Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 6th
Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. “Whether agnostic, atheist, or
former believer, we can stand together on this Step.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33
I feel that A.A. is a God-inspired program and that God is at every A.A. meeting. I see,
believe, and have come to know that A.A. works, because I have stayed sober today. I
am turning my life over to A.A. and to God by going to an A.A. meeting. If God is in my
heart and He speaks to me through other people, then I must be a channel of God to
other people. I should seek to do His will by living spiritual principles and my reward will
be sanity and emotional sobriety.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
On a dark night, the bright lights of the corner tavern look mighty inviting. Inside, there
seems to be warmth and good cheer. But we don’t stop to think that if we go in there we’ll
probably end up drunk, with our money spent and an awful hangover. A long
mahogany bar in the tropical moonlight looks like a very gay place. But you should see
the place the next morning. The chairs are piled on the tables and the place stinks of stale
beer and cigarette stubs. And often we are there too, trying to cure the shakes by gulping
down straight whiskey. Can I look straight through the night before and see the morning
Meditation For The Day
God finds, amid the crowd, a few people who follow Him, just to be near Him, just to dwell
in His presence. A longing in the Eternal Heart may be satisfied by these few people. I
will let God know that I seek just to dwell in His presence, to be near Him, not so much
for teaching or a message, as just for Him. It may be that the longing of the human
heart to be loved for itself is something caught from the Great Divine Heart.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may have a listening ear, so that God may speak to me. I pray that I may
have a waiting heart, so that God may come to me.
As Bill Sees It
A Full and Thankful Heart, p. 37
One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my blessings
and then for a right acceptance of the many gifts that are mine–both
temporal and spiritual. Here I try to achieve a state of joyful gratitude.
When such a brand of gratitude is repeatedly affirmed and pondered, it
can finally displace the natural tendency to congratulate myself on
whatever progress I may have been enabled to make in some areas of
I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot
entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s
heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we
can never know.
Grapevine, March 1962
Walk In Dry Places
Competing with Others
A new View of Competition.
We live in a world torn by endless strife and competition. Although competitiveness can be a good quality, we’ve seen it become very ugly and destructive. A few alcoholics like the excitement of competition, but many of us withdraw from it. We hate anything that includes the risk of defeat or might make us appear second best. Sometimes we even feel guilty in winning.
We don’t need the kind of competition that causes us to gloat arrogantly in victory or to wallow in self-pity in defeat. We don’t really need to compete with others in anything if we are truly seeking guidance from our Higher power. If God is in charge of our lives, we do not have to struggle with others for the good we seek in life. It is God’s pleasure to give us the good things of the kingdom.
There is a kind of competition that does pay off in sobriety…… competition with ourselves. We can try to be better people than we might have been yesterday, or a week ago, or a month ago. This kind of competition requires skill and stamina, and it also requires exercise and training. But anybody who sincerely seeks a spiritual life and true self-improvement can find it in AA.
This day, I won’t try to reform or change anybody but myself. I’ll remember that God is in charge of things and concentrate on competing with the person I once was by letting the program work in my life.
Keep It Simple
We will not know unless we begin.——
Let us begin! Whether it be working on our First Step, Finding a sponsor, or talking to someone we hurt—Let us begin. Doubt will set in if we wait too long. Fear will follow. So, let us begin. We learn by doing. Recovery is for doers. Sobriety doesn’t just happen. We create it. We create it by working the Steps and learning from them. We’ll never totally understand the Steps unless we work them. In the same way, we’ll never learn how to have friends unless we try. So, call your friends, instead of waiting to be called. Begin and begin again. Each day is a new beginning.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, today I’ll begin. I begin by asking for Your help and love. Be with me as I go through my day. Help me work for progress, not perfection.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll not sit on the sidelines. I’ll be a doer. I’ll decide what to do to move closer to friends, family, Higher Power, and myself.
Each Day a New Beginning
I believe that a sign of maturity is accepting deferred gratification. –Peggy Cahn
It’s okay to want to feel good all the time. Happiness is something we all deserve. However, there are often preparatory steps we need to take, a number of which will not bring joy, before we arrive at a place of sustained happiness.
The level of our pain at any particular moment has prompted us to seek short-term highs. And with each attempt at a quick “fix,” we will be reminded that, just as with our many former attempts, the high is very short-term.
Long-term happiness is not the byproduct of short-term gratification. We don’t have to earn happiness, exactly, but we do have to discover where it’s found. How fortunate we are to have the program guiding our search. We will find happiness when we learn to get quiet and listen to our inner selves. We will find happiness when we focus less on our personal problems and more on the needs of others.
Many of us will need to redefine what happiness is. Understanding our value and necessity to our circle of acquaintances will bring us happiness, a happiness that will sustain us, and so will gratitude for our friends, our growing health, our abstinence also sustain us. Sincerely touching the soul of someone else can tap the well of happiness within each of us.
I will find happiness. Searching within myself, I will patiently, trustingly share myself with others.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
Foreword To Fourth Edition
While our literature has preserved the integrity of the A.A. message, sweeping changes in society as a whole are reflected in new customs and practices within the Fellowship. Taking advantage of technological advances, for example, A.A. members with computers can participate in meetings online, sharing with fellow alcoholics across the country or around the world. In any meeting, anywhere, A.A.’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, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.
He suggested that for me a good starting point would simply be recognition of the fact that I had failed in running the world–in short, acceptance of the fact that I was not God. He also suggested that I might try occasionally to act as if I believed. Somewhere I had heard that it is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than to think yourself into a new way acting, and this made sense in the context of “acting as if.”
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.”
When alcoholism strikes, very unnatural situations may develop which work against marriage partnership and compatible union. If the man is affected, the wife must become the head of the house, often the breadwinner. As matters get worse, the husband becomes a sick and irresponsible child who needs to be looked after and extricated from endless scrapes and impasses. Very gradually, and usually without any realization of the fact, the wife is forced to become the mother of an erring boy. And if she had a strong maternal instinct to begin with, the situation is aggravated. Obviously not much partnership can exist under these conditions. The wife usually goes on doing the best she knows how, but meanwhile the alcoholic alternately loves and hates her maternal care. A pattern is thereby established that may take a lot of undoing later on. Nevertheless, under the influence of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, these situations are often set right.*
*In adopted form, the Steps are also used by Al-Anon/Alateen Family Groups. Not a part of A.A., this worldwide fellowship consists of spouses and other relatives or friends of alcoholics (in A.A. or still drinking.) Its headquarters address is 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617.
We can teach the faith by the way we face what each day brings. –Damaris Hernandez
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” –One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
“I said to a man who stood at the gate of the year: Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.” –Minnie L. Haskins
The greatest gift you receive from loving someone is Loving Someone.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. –Mother Teresa
The solution is simple. The solution is spiritual.
S T E P S = Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety.
Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
“Christ cannot possibly have been
a Jew. I don’t have to prove that
scientifically. It is a fact!”
— Joseph Goebbels
Today I know that if a lie is said loudly enough, often enough, with ceremony and ritual,
people will believe it. I can identify with the above statement: I said I was not alcoholic
because I did not drink every day, in the mornings, all day and I was too young! People
believed me. Some people still choose to believe this lie.
Spirituality requires that I not only confront the lies in other people but also in myself.
Usually if I am angry at the remarks of others, it is because they remind me of myself.
Today I seek not simply to condemn but to understand.
May I continue to learn from the criticism I make of others.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:4-5
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5-8
It is better to try and fail than to fail because you are afraid to try. Lord, grant me the courage to live my life to the fullest.
Learn to be peaceful in all situations and trust that through all stages of our lives, God has a plan. Lord, may I have the wisdom to be able to turn my stumbling blocks into building blocks.
NA Just For Today
I Can’t – We Can
“We had convinced ourselves that we could make it alone and proceeded to live life on that basis. The results were disastrous and, in the end, each of us had to admit that self-sufficiency was a lie”
Basic Text p. 59
“I can’t, but we can.” This simple but profound truth applies initially to our first need as NA members: Together, we can stay clean, but when we isolate ourselves, we’re in bad company. To recover, we need the support of other addicts.
Self-sufficiency impedes more than just our ability to stay clean. With or without drugs, living on self-will inevitably leads to disaster. We depend on other people for everything from goods and services to love and companionship, yet self-will puts us in constant conflict with those very people. To live a fulfilling life, we need harmony with others.
Other addicts and others in our communities are not the only ones we depend on. Power is not a human attribute, yet we need power to live. We find it in a Power greater than ourselves which provides the guidance and strength we lack on our own. When we pretend to be self-sufficient, we isolate ourselves from the one source of power sufficient to effectively guide us through life: our Higher Power.
Self-sufficiency doesn’t work. We need other addicts; we need other people; and, to live fully, we need a Power greater than our own.
Just for today: I will seek the support of other recovering addicts, harmony with others in my community, and the care of my Higher Power. I can’t, but we can.
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Pride works from within; it is the direct appreciation of oneself.
Pride, like all emotions, has two faces: one healthy and one sick. It is our challenge to use the healthy side well. Sick pride fills us with ourselves, looks down on others, and has no room for generosity. Healthy pride is heavy with humility. If we can feel joyful when we succeed, and tell others about it honestly, we are not being boastful.
Sick pride often keeps us from doing things because we are too proud to ask for help when we need it, or too proud to risk failure, or too proud to do anything that might not turn out perfect.
Healthy pride about our greatest victories always comes with the awareness that we did not do it all by ourselves. We had the aid, advice, and encouragement of loved ones. In all things that really count, we never walk alone. Even those who claim pride is not a virtue admit that it is the parent of many virtues.
What makes me proud of myself today?
You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Behind an able man there are always other able men. –Chinese proverb
Most of us have had a strong desire in our lives to “do it ourselves.” We have had the idea that strength and independence meant we should not rely on or receive help from others. Now, in recovery, we are learning a far more mature and time-honored principle. We find strength to develop to our fullest as members of a community. Maybe we never learned how to ask for help. Perhaps we haven’t learned yet how to accept it. It may still be difficult to express our gratitude for the help that brought us where we are today.
In recovery, we get many lessons about these things. If we are actively growing, we will get help from others and give it too. The rewards of recovery give us ample reasons and opportunities to express our gratitude. We are no longer loners. Now we have a network of friends who truly enjoy and enhance each other’s strength.
Today, I pray for help in learning how to share my strength and to appreciate the strength of others.
You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Before recovery, many of us lacked a frame of reference with which to name the victimization and abuse in our life. We may have thought it was normal that people mistreated us. We may have believed we deserved mistreatment; we may have been attracted to people who mistreated us.
We need to let go, on a deep level, of our need to be victimized and to be victims. We need to let go of our need to be in dysfunctional relationships and systems at work, in love, in family relationships, in friendships. We deserve better. We deserve much better. It is our right. When we believe in our right to happiness, we will have happiness.
We will fight for that right, and the fight will emerge from our souls. Break free from oppression and victimization.
Today, I will liberate myself by letting go of my need to be a victim, and I’ll explore my freedom to take care of myself. That liberation will not take me further away from people I love. It will bring me closer to people and. more in harmony with God’s plan for my life.
I am slowly finding new strength within me as I begin to trust my inner voice. I dare listen and take new risks as I follow my inner path. –Ruth Fishel
Journey To The Heart
Look at What’s Right
Take time to notice what’s right in ourselves, in others, and in the world around us. We may become so concerned with correcting ourselves we become habituated to seeing what’s wrong. Not just seeing it– constantly looking for it. The question itself– What’s wrong? — is enough to keep us on edge.
There are times to take stock, do an inventory. Times to learn and grow. But spirituality and joy do not stem from trudging around in the muck of what’s wrong with others, ourselves, and life. We do not have to seek out mistakes and errors, poking and picking at ourselves to continue our growth. Poking and picking hurts. Our lessons will be revealed to us, and they will present themselves naturally. Growth will occur.
Give yourself a break. Ask yourself what’s right, what’s good, what’s true, what’s beautiful. Sometimes the lesson isn’t in discovering what’s wrong. Sometimes the lesson is discovering that the world is all right– and so are you.
More Language Of Letting Go
Revel in the void
In the original Language of Letting Go, I talked about the in between places in our lives. Those are the uncomfortable places along the journey where you’re not where you were but you’re not where you’re going yet,either. I talked about accepting that place, no matter how difficult it might be.
Let’s look at this place again. Only now, we’ll call it the void. Take another look at that moment when one door has closed behind you and you’re standing in that dark hallway, but no door opens up. Or you let go of whatever you’ve been grasping so tightly and stand there with an empty hand. Don’t say woohoo just when you begin something new. Feel the woohoo of this moment,too! Embrace the void. This wonderful in-between place holds the keys to all creation. In the biblical story of creation, God began with a clean slate like the one you may face now. It was the magic and mystery of the void that allowed all of this wonderful creation to be.
If you’re at an in-between place, don’t just accept it. Revel in it, embrace it, rejoice at your opportunity to sit in the birth-place of all that will come along your path. Relax into the void and allow creation to flow.
God, help me embrace the void and allow it to bring forth what it will, rather than trying to force something that really doesn’t fit.
A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day
I used to be an expert at unrealistic self-appraisal. At certain times, I would look only at that part of my life which seemed good. Then I would magnify whatever real or imagined virtues I had attained. Next, I would pat myself on the back for the fantastic job I was doing in The Program. Naturally, this generated a craving for still more “accomplishments” and still greater approval. Wasn’t that the pattern of my days during active addiction? The difference now, though, is that I can use the best alibi known — the spiritual alibi. Do I sometimes rationalize willful actions and nonsensical behavior in the name of “spiritual objectives?”
Today I Pray
God help me to know if I still crave attention and approval to the point of inflating my own virtues and magnifying my accomplishments in The Program or anywhere. May I keep a realistic perspective ab out my good points, even as I learn to respect myself.
Today I Will Remember
Learn to control inflation.
One More Day
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be.
– Robert Browning
We all have been to beautiful weddings. A young couple’s love is so obvious. They have so much to look forward to, so much living is still ahead.
We understand more and more that now is the best time of our lives. Whether we are having a cup of coffee with a friend or fishing on a quiet lake, these are the best times.
As we age and reach the later decades of our lives, we become aware, even more sharply, that surely these are the best times of our lives. We feel comfortable with ourselves and what we have, and with what we are still accomplishing. We don’t set unreasonable goals anymore. And we are lucky, too, for we can blend all our previous years of experience into our daily lives.
I am comforted by knowing that every stage of my life presents me with new opportunities.
Food For Thought
The Power of Love
Love is the best motivation. When we are plugged in to our Higher Power, we are plugged in to love. It flows through us like a current, energizing our sluggish hearts and minds.
As we work the Steps of this program, we are given increased ability to love. By turning over our lives and our wills, we become receptive to the love, which surrounds and sustains us. By taking inventory and being ready to have our character defects removed, we are able to get rid of old ways of thinking and acting which have been blocking out love.
We cannot produce love for others by ourselves, but we can receive it from our Higher Power. We can even receive love for people we don’t particularly like.
Love gives energy for action and directs its course.
May I grow in Love.
One Day At A Time
~ ERRORS AND ASSETS ~
We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors
and convert them into assets.
The Big Book
I have had a paradigm shift in my life. This means that I have begun to see some of my most basic ideas about food and nourishment from a different angle. I never really thought these things through before this program nudged me to have a look at my life with rigorous honesty. Oh, I wanted to be thin, but I barely related that to my feelings about food.
I was on autopilot for years and now realize that my concept of food was reasoned out when I was still a child. I put that childish set of ideas in place and then just stopped thinking about it. That little child wanted the most she could get of everything there was. She wanted the most attention, the most love, the most toys . . . and the most food. And at that time it was exactly the right way to look at the world. When I was a child setting up the system that constantly demands more to calm or soothe or comfort or love, I turned to food because it is simple and I did not possess the skills to get my needs met in other ways. It was a victory really, because I coped, made it through to now. But, to stick with a plan set up by a little child reflects a lack of willingness to face a basic error in engaging the world and change my behavior.
Now I know that eating mass quantities of food isn’t about love, or fun, or comfort. Now my adult mind knows that food is a fuel that, if chosen judiciously, helps my body to work efficiently and clears my mind for the task of being a responsible adult in a busy, troubled world. By shifting from “How much food do I get for me?” to “What must I eat today to be healthy?” I change my whole basis for choosing. I take an area of my life that has been a constant error and change it into an asset, one that nourishes me and helps me to do that next right thing.
One Day at a Time . . .
I am willing to face my flawed thinking about food and change the way I make food choices, meal by meal, so that food is an asset to me and not a liability.
~ Carol B. ~
AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote
Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. – Pg. 62 – How It Works
Hour To Hour – Book – Quote
Sanskrit saying: ‘God sleeps in the minerals, awakens in the plants, walks in the animals, and thinks in you.’ There is no place or time that the Power you believe in is not existing. Your thoughts are the culmination of this Power and your recovery HP’s manifestation.
Working the steps and practicing the principles is the same as manifesting God on earth.
I Say Thanks
Today I will say thank you. If someone does something for me, I will say thank you. If I feel good when I wake up I will say thank you. When I have food that gives me pleasure and nourishment, I will appreciate its flavor. If the world provides me with another day of what I need to keep going, I will say thank you for being alive, for my health, my family and my friends. As I show appreciation a curious thing happens, I get more of what I am saying thank you for. People want to be appreciated; saying thank you allows them to give with pleasure. Life wants to be appreciated; saying thank you allows life to give with pleasure.
I do not take things for granted
– Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. The truth is that your Spiritual Source doesn’t deal with time, clocks, and calendars. Your Source put you in today because your Source is in today.
Because God (Allah, Krishna, Kahuna, Creator, Divine Intelligence) is in the NOW, then ‘Just for Today’ I stay here too.
“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book
Stay put and act in your own best interest.
Time for Joy – Book – Quote
I am slowly finding new strength within me as I begin to trust my inner voice. I dare listen and take new risks as I follow my inner path.
Alkiespeak – Book – Quote
Rockbottom: When things got worse faster than I could lower my standards. – Anon.
AA Thought for the Day
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
“Sanity” is defined as “soundness of mind.”
Yet no alcoholic, soberly analyzing his destructive behavior,
whether the destruction fell on the dining-room furniture or his own moral fiber,
can claim “soundness of mind” for himself.
Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 33
Thought to Ponder . . .
When I change what I believe, I change what I do.
AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change.
~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~
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.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 122
Thought to Consider . . .
It’s more important to feel happy about who I am
than who I think I should be.
P A C E = Positive Attitudes Change Everything.
*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*
From “The Keys of the Kingdom”:
“I stayed up all night reading that [Big] book. For me it was a wonderful experience. It explained so much I had not
understood about myself, and, best of all, it promised recovery if I would do a few simple things and be willing to have
the desire to drink removed. Here was hope. Maybe I could find my way out of this agonizing existence. Perhaps I could
find freedom and peace, and be able once again to call my soul my own.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 273
*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*
“We of AA can never set any hampering limitation upon the ultimate destiny of ourselves and our Fellowship, nor any
whatever upon God’s love for us all. Individually and collectively, structurally and spiritually, we shall ever need to build
for the future.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1960
From: “AA Tomorrow”
The Language of the Heart
~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*
“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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164~
We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel
the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.
The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway,
walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe. ~Alcoholics Anonymous page 75
And let’s always remember that meditation is in reality intensely practical. One of its first fruits is emotional balance.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 101
Misc. AA Literature – Quote
One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my blessings and then for a right acceptance of the many gifts
that are mine – both temporal and spiritual. Here I try to achieve a state of joyful gratitude. When such a brand of
gratitude is repeatedly affirmed and pondered, it can finally displace the natural tendency to congratulate myself on
whatever progress I may have been enabled to make in some areas of living.
I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with
gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know.
Prayer for the Day: Lord God, may I not only feel the need of thee when I am burdened with sorrow and care, but may I
have need of thee in my pleasures and joys. I thank thee for thy gracious kindness, thy mercy and thy protection. Amen.