Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings Jan 3rd
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21
It is no coincidence that the very first Step mentions powerlessness: An
admission of personal powerlessness over alcohol is a cornerstone of
the foundation of recovery. I’ve learned that I do not have the power
and control I once thought I had. I am powerless over what people
think about me. I am powerless over having just missed the bus. I am
powerless over how other people work (or don’t work) the Steps. But
I’ve also learned I am not powerless over some things. I am not
powerless over my attitudes. I am not powerless over negativity. I am
not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery. I
have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones,
and the world in which I live.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
When I came into A.A., I learned what an alcoholic was and then I
applied this knowledge to myself to see if I was an alcoholic. When I
was convinced that I was an alcoholic, I admitted it openly. Since then,
have I been learning to live accordingly? Have I read the book
Alcoholics Anonymous? Have I applied the knowledge gained to
myself? Have I admitted openly that I am an alcoholic? Am I ready to
admit it at any time when I can be of help?
Meditation For The Day
I will be renewed. I will be remade. In this, I need God’s help. His spirit
shall flow through me and, in flowing through me, it shall sweep away
all the bitter past. I will take heart. The way will open for me. Each day
will unfold something good, as long as I am trying to live the way I
believe God wants me to live.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may be taught, just as a child would be taught. I pray that
I may never question God’s plans, but accept them gladly.
As Bill Sees It
Pain And Progress, p. 3
“Years ago I used to commiserate with all people who suffered. Now I
commiserate only with those who suffer in ignorance, who do not
understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain.”
<< << << >> >> >>
Someone once remarked that pain is the touchstone of spiritual
progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for we know
that the pains of alcoholism had to come before sobriety, and
emotional turmoil before serenity.
<< << << >> >> >>
“Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though
for the moment you do not see.”
- Letter, 1950
- 12 & 12, pp. 93-94
- Letter, 1950
Walk In Dry Places
Forgiving others___Releasing the past
There is a general reluctance on the part of most people to forgive old injuries. Some of us wasted lots of time brooding about old wrongs done to us or trying to get even for some past injuries.
But the only way we can ever really get even is to forgive others completely and without the slightest hidden reservation. If we haven’t forgiven others, the old resentments are a poison in our own lives. We continue to feel the pain of the original injury, and the ensuing resentment destroys our peace of mind and endangers our relationships.
In forgiving others, we do not grant a favor to them, but to ourselves. By extending forgiveness, we release thoughts and feelings that have been like a cancer in our lives. We are not giving up a possession or a right; instead, we are freeing ourselves from a burden that nobody needs to carry. We are letting go of garbage that we do not need in our lives. When we forgive others, we also realize that we are forgiven. As it is stated in closing meetings, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
I will not review past hurts and injuries this day. I will go through the day knowing that God forgives me to the extent that I forgive.
Keep It Simple
Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.—Unknown
As we work Step One, we accept that alcohol and other drugs are poison to us. We accept our limits.
This means we know that hanging around our using “buddies” can remind us of “the good old days.”
Hanging around “slippery places” means we could “slip” back into our old ways. This isn’t testing our sobriety; it’s being reckless with it. So let’s accept our limits. Everybody has limits. When we know our limits, we protect our recovery against the people and places that pull us from our spiritual center. This is what true acceptance means.
Prayer for the Day: I pray for true acceptance. Higher Power, help me to stay away from slippery places. I will protect the gift You’ve given me.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list the people and places that are risky for me to be around. I will share this list with my sponsor, my group, and my sober friends.
Each Day a New Beginning
Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore. –Dorothy Bryant
Sometimes we feel buried in sand, blocked, clogged, unable to move. Then we must remember that we are not alone. Help is at hand, if only we will ask for it. If we invoke our higher power, our source of spiritual strength can help us to believe that there is gold somewhere in all this sand, and that the sand itself is useful.
No one and no thing is good all the time. Let us remember that if we expect nothing but gold, we are distorting life, getting in our own way. We don’t want to falsify the texture of our lives; the homespun quality helps us to appreciate the gold when it appears.
I will find some gold among the sand, today.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
Because this book has become the basic text for our Society and had helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists strong sentiment against any radical changes being made in it. Therefore, the first portion of this volume, describing the A.A. recovery program, has been left untouched in the course of revisions made for the second, third, and fourth editions. The section called “The Doctor’s Opinion” has been kept intact, just as it was originally written in 1939 by the late Dr. William D. Silkworth, our Society’s great medical benefactor.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories
It Might Have Been Worse
Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky. With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.
I was told that I must want my sobriety for my own sake, and I am convinced this is true. There may be many reasons that bring one to A.A. for the first time, but the lasting one must be to want sobriety and the A.A. way of living for oneself.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
In the morning we think of the hours to come. Perhaps we think of our day’s work and the chances it may afford us to be useful and helpful, or of some special problem that it may bring. Possibly today will see a continuation of a serious and as yet unresolved problem left over from yesterday. Our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions to specific problems, and for the ability to help other people as we have already thought they should be helped. In that case, we are asking God to do it our way. Therefore, we ought to consider each request carefully to see what its real merit is. Even so, when making specific requests, it will be well to add to each one of them this qualification: “…if it be Thy will.” We ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out.
Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm. –unknown
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry
about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely
and earnestly. –Buddha (B.C. 568-488)
“The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes.” –Amy Grant
Envy shoots at others and wounds herself. –Costa Rican Proverb
If you dig a grave for others, you might fall into it yourself. –Irish Proverb
I embrace the beauty of life, and depend deeply upon God. –Shelley
Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
“No man is an island, entire of
itself; every man is a piece of
the continent, a part of the
— John Donne
For years I thought that I was alone; lost isolated and afraid. Today I understand this
to be a symptom of my alcoholism, an aspect of my disease. Alcoholism is “cunning,
baffling and powerful”; it is a mystery that we have only begun to understand. One
thing we know, the disease, the “ism” of alcoholism, involves more than the act
of drinking. Feelings of inadequacy, isolation and fear keep us from recovering until
we discover the spiritual strength to confront the disease in our lives. The initial risk of
“letting go” and trusting others is an essential part of the recovery process.
When we discover that we are not alone, then relationships and hope are reactivated;
life is worth living again.
O Lord, I believe I am part of this world and an important part of You.
“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with
God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27
Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Matthew 6:34
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
It is good to know where you are, but better to know where you are going. Lord, may I use every day to grow closer to You.
When you feel you aren’t as blessed as your neighbor, consider the troubles that you have been spared. Lord, thank You for the trials that I do not have to endure.
NA Just For Today
Our Greatest Need
“We eventually redefine our beliefs and understanding to the point where we see that our greatest need is for
knowledge of God’s will for us and the strength to carry that out”
Basic Text p. 46
When we first arrived in NA, we had all kinds of ideas of what we needed. Some of us set our sights on amassing
personal possessions. We thought recovery equaled outward success. But recovery does not equal success. Today,
we believe that our greatest need is for spiritual guidance and strength.
The greatest damage done to us by our addiction was the damage done to our spirituality. Our primary motivation was
dictated by our disease: to get, to use, and to find ways and means to get more. Enslaved by our overwhelming need
for drugs, our lives lacked purpose and connection. We were spiritually bankrupt.
Sooner or later, we realize that our greatest need in recovery is “for knowledge of God’s will for us and the strength to
carry that out” There, we find the direction and sense of purpose our addiction had hidden from us. In our God’s will we
find freedom from self-will. No longer driven only by our own needs, we are free to live with others on an equal footing.
There’s nothing wrong with outward success. But without the spiritual connection offered by the NA program, our
greatest need in recovery goes unmet, regardless of how “successful” we may be.
Just for today: I will seek the fulfillment of my greatest need: a vital, guiding connection with the God of my
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. –Faith Baldwin
Change surrounds us. It lies within us, too. The trees in the yard have changed. They’ve grown taller. Their leaves die
and scatter on the ground in the fall. We don’t resemble our baby pictures much anymore, either. Like trees, we’ve
grown up. As babies, we couldn’t walk. But we learned to run, ride bikes, go out alone to movies and parties. Some
changes we don’t notice while they’re going on. The snow melts; the birds fly south; our hair grows a little every day.
Other changes startle us. A best friend moves away. Perhaps a favorite grandparent dies. These changes we wish
hadn’t happened, and we have to remember that change is as natural as breathing. We can’t keep it from happening,
but we can trust that change never means to harm us. It’s a sign we’re growing up.
You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. – Ursula K. Le
Our relationships are alive. We don’t control them and neither do the other people involved. We certainly influence our
relationships – and if we are aware, we see they also have their own yeast. Whether we are talking of a love
relationship with our spouse, lover, children, friends, or parents, it is a very fluid and dynamic affair. If we are actively
involved with the other person and give time and nourishment to the relationship, it will grow. But if we are passive and
only waiting, the relationship will grow stale.
God speaks to us through other people. Our relationship with our Higher Power influences our relationships with all the
people in our lives. Today we can nurture our relationships with time, tolerance, and honesty. In turn, we will be
May this day be one in which I give attention to those I love.
You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later
patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore. –Dorothy Bryant
Sometimes we feel buried in sand, blocked, clogged, unable to move. Then we must remember that we are not alone.
Help is at hand, if only we will ask for it. If we invoke our higher power, our source of spiritual strength can help us to
believe that there is gold somewhere in all this sand, and that the sand itself is useful.
No one and no thing is good all the time. Let us remember that if we expect nothing but gold, we are distorting life,
getting in our own way. We don’t want to falsify the texture of our lives; the homespun quality helps us to appreciate the
gold when it appears.
I will find some gold among the sand, today.
You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Nurturing Self Care
.. .there isn’t a guidebook for setting boundaries. Each of us has our own guide inside ourselves. If we continue to work
at recovery, our boundaries will develop. They will get healthy and sensitive. Our selves will tell us what we need to
know,’ and we’ll love ourselves enough to listen.
What do we need to do to take care of ourselves?
Listen to that voice inside. What makes you angry? What have you had enough of? What don’t you trust? What
doesn’t feel right? What can’t you stand? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want? Need? What don’t you
want and need? What do you like? What would feel good?
In recovery, we learn that self care leads us on the path to God’s will and plan for our life. Self-care never leads away
from our highest good; it leads toward it.
Learn to nurture that voice inside. We can trust ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. We are wiser than we think.
Our guide is within, ever present. Listen to, trust, and nurture that guide.
Today, I will affirm that lama gift to the Universe and myself. I will remember that nurturing self care delivers that gift in
its highest form.
Today my body guides me to refocus and God heals me deep within as I again become strong and free. –Ruth Fishel
Journey To The Heart
Trust Your Heart
For so long, you relied on your head. Now it’s time to make the shift– the great leap into your heart.
Are you beginning to see how your head gets in the way? How it creates so much noise? The chatter, the limited
vision, the fear? Are you beginning to see how what you’ve relied on– your intellect, your assessments, and
sometimes your logic– has complicated your life?
It isn’t the head that sees clearly, nor does the head always see with love. Often, it sees with eyes of fear. The heart
sees clearly. It balances the mind and emotions. It takes what’s real and processes it into truth, then into action. It
takes into account all that needs to be done, then draws a map, an itinerary, for how to accomplish that. Yes, you say,
but my head does that too. And then I don’t need to feel.
Your heart can do it better because it maps the way in love.
Learn to listen to your inner voice. Listen to your heart. It’s your connection to God, to people, to the universe, and to
More Language Of Letting Go
Bring your ideals to life
There is a Zen story about two monks walking down a street after a heavy rain. Arriving at a corner, they came upon a
beautiful girl in fine clothing unable to cross the muddy street without getting filthy.
“Here, I’ll help you,” said one monk. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her to the other side. The two monks walked in
silence for a long time.
“We’ve sworn a vow of celibacy and are not supposed to go near women. It’s dangerous,” the second monk said to
the first. “Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl back at the corner,” the first monk said. “Are you still carrying her?”
Sometimes, we may find ourselves in a situation where our ideals conflict. Being kind and loving to another person
may conflict with our value of being committed and loving toward ourselves.
When one ideal imposes on another, then use your judgement. Do the right thing by others. Do the right thing by
yourself,too. Then let the incident pass and move on.
For the monks in our story, right action usually meant not having contact with women. However, when encountering a
stranded person on the road, right action became helping others. Ideals remain. Right thought, right action, right
speech– but the path to those ideals may twist and turn throughout life. Be sensitive and aware that you are following
an ideal and not a rigid belief.
God, help me learn when it’s time to let go.
Activity: In an earlier activity, we explored our goals and dreams list. Now, ;et’s determine the ethics and ideals we
want to live by, the code of conduct we want to follow. What’s of foremost importance to you, whether or not your
dreams come true and you achieve your goals? Examples of ideals may be staying clean and sober, honoring your
commitments to others, and honoring your commitment to yourself. Many people choose additional spiritual values,
such as compassion, honesty, tolerance. Some people choose to live by an ideal they call “Christ Consciosness,”
some “Buddha consciousness,” some of the “Twelve Steps,” and some of the Ten Commandments. List your ideals,
and put that list with your goals. Let these ideals be a light that guides your path and allows you to live in harmony with
others and yourself.
A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day
My addiction is three-fold in that it affects me physically, mentally and spiritually. As a chemically-dependent person, I
was totally out of touch not only with myself, but with reality. Day after miserable day, like a caged animal on a
treadmill, I repeated my self-destructive pattern of living. Have I begun to break away from my old ideas? Just for today,
can I adjust myself to what is, rather than try to adjust everything to my own desires?
Today I Pray
I pray that I may not be caught up again in the downward, destructive spiral which removed me from myself and from
the realities of the world around me. I pray that I may adjust to people and situations as they are instead of always
trying, unsuccessfully and with endless frustration, to bend them to my own desires.
Today I Will Remember
I can only change myself.
One More Day
Laugh at yourself first, before anybody else can.
– Elsa Maxwell
A sense of humor is an essential living tool. Unfortunately, it is most difficult to keep a sense of humor when we’re
under stress, and that’s the time we need it most. In the face of a crisis, we may have found it easier to be dour and
nasty, even if we knew, deep in our hearts, that such an attitude was not in our best interests.
Ironically, our medical problems have helped many of us cultivate a humorous attitude toward life. Making the choice
between bitterness and acceptance is easier when we take ourselves less seriously. Seeing the funny side of life
helps us deal with the most difficult situations life has to offer. Humor cleanses us through spontaneous laughter. It
draws others to us and bonds us.
I choose to see humor and lightness in my life. I will allow this attitude to brighten my life and that of those around me.
Food For Thought
Many of us find it difficult to accept the OA program at the beginning. Many of us cannot believe or are afraid to believe the good news at first. All we need to start is the desire to stop eating compulsively.
If we will be open to the program, we will find that it gradually unfolds. What we do not understand at the beginning becomes clear as we become ready to accept it. We shall never achieve perfection, but we can make progress every day.
When we are willing to grow and to change, God can work His miracles. OA is filled with members whose stories attest to the Power that has changed their lives.
I open myself to Your power, Lord.
One Day At A Time
God seldom delivers virtues all wrapped
in a package and ready for use. Rather He puts
us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues.
C. R. Findley
I have been reading and studying a lot about the 6th and 7th Steps lately. I have realized that these steps are threefold. I must first become aware of the defect of character. Next, I must accept that I own it and it no longer works for me as it once did.
Lastly, I need to surrender that defect of character to my Higher Power. In the meantime, it is my job to act as if the change has already occurred. This means that I may come into contact with some seemingly obnoxious people who will mirror my character defects. I must remember that “Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake,” and they are here to teach me something. Maybe I am here to be the lesson for them. I may be the only example they ever see of a person trying to work and walk a spiritual path, in a 12 Step program of recovery.
One Day at a Time . . .
God, I ask that You continue to help me to be aware of my actions and how they affect others, and to accept and become willing to relinquish my character defects to You.
~ Jeanine ~
AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote
If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort. – Pg. 25-26 – There Is A Solution
Hour To Hour – Book – Quote
In the beginning of recovery we usually don’t like ourselves very well. Consequently, we usually don’t like others too well either. But we can grant others this: the right to be human, the right to be wrong, and the right to be right!
When people really bug me, let me let them be.
I forgive myself for being less than perfect, that’s how I will love myself and others today. Perfection is that myth that I carry around in my head to beat myself up with and to make it seem others fall short. That celluloid image against which I measure myself and come out feeling lacking, that yard stick with which I hit my own back side. Today, I will see perfection and beauty in what is. I will have an attitude of forgiveness toward myself and others for being other than what is expected. We’re all just bumbling along mostly doing the best we can, sometimes worse than we should, sometimes better. Just for today, I won’t get hung up on imperfection.
I forgive imperfection
- Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote
When we pray for strength, the Universe gives us difficulties to make us strong. When we pray for courage, the Universe gives us danger to overcome. When we pray for patience, the Universe gives us long lines and traffic jams. What are you praying for?
I may ask for favors but the Universe gives me opportunities.
“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book
If anyone speaks badly of you, live so no one will believe it.
Time for Joy – Book – Quote
Today my body guides me to refocus and God heals me deep within as I again become strong and free.
Alkiespeak – Book – Quote
On a good day things are OK and I don’t drink. On a great day things are lousy and I don’t drink. – Anon.
AA Thought for the Day
Who cares to admit complete defeat? Practically no one, of course.
Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness.
It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds
into such an obsession for destructive drinking
that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 21
Thought to Ponder . . .
Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession.
AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Achieve Anything.
~~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~~
We have been speaking to you of serious,
sometimes tragic things.
We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspects.
But we aren’t a glum lot.
If newcomers could see no joy in our existence,
they wouldn’t want it.
We absolutely insist on enjoying life.
We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state
of the nations,
nor do we carry the world’s troubles on our shoulders.
c. 1976, 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 132
Thought to Consider . . .
Laughter is the sound of recovery.
H J F = Happy, Joyous, Free
~~~~^Just For Today!^~~~~
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“A news clipping whose content was to become famous was called to our attention by a New York member, newsman
Jack. It was an obituary notice from a New York paper. Underneath a routine account of the one who had died there
appeared these words: ‘God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things
we can, and wisdom to know the difference.’ [Usually attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr]
“Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words. While Ruth and I were admiring the prayer, and wondering how to
use it, friend Howard walked into the office. Confirming our own ideas, he exclaimed, ‘We ought to print this on cards
and drop one into every piece of mail that goes out of here. I’ll pay for the first printing.’ For several years afterward we
followed his suggestion, and with amazing speed the Serenity Prayer came into general use and took its place
alongside our two other favorites, the Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer of St. Francis.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 196
~~~~^ Grapevine Quote ^~~~~
“I used to think that having a pint was the only way to have fun; now I know that, for me, it’s the only way to destroy the
fun that I’m having!”
Toronto, Ontario, August 2003
“Front Row on Fun”
~~~~^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^~~~~*
“Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to
find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and
direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal
consequences may be.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 79~
“…we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved,
there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of
spiritual tools laid at our feet.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, Page 25~
An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things
tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.95
Misc. AA Literature – Quote
Years ago I used to commiserate with all people who suffered. Now I commiserate only with those who suffer in
ignorance, who do not understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain.’
Someone once remarked that pain is the touchstone of spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for
we know that the pains of alcoholism had to come before sobriety, and continued turmoil before serenity.
‘Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though the moment you do not see.
Prayer for the Day: Fill our minds with Wisdom, our hearts with thanksgiving, and our lips with praise. In all things, may
we ever be grateful for our redemption and quick to share the Good News; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.