Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 10th
When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed
crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to
fearlessly face the proposition that either God is
everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or
He isn’t. What was our choice to be?
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.53
Today my choice is God. He is everything. For this I
am truly grateful. When I think I am running the show
I am blocking God from my life. I pray I can remember
this when I allow myself to get caught up into self.
The most important thing is that today I am willing
to grow along spiritual lines, and that God is
everything. When I was trying to quit drinking on my
own, it never worked; with God and A.A., it is
working. This seems to be a simple thought for a
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
Since I realize that I had become an alcoholic and
could never have any more fun with liquor and since
I knew that from then on liquor would always get me
into trouble, common sense told me that the only
thing left for me was a life of sobriety. But I
learned another thing in A.A., the most important
thing anyone can ever learn, that I could
call on a Higher Power to help me keep away from
liquor, that I could work with that Divine Principle
in the universe and that God would help me to live
a sober, useful, happy life. So now I no longer care
about the fact that I can never have any more fun
with drinking. Have I learned that I am much happier
Meditation For The Day
Like a tree, I must be pruned of a lot of dead
branches, before I will be ready to bear good fruit.
Think of changed people as trees which have been
stripped of their old branches, pruned, cut and bare,
but through the dark, seemingly dead branches flows
silently, secretly, the new sap, until with the sun
of spring, comes new life. There are new leaves, buds,
blossoms and fruit, many times better because of the
pruning. Remember, I am in the hands of a Master
Gardener, who makes no mistakes in His pruning.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may cut away the dead branches of my
life. I pray that I may not mind the pruning, since
it helps me to bear good fruit later.
As Bill Sees It
Membership Rules?, p. 41
Around 1943 or 1944, the Central Office asked the groups to list their
membership rules and send them in. After they arrived we set them all
down. A little reflection upon these many rules brought us to an
If all of these edicts had been in force everywhere at once it would have
been practically impossible for any alcoholic to have ever joined A.A.
About nine-tenths of our oldest and best members could have never
<< << << >> >> >>
At last experience taught us that to take away any alcoholic’s full chance
for sobriety in A.A. was sometimes to pronounce his death sentence, and
often to condemn him to endless misery. Who dared to be judge, jury,
and executioner of his own sick brother?
- Grapevine, August 1946
- 12 & 12, p. 141
Walk In Dry Places
What is rightfully mine___Personal Gains
One of the hard lessons of life is that we can’t always “win” in the worldly game for prestige, power, and property. It is especially galling to see rewards going to others that don’t seem to have earned them. Much of the world’s conflict, in fact, grows out of disputes over what rightfully belongs to whom.
In sobriety, we need a higher perspective than what we’re likely to find in the brawling world around us. Rather than demanding rights to anything, we should know that everything is part of a spiritual world. The real meaning of the last line of The Lord’s Prayer is that all power, prestige, and property belong to our Higher Power. Whatever we have or will acquire is only temporary, at best, and can easily be lost through wrong thinking and bad actions.
Emmet Fox, whose writings guided the early A members, taught that we possess things only through “rights of consciousness.
Keep It Simple
Life didn’t promise to be wonderful. —Teddy Pendergrass
Life doesn’t promise us anything, except a chance. We have a chance to live any way we like. No matter how we choose to live, we’ll have pain and we’ll have joy. And we can learn from both.
Because of our recovery program, we can have life’s biggest wonder—love. We share it in a smile, a touch, a phone call, or a note. We share it with our friends, our partners, our family. Life didn’t promise to be wonderful, but it sure is full of little wonders! And we only have to open up and see them, feel them, and let them happen.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see the wonders of life today, in nature, in people’s faces, in my own heart.
Action for the Day: I can help make a wonderful things happen for others, with a smile, a greeting, a helping hand. What “little” things will I do for somebody today?
Each Day a New Beginning
God knows no distance. –Charleszetta Waddles
As close as our breath is the strength we need to carry us through any troubled time. But our memory often fails us. We try, alone, to solve our problems, to determine the proper course of action. And we stumble. In time we will turn, automatically, to that power available. And whatever our need, it will be met.
Relying on God, however we understand God’s presence, is foreign to many of us. We were encouraged from early childhood to be self-reliant. Even when we desperately needed another’s help, we feared asking for it. When confidence wavered, as it so often did, we hid the fear–sometimes with alcohol, sometimes with pills. Sometimes we simply hid at home. Our fears never fully abated.
Finding out, as we all have found, that we have never needed to fear anything, that God was never distant, takes time to sink in. Slowly and with practice it will become natural to turn within, to be God-reliant rather than self-reliant.
Whatever our needs today, God is the answer.
There is nothing to fear. At last, I have come to know God. All roads will be made smooth.
Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition
The Doctor’s Opinion
The doctor’s theory that we have an allergy to alcohol interests us. As laymen, our opinion as to its soundness may, of course, mean little. But as exproblem drinkers, we can say that his explanation makes good sense. It explains many things for which we cannot otherwise account.
Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition Stories
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.
It was in this period that I started to turn to service beyond the group level. I had helped in founding the first gay A.A. group in my part of town and was elected general service representative after having served in other group offices. I knew nothing of general service at that time, and I decided to learn what it was all about so I could do a decent job and be able to pass it on to a successor as quickly as possible. After two years I went on to a number of other service jobs for A.A.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
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.”
And what can be said of many A.A. members who, for a variety of reasons, cannot have a family life? At first many of these feel lonely, hurt, and left out as they witness so much domestic happiness about them. If they cannot have this kind of happiness, can A.A. offer them satisfactions of similar worth and durability? Yes–whenever they try hard to seek
them out. Surrounded by so many A.A. friends, these so-called loners tell us they no longer feel alone. In partnership with others–women and men–they can devote themselves to any number of ideas, people, and constructive projects. Free of marital responsibilities, they can participate in enterprises which would be denied to family men and women. We daily see such members render prodigies of service, and receive great joys in return.
“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” –Henry James
“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.” –Dale Carnegie
“You will regret many things in life but you will never regret being too kind or too fair.” -–Brian Tracy
In the process of growing to spiritual maturity, we all go through many adolescent stages. –Miki L. Bowen
Love is not an exchange of favors. Love is something you give away.
Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
“Nothing is more terrible than
activity without insight.”
— Thomas Carlyle
I believe that recovery can only begin when we “see” or start to get a
glimpse of who we are and what we are dealing with . . . insight; an
insight into self.
However, the moment we begin to see must be followed by a
determined effort to discover more; digging through the denial, pain
and manipulation to the disease. Then after discovering the disease in
our lives, we must be prepared to risk talking about it — on a daily
Recovery requires a daily desire to see, discover and talk about our
addiction — with this insight comes recovery.
You are the light of the world; shine through my honesty.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalms 150:6
“Remember to welcome strangers, because some who have done this have welcomed angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Galatians 5:14
Each morning gives us one more chance to pray, one more chance to help another and one more chance to make this a better world. Lord, thank you for working in and through everything.
Not one day passes without receiving wonderful blessings from our loving and generous God. Lord, may I forget the irritations that distract me from Your happiness.
NA Just For Today
“In recovery our ideas of fun change”
Basic Text, p. 102
In retrospect, many of us realize that when we used, our ideas of fun were rather bizarre. Some of us would get dressed up and head for the local club. We would dance, drink and do other drugs until the sun rose. On more than one occasion, gun battles broke out. What we then called fun, we now call insanity.
Today, our notion of fun has changed. Fun to us today is a walk along the ocean, watching the dolphins frolic as the sun sets behind them. Fun is going to an NA picnic, or attending the comedy show at an NA convention. Fun is getting dressed up to go to the banquet and not worrying about any gun battles breaking out over who did what to whom.
Through the grace of a Higher Power and the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, our ideas of fun have changed radically. Today when we are up to see the sun rise, it’s usually because we went to bed early the night before, not because we left a club at six in the morning, eyes bleary from a night of drug use. And if that’s all we have received from Narcotics Anonymous, that would be enough.
Just for today: I will have fun in my recovery!
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song. –Joan Walsh Anglund
Each of us has a song to sing, just as birds do. Part of knowing who we are is appreciating our own songs. Are our songs gentle like the robins, or are we brilliant leaders like the bluejay? Are we easy to be around like the sparrow, or do we radiate joy and laughter like the loon?
Each of these birds has something special to offer. So do we, with our own unique personalities and talents. What a waste it would be if the loon never dashed across the lake because he wanted to be a robin instead. It is important to learn who we are and to believe we are special in our own way. We give joy to the world around us when we sing our own songs.
Have I listened to my own song lately?
You are reading from the book Touchstones.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few. –Shunryu Suzuki
As we travel the path of recovery, we are sometimes overwhelmed by a feeling of how much we lack. It rises within us as a feeling of inadequacy, emptiness, or loneliness. We are in pain because we feel like such beginners. Now we need to discard our competitive thinking, our drive to be on top, and accept another, wiser, way of seeing. The big difference is in being on the path of recovery rather than lost on some diversion, as we have been in the past. It is not important how far along we are or who is ahead of whom. The important thing is that we are on the path and experiencing the process.
In recovery, wisdom comes with staying a beginner. Then we remain open to further learning. In some sense this program and our mutual powerlessness are the great levelers. Once on the path, we are all equals.
Today, I will appreciate my vulnerability. It keeps me spiritually alive and growing.
You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Sadness
A block to joy and love can be unresolved sadness from the past.
In the past, we told ourselves many things to deny the pain: It doesn’t hurt that much…. Maybe if I just wait, things will change…. It’s no big deal. I can get through this…. Maybe if I try to change the other person, I won’t have to change myself.
We denied that it hurt because we didn’t want to feel the pain.
Unfinished business doesn’t go away. It keeps repeating itself, until it gets our attention, until we feel it, deal with it, and heal. That’s one lesson we are learning in recovery from codependency and adult children issues.
Many of us didn’t have the tools, support, or safety we needed to acknowledge and accept pain in our past. It’s okay. We’re safe now. Slowly, carefully, we can begin to open ourselves up to our feelings. We can begin the process of feeling what we have denied so long – not to blame, not to shame, but to heal ourselves in preparation for a better life.
It’s okay to cry when we need to cry and feel the sadness many of us have stored within for so long. We can feel and release these feelings.
Grief is a cleansing process. It’s an acceptance process. It moves us from our past, into today, and into a better future – a future free of sabotaging behaviors, a future that holds more options than our past.
God, as I move through this day, let me be open to my feelings Today, help me know that I don’t have to either force or repress the healing available to me in recovery. Help me trust that if I am open and available, the healing will happen naturally, in a manageable way.
Today I look inside for my answers. Today I will trust my instincts and my connecting to my Higher Power. –Ruth Fishel
Journey To The Heart
Free Yourself from Manipulation
Learn to recognize passive-aggressive hits. Learn to recognize when other people have hidden agendas, when they’re trying to control or manipulate you. When we’re being controlled, we may feel guilty, obligated, indebted. In our muddled state, we agree to another’s wishes but we’re not sure why. Then we wander around feeling uncertain, unbalanced, confused.
The lesson still isn’t about them. The lesson is about how we respond. If their behavior, their energy, is affecting us that strongly, it’s because something in us needs to be healed. A part of us isn’t clear, is still mucked up by something old and outworn, such as guilt or fear. Once we heal ourselves, we will know how to deal with their energy, how to handle their passive-aggressive behavior and their attempts to control us. Then we can thank them for helping trigger our healing process, for helping us grow.
Everything that happens along the way is part of the journey. Everything can be incorporated into our healing process. All roads lead to growth.
More Language Of Letting Go
Say woohoo even if you don’t like where you are
“Once you get into the desert there’s no going back,” said the camel driver.” And when you can’t get back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”
–Paulo Coello, The Alchemist
Sometimes we get into situations and we can easily get out. We date someone, it’s not right for us, and we stop seeing that person. We experiment with drinking or drugs, decide that this isn’t for us, and we stop experimenting. We accept a job, it’s not what we want or hoped it would be, so we leave and find another.We may even marry someone who’s not right for us, and we get out. No children. No excessive property or financial entanglements. It’s a mistake. We’re sorry. There may be a few emotions involved, but correction is relatively painless and easy.
There are other times when it’s not easy. We don’t just date the person. We get married, have one or more children, and then realize we’ve made a mistake. We begin using alcohol or drugs, and wake up one day to find that our life is out of control. What we need to do is stop drinking, and it’s the very thing we can’t do, at least not without help. Or we accept the job or sign a contract, one with serious legal entanglements and consequences.
These are the situations that bring us to our knees. It is in these situations that we work out our destiny. If we’ve hit a point of no return with some situation in our lives, the only way out is through.
Surrender to the experience. You may not have bargained for this, may not have consciously desired it. Learn to say woohoo anyway. You’re meeting your destiny head-on. A spiritual adventure has just begun.
God, help me be gentle with others and myself as we each work out our destinies, karma, and fate. Give me the courage, help, insight, resilience, and grace to learn all the lessons I came here to face.
Activity: Write your memoirs. This is an extensive activity. If you take the time to do it, you will learn much about yourself. Break down your life into stories. Don’t worry about writing a literary masterpiece. Just break your life down into sections and write about what you learned. Write about what you went through– how you thought it would be, what it actually turned into, how you struggled against this, and how you finally saw the light and learned the lesson at hand. We all have ways of keeping a timeline of our lives, for instance, graduation, marriage, divorce, getting that big job, our sobriety date. This is a journal you may want to keep and add to for the rest of your life. It is your book of life. An interesting twist on this activity is to give your memoirs to your children, or ask your parents to do this activity as a gift. Reading your parents’ memoirs can be an enlightening and healing event.
A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day
Until now, we may have equated the idea of beginning again with a previous record of failure. This isn’t necessarily so. Like students who finish grade school and begin again in high school, or workers who find new ways to use their abilities, our beginnings must not be tinged with a sense of failure. In a sense, every day is a time of beginning again. We need never look back with regret. Life is not necessarily like a blackboard that must be erased because we didn’t solve problems correctly, but rather a blackboard that must be cleaned to make way for the new. Am I grateful for all that has prepared me for this moment of beginning?
Today I Pray
May I understand that past failures need not hamper my new courage or give a murky cast to my new beginnings. May I know, from the examples of others in The Program, that former failings, once faced and rectified, can be a more solid foundation for a new life than easy-come successes.
Today I Will Remember
Failings can be footings for recovery.
One More Day
The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.
– Thomas Edison
When the rush of a busy world becomes overwhelming, we can restore ourselves to peace and tranquility. When we feel battered by the stress of the day, it’s time to take a few moments for relaxation. We need to steady ourselves; in fact, we owe it to ourselves.
Solitude, meditation, serenity — these can be ourse if we settle in for a few moments of private time. Alne. Taking this time is not self-indulgent; it’s self-care and simple to do. We can tune the radio to some beautiful, soft music and sit back with a cup of herbal tea. Taking slow breaths, we can allow our bodies to relax with the warmth of the tea, the beauty of the music and the solitude of the moment.
I relish the gift of privacy and relaxation each day.
Food For Thought
Write Before You Eat
When you are tempted to grab an extra bite, stop and make contact with another OA member. If you cannot bring yourself to make the call, or if you make it and still want to eat, then try writing.
Before you take the bite, write down exactly how you are feeling, what you think the extra food will do for you, what the likely result will be, and how you will feel an hour later. It is a good idea to keep a pad of paper handy in the kitchen; you can grab a pencil instead of food.
Often the process of writing down exactly how you are feeling will reveal the hidden emotions which are masquerading as hunger and a desire to eat. You may discover that you are angry, or fearful, or lonely. Write the feelings and write the consequences of eating because of them.
Grant me insight, Lord, and self-understanding.
One Day At A Time
~ ATTITUDE ~
The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude.
I have always found someone like Viktor Frankl to be an inspiration. His attitude to life totally amazes me, especially after suffering and losing all his family in the Nazi concentration camps. How could anyone come away from an experience like that and still find meaning in life, much less meaning in suffering? I certainly could never find any meaning in all the years of suffering through compulsive eating which caused me so much pain. Life didn’t seem meaningful at the time, and I wondered if it ever could. But one of the things I have learned in the program is that I can allow myself to wallow in self pity, which I did many times, or I can take the lessons from my life’s experiences and use them as opportunities for growth. That has not been an easy one for me in my journey, and there have been many times when life just seemed to be too hard. I wondered whether I had the same strength and positive attitude that Viktor Frankl did. Intellectually I know that attitude is a choice I make. There have been times when I’ve been depressed and full of self pity and I allowed myself to sink into that abyss of despair. But now, knowing that I have a choice, that I can pick myself up and “act as if,” I can have a positive attitude. When I make the positive choice, miraculous things happen, and life somehow seems a lot easier.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will make a choice to think positive thoughts, and try to emulate people like Viktor Frankl and others who have battled enormous difficulties and yet kept a positive attitude. When I do that, I know my life will become infinitely better.
~ Sharon ~
AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote
Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed. They flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a Power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that Power, and to do certain simple things, there has been a revolutionary change in their simple way of living and thinking. – Pg.50 – We Agnostics
Hour To Hour – Book – Quote
In the beginning there probably isn’t much time that goes by when you don’t think about using. This is normal, after all, you’ve just lost your constant companion. Only time will remove your constant thoughts of your old buddies, drugs and alcohol, but it does pass.
Every time I think getting high would feel good, let me remember the pain in my gut and fear in my heart just a short time ago.
Getting Even Today
I will push myself through to letting go of some recent insult, knowing that if I don’t I bind myself to that energy. Revenge only keeps me stuck at the place of wrong doing. Better to let go the hurt or insult than the act of kindness. If I want to continue to grow my blessings in life, I will look up not down. Today I will look toward someone who has been good to me and I will think of a way to repay their kindness, knowing that when I do that, my own life feels better, too.
I connect myself to the energy of goodness.
– Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote
Do not ask what your Higher Power can do for you, but rather what you can do for your Higher Power. This gets us out of self.
Dear God, what can I do for you today?
“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book
Formula for failure: try to please everyone.
Time for Joy – Book – Quote
Today I look inside for my answers. Today I will trust my instincts and my connecting to my Higher Power.
Alkiespeak – Book – Quote
An alcoholic is anyone I don’t like who drinks more than me. – Dylan Thomas.
AA Thought for the Day
No one who drank as I did wakes up on the edge of the abyss one morning and says:
Things look pretty scary; I think I’d better stop drinking before I fall in.
I was convinced I could go as far as I wanted,
and then climb back out when it wasn’t fun anymore. What happened was,
I found myself at the bottom of the canyon thinking I’d never see the sun again.
AA didn’t pull me out of that hole.
It did give me the tools to construct a ladder, with Twelve Steps.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 316
Thought to Ponder . . .
I stood in the sunlight at last.
AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S T E P S = Solutions Through Each Positive Step.
~~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~~
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.
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58
Thought to Consider . . .
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
G I F T S = Getting It From The Steps
~~~~^Just For Today!^~~~~
Tradition Two: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority- a loving God as He may express Himself in our
group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
“Former group leaders divide into two classes known in A.A. slang as ‘elder statesmen’ and ‘bleeding deacons.’ The
elder statesman is the one who sees the wisdom of the group’s decision, who holds no resentment over his reduced
status, whose judgment, fortified by considerable experience, is sound, and who is willing to sit quietly on the sidelines
awaiting developments. The bleeding deacon is one who is just as surely convinced that the group cannot get along
without him, who constantly connives for reelection to office, and who continues to be consumed with self-pity.”
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, 2005, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., pg. 135
~~~~^ Grapevine Quote ^~~~~
“A vast communications net now covers the earth, even to its remotest reaches … Nothing can matter more to the
future welfare of AA than the manner in which we use this colossus of communication. Used unselfishly and well, the
results can surpass our present imagination. Should we handle this great instrument badly, we shall be shattered by the
ego demands of our own people — often with the best of intention on their part.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1960
From: “Freedom Under God: The Choice Is Ours”
The Language of the Heart
~~~~^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^~~~~*
“Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a
fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from
care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will
mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your
existence lie ahead.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 152~
“We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor
do we carry the world’s troubles on our shoulders. When we see a man
sinking into the mire that is alcoholism, we give him first aid and
place what we have at his disposal.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132
“What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually
becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and
having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that
we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this
presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless,
we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on
the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 87~
Perhaps we shall need to share with this person facts about ourselves which no others ought to know.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 61
Misc. AA Literature – Quote
Around 1943 or 1944, the Central Office asked the groups to list their membership rules and send them in. After they arrived we set them all down. A little reflection upon these many rules brought us to an astonishing conclusion.
If all of these edicts had been in force everywhere at once it would have been practically impossible for any alcoholic to have ever joined A.A. About nine-tenths of our oldest and best members could never have got by!
At last experience taught us that to take away any alcoholic’s full chance for sobriety in A.A. was sometimes to pronounce his death sentence, and often to condemn him to endless misery. Who dared to be judge, jury, and executioner of his own sick brother?
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, please help me through today. Help me share your wisdom and glory with others so they may benefit from your love.