Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Feb 7th
True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an
assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33
My last drunk had landed me in the hospital, totally broken. It was then that I was able
to see my past float in front of me. I realized that, through drinking, I had lived every
nightmare I had ever had. My own self-will and obsession to drink had driven me into a
dark pit of hallucinations, blackouts and despair. Finally beaten, I asked for God’s help.
His presence told me to believe. My obsession for alcohol was taken away and my
paranoia has since been lifted. I am no longer afraid. I know my life is healthy and sane.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
A night club crowded with men and women all dressed up in evening clothes looks like a
very festive place. But you should see the rest rooms of that night club the next morning.
What a mess! People have been sick all over the place and does it smell! The glamour of
the night before is all gone and only the stink of the morning after is left. In A.A. we learn
to take a long view of drinking instead of a short view. We learn to think less about the
pleasure of the moment and more about the consequences. Has the night before become
less important to me and the morning after more important?
Meditation For The Day
Only a few more steps and then God’s power shall be seen and known in my life. I am now
walking in darkness, surrounded by the limitations of space and time. But even in this
darkness, I can have faith and can be a light to guide feet that are afraid. I believe that
God’s power will break through the darkness and my prayers will pierce even to the ears
of God Himself. But only a cry from the heart, a trusting cry, ever pierces that darkness
and reaches to the divine ear of God.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that the divine power of God will help my human weakness. I pray that my prayer
may reach through the darkness to the ear of God.
As Bill Sees It
Let Go Absolutely, p.242
After failure on my part to dry up any drunks, Dr. Silkworth
reminded me of Professor William James’s observation that truly
transforming spiritual experiences are nearly always founded on
calamity and collapse. “Stop preaching at them,” Dr. Silkworth
said, “and give them the hard medical facts first. This may soften
them up at depth so that they will be willing to do anything to get
well. Then they may accept those spiritual ideas of yours, and
even a Higher Power.”
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.
1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p.13
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p.58
Walk In Dry Places
Responsibility for our actions.
The practice of scape-goating goes way back to biblical times. It’s easier to blame others for our problems than to take personal responsibility for facing and solving these problems.
In the AA program, however, there’s nothing that serves as a basis for blaming others. In every way, AA insists that alcoholics take personal responsibility… not only for finding and maintaining sobriety, but also for past wrongs and personal shortcomings. This is a difficult change for alcoholics who have believed that others caused many of their problems.
But being forced to take responsibility for our actions is a blessing in disguise. It fairly shouts the good news that we can take charge of our lives despite what others think and do. With God’s help, we can change ourselves into the people we ought to be. We are fortunate that life is arranged to give us this personal responsibility.
We also learn that this responsibility is not limited to our drinking. We are responsible for everything we think and do, and we have the power to make improvements in our lives beginning today.
I will go through the day without blaming others for my problems.
Keep It Simple
I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work and my God.—Helen Keller.
None of us ever wanted to be addicts. It’s not what we would choose to be— just as no one would choose to blind and deaf. Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf, told of how her problems became her biggest gift. Through them, she found true meaning in her life. We can accept our handicap—our addiction— and learn from it. The truth is, we’re all handicapped in some way. Recovery is about facing our addiction and learning to live with it. When we see we can’t do things alone, we see the need for a Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see myself as I really am. Give me the serenity that comes from accepting my handicaps.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list all the ways I am handicapped. I’ll ask myself, “What gift does each of these hold for me?”
Each Day a New Beginning
However confused the scene of our life appears, however torn we may be who now do face that scene, it can be faced, and we can go on to be whole. –Muriel Rukeyser
We can expect to feel fear, even dread at some points in our lives. We will always have situations that, for a time at least, seem more than we can bear. But the clouds will lift. We are never given more than we can handle, and with each passing day we become more at ease with ourselves and all that life gives us. We are learning that “this too shall pass.” Our confidence grows as our spiritual program gains strength.
Our ties to one another and our ties to the program make us whole. When we reflect on who we were and how far we’ve come, we will see that problems we drank over in days gone by are handled today and often with ease. The joy we share is that no problem is too great to be faced any longer. And no situation will ever have to be faced alone, unless we reject God’s help.
I will be grateful for my growth toward wholeness and the opportunities I face today. They are bringing me into harmony with the Divine plan for my life.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
The Doctor’s Opinion
WE OF Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the reader will be interested in the medical estimate of the plan of recovery described in this book. Convincing testimony must surely come from medical men who have had experience with the sufferings of our members and have witnessed our return to health.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories
Trying to separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.
I also thought that the people in meetings sometimes seemed too standoffish and overly concerned with their friends and acquaintances rather than with me, the newcomer. Well on my way toward developing a resentment, I expressed this to my sponsor. He suggested that I might find people more communicative if I took the coffee-making commitment for the group I had joined. Although I thought I was far too special to make coffee, I did figure that as coffee maker I would have a chance to select decent cookies, and so I agreed. My sponsor was right again. People did start to speak with me–if only to complain about the coffee and cookies. But once a conversation starts, communication frequently continues.
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 the distortion has been great, however, a long period of patient striving may be necessary. After the husband joins A.A., the wife may become discontented, even highly resentful that Alcoholics Anonymous has done the very thing that all her years of devotion had failed to do. Her husband may become so wrapped up in A.A. and his new friends that he is inconsiderately away from home more than when he drank. Seeing her unhappiness, he recommends A.A.’s Twelve Steps and tries to teach her how to live. She naturally feels that for years she has made a far better job of living than he has. Both of them blame each other and ask when their marriage is ever going to be happy again. They may even begin to suspect it had never been any good in the first place.
God, the Master Artist, sees the whole picture and desires to make something delightful of us. –Gene L. Lankford
The joy is in the journey.
Life didn’t end when I got sober — it started.
Situations I fear are rarely as bad as the fear itself.
If faith without works is dead, then willingness without action is fantasy.
Resentment is like acid, eating away at the vessel it is stored in.
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.
Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
“In every child who is born, under
no matter what circumstances,
and of no matter what parents, the
potentiality of the human race is
— James Agee
Today I am able to believe and see the God-given dignity of the human race in
the faces and lifestyles of others. In the challenge and rebelliousness of youth is
the hope for tomorrow.
Today I can associate myself with the need to question, risk and “be
outrageous”. Today I can play, laugh at myself and own my craziness. Today I do
not need to be perfect.
When I used drugs, I was so judgmental, serious and controlling. Everything had
to have a place, or an answer, or be acceptable to others. My moments of guilt
were caused by my inability to please others.
Today I can be childlike and identify with the radical message for tomorrow: “to
thine own self be true!”
I see a child looking at the stars and I smile; I am that child.
O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:10-13
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
There is no moment like right now. Lord, help me start one thing today that I have been putting off.
Spend less time trying to change and more time making the best of who you are. Lord, help me daily to put Your words into action.
NA Just For Today
This Is Not A Test
“We have found a loving, personal God to whom we can turn.”
Basic Text p. 27
Some of us come into recovery with the impression that life’s hardships are a series of cosmic tests designed to teach us something. This belief is readily apparent when something traumatic happens and we wail, “My Higher Power is testing me!” We’re convinced that it’s a test of our recovery when someone offers us drugs, or a test of our character when faced with a situation where we could do something unprincipled without getting caught. We may even think it’s a test of our faith when we’re in great pain over a tragedy in our lives.
But a loving Higher Power doesn’t test our recovery, our character, or our faith. Life just happens, and sometimes it hurts. Many of us have lost love through no fault of our own. Some of us have lost all of our material wealth. A few of us have even grieved the loss of our own children. Life can be terribly painful at times, but the pain is not inflicted on us by our Higher Power. Rather, that Power is constantly by our sides, ready to carry us if we can’t walk by ourselves. There is no harm that life can do us that the God of our understanding can’t heal.
Just for today: I will have faith that my Higher Power’s will for me is good, and that I am loved. I will seek my Higher Power’s help in times of need.
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong. –Leo Rosten
When we think of strength, do we think of someone who shows no emotion and intimidates others with physical power? True strength is the freedom to show all kinds of feelings. Strong people aren’t afraid of being vulnerable. A person who feels insecure may not feel free to show any kind of softness or be able to share gentle feelings. If we have true inner strength, we are not afraid to show what is a part of us, gentle feelings included.
It is wonderful to see a well-conditioned athlete cry tears of joy after a victory. In such an example we can see physical and emotional strength. In our lives together, we will be stronger if we do not try to hide our feelings out of fear. As our feelings flow, we will increase our self-understanding and build our true strength.
Am I strong enough to show how I really feel today?
You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We cannot merely pray to You, 0 God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way
That man must find his own path to peace
Within himself and with his neighbor.
Our conscious contact with God can be called prayer. There are many forms of prayer for a man in this program. For some of us it may take the form of talking to God; for others it may be silent meditation, observing nature, listening to music, or writing in a journal.
We have experienced the healing effect of this relationship. It has allowed us to move out of our willfulness. But we need to take action where we can make a difference. We cannot blame God for every bad thing that happens – or simply wait for God to provide all the good we want. Do we see the power we do have to influence our lives? Can we give up our resentments against God for bad things that have happened?
I am grateful for what God has given me and more aware of what I can do.
You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Owning Our Power
We need to make a distinction between powerlessness and owning our power.
The first step in recovery is accepting powerlessness. There are some things we can’t do, no matter how long or hard we try. These things include changing other people, solving their problems, and controlling their behavior. Sometimes, we feel powerless over ourselves – what we feel or believe, or the effects of a particular situation or person on us.
It’s important to surrender to powerlessness, but it’s equally important to own our power. We aren’t trapped. We aren’t helpless. Sometimes it may feel like we are, but we aren’t. We each have the God given power, and the right, to take care of ourselves in any circumstance, and with any person. The middle ground of self-care lies between the two extremes of controlling others and allowing them to control us. We can walk that ground gently or assertively, but in confidence that it is our right and responsibility.
Let the power come to walk that path.
Today, I will remember that I can take care of my self. I have choices, and. I can exercise the options I choose without guilt.
I feel my entire body unwinding and relaxing as I give up my resistance and struggle. Today I accept life as it comes and learn to flow with it with peace. –Ruth Fishel
Journey To The Heart
Experience Love for Yourself
To find love, you must first find it in yourself. Then the whole universe will mirror it back. See how people smile at you? Feel their tenderness, their affection, their respect. See how the whole world responds lovingly to you when you love yourself.
The world around you reflects how you feel about yourself. The beliefs of many years have kept you trapped in the illusion of separateness, apartness. Your hesitancy to love yourself was mirrored in the eys of others. But you are not alone, you are not estranged. You are not a disconnected part. You are part of the whole, intricately connected to all of life.
Go out, and embrace your connection. Embrace life. Watch the sunrise. Smell the cypress trees, a field of garlic, the gentle scent of an apple orchard. Feel the breeze on your cheek, the rain on your hair, the earth beneath your feet.
Stay open. Keep loving yourself. Know you are a vital part of a living universe. Watch how much better, how much kinder life is, as you grow in peace and harmony with yourself. See how much more love is mirrored in the universe since you committed to loving yourself.
More Language Of Letting Go
Replace dread by saying woohoo
Let go of dread.
Treat it like a feeling. Identify it. Accept and acknowledge it. Then release it. Do whatever you have to, to get it out of your system. Because dread is more than just a feeling– it’s really a curse.
We throw this dark gray blanket of dread over our lives for hours, sometimes days, months, and sometimes years. We convince ourselves that certain situations will be terrible. Then what we’ve predicted comes true.
Dread is not living in the present moment. It’s living the future before we get there, and living it without any joy. There’s a lot of good about the future that you don’t know. There’s your power to flow. There’s the creative power that exists in the void. There’s your abillity to intuitively handle what comes up. And there’s a lesson, a pulsing potential in the experience that you can’t see yet. There may be a delightful consequence or outcome from this experience on which you haven’t planned. Or it may simply be something you need to get through to experience growth.
If you’re feeling cursed because you’re living in dread, take the curse off yourself.
God, help me open my heart to the full potential of every moment in my life.
A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day
What do I do what I do? Why did I say what I said? Why on earth did I put off an important responsibility? Questions like these, best asked of myself in a quiet time of meditation, demand honest answers. I may have to think deeply for those answers, going beyond the tempting rationalizations that lack the luster of truth. Have I accepted the fact that self-deception can only damage me, providing a clouded and unrealistic picture of the person I really am?
Today I Pray
May God allow me to push aside my curtain of fibs, alibis, rationalizations, justification, distortions and downright lies and let in the light on the real truths about myself. May I meet the person I really am and take comfort in the person I can become.
Today I Will Remember
Hello, Me. Meet the Real Me.
One More Day
Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: It might have been.
– John Greenleaf Whittier
A story is told of a man leaning over his wife’s casket. “I waited too long,” he lamented to no one in particular. “Why didn’t I tell her how much I loved her, how much I cherished our life together? I waited too long.”
Like everyone else, we are guilty of procrastination. We tend to put off difficult decisions, such as ending a bad relationship or quitting a job or making aments with an old friend. Our Procrastinations seem to protect us.
Now we understand that time is important too. The more we put something off, the less time we have for other more positive areas of life. Life gets easier when we don’t procrastinate.
I can resolve many problems with direct actions. I need not procrastinate anymore.
Food For Thought
Abstinence Is Freedom
In the beginning, when we first practice abstinence, we may look at it as restriction, limitation, or denial. We don’t like the word, we don’t like giving up our favorite foods, we don’t like measuring and weighing and writing down menus. We sometimes decide to abstain grudgingly, considering it punishment for past indulgences and bitter medicine for our disease.
Let’s remember that what we are giving up is fat, lethargy, and the uncontrolled craving for more and more. Not to abstain is to remain a slave to compulsive overeating. Before OA, we were not free. We were prisoners of our compulsion.
Abstinence is not negative denial. It is positive freedom from the obsession with food and the debilitating effects of overeating. Through abstinence we become free to live active, interesting, satisfying lives. We are able to work and love and serve and enjoy in ways, which were unknown to us before.
When we choose to abstain, we choose freedom.
Thank you, Lord, for freedom.
One Day At A Time
~ FELLOWSHIP ~
We may have all come on different ships,
but we’re in the same boat now.
Martin Luther King Jr.
As a child I never had many friends and I was never one of the “in” crowd. I had many complexes and never thought I was good enough, or clever enough or thin enough. I didn’t date much, nor did I often go to parties. Instead I lived in my perfect fantasy world, where I would one day be thin and beautiful and live happily ever after. As a result food became my best friend, and where friends would constantly disappoint me or leave me, food was always there to numb the pain of loneliness, rejection and loss. There was never anyone in whom I could confide the unbearable pain that I felt, and so I would bury myself in books and food, and thought that as long as I had enough food to soothe that great big hole in my soul, everything would be fine.
Finally, however, when the food was causing me more pain than the pain it was supposed to take away, in desperation I found the doors of this wonderful fellowship. The people in that first meeting were from all walks of life, and of all ages, with some being old enough to be my parents or young enough to be my children. Even though they initially appeared so different to me, I realized that in this motley group of people I had found the friends that I had always been looking for. The common bond we shared in our desire to stop eating compulsively and to heal our lives was the cement that keeps this wonderful fellowship going. These friends listened to me without judging me, they loved me even when I couldn’t love myself, and they were there for me when I needed them. They have become my best friends and my family. It’s a result of this fellowship with other compulsive overeaters, who share with me their experience, strength and hope, that I am constantly able to learn and grow.
One day at a time… One Day at a Time . . .
I will reach out in fellowship to my friends in the program, as they reach out to me, and in doing so I am empowered in ways that are truly miraculous.
~ Sharon S. ~
AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote
In face of collapse and despair, in the face of the total failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, happiness, and sense of direction flowed into them. This happened soon after they wholeheartedly met a few simple requirements. – Pg. 50 – We Agnostics
Hour To Hour – Book – Quote
You will feel powerless at times, yet once you live through your withdrawal and early confusing recovery, your resiliency to endure, survive, and thrive will amaze you. You are in a unique position to learn from this, turn around, and offer help to others. You are, at this very moment, learning skills that will help other addicts and alcoholics in the future. This is a gift.
I thank my Divine Source for the ability to view the good in the journey I now take.
Giving of Myself
I will not give things instead of love. I will recognize that the people who need and depend on me for that sustaining kind of love and attention will be hurt and confused if I ignore their real need for me. I need to give those who are close to me real love. They have cast their fate with mine and I owe them this. They depend on me and I need to understand that and step up to the plate and do what’s necessary and right. I will also be appropriately grateful, when those I need and depend upon give me the caring and concern that nourishes my heart.
I give of my time and attention
– Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote
Some recovering addicts take comfort in their complexity as if they are the exceptionally wounded. They worry their wounds and pick at their pain, giving themselves permission to be difficult, slow, and self-absorbed. Are you simply healing to your own internal rhythm or giving yourself excuses to be difficult?
I don’t make the pity pot too comfortable.
“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book
Align your actions so they are in agreement with the picture you paint of yourself at meetings.
Time for Joy – Book – Quote
I feel my entire body unwinding and relaxing as I give up my resistance and struggle. Today I accept life as it comes and learn to flow with it with peace.
Alkiespeak – Book – Quote
Alcohol gave me wings to fly, then took away my sky. – Anon.
AA Thought for the Day
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
We have acquired a belief in some force that is external, more powerful than we are,
and capable of helping us return to sanity.
This implies that the external, more powerful force is a force for good,
an orderly force capable of making sense out of the chaos of reality,
and bringing order to our own chaotic lives.
The final stage in a full acceptance of the Second Step is to come to believe
that this greater power — a good and orderly greater power — will indeed help us.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], pp. 140-141
Thought to Ponder . . .
Believe more deeply.
AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A R T = Always Remain Teachable.
~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~
Language of the Heart
>From the beginning,
communication in AA has been no ordinary transmission
of helpful ideas and attitudes.
It has been unusual and sometimes unique.
Because of our kinship in suffering,
and because our common means of deliverance
are effective for ourselves only when
constantly carried to others,
our channels of contact have always been charged
with the language of the heart.
Bill W., July 1960
c. 1988 AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 243
Thought to Consider . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.
S O B E R = Simply Observe Bill’s Exemplary Recovery.
*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“In something of the same fashion this idea began to work out with other kinds of prospects. In the beginning we could
not sober up women. They were different, they said. But when they saw other women get well, they slowly followed suit.
The derelict, the rich man, the socialite, all these once thought A.A. was not for them. So did certain people of other
races and tongues and creeds. But when they clearly saw the alcoholic tragedy for which they were headed, they could
forget their differences and join A.A.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 199
*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quotes ^*~*~*~*~*
“Be willing to be willing to follow directions and you will find your life changing in all areas.”
Milwaukie, Ore., June 1999
From: “A Lady After All”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA
~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*
“Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of
spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 100~
“Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one
else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail.
Remember they are very ill.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 89~
We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 122
Misc. AA Literature – Quote
I am a firm believer in both guidance and prayer. But I am fully aware, and humble enough, I hope, to see there may be nothing infallible about my guidance.
‘The minute I figure I have got a perfectly clear pipeline to God, I have become egotistical enough to get into real trouble. Nobody can cause more needless grief than a power-driver who thinks he has got it straight from God.
Prayer for the Day: Praying for Others – Lord, even though others misunderstand and talk about me, I will keep right on praying for them. Thank you for giving me the strength to love my enemies, to do good to those who hate me. I ask you to bless those who have hurt me, and pray for their happiness. For now is the time—you are bending down to hear! You are ready with a plentiful supply of love and kindness. Thank you for answering my prayer, for your loving kindness is wonderful; your mercy is so plentiful, so tender and so kind. Nothing – no activity, work, or relationship – has meaning without you as the center of my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.