Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Daily Reflections

THE “WORTH” OF SOBRIETY

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside
contributions.
TWELVE AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 160

When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy
it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to
straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with
sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I
am either too bust to take money out of my purse, or I do not have
enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone
suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought,
that’s too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I
rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget
that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and
cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a
restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how
much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth?

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no
material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead
hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given
away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have
given our time and money for the good of A.A., we may take that with
us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what have
we gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done.
Those are the things that really matter in the long run. What will I
take with me when I go?

Meditation For The Day

“Hallowed be Thy Name.” What does that mean to us? Here “name”
is used in the sense of “spirit.” The words mean praise to God for His
spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful
for God’s spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is
base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a
conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in
our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for God’s spirit in me. I pray that I may
try to live in accordance with it.

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As Bill Sees It

The Fellowship’s Future, p.207

“It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and
under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once
have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older
members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the
surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached
enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon
God.”

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Clearly, our first duty to A.A.’s future is to maintain in full strength
what we have now. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this.
Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide
acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle
temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance
disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and
transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How
well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

1. Letter, 1940
2. A.A. Today, p. 106

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Walk In Dry Places

Never withholding ourselves…………..Living Sober.
We may have let ourselves believe that were supposed to display an attitude that expresses our opinions of others. If a person is crude and boorish, we should be cool and defensive for our self-protection.  If a person is warm and friendly, we should respond in warm and friendly ways.
If we have believed these things, then were actually letting others control our attitudes and behavior. We are letting personalities interfere with the high principles we are learning in AA. We are not living at the best possible level.
In reality, we should always display an attitude that reflects kindness, optimism, friendliness, and concern. There other persons disposition, whether its sour or sweet, should have nothing to do with our being what we want to be.  We should never withhold the fine inner qualities that develop and grow as we continue to live the program.
In time, we begin to learn that this attitude always comes back to us in the form of greater peace and happiness.  And what’s great about it is that its always under our direct control.
As I go about my business today, I will express a kindliness and concern toward everybody. Nobody’s behavior can make me adopt a suspicious or defensive attitude

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Keep It Simple

I was never less alone when by myself.—Edward Gibson
To stay in this program, we need to accept that we have an illness. We need to accept that we were
out of control. And we need to accept that we need others and they need us. At times, we won’t want to accept these facts. We will want to deny we have an illness and our lives were out of control.
Many of us get into trouble when we don’t accept that we need others. This is why helping others is so important. It teaches us that we need others, and others need us. By helping others, we learn about the give-and-take of human relationships. There is no give-an-take in addiction. There is just take. Now, finally, we can give too!
Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that I need other people.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll help out. I will make coffee at the next meeting or offer to do the Step next week. I will let a fellow addict know I’m glad he or she is sober.

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Each Day a New Beginning

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.  –Jessamyn West
To live fully and creatively, to contribute what is only ours to give, requires that we be receptive, wholly, to the reverberations of each present moment. Even anticipation of what may transpire next can prejudice our minds, our level of awareness. Preconceptions cloud our senses. They prevent the actual situation from being fully realized. And it is only in the now, as sensed moment by moment, that we find our cues to proceed along the path chosen for us.
As we grow more comfortable with Step Three, daily turning our lives and wills over to the care of God, we’ll see how much more rewarding our experiences are. We’ll see, too, how much greater are our own contributions. Preconceptions of any situation, persons, anticipated experience, dulls the magic, the depth of the moment. And only when we attune ourselves to the invitation of the moment do we give of ourselves, wholly. Our partnership with God lives now, as we go forth in this moment.
I will look to each moment with childish eyes. I’ll find joy and contentment.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

In this book you will read the experience of a man who thought he was an atheist. His story is so interesting that some of it should be told now. His change of heart was dramatic, convincing, and moving.
Our friend was a minister’s son. He attended church school, where he became rebellious at what he thought an overdose of religious education. For years thereafter he was dogged by trouble and frustration. Business failure, insanity, fatal illness, suicide—these calamities in his immediate family embittered and depressed him. Post-war disillusionment, ever more serious alcoholism, impending mental and physical collapse, brought him to the point to self-destruction.

pp. 55-56

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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.
Because my college was fairly small, it did not take long for me to come to the attention of the college deans.  It was under their watchful eyes that I first agreed to enter counseling.  While the administration saw this as an opportunity to help a troubled student, I saw it as a bargain.  I would go to counseling to make them happy, and they would owe me one.  Not surprisingly, the counseling had no effect.  My daily drinking continued unabated.

p. 424

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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.”

At this juncture, his A.A. sponsor usually laughs. This, the newcomer thinks, is just about the last straw. This is the beginning of the end. And so it is: the beginning of the end of his old life, and the beginning of his emergence into a new one. His sponsor probably says, “Take it easy. The hoop you have to jump through is a lot wider than you think. At least I’ve found it so. So did a friend of mine who was a one-time vice-president of the American Atheist Society, but he got through with room to spare.”

p. 26

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The future starts today, not tomorrow.
–Pope John Paul II

Don’t live in the past…you have already been there.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

The secret lies in how we handle today, not yesterday or
tomorrow. Today…that special block of time holding the key that
locks out yesterday’s nightmares and unlocks tomorrow’s dreams.
–Charles Swindoll

Let everyone try and find that as a result of daily prayer he adds
something new to his life, something with which nothing can be
compared.
–Mahatma Gandhi

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.”
–Robert Brault

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in
his way.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the
less control we have.
–Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ADVERSITY

“Adversity reveals genius,
prosperity conceals it.”
–Horace

Today I believe that the only way to understand God, the world,
my neighbor and myself is through some degree of suffering. Pain
and suffering are humbling in the truest sense; they stop you from
being arrogant, selfish and “prideful”.

I know this because I was a spoiled child. My family tried to give
me everything. Whatever I wanted was given to me; my way or no
way! This sick love robbed me of humility and separated me from
humanity: it made me feel different, selfish and place me on a
pity-pot. Being spoiled stopped me experiencing the real world and
stopped me from growing.

Today adversity is part of life and part of being human. Not to
grow through adversity is to die. To have everything is to
experience nothing. To feel in life — to have emotion — demands
adversity and pain.

Teach me to be grateful for the suffering that leads to growth.

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Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your
gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about
anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in
me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Phillipians 4:4-9

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD
require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly
with your God?”
Micah 6:8

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Daily Inspiration

Avoid being self-conscious and you will have more time to have fun and enjoy the moment. Lord, help me take myself less seriously and place my focus on those around me.

Courage gives us the trust in God to follow our hearts no matter what obstacles seem to block our way. Lord, I love You.

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NA Just For Today

Unconditional Surrender

“Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat. This can be frightening, but it is the foundation on which we have built our lives.”
Basic Text, p.22

Most of us have tried everything we can think of, exerted every ounce of force possible, to fill the spiritual hole inside us. Nothing – not drugs, not control and management, not sex, money, property, power, or prestige – has filled it. We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone. Our denial will not change that fact.

So we surrender; we ask a Higher Power to care for our will and our lives. Sometimes in surrendering, we don’t know that a Power greater than ourselves exists which can restore us to wholeness. Sometimes we’re not sure that the God of our understanding will care for our unmanageable lives. Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth: We are powerless. Our lives are unmanageable. We must surrender. Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide – wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter.

Just for today: I will surrender unconditionally. I can make it as easy or as hard as I choose. Either way, I will do it.
pg. 216

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Isn’t it great life is open-ended! –Brigitte Frase
Elizabeth Lawton, known as “Grandma Layton,” is an American artist who never drew a picture until she was sixty-eight years old. She spent all the years before that time trying to cope with depression. She had gone through therapy, medications, and shock treatment and continued to be severely depressed. But then she signed up for an art class and the act of drawing cured her depression. She continues to make fabulous pictures.
What does she think about the critical acclaim her artwork has received? She says she wants others to know about her art so it may give hope to those who have also “suffered from feelings.”
Many of us have suffered from feelings. We must remember that we can each turn to our creativity–at any age–as a source for our well-being. All we need to do is have faith in the potential goodness within ourselves and those we love.
What creative activity can I look to for comfort today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness. –Erich Fromm
Many of us have felt so insecure, so poor, or so much the underdog that we made a fervent promise to ourselves that we’d come out on top later. We know how weak we felt, and that image continues to be our guiding force long after the weakness was overcome. We may have spiritual problems because we are blind to the reality of our present life. While grasping for more security, more love, more money, or trying to lose more weight or attract more friends, we fail to stop and realize the real rewards we already have today. We are driven by the memory of pain and insecurity, rather than rising above it and relating to the higher principles and people around us. Getting more control or more achievements does not solve our spiritual problems, but by making peace with the fact that life is insecure.
Today, I will let go of my grasping for more. I will let go of it again and again throughout the day so I am not ruled by this weakness.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions. –Jessamyn West
To live fully and creatively, to contribute what is only ours to give, requires that we be receptive, wholly, to the reverberations of each present moment. Even anticipation of what may transpire next can prejudice our minds, our level of awareness. Preconceptions cloud our senses. They prevent the actual situation from being fully realized. And it is only in the now, as sensed moment by moment, that we find our cues to proceed along the path chosen for us.
As we grow more comfortable with Step Three, daily turning our lives and wills over to the care of God, we’ll see how much more rewarding our experiences are. We’ll see, too, how much greater are our own contributions. Preconceptions of any situation, persons, anticipated experience, dulls the magic, the depth of the moment. And only when we attune ourselves to the invitation of the moment do we give of ourselves, wholly. Our partnership with God lives now, as we go forth in this moment.
I will look to each moment with childish eyes. I’ll find joy and contentment.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Owning Our Power
Don’t you see? We do not have to be so victimized by life, by people, by situations, by work, by our friends, by our love relationships, by our family, by our feelings, our thoughts, our circumstances, and ourselves.
We are not victims. We do not have to be victims. That is the whole point!
Yes, admitting and accepting powerlessness is important. But that is the first step, an introduction to this business of recovery. Later, comes owning our power. Changing what we can. This is as important as admitting and accepting powerlessness. And there is so much we can change.
We can own our power, wherever we are, wherever we go, whomever we are with. We do not have to stand there with our hands tied, groveling helplessly, submitting to whatever comes along. There are things we can do. We can speak up. Solve the problem. Use the problem to motivate ourselves to do something good for ourselves.
We can make ourselves feel good. We can walk away. We can come back on our terms. We can stand up for ourselves. We can refuse to let others control and manipulate us.
We can do what we need to do to take care of our selves. That is the beauty, the reward, the crown of victory we are given in this process called recovery. It is what it is all about!
If we can’t do anything about the circumstance, we can change our attitude. We can do the work within: courageously face our issues so we are not victimized. We have been given a miraculous key to life.
We are victims no more unless we want to be.
Freedom and joy are ours for the taking, for the feeling, for the hard work we have done.
Today, I will remind myself as often as necessary that I am not a victim, and I do not need to be victimized by whatever comes my way. I will work hard to remove myself as a victim, whether that means setting and enforcing a boundary, walking away, dealing with my feelings, or giving myself what I need. God, help me let go of my need to feel victimized.

Today I will allow to just be without judgment, without criticism. I will accept all that happens with love and gentleness.
–Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Find Places of Repose

I was driving down a Nevada highway feeling tense and agitated when the sign appeared. “To the Nature Sanctuary.” Ignored the first entrance; then turned at the second one. In a few short feet, the road and scenery changed from barren, flat highway into a terrain of serene repose. A family of ducks bathed and swam in a small lake, surrounded by trees. Tiny wrens pecked at the gravel. A boy about thirteen sat fishing, a picnic lunch by his side. In only a few minutes, my agitation disappeared. I had found a place of peace.

Rest when you become tense, afraid, upset. Rest until peace returns. Stop what you’re doing. Take a moment, take an hour. Take the time you need to restore peace. Breathe deeply. Breathe in the quiet beauty of the world around you. Let it be a sanctuary that soothes and calms your soul.

Places of healing and repose are moments away. Find them in the world around you. Then discover those places in yourself. The universe holds the antidote for your fears and agitation. It offers all the healing you need. That healing is right around the corner.

Take a moment, take an hour. When you feel your peace interrupted, look for a place of repose.

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More Language Of Letting Go

See what feels right to you

“French Valley traffic, Cessna 80809 taking active runway one-eight for left crosswind departure. French Valley.”

I turned onto eighteen, pushed the throttle in, then held my breath as the little gold-and-white plane sped down the runway, then lifted off the ground. I pulled back on the yoke, lifting her gently, but not too gently. She needed to clear the trees, houses, and towers in front of me. But if I lifted her nose too fast, too high, we’d lose speed and go into a stall.

There was a lot to think about, trying to do this right.

We began to ascend, just past five hundred feet, when the plane began hopping about in the air. It was just the wind, but it was those same hurdles of air, the lifting and the dropping and the being bounced around, that made me feel like we were going to suddenly fall out of the sky.

“You’ve got the controls,” I screamed at Rob.

“No, you’ve got the controls,” he said, placing his hands resolutely in his lap.

“Rob, I’m scared,” I said. “I feel really uncomfortable.”

“Then breathe.”

I couldn’t breathe, at least not the way he meant– consciously, breath in, breath out, calming myself down. Holding my breath was a habit, one I’d acquired early in my life. Holding my breath was how I responded to my fear.

I got the plane up to one thousand feet, then two thousand. I wasn’t comfortable, but I climbed to five thousand feet so we could do the maneuvers we had planned.

I tried to relax and breathe, but I still felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t relax.

Rob was fidgeting with something; I wasn’t sure what. I kept watching outside the plane for other traffic, then watching inside the plane at the gauges. I was about to give up trying when suddenly, Rob began sticking pieces of paper over each of the dials.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Teaching you to trust yourself,” he said. “Tell me when it feels like we’re going at sixty-five knots,” he sad.

Now, I had to relax. “About now,” I said.

He uncovered the dial. We were at sixty-five knots.

“Now, do a coordinated turn of thirty degrees– without checking the instrument panel,” he said. “Tell me when it feels right to you.”

I relaxed even more deeply, gently guiding the plane into a slow coordinated turn.

“Perfect,” he said, showing me the gauges.

“See,” he said, confidently. “You’re just scaring yourself by confusing yourself in your head, with all these dials and all you think you have to do to get it right. All you really need to do is relax and trust what feels right to you.”

Let go of fear and confusion. Stop overwhelming yourself with all you have to do, and trying to get it right. Get information. Read books. Get help. Then relax. You know more than you think.

You’ll know when you’re getting ti right.

Trust what feels right to you.

God, help me learn to let go of my fears and trust when it feels right to me.

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In God’s Care

It is not the image we create of God which proves God. It is the effort we make to create this image.
~~Pierre Lecomte du Nouy

Not very many of us have the truly dramatic spiritual experience that dispells, for all time, our insecurity and our doubts about God’s existence. We may know someone who has been this fortunate, but most of us have to give frequent or daily attention to prayer, meditation, and perhaps affirmations in order to develop the faith that can come to everyone.

Our path for developing conscious contact with God makes God a familiar companion in our daily life. Our thoughts of God can remind us that God cares and is in charge. Exercising our mind in this way is not unlike exercising our body. Just as our repeated physical efforts strengthen our muscles, our belief is strengthened into faith when we make the remembrance of God’s presence a daily practice.

I will remember God today.

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Day By Day

Avoiding pity

Coming into the fellowship, newcomers may see older members as unsympathetic, unsupportive, or even rude. Old-timers don’t mince words with newcomers who aren’t ready to stop using: “Go back out and try some more if you haven’t had enough.” Old-timers don’t pity newcomers. While they understand the fear and pain, they also know that pity will kill because pity leads to self-pity and evgentually back to using.

So if old-timers seem harsh it’s out of loving, knowing hearts – it’s out of tough love.

Have I stopped pitying myself (and others)?

Higher Power, help me avoid self-pity so I can do what I need to do to recover.

Today I will avoid self-pity by…

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Food for Thought

Doing God’s Will

For a long time, most of us tried to achieve happiness by serving our self-will. We figured out what we wanted from life and then went about trying to attain it. When our efforts were frustrated, we turned to food and overeating.

The idea of giving our self-will to God and following His direction makes us fearful. We fear that we will lose out and be unhappy. We are reluctant to give up our illusions of autonomy and power. We wonder if there really is a Higher Power who can direct our way. We pray for guidance and then forget to listen for the response.

When we are willing to trust a Higher Power in even one small area of our lives, we begin to see results. As our faith grows, we become confident enough to relinquish more and more of the concerns, which by ourselves we are unable to manage. The more we work this program, the more sure we are that our peace and happiness lie in serving God, rather than ourselves.

I pray for courage to follow Your will.

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Half-Full Consciousness
Starting from Empty by Madisyn Taylor

Live your life as if your glass is half-full rather than half-empty, all you need is a change of thought.

We are all familiar with the metaphorical story of two people looking at the same glass and one perceiving it as half-full while the other sees it as half-empty. As much as we’ve heard this, it’s still a valuable exercise to really observe our minds and notice whether we are engaged in half-full or half-empty thinking. People will refer to themselves as being of one type or the other as if it was a permanent characteristic, but we are all capable of shifting into a half-full consciousness if we simply make the effort.

When we look at our lives with half-empty consciousness, we perceive a lack and think that the other half of what we want is missing. We are coming from a position of expectation and entitlement. On the other hand, when we look at our lives as half-full we perceive fullness. It is as if we recognize that our cup could be fully empty and so we are grateful for what we see as bounty—not something we expect or believe we are owed, but a gift. In half-full consciousness, we count our blessings. When we look at our lives we see all the elements that are in place and all the things we do have. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t seek more, but we seek from a place of fullness instead of from a place of lack. This fullness draws positive energy into our lives and often attracts more abundance.

If you would like to begin to make the shift into half-full consciousness, try imagining your life as an empty glass. This is your life without all the people you know, the work you do, your home, or your current state of physical wellbeing. This is just an empty, open space waiting to be filled. Once you have that feeling of openness in your mind, begin filling it with all the people, things, and places that make up your life. You may be surprised to find your glass overflowing. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Now that I avail myself of the letters H-O-W suggested by friends in The Program – Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness – I see things differently. In ways that I couldn’t have predicted and surely never expected, I’ve come to see things quite differently from the person I was before coming to The Program. I feel good most days. I seldom feel bad, and never for long. Certainly never as bad as I used to feel all of the time. Is my worst day now infinitely better than my best day previously?

Today I Pray

May I remember today to say “thank you” to my Higher Power, to my friends in the group and to the whole, vast fellowship of recovering chemically dependent persons for making me know that things do get better. I give thanks, too, for those verbal boosters, the tags and slogans which have so often burst into my brain at exactly the moments when they were needed, redefining my purp0ose, restoring my patience, reminding me of my God.

Today I Will Remember

How it was.

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One More Day

The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future. and the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.
– Tennessee Williams

“I’m going to work in the mills, like my Dad.” “I’m going to be a teacher.” “I want to be a soldier.” As children, we believed in these absolute, fixed goals. In adulthood, we learn that we can’t always get what we expect. Sometimes we don’t even come close. Those who manage to live happy and fulfilling lives are flexible, mature adults.

Flexibility means we can incorporate changes into our lives, ween when those changes cause indifference in the way we live. What’s most important is to remember that we can change goals and attain them, that happiness is there if we work and plan for it.

I am not afraid to make changes that are good for me.

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One Day At A Time

SURRENDER
“Most folks are as happy
as they make up their minds to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

More than seven years ago I weighed over 320 pounds and was living the painful life of a compulsive eater. Nothing I tried helped me to make lasting changes … until I began my recovery program. This healing process included Twelve Step recovery, therapy, and changing my life completely. I ended a long-term relationship and moved 2,300 miles away from all of my family and friends. I had no idea as to the extent of this journey I was beginning.

I’ve learned how ignorant I can be ~ and how wise I am. I’ve learned that humility is not humiliation ~ it is found by maintaining a willingness to learn. I’ve been taught how to walk through my fears. I’ve been shown that my HP and God are in all things ~ and that Spirit follows and supports me with each and every step I take. Some of those steps go forwards, some backwards … yet with each there is progress.

I’ve never forgotten the pain. Some days it’s very severe because I don’t have the food to numb it or to hide behind. Thanks to my program, I can always see hope and joy all around me now, even in the midst of pain.

I now weigh 220 pounds. Somehow I’ve lost 100 pounds of my old self and am beginning to see the new me. The new me is still losing weight. The new me is also incredibly beautiful, deserving, loving, and worthy … all things I thought I wasn’t. I’m slowly, gently, learning that with each day I live well … I AM WELL! I am only as happy as I am choosing to be.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray for complete surrender.
I ask for patience, abstinence and peace.
I reflect on where I’ve come from,
and remember to embrace the deepest gratitude
for where I am now. Today I am well.
~ Melanie S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

X. Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority will defined.

XI. The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.

XII. The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. traditions, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action. – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts ( Short Form )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Frequently, throughout the day we hear the Babbler, a silent running dialogue in our head ready to put us down at any opportunity, ‘You’re stupid; they’re stupid; who wants sobriety; boy, is this dumb.’ Babbler is not the voice of our Higher Power. It is the voice of addiction putting us down.

May the Babbler’s words fall on deaf ears. I am sober, worthy, and this program is where I belong.

Learning My Own Lessons

I recognize today that I am in charge of my own learning. Life is constantly offering up circumstances that are useful in my personal growth. I can move through the situation, live it out, extract the wisdom that is in it or I can ignore the lesson and keep repeating the same painful circumstance over and over again in my life. The deepest and most appropriate things I need to learn in life are generally right in front of me. Life is my guru if I can use it as such. It is rich with subtle learning if I look for it. The gift I can give myself today is becoming aware of what life is trying to teach me.

My lessons come from my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The AA Big Book, The NA Basic Text, and the CDA First Edition do not need to be rewritten. They need to be reread.

I begin this day by reading at least one page from my program’s basic book.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You spend more time with yourself than with anyone else. Doesn’t it make sense to put something into that relationship?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will allow to just be without judgement, with criticism. I will accept all that happens with love and gentleness.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

What works for one person may be good, but if it’s not in the program, not the steps, then it’s not AA. Which doesn’t mean it’s no good. It just means that it’s not the AA program. So you need an Owner’s Manual; a Big Book. Then you’ll be able to read it and know what’s in there, rather than count on someone else to tell you. – Ken D

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AA Thought for the Day

July 26

Emotional Sobriety
Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance
— urges quite appropriate to age seventeen — prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven or fifty-seven.
Since AA began, I’ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually.
My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally,
that all along we have had the cart before the horse!
– The Language of the Heart, p. 236

Thought to Ponder . . .
Spiritual and emotional growth does not depend so much upon success as it does upon failures and setbacks.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A G O = Another Growth Opportunity.

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

The Gift
“When asked, ‘Are there any conditions?’
we joyfully reply, ‘No, not a one.’
When skeptically he comes back saying,
‘But certainly there must be things
that I have to do and believe,’ we quickly answer,
‘In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts.’
Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires,
‘What is all this going to cost me?’
We are able to laugh and say,
‘Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues.’
Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed
of his suspicion and rebellion . . .
Alcoholics Anonymous is saying,
‘We have something precious to give,
if only you will receive.’
That is all.”
Bill W., February 1948
1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 79

Thought to Consider . . .
Sobriety is a gift, not a right

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
G I F T S = Getting It From The Steps

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

Stories
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“We had not gone much farther with the text of the book when it was evident that something more was needed. There would have to be a story or case history section. We would have to produce evidence in the form of living proof, written testimonials of our membership itself. It was felt also that the story section could identify us with the distant reader in a way that the text itself might not. At this point Dr. Bob and the Akronites played a vital role. The Akron group was the larger and had more case history material, and the means of putting it into story form now appeared. Two years earlier a former newspaperman, Jim S., had been lifted off skid row and nursed back to health and sobriety. Jim and Dr. Bob went after all the Akronites who had substantial sobriety records for testimonial material. In most cases Jim interviewed the prospects and wrote their stories for them. Dr. Bob wrote his own. By January the Akronites had produced eighteen fine stories.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 164

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

“My local meetings are big on this spot-check reminder: you get what you get; it’s what you do with it that counts.”
York Harbor, Maine, October 2001
“We Get What We Get,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members
identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely
personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of
past associations, or his present choice.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28

“To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for
guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the
strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw
ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs
and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the
imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 66

“We had to see that when we harbored grudges and planned revenge for such defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon God.’
Clearly, our first duty to A.A.’s future is to maintain in full strength what we now have. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this. Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me discover what’s most important in my life. Help me learn patience, so that I can devote my resources to the important things.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 10th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 10th

Daily Reflections

TOWARD PEACE AND SERENITY

. . . when we have taken a square look at some of these defects, have
discussed them with another, and have become willing to have
them removed, our thinking about humility commences to have a
wider meaning.
12 & 12, p.74

When situations arise which destroy my serenity, pain often
motivates me to ask God for clarity in seeing my part in the
situation. Admitting my powerlessness, I humbly pray for
acceptance. I try to see how my character defects contribute to the
situation. Could I have been more patient? Was I intolerant? Did I
insist on having my own way? Was I afraid? As my defects are
revealed, I put self-reliance aside and humbly ask God to remove
my shortcomings. The situation may not change, but as I practice
exercising humility, I enjoy the peace and serenity which are the
natural benefits of placing my reliance in a power greater than
myself.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in Alcoholics Anonymous do not enter into theological
discussions, but in carrying our message we attempt to explain the
simple “how” of the spiritual life. How faith in a Higher Power can
help you to overcome loneliness, fear, and anxiety. How it can
help you get along with other people. How it can make it possible
for you to rise above pain, sorrow, and despondency. How it can
help you to overcome your desires for the things that destroy. Have
I reached a simple, effective faith?

Meditation For The Day

Expect miracles of change in people’s lives. Do not be held back
by unbelief. People can be changed and they are often ready and
waiting to be changed. Never believe that human nature cannot be
changed. We see changed people everyday. Do you have the faith
to make those changes possible? Modern miracles happen every
day in the lives of people. All miracles are in the realm of
personalities. Human nature can be changed and is always being
changed. But we must have enough faith so that we can be
channels for God’s strength into the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have the faith to expect miracles. I pray that I
may be used by God to help change the lives of others.

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As Bill Sees It

The Beginning of Humility, p. 191

“There are few absolutes inherent in the Twelve Steps. Most Steps
are open to interpretation, based on the experience and outlook of the
individual.

“Consequently, the individual is free to start the Steps at whatever
point he can, or will. God, as we understand Him, may be defined as a
‘Power greater . . .’ or the Higher Power. For thousands of members,
the A.A. group itself has been a ‘Higher Power’ in the beginning. This
acknowledgment is easy to make if a newcomer knows that most of
the members are sober and he isn’t.

“His admission is the beginning of humility–at least the newcomer is
willing to disclaim that he himself is God. That’s all the start he
needs. If, following this achievement, he will relax and practice as
many of the Steps as he can, he is sure to grow spiritually.

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Foolish Risks
Maintaining the New Way
There are only a few practices that really must be considered unacceptable for recovering people.  AA even concedes, for example, that there’s nothing wrong with having lunch with a friend in a far if one’s house is in order.
Under no circumstances, however, should recovering people do anything that puts their sobriety at risk. The stakes are TOO HIGH.  Recovery is to precious. The new life is to important.
What practices might come under the heading of risky?  A dangerous one, common among young and old alcoholics alike, is returning to the old crowd that’s still drinking and drugging. It’s risky to associate with our former drinking lifestyles, and we’ll recognize this if we’re working our program.
Part of the honesty I’ll practice today is knowing my own motives for everything I do.

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Keep It Simple

Everybody knows that when they’re happy, than usually the people around them are happy.—George Harrison
Do we think we can’t be happy until others are happy? Then nobody is happy. Our unhappy friends won’t take our advice. They say,” Why should I do what you say? You are not happy either.” And we answer, “I’ll be okay when you’re happy.” We make them responsible for our happiness. What a mess!
We can only make one person happy—ourselves. How? By living as our Higher Power leads us. By working the Steps. By being grateful for the good things in our lives. By loving ourselves and others, just as we are.
And maybe when we’re happy, our friends will learn from us. They can be happy too. But only our friends can make themselves happy.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, as I do my part in Your plan today, help me feel connected to You and to life.
Today’s Action:  Today I’ll enjoy my happiness. I’ll look for three ways to share it with others.

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Each Day a New Beginning

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  –Eleanor Roosevelt
We are competent women. We made a wise choice for ourselves when we decided to recover. Each day that we continue working this program our Spirits are strengthened. And our gifts will multiply.
Feeling inferior can become a habit. Being passive and feeling inferior go hand-in-hand, and they prepare us for becoming dependent on alcohol, pills, food, and people. We didn’t understand, instinctively, that we are just who we’re meant to be. We grew up believing we were not smart enough, not pretty enough, not capable enough. We grew up too distant from the source of our real strength.
How wonderful for us that we found the program! How lucky we are to have, for the taking, all the strength we’ll ever need to face any situation, to handle any problem, to resolve any personal relationship conflict. Feeling inferior can be only a bad memory. The choice is ours. The program promises a better life. The Steps promise the strength to move forward. Our friends promise us outstretched hands.
I will look forward to the challenges of today with hope and strength and know that I am able to meet them.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed. They flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a Power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that Power, and to do certain simple things. There has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking. In the face of collapse and despair, in the face of the total failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, happiness, and sense of direction flowed into them. This happened soon after they wholeheartedly met a few simple requirements. Once confused and baffled by the seeming futility of existence, they show the underlying reasons why they were making heavy going of life. Leaving aside the drink question, they tell why living was so unsatisfactory. They show how the change came over them. 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.

pp. 50-51

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
But then as I drank more and more, the alcohol seemed to affect my vision:  Instead of continuing to see what was good about my wife, I began to see her defects.  And the more I focused my mind on her defects, the more they grew and multiplied.  Every defect I pointed out to her became greater and greater.  Each time I told her she was nothing, she receded a little more into nowhere.  The more I drank, the more she wilted.

pp. 418-419

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

With the publication of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” in 1939, the pioneering period ended and a prodigious chain reaction set in as the recovered alcoholics carried their message to still others. In the next years alcoholics flocked to A.A. by tens of thousands, largely as the result of excellent and continuous publicity freely given by magazines and newspapers throughout the world. Clergymen and doctors alike rallied to the new movement, giving it unstinted support and endorsement.

p. 17

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Today, God, help me be open to the joy and good feelings available to me.
–Melody Beattie

This I know…
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, no circumstance, no trouble, no
test, that can ever touch me, until first it comes past God. If it has
come that far, it has great purpose. I may not understand at the
moment, but as I refuse to panic, as I lift my eyes to Him and accept it
as coming from God, as a blessing for my heart, no sorrow will disturb
me, no trial will disarm me, no problem will cause me to fret, and
absolutely nothing will make me drink. For I shall rest in the knowing
and joy of my Higher Power.
–unknown

Today I am learning to be gentle with myself. Today I can look in the
mirror and smile and know that I am okay just as I am. I am treating
myself softly today.
–Ruth Fishel

Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep
your foot on first.
–Frederick Wilcox

It takes time for nature to change things into what they’re becoming.
It takes time for things to develop. Be patient with yourself and life.
Trust the process of growth.
–Melody Beattie

I open my heart to the love that is God in greater measure than ever
before. I expand my capacity to give and receive love, to serve
and be served, to seek and trust the guidance revealed in my heart.
–Linda Watson

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by
people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at
all.
–Dale Carnegie

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

THOUGHT

“Thought makes the whole
dignity of man; therefore
endeavor to think well, that is
the only morality.”
— Blaise Pascal

I think that human beings are very imitative creatures; we imitate
clothes, hair styles, mannerisms and lifestyles. A man’s mind will
be influenced by what he listens to and what he reads. And what
we think is very important to sobriety.

Today I make an effort to examine my thinking and check it out with
a sponsor or in a support group. I know that my dignity in sobriety
is connected not only with what I do but also with my attitudes
and thoughts — when my thinking begins to go crazy, I know I am
in a dangerous place and I need to talk. God created me with the
ability to think, therefore, I need to safeguard the information I put
in my mind.

Let me learn to develop morality of mind.

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

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can
snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is
greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
John 10: 28-29

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in
a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”
John 7:37


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Daily Inspiration

Set aside your concerns while you spend a little time in prayer and allow God to be the one who comforts you. Lord, I accept the gift of Your love because it makes me feel safe and secure.

Rejoice. This is the day the Lord has made. Lord, my days pass so quickly. May I have a generous heart and the time to see the needs of those around me.

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NA Just For Today

A Positive Attitude
“That old nest of negativism followed me everywhere I went.” Basic Text, p.135

A negative attitude is the trademark of active addiction. Everything that occurred in our lives was someone or something else’s fault. We had blaming others for our shortcomings down to a fine science. In recovery, one of the first things we strive to develop is a new attitude. We find that life goes a lot easier when we replace our negative thinking with positive principles.

While a negative attitude dogged us in our active addiction, all too often it can follow us into the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. How can we begin to adjust our attitudes? By altering our actions. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

We can start by listening to the way we talk. Before we open our mouths, we ask ourselves some simple questions: Does what I’m going to say speak to the problem, or the solution? Is what I’m going to say framed in a kind manner? Is what I have to say important, or would everyone be just as well off if I kept my mouth shut? Am I talking just to hear myself talk, or is there some purpose to my “words of wisdom?”

Our attitudes are expressed in our actions. Often, it’s not what we say, but the way we say it, that really matters. As we learn to speak in a more positive manner, we will notice our attitudes improving as well.

Just for today: I want to be free of negativity. Today, I will speak and act positively.
pg.200

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate. –Henry David Thoreau
Let us think of ourselves as made of dust, and allow us to be as proud of it as if it were true. For dust is everywhere. We see it in solemn rooms streaked by sun, dancing like fine angels in a cathedral light. It is the stuff of life. And it drifts down on fancy tables where the richest people eat. It cannot be denied a place. And it returns time and a time again like the seasons. It is one of the wonders of the world. And when no one sees or cares, it finds a secret corner in which to keep a solitary peace. It intends no harm. We find it at home on old leather books, the ones that preserve our noblest thoughts.
And from where we stand, it seems that even the stars are made of it. When we feel low, unworthy, or useless, let’s remember that these feelings are only a small but important part of us, that even great things are made of small parts, and that we, as whole beings, are always greater than the sum of these parts.
What feelings am I made of today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. –Karl A. Menninger
Two of the problems common to men in this program are fear and lack of trust. Many of us have unconsciously enlarged our fears and returned to them again and again. Do we dwell excessively on fears? Are we too fearful about our health? Money? Jobs? Love? Jealousy? The future? What other people think?
Many of us are victims of our fears and anxieties. Fears in moderation are healthy signals to us. But we need to learn to be more trusting. We can simply open ourselves to the possibility that things will turn out well. We don’t need to be blind to the negatives – only have our eyes less fixed on them. No one can ever prove to us that it is finally safe to trust.
Fearfulness is the problem, not any one fear. Trusting our Higher Power, we set our tearfulness aside, even if a few particular fears remain.
Today, I will be open to learn about trust.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt
We are competent women. We made a wise choice for ourselves when we decided to recover. Each day that we continue working this program our Spirits are strengthened. And our gifts will multiply.
Feeling inferior can become a habit. Being passive and feeling inferior go hand-in-hand, and they prepare us for becoming dependent on alcohol, pills, food, and people. We didn’t understand, instinctively, that we are just who we’re meant to be. We grew up believing we were not smart enough, not pretty enough, not capable enough. We grew up too distant from the source of our real strength.
How wonderful for us that we found the program! How lucky we are to have, for the taking, all the strength we’ll ever need to face any situation, to handle any problem, to resolve any personal relationship conflict. Feeling inferior can be only a bad memory. The choice is ours. The program promises a better life. The Steps promise the strength to move forward. Our friends promise us outstretched hands.
I will look forward to the challenges of today with hope and strength and know that I am able to meet them.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Ending Relationships
It takes courage and honesty to end a relationship – with friends, loved ones, or a work relationship.
Sometimes, it may appear easier to let the relationship die from lack of attention rather than risk ending it. Sometimes, it may appear easier to let the other person take responsibility for ending the relationship.
We may be tempted to take a passive approach. Instead of saying how we feel, what we want or don’t want, or what we intend to do, we may begin sabotaging the relationship, hoping to force the other person to do the difficult work.
Those are ways to end relationships, but they are not the cleanest or the easiest ways.
As we walk this path of self-care, we learn that when it is time to end a relationship, the easiest way is one of honesty and directness. We are not being loving, gentle, or kind by avoiding the truth, if we know the truth.
We are not sparing the other person’s feelings by sabotaging the relationship instead of accepting the end or the change, and doing something about it. We are prolonging and increasing the pain and discomfort – for the other person and ourselves.
If we don’t know, if we are on the fence, it is more loving and honest to say that.
If we know it is time to terminate a relationship, say that.
Endings are never easy, but endings are not made easy by sabotage, indirectness, and lying about what we want and need to do. Say what you need to say, in honesty and love, when it is time. If we are trusting and listening to ourselves, we will know what to say and when to say it.
Today, I will remember that honesty and directness will increase my self-esteem. God, help me let go of my fear about owning my power to take care of myself in all my relationships.

Today I will share my strength, hope and experience with someone still in pain. I will serve as I power of example to someone who is willing to let go of her suffering. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Trust the Timing of Your Lessons

Too often our first inclination when we learn a lesson, gain a new insight, have an awareness, or glimpse a new truth is to judge and criticize ourselves– for not seeing it sooner, not knowing it before, or being in denial too long. That’s not necessary. It’s not appropriate. We’re not at fault because we didn’t have this awareness or understand this lesson until now.

We don’t need to see the truth one moment before we see it. Judging ourselves for not knowing sooner can close us off to what life has to teach us now. We’re here to learn our lessons, discover our truths, have our adventures.

Let yourself have your experiences. Allow yourself to learn what you learn when you learn it. Don’t judge yourself for not learning sooner. Be happy, grateful, and excited when your lesson arrives.

Trust your voice, that quiet inner voice, when it speaks to you of truth. Be grateful you can hear it, do what it tells you to do. Trust the timing of your heart.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let the drama go

Actors in movies or on television often must exaggerate their feelings in order to create drama on the screen. If they are hurt, they cry with a special intensity. If afraid, they scream and cower in a corner or curl up on a sofa. They may grab a person trying to leave and beg for that person to stay. In rage, they may stomp around hollering in a dramatic storm.

We can learn to separate what we’re feeling from what we do. If we’re feeling fear, hurt, anger, or any other emotion, we need to experience the emotion until we become clear. Sometimes beating a pillow helps release our anger. But we don’t have to stomp around and slam doors. That’s letting our emotions control us.

You don’t have to revel in your emtions. And you can separate your behaviors– what you do– from what you feel.

Stop being a twentieth-century drama queen. It isn’t necessary anymore. We are more conscious than that now.

God, help me let go of the unnecessary drama in my life.

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Food for Thought

A Progressive Illness

It is the experience of recovering compulsive overeaters that the illness is progressive. The disease does not get better; it gets worse. Even while we abstain, the illness progresses. If we were to break our abstinence, we would find that we had even less control over our eating than before.

Continued abstinence is our only means of health and sanity. We well remember the misery and despair that we felt when we were overeating, and we do not want to feel that way again. Abstaining from one compulsive bite is a small price to pay for health and sanity.

When we find ourselves thinking thoughts, which in the past have preceded loss of control, we need to realize the great danger that lies in a relapse. The OA program has saved us from the destruction of compulsive overeating, but our disease is still alive. Our program needs to be foremost in our minds every day if we are to continue recovering.

Do not let me forget my illness.

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In God’s Care

God is in charge. ~~Daily Word

A basic truth in our life, about which we need never be concerned, is that we are in the care of a loving God – always. And we can feel and unquestioningly know this presence if we choose to acknowledge it. When we take a moment to reflect on our past good fortunes – that we found this program, that our relationships with others are on the mend, that we harbor deep-seated fear far less often – we can use them to bolster our faith that our Higher Power is here, now and will remain our constant, caring companion.

For some of us, faith in a greater Power comes easily. But many of us begin to have faith only through Acting As If. By quieting our mind, visualizing a loving presence, and breathing in the warmth and comfort, we can find the peace that is God. Through “practicing the presence,” we’ll strengthen our faith and ensure our peacefulness.

I can feel the peace I desire today through my own efforts to remember God.

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Day By Day

Avoiding criticism

Criticism is hard to take. If we don’t want to be criticized, we shouldn’t criticize others. At the same time, expressing concern in a loving way is not being critical.

We are entitled to our opinions, but we are not entitled to put other people down. Sharing our experience, strength, and hope is a way to help others, not to make them feel small.

Can I express loving concern? Can I share without making comparisons?

Higher Power, help me recognize when I am becoming critical; help me to be loving and humble.

Today I will praise…

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Finding Encouragement
Your True Inner Voice by Madisyn Taylor

The longer you listen to and believe your true inner voice, the stronger it will become.

Within each of us, there are numerous voices often that compete for our attention. It can be difficult to decide which one to listen to, particularly when their messages are all quite different, sometimes conflicting, and even alluring. One voice, however, is the speaker of truth. Among all your inner voices, your true inner voice is the one which encourages you, gives you hope, and pushes you to trust and believe in yourself. Conflict within oneself is often caused by dueling voices inside of each one of us. As we move through life, we get mixed messages from the various aspects of ourselves. Some of our voices, such as the naysayer or saboteur, can speak so loudly that they drown out the voice of truth. Listening to your true inner voice – often the voice of understanding, support, and self-assurance – can help lessen and even resolve internal conflict.

If you’re looking toward the future but your faith in your ability to succeed in life is wavering, you will benefit from finding and listening to your true inner voice. You can connect with it by remaining relaxed and alert, while listening carefully. If you have trouble distinguishing your true voice from the others, meditation may be helpful. You may hear many voices as you meditate, but the one you should pay attention to is the one that speaks to you with love, understanding, and compassion. It will bolster your spirits and urge you to go after your dreams. And it will never cause confusion, remind you of past mistakes, or cause you to doubt yourself.

The more you listen to and believe in what your true inner voice is telling you about your value and your potential, the stronger that voice will become. And the more you disregard the voices that can interfere with your resolve to succeed, the quieter those voices will become. Saying no to the voices that are judgmental and make you feel ashamed will help you stop being critical of your failures and afraid of success. By finding and strengthening your true inner voice, you will be able to ignore internal conflict and pick out the one that speaks the truth. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program is a road, not a resting place. Before we came to The Program — and, for some of us, many times afterward, — most of us looked for answers to our living problems in religion, philosophy, psychology, self-help groups, and so on. Invariable, these fields held forth the goals that were precisely what we wanted; they offered freedom, calm, confidence and joy. But there was one major loophole: They never gave us a workable method of getting there. They never told us how to get from where we were to where we were suppose to be. Do I truly believe that I can find everything that I need and really want through the Twelve Steps?

Today I Pray

May I know that, once through the Twelve Steps, I am not a plane surface. For life is not a flat field, but a slope upward. And those flights of steps must be taken over and over and remembered. May I be sure that once I have made them totally familiar to me, they will take me anywhere I want to go.

Today I Will Remember

The Steps are a road, not a resting place.

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One More Day

It is costly wisdom that is bought by experience.
– Roger Ascham

Wisdom is gained in many ways. We can learn from others, if we’re willing. We can listen to the voice within — that inner sense of what can and should be done. Or we can — and quite often do — pay the price for that wisdom gained from experience.

Sometimes, we ignore the cautioning voices of well-meaning friends and of our instincts, and leap instead onto foolhardy or dangerous ground. It might have to do with family problems or finances or even our personal care. Often if we fail, we pay a great price — in terms of relationships, money, or health. But even our failures are not wasted if from them we gain the wisdom of caution and care.

I will try to listen and learn from others and thereby save myself some pain.

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One Day At A Time

SANITY
“Came to believe …
That a power greater than ourselves …
Could restore us to sanity.”
Step Two

What a powerful statement! There’s a power greater than me. At first glance it seemed so frightening. As I looked at my situation, it seemed impossible … who or what could be greater than I am? To be “restored” to sanity meant I must be crazy. After all, that is what insanity means. My Higher Power happened to be my sponsor and she was determined enough to be that power, if only until I opened the door to another.

One day when my ears were open and my mouth shut, these words came from another sufferer: “God can.” I thought to myself, “What?! What does ‘God can’ mean?” Later — when my body was clean and my mind receptive — those words came to mean a great deal to me. “God can” if I let Him. God can take away my compulsion to overeat. God can remove my desire for nicotine. God can take away my desire for booze. Yes, God can.

I no longer worry about what I can’t accomplish because I know that “God can.” So now when my day begins I think of what I can do right, and do it for today. That which I cannot do right — I just let God handle that. We make a pretty good team, God and me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I let my Higher Power restore me to sanity.
~ Danny

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. – Pg. 84 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

What are the daily habits that you are forming right now to aid your recovery? Picking up this book is a good habit. If this doesn’t quiet your spirit, you pick up another program book; if that doesn’t work you must call a program person; if that doesn’t work, then you meet them in person. Our hourly habits form our daily habits which form our recovery.

I ask the Divine Forces to help me implement the changes I need in my hourly habits to aid my recovery.

Becoming Real

Today, I let go and become real. I know that by holding on too tightly, I squeeze the life out of myself and those around me. Recovery has taught me to value being authentic above being something or someone. Recovery is a process of facing and removing those obstacles that have been in the way on my road back to myself. It has been my willingness to risk and trust that my Higher Power will hold me that has brought me to life again. Now it is time for me to live each day as it comes and give some of what I have received. So many people have helped me along the way – it is also part of my recovery to share what I have learned, in case it might help someone else.

I am open to life and all it holds.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If you have one hand in the fellowship and one hand in your Higher Power’s, you can’t pick up today.

I put my hand in my Higher Power’s by saying. ‘Thy will not mine be done;’ I put my hand in the fellowship by saying ‘I’ll be there, at the next meeting.’

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

As you sponsor others, remember this: If you are trying to recreate someone in your own image, then one of you will be redundant.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will share my strength, hope and experience with someone still in pain. I will serve as I power of example to someone who is willing to let go of her suffering.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Fellowship for long winded speakers: Alconon and on, and on.. – Ted H.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 10

Ego
I am still arrogant, egocentric, self-righteous, with no humility, even phony at times,
but I’m trying to be a better person and help my fellowman.
Guess I’ll never be a saint, but whatever I am, I want to be sober and in AA.
The word “alcoholic” does not turn me off any more;
in fact, it is music to my ears when it applies to me.
– Experience, Strength and Hope, p. 382

Thought to Ponder . . .
The ego seeks the destination; the soul seeks the journey.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
P R I D E = Personal Recovery Involves Deflating Ego.

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

Inventory
“A few months after I made my original trip to Akron
I was feeling pretty cocky,
and I didn’t think my wife was treating me with proper respect, now that I
was an outstanding citizen.
So I set out to get drunk deliberately,
just to teach her what she was missing.
A week later, I had to get an old friend from Akron
to spend two days sobering me up.
That was my lesson,
that one could not take the moral inventory
and then file it away;
that the alcoholic has to continue to take inventory every day
if he expects to get well and stay well.”
1976, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 293-4

Thought to Consider . . .
In order to recover we have to uncover.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Facing All In Trusting Him

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

Practice It
from: “His Spiritual Quest”
“As Dr. Bob himself said, I don’t think we can do anything very well in this world unless we practice it. And I don’t believe we do A.A. too well unless we practice it. We should practice acquiring the spirit of service. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn’t easily done, especially for the person who has always been very materialistic, following the standards of society today. But I think faith can be acquired; it can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. That was not easy for me, and I assume that it is difficult for everyone else”
1980, AAWS, Inc., Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, page 307-308

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

“My spiritual awakening has involved three major leaps: Save Me, Help Me, and Use Me.”
Essex Junction, Vermont, February 2000
“Save Me, Help Me, Use Me,”
AA Grapevine

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

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the
brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal
men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66~

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the
brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal
men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66~

“We know these suggestions are sometimes difficult to follow, but you will save many a heartbreak if you can succeed in observing them.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 111 (To Wives)

“All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 26 (Step Two)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

There are few absolutes inherent in the Twelve Steps. Most Steps are open to interpretation, based on the experience and outlook of the individual.
Consequently, the individual is free to start the /steps at whatever point he can, or will. God, as we understand Him, may be defined as a Power greater or the Higher Power. For thousands of members, the A.A. group itself has been a Higher Power in the beginning. This acknowledgment is easy to make if a newcomer knows that most of the members are sober and he isn’t.
His admission is the beginning of humility at least the newcomer is willing to disclaim that he himself is God. That’s all the start he needs. If, following this achievement, he will relax and practice as many of the Steps as he can, he is sure too grow spiritually.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, let me take the suggestions given to me to my heart. Allow me to set down my ego in order to follow them.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 9th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 9th

Daily Reflections

I AM AN INSTRUMENT

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
12 & 12, p.70

The subject of humility is a difficult one. Humility is not thinking
less of myself than I ought to; it is acknowledging that I do certain
things well, it is accepting a compliment graciously. God can only do
for me what He can do through me. Humility is the result of knowing
that God is the doer, not me. In the light of awareness, how can I take
pride in my accomplishments? I am an instrument and any work I
seem to be doing is being done by God through me. I ask God on a
daily basis to remove my shortcomings, in order that I may more freely
go about my A.A. business of “love and service.”

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Disillusionment and spiritual confusion mark our age. Many of us
have cast aside old ideas without acquiring new ones. Many men
and women are creeping through life on their hands and knees,
merely because they refuse to rely on any power but themselves.
Many of them feel that they are being brave and independent, but
actually they are only courting disaster. Anxiety and the inferiority
complex have become the greatest of all modern plagues. In A.A.
we have the answer to these ills. Have I ceased to rely on myself
only?

Meditation For The Day

Disillusionment and doubt spoil life. The doubting ones are the
disillusioned ones. When you are in doubt, you are on the fence.
You are not going anywhere. Doubt poisons all action. “Well. I
don’t know”–so you don’t know anything. You should meet life
with a “Yes,” an affirmative attitude. There is good in the world
and we can follow that good. There is power available to help us to
do the right thing; therefore we will accept that power. There are
miracles of change in people’s lives; therefore we will accept
those miracles as evidence of God’s power.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I will not be paralyzed by doubt. I pray that I may go along
on the venture of faith.

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As Bill Sees It

The A.A. Way in the Home*, p. 190

Though an alcoholic does not respond, there is no reason why you should neglect his
family. You should continue to be friendly to them, explaining A.A.’s concept of
alcoholism and its treatment. If they accept this and also apply our principles to their
problems, there is a much better chance that the head of the family will recover. And
even though he continues to drink, the family will find life more bearable.

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Unless a new member’s family readily expresses a desire to live upon spiritual principles,
we think he ought not to urge them. They will change in time. His behavior will usually
convince them far more than his words.

Alcoholics Anonymous
1. p. 97
2. p. 83

*Today, the initiation of the A.A. way of life in the home is the central purpose of the Al-Anon
Family Groups of which there are (as of 1984) over 22,000 throughout the world. These are
composed of wives, husbands, and relatives of alcoholics. In restoring families to the good life,
Alan’s success has been enormous.


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Walk In Dry Places

What is the real cause?
Motivations.
Bringing her alcoholic husband home from a treatment center, a woman was dismayed when an argument ensued and he left the car in a rage.  She blamed herself and their argument when he finally arrived home, DRUNK.
Seasoned veterans of alcoholic games will quickly understand that the argument had no part in “causing” the alcoholic to drink. Instead, the argument was something he started as a means of getting away from his wife. He still wanted and needed to drink.
In dealing with our compulsive illnesses, we must separate our excuses from what’s really going on.  Arguments do not cause alcoholics to drink, but they can be used as convenient devices for getting our way.
I must take responsibility for my own behavior. If I have chosen sobriety, no person and no event can cause me to drink.

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Keep It Simple

First say to yourself what you would be: and then do what you have to do.  – Eptctetus
We often tell ourselves we want to be more peaceful, more in touch with our Higher Power. In other words, we want to become more spiritual. Acting as spiritual people is hard. Tho often, we choose the easy way. We make a nasty comment even if we know it’ll only make things worse.
We say we have a program for living. Are we living our program? We’ll find the answer in our behavior. Sober people act in sober ways. We attend meetings regularly. We study spiritual ideas. We work to bring joy to our lives and the lives of others. Just as we know a good friend by the way he or she behaves, we know a sober person by the way he or she behaves.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be a person whose words and actions match up.
Today’s Action:  Today I’ll take an inventory of my actions to see if they are those of a sober person.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Of course, fortune has its part in human affairs, but conduct is really much more important.  –Jeanne Detourbey
It’s not infrequent that we are faced with a dilemma; what is the best action to take in a certain situation? We can be guided, rightly, in every situation if we but turn inward and let our conscience direct our behavior. We have often heard it said at meetings that when we long for a message from God we will hear it, either through our conscience or in the words of our friends. Thus we can never really be in doubt; our conduct can always be above reproach if we but listen.
Right behavior leads to fortunate opportunities for those who look for them. Behavior that we’re proud of seems to attract blessings in our lives. One’s good fortune is really God-given and in proportion to one’s willingness to act well toward others in all situations.
Simply, what goes around comes around. Our behavior comes back to us, manyfold. In our encounters with others today, we’ll have numerous occasions to decide about the best behavior for the particular circumstance. We must not forget that our behavior elicits the responses we receive.
I will invite blessings today. I will also shower blessings on my friends.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

On one proposition, however, these men and women are strikingly agreed. Every one of them has gained access to, and believe in, a Power greater than himself. This Power has in each case accomplished the miraculous, the humanly impossible. As a celebrated American statesman put it, “Let’s look at the record.”

p. 50

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Acceptance has been the answer to my marital problems.  It’s as though A.A. had given me a new pair of glasses.  Max and I have been married now for thiry-five years.  Prior to our marriage, when she was a shy, scrawny adolescent, I was able to see things in her that others couldn’t necessarily see–things like beauty, charm, gaiety, a gift for being easy to talk to, a sense of humor, and many other fine qualities.  It was as if I had, rather than a Midas touch which turned everything to gold, a magnifying mind that magnified whatever it focused on.  Over the years as I thought about Max, her good qualities grew and grew, and we were married, and all these qualities became more and more apparent to me, and we were happier and happier.

p. 418

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Nevertheless, the infant Society determined to set down its experience in a book which finally reached the public in April 1939. At this time the recoveries numbered about one hundred. The book was called “Alcoholics Anonymous,” and from it the Fellowship took its name. In it alcoholism was described from the alcoholic’s point of view, the spiritual ideas of the Society were codified for the first time in the Twelve Steps, and the application of these Steps to the alcoholic’s dilemma was made clear. The remainder of the book was devoted to thirty stories or case histories in which the alcoholics described their drinking experiences and recoveries. This established identification with alcoholic readers and proved to them that the virtually impossible had now become possible. The book “Alcoholics Anonymous” became the basic text of the Fellowship, and it still is. This present volume proposes to broaden and deepen the understanding of the Twelve Steps as first was written in the earlier work.

p. 17

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During the time of the darkest night, act as if the morning has already
come.
–The Talmud

The spiritual journey involves going beyond hope and fear, stepping
into unknown territory, continually moving forward. The most
important aspect of being on the spiritual path may be just to keep
moving.
–Pema Chodron

God is my life, I express health, God is my supply, I express
abundance, God is trust, I express faith.
–SweetyZee

No one gives me worry, nothing causes me fear, I release them, and
trust Gods outcomes.
–SweetyZee

I am steadfast in my loyalty to God and truth.
–SweetyZee

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PESSIMISM

“There is no sadder sight than a
young pessimist.”
–Mark Twain

I meet so many young people who have “aged” because of their
drug addiction. They have lost that “spark” of youth that is both
creative and hopeful. They reveal in their eyes a “powerlessness”
that keeps them prisoners of lethargy. They don’t want to do
anything. They mumble rather than speak. They walk with no
purpose: young zombies! Addiction breeds pessimism.

Recovery is realizing that life need not be like this. True joy and
happiness comes with the experience of self, rather than the
confused experiences of chemicals. Reality is facing the pain and
problems in order to rediscover the dynamic spirituality of a
drug-free life. The “yes” to life begins with the “no” to drugs.
Happiness and confidence are discovered in the “yes” to life.

Let me see beyond the gloom to the promised sunrise of tomorrow.

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“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:13

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so
that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and
effective.”
James 5:16

“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the
name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2:38

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:9


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Daily Inspiration

We often don’t realize how heavy the weight of worry is and how much energy it requires until we are able to let go of it. Lord, I place my trust in You to clear my thinking, help me resolve my concerns and bring me to a place of peace.

Keep yourself young in spirit always by thinking new thoughts and getting rid of old habits. Lord, may my spirit never become frail and my abilities never become barren.

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NA Just For Today

We Do Recover!

“….the time has come when that tired old lie, ‘Once an addict, always an addict,’ will no longer be tolerated by either society or the addict himself. We do recover.”
Basic Text, p.86

From time to time, we hear speakers share that they don’t really understand spiritual principles yet. They tell us that if we knew what went on in their minds, we’d be amazed at how insane they still are. They tell us that the longer they’re clean, the less they know about anything. In the next breath, these same speakers tell us about the profound changes recovery has made in their lives. They have moved from complete despair to unfailing hope, from uncontrollable drug use to total abstinence, from chronic unmanageability to responsibility through working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. Which story is true? Do we or don’t we recover?

We may think we demonstrate humility or gratitude by underplaying the change that recovery has brought to our lives. True, we do injustice to the program when we take credit for this miracle ourselves. But we do an equal injustice-to ourselves and to those we share with-when we don’t acknowledge this miracle’s magnitude.

We do recover. If we have trouble seeing the miracle of recovery, we’d better look again. Recovery is alive and at work in Narcotics Anonymous-in our old-timers, in the newcomers flooding our meetings, and most of all in ourselves. All we have to do is open our eyes.

Just for today: I will acknowledge the miracle of my recovery and be grateful that I’ve found it.
pg. 199

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary. –Dorothy Canfield Fisher
A strong, healthy tree is one which is free to grow straight and tall. A weak tree often must lean against another for support. It is not that different with people. We are not healthy and strong when we must always lean on another to support us.
This doesn’t mean it isn’t healthy to accept help. But the best help we can get or give is that which enables us to do things without it. Sometimes we think we lose a relationship when others don’t need our help, or when we don’t need theirs all the time. The reverse is true. Only when we are each strong enough to stand on our own can we really share the kind of help, which allows both, helped and helper to be independent.
Have I been giving the right kind of help?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. –Herbert Spencer
We sometimes wish we could protect friends or loved ones from the consequences of their actions. We’d like to pick up the pieces after they’ve made a mess of their lives. Or we fail to look at the dark side of someone’s motives because we want only the best. Perhaps it is our controlling willfulness that tries to make things into what we want, rather than accepts things as they really are.
In our masculine recovery, a deeper love allows us to have a respectful distance from others. When we truly care about someone, we don’t snatch him or her out of his or her learning experience. When we allow our loved ones and friends to confront the natural consequences of their own actions, they learn and grow just as we do. We can be with a friend, but we are no one’s Higher Power.
Today, I will be respectful of others by letting them walk their path while I walk mine.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Of course, fortune has its part in human affairs, but conduct is really much more important. –Jeanne Detourbey
It’s not infrequent that we are faced with a dilemma; what is the best action to take in a certain situation? We can be guided, rightly, in every situation if we but turn inward and let our conscience direct our behavior. We have often heard it said at meetings that when we long for a message from God we will hear it, either through our conscience or in the words of our friends. Thus we can never really be in doubt; our conduct can always be above reproach if we but listen.
Right behavior leads to fortunate opportunities for those who look for them. Behavior that we’re proud of seems to attract blessings in our lives. One’s good fortune is really God-given and in proportion to one’s willingness to act well toward others in all situations.
Simply, what goes around comes around. Our behavior comes back to us, manyfold. In our encounters with others today, we’ll have numerous occasions to decide about the best behavior for the particular circumstance. We must not forget that our behavior elicits the responses we receive.
I will invite blessings today. I will also shower blessings on my friends.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Overspending and Underspending
I used to beat my husband to death with my credit card. It makes me feel like I had some control, some way to get even with him. –Anonymous
I spent ten years buying everything for myself at garage sales. I didn’t even buy myself a new pair of shoes. The entire time I was depriving myself, my husband was gambling, speculating on risky business deals, and doing whatever he wanted with money. I learned that when I made a decision that I deserved to have the things I wanted, and made a decision to buy something I wanted, there was enough money to do it. It wasn’t about being frugal; it was about depriving myself, and being a martyr. –Anonymous
Compulsive buying or overspending may give us a temporary feeling of power or satisfaction, but like other out of control behaviors, it has predictable negative consequences.
Under spending can leave us feeling victimized too.
There is a difference between responsible spending and martyred deprivation. There is a difference between treating ourselves well financially and overspending. We can learn to discern that difference. We can develop responsible spending habits that reflect high self esteem and love for ourselves.
Today, I will strive for balance in my spending habits. If I am overspending, I will stop and deal with what’s going on inside me. If I am under spending or depriving myself, I will ask myself if that’s necessary and what I want.

Today I am learning to stop judging and comparing so that I can be with what is. I am learning to accept what is without the struggle of trying to decide whether it is right or wrong. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Learn to Focus Your Energy

“I’ve come to this lodge for one reason,” the woman at Breitenbush Retreat in Willamette Forest said. “I brought my fiddle, and I’m not leaving until I can play a bluegrass tune. If I want to get out of here, I’d better learn to play.

There is a time to be open, almost unfocused, as we take in what the world, the universe, is showing us. There is a time to get out of our heads and quietly take the journey our hearts lead us into– following with the openness and wonder of a child.

But there also comes a time to aim our attention and focus our energy on what we want to accomplish. Instead of floundering with scattered thoughts and possibilities, we choose one, then act on it. We stay in step with the natural rhythm, but we’re pulling our scattered attention together and focusing it as part of that rhythm.

To do that, we may have to work through or push away inner distractions. Moving through our inner obstacles enables us to accomplish our goal– whether that’s a task, a particular piece of work, or learning to play the fiddle.

Is there something you want to do? Is your heart urging you to learn something, accomplish something, go somewhere, do something? Make it a goal. Focus your energy. Learn to stay focused until you reach that goal.

Put yourself in the cabin and don’t let yourself out until it’s done.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Stop being a sponge

You don’t have to be an emotional sponge, picking up every feeling around you. Learn to distinguish whether what you’re feeling belongs to you or to somebody else.

Linda has a grown son. Whenever her son is going through a difficult time, Linda takes her son’s emotions on, as if those feelings belonged to her. She’ll talk to her son on the phone for a while. He’ll express himself intensely and powerfully about how he really feels about everything in his life. After all, Linda’s his mom. It’s safe to tell her how he really feels, even if he can’t tell anyone else. Linda may feel fine when she begins talking to her son. But by the end of the conversation, Linda doesn’t feel that good anymore. She may feel angry, upset, or worried– or whatever her son was feeling before he talked to her.

Sometimes we soak up other people’s feelings because we forget to protect ourselves. Often, we do this because of the depth of feeling we have for this person. The remedy for this is the same as it is when we’re dealing with our own emotional stuff. We recognize what we’re feeling. We give that feeling its due. Then we let it go. We squeeze out the sponge.

Sometimes, it just takes the act of recognizing that we’ve taken on another person’s emotions to clear those emotions out. If we strive for awareness, we’ll begin to recognize when the feelings we’re feeling aren’t our own.

Children are often open and unprotected. If we’re going through a lot of feelings around them, they may absorb our emotions,too. It’s important to share our feelings with others and let people talk about their feelings to us. But we need to pay attention. If we’ve picked up someone else’s emotions, we need to let those feelings go.

God, help me know that part of being close to people and loving them means I sometimes take on their feelings. Show me how to protect myself so I can keep my heart open to the people I love without taking on their feelings.

Activity: As children, we may have absorbed emotions from our parents. These emotions can linger with us long into adulthood, shaping our beliefs and our general attitude toward life. These emotions can be tricky. We think they’re our own, but they’re not. They belong to someone else. Ask your Higher Power to show you whether you’ve absorbed any emotions from your parents or other people in your life. Then stay open to the responses you get to this prayer. If any emotions or memories begin popping into your consciousness, go to your journal and write about them. Just document the scene or memory that comes to mind. Then release the emotions. Set them free and let them go. Carrying around someone else’s feelings doesn’t help the other person and it doesn’t help us. You deserve to be free and clear.

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Food for Thought

Tension or Hunger?

How often have we eaten because of tension, rather than hunger? Accepting our need for three measured meals a day with nothing in between establishes a sensible pattern, which satisfies our need for nourishment. When we are tense, we can find ways of relaxing which do not harm our body by making it fat.

Learning to relax the stomach muscles helps get rid of tension hunger. Often when we have eaten too fast because of tension, our stomach continues to send hunger signals after the meal. There has not been enough time for the digestive process to register satisfaction. We can consciously relax the muscles so that the feeling of emptiness will go away.

The best cure for tension is a growing faith in our Higher Power. If we are willing to trust Him in the little things of each day, as well as the big events of our life, we will be able to relax and cultivate serenity.

Dissolve my tension and feed my hunger, I pray.

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Cause for Celebration
Honoring Everyday Life by Madisyn Taylor

Use the good china everyday as today is all that matters.

We all know someone who keeps plastic covers on his or her couch in order to protect it. The irony is that many of these people may live their lives without ever having actually made contact with their own furniture! This is a poignant and somewhat humorous example of the human tendency to try to save things for special occasions, as if everyday life weren’t special enough to warrant the use of nice things. Many of us have had the experience of never wearing a particular piece of clothing in order to keep it nice, only to have it go out of style in the meanwhile.

It’s interesting to think of what it would mean to us if we let ourselves wear our nicest clothes and eat off the good china on a daily basis. We might be sending ourselves the message that every day we are alive is a special day and a cause for celebration, and that we are worth it. There is something uplifting about treating ourselves to the finest of what we have. It is as if we rise to the occasion when we wear our best clothes and set the table beautifully, as if for a very special guest. We are more mindful of where we place things, what we are eating, and who is with us. Using the good china, eating in the dining room, and taking the plastic off the sofa might be an invitation to be more conscious of the beauty and grace inherent in our everyday lives.

If there are things you’ve stashed away for a special occasion—a bottle of special wine, a gorgeous pair of shoes, an antique lace tablecloth—consider taking them out of their hiding places and putting them to use tonight, just because you are alive now to enjoy them, and that’s a great cause for a celebration. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we make only superficial changes in ourselves, and give only lip service to The Program, our progress is slow and the likelihood of relapse great. Our regeneration must take the form of a true spiritual rebirth. It must go very deep, within each character flaw replaced by a new and positive quality. Am I being completely honest with myself in uncovering the faults which hamper my spiritual growth? Am I beginning to replace them with positive qualities?

Today I Pray

May God’s protective hand lead me out of the darkness of my deepest fear — that I could return to being what I do now want to be. Please, God, give me courage to make an honest appraisal of myself. Please help me cultivate my positive qualities and begin to be free of my fears.

Today I Will Remember

I must be reborn in the Spirit.

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One More Day

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
– Thomas Stearns Eliot

Some people call it “dancing around the issue.” After all, if there is a problem to face, we may become embarrassed when it’s time to talk about it. We try so hard to balance the emotional framework of our lives that we hardly want to be the one to bring up what seems to be a taboo topic. What we think, we don’t always state; what we intend, we don’t state clearly; and what we need, we rarely ask for. Our half-truths and mixed messages don’t result in honest communication.

Drug use? Manipulative behavior? Eating disorder? Financial problems? The only way to begin to face a problem is to admit that there is one, to talk about it, and to decide together what steps can be taken to help.

Today, I will face a problem honestly.

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One Day At A Time

CONTROL
“I offer you this prayer for all the difficult relationships in our lives:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
The courage to change the person I can,
And the wisdom to know that person is me.”
Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey

My disease tells me that my life would be so much better if people would only do what I tell them to do. If they would listen to me, I could solve all their problems, fix their lives, and everybody would be happy. Why can’t they see that our relationships would be better if they’d just do what I say, and not what I do? Don’t they realize that I know more than they do about how to run their lives?

Well, luckily for the people in my life, this disease lies. I DON’T know what’s best for them. Because I have a disease of compulsion, I don’t even know what’s best for me. If I had known what was best for me, my life would not have been in shambles like it was before I found the Twelve Steps of recovery.

I had to come to the realization that my life had become unmanageable. Only then could I find a Higher Power to restore sanity to the crazy drama that had become my life ~ and to grant me the serenity which accompanies sanity. Now I realize the only person I can control is myself. I can’t make other people change into what I want them to be, nor can I make them do what I think is best for them. Since I’ve begun letting my Higher Power restore me to sanity, I no longer want to be a control freak. I can’t even fathom trying to run another person’s life. I have enough on my hands just living my own life; I don’t have the strength, knowledge or wisdom to live someone else’s. I will always be grateful to my Higher Power for helping me to realize that.

One day at a time…
I will live my own life and allow others to live theirs.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Speaking at a dinner given by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to introduce Alcoholics Anonymous to some of his friends, Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick remarked:
‘I think that psychologically speaking there is a point of advantage in the approach that is being made in this movement that cannot be duplicated. I suspect that if it is wisely handled – and it seems to be in wise and prudent hands – there are doors of opportunity ahead of this project that may surpass our capacities to imagine.’ – Pg. 572 – 4th. Edition – Appendix V – The Religious View On A.A.

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whether serious and conservative or eager and flighty, newcomers often feel no necessity for embracing recovery. REMEMBER, millions have gone before you. You don’t have to embrace the 12 steps but embrace something that works for recovery.

I embrace a program of recovery, not my self will, but a program I trust with clean and people that I can see!

Spiritual Transformation

Today, I see that to change my life I have to change myself. Nothing less than a spiritual transformation will allow me to experience my current life as an alive, serene and whole person. When I say that I would like world peace, first I will understand that without inner peace there will be no world peace. One of the ways in which I can serve the cause of humanity is to be, within myself, a genuinely spiritual person – respecting all sects and creeds, but standing on my own as a conduit of higher truth, recognizing that each person has equal access to that knowledge. I will look for truth today within myself rather than outside. I will not wait for peace to be handed to me as some sort of prize for good behavior but will do the inner work needed to achieve it.

I seek truth within myself.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

A main theme in most spiritual traditions states that the best way to get what you want is to provide it for another. If you want serenity, make it peaceful and serene for another. Do you want a feeling of safety? Provide a safe place for another. Do you want to understand what has happened? Help another to understand.

I teach best what I most need to learn.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The slogans work much better when you decorate your life with them rather than decorating the walls with them.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am learning to stop judging and comparing so that I can be with what is. I am learning to accept what is without the struggle of trying to decide whether it is right or wrong.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I’m getting younger in AA. When I came in I was an old man of thirty, I couldn’t walk across the alley. Now at seventy I’m running marathons. – Waggy Bill.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 9

Acceptance
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation
— some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity
until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation
as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417

Thought to Ponder . . .
My serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change.

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

Attitude
” ‘Then I woke up.
I had to admit that AA showed results, prodigious results.
I saw that my attitude regarding these
had been anything but scientific.
It wasn’t AA that had the closed mind, it was me.
The minute I stopped arguing,
I could begin to see and feel.
Right there, Step Two gently and very gradually
began to infiltrate my life.
I can’t say upon what occasion,
or upon what day I came to believe
in a Power greater than myself,
but I certainly have that belief now.
To acquire it, I had only to stop fighting
and practice the rest of AA’s program
as enthusiastically as I could.’ ”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 27

Thought to Consider . . .
Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?

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

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

My Solution
From: “AA Taught Him to Handle Sobriety”
“Bewilderment, fear, and resentment moved into my life. And yet my ability to lie outwardly and to kid myself inwardly
grew with every drink I took. Indeed, I had to drink now to live, to cope with the demands of everyday existence. When I
encountered disappointments or frustrations – as I did more and more frequently – my solution was to drink. I had
always been oversensitive to criticism and was acutely so now. When I was criticized or reprimanded, the bottle was
my refuge and comfort.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 555

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

“I saw that fear was a character defect, so I modified my Seventh Step Prayer. After ‘remove every single defect of
character,’ I added, ‘and every unreasonable fear.'”
Brea, California, July 2010
“Unreasonable Fears,”
No Matter What: Dealing with Adversity in Sobriety

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

“Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly
act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan
every day, if need be.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 97~

“We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by
which faith can be acquired. If what we have learned and felt and
seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our
race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom
we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as
soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28~

“Acceptance is the key to my relationship with God today. I never just sit and do nothing while waiting for Him to tell me
what to do. Rather, I do whatever is in front of me to be done, and I leave the results up to Him; however it turns out,
that’s God’s will for me.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 452 (3rd Edition)

“These conclusions did not require action; they required only acceptance.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 34

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Though an alcoholic does not respond, there is no reason why you should neglect his family. You should continue to be friendly to them, explaining A.A.s concept of alcoholism and its treatment. If they accept this and also apply our principles to their problems, there is a much better chance that the head of the family will recover. And even though he continues to drink, the family will find life more bearable.
Unless a new members family readily expresses a desire to live upon spiritual principles, we think he ought not to urge them. They will change in time. His better behavior will usually convince them far more than his words.
*Today, the initiation of the A.A. way of life in the home is the central purpose of the Al-Anon Family Groups, of which there are (as of 1980) about 16,000 throughout the world. These are composed of wives, husbands, and relatives of alcoholics. In restoring families to the good life, Al-Anons success has been enormous.

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me live in accordance with spiritual principles. Only then can I approve of myself.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 8th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 8th

Daily Reflections

AN EVER-GROWING FREEDOM, p.198

The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude
which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from
ourselves toward others and toward God.
12 & 12, p.76

When I finally asked God to remove those things blocking me
from Him and the sunlight of the Spirit, I embarked on a journey
more glorious than I ever imagined. I experienced freedom from
those characteristics that had me wrapped up in myself. Because
of this humbling Step, I feel clean. I am especially aware of this
Step because I’m now able to be useful to God and to my fellows. I
know that He has granted me strength to do His bidding and has
prepared me for anyone, and anything, that comes my way today. I
am truly in His hands, and I give thanks for the joy that I can be useful
today.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in Alcoholics Anonymous do not enter into theological
discussions, but in carrying our message we attempt to explain the
simple “how” of the spiritual life. How faith in a Higher Power can
help you to overcome loneliness, fear, and anxiety. How it can
help you get along with other people. How it can make it possible
for you to rise above pain, sorrow, and despondency. How it can
help you to overcome your desires for the things that destroy. Have
I reached a simple, effective faith?

Meditation For The Day

Expect miracles of change in people’s lives. Do not be held back
by unbelief. People can be changed and they are often ready and
waiting to be changed. Never believe that human nature cannot be
changed. We see changed people everyday. Do you have the faith to
make those changes possible? Modern miracles happen every day
in the lives of people. All miracles are in the realm of personalities.
Human nature can be changed and is always being changed. But we must
have enough faith so that we can be channels for God’s strength into
the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have the faith to expect miracles. I pray that I
may be used by God to help change the lives of others.

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As Bill Sees It

Experimenters, p. 189

We agnostics liked A.A. all right, and were quick to say that it had done miracles. But we
recoiled from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist who refused to
perform a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong.

When we finally did experiment, and unexpected results followed, we felt different; in
fact, we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer. And that, we
found, can happen to anybody who tries. It has been well said that “Almost the only
scoffers at prayer are those who never tried enough.”

12 & 12, p. 97

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Walk In Dry Places

God’s will for us.
Spiritual Guidance.
“I was afraid God would want me to do something unpleasant, like go off to become a monk,” a young man said at a 12 Step meeting. “That’s why I had a hard time seeking God’s will for me.”   This sort of comment is heard now and then at meetings. It reveals a belief that God is a harsh taskmaster who delights in imposing difficult conditions on us.
The truth is that God’s purpose is to help us be more of what we ought to be, which is always something better than what we’re experiencing now. Few people are ever called to be monks, but those who do are pleased with their choice and devote themselves to it.
We must always be interested in finding God’s direction in our lives. It will turn out to be something far better than anything we could have planned.
I need not fear God’s direction in my life. It’s actually what I need in order to reach my true place.

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Keep It Simple

Pain can’t be avoided. It’s as natural as joy.  – Unknown
We got into a lot of trouble trying to avoid pain. We used alcohol and other drugs to avoid pain. We didn’t want to accept pain as a fact of life.
We can’t avoid pain, but now we have the program. The program teaches us how to talk about our pain. The program teaches how to turn over our pain to our Higher Power.
We don’t have to be alone when we face pain. We have friends to go to. Before, when we hurt, we ran to alcohol or other drugs.
Now, when we hurt, we run to the comfort of our sponsor and our program friends.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me accept pain as part of life.  Help me remember that You are always there to help me with my pain. I’m not alone.
Today’s Action:  Today, I’ll list three painful events in my life. I’ll talk with a friend about them.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting.  –Ellen Glasgow
How often we turn minor challenges into monumental barriers by giving them undue attention, forgetting that within any problem lies its solution! However, the center of our focus must be off the problem’s tangle if we are to find the solution’s thread. The best remedy for this dilemma is the Serenity Prayer.
We cannot change our children, our husbands or partners, not even the best friends who we know love us. But with God’s help we can change the attitude that has us blocked at this time. A changed attitude, easing up on ourselves, lessening our expectations of others, will open the door to the kind of relationships we seek, the smooth flowing days we long for.
We need not take life so seriously. In fact, we shouldn’t take it so seriously. We can measure our emotional health by how heartily we laugh with others and at ourselves. The 24 hours stretching before us at this time promises many choices in attitude. We can worry, be mad, depressed, or frustrated, or we can trust our higher power to see us through whatever the situation. So, we can relax. It is our decision, the one decision over which we are not powerless.
I will be in control of my attitude today. I can have the kind of day I long for.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

In our personal stories you will find a wide variation in the way each teller approaches and conceives of the Power which is greater than himself. Whether we agree with a particular approach or conception seems to make little difference. Experience has taught us that these are matters about which, for our purpose, we need not be worried. They are questions for each individual to settle for himself.

p. 50

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
For years I was sure the worst thing that could happen to a nice guy like me would be that I would turn out to be an alcoholic.  Today I find it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.  This proves I don’t know what’s good for me.  And if I don’t know what’s good for me, then I don’t know what’s good or bad for you or for anyone.  So I’m better off if I don’t give advice, don’t figure I know what’s best, and just accept life on life’s terms, as it is today–especially my own life, as it actually is.  Before A.A. I judged myself by my intentions, while the world was judging me by my actions.

pp. 417-418

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

After three years of trial and error in selecting the most workable tenets upon which the Society could be based, and after a large amount of failure in getting alcoholics to recover, three successful groups emerged–the first at Akron, the second at New York, and the third at Cleveland. Even then it was hard to find twoscore of sure recoveries in all three groups.

pp. 16-17

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All time spent angry is time lost being happy.
–Mexican Proverb

Do what you can, for who you can, with what you have, and where you
are.
–Anonymous

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you
can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people
you can, as long as ever you can.
–John Wesley

Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at
things.”
–Henry Miller

Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required
to buy one necessity of the soul.
–Henry David Thoreau

“No one has ever done anything too bad to be forgiven.”
–Ruth Sheppard

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ART

“There is no must in art because
it is free.”
–Vasily Kandinsky

Now I understand why the religious people of the past persecuted
the artist. Now I understand why so many artists moved away
from religion and grew beyond it. The artist is always searching
for that which is different, that which cannot be contained or
codified; that which is free: Spirituality. As a drinking alcoholic I
found it necessary to control my life; control my thoughts and
behavior; control each and every situation — and it was depressingly
exhausting. Today sobriety enables me to risk that which is new and
different. Sobriety allows me to experiment and take risks in God’s
world. Sobriety is being free. I am discovering more of me in what
yesterday’s artists wrote and produced. The “musts” of yesterday
have been replaced by the shoulds and needs today. I am free to
listen and consider the person because he is a person and not
simply because of his credentials.

Supreme Artist, let me hear You in the whisperings of Your creatures.

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Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26

You are from God, little children, and have overcome; because
greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you
would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and
have seen him.”
John 14:5-7


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Daily Inspiration

Keep your mind open to the possibility that things can turn out even better than expected. Lord, I trust in You and graciously accept all blessings that You send to me.

God gives us power, love and self-discipline, not fear and timidness. Lord, I will not be afraid to proclaim that You are my God. All will see it in my actions.

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NA Just For Today

The “G” Word

“It is important for you to know that you will hear God mentioned at NA meetings. What we are referring to is a Power greater than ourselves that makes possible what seems impossible.”
IP No.22, “Welcome to NA”

Most of us come to Narcotics Anonymous with a variety of preconceptions about what the word “God” means, many of them negative. Yet the “G” word is used very regularly in NA, if not constantly. It occurs 92 times in the first 103 pages of our Basic Text, and appears prominently in a third of our Twelve Steps. Rather than sidestep the sensitivity many of us feel toward the word, let’s address it head on.

It’s true that Narcotics Anonymous is a spiritual program. Our Twelve Steps offer a way to find freedom from addiction through the help of a spiritual Power greater than we are. The program, however; doesn’t tell us anything about what we have to think about that Power. In fact, over and over again, in our literature and our steps and our meetings, we hear it said, “the God of our understanding” – whatever that understanding may be.

We use the word “God” because it’s used in our Basic Text and because it communicates most effectively to most people a basic understanding of the Power underlying our recovery. The word, we use for the sake of convenience. The Power behind the word, however, we use for more than convenience. We use that Power to maintain our freedom from addiction and to ensure our ongoing recovery.

Just for today: Whether I believe in “God” or not, I will use the Power that keeps me clean and free.

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You are reading from the book  Today’s Gift.
Hurry, hurry has no blessing.  –Swahili Proverb
In a busy family there is a lot of activity. We sometimes feel imprisoned by all the work, school, extracurricular activities, housework, meetings, and special events. In the press to do it all, we may lose our peace because of the hurry. We rush to eat; we rush to work; we rush to get there on time. Much of this cannot be helped. But hurry has no blessing, as the proverb goes. We can create quick tempers and a lot of frustration if we try to hurry too much.
When we allow enough time to slow things down, we give ourselves a chance to enjoy what we’re doing, and to develop along spiritual lines. Inner peace depends on our keeping a balance in all the things we do. Only then can we feel the joy that comes from having enough time to do things quietly and smoothly, and value the inner peace that comes when we do not hurry.
How can I take my time today and enjoy myself?

You are reading from the book  Touchstones.
He was shut out from all family affairs. No one told him anything. The children, alone with their mother, told her all about the day’s happenings, everything…. But as soon as the father came in, everything stopped.  –D. H. Lawrence
Many of us men are on the outer edge of our family circles. The closeness between our children and our wives often seems more comfortable, more intimate than our relationships with them. Perhaps it’s similar to the closeness we had with our mother while our father was outside. It is painful to us and probably not entirely our own fault. We were taught that our main job was outside the home – supporting our family by earning a living. But it is up to us to change the situation.
Many of us learned from our own father that grown men stay aloof from emotional relationships, but this has hurt our relationships and alienated us from the people we most care for. Learning to know our feelings and how to express them helps us move into the family circle of intimacy.
Today, I will let go of my aloofness with my family so they can know me better.

You are reading from the book  Each Day a New Beginning.
Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting.  –Ellen Glasgow
How often we turn minor challenges into monumental barriers by giving them undue attention, forgetting that within any problem lies its solution! However, the center of our focus must be off the problem’s tangle if we are to find the solution’s thread. The best remedy for this dilemma is the Serenity Prayer.
We cannot change our children, our husbands or partners, not even the best friends who we know love us. But with God’s help we can change the attitude that has us blocked at this time. A changed attitude, easing up on ourselves, lessening our expectations of others, will open the door to the kind of relationships we seek, the smooth flowing days we long for.
We need not take life so seriously. In fact, we shouldn’t take it so seriously. We can measure our emotional health by how heartily we laugh with others and at ourselves. The 24 hours stretching before us at this time promises many choices in attitude. We can worry, be mad, depressed, or frustrated, or we can trust our higher power to see us through whatever the situation. So, we can relax. It is our decision, the one decision over which we are not powerless.
I will be in control of my attitude today. I can have the kind of day I long for.

You are reading from the book  The Language of Letting Go.
Going with the Flow
Go with the flow.
Let go of fear and your need to control. Relinquish anxiety. Let it slip away, as you dive into the river of the present moment, the river of your life, your place in the universe.
Stop trying to force the direction. Try not to swim against the current, unless it is necessary for your survival. If you’ve been clinging to a branch at the riverside, let go.
Let yourself move forward. Let yourself be moved forward.
Avoid the rapids when possible. If you can’t, stay relaxed. Staying relaxed can take your safely through fierce currents. If you go under for a moment, allow yourself to surface naturally. You will.
Appreciate the beauty of the scenery, as it is. See things with freshness, with newness. You shall never pass by today’s scenery again!
Don’t think too hard about things. The flow is meant to be experienced. Within it, care for yourself. You are part of the flow, an important part. Work with the flow. Work within the flow. Thrashing about isn’t necessary. Let the flow help you care for yourself. Let it help you set boundaries, make decisions, and get you where you need to be when it is time. You can trust the flow, and your part in it.
Today, I will go with the flow.

Today I’m looking within to discover what I am holding on to from the past. Today I am willing to let go of all old anger and resentments that keep me stuck in tension and pain.  –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Sometimes the Road Gets Rough

Don’t be dismayed when you come to a pothole, a detour, a stretch of rough and rocky road. Don’t be surprised. Slow down a little. Be patient. It’s not the whole journey. It’s not the way it’ll always be. But it is part of your journey,too, part of your journey to your heart and soul. Even when we’re living with joy and freedom, we continue to learn, grow, feel, experience. And the road can still get rough.

Happiness doesn’t mean feeling gleeful all the time. Happiness doesn’t mean the road we’re traveling is always smooth. Happiness means feeling all we need to feel. And accepting each part of the journey, even the changes of course and direction.

Feel all your feelings. Feel your fear and frustration about slowing down, then settle in for the ride. You may not be going as fast as you’d like, but the journey hasn’t stopped. You’re not doing anything wrong. You are going slower, but you’re still moving forward.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Dump it

Sometimes, we don’t have one clear feeling to express. We have a bunch of garbage we’ve collected, and we just need to dump.

We may be frustrated, angry, afraid, and sick to death of something– all in one ugly bunch. We could be enraged, hurt, overwhelmed, and feeling somewhat controlling and vengeful,too. Our emotional stuff has piled up to an unmanageable degree.

We can go to our journal and write this whole mess of feelings out, as ugly as it looks and as awkward and ungrateful as it feels to put it into words. We can call up a friend, someone we trust, and just spill all this out over the phone. Or we can stomp around our living room in the privacy of our own home and just dump all this stuff out into the air. We can go for a drive in our car, roll the window down, and dump everything out as we drive through the wilderness.

The important idea here is to dump our stuff when it piles up.

You don’t always have to be that healthy and in control of what you feel. Sometimes, dumping all your stuff is the way to clean things out.

God, help me understand that sometimes the only thing preventing me from moving forward in my life is hanging on to all the stuff that I really need to dump.

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Food for Thought

Stronger or Weaker?

Every time I say no to the craving for just one small, extra bite, I become stronger. Every time I give in, I weaken myself and make it harder to say no the next time.

Abstinence from compulsive overeating is made up of many small decisions. We gradually acquire the knowledge of what we can handle and what we should avoid. This knowledge applies to situations and attitudes as well as food. As we work our program and make the right decisions, we gain strength.

Since none of us is perfect, we do not need to become discouraged when we make mistakes. We are learning how to live, and our failures teach us more than our successes. Growth is slow, but if we keep coming back to OA and the program, we will see results beyond our wildest expectations. OA gives us the strength to become new people.

For growing stronger, we thank You.

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

Do unto Others
The Golden Rule by Madisyn Taylor

When we honor others by following the golden rule, we honor ourselves too.

All over the world, there exists a simple precept that, when followed, has the power to end conflict and banish strife. It is the Golden Rule, a key concept in many philosophies and spiritualities that admonishes us to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” Its meaning is clear: treat others only in ways that you would want to be treated. However, the golden rule is not always easy to follow. It can be a challenge to honor others as we wish to be honored. Yet, when we do so, we bestow a gift of loving kindness on our fellow human beings. And, in honoring others, we honor ourselves.

It is as uncomplicated a tenet as one could wish for. When we live by it, harming another person becomes nearly impossible. The Golden Rule is rooted in pure empathy and does not compel us to perform any specific act. Rather, it gently guides us to never let our actions toward others be out of harmony with our own desires. The Golden Rule asks us to be aware of the effect our words and actions may have on another person and to imagine ourselves in their place. It calls on us to ask ourselves how we would feel if what we were about to do were directed toward us. And yet this rule invites us to do more than not harm others. It suggests that we look for opportunities to behave toward others in the same ways that we would want others to act toward us. Showing compassion, being considerate of others, caring for the less fortunate, and giving generously are what can result when you follow the Golden Rule.

Adhering to the Golden Rule whenever possible can have a positive effect on the world around you because kindness begets kindness. In doing so, you generate a flow of positive energy that enfolds everyone you encounter in peace, goodwill, and harmony. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

When we speak with a friend in The Program, we shouldn’t hesitate to remind him or her of our need for privacy. Intimate communication is normally so free and easy among us that even a friend or sponsor may sometimes forget when we expect him to remain silent. Such “privileged communications” have important advantages. For one thing, we find in them the perfect opportunity to be as honest as we know how to be. For another, we don’t have to worry about the possibility of injury to other people, nor the fear of ridicule or condemnation. At the same time, we have the best possible chance to spot self-deception. Am I trustworthy to those who trust me.

Today I Pray

I pray for God’s assistance in making me a trusted confidant. I need to be a person others will be willing to share with. I need to be an open receiver, not just a transmitter. Today I pray for a large portion of tried-and-sureness, so that I may be a better and more receptive friend to those who choose to confide in me.

Today I Will Remember

Be a receiver.

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One More Day

They do me wrong who say I come no more, / Fear every day I stand outside your door.
– Walter Malone

Opportunity doesn’t just knock once, it’s there all the time. Perhaps we just don’t see it because we’re frightened to try new things. Or we may be complacent. One of the ways we know we are really making capable, mature decisions is when we become willing to open the door to opportunity again.

Occasionally, when a person retires, he or she may expect life to become automatically wonderful — all the time in the world and nothing in particular to do. It may take a little time for us to adjust. Opportunity is always there, waiting. We can learn to open our own doors.

I can renew my energies by becoming eager to burst forward, to pursue leisure-time efforts, to work with others.

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One Day At A Time

~ ACTION ~
“He does not believe who does not live his belief.”  Thomas Fuller

It’s an old axiom that actions speak louder than words. Our Twelve Step program is one of action, no matter how much we want to avoid working the Steps. The Big Book states that IF you want what we have, you will do what we did. That also means the opposite … if you don’t want what we have, don’t do it. The insanity of this disease is expecting a different result by continually doing the same old thing. Sanity is giving up what didn’t work and daring to try something new.

One day at a time …
I am going to trust that obedience to the program will, in time, restore me to sanity.
~ Jeremiah ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

3. – Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. – Pg. 563 – 4th. Edition – The Twelve Traditions ( The Long Form )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The slogans may sometimes annoy us in their simplicity. But repetition is an important learning tool. Think of the repetition that alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and depressants bring. Now you can understand the necessity of slogans to counteract the repetition of addiction.

As I go into this next hour of a clean and sober day, may I welcome the repetitions of recovery.

Having Fun

Today, I will have fun. What’s the point of all the work I do in recovery if my life doesn’t become lighter and happier? Even though I am working through deep issues, there is no reason why I can’t have some enjoyment in the process. Fun is when I relax and let things happen – when I can laugh at myself and other people – when I don’t take everything in life so seriously. It is when I can enjoy a seemingly meaningless conversation just for its own sake. Fun is when it doesn’t have to be all my way – when the heavy load is removed, when my meter is turned off and I just goof around in the moment. Fun is something I don’t have enough of for a number of silly reasons. Today I see that there is no reason not to enjoy myself.

I can let go and have fun.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

It doesn’t pay to argue with ‘slippers’ about the proper way of getting clean and sober. Why should people who are still drinking and drugging tell those who are sober why it can’t be done! We learn not to get in a pissing contest with a skunk. (or should we say drunk!)

The only thing I need to tell a drunk is how I got sober. I can’t tell him or her how they will get sober, because I don’t know.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Remember what you have left, not what you have lost.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I’m looking within to discover what I am holding on to from the past. Today I am willing to let go of all old anger and resentments that keep me stuck in tension and pain.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

To an alcoholic, changing drinks is like changing cabins on the Titanic. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 8

Humility
On his desk, Dr. Bob had a plaque defining humility:
“Perpetual quietness of heart.
It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore;
to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised,
it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door
and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness,
when all around and about is seeming trouble.”
– Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, p. 222

Thought to Ponder . . .
Humility comes before honor.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O P E = Heart Open; Please Enter.

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

Resentment
“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment
leads only to futility and unhappiness.
To the precise extent that we permit these,
do we squander the hours
that might have been worth while.
But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance
and growth of a spiritual experience,
this business of resentment is infinitely grave.
We found that it is fatal.
For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off
from the sunlight of the Spirit.
The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again.
And with us, to drink is to die.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66

Thought to Consider . . .
We are prisoners of our own resentments.
Forgiveness unlocks the door and sets us free.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R = Frustration, Ego, Anxiety, Resentment

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

Humility at Work
Tradition Twelve: “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
“As this tide offering top public approval swept in, we realized that it could do us incalculable good or great harm.
Everything would depend upon how it was channeled. We simply couldn’t afford to take the chance of letting self-
appointed members present themselves as messiahs representing A.A. before the whole public. The promoter instinct
in us might be our undoing. If even one publicly got drunk, or was lured into using A.A.’s name for his own purposes,
the damage might be irreparable. At this altitude (press, radio, films, and television), anonymity – 100 percent
anonymity – was the only possible answer. Here, principles would have to come before personalities, without
exception. “These experiences taught us that anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality
which today keynotes A.A. life everywhere.”
1981, AAWS, Inc., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 187

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

“I’m becoming so secure in AA, I’ve even discarded the cute, funny, phony me my civilian friends used to know. I don’t
have to dance with a rose in my teeth; I can just dance. And I don’t have to be the only girl at the picnic who can swing
Tarzan-style from a rope into the river. I can swim calmly, like the forty-year-old mother of four I am.”
Houston, Texas, June 1976
“Growth,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us
a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is
indescribably wonderful.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 17~

“Let families realize, as they start their journey, that all will not
be fair weather. Each in his turn may be footsore and may straggle.
There will be alluring shortcuts and by-paths down which they may
wander and lose their way.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 122~

“But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 17 (There is a Solution)

“With clear understanding and right, grown-up attitudes, very happy results do follow.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 119 (Step Twelve)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We agnostics liked A.A. all right, and were quick to say that it had done miracles. But we recoiled from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist who refused to perform a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong.
When we finally did experiment, and unexpected results followed, we felt different; in fact, we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer. And that, we have found, can happen to anybody who tries. It has been well said that ‘Almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for the desire to grow and understand myself and others.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 7th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 7th

Daily Reflections

. . . AND LETTING GO OF IT

. . . primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed
or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis
of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual
disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had
unless we could find a means of reducing these demands. The
difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to
anyone.
12 & 12, p.76

Peace is possible for me only when I let go of expectations. When
I’m trapped in thoughts about what I want and what should be
coming to me, I’m in a state of fear or anxious anticipation and
this is not conducive to emotional sobriety. I must surrender–over
and over–to the reality of my dependence on God, for then I find
peace, gratitude and spiritual security.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We had become hopelessly sick people; spiritually, emotionally,
and physically. The power that controlled us was greater than
ourselves–it was John Barleycorn. Many drinkers have said: “I
hadn’t gone that far; I hadn’t lost my job on account of drink; I
still had my family; I managed to keep out of jail. True, I took too
much sometimes and I guess I managed to make quite an a$$ of
myself when I did, but I still thought I could control my drinking. I
didn’t really believe that I was an alcoholic.” If I was one of these,
have I fully changed my mind?

Meditation For The Day

Painful as the present time may be; you will one day see the reason
for it. You will see that it was not only testing, but also a
preparation for the life-work which you are to do. Have faith that
your prayers and aspirations will someday be answered.
Answered in a way that perhaps seems painful to you but is the only
right way. Selfishness and pride often make us want things that
are not good for us. They need to be burned out of our natures.
We must be rid of the blocks which are holding us back, before we
can expect our prayers to be answered.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be willing to go through a time of testing. I pray that
I may trust God for the outcome.

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As Bill Sees It

To Survive Trials, p. 188

In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes wholly 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 he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We
have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.
Release from alcohol, and not flight from it, is our answer.

<< << << >> >> >>

“Faith without works is dead.” How appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic
fails to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he
cannot survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he does not work, he will surely
drink again, and if he drinks, he will surely die. Then faith will be dead indeed.

Alcoholics Anonymous
1. p. 101
2. pp. 14-15


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Walk In Dry Places

What should I have said or done?
Second thoughts
After an intense discussion, we might rehash what we said and wish we’d said something else.  Perhaps some brilliant remark occurs to us long after the conversation has ended.
We can say only what comes to us at the time of the discussion.  Our best preparation for any such discussion.... however important…. is to place the matter in God’s hands, seeking the highest good for everyone involved.
It may be that the brilliant thoughts coming to us later would have actually been inappropriate. After all, important discussions also involve exchanges of strong feelings that influence the meeting. If our feelings are in line with the high principles of the program, the discussion should go well. In such cases, we will probably say what we’re supposed to say.
I’ll do my best today without trying to second-guess every word or action. 


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Keep It Simple

Be brave enough to accept the help of others
Often is the past, we acted like we didn’t need anyone. It takes courage to let others help us.
As we get better, our courage grows. We invite people into our lives. We help others, and we let others help us.
We will learn to let others help us if we work our program. Why? Because we need others to stay sober. When we have a problem, we talk about it in our group. When we need a shoulder to cry on, we call a friend or our sponsor. Over time, our relationships become one of the biggest rewards of recovery.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me see my need for others as a test—a test to see if I’ll be brave enough and wise enough to ask for help when I need it.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list four times in my life when I needed help but didn’t ask for it. I’ll tell a friend about how these times would have been different if I had asked for help.

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Each Day a New Beginning

. . . that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.  –Doris Lessing
As we are changed by our experiences, that which we know also changes. Our experiences foster growth and enlightenment, and all awarenesses give way to new understandings. We are forever students of life blessed with particular lessons designed only for us. There is joy in knowing that learning has no end and that each day offers us a chance to move closer to becoming the persons we are meant to be.
To understand something more deeply requires that we be open to the ideas of others, willing to part with our present opinions. The program offers us many opportunities to trade in the understandings we’ve outgrown. Throughout our recovery we have discovered new interpretations of old ideas. And we will continue to expand our understanding.
Every situation, every person, every feeling, every idea has a slightly different hue each time we encounter it. The wonder of this is that life is forever enriched, forever fresh.
Each moment offers me a chance to know better who I am and to understand more fully the real contribution that is mine to make in this life. I will let the anticipation of my changing ideas excite me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Instead, we looked at the human defects of these people, and sometimes used their shortcomings as a basis of wholesale condemnation. We talked of intolerance, while we were intolerant ourselves. We missed the reality and the beauty of the forest because we were diverted by the ugliness of some its trees. We never gave the spiritual side of life a fair hearing.

p. 50

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”  He forgot to mention that I was the chief critic.  I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation.  And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did.  A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here.  When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God’s handiwork.  I am saying I know better than God.

p. 417

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

The basic principles of A.A., as they are known today, were borrowed mainly from the fields of religion and medicine, though some ideas upon which success finally depended were the result of noting the behavior and needs of the Fellowship itself.

p. 16

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The way in which we think of ourselves has everything to do with how
our world sees us.
–Arlene Raven

Don’t believe everything you think.
–unknown

“Put love first. Entertain thoughts that give life. And when a thought
or resentment, or hurt, or fear comes your way, have another thought
that is more powerful — a thought that is love.”
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Keep your face to the sunshine of His love and the shadows will fall
behind you.”
–unknown

Take a walk with God. He will meet you at the Steps.
–unknown

It’s easier to tear a hole than to mend one.
–Russian Proverb

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

RELIGION

“Doubt isn’t the opposite of
faith; it is an element of faith.”
–Paul Tillich

That part of me that does not know is vibrant in spirituality.
Problems are part of what it is to be human and an element of
doubt is essential. With the doubt comes the growth. However, as
a younger man I was told that it was a sin to doubt; God demanded a
steadfast faith and doubt could have no part of faith! I remember
going to confession and feeling guilty and ashamed about my doubts —
but I did doubt and doubt has always played a part in my life. In some
ways I think that my religious doubts have been the most creative part
of me — certainly they have enabled me to grow and build a bridge of
understanding with others.

Master, hear, through the doubts, my love of You.

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

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret it only causes harm.
Psalm 37:7-8

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under
the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge
and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.
Psalm 81:1-2

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.
James 4:10

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your
labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors.
Proverbs 8:34


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Daily Inspiration

Talking about how busy you are only adds stress to the stress you already feel. Lord, help me complete the tasks of my day and avoid taking on more than I can handle.

Rejoice and be happy for others when they are blessed. Lord, bless me with the ability to be free of envy so that I can truly share the joy of my neighbors.

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NA Just For Today

God In Each Other

“One aspect of our spiritual awakening comes through the new understanding of our Higher Power that we develop by sharing another addict’s recovery.”
Basic Text, p.51

We’ve heard it said that we often see God most clearly in one another. We see the truth of this when we practice our Twelfth Step. When we carry the recovery message to another addict, we sense the presence of a Power greater than ourselves. And as we watch the message take hold, we realize something else.

It’s the message that brings recovery, not the messenger. A Higher Power, not our own power, is the source of the change that begins when we carry the message to a still-suffering addict. As the message does its work, transforming the life of another addict, we see a Higher Power in action. We watch as acceptance and hope replace denial and despair. Before our very eyes, the first traces of honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness begin to appear. Something’s happening inside this person, something bigger and more powerful than either of us. We’re watching the God we’ve come to understand at work in someone’s life. We see the Higher Power in them. And we know with greater certainty than ever that this Higher Power is in us, too, as the force driving our recovery.

Just for today: As I carry the message of recovery to other addicts, I will try to pay attention to the Power behind the message. Today, as I watch other addicts recover, I will try to recognize the God in them so I can better recognize the God in myself.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I found words to every thought I ever had, but one. . . . –Emily Dickinson
What kinds of thoughts can’t be put into words? We feel lost in space, mind-boggled by how small and big the stars are. We are sure and unsure about death, its blank and steady stare. Or we have done something that makes us feel both good and bad. Sometimes we hate someone we love, but we aren’t sure what hate is, or love. We are scared of crowds and afraid of being abandoned, always alone. Sometimes we just want to laugh and cry, and when words fail we expect someone to know what our silences mean.
What are some ways I try to express my feelings without using words?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Those who are mentally and emotionally healthy are those who have learned when to say yes, when to say no, and when to say whoopee! –Willard S. Krabill
We men have fallen into many difficulties because of poorly defined personal boundaries. Some of us never learned to say no to our mothers and felt invaded or ruled by them. Or we never truly said no to our fathers – never went through a teenage rebellion to establish ourselves as adults. Others have gotten stuck saying no and have never learned to yield and say yes.
Boundary problems have been part of the difficulty in many areas of our lives. We’ve told ourselves we have no right to our yes or no, or we’ve said we’re strong enough to sacrifice for someone else, or we’ve welcomed the escape from ourselves in discarding our choice. Not saying no when we needed to or not saying yes when we wanted to has led many of us into doctors’ offices, courts, jails, lost jobs, divorces, and bad marriages. Now the inner voice of our Higher Power is showing us our limits and encouraging us to stand up for them.
I am learning to know myself by defining my boundaries and choosing when and when not to cross them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
. . . that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way. –Doris Lessing
As we are changed by our experiences, that which we know also changes. Our experiences foster growth and enlightenment, and all awarenesses give way to new understandings. We are forever students of life blessed with particular lessons designed only for us. There is joy in knowing that learning has no end and that each day offers us a chance to move closer to becoming the persons we are meant to be.
To understand something more deeply requires that we be open to the ideas of others, willing to part with our present opinions. The program offers us many opportunities to trade in the understandings we’ve outgrown. Throughout our recovery we have discovered new interpretations of old ideas. And we will continue to expand our understanding.
Every situation, every person, every feeling, every idea has a slightly different hue each time we encounter it. The wonder of this is that life is forever enriched, forever fresh.
Each moment offers me a chance to know better who I am and to understand more fully the real contribution that is mine to make in this life. I will let the anticipation of my changing ideas excite me.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Getting It All Out
Let yourself have a good gripe session. From: ” Woman, Sex, and Addiction” — Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.
Get it out. Go ahead. Get it all out. Once we begin recovery, we may feel like it’s not okay to gripe and complain. We may tell ourselves that if we were really working a good program, we wouldn’t need to complain.
What does that mean? We won’t have feelings? We won’t feel overwhelmed? We won’t need to blow off steam or work through some not so pleasant, not so perfect, and not so pretty parts of life?
We can let ourselves get our feelings out, take risks, and be vulnerable with others. We don’t have to be all put together, all the time. That sounds more like codependency than recovery.
Getting it all out doesn’t mean we need to be victims. It doesn’t mean we need to revel in our misery, finding status in our martyrdom. It doesn’t mean we won’t go on to set boundaries. It doesn’t mean we won’t take care of ourselves.
Sometimes, getting it all out is an essential part of taking care of ourselves. We reach a point of surrender so we can move forward.
Self-disclosure does not mean only quietly reporting our feelings. It means we occasionally take the risk to share our human side-the side with fears, sadness, hurt, rage, unreasonable anger, weariness, or lack of faith.
We can let our humanity show. In the process, we give others permission to be human too. “Together” people have their not so together moments. Sometimes, falling apart – getting it all out – is how we get put back together.
Today, I will let it all out if I need a release.

Today I let go totally and give God the space to do His work. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Recognize the Signs

Sometimes, the universe gives us warnings.

I was driving down a local highway in New Mexico, a safe distance behind the car in front of me. Suddenly, the driver slammed on his brakes to avoid a huge puddle, a flood of water in front of him. I stopped short, but the car behind me was following too closely and rammed into the rear of my Jeep.

I got out and inspected the damage. My car was fine. The woman who rammed me had dented her bumper. No one was harmed. I got back in my Jeep, thinking it was over. But as I drove off, I began to wonder. Something about the incident still nagged at me.

Several weeks later, I was driving down a fast-moving two-lane highway. Behind me was a large truck loaded with cars. In front of me were several cars. In front of the cars was a school bus. The traffic was moving at at least fifty-five miles an hour.

Suddenly, I saw the brake lights from the cars ahead. The school bus had stopped to let a child disembark. I pulled to a stop behind the car in front of me. Then I remembered the lesson from the accident a couple of weeks ago: sometimes I can stop safely, but the driver behind me can’t.

I looked out my rearview mirror. The truck loaded with cars was frantically trying to stop. I pulled my car off the road onto the shoulder, giving him an extra car length. He screeched to a stop, right behind the car ahead of me. Had I not noticed, not pulled out, we’d all have been piled up. And the children in the bus…

Sometimes accidents happen without warning, but sometimes the universe gives us a nudge, a little sign. We don’t have to become paranoid, we don’t have to think every event means something, but we can trust ourselves to recognize a sign when we see one.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

It will get better

Sometimes things need to feel worse before they get better. Feelings are one of those things.

When a feeling comes to the surface, it presents itself boldly. Usually the feelings being stirred up are ones we label unpleasant– fear, hurt, rage, guilt, shame or deep sorrow and grief. They will feel intense, for a while. Some feelings take a moment to come to the surface and clear. Other feelings take more time.

Feeling the emotion that intensely means it’s finally clearing out of your system. Even though it may feel like it, it’s not really getting worse. It’s healing, it’s getting better. You’re cleaning out that old wound. To do that, you have to reopen it, but just for a little while. But finally, after you do that, it will truly heal.

What do you need to do with feelings? Acknowledge them. Feel them. Give each one its due. They like to be honored that way. Once you identify and feel them, then they’ll go away. And each time you do this, the pond becomes clearer and cleaner, until finally the water is pure.

Notice how you react to yourself when a feeling comes up that needs attention and care. Do you spend as much time resisting the feeling as you actually do feeling the emotion? Do you expend more energy than necessary worrying that the feeling won’t leave, that you won’t be able to handle it, or that the feeling will take over your life? Consciously and deliberately relinquish your resistance to your emotional world. In March we learned to say whatever as part of speaking the language of letting go. Now practice saying whatever in love to your feelings.

God, give me the courage to face what I feel now, and what I felt before and didn’t have the resources to feel. Help me trust that this process will help me feel better than I did before.

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Food for Thought

Life Is Opportunity

Each morning when we wake up, we thank our Higher Power for another day of abstaining. Each hour that is given to us is a chance to grow and learn and serve. We can believe that God has a plan for every day that he gives us and that He will reveal the plan step by step as we listen for His guidance.

If we are too intent on carrying out our personal ideas and projects, we may miss the directions that come from God. We need to remain open and flexible so that He may use us as He chooses.

Considering the time and tasks that we have as opportunities to serve saves us from self-centered worry and anxiety. We do not have to be compulsive about our work and activities. God knows our capabilities and will not give us more than we can handle. He is always ready to direct our efforts when we turn to Him.

Thank You for the opportunity to live and serve today.

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A Self-Created State
Worry

Worry is an extension of fear and can also set you up for attracting that which you don’t want in your life.

We have all had the experience of worrying about something at some point in our lives. Some of us have a habitual tendency to worry, and all of us have known someone who is a chronic worrier. Worry is an extension of fear and can be a very draining experience. In order for worry to exist, we have to imagine that something bad might happen. What we are worrying about has not happened yet, however, so this bad thing is by definition a fantasy. Understood this way, worry is a self-created state of needless fear. Still, most of us worry.

One reason we worry is because we feel like we’re not in control. For example, you might worry about your loved ones driving home in bad weather. There is nothing you can do to guarantee their safe passage, but you worry until you find out they have reached their destination unharmed. In this instance, worry is an attempt to feel useful and in control. However, worrying does nothing to ensure a positive outcome and it has an unpleasant effect on your body, mind, and spirit. The good news is that there are ways to transform this kind of worry so that it has a healing effect. Just as worry uses the imagination, so does the antidote to worry. Next time you find that you are worrying, imagine the best result instead of anticipating the worst outcome. Visualize your loved ones’ path bathed in white light and clearly see in your mind’s eye their safe arrival. Imagine angels or guides watching over them as they make their way home. Generate peace and well-being instead of nervousness and unease within yourself.

Another reason we worry is that something that we know is pending but are avoiding is nagging us—an unpaid parking ticket, an upcoming test, an issue with a friend. In these cases, acknowledging that we are worried and taking action is the best solution. If you can confront the situation and own your power to change it, you’ll have no reason to worry. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

What wonderful things could happen in my life if I could get rid of my natural impulse to justify my actions. Is honesty so deeply repr4essed under layers of guilt that I can’t release it to understand my motives? Being honest with ourselves isn’t easy. It’s difficult to search out why I had this or that impulse and, more importantly, why I acted upon it. Nothing makes us feel so vulnerable as to give up the crutch of The Alibi, yet my willingness to be vulnerable will go a long way toward helping me grow in The Program. Am I becoming more aware that self-deception multiplies my problems?

Today I Pray

May God remove my urge to make excuses. Help me to face up to the realities that surface when I am honest with myself. Help me to know, as certainly as day follows sunrise, that my difficulties will be lessened if I can only trust His Will.

Today I Will Remember

I will be willing to do His Will.

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One More Day

Smiles form the channels of a future tear.
– Lord Byron

We have often watched smiles turn to laughter and laughter back to tears. At a family reunion, we hear the joyous sounds of people chattering away, trying to catch up in five minutes for twenty lost years.

People who have Parkinson’s disease sometimes complain that their faces don’t match the emotions they want to express. The mask of the illness slows down normal movement of facial muscles. Even more tragic is the person who doesn’t feel emotion. No laughter and no tears.

We are fortunate to be able to express our emotions, to show contentment and unhappiness. So what if today’s laughter becomes tomorrow’s tears? We know we’ll laugh again — and cry again. Our past experiences give meaning to the present.

I will accept all my emotions as an affirmation of my life. Changing emotions are a part of normal living.

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One Day At A Time

FEAR
“Few persons live up to the faith which they really have.
Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud
practiced upon the evolving mortal soul.”
The Urantia Book

“Unreasoned fear” was my main problem for most of my life. I lived with a myriad of fears which seemed to be too awesome and terrible to face. I love the fact that since finding this recovery program, I no longer have to live in fear. What wondrous freedom I found in the realization that unreasoned fear is “intellectual fraud!”

One slogan I recall about fear says: “Future Events Appear Real.” That is the first one that really helped me to realize that most of my fears were not based on what was real. By working the Steps of this program I have managed to stop attempting to live in a future filled with fear. When I focus on just being here now — living in this moment only — I don’t have to run from fear.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will stay in this moment. I will look at the people and things that are here right now and enjoy what my Higher Power has given me.
~ Steph

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When you have carefully explained to such people that he is a sick person, you will have created a new atmosphere. Barriers which have sprung up between you and your friends will disappear with the growth of sympathetic understanding. You will no longer be self-conscious or feel that you must apologize as though your husband were a weak character. He may be anything but that. Your new courage, good nature and lack of self-consciousness will do wonders for you socially. – Pg. 115 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is necessary in the beginning to be clean from dry drugs and dry from wet drugs, but it is not all we want to obtain. We want wholeness and we want growth. This comes from living each hour according to the principles we are learning.

My Spiritual Source demonstrates that clean and dry is not my only goal–but growth is.

Dreaming Dreams

Today, I will dream dreams. There is nothing wrong with having a couple of dreams for myself if they are realistic and don’t remove me from life too much. To work toward a dream can be a constructive use of my talents and energies. It can give me a positive focus. If my dreams are wild and I am not willing to do the work necessary to realize them, they will only frustrate me and lower my self-esteem. If, however, I am able to dream what makes sense for me and work to put it within my reach, it can be a real process of growth and challenge. My energy and enthusiasm can help me move through blocks, and my commitment can show me that love and effort can be their own reward.

I can stretch myself.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Deal with the small stuff or it will deal with you. Do not allow the small stuff to pile up on the camel’s back. Take each situation that bothers you and deal with that as one unit, not as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

When I feel it, I deal with it and then can heal from it.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Do your Third Step every morning and turn your will over to the care of the God of your understanding. At night, take a Tenth Step to see how God’s doing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I let go totally and give God the space to do His work.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

A man was walking on a beach after a storm. Thousands of starfish were stranded on the shore. He saw a boy throwing starfish back into the ocean and asked the boy why. The boy replied: ‘The tide’s going out, the starfish will die in the sun. The man said; ‘But there’s so many of them, what difference can it make? The boy threw another starfish and said : It’ll make a difference to that one.’ Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 7

“If”
Alcoholism respects no ifs. It does not go away, not for a week, for a day, or even for an hour,
leaving us nonalcoholic and able to drink again on some special occasion,
or for some extraordinary reason — not even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration,
or if a big sorrow hits us, or if it rains in Spain or the stars fall on Alabama.
Alcoholism is for us unconditional, with no dispensations available at any price.
– Living Sober, p. 63

Thought to Ponder . . .
Nothing is so bad that a drink won’t make worse.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Absolute Abstinence.

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

Ready?
“We shall need to make a brand new venture
into open-mindedness.
We shall need to raise our eyes toward perfection,
and be ready to walk in that direction.
It will seldom matter how haltingly we walk.
The only question will be
‘Are we ready?’ ”
Bill W.
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 68

Thought to Consider . . .
Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Facing All In Trusting Him

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

Perspectives
From: “Preface”
“If you have a drinking problem, we hope that you may pause in reading one of the forty-two personal stories and think: “Yes, that happened to me; or, more important, Yes, I’ve felt like that, or most important, “Yes, I believe this program can work for me too.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page xii

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

“Many of us think today the main problem of Alcoholics Anonymous is this: How, as a movement, shall we maintain our humility — and so our unity — in the face of what the world calls a great triumph? Perhaps we need not look far afield for an answer. We need only adapt and apply to our group life those principles upon which each of us has founded his own recovery.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., October 1947
“Traditions Stressed in Memphis Talk”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Remember that we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful!
Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all
power that One is God. May you find Him now!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 58~

“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~

“We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance. “
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 125

“We sit in A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which our presence can bring.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 110

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes wholly to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may success for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed. Release from alcohol, and not flight from it, is our answer.
‘Faith without works is dead.’ How appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic fails to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he cannot survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he does not work, he will surely drink again, and if he drinks, he will surely die. Then faith will be dead indeed.

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what I must accept. Please help me gratefully accept the life I’ve been given.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 6th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 6th

Daily Reflections

IDENTIFYING FEAR . . . .

The chief activator of our defects has been self –
centered fear. . . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 76

When I feel uncomfortable, irritated, or depressed, I
look for fear. This “evil and corroding thread” is the
root of my distress: Fear of failure; fear of other’s
opinions; fear of harm, and many other fears. I have
found a Higher Power who does not want me to live in
fear and, as a result, the experience of A.A. in my
life is freedom and joy. I am no longer willing to live
with the multitude of character defects that
characterized my life while I was drinking. Step Seven
is my vehicle to freedom from these defects. I pray for
help in identifying the fear underneath the defect, and
then I ask God to relieve me of that fear. This method
works for me without fail and is one of the great
miracles of my life in Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We tried to study our alcoholic problem, wondering what
was the cause of our strange obsession. Many of us took
special treatments, hospitalization, even confinement in
institutions. In every case, the relief was only temporary.
We tried through crazy excuses to convince ourselves that
we knew why we drank, but we went on regardless. Finally
drinking had gone far beyond even a habit. We had become
alcoholics, men and women who had been destroying
themselves against their own will. Am I completely free
from my alcoholic obsession?

Meditation For The Day

“Ask and ye shall receive.” Never let yourself think you
cannot do something useful or that you never will be able
to accomplish a useful task. The fact is that you can do
practically anything in the field of human relationships,
if you are willing to call on God’s supply of strength. The
supply may not be immediately available, because you may
not be entirely ready to receive it. But it will surely come
when you are properly prepared for it. As you grow spiritually,
a feeling of being plentifully supplied by God’s strength will
possess you and you will be able to accomplish many useful
things.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may claim God’s supply of strength by my faith
in Him. I pray that it shall be given to me according to my faith.

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As Bill Sees It

Talk or Action?, p. 187

In making amends, it is seldom wise to approach an individual who still
smarts from our injustice to him, and announce that we have gone
religious. This might be called leading with the chin. Why lay ourselves
open to being branded fanatics or religious bores? If we do this, we may
kill a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message.

But the man who hears our amends is sure to be impressed with our
sincere desire to set right a wrong. He is going to be more interested in
a demonstration of good will than in talk of spiritual discoveries.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 77

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Walk In Dry Places

Should we Intervene?
Recovery
The method of conducting interventions is considered an effective way of confronting alcoholics and drug addicts.  Interventions are done with the hope that this confrontation will “raise the bottom,” and that the addict will face the condition before there’s further anguish.
However effective interventions may be, they’re not part of the 12 Step program. Our work is based on attraction, not the admitted coercion that’s part of intervention.
If we take part in interventions, this separation should be clearly understood.  The person who still suffers should know that the 12 Step program depends on attraction, not any of the other methods that might be available.
It’s important to make this point clear, because the intervention may fail. Whether it does or not, the individual must not be left with the idea that intervention is a 12 Step activity. At any stage, the fellowship is always available to him or her.
I’ll probably see lots of people today who need help in facing their addiction. I’ll know that their recovery comes in God’s good time. 


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Keep It Simple

When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make lemonade.—Dale Carnegie
Our illness is one big lemon, but our recovery is lemonade. None of us signed up to be drunks or drugies, but we all signed up for recovery. That’s when the happiness began. Yes, there will be pain, but the joy will far outweigh the pain. The sweet joy of recovery becomes our drink—our lemonade. And, do we drink!
We have new friends. We love ourselves, our Higher Power, our family, and much more. We are creative when we give joy, love and help to others and to ourselves. If your lemonade isn’t sweet enough, add more of your program.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, it’s easy to forget how much You’ve given me. Thank you for all the joy and love You have given me.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll write down what part of recovery I really enjoy. I will then share this list with my group or friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Peace, she supposed, was contingent upon a certain disposition of the soul, a disposition to receive the gift that only detachment from self made possible.  –Elizabeth Goudge
Self-centeredness, egocentrism, and selfishness are familiar to most of us. We have judged our world and all the situations and people in it in terms of how their existence affects our own. We have become tied to him or to her or to a situation just as surely as an anchor to a boat. Most of us learned in very early childhood to read others’ behaviors. And we determined our own worth accordingly.
As adult women we still struggle, trying to read another’s actions, hoping to find acceptance. Which means we are always vulnerable, exposing our “self” to the whims of other, equally vulnerable “selves.” What we search for is peace and security. We think if others love and accept us, we’ll be at peace. We’ll know serenity. A most important lesson for us to learn in this life is that peace is assured when we anchor ourselves to our God. Peace, well-being, serene joy will accompany our every step when we expose our vulnerable selves to God’s care and only God’s care. We’ll no longer need to worry about the self we try to protect. It will be handled with care.
Peace awaits me today. I will look to God, and only God, to know that all is well, that I am all that I need to be.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of God’s ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn’t it?
We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions. People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. Actually, we used to have no reasonable conception whatever. We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually- minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves.

p. 49

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.  Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

p. 417

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935 at Akron, Ohio, as the outcome of a meeting between a well-known surgeon and a New York broker. Both were severe cases of alcoholism and were destined to become co-founders of the A.A. Fellowship.

p. 16

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Love yourself and all your emotions.
Be as honest with yourself as you can be.
Say how you really feel.
–Melody Beattie

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the
heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Though we travel the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it
within us or we will find it not.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

God, help me to lower my defenses today, to be open to the good in
the people around me and to the good that I have to offer them.
–Melody Beattie

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
–John Wooden

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

POWER

“The measure of man is what he
does with power.”
–Pittacus

With my recovery has come a certain success, and with the success
comes power. Power comes with the spiritual program, but it must be
exercised responsibly. Just as the disease used alcohol to destroy my
life, so it can use power to destroy me in sobriety. Power is a
doubled-edged sword that has led many back to drinking. Certainly an
abuse of power is not consistent with sobriety.

Today I am respectful of power because I know it can lead to an
inflated ego or an arrogant personality that continues to destroy the
quality of life. Today I surround myself with friends who will remind
me of my roots.

Teach me not to use my White Anglo-Saxon Protestant heritage to
belittle or patronize those from minority groups.

Teach me to exercise power responsibly.

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:8-13


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Daily Inspiration

Make few promises and keep the ones you make. Lord, grant me the strength to keep my commitments, especially the ones that I make to myself.

Life is what our thinking makes it. Lord, help me visualize myself richly living each day, believing, achieving, and then succeeding.

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NA Just For Today

“I’m Sorry”

“The main thing the Eighth Step does for us is to help build awareness that, little by little, we are gaining new attitudes about ourselves and how we deal with other people.”
Basic Text, p.38

To say “I’m sorry” probably isn’t such a foreign idea to most of us. In our active addiction, it may have been a very familiar phrase. We were always telling people how sorry we were, and were probably deeply surprised when someone, tired of our meaningless apologies, responded with, “You sure are. In fact, you’re the sorriest excuse for?” That may have been our first clue that an “I’m sorry” didn’t really make any difference to those we harmed, especially when we both knew that we’d just do the same thing again.

Many of us thought that making amends would be another “I’m sorry.” However, the action we take in those steps is entirely different. Making amends means to make changes and, above all, to make the situation right. If we stole money, we don’t just say “I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again now that I’m clean.” We pay the money back. If we neglected or abused our families, we don’t just apologize. We begin to treat them with respect.

Amending our behavior and the way we treat ourselves and others is the whole purpose of working the steps. We’re no longer just “sorry”; we’re responsible.

Just for today: I accept responsibility for myself and my recovery. Today, I will amend some particular thing I’m sorry for.

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You are reading from the book  Today’s Gift.
Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills.  –Catherine Ponder
Getting mad at someone, a friend perhaps, is normal. Everybody gets mad sometimes. But when we stay mad for very long, it ruins all the fun we’d planned on having throughout the day. Staying mad multiplies. Sometimes it seems we are mad at the dog, our mom, another friend, even the TV.
Forgiving the people we’re mad at works like magic. We don’t even have to forgive them out loud. We can forgive them in our own minds. The result is the same. Pretty soon the whole day looks bright again. When we’re mad, we are the ones who suffer most.
Who can I forgive today, and make my day a better one?

You are reading from the book  Touchstones.
Is the inventor of the ear unable to hear? Is the creator of the eye unable to see?  –Psalms 94:9
The way we have been restored to our spiritual path is partly a mystery. Our willingness to accept mystery in our lives has taught us we are part of a larger whole. There is more at work in the world than we can know. Acceptance of the larger whole restores us to health.
We are not just separate beings with a private world. Our existence is part of a larger process. We came into being with no control and no forethought on our own part. We arise from a past that no one remembers.
It was when we didn’t see our place – as part of creation – that we were in the greatest pain and difficulty. Now each day, each hour, when we remember we are not in charge, and our will is not in control, we are restored again.
I am thankful for the mystery of recovery. I accept this mystery as part of all the mysteries beyond my control.

You are reading from the book  Each Day a New Beginning.
Peace, she supposed, was contingent upon a certain disposition of the soul, a disposition to receive the gift that only detachment from self made possible.  –Elizabeth Goudge
Self-centeredness, egocentrism, and selfishness are familiar to most of us. We have judged our world and all the situations and people in it in terms of how their existence affects our own. We have become tied to him or to her or to a situation just as surely as an anchor to a boat. Most of us learned in very early childhood to read others’ behaviors. And we determined our own worth accordingly.
As adult women we still struggle, trying to read another’s actions, hoping to find acceptance. Which means we are always vulnerable, exposing our “self” to the whims of other, equally vulnerable “selves.” What we search for is peace and security. We think if others love and accept us, we’ll be at peace. We’ll know serenity. A most important lesson for us to learn in this life is that peace is assured when we anchor ourselves to our God. Peace, well-being, serene joy will accompany our every step when we expose our vulnerable selves to God’s care and only God’s care. We’ll no longer need to worry about the self we try to protect. It will be handled with care.
Peace awaits me today. I will look to God, and only God, to know that all is well, that I am all that I need to be.

You are reading from the book  The Language of Letting Go.
Step Seven
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.  –Step Seven of Al-Anon
In the Sixth and Seventh Steps of the program, we become willing to let go of our defects of character – issues, behaviors, old feelings, unresolved grief, and beliefs that are blocking us from the joy that is ours. Then we ask God to take them from us.
Isn’t that simple? We don’t have to contort ourselves to make ourselves change. We don’t have to force change. For once, we don’t have to “do it ourselves.” All we have to do is strive for an attitude of willingness and humility. All we have to do is ask God for what we want and need, and then trust God to do for us that which we cannot do and do not have to do for ourselves.
We do not have to watch with bated breath for how and when we shall change. This is not a self-help program. In this miraculous and effective program that has brought about recovery and change for millions, we become changed by working the Steps.
Today, God, help me surrender to recovery and to the process by which I become changed. Help me focus on the Step I need. Help me do my part, relax, and allow the rest to happen.

It is a great relief to know that all I have to do is turn to the twelve steps of recovery and help is with me today. Today I am given all the tools that I need and I am so grateful that I no longer have to struggle alone.  –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

See How Each Soul Has Touched You

Often in our lives, we don’t realize the significance of a relationship until later, when the experience has passed. Then we understand how the person helped us along the way, took us to the next part of our journey, opened us up to begin learning the next lesson. And we see how we, in turn, helped shape that person.

One evening, as I was readying for sleep, I had a vision. I saw clearly before me a scenario of the dance we do with each other. I saw in my heart, understood deeply, the tangible, shaping impact each soul had on my life. Each moment, each interaction with another person, had been important– the quiet interactions, the ones I barely noticed, and the more significant relationships. Each moment– the moments that hurt, the moments that brought joy– had helped. We had touched each other. We were joined in an intricate dance, a dance in which our souls learned and grew.

And we had taken our places with each other on time, for the dance was perfectly choreographed.

I could almost see us waving gleefully to each other, happy for how we had connected, joyful that we had helped each other learn the lessons of the soul: courage, love, forgiveness, gentleness, self-love.

See how each soul touches you? See how you touch them? Ask your heart to guide you with honesty, love, and responsibility in all your encounters. Honor the sacredness of love. Honor the lessons of planet earth and the people who help you learn them.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let the feelings go

Sometimes we get stuck on a feeling. We don’t want to acknowledge it and give it its due. So we tell ourselves we’re too intelligent or busy to feel that way. Maybe we’re scared of that feeling, afraid of what it might mean. We think if we feel that way, we’ll have to do something we don’t want to do. We’re afraid that feeling might mean we have to change. Or we think the feeling will mean we have to face a loss of something we value in our lives and don’t want to lose.

Sometimes we feel guilty about our emotions. We think it’s wrong to have that feeling; it makes us a bad person. So we tell ourselves we shouldn’t feel the way that we do.

We can become so used to a particular kind of feeling– such as anger, resentment, or fear– that it becomes a comfortable and familiar way to view our world.

We can use our feelings to control people: I feel this way when you do that, so don’t do that anymore. Some people call this using emotions to manipulate other people. It’s not a good thing to do. But some of us convince ourselves it’s the only way to get what we want.

Learn to say how it feels. Then learn to let that feeling go.

God, help me flow in the stream of my feelings.

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Food for Thought

Dual Personalities

It is as if we are each two people. When we are abstaining, we are calm, confident, and capable of handling the demands of every day. When we are in contact with our Higher Power, we have the right mental perspective and God’s peace and love in our hearts.

Slipping back into the old attitudes and habits of our compulsive overeating days brings back our frightened, confused, and despairing selves. We lose our ability to function efficiently. We are antagonistic to those around us. Worst of all, we are cut off from the source of strength and light.

Remembering that the negative personality will destroy us makes us more determined not to give in to it. Abstinence, day by day, is our safety. Reliance on the OA group, our Twelve Step program, and our Higher Power keeps us living the good, new life of freedom.

Deliver me from my negative personality.

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Interesting People Everywhere
Everyone Has a Story by Madisyn Taylor

Every person on this planet has a story to tell, something that makes them unique adding to the whole.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that everyone has a story to tell if we take the time to listen. We are so accustomed to hearing the stories of people in the news that we sometimes lose track of the fact that the random stranger on the bus also has a fascinating story about where they came from and how they got to be where they are. The sheer variety of paths taken in this world, from farmers to CEOs to homeless people to world travelers, is indicative of how much we can learn from each individual. Sometimes the shy, quiet person at work has the most amazing life story and the biggest dreams, it is up to us to take the time to find out.

Some people travel a path of wealth and privilege, while others struggle with only themselves to rely on, and both have great stories to tell. Each person learns lessons, makes choices, and develops a unique perspective, which only they can claim and share. Even two people who have had very similar lives will have slightly different experiences, leading them to a different point of view, so each person remains a treasure trove waiting to be explored. When we take the time to ask questions and listen, we find that every person has a fascinating story to tell and an utterly unique perspective from which to tell it.

Bearing this in mind, we have the opportunity to approach the world around us in a new way. There is never any reason to be bored at a party, or on the bus, or in a conversation with a stranger. When we retain the spark of curiosity and the warmth required to open someone up, we always have in front of us the makings of a great story. All we have to do is ask. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Some people in The Program don’t feel that they can do the things they want to do. They doubt their own ability. But actually, every person has untapped ability. We’re children of God, which should give us a strong clue as to the infinite nature of our ability. As spiritual beings, we’re unlimited. True, we may find it easier to accept this as true of some person who shines in a particular field. We may compare our own accomplishments with another’s and feel discouraged. But the only comparison we need make or should make is with ourselves. Am I a better, more productive person today?

Today I Pray

May I realize that I am a child of God. And His loving-parent promise to give me what I need, not what I might want, is His way of teaching me to be what I am, not what I dreamed I should be. As a spiritual being, I can truly become a productive person – perhaps even do some of the things I once felt unable to do without the aid of props — drinks, pills, excesses of food which hulled me into false confidence.

Today I Will Remember

To compare me with the old me.

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One More Day

Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have — so spend it wisely.
– Kay Lyons

Each day is a small fragment of a lifetime. This fact frees us to focus on the things we truly can influence. We can never return to the past, except within our memories. And we don’t know what the future holds in store. The only time we can “spend” is today; the only time we touch is right now.

The simplicity of the present allows us to let go of the past and to ignore the unknowns of the future. Thus freed, we can set about the business of enriching our lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Unpleasant debts to the past are paid, and we’ve mortgaged nothing to the future. We are free to invest in growth by using the “cash” we have on hand.

This day is a valuable piece of my life. I will spend it well.

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One Day At A Time

SUFFERING
“The desire to stop suffering
is not the same thing as the desire to stop the behavior
we are doing which causes us to suffer.”
Dr. James Golden

Our disease of addiction causes tremendous suffering to ourselves and to those around us. It consumes our lives and often leads to painful losses. No matter how profoundly we long to be rid of our disease, recovery is not something that falls into our laps just because we want it. We don’t magically stop being compulsive eaters just because that’s our desire. It would be great if recovery happened magically and all we’d have to do is say, “I don’t want this disease any more; I don’t want to suffer any longer.” If it were that easy, we’d immediately find ourselves in a place of complete and total recovery. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

In the depths of my disease I cried out to the God of my understanding to help me achieve abstinence and an alleviation of my suffering. What was the answer to my prayers? This wonderful Twelve Step program.

One of the first things I learned was that I could wish and hope and pray, but until I put feet to my prayers and actually started working the Steps, I wouldn’t recover from my disease. God will only do for us what He can do through us. If I’m not willing to do even a little bit of the work, I shouldn’t expect recovery. If I won’t take the first step on this journey, I can’t expect to reach my final destination. I can do some things for myself — like putting the Steps into practice — but what about the things I can’t do for myself? I’ll let God handle those.

One day at a time…
I’ll remember that it’s not enough
to want to stop suffering from my disease;
I also need to do some footwork to make it happen.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

One dismal afternoon he paced a hotel lobby wondering how his bill was to be paid. At one end of the room stood a glass covered directory of local churches. Down the lobby a door opened into an attractive bar. He could see the gay crowd inside. In there he would find companionship and release. Unless he took some drinks, he might not have the courage to scrape an aquaintance and would have a lonely week-end.
Of course he couldn’t drink, but why not sit hopefully at a table, a bottle of ginger ale before him? After all, had he not been sober six months now? Perhaps he could handle, say, three drinks – no more! Fear gripped him. He was on thin ice. Again it was the old, insidious insanity – that first drink. With a shiver, he turned away and walked down the lobby to the church directory. Music and gay chatter still floated to him from the bar.
But what about his responsibilities – his family and the men who would die because they would not know how to get well, ah – yes, those other alcoholics? There must be many such in this town. He would phone a clergyman. His sanity returned and he thanked God. Selecting a church at random from the directory, he stepped into a booth and lifted the receiver. – Pgs. 154-155 – A Vision For You

( Note: This is when Bill Wilson is subsequently introduced to Dr. Bob )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Stumbling blocks can become stepping stones if we use each adversity as a chance to practice our new way of life. Then problems become challenges so we can see what part of our program will solve them. What principle can you apply to your current situation?
Divine Intelligence encourages me not to escape my every problem, but face it and learn to practice this program in all my affairs.

Inside My Mind

Today, I am grateful to feel alive and to recognize that life is a spiritual journey. All my life circumstances are spiritual challenges, if I choose to look at them that way. Getting free of my own over-attachment to people, places, things and ideas, mistaking them for me, releases my spirit. Once my spirit is released, it can travel and experience the real beauty of life. Life surrounds me; it is inside, outside and everywhere. If I am free and still inside, life is there. If I am not ruminating and filling my mind with unnecessary preoccupations – life is there, spirit is there – waiting to be seen and felt.

I allow my mind its freedom.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Since life is 10% actuality and 90% re-actuality you must chose your reactions carefully. The program has given you choice and how you choose to react to this day can make the difference between simply being dry or being sober.
I live today as I want to remember my life.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you’re happy, notify your face. If you’re not, notify your sponsor.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

It is a great relief to know that all I have to do is turn to the twelve steps of recovery and help is with me today. Today I am given all the tools that I need and I am so grateful that I no longer have to struggle alone.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I got sicker, quicker, on less liquor. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 6

Higher Power
Walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen.
When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands
were better that anything we could have planned.
Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world,
no matter your present circumstances.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Twelve Steps — a manuscript for rational living.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Always Alive.

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

Restraint
“It is evident that the harmony, security, and
future effectiveness of AA will depend largely upon
our maintenance of a thoroughly nonagressive
and pacific attitude in all our public relations.
This is an exacting assignment,
because in our drinking days we were prone to anger,
hostility, rebellion and aggression.
And even though we are now sober,
the old patterns of behavior are to a degree still with us,
always threatening to explode on any good excuse.
But we know this,
and therefore I feel confident that in the conduct
of our public affairs we shall always find the grace
to exert an effective restraint.”
Bill W.
1962AAWS, Twelve Concepts for World Service, p. 68

Thought to Consider . . .
Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.
1953AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p, 91

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A C T I O N = Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature

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

Prayer
>From “‘Ask God for Strength'”:
“I went to the filthy bathroom and got down on my knees. ‘God, teach me to pray,’ I begged. I remained there a long time, and when I arose and left the room, I knew I never had to drink again. I came to believe, that day, that God would help me maintain my sobriety. Since then, I’ve come to believe that He will help me with any problem. “Birmingham, Alabama, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 36

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

“Let us AAs no longer be takers from society. Instead, let us be givers.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., June 1946
“Policy on Gift Funds”
The Language of the Heart

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

“In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed
people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked
ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our
self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal
relationships,(including sex) were hurt or threatened.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

“In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed
people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked
ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our
self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal
relationships,(including sex) were hurt or threatened.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

“Never forget that resentment is a deadly hazard to an alcoholic.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 117

“It mattered little whether our resentments were justified or not. “
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 90

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In making amends, it is seldom wise to approach an individual who still smarts from our injustice to him, and announce that we have gone religious. This might be called leading with the chin. Why lay ourselves open to being branded fanatics or religious bores? If we do this, we may kill a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message.
But the man who hears our amends is sue to be impressed with our sincere desire to set right a wrong. He is going to be more interested in a demonstration of good will than in talk of spiritual discoveries.

Prayer for the Day: “GOD, grant us knowledge that we may Serve according to Your Divine precepts. Instill in us a sense of Your purpose. Make us servants of Your will and grant us a bond of selflessness, that this may truly be Your work, not ours-in order that no addict, anywhere, need die from the horrors of addiction.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 5th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 5th

Daily Reflections

A NEW DIRECTION

Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient;
they failed utterly. . . Every day is a day when we must carry the
vision of God’s will into all our activities.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.45,85

I hear talk of the “weak-willed” alcoholic, but I am one of the
strongest-willed people on earth! I now know that my incredible
strength of will is not enough to save my life. My problem is not one of
“weakness,” but rather of direction. When I, without falsely
diminishing myself, accept my honest limitations and turn to God’s
guidance, my worst faults become my greatest assets. My strong will,
rightly directed, keeps me working until the promises of the program
become my daily reality.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Until we came into A.A. most of us had tried desperately to stop
drinking. We were filled with the delusion that we could drink like our
friends. We tried time and again to take it or leave it, but we could do
neither. We always lapsed into ceaseless, unhappy drinking. Families,
friends, and employers threw up their hands in hurt bewilderment, in
despair, and finally in disgust. We wanted to stop. We realized that
every reason for drinking was only a crazy excuse. Have I given up
every excuse for drinking?

Meditation For The Day

Many things can upset you and you can easily get off the track. But
remember that God is near you all the time, ready to help you if you
call on Him. You cannot forever stand against God’s will for you, nor
can you, forever upset God’s plan for your life, even though Gods plan
may be postponed by your willfulness and deliberate choice of evil. A
whole world of men and women cannot permanently change God’s
laws nor His purpose for the universe. The sea of life may look very
rough to us, but we can believe that our Captain steers the boat on a
straight course.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to steer a straight course. I pray that I may
accept God’s direction in my life’s journey.

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As Bill Sees It

“The Only Requirement. . .”, p. 186

In Tradition Three, A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, “You are an A.A. member if you say so.  You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out.  No matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications--even your crimes–we don’t want to keep you out.  We just want to be sure that you get the same
chance for sobriety that we’ve had.”

<< << <<      >> >> >>

We do not wish to deny anyone his chance to recover from alcoholism. We wish to be just as inclusive as we can, never exclusive.

1.  12 & 12, p. 139
2.  Grapevine, August 1946

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Walk In Dry Places

What brings change?
Inventory.
In human affairs, vast changes sometimes take place almost spontaneously, bringing on revolutionary upheavals.  What brings about such change?
These visible changes, for good or bad, occur because people come to accept new ideas. It’s easy to see how this works in one person’s life, but it works in the same way with socities.
The 12 Step movement is a most dramatic form of such change. We’ve become effective b ecause we have new forms of thinking to replace the old destructive forms that caused so much harm. Our movement will grow and develop only as long as we retain the new ways of thinging that first brought about this change.
I’ll hold to the idea that my life can only be as good as the thoughts I choose.


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Keep It Simple

If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average.—Ovid
Our program speaks of spiritual progress, not perfection. We can take all the time we need. Our bottom line is steady progress. We can ask ourselves, “Am I a little more spiritual than I was a year ago? A month ago?” If the answer is yes, we’re doing great. If the answer is no, we should look at why.
Our illness pushes us to be prefect. In recovery, we learn that we are free to be what we are—human. Even the world’s fastest runners are average in most other areas of their lives.. This is okay. Remember, “spiritual progress, not perfection.”
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I’ll not be ashamed of how average I am. I’ll remember I’m average—and that’s good.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list what is average about me. I’ll share this with a friend. Than I’ll ask my friend what is special about me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There are really only two ways to approach life–as victim or as gallant fighter–and you must decide if you want to act or react, deal your own cards or play with a stacked deck. And if you don’t decide which way to play with life, it always plays with you.
–Merle Shain
Being the victim is, or was, uncomfortably familiar to many of us. Perhaps some of us are only now realizing we have choices, that we need not let life happen to us. Becoming responsible to ourselves, choosing behavior, beliefs, friends, activities, that please us, though unfamiliar at first, soon exhilarates us. The more choices we make, the more alive we feel. The more alive we feel, the healthier our choices.
Our aim is recovery. Recovering means participating fully in our lives. It means self-assessment and self-direction. It means trusting to move forward, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, knowing all the while that no thoughtful action can trouble us.
Many opportunities to make choices will present themselves today. The choices I make will satisfy me; they will move me toward my goal of recovery.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Everybody nowadays, believes in scores of assumptions for which there is good evidence, but no perfect visual proof. And does not science demonstrate that visual proof is the weakest proof? It is being constantly revealed, as mankind studies the material world, that outward appearances are not inward reality at all. To illustrate:
The prosaic steel girder is a mass of electrons whirling around each other at incredible speed. These tiny bodies are governed by precise laws, and these laws hold true throughout the material world, Science tells us so. We have no reason to doubt it. When, however, the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that underneath the material world and life as we see it, there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface and we laboriously set out to convince ourselves it isn’t so. We read wordy books and indulge in windy arguments, thinking we believe this universe needs no God to explain it. Were our contentions true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.

pp. 48-49

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
At last, acceptance proved to be the key to my drinking problem.  After I had been around A.A. for seven months, tapering off alcohol and pills, not finding the program working very well, I was finally able to say, “Okay, God.  It is true that I–of all people, strange as it may seem, and even though I didn’t give my permission–really, really am an alcoholic of sorts.  And it’s all right with me.  Now, what am I going to do about it?”  When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away.  From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.

p. 416-417

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

There is, too, a rising interest in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Students of human relations are beginning to wonder how and why A.A. functions as a society. Why is it, they ask, that in A.A. no member can be set in personal authority over another, that nothing like a central government can anywhere be seen? How can a set of traditional principles, having no legal force at all, hold the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in unity and effectiveness? The second section of this volume, though designed for A.A.’s membership, will give such inquirers an inside view of A.A. never before possible.

p. 16

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God, guide me in making my commitments. Give me the courage to
make those that are right for me, the wisdom to not commit to that
which does not feel right, and the patience to wait until I know.
–Melody Beattie

Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the
time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something
to be thankful for. The more we seek gratitude, the more reason the
angels will give us for gratitude and joy to exist in our lives.
–Terry Lynn Taylor

Wisdom is using those things that work for you, for as long as they
work for you, and letting go of the things that are not working for you.
–John-Roger

“Allow God to speak through you and smile upon the earth through
you, because you are an unconditional giver, a purposeful being.”
–Dr. Wayne Dyer

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will
ever regret.
–Ambrose Bierce

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FORGIVENESS

“Without forgiveness life is
governed by . . . an endless cycle
of resentment and retaliation.
–Roberto Assagioli

So much of what I resent in others springs from my unhappiness with
self. I hate in others what I know to be in myself: arrogance, pride,
narrow-mindedness, snobbery and dishonesty.

Today I am learning that as long as I refuse to forgive others, I am not
capable of forgiving myself. Part of my denial is reflected in my
attitudes towards others. Those character traits I refuse to forgive in
others are buried within myself. I know that without forgiveness there
is no freedom — and I wish to grow in freedom.

Today I am learning the difference between forgiveness and
acceptance. I can forgive other people without accepting their
lifestyle. I can forgive myself and still see the need for change. In my
forgiveness is the hope for tomorrow.

Master, You taught that without forgiveness, there can be no pure
love. Help me grow in the forgiveness of self and others.

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Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when
you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy
in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16

Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and
glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you
have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere
love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For
you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable,
through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like
grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass
withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”
1 Peter 1:21-25


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Daily Inspiration

If you want those around you calm, you must be calm. Lord, when life becomes frantic, help me focus on solutions and restore the peace that the events of the moment try to destroy.

We are not always what we ought to be or want to be, but through God’s love we are not what we would be without Him. Lord, thank you for raising me to heights in this world that alone I could not reach and for giving me eternal life in the next.

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NA Just For Today

Exploring Spiritual Options

“The nature of our belief will determine the manner of our prayers and meditation.”
Basic Text, p.43

How do we pray? For each NA member, this is a deeply personal matter. Many of us find that, over time, we develop a manner of prayer and meditation based on what we learn from others and what we are comfortable with.

Some of us arrive in NA with a closed mind toward a Power greater than ourselves. But when we sit down with our sponsor and discuss our difficulty, looking at the Second Step in depth, we are pleased to find that we can choose any concept of a Higher Power that appeals to us.

Just as our definition of a Power greater than ourselves differs from addict to addict, so does our manner of achieving a “conscious contact” Some attend religious services; some chant; some sit quietly or talk with whatever is out there; some find a spiritual connection by communing with nature. The “right way” to pray and meditate is whatever way helps us improve our conscious contact with our own Higher Power.

Asking others how they found their spiritual guidance is always a good place to begin. Reading literature before we enter periods of meditation can also help us. Many have gone before us on this search. As we seek spiritual growth, we can greatly benefit from their experience.

Just for today: I will explore my options for improving my conscious contact with the God of my understanding.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In uplifting, get underneath. –George Ade
A sandpile in the summer is deceiving. The topmost sand burns hot on our
feet. But as we push down toward the center, we come to a damp, cool
place that soothes and oozes between our toes.
The nature of most things is not revealed at the surface. Like the
sandpile, many people and situations we encounter are, on the surface,
downright uncomfortable. The reward is in digging deeper–to the
essential goodness, the core or meaning, the true friend. It takes time,
a little knowledge, and abundant trust that we will not be burned.
What have I discovered by digging a little lately?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We shall describe conditions of the soul that words can only hint at. We shall have to use logic to try to corner perspectives that laugh at our attempt. –Huston Smith
As we live the spiritual life, we find words and logic are only capable of pointing in the direction of some truths. Words do not contain the entire truth our experience may be teaching us. This is like the difference between hearing about fishing versus actually being on the water, smelling the misty air, and feeling the fish tug on our line.
Spiritual development is a form of education. We are developing the part of us that learns by experience, that has a feeling without exactly knowing why, that understands stories better than statistics. Gradually, we accept more experiences in our lives as mysteries, as not fitting into any specific categories. Many experiences will have more meaning than cold facts could ever express. As this side of us develops, we don’t discard reason and judgment; we become deeper human beings.
Today, I will give my intuition more freedom. That will help my spiritual self grow.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There are really only two ways to approach life–as victim or as gallant fighter–and you must decide if you want to act or react, deal your own cards or play with a stacked deck. And if you don’t decide which way to play with life, it always plays with you.
–Merle Shain
Being the victim is, or was, uncomfortably familiar to many of us. Perhaps some of us are only now realizing we have choices, that we need not let life happen to us. Becoming responsible to ourselves, choosing behavior, beliefs, friends, activities, that please us, though unfamiliar at first, soon exhilarates us. The more choices we make, the more alive we feel. The more alive we feel, the healthier our choices.
Our aim is recovery. Recovering means participating fully in our lives. It means self-assessment and self-direction. It means trusting to move forward, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, knowing all the while that no thoughtful action can trouble us.
Many opportunities to make choices will present themselves today. The choices I make will satisfy me; they will move me toward my goal of recovery.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Survivor Guilt
We begin recovering. We begin taking care of ourselves. Our recovery program starts to work in our life, and we begin to feel good about ourselves.
Then it hits. Guilt.
Whenever we begin to experience the fullness and joy of life, we may feel guilty about those we’ve left behind – those not recovering, those still in pain. This survivor guilt is a symptom of codependency.
We may think about the husband we’ve divorced who is still drinking. We may dwell on a child, grown or adult, still in pain. We may get a phone call from a non recovering parent who relates his or her misery to us. And we feel pulled into their pain.
How can we feel so happy, so good, when those we love are still in misery? Can we really break away and lead satisfying lives, despite their circumstances? Yes, we can.
And yes, it hurts to leave behind those we love. But keep moving forward anyway. Be patient. Other people’s recovery is not our job. We cannot make them recover. We cannot make them happy.
We may ask why we were chosen for a fuller life. We may never know the answer. Some may catch up in their own time, but their recovery is not our business. The only recovery we can truly claim is our own.
We can let go of others with love, and love ourselves without guilt.
Today, I am willing to work through my sadness and guilt. I will let myself be healthy and happy, even though someone I love has not chosen the same path.

I am very grateful to be exactly where I am today. I do not need to be a victim of my past or controlled by circumstances. I am in recovery today and it feels wonderful! –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Become Excited About Life

I woke up one morning and found myself in a strange place. Instead of waking up to pain, I felt a new feeling coursing through my veins. I felt happy, at peace, and excited about being alive. This feeling had come around before, but never to stay or last. Now I knew that it was mine for good. It was where this journey had led.

Let excitement course through you. It is vitality; it is healing, life-giving energy. It is the life force. Feel it course through your veins. This excitement you are feeling is different from the pain of years past. It is a different feeling, but your birthright, my birthright, the birthright of us all. It is your reward for staying committed to your process of learning and growing.

Continue to clear out old, negative feelings and outdated beliefs. Stay committed to healing and discovering your soul, even when you wonder if it’s worth it. Even when you wonder where your path is going, or if it’s going anywhere. Love yourself. Love others. Then love yourself some more. Love yourself until you feel the life force, this exciting new energy, course through you.

Stay committed to your growth process until you wake up one morning and ask yourself, What is that strange thing I’m feeling? Then know what the answer is. The answer is joy.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Balance

In Western medicine, the practice has long been the correction of problems. We have a pain; the doctor identifies its source and treats it. The Eastern approach is different. Many of the Eastern medicines operate from the idea that a healthy body is one that is in balance. When we are sick, it is due to an imbalance in our bodies. The practitioner then seeks to identify the imbalance and restore the body to balance.

Instead of just treating the symptoms of pathos, Eastern medicines seek to maintain balance as a way of life.

That’s a good way to approach taking care of our souls.

Perhaps your heart has been injured through the carelessness of another, or maybe your mind is troubled by distressing, uncomfortable, and sometimes wrong thoughts. When we seek to restore balance, our hearts and our souls will heal.

Be aware of the imbalance in the thoughts in your mind and the emotions disturbing your peace. Then listen to your spirit. Let it tell you in its still quiet way what it needs to regain balance. Maybe you need some time alone, time in meditation or prayer, a quiet walk, a day at the zoo, or some sleep.

Give your body and soul what you need to regain balance, and then healing can begin. Learn to lovingly listen to and take care of yourself.

Maintain balance as a way of life.

God, help me listen to my spirit so I can restore myself to balance each day.

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Food for Thought

Ignore the Craving

Old habits die hard, and for a long time we may experience our old craving for that “small,” compulsive bite. The craving will not hurt us, and eventually it will pass if we ignore it. If we give in to the craving, it does not go away but becomes stronger. To feed the craving is to pour gasoline on a fire.

When we experience the craving for unnecessary food, we need to find something else to occupy our attention. If possible, we should physically remove ourselves from the tempting situation. If that is impossible, we need to ask our Higher Power for the strength to remain abstinent and to ignore the demands of our over blown appetite. God never allows us to be tempted beyond our ability to endure. He is always here to support us when we turn and ask for help.

May I listen to You and ignore harmful cravings.

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Grumps
Shining through the Clouds by Madisyn Taylor

We can shine like a beacon from a lighthouse when met with the force of a grumpy person.

When we’re in a good mood, we shine like the sun. But if we find ourselves in the presence of a person, or people, in a grumpy mood, it can feel like a dark cloud approaching to dim our radiance and block our positive way of seeing the world. We can remind ourselves that clouds pass, while the sun and stars continue to shine above. Then it’s easier to think of these “grumps” affectionately, knowing that they only have the power to affect our mood if we allow it. With the power of change firmly in our hands, we can choose how to respond to a grumpy person, or a grumbling group of people, with confidence and understanding.

Like a lighthouse, we can continue to shine through the darkness, offering our light to help others find their way back to their own. We can send them a silent prayer of peace or a sympathetic smile. We may sense that reaching out to offer a comforting touch or hug can ease their frustrations and cause the clouds to dissipate. If they need understanding, we can sympathize without reinforcing the negativity they may be experiencing by directing their attention someplace more positive. Helping them find the humor in their situation might be appropriate and is a great way to lift spirits, or a logical approach may help them see all the good in the situation, in their lives and in the world.

We might find that someone we encounter often seems to be in a perpetual state of gloom. Our tendency in such cases may be to try to avoid them, but instead we can make the choice to offer support that comes from the heart. We may be inspired to ask if they would like some help or to offer suggestions that have helped us in the past. We can include thoughts of their health and happiness in our times of prayer and meditation. When we lend our energy to uplift another in any way, we improve our own lives while making the world a better place for all of us. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I am free to be, to do, to accept, to reject. I am free to be the wise, loving, kind, and patient person I want to be. I’m free to do that which I consider wise — that which will in no way harm or hinder another person. I’m free to do that which will lead me into paths of peace and satisfaction. I’m free to decide for or against, to say no and to say yes. I’m free to live life in a productive way and to contribute what I have to give to life. Am I coming to believe that I’m free to be the best self I’m able to be?

Today I Pray

Let the freedom I am now experiencing continue to flow through my life into productiveness, into the conviction of life’s goodness I have always wanted to share. May I accept this freedom with God’s blessing — and use it wisely.

Today I Will Remember

Let freedom ring true.

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One More Day

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another! – Helen Keller

When we toss a pebble into a pond, the widening concentric circles continue to spread — the ripple effect — long after the pebble is out of sight. Often the actions we take have similar results.

We don’t always know what effect our lives and choices will have on other people. The immediate effects of our daily lives are probably easier to gauge, but often we don’t see the long-term effect we have on others. And that really doesn’t matter because all we are urged to do is to let kindness and responsibility rule our decisions. The immediate effect we see is the sense of growth within ourselves; the long-term effect we can trust to be miracle that we may never see.

I’ll remember that my actions affect many people beyond me.

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One Day At A Time

OVERCOMING RELAPSE
“Come, whoever you are! Wanderer, worshiper,
Lover of Leaving. Come, this is not a caravan of despair.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vow a thousand times.
Still, and yet again, come, come.”
Rumi

Perhaps the best thing my recovery plan has given me is finding the gift of inspiration almost anywhere. The above quote is such an example. Mevlana Jelalu’ddin Rumi was a Persian poet and theologian who lived from 1207 to 1273. Rumi also seemed to understand recovery quite well, judging from this quote.

I have fallen so many times on my recovery path. Once down, the disease really starts talking to me. “You’re already down; you may as well stay down,” it will say. Or, “You screwed up your food plan, so you might as well eat this, too.” On and on, it never fails.

That’s why this quote from Rumi means so much to me. My Higher Power sent it as an invitation to begin again, however many times I need. Even if I slip over and over and over, I can always begin again. My Higher Power and this program of recovery are very forgiving, and I can pick up and move on. I needn’t fear failure, because I only fail if I don’t get up and forge ahead.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that I may fall, but I can get up again. I can begin anew, and know that I will overcome relapse when I make a fresh start.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principle: we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom. – Pg. 62 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

All our past ‘good intentions’ were fragmentary at best, facades at worse. Some of us didn’t mean to mess things up (some of us did mean to), always justifying our inadequacies by blaming parents, spouses, society, or God. This hour we must accept who we are, and stop looking around for the culprit–he is us!

May I recognize, as this program teaches, that I am at the root of my own problems and this hour, I can be at the root of my recovery.

Friendship

Today, I make choices about my company and friends. Whom I choose to spend time with is very important to me, and the relationships that I begin I wish to respect and nurture. A handful of dear friends is far more meaningful to me than lots of acquaintances. I choose to share myself where I feel a return of good feeling. I want both to have a friend and to be a friend. One of the unusual gifts of growing up in a dysfunctional household was that I learned the value of friendship because I had to turn to my friends to meet very deep needs. I am grateful for my friends, and for what I learned and felt from them.

I value friendship.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Try broadening your spiritual path by making your relationship with the Divine proactive. Ask not what the Universe can do for you, but rather what you can do for the Universe! Begin the morning with: Hi World, what can I do for You today?

Asking what I can do for the Creative Source will serve us both better than simply seeking what can be done for me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am very grateful to be exactly where I am today. I do not need to be a victim of my past or controlled by circumstances. I am in recovery today and it feels wonderful!

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It says ( pg. 68. AA Big Book ) ‘We put these fears on paper and ask ourselves why we had them. ‘That’s it. ( Yells ) I can’t work these steps they’re too difficult!! If they left you there, this could be difficult. If they left you with ‘Why do I have these fears?’ I could go back to ‘It’s Ma’s fault: bad milk. It’s my Dad’s fault: bad example. But they don’t leave me there. They tell us exactly why we have these fears: ‘Wasn’t it because self sufficiency failed us?’ It’s as simple as that. Do you know how much sense that makes to me? If I’ve got these fears and I’ve been relying on myself to remove them and I still have them, then obviously my power has failed me, so I better go to another power. How does that sound? Is that too tough? – Milt L.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 5

Character-building
Whenever we had to choose between character and comfort,
the character-building was lost in the dust of our chase after what we thought was happiness.
Seldom did we look at character-building as something desirable in itself,
something we would like to strive for whether our instinctual needs were met or not.
We never thought of making honesty, tolerance, and true love of man and God the daily basis of living.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 72

Thought to Ponder . . .
Honesty isn’t an event — it’s a process.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.

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

Simplicity

“A willingness to do whatever I was told to do
simplified the program for me.
Study the AA book – don’t just read it.
They told me to go to meetings,
and I still do at every available opportunity,
whether I am at home or in some other city.
Attending meetings has never been a chore for me.
Nor have I attended them with a feeling
of just doing my duty.
Meetings are both relaxing and refreshing to me
after a hard day.
They said ‘Get active,” so I helped whenever I could,
and still do.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 381

Thought to Consider . . .
The ankle-biters of everyday struggles will eat away at me
unless I go to meetings and share.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A C T I O N = Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature

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

Steps
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“It might be a long time before readers of the book in distant places and lands could be personally contacted. Therefore
our literature would have to be as clear and comprehensive as possible. Our steps would have to be more explicit.
There must not be a single loophole through which the rationalizing alcoholic could wiggle out.
“Finally I [Bill W.] started to write. I set out to draft more than six steps; how many more I did not know. I relaxed and
asked for guidance. With a speed that was astonishing, considering my jangling emotions, I completed the first draft. It
took perhaps half an hour. The words kept right on coming. When I reached a stopping point, I numbered the new
steps. They added up to twelve.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 161

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

“If you sponsor people, you’ll never need a mirror.”
August 2001
“The Mouth That Roared,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“Those having religious affiliations will find here nothing
disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction
among us over such matters.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, Page 28~

“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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85~

“I was to share generously in the profits.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 5 (Bill’s Story)

“And we can often ask ourselves, “Am I doing to others as I would have them do to me — today?”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 93 (Step Ten)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In Tradition Three, A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, ‘You are an A.A. member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out. No matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications–even your crimes–we don’t want to keep you out. We just want to be sure that you get the same chance for sobriety that we’ve had.’
We do not wish to deny anyone his chance to recover from alcoholism. We wish to be just as inclusive as we can. never exclusive.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, direct my thoughts away from myself, and allow me to extend compassion and love toward the world today.