Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 29th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 29th

Daily Reflections

THE JOY OF LIVING

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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


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As Bill Sees It

Unlimited Choice, p. 201

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

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

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

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

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


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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

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

pp. 163-164

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

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

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

p. 353

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 98-100

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Keep your sobriety first to make it last.
–unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MADNESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Through Others’ Eyes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Experience the Thrill of the Climb

Don’t stop now. You’re almost there.

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

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let the adventure consume you

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

We accept the change.

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

And the adventure begins to consume us.

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

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

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

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A Self-Created State
Worry

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Helping helps me.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

Working Compulsively

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

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

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

Teach me how to work productively for You.

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Body Memories

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

I ask my body to wake up and live.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

Nothing is impossible in God’s world.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Prevent truth decay-read your Big Book.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

December 29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. we had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater
than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?
page 45 Alcoholics Anonymous

A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities for us.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.88

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from hate to love, from childish dependence to adult responsibility – all this and infinitely more represent change for the better.
Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a practice of sound principles. Here we must needs discard bad or ineffective principles in favor of good ones that work. Even good principles can sometimes be displaced by the discovery of still better ones.
Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is.

Prayer for the Day: God created me to express a full and happy life. Every second of every day spiritual energy flows through every cell, organ, muscle, tissue and fiber of my being, revitalizing and renewing me. I do not allow symptoms or medical terms to alarm me. I am filled with the spirit of health. I make positive statements about my health. I am complete and whole because the spirit of God fills me with ever-renewing life.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 28th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 28th

Daily Reflections

SUIT UP AND SHOW UP

In A.A. we aim not only for sobriety – we try again
to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and
of the world that once rejected us. This is the
ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work
is the first but not the final step.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 21

The old line says, “Suit up and show up.” That action
is so important that I like to think of it as my motto.
I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not.
Showing up at meetings starts me toward feeling a part
of that meeting, I can talk with newcomers, and I can
share my experience; that’s what credibility, honesty,
and courtesy really are. Suiting up and showing up are
the concrete actions I take in my ongoing return to
normal living.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. may be human in its organization, but it is divine
in its purpose. The purpose is to point me toward God and
the good life. My feet have been set upon the right path.
I feel it in the depths of my being. I am going in the
right direction. The future can be safely left to God.
Whatever the future holds, it cannot be too much for me
to bear. I have the Divine Power with me, to carry me
through everything that may happen. Am I pointed toward
God and the good life?

Meditation For The Day

Although unseen, the Lord is always near to those who
believe in Him and trust Him and depend on Him for the
strength to meet the challenges of life. Although veiled
from mortal sight, the Higher Power is always available to
us whenever we humbly ask for it. The feeling that God is
with us should not depend on any passing mood of ours, but
we should try to be always conscious of His power and love
in the background of our lives.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that today I may feel that God is not too far away
to depend on for help. I pray that I may feel confident of
His readiness to give me the power that I need.

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

As Bill Sees It

Alone No More, p.252

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded
by people who loved us. But when our self-will had driven
everybody away and our isolation became complete, we commenced
to play the big shot in cheap barrooms. Failing even in this, we
had to fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of
passers-by.

We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by
being dependent upon others. Even when our fortunes had not totally
ebbed, we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world. We still
vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or
dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In
this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who
understand us; we don’t have to be alone any more.

12 & 12, pp. 116-117

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Walk In Dry Places

Rehearing Rejection
Fortitude
The possibility of rejection exists with almost everything we do, if we are free to choose. We might not like rejection, but we want the same freedom to reject others. As freely choosing people, we need to turn down ideas or proposals we don’t like.
One thing we should never do, however, is rehearse rejections before they occur. If we do this, we may give up even before we have attempted what we hope to accomplish. In effect, we will be killing our hopes even before others have a chance to review them. This is always a ticket to failure.
Rejection is really a feedback mechanism that reports information we ought to have. It tells us either to change our approach or to seek acceptance elsewhere. It is not evidence that we’re completely unacceptable.
Our problem with any single rejection may be that it causes us to recall all the rejections we ever had. We can learn to see any rejection as a normal event that can be beneficial if we accept it properly.
I’ll not let any fear or visualization of rejection keep me from actions I ought to take today. I am an acceptable person, and there is a place for what I have to offer.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making. –Lillian Smith
As the sore tooth draws our tongue, so do rejections, affronts, painful criticisms, both past and present draw our minds. We court self-pity, both loving and hating it. But we can change this pattern. First we must decide we are ready to do so. The program tells us we must become “entirely ready.” And then we must ask to have this shortcoming removed.
The desire to dwell on the injustices of our lives becomes habitual. It takes hours of our time. It influences our perceptions of all other experiences. We have to be willing to replace that time-consuming activity with one that’s good and healthy.
We must be prepared for all of life to change. Our overriding self-pity has so tarnished our perceptions that we may never have sensed all the good that life daily offers. How often we see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full!
A new set of experiences awaits me today. And I can perceive them unfettered by the memories of the painful past. Self-pity need not cage me, today.

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

Keep It Simple

If You Walk With Lame Men You’ll soon Limp Yourself. Seaman McManus
Before recovery, we kept company with people who were as sick as us, or worse. We got angry and made fun of people who were trying to improve their lives. They scared us. They were like mirrors that reflected how spiritually lost we were becoming. Now we walk in the crowd we avoided. Now we have values. We have spiritual beliefs. Living up to these values and beliefs can be hard. We need to be around people who live by their values. In recovery, we learn that we need others. Remember, the first word in Step One is we. We need good people in our lives. We need friends who will not tell us what we want to hear, but what we are doing wrong.
Prayer for the Day: Sometimes I act like I need no one. Help me pick my friends wisely, for my life is at stake.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll pick one friend, and we’ll talk about how we can better help each other.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

Our friend proceeded to tell him. And with such good effect that the doctor agreed to a test among his patients and certain other alcoholics from a clinic which he attends. Arrangements were also made with the chief psychiatrist of a large public hospital to select still others from the stream of misery which flows through that institution.

p. 163

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

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

However, my low had been reached. I realized I had been going down and down. I was unhappy myself, and I had brought unhappiness to all who cared for me. Physically I couldn’t take it anymore. Cold sweats, jumpy nerves, and lack of sleep were becoming intolerable. Mentally, the fears and tensions, the complete change in attitude and outlook bewildered me. This was no way to live. The time for decision had arrived, and it was a relief to say yes when my family said they would call Alcoholics Anonymous for me–a relief, even though I dreaded it, feeling that this was the end of everything.

p. 353

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. Most certainly we shall need bracing air and an abundance of food. But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun. How, then, shall we meditate?

p. 98

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

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
–Charles A. Beard

“Learn from the negative as well as the positive, from the failures as well as the
successes.”
–Jim Rohn

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.”
–Marge Piercy

“In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change–breaking
down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take
their place.”
–Susan Taylor

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

HUMOR

“Humor is an affirmation of
dignity, a declaration of man’s
superiority to all that befalls
him.”
— Romain Gary

Today I laugh at myself. Today I need to laugh at myself in order to stay sane. Today
I choose not to take myself too seriously.

When I tell jokes about the alcoholic, I am not belittling the person. I am making fun of
the disease that nearly killed me. For me to live with the disease, I need to be able to
laugh at the disease in this way I stop it from having power in my life.

Also I catch something of the symptoms of the disease in the jokes: the grandiosity,
arrogance, manipulation, insanity, ego, selfishness and exaggeration. The joke allows
me to face reality with a smile.

O God, thank You for the healing gift of humor.

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

“For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”
II Samuel 22:29

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!”
1 Chronicles 16:11

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called
children of God.
1 John 3:1

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you
may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13

“Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be
disappointed.”
Isaiah 49:23

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is
born of God and knows God.”
1 John 4:7

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

Daily Inspiration

Do not run ahead of the Lord, but walk with Him, pray for His guidance and listen to His answers. Lord, let me put Your will first in my life.

Do what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord and receive the fullness of His blessings. Lord, I thank You for the gifts that I have received and ask forgiveness for all that I have done wrong.

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

NA Just For Today

Depression

“We are no longer fighting fear anger guilt, self-pity, or depression.”
Basic Text pg. 26

As addicts, many of us experience depression from time to time. When we feel depressed, we may be tempted to isolate ourselves. However, if we do this, our depression may turn to despair. We can’t afford to let depression lead us back to using.

Instead, we try to go about the routine of our lives. We make meeting attendance and contact with our sponsor top priorities. Sharing with others about our feelings may let us know we aren’t the only ones who have been depressed in recovery. Working with a newcomer can work wonders for our own state of mind. And, most importantly, prayer and meditation can help us tap the power we need to survive depression.

We practice acceptance and remember that feelings like depression will unquestionably pass in time. Rather than struggle with our feelings, we accept them and ask for the strength to walk through them.

Just for today: I accept that my feelings of depression won’t last forever. I will talk openly about my feelings with my sponsor or another person who understands.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading–It vexes me to choose another guide. . . . –Emily Bronte
We journey across many intersections in our lives. Some may point in two directions, while others lead off in several. Our choice of direction can be difficult, especially when our friends choose a road we know to be dangerous. When this happens, we can choose to go our own way without them. If they begin to tease and taunt us about our decisions, may we remember that they are as scared as we were about their friends’ reaction. We are not, after all, living for someone else. If we would be leaders, we can be assured that true leadership comes from following our own directions with confidence that it’s right for us, not from fear of losing others’ company.
We can let others live their own lives without us, if their direction is not for us. We can walk away with pride, satisfied in the knowledge that we refused to allow other people’s fears change our decisions.
How have I gone my own way recently?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
He is a man whom it is impossible to please, because he is never pleased with himself. –Goethe
Many of us grew up trying to please our fathers and feeling we never got the approval we needed. Perhaps our fathers couldn’t feel pleased with themselves. Now it is time to take stock of ourselves and ask whether we are perpetuating the pattern in our own lives. If we still feel unhappy with ourselves, we may never be satisfied with anyone else either. Spouses, children, bosses, even the parking lot attendant may receive the brunt of our self-disapproval. We don’t totally change these patterns in an instant. We change them one day at a time.
Today, we have before us a small piece of the future. We can begin by treating ourselves decently. Maybe we can’t feel a strong sense of personal approval yet, but we can give ourselves some basic respect. We can start by remembering we have the love of God. We can affirm at least one positive thing about ourselves. After some positive reflection, we will have more to give to others.
Today, I will give myself approval for at least one thing.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making. –Lillian Smith
As the sore tooth draws our tongue, so do rejections, affronts, painful criticisms, both past and present draw our minds. We court self-pity, both loving and hating it. But we can change this pattern. First we must decide we are ready to do so. The program tells us we must become “entirely ready.” And then we must ask to have this shortcoming removed.
The desire to dwell on the injustices of our lives becomes habitual. It takes hours of our time. It influences our perceptions of all other experiences. We have to be willing to replace that time-consuming activity with one that’s good and healthy.
We must be prepared for all of life to change. Our overriding self-pity has so tarnished our perceptions that we may never have sensed all the good that life daily offers. How often we see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full!
A new set of experiences awaits me today. And I can perceive them unfettered by the memories of the painful past. Self-pity need not cage me, today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Panic
Don’t panic!
If panic strikes, we do not have to allow it to control our behaviors. Behaviors controlled by panic tend to be self-defeating. No matter what the situation or circumstance, panic is usually not a good foundation. No matter what the situation or circumstance, we usually have at least a moment to breathe deeply and restore our serenity and peace.
We don’t have to do more than we can reasonably do – ever! We don’t have to do something we absolutely cannot do or cannot learn to do!
This program, this healthy way of life we are seeking, is built on a foundation of peace and quiet confidence – in ourselves, in our Higher Power, in the recovery process.
Do not panic. That takes us away from the path. Relax. Breathe deeply. Let peace flow through our body and mind. From this base, our Source shall supply the necessary resources.
Today, I will treat panic as a separate issue that needs immediate attention. I will refuse to allow panicky thoughts and feelings to motivate me. Instead, I will let peace and trust motivate my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Today I am slowing down my pace. I do not have to accomplish the entire world in this day. It is one day. Today I have time to stop and smell the flowers. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Heal Yourself

Infuse healing energy into yourself, into your being. For too long, we’ve been attracted to things that drain us, exhausting our body, depleting our soul. That time has passed.

The world is a spa, a nature retreat, a wealth of healing resources. Pour Epsom salts and essential oils into your bath. Sit quietly by a tree or in a garden. Walk around the block in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in a nearby park or a day at the lake or beach. Throw stones into the river while you sit on the bank contemplating the eternal stream of life. Allow beautiful music to quietly imbue the stillness with healing instead of the pounding of your mind. Light a fire and awaken the darkened hearth to glowing flames and soothing warmth.

Rise from your bed early in the morning. Open the curtains. Watch the sunrise. Feel the sunrise. Let it infuse you with its message. Let it energize you, invigorate you, fill you with life. At day’s end return to the window. Or step outside. Watch the sunset. Absorb its changing colors spreading out beyond the horizon. Feel how it changes the earth and all it touches.

Pet a puppy, stroke a piece of velvet, listen to a symphony. If you can’t slow down long enough to absorb the energy the first time, do it a second and a third. Absorb revitalizing energy until you can hear your voice, hear your heart tell you what would feel good, what would bring peace, what would bring stillness and joy. Before long, doing what brings healing and joy will become as natural as it used to be to do what drains, tires, depletes, and exhausts.

It isn’t enough to draw near to the light. Absorb it into you. Let it charge you and change you with its energy and its power. Healing is all around you. Wherever you are, whatever your resources, healing, energy, and joy are there.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Risk being alive

“I know nothing is going to lasr forever,” Charlie said. “But the key to life and being happy is acting as though it is.”

Many of us have had our illusions about security and permanency shattered. The longer we’re alive, the more it gets beat into us: nothing is forever. We can plan on many things, but the only thing we can plan on with any certainty is change.

At some time in our lives, we may have convinced ourselves otherwise. We surrendered ourselves to that job, that project, or that relationship with all our hearts, only to have it crash to an end.

Some of us may have decided, after enough cycles of beginnings, middles, and endings, that the way to deal with this was never to fully give our hearts to any person or circumstance, never to let ourselves fully be present and enjoy the moment.

If I don’t get in completely, I won’t get hurt when it ends, we think. Maybe. But you won’t experience the pleasure and joy, the rich, sweet full taste of those moments, either.

Okay, so you’re wiser now. You know nothing lasts forever. You know the moment something happens, the ending has already been written,too. People are born. They die. A job or project begins. Then it ends. But there’s an entire luscious middle waiting, inviting you to jump in fully and see how sweet life can be. Besides, when the ending does come, you’ll also have been given enough wisdom, courage, and grace to deal with that,too.

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead. Stop holding back. Jump in.

Live your life.

God, give me enough faith and a well of letting go so I can live each moment fully.

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

Useful Transformation
Make Change Work for You by Madisyn Taylor

When we experience change in our life we can control our response and reaction to the changes that are happening.

Transformation is a universal constant that affects our lives from the moment we are born until we leave earthly existence behind. At the root of all growth, we find change. Occasionally, change and the circumstances leading up to it are a source of extraordinary joy, but more often than not they provoke feelings of discomfort, fear, or pain. Though many changes are unavoidable, we should not believe that we are subject to the whims of an unpredictable universe. It is our response to those circumstances that will dictate the nature of our experiences. At the heart of every transformation, no matter how chaotic, there is substance. When we no longer resist change and instead regard it as an opportunity to grow, we find that we are far from helpless in the face of it.

Our role as masters of our own destinies is cemented when we choose to make change work in our favor. Yet before we can truly internalize this power, we must accept that we cannot hide from the changes taking place all around us. Existence as we know it will come to an end at one or more points in our lives, making way for some new and perhaps unexpected mode of being. This transformation will take place whether or not we want it to, and so it is up to us to decide whether we will open our eyes to the blessings hidden amidst disorder or close ourselves off from opportunities hiding behind obstacles.

To make change work for you, look constructively at your situation and ask yourself how you can benefit from the transformation that has taken place. As threatening as change can seem, it is often a sign that a new era of your life has begun. If you reevaluate your plans and goals in the days or weeks following a major change, you will discover that you can adapt your ambition to the circumstances before you and even capitalize on these changes. Optimism, enthusiasm, and flexibility will aid you greatly here, as there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been. Change can hurt in the short term but, if you are willing to embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will nearly always be physically, spiritually, and intellectually transformative. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program, for me, is not a place nor a philosophy, but a highway to freedom. The highway leads me toward the goal of a “spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps.” The highway doesn’t get me to the goal as quickly as I some wish, but I try to remember that God and I work from different timetables. But the goal is there, and I know that the Twelve Steps will help me reach it. Have I come to the realization that I — and anyone — can now do what I had always thought impossible?

Today I Pray

As I live The Program, may I realize more and more that it is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. May I keep in mind that the mind of spirituality it calls for is never complete, but is the essence of change and growth, a drawing nearer to an ideal state. May I be wary of setting time-oriented goals for myself to measure my spiritual progress.

Today I Will Remember

Timetables are human inventions.

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

One More Day

Sadness flies away on the wings of time.
– Jean De La Fontaine

When we’re sad, it’s hard to believe that time will heal all our wounds. An old family-practice doctor used to call it the TOT Treatment — Tincture of Time.

Our sadness may be due to a change in living patterns or even in the weather. It might be due to loss of a loved one, of good health, or even of a cherished object. And our grief takes time.

Whatever the reason for our sadness, after a self-imposed period of time alone, we begin to venture out once again into our world. We work our way, ever so slowly, back into some pattern of normalcy. TOT has done it’s work once again. Laughter surfaces, and we know we have put enough time and space between us and our sadness. We are whole again.

A time of sadness is natural, just as natural as the rediscovered joy that follows it.

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

Food For Thought

Minimizing Temptation

There are things we can do to minimize the temptations that are around us. We are constantly exposed to food advertisements if we watch television and read magazines. Most of us need to spend a certain amount of time purchasing and preparing food. Social gatherings usually involve refreshments. All of this exposure to food can be uncomfortable for compulsive overeaters if we do not find ways to minimize it.

It is a good idea to skip the recipe sections in the magazines we read. Unnecessary thinking about food only intensifies our obsession. Moving away from the television set during a food commercial is a way to minimize that kind of temptation. Grocery shopping is expedited by not considering any items other than those on a prepared list and by spending as little time as possible in the grocery store. Meal preparation can be simplified so that less rather than more time is spent in the kitchen. At parties, we can concentrate on people and conversation instead of food.

The best way to handle temptation is by remembering that we are compulsive overeaters and that nothing is worth activating our disease.

Guide us as we avoid temptation.

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

One Day At A Time

~MEDITATION~
God is the mirror of silence
in which all creation is reflected.
Paramahansa Yogananda

The disease of compulsive overeating is a devious one. It tries to tell me that I’m not a worthwhile person. It tries to tell me that I’m never going to recover, so I may as well eat. The disease tries to make me feel like I’m the lowest of the low.

Fortunately, there are many things in this recovery program that counteract the disease. I can use a food plan to make sure I don’t eat what I’m not supposed to eat. I can read program literature to show me how to live triumphantly. I can work the Steps, do service, make outreach calls; there’s so much I can do which can bring recovery from compulsive overeating.

Another of the things I can do to counteract my disease is meditation. When I meditate, I come into conscious contact with my Higher Power. Meditation helps me to see that I am a worthwhile person, that God loves me just as I am. When I meditate I gain insights into the program literature I’m reading, I learn the things I need to do to further my recovery. I also learn the things that stifle my growth, so I can stop doing them. Meditation is very important to my recovery program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember the importance of meditation, and I meditate every day.
Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you, especially in his lack of control. He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is seldom mildly drunk. His disposition while drinking resembles his normal nature but little. He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, and then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees. – Pg. 21 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Our 12 steps are dedicated primarily to the cultivation of principle in the befuddled addict’s mind. Spiritual soundness leads to mental soundness. Even though we don’t understand the process of our program to stop our cravings, we must trust that IT WORKS.

I look at those around me, at their success and know that this process WORKS even if it isn’t clear how.

Self Importance

I will get my mind off of the treadmill. There is more to life than my worries and obsessions. Just for today I won’t give every little thing more importance than it deserves. In the scheme of things, all of my petty annoyances aren’t all that important. I don’t have to take them so seriously that they disturb my inner peace. When I am constantly preoccupies with all that’s wrong, I forget to remember all that’s right. Self importance is different from valuing myself. Self importance gets me tied up in mental knots, valuing myself is nourishing and loving.

I will get out of my own way today

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The reason people blame other people is because there is only one alternative.

I do not point a finger at another because there are always three pointing back at me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When you look in the mirror, you are looking at the problem, but, remember, you are also looking at the solution.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am slowing down my pace. I do not have to accomplish the entire world in this day. It is one day. Today I have time to stop and smell the flowers.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

When in deep water; become a diver. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 28

The Circle and Triangle
Above us, at the International Convention in St. Louis in 1955, floated a banner
on which was inscribed the then new symbol for AA, a circle enclosing a triangle.
The circle stands for the whole world of AA, and the triangle stands for AA’s Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity, and

Service.
It is perhaps no accident that priests and seers of antiquity regarded this symbol as a means of warding off spirits of

evil.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 307

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

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A’s – R – U S = Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery, Unity, Service.

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

Keynotes
We can try to stop making unreasonable demands
upon those we love.
We can show kindness where we had shown none.
With those we dislike we can begin to practice
justice and courtesy,
perhaps going out of our way to understand and help them.
Whenever we fail any of these people,
we can promptly admit it — to ourselves always,
and to them also, when the admission would be helpful.
Courtesy, kindness, justice, and love
are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony
with practically anybody.
c. 1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 93

Thought to Consider . . .
Let us always love the best in others —
and never fear their worst.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E L P = Hope, Encouragement, Love, Patience

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

Apology
>From “Our Side of the Street”:
I made amends to my dad soon after I quit drinking. My words fell on deaf ears since I had blamed him for my troubles. Several months later I made amends to my dad again. This time I wrote a letter in which I did not blame him or mention his faults. It worked, and at last I understood! My side of the street is all that I’m responsible for and thanks to God and A.A. it’s clean for today.”
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 259

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

“It feels good to be trusted.”
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, November 2003
“Nobody’s Fault but Mine”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober

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

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

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 82~

“Our hope is that when this chip of a book is launched on the world
tide of alcoholism, defeated drinkers will seize upon it, to follow
its suggestions. Many, we are sure, will rise to their feet and march
on. They will approach still other sick ones and fellowships of
Alcoholics Anonymous may spring up in each city and hamlet, havens
for those who must find a way out.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, Page 153~

These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations of whatever sort of life we try to build.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.49

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It is possible for us to use the alleged dishonesty of other people as a plausible excuse for not meeting our own obligations.
Once, some prejudiced friends exhorted me never to go back to Wall Street. They were sure that the rampant materialism and double-dealing down there would stunt my spiritual growth. Because this sounded so high-minded, I continued to stay away from the only business that I knew.
When, finally, my household went broke, I realized I hadn’t been able to face the prospect of going back to work. So I returned to Wall Street, and I have ever since been glad that I did. I needed to rediscover that there are many fine people in New York’s financial district. Then, too, I needed the experience of staying sober in the very surroundings where alcohol had cut me down.
A Wall Street business trip to Akron, Ohio, first brought me face to face with Dr. Bob. So the birth of A.A. hinged on my effort to meet my bread-and-butter responsibilities.

Prayer for the Day: God I feel your peace as it moves gently through my soul. I feel a sense of serenity now as I let go of all cares and challenges. All tension is released. I am filled with inner peace that overflows into everything I do. Throughout this day I will be unfolding in your loving care.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Dec 27th

Daily Reflections

PROBLEM SOLVING

“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual
principles would solve all my problems.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 42

Through the recovery process described in the Big Book,
I have come to realize that the same instructions that
work on my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I
am angry or frustrated, I consider the matter a
manifestation of the main problem within me,
alcoholism. As I “walk” through the Steps, my
difficulty is usually dealt with long before I reach
the Twelfth “suggestion,” and those difficulties that
persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry
the message to someone else. These principles do
solve my problems! I have not encountered an exception,
and I have been brought to a way of living which is
satisfying and useful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I need the A.A. principles for the development of the
buried life within me, that good life, which I had
misplaced, but which I found again in this fellowship.
This life within me is developing slowly but surely,
with many set-backs, many mistakes, many failures, but
still developing. As long as I stick close to A.A., my
life will go on developing, and I cannot yet know what
it will be, but I know that it will be good. That’s
all I want to know. It will be good. Am I thanking God for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Build your life on the firm foundation of true gratitude
to God for all His blessings and true humility because of
your unworthiness of these blessings. Build the frame of
your life out of self-discipline, never let yourself get
selfish or lazy or contented with yourself. Build the
walls of your life out of service to others,
helping others find the way to live. Build the roof of
your life out of prayer and quiet times, waiting for
God’s guidance from above. Build a garden around your
life out of peace of mind and serenity and a sure faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may build my life on A.A. principles. I
pray that it may be a good building when my work is finished.

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As Bill Sees It

Servant, Not Master, p.259

In A.A., we found that it did not matter too much what our
material condition was, but it mattered greatly what our spiritual
condition was. As we improved our spiritual outlook, money
gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a
means of exchanging love and services with those about us.

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One of A.A.’s Loners is an Austrian sheepman who lives two thousand
miles from the nearest town, where yearly he sells his wool. In order
to be paid the best prices he has to get to town during a certain
month. But when he heard that a big regional A.A. meeting was to be
held at a later date when wool prices would have fallen, he gladly
took heavy financial loss in order to make his journey then. That’s
how much an A.A. meeting means to him.

1. 12 & 12, p.122
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p.31

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Walk In Dry Places

Limiting Gossip
No harm to others.
“When you’ve told me their names, do not tell me their faults,” a person said at an AA meeting. She was explaining how careful we must be to keep gossip within tight limits. However, it is possible to identify people in gossip without actually speaking their names. We can give so many facts that the listener can identify whom we’re discussing. This is no less malicious and thoughtless than actually naming the person.
We can avoid these dangers by giving up both the desire to gossip and the wish to listen to gossip. We will always have matters to gossip about; we can always find weaknesses in those we envy, faults in people we want to see taken down a notch or two. But if we persist in the program, we should find ourselves moving out of this limited way of thinking. We’ll put severe limits on gossip at the same time.
I’ll sidestep gossip if it starts to find a way into my life today. Under God’s guidance, I have better things to do.

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Keep It Simple

Reading is to the Mind, what exercise is to the body.
Good ideas are the seeds that start our growth. We hear things at meetings. We listen to our sponsor.
Maybe we listen to program tapes. And we read. Reading is special because we do it when we’re alone.
We read in quiet times, when we can think. We can read as fast or as slow as we want. We can mark special words and come back to them again and again. We’ll figure things out in our way, but we need help to get started. That’s why we read. It gives us good ideas to think about.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, speak to me through helpful readings and help me learn at my best pace.
Action for the Day: Reading is easier the more I do it. Today I’ll feel proud that I’ve read program ideas to get my mind thinking in a healthy way.

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Each Day a New Beginning

One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm. –Hannah Senesh
Life offers little, if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives’ purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.
We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program, its possibilities and our purpose, and it’s that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.
The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the women we were. So much more have we become! Each day’s worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.
I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I’ll find it. There is magic in believing.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 – A Vision For You

We know of an A.A. member who was living in a large community. He had lived there but a few weeks when he found that the place probably contained more alcoholics per square mile than any city in the country. This was only a few days ago at this writing. (1939) The authorities were much concerned. He got in touch with a prominent psychiatrist who had undertaken certain responsibilities for the mental health of the community. The doctor proved to be able and exceedingly anxious to adopt any workable method of handling the situation. So he inquired, what did our friend have on the ball?

p. 163

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

It Might Have Been Worse

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

The final decision came when my daughter, following a drunk of mine that ruined my wife’s birthday, said, “It’s Alcoholics Anonymous–or else! Of course, this suggestion had been made before on a number of occasions, but like all alcoholics I wanted to handle my problem my own way, which really meant I didn’t want anything to interfere with my drinking. I was trying to find an easier, softer way. By now it had become difficult to visualize a life without alcohol.

p. 353

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

As we have seen, self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. It is a step in the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.

p. 98

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A person who possesses true peace is not one whose life is without problems and
turmoil but is rather a person who has peace in spite of it.
–unknown

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns
have roses.”
–Tom Wilson

Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.
–Marian Anderson

Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.
–Mary Kay Ash

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and
beginning the work of becoming yourself.
–Anna Quindlen

It’s never too late — in fiction or in life — to revise.
–Nancy Thayer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LIES

“Sin has many tools, but a lie is
the handle that fits them all.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

To lie is to rob life of meaning. In my addiction I was a liar, not just by what I said but
by what I did, what I left unsaid and by my manipulation with half-truths. All lies shut
out truth making us prisoners of fantasy and illusion. The world becomes what we
want it to be rather than what it is and reality is lost. The liar is forced into the
prison of loneliness, despair and isolation because nobody can know him, nobody can
understand him. His language and communication are ego-centered. The liar is not living
in the real world. He is living in his own world, with his own rules and definitions. The lies
are the killing wounds, and they are self-inflicted.

Today I prefer the pain of truth to the passing satisfaction of the lie and the habit of
telling the truth is growing in me!

God of Truth, may You ever be reflected in the life I seek to live.

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Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:2

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in
Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this
kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict
with the law.
Galatians 5:22-23

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Daily Inspiration

When we become aware that we possess all the spiritual treasures necessary for a productive and happy life, we will never want for anything. Lord, You are a limitless source of abundance and love.

There is not one moment that we are separated from God’s care unless we choose to be. Lord, You provide for my daily needs and deliver me from evil. You are my refuge.

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NA Just For Today

God Could Restore Us To Sanity

“The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief.”
Basic Text pg. 24

Now that we’ve finally admitted our insanity and seen examples of it in all its manifestations, we might be tempted to believe that we are doomed to repeat this behavior for the rest of our lives. Just as we thought that our active addiction was hopeless and we’d never get clean, we might now believe that our particular brand of insanity is hopeless.

Not so! We know that we owe our freedom from active addiction to the grace of a loving God. If our Higher Power can perform such a miracle as relieving our obsession to use drugs, surely this Power can also relieve our insanity in all its forms.

If we doubt this, all we have to do is think about the sanity that has already been restored to our lives. Maybe we’ve gotten carried away with our credit cards, but sanity returns when we admit defeat and cut them all up. Perhaps we’ve been feeling lonely and want to go visit our old using buddies. Going to visit our sponsor instead is a sane act.

The insanity of our addiction recedes into the past as we begin experiencing moments of sanity in our recovery. Our belief in a Power greater than ourselves grows as we begin to understand that even our brand of insanity is nothing in the face of this Power.

Just for today: I thank the God of my understanding for each sane act in my life, for I know they are indications of my restoration to sanity.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all, and it often comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible except with time. –Abraham Lincoln
Time may or may not heal all wounds. It depends on how we use the time. If we deny our sorrow, or runaway from it, or hope it will just go away by itself, we will be miserable. But if we turn and face it, and express our sadness in healthy ways, somehow we are transformed by the sorrow itself. While the loss is still there, it begins not to hurt so much.
We can express our sadness in many ways. Crying is probably the healthiest means of expressing grief. It’s good to cry, even for men, because it releases tension and stress, and we find a little peace afterwards. It is true that tears are healing.
Getting angry and expressing our anger in appropriate, healthy ways also helps to heal wounds of loss, strange as it may seem. Yes, in time and with the courage to express our feelings, our wounds are indeed healed.
What is a healthy way to express my anger at a loss?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
–Albert Einstein
The marketplace and fashion entice us in countless ways to indulge our individual pleasures. Some say that success will be with the man who follows those seductive beckonings. Even sacrificing long hours by working two jobs to become a financial success or to achieve high career goals can be self-centered activity. It may be time and energy spent seeking power and glory at the cost of time with our family and friends – time for enjoying each other and growing. Sadly, external success leads to superficial pleasure but never to peace within ourselves.
However, when we pursue the values of honesty, humility, and service, we will find enduring self-respect and close friendships. This path provides a genuine experience of life’s greatest rewards rather than the glitter of passing excitement.
Today, I will strive toward the greater values rather than superficial successes.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm. –Hannah Senesh
Life offers little, if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives’ purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.
We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program, its possibilities and our purpose, and it’s that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.
The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the women we were. So much more have we become! Each day’s worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.
I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I’ll find it. There is magic in believing.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Near the Top
I know you’re tired. I know you feel overwhelmed. You may feel as though this crisis, this problem, this hard time will last forever.
It won’t. You are almost through.
You don’t just think it has been hard; it has been hard. You have been tested, tried, and retested on what you have learned.
Your beliefs and your faith have been tried in fire. You have believed, then doubted, then worked at believing some more. You have had to have faith even when you could not see or imagine what you were asked to believe. Others around you may have tried to convince you not to believe in what you were hoping you could believe.
You have had opposition. You have not gotten to this place with total support and joy. You have had to work hard, in spite of what was happening around you. Sometimes, what motivated you was anger; sometimes fear.
Things went wrong – more problems occurred than you anticipated. There were obstacles, frustrations, and annoyances en route. You did not plan on this being the way it would evolve. Much of this has been a surprise; some of it has not been at all what you desired.
Yet, it has been good. Part of you, the deepest part that knows truth, has sensed this all along, even when your head told you that things were out of whack and crazy; that there was no plan or purpose, that God had forgotten you.
So much has happened, and each incident – the most painful, the most troubling, and the most surprising – has a connection. You are beginning to see and sense that.
You never dreamt things would happen this way, did you? But they did. Now you are learning the secret – they were meant to happen this way, and this way is good, better than what you expected.
You didn’t believe it would take this long, either – did you? But it did. You have learned patience.
You never thought you could have it, but now you know you do.
You have been led. Many were the moments when you thought you were forgotten, when you were convinced you had been abandoned. Now you know you have been guided.
Now things are coming into place. You are almost at the end of this phase, this difficult portion of the journey. The lesson is almost complete. You know – the lesson you fought, resisted, and insisted you could not learn. Yes, that one. You have almost mastered it.
You have been changed from the inside out. You have been moved to a different level, a higher level, a better level.
You have been climbing a mountain. It has not been easy, but mountain climbing is never easy. Now, you are near the top. A moment longer, and the victory shall be yours.
Steady your shoulders. Breathe deeply. Move forward in confidence and peace. The time is coming to relish and enjoy all, which you have fought for. That time is drawing near, finally.
I know you have thought before that the time was drawing near, only to learn that it wasn’t. But now, the reward is coming. You know that too. You can feel it.
Your struggle has not been in vain. For every struggle on this journey, there is a climax, a resolution.
Peace, joy, abundant blessings, and reward are yours here on earth. Enjoy.
There will be more mountains, but now you know how to climb them. And you have learned the secret of what is at the top.
Today, I will accept where I am and continue pushing forward. If I am in the midst of a learning experience, I will allow myself to continue on with the faith that the day of mastery and reward will come. Help me, God; understand that despite my best efforts to live in peaceful serenity, there are times of mountain climbing. Help me stop creating chaos and crisis, and help me meet the challenges that will move me upward and forward.

Today I am unveiling my layers and layers of self-doubt and letting them go. Today I am taking back all the power I have given to others by discovering the courage that comes from my own wisdom. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Embrace Your Destiny

Her words were simple but profound. “Fall in love with your destiny.”

How often we search outside of ourselves for some elusive moment, for an experience like someone else is having, for an emotion we’d like to feel but aren’t, at least not right now. How often we long to be somewhere other than where we are, or someone other than who we are. How easy it can be to complain about and regret our past, thinking it’s somehow wrong.

The answer is to fall in love– fall in love with our own life. Our destiny isn’t some far-off moment or something that happens to someone else. Our destiny is taking place right now. It’s been happening all along.

Destiny is that mysterious force or energy that magically intertwines with choice, free will, and fate. Let all those elements weave together and create your life. But know you can help to create it too, by falling in love with your own life. Love all the places you have gone and all the places you will go. Love the lessons you have learned and the way you have learned them.

Most of all, love where you are right now. Because that’s where your destiny lies.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Cherish the glimmers of light

I know people who have been enmeshed in extremely hard times. One woman lost her husband and both children in a fire. Another found her teenage child hung to death– suicide– on her back porch one Sunday in the spring. I’ve known people struggling with chronic depression. I’ve known people who lost their fortunes in one swoop. I’ve known people who were active, healthy people one day, and the next day an accident paralyzed them for life.

I had my years of grief,too, after the death of my son. Year after year the pain pounded incessantly, threatening never to abate.

Listen carefully. I pray you will never have such a time. But even if you’re going through something like that, make every moment count. And pay special attention to the moments when the pain and the suffering subside, even if it’s only for a few seconds or hours. Count those moments as a gift, a glimmer of light. Hold them in your heart.

Write in your journal about how much it hurts. Feel all your pain. But take the time to document those brief moments each week when just a glimmer of pleasure sets in.

Remember, two plus two equals four. Four plus four equals eight.

Those moments will add up.

You might not be going through a time in your life that you relish, but try to find a few moments where you can catch your breath, look around, and say how sweet it is.

God, help me find at least one thing in my life that makes me feel good and gives me pleasure, even if it’s for only one moment of my day.

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Clarity of Soul
Chakra Clearing Exercise by Madisyn Taylor

Just as the spaces we inhabit need to be cleared of clutter, our energetic fields must also be cleared of the old.

Just as the physical spaces we inhabit require that we clear them periodically of clutter, the energetic fields that are a vital part of our being must also be cleared of old thoughts, energy, and emotions. Clearing your chakras and your aura restores and strengthens your connection to yourself and your divine inner wisdom. Unfettered by energetic baggage masquerading as fear, pain, and self-hatred, your consciousness is once again free to grow. If you find the thought of clearing your energy fields disconcerting, simply think of it as cleansing the energy that surrounds you and releasing any stagnancy. You may not be able to see the results of your efforts, but you will experience a lightness of being and clarity of mind.

You can begin by sitting or lying down on a comfortable surface. Take a series of deep breaths and allow your soul to connect with Mother Earth and the vast expanse of the Universe. Visualize your first chakra, situated near the tailbone, and imagine if you will, a valve opening there, much like a faucet. Imagine a cord dropping from your tailbone deep into Mother Earth and let everything that is stagnant within you flow through it. Let go of old energy, inactive thoughts, and anything else that no longer serves you. Ask the earth to accept what you are offering by turning this old energy into light. Continue to let old energy drain out of you until you feel like you’ve released all your energetic baggage. When you are done, imagine the valve closing. Before moving on to clear your next chakra, let vibrant terra cotta light travel upward from the earth and through the cord into your first chakra. Repeat this process with all seven of the body’s chakras. The second chakra i! s orange, the third is yellow, the fourth is green, the fifth is blue, the sixth is indigo and the 7th is violet. Afterward, visualize your crown chakra and draw beautiful, golden-white light from the universe flowing down through the top of your head. Release any worries or fears that you have been holding on to. Draw this light into your aura and enjoy the resultant feeling of peace.

To finish clearing your energy and ensure that you have rid yourself of the last vestiges of clutter, take a bath infused with one cup apple cider vinegar, one cup Epsom salt, and one cup sea salt. After completing this exercise, be sure to thank Mother Earth and the universe for their help. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“The central characteristics of the spiritual experience,” wrote AA co-founder Bill W., ‘is that it gives the recipient a new and better motivation out of all proportion to any process of discipline, belief, or faith. These experiences cannot make us whole at once; they are a rebirth to a fresh and certain opportunity.” Do I see my assets as God’s gifts, which have been in part matched by an increasing willingness on my part to find and do His will for me?

Today I Pray

I pray for the wholeness of purpose that can only come through spiritual experience. No amount of intellectual theory, pep-talking to myself, disciplined deprivation, “doing it for” somebody else can accomplish the same results. May I pray for spiritual enlightenment, not only in order to recover, but for itself.

Today I Will Remember

Total motivation through spiritual wholeness.

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One More Day

For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with starts, invisible day.
– Henry Waddsworth Longfellow

As young children we probably had favorite elderly people who made us feel special. We never gave much thought to their age. During young adulthood, however, we may have begun to dread getting elder. For some reason we saw the outward signs of aging as the beginning of the end.

As we become wiser and more mature, we come to realize that we once again venerate elderly people — for their wisdom, for their love, for their skills, and especially, for their joy of living. Many of us seem to choose one or two special people whom we wish to be like. And then we try our hardest to measure up.

I look forward to the wisdom and joy of living that often come with age. I am no longer afraid.

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Food For Thought

Courage

We pray for the courage to change the things we can. We cannot change the fact that we are compulsive overeaters, but we can change our actions so that we are not destroyed by our disease. Making changes requires the courage to start out on a new, unknown course. Courage does not mean the elimination of fear. Courage means acting in spite of the fact that we are afraid.

It takes courage to learn to affirm one’s rights as an individual, especially if the old way was to say yes to all demands and requests, reasonable and unreasonable. It takes courage to face the truth instead of continuing to live with comfortable illusions. Courage is necessary for working the steps of the OA program.

Sometimes courage comes when we are pressed to a wall of failure. There is nothing to do but turn around and step out in a new direction, even though we are afraid. The courage born of desperation can produce remarkable results.

Grant us the courage to move in Your direction.

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One Day At A Time

~ JOY~
Life is no brief candle to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch which
I have got hold of for the moment, and
want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw

For many years my life was filled with pain and I felt totally empty inside. I did what I had to do for my children and for the people around me, but with a heavy heart, and life seemed to be one endless day after the other. What had happened to all the dreams and hopes I had for a life filled with joy and happiness? Sometimes the pain got to be so great that life just didn’t seem to be worthwhile any more. At times I even contemplated ending my life. I have often heard it said that the opposite of pain is joy but in those dark days, I certainly couldn’t see that.

It is only in recovery that I see that the pain had a meaning, and it has brought me to a great appreciation of all the miracles in my life. I can appreciate the beauty in nature, and for the first time in a very long time my soul is filled with joy. When I listen to Beethoven’s glorious Ninth Symphony with its last movement, the choral piece set to the poet Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”, I begin to realize that one can create something truly wondrous out of one’s pain and suffering. Beethoven wrote this magnificent work shortly before his death, when he was in tremendous emotional pain and totally deaf. Yet he created this truly amazing piece of music that lives on nearly 200 years after his death, and will probably do so for many years to come.

I now realize that there was a reason for my suffering and if, out of that, I can bring some joy or happiness to others, then my life will have had some purpose. It is only through this fellowship that I have been able to see that.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will always remember that my pain has been a growing experience that enables me to share what I have learned with other fellow sufferers. I can now appreciate all the miracles that my Higher Power performs in my life, and I am now truly able to experience joy.
Sharon S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Young people may be encouraged by man’s experience to think that they can stop, as he did, on their own will power. We doubt if many of them can do it, because none will really want to stop, and hardly one of them, because of the peculiar twist already acquired, will find he can win out. Several of our crowd, men of thirty or less, had been drinking only a few years, but they found themselves as helpless as those who had been drinking twenty years. – Pg. 33 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Sometimes it is tough to stay away from our drug of choice for a whole day. The call and craving are so strong! When we can’t manage a whole day, we manage this hour. When the hour is up, we manage one more until we are clean.

Help me to stay clean and sober, from one hour to the next.

Appreciating What I Have

Today I won’t let my desire for more, blind me to what’s already here. My life is full of blessings that I look right past when all I see is what’s missing rather than what is there. Desire is natural and good, I need to feel it to grow and reach beyond myself. But today, I will appreciate what I already have before I ask for more. Appreciation is like water on a plant, it causes good to grow in my life. What I appreciate expands. It grows before my eyes, it deepens and widens. The mere act of appreciation somehow creates more of what I am already giving thanks for. It opens doors to the coffers of this generous world and invites the its bounty to come in. Appreciation lets the creative universe know that I am grateful for what is being so freely given to me.

Today I will appreciate what I have knowing that it opens a doorway to increase

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

It is remarkable how often we run across this feeling of ‘uniqueness’ as we recover. We may brag that we used more, had worse contacts, spent more in bars, treated our family worse, were younger, older, blacker, gayer, more sensitive–whatever.

I am the only ‘me’ there is ever going to be. I do not try to convince others that I am a better me than they.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you have one hand in the fellowship and one hand in God’s, you can’t pick up today.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am unveiling my layers and layers of self-doubt and letting them go. Today I am taking back all the power I have given to others by discovering the courage that comes from my own wisdom.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Alcoholism is the only prison where the locks are on the inside. – Peggy M.

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AA Thought for the Day

December 27

Red Flags
Many years later, although alcohol is not a part of my life and I no longer have the compulsion to drink,
it can still occur to me what a good drink tastes like and what it can do for me,
from my stand-at-attention alcoholic taste buds right down to my stretched-out tingling toes.
As my sponsor used to point out, such thoughts are like red flags, telling me that something is not right,
that I am stretched beyond my sober limit. It’s time to get back to basic AA and see what needs changing.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 396-397

Thought to Ponder . . .
Alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful!

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

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

Surrender
Such is the paradox of AA regeneration:
strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness,
the loss of one’s old life
as a condition for finding a new one.
But we of AA do not have to understand that paradox;
we have only to be grateful for it.
Bill W.
c. 1957, 1985AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 46

Thought to Consider . . . .
We surrender to win

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
K I S S = Keep It Simple, Surrender

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

Autonomy
>From “When A.A. Came of Age”:
“Some may think that we have carried the principle of group autonomy to extremes. . . .
“But this ultra-liberty is not so risky as it looks. In the end the innovators would have to adopt A.A. principles “at least
some of them” in order to remain sober at all. If, on the other hand, they found something better than A.A., or if they
were able to improve on our methods, then in all probability we would adopt what they discovered for general use
everywhere. This sort of liberty also prevents A.A. from becoming a frozen set of dogmatic principles that could not be
changed even when obviously wrong.” Bill W., 1959
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 104-05

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

“My miracle occurred when I became willing to go to any lengths to take action. Like the trapeze artist, it wasn’t the knowledge of it being there — it was the action of letting go.”
Lexington, Ky., April 2002
“God, the Verb,”
Spiritual Awakenings

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

“We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can
quickly diagnose yourself, Step over to the nearest barroom and try
some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it
more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are
honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters
if you get a full knowledge of your condition.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 31~

“I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within.
Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly
when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my
problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except
as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I
expect to receive. But that would be in great measure.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, Page 13~

The second difficulty is this: what comes to us alone may be garbled by our own rationalization and wishful thinking.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.60

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to
do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone. He has been
granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.
He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be
endured or mastered. In a very real sense he has been transformed, because he has laid hold of a source of strength
which he had hitherto denied himself.

Prayer for the Day: I am a child of God. In God I live and move and have my being; so I do not fear. I am surrounded by
the Presence of God and all is well. I am not afraid of the past; I am not afraid of the present; I am not afraid of the
future; for God is with me. The Eternal God is my dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms. Nothing can
touch me but the direct action of God Himself, and God is Love..” By: Dr. Emmet Fox. Written in 1931

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.

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

“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.

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

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.

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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

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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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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


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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.