were becoming. Now we walk in the crowd we avoided. Now we have values. We have spiritual beliefs. Living up to these values and beliefs can be hard. We need to be around people who live by their values. In recovery, we learn that we need others. Remember, the first word in Step One is we. We need good people in our lives. We need friends who will not tell us what we want to hear, but what we are doing wrong.
Prayer for the Day: Sometimes I act like I need no one. Help me pick my friends wisely, for my life is at stake.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll pick one friend, and we’ll talk about how we can better help each other.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Our friend proceeded to tell him. And with such good effect that the doctor agreed to a test among his patients and certain other alcoholics from a clinic which he attends. Arrangements were also made with the chief psychiatrist of a large public hospital to select still others from the stream of misery which flows through that institution.

p. 163

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

However, my low had been reached. I realized I had been going down and down. I was unhappy myself, and I had brought unhappiness to all who cared for me. Physically I couldn’t take it anymore. Cold sweats, jumpy nerves, and lack of sleep were becoming intolerable. Mentally, the fears and tensions, the complete change in attitude and outlook bewildered me. This was no way to live. The time for decision had arrived, and it was a relief to say yes when my family said they would call Alcoholics Anonymous for me–a relief, even though I dreaded it, feeling that this was the end of everything.

p. 353

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. Most certainly we shall need bracing air and an abundance of food. But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun. How, then, shall we meditate?

p. 98

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“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
–Charles A. Beard

“Learn from the negative as well as the positive, from the failures as well as the
successes.”
–Jim Rohn

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.”
–Marge Piercy

“In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change–breaking
down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take
their place.”
–Susan Taylor

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HUMOR

“Humor is an affirmation of
dignity, a declaration of man’s
superiority to all that befalls
him.”
— Romain Gary

Today I laugh at myself. Today I need to laugh at myself in order to stay sane. Today
I choose not to take myself too seriously.

When I tell jokes about the alcoholic, I am not belittling the person. I am making fun of
the disease that nearly killed me. For me to live with the disease, I need to be able to
laugh at the disease in this way I stop it from having power in my life.

Also I catch something of the symptoms of the disease in the jokes: the grandiosity,
arrogance, manipulation, insanity, ego, selfishness and exaggeration. The joke allows
me to face reality with a smile.

O God, thank You for the healing gift of humor.

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

“For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”
II Samuel 22:29

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!”
1 Chronicles 16:11

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called
children of God.
1 John 3:1

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you
may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13

“Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be
disappointed.”
Isaiah 49:23

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is
born of God and knows God.”
1 John 4:7

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Daily Inspiration

Do not run ahead of the Lord, but walk with Him, pray for His guidance and listen to His answers. Lord, let me put Your will first in my life.

Do what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord and receive the fullness of His blessings. Lord, I thank You for the gifts that I have received and ask forgiveness for all that I have done wrong.

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

NA Just For Today

Depression

“We are no longer fighting fear anger guilt, self-pity, or depression.”
Basic Text pg. 26

As addicts, many of us experience depression from time to time. When we feel depressed, we may be tempted to isolate ourselves. However, if we do this, our depression may turn to despair. We can’t afford to let depression lead us back to using.

Instead, we try to go about the routine of our lives. We make meeting attendance and contact with our sponsor top priorities. Sharing with others about our feelings may let us know we aren’t the only ones who have been depressed in recovery. Working with a newcomer can work wonders for our own state of mind. And, most importantly, prayer and meditation can help us tap the power we need to survive depression.

We practice acceptance and remember that feelings like depression will unquestionably pass in time. Rather than struggle with our feelings, we accept them and ask for the strength to walk through them.

Just for today: I accept that my feelings of depression won’t last forever. I will talk openly about my feelings with my sponsor or another person who understands.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading–It vexes me to choose another guide. . . . –Emily Bronte
We journey across many intersections in our lives. Some may point in two directions, while others lead off in several. Our choice of direction can be difficult, especially when our friends choose a road we know to be dangerous. When this happens, we can choose to go our own way without them. If they begin to tease and taunt us about our decisions, may we remember that they are as scared as we were about their friends’ reaction. We are not, after all, living for someone else. If we would be leaders, we can be assured that true leadership comes from following our own directions with confidence that it’s right for us, not from fear of losing others’ company.
We can let others live their own lives without us, if their direction is not for us. We can walk away with pride, satisfied in the knowledge that we refused to allow other people’s fears change our decisions.
How have I gone my own way recently?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
He is a man whom it is impossible to please, because he is never pleased with himself. –Goethe
Many of us grew up trying to please our fathers and feeling we never got the approval we needed. Perhaps our fathers couldn’t feel pleased with themselves. Now it is time to take stock of ourselves and ask whether we are perpetuating the pattern in our own lives. If we still feel unhappy with ourselves, we may never be satisfied with anyone else either. Spouses, children, bosses, even the parking lot attendant may receive the brunt of our self-disapproval. We don’t totally change these patterns in an instant. We change them one day at a time.
Today, we have before us a small piece of the future. We can begin by treating ourselves decently. Maybe we can’t feel a strong sense of personal approval yet, but we can give ourselves some basic respect. We can start by remembering we have the love of God. We can affirm at least one positive thing about ourselves. After some positive reflection, we will have more to give to others.
Today, I will give myself approval for at least one thing.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making. –Lillian Smith
As the sore tooth draws our tongue, so do rejections, affronts, painful criticisms, both past and present draw our minds. We court self-pity, both loving and hating it. But we can change this pattern. First we must decide we are ready to do so. The program tells us we must become “entirely ready.” And then we must ask to have this shortcoming removed.
The desire to dwell on the injustices of our lives becomes habitual. It takes hours of our time. It influences our perceptions of all other experiences. We have to be willing to replace that time-consuming activity with one that’s good and healthy.
We must be prepared for all of life to change. Our overriding self-pity has so tarnished our perceptions that we may never have sensed all the good that life daily offers. How often we see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full!
A new set of experiences awaits me today. And I can perceive them unfettered by the memories of the painful past. Self-pity need not cage me, today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Panic
Don’t panic!
If panic strikes, we do not have to allow it to control our behaviors. Behaviors controlled by panic tend to be self-defeating. No matter what the situation or circumstance, panic is usually not a good foundation. No matter what the situation or circumstance, we usually have at least a moment to breathe deeply and restore our serenity and peace.
We don’t have to do more than we can reasonably do – ever! We don’t have to do something we absolutely cannot do or cannot learn to do!
This program, this healthy way of life we are seeking, is built on a foundation of peace and quiet confidence – in ourselves, in our Higher Power, in the recovery process.
Do not panic. That takes us away from the path. Relax. Breathe deeply. Let peace flow through our body and mind. From this base, our Source shall supply the necessary resources.
Today, I will treat panic as a separate issue that needs immediate attention. I will refuse to allow panicky thoughts and feelings to motivate me. Instead, I will let peace and trust motivate my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Today I am slowing down my pace. I do not have to accomplish the entire world in this day. It is one day. Today I have time to stop and smell the flowers. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Heal Yourself

Infuse healing energy into yourself, into your being. For too long, we’ve been attracted to things that drain us, exhausting our body, depleting our soul. That time has passed.

The world is a spa, a nature retreat, a wealth of healing resources. Pour Epsom salts and essential oils into your bath. Sit quietly by a tree or in a garden. Walk around the block in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in a nearby park or a day at the lake or beach. Throw stones into the river while you sit on the bank contemplating the eternal stream of life. Allow beautiful music to quietly imbue the stillness with healing instead of the pounding of your mind. Light a fire and awaken the darkened hearth to glowing flames and soothing warmth.

Rise from your bed early in the morning. Open the curtains. Watch the sunrise. Feel the sunrise. Let it infuse you with its message. Let it energize you, invigorate you, fill you with life. At day’s end return to the window. Or step outside. Watch the sunset. Absorb its changing colors spreading out beyond the horizon. Feel how it changes the earth and all it touches.

Pet a puppy, stroke a piece of velvet, listen to a symphony. If you can’t slow down long enough to absorb the energy the first time, do it a second and a third. Absorb revitalizing energy until you can hear your voice, hear your heart tell you what would feel good, what would bring peace, what would bring stillness and joy. Before long, doing what brings healing and joy will become as natural as it used to be to do what drains, tires, depletes, and exhausts.

It isn’t enough to draw near to the light. Absorb it into you. Let it charge you and change you with its energy and its power. Healing is all around you. Wherever you are, whatever your resources, healing, energy, and joy are there.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Risk being alive

“I know nothing is going to lasr forever,” Charlie said. “But the key to life and being happy is acting as though it is.”

Many of us have had our illusions about security and permanency shattered. The longer we’re alive, the more it gets beat into us: nothing is forever. We can plan on many things, but the only thing we can plan on with any certainty is change.

At some time in our lives, we may have convinced ourselves otherwise. We surrendered ourselves to that job, that project, or that relationship with all our hearts, only to have it crash to an end.

Some of us may have decided, after enough cycles of beginnings, middles, and endings, that the way to deal with this was never to fully give our hearts to any person or circumstance, never to let ourselves fully be present and enjoy the moment.

If I don’t get in completely, I won’t get hurt when it ends, we think. Maybe. But you won’t experience the pleasure and joy, the rich, sweet full taste of those moments, either.

Okay, so you’re wiser now. You know nothing lasts forever. You know the moment something happens, the ending has already been written,too. People are born. They die. A job or project begins. Then it ends. But there’s an entire luscious middle waiting, inviting you to jump in fully and see how sweet life can be. Besides, when the ending does come, you’ll also have been given enough wisdom, courage, and grace to deal with that,too.

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead. Stop holding back. Jump in.

Live your life.

God, give me enough faith and a well of letting go so I can live each moment fully.

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

Useful Transformation
Make Change Work for You by Madisyn Taylor

When we experience change in our life we can control our response and reaction to the changes that are happening.

Transformation is a universal constant that affects our lives from the moment we are born until we leave earthly existence behind. At the root of all growth, we find change. Occasionally, change and the circumstances leading up to it are a source of extraordinary joy, but more often than not they provoke feelings of discomfort, fear, or pain. Though many changes are unavoidable, we should not believe that we are subject to the whims of an unpredictable universe. It is our response to those circumstances that will dictate the nature of our experiences. At the heart of every transformation, no matter how chaotic, there is substance. When we no longer resist change and instead regard it as an opportunity to grow, we find that we are far from helpless in the face of it.

Our role as masters of our own destinies is cemented when we choose to make change work in our favor. Yet before we can truly internalize this power, we must accept that we cannot hide from the changes taking place all around us. Existence as we know it will come to an end at one or more points in our lives, making way for some new and perhaps unexpected mode of being. This transformation will take place whether or not we want it to, and so it is up to us to decide whether we will open our eyes to the blessings hidden amidst disorder or close ourselves off from opportunities hiding behind obstacles.

To make change work for you, look constructively at your situation and ask yourself how you can benefit from the transformation that has taken place. As threatening as change can seem, it is often a sign that a new era of your life has begun. If you reevaluate your plans and goals in the days or weeks following a major change, you will discover that you can adapt your ambition to the circumstances before you and even capitalize on these changes. Optimism, enthusiasm, and flexibility will aid you greatly here, as there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been. Change can hurt in the short term but, if you are willing to embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will nearly always be physically, spiritually, and intellectually transformative. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program, for me, is not a place nor a philosophy, but a highway to freedom. The highway leads me toward the goal of a “spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps.” The highway doesn’t get me to the goal as quickly as I some wish, but I try to remember that God and I work from different timetables. But the goal is there, and I know that the Twelve Steps will help me reach it. Have I come to the realization that I — and anyone — can now do what I had always thought impossible?

Today I Pray

As I live The Program, may I realize more and more that it is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. May I keep in mind that the mind of spirituality it calls for is never complete, but is the essence of change and growth, a drawing nearer to an ideal state. May I be wary of setting time-oriented goals for myself to measure my spiritual progress.

Today I Will Remember

Timetables are human inventions.

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

One More Day

Sadness flies away on the wings of time.
– Jean De La Fontaine

When we’re sad, it’s hard to believe that time will heal all our wounds. An old family-practice doctor used to call it the TOT Treatment — Tincture of Time.

Our sadness may be due to a change in living patterns or even in the weather. It might be due to loss of a loved one, of good health, or even of a cherished object. And our grief takes time.

Whatever the reason for our sadness, after a self-imposed period of time alone, we begin to venture out once again into our world. We work our way, ever so slowly, back into some pattern of normalcy. TOT has done it’s work once again. Laughter surfaces, and we know we have put enough time and space between us and our sadness. We are whole again.

A time of sadness is natural, just as natural as the rediscovered joy that follows it.

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

Food For Thought

Minimizing Temptation

There are things we can do to minimize the temptations that are around us. We are constantly exposed to food advertisements if we watch television and read magazines. Most of us need to spend a certain amount of time purchasing and preparing food. Social gatherings usually involve refreshments. All of this exposure to food can be uncomfortable for compulsive overeaters if we do not find ways to minimize it.

It is a good idea to skip the recipe sections in the magazines we read. Unnecessary thinking about food only intensifies our obsession. Moving away from the television set during a food commercial is a way to minimize that kind of temptation. Grocery shopping is expedited by not considering any items other than those on a prepared list and by spending as little time as possible in the grocery store. Meal preparation can be simplified so that less rather than more time is spent in the kitchen. At parties, we can concentrate on people and conversation instead of food.

The best way to handle temptation is by remembering that we are compulsive overeaters and that nothing is worth activating our disease.

Guide us as we avoid temptation.

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

One Day At A Time

~MEDITATION~
God is the mirror of silence
in which all creation is reflected.
Paramahansa Yogananda

The disease of compulsive overeating is a devious one. It tries to tell me that I’m not a worthwhile person. It tries to tell me that I’m never going to recover, so I may as well eat. The disease tries to make me feel like I’m the lowest of the low.

Fortunately, there are many things in this recovery program that counteract the disease. I can use a food plan to make sure I don’t eat what I’m not supposed to eat. I can read program literature to show me how to live triumphantly. I can work the Steps, do service, make outreach calls; there’s so much I can do which can bring recovery from compulsive overeating.

Another of the things I can do to counteract my disease is meditation. When I meditate, I come into conscious contact with my Higher Power. Meditation helps me to see that I am a worthwhile person, that God loves me just as I am. When I meditate I gain insights into the program literature I’m reading, I learn the things I need to do to further my recovery. I also learn the things that stifle my growth, so I can stop doing them. Meditation is very important to my recovery program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember the importance of meditation, and I meditate every day.
Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you, especially in his lack of control. He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is seldom mildly drunk. His disposition while drinking resembles his normal nature but little. He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, and then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees. – Pg. 21 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Our 12 steps are dedicated primarily to the cultivation of principle in the befuddled addict’s mind. Spiritual soundness leads to mental soundness. Even though we don’t understand the process of our program to stop our cravings, we must trust that IT WORKS.

I look at those around me, at their success and know that this process WORKS even if it isn’t clear how.

Self Importance

I will get my mind off of the treadmill. There is more to life than my worries and obsessions. Just for today I won’t give every little thing more importance than it deserves. In the scheme of things, all of my petty annoyances aren’t all that important. I don’t have to take them so seriously that they disturb my inner peace. When I am constantly preoccupies with all that’s wrong, I forget to remember all that’s right. Self importance is different from valuing myself. Self importance gets me tied up in mental knots, valuing myself is nourishing and loving.

I will get out of my own way today

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The reason people blame other people is because there is only one alternative.

I do not point a finger at another because there are always three pointing back at me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When you look in the mirror, you are looking at the problem, but, remember, you are also looking at the solution.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am slowing down my pace. I do not have to accomplish the entire world in this day. It is one day. Today I have time to stop and smell the flowers.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

When in deep water; become a diver. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 28

The Circle and Triangle
Above us, at the International Convention in St. Louis in 1955, floated a banner
on which was inscribed the then new symbol for AA, a circle enclosing a triangle.
The circle stands for the whole world of AA, and the triangle stands for AA’s Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity, and

Service.
It is perhaps no accident that priests and seers of antiquity regarded this symbol as a means of warding off spirits of

evil.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 307

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

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A’s – R – U S = Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery, Unity, Service.

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

Keynotes
We can try to stop making unreasonable demands
upon those we love.
We can show kindness where we had shown none.
With those we dislike we can begin to practice
justice and courtesy,
perhaps going out of our way to understand and help them.
Whenever we fail any of these people,
we can promptly admit it — to ourselves always,
and to them also, when the admission would be helpful.
Courtesy, kindness, justice, and love
are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony
with practically anybody.
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 93

Thought to Consider . . .
Let us always love the best in others —
and never fear their worst.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E L P = Hope, Encouragement, Love, Patience

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

Apology
>From “Our Side of the Street”:
I made amends to my dad soon after I quit drinking. My words fell on deaf ears since I had blamed him for my troubles. Several months later I made amends to my dad again. This time I wrote a letter in which I did not blame him or mention his faults. It worked, and at last I understood! My side of the street is all that I’m responsible for and thanks to God and A.A. it’s clean for today.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 259

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

“It feels good to be trusted.”
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, November 2003
“Nobody’s Fault but Mine”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

~*~*~*~*^ 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~

“Our hope is that when this chip of a book is launched on the world
tide of alcoholism, defeated drinkers will seize upon it, to follow
its suggestions. Many, we are sure, will rise to their feet and march
on. They will approach still other sick ones and fellowships of
Alcoholics Anonymous may spring up in each city and hamlet, havens
for those who must find a way out.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, Page 153~

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It is possible for us to use the alleged dishonesty of other people as a plausible excuse for not meeting our own obligations.
Once, some prejudiced friends exhorted me never to go back to Wall Street. They were sure that the rampant materialism and double-dealing down there would stunt my spiritual growth. Because this sounded so high-minded, I continued to stay away from the only business that I knew.
When, finally, my household went broke, I realized I hadn’t been able to face the prospect of going back to work. So I returned to Wall Street, and I have ever since been glad that I did. I needed to rediscover that there are many fine people in New York’s financial district. Then, too, I needed the experience of staying sober in the very surroundings where alcohol had cut me down.
A Wall Street business trip to Akron, Ohio, first brought me face to face with Dr. Bob. So the birth of A.A. hinged on my effort to meet my bread-and-butter responsibilities.

Prayer for the Day: God I feel your peace as it moves gently through my soul. I feel a sense of serenity now as I let go of all cares and challenges. All tension is released. I am filled with inner peace that overflows into everything I do. Throughout this day I will be unfolding in your loving care.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 27th

Daily Reflections

PROBLEM SOLVING

“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual
principles would solve all my problems.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 42

Through the recovery process described in the Big Book,
I have come to realize that the same instructions that
work on my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I
am angry or frustrated, I consider the matter a
manifestation of the main problem within me,
alcoholism. As I “walk” through the Steps, my
difficulty is usually dealt with long before I reach
the Twelfth “suggestion,” and those difficulties that
persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry
the message to someone else. These principles do
solve my problems! I have not encountered an exception,
and I have been brought to a way of living which is
satisfying and useful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I need the A.A. principles for the development of the
buried life within me, that good life, which I had
misplaced, but which I found again in this fellowship.
This life within me is developing slowly but surely,
with many set-backs, many mistakes, many failures, but
still developing. As long as I stick close to A.A., my
life will go on developing, and I cannot yet know what
it will be, but I know that it will be good. That’s
all I want to know. It will be good. Am I thanking God for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Build your life on the firm foundation of true gratitude
to God for all His blessings and true humility because of
your unworthiness of these blessings. Build the frame of
your life out of self-discipline, never let yourself get
selfish or lazy or contented with yourself. Build the
walls of your life out of service to others,
helping others find the way to live. Build the roof of
your life out of prayer and quiet times, waiting for
God’s guidance from above. Build a garden around your
life out of peace of mind and serenity and a sure faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may build my life on A.A. principles. I
pray that it may be a good building when my work is finished.

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As Bill Sees It

Servant, Not Master, p.259

In A.A., we found that it did not matter too much what our
material condition was, but it mattered greatly what our spiritual
condition was. As we improved our spiritual outlook, money
gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a
means of exchanging love and services with those about us.

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

One of A.A.’s Loners is an Austrian sheepman who lives two thousand
miles from the nearest town, where yearly he sells his wool. In order
to be paid the best prices he has to get to town during a certain
month. But when he heard that a big regional A.A. meeting was to be
held at a later date when wool prices would have fallen, he gladly
took heavy financial loss in order to make his journey then. That’s
how much an A.A. meeting means to him.

1. 12 & 12, p.122
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p.31

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Walk In Dry Places

Limiting Gossip
No harm to others.
“When you’ve told me their names, do not tell me their faults,” a person said at an AA meeting. She was explaining how careful we must be to keep gossip within tight limits. However, it is possible to identify people in gossip without actually speaking their names. We can give so many facts that the listener can identify whom we’re discussing. This is no less malicious and thoughtless than actually naming the person.
We can avoid these dangers by giving up both the desire to gossip and the wish to listen to gossip. We will always have matters to gossip about; we can always find weaknesses in those we envy, faults in people we want to see taken down a notch or two. But if we persist in the program, we should find ourselves moving out of this limited way of thinking. We’ll put severe limits on gossip at the same time.
I’ll sidestep gossip if it starts to find a way into my life today. Under God’s guidance, I have better things to do.

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Keep It Simple

Reading is to the Mind, what exercise is to the body.
Good ideas are the seeds that start our growth. We hear things at meetings. We listen to our sponsor.
Maybe we listen to program tapes. And we read. Reading is special because we do it when we’re alone.
We read in quiet times, when we can think. We can read as fast or as slow as we want. We can mark special words and come back to them again and again. We’ll figure things out in our way, but we need help to get started. That’s why we read. It gives us good ideas to think about.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, speak to me through helpful readings and help me learn at my best pace.
Action for the Day: Reading is easier the more I do it. Today I’ll feel proud that I’ve read program ideas to get my mind thinking in a healthy way.

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Each Day a New Beginning

One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm. –Hannah Senesh
Life offers little, if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives’ purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.
We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program, its possibilities and our purpose, and it’s that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.
The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the women we were. So much more have we become! Each day’s worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.
I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I’ll find it. There is magic in believing.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

We know of an A.A. member who was living in a large community. He had lived there but a few weeks when he found that the place probably contained more alcoholics per square mile than any city in the country. This was only a few days ago at this writing. (1939) The authorities were much concerned. He got in touch with a prominent psychiatrist who had undertaken certain responsibilities for the mental health of the community. The doctor proved to be able and exceedingly anxious to adopt any workable method of handling the situation. So he inquired, what did our friend have on the ball?

p. 163

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky.  With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

The final decision came when my daughter, following a drunk of mine that ruined my wife’s birthday, said, “It’s Alcoholics Anonymous–or else! Of course, this suggestion had been made before on a number of occasions, but like all alcoholics I wanted to handle my problem my own way, which really meant I didn’t want anything to interfere with my drinking. I was trying to find an easier, softer way. By now it had become difficult to visualize a life without alcohol.

p. 353

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

As we have seen, self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. It is a step in the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.

p. 98

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A person who possesses true peace is not one whose life is without problems and
turmoil but is rather a person who has peace in spite of it.
–unknown

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

Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.
–Marian Anderson

Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.
–Mary Kay Ash

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and
beginning the work of becoming yourself.
–Anna Quindlen

It’s never too late — in fiction or in life — to revise.
–Nancy Thayer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LIES

“Sin has many tools, but a lie is
the handle that fits them all.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

To lie is to rob life of meaning. In my addiction I was a liar, not just by what I said but
by what I did, what I left unsaid and by my manipulation with half-truths. All lies shut
out truth making us prisoners of fantasy and illusion. The world becomes what we
want it to be rather than what it is and reality is lost. The liar is forced into the
prison of loneliness, despair and isolation because nobody can know him, nobody can
understand him. His language and communication are ego-centered. The liar is not living
in the real world. He is living in his own world, with his own rules and definitions. The lies
are the killing wounds, and they are self-inflicted.

Today I prefer the pain of truth to the passing satisfaction of the lie and the habit of
telling the truth is growing in me!

God of Truth, may You ever be reflected in the life I seek to live.

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Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:2

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in
Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this
kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict
with the law.
Galatians 5:22-23

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Daily Inspiration

When we become aware that we possess all the spiritual treasures necessary for a productive and happy life, we will never want for anything. Lord, You are a limitless source of abundance and love.

There is not one moment that we are separated from God’s care unless we choose to be. Lord, You provide for my daily needs and deliver me from evil. You are my refuge.

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NA Just For Today

God Could Restore Us To Sanity

“The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief.”
Basic Text pg. 24

Now that we’ve finally admitted our insanity and seen examples of it in all its manifestations, we might be tempted to believe that we are doomed to repeat this behavior for the rest of our lives. Just as we thought that our active addiction was hopeless and we’d never get clean, we might now believe that our particular brand of insanity is hopeless.

Not so! We know that we owe our freedom from active addiction to the grace of a loving God. If our Higher Power can perform such a miracle as relieving our obsession to use drugs, surely this Power can also relieve our insanity in all its forms.

If we doubt this, all we have to do is think about the sanity that has already been restored to our lives. Maybe we’ve gotten carried away with our credit cards, but sanity returns when we admit defeat and cut them all up. Perhaps we’ve been feeling lonely and want to go visit our old using buddies. Going to visit our sponsor instead is a sane act.

The insanity of our addiction recedes into the past as we begin experiencing moments of sanity in our recovery. Our belief in a Power greater than ourselves grows as we begin to understand that even our brand of insanity is nothing in the face of this Power.

Just for today: I thank the God of my understanding for each sane act in my life, for I know they are indications of my restoration to sanity.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all, and it often comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible except with time. –Abraham Lincoln
Time may or may not heal all wounds. It depends on how we use the time. If we deny our sorrow, or runaway from it, or hope it will just go away by itself, we will be miserable. But if we turn and face it, and express our sadness in healthy ways, somehow we are transformed by the sorrow itself. While the loss is still there, it begins not to hurt so much.
We can express our sadness in many ways. Crying is probably the healthiest means of expressing grief. It’s good to cry, even for men, because it releases tension and stress, and we find a little peace afterwards. It is true that tears are healing.
Getting angry and expressing our anger in appropriate, healthy ways also helps to heal wounds of loss, strange as it may seem. Yes, in time and with the courage to express our feelings, our wounds are indeed healed.
What is a healthy way to express my anger at a loss?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
–Albert Einstein
The marketplace and fashion entice us in countless ways to indulge our individual pleasures. Some say that success will be with the man who follows those seductive beckonings. Even sacrificing long hours by working two jobs to become a financial success or to achieve high career goals can be self-centered activity. It may be time and energy spent seeking power and glory at the cost of time with our family and friends – time for enjoying each other and growing. Sadly, external success leads to superficial pleasure but never to peace within ourselves.
However, when we pursue the values of honesty, humility, and service, we will find enduring self-respect and close friendships. This path provides a genuine experience of life’s greatest rewards rather than the glitter of passing excitement.
Today, I will strive toward the greater values rather than superficial successes.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm. –Hannah Senesh
Life offers little, if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives’ purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.
We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program, its possibilities and our purpose, and it’s that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.
The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the women we were. So much more have we become! Each day’s worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.
I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I’ll find it. There is magic in believing.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Near the Top
I know you’re tired. I know you feel overwhelmed. You may feel as though this crisis, this problem, this hard time will last forever.
It won’t. You are almost through.
You don’t just think it has been hard; it has been hard. You have been tested, tried, and retested on what you have learned.
Your beliefs and your faith have been tried in fire. You have believed, then doubted, then worked at believing some more. You have had to have faith even when you could not see or imagine what you were asked to believe. Others around you may have tried to convince you not to believe in what you were hoping you could believe.
You have had opposition. You have not gotten to this place with total support and joy. You have had to work hard, in spite of what was happening around you. Sometimes, what motivated you was anger; sometimes fear.
Things went wrong – more problems occurred than you anticipated. There were obstacles, frustrations, and annoyances en route. You did not plan on this being the way it would evolve. Much of this has been a surprise; some of it has not been at all what you desired.
Yet, it has been good. Part of you, the deepest part that knows truth, has sensed this all along, even when your head told you that things were out of whack and crazy; that there was no plan or purpose, that God had forgotten you.
So much has happened, and each incident – the most painful, the most troubling, and the most surprising – has a connection. You are beginning to see and sense that.
You never dreamt things would happen this way, did you? But they did. Now you are learning the secret – they were meant to happen this way, and this way is good, better than what you expected.
You didn’t believe it would take this long, either – did you? But it did. You have learned patience.
You never thought you could have it, but now you know you do.
You have been led. Many were the moments when you thought you were forgotten, when you were convinced you had been abandoned. Now you know you have been guided.
Now things are coming into place. You are almost at the end of this phase, this difficult portion of the journey. The lesson is almost complete. You know – the lesson you fought, resisted, and insisted you could not learn. Yes, that one. You have almost mastered it.
You have been changed from the inside out. You have been moved to a different level, a higher level, a better level.
You have been climbing a mountain. It has not been easy, but mountain climbing is never easy. Now, you are near the top. A moment longer, and the victory shall be yours.
Steady your shoulders. Breathe deeply. Move forward in confidence and peace. The time is coming to relish and enjoy all, which you have fought for. That time is drawing near, finally.
I know you have thought before that the time was drawing near, only to learn that it wasn’t. But now, the reward is coming. You know that too. You can feel it.
Your struggle has not been in vain. For every struggle on this journey, there is a climax, a resolution.
Peace, joy, abundant blessings, and reward are yours here on earth. Enjoy.
There will be more mountains, but now you know how to climb them. And you have learned the secret of what is at the top.
Today, I will accept where I am and continue pushing forward. If I am in the midst of a learning experience, I will allow myself to continue on with the faith that the day of mastery and reward will come. Help me, God; understand that despite my best efforts to live in peaceful serenity, there are times of mountain climbing. Help me stop creating chaos and crisis, and help me meet the challenges that will move me upward and forward.

Today I am unveiling my layers and layers of self-doubt and letting them go. Today I am taking back all the power I have given to others by discovering the courage that comes from my own wisdom. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Embrace Your Destiny

Her words were simple but profound. “Fall in love with your destiny.”

How often we search outside of ourselves for some elusive moment, for an experience like someone else is having, for an emotion we’d like to feel but aren’t, at least not right now. How often we long to be somewhere other than where we are, or someone other than who we are. How easy it can be to complain about and regret our past, thinking it’s somehow wrong.

The answer is to fall in love– fall in love with our own life. Our destiny isn’t some far-off moment or something that happens to someone else. Our destiny is taking place right now. It’s been happening all along.

Destiny is that mysterious force or energy that magically intertwines with choice, free will, and fate. Let all those elements weave together and create your life. But know you can help to create it too, by falling in love with your own life. Love all the places you have gone and all the places you will go. Love the lessons you have learned and the way you have learned them.

Most of all, love where you are right now. Because that’s where your destiny lies.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Cherish the glimmers of light

I know people who have been enmeshed in extremely hard times. One woman lost her husband and both children in a fire. Another found her teenage child hung to death– suicide– on her back porch one Sunday in the spring. I’ve known people struggling with chronic depression. I’ve known people who lost their fortunes in one swoop. I’ve known people who were active, healthy people one day, and the next day an accident paralyzed them for life.

I had my years of grief,too, after the death of my son. Year after year the pain pounded incessantly, threatening never to abate.

Listen carefully. I pray you will never have such a time. But even if you’re going through something like that, make every moment count. And pay special attention to the moments when the pain and the suffering subside, even if it’s only for a few seconds or hours. Count those moments as a gift, a glimmer of light. Hold them in your heart.

Write in your journal about how much it hurts. Feel all your pain. But take the time to document those brief moments each week when just a glimmer of pleasure sets in.

Remember, two plus two equals four. Four plus four equals eight.

Those moments will add up.

You might not be going through a time in your life that you relish, but try to find a few moments where you can catch your breath, look around, and say how sweet it is.

God, help me find at least one thing in my life that makes me feel good and gives me pleasure, even if it’s for only one moment of my day.

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Clarity of Soul
Chakra Clearing Exercise by Madisyn Taylor

Just as the spaces we inhabit need to be cleared of clutter, our energetic fields must also be cleared of the old.

Just as the physical spaces we inhabit require that we clear them periodically of clutter, the energetic fields that are a vital part of our being must also be cleared of old thoughts, energy, and emotions. Clearing your chakras and your aura restores and strengthens your connection to yourself and your divine inner wisdom. Unfettered by energetic baggage masquerading as fear, pain, and self-hatred, your consciousness is once again free to grow. If you find the thought of clearing your energy fields disconcerting, simply think of it as cleansing the energy that surrounds you and releasing any stagnancy. You may not be able to see the results of your efforts, but you will experience a lightness of being and clarity of mind.

You can begin by sitting or lying down on a comfortable surface. Take a series of deep breaths and allow your soul to connect with Mother Earth and the vast expanse of the Universe. Visualize your first chakra, situated near the tailbone, and imagine if you will, a valve opening there, much like a faucet. Imagine a cord dropping from your tailbone deep into Mother Earth and let everything that is stagnant within you flow through it. Let go of old energy, inactive thoughts, and anything else that no longer serves you. Ask the earth to accept what you are offering by turning this old energy into light. Continue to let old energy drain out of you until you feel like you’ve released all your energetic baggage. When you are done, imagine the valve closing. Before moving on to clear your next chakra, let vibrant terra cotta light travel upward from the earth and through the cord into your first chakra. Repeat this process with all seven of the body’s chakras. The second chakra i! s orange, the third is yellow, the fourth is green, the fifth is blue, the sixth is indigo and the 7th is violet. Afterward, visualize your crown chakra and draw beautiful, golden-white light from the universe flowing down through the top of your head. Release any worries or fears that you have been holding on to. Draw this light into your aura and enjoy the resultant feeling of peace.

To finish clearing your energy and ensure that you have rid yourself of the last vestiges of clutter, take a bath infused with one cup apple cider vinegar, one cup Epsom salt, and one cup sea salt. After completing this exercise, be sure to thank Mother Earth and the universe for their help. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“The central characteristics of the spiritual experience,” wrote AA co-founder Bill W., ‘is that it gives the recipient a new and better motivation out of all proportion to any process of discipline, belief, or faith. These experiences cannot make us whole at once; they are a rebirth to a fresh and certain opportunity.” Do I see my assets as God’s gifts, which have been in part matched by an increasing willingness on my part to find and do His will for me?

Today I Pray

I pray for the wholeness of purpose that can only come through spiritual experience. No amount of intellectual theory, pep-talking to myself, disciplined deprivation, “doing it for” somebody else can accomplish the same results. May I pray for spiritual enlightenment, not only in order to recover, but for itself.

Today I Will Remember

Total motivation through spiritual wholeness.

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One More Day

For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with starts, invisible day.
– Henry Waddsworth Longfellow

As young children we probably had favorite elderly people who made us feel special. We never gave much thought to their age. During young adulthood, however, we may have begun to dread getting elder. For some reason we saw the outward signs of aging as the beginning of the end.

As we become wiser and more mature, we come to realize that we once again venerate elderly people — for their wisdom, for their love, for their skills, and especially, for their joy of living. Many of us seem to choose one or two special people whom we wish to be like. And then we try our hardest to measure up.

I look forward to the wisdom and joy of living that often come with age. I am no longer afraid.

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Food For Thought

Courage

We pray for the courage to change the things we can. We cannot change the fact that we are compulsive overeaters, but we can change our actions so that we are not destroyed by our disease. Making changes requires the courage to start out on a new, unknown course. Courage does not mean the elimination of fear. Courage means acting in spite of the fact that we are afraid.

It takes courage to learn to affirm one’s rights as an individual, especially if the old way was to say yes to all demands and requests, reasonable and unreasonable. It takes courage to face the truth instead of continuing to live with comfortable illusions. Courage is necessary for working the steps of the OA program.

Sometimes courage comes when we are pressed to a wall of failure. There is nothing to do but turn around and step out in a new direction, even though we are afraid. The courage born of desperation can produce remarkable results.

Grant us the courage to move in Your direction.

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One Day At A Time

~ JOY~
Life is no brief candle to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch which
I have got hold of for the moment, and
want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw

For many years my life was filled with pain and I felt totally empty inside. I did what I had to do for my children and for the people around me, but with a heavy heart, and life seemed to be one endless day after the other. What had happened to all the dreams and hopes I had for a life filled with joy and happiness? Sometimes the pain got to be so great that life just didn’t seem to be worthwhile any more. At times I even contemplated ending my life. I have often heard it said that the opposite of pain is joy but in those dark days, I certainly couldn’t see that.

It is only in recovery that I see that the pain had a meaning, and it has brought me to a great appreciation of all the miracles in my life. I can appreciate the beauty in nature, and for the first time in a very long time my soul is filled with joy. When I listen to Beethoven’s glorious Ninth Symphony with its last movement, the choral piece set to the poet Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”, I begin to realize that one can create something truly wondrous out of one’s pain and suffering. Beethoven wrote this magnificent work shortly before his death, when he was in tremendous emotional pain and totally deaf. Yet he created this truly amazing piece of music that lives on nearly 200 years after his death, and will probably do so for many years to come.

I now realize that there was a reason for my suffering and if, out of that, I can bring some joy or happiness to others, then my life will have had some purpose. It is only through this fellowship that I have been able to see that.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will always remember that my pain has been a growing experience that enables me to share what I have learned with other fellow sufferers. I can now appreciate all the miracles that my Higher Power performs in my life, and I am now truly able to experience joy.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Young people may be encouraged by man’s experience to think that they can stop, as he did, on their own will power. We doubt if many of them can do it, because none will really want to stop, and hardly one of them, because of the peculiar twist already acquired, will find he can win out. Several of our crowd, men of thirty or less, had been drinking only a few years, but they found themselves as helpless as those who had been drinking twenty years. – Pg. 33 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Sometimes it is tough to stay away from our drug of choice for a whole day. The call and craving are so strong! When we can’t manage a whole day, we manage this hour. When the hour is up, we manage one more until we are clean.

Help me to stay clean and sober, from one hour to the next.

Appreciating What I Have

Today I won’t let my desire for more, blind me to what’s already here. My life is full of blessings that I look right past when all I see is what’s missing rather than what is there. Desire is natural and good, I need to feel it to grow and reach beyond myself. But today, I will appreciate what I already have before I ask for more. Appreciation is like water on a plant, it causes good to grow in my life. What I appreciate expands. It grows before my eyes, it deepens and widens. The mere act of appreciation somehow creates more of what I am already giving thanks for. It opens doors to the coffers of this generous world and invites the its bounty to come in. Appreciation lets the creative universe know that I am grateful for what is being so freely given to me.

Today I will appreciate what I have knowing that it opens a doorway to increase

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

It is remarkable how often we run across this feeling of ‘uniqueness’ as we recover. We may brag that we used more, had worse contacts, spent more in bars, treated our family worse, were younger, older, blacker, gayer, more sensitive–whatever.

I am the only ‘me’ there is ever going to be. I do not try to convince others that I am a better me than they.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you have one hand in the fellowship and one hand in God’s, you can’t pick up today.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am unveiling my layers and layers of self-doubt and letting them go. Today I am taking back all the power I have given to others by discovering the courage that comes from my own wisdom.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Alcoholism is the only prison where the locks are on the inside. – Peggy M.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 27

Red Flags
Many years later, although alcohol is not a part of my life and I no longer have the compulsion to drink,
it can still occur to me what a good drink tastes like and what it can do for me,
from my stand-at-attention alcoholic taste buds right down to my stretched-out tingling toes.
As my sponsor used to point out, such thoughts are like red flags, telling me that something is not right,
that I am stretched beyond my sober limit. It’s time to get back to basic AA and see what needs changing.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 396-397

Thought to Ponder . . .
Alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful!

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

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

Surrender
Such is the paradox of AA regeneration:
strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness,
the loss of one’s old life
as a condition for finding a new one.
But we of AA do not have to understand that paradox;
we have only to be grateful for it.
Bill W.
c. 1957, 1985AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 46

Thought to Consider . . . .
We surrender to win

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
K I S S = Keep It Simple, Surrender

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

Autonomy
>From “When A.A. Came of Age”:
“Some may think that we have carried the principle of group autonomy to extremes. . . .
“But this ultra-liberty is not so risky as it looks. In the end the innovators would have to adopt A.A. principles “at least
some of them” in order to remain sober at all. If, on the other hand, they found something better than A.A., or if they
were able to improve on our methods, then in all probability we would adopt what they discovered for general use
everywhere. This sort of liberty also prevents A.A. from becoming a frozen set of dogmatic principles that could not be
changed even when obviously wrong.” Bill W., 1959
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 104-05

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

“My miracle occurred when I became willing to go to any lengths to take action. Like the trapeze artist, it wasn’t the knowledge of it being there — it was the action of letting go.”
Lexington, Ky., April 2002
“God, the Verb,”
Spiritual Awakenings

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

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

“I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within.
Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly
when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my
problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except
as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I
expect to receive. But that would be in great measure.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, Page 13~

The second difficulty is this: what comes to us alone may be garbled by our own rationalization and wishful thinking.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.60

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to
do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone. He has been
granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.
He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be
endured or mastered. In a very real sense he has been transformed, because he has laid hold of a source of strength
which he had hitherto denied himself.

Prayer for the Day: I am a child of God. In God I live and move and have my being; so I do not fear. I am surrounded by
the Presence of God and all is well. I am not afraid of the past; I am not afraid of the present; I am not afraid of the
future; for God is with me. The Eternal God is my dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms. Nothing can
touch me but the direct action of God Himself, and God is Love..” By: Dr. Emmet Fox. Written in 1931