Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 24th

Daily Reflections

A RIDDLE THAT WORKS

It may be possible to find explanations of spiritual experiences
such as ours, but I have often tried to explain my own and have
succeeded only in giving the story of it. I know the feeling it
gave me and the results it has brought, but I realize I may never
fully understand its deeper why and how.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 313

I had a profound spiritual experience during an open A.A. meeting,
which led me to blurt out. “I’m an alcoholic!” I have not had a
drink since that day. I can tell you the words I heard just prior
to my admission, and how those words affected me, but as to why it
happened, I do not know. I believe a power greater than myself
chose me to recover, yet I do not know why. I try not to worry or
wonder about what I do not yet know; instead, I trust that if I
continue to work the Steps, practice the A.A. principles in my
life, and share my story, I will be guided lovingly toward a deep
and mature spirituality in which more will be revealed to me. For
the time being, it is a gift for me to trust God, work the Steps
and help others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“When we saw our faults, we listed them. We placed them before us in
black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and we were
willing to set these matters straight. We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We
asked God to remove our fears and we commenced to outgrow fear.
Many of us needed an overhauling in regard to sex. We came to
believe that sex powers were God-given and therefore good, if used
properly. Sex is never to be used lightly or selfishly, nor is it to be despised
or loathed. If sex is troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into
helping others, and so take our minds off ourselves.” Am I facing my
sex problems in the proper way?

Meditation For The Day

Cling to the belief that all things are possible with God. If this
belief is truly accepted, it is the ladder upon which a human soul
can climb from the lowest pit of despair to the sublime heights of
peace of mind. It is possible for God to change your way of living.
When you see the change in another person through the grace of God,
you cannot doubt that all things are possible in the lives of people
through the strength that comes from faith in Him who rules us all.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may live expectantly. I pray that I may believe deeply
that all things are possible with God.

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As Bill Sees It

Looking for Lost Faith, p. 235

Any number of A.A.’s can say, “We were diverted from our
childhood faith. As material success began to come, we felt we were
winning at the game of life. This was exhilarating, and it made us
happy.

“Why should we be bothered with theological abstractions and
religious duties, or with the state of our souls, here or hereafter? The
will to win should carry us through.

“But then alcohol began to have its way with us. Finally, when all our
score cards read ‘zero,’ and we saw that one more strike would put us
out of the game forever, we had to look for our lost faith. It was in
A.A. that we rediscovered it.”

12 & 12, pp. 28-29

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Walk In Dry Places

Is Life Unfair?
Justice
The glib remark “Life is Unfair” is sometimes used to dismiss any concern about trouble or seeming injustice. This usually implies that all such matters are part of God’s plan….. that somehow God couldn’t create life without making it unfair. But nobody really knows whether life is unfair or not, since what we see
is only a small part of it.
We should know, however, that we can practice fairness ourselves. We will live better if we forget how unfair
life can be and make the best of the opportunities we have.
Some of us could even argue that life treated us unfairly by giving us a susceptibility to alcoholism. In the long run, this turned out to be an opportunity to live the Twelve Step program. Some of us even consider
this to be outworking of divine justice that has proved to be eminently fair. As one AA member put it, It was a case of one of the worst things becoming one of the best that ever happened to me !
I’ll not let any seeming unfairness or injustice keep me from doing my best today. My real belief is that there is an eternal justice underlying all things.

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Keep It Simple

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.  Oscar Wilde
There’s a big difference between being self-centered and having self love. We’re self-centered when we think we don’t need people. We might think, “I’m more important than others.” Being self-centered ends up hurting us.
It makes us lonely. It keeps us from our Higher Power. Addiction is about being self-centered.
Recovery and the Twelve Steps are about self-love. If we love ourselves, we say, “We’re all equal and in need of each other.” Self-love includes having good relationships.
It includes trusting that they we’ll do what is best, with the help of our Higher Power. We must believe in ourselves to trust others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me love myself as You love me. Help me take good care of myself.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list three things I like about myself. I’ll talk with a friend and share these things. I’ll ask my friend what he or she likes about me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream–whatever that dream might be.  –Pearl S. Buck
No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights–and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.
Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.
Dreams in our earlier years often come to nought. They couldn’t compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.
Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we’ve come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.
Today’s dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won’t let them pass, unnoticed.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick.  Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”

p. 66-67

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

MY BOTTLE, MY RESENTMENTS, AND ME – From childhood trauma to skid row drunk, this hobo finally found a Higher Power, bringing sobriety and a long-lost family.
Because my father was unable to care for all nine of us, the family had to be split up.  About a year later he remarried, and my oldest brother offered to take me in.  He and his new wife tried to help me, but I was just so defensive there was little they or anyone else could do.  Finally, I took a job after school sorting soda bottles in a grocery store, where I found I could forget if I worked hard enough.  In addition, it was a good place to steal beer and be a big guy with the other kids in school.  That’s the way my drinking began, as a way to make the pain go away.

p. 438

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

At first that “somebody” is likely to be his closest A.A. friend. He relies upon the assurance that his many troubles, now made more acute because he cannot use alcohol to kill the pain, can be solved, too. Of course the sponsor points out that our friend’s life is still unmanageable even though he is sober, that after all, only a bare start on A.A.’s program has been made. More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life. That is just where the remaining Steps of the A.A. program come in. Nothing short of continuous action upon these as a way of life can bring the much-desired result.

pp. 39-40

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“My father gave me these hints on speech-making: Be sincere . . . be brief . . . be seated.”
–James Roosevelt

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state
of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy
attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.”
–Norman Vincent Peale

You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always
control what goes on inside.
–Wayne Dyer

Not what we gain, but what we give measures the worth of the life we
live.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

“Yesterday’s home run doesn’t win today’s ball game.”
–Unknown

“Some people think that hanging in there shows great strength when
the truth is ‘letting go’ is the real test of character.”
–Unknown

It is not God’s will that makes me miserable. It is my resistance to
God’s will that makes me miserable.
–unknown

Dear God, Please keep your arm around my shoulder, but keep your hand
over my mouth!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LIMITATIONS

“Why would we kill off a good
watchdog just because he could
not fly?”
— Frank Mar

God has created this world with variety and we all have different gifts.
Some people make music, others write stories and many are practical
at home or in industry. We need to understand what gifts and skills we
have and develop them.

It is both fruitless and negative to spend our time complaining that we
are not like other people — or are without their talents. Such an
attitude stops us from discovering our own creative talents. We are so
busy comparing ourselves with others that we miss our own
uniqueness.

Today I enjoy discovering more about me and the abundant gifts that
God has freely given to me. What about you?

I pray that I may be truly grateful for what I have.

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In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we
must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself
said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35

I will thank you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and
pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets,
will reward you.
Matthew 6:6

For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
Proverbs 23:7

“Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.”
Job 6:24


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Daily Inspiration

Frequently remind yourself of that which is important in your life. Lord, help me to treasure my family and friends, recognize how valuable they are and tell them often how happy that I am because they are in my life.

There is light behind every shadow. Lord, You are the light of the world. May I never forget to turn to You when my life fills with shadows.

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NA Just For Today

Seeking God’s Will

“We learn to be careful of praying for specific things.”
Basic Text p. 45

In our active addiction, we usually did not pray for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry it out. On the contrary, most of our prayers were for God to get us out of the mess we had made for ourselves. We expected miracles on demand. That kind of thinking and praying changes when we begin practicing the Eleventh Step. The only way out of the trouble we have made for ourselves is through surrender to a Power greater than ourselves.

In recovery, we learn acceptance. We seek knowledge in our prayers and meditation of how we are to greet the circumstances that come our way. We stop fighting, surrender our own ideas of how things should be, ask for knowledge, and listen for the answers. The answers usually won’t come in a flash of white light accompanied by a drum roll. Usually, the answers will come merely with a quiet sense of assurance that our lives are on course, that a Power greater than ourselves is guiding us on our paths.

We have a choice. We can spend all our time fighting to make things come out our way, or we can surrender to God’s will. Peace can be found in accepting the ebb and flow of life.

Just for today: I will surrender my expectations, look to my Higher Power for guidance, and accept life.
pg. 246

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
To those of us who knew the pain
of valentines that never came
and those whose names were never called
when choosing sides for basketball.
–Janis Ian
Each of us at some time has known the feeling of not belonging; the painful emptiness of feeling left out. We’ve stood on the sidelines longing to be invited into what we think is some sort of magical circle. If only they would ask us in, we think, we’d be transformed–we’d be somebody then.
But look around. The circle is composed of people just like us: insecure at times, frightened, unsure. They have felt anxiety and feared rejection just as we have.
The pain will pass, and if we use these times to get to know and understand ourselves a bit better, we’ll be better able to understand others when they’re feeling left out and lonely. And when it’s our turn to choose a team or send a valentine, we’ll remember.
Who can I remember today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is no greater weakness than stubbornness. If you cannot yield, if you cannot learn that there must be compromise in life – you lose. –Maxwell Maltz
Glass is very hard, but fragile. By contrast, leather is tough and resilient. A blow to a glass dish will break it, but a blow to a shoe will just be absorbed. Our program leads us to avoid the folly of being hard like glass, and we become tougher like leather. We must endure surprises, pressures, and blows from the world as a normal part of life. The more able we are to absorb the blows, the stronger and more whole we are as men.
A friend who has a different opinion from ours can be listened to and his ideas considered. There is no need to compete with him or prove that we are right. When our plan for a project at work gets set aside, we will feel the frustration but we need not come apart over it. Perhaps our Higher Power is leading us to a better plan. Frustrations with spouses or friends can be turned over to our Higher Power. We do not have a rigid recipe for life, and we must be open to more learning.
I will surrender my fragile stubbornness in exchange for the toughness I can learn in compromise.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream–whatever that dream might be. –Pearl S. Buck
No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights–and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.
Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.
Dreams in our earlier years often come to nought. They couldn’t compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.
Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we’ve come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.
Today’s dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won’t let them pass, unnoticed.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Step Eight
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. –Step Eight of Al Anon
The Eighth Step is not meant to punish us; it is meant to set us free from guilt, anxiety, and discord.
We begin by making a list of everyone we have harmed on our journey, as we have struggled to survive. We have probably done more damage to ourselves than to anyone else, so we put ourselves first on the list.
Often, our tendency is to feel guilty about everything we’ve ever done, everyone we’ve come in contract with. That is unearned guilt. Writing helps us clarify whether or not we are punishing ourselves for no reason. But we need to be open to guidance as we work this Step, getting everything out of us and on to paper, so we can be healed.
Once we have made the list, we strive to become willing to make amends to everyone on it because that is how we heal. Making amends does not mean feeling guilty and ashamed and punishing ourselves; it means swallowing our pride and defenses, and doing what we can to take care of ourselves. We become ready to improve our self-esteem by taking responsibility for our behaviors. We become willing to have our relationships with ourselves, others, and our Higher Power restored.
Today, I will open myself to an honest understanding of the people I have harmed. God, help me let go of my defenses and pride. Help me become willing to make amends to those I have harmed, so that I can improve my relationships with others and myself.

I no longer want to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Today I take the time to slow down and examine the source of my difficulties so I can move on a clear path with freedom. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
Let the Lesson Reveal Itself to You

“What’s the next lesson?” I asked.

“If you knew what it was, you wouldn’t need to learn it,” he said.

Often, in the midst of a lesson or experience, we tighten our mind into knots trying to figure out what we’re learning, what’s coming next, what the lesson is really about. But if we knew what the lesson was about, we wouldn’t need to be learning it.

The learning we’re doing on our spiritual path is often not possible from our heads or books. It’s a process of discovery, it includes many twists, turns, surprises, and upsets, much confusion, wondering and stumbling until we reach a moment of clarity. To learn the lesson, we need to go through the experience. And usually we learn best when we’re a bit vulnerable and uncertain about what we’re learning.

Trust that the lesson will reveal itself to you when it’s time. Stay present for this moment. Let your experiences and guidance unfold. You’re evolving and learning and growing right now. When the transformation is complete, you’ll see what you’ve learned.

Other people may be there to help us, touch us, guide us along our path. But the lesson to be learned is always ours.

*****

more language of letting go
Celebrate who you are

Today, celebrate who you are. Yes, you have much in common with other people. But you’re also uniquely you.

Grab a piece of paper and something to write with. Now write down:

1. A lesson that you have learned in life.

2. A talent that you have, no matter how quirky.

3. Your favorite meal.

4. The name of a friend who respects and likes you for who you are.

5. An activity that you enjoy.

Now, pick up the phone and call your friend. Invite him or her to a celebration with you. Do the activity that you enjoy– go for a walk, go to a ballgame, sit at home and watch videos, whatever you like to do. Then prepare your favorite meal or go to a restaurant and have them prepare it. Show your friend your talent– remember this person likes and respects you for who you are. So if you can balance a Ping-Pong ball on the tip of your nose, go ahead and do that. Show him or her how good you are. Talk to your friend about the lessons you have learned, and invite him or her to share a lesson learned from you.

Instead of fussing and worrying about how different you are, be grateful that you’re unique.

Celebrate being you.

God, thanks for me,too.

*****

A Chance to Contribute
Disarming the Know-It-All by Madisyn Taylor

People that are know-it-alls are simply stuck in a pattern and may actually have feelings of low self worth.

Most of us have encountered a person in our lives who can accurately be referred to as a know-it-all. This person seems to know everything about anything that gets brought up and tends to dominate the conversation. They don’t take well to being questioned, and they have a hard time ever admitting that they were wrong.

Being around a know-it-all is inevitably tiring because there is no shared energy between the two of you. Rather, you become an audience member to this person’s need to be the center of attention. Attention and respect are probably the two things this person most longs for, and at some point in their lives, they learned that knowing it all was the way to get those needs met. Over time, they have become stuck in this pattern, regardless of the fact that it is no longer working. They may feel afraid of the experience of listening, being receptive, or learning something new, because it’s so unfamiliar.

On the one hand, when we see the childlike need underneath the know-it-all’s mask of confidence, we feel compassion for the person, and we may tolerate their one-sided approach to conversation out of a desire not to hurt their feelings. On the other hand, we may be feeling drained and tempted to avoid this person altogether. In the middle of these two possible ways of feeling, we may actually like this person and wish for a closer relationship. If we come from a place of kindness, we might attempt to bridge the gap that this person’s habitual way of relating creates. Simply expressing a desire to be closer may open their heart, and give you a chance to ask for what you need in the relationship—a chance to contribute. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Some of us, after we’ve taken the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and then the Seventh Step, sit back and simply wait for our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings. The Program’s teachings remind us of the story of St. Francis working in a beautiful garden. A passerby said, “You must have prayed very hard, to get such beautiful plants to grow,” The good saint answered, “Yes, I did. But every time I started to pray, I reached for the hoe.” As soon as our “wait” is changed to “dig,” the promise of the Seventh Step begins to become reality. Do I expect my Higher Power to do it all?

Today I Pray

May I not just pray and wait — for my Higher Power to do everything. Instead may I pray as I reach for the tools The Program gives me. May I ask now for guidance on how I can best use the precious tools.

Today I Will Remember

Pray And Act

*****

One More Day

Faults are thick where love is thin.
– James Howell

We often overlook the faults of people we love. Sometimes, in fact, our love so blinds us that we don’t have to overlook their faults, because we don’t even see them. Yet if our love wavers or if a friendship begins to weaken, it may seem as though our friends have developed numerous flaws or maddening habits.

When this happens, we learn to reassess our relationship and ourselves. Rather than conclude that our loved one has become less than he or she was before, we know that change has occurred within us. Then we decide whether the friendship is important enough to try to rebuild it.Sometimes it is, and we work to recapture the trust and communication we once had. Sometimes it isn’t, and we decide to let go of it and, in doing so, let go of resentment and fault-finding.

The decision to rebuild or to let go of friendships often rest within me.

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Food For Thought

Exercise

We are made to be physically active. When we were loaded down with food and fat, we probably moved around as little as possible. Now that we eat for health, we have the necessary energy to exercise our bodies.

Taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking instead of riding, a few simple calisthenics when we need a break from work, a jump rope – there are many ways to begin an exercise program in easy stages. We do not need to train to become Olympic athletes, but we do need to keep our bodies in good working order.

Each day we also need mental, emotional, and spiritual exercise. Reading something worthwhile, refraining from criticism, performing a service for someone anonymously, taking time for prayer and meditation –these are actions which develop our minds, hearts, and spirits. Our growth in the program depends on overcoming resistance and inertia each day and taking concrete steps to improvement.

By Your power, may I overcome laziness.

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One Day At A Time

~ HAPPINESS ~
The greatest happiness you can have
is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.
William Saroyan

How many times during my life have I said that all I want is “just to be happy.” We are told early on that our legacy is “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Did you notice that our forefathers used the word “pursuit?” How very wise they were.

Happiness is not automatic. Life is difficult and it’s supposed to be that way. If we expect happiness and we expect life to be easy, at some point in time we are going to be very disappointed. I thought eating food made me happy and it did … for a short time. There were other temporary compulsions in my life that made me think I was happy ~ but again for only a short time.

As I began to work the Steps, I began to desire something other than happiness. I found myself yearning for serenity … and I found it. The way I found it was by not expecting the world and everyone in it to make me happy. I learned that life was more of an adventure than a bowl of cherries. I learned that the more I expected from people, places and things, the more disappointed I was … and the more disappointed I became, the less happy I was.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not require happiness. But when I least expect it …. happiness will find me.
~ Mari ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Each individual, in the personal stories, describes in his own language and from his own point of view the way he established his relationship with God. These give a fair cross section of our membership and a clear-cut idea of what has actually happened in their lives. – Pg. 29 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Our recovery is not just ‘not using.’ It is not just a program of ‘not doing’ something but is an action program where we must ‘do’ certain things to maintain our abstinence and grow. We learn what to do by reading our literature, attending meetings, and listening to our sponsor.

Help me to live clean and sober by DOING and not just ‘not doing.

Healed, Whole and Handling Life

I will get out of my own way today. When I get tied up in my head my life becomes one giant rationalization. I cannot move in any direction, I cannot access what I feel, I cannot find my own hope and healing. Today I will surrender, I will ‘let go and let God.’
I will place my hand in the hand of my Higher Power and trust that I will be led. I will stop trying to outsmart this disease and release my life and will into the loving hands that can guide and sooth me, that can save my spirit. I do not have to do this alone.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Sporadically, even with a strong program, you may feel spiritually dead or emotionally empty. We’re addicts, it happens! No matter how dead or empty you sometimes feel, this too shall pass.

It came to pass-it didn’t come to stay.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Egotism is the drug that soothes the pain of stupidity.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I no longer want to repeat the same mistakes over and over again

Today I take the time to slow down and examine the source of my difficulties so that I can move on a clear path with freedom.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Habit is habit. And not to be flung out the window by man, but coaxed downstairs, a step at a time. – Mark Twain.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 24

Making Peace with the Past
If we have come to know how wrong thinking and action have hurt us and others,
then the need to quit living by ourselves with those tormenting ghosts of yesterday gets more urgent than ever.
We have to talk to somebody about them.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 55

Thought to Ponder . . .
Fear not for the future; weep not for the past.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
P E A C E = Providing Experienced Attitude Changes Every day.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Jittery
“We believe and hope this book contains
all you will need to begin.
We know what you are thinking.
You are saying to yourself:
‘I’m jittery and alone. I couldn’t do that.’
But you can.
You forget that you have just now tapped
a source of power much greater than yourself.
To duplicate, with such backing,
what we have accomplished is only a matter
of willingness, patience and labor.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 163

Thought to Consider . . .
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
W H O M E ? = Willingness, Honesty, Openmindedness, Must Exist

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

HP
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“We were still arguing about the Twelve Steps. All this time I had refused to budge on these steps. I would not change
a word of the original draft, in which I had consistently used the word ‘God,’ and in one place the expression ‘on our
knees’ was used. Praying to God on one’s knees was still a big affront to Henry. He was positive we would scare off
alcoholics by the thousands when they read those Twelve Steps. Though at first I would have none of it, we finally
began to talk about the possibility of compromise. Who first suggested the actual compromise words I do not know,
but they are words well known throughout the length and breadth of A.A. today: In Step Two we decided to describe
God as a ‘Power greater than ourselves.’ In Steps Three and Eleven we inserted the words ‘God as we understood
Him.’ From Step Seven we deleted the expression ‘on our knees.’ And, as a lead-in sentence to all the steps we wrote
these words: ‘Here are the steps we took which are suggested as a Program of Recovery.’ A.A.’s Twelve Steps were
to be suggestions only.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 166-67

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“There is very little in life that I must personally handle or that someone else couldn’t do as well. On the other hand, no
one else in the world can take my place at my meetings.”
Washington Township, New Jersey
“Distilled Spirits,”
AA Grapevine

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to
let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and
will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct
continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not
theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

“Though there is no way of proving it, we believe that early in our
drinking careers most of us could have stopped drinking. But the
difficulty is that few alcoholics have enough desire to stop while
there is yet time.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 32

“There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have
the capacity to be honest.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 58

“When we are honest with another person, it confirms that we have been honest with ourselves and with God.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 60 (Step Five)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

There can be no absolute humility for us humans. At best, we can merely glimpse the meaning and splendor of such a
perfect ideal. Only God himself can manifest in the absolute; we human beings must needs live and grow in the
domain of the relative. So we seek progress in humility for today.
Few of us can quickly or easily become ready even to look at spiritual and moral perfection; we want to settle for only
as much development as may get us by in life, according, of course, to our various and sundry ideas of what will get
us by. Mistakenly, we strive for a self-determined objective, rather than for the perfect objective which is of God.

Prayer for the Day: God remove the Selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear that has cropped up in my life right now. Help me to discuss this with someone immediately and make amends quickly if I have harmed anyone. Help me to cease fighting anything and anyone. Show me where I may be helpful to someone else. Help me react sanely; not cocky or afraid. How can I best serve You – Your will, not mine be done. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 23rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 23rd

Daily Reflections

BRINGING THE MESSAGE HOME

Can we bring the same spirit of love and tolerance into our
sometimes deranged family lives that we bring to our A.A. group?
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS , pp. 111 -112

My family members suffer from the effects of my disease. Loving and
accepting them as they are – just as I love and accept A.A. members
– fosters a return of love, tolerance and harmony to my life. Using
common courtesy and respecting other’s personal boundaries are
necessary practices for all areas of my life.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“We who have accepted the A.A. principles have been faced with the
necessity for a thorough personal housecleaning. We must face and
be rid of the things in ourselves that have been blocking us. We
therefore take a personal inventory. We take stock honestly. We
search out the flaws in our make-up that caused our failure.
Resentment is the number one offender. Life that includes deep
resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. If we are to
live, we must be free of anger.” Am I free of resentment and anger?

Meditation For The Day

Keep in mind the goal you are striving for, the good life you are
trying to attain. Do not let little things divert you from the
path. Do not be overcome by the small trials and vexations of each
day. Try to see the purpose and plan to which all is leading. if,
when climbing a mountain, you keep your eyes on each stony or
difficult place, how weary is your climb. But if you think of each
step as leading to the summit of achievement from which a glorious
landscape will open out before you, then your climb will be endurable
and you will achieve your goal.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may realize that life without a goal is futile.
I pray that I may find the good life worth striving for.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Freed Prisoners, p. 234

Letter to a prison group:

“Every A.A. has been, in a sense, a prisoner. Each of us has
walled himself out of society; each has known social stigma. The
lot of you folks has been even more difficult: In your case, society
has also built a wall around you. But there isn’t any really essential
difference, a fact that practically all A.A.’s now know.

“Therefore, when you members come into the world of A.A. on the
outside, you can be sure that no one will care a fig that you have
done time. What you are trying to be–not what you were–is all that
counts to us.”


***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

Planning for others.
Letting Go.
There are times when we think we see perfectly what others ought to be doing. It pains and disturbs us when loved ones….. our children, perhaps… do not heed our advice. In planning for others, we can easily fall into the trap of enabling. An enabler is a person who supports others in an unhealthy addiction or
dependency.
We must not plan the lives of others, no matter how dear they are to us or how attached we become to them. They must have the freedom to live without obligation or the belief that they could not have succeeded
without our help. Freedom of choice is a precious right that includes the freedom to make
mistakes.
I’ll release any tendency I have to plan for others. At all times, my responsibility is to keep on the right track and let others
be free.

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

Where there is no vision, a people perish.—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Working our program teaches us to see things more clearly. We learn to look at who we really are. At first, we’re scared to see ourselves. But it turns out okay, even though were not perfect.
We also begin to see others more clearly. We see good in people we don’t like. And we see faults in people we thought we’re prefect. But we don’t judge people anymore. Nobody is perfect. Just as our program friends accept us as we are, we learn to accept others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, sometimes I don’t like what I see. Help me to believe Your way will for me. Help me have a vision.
Action for the Day:  I will use my new way of seeing thing to avoid trouble today.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

Were our knowledge of human relationships a hundredfold more reliable than it is now, it would still be foolish to seek ready-made solutions for problems of living in the index of a book.  –Mirra Komarovsky
The problems each of us experience have within their own parameters the solutions most fitting. And we each must discover those solutions, understand their appropriateness, and absorb them into the body of information that defines who we are and who we are becoming.
We learn experientially because only then is our reality significantly affected. Others’ experiences are helpful to our growth and affirm how similar is our pain, but each of us must make our own choices, take responsible action in our own behalf.
How fortunate that we are now in a position to make healthy decisions about our relationships! No longer the victim, we have the personal power to choose how we want to spend our time and with whom. Through active participation in all our relationships, we can discover many of the hidden elements in our own natures and develop more fully all the characteristics unique to our personhood. Our growth as recovering women is enhanced in proportion to our sincere involvement within the relationships we’ve chosen.
I can inform myself about who I am within my relationships. Therein lie the solutions to my problems.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look for it from an entirely different angle. We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away any more than alcohol.

p. 66

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

MY BOTTLE, MY RESENTMENTS, AND ME – From childhood trauma to skid row drunk, this hobo finally found a Higher Power, bringing sobriety and a long-lost family.
At school the gossip was vicious.  At home there was chaos and no one would tell me what was happening, so I withdrew and began to block out the reality around me.  If I could pretend it didn’t exist, it might go away.  I became extremely lonely and defiant.  The confusion, pain, and grief had begun to subside when an article appeared in a murder mystery magazine about my family’s misfortune.  The children at school started the gossip and scrutiny all over again.  I retreated further and became angrier and more withdrawn.  It was easier that way, because people would leave me alone if I acted disturb even before they tried to inquire.

p. 438

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

So how, exactly, can the willing person continue to turn his will and his life over to the Higher Power? He made a beginning, we have seen, when he commenced to rely upon A.A. for the solution of his alcohol problem. By now, though, the chances are that he has become convinced that he has more problems than alcohol, and that some of these refuse to be solved by all the sheer personal determination and courage he can muster. They simply will not budge; they make him desperately unhappy and threaten his newfound sobriety. Our friend is still victimized by remorse and guilt when he thinks of yesterday. Bitterness still overpowers him when he broods upon those he still envies or hates. His financial insecurity worries him sick, and panic takes over when he thinks of all the bridges to safety that alcohol burned behind him. And how shall he ever straighten out that awful jam that cost him the affection of his family and separated him from them? His lone courage and unaided will cannot do it. Surely he must now depend upon Somebody or Something else.

p. 39

***********************************************************

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness
without action.
–Benjamin Disraeli

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just
sit there.
–Will Rogers

First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to
others.
–Thomas A. Kempis

There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
–Anthony Rapp

I can repeat the past, or I can create new and better experiences.
–Shelley

Today I will take enough time to do something good for myself only.
I will buy myself a gift or spend worthwhile time doing something
pleasant and fulfilling. I have enough time today and I deserve this
time for myself.
–Ruth Fishel

“Children stand more in need of example than criticism.”
–Joseph Joubert

What is not love is fear. Anger is one of fear’s most potent faces.
And it does exactly what fear wants it to do. It keeps us from
receiving love at exactly the moment when we need it most.
— Marianne Williamson

The spiritual path is not one of attainment, but return.
–Alan Cohen

***********************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

CONFIDENCE

“There is no sort of work that
could ever be done well if you
minded what fools say.”
— George Eliot

Part of the risk in my recovery is arousing the displeasure of others. I
know that I cannot please all the people — and yet my disease tells me
that I must! For years I missed life’s opportunities because I listened
to negative and frightened people. Today I choose to shout my “yes”
to life, and I ignore the fools. The fools are rarely friends. Rather,
they seek to keep me in the same prison as themselves. If they truly
loved me, they would encourage me to be imaginative and creative.

Today I have a joyride “letting go and letting God” because God is a
great risk-taker!

I pray that I may always listen to the advice of others, but never miss
my power of decision.

***********************************************************

The Lord watches over you…..
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
Psalm 121 : 5

“Judge not according to the appearance.”
John 7: 24

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing
spirit.”
Psalm 51:12

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives
in us and his love is made complete in us.”
I John 4:12


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

Life has a way of working itself out if you simply make the best of this moment, one moment at a time. Lord, You have given me this moment. Grant me the wisdom to live it in a way that will make a difference for me and for those around me.

No one has ever asked of God and not received an answer. Lord, bless me with quiet resolve to hear You and wisdom to accept Your Will.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Decision Making

“Before we got clean, most of our actions were guided by impulse. Today, we are not locked into this type of thinking.”
Basic Text p. 87

Life is a series of decisions, actions, and consequences. When we were using, our decisions were usually driven by our disease, resulting in self-destructive actions and dire consequences. We came to see decision making as a rigged game, one we should play as little as possible.

Given that, many of us have great difficulty learning to make decisions in recovery. Slowly, by working the Twelve Steps, we gain practice in making healthy decisions, ones that give positive results. Where our disease once affected our will and our lives, we ask our Higher Power to care for us. We inventory our values and our actions, check our findings with someone we trust, and ask the God of our understanding to remove our shortcomings. In working the steps we gain freedom from the influence of our disease, and we learn principles of decision making that can guide us in all our affairs.

Today, our decisions and their consequences need not be influenced by our disease. Our faith gives us the courage and direction to make good decisions and the strength to act on them. The result of that kind of decision making is a life worth living.

Just for today: I will use the principles of the Twelve Steps to make healthy decisions. I will ask my Higher Power for the strength to act on those decisions.
pg. 245

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Whenever you fall, pick something up. –Oswald Avery
There was once a very active boy who fell and broke his leg. He could run again in the spring, the doctors said, but only if he stayed in bed for an entire month and kept his leg still. At first the boy fought the rule, but he found that the more he thought about things he couldn’t do, the more tired and angry he felt.
His parents put in a phone by his bed and friends called every day. He’d never much liked talking on the phone, but he felt better when they called. He wrote letters and got replies, and was surprised at what fun it was. Usually, he didn’t have time to write letters.
He learned to play chess and began to enjoy reading. His days were slower and quieter than he’d been used to, but he learned a month really isn’t a very long time. When spring came, he was running again, a little more joyfully than before.
When we can learn to accept our troubles, we find, like the boy, that they are just packages in which new growth and discoveries are wrapped.
If something unexpected slows me down today, what joys might I find at the slower pace?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision. –Stevie Wonder
It has been easy for many of us to meet our limitations with self-pity. Maybe we think being a real man means always being strong, capable, good looking, and in charge. If we have a handicap, like blindness or a learning disability, we may have thought we were less masculine or less worthy.
All of us have handicaps. Some are greater than others, and some are more visible than others. These handicaps confront us with our powerlessness. We do not find our finest human qualities until we have met our limitations and accepted them. A new side of our strength develops when we accept our powerlessness and yield to it rather than trying to take charge of it. We develop greater vision when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves about our handicap and surrender to its truth. We then see our kinship with all men and women who struggle with their limitations.
Today, I will set aside self-pity and remember to be grateful for the lessons my limitations have taught me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Were our knowledge of human relationships a hundredfold more reliable than it is now, it would still be foolish to seek ready-made solutions for problems of living in the index of a book. –Mirra Komarovsky
The problems each of us experience have within their own parameters the solutions most fitting. And we each must discover those solutions, understand their appropriateness, and absorb them into the body of information that defines who we are and who we are becoming.
We learn experientially because only then is our reality significantly affected. Others’ experiences are helpful to our growth and affirm how similar is our pain, but each of us must make our own choices, take responsible action in our own behalf.
How fortunate that we are now in a position to make healthy decisions about our relationships! No longer the victim, we have the personal power to choose how we want to spend our time and with whom. Through active participation in all our relationships, we can discover many of the hidden elements in our own natures and develop more fully all the characteristics unique to our personhood. Our growth as recovering women is enhanced in proportion to our sincere involvement within the relationships we’ve chosen.
I can inform myself about who I am within my relationships. Therein lie the solutions to my problems.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Self Care
When will we become lovable? When will we feel safe? When will we get all the protection, nurturing, and love we so richly deserve? We will get it when we begin giving it to ourselves. –Beyond Codependency
The idea of giving ourselves what we want and need can be confusing, especially if we have spent many years not knowing that it’s okay to take care of ourselves. Taking our energy and focus off others and their responsibilities and placing that energy on to our responsibilities and ourselves is a recovery behavior that can be acquired. We learn it by daily practice.
We begin by relaxing, by breathing deeply, and letting go of our fears enough to feel as peaceful as we can. Then, we ask ourselves: What do I need to do to take care of myself today, or for this moment?
What do I need and want to do?
What would demonstrate love and self-responsibility?
Am I caught up in the belief that others are responsible for making me happy, responsible for me? Then the first thing I need to do is correct my belief system. I am responsible for myself.
Do I feel anxious and concerned about a responsibility I’ve been neglecting? Then perhaps I need to let go of my fears and tend to that responsibility.
Do I feel overwhelmed, out of control? Maybe I need to journey back to the first of the Twelve Steps.
Have I been working too hard? Maybe what I need to do is take some time off and do something fun.
Have I been neglecting my work on daily tasks? Then maybe what I need to do is get back to my routine.
There is no recipe, no formula, no guidebook for self care. We each have a guide, and that guide is within us. We need to ask the question: What do I need to do to take loving, responsible care of myself? Then, we need to listen to the answer. Self-care is not that difficult. The most challenging part is trusting the answer, and having the courage to follow through once we hear it.
Today, I will focus on taking care of myself. I will trust myself and my Higher Power to guide me in this process.

Everywhere I turn I know I am being supported by powerful, positive energy. I am finding love and support wherever I go. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
The Spiritual Experience Is You

“When I look at people now, I don’t see issues,” he said. “I see souls.”

The man said he had a spiritual experience. Actually, he said he had four. He didn’t go to the mountains, or the ocean, or the desert to have them. He had his four spiritual experiences in the same place– in the parking lot outside a Shell gas station in Portland, Oregon. “The car filled with light. My heart just opened up and I forgave everyone I was resenting,” he continued. “Even my ex-wife.”

We don’t have to search for spiritual experiences. We are the spiritual experience– a spiritual being having a human life. Look at the people around you. Now look again and see souls. See them having many kinds of spiritual experiences in the form of human life.

When you look for holy ground, look down. That’s where your spiritual experience takes place. Right where you’re standing, wherever you are now.

*****

more language of letting go
Celebrate the gift of friendship

Celebrate the gift of friendship.

Get a piece of paper and a pen. Now write down:

1. The name of a good friend.

2. A lesson that you have learned from him or her.

3. Something about the friend that makes you smile.

4. Your friends favorite meal. (This might take a little research.)

5. An activity that he or she enjoys.

Now, pick up the phone. Call your friend and invite him or her to a celebration with you. Do the activity that he or she enjoys: go for a walk, go to a ballgame, sit at home and watch videos, whatever this person likes to do best. Than prepare your friend’s favorite meal or take your friend out to eat at the restaurant he or she likes best. Tell your friend specifically, and from your heart, the lesson he or she helped you learn.

Then tell your friend what he or she does that makes you smile. Tell your friend the things that you genuinely appreciate about her or him– those things that make your friend uniquely who she or he is.

Friendship is another important gift from God. Don’t just tell your friends how much they mean in your life. Show your friends how much you care with an act of gratitude.

God, thank you for making each of us unique. Thank you for my friends.

*****

Disapproving Faces
Not Everybody Will Like You by Madisyn Taylor

Not everybody we meet will like us and it is ok to move into acceptance rather than trying to make somebody like you.

It is not necessarily a pleasant experience, but there will be times in our lives when we come across people who do not like us. As we know, like attracts like, so usually when they don’t like us it is because they are not like us. Rather than taking it personally, we can let them be who they are, accepting that each of us is allowed to have different perspectives and opinions. When we give others that freedom, we claim it for ourselves as well, releasing ourselves from the need for their approval so we can devote our energy toward more rewarding pursuits.

While approval from others is a nice feeling, when we come to depend on it we may lose our way on our own path. There are those who will not like us no matter what we do, but that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with us. Each of us has our own filters built from our experiences over time. They may see in us something that is merely a projection of their understanding, but we have no control over the interpretations of others. The best we can do is to hope that the role we play in the script of their lives is helpful to them, and follow our own inner guidance with integrity.

As we reap the benefits of walking our perfect paths, we grow to appreciate the feeling of fully being ourselves. The need to have everyone like us will be replaced by the exhilaration of discovering that we are attracting like-minded individuals into our lives—people who like us because they understand and appreciate the truth of who we are. We free ourselves from trying to twist into shapes that will fit the spaces provided by others’ limited understanding and gain a new sense of freedom, allowing us to expand into becoming exactly who we’re meant to be. And in doing what we know to be right for us, we show others that they can do it too. Cocreating our lives with the universe and its energy of pure potential, we transcend limitations and empower ourselves to shine our unique light, fully and freely. Published with permission from Daily OM

*******************************************

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I heard someone in The Program once read, “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.” That is what Step Seven means to me – that I’m going to clean house and will have all the help I need. Do I realize, by taking the Seventh Step, that I’m not really giving up a thing, but, instead, getting rid of whatever might lead me back to my addiction and away from the peace of mind?

Today I Pray

May I know that if I should give up that key word “humbly,” which combines all in one — my humility, my awe, my faith, I would once again be taking too much on my shoulders and assuming that the Power in my own. May God in His wisdom make His will mine, His strength mine, His goodness mine. As He fills me with these Divine gifts, there can be little space left in me for looming defects.

Today I Will Remember

Trust in God and clean house.

*******************************************

One More Day

So never let a cloudy day ruin your sunshine, for even if you can’t see it, the sunshine is still there, inside of you, ready to shine when you will let it.
– Amy Michelle Pitzele

Amazing words of wisdom sometimes spring from the mouths of children. This wrote these words, which are the last stanza of a poem about understanding change. Life seen through the eyes of a child can be serenely simplistic. Where does a child get that kind of wisdom and that depth of understanding?

We can struggle to keep the child in us alive. We, too, can recognize that even when the cloudy days come, the sunshine is still there, ready to beam at a moment’s notice.

Today, my own personal sun will shine within me, no matter what the weather is outside.

************************************************** *****************

Food For Thought

Envy

When my inside looked at your outside, I overate. Envy of what others seemed to be and of the possessions they had was a prime trigger for overeating, turning to food to compensate for an apparent lack. No amount of food can satisfy envy.

Why is it that the other person seems so much more fortunate, or talented, or happier than we? We are painfully aware of our own inadequacies and quick to envy whoever appears to “have it together.” Looking at the outside image or mask is deceptive, however, and prevents us from seeing that underneath is a fellow human being beset with problems and difficulties just as we are.

Who we are, where we are, and what we have is God’s gift to us. What we do with ourselves is our gift to God. The more we seek to do His will, the less we envy our neighbor’s abilities and possessions. The peace of mind we receive through this program fills us with such gratitude that there is increasingly less room for envy.

Take away my envy, I pray.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

FAILURE
“Accept that all of us can be hurt,
that all of us can – and surely will at times – fail.
Other vulnerabilities, like being embarrassed
or risking love, can be terrifying, too.”
Dr. Joyce Brothers

The prospect of failing ~ or worse yet, “ Being A Failure” ~ was a crippling monster which held me in its cold and unforgiving stranglehold. If I thought I could not do a thing perfectly, I would not do it at all. If I didn’t know the “Right” way to act or to be, I was paralyzed. One day my therapist shocked me by suggesting I make a mistake on purpose. She wanted me to practice giving myself permission to make mistakes and to survive the experience.

I vividly recall intentionally dropping a gum wrapper on the ground and leaving it there. The Fearful Perfectionist inside of me screamed, “Pick it up! You never litter! This is wrong!” Yet I also heard a whisper welling up from within: “It will be alright. Just let it go.”

As part of my Recovery, I am exploring with brutal honesty the mistakes I’ve made in my life: the ways and the people that I’ve failed. Though doing so is embarrassing, humbling, and frightening, I am surprised to find a budding sense of relief. My attempts to avoid Failure never made me Perfect; rather, they caused me to be more entrenched in my pride, insecurities, fears, and stunted growth. A young girl I know is an expert skater. I asked her how she learned, and her answer stopped me in my tracks: “Mostly by falling down.”

One day at a time…
I will practice accepting my failures as necessary steps towards my healing. I will remember that the word “practice” honors the fact that we gain our progress by making attempts, failing, and learning from our mistakes.
~ Lisa V.

*****************************************

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them. We asked ourselves why we had them. Wasn’t it because self-reliance failed us? Self-reliance was good as far as it went, but it didn’t go far enough. Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn’t fully solve the fear problem, or any other. When it made us cocky, it was worse. – Pg. 68 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

If someone on the program talks rather harshly to you, it is because they too have been where you are. They will not pity you because pity leads to self-pity which leads to mind-affecting chemicals. Sometimes reality is harsh, and we won’t hide that from you in our program.

When another in the program is harsh with me, help me to see the love behind the harshness, the reality behind my pain.

Shifting Helplessness to Powerlessness

Today I will allow my feelings of helplessness that I cannot help to shift to a powerlessness that I choose. Powerlessness leaves room for spiritual awakening. Helplessness is part of trauma. When I allow myself to shift into powerlessness, I make a profound move inward and upward. The helplessness that I carry from the disease, that feeling that nothing I can do will make a difference, transforms into a spiritual recognition and I can let go and let God in. I can stop being Cysifus pushing the same rock up the same mountain. I can step out from under the disease.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The birth of resentment is blame. Often from the center of your bad feelings you seek someone to blame and yet if you ‘find’ this someone, it can only serve to increase your misery. Blame increases misery because it gives you something to focus on again and again. ‘Resentment’ is from Latin, meaning to ‘feel again.’

By eliminating blame, I don’t allow ‘them’ to live rent free in my head.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

What would my Higher Power do?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Everywhere I turn I know that I am being supported by a powerful, positive energy. I am finding love and support wherever I go.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

He said ‘If you’ll repeat sober what you said last night, I’ll leave you and never bother you again. I said I’d do that on one condition: That he tell me what I said last night. – Anon.

*****************************************

AA Thought for the Day

August 23

Serenity
That word “serenity” looked like an impossible goal when we first saw the prayer.
In fact, if serenity meant apathy, bitter resignation, or stolid endurance, then we didn’t even want to aim at it.
But we found that serenity meant no such thing. . .
Serenity is like a gyroscope that lets us keep our balance no matter what turbulence swirls around us.
And that is a state of mind worth aiming for.
– Living Sober, p. 19

Thought to Ponder . . .
Serenity is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K I S S = Keep It Serenely Simple.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Solution
“There is a solution.
Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling
of our pride, the confessions of shortcomings
which the process requires for its successful
consummation.
But we saw that it really worked in others,
and we had come to believe in the
hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it.
When, therefore, 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.
We have found much of heaven
and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension
of existence of which we had not even dreamed.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25

Thought to Consider . . .
The solution is simple.
The solution is spiritual.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Heart Open; Please Enter.

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Serenity
>From “Happiness”:
“The second tenet of the Serenity Prayer is too frequently slurred over. I am constantly amazed at the number of so-called obstacles I have overcome after giving them a second look, mustering what meager resources I have, then taking the hoe in hand.
“Serenity to me, therefore, is the absence of insoluble conflict. And it is up to me first to determine whether, after an honest look at myself, I can cope with the problem, then to decide whether it is to be tackled, passed over to another day, or dismissed forever. “New Hartford, New York, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 111

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“It surely may be said that the future looks bright. Much more hospitalization, based on the certainty that we are a sick people and that plenty can be done about it, is now on the way. We ought gratefully to acknowledge the work of those agencies outside AA who are strenuously helping this life-redeeming trend along.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., May 1947
“Adequate Hospitalization: One Great Need”
The Language of the Heart

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We
consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to
direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-
pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we
can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God
gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much
higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86~

“Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found
ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning
prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference
to spiritual things make us bristle with antagonism. This sort of
thinking had to be abandoned. Though some of us resisted, we found
no great difficulty in casting aside such feelings. Faced with
alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual
matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect
alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of
reasonableness.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 47~

“We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 88

“So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening about which finally there was no question.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 109

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Any number of A.A.’s can say, ‘We were diverted from our childhood faith. As material success began to come, we felt we were winning at the game of life. This was exhilarating, and it made us happy.
‘Why should we be bothered with theological abstractions and religious duties, or with the state of our souls, here or hereafter? The will to win should carry us through.
‘But then alcohol began to have its way with us. Finally, when all our score cards read ‘zero,’ and we saw that one more strike would put us out of the game forever, we had to look for our lost faith. It was in A.A. that we rediscovered it.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Heavenly Father, Where I have done wrong, help me do right. I have done enough harm, and I ask Your help, so that I may do no more. I’ll need more courage than I’ve got, help me be strong. I’ve been selfish, help me be selfless. Come what may, help me bear it. As I have in past harmed completely, help me to finish this, completely. I have been willful and hurtful; please grant me humility and humanity. Lord, help me be better. Better for You. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 14th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 14th

Daily Reflections

REPAIRING THE DAMAGE

We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of
our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we
haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was
agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over
alcohol.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

Making a list of people I had harmed was not a particularly difficult
thing to do. They had showed up in my Fourth Step inventory: people
towards whom I had resentments, real or imagined, and whom I had
hurt by acts of retaliation. For my recovery to be thorough, I believed
it was not important for those who had legitimately harmed me to
make amends to me. That is important in my relationship with God is
that I stand before Him, knowing I have done what I can to repair the
damage I have done.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“None of us like to think that we are bodily and mentally different
from others. Our drinking careers have been characterized by
countless vain attempts to prove that we could drink like other people.
This delusion that we are like other people has to be smashed. It has
been definitely proved that no real alcoholic has ever recovered
control. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.
There is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic.”
Am I convinced that I can never drink again normally?

Meditation For The Day

We should have life and have it more abundantly–spiritual, mental,
physical, abundant life–joyous, powerful life. This we can have if we
follow the right way. Not all people will accept from God the gift of an
abundant life, a gift held out free to all. Not all people care to stretch
out a hand and take it. God’s gift, the richest He has to offer, is the
precious gift of abundant life. People often turn away from it, reject it,
and will have none of it. Do not let this be true of you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may hasten to accept the gift of abundant spiritual life. I
pray that I may live the good life to the best of my ability.

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As Bill Sees It

Humility for the Fellowship, Too, p. 226

We of A.A. sometimes brag of the virtues of our Fellowship. Let
us remember that few of these times are actually earned virtues.
We were forced into them, to begin with, by the cruel lash of
alcoholism. We finally adopted them, not because we wished to but
because we had to.

Then, as time confirmed the seeming rightness of our basic
principles, we began to conform because it was right to do so. Some
of us, notably myself, conformed even then with reluctance.

But at last we came to a point where we stood willing to conform
gladly to the principles which experience, under the grace of God,
had taught us.

A.A. Comes Of Age, p.224

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Walk In Dry Places

Wasting Time
Time management

In dealing with our personal shortcomings, we may find traits of immaturity. For example, we might waste time doing the things we like to do rather than the things we must do.
We sometimes find a way to justify  this. Drinking coffee with friends
might be called “having a meeting” even when it goes far beyond normal
limits and uses up time that should be devoted to family and work
responsibilities.
Without becoming workaholics or drudges, we do need to be hones about
our habits. If we’re wasting too much time, it could be at the expense
of things that need to be attended to promptly. When we waste time, we
often have to work twice as hard to catch up later on.  Let’s be honest
about the management of our  time.
I’ll watch how I spend my time today. If I’m spending too much time
socializing, I’ll put myself on a reasonable schedule that balances both
leisure and work. 


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Keep It Simple

The best side of a saloon is outside.—Anonymous
We need to stay away from places where we used to drink or use other drugs. Sometimes we need to stay away from our old using friends. But some days it’s hard to stay away. We remember the fun times. Or we want a quick fix for our problems. When we feel like this, we know something is wrong. We can call our sponsor and talk about it. And get to a meeting. We need to remember how much better our lives are now. We don’t want our old lives back.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me stay away from trouble. Thanks for keeping me sober today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll make a list of places that mean trouble for me—places I need to stay away from.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Often when we’re being tough and strong, we’re scared. It takes a lot of courage to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be soft.  –Dudley Martineau
We’ve developed defenses for protection because we have felt the need for protection from the abuses of others, parents on occasion, bosses, spouses, even strangers. And in certain situations, our defenses served us well for a time. However, they have taken their toll. Hiding behind them for long makes them habitual, and we move farther and farther away from our center, from the woman each of us needs and wants to be.
Exposing who we really are invites judgment, sometimes rejection, often times discounting. It’s a terribly hard risk to take, and the rewards are seldom immediate. But with time, others respect us for our vulnerability and begin to imitate our example. We are served well by our integrity, in due time.
Letting others see who we really are alleviates confusion, theirs and ours. We no longer need to decide who we should be; we simply are who we are. Our choices are simplified. There is only one appropriate choice to every situation–the one that is honest and wholly reflective of who we are at that moment.
Rewards will be forthcoming when I am honest.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. One object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

p. 64

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

After some time I called my sponsor to report my progress.  He stopped me short with a simple question.  “These people who aren’t doing right, are they staying sober?”  I admitted that, despite their failings, they were staying sober.  “Good,” he said.  “You have told them what A.A. is.  Now it’s time for you to listen to figure out how they are staying sober.”  I followed that suggestion and began to listen.  Slowly but surely, some wisdom and humility began to creep in.  I became more teachable.  I found God working all around me where previously I was sure I had been alone.  When I opened my eyes enough to see the miracle, I found that it was right in front of my face.  I was growing in God’s love.

p. 430

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

To every worldly and practical-minded beginner, this Step looks hard, even impossible. No matter how much one wishes to try, exactly how can he turn his own will and his own life over to the care of whatever God he thinks there is? Fortunately, we who have tried it, and with equal misgivings, can testify that anyone, anyone at all, can begin to
do it. We can further add that a beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed. Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.

p. 35

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“Plant positive thoughts in your mind and expect a harvest of great
possibilities.
–Unknown

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.
–Mother Teresa

Happiness is an INSIDE job.
–unknown

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”
–Joseph F. Newton

“Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.”
-****Shigenori Kameoka

Once it [a spoken word] flies out, you can’t catch it.
–Russian proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TRUTH

“If error is corrected whenever
it is recognized as such, the path
of error is the path of truth.”
— Hans Reichenbach

I believe that in order to discover spirituality in our lives, we need to
confront the “disease”, that destructive and negative side of our lives.
We need to make the disease work for us!

For too many years I tried to avoid and deny my alcoholism. I wanted
to recover by osmosis! I did not want to get my hands dirty with the
reality of my suffering but rather I wanted a “miracle” — really
magic — to make everything different from what it had been for
years. I did not want to face my pain! But it does not work that way. If
I am to get well, I need to confront my disease, smell my disease, hold
my disease, pull and tug at the disease in my life. Why? Because it is
mine. I need to be in touch with my disease if I am ever going to make
the necessary changes. I need to make my disease work for me — that
is spirituality.

Let me have the courage to pass through the pain in order to
experience the gain.

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“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,
that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh
reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap
everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due
season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Galatians 6:7-9

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the
Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting
shadows.”
James 1:17

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are
being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which
comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know
what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit
prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the
Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the
Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”
Romans 8:26-27


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Daily Inspiration

Every moment of every day is your choice unless you give it away. Lord, I choose to live peacefully today and ask for patience and strength when I feel stress from the demands others place on me.

To give of yourself is when you truly give. Lord, even in my busiest moments may I be able to make time when someone really needs me.

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NA Just For Today

Letting Go Of Our Limitations

“We don’t have to settle for the limitations of the past. We can examine and reexamine our old ideas.”
Basic Text, p.11

Most of us come to the program with a multitude of self-imposed limitations that prevent us from realizing our full potential, limitations that impede our attempts to find the values that lie at the core of our being. We place limitations on our ability to be true to ourselves, limitations on our ability to function at work, limitations on the risks we’re willing to take-the list seems endless. If our parents or teachers told us we would never succeed, and we believed them, chances are we didn’t achieve much. If our socialization taught us not to stand up for ourselves, we didn’t, even if everything inside us was screaming to do so.

In Narcotics Anonymous, we are given a process by which we can recognize these false limitations for what they are. Through our Fourth Step, we’ll discover that we don’t want to keep all the rules we’ve been taught. We don’t have to be the life-long victims of past experiences. We are free to discard the ideas that inhibit our growth. We are capable of stretching our boundaries to encompass new ideas and new experiences. We are free to laugh, to cry, and, above all, to enjoy our recovery.

Just for today: I will let go of my self-imposed limitations and open my mind to new ideas.
pg. 236

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The moment an individual can accept and forgive himself, even a little, is the moment in which he becomes to some degree lovable. –Eugene Kennedy
If we owe a bill and pay it in full, do we return to pay that same bill over and over again? If we did, someone would surely question what was wrong with us. Yet, how often do we ask forgiveness for the same thing over and over again?
How wonderful to know that we do not have to condemn ourselves, even for not living up to a goal we have set for ourselves. Once we say we are sorry, we need to be willing to forgive ourselves. After all, how else do we learn and grow except by mistakes.
When we have forgiven ourselves, we become free to take risks again without fear of unforgivable failure, and who knows what new successes we might attain?
Is there something I can forgive myself for today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. –Hugh Mulligan
We show self-respect in how we choose to spend our time. Do we give tasks the time required for our best efforts? Or do we feel unworthy of quality work? Do we have a right to stop working and just play? Are we worth spending time with – just ourselves, or do we feel meaningful time is only spent with others? Are we worth caring enough about to enjoy bathing, grooming, or getting haircuts? Do we care enough about ourselves to see a dentist or a physician when needed?
Choices about how we use our time are basic ethical and creative choices. Beyond self-respect and care, we need to put time into our day for nourishing and enriching our spirits. We do that by reading something thoughtful or meaningful, talking to a friend about the events and feelings of our lives, listening to music, fixing a pleasant meal, exercising, and giving unpaid time and energy to worthwhile causes.
I am grateful for the gift of another day, and I will live it creatively and respectfully.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Often when we’re being tough and strong, we’re scared. It takes a lot of courage to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be soft. –Dudley Martineau
We’ve developed defenses for protection because we have felt the need for protection from the abuses of others, parents on occasion, bosses, spouses, even strangers. And in certain situations, our defenses served us well for a time. However, they have taken their toll. Hiding behind them for long makes them habitual, and we move farther and farther away from our center, from the woman each of us needs and wants to be.
Exposing who we really are invites judgment, sometimes rejection, often times discounting. It’s a terribly hard risk to take, and the rewards are seldom immediate. But with time, others respect us for our vulnerability and begin to imitate our example. We are served well by our integrity, in due time.
Letting others see who we really are alleviates confusion, theirs and ours. We no longer need to decide who we should be; we simply are who we are. Our choices are simplified. There is only one appropriate choice to every situation–the one that is honest and wholly reflective of who we are at that moment.
Rewards will be forthcoming when I am honest.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Owning Our Power
Many of us have someone in our life that challenges our ability to trust and care for ourselves.
When we hear that person’s voice or are in his or her presence, we may forget all we know about what is real, about how to own our power, about how to be direct, about what we know and believe to be true, about how important we are.
We give up our power to that person. The child in us gets hooked with a mixture of powerful feelings – love, fear, or anger. We may feel trapped, helpless, or so attracted that we can’t think straight. There may be a powerful tug of war going between feelings of anger and our need to be loved and accepted, or between our head and our heart.
We may be so enamored or intimidated that we revert to our belief that we can’t react or respond to this person any differently.
We get hooked.
We don’t have to stay under a spell.
We start by becoming aware of the people who hook us, and then accepting that.
We can force ourselves through the motions of reacting differently to that person, even if that new reaction is awkward and uncomfortable.
Search out our motivations. Are we somehow trying to control or influence the other person? We cannot change the other person, but we can stop playing our part of the game. One good way to do this is by detaching and letting go of any need to control.
The next step is learning to own our power to take care of ourselves, to be who we are free from their influence. We can learn to own our power with difficult people. It may not happen overnight, but we can begin, today, to change our self-defeating reactions to the people who have hooked us.
God, help me identify the relationships where I have forfeited my power. Help me unhook and begin owning my power.

Today I trust what I feel and I listen to my inner voice. It does not matter if it is logical or if others agree. My feelings and emotions guide me on a path that is right for me. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
Value the Simple Tasks of Life

Simple tasks can take us back to the rhythm, the way of life we’re seeking.

How often we think we don’t want to be bothered with laundry, bills dishes, the lawn. We have other things to do, more important tasks to accomplish on this journey we’re on. But doing the ordinary tasks doesn’t take us away from the rhythm we’re seeking. They don’t take us away from life’s magic. These tasks are the rhythm. They are the magic.

The simple tasks are important not just because they need to be done. The simple tasks are the microcosm of how our lives work. They keep us grounded in reality, they remind us of what’s real, they show us how life works. They will lead us into the way of life we’re seeking, if we approach them the right way. Do the laundry. Do the dishes. Pay your bills. Rake the leaves. Do these tasks with respect.

Restore and maintain order around you, and you’ll feel order in your soul. Create beauty around you, and you’ll feel beauty in your soul. The magic will return. The simple tasks will lead you back to it.

*****

more language of letting go
Be grateful for where you are now

“It doesn’t take as much faith to believe that everything happens for a reason as it does to embrace the belief that I am who and where I am now, today, for a reason– even if I don’t know what that reason is and even if I don’t particularly like who and where I am today,” a friend said to me. “When I can take that in, my dissatisfaction and negativity disappear, and I can proceed calmly and gratefully with my life. To me,” he said, “that’s what spirituality is all about.”

Faith and hope aren’t just for the future. Try using them on today.

Could it be that you’re who you are and where you are now for a reason? Thank God for your life, exactly as it is, right now.

God, give me enough faith to believe in today.

*****

Living Potential
Sharing Your Gift with Others

The gifts we are born with and those that we work to develop throughout our lives vary in form and function. Some we find use for every day while others are only useful in specific circumstances. Yet many times we overlook opportunities to share our unique gifts with others. It may be fear of criticism that holds us back or the paralyzing weight of uncertainty. Ultimately, we doubt that our innate talents and practiced skills can truly add value to others’ lives. But it is the world as a whole that benefits when we willingly share our gifts. Whether you have been blessed with the ability to awaken beautiful emotions in others through art or industry, or your aptitudes transmit more practical advantages, your gifts are a part of who you are. As you make use of those gifts as best you can, be assured that your contribution to worldly well-being will not be overlooked.

Your personal power is defined in part by your gifts. To use your talents is to demonstrate to the world that you understand yourself and are truly attuned to your capabilities. Your earthly existence provides you with ample opportunity to explore your purpose, to utilize your skills in a life-affirming way, and to positively touch the lives of others while doing so. Yet you may feel that your gifts are not as valuable or worthy of attention as those of others and thus hide them away. However, every gift lying dormant in your soul has the potential to fill a void in someone else’s life. Just as your existence is made richer by the love, support, friendship, aid, and compassion of others, so, too, can you add richness to their lives. Your natural ability to soothe hurt, inspire compassion, bake, dance, knit, organize, or think outside the box can be a boon to someone in need.

As you embrace your gifts and allow their light to shine, you will discover that more and more opportunities to make use of them arise. This is because your gifts are a channel through which the universe operates. By simply doing what you are good at and also love to do, you make a positive difference. The recognition you receive for your efforts will pale in comparison to the satisfaction you feel when fulfilling your innate potential. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Step Four enables me to see myself as I really am — my characteristics, motives, attitudes and actions. I’m taught in* The Program to search out my mistakes resolutely. Where, for example, had I been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened? I’m taught, also, that my deeply-rooted habit of self-justification may tempt me to “explain away” each fault as I uncover it, blaming others for my own shortcomings. Will I believe that personal honesty can achieve what superior knowledge often cannot?

Today I Pray

May I not make the Fourth Step a once-over-lightly, let’s get-it-over-with exercise in self-appraisal. May I know that, once I take this Step, I must review it again many times until it becomes, like the other eleven, a way of life for me. May I protect the value of my Fourth Step from my old habit of head-tripping and buck-passing my way out of responsibility.

Today I Will Remember

Personal honesty paves the way to recovery.

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One More Day

Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

It’s a peculiar twist of life that physical impairment causes some of us to become either agnostic or more spiritual. Few of us stay in the shades of gray.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to find our Higher Power or to rediscover our sense of spirituality may feel a deep and abiding belief in spiritual forces which will dwell with us at all times in our lives.

Spiritually transcends all health problems; we can call on its comfort and support at will. Our beliefs can buoy us up when we are feeling low and can richly enhance all the facets of our lives.

The spiritual forces which work within me are uniquely mine — to share or to keep private. They will always enhance my life.

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Food For Thought

Rationalizing

We compulsive overeaters are experts at making excuses for taking the line of least resistance. Before we entered this program, we could always find a reason for eating. How many times did we say, “Just one little bite can’t possibly hurt”?

It is hard to say no to ourselves and to other people, even though we may realize that saying yes would be hurtful to our health or our integrity. We think up reasons for going along with what other people want us to do, rather than “rocking the boat” by standing up for what we know to be essential for our recovery.

Often we convince ourselves by rationalizing that all is well when it is not. Our emotional and spiritual health requires that we examine honestly our behavior and our relationships. When they are not right, we need to take action to correct them.

By Your light, may I see clearly.

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One Day At A Time

~ LISTENING ~
I have learned silence from the talkative,
tolerance from the intolerant,
and kindness from the unkind.
I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.
Kahlil Gibran

Verbosity is one of my personal characteristics … especially in my past. I remember so well discussions in which I found great joy in talking. I also remember my prayers to the God Of My Understanding in which I had a litany of things prayed for.

As I became more and more entrenched in my program, I noticed that I began to listen more and talk less. I also began to really hear what God was saying to me. Praying is our talking to God and meditating is listening to Him. So now meditation has became a way of life for me.

As I go through my life encountering the talkers of the world, I now try to listen to those who are silent but who have much to say. The loud voices of my past life were just loud. It is, however, the quiet, calm voices that have spoken to me in volumes.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will listen carefully to those who speak.
I will listen especially carefully if it’s God who is speaking.
~ Mari ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years. Certain drinkers, who would be greatly insulted if called alcoholics, are astonished at their inability to stop. We, who are familiar with these symptoms, see large numbers of potential alcoholics among young people everywhere. But try and get them to see it! – Pgs. 33-34 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Our new life-style calls for a new self-responsibility. Is there something we are committed to do this afternoon? Go to a group, go to a meeting, call a friend, pray? We begin the process of being responsible by being on time, keeping promises, doing what our sponsor says.

Give me the persistence to meet my obligations this afternoon.

The Mystery

Today, I accept that part of myself that will never be satisfied, and I comfort and tame it. There is a place in me that knows it will never necessarily solve the eternal questions of life: Who am I and where do I come from, and where do I go when I die? At times, I can get depressed about that and feel that there’s no real point to life. But I am beginning to feel that to accept and love this side of myself is what also gives life beauty and meaning. Perhaps meaning is not knowing and understanding, but an acceptance of mystery, an embracing of the unknown. After all, it is that mystery that gives even the most ordinary circumstance an eternal sort of glow – a sense of depth, a feeling that there is more.

I accept that I will never fully understand – I embrace the mystery.
– Tian Dayton Phd

‘The soul is restless and furious; it wants to tear itself apart and cure itself of being human.’- Ugo Betti

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Going to a lot of meetings is important, supportive, and full of fellowship. However, our program is not about meetings but what happens in between meetings.

Do I align my actions with the picture I paint of myself in meetings?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you have two addictions, throw two bucks in the basket.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I trust what I feel and I listen to my inner voice.

It does not matter if it is logical or if others agree. My feelings and emotions guide me on a path that is right for me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Rome wasn’t built in a day – That’s because and alcoholic didn’t get the contract. – Broken Hill Jack.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 14

Philosophy
A religion, properly, is of divine origin; governs the person in his relationship with his Higher Power;
and promises its rewards and punishment after death.
A philosophy is of human origin; governs the person in his relationship with his fellowman;
and promises its rewards and punishments during life.
AA, I submit, is a philosophy. If we alcoholics follow the philosophy of AA,
we can gain an understanding of our several religions.
– Came To Believe, p. 5

Thought to Ponder . . .
True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
F A I T H = Forever Always In The Heart.

AA Thought for the Day

August 14

Good Idea
The first step toward feeling better,
and getting over our sickness is quite simply not drinking.
Try the idea on for size.
Wouldn’t you rather have a health condition which can be successfully treated,
than spend a lot of time miserably wondering what’s wrong with you?
– Living Sober, p. 10

Thought to Ponder . . .
Make a change, move a muscle.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Achieve Anything.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Hangovers
“When a drunk has a terrific hangover because
he drank heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today.
But there is another kind of hangover which we all experience
whether we are drinking or not.
That is the emotional hangover,
the direct result of yesterday’s and sometimes today’s
excesses of negative emotion –
anger, fear, jealousy, and the like.
If we would live serenely today and tomorrow,
we certainly need to eliminate these hangovers.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 88

Thought to Consider . . .
I’d rather be better than bitter.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A A = Altered Attitudes

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Joker in the Glass
“Chapter XXIII: His prescriptions for sobriety
You know, Dan, he [Dr. Bob] told me, many people coming into A.A. get the wrong conception of “Easy Does It, and I hope you don’t. It doesn’t mean that you sit on your fanny, stay home from meetings and let other people work the program for you. It doesn’t mean you have an easy life without drinking. Easy Does It means you take it a day at a time.
He told me that before I could be honest with him or my sponsor or anyone else, I had to get honest with that joker in the glass.
I didn’t know what he meant by that joker in the glass. He told me that was the man in the looking glass. When you shave tomorrow, get honest with the man who looks back at you from the looking glass.
1980, AAWS, Inc., Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, page 282

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“Let all of us AAs, whether we be trustees, editors, secretaries, janitors, or cooks — or just members — ever recall the unimportance of wealth and authority as compared with the vast import of our brotherhood, love, and service.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1947
“Will AA Ever Have a Personal Government?”
The Language of the Heart

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family back. His recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God, however he may define him.
Alcoholics Anonymous p. 99,100

“My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, ‘Why
don’t you choose your own conception of God?’

That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain
in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the
sunlight at last.

It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater
than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning.
I saw that growth could start from that point.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 12~

“We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.”
Alcoholics Anonymous p. 84

“We needn’t wallow in excessive remorse before those we have harmed, but amends at this level should always be forthright and generous.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 86

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We of A.A. sometimes brag of the virtues of our Fellowship. Let us remember that few of these are actually earned virtues. We were forced into them, to begin with, by the cruel lash of alcoholism. We finally adopted them, not because we wished to, but because we had to.
Then, as time confirmed the seeming rightness of our basic principles, we began to conform because it was right to do so. Some of us, notably myself, conformed even then with reluctance.
But at last we came to a point where we stood willing to conform gladly to the principles which experience, under the grace of God, had taught us.

Prayer for the Day: God, I thank you from the bottom of my heart that I know you better. Help me become aware of anything I have omitted discussing with another person. Help me to do what is necessary to walk a free man at last. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 13th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 13th

Daily Reflections

A CLEAN SWEEP

. . . . and third, having thus cleaned away the debris of
the past, we consider how, with our newfound knowledge of
ourselves, we may develop the best possible relations
with every human being we know.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS , p. 77

As I face the Eighth Step, everything that was required
for successful completion of the previous seven Steps came
together: courage, honesty, sincerity, willingness and
thoroughness. I could not muster the strength required for
this task at the beginning, which is why this Step reads
“Became willing. . . . ”
I needed to develop the courage to begin, the honesty to
see where I was wrong, a sincere desire to set things
right, thoroughness in making a list, and willingness to
take the risk required for true humility. With the help
of my Higher Power in developing these virtues, I
completed this Step and continued to move forward in my
quest for spiritual growth.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“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
was to accept spiritual help. We became willing to
maintain a certain simple attitude toward life. What
seemed at first a flimsy reed has proved to be the
loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been
given us, a design for living that really works. All
of us establish in our own individual way our personal
relationship with God.” Have I established my own
relationship with God?

Meditation For The Day

Make it a daily practice to review your character. Take
your character in relation to your daily life, to your
dear ones, your friends, your acquaintances, and your
work. Each day try to see where God wants you to change.
Plan how best each fault can be eradicated or each
mistake be corrected. Never be satisfied with a
comparison with those around you. Strive toward a better
life as your ultimate goal. God is your helper through
weakness to power, through danger to security, through
fear and worry to peace and serenity.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may make real progress toward a better life.
I pray that I may never be satisfied with my present state.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

The Answer in the Mirror, p. 225

While drinking, we were certain that our intelligence, backed by will
power, could rightly control our inner lives and guarantee us success
in the world around us. This brave philosophy, wherein each man
played God, sounded good in the speaking, but it still had to meet the
acid test: How well did it actually work? One good look in the
mirror was answer enough.

********************************

My spiritual awakening was electrically sudden and absolutely
convincing. At once I became a part–if only a tiny part–of a cosmos
that was ruled by justice and love in the person of God. No
matter what had been the consequences of my own willfulness and
ignorance, or those of my fellow travelers on earth, this was still the
truth. Such was the new and positive assurance, and this has never
left me.

1. 12 & 12, p. 37
2. Grapevine, January 1962


***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

Blaming others
Common sense
Action NO matter what happens, some people insist that a culprit must be found when things go awry. Someone must be blamed for every wrong or catastrophe. We must be careful not to buy into this practice in three ways:
FIRST, we must avoid being help responsible for problems we didn’t cause.
SECOND, we must also avoid any personal guilt for such problems.
THIRD, we must not fall into the trap of unfairly blaming other people.
The best use of energy we spend hunting down culprits is to fix what’s
within our powers, to have the courage to change the things (we)
can. Then we will have done what we can to reduce the number
of problems in the world while putting our own talents and energies to
their best uses.
I’ll keep some balance today if I hear anybody blaming others for the world’s woes. We’ll probably fix most problems one day at a time, and I’ll do the best I can with those problems I know something about.


***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

Once it[a spoken word] flies out, you can’t catch it. —Russian proverb
We’ve said many mean words. Our words often hurt the people we love. We can never really take back the words. But we’re learning now to speak with care . We know the words have a lot of power.
What do we say when we’re angry? When we want something? When we’re trying to be kind?
Now, think about this: people will remember out words. If we’re honest and careful in our speech, people will respect us. But if we say things to force our will, we may be sorry later.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, speak through me today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll ask one question of the person I love the most: “How have my words hurt you in the past?” Then I’ll talk with my sponsor about this.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

Anything forced into manifestation through personal will is always “ill got” and has “ever bad success.”  –Florence Scovel Shinn
The main thrust of our recovery is to attune ourselves to God’s will, struggling no longer to impose our own. The pain we’ve endured in past years was often of our own making. We controlled situations until we managed to force the outcome we desired, only to realize it didn’t offer happiness. It was, instead, a bitter ending to the struggle.
When we want something or someone to play by our rules, we can expect barriers. And when the barriers don’t give way with a gentle push, we should consider it a clue that we are off course. When we want what God wants for us, the barriers, if any, will fall away.
What God wants for us at every moment is growth and happiness. When we step away from our ego and develop a selfless posture toward life, we’ll find serenity in the midst of any turmoil. Serenity is God’s promise. When we get in line with God’s will, we’ll find peace.
I will know God’s will if I will listen to my inner voice. I will do what feels right, and peace will be my reward.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted. Though our decision was vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.

pp. 63-64

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

After graduation I attended law school.  I arrived to find an A.A. that was very different from that to which I had grown accustomed.  I was sure I would get drunk because “those people weren’t doing it right!”  My sponsor back at college, aware of my propensity for finding fault, assured me that if my new friends were not “doing it right,” it was my obligation to show them how.  So I did.  Driven by fear and conceit, I set out to remake A.A. in my image.  I am certain that if membership had depended upon being liked, I would have been expelled.

pp. 429-430

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Like all the remaining Steps, Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God–or, if you like, a Higher Power–into our lives. Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives. Therefore our problem now becomes just how and by what specific means shall we be able to let Him in? Step Three represents our first attempt to do this. In fact, the effectiveness of the whole A.A. program will rest upon how well and earnestly we have tried to come to “a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

pp. 34-35

***********************************************************

“Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is
more open. You’re able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of
others, without being crippled by your own judgment.”
–Ralph Marston

“Once you face your fear, nothing is ever as hard as you think.”
–Olivia Newton-John

A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
–unknown

A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
–unknown

All I have to do is make the right choices. I will always know which
they are, when I ask for guidance.
–unknown

I will look to each moment with child-like eyes. I’ll find joy and
contentment.
–unknown

Adventure is not outside a man; it is within.
–David Grayson

***********************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

REALITY

“Humankind cannot bear very
much reality.”
— T. S. Eliot

I wonder why we find it hard to face reality? I preferred to escape
from my problems, avoid who I was, not deal with issues of God,
relationships or loneliness — and live in a world of “make believe”.
However, it did not work. The pain of being a “fake” and living a lie
became too great so I asked for help.

Today I am on a journey towards reality and it is a spiritual journey. I
know I will never be completely real. A part of me will always be
“diseased”. I must live and treat my compulsive behavior on a daily
basis — but my life is getting better, and I am slowly growing in an
understanding of who I am and what I need.

God, let me be as real as I can be.

***********************************************************

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full
armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s
schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark
world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil
comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done
everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled
around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and
with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of
peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you
can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet
of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And
pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Ephesians 6:10-18


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

As you wake, remember that God is the first one waiting to talk with you. Good morning, Lord. Let’s have a grand and wonderful day.

Our time here is short and there is still so much to be done. Lord, please let me do a little more for You today so that the world may be a little better because of me.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Difficult People

By giving unconditional love…we become more loving, and by sharing spiritual growth we become more spiritual.”
Basic Text, p.99

Most of us have one or two exceptionally difficult people in our lives. How do we deal with such a person in our recovery? First, we take our own inventory. Have we wronged this person? Has some action or attitude of ours served as an invitation for the kind of treatment they have given us? If so, we will want to clear the air, admit we have been wrong, and ask our Higher Power to remove whatever defects may prevent us from being helpful and constructive.

Next, as people seeking to live spiritually oriented lives, we approach the problem from the other person’s point of view. They may be faced with any number of challenges we either fail to consider or know nothing about, challenges that cause them to be unpleasant. As it’s said, we seek in recovery “to forgive rather than be forgiven; to understand rather than be understood.”

Finally, if it is within our power, we seek ways to help others overcome their challenges without injuring their dignity. We pray for their well-being and spiritual growth and for the ability to offer them the unconditional love that has meant so much to us in our recovery.

We cannot change the difficult people in our lives, nor can we please everyone. But by applying the spiritual principles we’ve learned in NA, we can learn to love them.

Just for today: Higher Power, help me serve other people, not demand that they serve me.
pg. 235

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. –Brendan Francis
There was a huge slide at the park and Jason was afraid to go on it. There were so many steps to climb to reach the top. All of his friends were climbing up the steps and yelling as they came down the long rolling slide.
“Come on,” said his friend Steve. “It’s lots of fun!”
“Isn’t it scary?” asked Jason.
“A little bit,” answered Steve, “but you get used to it.” He ran off to go again.
Jason walked to the steps of the slide, his heart pounding in his chest. Slowly he placed his foot on the first step and lifted himself up. Courageously he climbed the ladder. When he reached the high platform he felt as if he were standing on top of the world.
We can learn from Jason that by taking that first step we can experience many exciting and wonderful things. We have all done it before, on the slide, on a bicycle, in school. Why not again?
What fear can I walk through today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others. –Nathaniel Branden
We cannot hang on to feelings of shame and guilt and still hope to become better people. How did these feelings begin? If we were treated badly by people, we need to be honest about what happened so we can resolve it and move on. Have we perpetuated our feelings by acting disrespectfully ourselves? Then we need to take a thorough inventory of our wrongdoings, admit them, make repairs, and let them go.
We may wallow in shame because facing it feels too frightening. Often, we believe our shame is greater than that of others. This belief is usually untrue and grandiose. It’s part of how we isolate ourselves. We don’t have to face it alone. We have the help of other men and women who can listen to our pain and tell us about their experiences.
Today, may I find the courage to face my shame and assert my right to self-esteem.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Anything forced into manifestation through personal will is always “ill got” and has “ever bad success.” –Florence Scovel Shinn
The main thrust of our recovery is to attune ourselves to God’s will, struggling no longer to impose our own. The pain we’ve endured in past years was often of our own making. We controlled situations until we managed to force the outcome we desired, only to realize it didn’t offer happiness. It was, instead, a bitter ending to the struggle.
When we want something or someone to play by our rules, we can expect barriers. And when the barriers don’t give way with a gentle push, we should consider it a clue that we are off course. When we want what God wants for us, the barriers, if any, will fall away.
What God wants for us at every moment is growth and happiness. When we step away from our ego and develop a selfless posture toward life, we’ll find serenity in the midst of any turmoil. Serenity is God’s promise. When we get in line with God’s will, we’ll find peace.
I will know God’s will if I will listen to my inner voice. I will do what feels right, and peace will be my reward.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Friends
Don’t overlook the value of friendship. Don’t neglect friends.
Friends are a joy. Adult friendships can be a good place for us to learn to have fun and to appreciate how much fun we can have with a friend.
Friends can be a comfort. Who knows us better, or is more able to give us support, than a good friend? A friendship is a comfortable place to be ourselves. Often, our choice of friends will reflect the issue we’re working on. Giving and receiving support will help both people grow.
Some friendships wax and wane, going through cycles throughout the years. Some trail off when one person outgrows the other. Certainly, we will have trials and tests in friendships and, at times, be called on to practice our recovery behaviors.
But some friendships will last a lifetime. There are special love relationships, and there are friendships. Sometimes, our friendships – especially recovery friendships – can be special love relationships too.
Today, I will reach out to a friend. I will let myself enjoy the comfort, joys, and enduring quality of my friendships.

Today is a day of opportunities. I am open and ready to find them all, knowing that I am receiving all the guidance I need to be forward and be happy. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
Come Back to Center

Come back to center, that place in you that is still, calm, quiet, and connected.

Your center is a place you can trust. It connects the body, mind, heart, and soul. It connects truth, your inner voice, and the Divine. Your best work comes from there. Your most loving times come from there.Your insights, awarenesses, and guidance come from being there, at that place. Your best decisions and finest moments come from that place.

Your center is a place that is quietly confident, unassuming, spontaneous, and free. It is gentle and kind, but it has the power to defend instinctively against attack.

Your center is a place that is naturally joyful and at peace. It is accepting, nonjudgemental, and it channels the voice of your heart. It knows perfect timing. It knows the rhythm of the universe, the rhythm of all creation, and it delights in its connection to that rhythm.

If you must leave your center to learn a lesson, feel a feeling, or experience something new, do that. Take all the side trips you are called to. But come back to your center when you’re done.

And go to your center first, before you go anywhere else.

*****

more language of letting go
Thanks for the lessons

People say everything happens for a reason and God has a Plan for it all. I believe things do happen for a reason. And I believe in God’s Plan. But if we don’t learn the lesson from the circumstance and let ourselves completely heal from it– whether it’s the past or today– the things that happen for a reason will just keep happening over and over again.
–Playing It by Heart

“I learned something today,” a woman said to me. “Before I can completely let go of anything or anyone, I need to thank the person and the experience for what it taught me.”

Sometimes, the last thin cord binding us to that person or experience, that part of our lives that we’re trying so valiantly to be free from, can be effectively snipped with the shears of gratitude.

Are you hanging on to a resentment for that ex or a friend from days long past? Are you still harboring bitterness about a job or business deal gone bad? Are you holding on to a part of your life that was painful with bitterness and resentment? Are you holding on to a particularly good time or cycle you had with someone, afraid that if things change and you let the past go and come into now, things won’t be quite as good?

Maybe you needed that relationship to teach you about a part of yourself. Maybe you learned compassion or more about what you wanted from life. Maybe that friend, even though he or she isn’t in your life anymore, helped you open up a part of yourself that was shut down and needed to be activated and set free. What about those painful experiences? You learned something, probably a lot, from them,too. And that experience that was so fulfilling? That, too, needs to be let go of if we’re going to open our hearts to the new.

Apply a dose of gratitude. Thank the experience for being in your life. Thank that ex, or that friend, or that business, or that boss. Thank them over and over again in your mind. Deliberately sit down and figure out what the lessons and gifts were. If you can’t see them, ask to be shown.

Move a step closer to letting go and becoming free by being grateful for how that person or experience enriched your life.

God, thank you for the past. Help me let go with gratitude, so that I can live more fully and joyfully now.

*****

Letting Your Voice Be Heard
Writing Your Story by Madisyn Taylor

Writing your own story can provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings.

Everyone, at one time or another, has wanted to express his or her story. Writing a memoir to read privately, share with family or friends, or publish is an emotionally satisfying way to gain perspective on your experiences and to share your unique voice. We’ve all experienced feelings and events in our lives that we are longing to write down. Giving into that urge also can provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings. No one else has to read it. You may even want to write your story without reading it afterward and put it away to read in the future. Satisfying the need to tell your story is not predicated upon your writing ability. It does, however take effort to write down the truth in detail. Your memories, captured on paper as descriptive scenes, sights, sounds, and scents, may at first seem disconnected or incomplete. But rest assured that you possess the ability to shape your recollections into stories.

Writing your story is different from journaling. Everyone wants to be heard and know that they matter. Reading your story to others meets the human need to be heard. Writing your story helps validate your life. We all want to know that what we have to say matters. And when you finish writing, even you may be surprised at what you have accomplished. Your story can encompass as much or as little of your life as you prefer. You may surprise yourself with new insights, or you may find yourself exploring your roots, your identity, and your future through your words. Allow your writing to guide you and write as truthfully as possible. Don’t worry about what others will think of your personal journey, your style of writing, or your words.

Research has shown that writing a narrative filled with feelings and perceptions can create long-term health benefits. As you write, remember to express compassion and understanding toward yourself, particularly when writing about traumatic events. If you are a young person, you can add to your life story as you grow older. Your writing may even help family members know you better or understand themselves more. Most importantly, in writing your personal story, you are expressing yourself in a permanent way, giving a gift to your future self, and letting your voice be heard. Published with permission from Daily OM

*******************************************

One More Day

If you allow men to use you for your own purpose, they will use your for theirs.
– Aescop

When we attend a party, isn’t it always the person with the cast or someone who just had surgery who gets all the attention? At first, when our health changes, we may try to play other people for sympathy.

We finally begin to understand that most of us have different needs. Ours are more permanent than the needs of a person with a broken leg. Upon realizing this, we could become angry that our needs aren’t being anticipated. After being ill for a while, we realize it’s up to us to let others know what we are feeling and what our needs are. Then we can look for understanding, not pity.

Exploiting the role of “sick person” is one behavior I need to guard against. I will accept this as a personal challenge.

*****

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program’s Fourth Step suggests that we make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. For some of us, no challenge seems more formidable; there’s nothing more difficult than facing ourselves as we really are. We flee from one wrong-doing after another as they catch up with us, forever making excuses, pleading always that our virtues in other areas far outweigh our flaws. Yet once we become willing to look squarely and self-searchingly at ourselves, we’re then able to illuminate the dark and negative side of our natures with new vision, action, and grace. Am I willing to open my eyes and step out into the sunlight?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power stop me in my tracks if I am running away from myself. For I will never overcome my misdeeds, or the flaws in which character which brought them about, by letting them chase me. May I slow down and turn to face them with the most trusty weapon I know … truth.

Today I Will Remember

I will not be a fugitive from myself.

*******************************************

Food for Thought.

Be Prepared

We need to be prepared for times when we will be tempted to eat the wrong kind of food. This may mean eating our planned meal before going to an event where the right food may not be available. It may mean adjusting our meal schedule so that we can wait to eat until after an event where the wrong kind of food is served.

In the past, we may have used the excuse of not hurting someone’s feelings in order to rationalize a deviation from our food plan. No hostess should expect a guest to consume food to which he or she is allergic. We alone are responsible for what goes into our mouths. If we are faced with food, which will activate our illness, it is better to be hungry than to eat what makes us sick.

When we are willing to go to any lengths to maintain abstinence, we can find a way to deal with dangerous food situations. “No, thank you” is a very useful tool.
May I be prepared for times of temptation.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

JOY
“Joy is not in things, it is in us.”
Richard Wagner

Growing up in a household of people in need of recovery, one of the things I learned early on is that things can bring happiness. None of us realized that the happiness was very temporary, never seeing us through what feeling we were wanting to stuff or what hurt hole deep inside us needed filling. I had so many feelings and so many holes inside me that I didn’t have near enough money for the things I needed. What hurting 7-year old in a sick family does?

Given that, it seems natural that I turned to food to help fill holes. Just another “thing,” but at least the fridge was always too full, and I didn’t have to worry about the money aspect.

But things caused pain too. I learned that my parents gave more expensive and better things to those people they liked more and wanted to please. I was not one of those people; my brother was. I noted every gift and compared, and set myself up for more hurt that could only be soothed in the kitchen because I didn’t know any other way.

The food “things” I ran to have caused less joy in my life than any of the things I’ve bought. I’ve been fat since I was four, torturing my body over the years by alternating starvation with massive bingeing and with purging. I was never good enough because I’ve never been thin enough except for that growth spurt when I was nine.

Then I found the Twelve Steps. As a result of working the Steps, I’ve found me. As a result of finding me and learning to fill hurtful holes by feeling rather than with things or food, I’ve truly found the joy that is in me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remind myself that things and food do not bring happiness; joy is within.
~ Rhonda H. ~

*****************************************

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Just for Today. Day by Day. 24-hour program. Don’t use today, forget about yesterday and tomorrow. Only 24 hours at a time. One day at a time. Take a daily inventory. All of these sayings are trying to enforce the idea that our program is a NOW program. The sooner you live in the now, the sooner you will find freedom.

Grant me the patience to live in this hour by the principles that are growing in my heart.

I Will Live in My Body as Well as My Head

I cannot hold onto life any more than I can hold onto a rain storm, a cloud or a sun set. I will not know how to be, what to do or how to act if I am ever living in my head. I have to live in my body, too, in the present, spontaneously part of the moment with head and heart in balance so I can sense where I am and where the current of life is taking me. So that we can be free of what is in the way of manifesting our own good. So that we can live in the present unencumbered with unresolved pain from the past. So that we can stop repeating the same old dysfunctional patterns from our past in our relationships in the present.
Emotional balance allows us to live in this alive and ever changing present so that we can respond spontaneously to any given moment or any given situation. So that we have the inner balance to be responsive, flexible and alive. So that we can live in the present.

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

People in our society stress that we ought to be happy. If you’re not happy something is wrong, we are lead to believe. Yet, unhappiness is not a symptom of sickness, it is an expression of life, a natural reaction to situations we don’t like. When **** happens, you don’t have to like it.

I will not be unhappy about being unhappy.

Living in my head limits my spontaneity.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

People in our society stress that we ought to be happy. If you’re not happy something is wrong, we are lead to believe. Yet, unhappiness is not a symptom of sickness, it is an expression of life, a natural reaction to situations we don’t like. When **** happens, you don’t have to like it.

I will not be unhappy about being unhappy.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you live on the edge of the program, you might fall off.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today is a day of opportunities.

I am open and ready to find them all, knowing that I am receiving all the guidance I need to be forward and be happy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Seven days without a meeting makes one weak. – Anon.

*****************************************

AA Thought for the Day

August 13

Defects
I am no longer willing to live with the multitude of defects that characterized my life while I was drinking.
Step Seven is my vehicle to freedom from these defects.
– Daily Reflections, p.196

Thought to Ponder . . .
Life will take on new meaning.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H J F = Happy, Joyous, Free.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Reprieve
“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action
and rest on our laurels.
We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.
We are not cured of alcoholism.
What we really have is a daily reprieve
contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
Every day is a day when we must carry
the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Thought to Consider . . .
This is a program of limitless expansion.
The gate is wide but the road is narrow.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P R O G R A M = People Relying On God Relay A Message

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Not for Nothing
From: “Empty on the Inside”
When I was two weeks sober, a man’s nine-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and three days later he was at a meeting saying he had to believe it wasn’t for nothing. That maybe one alcoholic would get sober because of it. As I left that day, I found myself wondering what would have happened if that had been my kids, or me? What would they remember about me? A feeling came over me (I know now it was gratitude), and I realized that I could call my children right then and tell them I loved them. That I could show up when I said I would. That my word could be worth something to them. That even though I might always just be “mom who comes over on the weekends,” I could be a good weekend mom. I had a chance to move forward with them, forging a relationship built on a foundation of God and Alcoholics Anonymous, rather than always trying to make up for the past. One year later I was able to share with that man that maybe it hadn’t been for nothing, because my life changed that day.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 520

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“If we fail to ‘repair,’ we can only impair.”
June 1945
“On the Eighth Step,”
Step By Step

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Everybody knows that those in bad health, and those who seldom play,
do not laugh much. So let each family play together or separately as
much as their circumstances warrant. We are sure God wants us to be
happy, joyous, and free.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132~

“Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!”
Alcoholics Anonymous p. 100

“Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 25

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

While drinking, we were certain that our intelligence, backed by will power, could rightly control our inner lives and guarantee us success in the world around us. This brave philosophy, wherein each man played God, sounded good in the speaking, but it still had to meet the acid test: How well did it actually work? One good look in the mirror was answer enough.
My spiritual awakening was electrically sudden and absolutely convincing. At once I became a part – if only a tiny part – of a cosmos that was ruled by justice and love in the person of God. No matter what had been the consequences of my own willfulness and ignorance, or those of my fellow travelers on earth, this was still the truth. Such was the new and positive assurance, and this has never left me.

Prayer for the Day: God, Help me to see myself as I truly am. I know I won’t always like what I see, so give me the courage to keep going. Grant me understanding, as I need to figure out why I feel the way I do sometimes God, please fill my heart with compassion. I need forgiveness, but I also need to forgive, and that just doesn’t come easily to me. Please Lord, fill my heart with love. Let me love as You do, so that I may get better and serve You. God, I want to do this right and I need your help today. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 11th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 11th

Daily Reflections

REMOVING “THE GROUND GLASS”

The moral inventory is a cool examination of the damages that
occurred to us during life and a sincere effort to look at them in a true
perspective. This has the effect of taking the ground glass out of us,
the emotional substance that still cuts and inhibits.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 140

My Eighth Step list used to drag me into a whirlpool of resentment.
After four years of sobriety, I was blocked by denial connected with
an ongoing abusive relationship. The argument between fear and
pride eased as the words of the Step moved from my head to my
heart. For the first time in years I opened my box of paints and poured
out an honest rage, an explosion of reds and blacks and yellows. As I
looked at the drawing, tears of joy and relief flowed down my cheeks.
In my disease, I had given up my art, a self-inflicted punishment far
greater than any imposed from outside. In my recovery, I learned that
the pain of my defects is the very substance God uses to cleanse my
character and to set me free.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“While alcoholics keep strictly away from drink, they react to life
much like other people. But the first drink sets the terrible cycle in
motion. Alcoholics usually have no idea why they take the first drink.
Some drinkers have excuses with which they are satisfied, but in their
hearts they really do not know why they do it. The truth is that at
some point in their drinking they have passed into a state where the most
powerful desire to stop drinking is of no avail.” Am I satisfied that I
have passed my tolerance point for alcohol?

Meditation For The Day

He who made the ordered world out of chaos and set the stars in their
courses and made each plant to know its season, He can bring peace
and order out of your private chaos if you will let Him. God is
watching over you, too, to bless you and care for you. Out of the
darkness He is leading you to light, out of unrest to rest, out of
disorder to order, out of faults and failure to success. You belong to
God and your affairs are His affairs and can be ordered by Him if you
are willing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be led out of disorder into order. I pray that I may be
led out of failure into success.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

One Fellowship–Many Faiths, p.223

As a society we must never become so vain as to suppose that we
are authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect
that every one of A.A.’s principles has been borrowed from
ancient sources.

********************************

A minister in Thailand wrote, “We took A.A.’s Twelve Steps to
the largest Buddhist monastery in this province, and the head
priest said, “Why, these Steps are fine! For us as Buddhists, it might
be slightly more acceptable if you had inserted the word ‘good’ in
your Steps instead of ‘God.’ Nevertheless, you say that it is God
as you understand Him, and that must certainly include the good.
Yes, A.A.’s Twelve Steps will surely be accepted by the Buddhists
around here.'”

********************************

St. Louis oldtimers recall how Father Edward Dowling helped
start their group; it turned out to be largely Protestant, but this
fazed him not a bit.

A.A. Comes Of Age
1. p. 231
2. p. 81
3. p. 37


***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

What is real Open-mindedness?
New Ideas

When we’re urged to be open-minded, what’s really involved?  Open-mindedness certainly can’t mean accepting every idea that comes down the road, because some of them are worthless or harmful.
Open-mindedness really means a readiness to put our deeply held opinions aside long enough to consider new ideas. If we simply refuse to listen to anything new, we’ll avoid the bad ideas, but we’ll also miss out on the ideas that can help us.
If we’re really honest, we can look back to see many ideas that helped us after we reluctantly agreed to consider them.  It’s important to screen ideas as they come to us, but we can’t block them out completely. All a good idea needs to help us is a fair chance.
I’ll work at being more open-minded today.  It’s possible I’ve been blocking out ideas that could help me.        


***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.— Lily Tomlin
Alcoholism is rat race. Drug addiction is a rat race. We were always trying to keep one or two steps ahead of the cat. We were always sneaking around, and everyone was disgusted with us.
Our goal in recovery is stop acting like a rat and join the human race again. Recovery teaches us sayings like Easy Does It and One Day At a Time. Our sayings remind us to pace ourselves. Our sayings remind us that healing takes time.
We live by human values: honesty, respect from others, fairness, openness, self-respect. We work at just being ourselves. We learn that this is enough. We are enough.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me accept my humanness. I am part of the human race, not the rat race.
Action for the Day:  Just for today, I’ll pace myself. I’ll list ways I often go to fast for my own good. I’ll ask friends how they pace themselves.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match.  –Ingrid Bengis
In the imagination are transmitted messages, from God to us. Inspiration is born there. So are dreams. Both give rise to the goals that urge us forward, that invite us to honor this life we’ve been given with a contribution, one like no other contribution.
Our imagination offers us ideas to ponder, ideas specific to our development. It encourages us to take steps unique to our time, our place, our intended gifts to the world. We can be alert to this special “inner voice” and let it guide our decisions; we can trust its urgings. It’s charged with serving us, but only we can decide to “listen.”
The imagination gives us another tool: belief in ourselves. And the magic of believing offers us strength and capabilities even beyond our fondest hopes. It prepares us for the effort we need to make and for handling whatever outcome God has intended.
My imagination will serve me today. It will offer me the ideas and the courage I need to go forth.


***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him: “God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!” We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.

p. 63

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

I began to change.  I began to pray.  I became actively involved in working the steps.  I had previously dismissed them as the tools of mental inferiors; now I embraced them as the rungs on the ladder to salvation.  I began working with a sponsor and became active in my home group.  I did not understand how making coffee or cleaning up after meetings could have anything to do with staying sober, but older members told me that service would keep me sober, so I tried it.  It worked.

p. 429

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step. 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.

p. 33

***********************************************************

If what you are doing is not working, take a moment to stop and take a
look at what you are doing and, if necessary, take another path.
–Jan Ruhe

“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising
every time we fall.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it is time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.
–Henry David Thoreau

I can get more out of God by believing Him for one minute than by
shouting at Him all night.
–Smith Wigglesworth

“I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of
my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most
precious gift I have – life itself.”
–Walter Anderson

***********************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

INDIVIDUALITY

“The race advances only by the
extra achievements of the
individual. You are the
individual.”
— Charles Towne

The spiritual program that involves a “love of self” has made me get
in touch with my individuality. Although we can identify with other
people’s feelings and situations, we are also not exactly the same. Our
dreams and aspirations are different, our gifts and achievements vary,
our personal individuality adds to the variety of life.

My “difference” needs to be nurtured alongside my spiritual growth,
especially since being a recovering alcoholic I am tempted to “please”
the crowd. Today my personal inventory revolves around my needs,
hopes and dreams that are realistic. Spirituality is reality.

In helping myself to the abundant richness that is within me, I am
contributing to society and the world.

Thank You for making the world with such creative difference; may I
continue to risk in this knowledge.

***********************************************************

“Even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed, the Lord answered,
you could say to this mulberry tree, May God uproot you and throw
you into the sea, and it would obey you!”
Luke 17:6

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do
not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

Thoughts of the past can not hurt you without your consent. Lord, help me to learn from my past, not live there by continually bringing it into the present.

The heart cannot both doubt and have faith, hate and give love, worry and trust in God for one will soon crowd out the other. Lord, I commit myself to Your way and Your will and open my heart to Your peace.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Active Listening

“Through active listening, we hear things that work for us.”
Basic Text, p.102

Most of us arrived in Narcotics Anonymous with a very poor ability to listen. But to take full advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another” we must learn to listen actively.

What is active listening for us? In meetings, it means we concentrate on what the speaker is sharing, while the speaker is sharing. We set aside our own thoughts and opinions until the meeting is over. That’s when we sort through what we’ve heard to decide which ideas we want to use and which we want to explore further.

We can apply our active listening skills in sponsorship, too. Newcomers often talk with us about some “major event” in their lives. While such events may not seem significant to us, they are to the newcomer who has little experience living life on life’s terms. Our active listening helps us empathize with the feelings such events trigger in our sponsee’s life. With that understanding, we have a better idea of what to share with them.

The ability to listen actively was unknown to us in the isolation of our addiction. Today, this ability helps us actively engage with our recovery. Through active listening, we receive everything being offered us in NA, and we share fully with others the love and care we’ve been given.

Just for today: I will strive to be an active listener. I will practice active listening when others share and when I share with others.
pg. 233

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Friends are people who help you be more yourself, more the person you are intended to be. –Merle Shain
Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a neighbor, almost always our moms and dads encourage us to try new activities or to improve our schoolwork, sports, drawing, or gardening. Because they are our friends, they want us to be the best we can be.
Not everyone knows how to be a friend. Some people only criticize, and never praise. People who never encourage or praise us are usually unhappy with their own achievements. They don’t mean us harm. Perhaps they just need a friend, too. Not only do we each need friends to help us grow, we need to be friends to others. To encourage and praise those who need it will help us in return.
Whose friend can I be today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile and then come back to it and begin again. –Robert Frost
Do we think it’s weak to need a break? Do we ignore the need to recharge our batteries? Responsibility for our own lives requires us to recognize the need to restore our energy. Maybe our former escape from the world was by using food, or drugs, or spending money, or sexual release, or preoccupation with another person.
Now, since we are developing the ability to be with ourselves, we can take a break from the world and come back restored. This meditation time generates more energy for our lives. Recreation with friends, a walk, a movie, or a concert does the same. Taking responsibility to get away is a good cure for self-pity and exhaustion.
Today, I will be aware of my need to restore my energy.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match. –Ingrid Bengis
In the imagination are transmitted messages, from God to us. Inspiration is born there. So are dreams. Both give rise to the goals that urge us forward, that invite us to honor this life we’ve been given with a contribution, one like no other contribution.
Our imagination offers us ideas to ponder, ideas specific to our development. It encourages us to take steps unique to our time, our place, our intended gifts to the world. We can be alert to this special “inner voice” and let it guide our decisions; we can trust its urgings. It’s charged with serving us, but only we can decide to “listen.”
The imagination gives us another tool: belief in ourselves. And the magic of believing offers us strength and capabilities even beyond our fondest hopes. It prepares us for the effort we need to make and for handling whatever outcome God has intended.
My imagination will serve me today. It will offer me the ideas and the courage I need to go forth.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Healing
Let healing energy flow through your body.
The healing energy of God, the Universe, life, and recovery surrounds us. It is available, waiting for us to draw on it, waiting for us to draw it in. It’s waiting at our meetings or groups, on the words of a whispered prayer, in a gentle touch, a positive word, a positive thought. Healing energy is in the sun, the wind, and the rain, in all that is good.
Let healing energy come. Attract it. Accept it. Let it soak in. Breathe in the golden light. Exhale. Let go of fear, anger, hurt, and doubt. Let healing energy flow to you, through you.
It is yours for the asking, for the believing.
Today, I will ask for, and accept, the healing energy from God and the Universe. I will let it flow to me, through me, and back out to others. I am part of, and at one with, the continuous cycle of healing.

I will take time today to stop and give a gift to someone needy, smile at a stranger or help a small child. I will take the time to do at least one thing that I usually find myself too busy to do, and I will inwardly smile at myself, taking the time to experience the feelings of my own kindness. –Ruth Fishel

*****

You Deserve to Have Your Dreams Come True
Personal Power

Power is not about exerting our will over others, it is about being in complete truth with yourself.

Many of us have do not understand what personal power means. We have been given the false notion that power is bad—that it is something we use to exert our will upon others. In fact, when our personal power is intact, we are neither overbearing nor meek. We have a clear sense of our strength and the impact we can have on others. This actually enables us to be more sensitive. Personal power is what permits us to work on behalf of our dreams and desires. It allows us to realize that we are worthy and deserve to be heard. In addition, our personal power lets us extend the respect we know that we deserve to the people around us. There is no reason to be afraid or ashamed of fully owning your power.

In the chakra system, the solar plexus is the seat of personal power. One way to evaluate your sense of power is to breathe into this part of the body. If it feels tight or nervous, it is an indication that you may not be fully expressing your power. You can heal this imbalance by expanding the area of the solar plexus with your breath. You can also visualize a bright yellow sun in this part of your body. Allow its heat to melt any tension, and let its light dissolve any darkness or heaviness. Repeating this exercise on a regular basis can restore and rejuvenate your sense of power.

Another way to nurture your personal power is to honor your dreams and desires by making concrete plans to manifest them in the world. Start by making a list of things you want, and let yourself think big. Choose one goal from the list and commit to bringing it to fruition. In addition, break the goal into tasks that you can work on each day. Know that you deserve to have your dreams come true and that you have the power to bring them into being. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

Journey to the Heart
Trust Yourself

When you look around, feel insecure, and wonder who you can trust, know you can trust yourself.

We often stand like little children, holding out our hands, waiting for someone to lead us somewhere, anywhere. We hope that someone can show us what we need to do next. We think, Maybe someone else knows better. But that thought is often the beginning of trouble. If we choose to let others lead us around, we’ll soon find out that they don’t know what’s best for us.

If we abdicate responsibility for our choices,we may become angry, sometimes full of rage at others for running our lives, for telling us what to do. We need to take responsibility. We need to trust ourselves.

Sometimes we do get clues or hints from others. Sometimes we get direction from outside ourselves. But it must resonate with our heart. It must resonate with what we know to be true.

And the direction we take, what we do next, needs to be our choice, because whether we see it or not, it is our choice.

Trust and respond to your own heart. Trust the wisdom and guidance within you. 

*****

more language of letting go
Pray for those you resent

My favorite story about praying for those I resent is one I told in Playing It By Heart, Here it is again.

Years ago, when I spotted the Stillwater Gazette, the oldest family-owned daily newspaper in existence, I knew I wanted to work there. I could feel it– in my bones and in my heart. When I went in to the offices to apply for the job, however, the owner didn’t have the same feeling I did. He had an opening for a reporter, but he wanted to hire someone else. Abigail, he said, was the right one for this jib.

I prayed for Abigail every day. I asked God to take care of her, guide her, and bless her richly and abundantly. I prayed for her because that’s what I had been taught to do– pray for those you resent. Sometimes I prayed for her three or four times each day. I prayed for her this much because I resented her that much.

God, I hated Abigail.

For the next months, almost half a year, I tromped down to the Gazette once a week, begging to be hired. Finally, I got a job there. But it wasn’t the one I wanted. Abigail, bless her heart, had mine.

She got the best story assignments. She worked so quickly and with such journalistic ease.

So I kept praying, “God bless Abigail,” because that’s all I knew to do.

Over the months, as I got my lesser assignments from the editor–lesser than Abigail’s, that is– I began to watch her work. She wrote quickly and efficiently. Got right to the point. She was a good interviewer,too. I started pushing myself to write better, and more quickly. If Abigail can do it, so can I, I told myself. My enemy began to inspire me. Over the weeks and months that transpired, I spent more and more time around Abigail. I listened to her talk. I listened to her stories. Slowly, my enemy became my friend.

One day, Abigail and I were having coffee. I looked at her, looked straight in her eyes. And suddenly I realized, I didn’t hate Abigail anymore. She was doing her job. I was doing mine.

Soon, I got an offer from a publisher to write a book. I was glad I didn’t have Abigail’s job, I wouldn’t have had time to write that book. Then one day in June 1987, that book hit the New York Times best-seller list.

Years later, I wrote the story about Abigail in Playing It By Heart. The book got published. I returned to Minnesota to do a book signing. I was in the bookstore’s bathroom, washing my hands, when a woman approached me.

“Hi Melody,” she said. I looked at her, confused. “It’s Abigail,” she said. Abigail wasn’t her real name; it was a name I had given her in the story. But with those words, I realized she had read the story. She knew she was Abigail, and she knew how I once felt.

We joked about it for a few moments. I asked her how her life was. She said she had quit writing and had become a wife and mother. I said I was still writing, and my years as a wife and mother were for the most part over.

Resentments are such silly little things. Envy is silly,too. But those silly little things can eat away at our hearts. Sometimes, people are put in our lives to teach us about what we’re capable of. Sometimes, the people we perceive as enemies are really our friends. Is there someone in your life you’re spending energy feeling envious of or resentful toward? Could that person be there to teach you something about yourself that you don’t know or to inspire you along your path? You’ll not know the answer to that question until you get the envy and resentment out of your heart.

God, thank you for the people I resent and envy. Bless them richly. Open doors for them, shower them with abundance. Help me know that my success doesn’t depend on their failure, it’s equivalent to how much I ask you to bless them.

*****

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When I dwell on piddling things that annoy me — and they sprout resentments that grow bigger and bigger like weeds — I forget how I could be stretching my world and broadening my outlook. For me, that’s an ideal way to shrink troubles down to their real size. When somebody or something is causing me trouble, I should try to see the incident in relation to the rest of my life — especially the part that’s good and for which I should be grateful. Am I willing to waste my life worrying about trifles which drain my spiritual energy?

Today I Pray

May God keep me from worrying unduly about small things. May He, instead, open my eyes to the grandeur of His universe and the ceaseless wonders of His earth. May He grant me the breadth of vision which can reduce and small fretful concern of mine to the size of a fly on a cathedral window.

Today I Will Remember Microscopic irritations can ruin my vision.

*****

One More Day

Before an important decision someone clutches your hand — a glimpse of gold in the iron-gray, the proof of all you have never dared to believe.
– Dag Hammarskjold

There is nothing quite as lonely as having to make a decision. Imagine the feelings a family goes through when a beloved pet has to be put to sleep. The parents, because they truly understand the situation, must be the decision makers. If we are considering a job change, it will affect our immediate family and our friendships.

When a person extends a helping hand, we welcome it as a starving person would welcome food, for it offers affirmation and empathy. The decision is still difficult, but we have the inner strength to carry us through.

I believe in myself, but will welcome the support of others in my decision making.

**************************************************

Food For Thought

Sloppy Thinking

If we begin to entertain thoughts of slight deviations from our food plan, thoughts of former binge foods, thoughts that maybe once in a while we could eat “normally,” we put ourselves on shaky ground. Our disease is never cured, and sloppy thinking can lead to a weakening or loss of control.

“Normal” eating for us is abstinence. Our food plan is what saves us from bizarre eating behavior. There is no such thing as taking a vacation from abstinence.

The less we think about food, the better off we are. To remember the so-called pleasure we once associated with certain foods may cause us to forget the inevitable pain and anguish which eating them eventually produced. We do not want to ever return to the misery of compulsive overeating.

Giving our minds to our Higher Power ensures positive, healthy thinking.

Take my thoughts, Lord, and straighten them out.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

SELF-KNOWLEDGE
“The world we have created is a product of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
Albert Einstein

The world I created before finding the Twelve Steps of recovery was a world in which I had no responsibility. Everything bad in my life was someone else’s fault: my parents’, my husband’s, society’s, and, when there was no one else to blame, it was God’s fault.

As I worked Step 4, I learned that I had been a part of all of these things for which I blamed others. I learned that I had defects of character that kept me from taking part in my life. As I recognized these defects, I asked my Higher Power to remove them, and that gradually happened.

One of the things I had tried to do for many years was bury my feelings of grief and pain. I seemed to have managed that fairly well, but in doing so, I had also buried all the other emotion. I no longer took enjoyment in anything. My child’s smile evoked no feeling and I felt no pride in anything I did. I felt none of the love that others gave to me. As I started dealing with the painful feelings, the positive emotions emerged as well.

The promise the Big Book speaks of became true for me: I no longer regretted the past nor wished to shut the door on it. I was able to feel my hurt and grief. Now I am also able to feel love and happiness. I have learned how to change my thinking through the process of working these wonderful Steps.

One Day at a Time . . .
I do a daily 10th, 11th and 12th Step and am reminded that it is my responsibility to listen to my Higher Power and do my part in creating the world around me.
~ Nancy

*****************************************

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a seemingly tragic experience out of our past. But why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. – Pg. 132 – The Family Afterwards

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Recovery is an attribute of two personalities which bear a relationship one to the other. This is our self and our higher self or God-self. There are two of us: self and God-self. We do not walk this path alone. It used to be self and drug-self. Now it is self and God-self.

Let me know that I do not walk this road alone but I am always with my higher self who holds my best interests in mind.

Body Memories

Understanding and thought are distributed throughout all the cells in my body. Who I am is stored in my physical self. My body carries memory and knowledge about how I have responded to the circumstances of my life, about what I brought into this world to begin with.. Today when I think positively, I will allow and invite my entire body to carry a positive thought. I will instruct each cell within me to be active, healthy and vibrant. Each time that I feel I am getting low on reserves, I will open all of my body to receiving uplifting light and energy from the universe. I am not a talking head. I am a body, mind and spirit, alive in all of me.

I ask my body to wake up and live.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If you have never experienced the results of working the Twelve Steps, no explanation is sufficient. If you have experienced the results of working the Twelve Steps, then no explanation is necessary.

I am the poster child for the miracles I cannot explain.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Slow and sure.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I will take time today to stop and give a gift to someone needy, smile at a stranger or help a small child.

I will take the time to do at least one thing that I usually find myself too busy to do, and I will inwardly smile at myself, taking the time to experience the feelings of my own kindness.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I picked up this little pamphlet and on the back page it said ‘Are you concerned about your drinking? If so call this number collect. ‘So I called and I talked to this woman, and I told her some lies. I told her that a lot of people with whom I’d been working had drinking problems and could she help me to help them? And she said yes, there was literature and places that people could go, and she gave me lots of information and said she’d send me some books. We had a wonderful conversation and I just knew if I could just read this whole thing correctly I’d know how to control and enjoy my drinking.. And just as I was about to hang up she said: Sister, would you like to tell me a little bit about your own drinking?’ She just knew. She said: ‘I don’t think you’d be making a long distance call at midnight if you were concerned about other people’s drinking. And that was a moment of grace for me because I was able to break down and cry into the telephone to this strange voice to whom I’d never spoken before. I said: ‘I don’t know what to do, I don’t know who to tell, I don’t know where to go for help.’ I’d become a public figure and I didn’t want anybody to know and I was very afraid. And she said: ‘Well why don’t you start going to some AA meetings and listen to the feelings.’ – Sr. Bea M.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 11

Amends
It is important for me to realize that, as an alcoholic, I not only hurt myself, but also those around me.
Making amends to my family, and to the families of alcoholics still suffering, will always be important.
Understanding the havoc I created and trying to repair the destruction, will be a lifelong endeavor.
The example of my sobriety may give others hope, and faith to help themselves.
– Daily Reflections, p. 173

Thought to Ponder . . .
It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Accountable Actions.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Self-Restraint
“We enjoy certain inherent advantages
which should make our task of self-restraint
relatively easy.
There is no really good reason for anyone to object
if a great many drunks get sober.
Nearly everyone can agree that this is a good thing.
If, in the process, we are forced to develop
a certain amount of honesty, humility, and tolerance,
who is going to kick about that?
If we recognize that religion is the province of the clergy
and the practice of medicine is for doctors,
we can helpfully cooperate with both.
Certainly there is little basis for controversy in these areas.
It is a fact that AA has not the slightest reform
or political complexion.
We try to pay our own expenses,
and we strictly mind our single purpose.”
– Bill W.
1962AAWS, Twelve Concepts for World Service, 26th Printing, p. 69

Thought to Consider . . .
We are not living just to be sober;
we are living to learn, to serve, and to love.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, and Trust

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

So Touchy
From: “We Agnostics”
Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference to spiritual things made us bristle with antagonism. This sort of thinking had to be abandoned. Though some of us resisted, we found no great difficulty in casting aside such feelings. Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process; we hope no one else will be prejudiced for as long as some of us were.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 47-48

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“The question arises of just what constitutes an amend. Many of us find that the old rationalization, ‘If I stay sober, that’s amends enough to those I have hurt,’ just doesn’t work. We have to be willing to go further.”
January 1967
“Not Under the Rug,”
Step By Step

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a
seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t we
laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132~

“We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue
from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade
the vessel from steerage to Captain’s table. Unlike the feelings of
the ship’s passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does
not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared
in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds
us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are
now joined.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 17~

“We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.””
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 87

“Everywhere we saw failure and miser transformed by humility into priceless assets. We heard story after story of how humility had brought strength out of weakness. In every case, pain had been the price of admission into a new life.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 75

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

As a society we must never become so vain as to suppose that we are authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect that every one of A.A.’s principles has been borrowed from ancient sources.
A minister in Thailand wrote, ‘We took A.A.’s Twelve Steps to the largest Buddhist monastery in this province, and the head priest said, ‘Why, these Steps are fine! For us as Buddhists, it might be slightly more acceptable if you had inserted the word ‘good’ in your Steps instead of ‘God.’ Nevertheless, you say that it is God as you understand Him, and that must certainly include the good. Yes, A.A.’s Twelve Steps will surely be accepted by the Buddhists around here.’
St. Louis oldtimers recall how Father Edward Dowling helped start their group; it turned out to be largely Protestant, but this fazed him not a bit.

Prayer for the Day: God, please lead me so I may serve You better. I am yours, and I am ready God. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 10th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 10th

Daily Reflections

REDOUBLING OUR EFFORTS

To a degree, he has already done this when taking moral
inventory, but now the time has come when he ought to
redouble his efforts to see how many people he had hurt,
and in what ways.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS , p. 77

As I continue to grow in sobriety, I become more aware
of myself as a person of worth. In the process, I am
better able to see others as persons, and with this comes
the realization that these were people whom I had hurt in
my drinking days. I didn’t just lie, I lied about Tom. I
didn’t just cheat, I cheated Joe. What were seemingly
impersonal acts, were really personal affronts, because
it was people – people of worth – whom I had harmed. I
need to do something about the people I have hurt so that
I may enjoy a peaceful sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have
discovered a common solution. We who have found this
solution to our alcoholic problem, we who are properly armed
with the facts about ourselves, can generally win the
entire confidence of another alcoholic. We who are making
the approach to new prospects have had the same difficulty
they have had. We obviously know what we are talking about.
Our whole deportment shouts at new prospects that we are
people with a real answer.” Am I a person with the real
answer to the alcoholic problems of others?

Meditation For The Day

For straying from the right way there is no cure except to
keep so close to the thought of God that nothing, no other
interest, can seriously come between you and God. Sure of
that, you can stay on God’s side. Knowing the way, nothing
can prevent your staying in the way and nothing can cause
you to seriously stray from it. God has promised peace if
you stay close to Him, but not leisure. You still have to
carry on in the world. He has promised heart-rest and
comfort, but not pleasure in the ordinary sense. Peace and
comfort bring real inward happiness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep my feet on the way. I pray that I
may stay on God’s side.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Who Is To Blame?, p. 222

At Step Four we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where
had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened?
Though a given situation had not been entirely our fault, we often
tried to cast the whole blame on the other person involved.

We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other
man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and became willing to
set these matters straight.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 67

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Walk In Dry Places

Am I getting too busy?
Time Management.

It’s always risky when a recovering person gets too busy for meetings. It’s also dangerous when business and personal concerns crowd out interest in the program.
We should never deceive ourselves by thinking that we’re somehow safe just because our time is filled with useful and interesting work. Many of us have a tendency to become addicted to “busy-ness”.  Though less destructive than drinking, this serves as an escape, just as alcohol did.
The danger is that when the work no longer satisfies us, we’ll find our lives becoming empty again.  We could then be very vulnerable to taking a drink.
We should never be too busy for the wonderful, constructive work of the program. Far from taking time away from our other actives, work in the program will enhance everything we do.
I’ll try to balance my activities today, making sure that I have time for the program.


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Keep It Simple

There are time we must grab God’s and walk forward.— Anonymous
Sometimes we struggle with being part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution.
Inside we know this, but somehow we can’t Let Go and Let God.
To let go takes faith that the outcome will be okay. When we have faith, we know our Higher Power believes in us and will guide us. When we have faith, we believe in ourselves.
When we let go, we let go of our need to always be right. Letting go first takes place on the inside. Letting go allows us to change how we view what’s happening. Often, all we really need is this change of attitude. This is the beauty of faith: it allows us to see the same thing in different
Ways.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, permit me to let go. Let me see that believing in You must also mean believing in myself.
Action for the Day:  I will review my life since entering the Twelve Step program. I will work at seeing what good partners my Higher Power and I make.

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Each Day a New Beginning

…the growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line.  –Joanna Field
We each are traveling our own, very special path in this life. At times our paths run parallel to each other. On occasion they may intersect. But we do all have a common destination: knowledge of life’s meaning. And we’ll arrive at knowledge when we’ve arrived at the mountain’s summit, separately and yet together.
We do not go straight up the side of the mountain on this trip. We circle it, slowly, carefully, sometimes losing our footing, sometimes back-tracking because we’ve reached an impasse. Many times we have stumbled, but as we grow in understanding, as we rely more and more on our inner strength, available for the taking, we become more sure-footed.
We have never needed to take any step alone on this trip. Our troubles in the past were complicated because we did not know this; but now we do. Our lifeline is to our higher power. If we hang onto it, every step of the way will feel secure. The ground will be stable under us.
I am on a path to full understanding. I am learning to trust the lifeline offered by the program and God and my friends. As I learn, my footing is less tentative, and it supports me more securely.


***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.

p. 63

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

When I had finished talking, he told me something simple:  “You don’t have to drink over it.”  What an idea!  I had thought that situations made me drink.  If I was angry, I drank.  If I was happy, I drank.  Bored or excited, elated or depressed, I drank.  Here was a man telling me that, independent of my life situation, I did not have to drink.  If I stuck with A.A., I could stay sober under any and all conditions.  He gave me hope, and in many ways, he symbolized the door through which I finally walked into Alcoholics Anonymous.

pp. 428-429

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how irrational they are, or seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it. Some will be willing to term themselves “problem drinkers,” but cannot endure the suggestion that they are in fact mentally ill. They are abetted in this blindness by a world which does not understand the difference between sane drinking and alcoholism. “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.

pp. 32-33

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Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.
–Abbot Columba Mormion

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.”
–Margaret Bonnano

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart …
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
–Carl Jung

“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or
desperation.
–Jim Rohn

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a
butterfly.”
–Lao Tsu

***********************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FAITH

“Faith must trample underfoot
all reason, sense and
understanding.
— Martin Luther

An obstacle to my understanding the spiritual life was my
intellectualization; my head was forever getting in the way of my
heart. It was much easier to me to think rather than to feel; my faith
was smothered by logic. My manipulating and controlling mind was
stopping me experiencing the adventure of faith.

The poet in me grew as I began to trust others. God became alive in
my confusion. The answer was in not having to have the answers.
Today spirituality involves all the varied confusions and paradoxes of
life that I have discovered in me and in others — and it’s okay.

Today the love I give and receive is beyond my wildest dreams, and I
smile at the joy of my confusion.

May my head unite with my heart in the daily maze of life.

***********************************************************

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!”
1 Chronicles 16:11

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in him. That is why we
say “Amen” when we give glory to God through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 1:20


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Daily Inspiration

Whatever the problem, stressing over it will not solve it. Lord, I turn to You for solutions because I believe that You care for all of my needs. Bless me with the ability to remain level headed and calm as we work our way through my day.

Never forget that home is Heaven and life on earth is only temporary. Lord, may I live with deep awareness of my spiritual nature and live a life of truth.

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NA Just For Today

Regular Prayer And Meditation

“Most of us pray when we are hurting. We learn that if we pray regularly, we won’t be hurting as often or as intensely.”
Basic Text, p.44

Regular prayer and meditation are two more key elements in our new pattern of living. Our active addiction was more than just a bad habit waiting to be broken by force of will. Our addiction was a negative, draining dependence that stole all our positive energy. That dependence was so total, it prevented us from developing any kind of reliance on a Higher Power.

From the very beginning of our recovery, our Higher Power has been the force that’s brought us freedom. First, it relieved us of our compulsion to keep taking drugs, even when we knew they were killing us. Then, it gave us freedom from the more deeply ingrained aspects of our disease. Our Higher Power gave us the direction, the strength, and the courage to inventory ourselves; to admit out loud to another person what our lives had been like, perhaps for the first time; to begin seeking release from the chronic defects of character underlying our troubles; and, at last, to make amends for the wrongs we’d done.

That first contact with a Higher Power, and that first freedom, has grown into a life full of freedom. We maintain that freedom by maintaining and improving our conscious contact with our Higher Power through regular prayer and meditation.

Just for today: I will make a commitment to include regular prayer and meditation in my new pattern of living.
pg. 232

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It may be those who do most dream most. –Stephen Leacock
Where would we be without the dreamers of the world–the ones who took the time to balance on the edge of wonder? Amazing connections, powerful images, and creative ideas come to us in daydreams. They creep in when we least expect them, like sleek cats, then make their presence known to us with a gentle pounce.
When we give ourselves permission to daydream–to sit for a while and do nothing but be quiet with our thoughts, we give ourselves a precious gift. And who knows, we just might be giving the world a priceless gift, too! Out of the seeds of some of our dreams, great ideas will blossom.
What first step can I take today to make a dream come true?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
According to the teachers, there is only one thing that all people possess equally. This is their loneliness. –Hyemeyohsts Storm
Many of us have tried to find a way to outwit our loneliness, or to escape its truth. We have learned that we cannot. As fathers looking at our children we may wish to spare them this pain. As men with our mates, we have dreamed of an ideal connection where all loneliness was dispelled.
We can’t obliterate loneliness. But we can learn to accept and deal with it. There is no need to compulsively cover all traces and all reminders that we are alone. We can accept this universal truth. We are alone, but so is everybody. We can make true contact with each other out of our aloneness. True intimacy with another man or woman comes out of first seeing our separateness, and then bridging the gap.
Today, I accept the feeling of loneliness as part of life. I can make contact with my brothers and sisters, knowing we are all in the same condition.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
…the growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line. –Joanna Field
We each are traveling our own, very special path in this life. At times our paths run parallel to each other. On occasion they may intersect. But we do all have a common destination: knowledge of life’s meaning. And we’ll arrive at knowledge when we’ve arrived at the mountain’s summit, separately and yet together.
We do not go straight up the side of the mountain on this trip. We circle it, slowly, carefully, sometimes losing our footing, sometimes back-tracking because we’ve reached an impasse. Many times we have stumbled, but as we grow in understanding, as we rely more and more on our inner strength, available for the taking, we become more sure-footed.
We have never needed to take any step alone on this trip. Our troubles in the past were complicated because we did not know this; but now we do. Our lifeline is to our higher power. If we hang onto it, every step of the way will feel secure. The ground will be stable under us.
I am on a path to full understanding. I am learning to trust the lifeline offered by the program and God and my friends. As I learn, my footing is less tentative, and it supports me more securely.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Perfection
As I journey through recovery, more and more I learn that accepting myself and my idiosyncrasies – laughing at myself for my ways – gets me a lot further than picking on myself and trying to make myself perfect. Maybe that’s really what it’s all about – absolute loving, joyous, nurturing self-acceptance. –Anonymous
Stop expecting perfection from yourself and those around you.
We do a terrible, annoying thing to others and ourselves when we expect perfection. We set up a situation where others, including ourselves, do not feel comfortable with us. Sometimes, expecting perfection makes people so uptight that they and we make more mistakes than normal because we are so nervous and focused on mistakes.
That does not mean we allow inappropriate behaviors with the excuse “nobody’s perfect.” That doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries and reasonable expectations of people and ourselves.
But our expectations need to be reasonable. Expecting perfection is not reasonable.
People make mistakes. The less anxious, intimidated, and repressed they are by expectations of being perfect, the better they will do.
Striving for excellence, purity in creativity, a harmonious performance, and the best we have to offer does not happen in the stymied, negative, fear-producing atmosphere of expecting perfection.
Have and set boundaries. Have reasonable expectations. Strive to do your best. Encourage others to do the same. But know that others and we will make mistakes. Know that others and we will have learning experiences, things we go through.
Sometimes, the flaws and imperfections in ourselves determine our uniqueness, the way they do in a piece of art. Relish them. Laugh at them. Embrace them, and ourselves.
Encourage others and ourselves to do the best we can. Love and nurture others and ourselves for being who we are. Then realize we are not merely human – we were intended and created to be human.
Today, God, help me let go of my need to be perfect and to unreasonably insist that others are perfect. I will not use this to tolerate abuse or mistreatment, but to achieve appropriate, balanced expectations. I am creating a healthy atmosphere of love, acceptance, and nurturing around and within me. I trust that this attitude will bring out the best in other people and in me.

Today I know my Higher Power is guiding me through the changes I choose to make in my life. I have all the energy I need today to make these changes as easily and effortless as I wish. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
Find Places of Healing

Find places of healing. Discover people, things, and places that nourish your soul, bring you back to center, help you heal.

Life is not an endurance contest. Not anymore. We are not in a race to see how long we can go without, how much we can go without, how much pain we can stay in. Although sometimes we go through dry spells and droughts, we are not cactuses.

There is a place in each of us that wants to heal, that can heal, that will heal. It’s a peaceful place, one of nourishment, replenishment, peace, safety, comfort, and joy. It’s a place of love and acceptance. It’s a place of forgiveness, honesty, openness, nurturing, and kindness. You can find it quickly, if that’s what you’re seeking. You will recognize it instantly because of how it feels. It will bring you back to center. It will bring you back to calm. It will bring you back to joy.

Find places of healing. Then go there often. They are yours for the asking, yours for the seeking. Healing places are an important part of the journey. 

*****

more language of letting go
It’s all a gift

Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that a legitimate claim has been denied.
–C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Oh, the grousing about we do, especially when we feel denied of one thing or another– some reward, or achievement, or position that we felt belonged to us.

How enraged we may become when a wish, a hope, a dream, or a want is blatantly denied.

How easy it is to be jealous of the success or happiness of another, even convincing ourselves that the person has laid claim to something that rightfully belonged, instead, to us.

The lesson here is simple.

Remember to be grateful. God doesn’t owe us anything. All of it is a gift.

God, thanks for everything, jusr as it is.

*****

Worthiness
Accepting Our Calling by Madisyn Taylor

Our worth of being on the planet at this time cannot be judged as we are all worthy and essential to being here now.

The issue of worthiness may come up in many areas of our lives, as we ask, often unconsciously, whether we are worthy of success, love, happiness, and countless other things, from supportive relationships to a beautiful home. In the end, though, it all comes down to one thing: our willingness to claim our space in this life as humans on this planet at this time. When we accept our divinity, we no longer question whether we are worthy, because we know that we are meant to be here to fulfill a particular purpose, a purpose that no one other than us can fulfill.

There are no replacements who can take over and live our lives for us, no other person who has had the experiences we have had, who has access to the same resources and relationships, who carries the same message to share with the world. Our purpose may be large or small, and in most cases it is multi-leveled, with important actions taking place on the interpersonal level, as well as in terms of the work we do in the world. Small acts of kindness share the stage with large acts of sacrifice, and only through accepting and honoring our divinity can we know what we are called to do and when.

Ultimately, we are all equally, exactly, completely worthy of being here in this life. Moreover, we are all essential to the unfolding plan of which we are each one small, but important, part. If we suffer from low self worth, it is because we have lost track of understanding this truth, and allowing it to guide our actions in the world. Seeing ourselves as part of something larger, as beings called to serve, is the ultimate cure for feelings of unworthiness. In the end, it’s not about evaluating ourselves as worthy or unworthy, so much as it’s about accepting that we have been called here to serve and taking the steps required to listen and respond to what our lives are asking us to do. Published with permission from Daily OM

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One More Day

Few men are so miserable as not to like to talk of their misfortunes…. – Maria Edgeworth

“Don’t get stuck in a conversation with Harry. He’ll bore you to death telling you his problems.” We have all had the experience of being warned away from a certain person. There have probably even been times when we were the “Harry” others tried to avoid. It’s normal to dwell on our troubles, and we all like to talk about them. There is an added responsibility on our shoulders now that there is a medical problem present.

We can minimize that problem by becoming aware of what we are doing and by saving our long medical conversations for the people who really care and need to know. Otherwise, we will find that our friends will slip away, uncertain of how to bear the burden of our changed health.

Caution will become my watchword as I learn to live with my altered health problems.

*********************************************

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We’ve been our own worst enemies most of our lives, and we’ve often injured ourselves seriously as a result of a “justified” resentment over a slight wrong. Doubtless there are many causes for resentment in the world, all of them providing “justification.” But we can never begin to settle all the world’s grievances or even arrange things so as to please everybody. If we’ve been treated unjustly by others or simply by life itself, we can avoid compounding the difficulty by completely forgiving the persons involved and abandoning the destructive habit of reviewing our hurts and humiliations. Can i believe that yesterday’s hurt is today’s understanding, rewoven into tomorrow’s love?

Today I Pray

Whether I am unjustly treated or just think I am, may I try not to be a resentful person, stewing over past injuries. Once I have identified the root emotion behind my resentment, may I be big enough to forgive the person involved and wise enough to forget the whole thing.

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In God’s Care
August 10, 2013God has an exasperating habit of laying his hands on the wrong man.
~~Joseph D. Blinco

At times it seems grossly unfair that we are in the position we find ourselves. Either we aren’t ready to deal with the circumstances we encounter, or the people we find ourselves with don’t understand our problems. We feel we’re with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. But is this true?

How many times have we heard a nugget of wisdom from an unlikely source? Each of us can remember the comfort of a smile, a kind word, or a piece of sound advice from someone whom we least expected it from. Perhaps this was God’s way of reminding us that we all have value to each other and to God. We are never in the wrong place or in the wrong hands.

I will try to remember that there is a purpose for everything in my life.

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Day By Day

Adapting to the world“Live only in today; don’t worry about tomorrow.” That’s a fine ambition, we may think, but what does it mean? “Living in today” means dealing only with what is at hand now and the available courses of action.

If we are worrying about matters in the past or future, or out of our realm, we can disengage ourselves from them. We cannot bend the world to our will.

Am I learning to fit myself to the world?

Higher Power, help me remember to conquer myself, not the world.

Today I will practice adapting myself to whatever happens by

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Food For Thought

No Compromises

Where abstinence is concerned, there can be no compromising. In order to control our illness, we are willing to go to any lengths to maintain abstinence. Nothing else is as important to us.

If we are eating in a restaurant where the right kind of vegetable is not available, we can order two salads or do without a vegetable for one meal, rather than substitute a starch which will activate our disease. We learn what we can handle and what is not for us, and then we act on that knowledge in every situation. To compromise “just this once” is an invitation to trouble.

Just as we have a certain way of eating for the maintenance of our recovery, so we have a way of living based on the principle of rigorous honesty. Honesty in all of our activities is what makes us strong and effective. Where the core principles of our program are concerned, we do not compromise.

By Your grace, may I maintain my integrity in all situations.

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One Day At A Time

LOSS
“The act of giving something up is painful.
But as we negotiate the curves and corners of our lives,
we must continually give up parts of ourselves.
The only alternative is not to travel at all on the journey of life.”
M. Scott Peck

As I look back over my life, I can remember many losses. Some came about by death, some by the circumstances of life, and others by choices I made. All of my losses were painful, but only three were traumatic. Whenever I gave something up there was a period afterwards when my life wasn’t the same as it had been before. The amount of pain I experienced and the length of its duration were not contingent upon the seeming “severity” of the loss. Death was final, but not the most traumatic for me. Letting go of something takes many forms.

Though my most traumatic losses were those I experienced at the end of a relationship, there were other losses, too. I lost my youth and I mourned that. I lost a part of my life when a decades-long career gave way to retirement. I lost my role as mother when my children grew up and I found myself with an empty nest. I lost my identity when the disease I have had for a lifetime caused me to reach bottom and, in the process, took the “me who was” along with it. And I lost another part of myself when I accepted the reality of my marriage and let go of the storybook dreams I once had.

My Twelve Step program has enabled me to go through a mourning process for each loss I experienced. I have allowed myself to grieve and feel the feelings. And when all this was done, God’s grace allowed me to heal.

One day at a time … I will learn from those things I had to give up …
and I will continue my journey in serenity and peace.
~ Mari

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Alcoholics who have derided religious people will be helped by such contacts. Being possessed of a spiritual experience, the alcoholic will find he has much in common with these people, though he may differ with them on many matters. If he does not argue about religion, he will make new friends and is sure to find new avenues of usefulness and pleasure. He and his family can be a bright spot in such congregations. He may bring new hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world. We intend the foregoing as a helpful suggestion only. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing obligatory about it. As non-demominational people, we cannot make up others’ mind for them. Each individual should consult his own conscience. – Pgs. 131-132 – The Family Afterward

Self Importance

I will get my mind off of the treadmill. There is more to life than my worries and obsessions. Just for today I won’t give every little thing more importance than it deserves. In the scheme of things, all of my petty annoyances aren’t all that important. I don’t have to take them so seriously that they disturb my inner peace. When I am constantly preoccupies with all that’s wrong, I forget to remember all that’s right. Self importance is different from valuing myself. Self importance gets me tied up in mental knots, valuing myself is nourishing and loving.

I will get out of my own way today

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We find that the smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.

My actions speak louder than words. What are my actions saying now?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Keeping their secret keeps you sick.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know my Higher Power is guiding me through the changes I choose to make in my life.

I have all the energy I need today to make these changes as easily and effortless as I wish.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

No big shots in AA; One shot and we’re all shot. – Unknown origin. ( Aussie Version ); No seniority here. One drink and back to the vomit, – Campsie Mick.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 10

Friendships
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish,
to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience you must not miss.
We know you will not want to miss it.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Thought to Ponder . . .
A friend is one who sees through you and still enjoys the view.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering Together.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Higher Power
“My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea.
He said,
‘Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?’
That statement hit me hard.
It melted the icy intellectual mountain
in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years.
I stood in the sunlight at last.
It was only a matter of being willing to believe
in a Power greater than myself.
Nothing more was required of me
to make my beginning.”
– Bill W.
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12

Thought to Consider . . .
Willpower … our will-ingness to use a Higher Power.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B I G B O O K = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Solo
From “Source of Strength”:
“I would tell a friend of mine, who was having the same problems, that I prayed to God not to take a drink today and not
to get married today. It was a sort of pact. I was very serious about this. I couldn’t seem to handle romance and God
too well at the same time. And God did start to give me the strength that I had always thought would come from the
man in my life. “New York, New York, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pgs. 102-03

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“AA recovery cannot be bought and sold, but more than once I’ve wished I could just send a monthly check instead of practicing those principles. Just making donations seems an easier, softer way, doesn’t it?”
New York, New York, August 1998
“AA Is Not for Sale,”
AA Grapevine

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show,
humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We
are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-
pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do
not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we
did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 87

“In our belief any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to
shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the
alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but
usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried
these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 101~

“Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a
strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 63

“Having so considered our day, not omitting to take due note of things well done, and having searched our hearts with
neither fear nor favor, we can truly thank God for the blessings we have received and sleep in good conscience.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 95

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

At Step Four we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and
frightened? Though a given situation had not been entirely our fault, we often tried to cast the whole blame on the other
person involved.
We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and
became willing to set these matters straight.

Prayer for the Day: God, Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 7th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 7th

Daily Reflections

A “DESIGN FOR LIVING”

We in our turn, sought the same escape with all the
desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a
flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful
hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you
prefer, “a design for living” that really works.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 28

I try each day to raise my heart and hands in thanks
to God for showing me a “design for living” that really
works through our beautiful Fellowship. But what,
exactly, is this “design for living” that “really
works”? For me, it is the practice of the Twelve Steps
to the best of my ability, the continued awareness of
a God who loves me unconditionally, and the hope that,
in each new day, there is a purpose for my being. I
am truly, truly blessed in the Fellowship.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in A.A. are offering an intangible thing, a
psychological and spiritual program. It’s a wonderful
program. When we learn to turn to a Higher Power, with
faith that that Power can give us the strength we need,
we find peace of mind. When we reeducate our minds by
learning to think differently, we find new interests that
make life worthwhile. We who have achieved sobriety
through faith in God and mental reeducation are modern
miracles. it is the function of our A.A. program to
produce modern miracles. Do I consider the change in my
life a modern miracle?

Meditation For The Day

You should never doubt that God’s spirit is always with
you, wherever you are, to keep you on the right path.
God’s keeping power is never at fault, only your
realization of it. You must try to believe in God’s
nearness and availability of His grace. It is not a
question of whether God can provide a shelter from the
storm, but of whether or not you seek the security of
that shelter. Every fear, worry, or doubt is disloyalty
to God. You must endeavor to trust God wholly. Practice
saying: “All is going to be well.” Say it to yourself
until you feel it deeply.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may feel deeply that all is well. I pray that nothing
will be able to move me from that deep conviction.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Willing To Believe, p. 219

Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms
deter you from honestly asking yourself what they might mean to
you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual
growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we
understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many
things which had seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth.
But if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So at first we
used our own conceptions of God, however limited they were.

We needed to ask ourselves but one short question: “Do I now
believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power
greater than myself?” As soon as a man can say that he does
believe, even in this small degree, or is willing to believe, we
emphatically assure him that he is on his way.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 47

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Walk In Dry Places

Competing with others
Attitude
Some of us never liked close competition. We preferred to be clear winners or not to compete at all.  We didn’t like to have competitors breathing down our necks.
This attitude kept us from doing our best, and we made a mistake when we thought we were competing with others. We’re actually competing with ourselves at all times, trying to do better than we did yesterday.  The presence of other people only helps us to set performance standards and goals.
Once we accept the idea of self-improvement, we can delight in competition. We can take satisfaction in situations where, though we were not number one, we came in a close second instead of a sullen last.
I’ll know today that I’m always working with others but only competing against myself.  


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Keep It Simple

True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body.—Humboldt
In recovery, we work at taking better care of ourselves. We care for our mind and our body.
Often, during our drinking and drugging, we ignored our mind and body. We probably ate poorly, and we pushed our body to the limit.
But now, we are to recover. . .totally! We are to care for our mind and body as we care for our spirit. Our illness is an illness of mind, body, and spirit. So let’s care for all three. In recovery, we learn to care for and love all of who we are.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me care for my mind and body as I recover. You love all of me. Help me to respect and care for all of me.
Action for the Day:  I will write down how much time I’ve spent caring for my mind and body in the past two weeks. Is it enough?

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Each Day a New Beginning

To have one’s individuality completely ignored is like being pushed quite out of life. Like being blown out as one blows out a light.  –Evelyn Scott
We need to know that we matter in this life. We need evidence that others are aware of our presence. And thus, we can be certain that others need the same attention from us. When we give it, we get it. So the giving of attention to another searching soul meets our own need for attention as well.
Respectful recognition of another’s presence blesses her, God, and ourselves. And we help one another grow, in important ways, each time we pay the compliment of acknowledgment.
We’re not sure, on occasion, just what we have to offer our friends, families, co-workers. Why we are in certain circumstances may have us baffled, but it’s quite probably that the people we associate with regularly need something we can give them; the reverse is just as likely. So we can begin with close attention to people in our path. It takes careful listening and close observation to sense the message another soul may be sending to our own.
I will be conscious of the people around me. I shall acknowledge them and be thankful for all they are offering me.


***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Selfishness--self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

p. 62

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

People gave me many other good suggestions as well.  They suggested that I stay out of relationships.  I was young and single, and I rejected this idea out of hand.  For the first year I bounced from one sick relationship to another.  They suggested that I get a sponsor.  I had no idea what a sponsor was and was too proud to ask, but I was sure I didn’t need one.  After all, I was smarter than the rest of these people.  They might need someone to tell them how to run their lives, but double vision, neck brace, and all, I was doing just fine on my own.  People suggested that I find a Higher Power.  I was not fooled.  I knew when they said Higher Power they meant God.  And I knew that God waited for me to step out of line just once so that he could take his revenge.  I wanted no part of God.

pp. 427-428

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

“When we encountered A.A., the fallacy of our defiance was revealed. At no time had we asked what God’s will was for us; instead we had been telling Him what it ought to be. No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him, too. Belief meant reliance, not; defiance. In A.A., we saw the fruits of this belief: men and women spared from alcohol’s final catastrophe. We saw them meet and transcend their other pains and trials. We saw them calmly accept impossible situations, seeking neither to run nor to recriminate. This was not only faith; it was faith that worked under all conditions. We soon concluded that whatever price in humility we must pay, we would pay.”

p. 31

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There is no try. There is either do or don’t do.
–unknown

I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation and the joy of being
truly alive. And I’m thankful for this day.
–Angela L. Woznick

How I relate to my inner self influences my relationships with all
others. My satisfaction with myself and my satisfaction with other
people are directly proportional.
–Sue Atchley Ebaugh

My relationships with others are as healthy and fulfilling as my
communication with God.
–unknown

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up.
–unknown

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they
merely determine where you start.”
–Nido Qubein

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PREJUDICE

“There is no more evil thing in
the world than race prejudice . .
. it justifies and holds together
more baseness, cruelty and
abomination than any other sort
of error in the world.”
— H. G. Wells

Something about me fears racism because I know that I am at risk. If a
group of people can be persecuted or ridiculed for being “different”
from others, then why shouldn’t it eventually happen to me? With
racism the whole world is at risk.

Also racism is the opposite of spirituality. Spirituality always seeks to
include, bring together and unite. The world that God has made is
ONE. All people and races are “a family” that must learn to co-exist
together if we are to be productive and creative. In the variety is the
strength. With the unusual and peculiar comes divinity. God is to be
found in the confusions of life.

Teacher, let me have the courage to expose the inadequacies in my
life.

***********************************************************

Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!
Matthew 26:41

“Make me know Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths.”
Psalm 25:4

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is
seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no
unrighteousness in Him.”
John 7:18

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as
braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead,
it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and
quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
I Peter 3:3-4


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

It is always possible to pray no matter what you are doing. Lord, You are with me, guiding and caring for me. It takes but a brief moment to turn my thoughts to You.

God sends us His message, but we must be willing to receive it and then live it. Lord, when I yield to You, I become free and full of the richness of life.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

The Gratitude List

“We focus on anything that isn’t going our way and ignore all the beauty in our lives.”
Basic Text, p.77

It’s easy to be grateful when everything runs smoothly. If we get a raise at work, we’re grateful. If we get married, we’re grateful. If someone surprises us with a nice present or an unasked favor, we’re grateful. But if we get fired, divorced, or disappointed, gratitude flies out the window. We find ourselves becoming obsessed with the things that are wrong, even though everything else may be wonderful.

This is where we can use a gratitude list. We sit down with a pen and paper and list the people for whom we are grateful. We all have people who’ve supported us through life’s upheavals. We list the spiritual assets we have attained, for we know we could never make it through our present circumstances without them. Last, but not least, we list our recovery itself. Whatever we have that we are grateful for goes on the list.

We’re sure to find that we have literally hundreds of things in our lives that inspire our gratitude. Even those of us who are suffering from an illness or who have lost all material wealth will find blessings of a spiritual nature for which we can be thankful. An awakening of the spirit is the most valuable gift an addict can receive.

Just for today: I will write a list of things, both material and spiritual, for which I am grateful.
pg. 229

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other. –Rainer Maria Rilke
For a relationship to be healthy and fulfilling, each of us must respect the other. “Two solitudes” is exactly what we are, and we will never be one, no matter how close we become. It may feel like that at times, but we always remain separate persons with our own thoughts, feelings, dreams, and interests.
When we love one another, we allow each other to be who we are, to have our own lives, for it is out of those separate lives that we bring strength and energy and life into our relationships.
We are meant to honor the differences between us. Often these differences lead to squabbles, but when we recognize that each of us is necessary to the union we have created, we create a better one, far superior to the sum of its parts.
What differences between us make our lives together better?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We love because it’s the only true adventure. –Nikki Giovanni
In loving, we meet ourselves. As we have become more honest, we no longer make excuses about our relationship problems. We can’t blame our troubles on our partner. Our problems with love were often because we didn’t know how to be close or we didn’t dare to be.
When we let ourselves engage in this adventure, we meet many obstacles – things we can’t control, and sometimes we want to quit right there. We have arguments and disappointments as well as good feelings. But what adventure is without difficulty or surprises? Part of the reason for choosing new experiences is to confront forces outside our control. A relationship is a dialogue. Only if we stay with it through the frustrations, express our deepest feelings openly, and listen to our partner, do we achieve a new level of understanding and confidence in the relationship. Then deeper levels also open within ourselves.
Today, I will let honesty guide me in this adventure of my love dialogue.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To have one’s individuality completely ignored is like being pushed quite out of life. Like being blown out as one blows out a light. –Evelyn Scott
We need to know that we matter in this life. We need evidence that others are aware of our presence. And thus, we can be certain that others need the same attention from us. When we give it, we get it. So the giving of attention to another searching soul meets our own need for attention as well.
Respectful recognition of another’s presence blesses her, God, and ourselves. And we help one another grow, in important ways, each time we pay the compliment of acknowledgment.
We’re not sure, on occasion, just what we have to offer our friends, families, co-workers. Why we are in certain circumstances may have us baffled, but it’s quite probably that the people we associate with regularly need something we can give them; the reverse is just as likely. So we can begin with close attention to people in our path. It takes careful listening and close observation to sense the message another soul may be sending to our own.
I will be conscious of the people around me. I shall acknowledge them and be thankful for all they are offering me.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Saying No
For many of us, the most difficult word to say is one of the shortest and easiest in the vocabulary: No. Go ahead, say it aloud: No.
No – simple to pronounce, hard to say. We’re afraid people won’t like us, or we feel guilty. We may believe that a “good” employee, child, parent, spouse, or Christian never says no.
The problem is, if we don’t learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please. We may even punish others out of resentment.
When do we say no? When no is what we really mean.
When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.
If we’re scared to say no, we can buy some times. We can take a break, rehearse the word, and go back and say no. We don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions.
When we can say no, we can say yes to the good. Our no’s and our yes’s begin to be taken seriously. We gain control of ourselves. And we learn a secret: “No” isn’t really that hard to say.
Today, I will say no if that is what I mean.

Today I will do all that I am capable of doing at this time of my life to free myself of past mistakes. And then I will let go and live in my now… fully enjoying today. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Forward Momentum
The Train as Metaphor by Madisyn Taylor

People can be like trains, making unscheduled stops along the way, but inevitably always arriving at our proper destination.

The rails that crisscross the countryside and cut through cities have long captured people’s imaginations. Just the idea of taking a ride on a luxury train, an express commuter line, or a cargo train can often evoke a sense of freedom, adventure, or romance. Trains are like people in that they must inevitably arrive at their destinations. They make scheduled and unscheduled stops along the way and move at their different speeds. Some trains can travel for hours and are mindful of only a single destination; other trains meander from busy stop to busy stop. The route and purpose of any train may change as the years go by.

Our lives stretch out in front and behind us like train tracks, and we are the train, its passengers, and the engineer. The way you choose to live your life and the goals you are working toward are the route and destinations you have chosen. Like a passenger riding a train, you have the choice to get on and off, find new routes, pick new places to visit, or just stop and enjoy the view for awhile. Perhaps you like to move quickly through life as if you were an express train. Or maybe, like a commuter passenger, you like taking the same routes over and over again. You may even want to stop just riding along and choose a different direction you’d like you’re life to take.

If you have examined the tracks of your life and are feeling unsatisfied, you may want to explore changes you could make to find a more fulfilling path to follow. Perhaps you’d like to slow down a little bit more and take a windier path rather than just traveling down the straight and narrow. Or maybe, you’d like to experience your life more as an adventure rather than just a ride that gets you where you need to go. Changing your route can sometimes give you a chance to “get on the right track.” You may even discover that the something new you’ve been waiting for is just around the bend. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

Journey to the Heart
Be All You Can Be

Step out into the cool night air. Look at the stars. See how they shine. Know that it is okay for you to shine,too.

Who told you you had to hold back? Who told you your gifts, your talents, your beauty– your natural, beautiful, loving, delightful self– was wrong? Who told you not to be all you could be? Maybe, as some suggest, we’ve gotten too comfortable focusing on our flaws, our errors, our dark side. Perhaps it’s not our dark side we fear. Perhaps we’re really afraid of our gifts, our brilliance, our light.

Now is a time of light. It’s time for us to shine. We’ve worked hard on ourselves, dealt with our issues, gone back to the past. We’ve learned our lessons well. The reasons to hold back and hide away are no longer there. Enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Be all you can be, and enjoy being that. Don’t hold back. Use your gifts with joy. Use your talents. Let your light shine for all the world to see.

Finally, you are free to be all that you are and can be.

*****

more language of letting go
Stop second-guessing yourself

Often in life, when an incident arises, we know what we want and need to do. It’s clear. We’ve already got that lesson under our belt. Our hearts and inner guides are clearly speaking to us about what we want or don’t want to do.

But I should be open to change and new ideas, we think. Maybe what I want is wrong. Could it really be that what I want is right? Probably not. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Like Winnie the Pooh says, “Oh bother. Oh angst.”

We’re creating this bother and angst ourselves.

Be open to new ideas. We’re not always right in what we believe. Stay open to examining and changing your beliefs and ideals. But don’t spend all your time second-and third guessing yourself. Your life will whiz by. You won’t get anything done. And chances are, those second, third, and fourth guesses will lead you back to the place you started from.

God, help me stop wasting my time and energy second-guessing myself. Help me learn to trust you and to trust myself.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

What can we do about our resentments? Fruitful experience has shown that the best thing to do is to write them down, listing people, institutions or principles with which we’re angry or resentful. When I write down my resentments and then ask myself why I’m resentful, I’ve discovered that in most cases myself-esteem, my finances, my ambitions, or my personal relationships have been hurt or threatened. Will I ever learn that the worst thing about my resentments is my endless rehearsal of the acts of retribution?

Today I Pray

May God help me find a way to get rid of my resentments. May I give up the hours spent making up little playlets, in which I star as the angry man or woman cleverly shouting down the person who has threatened me. Since these dramas are never produced, may I instead list my resentful feelings and look at the why’s behind each one. May this be a way of shelving them.

Today I Will Remember

Resentments cause violence: resentments cause illness in non-violent people.

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One More Day

Eat little at night, open your windows, drive out often, and look for the good in things and people … You will no long be sad, or bored, or ill.
– Mary Knowles

When we get caught up in our problems, it may seem that they will continue to escalate, repeat, and escalate again. We all have hard times — times when we are uncertain whether or not life has meaning, and at those times it may feel as though we have no control over the direction or quality of our lives.

But when we ease back a little and remember the hundreds of small choices we can make, we’re more able to accept some of the large unchangeable realities of our lives. We can’t cure ourselves or change other people, but we can make the choices and take charge of the decisions that are ours.

I can simplify my life by letting go of decisions and problems that aren’t mine to handle.

************************************************** *****************

Food For Thought

Keep It Simple

Complicated food plans and complicated lives work against us in this program. We compulsive overeaters have a hard time making decisions about food, and the more simple our menus, the better. We also tend to overextend ourselves in other areas, dissipating energy, which we need for working our program.

Our three meals a day can be nourishing and attractive without being elaborate. If we spend too much time and energy planning and preparing our food, we run the risk of reactivating our obsession. Too much thinking about food usually leads to overeating and invariably produces mental turmoil.

For our peace of mind and emotional serenity, we need to keep the mechanics of our lives as simple as possible. If the spirit is to be free, it cannot be shackled by over concern with material things.

May I keep life simple today and use my energies for working the program.

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One Day At A Time

~ SERVICE ~
You cannot do a kindness too soon …
because you never know how soon it will be too late.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

So many people in program sit silently in meetings because they don’t think they have anything of importance to say. Perhaps they haven’t been in program very long, and feel that, because they aren’t a seasoned veteran, they haven’t the right to speak up. But everyone’s experiences and insights are different, and I would appreciate hearing from those who are quiet. They just might say something that will keep me from losing my serenity and abstinence. It would be a kindness for them to speak up.

I’ve had people tell me, “Oh, I can’t pick up the phone and make an outreach call to someone I just met.” To that I say, “Why not?” It would be a kindness to let someone know that you’re there and you care about them.

Sometimes a person will say, “But I’m having a bad day myself; how can I offer hope to someone when I’m in such a shape?” It would be a kindness to share your struggle, for you would be giving others the chance to serve. I think it’s as much a selfishness on our part to deny someone the opportunity to serve us as it is to deny our service to someone who is hurting.

Ours is a fatal disease. I don’t want to risk missing the chance to serve someone who may not be with us tomorrow. I want to do that kindness today in case it’s YOU who isn’t here tomorrow. I hope you would do that kindness today in case it’s ME who isn’t here tomorrow.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will perform an act of kindness,
for I never know when I may forever lose that opportunity.
~ JAR ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Although these reparations take innumerable forms, there are some general principles which we find guiding. 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. We may lose our position or reputation or face jail, but we are willing. We have to be. We must not shrink at anything.
Usually, however, other people are involved. Therefore, we are not to be the hasty and foolish martyr who would needlessly sacrifice others to save himself from the alcoholic pit. – Pg. 79 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

There are no magic wands or burning bushes in our program. Just footwork and faith.

My footwork right now is to not use any mind-affecting chemical and go to a meeting today.

The Treasures Within

Within me is the perfect life waiting to awaken. The gifts I seek are already within me. A deep pool of awareness and aliveness is present all of the time but I am too distracted to know it. I get so lost in the superficial details and tasks of my life that I forget to live it, to drop down and contact the spirit that God has planted within me. It is the best kept secret that spirit lives within me, that the way in which I come in touch with my inner light is through letting the constant preoccupations of my mind float by, not taking them so seriously, not trying to control them. Today I realize that the gold is not in my ability to control my mind, the gold is in what lies beneath. What emerges when my mind, for a precious moment, is stilled.

Spirit is with me always

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Who knows why they are chemically dependent? The answer will not change the fact, and yet many continue to question, why? Indeed, they need an answer, but they are asking the wrong question. The real question is, ‘How can I become free?’ Free of the fear. Free of the pain. Free of the bondage.

I do not receive the right answer when I ask the wrong question.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Make the solution so big, the problem does not exist.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will do all that I am capable of doing at this time of my life to free myself of past mistakes. And then I will let go and live in my now fully enjoying today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I had these two things in my 4th Step I really didn’t want to share. So I thought; ‘Well she doesn’t know they’re in there, I’ll just skip them.’ So I’m all ready to go when she said; ‘Before we start lets say a little prayer.’ and she said something like; ‘Dear God let Pat be honest tonight.’ I couldn’t believe it! So I read the whole thing. It took me longer to read those two things than all the rest of the pages – I just sobbed hysterically. But I did it – What I felt after that, was committed to AA. I knew I had done something that night that I couldn’t do. – Pat Y.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 7

Time
And what is time to me now? It is a most precious asset.
I have the luxury of being able to cherish the memory of yesterday, to live today with serenity, to wait for tomorrow.
I find contentment in just knowing where I was and where I am. And I am grateful;
grateful for the existence of Alcoholics Anonymous;
grateful to my God for leading me to the doors of AA and to Himself, grateful for hope.
I am grateful for this minute. My eternity may be in it.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 21

Thought to Ponder . . .
Give Time time.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
T I M E = This Is My Eternity.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Tolerance
“Honesty with ourselves and others gets us sober,
but it is tolerance that keeps us that way.
Experience shows that few alcoholics
will long stay away from a group because
they don’t like the way it is run.
Most return and adjust themselves
to whatever conditions they must.
Some go to a different group, or form a new one.
In other words, once an alcoholic fully realizes
that he cannot get well alone,
he will somehow find a way to get well and stay well
in the company of others.
It has been that way from the beginning of AA
and probably always will be so.”
Bill W., Letter, 1943
1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 312

Thought to Consider . . .
What does it benefit me to not like another human being?

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Conviction
From “How It Works”:
“We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them. We asked ourselves why we had them. Wasn’t it because self-reliance had failed us? Self-reliance was good as far as it went, but it didn’t go far enough. . . .
“Perhaps there is a better way — we think so. For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 68

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“The ideal of AA, however short we may be of it personally, is a thing of beauty and perfection. It is a Power greater than ourselves which has lifted us out of the quicksand and set us safe on shore.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., May 1946
“Safe Use of Money”
The Language of the Heart

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family
back. This just isn’t so. In some cases the wife will never come
back for one reason or another. Remind the prospect that his
recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his
relationship with God. We have seen men get well whose families have
not returned at all. We have seen others slip when the family came
back too soon.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 99~

“But my friend sat before me, and he made the pointblank declaration
that God had done for him what he could not do for himself. His
human will had failed. Doctors had pronounced him incurable.
Society was about to lock him up. Like myself, he had admitted
complete defeat. Then he had, in effect, been raised from the dead,
suddenly taken from the scrap heap to a level of life better than
the best he had ever known!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 11~

“Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 87

“Above all, we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not delaying because we are afraid. For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 87

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they might mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which had seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth. But if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So at first we used our own conceptions of God, however limited they were.
We needed to ask ourselves but one short question: ‘Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?” As soon as a man can say that he does believe, even in this small degree, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way.

Prayer for the Day: God help me to become willing to sweep away the debris of self will and self reliant living. Thy will be done for this person as well as for me. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 4th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 4th

Daily Reflections

SEEDS OF FAITH

Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We
can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 34

As a child I constantly questioned the existence of God. To a
“scientific thinker” like me, no answer could withstand a thorough
dissection, until a very patient woman finally said to me, “You must
have faith.” With that simple statement, the seeds of my recovery
were sown!
Today, as I practice my recovery — cutting back the weeds of
alcoholism — slowly I am letting those early seeds of faith to grow and
bloom. Each day of recovery, of ardent gardening, brings the Higher
Power of my understanding more fully into my life. My God has
always been with me through faith, but it is my responsibility to have
the willingness to accept His presence.
I ask God to grant me the willingness to do His will.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in A.A. are offering a kind of psychological program as well as a
spiritual one. First, people must be mentally able to receive it. They
must have made up their minds that they want to quit drinking, and
they must be willing to do something about it. Their confidence must
be obtained. We must show them that we are their friends and really
desire to help them. When we have their confidence, they will listen to
us. Then the A.A. fellowship is a kind of group therapy. Newcomers
need the fellowship of other alcoholics who understand their problem
because they have had it themselves. Individuals must learn to
reeducate their minds. They must learn to think differently. Do I do
my best to give mental help?

Meditation For The Day

“And this is life eternal, that they may know Thee.” It is the flow of
life eternal through spirit, mind, and body that cleanses, heals,
restores, and renews. Seek conscious contact with God more and more
each day. Make God an abiding presence during the day. Be conscious
of His spirit helping you. All that is done without God’s spirit is
passing. All that is done with God’s spirit is life eternal.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be in the stream of eternal life. I pray that I may be
cleansed and healed by the Eternal Spirit.

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As Bill Sees It

After the “Honeymoon”, p. 216

“For most of us, the first years of A.A. are something like a
honeymoon. There is a new and potent reason to stay alive, joyful
activity aplenty. For a time, we are diverted from the main life
problems. That is all to the good.

“But when the honeymoon has worn off, we are obliged to take
our lumps, like other people. This is where the testing starts.
Maybe the group has pushed us onto the side lines. Maybe
difficulties have intensified at home, or in the world outside. Then
the old behavior patterns reappear. How well we recognize and
deal with them reveals the extent of our progress.”

********************************

The wise have always known that no one can make much of his
life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to
admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and
persistently tries to correct what is wrong.

1. Letter, 1954
2. 12 & 12, p. 88


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Walk In Dry Places

Treating loved ones worse than strangers.
Personal Relations
Some of us grew up with resentments about the way our families treated us. It was confusing to notice how nice our parents could be toward strangers and then how abruptly they could become abusive toward us.
The best release for this kind of resentment is forgiveness, but we should also ask ourselves if we’re guilty of the same faults. Are we discourteous and inconsiderate toward our own children and family members?  Do we apologize when we offend strangers, but not when we hurt our own children?
We should try to treat everyone with fairness and kindness. No family member should be subjuected to our incessant criticism and rudeness. We owe them the same courtesies we extend to strangers.
If I’ve had bad examples of abusive treatment in my own early years, I’ll change the pattern by treating my own family with fairness and kindness, starting today. 


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Keep It Simple

Let him that would move the world, first move himself.—Socrates
Before recovery, most of us were big talkers. The Twelve Steps are for
doers, not talkers. In the Steps we find action words: admitted, humbly
asked, made direct amends, continued to take personal inventory. All these
words speak of action, of doing. Recovery is about action. It’s for doers.
An action may be very simple. Such as going to a meeting early to set up
chairs. Or it could be helping a neighbor. The program teaches that
spirituality  active, we grow and change.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, give me movement. Give me spiritual movement. Help me be a
doer, not just a talker. Teach me to work my program.
Today’s Action:  Today, I’ll remember the words actions go together.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift of God; so precious that it’s only given to us moment by moment.  –Amelia Barr
Where are our minds right now? Are we focused fully on this meditation? Or are our minds wandering off to events scheduled for later today or tomorrow perhaps? The simple truth is that this moment is all God has allowed right now. It’s God’s design that we will live fully each moment, as it comes. Therein lies the richness of our lives. Each moment contributes to the full pattern that’s uniquely our own.
We must not miss the potential pleasure of any experience because our thoughts are elsewhere. We never know when a particular moment, a certain situation, may be a door to our future. What we do know is that God often has to work hard getting our attention, perhaps allowing many stumbling blocks in order to get us back on target.
Being in tune with now, this moment, guarantees a direct line of communication to God. It also guarantees a full, yet simple life. Our purpose becomes clear as we trust our steps to God’s guidance. How terribly complicated we make life by living in the past, the present, and many future times, all at once!
One step, one moment, and then the next step and its moment. How the simple life brings me freedom!

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful. In trying to make these arrangements our actor may sometimes be quite virtuous. He may be kind, considerate, patient, generous; even modest and self-sacrificing. On the other hand, he may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. But, as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.

pp. 60-61

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
Then a woman introduced herself and said that she was an alcholic.  I knew then I was in A.A.  She spoke about feelings, of insecurity replaced by confidence, fear relaced by faith, resentment replaced by love, and despair replaced by joy.  I knew those feelings.  I had insecurity, fear, resentment, and despair.  I could not believe it.  Here was a person who was happy.  It seemed like a long time since I had seen one of those.

p. 426

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Now we come to another kind of problem: the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman. To these, many A.A.’s can say, “Yes, we were like you–far too smart for our own good. We loved to have people call us precocious. We used our education to blow ourselves up into prideful balloons, though we were careful to hide this from others. Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest of the folks on our brainpower alone. Scientific progress told us there was nothing man couldn’t do. Knowledge was all-powerful. Intellect could conquer nature. Since we were brighter than most folks (so we thought), the spoils of victory would be ours for the thinking. The god of intellect displaced the God of our fathers. But again John Barleycorn had other ideas. We who had won so handsomely in a walk turned into all-time losers. We saw that we had to reconsider or die. We found many in A.A. who once thought as we did. They helped us to get down to our right size. By their example they showed us that humility and intellect could be compatible, provided we placed humility first. When we began to do that, we received the gift of faith, a faith which works. This faith is for you, too.”

pp. 29-30

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Keep looking for the positive and that’s what you’ll get!
–unknown

Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting
someone else to die.
–unknown

>From a little spark comes a great fire.
–Polish Proverb

Sometimes love has its ups and downs. Mostly though, there are more
ups than downs and true love will weather any storm.
–K. Lytestone

“Wake up with a smile and go after life . . .. Live it, enjoy it, taste it,
smell it, feel it.”
–Joe Knapp

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.
What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.
–Hermann Hesse

Expectation is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of
tomorrow, it loses today.
–Seneca

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

POTENTIAL

“Education is helping the child
realize his potentialities.
— Eric Fromm

When I was drinking, I behaved like a child. I behaved not just like a
child but “childish”. I was so dependent upon my alcohol, so addicted,
that I never realized my potential in life. I never realized the gift of
life!

Today I have a spiritual program that offers me the world; it sets no
limits on my horizons; it encourages me to discover my potential and
live it. Today I am learning new languages, visiting different countries
and enjoying alternative cultures, making new friendships and, most
importantly, discovering the “bigness” of God in His world. The
education I have gained in my sobriety seems unending and
unstoppable. Each day produces a new opportunity and a different
experience. Everyday is a time to receive.

Teach me to journey through the words into the experience.

***********************************************************

“I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
Psalm 91:2

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10

This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light
and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we
have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are
not living in the truth. But if we are living in the light of God’s
presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.
1 John 1:5-7

Don’t be impatient for the LORD to act! Travel steadily along his
path. He will honor you, giving you the land. You will see the wicked
destroyed.
Psalm 37:34


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Daily Inspiration

Never worry about the opinion others have of you because there is only one opinion that counts. Lord, I will walk in Your footsteps and seek to please You in my daily life.

When you live in the spirit of God you will always feel the love within you. Lord, may I seek peace in You and not from the outside world.

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NA Just For Today

When Is A Secret Not A Secret?

“Addicts tend to live secret lives…. It is a great relief to get rid of all our secrets and to share the burden of our past.”
Basic Text, p.32

We’ve heard it said that “we’re as sick as our secrets” What do we keep secret, and why?

We keep secret those things that cause us shame. We may hold onto such things because we don’t want to surrender them. Yet if they’re causing us shame, wouldn’t we live more easily with ourselves if we were rid of them?

Some of us hold onto the things that cause us shame for another reason. It’s not that we don’t want to be rid of them; we just don’t believe we can be rid of them. They’ve plagued us for so long, and we’ve tried so many times to rid ourselves of them, that we’ve stopped hoping for relief. Yet still they shame us, and still we keep them secret.

We need to remember who we are: recovering addicts. We who tried so long to keep our drug use a secret have found freedom from the obsession and compulsion to use. Though many of us enjoyed using right to the end, we sought recovery anyway. We just couldn’t stand the toll our using was taking on us. When we admitted our powerlessness and sought help from others, the burden of our secret was lifted from us.

The same principle applies to whatever secrets may burden us. Yes, we’re as sick as our secrets. Only when our secrets stop being secret can we begin to find relief from those things that cause us shame.

Just for today: My secrets can make me sick only as long as they stay secret. Today, I will talk with my sponsor about my secrets.
pg. 226

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Do I love you because you’re beautiful Or are you beautiful because I love you? –Oscar Hammerstein
Once, a powerful king agreed to help a small, lost boy find his mother. Since the boy described his mother as the most beautiful woman in the world, the king commanded all the beautiful women in the kingdom to come to the castle.
From miles around, they came–women with complexions of porcelain and hair of spun gold, with cheeks the color of apricots and eyes as dark as the raven’s. But none of them was the boy’s mother. When the last of the women had paraded before them, and the king and the boy had begun to despair, they heard a timid knock on the door. “Come in,” the king said wearily. In shuffled an old washer woman, her grey hair tied up in a kerchief, her hands rough and red, her dress coarse and patched.
“Mother!” the boy cried when he saw her, and he leapt from his chair and raced into the woman’s arms. The king stared in amazement.
Will I be able to see the real beauty in others today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The craftsman does not always build toward a prior vision. Often images come in the process of working. The material, his hands – together they beget. –M. C. Richards
We awaken in the morning, and the day is an un-built creation. We have some ideas about what we will accomplish today. But our Higher Power also has some things in mind, which are not yet part of our consciousness. We have lived long enough to know that every day brings surprises. We know in advance we will be frustrated in some of our desires, and we may be helped or advanced in others. But what about the totally unexpected? Will we even notice the subtle opportunities? Will we see an opportunity for a friendly conversation? Do our plans unwittingly prevent other possibilities from intruding?
When we hold loosely to our daily plans, we are more open to knowing the will of our Higher Power. Then each day is a spiritual process. It becomes a combined creation of our Higher Power and our own consciousness.
Today, I will hold my own plan loosely so that I can continue to be open to the healing powers of God.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift of God; so precious that it’s only given to us moment by moment. –Amelia Barr
Where are our minds right now? Are we focused fully on this meditation? Or are our minds wandering off to events scheduled for later today or tomorrow perhaps? The simple truth is that this moment is all God has allowed right now. It’s God’s design that we will live fully each moment, as it comes. Therein lies the richness of our lives. Each moment contributes to the full pattern that’s uniquely our own.
We must not miss the potential pleasure of any experience because our thoughts are elsewhere. We never know when a particular moment, a certain situation, may be a door to our future. What we do know is that God often has to work hard getting our attention, perhaps allowing many stumbling blocks in order to get us back on target.
Being in tune with now, this moment, guarantees a direct line of communication to God. It also guarantees a full, yet simple life. Our purpose becomes clear as we trust our steps to God’s guidance. How terribly complicated we make life by living in the past, the present, and many future times, all at once!
One step, one moment, and then the next step and its moment. How the simple life brings me freedom!

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Vulnerability
I’ve learned that the more vulnerable I allow myself to be, the more in control of myself I really am. –Anonymous
Many of us feel that we can only show our strong, confident side. We believe the face we have to show to the world should always be one of politeness, perfection, calm, strength, and control.
While it is certainly good and often appropriate to be in control, calm, and strong, there is another side to all of us–that part of us that feels needy, becomes frightened, has doubts, and gets angry. That part of us that needs care, love, and reassurance those things will be okay. Expressing these needs makes us vulnerable and less than perfect, but this side needs our acceptance too.
Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable will help us build lasting relationships. Sharing our vulnerabilities helps us feel close to people and helps others feel close to us. It helps us grow in self-love and self-acceptance. It helps us become healing agents. It allows us to become whole and accessible to others.
Today, I will allow myself to be vulnerable with others when it’s safe and appropriate to do so.

Today I will take enough time to do something good for myself only. I will buy myself a gift or spend worthwhile time doing something pleasant and fulfilling. I have enough time today and I deserve this time for myself. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Storytelling
Reviving a Community Tradition by Madisyn Taylor

Most cultures use storytelling to pass down family history using the power and energy of the human voice.

Ever since our ancestors could first communicate, we have gathered to share our stories. We have passed along creation tales and tragic stories of love lost. We have repeated accounts of real heroism and simple stories of family history. When our forebears lived closer to the land and to each other, the practice of storytelling was imbued with ritual and occasion. Members of the tribe would often gather around the fire to hear their genealogy recited aloud by an elder or master storyteller. Listeners could track how their own lives, and the lives of their parents, interwove with the lives of the other tribe members, as everyone’s ancient relatives once played out similar life dramas together.

As a custom, some cultures’ storytellers repeat the same tale over and over because they believe that each time you hear it, you come to the story as a different person and view the plot and characters in a new light. Hearing the story over and over is a way to gauge where you have been and where you are now on your path of personal evolution. It also helps the younger generation learn the stories so that they can pass them to forthcoming generations.

When we hear others tell stories, we can laugh at their humorous adventures, feel the thrill of exciting encounters, see parts of ourselves in them, and learn from the challenges they face. Though most of our formal traditions of storytelling are lost, it does not mean we have to be without. We can begin new practices in our own families of listening to one another, of honoring our own journey, and witnessing the journeys of those around us. We can revive the fireside communal by gathering around the campfire or hearth with family and friends, sharing in stories. By building new practices of storytelling, we give ourselves and the ones we love an opportunity to draw ever closer in our shared human experience. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

Journey to the Heart
Value Passion

Value what ignites the flame within you.

Value what inspires and interests you, what enrages you, what tickles and exhilarates you, what sparks the fire within. Your strong feelings– what you love or hate– are not wrong. Your passions will lead and guide you in all you want to do. From the tiniest idea to the grandest scheme, what makes your flame burn more brightly is the light shining from above, gently guiding the way.

The universe and God will lead and guide you, tell you what to do. The message might come through a story someone tells you, a place someone mentions that they liked, or a problem someone’s having trouble resolving that attracts your attention with a bit of extra force. A movie that sticks in your mind. A book you couldn’t put down. Something you realize you hate, something you find you love after all, an idea you find interesting, something that makes you stop and think. Learn to tell how you react to what you see and hear. That’s how you’ll learn to listen to what the universe has to say. That place may be the next place you’re to go on your path. The idea may be just what you’re looking for to help you get unstuck.

When you know what you’re feeling deep inside, you’ll know what you like. If you’ve grown cold and bored, you can come alive again. Feel whatever you need to feel, and you’ll find your passion underneath. If you don’t know when you feel sad and alone, you won’t know when you feel good. Feel all the feelings that come your way. Each one has a lesson for you. And as you release that energy, you’ll be releasing passion,too. Value your passions and the way you feel. Soon you’ll find yourself knowing just what to do and when.

Stay open. Keep your fire burning bright. When you recognize what inspires you, you’ll be recognizing the Light.

*****

more language of letting go
Be grateful for the wind

“It’d be easier to skydive without all that wind trying to push me around,” I said to my jump master.

“No, it wouldn’t,” he said. “Without the wind, you wouldn’t be able to move around at all. If you didn’t have resistance, you wouldn’t be able to fly your body. That’s what the wind is there for– to push against.”

It’s easy in our lives to think that we’d be so much happier without that problem, that situation, those people disturbing our peace. What a bother, we think. Why can’t my life just be calm and serene, peaceful, with no interruptions and bothersome events?

Sometimes, resistance is necessary. While it’s important to live in a calm, nurturing environment, sometimes resistance is essential to our growth. Take a moment. Look at how your problems have shaped you into who you have become.

When problems and challenges arise, they force us to examine our ideals, become alert, and often learn something new about others and ourselves. Even our enemies, rivals, and competitors give us something to push against. They help us define who we are and challenge us to become our best.

Instead of complaining and grumbling about that problem or circumstance, thank it for being there. Right now, this moment, the resistance in your life is giving you something to push against.

Be grateful for the wind. You need it to learn to fly.

God, help me be grateful for all the problems and circumstances in my life. Help me remember that you’re teaching me to fly.

*******************************************

A Day At A Time
August 4

Reflection For The Day

One of the best ways to get out of the self-pity trap is to do some “insstant bookkeeping.” For every entry of misery on the debit side of our ledger, we can surely find a blessing to mark on the credit side: the health we enjoy, the illnesses we don’t have, the friends who love us and who allow us to love them, a clean and sober 24 hours, a good day’s work. If we but try, we can easily list a whole string of credits that will far outweigh the debit entries which cause self-pity. Is my emotional balance on the credit side today?

Today I Pray

May I learn to sort out my debits and credits, and add it all up. May I list my several blessings on the credit side. May my ledger show me, when all is totaled, a fat fund of good things to draw on.

Today I Will Remember

I have blessings in my savings.

*******************************************

One More Day
August 4

Today is the day in which to express your nobles qualities of mind and heart, to do at least one worthy thing which you have long postponed…
– Grenville Kleiser

Volunteer work. There are volunteer jobs for people with every level of ability. The main qualification is to care about others. Each day offers us the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life. We may choose to sing in a community choir or play in an amateur band. Or we might offer to read stories to or write letters for people with limited vision.

Volunteer work. What’s remarkable are the benefits we will reap from the simple caring. These acts affirm the bond that exists between us. They help us move out of a preoccupation with ourselves and our limitations, and they put us into the mainstream of life.

Today I will share my abilities and talents with others.

************************************************** *****************

In God’s Care

Time is a circus, always paking up and moving away.
~~Ben Hecht

We can’t hold on to time. Right now is the only time we have. It is the only time we can enjoy the season, hear a child’s laughter, feel the joy of sharing. This time, right nowm is the time to learn something. And it is the time for us to know God.

Time is always moving on, but we can stay in the present. To look back over our shoulder, trying to figure out how to change something we did or make someone react differently than he or she did, is futile. When we look ahead, trying to predict the future, we are creating needless anxiety. The present is where we exist.

God speaks to us in the present. It is the only time we have to make a connection.

Today I will try to live in the present moment.

************************************************** ****************

Day By Day

Being lucky

Some people think “luck” is the reaon for success in their lives. But does luck really mean the suffering and pain that we’ve not hesitated to endure? The opportunities for growth that we’ve embraced? The kindness and humor that we’ve shown others? The thanks we’ve expressed to others for their kindness to us?

If success is “lucky,” then we make our own luck. Then luck means being open and available; luck meas willingness plus grace.

Do I realize what a lucky person I am?

Higher Power, help me to be open and willing to receive your grace.

Today I will thank God for my “luck by…

************************************************** **************

Food For Thought

God’s Time

When we feel under pressure and fear that there will not be enough time to do the things we think we need to do, it helps to stop for a moment and remember that all time is God’s. We may be wanting to do more than we should in the same way that we wanted to eat more than we needed. Exchanging compulsive overeating for compulsive activity is no solution to our problem.

Turning over our lives to our Higher Power as we begin each day allows Him to schedule what we will do and when we will do it. He knows our capabilities even better than we do, and He does not give us more to do than we can manage. To benefit from His guidance, we need to stay in touch with our inner selves and not get swept away by external demands.

In the past, we may have alternated between periods of non-productive lassitude and frantic bursts of activity. As we maintain ourselves on an even keel physically by abstaining from compulsive overeating, we learn moderation and order as God shows us how to use the time He gives us.

Please order the time which You give me every day.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

OTHERS
“In the deepest part of a compulsive eater’s soul …
is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another.”
Anonymous

Growing up in the deep South in the 1950’s, I witnessed things I never dreamed could happen. It taught me lessons I have never forgotten. Little did I think that someone like me could ever be discriminated against. After all, I was the right color, the right size, the right religion and lived on the right side of town.

Messages began to be taped early on in that little girl’s brain … into the psyche of that teenager who worked so hard to achieve … and into the young woman who had the world by the tail. In adulthood those messages began to play … and food made the messages easier to hear. So began the life of a compulsive eater. So began discrimination because of my weight.

Years later I would be grateful for my life as an overweight adult. I would look back and see that the God of my understanding was preparing me to see discrimination as a disease of the soul. But what happened to give me serenity and peace and contentment? I found another compulsive eater. And then I found another … and another. And recovery began.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will overwrite those taped messages;
I will not regret the past;
And I will cherish my fellows forever.
~ Mari

*****************************************

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

It was the usual situation: home in jeopardy, wife ill, children distracted, bills in arrears and standing damaged. He had a desperate desire to stop, but saw no way out, for he had earnestly tried many avenues of escape. Painfully aware of being somehow abnormal, the man did not fully realize what it meant to be alcoholic. – Pg. 155 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We have many worries: economic, marital, parental, employment, religious, and legal. Some ill-trained people may try to pick one or two of these areas and act as if working on that will ‘cure’ us. We mustn’t see our recovery as connected to a good marriage, job, or socialization. We know it isn’t true.

I want to know that my recovery is connected to principle–not people, places, or things!

Staying in the Game

Each and every day is a rebirth into an entirely new set of possibilities. It carries with it a sense of renewal. Each and every day I will play the hand I’m dealt as well as I can play it. Each and every day I will wake up, place my hand in the hand of God and move into my day with the confidence and comfort of knowing that I am not alone, that I have access to the greatest source of compassion and power in the universe. Each and every day I will put one foot in front of the other and try to make sense of the life I have been given. I will have faith – I will stay connected and alive while I’m living.

I am an active member of my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

You will be receiving many gifts from people in the programs: gifts of help, time, energy, possibly money, talents, and knowledge. You will never be able to pay them all back. You are not obligated to pay them back. You are obligated to pay them forward by giving away what you have when you can.

I appreciate the generosity of others and pay it forward when I am able.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The man who says, ‘I can’t’, is usually right.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will slow down and wait for answers. I will stop rushing and struggling to find them. They will make themselves known to me when I am ready to hear them. By just knowing that they are here and that they will appear in their time, I can relax.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Take the Fifth – or drink one. – Unknown origin. USA.

*****************************************

AA Thought for the Day

August 4

Step Eight
“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
This is a very large order. It is a task which we may perform with increasing skill, but never really finish. . . .
Every AA has found that he can make little headway in this new adventure until he first backtracks
and really makes an accurate and unsparing survey of the human wreckage he has left in his wake.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 77

Thought to Ponder . . .
Don’t mess up an amend with an excuse.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Resentment
“If you have a resentment you want to be rid of,
if you will pray for the person or the thing you resent,
you will be free.
If you will ask in prayer for everything
you want for yourself to be given to them,
you will be free.
Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness,
and you will be free.
Even when you don’t really want it for them,
and your prayers are only words
and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway.
Do it every day for two weeks and you will find
you have come to mean it and to want it for them,
and you will realize that where you used to feel
bitterness and resentment and hatred,
you now feel compassionate understanding
and love.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 552

Thought to Consider . . .
An expectation is a premeditated resentment.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R = Frustration, Ego, Anxiety, Resentment

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

No Control Whatever
From: “More About Alcoholism”
A man of thirty was doing a great deal of spree drinking. He was very nervous in the morning after these bouts and
quieted himself with more liquor. He was ambitious to succeed in business, but saw that he would get nowhere if he
drank at all. Once he started, he had no control whatever. He made up his mind that until he had been successful in
business and had retired, he would not touch another drop. An exceptional man, he remained bone dry for twenty-five
years and retired at the age of fifty-five, after a successful and happy business career. Then he fell victim to a belief
which practically every alcoholic has – that his long period of sobriety and self-discipline had qualified him to drink as
other men. Out came his carpet slippers and a bottle. In two months he was in a hospital, puzzled and humiliated. He
tried to regulate his drinking for a while, making several trips to the hospital meantime. Then, gathering all his forces,
he attempted to stop altogether and found he could not. Every means of solving his problem which money could buy
was at his disposal. Every attempt failed. Though a robust man at retirement, he went to pieces quickly and was dead
within four years
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 32-33

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“I am grateful to AA that I have learned some humility, so when offered help, I can now say, ‘Yes, I can use your assistance.'”
Queens, New York, May 2014, May 2014
“Yes Please, I Could Use Some Help,”
AA Grapevine

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. ‘Do I now
believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power
greater than myself?’ As soon as a man can say that he does believe,
or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on
his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this
simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 47

“Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step
of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never
attempted. Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it
could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a
strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves
which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had
to get down to causes and conditions.
Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 63~

“This thought brings us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right
any new mistakes as we go along.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 84 (Into Action)

“Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 76 (Step Seven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

For most of us, the first years of A.A. are something like a honeymoon. There is a new and potent reason to stay alive, joyful activity aplenty. For a time, we are diverted from the main life problems. That is all to the good.
‘But when the honeymoon has worn off, we are obliged to take our lumps, like other people. This is where the testing starts. Maybe the group has pushed us onto the side lines. Maybe difficulties have intensified at home, or in the world outside. Then the old behavior patterns reappear. How well we recognize and deal with them reveals the extent of our progress.’
The wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, as my behavior propels me to continue to move, allow me to move forward and up.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 3rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 3rd

Daily Reflections

. . .TO BE OF SERVICE

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God
and the people about us.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 77

It is clear that God’s plan for me is expressed through love. God loved
me enough to take me from alleys and jails so that I could be made a
useful participant in His world. My response is to love all of His
children through service and by example. I ask God to help me imitate
His love for me through my love for others.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in A.A. must remember that we are offering something intangible.
We are offering a psychological and spiritual program. We are not
offering a medical program. If people need medical treatment, we call
in a doctor. If they need a medical prescription, we let the doctor
prescribe for them. If they need hospital treatment, we let the hospital
take care of them. Our vital A.A. work begins when a person is
physically able to receive it. Am I willing to leave medical care to the
doctors?

Meditation For The Day

Each moment of your day which you devote to this new way of life is a
gift to God. The gift of the moments. Even when your desire to serve
God is sincere, it is not an easy thing to give Him many of these
moments: the daily things you had planned to do, given up gladly so
that you can perform a good service or say a kind word. If you can see
Gods purpose in many situations, it will be easier to give Him many
moments of your day. Every situation has two interpretations — your
own and God’s. Try to handle each situation in the way you believe
God would have it handled.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may make my day count somewhat for God. I pray that I
may not spend it all selfishly.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Constructive Workouts, p. 215

There are those in A.A. whom we call “destructive” critics. They
power-drive, they are “politickers,” they make accusations to
gain their ends–all for the good of A.A., of course! But we have
learned that these folks need not be really destructive.

We ought to listen carefully to what they say. Sometimes they are
telling the whole truth; at other times, a little truth. If we are
within their range, the whole truth, the half-truth, or no truth at all
can prove equally unpleasant to us. If they have got the whole truth,
or even a little truth, then we had better thank them and get on
with our respective inventories, admitting we were wrong. If they
are talking nonsense, we can ignore it, or else try to persuade them.
Failing this, we can be sorry they are too sick to listen, and we can
try to forget the whole business.

There are few better means of self-survey and of developing patience
than the workouts these usually well-meaning but erratic members so
often afford us.

Twelve Concepts, p. 40

***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places

Watch out for peer pressure
Maintaining Sobriety
It’s said that peer pressure often draws young people into alcoholism and drug addition. As adults following a recovery program, we also are susceptible to peer pressure.
At a cocktail reception, for example, some people may express mild pity that we’re having “only soft drinks,” as if we’re doing a form of penance. Or they may express exaggerated admiration for our success in recovery.  Even this can make us feel different.
We need not be critical of such reactions. The fact is that we are somewhat different when we’re staying sober in situations where excessive drinking is normal.
We should not, however, make this our problem if others draw attention to it.  This is peer pressure, but we should be mature enough to dismiss it.
Whatever situation I’m in today, if I know I’m on the right path, I’ll not be swayed by the opinions and comments of others.   Their opinions cannot affect me if I know I’m doing the right thing.


***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

Alcoholism isn’t a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play.
—Joyce Rebeta-Burditt
One of the biggest lies addicts can tell themselves is, “I’m not hurting
anyone but myself.”
This is just another way we don’t see how important we are to others.
During our using, love was a burden. When anyone showed love for us, we turned away. They hurt. And we hurt.
In recovery, when ready, we try and help our families heal. We listen as
they speak of how our illness has hurt them. We comfort them as they tell their stories. Remember, our illness hurt them. Remember, our recovery will help them heal.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me face the pain my illness has brought to others. Let me know their pain.
Let it help me stay sober.
Action for the Day:  I will list all persons my illness has hurt. I will say a prayer for them,
even if they have harmed me.


***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live is to love – to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved.  –Isadora Duncan
To be unconditionally loved is our birthright, and we are so loved by God. We desire just such a love from one another, and we deserve it; yet, it’s a human quality to look for love before giving it. Thus many of us search intently for signs of love.
Too many of us are searching, rather than loving. Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another’s personhood. Not easy, but so rewarding, to ourselves as well as to the one who is the focus of our love.
Love is a balm that heals. Loving lightens whatever our burdens. It invites our inner joy to emerge. But most of all, it connects us, one with another. Loneliness leaves. We are no longer alienated from our environment. Love is the mortar that holds the human structure together. Without the expression of love, it crumbles. This recovery program has offered us a plan for loving others, as well as ourselves. Love will come to us, just as surely as we give it away.
Each and every expression of love I offer today will make smooth another step I take in this life.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Being convinced, we were at step three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?

p. 60

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
I was surprised by my first meeting.  It was in a church and, whatever I had expected, it was not this.  The room was filled with well-dressed, smiling, happy people.  No rancid coats or three-day beards.  No bloodshot eyes, wheezing coughs, or shaky hands, but laughter.  Someone was talking about God.  I was sure I was in the wrong place.

p. 426

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

“As material success founded upon no more than these ordinary attributes began to come to us, we felt we were winning at the game of life. This was exhilarating, and it made us happy. Why should we be bothered with theological abstractions and religious duties, or with the state of our souls here or hereafter? The here and now was good
enough for us. The will to win would carry us through. But then alcohol began to have its way with us. Finally, when all our score cards read `zero,’ and we saw that one more strike would put us out of the game forever, we had to look for our lost faith. It was in A.A. that we rediscovered it. And so can you.”

p. 29

***********************************************************

Life is a gift … open it every day.
–Unknown

When I live in the past, I live in regret.
When I live in the future, I live in fear.
When I stay in the NOW, everything’s always okay.
–Joan T.

Be grateful for spiritual community. None of us are smart enough or
sufficiently sensitive to notice every subtle sign that something is
amiss before it becomes a large problem. Through community,
through those who hold the energy that keeps us awake, we can
tune in and ask God for guidance. No individual knows everything,
but God does. Spiritual community reminds us that we are connected.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the
length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
–Diane Ackerman

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome
danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly
that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful
even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always
tomorrow.
–Dorothy Thompson

There is no personal history or past experience that is bigger or more
powerful than the great God that resides within us.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

***********************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

UNDERSTANDING

“Man — a being in search of
meaning.”
— Plato

Today I am on my way. With my sobriety has come a desire to
understand — understand life, understand me, understand my
relationships and understand God. Meaning — what is true? What is
noble? What is spiritual? These are important to me today.

I no longer wish to hurt, damage, ridicule, destroy, fight, lie or cheat
in my life. I’ve had enough of being negative. I’ve had enough of
being lost and isolated in my arrogance. I’ve had enough of
standing on the outside of life, feeling resentful and afraid.

Sobriety, for me today, involves my search for meaning —
knowing full well that my understanding will always be imperfect
and I can never comprehend fully. The ultimate answer is in living
with confusion. I am not God . . . but I still intend to reach for the
stars.

Lord, my cry for self-awareness is answered in the journey and
not the destination.

***********************************************************

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
James 3:17

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up
against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ.”
II Corinthians 10:5

“Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain
strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels
without knowing it.”
Hebrews 13:1-2

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because
you know they produce quarrels.”
II Timothy 2:23

“Do everything without complaining or arguing.”
Philippians 2:14


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

Begin every day as if it were your very first because you really are always at the beginning. Lord, thank you for the constant ability to stop any offensive behaviors that I have and the gift of being forgiven and being able to forgive myself.

When your world turns upside down and everything seems so frightening, thank God for His unchanging and constant love. Lord, Your love is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. In You I am safe and cared for.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Trusting People

“Many of us would have had nowhere else to go if we could not have trusted NA groups and members.”
Basic Text, p.81

Trusting people is a risk. Human beings are notoriously forgetful, unreliable, and imperfect. Most of us come from backgrounds where betrayal and insensitivity among friends were common occurrences. Even our most reliable friends weren’t very reliable. By the time we arrive at the doors of NA, most of us have hundreds of experiences bearing out our conviction that people are untrustworthy. Yet our recovery demands that we trust people. We are faced with this dilemma: People are not always trustworthy, yet we must trust them. How do we do that, given the evidence of our pasts?

First, we remind ourselves that the rules of active addiction don’t apply in recovery. Most of our fellow members are doing their level best to live by the spiritual principles we learn in the program. Second, we remind ourselves that we aren’t 100% reliable, either. We will surely disappoint someone in our lives, no matter how hard we try not to. Third, and most importantly, we realize that we need to trust our fellow members of NA. Our lives are at stake, and the only way we can stay clean is to trust these well-intentioned folks who, admittedly, aren’t perfect.

Just for today: I will trust my fellow members. Though certainly not perfect, they are my best hope.
pg. 225

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. –Alex Osborn
A garden of flowers blooming is a beautiful sight to see. Through the green leaves surrounding a tulip we see hints of yellow or pink or red. Each day the flowers greet us with their radiant color. Yet, a sudden frost would wilt and fade the flowers.
Each time we create something new with our talents we are like a young flower opening. Whether we draw or write or sew or play a musical instrument, all creativity has this in common. Appreciation from those around us is like sunshine for the flowers. Harsh criticism, however, is like the cold air–it wilts and deadens our desire to create.
We all need warm encouragement for our endeavors, and we can give as well as receive it. In this way, creativity can bloom in our homes and our friendships, bringing a garden full of color and delight into our lives.
What encouragement can I offer to someone near me?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. –Henri J. M. Nouwen
Knowing our loneliness and admitting it to us is the beginning of a spiritual path for many men. Today we are on a spiritual journey. We already have the means to translate the pain of our loneliness into a deeper spiritual dimension. Most men in this program came in deeply aware of their feelings of isolation. Now, with the companionship of our Higher Power, we can spend time alone and use it for spiritual growth. As we develop a relationship with ourselves and deepen our knowledge of our Higher Power, our loneliness transforms into solitude.
In this quiet moment today, we can be more accepting of ourselves than we were in the past. We admit loneliness has caused us pain, but now we can see that it also can lead us to our deeper self where we find serene solitude. This change is a movement into the spiritual world.
Thanks to God for the solitude I have found in my life.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live is to love – to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved. –Isadora Duncan
To be unconditionally loved is our birthright, and we are so loved by God. We desire just such a love from one another, and we deserve it; yet, it’s a human quality to look for love before giving it. Thus many of us search intently for signs of love.
Too many of us are searching, rather than loving. Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another’s personhood. Not easy, but so rewarding, to ourselves as well as to the one who is the focus of our love.
Love is a balm that heals. Loving lightens whatever our burdens. It invites our inner joy to emerge. But most of all, it connects us, one with another. Loneliness leaves. We are no longer alienated from our environment. Love is the mortar that holds the human structure together. Without the expression of love, it crumbles. This recovery program has offered us a plan for loving others, as well as ourselves. Love will come to us, just as surely as we give it away.
Each and every expression of love I offer today will make smooth another step I take in this life.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Owning Our Power in Relationships
So much of what I call my codependency is fear and panic because I spent so much of my life feeling abused, trapped, and not knowing how to take care of myself in relationships. –Anonymous
No matter how long we have been recovering, we may still tend to give up our power to others, whether they be authority figures, a new love, or a child.
When we do this, we experience the set of emotions and thoughts we call “the codependent crazies.” We may feel angry, guilty, afraid, confused, and obsessed. We may feel dependent and needy or become overly controlling and rigid. We may return to familiar behaviors during stress. And for those of us who have codependency and adult children issues, relationships can mean stress.
We don’t have to stay stuck in our codependency. We don’t have to shame or blame ourselves, or the other person, for our condition. We simply need to remember to own our power.
Practice. Practice. Practice using your power to take care of yourself, no matter who you are dealing with, where you are, or what you are doing. This is what recovery means. This does not mean we try to control others; it does not mean we become abrasive or abusive. It means we own our power to take care of ourselves.
The thought of doing this may generate fears. That’s normal! Take care of yourself anyway. The answers, and the power to do that, are within you now.
Start today. Start where you are. Start by taking care of who you are, at the present moment, to the best of your ability.
Today, I will focus on owning my power to take care of myself. I will not let fears, or a false sense of shame and guilt; stop me from taking care of myself.

Today I will take enough time to do something good for myself only. I will buy myself a gift or spend worthwhile time doing something pleasant and fulfilling. I have enough time today and I deserve this time for myself. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Overcoming Fear
From the Overcoming Fear On-line Course by Debbie Ford

We can control the quality of our lives if we are willing to face our fears rather than burying, suppressing or avoiding them. Confronting our deepest fears, our terror, is a way out of the agony of our ongoing stories and into the glorious world of empowerment. Almost all of us were terrorized in some way when we were young. For you, maybe it was when you were bullied in school or when one of your siblings locked you in the closet. Something happened to activate the feeling of fear, of sheer terror, and at some point you rejected your fear and made a decision that this was a bad way to feel because you associated it with some negative event.

Now it is time for you to be the adult and take charge of your internal world. You have to be the one to take back your power, even if you’re scared. When you are in fear, it’s because you believe in that darkness more than you believe in the light. You might believe that if you do enough, read enough, pray enough or chat enough, you can obliterate your fear, but I am here to tell you that it’s impossible to make the fear happy. You might think that if you listen to it long enough, it will go away. But it won’t. You must confront it. You must take back your power. You say, “Yes Debbie but how?” Well here is the antidote for your fear: LOVE IT. Don’t try to discard or rid yourself of your fear, because you probably aren’t strong enough. But what you can do is bring the light to the darkness. That light is love. When faced with your fear, you can ask yourself, “How can I love myself even when I’m in the middle of my fear? You can turn around and face your fear. You can stop te! rrorizing yourself further for being scared and instead find out how old that fear is. You can ask yourself, “How many years, months, weeks, days and minutes have I been terrorized by the same thing?” Count it out and write it down. And then find some sweet compassion for the kid in you that is scared to death.

The greatest way to take on your fear is to create safety for yourself. Safety is the key to courage. And action is your way of showing yourself that you are safe and that you can take care of yourself.. For example, if you hold a secret fear that you could become a bag lady but have no financial plan, then you’re going to be continuously terrorized. Get a money mentor. Find out how much money you need to put away and then start on that path. If you’re afraid that someone is going to attack you, get trained in self-defense. If you’re afraid your business partner is going to extort you, have an agreement drawn up that protects you. If you’re fearful that your partner is going to leave you, find out what you would need to do to know that, even if they did leave, you’re a desirable and extraordinary person? If you’re scared that you’re going to pass your limiting beliefs and issues on to your kids, what transformational class would you have to attend or what coaching could you ! participate in to ensure that you’re giving them your highest? If you’re scared you’re going to get sick, what measures could you take right now to nurture your well-being? Add tai chi or yoga classes to your weekly schedule and seek out an integrative healthcare practitioner (such as an acupuncturist or body worker) to mitigate stress and keep your body in balance.

Since ultimately you are the one that can make you feel safe, what environment do you need to create around you? What support structures could you put in place? Ask yourself where in your life are you not protecting yourself – not taking care of yourself. What subtle adjustment or quantum step can you take this week to put in a measure of safety somewhere in your life where you are fearful? Whether it’s adding antioxidants to your daily regimen, putting money in savings, having an alarm system installed, getting insurance, or praying to the divine, do what it takes to ease your heart and mind. Make a commitment this week. Find an area where you have fear and take it on! Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

Journey to the Heart
Learn to Be Present

“I haven’t been able to give you much materially,” he said. “Not jewelry, diamonds, gold. But the gift I’ve given you, what I’ve had to offer, is staying fully present for you.”

Presence is a gift– staying fully present for friends, family, ourselves, our lives. Staying in the moment, with our hearts open, will change other people’s lives and ours.

So often we’ve learned, out of habit or fear, to be only partially present, partially conscious, for ourselves, others, and our lives. We aren’t certain what we’re feeling; our attention and energy are diverted to the next place, the next person. We’re there, kind of.

There’s another way, a better way. One where we keep our hearts open and know what we feel. We take the risk of being vulnerable enough to share who we really are and to allow others to do the same. We become fully present for each moment and each person on our path.

Yes, there are times when it isn’t safe to be open, when the energy of a circumstance isn’t right for us. But that usually reveals a lesson and dictates a choice. It may be time to learn, time to leave, time to feel, time to choose.

Learn to release all that stands in the way of you and the present moment. Learn to let go of all that blocks you from being fully present for yourself and others.

Give the gift of presence to yourself and to the world.

*****

more language of letting go
Push against the wind

One day at the drop zone, I began working with a new skydiving coach, John. We were on the ground, rehearsing the moves we were going to make during free-fall time. He knew that I was having trouble controlling my body during free fall.

John noticed something about me, then suggested we try an exercise.

We stood up.

He pushed me, on the shoulder.

Instead of pushing back, I let my body go where he pushed it. I was practicing nonresistance, the skill I had acquired in martial arts. He pushed me again. Again I demonstrated nonresistance. I let my body naturally move in the direction it was pushed. This act of not resisting had served me well, both on the mats and off the mats. Not resisting people when they wanted to argue– learning to say, “Hmmm,” instead of engaging in battle– kept my life and environment calm. Not resisting when problems or experiences came into my life enabled me to go with the flow and be calm and centered enough to tackle these problems much more efficiently than if I was resisting them.

I explained this to John.

“Nonresistance is good to practice many times in your life,” he said. “But sometimes you need to fight back. You need to assertively push against what’s pushing on you if you want to get where you want to go.Pushing against the wind– directing your body assertively– is what you need to do if you want to learn to fly.”

Practicing nonresistance is good in our lives. Surrendering is an invaluable tool. Both these activities take us immediately into the flow of life. When we’re relaxed, we tune into God and our inner selves. Once we surrender, we automatically know what to do next, and when to do it.

But sometimes we need to assert ourselves, too. Surrendering and practicing nonresistance don’t mean we turn into pieces of paper being blown about by every wind. Sometimes we need to push against the resistance coming our way.

That’s how we assert ourselves, that’s how we guide and direct our course. That’s how our Higher Power guides and directs us,too.

We’ve learned to surrender. Now it’s time to learn to assert ourselves,too. Have you surrendered so much that you’ve stopped asserting and expressing yourself? Assert yourself. Make the moves your heart leads you to do. Know where you want to go and what you want to say.

Once you’ve admitted powerlessness, learn to connect with your power. Learn when it’s time to practice nonresistance, and learn when it’s time to push against the wind.

God, help me align with your power in my life. Teach me to express and assert that power as I go through my day. 

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Twelve Steps were designed specifically for people like us — as a short cut to God. The Steps are very much like strong medicine which can heal us of the sickness of despair, frustration and self-pity. Yet we’re sometimes unwilling to use The Steps. Why? Perhaps because we have a deep-down desire for martyrdom. Consciously and intellectually, we think we want help; on a gut level, though, some hidden sense of guilt makes us crave punishment more than relief from our ills. Can I try to be cheerful when everything seems to be leading me to despair? Do I realize that despair is very often a mask for self-pity?

Today I Pray

May I pull out the secret guilt inside that makes me want to punish myself. May I probe my despair and discover whether it is really an imposter — self-pity with a mask on. Now that I know that the Twelve Steps can bring relief, may I please use them instead of wallowing in my discomforts.

Today I Will Remember

The Twelve Steps are God’s Stairway.

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One More Day

Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Many of us have begun to reexamine our lives and our values. Am I proud of how I act? Of what I do? Will this decision be in my best interest? Do I have strong, interacting relationships?

A likely result of this might be that we fool ourselves less now and that we don’t try to fool others. The discovery of what we really are and of what is important to us urges us toward greater honesty. We are freer to make amends to friends and family members for things we’ve said or done. We hesitate less in asking for help and in telling others when we feel wronged. best of all, we’ve rid ourselves of our old victim mentality and have taken responsibility for our lives.

I will begin happily to make responsible decisions today.

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In God’s Care

Only trust, perfect trust can keep one calm.
~~God Calling, May 10th

For many of us, developing trust as we work our program has been painstakingly difficult. Perhaps we grew up in families where trust was betrayed. Many of us experienced friendships and marriages that turned sour when we learned our companion had not been trustworthy. And we, too, often failed to lie up to the trust someone special had placed in us.

Learning to trust that our Higher Power cares for us, always, will relieve our anxious moments and restore our trust. In time we will come to know that when we’re with God, all is well.

The calm of knowing our well-being is guaranteed comes when we willingly relinquish our frenzied attempts to control all the events in our frenzied attempts to control all the events in our life. One way we can learn to do this is by practicing quietness and breathing in calmness each time we feel anxiety over an outcome. This will allow us to trust – a bit more every day – that God is at the helm and our life is on course.

I will be calm as often as possible today, and a peaceful, trusting feeling will fill me up.

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Day By Day

Preserving and affirming our lives

Some people seem to have no problems using mood-altering durugs, but for us, they are highly destructive. When we used drugs, we lost our lives – physically and spiritually – and barely regained them through the Twelve Step program.

We who are chemically dependent, must never use them again – or we risk relapse to full-blown addiction. Our path is one of total abstinence through the program.

Am I preserving and affirming my life?

Higher Power, help me to preserve my life by staying clean and sober.

I will affirm my life and practice my program today by…

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Food For Thought

Speaking from the Heart

Through the OA fellowship, we offer each other mutual support. Since we believe that the Higher Power works through the group, what one of us is prompted to say is probably just what another member needs to hear.

Sometimes we are reluctant to speak of what is in our heart for fear of being embarrassed, belittled, or betrayed. We are so accustomed to masking our true feelings that we often lose touch with them. In OA, we are assured that what we say will be received in a spirit of acceptance and love. We do not need to be afraid of revealing our deeper selves.

It is a healing experience to belong to a group, which is dedicated to honest communication with a minimum of game playing. When we make a genuine attempt to describe where we are in our program, we are met with a warm and supportive response. Our Higher Power opens the way for meaningful communication and mutual love.

Open our hearts to You and to each other.

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One Day At A Time

WORKING IT
“For the things we have to learn
before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Aristotle

When I walked into my first Twelve Step meeting I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I knew nothing about the program, the Steps, or how to work them. But I listened, asked questions, and I learned.

One of the most important lessons I learned was that I couldn’t just sit around waiting for recovery to take place. I couldn’t just ask God for help and do nothing else. I had to put feet to my prayers, as they say. I had to do something. So … slowly, with the help of my sponsor, I took the first Step. And then the second.

I found that I could talk a good game around program folks because I’d learned the lingo. But the saying, “you’ve got to walk the talk” tells me that I have to do it. I can’t just speak my recovery into existence. I found I didn’t have recovery until I began working the Steps. It was only when I started “the doing” that the real learning — and the real recovery — began.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will take what I learn about recovery
and put it into practice … I’ll work the program.
~ jar

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

In the first few chapters a number of sudden revolutionary changes are described. Though it was not our intention to create such an impression, many alcoholics have nevertheless concluded that in order to recover they must acquire an immediate and overwhelming ‘God-consciousness’ followed at once by a vast change in feeling and outlook.
Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands such transformations, though frequent, are by no means the rule. Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the”educational variety’ because they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself. He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone. – Pg. 567 – 4th. Edition – Appendices II – Spiritual Experience

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We have many worries: economic, marital, parental, employment, religious, and legal. Some ill-trained people may try to pick one or two of these areas and act as if working on that will ‘cure’ us. We mustn’t see our recovery as connected to a good marriage, job, or socialization. We know it isn’t true.

I want to know that my recovery is connected to principle–not people places or things!

Living with Ambiguity

When I know peace is at the center of my being and I can tap into it whenever I want to, I can tolerate living with the mystery, the unknown. Understanding that knowing fully is probably never truly possible. When I experience the soothing body chemicals that love or meditation induce in me, I have the ability to sink into the moment, knowing that the moment is all I really have and that it is sufficient onto itself. Knowing that if I allow it just to be there, it will fill me up. When I reach out and touch, literally touch someone I want to participate in the world because I am naturally drawn to what is joyful or meaningful or what allows me to live with a sense of connection. When I have peace within, I trust my intuition. I rely on a part of me that doesn’t need everything to be pinned down and predictable in order to feel safe, I can tolerate the vicissitudes of life because I have an emotional center that is steady and secure. I gain my security from within

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Our feelings don’t define us, our actions do. We are not bad because we have a quick temper–but we learn that expressing that anger hurts others. The longer we keep our temper the more it improves.

I am only as big as the smallest thing that makes me angry.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Every day is perfect. The problem is, you don’t know until tomorrow.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will take enough time to do something good for myself only. I will buy myself a gift or spend worthwhile time doing something pleasant and fulfilling. I have enough time today and I deserve this time for myself.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Courage is fear in action.
( or Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers ) – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 3

Action
Action is the magic word!
With a positive, helpful attitude and regular AA action,
I can stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety.
My attitude now is that I am willing to go to any length to stay sober!
– Daily Reflections, p. 161 320

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Three A’s .. Awareness, Acceptance, Action.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Accountable Actions.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Vigilance
“Now that we’re in AA and sober,
and winning back the esteem of our friends
and business associates,
we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance.
As an insurance against ‘big-shot-ism’
we can often check ourselves by remembering
that we are today sober only by the grace of God
and that any success we may be having
is far more His success than ours.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 92

Thought to Consider . . .
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing …
my sobriety.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P U T = Patience, Understanding, Tolerance

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Change
>From “A New Man”:
“But the real miracle was what happened to him in the next ten years. He began helping people. I mean helping! No call

has been too hard, too inconvenient, too ‘hopeless.’ He founded the A.A. group in his town, and he is embarrassed if

you mention this to others or comment on the amount of A.A. work he is doing.
“He is not the same man I was trying to twelfth-step. I failed in all my efforts to help the man I knew. And then Someone

else provided a new man. – Bernardsville, New Jersey, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 15

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“Our alcoholism is a sickness we no longer fear to discuss.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1946
“A Tradition Born of Our Anonymity”
The Language of the Heart

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them
help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up
about you, to have a host of friends ,this is an experience you
must not miss.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 89~

“Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration,
and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have
carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of
His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We
have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further
and that means more action.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85~

“Offer him friendship and fellowship.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 95 (Working With Others)

“The intense relief on my friend’s face warmed my heart.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 162 (Tradition Seven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

There are those in A.A. whom we call ‘destructive’ critics. They power-drive, they are ‘politickers,’ they make
accusations to gain their ends – all for the good of A.A., of course! But we have learned that these folks need not be
really destructive.
We ought to listen carefully to what they say. Sometimes they are telling the whole truth; at other times, a little truth. If
we are within their range, the whole truth, the half-truth, or no truth at all can prove equally unpleasant to us. If they
have got the whole truth, or even a little truth, then we had better thank them and get on with our respective inventories,
admitting we were wrong. If they are talking nonsense, we can ignore it, or else try to persuade them. Failing this, we
can be sorry they are too sick to listen, and we can try to forget the whole business.
There are few better means of self-survey and of developing patience than the workouts these usually well-meaning
but erratic members so often afford us.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to be friendly toward all those I meet today.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 2nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 2nd

Daily Reflections

WE BECOME WILLING. . . . .

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not
an end in itself.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 77

How easily I can become misdirected in approaching the Eighth Step! I
wish to be free, somehow transformed by my Sixth and Seventh Step
work. Now, more than ever, I am vulnerable to my own self-interest
and hidden agenda. I am careful to remember that self-satisfaction,
which sometimes comes through the spoken forgiveness of those
I have harmed, is not my true objective. I become willing to make
amends, knowing that through this process I am mended and made
fit to move forward, to know and desire God’s will for me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics Anonymous has no quarrel with medicine, psychiatry, or
religion. We have great respect for the methods of each. And we are
glad for any success they may have had with alcoholics. We are
desirous always of cooperating with them in every way. The more
doctors, the more psychiatrists, the more clergy and rabbis we can get
to work with us, the better we like it. We have many who take a real
interest in our program and we would like many more. Am I ready to
cooperate with those who take a sincere interest in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

God is always ready to pour His blessings into our hearts in generous
measure. But like the seed-sowing, the ground must be prepared
before the seed is dropped in. It is our task to prepare the soil. It is
God’s to drop the seed. This preparation of the soil means many days
of right living, choosing the right and avoiding the wrong. As you go
along, each day you are better prepared for God’s planting, until
you reach the time of harvest. Then you share the harvest with
God — the harvest of a useful and more abundant life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my way of living may be properly prepared day by day. I
pray that I may strive to make myself ready for the harvest which
God has planted in my heart.

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As Bill Sees It

Only Try, p. 214

In my teens, I had to be an athlete because I was not an athlete. I
had to be a musician because I could not carry a tune. I had to be
the president of my class in boarding school. I had to first in
everything because in my perverse heart I felt myself the least of
God’s creatures. I could not accept my deep sense of inferiority,
and so I strove to become captain of the baseball team, and I did
learn to play the fiddle. Lead I must–or else. This was the “all or
nothing” kind of demand that later did me in.

********************************

“I’m glad you are going to try that new job. But make sure that
you are only going to ‘try.’ If you approach the project in the
attitude that “I must succeed, I must not fail, I cannot fail,’ then you
practically guarantee the flop which in turn will guarantee a
drinking relapse. But if you look at the venture as a constructive
experiment only, then all should go well.”

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 53
2. Letter, 1958


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Walk In Dry Places

“That’s the way I am”
Getter Better
Bad behavior is sometimes justified as a form of self-expression:   “That’s the way I am.”  Others are supposed to tolerate this or risk losing a friendship.
In our program, we should modify any behavior that offends or hurts others.  If we have been too brutally frank in our comments, for example, maybe we’re at fault. What we call honesty is really a form of cruelty.
If we persist in “being the way we are” even when it doesn’t work, we have nobody to blame but ourselves when things go wrong. Other people are entitled to be treated fairly and decently.   Just as we want to be. Perhaps “the way I am” is something that can be changed for the good of all, ourselves included.
If I have habits and traits that cause friction with others, I’ll take a new look at them.  It’s possible that this is something I can and should change.


***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

. . . and because willing to make amends to them all.—Second half of Step
Eight.
We have made our list of persons we’ve harmed. Now we look at how willing
we are  to make amends. We might find that we aren’t ready and willing to
make amends to everyone. Maybe they have wronged us more than we have
wronged them. Maybe we’re afraid they’ll get angry with us. Maybe we’re
afraid they’ll put us in jail.
We get ready to make amends by listening and talking to others in our
group—and to our sponsor. We pray for help to be willing to make amends.
Becoming willing does not just happen.
We have to work at it. We need to be willing to let go of the past.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me become willing. Help me see my part. I know “my part”
is the only part I can change.
Action for the Day:  I will take time to go over my list. To whom am I not ready to make amends?
I will take time to read the Serenity Prayer.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Though we be sick and tired and faint and worn–Lo, all things can be borne!  –Elizabeth Chase Akers
What bothered us most a year ago? A month ago? Even a week ago? It’s probably that whatever it was, we were obsessed with it, certain that our futures were ruined, that there was no reasonable solution. It’s also probable that we feared we simply couldn’t survive the complexity of the situation. But we did. And we always will be able to survive any and all difficulties. We are never, absolutely never, given more than we can handle. In fact, we are given exactly what we need, at any given time.
We have many lessons to learn. Fortunately, we have the structure of the Twelve Steps to guide us through the lessons. We need mainly to remember what we are powerless over, that there is a power greater than ourselves, and that life will become simple; we’ll need no extra homework when we’ve turned it over to the care of God.
Whatever my problem today, I will let God have it. A solution is in the making. I’ll see it just as quickly as I can let go of the problem.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

p. 60

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

I went to my first A.A. meeting with absolutely no idea what A.A. was about.  I am from a large Irish Catholic family and have had several relatives in and out of the program.  A.A., like prison, was shameful, however, and was never discussed.  I also had no idea what alcoholism was.  I remember a girlfriend once told me that her mother had a drinking problem but that she was not an alcoholic.  Curious, I asked what the difference was.  “An alcoholic,” she told me, “is someone who needs to drink alcohol everyday, even if it is only one drink.  A person with a drinking problem does not have to drink every day but once she starts, she cannot stop.”  By that definition, I was an alcoholic with a drinking problem.

p. 426

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Any number of A.A.’s can say to the drifter, “Yes, we were diverted from our childhood faith, too. The overconfidence of youth was too much for us. Of course, we were glad that good home and religious training had given us certain values. We were still sure that we ought to be fairly honest, tolerant, and just, that we ought to be ambitious and hardworking. We became convinced that such simple rules of fair play and decency would be enough.

pp. 28-29

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Today…well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and
every tomorrow a vision of hope.
–unknown

“Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated.”
“To Thine Own Self Be True!”
“This Is The Real Thing IT’S No Dress Rehearsal.”

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.”
–Thomas Carlyle

“In any situation, no matter how painful, we have two choices: Hold
onto anger, resentment, hurt, and fear, or open our hearts and look at
the other person with understanding, empathy, & forgiveness.
–Melody Beattie

“Look back and be grateful, look ahead and be hopeful, look around
and be helpful.”
–unknown

The first step identifies the problem.
The second step identifies the solution.
The third step identifies the action.
–unknown

When I came into AA all I could say was, “I know” and “yeah but…”
Then I got a sponsor who said, “You don’t know, and there are no
buts!”
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LAUGHTER

“Nobody ever died of laughter.”
— Max Beerbohm

I knew that I was growing in self-esteem and confidence when I was
able to laugh, express that “belly” laugh that proclaims that I am glad
to be alive.

So many religious people are too serious. They seem to think that God
disapproves of laughter and yet it seems the most natural emotion in
the world. Sobriety is a statement that the pain is being overcome and
the hope that is experienced will necessarily release laughter.

Laughter also stops us from treating ourselves and the world too
seriously. I remember a professor telling me, “God created the world
for fun. Find the key to life and enjoy it.” Spirituality is that key.

Sometimes, Lord, in the silence of my car, my joy is so great and my
gratitude so overwhelming, I can do nothing but laugh. Thank You for
the gift of laughter.

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“For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”
II Samuel 22;29

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give
thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4


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Daily Inspiration

Whether the friendships we have last a lifetime or only a brief period, they bring joy and make life a little better. Lord, may I be genuine and honest with the people in my life so that each relationship is a blessing.

As we help those in need or comfort those in trouble, God’s great love and divine glory is revealed to the world. Lord, I am Your servant. May others know more of You through me.

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NA Just For Today

Practicing Honesty

“When we feel trapped or pressured, it takes great spiritual and emotional strength to be honest.”
Basic Text, p.81

Many of us try to wiggle out of a difficult spot by being dishonest, only to have to humble ourselves later and tell the truth. Some of us twist our stories as a matter of course, even when we could just as easily tell the plain truth. Every time we try to avoid being honest, it backfires on us. Honesty may be uncomfortable, but the trouble we have to endure when we are dishonest is usually far worse than the discomfort of telling the truth.

Honesty is one of the fundamental principles of recovery. We apply this principle right from the beginning of our recovery when we finally admit our powerlessness and unmanageability. We continue to apply the principle of honesty each time we are faced with the option of either living in fantasy or living life on its own terms. Learning to be honest isn’t always easy, especially after the covering up and deception so many of us practiced in our addiction. Our voices may shake as we test our newfound honesty. But before long, the sound of the truth coming from our own mouths settles any doubts: Honesty feels good! It’s easier living the truth than living a lie.

Just for today: I will honestly embrace life, with all its pressures and demands. I will practice honesty, even when it is awkward to do so. Honesty will help, not hurt, my efforts to live clean and recover.
pg. 224

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Happiness is a mental habit, a mental attitude, and if it is not learned and practiced in the present it is never experienced.
–Maxwell Maltz
If only I had a new bike, then I’d be happy. If only my family were more understanding, then I’d be happy. If only my hair were styled better. If only I had more friends. If only… Sometimes we begin to sound like a broken record when things go wrong, so certain that if the events and conditions of our lives were different, we’d be happy.
It’s an old and unfortunate habit that we look around outside ourselves for happiness. We can never be sure of it if we count on certain conditions to guarantee it. However, we can always be sure of happiness if we carry it with us wherever we go. The happiness habit can be developed, with practice, just as surely as good piano playing or accurate pitching. We can control our own thoughts. The decision to make them happy ones is ours to make.
Am I carrying my happiness within me right now?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing. –Bill Cosby
Things are not always as they seem, even with us. Sometimes we get settled into a routine in our program. We are beyond the early struggles with detachment and sobriety. We have encountered many of the benefits of recovery. We attend our meetings and we know the words and ideas of the program. Although it all looks good on the outside, when we’re honest with ourselves, we know our spirit has gone flat. This is a serious situation and needs our attention.
When the inside feeling does not match our outside appearance, we need to become vulnerable again. We need to talk about how we really feel. Maybe little secrets we have been holding have deadened our program. Perhaps we haven’t admitted a pain in our life. Maybe we have been seduced by the power of looking good and have traded away the genuineness of being known by our friends. The renewal of this program is something we feel from within, and we can continue to be renewed.
I pray my eyes will be open to see and my program will stay alive and genuine.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Though we be sick and tired and faint and worn–Lo, all things can be borne! –Elizabeth Chase Akers
What bothered us most a year ago? A month ago? Even a week ago? It’s probably that whatever it was, we were obsessed with it, certain that our futures were ruined, that there was no reasonable solution. It’s also probable that we feared we simply couldn’t survive the complexity of the situation. But we did. And we always will be able to survive any and all difficulties. We are never, absolutely never, given more than we can handle. In fact, we are given exactly what we need, at any given time.
We have many lessons to learn. Fortunately, we have the structure of the Twelve Steps to guide us through the lessons. We need mainly to remember what we are powerless over, that there is a power greater than ourselves, and that life will become simple; we’ll need no extra homework when we’ve turned it over to the care of God.
Whatever my problem today, I will let God have it. A solution is in the making. I’ll see it just as quickly as I can let go of the problem.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
In Between
Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in between.
One of the hardest parts of recovery is the concept of letting go of what is old and familiar, but what we don’t want, and being willing to stand with our hands empty while we wait for God to fill them.
This may apply to feelings. We may have been full of hurt and anger. In some ways, these feelings may have become comfortably familiar. When we finally face and relinquish our grief, we may feel empty for a time. We are in between pain and the joy of serenity and acceptance.
Being in between can apply to relationships. To prepare ourselves for the new, we need to first let go of the old. This can be frightening. We may feel empty and lost for a time. We may feel all alone, wondering what is wrong with us for letting go of the proverbial bird in hand, when there is nothing in the bush.
Being in between can apply to many areas of life and recovery. We can be in between jobs, careers, homes, or goals. We can be in between behaviors as we let go of the old and are not certain what we will replace it with. This can apply to behaviors that have protected and served us well all of our life, such as caretaking and controlling.
We may have many feelings going on when we’re in between: spurts of grief about what we have let go of or lost, and feelings of anxiety, fear, and apprehension about what’s ahead. These are normal feelings for the in between place. Accept them. Feel them. Release them.
Being in between isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It will not last forever. It may feel like we’re standing still, but we’re not. We’re standing at the in between place. it’s how we get from here to there. It is not the destination.
We are moving forward, even when we’re in between.
Today, I will accept where I am as the ideal place for me to be. If I am in between, I will strive for the faith that this place is not without purpose, that it is moving me toward something good.

Today I know I’m just wasting my energy to try to change people, places and things. By looking within I can really discover what needs to be changed and then turn it over to my Higher Power to be released. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Enjoying a Snail’s Pace
Doing Things Slowly by Madisyn Taylor

Take time to slow down, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Life can often feel like it’s zipping by in fast forward. We feel obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at hand. Moving at a slower place lets you get things done more efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your relationships. Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate, and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go of the “fast forward” stress, and allow our bodies to remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be luxuriant and relaxing. A student cramming for a test will often feel tired and unsure, whereas someone who really absorbs the information will be more confident and relaxed. Cooking, eating, reading, and writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. ! Slowing down lets you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive.

Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing around you so you can begin moving at your own pace. The moments we choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice rather than an involuntary action. Learning to slow down in our fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic living at this pace can be. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

Journey to the Heart
What Do We Do When People Resent Us

Even with our best efforts to detach, we may still have moments when the resentments and harsh feelings of another interfere with our peace. We react much as if someone was throwing darts or rocks at us. All the efforts in the world to ignore resentment may not help if we’re feeling the impact of each harsh feeling thrown at us.

These are some ideas that might help.

1. Talk to the person. Reason things out. If that’s not possible, send them a box of blessings through prayer or thought.

2. Protect yourself emotionally and spiritually. One healing professional recommends these techniques, which have helped me. You may have your own. Take some quiet time, close your eyes, and envision yourself encased in a large cube of mirrors. Totally protected, you can see out, but others can’t see in. All they see when they look at you is themselves. Spiritually protect yourself by envisioning a flaming circle of fire around you, around the mirrors,too.

3. Look deep within yourself and find the emotional block, the unresolved issue, or the old belief that makes you vulnerable to that energy, to that person. Then release it. Heal it by acknowledging it, feeling it, and letting go.

4. Tale a closer look. The pressure and resentment you’re feeling may be your own. Release them. Heal yourself.

Now thank that person for helping you heal, grow, and move along your path.

*****

more language of letting go
Gratitude is larger than life

One day, a friend called me on the phone. He was going through a difficult time and wondering if and when things would ever turn around and improve. I knew he was in a lot of pain; I didn’t know that he was considering suicide.

“If you could give a person only one thing to help them,” he said, “what would it be?”

I thought carefully about his question; then I replied, “It’s not one thing. It’s two: gratitude and letting go.” Gratitude for everything, not just the things we consider good or a blessing. And letting go of everything we can’t change.

A few years have passed since that day my friend called me on the phone. His life has turned around. His financial problems have sorted themselves out. His career has shifted. The two very large problems he was facing at that time have both sorted themselves out. The actual process of facing and working through these problems became an important part of redirecting the course of his life.

Someone once asked the artist Georgia O’Keefe why her paintings magnified the size of small objects– like the petals on a flower– making them appear larger than life, and reduced the size of large objects– like mountains– making them smaller than life.

“Everyone sees the big things,” she said. “But these smaller things are so beautiful and people might not notice them if I didn’t emphasize them.”

That’s the way it is with gratitude and letting go. It’s easy to see the problems in our lives. They’re like mountains. But sometimes we overlook the smaller things; we don’t notice how truly beautiful they are.

Identify problems. Feel feelings.

But if you’re going to make anything bigger than life, let it be the power and simplicity of these two tools: gratitude and letting go.

God, teach me to use gratitude and letting go to reduce the size of my problems.

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A Day At A Time
August 2

Reflection For The Day

When I begin to compare my life with the lives of others, I’ve begun to move toward the edge of the murky swamp of self-pity. On the other hand, if I feel that what I’m doing is right and good, I won’t be so dependent on the admiration or approval of others. Applause is well and good, but it’s not essential to my inner contentment. I’m in The Program to get rid of self-pity, not to increase its power to destroy me. Am I learning how others have dealt with their problems so I can apply these lessons to my own life?

Today I Pray

God, make me ever mindful of where I came from and the new goals I have been encouraged to set. May I stop playing to an audience for their approval, since I am fully capable of admiring or applauding myself if I feel I have earned it. Help me make myself attractive from the inside, so it will show through, rather than adorning the outside for effect. I am tired of stage make-up and costumes, God; help me be myself.

Today I Will Remember

Has anyone seen ME?

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One More Day
August 2

No man is good for anything who has not some particle of obstinacy to use upon occasion.
– Henry Ward Beecher

The word obstinate is quite often used to describe children who refuse to let go of an idea or behavior. Although we may not want others to label us obstinate, it might be that obstinacy is a needed quality for us in the right situations.

Sometimes it is healthy for us to be stubborn, to hold steadfastly to what we want and who we are and where we want to be. Faith in ourselves and obstinacy can be just what we need to survive a hard day. And we do get by, not because we’re foolish, but because our maturity tells us to hold on to our sense of direction.

I will keep as much independence as I can.

************************************************** ***************

In God’s Care

He always lets people do what they want.
~~Frank N.D. Buchman

We are born into the world with free will, and we can do whatever we please. But there are civil laws and, if we disobey them, we are at risk of losing our freedom.

The spiritual world also has laws; if we disregard them, we suffer consequences. The difference is that we are our own judges, and our consequences are personal. We frequently bump into these spiritual boundaries. God lets us over-step them at will, but what we do always catches up with us.

If we break spiritual laws, no one knows it better than we do because unhappiness surely follows. Selfishness, dishonesty, and an unloving attitude guarantee misery. Letting love direct our thoughts and actions assures our ultimate happiness.

Today I can do as I please, but I choose to be happy – living within God’s spiritual boundaries.

************************************************** *************

Day By Day

Developing Spritually

We read in the Big Book that no human power could have relieved our addiction – not ourselves, our spouse, the law, clergy, counselors, or friends. Through trial and error and many failures, we come to know that another human being is not the way. To recover, we need a spiritual program based on a power greater than ourselves.

To recover, we need a spiritual life, as developed by the fellowship and the Twelve Steps.

Am I growing spiritually?

Higher Power, help me to see the importance of developing a spiritual life.

I will work on my spiritual program today by…

************************************************** ***************

Food For Thought

Motivation

Most of us fight the temptation to be lazy, to get by with doing the minimum instead of our best. When we were children, we had parents and teachers who urged us on to greater efforts. As adults, we have to depend more on internal motivation and less on the exhortations of others.

Working for strictly material goods is not enough to provide the impetus and enthusiasm we need. It is our Higher Power who gives us our talents and abilities, and it is His plan for their use, which we seek to follow.

Doing less than the best we can is short-changing ourselves. We miss the satisfaction that comes from stretching as far as we can. We also miss the opportunity to exceed former limits. The more we do, the more we are able to do.

Motivation comes from our Higher Power and can only be received, as we are willing to act. Thinking and planning have their place, but it is action, which generates fresh enthusiasm.

May I live up to the maximum of my abilities today.

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One Day At A Time

CONTROL
“I know God will not give me anything I cannot handle.
I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
Mother Teresa

There was a time when I asked God to handle only the impossible. How dare I ask someone as busy and important as God to help me with a simple thing like food? After all, this was just a matter of using a little will-power … of pushing myself back from the table. Or so I had been told.

As I began to trust my Twelve Step program more and more, I found myself turning over to God the issues which triggered my compulsive eating. It was with great relief that I began to surrender my food and other problems to Him. It was with enormous gratitude that I realized what a gift it is to finally be able to give up control and put my life in my Higher Power’s hands.

One Day at a Time . . .
I relinquish control of my food.
I relinquish control of people.
I relinquish control of my life.
~ Mari

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. – Pg. 84 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We hear so much about spiritual principles. What are they? A spiritual principle is a standard of conduct by which we remain right with the world. Some of these are: honesty, integrity, kindness, accountability, service to others, and good humor.

May I pick one of the spiritual principles and apply it to my conduct in this next hour.

The Power is in the Now

There is magic in this moment. All of the creative power in this radiant universe is in the present, in the here and now. The present is alive and vibrant. If I align myself with the present, if I allow myself to fully experience this moment, I will find all that I need in it. And I will be contemplating what I experience next. Quantum physics tells me that all is alive and issues from the same source. What I experience now, creates my future. I am part of God’s plan, part of the one, creative mind.

There is nothing like the present

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do you have so many skeletons in the closet that you had to build a walk-in? Share the load. The AA Big Book says that, we ‘should be willing to bring former mistakes, no matter how grievous, out of their hiding places.’ (P 124) Not to do so is being self-centered and selfish.

I am only as sick as my secrets.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Keep coming back, it works-don’t go away; it works even better!

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know I’m just wasting my energy to try to change people, places and things. By looking within I can really discover what needs to be changed and then turn it over to my Higher Power to be released.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Explore daily the will of God. – Carl Jung.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 2

Solution
The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution.
We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree,
and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action.
This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 17

Thought to Ponder . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S T E P S = Solutions Through Each Positive Step.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Responsibility
“Our spiritual way of life is safe for future generations if,
as a Society, we resist the temptation to receive money
from the outside world.
But this leaves us with a responsibility –
one that every member ought to understand.
We cannot skimp when the treasurer of our group
passes the hat.
Our groups, our areas, and AA as a whole
will not function unless our services are sufficient
and their bills are paid.
When we meet and defeat the temptation to take large gifts,
we are only being prudent.
But when we are generous with the hat
we give a token that we are grateful for our blessings
and evidence that we are eager to share what we have found with all those who
still suffer.”
Bill W., November 1957
1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 221

Thought to Consider . . .
The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Happy Our Program Exists

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Name
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“The Akron and New York groups had been voting for months on possible titles [for the Big Book]. This had become an after-the-meeting form of amusement and interest. The title ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ had appeared very early in the discussion, probably in October, 1938. We do not know who first used these words. After we New Yorkers had left the Oxford Groups in 1937 we often described ourselves as a ‘nameless bunch of alcoholics.’ From this phrase it was only a step to the idea of ‘Alcoholics Anonymous.’ This was its actual derivation.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 165

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“The little things that happen, the spoken word, the kind smile, the nod of encouragement — the fellowship that goes with the program — these things I will never forget.”
Benoni, January 1988
“A Special Kind of Peace,”
AA Grapevine

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental
defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither
he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~

“When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness
of the Presence of God is today the most important fact of their
lives, they present a powerful reason why one should have faith.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 51~

“We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 133 (The Family Afterward)

“In 2003, it is estimated that over two million have recovered through A.A.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 15 (Foreword)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In my teens, I had to be an athlete because I was not an athlete. I had to be a musician because I could not carry a tune. I had to be the president of my class in boarding school. I had to be first in everything because m my perverse heart I felt myself the least of God’s creatures. I could not accept my deep sense of inferiority, and so I strove to become captain of the baseball team, and I did learn to play the fiddle. Lead I must – or else. This was the ‘all or nothing’ kind of demand that later did me in.
‘I’m glad you are going to try that new job. But make sure that you are only going to ‘try.’ If you approach the project in the attitude that ‘I must succeed, I must not fail, I cannot fail,’ then you practically guarantee the flop which in turn will guarantee a drinking relapse. But if you look at the venture as a constructive experiment only, then all should go well.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for allowing me to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Please give me the compassion to carry my experience, strength, and hope to others today.