Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 26th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 26th

Daily Reflections

ACCEPTING SUCCESS OR FAILURE

Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming
failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to
either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty,
sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and
serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the
humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when
the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied
us?
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 112

After I found A.A. and stopped drinking, it took a
while before I understood why the First Step contained
two parts: my powerlessness over alcohol and my life’s
unmanageability. In the same way, I believed for a
long time that, in order to be in tune with the Twelve
Steps, it was enough for me “to carry this message to
alcoholics.” That was rushing things. I was forgetting
that there were a total of Twelve Steps and that the
Twelfth Step also had more than one part. Eventually
I learned that it was necessary for me to “practice
these principles” in all areas of my life. In working
all the Steps thoroughly, I not only stay sober and
help someone else to achieve sobriety, but also I
transform my difficulty with living into a joy of
living.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I am glad to be a part of A.A., of that great fellowship
that is spreading over the United States and all over the
world. I am only one of the many A.A.’s, but I am one. I
am grateful to be living at this time, when I can help
A.A. to grow, when it needs me to put my shoulder to the
wheel and help keep the movement going. I am glad to be
able to be useful, to have a reason for living, a purpose
in life. I want to lose my life in this great cause and
so find it again. Am I grateful to be an A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

These meditations can teach us how to relax. We can be of
service to other people in a small way at least. And we
can be happy while doing it. We should not worry too much
about people we cannot help. We can make it a habit to
leave the outcome of the things we do to the Higher Power.
We can go along through life doing the best we can, but
without a feeling of urgency or strain. We can enjoy all
the good things and the beauty of life, but at the same
time depend deeply on God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may give my life to this worthwhile cause.
I pray that I may enjoy the satisfaction that comes from
good work well done.

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As Bill Sees It

Accepting God’s Gifts, p. 168

“Though many theologians hold that sudden spiritual experiences amount to a special
distinction, if not a divine appointment of some sort, I question this view. Every
human being, no matter what his attributes for good or evil, is a part of the divine
spiritual economy. Therefore, each of us has his place, and I cannot see that God
intends to exalt one another.

“So it is necessary for all of us to accept whatever positive gifts we receive with a
deep humility, always bearing in mind that our negative attitudes were first necessary
as a means of reducing us to such a state of that we would be ready for a gift of the
positive ones via the conversion experience. Your own alcoholism and the
immense deflation that finally resulted are indeed the foundation upon which your
spiritual experience rests.”

Letter, 1964

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Walk In Dry Places

Humility: Teachable and Honest
Open to growth.
Humility& is often used in the context of being honest enough to admit one’s faults, but it also means being teachable. The truly humble person realizes there’s always more to learn and is open to such learning.
If we think we have humility, we usually don’t. However, we can look back and recognize times when we made wonderful progress while being deeply humble. This was particularly true when we recognized our alcoholism and achieved sobriety. In this one action, we changed our lives.
If we continue to practice the honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness that helped get us sober, these traits will be apparent in other areas of our lives. Though humility isn’t generally sought as a way of life, it’s the right way for recovering people.
I’ll be open today to ideas from any direction. I can learn something from every person.

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Keep It Simple

To be emotionally committed to somebody is very difficult, but to be alone is impossible. –Stephen Sondheim.
Let’s face it, relationships are hard to work! But we are lucky! Recovery is about relationships. We learn how to set limits. We learn how to listen to and talk to others. In Step One, we begin a new relationship with ourselves. In Step Two and Three, we begin a relationship with our Higher Power. In later Steps, we mend our relationships with family and friends. In our relationship with our sponsor, we learn about being friends. And our past relationships with alcohol and other drugs is being replaced by people and our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank-you for all the new relationships. Thank-you for teaching me how to feel human again.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make a list of all the new relationships I have now, due to my sobriety.

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Each Day a New Beginning

It is only framed in space that beauty blooms; only in space are events, and objects and people unique and significant and therefore beautiful.
–Anne Morrow Lindbergh
We must look closely; focus intently on the subjects of our attention. Within these subjects is the explanation of life’s mysteries. To observe anything closely means we must pull it aside with our minds and fondle it, perhaps. We must let the richness of the object, the person, the event, wash over us and savor its memory.
Many of us only now are able to look around ourselves slowly, with care, noting the detail, the brilliant color of life. Each day is an opportunity to observe and absorb the beauty while it blooms.
I will look for beauty today, in myself, and in a friend, and I will find it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

We know what you are thinking. You are saying to yourself: “I’m jittery and alone. I couldn’t do that.” But you can. You forget that you have just now tapped a source of power much greater than yourself. To duplicate, with such backing, what we have accomplished is only a matter of willingness, patience and labor.

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.

There comes a time when you don’t want to live and are afraid to die. Some crisis brings you to a point of deciding to do something about your drinking problem–to try anything. Help you once continually rejected, suggestions once turned aside are finally accepted in desperation.

pp. 352-353

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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.”

There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God’s kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the will of our own Creator.

p. 98

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

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

If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be where you’ve always been.
–unknown

A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

APATHY

“The only thing necessary for
the triumph of evil is for good
men to do nothing.”
— Edmund Burke

I read about the Holocaust and I am ashamed. I am ashamed to belong to the human
race that allowed, by an overwhelming silence, the slaughter of millions. The ultimate
in people-pleasing is to do nothing. The fear of being an outcast or traitor allows the
addiction to Power to develop. Power is an addiction that is rarely discussed in
society. And yet evil needs people and politics to function alone it is but a word.

With this new day I seek to be involved in the good life. Today I am not afraid to
stand alone for what I believe to be the principles of a God-given spirituality. I know
evil because I know myself. I know tyranny and injustice because for years I
perpetrated negativity in my life. Now I choose to say “no”. Today I seek to make
amends for past wrongs by being rigorously honest in all my affairs. Because I
know what it is to hate, I seek to love. I wish to be responsible in God’s world.

Teach me not only to learn from past mistakes but translate this knowledge into
action.

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“Nothing will be impossible with God.”
Luke 1:37

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.
Psalm 145:3

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:5

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the
present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all
creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

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Daily Inspiration

If you think success and really believe it will happen, you will perform in a manner that leads to success. Lord, may I always avoid negative thoughts and visualize myself in the manner that You intended for me.

We are powerless to change our past, but we can change how we look at it. Lord, help me to realize that my past has made me a stronger person and show me that these experiences have taught me valuable life lessons.

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NA Just For Today

Never-Failing Power

“As we learn to trust this Power, we begin to overcome our fear of life.”
Basic Text pg. 24

We are people accustomed to placing all our eggs in one basket. Many of us had one particular drug of choice that was our favorite. We relied on it to get us through each day and make life bearable. We were faithful to that drug; in fact, we committed ourselves to it without reservation. And then it turned on us. We had been betrayed by the only thing we had ever depended on, and the betrayal left us floundering.

Now that we’ve stumbled into the rooms of recovery, we may be tempted to rely on another human being to meet our needs. We may expect this from our sponsor, our lover, or our best friend. But dependence on human beings is risky. They fall short of perfection. They may be on vacation, sleeping, or in a bad mood when we need them.

Our dependence must rest on a Power greater than ourselves. No human force can restore our sanity, care for our will and our lives, or be unconditionally available and loving whenever we are in need. We place our trust in the God of our understanding, for only that Power will never fail us.

Just for today: I will place my trust in a Power greater than myself, for only that Power will never let me down.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I take it that what all men are really after is some form of, perhaps only some formula of, peace. –James Conrad
When snow drifts quietly down on a winter evening, the hush of nature brings a great sense of peace. Each of us has known times like this. Many of these times did not depend on conditions like snow, or soft music. When we are able to keep a quiet center within ourselves, we are truly in tune with the spirit. Peace of the heart comes from a Power greater than ourselves, and from the faith that all of us, and all that happens to us, are part of a great plan.
Just as the snow falls softly, without fear, without regard for whether it will land on a tree bough or in the street, we, too, can live our lives with peaceful acceptance of whatever comes along, knowing it comes to us naturally and from God.
Am I prepared to accept wherever I will land today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
He who knows how to be poor knows everything. –Jules Michelet
Letting go is one of the simple yet profound spiritual tasks taught by many of the world’s religions. Knowing how to be poor means knowing how to have a full and rich life without a dependent relationship with material wealth, food, chemicals, or sex. It means not relying on the props in life like expensive clothes, a prestigious job, or a sporty car, but relying only on the basics. Knowing how to be poor is knowing we are not in control and not wasting our serenity in trying. It means being completely honest in all things. It means knowing life is neither easy nor free of pain.
Learning how to be poor is learning how to let go of all the essentials and appreciating the simplicity that endures. We don’t automatically know how to do that, but we can learn.
I don’t expect to know everything, but my Higher Power can guide me and show me how to let go.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It is only framed in space that beauty blooms; only in space are events, and objects and people unique and significant and therefore beautiful.
–Anne Morrow Lindbergh
We must look closely; focus intently on the subjects of our attention. Within these subjects is the explanation of life’s mysteries. To observe anything closely means we must pull it aside with our minds and fondle it, perhaps. We must let the richness of the object, the person, the event, wash over us and savor its memory.
Many of us only now are able to look around ourselves slowly, with care, noting the detail, the brilliant color of life. Each day is an opportunity to observe and absorb the beauty while it blooms.
I will look for beauty today, in myself, and in a friend, and I will find it.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Growth
Just as when we were children and grew out of favorite toys and clothes, we sometimes grow out of things as adults – people, jobs, and homes. This can be confusing. We may wonder why someone or something that was so special and important to us last year doesn’t fit the same way in our life today. We may wonder why our feelings have changed.
When we were children, we may have tried to fit an outgrown article of clothing on to our body. Now, as adults, we may go through a time of trying to force fit attitudes that we have outgrown. We may need to do this to give ourselves time to realize the truth. What worked last year, what was so important and special to us in times past, doesn’t work anymore because we’ve changed. We’ve grown.
We can accept this as a valid and important part of recovery. We can let ourselves go through experimentation and grief as we struggle to make something fit, trying to figure out if indeed it no longer fits, and why. We can explore our feelings and thoughts around what has happened.
Then, we can put last year’s toys away and make room for the new.
Today, I will let last year’s toys be what they were: last year’s toys. I will remember them with fondness for the part they played in my life. Then, I will put them away and make room for the new.

I live today as I want to remember my life. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Take Time to Be with People You Love

I left Colorado driving toward the canyons of southern Utah. I had a lot of places left to visit on my journey, a lot of work left to do. But something, rather someone, was pulling on me. My daughter, Nichole.

She was in college in Arizona. When she finished exams, she planned to head to Minnesota to spend the summer there. We had talked about meeting somewhere midway. Now it didn’t look like that would work out. It might be months before we saw each other again. From where I was in Colorado, she was a hard day’s drive away. Besides, I had already been through Arizona, and it would take another day to get back to where I was now. I continued on my way.

The pull from Nichole continued,too. Finally, I turned the car around and headed toward my daughter. When I arrived at her dorm about ten that night, I called her room. She asked where I was now on my journey. I told her I was downstairs in the lobby of her dorm. She flew down the steps. We hugged and kissed. And we spent the next three days at a nearby hotel. She studied and wrote her term paper. We visited. Watched movies. Ate food. Laughed. Cried. And shared memories. It was one of the nicest times we’d had together in years.

When it came time to leave, Nichole packed her car and headed for Minnesota. I headed back toward Utah, stopping to enjoy the scenery of the Grand Canyon, scenery I had missed along my way. I felt renewed and refreshed. I hadn’t lost any time. I had gained the gifts of the heart.

We search for sacred spaces, spiritual experiences, and truths. But the holiest places are often found when we spend time with people we love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

The magic is in you

Sometimes, we play a little trick on ourselves.

We may get so close to someone, we think, I don’t have to let go. Or we may become so successful at manifesting events in our lives, we think, I don’t have to let go. When I want something, it just appears.

Anytime we forget to let go, life will jog us back into remembering. There is nothing that we can cling to in this world. Ultimately, all that we hold dear will require us to let go, in some shape or form. That child will grow up and leave home. That love relationship that’s going so wonderfully? A new cycle will come, in its time. That friendship will change. That job you thought you’d always have? Oops, the company merged. Your position is changed.

Although long-term relationships and secure employment and living in that house feels good, remember, that’s not where your security lies.

Let yourself bond. Get close to that woman, or man. Let yourself enjoy being friends with the best friend you’ve ever had. Be a loving parent, 100 percent. Throw yourself into that job with all your heart and soul.

But your security and joy are not in that other person or job. The magic is in you.

Don’t get angry when the time comes in your life to let go. Open your heart to that person, place, or thing, and say, “Thanks for teaching me to love and helping me to grow.”

Then let him or her go, without resentment in your heart. Because even though that time has come to an end, love can’t be lost. Even if it means an end to the best time you’ve had yet in your life. Look around at where you are now. Don’t forget to enjoy it,too.

This will be the next best time you’ll have.

Remember, love is a gift from God.

God, help me keep my head up, my heart open, and know I’ll always be guided along the path.

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Centering Ourselves
Gathering Our Straying Thoughts by Madisyn Taylor

All too often our lives can be spread too thin and it becomes important to gather our thoughts and center ourselves to become whole again.

When our thoughts are scattered in several directions at once and we are no longer conscious of what we are doing or why, it is time to center ourselves. When we center ourselves, we begin by acknowledging that we have become spread too thin and we are no longer unified inside. Our thoughts might be out of sync with our feelings, and our actions may be out of sync with both. The main signs that we need to center ourselves are scattered thoughts and a feeling of disconnection or numbness, as if we are no longer able to take anything in. In addition, we may feel unfocused and not present in our bodies. Centering ourselves is a way of coming to terms with all the different energies within us and drawing them back into ourselves.

Centering yourself means that you are working from or being aware of the core of your being in the solar plexus area of your body. At first it may not make sense, but as you progress you will understand what this feels like. We naturally know how to center ourselves when we take a deep breath, for example, before making a big announcement or doing something big. Another way to center ourselves is to sit down and engage in breath meditation. We can start by simply getting into a comfortable upright position and noticing as our breath enters and leaves our bodies. Our breath flows into our center and out from our center, and this process can serve as a template for all of our interactions in the world. In conversations, we can take what our friends are saying into the center of our beings and respond from the center. Our whole lives mirror this ebb and flow of energy that begins and ends at the center of ourselves. If we follow this ebb and flow, we are in harmony with the uni! verse, and when we find we are out of harmony, we can always come back into balance by sitting down and observing our breath.

When we sit down to center ourselves we can imagine that we are gathering our straying thoughts and energies back into ourselves, the way a mother duck gathers her babies around her. We can also visualize ourselves casting a net and pulling all the disparate parts of ourselves back to the center of our being, creating a sense of fluid integration. From this place of centeredness, we can begin again, directing ourselves outward in a more intentional way. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

None of us can claim to know God in all His fullness. None of us can really claim to understand our Higher Power to any extent. But this I do know: there is a Power beyond my human will which can do wonderful, loving things for me that I can’t do for myself. I see this glorious power at work in my own being, and I see the miraculous results of this same power in the lives of thousands upon thousands of other recovering people who are my friends in The Program. Do I need the grace of God and the loving understanding of my friends in The Program any less now than when I began my recovery?

Today I Pray

May I never forget that my spiritual needs are as great today as they were when I came into The Program. It is so easy to look at others, newer to the recovery process, and regard them as the needy ones. As I think of myself as increasingly independent, may I never overlook my dependence on my Higher Power.

Today I will Remember

I will never outgrow my need for God.

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One More Day

Never let life’s hardships disturb you. After all, no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.
– Nichiren Daishonen

A worry-free life. Wouldn’t that be the ticket? It’s hard to even imagine what life would be like with no problems. Once in a while a person will say, “If only I’d known…I never would have.” Or, “If I had understood, I should have…”

We can’t life life always regretting past mistakes, and we shouldn’t fear furture ones either. The key to survival is not maintaining a stiff upper lip, as we hae been told, but to express our vulnerability. Stoicism gets nothing but more stress, so we’re learning to acknowledge our hardships as they come along. We’re not complaining or whining. We’re just bonding ourselves to the rest of the human race.

I can face new problems, not because I’m so strong, but because I can honestly admit my weaknesses.

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Food For Thought

Control

Control was something we either feared or did not know much about before we began the OA program. We resisted control as being opposed to our idea of spontaneous living, especially spontaneous eating, Control was for other people – our children perhaps – but not for us.

Without control, we watched as self-will ran riot with our lives. We ate what we pleased, and then, angry and depressed, we said what we pleased and did what we pleased. The problem was that we ended up being not at all “pleased,” but full of disgust and despair. Dimly, we may have realized that our suffering was due to lack of self-control, but we did not know how to go about acquiring what we lacked.

By relinquishing our so-called control to a Higher Power, we learn what it means to be free. By using the OA concept of abstinence to control our eating, we find spontaneity in living. Rather than inhibiting us, the kind of control we develop through this program liberates us from the bondage of self-will.

Control my life, I pray.

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One Day At A Time

~VISION~
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile
the moment a single man contemplates it,
bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery

It never ceases to amaze me how the disease of compulsive overeating distorts the vision. Some compulsive overeaters can look into a mirror and see a fat person where there is none. Others can look into the same mirror and not see the weight that is there.

Recovery brings new eyes to the compulsive overeater. It lets us to see what’s really there in the mirror. Recovery allows each of us to see the cathedral we really are, rather than the pile of rubble we think we see. Recovery corrects our vision.

One Day at a Time . . .
As I work my recovery program, I will see myself as I really am, rather than seeing what the disease shows me.
Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead. A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won’t fill the bill at all. – Pg.83 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

To insist stubbornly on clinging to old relationships, when they are basically drug oriented relationships is sabotaging our recovery process. Is it not our disease finding a ‘good’ excuse to keep us close to drugs?

May I be able to hear the suggestions of those who work with me. May I listen in this next hour and follow the suggestions.

Being with Life

Today, I allow myself just to be with life. Somehow it doesn’t have to prove anything to me or give me any more than I already have to be okay. The lessons I have learned through sincere dedication to my own inner growth, have taught me that I can face my most difficult feelings and still come home to a place of love and acceptance. Life is always renewing itself; nothing lasts, good or bad, and that is just the way it is. It is enough today to enjoy my coffee, to take a walk, to appreciate the people in my life. I can rest in a quiet sort of understanding that this is what it’s all about; all the searching turned up such an ordinary but beautiful thing.

I am enraptured with the ordinary

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Everyone has problems. Your problem though, is not the real problem. The real problem is how you deal with the original problem.

I work the program, not the problem.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Are you going to let bad times make you bitter or make you better?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I live today as I want to remember my life.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The Twelve Steps when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into two words: ‘Love’ and ‘Service’. – Dr. Bob.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 26

Listening
As I’ve grown in the Fellowship, I’ve learned to love everyone just from listening to what they had to say.
That person over there, or the one right here, may be the one God has chosen to give me the message I need for

today.
I must always remember to place principles above personalities.
– Daily Reflections, p. 365

Thought to Ponder . . .
Learn to listen; listen to learn.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G I F T = God Is Forever There.

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

Broad Highway
We can only clear the ground a bit.
If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice,
enables you to think honestly,
encourages you to search diligently within yourself,
then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway.
With this attitude you cannot fail.
The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.
c. 1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 55

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

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

Alike
>From “The Missing Link”:
“They opened a book and read a chapter titled ‘Step Seven.’ After the reading, they went around the table for comments, and for the first time in my life, I found myself surrounded by people I could really relate with. I no longer felt as if I was a major misfit, because here was a roomful of people who felt precisely as I did, and a major weight had been lifted. I happened to be in the last chair around the table to speak and, confused by the reading, all I could say was, ‘What the heck are shortcomings?'”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 286

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

“I heard my future told around the tables at my home group.”
Houston, TX, October 1994
“Around the Tables,”
Thank You for Sharing

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

“…the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception,
will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self
knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to
smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us
out of bitter experience.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 39~

“Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and
our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent
ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our
own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved
our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 60~

Many less desperate alcoholics tried A.A., but did not succeed because they could not make the admission of hopelessness.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.23

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

I have had many experiences with atheists, mostly good. Everybody in A.A. has the right to his own opinion. It is much better to maintain an open and tolerant society than it is to suppress any small disturbances their opinions might occasion. Actually, I don’t know of anybody who went off and died of alcoholism because of some atheist’s opinions on the cosmos.
‘But I do always entreat these folks to look to a Higher Power – namely, their own group. When they come in, most of their A.A. group is sober, and they are drunk. Therefore, the group is a Higher Power. That’s a good enough start, and most of them do progress from there. I know how they feel, because I was once that way myself.’

Prayer for the Day: Dear God, Take my life and let me live serenely for today. Open my mind to happy thoughts. Take away my self-pity, I don’t want it. Take away my ill will towards others. Make it possible for me to feel joy, love, and compassion. Help me to accept what is, to hold my tongue, to do my daily task, and to let go with love. Take away my worry about the future. Make me realize that in your hands everything will be provided. Help me to understand that I have no control over anything but my own actions. Make me know that today is precious and will soon be gone. Help me to remember that all hatred and pain directed toward me are the hatred and pain the other person is feeling toward him self. Thank you for your willingness to accept my burden and lighten my load. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 25th

Merry Christmas.

Daily Reflections

 

AT PEACE WITH LIFE

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of
God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I
best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

I read this passage each morning, to start off my
day, because it is a continual reminder to “practice
these principles in all my affairs.” When I keep
God’s will at the forefront of my mind, I am able to
do what I should be doing, and that puts me at peace
with life, with myself and with God.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Many alcoholics will be saying today: “This is a good
Christmas for me.” They will be looking back over the
past Christmases which were not like this one. They
will be thanking God for their sobriety and their new
found life. They will be thinking about how their
lives have changed when they came into A.A. They will
be thinking that perhaps God let them live through all
the hazards of their drinking careers, when they were
perhaps often close to death, in order that they may
be used by Him in the great work of A.A. Is this a happy
Christmas for me?

Meditation For The Day

The kingdom of heaven is also for the lowly, the
sinners, the repentant. “And they presented unto him
gifts–gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Bring your gifts
of gold–your money and material possessions. Bring
your frankincense–the consecration of your life to a
worthy cause. Bring your myrrh–your sympathy and
understanding and help. Lay them all at the feet of
God and let Him have full use of them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be truly thankful on this Christmas day.
I pray that I may bring my gifts and lay them on the altar.

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

As Bill Sees It

“Fearless and Searching”, p.261

My self-analysis has frequently been faulty. Sometimes I’ve failed
to share my defects with the right people; at other times, I’ve
confessed their defects, rather than my own; and still other times,
my confession of defects has been more in the nature of loud
complaints about my circumstances and my problems.

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

When A.A. suggests a fearless moral inventory, it must seem to
every newcomer that more is being asked of him than he can do.
Every time he tries to look within himself, Pride says, “You need not
pass this way,” and Fear says, “You dare not look!”

But pride and fear of this sort turn out to be bogymen, nothing
else. Once we have a complete willingness to take inventory, and
exert ourselves to do the job thoroughly, a wonderful light falls
upon this foggy scene. As we persist, a brand-new kind of
confidence is born, and the sense of relief at finally facing
ourselves is indescribable.

1. Grapevine, June 1958
2. 12 & 12, pp.49-50

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Walk In Dry Places

Liking Ourselves
Self-esteem.
It’s maybe unsettling to learn that we need to like ourselves more, especially when we’ve often been accused of being conceited.
Being conceited does not mean liking oneself; it’s really a matter of being smug and contemptuous in our dealing with others. This attitude is easily recognized by others, and it causes them to dislike us.
However, if we like ourselves in the right way, others sense this too, and they will be drawn to us. We will truly like ourselves more as we learn to practice the principles of AA. We will like the kind of life we are trying to live. We will like ourselves for practicing fairness and honesty. We will also like ourselves for letting people see us as we are and feel comfortable doing so. In liking ourselves, we feel no need to impress or dazzle others.
I’ll remember today that I have a right to be in the world. I will do my best to be fair toward others, but I will like myself regardless of their reactions.

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

Keep It Simple

To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.–Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz.
Not that we’re getting well. We feel the need for love more than ever. We tried to avoid love by using chemicals to feel good. But it didn’t work. Addiction cut us off even more from people. How do we fill our needs for love? We can think about this fact: People give us love all the time. Only we just haven’t seen it. Every time someone comes to a meeting to get well with us, that is love. Love isn’t all-or-nothing.
Little gems of love are all over. Watch them. Enjoy them. Give them to others.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, love comes from You. Help me see it, and give it.
Action for the Day: I’ll look three persons in the eye today and send them love in my smile.

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Each Day a New Beginning

What we suffer, what we endure . . is done by us, as individuals, in private.
–Louise Bogan
Empathy we can give. Empathy we can find, and it comforts. But our pain, the depth of it, can never be wholly shared, fully understood, actually realized by anyone other than ourselves. Alone, each of us comes to terms with our grief, our despair, even our guilt.
Knowing that we are not alone in what we suffer, makes the difficulties each of us must face easier. We haven’t been singled out, of that we’re certain. Remembering that our challenges offer us the lessons we need in the school of life makes them more acceptable. In time, as our recovery progresses, we’ll even look eagerly to our challenges as the real exciting opportunities for which we’ve been created.
Suffering prompts the changes necessary for spiritual growth. It pushes us like no other experience to God–for understanding, for relief, for unwavering security. It’s not easy to look upon suffering as a gift. And we need not fully understand it; however, in time, its value in our lives will become clear.
I will not be wary of the challenges today. I will celebrate their part of my growth.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Thus we grow. And so can you, though you be but one man with this book in your hand. We believe and hope it contains all you will need to begin.

pp. 162-163

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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 following spring she left me one day without giving me any idea of where she had gone, hoping this would bring me to my senses. In a few days an attorney called on me and explained that something would have to be done, as she couldn’t face returning to me as I was. Again I promised to do something about it. Broken promises, humiliation, hopelessness, worry, anxiety–but still not enough.

p. 352

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

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.”

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support. As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace. To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. life confirm this ageless truth.

pp. 97-98

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Every day is a gift.
That is why we call it the present.
–unknown

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”
–Brian Tracy

“The duty of helping one’s self in the highest sense involves the helping of one’s neighbors.”
–Samuel Smiles

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now,
don’t say, ‘Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.'”
–unknown

Life’s lessons are not taught in classrooms.
–unknown

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost, that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”
–Henry David Thoreau

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GENEROSITY

“And the Word was made flesh
and dwelt amongst us.”
— John (1:14)

There is a beautiful fairy tale about a land where everybody had an abundance of “warm fuzzies” that they exchanged with
each other and shared with each other. Everything in this land was wonderful because all the people were generously giving
and receiving “warm fuzzies”.

Then a rumor began that there was to be a shortage of “warm fuzzies,” and people began to hoard and selfishly protect their
supply of “warm fuzzies.” At this point, “cold pricklies” were introduced into the land. Sadness, pain, tension and persecution
developed in the land, and the growth of the “cold pricklies” kept people separated, fearful and alone.

The tragedy of this tale is that the rumor was not true! As long as people generously share their “warm fuzzies”, they will
never disappear. The “warm fuzzies” only disappear when they are not shared. The more we give, the more we receive.
Abundance rests in giving, never hoarding!

Master, may I always be generous with all that You have given me.

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

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:11

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have
believed.'” John 20:29

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Daily Inspiration

Enthusiasm keeps the mind young and the spirit growing. Lord, may I always see wonder in the ordinary happenings of my day.

No detail is too insignificant for God’s attention. Lord, You encourage me daily as You guide my humblest moments.

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NA Just For Today

Anonymity And Self-Will

“The drive for personal gain… which brought so much pain in the past falls by the wayside if we adhere to the principle of anonymity.”
Basic Text pg. 73

The word anonymity itself means namelessness, but there’s a larger principle at work in the anonymity of the NA program: the principle of selflessness. When we admit our powerlessness to manage our own lives, we take our first step away from self-will and our first step toward selflessness. The less we try to run our lives on self-will, the more we find the power and direction once so sorely lacking in our lives.

But the principle of selflessness does a lot more than just make us feel better-it helps us live better. Our ideas of how the world should be run begin to lose their importance, and we stop trying to impose our will on everyone and everything around us. And when we abandon our “know-it-all” pretensions and start recognizing the value of other peoples’ experience, we start treating them with respect. The interests of others become as important to us as our own; we start to think about what’s best for the group, rather than just what’s best for us. We start living a life that’s bigger than we are, that’s more than just us, our name, ourselves – we start living the principle of anonymity.

Just for today: God, please free me from self-will. Help me understand the principle of anonymity; help me to live selflessly.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
We have no right to ask, when sorrow comes, Why did this happen to me? unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way. –Philip S. Bernstein
All of us have reasons to be grateful. Usually, the word implies we have received something. We often think of gratitude as that warm feeling we get from someone else’s generosity. We are particularly grateful when we get unexpected gifts from those who owe us nothing. Within a family, we expect such acts of love because we are close to one another.
But gratitude doesn’t always come from being a receiver. Gratitude is warmest when it accompanies the joy of being able to give without expecting anything in return. We find it isn’t enough to feel grateful. We have to express our gratitude by showing kindness and service to everyone around us.
Gratitude is the greatest of all heart-openers. When it enters the heart, love pours out. For every kindness we receive, gratitude inspires a hundred acts of giving.
How can I show my gratitude today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
In the sphere of material things, giving means being rich. Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much. –Erich Fromm
Material possessions have great significance in our world. Not only do we strive to own a special car, electronic gear, and far more clothes than we need, but we also think in terms of possessing a girlfriend, or our health, or happiness, or things that cannot be owned. Some of us have become addicted to buying and owning things. This gimme-gimme mentality affects us all and, rather than enriching us, it impoverishes us. Tangible things enrich us only when we use them and share them to improve our lives and the lives of others. We don’t need to be wealthy to share what we have with others. It is the sharing that nourishes us and builds bridges between us.
Wise people have known for thousands of years that a man’s spirituality is deeply affected by his relationship to his possessions. When we respect what we own as a gift from God and share it with others, we grow richer spiritually.
I will hold my possessions loosely and with respect so they can be used well and shared.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
What we suffer, what we endure . . is done by us, as individuals, in private.
–Louise Bogan
Empathy we can give. Empathy we can find, and it comforts. But our pain, the depth of it, can never be wholly shared, fully understood, actually realized by anyone other than ourselves. Alone, each of us comes to terms with our grief, our despair, even our guilt.
Knowing that we are not alone in what we suffer, makes the difficulties each of us must face easier. We haven’t been singled out, of that we’re certain. Remembering that our challenges offer us the lessons we need in the school of life makes them more acceptable. In time, as our recovery progresses, we’ll even look eagerly to our challenges as the real exciting opportunities for which we’ve been created.
Suffering prompts the changes necessary for spiritual growth. It pushes us like no other experience to God–for understanding, for relief, for unwavering security. It’s not easy to look upon suffering as a gift. And we need not fully understand it; however, in time, its value in our lives will become clear.
I will not be wary of the challenges today. I will celebrate their part of my growth.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
The Holidays
Sometimes, the holidays are filled with the joy we associate with that time of year. The season flows. Magic is in the air.
Sometimes, the holidays can be difficult and lonely.
Here are some ideas I’ve learned through personal experience, and practice, to help us get through difficult holidays:
Deal with feelings, but try not to dwell unduly on them. Put the holidays in perspective: A holiday is one day out of 365. We can get through any 24-hour period.
Get through the day, but we aware that there may be a post holiday backlash. Sometimes, if we use our survival behaviors to get through the day, the feelings will catch up to us the next day. Deal with them too. Get back on track as quickly as possible.
Find and cherish the love that’s available, even if it’s not exactly what we want. Is there someone we can give love to and receive love from? Recovering friends? Is there a family who would enjoy sharing their holiday with us? Don’t be a martyr; go. There may be those who would appreciate our offer to share our day with them.
We are not in the minority if we find ourselves experiencing a less than ideal holiday. How easy, but untrue, to tell ourselves the rest of the world is experiencing the perfect holiday, and we’re alone in conflict.
We can create our own holiday agenda. Buy yourself a present. Find someone to whom you can give. Unleash your loving, nurturing self and give in to the holiday spirit.
Maybe past holidays haven’t been terrific. Maybe this year wasn’t terrific. But next year can be better, and the next a little better. Work toward a better life – one that meets your needs. Before long, you’ll have it.
God, help me enjoy and cherish this holiday. If my situation is less than ideal, help me take what’s good and let go of the rest.

Love fills me and heals me as I open to connect with the people that God has placed in my life. –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. Know 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.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Point to the good

Identify three things you like.

I was talking to my daughter on the phone one day after I had visited her at her house. I took a moment during the conversation, and I listed the three things I most enjoyed and liked best about our visit that day.

She caught her breath. She knew I was being honest. “Really?” she asked.

“I mean it,” I said. “I meant every word I just said.

Do you want to spark that relationship with your friend, your child, your lover, employee, co-worker, or boss? Instead of criticizing everything you don’t like, say what you like best. Most people have their share of insecurities about themselves, their relationships, and how they do at performing a task. Instead of thinking you’re the only one who feels insecure, tell people something that will help them feel good about themselves and their relationship with you.

Three is a good number, don’t you think.

Look in your heart and find three things you genuinely like about someone. Then tell them clearly what those things are.

God, help me start looking at the good in the people I love.

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The Joy of Being
Celebrating the In-Between Times by Madisyn Taylor

Real life most often happens during the in-between times when we are not celebrating a special occasion.

While celebrations are intended to honor life’s more momentous occasions, much of real life tends to happen during the in-between times. While moving from one moment in time to the next is seldom considered a significant occurrence, it is during those in-between times that we are most in tune with life’s most profound, albeit simple joys. Between birth and death, triumph and sorrow, beginnings and endings, we enjoy innumerable experiences that often happen unnoticed. These times are just as worthy of celebration.

The in-between times are seldom about landmark moments. How you choose to celebrate them or which moments you choose to celebrate is up to you. You may want to celebrate the simple facts that you are alive and that every day is a chance to spend time with the people you care about or do the work that you love. Then again, when you look at the good that exists in your life, many reasons for celebrating the in-between times may become clear: a cup of your favorite tea, a beautiful sunrise, a good book, and the smell of fresh air can be reasons for celebration.

Celebrating the in-between times can be as easy as paying special attention to them when they do happen, rather than taking them for granted. It’s your focus of attention that can turn an in-between time into a celebration. You can also pay homage to the in-between times by slowing down and allowing yourself time to look around and allow your heart and mind to take in all of your life’s wonders. Far too often, we can let those simple moments of awe pass us by. The in-between times are when life happens to us between the pauses that we take to honor our milestones occasions. Without the in-between times, there would be no big moments to celebrate. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Today is a special day in more ways than one. It’s a day that God has made, and I’m alive in God’s world. I know that all things in my life this day are an expression of God’s love — the fact that I’m alive, that I’m recovering, and that I’m able to feel the way I feel at this very instant. For me, this will be a day of gratitude. Am I deeply thankful for being a part of this special day, and for all my blessings?

Today I Pray

On this day of remembering God’s gift, may I understand that giving and receiving are the same. Each is part of each. If I give, I receive the happiness of giving. If I receive, I give someone else that same happiness of giving. I pray that I may give my self — my love and my strengths — generously. May I also receive graciously the love and strength of others’ selves. May God be our example.

Today I Will Remember

The magnitude of God’s giving.

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One More Day

All living souls welcome whatsoever they are ready to cope with…..
– George Santayana

So often, a problem would be overwhelming if we had to solve it all at once. We can allow ourselves to dwell only on small pieces of the problem at one time. Then, when we’ve come to terms with one part, another portion can be dealt with. Whether we are facing the death of a loved one or having to cope with other personal problems, our minds help us sort out the order in which we can best handle our pain.

Sometimes, we insist on tackling all of the problem, and we think ourselves into a kind of numbness. We’re unable to act. At those times, perhaps we can remind ourselves of how our minds work best. If we do, we can let go of the whole situation and, instead, take on only the small part we’re strong enough to handle.

Today, I will let go of all I’m trying to cope with. I will pick one or two small, positive things I can do. Then, I will do them.

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

Food For Thought

Confidence

Our biggest problem was the inability to stop eating compulsively and the resultant obesity. This problem is never solved permanently, but it is overcome on a day-to-day basis. As we succeed in abstaining from compulsive overeating, we grow in confidence. Since by working the program we solve our biggest problem every day, we become confident that we can solve other problems as well.

Confidence is trust that our Higher Power and OA will not let us down. Confidence is the knowledge that however tough life gets, we have tools and resources for dealing with it. Confidence believes in ourselves as children of God and people of value. Confidence is the willingness to give what we have, with the faith that our gifts are needed and acceptable.

When we have confidence in our Higher Power and in ourselves, we are willing to try even though we may fail. If we fail, we are willing to try again. Since our will and our lives are turned over to God, as we understand Him, we have confidence that everything eventually works out for good.

You are the source of confidence.

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One Day At A Time

HOLIDAYS
May peace be more than a holiday;
May love be more than a season;
May the feelings deep inside transcend the calendar;
And, instead, become a way of life.
Anonymous

It is the time of Hanukkah … of Christmas … of Kwanzaa … and other holidays. It is the time when the world is at its best and the hearts of all seem to be brimming with love.

It is also the time of year that my very soul finds the most difficult. My physical and emotional recovery is compromised, and memories occupy every cell in my body, causing this vulnerable addict tremendous turmoil.

These holy days test the gifts of that enigma which is my Higher Power … the God Of My Understanding … and when these days are over and normality returns, I smile at having once again made it through the holidays intact.

One Day at a Time . . .
I acknowledge that in my Higher Power
I have a love that can never be fathomed,
A spiritual resource that can never be exhausted,
A peace that can never be understood,
A rest that can never be disturbed,
A joy that can never be diminished,
A hope that can never be disappointed,
A glory that can never be clouded,
A light that can never be darkened,
And a life that can never die …
Even on holidays.
~ Mari ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. we are not fighting it, neither are avoiding temptation. 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. – Pgs. 84-85 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It often happens that you won’t know the role addiction played in your life until you stop using. You have replace roles now. Learning new skills, and this is done at meetings and with your sponsor, is a necessary step in adjusting to your new circumstances.

Rather than see additional burdens in new tasks, I choose to see them as a breath of new life.

The Treasures Within

Within me is the perfect life waiting to awaken. The gifts I seek are already within me. A deep pool of awareness and aliveness is present all of the time but I am too distracted to know it. I get so lost in the superficial details and tasks of my life that I forget to live it, to drop down and contact the spirit that God has planted within me. It is the best kept secret that spirit lives within me, that the way in which I come in touch with my inner light is through letting the constant preoccupations of my mind float by, not taking them so seriously, not trying to control them. Today I realize that the gold is not in my ability to control my mind, the gold is in what lies beneath. What emerges when my mind, for a precious moment, is stilled.

Spirit is with me always

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

As you sponsor others, remember this: If you are trying to recreate someone in your own image, then one of you will be redundant.

My job as a sponsor is to model, not mold, recovery for my sponsees.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Those who can’t laugh at themselves leave the job to others.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Love fills me and heals me as I open to connect with the people that God has placed in my life.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

One drink’s too many and a thousand is not enough.- Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 25

Neighbors
Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people on a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds.
High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Among them, you will make lifelong friends.
You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together
and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey.
Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life.
You will learn the full meaning of “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 152-153

Thought to Ponder . . .
Life will take on new meaning.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
F E L L O W S H I P =
Faith, Empathy, Learning, Love, Openness, Wisdom, Self-worth, Hope, Identification, People.

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

Right Living
Service, gladly rendered,
obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted
or solved with God’s help.
the knowledge that at home or in the world outside
we are partners in a common effort,
the well-understood fact that in God’s sight
all human beings are important,
the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return,
the certainty that we are no longer isolated and alone
in self-constructed prisons,
the surety that we need no longer be square pegs
in round holes but can fit and belong
in God’s scheme of things —
these are the permanent and legitimate satisfactions
of right living for which no amount of pomp
and circumstance,
no heap of material possessions,
could possibly be substitutes.
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 124

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

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

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

Initiation
Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
“There are as many definitions of spiritual awakening as there are people who have had them. But certainly each genuine one has something in common with all the others. And these things which they have in common are not too hard to understand. 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.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 107

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

“By whatever name we may call it, the spirit of Christmas is in us all. How best to give and how to receive with ever more gratitude is our common aim. We’d like to practice the spirit of Christmas the year around. Therefore, we shall especially ask ourselves at this season: ‘What more can we find in order that we shall have more to give?”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., December 1952
“Every Day Is Christmas”
AA Grapevine

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

“Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider
another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate,
was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with
Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative
Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of
things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and
direction, provided we took other simple steps.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 46~

“If God can solve the age-old riddle of alcoholism, He can solve your
problems too.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Wives, Page 116~

Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.66

When these things happen we should not think too ill of ourselves.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.105

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Though many of us have had to struggle for sobriety, never yet has this Fellowship had to struggle for lost unity. Consequently, we sometimes take this one great gift for granted. We forget that, should we lose our unity, the millions of alcoholics who still ‘do not know’ might never get their chance.
We used to be skeptical about large A.A. gatherings like conventions, thinking they might prove too exhibitionistic. But, on balance, their benefit is huge. While each A.A.’s interest should center principally in those about him and upon his own group, it is both necessary and desirable that we all get a larger vision of the whole.
The General Service Conference in New York also produces this effect upon those who attend. It is a vision-stretching process.

Prayer for the Day: Our Meeting Room Door –
Dear God
Make the door of this meeting wide enough
To Receive all who need love and fellowship
And narrow enough yo shut out
All envy, Pride, and Hate.
Make it s threshold smooth enough
To be no stumbling block to anyone
Not to those who have strayed
But rugged enough to turn back
The Tempter`s power:
Make it a gateway
To thine eternal kingdom.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 24th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 24th

Happy Holidays!

Daily Reflections

A “SANE AND HAPPY USEFULNESS”
We have come to believe He would like us to keep our
heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought
to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our
fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must
be done. These are the realities for us. We have found
nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual
experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 130

All the prayer and meditation in the world will not
help me unless they are accompanied by action.
Practicing the principles in all my affairs shows me
the care that God takes in all parts of my life. God
appears in my world when I move aside, and allow Him
to step into it.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We have been given a new life, just because we happened to become alcoholics. We
certainly don’t deserve the new life that has been given us. There is little in our past to
warrant the life we have now. Many people live good lives from their youth on, not getting
into serious trouble, being well adjusted to life, and yet they have not found all that
we drunks have found. We had the good fortune to find Alcoholics Anonymous and with it
a new life. We are among the lucky few in the world who have learned a new way of life.
Am I deeply grateful for the new life that I have learned in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

A deep gratitude to the Higher Power for all the blessings which we have and which we
don’t deserve has come to us. We thank God and mean it. Then comes service to our
fellow men, out of gratitude for what we have received. This entails some sacrifice of
ourselves and our own affairs. But we are glad to do it. Gratitude, service, and then
sacrifice are the steps that lead to good A.A. work. They open the door to a new life for
us.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may gladly serve others, out of deep gratitude for what I have received. I
pray that I may keep a deep sense of obligation.


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

As Bill Sees It

Individual Responsibilities, p.262

Let us emphasize that our reluctance to fight one another, or
anybody else, is not counted as some special virtue which entitles us
A.A.’s to feel superior to other people. Nor does this reluctance
mean that the members of A.A. are going to back away from their
individual responsibilities as citizens. Here they should feel free to
act as they see the right upon the public issues of our times.

But when it comes to A.A. as a whole, that’s quite a different matter.
As a group we do not enter into public controversy, because we are
sure that our Society will perish if we do.

12 & 12, p.177

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Walk In Dry Places

Jealousy toward loved ones
Feeling
Though resentment gets more attention in AA than jealousy, both of these ugly emotions can plague us in sobriety. Some of us can be very distressed and ashamed when the green demon of jealousy suddenly assaults us. Does this mean we’re not working our program?
No, because the purpose of our program is to bring honesty and healing into our lives, not denial of basic human emotions. It’s very understandable that we have pangs of jealousy even in sobriety. Quite often, this jealousy will be felt toward loved ones and close friends.
One young AA father disclosed he was jealous of his wife when their infant son seemed more responsive to her than to him. We can also experience jealousy when others close to us receive things we’d like to have. It’s even possible to be jealous of another’s standing in AA.
When such feelings arise, we always have the answer: We must discuss our feelings with certain AA friends and turn these problems over to our Higher Power. This, not denial, is always the solution.
If the green demon of envy and jealousy arises today, I’ll let the healing power of the Twelve Steps go to work on it.

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

Keep It Simple

We must all hang together or we will hang separately.-–Ben Franklin
We didn’t get ourselves sober. And we don’t keep ourselves sober. Our program does this. That is why the Twelfth Step is important. We must be willing to give service to our program whenever it’s needed. When a friend calls and say he or she feels like using, we don’t say we’re sorry. We get our friend and take him or her to a meeting. Our survival depends on this kind of action. We are to carry the message. We carry the message by deeds, not words. We are part of a fellowship based on action. A fellowship guided by love. It is not words that keep us sober–it is action.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be ready whenever there’s a need. Help me be ready to put my self-will aside.  Give me strength.
Action for the Day:  I will think of my group members. Who could use a supportive call or visit? I will call or visit those who need my help.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Follow your dream . .
if you stumble, don’t stop
and lose sight of your goal,
press on to the top.
For only on top
Can we see the whole view . . .
–Amanda Bradley
Today, we can, each of us, look back on our lives and get a glimmering of why something happened and how it fit into the larger mosaic of our lives. And this will continue to be true for us. We have stumbled. We will stumble. And we learn about ourselves, about what makes us stumble and about the methods of picking ourselves up.
Life is a process, a learning process that needs those stumbles to increase our awareness of the steps we need to take to find our dream at the top. None of us could realize the part our stumbling played in the past. But now we see. When we fall, we need to trust that, as before, our falls are “up,” not down.
I will see the whole view in time. I see part of it daily. My mosaic is right and good and needs my stumbles.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Some day we hope that every alcoholic who journeys will find a Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination. To some extent this is already true. Some of us are salesmen and go about. Little clusters of twos and threes and fives of us have sprung up in other communities, through contact with our two larger centers. Those of us who travel drop in as often as we can. This practice enables us to lend a hand, at the same time avoiding certain alluring distractions of the road, about which any travelling man can inform you.*

* Written in 1939. In 1990, there are about 88,000 groups. There is A.A. activity in 134 countries, with an estimated membership of two million.

p. 162

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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.

Finally our invitations became fewer and fewer as friends had more experience with my drinking pattern.
Two years before I joined A.A., my wife took a long trip during which she wrote me she just couldn’t return unless I did something about my drinking. It was a shock of course, but I promised to stop and she returned. A year later, while we were on a vacation trip, she packed up to go home because of my excessive drinking, and I talked her out of it with the promise I would go on the wagon for at least a year. I promised, but within two months, I began again.

p. 352

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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.”

Sometimes we took a slightly different tack. Sure, we said to ourselves, the hen probably did come before the egg. No doubt the universe had a “first cause” of some sort, the God of the Atom, maybe, hot and cold by turns. But certainly there wasn’t any evidence of a God who knew or cared about human beings. We liked A.A. all right, and were quick to say that it had done miracles. But we recoiled from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist who refused to perform a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong. Of course we finally did experiment, and when unexpected results followed, we felt different; in fact we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer. And that, we have found, can happen to anybody who tries. It has been well said that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.”

p. 97

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Sharing our experiences with other people gives them hope.
–unknown

What I am is God’s gift to me.
What I make of myself is my gift to Him.
–unknown

“An apology is the superglue of life: it can repair just about anything.”
–Unknown

A man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world. Beauty is eternity gazing at
itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
–Kahlil Gibran

“Joy is not in things; It is in us”
–Richard Wagner

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To
a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good
example. To yourself, respect.”
–Oren Arnold

“At this time of the year, we need to remind ourselves that what we give from deep within
has a much greater worth than what we give from our wallets. Some attempt to impress
others with their contributions, but the real acts of kindness are when we give our time,
our talents, and gifts that are a reflection of our hearts.
-­Neil Eskelinn

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BROTHERHOOD

“I am a citizen, not of Athens or
Greece, but of the world.”
— Socrates

My recovery has enabled me to see that I belong; I belong not simply to a race or
nation but to the world. The freedom experienced in my recovery enables me to
embrace different cultures, races and religions. Spirituality has brought harmony into
my life.

Today I can go where I please. I can learn languages and communicate with people in
foreign lands. I can listen to ideas and philosophies that enrich God “as I understand
Him”. The healing that I have experienced in my recovery is more than discovering
my choice around alcohol, it is discovering my choice around life. Today I am not
content to exist in my life, I choose to live it. Welcome to my world!

May I always choose to see and appreciate the richness of my life.

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

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the
LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
Psalm 25 9-10

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level
ground.”
Psalm 143:10


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Daily Inspiration

As you draw closer and closer to God, you won’t have to tell anyone because it will show in your face. Lord, teach me Your ways as I am ready and let Your love and peace flow through me even in my difficult moments.

When you live in the spirit of God you will always feel the love within you. Lord, may I seek peace in You and not from the outside world.

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NA Just For Today

The Group

“The Twelfth Step of our personal program also says that we carry the message to the addict who still suffers…. The group is the most powerful vehicle we have for carrying the message.”
Basic Text pg. 65

When we first come to Narcotics Anonymous meetings, we meet recovering addicts. We know they are addicts because they talk about the same experiences and feelings we’ve had. We know they are recovering because of their serenity – they’ve got something we want. We feel hope when other addicts share their recovery with us in NA meetings.

The atmosphere of recovery attracts us to the meetings. That atmosphere is created when group members make a commitment to work together. We try to enhance the atmosphere of recovery by helping set up for meetings, greeting newcomers, and talking with other addicts after the meeting. These demonstrations of our commitment make our meetings attractive and help our groups share their recovery.

Sharing experience in meetings is one way in which we help one another, and it’s often the foundation for our sense of belonging. We identify with other addicts, so we trust their message of hope. Many of us would not have stayed in Narcotics Anonymous without that sense of belonging and hope. When we share at group meetings, we support our personal recovery while helping others.

Just for today: I will reach out to another addict in my group and share my recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
He is Father. Even more, God is Mother, who does not want to harm us.
–Pope John Paul I
God is many things to different people. Some call God “Father,” others “Mother,” still others “Higher Power,” “Inner Light,” “Deeper Self,” and “Supreme Being.”
It doesn’t matter what name we use. No one name is ever fully adequate, and each of us has our own private way of trying to understand that which we can’t ever understand fully. We give God names which attempt to express what God means to us personally, what God does for us as individuals, and how we see ourselves in relation to God.
Could it also be true that other people can’t be labelled and put into one box? Doing so limits them to one particular way of being understood, and it limits the ways we can get to know them. If we are all made in God’s image, then we all deserve the freedom to be seen differently by different people.
How does God look to me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Celebration is a forgetting in order to remember. A forgetting of ego, of problems, of difficulties. A letting go. –Matthew Fox
A holiday presents us men with an opportunity to practice the letting go of this program. This is a special day to set aside our work and our routines, to put our problems and burdens on the shelf. Let us join with others who are also letting go on this day and celebrate. Maybe we can learn from them how they do it.
We may have been too compulsive on past holidays to celebrate. Or perhaps our holidays are clouded with painful memories. We might miss loved ones or we may recall disappointments or the chaos of earlier holidays. There is no need for perfection in our celebration. We can have some tension, or pain, and yet set it aside as we join with others for a special day.
Today, I will set my ego aside and let go of the usual things in my life in order to reach out to others and participate in celebration.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Follow your dream . .
if you stumble, don’t stop
and lose sight of your goal,
press on to the top.
For only on top
Can we see the whole view . . .
–Amanda Bradley
Today, we can, each of us, look back on our lives and get a glimmering of why something happened and how it fit into the larger mosaic of our lives. And this will continue to be true for us. We have stumbled. We will stumble. And we learn about ourselves, about what makes us stumble and about the methods of picking ourselves up.
Life is a process, a learning process that needs those stumbles to increase our awareness of the steps we need to take to find our dream at the top. None of us could realize the part our stumbling played in the past. But now we see. When we fall, we need to trust that, as before, our falls are “up,” not down.
I will see the whole view in time. I see part of it daily. My mosaic is right and good and needs my stumbles.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Getting Through the Holidays
For some, the sights, signs, and smells of the holidays bring joy and a warm feeling. But, while others are joyously diving into the season, some of us are dipping into conflict, guilt, and a sense of loss.
We read articles on how to enjoy the holidays, we read about the Christmas blues, but many of us still can’t figure out how to get through the holiday season. We may not know what a joyous holiday would look and feel like.
Many of us are torn between what we want to do on the holiday, and what we feel we have to do. We may feel guilty because we don’t want to be with our families. We may feel a sense of loss because we don’t have the kind of family to be with that we want. Many of us, year after year, walk into the same dining room on the same holiday, expecting this year to be different. Then we leave, year after year, feeling let down, disappointed, and confused by it all.
Many of us have old, painful memories triggered by the holidays.
Many of us feel a great deal of relief when the holiday is ended.
One of the greatest gifts of recovery is learning that we are not alone. There are probably as many of us in conflict during the holidays than there are those who feel at peace. We’re learning, through trial and error, how to take care of ourselves a little better each holiday season.
Our first recovery task during the holidays is to accept ourselves, our situation, and our feelings about our situation. We accept our guilt, anger, and sense of loss. It’s all okay.
There is no right or perfect way to handle the holidays. Our strength can be found in doing the best we can, one year at a time.
This holiday season, I will give myself permission to take care of myself.

Today I am willing to be increasingly aware of my spiritual life. –Ruth Fishel

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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 that 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 sun set. Absorb its changing colors spreading 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

Let your family be

Timothy attended one of those seminars, the kind that talks about personal growth and encourages people to open their hearts. After the seminar, he was so moved by what he’d heard that he called his father on the phone. He hadn’t talked to his father for many years. They had a squabble years earlier when Timothy left home. Neither one wanted tp make the first move or to forgive the other person for the harsh words that had transpired. Timothy made the first move. He and his father have been close ever since.

Jessica had her share of troubled times with her mother,too. Over the years there had been times when they’d been close, times when they didn’t talk, and times when Jessica just did the minimum in the relationship, mostly out of a sense of obligation and guilt. As Jessica got older, she began feeling bad about her troubled relationship with her mother. She’d done her family of origin work. She knew her mother had been troubled; but after all, her mother was just a person. Why not forgive and forget? Jessica planned a big trip for the two of them to take, a mother-daughter vacation that would melt away the irritation and conflict from all the years. Jessica had so many hopes the day she met her mother at the airport. But when they got together in the same room for their two weeks of joy, Jessica realized she felt the same way she always had when she was around her mother: irritable, ashamed, and not good enough.

Clarence liked his dad when he was a boy. But the older he got, the more he wanted to leave home. His father had issues; Clarence did, too. After Clarence left home, he only spent a few minutes each year talking to his father. One day, when Clarence reached his thirties, he decided it was time for him and his father to be friends. He planned a trip to his father’s house. He couldn’t wait for the heart-to-heart talk they’d have. Clarence would talk about the struggles of being a man and growing up, and surely his father would identify with him. But when they got together, alone in the house, after Clarence poured out his heart, all his father had to say was, “Can you come outside and help me change the tire on the car?”

Families and parents come in all different kinds. Do your family of origin work. Be grateful for the good passed on to you from your ancestors and your heritage. Reach out, if that’s what your heart leads you to do. Be the best son or daughter you can, whatever that means to you. But don’t torture yourself if your relationship with your parents is not what you dreamed. Let each member of your family be who he or she is. Love them as much as you can. But if you never got along all that well before, you might not get along now, even after you open your heart.

Laugh. Smile. You don’t have to react. You know how to take care of yourself.

God, heal my heart toward all my family members. Help me accept each person for who he or she is. Then help me genuinely accept myself,too.

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Beyond Counting Blessings
Being Truly Thankful by Madisyn Taylor

Our gratitude deepens when we begin to be thankful for being alive during this time and living the life we are living.

Often when we practice being thankful, we go through the process of counting our blessings, acknowledging the wonderful people, things and places that make up our reality. While it is fine to be grateful for the good fortune we have accumulated, true thankfulness stems from a powerful comprehension of the gift of simply being alive, and when we feel it, we feel it regardless of our circumstances. In this deep state of gratitude, we recognize the purity of the experience of being, in and of itself, and our thankfulness is part and parcel of our awareness that we are one with this great mystery that is life.

It is difficult for most of us to access this level of consciousness as we are very caught up in the ups and downs of our individual experiences in the world. The thing to remember about the world, though, is that it ebbs and flows, expands and contracts, gives and takes, and is by its very nature somewhat unreliable. If we only feel gratitude when it serves our desires, this is not true thankfulness. No one is exempt from the twists and turns of fate, which may, at any time, take the possessions, situations, and people we love away from us. Ironically, it is sometimes this kind of loss that awakens us to a thankfulness that goes deeper than just being grateful when things go our way. Illness and near-miss accidents can also serve as wake-up calls to the deeper realization that we are truly lucky to be alive.

We do not have to wait to be shaken to experience this state of being truly thankful for our lives. Tuning in to our breath and making an effort to be fully present for a set period of time each day can do wonders for our ability to connect with true gratitude. We can also awaken ourselves with the intention to be more aware of the unconditional generosity of the life force that flows through us regardless of our circumstances. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We came to The Program as supplicants, literally at the ends of our ropes. Sooner or later, by practicing the principles of the Twelve Steps, we discover within ourselves a very precious thing. We uncover something with which we can be comfortable in all places and situations. We gain strength and grow with the help of God as we understand Him, with the fellowship of The Program, and by applying the Twelve Steps to our lives. Can anyone take my new life from me?

Today I Pray

May my prayers of desperate supplication, which I brought to my Higher Power as a newcomer to The Program, change to a peaceful surrender to the will of God. Now that I have seen what can be done through the endless might of a Higher Power, may my gift to others be that strong conviction. I pray that those I love will have the faith to find their own spiritual experiences and the blessings of peace.

Today I Will Remember

Peace — inner and outer — is God’s greatest blessing.

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One More Day

I have been sick and I have found out, only then, how lonely I am. Is it too late? – Eudora Welty

At one time, we may have thought in absolute terms. Either a person was our best friend or not. Things were right or wrong. We may have driven people from us — people we could have loved and who would have enriched our lives.

We have learned that if we are not happy, we need not accept things as they stand. The first step is always to admit there is a problem. Whether it’s loneliness, or we have been too brusque with others, or we need a spiritual change, we can admit it and do whatever is necessary to improve. We can turn to friends or even professionals for help if we need it. We can do this because it’s never too late.

Although the very thought of change is frightening, I will assess my life and begin anew today.

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Food For Thought

Thinking Straight

Before we found this program, we did a great deal of thinking in circles. Since we did not know how to stop eating compulsively, we spent a lot of time thinking up reasons for our behavior, making plans for change, and rationalizing another day’s failure to eat normally. Our thinking often wandered away into fantasy, spinning dreams of when we would be thin and on top of things. Since we had to have reasons for our inability to make the dreams materialize, we blamed our failure on the people around us. “If they were only more loving, considerate, capable, exciting, smarter…”

Such circular thinking got us nowhere. The more we fantasized, the more we ate, and the more we ate, the more we withdrew from reality.

When our minds are not muddled by too much food, our thinking is clarified. The Twelve Steps put us on the road to responsible action, rather than irresponsible rationalization. Accepting the fact that we have a disease keeps us in the world of reality instead of a fantasyland.

With Your truth, keep my thinking straight.

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One Day At A Time

REGRET
“Regret is an appalling waste of energy;
you can’t build on it;
it’s only good for wallowing in.”
Katherine Mansfield

Before I came into the program, I allowed fear to rule my life and prevent me from trying new things. I was absent from my own life. I was emotionally unavailable to my children and I stayed stuck in a deep hole of self-pity. I never really heard beautiful music or gloried in the miracles of nature. Although I had what people might perceive as a pretty normal life, it was actually an empty shell and I merely existed. I feel so saddened now at the thought of all the wasted years. I cannot bring them back, but I can learn from them.

When I came into the program and read the Promises in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, I realized that it was futile to regret the past or to shut the door on it. Those years and all the pain I went through are what made me the person I am today. I need to always remember where I came from, because if I don’t, I can just as easily go back there. I can also use my experience to help others on this wonderful road to recovery. I am able to give away what has been given to me so freely, because it’s only then that I can keep what I have.

One Day at a Time . . .
I must always remember where I came from so that I can help others in this program of recovery and keep myself from going back into the patterns of my past.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is little hope of his recovery. – Pg. xxviii-xxix – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

In our recovery it is easy to forget to listen. We get two weeks of clean time and suddenly ‘got it made.’ Listening is actually our second greatest teacher, the horrors of addiction being our first. If we forget to listen to those who have gone before us, our first great teacher will take over again.

May I please keep my ears open, more then my mouth during these initial learning months.

Inner Hearing, Inner Sight

Today, I will trust my own heart. The clear message that whispers within me has more to tell me than a thousand voices. I have a guide within me who knows what is best for me. There is a part of me that sees the whole picture and knows how it all fits together. My inner voice may come in the form of a strong sense, a pull from within, a gut feeling or a quiet knowing. However my inner voice comes to me, I will learn to pay attention. In my heart I know what is going on. Though I am conditioned by the world to look constantly outside myself for meaning, today I recognize that it is deeply important for me to hear what I am saying from within. I give myself the gift of listening.

I will trust my inner voice.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When we feel that fate has dealt us a bad hand with chemical dependency, we simply remember that many people have MS, cancer, diabetes, lupus, or a myriad of maladies that are not so easily put into remission.

Because I count my blessings, my blessings count.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Be kind to unkind people. It gets to them.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am willing to be increasingly aware of my spiritual life.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

This guy had been dragged out of his car drunk by the police. He was handcuffed and chained to a bench at the police station, he’d just urinated on himself, and he looked up at the cop and said; ‘I have got to stop driving.’ – Scott R.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 24

A Leap of Faith
We needed to ask ourselves but one short question.
“Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?”
As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 47

Thought to Ponder . . .
Faith dares the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.

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

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

Certainty
The great fact is just this, and nothing less:
That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences
which have revolutionized our whole attitude
toward life, toward our fellows, and toward God’s universe.
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.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25

Thought to Consider . . .
I stood in the sunlight at last.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
Y A N A = You Are Not Alone.

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

Aid
From “A Vision for You”:
“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.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 164

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

“It doesn’t do too much good to carry the Big Book on your arm all day if you don’t open it up and read it.”
Oceanside, Calif., June 2000
“As Unique as Ham and Eggs,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

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

“Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in the face of
expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless
condition of mind and body. If you are an alcoholic who wants to get
over it, you may already be asking What do I have to do?”

It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically.
We shall tell you what we have done.
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, Page 20~

In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.69

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Watch any A.A. of six months working with a Twelfth Step prospect. If the newcomer says, ‘To the devil with you,’ the twelfth-stepper only smiles and finds another alcoholic to help. He doesn’t feel frustrated or rejected. If his next drunk responds, and in turn starts to give love and attention to other sufferers, yet gives none back to him, the sponsor is happy about it anyway. He still doesn’t feel rejected; instead he rejoices that his former prospect is sober and happy.
And he well knows that his own life has been made richer, as an extra dividend of giving to another without any demand for a return.

Prayer for the Day: Dear God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself. .. and the fact that I think I am following Your Will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe this: I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You, I hope I have that desire in everything I do. I hope I never persist in anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this You will lead me by the right road, though I may do nothing about it at the time, Therefore I will trust You always, for though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death – I will not be afraid, because I know you will never leave me to face my troubles all alone, Handed to a Newcomer by an Oldtimer in 1988 with th e notation “This helps me on the days when none of it makes sense!”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 23rd

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 23rd

Daily Reflections

RECOVERY, UNITY, SERVICE
Our Twelfth Step – carrying the message – is the basic
service that AA’s Fellowship gives; this is our
principal aim and the main reason for our existence.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 160

I thank God for those who came before me, those who told
me not to forget the Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity and
Service. In my home group, the Three Legacies were
described on a sign which said: “You take a three-legged
stool, try to balance it on only one leg, or two. Our
Three Legacies must be kept intact. In Recovery, we get
sober together; in Unity, we work together for the good
of our Steps and Traditions; and through Service – we
give away freely what has been given to us.” One of the
chief gifts of my life has been to know that I will have
no message to give, unless I recover in unity with A.A.
principles.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We have definitely left that dream world behind. It was
only a sham. It was a world of our own making and it was
not the real world. We are sorry for the past, yes, but we
learned a lot from it. We can put it down to experience, as
we see it now, because it has given us the knowledge necessary
to face the world as it really is. We had to become alcoholics
in order to find the A.A. program. We would not have got
it any other way. In a way, it was worth it. Do I look at my
past as valuable experience?

Meditation For The Day

Shed peace, not discord, wherever you go. Try to be part
of the cure of every situation, not part of the problem.
Try to ignore evil, rather than to actively combat it.
Always try to build up, never to tear down. Show others
by your example that happiness comes from living the
right way. The power of your example is greater than the
power of what you say.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to bring something good into every
situation today. I pray that I may be constructive in the
way I think and speak and act today.


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As Bill Sees It

Fear And Faith, p.263

The achievement of freedom from fear is a lifetime undertaking, one
that can never be wholly completed.

When under heavy attack, acute illness, or in other conditions of
serious insecurity, we shall all react to this emotion–well or badly, as
the case may be. Only the self-deceived will claim perfect freedom
from fear.

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

We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our
make-up. Sometimes we had to search persistently, but He was
there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great
Reality deep down within us.

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p.55


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Walk In Dry Places

AA goes the Distance
Fortitude
Few societies or organizations have better ways of measuring success than AA. Since we are friends as well as recovering people, some of us get to know others fairly well over long periods of time. Even in a large city, we meet people again and again, year after year.
We’ve come to think it very commonplace that some individuals have been sober ten years or more, and that some members have been in the fellowship more than forty years.
The AA program does have staying power; it goes the distance for those who continue to follow it.
We should remind ourselves of this when we hear of new, faddish theories about alcoholism and recovery. Most of the time, the results reported are very short-term. What we really need is recovery with staying power, which we can find in the AA program.
Today’s sobriety can be another link in an endless chain of sobriety. AA will go the distance for me if I take care of each day as it comes.

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Keep It Simple

We not only need to be willing to give, but also to be open to receiving from others.—from On Hope
Many of us took so much from others during our addiction that now we may not want to ask for anything.
We may be afraid to ask for help, so our needs go unmet. In fact, many of us would rather give than receive. In recovery, we need to understand the difference between taking and receiving. Giving to others is important. So is receiving from others. As we grow spiritually, we learn to accept gifts. The gift of sobriety teaches us this. We need to accept the gifts the world gives us without shame. We are entitled.
God loves us and will give us much if we’re willing to receive it.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be receptive to Your gifts. Help me see and believe that I’m entitled to all the happiness of the world.
Action for the Day:  I’ll think of what a friend has given me. I’ll thank this friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

. . . The present enshrines the past. –Simone de Beauvoir
Each of our lives is a multitude of interconnecting pieces, not unlike a mosaic. What has gone before, what will come today, are at once and always entwined. The past has done its part, never to be erased. The present is always a composite.
In months and years gone by, perhaps we anticipated the days with dread. Fearing the worst, often we found it; we generally find that which we fear. But we can influence the mosaic our experiences create. The contribution today makes to our mosaic can lighten its shade, can heighten its contrast, and can make bold its design.
What faces us today? A job we enjoy or one we fear? Growing pains of our children? Loneliness? How we move through the minutes, the hours, influences our perception of future minutes and hours.
No moment is inviolate. Every moment is part of the whole that we are creating. We are artists. We create our present from influences of our past.
I will go forth today; I will anticipate goodness. I will create the kind of moments that will add beauty to my mosaic.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Every few days this doctor suggests our approach to one of his patients. Understanding our work, he can do this with an eye to selecting those who are willing and able to recover on a spiritual basis. Many of us, former patients, go there to help. Then, in this eastern city, there are informal meetings such as we have described to you, where you may now see scores of members. There are the same fast friendships, there is the same helpfulness to one another as you find among our western friends. There is a good bit or travel between East and West and we foresee a great increase in this helpful interchange.

p. 162

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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.

It seemed to me my wife was becoming more intolerant and narrow-minded all the time. Whenever we went out, she appeared to go out of her way to keep me from having more than one drink. What alcoholic can be satisfied with one drink? After every cocktail party or dinner party she would say she couldn’t understand how I could get in such a drunken stupor on one drink. She of course didn’t realize how cunning an alcoholic can be and the lengths to which he will go in finding ways to satisfy the compulsion for more and more drinks after having had the first one. Neither did I.

pp. 351-352

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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.”

To certain newcomers and to those one-time agnostics who still cling to the A.A. group as their higher power, claims for the power of prayer may, despite all the logic and experience in proof of it, still be unconvincing or quite objectionable. Those of us who once felt this way can certainly understand and sympathize. We well remember how something deep inside us kept rebelling against the idea of bowing before any God. Many of us had strong logic, too, which “proved” there was no God whatever. What about all the accidents, sickness, cruelty, and injustice in the world? What about all those unhappy lives which were the direct result of unfortunate birth and uncontrollable circumstances? Surely there could be no justice in this scheme of things, and therefore no God at all.

pp. 96-97

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“The tree in which the sap is stagnant remains fruitless.”
–Hosea Ballou

Speaking without thinking is shooting without aiming.
–French Proverb

Don’t let your tongue cut your throat.
–Irish Proverb

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LANGUAGE

“If thought corrupts language,
language can also corrupt
thought.”
— George Orwell

Sobriety for me means much more than “not drinking” or “not using” — it means the
daily decision to be a positive and creative human being in all areas of my life: How I
treat people. What I eat. The books I read and how I speak! Not even my worst
enemy would call me a “prude” but I think that bad language used on a regular basis
is unacceptable in sobriety. Why? Because it hurts the listener and does not show
respect for self or the God-given gift of communication.

If you have no respect for language, you will ultimately not grow as a spiritual person.

May Your “words of love” be reflected in my speech and writings.

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

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to
shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Psalms 25:1-2

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach
me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalms 25:4-5


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Daily Inspiration

Each time you have a kind thought, say a kind word or do a kind deed you are living your love. Lord, as I see the world through loving eyes, I experience heaven on earth.

Get and keep a good humored attitude toward life. This will bring you support rather than opposition. Lord, may I always be a peacemaker.

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NA Just For Today

New Ideas

“We reevaluate our ideas so we can become acquainted with the new ideas that lead to a new way of life.”
Basic Text, pg. 91

Learning to live a new way of life can be difficult. Sometimes, when the going gets especially hard, we’re tempted to follow the path of least resistance and live by our old ideas again. We forget that our old ideas were killing us. To live a new way of life, we need to open our minds to new ideas.

Working the steps, attending meetings, sharing with others, trusting a sponsor – these suggestions may meet our resistance, even our rebellion. The NA program requires effort, but each step in the program brings us closer to becoming the kinds of people we truly want to be. We want to change, to grow to become something more than we are today. To do that, we open our mind, try on the new ideas we’ve found in NA, and learn to live a new way of life.

Just for today: I will open my mind to new ideas and learn to live my life in a new way.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
There are no riches above a sound body, and no joy above the joy of the heart.
–Anonymous
Holidays are a wonderful and exciting time of year–a time to enjoy snowflakes falling, company coming, and presents. Sometimes we find ourselves concentrating solely on the wrapped presents and forgetting about the presents of the heart. With God’s help, we can begin to notice such things as the hug from a brother or sister, the laugh of a grandparent or the hand-drawn card given to us by a friend. All of these wonderful presents and more are ours for the taking; we need only to see beyond the wrapped packages. It is then we will fully experience the joys of the heart.
How many gifts do I see around me right now?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Loneliness is the way by which destiny endeavors to lead man to himself.
–Hermann Hissed
We have an epidemic of loneliness among men in our world. Everywhere, men are walking around as though in plastic bubbles that prevent contact with others. We are cut off from closeness with our brothers and sisters, our own children, our mates, coworkers, and neighbors. We have learned to play the role, be efficient, and look good. Do we dare let others know how we feel? Will they look down on us? Will they think we’re strange?
All this has made us ripe for the diseases of addiction and codependency. Some of us have romanticized the pain of loneliness and glorified it. We sought some comfort for our pain, but we only perpetuated it. Breaking through the barrier to let someone know us can be incredibly difficult. Yet, just to say “I feel lonely” to another person makes us slightly less alone. Going to meetings and working this program provide a way out. The greatest benefits of the program for many of us have been recovery from loneliness and the genuine relationships we have developed.
Today, I will reveal some of my feelings to another person.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
. . . The present enshrines the past. –Simone de Beauvoir
Each of our lives is a multitude of interconnecting pieces, not unlike a mosaic. What has gone before, what will come today, are at once and always entwined. The past has done its part, never to be erased. The present is always a composite.
In months and years gone by, perhaps we anticipated the days with dread. Fearing the worst, often we found it; we generally find that which we fear. But we can influence the mosaic our experiences create. The contribution today makes to our mosaic can lighten its shade, can heighten its contrast, and can make bold its design.
What faces us today? A job we enjoy or one we fear? Growing pains of our children? Loneliness? How we move through the minutes, the hours, influences our perception of future minutes and hours.
No moment is inviolate. Every moment is part of the whole that we are creating. We are artists. We create our present from influences of our past.
I will go forth today; I will anticipate goodness. I will create the kind of moments that will add beauty to my mosaic.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Holiday Triggers
One year, when I was a child, my father got drunk and violent at Christmas. I had just unwrapped a present, a bottle of hand lotion, when he exploded in an alcoholic rage. Our Christmas was disrupted. It was terrible. It was frightening for the whole family. Now, thirty-five years later, whenever I smell hand lotion, I immediately feel all the feelings I did that Christmas: the fear, the disappointment, the heartache, the helplessness, and an instinctive desire to control. –Anonymous
There are many positive triggers that remind us of Christmas: snow, decorations, “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” wrapped packages, a nativity scene, stockings hung on a fireplace. These “triggers” can evoke in us the warm, nostalgic feelings of the Christmas celebration.
There are other kinds of triggers, though, that may be less apparent and evoke different feelings and memories.
Our mind is like a powerful computer. It links sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste with feelings, thoughts, and memories. It links our senses – and we remember.
Sometimes the smallest, most innocuous incident can trigger memories. Not all our memories are pleasant, especially if we grew up in an alcoholic, dysfunctional setting.
We may not understand why we suddenly feel afraid, depressed, and anxious. We may not understand what has triggered our codependent coping behaviors – the low self worth, the need to control, the need to neglect ourselves. When that happens, we need to understand that some innocuous event may be triggering memories recorded deep within us.
If something, even something we don’t understand, triggers painful memories, we can pull ourselves back into the present by self care: acknowledging our feelings, detaching, working the Steps, and affirming ourselves. We can take action to feel good. We can help ourselves feel better each Christmas. No matter what the past held, we can put it in perspective, and create a more pleasant holiday today.
Today, I will gently work through my memories of this holiday season. I will accept my feelings, even if I consider them different than what others are feeling this holiday. God, help me let go, heal from, and release the painful memories surrounding the holidays. Help me finish my business from the past, so I can create the holiday of my choice.

As I start this day with quiet meditation, I feel myself becoming still and at peace. At anytime during the day I can bring my mind back to this moment. I can bring my attention and awareness back to the peace that I have when I am with my breath and I know that my breath is with me at all times, whether I remember it or not. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Bring Your Healing Gifts to Others

Let your healing gifts to the world spring naturally from who you really are.

You want to be a healer. You want to be a force for good in this world. Many of us believe deeply in healing, service, and love. But until you know what heals and helps you, what the truth is for you, you won’t know what heals and helps others.

True service, healing that touches the hearts and souls of men and women, doesn’t happen when we ignore who we are. It doesn’t happen when we try to be who we think we should be or when we pretend, out of fear, that we’re someone we’re not. The ability to bring healing to others can only come when we genuinely accept and love ourselves, past and present, and are vulnerable enough to be honest about what heals and helps us.

When we love and accept ourselves, we will love and accept others. And only from that place of acceptance can true healing spring.

Love yourself. Accept yourself. Be honest about what heals and helps you. Then you’ll bring your healing gifts to others. Your life will be a gift to the world.

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More Language Of Letting Go

How sweet and precious the moments

It had seemed like such an ordinary time. He was staying at the house, helping me out. I had funeral arrangements to make and to attend. My mother was coming into town. I had a lot to do.

Then the busy days and nights settled into the quiet rhythm of California winters– short days, fires in the fireplace at night, a pot of spagetti sauce on the stove. January at the beach was a time to stay in the house and be quiet and cozy.

Sometimes he cooked a wonderful dinner– Philly steak sandwhiches with real melted cream cheese. Other times, we ordered pizza and just ate in. Sometimes I read. Other times I talked on the phone or puttered around the house.

At night, right before sleep came, bringing a gentle end to another day, he put a Sarah McLaughlin CD on the stereo. She sang about being in the arms of angels as she gently sang me to sleep.

Then the day came. He was ready to leave. Our time together was done. So be it, I thought. What comes around doesn’t come to stay. It always comes to pass.

As he walked out the door, I waved good-bye. Then a wave of emotions rushed through me, flooding my heart. It had seemed like such an ordinary time. And it was. But until it was over, until he walked out that door, I didn’t know how rich and beautiful the ordinary was.

“Hmm,” I thought, watching him leave. Maybe the time hasn’t passed yet.

How sweet and precious are the moments of our lives, especially the ordinary ones. Don’t let them pass unnoticed or unexperienced. Those ordinary moments can easily become the richest part of our lives.

God, help me remember that the way to live a life filled with wonder and awe is to surrender to and live each moment fully, expecting and allowing each one to simply be what it is.

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Five Actions
Panchakarma

“Panchakarma,” a sanskrit word meaning “five actions,” describes a series of gentle, natural therapies that boost the body’s ability to detoxify and rejuvenate. As an essential part of Ayurveda, India’s ancient holistic system of medicine, it is used to maintain the body’s balance to prevent illness or as the first step in holistic treatment. Panchakarma’s incredible purification improves healing throughout the body, mind, and spirit, clearing the way for the body’s healing intelligence to flow freely.

Today, an oil massage, steam baths, and a special diet prepare your body for several days of relaxing, healing therapies at a spa-like medical clinic. A precise sequence of soothing treatments is then applied in such a way that brainwaves are stimulated and synchronized, creating deep relaxation and an expanded state of consciousness. At the same time, herbal therapies help flush toxins from the body’s systems and tissues while massage soothes the body and balances its energy. Profoundly rejuvenating, Panchakarma can increase energy and mental clarity. It has even been known to slow the aging process and heal diseases previously thought to be incurable according to Western medicine.

Depending on the needs of the particular individual, a series of five basic therapies are used: Vaman purges toxins from the sinuses, lungs, and stomach; Virechan flushes toxins from the small intestine; Vasti removes toxins from the colon; Nasyam is herbal therapy applied through the nose for head and sinus conditions. The fifth therapy can be one of three methods: Rakta Moksham removes the excess toxins in the bloodstream, while Shiro Dhara uses a hot-oil head massage. A second form of Vasti can also be applied. Along with a relief of symptoms and improvements in physical disorders, many people, after experiencing Panchakarma, feel lighter, more energized, and look younger. The body’s ability to heal itself is deeply enhanced with the techniques of Panchakarma. By embracing its methods, we eliminate obstacles to complete balance in our bodies and allow the powerful flow of our healing energy to restore our health, our natural glow, and our zest for life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

How can I tell if I have had a spiritual awakening? For many of us in The Program, a spiritual awakening manifest itself in simple rather than complicated evidences: emotional maturity; an end to constant and soul churning resentments; the ability to love and be loved in return; the belief, even without understanding, that something lets the sun rise and set, brings forth and ends life, and gives joy to human hearts. Am I now able to do, feel and believe that which I could not previously do through my own unaided strength and resources alone?

Today I Pray

May my spiritual confidence begin to spread over my attitudes towards others — especially during holiday times, when anticipations and anxieties are high. As an addictive person, I have not handled holidays well — greeting those who gather at home, missing those who are not here. I pray for serenity to cope with the holiday brew of emotions.

Today I Will Remember

Spirit without “spirits.” Cheer without “cheer.”

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One More Day

It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck even while waiting for it.
– Balstar Gracian

Manipulation sounds like such a harsh word, but consider the hands of a surgeon, the moves of an artist, the skill of an electrician. They manipulate their physical environment. In doing so, they are creating. In some subtle way — perhaps we are not even aware that we are doing it — we learn to manipulate our lives. We, too, are very creative.

Some people are able to reach for positive goals, even during seemingly negative times. These people are capable of scooping out the very best of life. Those are the ones who have learned to delicate art of helping themselves. They can create their own luck.

Sometimes luck isn’t always caused by a draw of the cards. I work hard in all areas to improve my lot, to improve my relationships, to improve my life.

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Food For Thought

Warning: Danger Ahead

After we have lived the OA program for a time, it becomes a part of our deepest self. When a thought or impulse arises which threatens our program, we often feel a twinge of fear at the same time. This feeling of fear is a warning that whatever we are contemplating may be hazardous to our health.

Not to heed these warning signals is the height of folly. We have learned from sad experience that certain thoughts and actions are not for us, if we want to maintain our abstinence and our sanity. When confronted with a difficult choice, we need to listen carefully for the small voice of conscience, which warns us of disaster ahead if we choose foolishly.

Our Higher Power never allows us to be tempted beyond our ability to withstand the temptation, provided we recognize our need for His saving strength. By paying attention to the small warning twinges of fear, we can avoid thoughts and actions, which go against His, will for us.

May I heed the danger signals You send.

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One Day At A Time

~ FEAR ~
When thinking won’t cure fear, action will.
W. Clement Stone

When I first came into the program, I was told that I couldn’t think my way into positive actions, but I could act my way into positive thinking. I learned that this was a simple program of action; that if I wanted what you had, I had to do what you did. None of these clichés made any sense to me; I would have to think these over. The nerve of these people telling me that they would do my thinking for me, that all I had to do was follow directions! They prodded and badgered me into working the Steps out of real love and knowledge of truth. I realize now that my actions demonstrated to God my desire to change, and He gave me the courage to try living another way. Most importantly, though, He gave me you.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I going to “keep on the firing line” or rest on my laurels?
Jeremiah

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The first few 24 hours are the hardest task we will ever have to complete. The cravings are intensive, the Babbler put-downs are overwhelming, our bodies feel like a dirty sneaker. Sometimes we simply have to hold on.

God, as I understand You, be with me now.

Always Here

Today I recover the spirit that has always been there, vibrating just beneath the surface of my being, the membrane of my life. I am whole and in tact. I call to that part of me that has been waiting patiently for me to come to my senses and claim it. That part of me that is eternal, that never dies. Spirit has been with me even in my darkest hours. I turn and look, I quiet my mind and see, I rest in awareness and experience. Spirit has never been far, but I have been asleep. Today I wake up to spirit.

I am alive to life

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

There is nothing about you that was not intended to be. You have an incredibly sacred purpose.

I am on purpose.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you don’t remember what God did for you yesterday, you’ll have trouble trusting Him for today.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

As I start this day with quiet meditation, I feel myself becoming still and at peace. At anytime during the day I can bring my mind back to this moment. I can bring my attention and awareness back to the peace that I have when I am with my breath and I know that my breath is with me at all times, whether I remember it or not.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If I point the finger at anyone, I have three pointing right back at me. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 23

The Blunt Truth
The blunt, psychological truth for us, as of today, is that a drink surely means a drunk sooner or later, and that spells

trouble.
Drinking for us no longer means music and gay laughter and flirtations. It means sickness and sorrow.
– Living Sober, p. 52

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I don’t drink today, I have the hope of a tomorrow.

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

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

Letting Go
Letting go of everything at once
was both painful and terrifying.
I could never have accomplished this alone.
It took the help, understanding
and wonderful companionship
that was given so freely to me by my ex-alkie friends.
This and the program of recovery
embodied in the Twelve Steps.
In learning to practice these steps in my daily living,
I began to acquire faith and a philosophy to live by.
Whole new vistas were opened up for me,
new avenues of experience to be explored,
and life began to take on color and interest.
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 311
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 275

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

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

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

Sharing
>From “Aspects of Spirituality:”
“Among A.A.’s there is still a vast amount of
mix-up respecting what is material and what
is spiritual. I prefer to believe that it is
all a matter of motive. If we use our worldly
possessions too selfishly, then we are materialists.
But if we share these possessions in helpfulness
to others, then the material aids the spiritual.”
c. 1967, As Bill Sees It, page 287

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

“If faith without works is dead, willingness without action is fantasy.”
Cheverly, Md., February 1985
“Short Takes”
AA Grapevine

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

“…we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will
and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean
by that, and just what do we do?
The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on
self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost
always in collision with something or somebody, even though our
motives are good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 60~

“Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in
a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 100

At once, we commence to outgrow fear.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.68

Then fear, in turn, generates more character defects.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.49

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We can be grateful for every agency or method that tries to solve the problem of alcoholism–whether of medicine, religion, education, or research. We can be open-minded toward all such efforts and we can be sympathetic when the ill-advised ones fail. We can remember that A.A. itself ran for years on ‘trial and error.’
As individuals, we can and should work with those that promise success – even a little success.
Every one of the pioneers in the total field of alcoholism will generously say that had it not been for the living proof of recovery in A.A., they could not have gone on. A.A. was the lodestar of hope and help that kept them at it.

Prayer for the Day: Right Living –
From the cowardice that dare not face new truth,
From the laziness that is contented with half truth,
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
Good Lord, deliver me.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 22nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 22nd

Daily Reflections

PRINCIPLES, NOT PERSONALITIES

The way our “worthy” alcoholics have sometimes tried to judge the
“less worthy” is, as we look back on it, rather comical. Imagine, if
you can, one alcoholic judging another!
THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 37

Who am I to judge anyone? When I first entered the Fellowship I
found that I liked everyone. After all, A.A. was going to help me to a
better way of life without alcohol. The reality was that I couldn’t
possibly like everyone, nor they me. As I’ve grown in the Fellowship,
I’ve learned to love everyone just from listening to what they had to
say. That person over there, or the one right here, may be the one
God has chosen to give me the message I need for today. I must
always remember to place principles above personalities.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

As we look back over our drinking careers, we must
realize that our lives were a mess because we were a mess
inside. The trouble was in us, not in life itself. Life
itself was good enough, but we were looking at it the
wrong way. We were looking at life through the bottom of
a whiskey glass, and it was distorted. We could not see
all the beauty and goodness and purpose in the world,
because our vision was blurred. We were in a house with
one-way glass in the windows. People could see us but we
could not look out and see them and see what life meant
to them and should mean to us. We were blind then, but
now we can see. Can I now look at life as it really is?

Meditation For The Day

Fear no evil, because the power of God can conquer evil.
Evil has power to seriously hurt only those who do not
place themselves under the protection of the Higher Power.
This is not a question of feeling, it is an assured fact
of our experience. Say to yourself with assurance that
whatever it is, no evil can seriously harm you as long as
you depend on the Higher Power. Be sure of the protection
of God’s grace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that fear of evil will not get me down. I pray that
I may try to place myself today under the protection of
God’s grace.


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As Bill Sees It

The Step That Keeps Us growing, p.264

Sometimes, when friends tell us how well we are doing, we know
better inside. We know we aren’t doing well enough. We still
can’t handle life, as life is. There must be a serious flaw
somewhere in our spiritual practice and development.

What, then, is it?

The chances are better than even that we shall locate our trouble in
our misunderstanding or neglect of A.A.’s Step Eleven–prayer,
meditation, and the guidance of God.

The other Steps can keep most of us sober and somehow functioning.
But Step Eleven can keep us growing, if we try hard and work at it
continually.

Grapevine, June 1958

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Walk In Dry Places

Watching what we think
Personal Inventory.
It’s healthy for AA members to confess personal difficulties with destructive thinking. When we find ourselves becoming too irritable or impatient, it’s important to admit this in meetings or one-on-one discussions. Usually, just the admission of the problem helps solve it.
It’s only false pride that makes us think we should be “above” destructive thinking. As human beings, we’ll be susceptible to human failings no matter how long we’ve been sober.
If we continue to watch what we think, we’ll also be able to head off very serious problem before they get out of control. Far from being a sign that we’re not working the program, the practice of weeding out our current faults is the Tenth Step in action. Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting our wrongs are a safeguard against trouble.
Destructive thinking is no respecter of persons, and even as an older member, I could lapse into it today. I always have the Tenth Step, however, to get me back on track.

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Keep It Simple

It is possible to be different and still be right.–Anne Wilson Schaef
Each of us is special. In some ways we’re all different. It’s a good thing too. We’d be bored if we were all the same. Sometimes though, we try to hide the special things about us. We don’t want to be “different.”
But the ways that we’re different makes us special. Others have a knack of fixing things. Some of us make beautiful art. Others are great with kids. Our Higher Power made us as different, as unique, as beautiful snowflakes.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me use my special gifts the way You want me to. Help me be thankful that You have given me something special to share with others.
Action for the Day:  I’ll think of one thing about me that’s special. I’ll talk with my sponsor about it.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Every person is responsible for all the good within the scope of her abilities, and no more . . .  –Gail Hamilton
We have been given the gift of life. Our recovery validates that fact. Our pleasure with that gift is best expressed by the fullness with which we greet and live life. We need not back off from the invitations our experiences offer. Each one of them gives us a chance, a bit different from all other chances, to fulfill part of our purpose in the lives of others.
It has been said that the most prayerful life is the one most actively lived. Full encounter with each moment is evidence of our trust in the now and thus our trust in our higher power. When we fear what may come or worry over what has gone before, we’re not trusting in God. Growth in the program will help us remember that fact, thus releasing us to participate more actively in the special circumstances of our lives.
When we look around us today, we know that the persons in our midst need our best, and they’re not there by accident but by Divine appointment. We can offer them the best we have–acceptance, love, support, our prayers, and we can know that is God’s plan for our lives and theirs,
I will celebrate my opportunities for goodness today. They’ll bless me in turn.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Under only slightly different conditions, the same thing is taking place in many eastern cities. In one of these there is a well-know hospital for the treatment of alcoholic and drug addiction. Six years ago one of our number was a patient there. Many of us have felt, for the first time, the Presence and Power of God within its walls. We are greatly indebted to the doctor in attendance there, for he, although it might prejudice his own work, has told us of his belief in ours.

pp. 161-162

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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.

My wife and I had always encouraged our children to bring their friends home at any time, but after a few experiences with a drunken father, they eliminated home as a place to entertain friends. At the time this didn’t mean much to me. I was too busy devising excuses to be out with drinking pals.

p. 351

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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.”

Prayer and meditation are our principal means of conscious contact with God.
We A.A.’s are active folk, enjoying the satisfactions of dealing with the realities of life, usually for the first time in our lives, and strenuously trying to help the next alcoholic who comes along. So it isn’t surprising that we often tend to slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really necessary. To be sure, we feel it is something that might help us to meet an occasional emergency, but at first many of us are apt to regard it as a somewhat mysterious skill of clergymen, from which we may hope to get a secondhand benefit. Or perhaps we don’t believe in these things at all.

p. 96

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Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When
The language of truth is simple.
–Czech Proverb

“Laughter is by definition healthy.”
–Doris Lessing

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

Your vision will become clear only when You can look into your own heart. Who looks
outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
–Carl Jung

“Being quiet does not mean sacrificing productivity.
–Jane Nelson

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PERSEVERANCE

“Great works are performed, not
by strength, but perseverance.
— Samuel Johnson

Today I saw a large 200-pound man drunk in a parking lot. Last night I heard a frail
mother celebrate ten years of sobriety. The difference? Perseverance. People get
what they really want in life. If you want sobriety more than anything else, are
prepared to go to any lengths, then nothing will stop you. Perseverance reveals the
“walk” as well as the “talk”.

Today I need to remember that what is worth having requires sacrifice and effort.
God helps those who are prepared to help themselves. Today I intend to help myself
to sobriety.

I pray that I may persevere through my fears towards my goal.

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Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven
belongs to such as these.
Matthew 19:14

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the
believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
Timothy 4:12

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.
1 Corinthians 16:23-24


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Daily Inspiration

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.

God’s blessings never end and His mercies are forever. Lord, may I love others as You love me.

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NA Just For Today

A New Way To Live

“When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer function as a human being, either with or without drugs, we all face the same dilemma…. Either go on as best we can to the bitter ends-jails, institutions, or death-or find a new way to live.”
Basic Text pg. 84

What was the worst aspect of active addiction? For many of us, it wasn’t the chance that we might die some day of our disease. The worst part was the living death we experienced every day, the never-ending meaninglessness of life. We felt like walking ghosts, not living, loving parts of the world around us.

In recovery, we’ve come to believe that we’re here for a reason: to love ourselves and to love others. In working the Twelve Steps, we have learned to accept ourselves. With that self-acceptance has come self-respect. We have seen that everything we do has an effect on others; we are a part of the lives of those around us, and they of ours. We’ve begun to trust other people and to acknowledge our responsibility to them.

In recovery, we’ve come back to life. We maintain our new lives by contributing to the welfare of others and seeking each day to do that better – that’s where the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Steps come in. The days of living like a ghost are past, but only so long as we actively seek to be healthy, loving, contributing parts of our own lives and the lives of others around us.

Just for today: I have found a new way to live. Today, I will seek to serve others with love and to love myself.

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You are reading from the book  Today’s Gift.
And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We can’t return, we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game.
–Joni Mitchell
High in the mountains near Sun Valley, Idaho, is a small cabin. The cabin is always left open for hikers to rest and refresh themselves. There is food in the cabin and wood for a fire. Often, weary backpackers have arrived there, tired and thirsty, to find just the beverage or snack they needed to help them on their way. The cabin operates on a system of trust–if you use something in the cabin, you replace it with something else. Perhaps it is just the thing the next traveler needs to go on. It is a circle game.
We are all part of a big circle. If we give of ourselves or do a favor for someone, eventually–sometimes years later–someone will do something for us that will help us on our way. We do these little deeds without expecting to be rewarded, and we can accept others’ little gifts without feeling forever in someone’s debt. These unselfish acts, stored in our mountain cabin, stand ready for the next traveler.
What gift can I pass on to another today?

You are reading from the book  Touchstones.
There isn’t enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.  –Anonymous
Our lives can be like a battle between darkness and light. The darkness might be in our moods when we wake in the morning with feelings of despair. Then we can turn to the light of a prayer for openness: “God help me feel your love and acceptance.” The darkness is there when we are tempted to take advantage of a clerk who gives us too much change. Perhaps we tell ourselves, “Everyone does it, it won’t matter if I do.”
Then the light comes as we remember that this program demands rigorous honesty, and each choice for honesty promotes our growth. The darkness may be when someone we care about is hurt or in danger, and we think, “I have to step in to prevent bad things from happening.” Then we turn to our Higher Power for strength to stay in the relationship, but not control it.
Today, I can take a leap of faith by choosing an action and accepting that one small choice for the light makes a difference – even in all the darkness.

You are reading from the book  Each Day a New Beginning.
When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.  –Ursula K. LeGuin
Sometimes we need to turn away from what’s troubling us. Turn it over, says the Third Step. hanging onto a situation for which no solution is immediately apparent, only exaggerates the situation. It is often said the solution to any problem lies within it. However, turning the problem over and over in our minds keeps our attention on the outer appearance, not the inner solution.
Rest, meditation, quiet attention to other matters, other persons, opens the way for God to reveal the solution. Every problem can be resolved. And no answer is ever withheld for long. We need to be open to it, though. We need to step away from our ego, outside of the problem and then listen fully to the words of friends, to the words that rise from our own hearts. Too much thinking, incessant analyzing, will keep any problem a problem.
I will rest from my thoughts. I will give my attention wholly to the present. Therein will come the solution, and when least expected.

You are reading from the book  The Language Of Letting Go.
Good Things Coming
Do not worry about how the good that has been planned for you will come.
It will come.
Do not worry, obsess, and think you have to control it, go out hunting for it, or tangle your mind trying to figure out how and when it will find you.
It will find you.
Surrender to your Higher Power each day. Trust your Higher Power. Then, stay peaceful. Trust and listen to yourself. That is how the good you want will come to you.
Your healing. Your joy. Your relationships. Your solutions. That job. That desired change. That opportunity. It will come to you – naturally, with ease, and in a host of ways.
That answer will come. The direction will come. The money. The idea. The energy. The creativity. The path will open itself to you. Trust that, for it has already been planned.
It is futile, a waste and drain of energy, to worry about how it will come. It is already there. You have it already. It is in place. You just cannot see it!
You will be brought to it, or it will be brought to you.
Today, I will relax and trust that the good I need, will find me. Either through my leadings, or the leadings of others, all I want and need will come to me when the time is right.

I can handle anything that comes up today… even if it is only a moment at a time.  –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Practice the Power of Respect

It is a quiet power, one that caught me by surprise on my journey. I had heard about it before, but somehow, in the shuffle of life, I had forgotten it: respect.

Respect is a spiritual power, a power of the heart, one that’s closely connected to gratitude, yet somehow different. It is an attitude toward people, toward life, toward ourselves that only takes a moment to convey, yet somehow has far-reaching effects. It does more than free people to be themselves, it encourages them to be their best. It honors people, life, and the mysterious connection we each have to the Divine.

Have a series of life experiences caused you to forget respect? In your anger, did you decide that certain persons or groups of people were undeserving of respect? Has familiarity with yourself or another caused you to forget to practice respect? Let go of the past; it’s over. But your power to transform the future has just begun.

Respect and honor yourself. Respect the needs of your body, the needs of your heart, and the dictates of your soul. Respect the lives of others. Respect the gift of life. Bow in spirit to all you meet. Bow to the gifts of the universe– the sun, moon, earth, sea, and stars. Honor all that lives, the trees, the wildflowers, the eagle soaring high. The deer in the woods, the squirrel scurrying up the tree, the june bug that lights on your shoulder. Each has its place in this world. So do you.

Discover the power of respect. Then practice it often. let it change your world.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say how sweet it is

There’s so much talk about finding that extraordinary love of our life. Maybe everything we need to know about romantic love can be learned from our friends.

We don’t expect our friends to change our life and make everything that’s wrong,right. We just expect them to be who they are, and then we let them be that. It’s part of being a friend.

We don’t expect to like everything about our friends. We know they have defects of character. They do things occasionally that irritate us.

We don’t expect our friends to entertain and amuse us, keeping us laughing and smiling all the time. We let them go through their ups and downs. Sometimes we just sit in silence with our friends, and we each keep our thoughts to ourselves.

We don’t pick fights and create drama with our friends, just to keep passion alive. Usually we do everything we can to avoid fighting with our friends. We want our friendship to be a quiet, safe, peaceful place, a haven in our lives.

We don’t expect our friends to turn our lives upside down, distracting us from our path. Usually if a friend attempts to wreak havoc in our lives, we run the other way.

We wouldn’t let a friend hit us. And friends don’t talk mean. If an issue comes up, we usually carefully weigh the best way to talk about this issue with her or him.

We don’t expect friends to be in perfect health all the time. We know that they will have issues to deal with as they walk along their own paths. We encourage them. We pray for them. But we don’t take their issues as our own, and we don’t take it personally when they need some time to focus on their own personal growth.

In friendships, one person does not hold all the power. So despite the differences in our lives, we try to relate as equals.

We’re tolerant of cycles in our friendships, knowing that at different times, each person has different needs, different experiences to go through. Sometimes there’s more time and energy to devote to the friendships. Other times, there’s less.

We don’t expect our friends to be at our side twenty-four hours a day. We have our time together and value that, but then we each go our own way. We don’t try to force bonding with friends, or even force the relationship to be a friendship too fast. We let ourselves go through experiences together naturally, knowing that that’s how bonding takes place.

I’m not a expert on marital love, but we might have a better chance at finding love if we treated our lover like a friend.

God, help me find the middle ground between unrealistic expectations and no expectations at all. Help me cherish my relationships and not confuse heavy drama with romantic love.

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Conditioned Response
Reactions To Life Events

Our experiences color everything. The events of the past can have a profound effect on how we see our lives now and what we choose to believe about our world. Our past experiences can also influence our emotional reactions and responses to present events. Each of us reacts to stimulus based on what we have learned in life. There is no right or wrong to it; it is simply the result of past experience. Later, when our strong feelings have passed, we may be surprised at our reactions. Yet when we face a similar situation, again our reactions may be the same. When we understand those experiences, we can come that much closer to understanding our reactions and consciously change them.

Between stimulus and reaction exists a fleeting moment of thought. Often, that thought is based on something that has happened to you in the past. When presented with a similar situation later on, your natural impulse is to unconsciously regard it in a similar light. For example, if you survived a traumatic automobile accident as a youngster, the first thing you might feel upon witnessing even a minor collision between vehicles may be intense panic. If you harbor unpleasant associations with death from a past experience, you may find yourself unable to think about death as a gentle release or the next step toward a new kind of existence. You can, however, minimize the intensity of your reactions by identifying the momentary thought that inspires your reaction. Then, next time, replace that thought with a more positive one.

Modifying your reaction by modifying your thoughts is difficult, but it can help you to see and experience formerly unpleasant situations in a whole new light. It allows you to stop reacting unconsciously. Learning the reason of your reactions may also help you put aside a negative reaction long enough to respond in more positive and empowered ways. Your reactions and responses then become about what’s happening in the present moment rather than about the past. As time passes, your negative thoughts may lose strength, leaving only your positive thoughts to inform your healthy reactions. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Through our own experiences and the experiences of others in The Program, we see that a spiritual awakening is in reality a gift — a gift which in essence is a new state of consciousness and being. It means that I’m now on a road which really leads somewhere; it means that life is really worth living, rather than something to be endured. It means that I have been transformed in a sense that I have undergone a basic personality change — and that I possess a source of strength which I had so long denied myself. Do I believe that none come too soon to The Program — and that none return too late?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may attain that state of consciousness which transcends my everyday reality — but is also a part of it. May I no longer question the existence of God because I have touched His Being. For us who are recovering from addictions, the words reborn in the Spirit have a special, precious meaning. May I be wholly grateful to a Higher Power for leading me to a spiritual rebirth.

Today I Will Remember

Renaissance through my Higher Power.

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One More Day

What’s a joy to the one is a nightware to the other. That’s how it is today, that’s how it will be forever.
– Bertolt Brecht

Different stroke for different folks is a popular cliche, but it’s also an absolute truth which it comes to knowing people. Each of us has our own level of comfort for the activities we do and the performances we give in our lives.

we also find different levels of joy in our spiritual, social, and emotional experiences. Often, we find what we’re looking for — what we wish to find — in each situation. What’s most important is that we are able to find our own level of joy — wherever we are at that time — and claim it as belonging to us.

My joy may not be the same as someone Else’s joy, but I shall struggle on to keep the meaning of my joy alive.

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Food For Thought

Daring

What is it inside our heads that keeps daring us to try once more to prove that we are not compulsive overeaters? What kind of stupidity makes us think that this time we can get away with taking one compulsive bite? In a moment of blind bravado, we can lose months or years of hard won control.

Our ego is our own worst enemy. We forget that once a compulsive overeater, always a compulsive overeater. We tell ourselves that since we have been doing so well for so long, surely we can manage one or two small deviations. We rebel against the program and place ourselves above it. We forget that we have a disease, and we decide to do what we feel like doing, oblivious to the fact that by taking that first compulsive bite we are destroying our sanity and our serenity.

This kind of daring is to be avoided at all costs. The best antidote is the humility, which reminds us of the reality of our illness. We are not like everyone else. We are compulsive overeaters and do not dare to throw away our program.

Save me from the kind of daring that destroys me.

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One Day At A Time

~ RISING ABOVE ~
Our greatest glory is not in never failing,
but in rising up every time we fail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the major premises of our recovery program is “progress, not perfection.” No one but me expects me to be perfect. I have a history of driving myself in the quest for perfection. I’ve set goals that are so lofty that I could never acheive them. In that respect, I’m probably my own worst enemy.

However, I can also be my own best friend. I don’t have to set standards that are impossible for me to meet. In fact, we’re told we need to live one day at a time. If I can do that, then I don’t need to live up to my impossibly high standards. My goals aren’t so out-of-reach if I can see them as daily things.

What happens if I fail to meet even the “one day at a time” goal? I start over, knowing that I don’t have to stay down. I can rise up and begin again. That, for me, is the greatest thing.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will rise above my failures and shortcomings, and know that I’m making progress. I don’t have to be perfect any more.
Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. – Pg. 164 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

HALT. Don’t get too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely, too Tired. Why? Because any of these conditions weaken our mind and emotions and in a weakened state our disease of addiction can easily trick us into using some mind-affecting chemical.

Higher Power, as I understand You, help me understand the dangers of HALT.

Staying in the Game

Each and every day is a rebirth into an entirely new set of possibilities. It carries with it a sense of renewal. Each and every day I will play the hand I’m dealt as well as I can play it. Each and every day I will wake up, place my hand in the hand of God and move into my day with the confidence and comfort of knowing that I am not alone, that I have access to the greatest source of compassion and power in the universe. Each and every day I will put one foot in front of the other and try to make sense of the life I have been given. I will have faith – I will stay connected and alive while I’m living.

I am an active member of my life

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Some program members get stuck on rules of what one can and can’t say and what dependency qualifies one to be in what recovery group. They demand that newcomers follow traditions as interpreted by them. This can drive newcomers away before they even find out what recovery means.

I carry the message, not the mess.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The trouble with many of us is that in trying times we stop trying.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I can handle anything that comes up today even if it is only a moment at a time.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

There are no chemical solutions to spiritual problems. – Ron K.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 22

The First Step
The First Step and I have always been great friends.
I repeated it and thanked God each day for my sobriety — the only grace, maybe, for that day.
Gradually, I began to see another part of me emerging — a grateful me, expecting nothing,
but sure that another power was beginning to guide me, counsel me, and direct my ways. And I was not afraid.
– Came To Believe . . ., p. 45

Thought to Ponder . . .
Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.

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

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

Let Go
If you have decided you want what we have
and are willing to go to any length to get it —
then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked.
We thought we could find an easier, softer way.
But we could not.
With all the earnestness at our command,
we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas
and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
Remember 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!
c. 1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Heart Open; Please Enter

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

Safe
>From “Good Housekeeping” article, 1954:
“When you stand outside a room where a group of Alcoholics Anonymous is meeting, the most frequent sound you hear
is laughter. Mellow laughter, which can come only from people who have looked destruction and catastrophe in the face,
not once but continuously over long years, and now are free and unafraid. The laughter, in short, of people who hold
God’s hand and feel safe.”
c. Letter to a Woman Alcoholic (A.A. Pamphlet P-14)

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

“My group included almost every type of alcoholic that old-timers feared most … The amazing thing is most of us stayed
sober, despite all the dire predictions. Why? Because the two things we had in common were more important than all
our differences. We were alcoholics and we believed in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Springville, UT, March 2000
“Courage to Change”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

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

“Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental
defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither
he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense
must come from a Higher Power.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~

“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, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.77

When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.106

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

For a new prospect, outline the program of action, explaining how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out
your past, and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. It is important for him to realize that your attempt to
pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery. Actually, he may be helping you more than you are helping
him. Make it plain that he is under no obligation to you.
In the first six months of my own sobriety, I worked hard with many alcoholics. Not a one responded. Yet this work kept
me sober. It wasn’t a question of those alcoholics giving me anything. My stability came out of trying to give, not out of
demanding that I receive.

Prayer for the Day: I surrender my life to Thee, O God. Living in self has separated me from your Divine guidance and
grace. Take my life and run it for me, according to Your will and Your plan. Thy will, not mine be done.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 18th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 18th

Daily Reflections

HONESTY WITH NEWCOMERS

Tell him exactly what happened to you. Stress the spiritual
feature freely.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 93

The marvel of A.A. is that I tell only what happened to me.
I don’t waste time offering advice to potential newcomers,
for if advice worked, nobody would get to A.A. All I have to
do is show what has brought me sobriety and what has changed
my life. If I fail to stress the spiritual feature of A.A.’s
program, I am being dishonest. The newcomer should not be
given a false impression of sobriety. I am sober only through
the grace of my Higher Power, and that makes it possible for
me to share with others.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Unless we have the key of faith to unlock the meaning of life,
we are lost. We do not choose faith because it is one way for
us, but because it is the only way. Many have failed and will
fail. For we cannot live victoriously without faith; we are at
sea without a rudder or an anchor, drifting on the sea of life.
Wayfarers without a home. Our souls are restless until they
find rest in God. Without faith, our lives are a meaningless
succession of unrelated happenings, without rhyme or reason.
Have I come to rest in faith?

Meditation For The Day

This vast universe around us, including this wonderful earth on
which we live, was once perhaps only a thought in the mind of
God. The nearer the astronomers and the physicists get to the
ultimate composition of all things, the nearer the universe
approaches a mathematical formula, which is thought. The
universe may be the thought of the Great Thinker. We must try
to think God’s thoughts after Him. We must try to get the
guidance from the Divine Mind as to what His intention is for
the world and what part we can have in carrying out
that intention.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not worry over the limitations of the human
mind. I pray that I may live as though my mind were a reflection
of the Divine Mind.

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

As Bill Sees It

Those Other People, p.268

“Just like you, I have often thought myself the victim of what other
people say and do. Yet every time I confessed the sins of such
people, especially those whose sins did not correspond exactly with
my own, I found that I only increased the total damage. My own
resentment, my self-pity would often render me well-nigh useless to
anybody.

“So, nowadays, if anyone talks of me so as to hurt, I first ask myself if
there is any truth at all in what they say. If there is none, I try to
remember that I too have had my periods of speaking bitterly of
others; that hurtful gossip is but a symptom of our remaining
emotional illness; and consequently that I must never be angry at the
unreasonableness of sick people.

“Under very trying conditions I have had, again and again, to forgive
others–also myself. Have you recently tried this?”

Letter, 1946

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

Walk In Dry Places

The Fear Of Loneliness
Raising Self-Esteem
The fear of being alone brings strange results.  It may cause us to cling to arrangements and relationships that are unsatisfactory or destructive.  Some of us become enablers for loved ones who are still drinking; quite often this can involve putting up with abuse we shouldn’t have to endure.
We endure such relationships because we fear we’ll be alone and defenseless without them.  We may even put up with friends who are manipulative or treacherous because we can’t visualize having happier, healthier friendships.
When we recognize that we are holding on to unsatisfactory relationships for such reasons, we need to apply the program more diligently in our own lives.  Usually, we need more self-esteem--a belief that we deserve satisfactory relationships.  We do not have to be alone, but neither do we have to endure what amounts to abuse and rejection.
WhetherI’m with people or alone today, I’ll know that all of my relationships should be satisfactory for everybody involved.  I’ll let my Higher Power guide me to the relationships that are right for me.

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

Keep It Simple

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
As addicts, we had lots of fear. Some of us were afraid of failure. So we didn’t try to do much. Or else we tried too hard all the time. We used alcohol and other drugs to forget our fear, but it didn’t go away. It got worse. Now we know we don’t have to be afraid. When our lives are in the care of our Higher Power, we’re safe. Faith is the cure for out fear. But still, fear keeps creeping back inside us. That’s okay. It’s normal. There is so much that’s new in our sober life! We don’t know what will happen next. It’s hard to always remember to trust our Higher Power. It’s hard to always do what our Higher Power says. It’s hard to always have faith. We have to practice turning our fear over to our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, be with me when I’m afraid. Help me remember to have faith to believe in You, even when my fear tells me not to.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll notice my fear and pray each time get afraid.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Destruction. Crashing realities exploding in imperfect landings. Ouch. It’s my heart that’s breaking, for these have been my fantasies and my world.
–Mary Casey
We frequently aren’t given what we want–whether it’s a particular job, a certain relationship, a special talent. But we are always given exactly what we need at the moment. None of us can see what tomorrow is designed to bring, and our fantasies are always tied to a future moment. Our fantasies seldom correlate with the real conditions that are necessary to our continued spiritual growth.
Fantasies are purposeful. They give us goals to strive for, directions to move in. They are never as far-sighted as the goals our higher power has in store for us, though. We have far greater gifts than we are aware of, and we are being pushed to develop them at the very times when it seems our world is crashing down.
We can cherish our fantasies–but let them go. Our real purpose in life far exceeds our fondest dreams. The Steps have given us the tools to make God’s plan for us a reality.
How limited is my vision, my dreams. If one of mine is dashed today, I will rest assured that an even better one will present itself, if I but let it.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Many a man, yet dazed from his hospital experience, has stepped over the threshold of that home into freedom. Many an alcoholic who entered there came away with an answer. He succumbed to that gay crowd inside, who laughed at their own misfortunes and understood his. Impressed by those who visited him at the hospital, he capitulated entirely when, later, in an upper room of this house, he heard the story of some man whose experience closely tallied with his own. The expression on the faces of the women, that indefinable something in the eyes of the men, the stimulating and electric atmosphere of the place, conspired to let him know that here was haven at last.

p. 160

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

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.

When it became noticeable to the point of comment, I devised ways of sneaking drinks on the side. “Rehearsals” then became a part of the pattern, stopping at bars on the way to or from the place where drinks were to be served. Never having enough, always craving more, the obsession for alcohol gradually began to dominate all my activities, particularly while traveling. Drink planning became more important than my other plans.

p. 350

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

As we glance down the debit side of the day’s ledger, we should carefully examine our motives in each thought or act that appears to be wrong. In most cases our motives won’t be hard to see and understand. When prideful, angry, jealous, anxious, or fearful, we acted accordingly, and that was that. Here we need only recognize that we did act or think badly, try to visualize how we might have done better, and resolve with God’s help to carry these lessons over into tomorrow, making, of course, any amends still neglected.

p. 94

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

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift of God; so precious that it is only given to
us moment by moment.”
–Amelia Barr

Pain is never permanent.
–Saint Theresa of Avila

Meetings: A checkup from the neck up.
–unknown

Don’t give up before the miracle happens.
–unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FREEDOM

“You are free and that is why
you are lost.”
— Franz Kafka

Part of my understanding of spirituality is that we have many choices and we live in
moments of “not knowing”. Part of being human is that we have feelings of being lost.
These feelings can lead to fear and loneliness or they can be seen as the essence of
man’s risk and adventure. With freedom comes daily uncertainties; nothing is
predestined or made to happen God is in the choice. Herein lies true greatness. The
fact is that we do not have all the answers. We are not sure of the results. The joys
are mingled with the pain and sorrows such is the divinity of life. And yet still we
choose to live!

Sobriety is accepting the reality of this uncertain life. My responsibility is accepting
this freedom and making a daily choice not to drink.

May I accept my “lostness” until I return home to You.

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

“…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of
David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the
Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his
people from their sins.”
Luke 1:20-21

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love, and His wonderful deeds for men.
Psalm 107:15

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress.
Psalm 107:19


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

Daily Inspiration

If you are not happy with what you have, how will you be happy with what you want to have? Lord, may I appreciate the good things in my life and refuse to feel sorry for myself or compare myself to others.

Many joys come from the simple things. Lord, open my eyes that I may see the wonders in my life and take the time to enjoy them.

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

NA Just For Today

The Message Of Our Meetings

“The fact that we, each and every group, focus on carrying the message provides consistency; addicts can count on us.”
Basic Text pg. 64-65

Tales of our antics in active addiction may be funny. Stories of our old bizarre reactions to life when using may be interesting. But they tend to carry the mess more than the message. Philosophical arguments on the nature of God are fascinating. Discussions of current controversies have their place – however, it’s not at an NA meeting.

Those times when we grow disgusted with meetings and find ourselves complaining that “they don’t know how to share” or “it was another whining session” are probably indications that we need to take a good, hard look at how we share.

What we share about how we got into recovery and how we stayed here through practicing the Twelve Steps is the real message of recovery. That’s what we are all looking for when we go to a meeting. Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the still-suffering addict, and what we share at meetings can either contribute significantly to this effort or detract greatly. The choice, and the responsibility, is ours.

Just for today: I will share my recovery at an NA meeting.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty. –John Ruskin
It’s hard to keep from trying to control the lives of others, especially in a family. We can learn from the man whose friend drove twenty miles to and from work on the freeway every day. “How can you do it?” he asked. “I’ve tried, and I can’t go a mile in such traffic without screaming at the crazy drivers who cut in, go too slow, change lanes. Nobody listens. I’d lose my mind if I had to do it your way.” His friend replied, “Your trouble is trying to drive every car around you. I relax and drive only one car–my own.”
We have only our own lives to live, and this is usually enough to keep us busy. If we pay too much attention to how others live, we will neglect ourselves.
What acts of others can I ignore today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Ultimately, both parents and children are seen as individuals. For all their claims on one another, each is entitled to a life separate and distinct from the other. –Francine Klagsbrun
The process of untangling the relationships between ourselves and our parents – as well as with our children – is a long term process. Each of us came into the world helpless. As sons, we had no choice about relying on our parents. We reached manhood with a mixture of gratitude, guilt, and resentment. The same is true of our children. Those of us who are fathers began with an obligation to our children. We may now feel a mixture of commitment, fulfillment, and guilt.
No parent can teach a child everything he or she will need. We all do what we can to continue to learn and grow. We have lifelong commitments to each other–within reason. We are all trying to make our way as best we can. We each need to advance our own well-being and not destroy our lives for the sake of a parent or a child.
Today, I will be responsible for myself. Then I can be more responsible to others.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Destruction. Crashing realities exploding in imperfect landings. Ouch. It’s my heart that’s breaking, for these have been my fantasies and my world.
–Mary Casey
We frequently aren’t given what we want–whether it’s a particular job, a certain relationship, a special talent. But we are always given exactly what we need at the moment. None of us can see what tomorrow is designed to bring, and our fantasies are always tied to a future moment. Our fantasies seldom correlate with the real conditions that are necessary to our continued spiritual growth.
Fantasies are purposeful. They give us goals to strive for, directions to move in. They are never as far-sighted as the goals our higher power has in store for us, though. We have far greater gifts than we are aware of, and we are being pushed to develop them at the very times when it seems our world is crashing down.
We can cherish our fantasies–but let them go. Our real purpose in life far exceeds our fondest dreams. The Steps have given us the tools to make God’s plan for us a reality.
How limited is my vision, my dreams. If one of mine is dashed today, I will rest assured that an even better one will present itself, if I but let it.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Staying Open to Our Feelings
Many of us have gotten so good at following the “don’t feel” rule that we can try to talk ourselves out of having feelings, even in recovery.
“If I was really working a good program, I wouldn’t feel angry.”
“I don’t get angry. I’m a Christian. I forgive and forget.”
“I’m not angry. I’m affirming that I’m happy.”
These are all statements, some of them quite clever, that indicate we’re operating under the “don’t feel” rule again.
Part of working a good program means acknowledging and dealing with our feelings. We strive to accept and deal with our anger so it doesn’t harden into resentments. We don’t use recovery as an excuse to shut down our emotions.
Yes, we are striving for forgiveness, but we still want to feel, listen to, and stay with our feelings until it is time to release them appropriately. Our Higher Power created the emotional part of ourselves. God is not telling us to not feel; it’s our dysfunctional systems.
We also need to be careful how we use affirmations; discounting our emotions won’t make feelings go away. If we’re angry, it’s okay to have that feeling. That’s part of how we get and stay healthy.
Today, I will refuse to accept shame from others or myself for feeling my feelings.

Today I welcome all my feelings. Today I deserve to feel joy and love and gratitude and warmth and affection, just to name a few. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Celebrate Holidays but Honor Your Holy Days

Holidays help us remember important national and religious events. Holidays are marked by the calendar.

Holy days are something else. Holy days are the days we remember not because they are marked on any calendar, but because they are important spiritual events to us. These are the days our souls remember. A birthday. The day a loved one left this earth. The anniversary of a significant change in our lives– the day we started something, the day we stopped doing something, the day we accomplished something important to us, a new beginning.

Celebrate the holidays marked by the calendar in whatever way you choose. Some of these may be holy days for you as well. But remember to honor your own holy days, the ones that are special to you.

Celebrate holidays, but honor your holy days,too. Choose your own rituals. Honor what is sacred to you.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Savor each moment

Enjoy each moment as it comes.

It’s so easy to relish that final moment, when the project is finished and the work is turned in. It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking that peak moments in life are the only ones that count.

In Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh, Pooh talks about the anticipation of eating his honey. The moment when the honey touches your lips is good, Pooh says. But there’s the moment right before, that moment of anticipation, that might be just as good if not better.

Go for your dreams. Go for those peak moments of performance and pleasure,too. The day you get your ten-year medallion for sobriety is a good day. Achieving that success in your career– that special award– is a wonderful moment, indeed. And those peak moments in love are indescribably delicious to experience and reminisce about.

While many people talk about being in that peak zone of pleasure all the time, most of us know that peak moments are only a very small fraction of our lives. If we only enjoy those peak moments, or those moments just before, we’ll forget to notice the importance of a lot of our lives.

Go for peak moments. But open up your heart and let the sheer raw beauty of all the moments in. When you stop looking and waiting for those peak experiences, you might find out how sweet and delicious each single moment really is.

Savor each moment of your life.

God, help me let go of anything that’s sabotaging my joy. Help me release the belief that I can only find happiness, pleasure, and joy when I’m on top of a peak.

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

Stronger for It
Mending a Broken Heart by Madisyn Taylor

A heart that has been broken and seen pain, reveals within it, a crack that allows more light in.

Heartbreak happens to all of us and can wash over us like a heavy rain. When experiencing a broken heart, our ethereal selves are saturated with grief, and the overflow is channeled into the physical body. Loss becomes a physical emptiness, and longing is transmuted into a feeling that often cannot be put into words. Mending a broken heart can seem a task so monumental that we dare not attempt it for fear of damaging ourselves further. But heartbreak, like all emotions, falls under the spell of our conscious influence.

Often the pain that wounds us most deeply also leaves the most enduring mark upon us. The shock that becomes the tender, throbbing ache of the heart eventually leads us down the path of enlightenment, blessing our lives with a new depth and richness.

Acknowledging heartbreak’s impermanence by no means dulls its sting for it is the sting itself that stimulates healing. The pain is letting us know that we need to pay attention to our emotional selves, to sit with our feelings and be in them fully before we can begin to heal. It is said that time heals all wounds. Time may dull the pain of a broken heart, but it is fully feeling your pain and acknowledging it that will truly help you heal. Dealing with your heartache in a healthy way rather than putting it off for tomorrow is the key to repair. Gentleness more than anything else is called for. Most important, open yourself to the possibility of loving, trusting, and believing again. When, someday soon, you emerge from the cushion of your grief, you will see that the universe did not cease to be as you nursed your broken heart. You emerge on the other side of the mending, stronger for all you have experienced. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I’m learning — all too slowly, at times — that when I give up the losing battle of trying to run my life in my own way, I gain abiding peace and deep serenity. For many of us, that learning process is a painfully slow one. Eventually, however, we understand that there are only two wills in the world, my will and God’s. Whatever is within my direct control is my will; whatever is beyond my direct control is His Will. So I try to accept that which is beyond my control as God’s will for me. Am I beginning to realize that by surrendering my will to the Divine Will, I am for the first time living without turmoil and without anxiety?

Today I Pray

May I hope that my will can be congruent with the all-encompassing will of God. I pray that I will know immediately if my will is in a useless tug-of-war with His Divine Will. May I trust God now to guide my will according to his Master Plan — and to make His purpose mine.

Today I Will Remember

Achievement comes when my will is in harmony with God’s.

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

One More Day

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Major changes in our lives may stun us — with delight or perhaps disbelief. After all, not all changes are negative. But when the change is negative, when illness is diagnosed or when pain pervades each day, we may begin to doubt our own inner resources. Once physically strong, we will have to dig deeper than ever to tap into our spiritual resources as well.

If we have doubts today, it may be because we are still locked into our physical selves. We are more than body, and it is our spirits that can be nourished by our caring Higher Power, Our value and importance are revealed by that care. knowing this, we can move forward with our lives.

I will look beyond my physical body for a source of strength and care.

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

Food For Thought

Concentrating

Our program requires concentration. It is not something that we may consider casually in odd bits of leftover time. Since abstinence is the most important thing in our lives, we devote our best energies to maintaining it. Many of us find that time spent concentrating on our program at the beginning of the day is most fruitful.

These periods of concentration do not need to be long. It is the quality of our attention that counts. A few minutes in the morning spent in contact with our Higher Power can set the tone for the entire day. We touch base with who we are and where we are going. Concentrating brings results.

Whenever thoughts of food and eating interrupt our activities, we can stop for a moment to concentrate on our program. Abstinence is not always foremost in our minds, but it is always there when we are threatened by a return to old thoughts and cravings. Compulsive overeating was concentration on food; abstinence is concentration on recovery.

I pray that You will direct my concentration.

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

One Day At A Time

ACTION
“You learn to speak by speaking,
to study by studying,
to run by running,
to work by working;
in just the same way,
you learn to love by loving.”
St. Francis De Sales
(1567 – 1622)
(in French, St François de Sales)
Bishop of Geneva, Switzerland and a Roman Catholic saint.

St. Francis de Sales lived from 1567 to 1622. Isn’t it amazing that a man who lived over 300 years before the birth of our recovery program could encapsulate its meaning in the above quote? Put another way, what St. Francis was saying was, “You work the program by working the program.”

I’ve met so many people who had theoretical knowledge of recovery, but no practical experience. They don’t work the program; they just talk the talk without walking the walk. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been one of those people myself.

It’s a wonderful feeling to actually work the program, to take the Steps, and to trust in the God of my understanding to keep me working it. Paying lip service to the program doesn’t bring recovery; only working it does. Anything else is a waste of time and energy.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work the program by working the program; today, I’ll take action to bring about my recovery.
Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

As we discovered the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live, so we had to evolve principles by which A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive and function effectively. It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society; that our leaders might serve but never govern; that each group was to be autonomous and there was to be no professional class of therapy. – Pg. xix – 4th Edition – Forward To The Second Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Addiction is the great solvent that equalizes all people. We are equal in our addiction and equal in our program of recovery. Although with each passing day of sobriety we get clearer, we are only one fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort away from a binge–at 18 days or 18 years!

May I realize I am no better or worse than another, or them from me. We are equal in our recovery.

Letting Go

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

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Honesty without kindness is cruel and kindness without honesty is co-dependence.

If I can’t say it kindly, I needn’t say it at all.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

It came to pass; it didn’t come to stay.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I can handle whatever comes up, knowing that I am surrounded by all the positive energies of the universe.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

People think that they’re going to get sober by osmosis and going to 90 meetings in 90 days. But there’s only one way to obtain and maintain sobriety and that’s through the program folded within these 164 pages. – Ted H.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 18

Grace
Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from asking yourself what they may mean to

you.
At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious contact with God as we

understood Him.
Afterward, we found ourselves accepting things which then seemed entirely out of reach.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 47

Thought to Ponder . . .
Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see.

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

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

Miracle
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone —
even alcohol.
For by this time sanity will have returned.
We will seldom be interested in liquor.
If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.
We react sanely and normally,
and we will find that this has happened automatically.
We will see that our new attitude toward liquor
has been given us without any thought or effort on our part.
It just comes! That is the miracle of it.
c. 1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 84-5

Thought to Consider . . .
Don’t give up before the miracle happens.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O W = Honest, Open, Willing.

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

Bill Undercover
AA History
Among the odd jobs that Bill cited in Bill’s Story was his mention of working on a farm for a month. During 1925, Bill and
Lois took off on a trip down the east coast inspecting companies to see if their stock might be good Wall Street
investments. They camped up and down the coast and carried all of their belongings in the Harley-Davidson motorcycle
and sidecar that Bill had purchased.
At the end of April 1925, they stopped at the Goldfoot family dairy farm in Scotia, New York near Schenectady. Mr.
Goldfoot had two sons, both of whom worked for General Electric, a company that Bill was able to penetrate for
investment investigation by befriending some of their employees during that month. They also worked for the Goldfoots
to earn some money to continue on this most successful trip. Lois later acknowledged that she hadn’t cared if they
earned a cent on the trip. She had been hoping the fresh air and the hobo lifestyle would help Bill slow up on his drinking.

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

“You’ve got one life to live. Don’t screw it up with a lot of maybes, what-ifs, and could-have-beens. Focus on what you have.”
Carmel Valley, Calif., August 2000
“Old Advice”

Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

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

“But there was always the curious mental phenomenon that parallel
with our sound reasoning there inevitably ran some insanely trivial
excuse for taking the first drink. Our sound reasoning failed to hold
us in check. The insane idea won out. Next day we would ask
ourselves, in all earnestness and sincerity, how it could have
happened.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 37~

“At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not
an end in itself.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 77~

Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.56

Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but when an honest effort is made ‘to practice these principles in all our affairs,’ well-grounded A.A.’s seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.114

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!

Prayer for the Day: Free Of Resentment Prayer – God, free me from my resentment toward _____ . Please bless _____ in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day. Please give _____ everything I want for myself and may _____’s life be full of health, peace, prosperity, and ahppiness as they seek to have a closer relationship with You.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 17th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 17th

Daily Reflections

A PRICELESS REWARD

. . . . work with other alcoholics. . . . It works when
other activities fail.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89

“Life will take on a new meaning,” as the Big Book says
(p. 89) This promise has helped me to avoid self-seeking
and self-pity. To watch others grow in this wonderful
program, to see them improve the quality of their lives,
is a priceless reward for my effort to help others.
Self-examination is yet another reward for an ongoing
recovery, as are serenity, peace and contentment. The
energy derived from seeing others on a successful path,
of sharing with them the joys of the journey, gives to
my life a new meaning.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of faith is of course not confined to A.A. It is
the way for everybody who wants to really live. But many
people can go through life without much of it. Many are
doing so, to their own sorrow. The world is full of lack
of faith. Many people have lost confidence in any meaning
in the universe. Many are wondering if it has any meaning
at all. Many are at loose ends. Life has no goal for many.
They are strangers in the land. They are not at home. But
for us in A.A. the way of faith is the way of life. We
have proved by our past lives that we could not live
without it. Do I think I could live happily without faith?

Meditation For The Day

“He maketh His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends
the rain on the just and the unjust.” God does not interfere with
the working of natural laws. The laws of nature are
unchangeable, otherwise we could not depend on them. As far
as natural laws are concerned, God makes no distinction
between good and bad people. Sickness or death may strike
anywhere. But spiritual laws are also made to be obeyed. On
our choice of good or evil depends whether we go upward to
true success and victory in life or downward to loss and
defeat.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may choose today the way of the spiritual life.
I pray that I may live today with faith and hope and love.


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As Bill Sees It

WHEN CONFLICTS MOUNT, p. 289

Sometimes I would be forced to look at situations where I was
doing badly. Right away, the search for excuses would become
frantic.

“These,” I would exclaim, “are really a good man’s faults.” When
that pet gadget broke apart, I would think, “Well, if those people
would only treat me right, I wouldn’t have to behave the way I
do.” Next was this: “God well knows that I do have awful
compulsions. I just can’t get over this one. So He will have to
release me.” At last came the time when I would shout, “This, I
positively will not do! I won’t even try.”

Of course, my conflicts went right on mounting, because I was
simply loaded with excuses, refusals, and outright rebellion.


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Walk In Dry Places

Looking For Protectors
Self-Reliance Many of us managed to survive while drinking by finding protectors we could lean on. Sometimes the protector wasn’t a very strong person—only someone who was willing to support us in some way. A protector could even be a person who gave us flattery or companionship when we wanted it.
Such alliances are usually unhealthy and have no lasting place in society. We cannot depend on protectors who will eventually betray us or fail us through no fault of their own.
In sobriety, we must grow into a satisfactory form of self-reliance. This is not reliance on our own resources; rather, it is really a way of relying on our Higher Power, the group, our sponsors, and the higher understanding we’ve found in the program. If we’re still looking for people willing to protect us, we need more growth in sobriety.
I’ve been given tools for understanding myself and my life. I can use those tools effectively as I go through the day.

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Keep It Simple

The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together. –Saadi.
When we were drinking and drugging, we didn’t have to deal much with feelings. We turned them off. Then, when we let go of the alcohol and other drugs, we started to come back to life. Now–we have feelings again! But, even now, in recovery, we’re scared of too much happiness. It’s true–we don’t want sadness and pain at all. Yet, feelings–the good and the bad–keep on coming.
And we have to handle them. We are learning to handle our feelings. We’re getting strong enough to deal with them. With the help of our friends in the program, and our Higher Power, we’re ready for life.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I want to be fully alive, but I’m a little scared. Help me know what to do with my feelings today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll be open to feelings. I’ll enjoy my good feelings and share them. I’ll ask for help with hard feelings by praying, and by calling my sponsor.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.
–Madeline Bridge
We do reap, in some measure, at some time, what we sow. Our respect for others will result in kind. Our love expressed will return tenfold. The kindness we greet others with will ease their relations with us. We get from others what we give, if not at this time and place, at another. We can be certain that our best efforts toward others do not go unnoticed. And we can measure our due by what we give.
A major element of our recovery is the focus we place on our behavior, the seriousness with which we tackle our inventories. We can look at ourselves and how we reach out and act toward others; it is a far cry from where we were before entering this program. Most of us obsessed on “What he did to me,” or “What she said.” And then returned their actions in kind.
How thrilling is the knowledge that we can invite loving behavior by giving it! We have a great deal of control over the ebb and flow of our lives. In every instance we can control, our behavior. Thus never should we be surprised about the conditions of our lives.
What goes around comes around. I will look for the opportunities to be kind and feel the results.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Outsiders became interested. One man and his wife placed their large home at the disposal of this strangely assorted crowd. This couple has since become so fascinated that they have dedicated their home to the word. Many a distracted wife has visited this house to find loving and understanding companionship among women who knew her problem, to hear from the lips of their husbands what had happened to them, to be advised how her own wayward mate might be hospitalized and approached when next he stumbled.

p. 160

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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 next steps were bottle hiding and excuses for trips in order to drink without restraint. Cunning, baffling, powerful–the gradual creeping up of the frequency and quantity of alcohol and what it does to a person is apparent to everyone but the person involved.

p. 350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

When evening comes, perhaps just before going to sleep, many of us draw up a balance sheet for the day. This is a good place to remember that inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all. Under these conditions, the pains of failure are converted into assets. Out of them we receive the stimulation we need to go forward. Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for we know that the pains of drinking had to come before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.

pp. 93-94

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

“Enthusiastic people experience life from the inside out.”
–Nido Qubein

There are two days about which nobody should ever worry, and these are yesterday and
tomorrow.
–Robert J. Burdette

What people really need is a good listening-to.
–Mary Lou Casey

When I have done all the footwork I know to do and things are still not working out, I
know today that it is time to meditate. I have faith that my answer is still to come.
–Ruth Fishel

No one else’s opinion about me can determine my worth.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It
turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a
feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
–Melody Beattie

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FEAR

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It
is only to be understood.”
— Marie Curie

God is on my side. Today I really believe and understand this truth, and it helps me
cope with my fears. Now I am beginning to understand that I was the only real enemy
in my life. With this new understanding of God I have the power of choice back in my
life.

I do not have to stay in a sick process. I do not need sick and negative people in my
life. I do not have to place myself in destructive relationships or in fearful situations.
God is alive in my life and I am discovering the spiritual power of choice.

God, give me the courage to confront my fear and be willing to make changes in my
life.

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“Behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5


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Daily Inspiration

Treat your family as you would treat a best friend. Lord, help me to treasure my family with all of their imperfections as well as my own and cherish the time we have together.

Let nothing that others do alter how you treat them. Lord, may I treat all with love and consideration.

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NA Just For Today

Service Motives

“Everything that occurs in the course of NA service must be motivated by the desire to more successfully carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers.”
Basic Text pg. xvi

Our motives are often a surprise to us. In our early days of recovery, they were almost always a surprise! We’ve learned to check our motives through prayer, meditation, the steps, and talking to our sponsor or other addicts. When we find ourselves with an especially strong urge to do or have something, it’s particularly important to check our motives to find out what we really want.

In early recovery, many of us throw ourselves into service with great fervor before we have started the regular practice of motive-checking. It takes awhile before we become aware of the real reasons for our zeal. We may want to impress others, show off our talents, or be recognized and important. Now, these desires may not be harmful in another setting, expressed through another outlet. In NA service, however, they can do serious damage.

When we decide to serve NA, we make a decision to help addicts find and maintain recovery. We have to carefully check our motives in service, remembering that it’s much easier to frighten away using addicts than to convince them to stay. When we show them game-playing, manipulation, or pomposity, we present an unattractive picture of recovery; However, the unselfish desire to serve others creates an atmosphere that is attractive to the addict who still suffers.

Just for today: I will check my motives for the true spirit of service.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another. –Erma Bombeck
The most precious time we will ever have we give away by doing volunteer chores to help others get more out of life. There is no material wage for this kind of work, but a host of emotional rewards. The height of volunteer giving is doing an act of kindness or love so quietly that none but ourselves will ever know we had a part in it.
What great humility this can bring to us, who live in a world where selfish people often insist on credit for all their deeds–often things they had nothing to do with.
All we need do is think of all we have received without deserving it or asking for it. By taking part in the giving end of life, we find the true wealth of our own generosity.
What secret gift can I give today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The purpose of man’s life is not happiness but worthiness. –Felix Adler
When we pursue happiness as a goal for its own sake, we usually reach the opposite point of emptiness. Feeling happy is a by-product of other life experiences. Happiness comes and goes. We welcome it but cannot capture and hold it, nor can we create a recipe for achieving happiness.
We will lead far more successful lives pursuing other values which we do have control over, such as honesty, respect for others and ourselves, seeking loving relationships, and making a contribution to the well being of others. We can accept unhappiness and difficulties without struggle when we know we are doing something that has greater meaning. Our Eleventh Step tells us we pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out. This helps us focus on God’s purpose for us. We can have an inner sense of joy knowing we are leading meaningful lives, even when we aren’t having a particularly happy day.
I will seek the goals that make my life worthwhile and welcome happiness when
it comes.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.
–Madeline Bridge
We do reap, in some measure, at some time, what we sow. Our respect for others will result in kind. Our love expressed will return tenfold. The kindness we greet others with will ease their relations with us. We get from others what we give, if not at this time and place, at another. We can be certain that our best efforts toward others do not go unnoticed. And we can measure our due by what we give.
A major element of our recovery is the focus we place on our behavior, the seriousness with which we tackle our inventories. We can look at ourselves and how we reach out and act toward others; it is a far cry from where we were before entering this program. Most of us obsessed on “What he did to me,” or “What she said.” And then returned their actions in kind.
How thrilling is the knowledge that we can invite loving behavior by giving it! We have a great deal of control over the ebb and flow of our lives. In every instance we can control, our behavior. Thus never should we be surprised about the conditions of our lives.
What goes around comes around. I will look for the opportunities to be kind and feel the results.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Nurturing Ourselves
Many of us have been so deprived of nurturing that we think it’s silly or self-indulgent. Nurturing is neither silly nor self-indulgent; it’s how we show love for ourselves. That’s what we’re striving for in recovery – a loving relationship with ourselves that works, so we can have loving relationships with others that work.
When we hurt, we ask ourselves what we need to help us feel better. When we feel alone, we reach out to someone safe. Without feeling that we are a burden, we allow that person to be there for us.
We rest when we’re tired; eat when we’re hungry; have fun or relax when our spirits need a lift. Nurturing means giving ourselves gifts – a trip to the beauty salon or barbershop, a massage, a book, a new jacket, or a new suit or dress. It means a long, hot bath to forget about our problems and the world for a few moments when that would feel good.
We learn to be gentle with ourselves and to open up to the nurturing that others have to offer us.
As part of nurturing ourselves, we allow ourselves to give and receive positive touch – touch that feels appropriate to us, touch that is safe. We reject touch that doesn’t feel good or safe and is not positive.
We learn to give ourselves what we need in a gentle, loving, compassionate way. We do this with the understanding it will not make us lazy, spoiled, self centered, or narcissistic. Nurtured people are effective in their work and in their relationships.
We will learn to feel loved by ourselves so much that we can truly love others and let them love us.
Today, I will nurture myself. I will also be open to the nurturing that I can give to others and receive from them.

When I have done all the footwork I know to do and things are still not working out, I know today that it is time to meditate. I have faith that my answer is still to come. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Don’t Complicate Things

The simple, clear answer to life’s situations can be easily found in the heart. Don’t limit its wisdom to just one or two areas; let it guide you through all of your life.

Are you struggling with finances? Feeling overwhelmed by taxes? Not certain what to do to help someone you love? Do you have a problem with a friend? Has a business relationship gotten sticky, maybe hopelessly adversarial? Are you at war with the person you love? Problems with children? Problems with parents? A landlord who just won’t get the job done? All of these areas, and more, can be brought to your heart.

Do you need to find a new hobby? Are you stuck on a project? Do you need an idea, some creative inspiration? Do you need a new place to live, or a way to fix your current home? Take it all back to your heart.

Calm your mind. Let go. Get quiet. You don’t have to know the plan. Just put out the question, then listen to your inner voice. It will guide you through any maze you’ve been lost in.

Don’t complicate things or try to figure it all out. The answer is simple: look in your heart.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Take another look at your world

Oh, the glory of the ordinary!

I wake up, roll over, and look out the sliding glass door at the sun rising over the distant layers of hills.

Today will be a day of errands. We’re out of milk, so we’ll make a run to the grocery store, probably returning home with too much chocolate and no milk. The pictures from the last trip needed to be dropped off. We have a flying lesson at 2:00. Then it will be supper at the Lodge with our friend Andy. It’ll probably be something simple, like burgers on the grill.

An ordinary day.

I remember a time when the ordinary meant searching for another high, searching for money to get drugs. I’m grateful for the ordinary life that I lead.

“When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is happiness. But later, when we don’t have a toothache, we don’t treasure our non-toothache,,” Thich Nhat Hanh gently reminds us in his book The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching.

Take another look at your ordinary world.

See how glorious it is.

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Sharing Your Gifts
Gift Giveaway by Madisyn Taylor

We all know how to give the gift of a present, but it is more important to share your gifts that you were born with.

When the holidays come around, most of us join the masses in shopping for gifts, wrapping them, and giving them away. Once we are in the mind-set that this is what we are going to do, we don’t hold back or struggle with the process. We simply give the presents we have acquired, letting them go in the awareness that they were never ours anyway. If we could apply some of this unquestioning generosity with our own inner resources and gifts, we might be able to give of ourselves more freely.

In truth, our gifts only make sense when we give them away. Imagine carefully procured and wrapped presents that remain in the house of the giver, never getting to the people who were meant to have them. If we hold back, not knowing quite when to share our gifts, we all lose. Ironically, the more we give of ourselves, the more we have to offer. For example, if we have a talent for singing but we hold it back, we sing less and have less experience. On the other hand, if we offer the gift of our voice to the world at every opportunity, our talent develops and becomes still greater, and we have that much more to give.

How we present our gifts can be likened to wrapping paper and ribbons. When we truly value what we have to offer, our presentation honors what lies inside it. We speak well of our talents and introduce them with confidence and panache. Like a performer who chooses carefully what to wear and how to set the stage, we provide an environment that complements and enhances what we have to offer. Far from being superficial, a beautiful presentation is as much a part of the energy of gift giving as the gift itself. All these things together—the gift, the presentation, and the giving away—make up the joyful experience of bestowing our offerings upon the world. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

More and more these days, as I progress in my recovery, I seem to do a lot of listening — quietly waiting to hear God’s unmistakable voice within me. Prayer is becoming a two-way street — of seeking and listening, of searching and finding. A favorite bit of Scripture for me is, “Be still and know that I am God.” Do I pay quiet and loving attention to Him, ever more confident of an enlightened knowledge of His will for me?

Today I Pray

As I seek to know my Higher Power, may I learn the best ways — for me — to reach and hear Him. May I begin to feel prayer, not just listening to the sound of my own verbalizing. May I feel the sharp outlines of my humanness fading as His Godliness becomes a part of me. May I feel that I am one with Him.

Today I will Remember

Feel the stillness of God.

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One More Day

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light.
– Jean Giraudoux

Many people — not just the chronically ill — experience a sense of sadness or longing at this time of year. Perhaps the season stirs memories of carefree, happier times or, instead, of holidays long ago that were unhappy and without fantasy.

Knowing that this sadness is not uncommon can be comforting and so is knowing we can resist sadness. If we’re unhappy with old traditions, we can introduce new ones. If we’ve isolated ourselves, we can join in some group activities. And if we’re tired, we can give ourselves permission to say no and to have time alone. We might also examine our expectations and remember that special days are not copies of earlier ones. Each is new.

In the holidays ahead, I will continue to do the things that have been special. I will abandon any pattern that gives me no joy.

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Food For Thought

Remembering

We remember what we were like before we joined OA. We remember the confusion and despair, which threatened to overwhelm us. We remember the agony of eating binges which started so innocently and which ended in such pain.

As we recover from compulsive overeating, we remember events from the past in a new light. We see how our disease contributed to seemingly unrelated problems. We recognize feelings, which we were not aware of at the time. We understand the real reasons for some of our strange actions and mysterious fears.

At the same time that it keeps us anchored in the present, abstinence helps us to understand the past. Integrating our memories gives us strength and confidence for the future. What we always need to remember is that we are compulsive overeaters still, no matter how long we have abstained. Remembering this fact protects us from allowing our disease to become active again.

Today, I remember I am a compulsive overeaten.

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One Day At A Time

PEACE
“We cannot find peace if we are
afraid of the windstorms of life.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
(Psychiatrist and author of ‘On Death and Dying’)

My life always seemed so filled with difficulty. I seemed to have more than my fair share of traumas and losses. Why was I always being tested like this? It just didn’t seem fair. I was so wrapped up in myself and the unfairness of my difficult life that I couldn’t see that each of these harsh experiences had been opportunities for growth. Instead of bemoaning my fate and blaming people or situations for what seemed to me to be the cause of the current difficulty, I never looked at what part I had played in the whole situation, or the lessons I could learn from each of these experiences.

It has often been said that God doesn’t give us more than we can cope with. What I realized later, once I’d come into the program, was that each of these experiences had been a unique learning opportunity for me; they were a chance to grow and mature. I had been too stuck in self-pity and blame that I hadn’t seen the wonderful gifts that I was being given with each new life experience. When I was able to open myself up fully to the lessons that I could learn from life, I became a whole person. It was then that the promises of the program begin to be fulfilled in my life, and I began to know serenity and peace.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will look for what lesson my Higher Power wants me to learn from life. I am then able to grow and change, and by doing so, I will come to know serenity and peace.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The terms ‘spiritual experience’ and ‘spiritual awakening’ are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms. – Pg. 567 – 4th. Edition – Appendices II – Spiritual Experience

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

Help me to think a drink and drug all the way through, not just the high but the hell it leads to.

A Return to Living

Today, I keep my house clean and let go of the rest – some of the ways that I wish to live as a recovered person will not be readily understood by others. I will keep my own scorecard clean and not worry about the results. I will act in a way that makes it easier for me to live with myself – that keeps my own conscience clear. Other people’s negative projections of me no longer run me. I am the one who makes the decisions about who I want to be. I need not defend and explain myself again and again. I need not ask permission to be who I am. I allow myself to be happy in my own skin today. I think well of myself, no matter what others think of me.

I create my own self.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The people you most need to give love to will seem like the ones who deserve it the least.

It begins with me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Going to any lengths are our strengths.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am doing the best that I can with the guidance that I get. I leave the results to my Higher Power and trust that they are for the greatest good.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It’s not just the ‘yets’ I worry about if I pick up a drink – it’s also the ‘agains’. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 17

Resentments
This business of harboring resentments 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.
– – As Bill Sees It, p. 5

Thought to Ponder . . .
Resentment is like acid, eating away at the vessel it is stored in.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Avoid Anger.

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

Meetings
Through going to meetings and listening,
and occasionally speaking,
through doing Twelfth Step work,
whereby in helping others you are both the teacher
and the student,
by making many wonderful AA friends,
I have been taught all the things in life that are worth having.
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, (3rd Edition), p. 416

Thought to Consider . . .
Meetings: A checkup from the neck up

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together

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

Expansion
>From “A Vision for You”:
“Every few days this doctor suggests our approach to one of his patients. Understanding our work, he can do this with
an eye to selecting those who are willing and able to recover on a spiritual basis. Many of us, former patients, go there to
help. Then, in this eastern city, there are informal meetings such as we have described to you, where you may now see
scores of members. There are the same fast friendships, there is the same helpfulness to one another”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 163

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

“More than a million of us who suffer from the disease of alcoholism have found not just the ability to live with or survive this insidious disease, but a joyful way of life as new as this morning and as old as mankind. We can gain sobriety, aspire to serenity, at no greater price than caring for our fellow sufferers and sharing with them what has been freely given to us. We can experience the true joy of love that we once tried to destroy by not giving it away, and we can learn the truth that the more we give away, the more we will have.”
Brick Town, N.J., January 1977
Because One Man Was Lonely,”
AA Grapevine

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

“If there be divorce or separation, there should be no undue haste
for the couple to get together. The man should be sure of his
recovery. The wife should fully understand his new way of life. If
their old relationship is to be resumed it must be on a better basis,
since the former did not work. This means a new attitude and spirit
all around. Sometimes it is to the best interests of all concerned
that a couple remain apart. Obviously, no rule can be laid down.
Let the alcoholic continue his program day by day. When the time for
living together has come, it will be apparent to both parties.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, Page 99

” I had always believed in a Power greater that myself. I had often
pondered these things. I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for
that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe
originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes no where.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 10~

Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.86

All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.34

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Many newcomers, having experienced little but constant deflation, feel a growing conviction that human will is of no value whatever. They have become persuaded, sometimes rightly so, that many problems besides alcohol will not yield to a headlong assault powered only by the individual’s will.
However, there are certain things which the individual alone can do. All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can then make the decision to exert himself along spiritual lines. Trying to do this is actually an act of his own will. It is a right use of this faculty.
Indeed, all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps require our sustained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to God’s will.

Prayer for the Day: Mychal’s Prayer – Lord, take me where You want me to go; Let me meet who You want me to meet; Tell me what You want me to say; And keep me out of Your way.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 16th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 16th

Daily Reflections

PARTNERS IN RECOVERY

. . . nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive
work with other alcoholics . . . Both you and the new man must walk
day by day in the path of spiritual progress. . . . Follow the dictates of
a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful
world, no matter what your present circumstances!
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 89, 100

Doing the right things for the right reasons — this is my way of
controlling my selfishness and self-centeredness. I realize that my
dependency on a Higher Power clears the way for peace of mind,
happiness and sobriety. I pray each day that I will avoid my previous
actions, so that I will be helpful to others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of A.A. is the way of faith. We don’t get the full benefit of the program until
we surrender our lives to some Power greater than ourselves and trust that Power to
give us the strength we need. There is no better way for us. We can get sober without
it. We can stay sober for some time without it. But if we are going to truly live, we must
take the way of faith in God. That is the path for us. We must follow it. Have I taken
the way of faith?

Meditation For The Day

Life is not a search for happiness. Happiness is a by-product of living the right kind of
a life, of doing the right thing. Do not search for happiness, search for right living and
happiness will be your reward. Life is sometimes a march of duty during dull, dark
days. But happiness will come again, as God’s smile of recognition of your
faithfulness. True happiness is always the by-product of a life well lived.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not seek happiness but seek to do right. I pray that I may not seek
pleasure so much as the things that bring true happiness.


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

As Bill Sees It

Two Roads for the Oldtimer, p. 138

The founders of many groups ultimately divide into two classes
known in A.A. slang as “elder statesmen” and “bleeding deacons.”

The elder statesman sees the wisdom of the group’s decision to run
itself and holds no resentment over his reduced status. His judgment,
fortified by considerable experience, is sound; he is willing to sit
quietly on the side lines patiently awaiting developments.

The bleeding deacon is just as surely convinced that the group cannot
get along without him. He constantly connives for re-election to
office and continues to be consumed with self-pity. Nearly every
oldtimer in our Society has gone through this process in some degree.
Happily, most of them survive and live to become elder statesmen.
They become the real and permanent leadership of A.A.

12 & 12, p. 135

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Walk In Dry Places

Others must not define us.
Self-image
The thoughtless practice of lumping people into categories can be destructive.  Some of us still seethe with resentment over the roles we were given in our families while growing up.  We realize that this way of being defined was a put-down.
As adults living sober, we must now make sure that we define ourselves in ways that contribute to our success and happiness.  If others attempt to attach labels to us, we must not accept this… at least not in our own minds.
If others are attempting to define us in this way, we must always ask whether we’ve invited such labeling.  Did your behavior somehow give them this impression?  Did we mask our true feelings to present an image with which we  don’t really want to live?  Whatever the answer, we must take charge of defining who we are and what we want to be.
If I don’t like the way people have been viewing me, I’ll change the signals I’ve been sending out. Any signals I send should fit the way I really want to be known.

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Keep It Simple

Charity sees the need, not the cause.–German proverb.
Charity is not just giving money to good causes. Charity is having a heart that’s ready to give. Charity is helping a friend at two in the morning. Charity is going early to the meeting to put on coffee without being asked.
Service is how Twelve Step programs refer to “Charity”. Service and charity are a lifestyle. We see a need, so we try to help. Our values and our heart will guide us in how we help. Service is a big part of our program. Service helps us think of others, not just of ourselves. We stop asking, “What’s in it for me?” The act of helping others is what’s in it for us. Sobriety is what’s in it for us. Serenity is what’s in it for us.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You have given me many talents. Help me see how my talents can make the world a better place. Giving of myself is believing in You and myself.
Action for the Day:   Today, I’ll list my talents and I’ll think of ways I can use them to help others.

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Each Day a New Beginning

To have someone who brings out the colors of life and whose very presence offers tranquility and contentment enriches my being and makes me grateful for the opportunity to share.  –Kathleen Tierney Crilly
Loneliness and isolation are familiar states to most of us. We often protected our insecurities by hiding out, believing that we’d survive if others didn’t know who we really were. But we discovered that our insecurities multiplied. The remedy is people–talking to people, exposing our insecurities to them, risking, risking, risking.
Sharing our mutual vulnerabilities helps us see how fully alike we are. Our most hated shortcoming is not unique, and that brings relief. It’s so easy to feel utterly shamed in isolation. Hearing another woman say “I understand. I struggle with jealousy too,” lifts the shame, the dread, the burden of silence. The program has taught us that secrets make us sick, and the longer we protect them, the greater are our struggles.
The program promises fulfillment, serenity, achievement when we willingly share our lives. Each day we can lighten our burdens and help another lighten hers, too.
I will be alert today to the needs of others. I will risk sharing. I will be a purveyor of tranquility.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

A year and six months later these three had succeeded with seven more. Seeing much of each other, scarce an evening passed that someone’s home did not shelter a little gathering of men and women, happy in their release, and constantly thinking how they might present their discovery to some newcomer. 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.

pp. 159-160

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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 made promises to myself, my family, and friends–and broke them. Short dry spells ended in heavy drinking. I tried to hide my drinking by going places where I was unlikely to see anyone I knew. Hangovers and remorse were always with me.

p. 350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

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. When in doubt we can always pause, saying, “Not my will, but Thine, be done.” And we can often ask ourselves, “Am I doing to others as I would have them do to me–today?”

p. 93

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The secret of what life’s all about, Was answered by the sages: Life’s about one day
at a time, No matter what your age is.
–Robert Half

“In discussing an approach to bringing about positive changes within oneself, learning
is only the first step. There are other factors as well: conviction, determination,
action and effort.”
–Dalai Lama

“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
–Morris West

“It is a defining moment when someone in authority finally reaches the conclusion that
leadership is not about using people ~ it’s about serving them.”
–Neil Eskelin

“Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you; until
you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire;
until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in
others, you will be neither successful nor happy.”
–Napoleon Hill

“Everyone Smiles in the same language.”
–Proverb

“Pain comes like the weather, but joy is a choice.”
–Rodney Crowell, Singer, Songwriter

God can bring showers of blessing out of storms of adversity.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GENEROSITY

“Liberty is the one thing you
can’t have unless you give it to
others.”
— William Allen White

Spirituality is rooted in a respect for self that demands an equal respect for others. I
can expect to be treated with dignity if I afford dignity to others. In the one is the key
to the many.

For years I lived a compulsive life that only made me self-centered and spoiled, and it
didn’t work! I was unhappy, lonely and resentful. Today I find that the more I give to
others the more I receive. Less is more.

In this sense it is much easier to be good than bad because “goodness” works!

Spirit of generosity, may I always reflect the gratitude that gives.

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

“I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.”
Psalm 52:8

“The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.”
Psalm 116:6

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world,
and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we
shall be content”
1 Timothy 6:6-8

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to
God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his
wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9


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Daily Inspiration

Do that which is right and learn to do it for the right reason. Lord, give us strength as we stand up to temptation and spiritual power as we resist the pressures and stresses that bear down on us.

You cannot ask too much if you use your blessings ceaselessly. Lord, help me to reflect on and live in Your spirit.

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NA Just For Today

Where There’s Smoke…

“Complacency is the enemy of members with substantial clean time. If we remain complacent for long, the recovery process ceases.”
Basic Text pg. 80

Recognizing complacency in our recovery is like seeing smoke in a room. The “smoke” thickens when our meeting attendance drops, contact with newcomers decreases, or relations with our sponsor aren’t maintained. With continued complacency; we won’t be able to see through the smoke to find our way out. Only our immediate response will prevent an inferno.

We must learn to recognize the smoke of complacency. In NA, we have all the help We need to do that. We need to spend time with other recovering addicts because they may detect our complacency before we do. Newcomers will remind us of how painful active addiction can be. Our sponsor will help us remain focused, and recovery literature kept in easy reach can be used to extinguish the small flare-ups that happen from time to time. Regular participation in our recovery will surely enable us to see that wisp of smoke long before it becomes a major inferno.

Just for today: I will participate in the full range of my recovery; My commitment to NA is just as strong today as it was in the beginning of my recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Because you’re not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are. –Madeleine L’Engle
Sometimes we expect far too much of the people around us, and because no one can ever live up to those expectations, we are almost always disappointed. But wouldn’t it be better if we just let go, and let people be who they are? Then we’d be able to see them as they are–with all their beauty and goodness in which we take joy, and with all their faults which we can also see in ourselves.
When we have put someone up on a pedestal, sculpturing them to fit our needs and desires by smoothing out the rough edges and creating new curves here and there, we cannot see the real person underneath our work. All we see is the illusion we have created. That is denying the person’s real identity and is disrespectful. It’s much better for our friends and for ourselves if we drop our expectations and illusions, and accept them all just the way they are.
What unfair expectations do I have of others?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart And try to love the questions themselves. –Rainer Maria Rilke
Patience with ourselves may be the first step toward patience with others. In getting to know ourselves, we don’t find what we have expected. If we did, we would only be proving what we already knew. Sometimes growth comes in surprising ways. It may be in acceptance and learning to love what is unsettled or unclear within. Some of us men want to rush through our learning and push our growth too fast. Others of us want to have a strong sense of confidence in our relationships with others but always feel vulnerable. Some wonder why their fears suddenly rise without warning. Another longs to know why certain things happened to him in his youth. Our growth is not our invention. When answers come, they are gifts, and we do not control them.
In part, self-acceptance is to say, “Yes, I am a person with this question, this unsettled feeling. Being alive is to be actively engaged in knowing and loving my questions even when I find no answer.”
God, grant me the peace that comes with loving the unfinished part of me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To have someone who brings out the colors of life and whose very presence offers tranquility and contentment enriches my being and makes me grateful for the opportunity to share. –Kathleen Tierney Crilly
Loneliness and isolation are familiar states to most of us. We often protected our insecurities by hiding out, believing that we’d survive if others didn’t know who we really were. But we discovered that our insecurities multiplied. The remedy is people–talking to people, exposing our insecurities to them, risking, risking, risking.
Sharing our mutual vulnerabilities helps us see how fully alike we are. Our most hated shortcoming is not unique, and that brings relief. It’s so easy to feel utterly shamed in isolation. Hearing another woman say “I understand. I struggle with jealousy too,” lifts the shame, the dread, the burden of silence. The program has taught us that secrets make us sick, and the longer we protect them, the greater are our struggles.
The program promises fulfillment, serenity, achievement when we willingly share our lives. Each day we can lighten our burdens and help another lighten hers, too.
I will be alert today to the needs of others. I will risk sharing. I will be a purveyor of tranquility.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Taking Care of Ourselves Emotionally
What does it mean to take care of myself emotionally? I recognize when I’m feeling angry, and I accept that feeling without shame or blame.
I recognize when I’m feeling hurt, and I accept those feelings without attempting to punish the source of my pain. I recognize and feel fear when that emotion presents itself.
I allow myself to feel happiness, joy, and love when those emotions are available. Taking care of myself means I’ve made a decision that it’s okay to feel.
Taking care of my emotions means I allow myself to stay with the feeling until it’s time to release it and go on to the next one.
I recognize that sometimes my feelings can help point me toward reality, but sometimes my feelings are deceptive. They are important, but I do not have to let them control me. I can feel, and think too.
I talk to people about my feelings when that’s appropriate and safe.
I reach out for help or guidance if I get stuck in a particular emotion.
I’m open to the lessons my emotions may be trying to teach me. After I feel, accept, and release the feeling, I ask myself what it is I want or need to do to take care of myself.
Taking care of myself emotionally means I value, treasure, explore, and cherish the emotional part of myself.
Today, I will take care of myself emotionally. I will be open to, and accepting of, the emotional part of myself and other people. I will strive for balance by combining emotions with reason, but I will not allow intellect to push the emotional part of myself away.

Whatever I am thinking right now is creating how I am feeling. I turn to positive and loving thoughts because I choose to feel good. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Be an Angel

I often imagine that we keep the angels very busy. They tell us to turn here or there, warn us of dangers, say Listen! and Look! They tell us things will be okay, and they’re sorry we hurt. Angels in our lives encourage us to hope, dream, dare, and trust. They point out beautiful sights. They shine a light on our path, so we know where to step next.

Most of us are not as sure of ourselves as we’d like others to think. We need guidance, faith, and hope. We need to know we’re on track and that someone cares. We need the angels to help us.

The angels in our lives give us a kind word, share a kind thought, offer a helping hand and a warm smile. Their words empower and comfort us. Their touch heals, their loving looks warm our hearts. They radiate love and faith.

“I’ve learned it’s easy to be loving,” one man said. “What takes work is to be kind.”

Make it easier for the angels, and easier for others. Practice being loving and kind. Be an angel,too.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Now is a powerful time

“The entire skydive is great,” a friend said to me. “But one of my favorite moments is when we open the door, and I can see the whole sky spread out in front of me.”

I remember that feeling the day I was given the choice to recover from chemical dependency or go to jail, the day I got my frist writing job, the day my daughter gave birth to her first child. It’s that split second when now freezes and stretches out into infinity. For just a moment all that has been and all that might be crown into a single arc in time and the power of the universe rushes through us.

Get a little of that feeling every day just to remind yourself of the power and potential of now.

Sure, we can envision our rosy future after the big project pays off, or when we’ve got fifteen years of sobriety, or after we reach retirement. But what about that moment when the minister pronounces you husband and wife, or the moment after you tell your parents you’re gay, or the day you walk out on someone, or the day someone walks out on you?

The power isn’t out there somewhere in the distant horizon. Feel the rush of the moment. It really is your life. You have all the power you need, right now.

God, help me tap into the rush of power available to me right here and right now.

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Discovering True Selves
Soul Seeing

When we want to see deeply into the heart and mind of another person, soul seeing, also called soul gazing, allows us to see their soul. The soul is the purest expression of an individual and is not bound by physical forms or fleeting emotions. Through a simple art that involves looking deeply into a partner’s eyes, soul seeing can show you a person’s inner beauty that you might otherwise miss. It is possible for someone who appears cold to have a warm, giving, nurturing soul or someone of average appearance to have a beautiful soul. Soul seeing is a way of looking past shapes, sizes, attitudes, and behavior to see the real individual that lies beneath the surface. It allows you to see the true essence of another person, the radiance of their being, and their spirit within.

Soul seeing is accomplished by sitting face to face with another person. It is helpful to first state your intention before you begin. As you stare softly into each other’s eyes without stopping to look away, each of your souls is revealed to the other. Try not to look for anything in particular or seek traits you’re hoping to find. Simply let the other person’s soul reveal itself to you. After twenty minutes have passed, stay where you are and share a period of silent reflection with your partner for two minutes. You may have suddenly seen your partner’s inner nature as clearly as a bright day, or you may need to meditate on your experience before you feel comfortable with your impressions. Either way, soul seeing can be a wonderfully intimate and shared experience.

So little of who each of us is can be captured by our appearance or personality. The thoughts, fears, desires, and longings that are part of what makes us whole are not always written across our faces. Often, the most surprising thing you may learn while soul seeing is that while you and the other person may appear on the surface to be quite different, you actually share many of the same inner qualities. And then there is the unique beauty that resides within that is longing to be revealed to another who is willing to see. Soul seeing can help you experience the people in your life as they truly are, beyond any mental barriers or physical limitations. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Sometimes, on those bad days we all have from time to time, it almost seems that God doesn’t want us to be happy here on earth and, for those of us who believe in an afterlife, that He demands pain and suffering in this life as the price of happiness in the next. The Program teaches me that just the opposite is the case. God wants me to be happy right here on earth — right now. When I allow Him to, He will even point out the way. Do I sometimes stubbornly refuse to look where God is pointing?

Today I Pray

I pray that I am not playing the perennial sufferer, dragging around in the boots of tragedy and acting as if suffering is the only ticket to heaven. May I look around, at the goodness and greenery of earth, which is testimony enough that our life here is meant to be more than just one pitfall after another. Man no misconception of God as a master trapper, waiting in every thicket to snare us, distort my relationship with a loving, forgiving Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

There is more to life than suffering.

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One More Day

It is well that there is no one without a fault, for he would not have a friend in the world.
– William Hazlitt

As youngsters we may have had doubts, just as we do now, about making new friends. We imposed unwritten rules upon ourselves as we sought out new friends. Will they like me? How do I approach them? Will we have enough to talk about?

These questions are again in our minds as we approach old and new relationships. We might worry that since we aren’t always feeling happy and well, our friends is not usually true, but it may take us a little while to pull away from fear and self-doubt and to make real efforts at making and maintaining our friendships.

Today, I will let my friends know just how important they are to me.

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Food For Thought

Getting Well

Our recovery is always in process; it is never completed. If we think for a minute that we have conquered our disease and no longer have to consider it that is the time when we are in danger of slipping. Getting well is what we will be doing for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, we have guidelines and a fellowship to support us.

We are not required to think about our disease twenty-four hours a day. We do need to remember it when thoughts of food and eating arise. We also need to remember it when we find ourselves thinking the kind of thoughts or feeling the moods, which led to binges in the past.

Getting well is an adventure. We have moved out of the repetitious rut of past habits and are reaching into the unknown. There are times when we are anxious and fearful that we will not be able to make it. We are not alone. There is a Higher Power that guides us and an organization of friends who sustain us. The process of getting well is a privilege and a gift.

Thank You for the process of getting well.

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One Day At A Time

COURAGE
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”
Raymond Linquist
(For many years, the pastor at the
Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, California)

A sponsor once asked me what I had against feeling good. I had no answer. I now see that in my sickness and ignorance I hung onto the familiar, what I perceived to be truth. Fear kept me from trying something new until I hurt bad enough to beg God for the courage to try a different way. I am amazed at how long I put up with a miserable existence, not even recognizing my fear of change. I understand now that, although physically full-grown, I am spiritually still growing and becoming.

One Day at a Time . . .
Do I have the courage to change? To even look at change?
Jeremiah

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AA ‘Big Book’ – 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 worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that is it fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. – Pg. 66 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

To insist stubbornly on holding to old relationships, when they are basically drug oriented relationships is sabotaging our recovery process. Is it not our disease finding a ‘good’ excuse to keep us close to drugs?

May I be able to hear the suggestions of those who work with me. May I listen in this next hour and follow the suggestions.

Learning from Life

There are no ‘buts’ today. I am what I am, others are what they are, life is what it is. I will not parenthesize my growth with a ‘but’ or hold back my forward-moving spirit with second-guesses. For today, I am living with things as they are. I am exactly where I am meant to be, learning what I need to learn. All I need do is move through situations with willingness to learn and openness to feel. When feelings are brought up, I can accept them as what is happening within me – no need to resist and analyze them. Transformation will happen in the moving through and the acceptance of them. I trust that my life is unfolding in such a way that what I need to learn will be before me. I am willing to learn.

I see the ‘table prepared.’
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

A temper will get us into trouble and pride will keep us there.

I can’t save my face and my butt at the same time.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

With the first three steps, you get the courage to work the rest. When you work the rest, you get rid of the garbage so you can work the first three.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that it does not matter if I cannot see the end of the road. I have absolute faith and trust that I am walking in the right direction and that I am being guided along the way.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Success consists of getting up one more time than you fall. – Anon

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AA Thought for the Day

December 16

Grace
I think we all find an unavoidable association between what AA does and the grace of God.
AA reflects, in a limited, human sense, the way God works with us.
AA people love us when we’re newcomers, not because of what we’ve done, but in spite of it,
not because we’ve earned love, but because we need it.
And so, I think, comes the final great acceptance of the AA member: the realization that I have been accepted by God


that, when I staggered up those stairs for the first time, God was there waiting for me.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 162

Thought to Ponder . . .
Don’t fear tomorrow. God is already there.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
B O G G L E = Bad Or Good, God Loves Everyone.

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

Belonging
There is no more aloneness, with that awful ache,
so deep in the heart of every alcoholic
that nothing, before, could ever reach it.
That ache is gone and never need return again.
Now there is a sense of belonging,
of being wanted and needed and loved.
In return for a bottle and a hangover,
we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 276
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 312

Thought to Consider . . .
Turn your wounds into wisdom.

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

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

Hope
>From “Finding your own way:”
“Most of us have seen death close up…but we
also have known the sort of hope that makes the
heart sing….If you are a problem drinker, you
already know enough about pain and loneliness.
We’d like you to find some of the peace and joy
we have found in meeting the reality of life’s ups
and downs with a clear head and a steady heart.”
c. 1975, Living Sober, page 86

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

“The smile from my face traveled to my heart.”
Olympia, Wash., September 2006
“The Portals of Service,”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

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

“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to
futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit
these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66

“Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant
thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 20

Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.xxiv

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

As the book Alcoholics Anonymous puts it, Resentment is the Number One offender, It is a primary cause of relapses
into drinking. How well we of A.A. know that for us ‘To drink is eventually to go mad or die.’
‘Much the same penalty overhangs every A.A. group. Given enough anger, both unity and purpose are lost. Given still
more ‘righteous’ indignation, the group can disintegrate; it can actually die. This is why we avoid controversy. This is why
we prescribe no punishments for any misbehavior, no matter how grievous. Indeed, no alcoholic can be deprived of his
membership for any reason whatever. Punishment never heals. Only love can heal.’

Prayer for the Day: Next Right Step – God, please show me all through this day, what is the next right step. Give me the
strength, faith, and courage I need to take care of the problems in my life. Show me the solution, for I will take the next
right actions. And, I ask to be free from self-will and fear. Your will, not mine, be done. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 15th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 15th

Daily Reflections

 

DOING ANYTHING TO HELP

Offer him [the alcoholic] friendship and fellowship. Tell
him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to
help.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 95

I remember how attracted I was to the two men from A.A.
who Twelfth-Stepped me. They said I could have what they
had, with no conditions attached, that all I had to do was
make my own decision to join them on the pathway to
recovery. When I start convincing a newcomer to do things
my way, I forget how helpful those two men were to me in
their open-minded generosity.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Service to others makes the world a good place. Civilization
would cease if all of us were always and only for ourselves. We
alcoholics have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the
well-being of the world. We have a common problem. We find
a common answer. We are uniquely equipped to help others
with the same problem. What a wonderful world it would be
if everybody took their own greatest problem and found the
answer to it and spent the rest of their lives helping
others with the same problem, in their spare time. Soon we
would have the right kind of a world. Do I appreciate my unique
opportunity to be of service?

Meditation For The Day

Today can be lived in the consciousness of God’s contact,
upholding you in all good thoughts, words and deeds. If
sometimes there seems to be a shadow on your life and you
feel out of sorts, remember that this is not the withdrawal
of God’s presence, but only your own temporary unwillingness
to realize it. The quiet gray days are the days for doing
what you must do, but know that the consciousness of God’s
nearness will return and be with you again, when the gray
days are past.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may face the dull days with courage. I pray
that I may have faith that the bright days will return.


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As Bill Sees It

A.A. In Two Words, p.271

“All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words:
humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can
be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these
magnificent standards.

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater
willingness to accept and to act upon clear-cut obligations–these are
truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit. They
hold up to us the very essence of right being and right doing. It is by
them that we are enabled to find and to do God’s will.”
Talk, 1965 (Printed In Grapevine, January 1966)

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Walk In Dry Places

Watching our boundaries.
Personal relationships
Setting boundaries in personal relationships is how we manage actions that could otherwise get out of control. One firm boundary in AA, for example, is maintaining other members’ anonymity, as well as our own. We are always overstepping boundaries if we disclose another’s AA membership without permission.
It’s wise, too, not to expect the easy familiarity of the meetings to carry over into all other activities. One member who was employed by another AA member apparently wondered why his boss was so easygoing and cordial at AA meetings and so remote and businesslike in the factory. It made perfect sense, however; their relationship in the plant was different from their AA relationship and required another set of boundaries.
We can protect ourselves and others by being careful to establish proper boundaries for all relationships. This means that what’s appropriate for one setting may not be for another.
I’ll check to be sure that I’m observing proper boundaries, for myself and others. I must not violate others’ rights any more than I want my own violated.

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Keep It Simple

As ass is beautiful to an ass, and a pig to a pig.– English proverb.
When we see someone drunk and out of control, can we see the beautiful person inside them?
If we can’t, who will? Step Twelve reminds us that we have to help the alcoholic or other drug addict who suffers. This task has been given to us because we, most of all, should be able to look past the drunkenness and see the person. We were there. We know what it’s like to be trapped in a world without meaning. If these memories have faded, we may need to go back over Step One. We may find ourselves angry with the practicing drunk or other drug addict. This is a sign that we have gotten too far from our past. Remember, “But for the grace of God…”
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, Help me remember my past and what it’s like now. This helps me care about the person who still suffers.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll respect my illness. I’ll look for the beauty inside every drunk and other drug addict.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Happiness is a form of freedom, and of all people I should be the freest. I’ve earned this happiness and this freedom.
–Angela L. Wozniak
Life is a process, and we are progressing beautifully. We are no longer abusing our bodies and minds with drugs. We are taking special time, daily, to look for guidance. We are working the Steps of the program, better and better as the abstinent days add up. We are free from past behaviors. And we can be free from our negative attitudes too.
Making a decision to look for the good in our experiences and in our friends and acquaintances frees us from so much frustration. It ushers in happiness, no only for us but for the others we are treating agreeably. Happiness is a byproduct of living the right kind of life.
We can take a moment today, each time an action is called for, to consider our response. The one that squares with our inner selves and feels good, is the right one. Happiness will accompany it.
Happiness is always within my power. My attitude is at the helm.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

All this time our friend of the hotel lobby incident remained in that town. He was there three months. He now returned home, leaving behind his first acquaintances, the lawyer and the devil-may-care chap. These men had found something brand new in life. Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others. They shared their homes, their slender resources, and gladly devoted their spare hours to fellow-sufferers. They were willing, by day or night, to place a new man in the hospital and visit him afterward. They grew in numbers. They experienced a few distressing failures, but in those cases they made an effort to bring the man’s family into a spiritual way of living, thus relieving much worry and suffering.

p. 159

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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.

At first it was just that–an occasional drink. Then I looked forward to the weekend of golf and the nineteenth hole. The cocktail hour became a daily routine. Gradually, the quantity increased and the occasions for a drink came more frequently: a hard day, worries and pressures, bad news, good news–there were more and more reasons for a drink. Why did I want increasingly greater quantities of alcohol? It was frightening that drink was being substituted for more and more of the things I really enjoyed doing. Golf, hunting, and fishing were now merely excuses to drink excessively.

pp. 349-350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Such a radical change in our outlook will take time, maybe a lot of time. Not many people can truthfully assert that they love everybody. Most of us must admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as for the remainder–well, we have really disliked or hated them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we A.A.’s find we need something much better in order to keep our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.

pp. 92-93

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Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening
ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the
potential to turn a life around.
–Leo Buscaglia

He who speaks sows, and he who listens harvests.
–Argentinean Proverb

God is my compass, may I follow direction.
–Shelley

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your
energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”
–Denis Waitley

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and
thinking that having problems is a problem.”
–Theodore Rubin

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

POVERTY

“The poor you always have with
you.”
— Jesus (John 12:8)

Whoever said that life was going to be easy? A great number of people are placed in
circumstances that are beyond their control and they die in helpless poverty. The poor
are always with us. I cannot understand this dilemma and I have few answers for
most of the world’s suffering. However, I have a faith in God’s love being
realized beyond the grave for everyone.

But many of “the poor” are spiritually destitute by their own making. They choose to
live lives that are consistently destructive and they refuse to change. Alcoholics and
drug addicts are committing suicide by their lifestyle! I know because for years I was
one. This produces a spiritual poverty that need not remain. This is a poverty that
can be overcome. Recovery is finding the hidden treasure that is within.

Let me find Your treasure in the loving care I give myself.

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Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may
abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God
of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by
God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is
abundant through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
I Corinthians 10:13

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Daily Inspiration

Add excitement to the day by meeting everything as though it is your very first time. Lord, give me the ability to change the ordinary into something special, to do more than just slide through the moments of the day and take time to notice that my life really is terrific most of the time.

We have two ends; one for sitting and one for thinking. My success depends on which one I use more. Lord, grant me the determination and the necessary energy that I need to accomplish my goals for today and for my future.

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NA Just For Today

The Joy Of Sharing

“There is a spiritual principle of giving away what we have been given in Narcotics Anonymous in order to keep it. By helping others to stay clean, we enjoy the benefit of the spiritual wealth that we have found.”
Basic Text pg. 47

Time and again in our recovery, others have freely shared with us what was freely shared with them. Perhaps we were the recipients of a Twelfth Step call. Maybe someone picked us up and took us to our first meeting. It could be that someone bought us dinner when we were new. All of us have been given time, attention, and love by our fellow members. We may have asked someone, “What can I do to repay you?” And the answer we received was probably a suggestion that we do the same for a newer member when we were able.

As we maintain our clean time and recovery, we find ourselves wanting to do for others the things that someone did for us, and happy that we can. If we heard the message while in a hospital or institution, we can join our local H&I subcommittee. Perhaps we can volunteer on the NA help line. Or we can give of our time, attention, and love to a newcomer we are trying to help.

We’ve been given much in our recovery. One of the greatest of these gifts is the privilege of sharing with others what’s been shared with us, with no expectation of reward. It’s a joy to find we have something that can be of use to others, and that joy is multiplied when we share it. Today we can do so, freely and gratefully.

Just for today: I have been given much in my recovery, and I am deeply grateful for it. I will take joy in being able to share it with others as freely as it was shared with me.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Great symphonies begin with just one note. –Priscilla Young Pratt
Sometimes it’s really hard to get going. We put off things we don’t want to do, or are afraid to try. We occasionally feel overwhelmed by the size of a job to be done like cleaning out the cellar or reading a long book for a class.
But think a minute. If Beethoven had thought about how complicated it was to write his Ninth Symphony, with all those instruments and voices and notes to blend together, do we really think he would ever have started? But he didn’t get overwhelmed. He sat down and wrote just one small note, and then another, and a third. It took him months, but writing one note led to a second, and, one note at a time, he completed it.
We begin the same way with whatever tasks we have ahead of us. Each tiny bit of progress helps us go on to the next part. We begin by reading one page of that book, or taking one box of junk from the cellar. That’s all we have to do. The rest will follow almost on its own. The trick is to begin.
What needs to be done today, and how do I start?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
My mother was dead for five years before I knew that I loved her very much.
–Lillian Hellman
Each day it helps us to remember that we are always changing. Whatever is most clear to us today or is most prominent in our feelings – the difficulties we may be having with parents, wives or lovers, the worries we have about our children – is a part of an unfolding of events we cannot foresee. Just when we think we know exactly the direction things are going, they surprise us with change. Relationships continue to evolve and mature as we do. Even when separated from loved ones, our relationships may improve because we continue to grow.
Our task for this day is to be honest with ourselves, to be respectful to others, and to stay open to our Higher Power. Continuing to go forward, we put one foot in front of the other. We are changing internally, and circumstances around us are changing too. We remain hopeful for the future because outcomes are in the hands of God.
I cannot predict the direction of my growth. I will simply remain true to myself today and stay open for surprises.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Happiness is a form of freedom, and of all people I should be the freest. I’ve earned this happiness and this freedom.
–Angela L. Wozniak
Life is a process, and we are progressing beautifully. We are no longer abusing our bodies and minds with drugs. We are taking special time, daily, to look for guidance. We are working the Steps of the program, better and better as the abstinent days add up. We are free from past behaviors. And we can be free from our negative attitudes too.
Making a decision to look for the good in our experiences and in our friends and acquaintances frees us from so much frustration. It ushers in happiness, no only for us but for the others we are treating agreeably. Happiness is a byproduct of living the right kind of life.
We can take a moment today, each time an action is called for, to consider our response. The one that squares with our inner selves and feels good, is the right one. Happiness will accompany it.
Happiness is always within my power. My attitude is at the helm.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Feelings
It’s okay to have and feel our feelings – all of them.
Years into recovery, we may still be battling with ourselves about this issue. Of all the prohibitions we’ve lived with, this one is potentially the most damaging and the most long-lived.
Many of us needed to shut down the emotional part of ourselves to survive certain situations. We shut down the part of us that feels anger, sadness, fear, joy, and love. We may have turned off our sexual or sensual feelings too. Many of us lived in systems with people who refused to tolerate our emotions. We were shamed or reprimanded for expressing feelings, usually by people who were taught to repress their own.
But times have changed. It is okay now for us to acknowledge and accept our emotions. We don’t need to allow our emotions to control us; neither do we need to allow our emotions to control us; neither do we need to rigidly repress our feelings. Our emotional center is a valuable part of us. It’s connected to our physical well being, our thinking, and our spirituality.
Our feelings are also connected to that great gift, instinct. They enable us to give and receive love.
We are neither weak nor deficient for indulging in our feelings. It means we’re becoming healthy and whole.
Today, I will allow myself to recognize and accept whatever feelings pass through me. Without shame, I will tune in to the emotional part of myself.

Today I am experiencing all of my life. It is exciting to be alive in each moment. written by ~ Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Awaken Your Life Force

The Chinese call it chi. The Japanese,ki. It refers to energy, the life force, the Divine spirit of life that permeates all that is. That permeates you.

Awaken your life force. Do things that stimulate it, bring it alive. Walk on the ground with your bare feet and let the earth’s energy surge through you. Reach your hands toward the heavens and let Divine energy come down to you. Move around. Release the blocks.Feel. Love. Sing. Shout.

Come alive. Discover what it means to become vital and fully alive. Feel the life force surge through you, up through your legs, your spine, your head. Feel it wash down upon you through your arms, your torso, down through your toes and into the ground, rooting you to this planet like a tree. Know you have roots. Know you have branches.

Fill yourself with chi. Fill yourself until you feel vital, alive. Feel it until you become happy and joyful, grateful to be alive on this planet. Feel it until you know you are one with God, one with life, one with love. Feel it until you see how connected you are with all that lives.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Fall in love with life

I was sitting in the chair at the beauty shop getting my hair cut one day and listening to my beautician chatter away. She showed me a picture of one of her friends, a woman who had gotten married and recently had a baby girl.

“She’s been so in love since that child was born,” she said, showing me a picture of the new mother’s smiling face.

“In love with her husband?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “Well, that,too. I mean in love with life.”

Have you ever been in love, had your heart best fast when you anticipated the call of your lover, felt the way the sun felt warmer on your face, the sky appeared bluer, the clouds more fluffy, and the sunset more grand?

What if you could fall in love with your life and feel that way each day? I’m not saying romantic relationships are bad. They’re not. They’re part of being human and getting our needs met. But what if we could take all that passion and focus it into falling in love with life?

Maybe that is what is meant by universal love. Maybe that’s the part we give back.

Fall in love with your life today.

God, help me feel passionate about my life and all the possibilities that stretch out before me.

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Focused Value
Quality Vs. Quantity

We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a thin spread of freshly made preserves can satisfy us more than a full bucket of a product that we aren’t very fond of. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together. It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage.

Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be meaningful. A modest portion of good, healthy food can nourish and satisfy you on multiple levels and, when organically grown, nourish the earth as well. Likewise, a few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one catching up on the important details about family, work, or community can carry more meaning than two hours spent watching television together.

Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality. Then again, quantity also plays a significant role in our lives. Certain elements, such as hugs, kisses, abundance, and love, are best had in copious amounts that are high in quality. But faced with the choice between a single, heartfelt grin and a lifetime of empty smiles, most would, no doubt, choose the former. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Some people are such worriers that they worry about the fact that they have nothing to worry about. Newcomers in The Program sometimes feel, for example, “This is much too good to last.” Most of us, however, have plenty of real things to worry about — old standbys like money, health, death and taxes, to name just a few. But The Program tells us that the proven antidote to worry and fear is confidence — confidence not in ourselves, but in our Higher Power. Will I continue to believe that God can and will avert the calamity that I spend my days and nights dreading? Will I believe that if calamity does strike, God will enable me to see it through?

Today I Pray

May I realize that the worry habit — worry that grows out of broader, often unlabeled fears — will take more than time to conquer. Like many dependent people, I have lived with worry so long that it has become my constant, floor-pacing companion. May my Higher Power teach me that making a chum out of worry is a waste of my energy and fritters away my constructive hours.

Today I Will Remember

Kick the worry habit.

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One More Day

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
– Thomas Carlyle

We really know that we are not perfect. We are, like everyone else, beings capable of millions of behaviors. We can develop a humble self-awareness that takes all of our pluses and minuses into account. When we examine ourselves gently, but honestly, we find ourselves in a position where we can correct our own faults and become more tolerant and accepting of the faults of others.

The unconditional love we give ourselves — and everyone we care for — isn’t blind to imperfection; instead, it openly accepts strengths and weaknesses.

Today, my love of myself and others will be shown in my tolerance of imperfections.

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Food For Thought

We Are Sick

Until we realize fully that we are sick, we do not begin to recover. As long as we feel that all we need is a good diet and some willpower, we do not understand the nature of our disease. We would have been able to stop eating compulsively long ago if the answer had been willpower and diet.

When we examine the history of our obesity in the light of the OA program, we see that we are in the grip of an incurable illness, which gets progressively worse, never better. Once we accept the fact that there is no cure for our disease, we can begin to develop control. Until we recognize the seriousness of our illness, we do not succeed in controlling it.

By acknowledging that our very life depends on maintaining abstinence and practicing the OA principles, we come to terms with the reality of our situation. We can live satisfying, full, rewarding lives if we do not forget that we are sick and that our recovery will never be complete.

Each day, may I not forget that I am sick.

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One Day At A Time

~ACCOMPLISHMENT~
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.
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

The one thing that I am absolutely certain of today is that our Creator, God, lives in my heart and works miracles in my life daily. The biggest miracle, I believe, is having an awareness of Him, and knowing that He is in control of all that happens in my life. His power is infinite. If I were not aware of God, then I don’t believe I could work this program. It is the realization that God can accomplish anything that is helping me to work daily toward achieving my goal of continued abstinence and a changed attitude regarding food.

I cannot change what’s in my heart, but God can. I cannot, of myself, break lifelong habits, but God can motivate me to change. I cannot forgive myself all the pain I’ve inflicted on myself and others, while suffering from this disease, but God can soften my heart, and help me to forgive by letting me know that He forgives me. There is nothing that I can’t accomplish when I take God’s hand and let Him lead me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will let God guide me into an ever-deepening relationship with Him so that I may accomplish the great feat of arresting my compulsion to overeat.
Joycelyn

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but it’s application presented difficulties beyond our conception. What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge. – Pg. xxvii – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever time it is that we are reading this, we may feel anxious about what the rest of the day will bring. But our program is a ‘now’ program. Later will bring what later will bring, right now we’re clean and sober!

I will meditate briefly on the phrase ‘Be Here Now’ to better understand my new way of life.

Being in the Moment

Today, I see that the only real point of power is in the present, which is to say that life cannot be lived backward or forward, but only in the context of today. If I truly let myself have this moment and all that it contains, I will be in quiet possession of great eternal wealth. All that is, is in this moment where all the waters meet and all the wisdom of the ages lies; it is the now that calls me to it with open arms. I work out my past, not because it is right or good or proper, but because it allows me to be in fuller possession of my present. By releasing and returning to me those parts of me that remain prisoner in my own psychic and emotional jail, I can have access to the now. I allow myself this moment.
– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We not only attempt geographical ‘cures’ while drinking, but often while clean and sober too. When you make a move ‘for the better,’ unless you can honestly say you are running to something positive, then you are running from something that you haven’t faced.

No matter how fast or how far I go, I can’t outrun myself.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Not drinking is a symptom of your recovery.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am learning to think and act in a positive way that is healthy for my mind, body and spirit.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Laughter is the music of Alcoholics Anonymous. – Angie D.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 15

Pass It On
I’ll never forget the first time I met Bill Wilson.
I was a couple of months sober and so excited, so thrilled to meet the co-founder
that I gushed all over him with what my sobriety meant to me and my undying gratitude for his starting AA.
When I ran down, he took his hand in mine and said simply, “Pass it on.”
– ‘Pass It On’, preface

Thought to Ponder . . .
Gratitude is not a word in AA; it’s an action.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
N O W = No Other Way.

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

Pride
We scarcely need to be reminded that excessive guilt
or rebellion leads to spiritual poverty.
But it was a very long time before we knew
we could go even more broke on spiritual pride.
When we early AAs got our first glimmer
of how spiritually pride full we could be,
we coined this expression:
“Don’t try to get too damned good by Thursday!”
That old-time admonition may look like another of those
handy alibis that can excuse us from trying our best.
Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary.
This is our AA way of warning against pride-blindness,
and the imaginary perfection’s that we do not possess.
Bill W., June 1961
c. 1988 AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 255

Thought to Consider . . .
Pride without gratitude is arrogance.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S O B E R = Simply Observe Bill’s Exemplary Recovery

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

Ideas
>From “‘Suggested’ Steps”:
“I remember my sponsor’s answer when I told him that the Steps were ‘suggested.’ He replied that they are ‘suggested’ in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is ‘suggested’ that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was ‘suggested’ I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 344

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

“My drinking career was all about running away. I could pack up and vanish in a flash. Now, I can make commitments and become part of something. I can let myself belong.”
Kingston, N.Y., May 1997
“At Home in a Home Group”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

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

“When ready, we say something like this: ‘My Creator, I am now
willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you
now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in
the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as
I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.’ We have then
completed Step Seven.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 76~

“God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors,
psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to
take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give
freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and
bodies.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

Will he take every necessary step, submit to anything to get well, to stop drinking forever?
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.142

So it is that we first see humility as a necessity
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.73

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

As a society we must never become so vain as to suppose that we are authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect that every one of A.A.’s principles has been borrowed from ancient sources.
A minister in Thailand wrote, ‘We took A.A.’s Twelve Steps to the largest Buddhist monastery in this province, and the head priest said, ‘Why, these Steps are fine! For us as Buddhists, it might be slightly more acceptable if you had inserted the word ‘good’ in your Steps instead of ‘God.’ Nevertheless, you say that it is God as you understand Him, and that must certainly include the good. Yes, A.A.s Twelve Steps will surely be accepted by the Buddhists around here.’
St. Louis oldtimers recall how Father Edward Dowling helped start their group; it turned out to be largely Protestant, but this fazed him not a bit.’

Prayer for the Day: Prayer During Turmoil – Dear Higher Power, During times when my world becomes unhinged, and the foundations of what I believe crack and dissolve, give me the grace to believe that Your power is at work in the turmoil of my life. Lead me to remember that Your power is greater than all evil, and though the world may rock and sometimes break, it will in time, be transformed by Your love.