Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 13th
To the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman,
many A.A.’s can say, “Yes, we were like you–far too
smart for our own good…. Secretly, we felt we could
float above the rest of the folks on our brain power
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 60
Even the most brilliant mind is no defense against the
disease of alcoholism. I can’t think my way sober. I
try to remember that intelligence is a God-given
attribute that I may use, a joy–like having a talent
for dancing or drawing or carpentry. It does not make
me better than anyone else, and it is not a particularly
reliable tool for recovery, for it is a power greater
than myself who will restore me to sanity–not a high
IQ or a college degree.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
Sometimes we can’t help thinking: Why can’t we ever drink
again? We know it’s because we’re alcoholics, but why did
we have to get that way? The answer is that at some point
in our drinking careers, we passed what is called our
“tolerance point.” When we passed this point, we passed
from a condition in which we could tolerate alcohol to a
condition in which we could not tolerate it at all. After
that, if we took one drink we would sooner or later end
up drunk. When I think of liquor now, do I think of it as
something that I can never tolerate again?
Meditation For The Day
In a race, it is when a goal is in sight that heart and
nerves and muscles and courage are strained almost to the
breaking point. So with us. The goal of the spiritual life
is in sight. All we need is the final effort. The saddest
records made by people are those who ran well, with brave
stout hearts, until the sight of the goal and then some
weakness or self-indulgence held them back. They never
knew how near the goal they were or how near they were to
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may press on until the goal is reached.
I pray that I may not give up in the final stretch.
As Bill Sees It
Daily Acceptance, p. 44
“Too much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of
others. This is a most subtle and perverse form of self-satisfaction,
which permits us to remain comfortably unaware of our own defects.
Too often we are heard to say, ‘If it weren’t for him (or her), how
happy I’d be!”
<< << << >> >> >>
Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they
are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is
to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can
even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that
unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that
we can profitably practice every day of our lives.
Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the
facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be
the sure foundation upon which increased emotional heath and
therefore spiritual progress can be built.
- Letter, 1966
- Grapevine, March 1962
Walk In Dry Places
When Others Don’t perform____Personal Responsibility
There will be times when other people will disappoint us.. either intentionally or because of indifference or incompetence. If we have been counting on them, their nonperformance can cause us real anger and frustration.
Our growth, however, should teach us that such failures are part of life. While never losing trust in others, we must accept them as fallible people. Their mistakes and lapses come from the human shortcomings all of us have.
Our best course is to live without expecting too much from others. They are not here to please or satisfy us. It’s possible, too, that we’ve been unrealistic in some of our expectations and have set ourselves up for disappointments.
Our personal responsibility is to do our best even when others fall short of our expectations. At the same time, we can grow by becoming more reliable and dependable ourselves.
We cannot use another’s failure as an excuse for negligence on our part.
Today I’ll expect the best, but I will know that I also have the spiritual resources to deal with the worst that can happen.
Keep It Simple
Tomorrow doesn’t matter, for I have lived today. –Horace
Life is found in the present. One of the first things we hear when we enter the program is, One Day at a Time. We break life into short time periods. This give us the power to change. We’re not sure we can stay sober for a lifetime. But we know that with God, and our program, we can stay sober for today.
This holds true for many other things in out lives. We’re not sure we can go a lifetime without feeling self-pity, but we can give it up for a day. By living One Day at a Time, we become more sure of our strength. We have the power to change things only in the present. The present holds much for us, if we get a hold on it.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You are found in the moment. You are here. I will stay with You minute by minute.
Action for the Day: I will ground myself in the present. Today, I’ll not worry about the past or the future.
Each Day a New Beginning
I have sacrificed everything in my life that I consider precious in order to advance the political career of my husband. –Pat Nixon
Putting another person’s needs first is what most of us were trained to do when growing up. We were seldom encouraged to embark on an individual course, and years of taking a back seat taught us that our hopes mattered little.
Now, for some of us, the future looks like a blank wall. It is time to carve out a plan for ourselves, yet how do we decide where we want to go? And how do we get there? The program says, “Live one day at a time.” Our friends say, “Take one step at a time.”
We have chosen to do something about the circumstances we found ourselves in, or we wouldn’t be reading these words. We can stop for a moment and reflect on the many changes thus far. We are already on our way. We have taken a number of necessary steps. What an exciting adventure we have embarked upon! And we will be helped all along the way.
We can trust our inner yearnings, the ones we may have stifled in times past. We can realize our hearts’ pure desires, if we seek guidance.
My time has come. I can mold my future. I will take each day, each experience, and let it draw me to the next important step.
Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition
The Doctor’s Opinion
Many years ago one of the leading contributors to this book came under our care in this hospital and while here he acquired some ideas which he put into practical application at once.
Later, he requested the privilege of being allowed to tell his story to other patients here and with some misgiving, we consented. The cases we have followed through have been most interesting; in fact, many of them are amazing. The unselfishness of these men as we have come to know them, the entire absence of profit motive, and their community spirit, is indeed inspiring to one who has labored long and wearily in this alcoholic field. They believe in themselves, and still more in the Power which pulls chronic alcoholics back from the gates of death.
Of course an alcoholic ought to be freed from his physical craving for liquor, and this often requires a definite hospital procedure, before psychological measures can be of maximum benefit.
Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition Stories
FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
When I first came to A.A., I thought everybody had drunk more than I had, that everybody had gotten into more trouble. But I kept coming to meetings, and after a while, I began to hear the beginnings of their stories. I came to realize that I was on the same road. I just hadn’t gone as far–yet.
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.”
This all meant, of course, that we were still far off balance. When a job still looked like a mere means of getting money rather than an opportunity for service, when the acquisition of money for financial independence looked more important than a right dependence upon God, we were still the victims of unreasonable fears. And these were fears which would make a serene and useful existence, at any financial level, quite impossible.
“Letting go of the past and not worrying about the future seems a small price to pay for all the happiness to be found in the present.”
The richest man, whatever his lot, is he who is content with what he has got. –Dutch Proverb
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. –Booker T. Washington
God help me relax and let my answer about what to do next come naturally from you. –Melody Beattie
We are loved completely by a God who knows us completely. –Pedro A. Sandin-Fremaint
Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
“It is the chiefest point of
happiness that man is willing to
be what he is.”
— Desiderious Erasmus
I am an alcoholic. Today I am able to love myself because I am able
to accept myself.
More than this: because I am able to accept myself, I am able to be
myself. The acceptance of my disease around alcohol has taught me
that I am not perfect, and I do not live in a perfect world — this leads
to an acceptance of others. My pain around alcohol has given me an
insight into the sufferings of others — and this has produced spiritual
I am happy not because I am an alcoholic but because I know that I
am an alcoholic. Today I can be what I was meant to be, rather than
the “fake” that I was becoming.
In the spiritual journey is the happiness.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28
Leave behind your faults and know that your past is forgiven. Lord, You have freed me to live today and allowed me to know that my future is secure in You.
Live a God-filled life and it will be only natural that you will express enthusiasm for life, joy, laughter and happiness. Lord, may the way I live always express my love for You.
NA Just For Today
The Ties That Bind
“As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well.”
Basic Text, p. 57
Many of us feel that without NA we would surely have died from our disease. Hence, its existence is our very lifeline. However, disunity is an occasional fact of life in Narcotics Anonymous; we must learn to respond in a constructive way to the destructive influences that sometimes arise in our fellowship. If we decide to be part of the solution instead of the problem, we are headed in the right direction.
Our personal recovery and the growth of NA is contingent upon maintaining an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings. Are we willing to help our group deal constructively with conflict? As group members, do we strive to work out difficulties openly, honestly, and fairly? Do we seek to promote the common welfare of all our members rather than our own agenda? And, as trusted servants, do we take into consideration the effect our actions might have on newcomers?
Service can bring out both the best and the worst in us. But it is often through service that we begin to get in touch with some of our more pressing defects of character Do we shrink from service commitments rather than face what we might find out about ourselves? If we bear in mind the strength of the ties that bind us together—our recovery from active addiction—all will be well.
Just for today: I will strive to be of service to our fellowship. I will be unafraid to discover who I am.
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
“Shall I give you a kiss?” Peter asked, and jerking an acorn button off his coat, solemnly presented it to her. –James Barrie
If kisses can be made of acorn buttons, they can be made of any good thing. Think of kisses made of candy. Therefore, there must be a thousand and one ways to give a kiss. We can give one made of wild flowers picked in the ditch, the melody in a music box, the few true words in a note, or the picture we ourselves draw to give to the one we love. Think of how we can hide them here and there under pillows, in corners, in pockets where they’re sure to be seen and felt. Think of how hearts kiss when we hug or hold hands, how sleeping beauties suddenly wake up.
Does it matter that we try new ways to show our same old love?
You are reading from the book Touchstones.
It is a cheap generosity, which promises the future in compensation for the present. –J. A. Spender
Living in this moment is all we really have. We are constantly bombarded with advice to live for the future, but it perpetually exists beyond our grasp like the carrot tempting the donkey. We are told to be mindful of our career paths, to save for the future, and to sacrifice now for later rewards. We put off spending time with our children, but later they are no longer the same children. We postpone seeing friends now and discover later that we have lost our relationships.
Of course, we can’t be foolish about our future. We need to make some plans and delay some immediate pleasures. But for now, we can only have a rapport with others and ourselves and experience life in this moment. The present is the only time when anything can happen, any change can occur. This moment is like a fresh, cool breeze. The rest exists only in our imaginations or memories.
May I feel the exhilaration of being alive in this moment and maintain a balance in my perspective today.
You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
What a great gift we’ve been given – ourselves. To listen to ourselves, to trust instinct and intuition, is to pay tribute to that gift.
What a disservice not to heed the leadings and leanings that so naturally arise from within. When will we learn that these leadings and leanings draw us into God’s rich plan for us?
We will learn. We will learn by listening, trusting, and following through. What is it time to do?… What do I need to do to take care of myself?… What am I being led to do?… What do I know?
Listen, and we will know. Listen to the voice within.
Today, I will listen and trust. I will be helped to take action when that is needed. I can trust God and myself.
Fill your world with color and Beauty
Fill your life and your world with the colors, textures, scents, and objects that are beautiful to you, that have meaning to you.
Remember that we are connected to our environment.
The objects and the colors in our world have energy and meaning. They have an impact on us.
The more we see how connected we are, the more carefully and thoughtfully we may want o choose the items we place in our home, or our space at work, if we have a special area, because these objects and colors can reflect how we feel about ourselves and what is important to us.
Objects have energy. They have energy already in them when we obtain them, and they have the energy and meaning we attribute to them. Choose carefully the possessions you want around you, for they tell a story all day long.
Fill your world, your life, with objects that are beautiful and have special meaning to you. What articles and hues have you surrounded yourself with at home, at work? Is there a special article you want close to you, on your desk, in your locker, in your pocket?
What story do these things tell about you, about what you’re going through, about your place in your journey? –Melody Beattie
Today my faith and confidence grow as I learn to accept all that I discover without judgment. I feel energy and life flow through me with this new freedom. –Ruth Fishel
Journey To The Heart
Don’t Let People Put Thoughts in Your Head
Respect the power of words and thoughts, both your own and others’.
Our ideas and inspirations sometimes come from other people, come from outside us. But if we’re not careful, it’s easy for others to put their ideas and intentions into our minds, to cast their spells on us. You aren’t very creative. Your heart isn’t open. You’re really not that healthy. You need me to succeed. You don’t deserve success. In fact, you don’t deserve… How easy it is to be unaware of the process, to walk around with other people’s words in your head, taking them as truth, taking them as our own, letting their ideas about us control our lives and our beliefs.
We don’t have to let others put their spells on us. We don’t have to believe what they say.
What are the words others have spoken to you, the spells they’ve cast on you and your life? What phrases are echoing in your mind, and who do they belong to? Listen to what you hear, and if they are not yours, get them out.
Words are powerful. Don’t let other people put them in your head. And choose carefully the words you speak to them.
More Language Of Letting Go
You’re not alone
I felt a searing pain in my heart. It was physical– I swear it was– when that nurse asked me if I had someone I could call. Over the next few days at the hospital, I was surrounded by people, but at no previous time in my life had I ever felt this isolated and alone. I knew that the path I was about to walk, I had to walk alone.
Larer, another nurse walked over to me. She looked straight into my eyes. “It’s going to be difficult, harder than you can imagine,” she said. “And it’ll take about eight years. But you can do it. You’ll come through. I know. I lost a child,too. My daughter was nine when she died.”
There are places in our lives that we’re called to go alone. People can surround us, call us, and offer support. But the journey we’re about to take is solely and uniquely ours. People can watch us, reach out to us, and even say they know how it feels. But the world we’re entering is ours, and ours alone.
Slowly, as we walk this path that life has thrust on us, we begin to see the outline of a few faces– way out in the distance, waving to us, cheering us on. As we continue along the path, the faces and forms fill in. Before long, we see that we’re in the midst of a large, large group. Where did all these people come from? we wonder. I thought I was alone.
No matter what path you’re on, others have walked it before you, and some will follow you there. Each step you take is uniquely yours, but you are never, never alone.
While many experiences are isolated and uniquely ours, we’re simultaneously part of a collecive force. What we go through and what we do matters– sometimes much more than we know.
God, help me know how much you care. No matter what I’m going through, help me see the other faces along the way.
A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day
We sometimes hear someone say, “He is standing in his own light,” A mental picture then clearly reveals that many of us tend to shadow our own happiness by mistaken thinking. Let us learn to stand aside so the light can shine on us and all we do. For only then can we see ourselves and our circumstances with true clarity With The Program and the Twelves Steps, we no longer need to stand in our own light and try alone to solve our problems in dearness. When I am faced with a seemingly insoluble problem, will I ask myself if I am standing in my own light?
Today I Pray
May I not get in my own way, obscure my own clarity of thought, stumble over my own feet, block my own doorway to recovery. If I find that I am standing in my own light, may I ask my Higher Power and my friends in the group to show me a new vantage point.
Today I Will Remember
If all I an see is my shadow, I’m in my own light.
One More Day
Joy waits for no man.
Joyfulness is one of God’s greatest gifts. Joy transcends all time and place. Joy causes unmeasurable and often indescribable feelings which we might only have for a fleeting moment. Joy is like opening a special present. It is a state of mind, a frame of reference for future memories.
While we may quite easily recognize the joy of watching an exquisite sunset, we forget too often that it is natural that its beauty changes, dims, and then disappears within moments. And this is true of many of our joy-filled experiences — they change, they dim, and often they disappear. Joy does not always stay with us, so we need to make the most of it when it is upon us — in a sunset, child’s hug, or a friend’s offered hand.
To live life to the fullest, I am open to those special moments of joy, even if they don’t last forever.
Food For Thought
During our compulsive overeating careers, many of us have been dishonest with others about what we were eating. Some of us have been closet eaters and some of us have stolen food. Most of us have eaten more when we were alone than when we were with other people.
We have almost surely been dishonest with ourselves, too. How many times have we promised ourselves to stick to a diet, only to find ourselves cheating a short time later? We tell ourselves that one small bite won’t make any difference, when deep down we know that we intend to eat many more bites than one.
When we take inventory, and as our insights are sharpened, we may discover other areas besides eating where we have not been honest with ourselves.
The OA program gives us a chance to practice rigorous honesty, especially with ourselves. The light from our Higher Power will gradually clear away our confusion and darkness.
May I not be afraid to know the truth.
One Day At A Time
“A man should never be ashamed
to own he has been in the wrong,
which is but saying, in other words,
that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.”
Most of my life I had spent in blaming others for all the bad things that happened in my life, and I never learned to take responsibilty for my part in anything. I thought that life had treated me unfairly, but mostly it was because someone else had wronged me. I wallowed in self pity and justifiable anger, and not surprisingly, I found comfort in food so I could get through the pain of being treated so badly by others.
When I came into the program and began working the steps, I was horrified to learn that I was expected to do a searching and fearless inventory of my wrongdoings, for after all wasn’t it others who had harmed me and not the other way around? Slowly I realised that I had a part to play in all the events in my life, and that only by clearing up the wreckage of my past and keeping my side of the street clean, did I have any hope of recovery. I had to swallow my pride and admit when I was wrong, and when I did that, miracles began to happen. Instead of feeling hard done by and bad about myself as I had thought I would, the exact opposite happened, and I started on a journey of growth and increasing self esteem that never ceases to surprise me. When I am able to admit that I’m wrong and apologise for my part in any conflict or misunderstanding, without expectation of anything back from the other person, I strengthen my recovery in this program.
One day at a time …
I will admit my mistakes whether I believe that the fault is mine or not, because that is the way that I grow in my recovery.
AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote
This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. – Pg. 62 – How It Works
Hour To Hour – Book – Quote
Life is not fair. You see it in the headlines; you see it in people racked with chronic pain; you see it in senseless street violence and children starving in third world countries. It will be a challenge for you in the coming weeks to understand it is not an unfair thing that has just happened, addiction and then recovery, but the greatest fight you shall ever receive.
Creator, I do not know why good people suffer addiction. For if it is the very act of not understanding and still trusting in the good of the universe, that comprises the very essence of faith.
I search for silver linings, for the deeper meaning of events in my life. I will look for the lesson. When life offers up its inevitable challenges, I will try to understand what I am meant to see that I am not seeing, what I am meant to hear that I am not hearing. There is always a silver lining if I look for it. Even if I don’t see it readily, I trust that it is there and that it will reveal itself to me over time. Life isn’t simple. One of the ways that I can have a better experience is to see what is positive, about a given situation, to look for the silver lining. I can grow in joy and in pain. It doesn’t need to be one or the other because pain can transform into joy. It can be the fire that clears the the field for new and tender growth.
There is always a silver lining
– Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote
As a general rule, questions that ask ‘why’ go in the wrong direction, seeking explanations that blame and shame. Questions that begin with ‘How’ and ‘What’ as in ‘How do I start my Fourth?’ and ‘What can I learn from this?’ lead to solutions, where the light bulb goes on in your head.
I ask questions that lead to exclamations not explanations.
“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book
Acceptance: Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it
Time for Joy – Book – Quote
Today my faith and confidence grow as I learn to accept all that I discover without judgment. I feel energy and life flow through me with this new freedom.
Alkiespeak – Book – Quote
Alcohol is a great remover. It removes stains, inhibitions, worries, jobs, families, freedom, choices, dignity, livers, – and lives. – Anon.
AA Thought for the Day
An Open Mind
First, AA does not demand that you believe anything.
All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions. Second, to get sober and stay sober,
you don’t have to swallow all of Step Two right now. . . .
Third, all you need is a truly open mind.
Just resign from the debating society and quit bothering yourself
with such deep questions as whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first.
Again I say, all you need is the open mind.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 26
Thought to Ponder . . .
It’s hard to keep an open mind with an open mouth.
AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A B C = Accept, Belief, Change.
~~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~~
Carry the Message
Taking advantage of technological advances,
AA members with computers
can participate in meetings online,
sharing with fellow alcoholics across the country
or around the world.
Fundamentally, though, the difference
between an electronic meeting
and the home group around the corner
is only one of format.
In any meeting, anywhere, AA’s share experience,
strength, and hope with each other,
in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics.
Modem-to-modem or face-to-face,
AA’s speak the language of the heart
in all its power and simplicity.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, Foreword to Fourth Edition, p. xxiv
Thought to Consider . . .
We in AA don’t carry the alcoholic;
we carry the message.
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together.
F A I T H = Finding Answers In The Heart
~~~~^Just For Today!^~~~~
>From “He Lived Only to Drink”:
“The rewards of sobriety are bountiful and as progressive as the disease they counteract. Certainly among these
rewards for me are release from the prison of uniqueness, and the realization that participation in the A.A. way of life is a
blessing and privilege beyond estimate’ a blessing to live a life free from the pain and degradation of drinking and filled
with the joy of useful, sober living, and a privilege to grow in sobriety one day at a time and bring the message of hope as
it was brought to me.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 451
~~~~^ Grapevine Quote ^~~~~
“Empathy, not sympathy or pity, is the most useful quality
a sponsor can cultivate.”
Bellevue, Wash., January 1975
From: “Need a Sponsor? Who? Me?”
One on One: AA Sponsorship in Action
~~~~^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^~~~~
“‘There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which
is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in
everlasting ignorance, “that principle is contempt prior to investigation.'”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Appendice II, Spiritual Experience, pg. 568~
Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going
to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is
the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and
this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through
which we passed to freedom.
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62
At the very least, we shall have to come to grips with some of our worst character defects and take action toward their
removal as quickly as we can.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 69
Misc. AA Literature – Quote
Too much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others. This is a most subtle and perverse form of
self-satisfaction, which permits us to remain comfortably unaware of our own defects. Too often we are heard to say, ‘If
it weren’t for him (or her), how happy I’d be!’
Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about
us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again,
we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably
practice every day of our lives.
Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or
defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can
Prayer for the Day: God our Father, the Bible reminds us that your love for each of us is great and that you are faithful
for ever, never letting us down or forgetting your promises to us. Inspire us to value friendship and loyalty, that we may
be faithful to those who love and trust us. We pray that we may live in such a way that we may make others feel
welcome and secure. Show us how to look upon other people in the same generous way that you look upon each of us.
Extend our horizons that we may understand better those who are far from us. Amen.