Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 14th
Happy Valentines Day!
Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that
he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition
is that he trust in God and clean house.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 98
Dealing with expectations is a frequent topic at
meetings. It isn’t wrong to expect progress of myself,
good things from life, or decent treatment from others.
Where I get into trouble is when my expectations become
demands. I will fall short of what I wish to be and
situations will go in ways I do not like, because
people will let me down sometimes. The only question
is: “What am I going to about it?” Wallow in self-pity
or anger; retaliate and make a bad situation worse; or
will I trust in God’s power to bring blessings on the
messes in which I find myself? Will I ask Him what I
should be learning; do I keep on doing the right things
I know how to do, no matter what; do I take the time to
share my faith and blessings with others?
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
After that first drink, we had a single track mind. It
was like a railroad train. The first drink started it
off and it kept going on the single track until it got
to the end of the line, drunkenness. We knew this would
happen when we sat down at a bar to have the first drink,
but still we couldn’t keep away from liquor. Our will-power
was gone. We had become helpless and hopeless before the
power of alcohol. It’s not the second drink or the tenth
drink that does the damage. It’s the first drink. Will I ever
take that first drink again?
Meditation For The Day
I must keep a time apart with God every day. Gradually I
will be transformed mentally and spiritually. It is not the
praying so much as just being in God’s presence. The
strengthening and curative powers of this I cannot
understand, but I can experience them. The poor, sick
world would be cured if every day each soul waited before
God for the inspiration to live aright. My greatest
spiritual growth occurs in this time apart with God.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may faithfully keep a quiet time apart with
God. I pray that I may grow spiritually each day.
As Bill Sees It
Our Companions, p. 45
Today, the vast majority of us welcome any new light that can be
thrown on the alcoholic’s mysterious and baffling malady. We
welcome new and valuable knowledge whether it is issues from a test
tube, from a psychiatrist’
are glad of any kind of education that accurately informs the public
and changes its age-old attitude toward the drunk.
More and more we regard all who labor in the total field of alcoholism
as our companions on a march from darkness into light. We see that
we can accomplish together what we could never accomplish in
separation and in rivalry.
Grapevine, March 1958
Walk In Dry Places
Releasing the Past_____ Living in the Present.
Some of us waste time brooding over past failures and lost opportunities. Since the past is beyond our reach, we can’t change anything that happened. We do, however, have the power to change the way we view the present. We can begin by realizing that our past troubles really may have been valuable lessons.
We can also get a better perspective by releasing the idea that anything from the past controls our future. The real meaning of the saying “with God, all things are possible” is that our Higher Power can transform anything that happened in our past. AA has had its share of miraculous changes that came to people who seemingly had lost all hope. These changes have included miraculous restorations in health, finances, and relationships.
A new saying is that something or some person who bothered us in the past is history, as far as we’re concerned. Let’s put history where it belongs__ on the shelves and away from our daily thinking and activities.
I can be a new person today and every day. The past cannot control or limit me, but I do benefit from its lessons.
Keep It Simple
Some things have to be believed to be seen. –Ralph Hodgson
In recovery, we learn to trust. We trust that our Higher Power is on our side. Maybe we can’t see our Higher Power , but once we start trusting things change. Step Two says, “Came to believe. . . ” Once we come to believe, we start to see our Higher Power working in many ways. We make new program friends. We find new peace. Our family and friends trust us again. Life won’t always be fair. We won’t get all we want. But we’ll find the love and care we need. If we’re open to believing in love, the easy times will be easier and the harder times a bit softer. Do I believe in love?
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me believe, especially when times are hard. Help me not blame You for the hard times.
Action for the Day: I will write what I believe the program and my Higher Power want for me.
Each Day a New Beginning
Friendship of a kind that cannot easily be reversed tomorrow must have its roots in common interests and shared beliefs. –Barbara W. Tuchman
The gift of friendship has been extended to each of us sharing this program. Our interest is common: we want to stay abstinent. And we share the belief that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. We trust our commitment to one another here. We are learning to live the program’s principles in all our affairs.
In years gone by, friendships were often missing from our lives. We had a friend, here and there, certainly, but could she really be trusted – with our secrets, with our spouse? An overriding fear and one not without reason. It’s likely that we, too, failed to be good friends. Friendship, anytime, means risking vulnerability. It means making a decision to be trustworthy. And it means not backing away from either, anytime.
Friendships so enrich our lives; they complete us. The experiences shared among friends give us all an edge on living. It is no accident that we have been drawn here together. What we have will help another.
I must be willing to give away my intimate self to my sisters in trust. My strength as a woman recovering will increase as my ties of friendship increase.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
The Doctor’s Opinion
We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.
Alcoholics Anonymous – First Edition Stories
FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
I had my first drink in my senior year of high school. That first night, I slipped out of the window so my parents wouldn’t hear me leave. There were four of us, and we only brought four bottles of home brew. I never made that mistake again!
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.”
But as time passed we found that with the help of A.A.’s Twelve Steps we could lose those fears, no matter what our material prospects were. We could cheerfully perform humble labor without worrying about tomorrow. If our circumstances happened to be good, we no longer dreaded a change for the worse, for we had learned that these troubles could be turned into great values. It did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it did matter what our spiritual condition was. Money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and service with those about us. When, with God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.
If you keep falling in the same hole, go down a different road.
It is not easy to straighten in the oak the crook that grew in the sapling. –American Proverb
“Silence is one of the hardest things to refute.” –Josh Billings
Little deeds of kindness, little words of love, help to make earth happy like the heaven above. –Julia A. Fletcher Carney
Faith is not only a belief and a feeling, it is an action. Action, really does speak louder than words. –Shelley
Let us dedicate ourselves to peace within ourselves, that wherever we go, we bring peace and we learn to find peace in all things. –John Morton
God treasures each of us as a rare and lovely flower. –Patricia Bellah
Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
“Let there be spaces in your
— Kahlil Gibran
As an alcoholic I demanded love and was possessive of others. I had a
selfish love that treated people as “things” — for my own
satisfaction and survival. I was claustrophobic in my affection and
smothered any creative love; my fear of being alone made me
blackmail people with my needs and emotions.
Today I can love people while still allowing them to breathe. An
important part of my program is detachment; I take responsibility for
me and I allow others to take responsibility for themselves. I give the
people I love space.
Sometimes I need to love a person enough to let them go. Spiritually I
am beginning to understand that in order to be free, I must give
freedom to others.
God, in the “spaces” of my love is the growth experienced.
Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the mighty heavens. Psalm 150:1
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.” Isaiah 40:31
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. 1 John 3:1
Don’t ever grow too old for your birthdays or give up on your dreams. Lord, help me to know where You are leading me today and face this adventure with excitement.
Never let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can do. Lord, help me to recognize my abilities and focus only on my strengths so that each day I will get nearer to my goals.
NA Just For Today
Honesty And Spirituality
“The right to a God of your understanding is total and without any catches. Because we have this right, it is necessary to be honest about our belief if we are to grow spiritually”
Basic Text, p. 25
In meetings, over refreshments, in talks with our sponsor, we hear our NA friends talking about the way they understand their Higher Power. It would be easy to “go with the flow;” adopting someone else’s beliefs. But just as no one else can recover for us, so no one else’s spirituality can substitute for our own. We must honestly search for an understanding of God that truly works for us.
Many of us begin that search with prayer and meditation, and continue with our experiences in recovery. Have there been instances where we have been given power beyond our own to face life’s challenges? When we have quietly sought direction in times of trouble, have we found it? What kind of Power do we believe has guided and strengthened us? What kind of Power do we seek? With the answers to these questions, we will understand our Higher Power well enough to feel safe and confident about asking it to care for our will and lives.
A borrowed understanding of God may do on a short haul. But in the long run, we must come to our own understanding of a Higher Power, for it is that Power which will carry us through our recovery.
Just for today: I seek a Power greater than myself that can help me grow spiritually. Today, I will examine my beliefs honestly and come to my own understanding of God.
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Love cures people–both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. –Karl Menninger
Receiving a loving hug from a parent or perhaps a smile from a friend or even a stranger gives us a special feeling inside. We know we are important to others when they show us their love through attention. And we sometimes forget that we matter to others. Family members and friends feel good in the same way when we show them our love. Everyone needs to be loved.
How can we show our love? Must it be through a hug? Doing a favor for someone is loving. Helping around the house or the yard is loving, particularly when we’ve volunteered our help. Giving an unexpected gift to a friend is a way of showing love. Showing others we care, even when they are angry, is perhaps the nicest of all expressions of love.
What new way can I show someone I care today?
You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The less able I am to believe in our epoch and the more arid and depraved mankind seems in my eyes, the less I look to revolution as the remedy and the more I believe in the magic of love. –Hermann Hesse
Men have been more likely to look outward than inward for solutions to problems. Yet this program is changing us from within. As we come to terms with ourselves, as we learn to be in relationships with friends and family, the same picture that looked so dismal in past years may look full of possibilities and even rich in the present. The love we feel toward others and the love we receive change our perceptions.
We need not expect all relationships to be alike. One friend may be wonderful as a recreational buddy, but perhaps we wouldn’t talk about everything in our life with him. Another friend is comfortable and we can be ourselves with him, although he may not challenge us to grow or change. No friendship, no spouse, no one person can be enough in our life. But as a group they sustain and enrich us. We need the love and contact with them all.
I am thankful for love, which gives meaning and hope to life.
You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
For children, Valentine’s Day means candy hearts, silly cards, and excitement in the air.
How different Valentine’s Day can be for us as adults. The Love Day can be a symbol that we have not yet gotten love to work for us as we would like.
Or it can be a symbol of something different, something better. We are in recovery now. We have begun the healing process. Our most painful relationships, we have learned, have assisted us on the journey to healing, even if they did little more than point out our own issues or show us what we don’t want in our life.
We have started the journey of learning to love ourselves. We have started the process of opening our heart to love, real love that flows from us, to others, and back again. Do something loving for yourself. Do something loving and fun for your friends, for your children, or for anyone you choose.
It is the Love Day. Wherever we are in our healing process, we can have as much fun with it as we choose. Whatever our circumstances, we can be grateful that our heart is opening to love.
I will open myself to the love available to me from people, the Universe, and my Higher Power today. I will allow myself to give and receive the love I want today. I am grateful that my heart is healing, that I am learning to love.
I am beginning to actually feel the energy of love that I have inside. My entire being is in the process of being transformed with love. –Ruth Fishel
Journey to the Heart
Send Love Letters
Sending love letters to people we care about is a rewarding experience, both for us and for them. Making the time to take pen in hand and express our thoughts is valuable. But there’s another way to send love letters,too. This way takes as much time and attention as writing a loving note does, but it doesn’t require a pen and paper. It requires concentrated thought.
There’s an invisible thread of energy winding through the universe, one that connects us all. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can tell if someone’s angry or upset with you, even if you haven’t talked to or seen this person? You can feel his or her anger, even if you haven’t been physically present to experience it. Thoughts have power, particularly those charged with intense emotional energy. When we think mean, bitter thoughts, it can be like sending hate mail along our connecting wires. It can almost be a sensory attack.
Why not send loving thoughts charged with positive emotional energy? We can consciously choose to use our connections to others to send love. Send positive thoughts. Blessings. Peace. Assistance in time of crisis. We can send our thoughts in the form of a prayer, or we can simply think a blessing or positive thought, charge it with energy, and send it along the wires with love.
When someone you know or love comes to mind, or even someone you don’t– perhaps someone in another part of the country or the world, perhaps someone going through a particular crisis– and you’re not certain what to do, send a love letter. Your loving thoughts will touch them and your blessings will all come back to you.
More Language Of Letting Go
Say woohoo because there’s hope
The doorbell rang one day. I was slumping about in the big house I had just purchased in Minnesota. It was going to be the dream home for the children and me. The problem was, Shane had been killed the day after I closed the deal. Now Nichole and I were rambling around wondering what to do.
I answered the door. The FedEx man asked me to sign for a delivery. I did. And he handed me a large cardboard box. I brought it into the living room and put it down without opening it up. I didn’t get excited about much of anything back then. I was sad and angry. People, my readers, said they liked my writing because it gave them hope. The problem was, I didn’t have any of that hope for myself. I couldn’t see how life could or would ever make any kind of sense again. The one thing I wanted– my son alive and well, and my family intact– would not ever come to pass.
One day I got around to opening that big cardboard box. I took a knife, sliced it down the center, and looked at what was inside. It was filled with stuffed animals. A big green parrot with a fuzzy beak was sitting on top. There were monkeys, bears, and assorted things. They didn’t look brand new, but they were happy, cheerful little things. I took out the card and read the note inside. This is what it said.
“I make my living out of taking all the stuffed animals that people throw away. Then I take them home and clean them up. I guess I like doing it just to prove a point,” the woman wrote. “Sometimes, we start thinking something’s no good anymore, so we throw it in the trash. Sometimes we throw things away too quickly, but all they really need is a little tender, loving care to bring them back to life. I heard about your son’s death. I thought maybe getting a box of my reborn animals might help.”
Many years have passed since then. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of my possessions, especially when I moved from Minnesota to California in 1994. But one of the things I’ve held on to– in fact he’s still sitting in this room with me next to my desk– is that happy green parrot with the big fuzzy beak.
He’s a gentle reminder that even something as broken and scaggly as I was can be brought back to life again. Some things in life are true, whether we believe them or not.
Hope is one of those things.
Even if you have to say it in disbelief, say woohoo.
God, help me believe in me as much as you do. Thanks for getting me through those tough spots when I lose my faith.
A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day
Today I will take the time to list the positive aspects of my new life and the blessings that accompany the miracle of my recovery. I will be grateful for the seemingly simple ability to eat normally, to fall asleep with a feeling of contentment, to awaken with a gladness to be alive. I will be grateful for the ability to face life on life’s terms — with peace of mind, self-respect, and full possession of all my faculties. On a daily basis, do I count my blessings? Do I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand Him?
Today I Pray
On this day of love-giving,may I count all the good things in my life and give thanks for them. May I take no blessing for granted, including the beating of my own heart and the fresh feel of new air as I breathe.
Today I Will Remember
To count — and consider — my blessings.
One More Day
We don’t love qualities, we love persons..
No matter what happens to us in our lifetime, regardless of whether we are rich or poor,m strong or weak, ill or well, we always have room for love. Unqualified love and caring cost nothing. Despite our financial position, allowing ourselves to love, allowing ourselves to be loved strengthens and lends greater value to our lives.
In loving others and in being loved, we’re reminded that people, not events or even characteristics, are th important elements of our lives. We don’t look for perfection in our loved ones, and we’re freed of the notion that we must earn another’s love. Love balances our lives; it helps us keep sight of our values and priorities.
I will remember today that I love people for themselves, not for their potential. The love I receive is given just as freely.
Food For Thought
When we were overeating, we thought mainly about trying to satisfy ourselves. The more we ate, the more we wanted to eat. The more we ate, the less satisfied we were. We finally realized that satisfaction was not to be found by consuming more and more food.
When we stopped overeating, we suddenly had much more time and energy available for constructive activities. We began to contribute more to our families, our jobs, our recreation. We found new areas where we could be of service to others.
Because OA has given us so much, we in turn are able to share with our groups. As we give to others, we receive self-satisfaction as a by-product. This is a much more powerful satisfaction than we ever found in the refrigerator!
For each of us, serving and contributing to the best of our abilities means abstaining. Without abstinence, we can never be satisfied.
Thank You for opportunities to give and for the satisfaction of abstinence.
One Day At A Time
“Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn’t, didn’t already have.”
Written by Dewey Bunnell, ©1974
These are simple words, and at first glance look like a song from the ‘Wizard of Oz.’ However, to me they are complex and have deep meaning.
I have a body, a mind and a spirit; yet for the better part of my growing-up years I thought I had a flaw. I never felt complete and kept searching for whatever-it-was that would make me whole and fix me. I had no idea I was looking in the wrong places; but the real problem was I didn’t know what I was looking for.
I never knew how to just ‘be’ without expecting some kind of negative feedback or teasing or criticism or uncertainty in return. Because I never felt good enough, I learned to ‘not be’ and to make myself invisible emotionally while eating, and in later years eating and purging.
Coming to OA was like surfacing for air after staying under water too long. People who didn’t know me understood and supported me. I slowly opened up and shared at meetings and did service and stopped hiding, and the void created with food and loneliness began to fill with hugs and support and recovery.
Today I have a Program with wonderful friends who reinforce I am OK as I am. God gave me and continues to give me what I need – physically (help with my food plan), emotionally and spiritually. The miracles in my life keep coming when I least expect them and only when I turn them over to God. Each new miracle and blessing nourishes me.
I began writing professionally again; writing is my passion, and my disease stole it from me. My spirit is happy, and I am grateful to my loving friend who had confidence and faith in me.
One day at a time …
I am discovering my emerging identity was inside me all the time.
AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote
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 and entire psychic change there is little hope of his recovery. – Pg. XXIX – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion
Hour To Hour – Book – Quote
Under stress men are more likely to do the ‘fight or flight’ thing and counter stress with anger or desertion. Women are more likely to adopt the ‘tend and befriend’ mode where they begin to nurture others and make alliances. You will be adopting a number of strategies in your growing recovery. Try to make as many of them proactive as you can. The more you respond ( with thought and deliberation ) then react ( instinctively ), the better you will weather the journey.
I seek solutions and guidelines for my behaviors and the coming decisions I must make. I do not ‘react’ but ‘respond’ to the situations in my life.
The Power is in the Now
I recognize that the present is alive and vibrant and creative. All of the creative power of this alive and radiant universe is in the present, in the here and now. If I align myself with the present, if I allow myself to fully experience this moment, I will find all I need in it. There is magic in this moment, there is beauty and vibrancy in it that resonates throughout my life. What I experience now, creates my future.
There is nothing like the present
– Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote
Sometimes you are the wind; sometimes you are the bug; sometimes you are the windshield.
Experience is what I get when I don’t get what I want.
“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book
When we use, addiction makes all our decisions.
Time for Joy – Book – Quote
I am beginning to actually feel the energy of love that I have inside. My entire being is in the process of being transformed with love.
Alkiespeak – Book – Quote
Don’t point the finger, reach out the hand. – Anon.
AA Thought for the Day
Love is always positive and constructive. It does not tolerate negativism.
It must be given and received unconditionally, without reservations, with no strings attached.
When we love, we will see in others what we wish to have in ourselves.
We will know that love is a privilege given to us by God.
When we love, we will never be bored with life or our program. . .
It shows us that the things that count are never held in the hand but always in the heart.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 3], p. 297
Thought to Ponder . . .
Giving love is more important than being loved.
AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Always Awesome.
~~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~~
We found that as soon as we were able
to lay aside prejudice
and express even a willingness
to believe in a Power greater than ourselves,
we commenced to get results,
even though it was impossible for any of us
to fully define or comprehend that Power,
which is God.
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46
Thought to Consider . . .
God seldom becomes a reality
until God becomes a necessity.
G I F T = God Is Forever There
~~~~^Just For Today!^~~~~
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“Maybe A.A. was just a Yankee gadget that would be no good for Ireland, England, Holland, Scandinavia, Australia, and
the Pacific. Since their countries were so different, maybe their alcoholics were different too. ‘Will A.A. work in our
cultures”‘ they asked. We became heavily involved in correspondence, much helped by our American members in New
York who could translate for us. We searched out and briefed A.A. travelers going abroad. Gradually headway was
made. It was a long time, however, before we knew for sure that A.A. could cross the barriers of distance, race, creed,
and language. But today , the A.A. map shows our society in more than seventy countries and the U.S. possessions.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 200
~~~^ Grapevine Quote ^~~~
“With respect to its own affairs, the collective conscience of the group will, given time, almost surely demonstrate its
perfect dependability. The group conscience will, in the end, prove a far more infallible guide for group affairs than the
decision of any individual member, however good or wise he may be.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1948
From: “Tradition Two”
The Language of the Heart
~~~~^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^~~~~*
“We are careful never to show intolerance or hatred of drinking as
an institution. Experience shows that such an attitude is not
helpful to anyone. Every new alcoholic looks for this spirit among
us and is immensely relieved when he finds we are not witch-burners.
A spirit of intolerance might repel alcoholics whose lives could
have been saved, had it not been for such stupidity.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 103~
“This painful past may be of infinite value to other families still
struggling with their problem. We think each family which has been
relieved owes something to those who have not, and when the occasion
requires, each member of it should be only too willing to bring
former mistakes, no matter how grievous, out of their hiding places.
Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing
which makes life seem so worth while to us now.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 124~
With clear understanding and right, grown-up attitudes, very happy results do follow.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 120
Misc. AA Literature – Quote
Today, the vast majority of us welcome any new light that can be thrown on the alcoholic’s mysterious and baffling
malady. We welcome new and valuable knowledge whether it issues from a test tube, from a psychiatrist’s couch, or
from revealing social studies. We are glad of any kind of education that accurately informs the public and changes its
age-old attitude toward the drunk.
More and more we regard all who labor in the total field of alcoholism as our companions on a march from darkness into
light. We see that we can accomplish together what we could never accomplish in separation and in rivalry.
Prayer for the Day: Lord, help us to do your will and open our spiritual ears to always listen to your voice as we make all
our plans and decisions. Amen.