Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 21st

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 21st

Daily Reflections

MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING

Fear… of economic insecurity will leave us.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

Having fear reduced or eliminated and having economic
circumstances improve, are two different things. When
I was new in A.A., I had those two ideas confused. I
thought fear would leave me only when I started making
money. However, another line from the Big Book jumped
off the page one day when I was chewing on my financial
difficulties: “For us, material well-being always
followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.”(p. 127).
I suddenly understood that this promise was a guarantee.
I saw that it put priorities in the correct order, that
spiritual progress would diminish that terrible fear of
being destitute, just as it diminished many other fears.
Today I try to use the talents God gave me to benefit
others. I’ve found that is what others valued all along.
I try to remember that I no longer work for myself. I
only get the use of the wealth God created, I never have
“owned” it. My life’s purpose is much clearer when I just
work to help, not to possess.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. we forget about the future. We know from
experience that as time goes on, the future takes care of
itself. Everything works out well, as long as we stay
sober. All we need to think about is today. When we get
up in the morning and see the sun shining in the window,
we thank God that He has given us another day to enjoy
because we’re sober. A day in which we may have a chance
to help somebody. Do I know that this day is all I have
and that with God’s help I can stay sober today?

Meditation For The Day

All is fundamentally well. That does not mean that all is
well on the surface of things. But it does mean that God’s
in His heaven and that He has a purpose for the world,
which will eventually work out when enough human beings
are willing to follow His way. “Wearing the world as a
loose garment” means not to be upset by the surface
wrongness of things, but to feel deeply secure in the
fundamental goodness and purpose in the universe.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God may be with me in my journey through the
world. I pray that I may know that God is planning that
journey.


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As Bill Sees It

Debits and Credits, p. 80

Following a gossip binge, we can well ask ourselves these questions:
“Why did we say what we did? Were we only trying to be helpful and
informative? Or were we not trying to feel superior by confessing
the other fellow’s sins? Or, because of fear and dislike, were we not
really aiming to damage him?”

This would be an honest attempt to examine ourselves, rather than
the other fellow.

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

Inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed
when we haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the
waking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive.
Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see.

Even when we tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of
the greatest credits of all.

1. Grapevine, August 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 93

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Walk in Dry Places

Living One Day at a  Time
Time management
It’s surprising that some alcoholics learn how to “live one day at a time” while drinking.   It had to work that way, or their drinking life would have been even more intolerable.  It was convenient to shut off thoughts of tomorrow if one had enough money to drink today.  It was also convenient to blot out thoughts of yesterday, which only meant remorse.
In sobriety, living one day at a time is an excellent way to focus our minds so we can pour our energies into the work at hand. In reviewing the wasted yesterdays, we can always find ways that we could have been more productive and effective.  But we missed opportunities because we were still struggling with regrets or fearing what might happen in the future.
It’s never too late to change all that.  We need neither regret the past nor fear the future.  The AA secret is to make the best of today’s challenges.  It may mean just chipping away at a massive problem that seems insurmountable.  Living just for today, we can do today’s job well.
I’ll live comfortably and happily in the here and now. This means releasing the past and accepting the future as something I’ll deal with at the proper time.


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Keep It Simple

With each sunrise, we start anew.  —-Anonymous
Like a tree, our life depends on new growth. There are many ways to bring new ideas and growth into our lives. We can attend Twelve Step retreats. We can study books and tapes on spirituality.
We can attend different Twelve Step meetings.
But our spiritual newness may not just come from the Twelve Steps. We can do volunteer work or be active in other types of groups. We need to invite new ideas into our lives. We need to stay open to change. It doesn’t matter what renews our spiritual growth. What matters is that we keep our spiritual lives fresh and growing.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, spring is one of the four seasons. Help me feel like spring. Help me to be strong but not stuck Help me be firm yet open to spiritual growth.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll try to do something new. When I get stuck or stubborn, I’ll see that it’s due to my fear of trying new ideas.

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Each Day A New Beginning

Children are surely one of God’s greatest gifts and truest challenges. To share your life with a child is to humble yourself so that you may learn from them and discover with them the beautiful secrets that are only uncovered in searching.
–Kathleen Tierney Crilly
Humility accompanies every experience wherein we let ourselves fully listen to others, to learn from them, to be changed by their words, their presence. Each opportunity we take to be fully present to another person, totally with them in mind and spirit, will bless us while it blesses them. Offering and receiving the gift of genuine attention is basic to the emotional growth of every human being.
Before recovering, many of us so suffered from obsessive self-centered pity that we seldom noted the real needs or pain of the people close to us. We closed ourselves off, wallowing in our own selfish worries, and our growth was stunted.
Some days we still wallow. But a new day has dawned. The Steps offer us new understanding. They are helping us look beyond ourselves to all the “children of God” in our daily lives. From each of them we have many secrets to learn.
I will be joyous today. Many secrets about life are mine to learn if I will stay close to all the people who cross my path. I will be mindful they are there because they have something to give me. I will be ready to receive it.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Near the end of that bleak November, I sat drinking in my kitchen. With a certain satisfaction I reflected there was enough gin concealed about the house to carry me through that night and the next day. My wife was at work. I wondered whether I dared hide a full bottle of gin near the head of our bed. I would need it before daylight.

p. 8

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
When I was three years sober, I made one of the most difficult decisions I had ever made.  I left the marriage.  I did not leave because I didn’t love him.  I still love him, but the marriage was not a healthy place for me to be.  I found myself with two children to support.  I was legally blind and had no job skills.  When I moved out, I first moved into public housing for blind people.  This was a shocking experience for me, but it was full of growth.  For the first time in my life, I was learning to accept my handicap.  Before this I would plan out my day as if I could see and then plan it out again based on the fact that my vision was limited.

p. 379

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

As group after group saw these possibilities, they finally abandoned all membership regulations. One dramatic experience after another clinched this determination until it became our universal tradition. Here are two examples:
On the A.A. calendar it was Year Two. In that time nothing could be seen but two struggling, nameless groups of alcoholics trying to hold their faces up to the light.

p. 141

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Don’t go through life, grow through life.
–Eric Butterworth

“You see what you choose to see, because all perception is a choice.
And when you cease to impose your meanings on what you see,
your spiritual eyes will open, and you will see a world free of judgment
and shining in its endless beauty.”
–Paul Ferrini

To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose
everything else.
–Bernadette Devlin

God is the architect. I am the builder.

“Stop talking about the problem and start thinking about the
solution.” -–Brian Tracy

The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it
but what he becomes by it.
–John Ruskin


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BROTHERHOOD

“I love my country better than my
family; but I love humanity better
than my country.”
— Francois Fenelon

We need to think “big”. We need to escape from those little concepts
that keep us small. Life is more than we can ever perceive. We need
to see it in its totality. The nuclear family can be restrictive if taken as
the center of our loyalty. Even our national citizenship needs to be
placed in the context of the world. Our freedom rests in our universal
humanity.

Spirituality is about thinking “big”. It is finding God in the richness of
His creation. Our insistence on our shared humanity is the path to
world peace and serenity. Divisions should not exist for the
humanitarian who seeks acceptance for all men simply because they
are men.

May I seek to find the One in the many — and the many in the One.

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“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed,
but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not
destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and
glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Psalms 84:11


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Daily Inspiration

God not only answers prayer, but He has all the answers to the prayers that we haven’t bothered to ask. Lord, when you said “ask and you shall receive”, may I keep in mind that no request is too small.

It is far wiser to ask God for what He thinks is good for us, than for what we think is good for us. Lord, Your Will not mine be done.

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NA Just For Today

A Treatable Illness

“Addiction is a disease that involves more than the use of drugs.”
Basic Text p. 3

At our first meeting, we may have been taken aback at the way members shared about how the disease of addiction had affected their lives. We thought to ourselves, “Disease? I’ve just got a drug problem! What in the world are they talking about?”

After some time in the program, we began to see that our addiction ran deeper than our obsessive, compulsive drug use. We saw that we suffered from a chronic illness that affected many areas of our lives. We didn’t know where we’d “caught” this disease, but in examining ourselves we realized that it had been present in us for many years.

Just as the disease of addiction affects every area of our lives, so does the NA program. We attend our first meeting with all the symptoms present: the spiritual void, the emotional agony, the powerlessness, the unmanageability.

Treating our illness involves much more than mere abstinence. We use the Twelve Steps, and though they don’t “cure” our illness, they do begin to heal us. And as we recover, we experience the gift of life.

Just for today: I will treat my illness with the Twelve Steps.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. –Mother Goose
Poor Humpty ended up such a scrambled egg. Maybe that’s what comes from sitting too long in one place, choosing neither this way nor that, playing both sides against the middle. Maybe he played too much politics, got too much advice, had too much to think about. When the centipede was asked which leg he first moved when setting out on a stroll, he got those legs all tangled in his mind and couldn’t walk at all. It is better to be simply moved by those around us, or by our Higher Power, with faith and love. When our thoughts fail, their hearts, hands, and eyes will show the way.
Do I sometimes decide my fate by refusing to decide?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If I Had My Life to Live Over … I’d relax…. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers…. I’d start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry go rounds. I would pick more daisies. –Nadine Stair
“Letting go” is a theme with many variations. When we live with gusto and are released to experience the full excitement of life, we are letting go. When we turn our lives and wills over to the care of our Higher Power, we are freed of many cares. If we orient our lives with a compass that always points to fear and insecurity, or to power and success, we are giving ourselves over to those forces. But we can orient our lives to our Higher Power’s care and support. That makes it possible to drop our guard, allow for some mistakes, and delight in the pleasures of creation.
Today, let me forget my worries and enjoy the fullness of life.

You are reading from the book Each Day A New Beginning
Children are surely one of God’s greatest gifts and truest challenges. To share your life with a child is to humble yourself so that you may learn from them and discover with them the beautiful secrets that are only uncovered in searching.
–Kathleen Tierney Crilly
Humility accompanies every experience wherein we let ourselves fully listen to others, to learn from them, to be changed by their words, their presence. Each opportunity we take to be fully present to another person, totally with them in mind and spirit, will bless us while it blesses them. Offering and receiving the gift of genuine attention is basic to the emotional growth of every human being.
Before recovering, many of us so suffered from obsessive self-centered pity that we seldom noted the real needs or pain of the people close to us. We closed ourselves off, wallowing in our own selfish worries, and our growth was stunted.
Some days we still wallow. But a new day has dawned. The Steps offer us new understanding. They are helping us look beyond ourselves to all the “children of God” in our daily lives. From each of them we have many secrets to learn.
I will be joyous today. Many secrets about life are mine to learn if I will stay close to all the people who cross my path. I will be mindful they are there because they have something to give me. I will be ready to receive it.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Considering Commitment
Pay attention to your commitments.
While many of us fear committing, its good to weigh the cost of any commitment we are considering. We need to feel consistently positive that its an appropriate commitment for us.
Many of us have a history of jumping- -leaping headfirst- -into commitments without weighing the cost and the possible consequences of that particular commitment. When we get in, we find that we do not really want to commit, and feel trapped.
Some of us may become afraid of losing out on a particular opportunity if we don’t commit. It is true that we will lose out on certain opportunities if we are unwilling to commit. We still need to weigh the commitment. We still need to become clear about whether that commitment seems right for us. If it isn’t, we need to be direct and honest with others and ourselves.
Be patient. Do some soul searching. Wait for a clear answer. We need to make our commitments not in urgency or panic but in quiet confidence that what we are committing to is right for us.
If something within says no, find the courage to trust that voice.
This is not our last chance. It is not the only opportunity well ever have. Don’t panic. We don’t have to commit to what isn’t right for us, even if we try to tell ourselves it should be right for us and we should commit.
Often, we can trust our intuitive sense more than we can trust our intellect about commitments.
In the excitement of making a commitment and beginning, we may overlook the realities of the middle. That is what we need to consider.
We don’t have to commit out of urgency, impulsivity, or fear. We are entitled to ask, Will this be good for me? We are entitled to ask if this commitment feels right.
Today, God, guide me in making my commitments. Help me say yes to what is in my highest good, and no to what isn’t. I will give serious consideration before I commit myself to any activity or person. Ii will take the time to consider if the commitment is really what I want.

God is guiding me in peace and calm today. I know that everything that upsets this feeling is not permanent and will pass. I no longer allow upsets to keep me from seeing the good in others. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Nurture the Seasons of Your Soul

Study nature’s ways. Learn her rhythms, her seasons, her cycles. See how she hibernates and rests during the cold winter, using that time to replenish and heal. See how she bursts forth in a slow crescendo of green and bright colors over the spring, rejoicing in the inevitable new growth. See how she gives her all, her grandest performance, over the summer months before gradually descending into a final burst of changing colors in autumn. Watch her cool down, return to her depths, and again take time to replenish.

These same seasons are within us. There are times to take action, to be busily involved with creating and doing and participating and giving. There are quieter times when we are being prepared for those times of activity. We cannot give and give without taking time to replenish ourselves. There are times of gentle growth when the first blades of grass, the first signs of spring begin to emerge in our lives– whether those signal a new stage of personal growth, a new stage in a love relationship, or the first buds of life on a project we’re creating.

And each season, each time, leads into the next.

There is purpose and value in each day of your life, in each season of your life. Nurture your times of action, of creating, of doing, and value your quieter times of going within. The more you study nature, the more you will learn about yourself. Nurture and trust the seasons of your soul.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Letting go of finances

Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. It’s about having faith that things will work out. Let’s take a look at how letting go applies to the issue of money.

John had been an alcoholic for years. Over time, the disease destoyed his life, including his financial health. He hit bottom and finally began recovery. After a while, he was able to start making progress in life. But his finances were in terrible shape. For a while, he hid all the bills in a drawer. Then one day, he took out the bills and started to make a plan. Instead of feeling hopeless and overwhelmed, he applied the Twelve Steps to this area of his life. He called his creditors. He gave himself a budget. He did the best that he could and he let go of the rest.

Slowly, over the years, he began to rebuild his credit. He paid off his debts, a little at a time. He applied for a credit card, the kind you have to pay in advance. Then after a year, his limit was raised. He doesn’t use the card for credit; he uses it for a credit rating. He’s now got a checking and savings account. He pays his taxes and manages to save a little every week.

Sometimes things happen. Cars break down. People get sick. The rent gets raised. That unexpected expense comes up, out of the blue, just when you thought you were ahead.

Worry never helped.

An attitude of taking responsibility for myself did.

What we cannot do for ourselves, God will do for us. And God knows we need money to live here on earth. What was that the Bible said? Seek money first, and then you’ll have peace? Nope, I got that backwards. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else shall be added unto you.”

Manifest what you need from a place of responsibility, trust, and peace.

God, teach me to let go of worrying about money.

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Remembering Who We Are
Brave Spirits

Most of us are familiar with the idea that we are not human beings having spiritual experiences; instead, we are spiritual beings having human experiences. We hear this and even though we may experience a resounding yes in our bodies, we may not take the time to really acknowledge the truth of these statements. Integrating this idea into how we view ourselves can broaden our sense of who we are and help us appreciate ourselves as brave spirits on an important mission to learn and grow here on earth.

As spiritual beings, we are visitors in this physical realm. The fact that we came here and lost all memory of what happened to us before we were born is one of the many reasons that it takes so much courage for a soul to incarnate on earth. This is why spiritual inquiry so often feels like a remembering—because it is. Remembering that we are spiritual beings is part of the work that we are here on earth to do. When we operate from a place of remembering, we tap into the wisdom that our spirit accumulated even before we stepped into this lifetime. Remembering who we are can give us the patience to persevere when we become overwhelmed or frustrated. It can give us the courage to work through the most daunting challenges and help us trust the ancient wisdom we carry that is offered to us by our intuition.

We have chosen to be on earth because there is something we want to learn that can only happen by inhabiting a body. Some of us are here to repay a debt, learn about love, or teach forgiveness. Most of us are here for a combination of reasons, we carry this information in our souls, all we have to do is remember. As you go through your journey, try not to forget how brave you are, being here now. Honor yourself. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program teaches us that we have an incurable illness. We alwys get worse, never better. But we’re fortunate in that our incurable illness can be arrested, so long as we don’t tkae the first drink one day at a time. Hightoned academic rsearch and ivory tower studies to th contrary, we know rom experiece that we can no more control our drinking than we can control the ocean tides. Do I have any doubt that I am owerless over alcohol?

Today I Pray

May I never fall prey to any short-term research sresults which tell me that alcoholism can be cured, that I would be safe to bbegin drinking again, suppoosedly, in a responsible manner. My experience — and the experience of those in The Program — will outshout such threories. May I know thaat my disease is arrestablke, but not curable. May I know that if I took up my active addiction again, I would begin whre I left off — closer than ever to possible death or insanity.

Today I Will Remember

Be wary of new theories.

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One More Day

It is a happy talent to know how to play. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the carefree days of childhood give way to adulthood, we sometimes forfeit too much of the child. We become what we think is mature — serious and busy. Quite unintentionally we might become caught up in the importance of being married, working hard at our jobs, raising children, or paying off the mortgage. Even at home we might be rushing here and there – mowing the lawn, getting a haircut, buying clothes or groceries, and performing all the small household chores which need doing regularly.

Where is the time we need for ourselves, to spend with friends, or just to play? We can find time, right now, if we want to. We can momentarily shrug off the demands of home or career and lend ourselves to carefree play.

It’s sometimes easy to be too serious. Today, I will let myself participate in play.

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Food For Thought

Letting Go

By admitting that we are unable to manage our own lives, we become ready to let a Higher Power take over. Before we can fully benefit from God’s direction, we must let go completely of the idea that we are in control.

We say that we are grateful compulsive overeaters, because if it had not been for our inability to control what we ate and the resulting turmoil in our lives, we might never have realized our need to “let go and let God.”

When we turn our problems over to our Higher Power, we leave them with Him and move as He directs. If we take the problems back, we are like a child who has given his or her parent a broken toy to fix, but snatches it back before the parent can make the repair.

If we had been able to fix our problems ourselves, our way, we would not be in this program. Since we know we need help, let’s be willing to let go and try God’s way.

May I let go of my problems so that You may direct my life.

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One Day At A Time

PATIENCE

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
Saint Augustine

Patience is an area that I have had some REAL problems with in the past. I had a tendency to want – what I want – NOW! That included recovery. Gaining recovery, as I would eventually realize, is not the same as earning a university credit. It is a process not an end result. You have to be willing to learn to do things in HP’s time and manner rather than your own. What began to happen was – the more impatient I became – the more life tended to resist my efforts. It took a long time for me to realize this. Instead of calming down, I would get even more impatient and struggle even harder. Eventually, I would have a big meltdown and feel like a fool afterwards.

The end result was absolutely no different for having done this. It took time for me to muster the willingness to do things in HP’s time and manner. But when I did – life became much more peaceful and things had a tendency to work themselves out – without all the dramatics.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to patiently and willingly do things in HP’s time and manner.
Rob R.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The terms ‘spiritual experience’ and ‘spiritual awakening’ are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms. – Pg. 567 – 4th. Edition – Appendices II – Spiritual Experience

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Take the name of the person who has caused you the most trouble today and say: ______________, I don’t have to use you as an excuse to drink or take drugs right now, because I know chemical dependency is a disease, not a reaction to people, places, or things.

Thank You for showing me that people are not good excuses for practicing a chronic and deadly disease.

Living the Segments of My Day Intentionally

I will divide my day into segments of intention. When I wake up in the morning I will picture feeling good as I go about my early routines. When I move into the next part of my day I will see my morning going smoothly, whatever I have to do I will picture doing with ease and a happy feeling. I will be intentional about each segment of my mid day, seeing myself operating effectively, competently and enjoying my interactions with those I encounter and interact. As afternoon approaches, I will imagine, in my mind’s eye, a pleasant and peaceful evening. And as evening gives way to night, I will imagine myself enjoying a peaceful and restful sleep.

I will be intentional about how I live each part of my day.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.

The state of my world is a reflection of the state of my mind.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

To belittle is to be little.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

God is guiding me in peace and calm today. I know that everything that upsets this feeling is not permanent and will pass. I no longer allow upsets to keep me from seeing the good in others.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

God stands for; Group Of Drunks. – John L.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 21

Progress
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 we put in God’s hands
were better than anything we could have planned.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100

Thought to Ponder . . .
When in doubt, be silent. Grow where you are planted.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G R O W T H = God Reveals Other Ways To Heal.

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

Rationalization
“There are cases where our ancient enemy, rationalization, has stepped in and has justified conduct which was really
wrong. The temptation here is to imagine that we had good motives and reasons when we really didn’t. We
‘constructively criticized’ someone who needed it, when our real motive was to win a useless argument. We sometimes
hurt those we love because they’ need to be taught a lesson, ‘when we really want to punish. This perverse wish to hide
a bad motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs from top to bottom.
“Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 94

Thought to Consider . . .
Recognizing someone else’s human dignity cannot cost you your own.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
PUSH
Pray Until Something Happens

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

Rapture
>From “Total Surrender”:
“What has always impressed me most about the program and myself is the constant, continuing challenge to try
recapturing some of the true and honest rapture I felt upon total surrender, when I first came into A.A. For me, that
special peace of mind has never been duplicated. Now, after all the accumulated twenty-four-hour periods, I realize that
it probably never will be. I have come close to it a few times, but it’s never the same.”Des Plaines, Illinois, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 29

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

“We are losing all fear of those violent emotional storms which sometimes cross our alcoholic world; perhaps it
bespeaks our confidence that every storm will be followed by a calm; a calm which is more understanding, more
compassionate, more tolerant than any we ever knew before.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., August 1946
“Who Is a Member of Alcoholics Anonymous?”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to
Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give
freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the
Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you
trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164~

“A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight nor do
twisted thinking and depression vanish in a twinkling. We are convinced
that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, Page 133~

Just as firmly bound by obligation are the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who have demonstrated that they can
help problem drinkers as others seldom can.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 150

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Debits and Credits
Following a gossip binge, we can well ask ourselves these questions: ‘Why did we say what we did? Were we only
trying to be helpful and informative? Or were we not trying to feel superior by confessing the other fellow’s sins? Or,
because of fear and dislike, were we not really aiming to damage him?’
This would be an honest attempt to examine ourselves, rather than the other fellow.
Inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right. As a matter
of fact, the waking hours are usually filled with things that are constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good
acts are there for us to see.
Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all.
1. GRAPEVINE, AUGUST 1961
2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p.93

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, please help me find confidence in myself. Help me understand that when I have confidence in myself others will have confidence in me.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 20th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 20th

Daily Reflections

LOVE AND TOLERANCE

Love and tolerance of others in our code.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

I have found that I have to forgive others in all
situations to maintain any real spiritual progress.
The vital importance of forgiving may not be obvious
to me at first sight, but my studies tell me that every
great spiritual teacher has insisted strongly upon it.
I must forgive injuries, not just in words, or as a
matter of form, but in my heart. I do this not for the
other persons’ sake, but for my own sake. Resentment,
anger, or a desire to see someone punished, are things
that rot my soul. Such things fasten my troubles to me
with chains. They tie me to other problems that have
nothing to do with my original problem.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, we used to worry about the future.
Worry is terrible mental punishment. What’s going to
become of me? Where will I end up? In the gutter or the
sanitarium? We can see ourselves slipping, getting worse
and worse, and we wonder what the finish will be.
Sometimes we get so discouraged in thinking about the
future that we toy with the idea of suicide. In A.A.
have I stopped worrying about the future?

Meditation For The Day

Functioning on a material plane alone takes me away from
God. I must also try to function on a spiritual plane.
Functioning on a spiritual plane as well as on a material
plane will make life what it should be. All material
activities are valueless in themselves alone. But all
activities, seemingly trivial or of seemingly great moment,
are all alike if directed by God’s guidance. I must try to
obey God as I would expect a faithful, willing servant to
carry out directions.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that the flow of God’s spirit may come to me through
many channels. I pray that I may function on a spiritual
plane as well as on a material plane.


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As Bill Sees It

Whose Responsibility?, p. 79

“An A.A. group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of
its members, let alone those of nonalcoholics in the world around us.
The A.A. group is not, for example, a mediator of domestic relations,
nor does it furnish personal financial aid to anyone.

“Though a member may sometimes be helped in such matters by his
friends in A.A., the primary responsibility for the solutions of all his
problems of living and growing rests squarely upon the individual
himself. Should an A.A. group attempt this sort of help, its
effectiveness and energies would be hopelessly dissipated.

“This is why sobriety–freedom from alcohol–through the teaching
and practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of the group.
If we don’t stick to this cardinal principle, we shall almost certainly
collapse. And if we collapse we cannot help anyone.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

Think, Think, Think
Prudence.
It’s hard to believe, but some AA members insist that newcomers shouldn’t think. “Whoever said you should think?” some members are told. The newcomer is apparently supposed to suspend all thinking for several months until reaching a certain level of recovery.
This is nonsense, and it also contradicts AA teaching.  If we don’t want people to use their heads, why do we have printed cards on meeting room walls that say, “Think, Think, Think”?   We are always capable of thinking, even in moments of deep despair. Indeed, we could not keep from thinking.
A constructive approach to thinking is to form complete sentences from the slogan on the wall:  THINK what might happen if I take one drink. THINK of the wonderful new life that awaits me in sobriety.  THINK about ways of improving myself and following a more satisfactory lifestyle.
It’s also important to remember that good thinking will drive out bad thinking…. But good thinking has to be cultivated.
I’ll keep my thinking centered today on the good things that can be done in life.  I’ll focus my attention only on matters that are under my control, and I know that better thinking will bring better conditions.


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Keep It Simple

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years of trying to get other people interested in you. —Dale Carnegie
We wanted friends, but our addiction wanted all our attention. We had no time to be close to others.
Well, stand aside, addiction! The program has taught us that others are important. Our purpose is to help others. People have become what’s important to us.
Now we listen to others. We help them do what they want to do, not what we want them to do. We help people instead of use them. Friendship is now a way of life. And another promise of the program becomes a part of us.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to know that I’m here to help others, not just myself. Through others, I find myself.
Today’s’ Action:  Today I’ll help someone the way he or she wants to be helped.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There’s a period of life where we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.  –Pearl Bailey
For too many of us, feelings of shame, even self-hatred, are paramount. No one of us has a fully untarnished past. Every man, every woman, even every child experiences regret over some action. We are not perfect. Perfection is not expected in the Divine plan. But we are expected to take our experiences and grow from them, to move beyond the shame of them, to celebrate what they have taught us.
Each day offers us a fresh start at assimilating all that we have been. What has gone before enriches who we are now, and through the many experiences we’ve survived, we have been prepared to help others, to smooth the way for another woman, perhaps, who is searching for a new direction.
We can let go of our shame and know instead that it sweetens the nuggets of the wisdom we can offer to others. We are alike. We are not without faults. Our trials help another to smoother sailing.
I will relish the joy at hand. I can share my wisdom. All painful pasts brighten someone’s future, when openly shared.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Trembling, I stepped from the hospital a broken man. Fear sobered me for a bit. Then came the insidious insanity of that first drink, and on Armistice Day 1934, I was off again. Everyone became resigned to the certainty that I would have to be shut up somewhere, or would stumble along to a miserable end. How dark it is before the dawn! In reality that was the beginning of my last debauch. I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the forth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness as time passes.

p. 8

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
I met a lady who had a handicapped child, and we learned so much from each other.  One important thing was that handicapped is not a four-letter word.  Handicapped is not a dirty word.  I learned that I was not bad–that I was one of God’s special children, that God had a plan for my life.  The people of A.A. showed me how my past could and would become an asset.  I got a sponsor and started working the steps.  The promises of the Big Book started coming true for me.  The feeling of uselessness and self-pity went away, and I could see how my experiences could help others.

pp. 378-379

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

Why did A.A. finally drop all its membership regulations? Why did we leave it to each newcomer to decide himself whether he was an alcoholic and whether he should join us? Why did we dare say, contrary to the experience of society and government everywhere, that we would neither punish nor deprive any A.A. of membership, believe anything, or conform to anything?
The answer, now seen in Tradition Three, was simplicity itself. At last experience taught us that to take away any alcoholic’s full chance was sometimes to pronounce his death sentence, and often to condemn him to endless misery. Who dared to be judge, jury, and executioner of his own sick brother?

p. 141

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“There is only one small letter between the words CAN and
CAN’T…and that one letter will TOTALLY change your destiny.”
-–Doug Firebaugh

Happiness is intrinsic, it’s an internal thing. When you build it
into yourself, no external circumstances can take it away. That kind of
happiness is a twenty-four-hour thing.
–Leo F. Buscaglia

God, if I can’t see the joy in life, help me look again.
–Melody Beattie

Now and then I like to lift my eyes up from the details of daily life and
remember the bigger picture, and take a breath of God, and feel and
remember that ultimately, it’s all okay.
–Dan Millman

God wants us to give from the heart when we see a need.
–Nancy Shelton


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

APATHY

“Science may have found a cure
for most evils; but it has found no
remedy for the worst of them all —
the apathy of human beings.”
— Helen Keller

I read today of a woman who ate herself to death. Friends and family
when interviewed said, “She simply didn’t seem to care.” She had
stuffed her feelings for so long that she had forgotten what they were;
she had lost her spirituality. Apathy kills people.

So long as people do nothing, the disease of addiction gets worse and
more victims are claimed. Apathy feeds ignorance because it stops
activity; apathy stops life.

The antidote for apathy is spirituality. The spiritual person is alive with
positive attitudes and creative hope — he is infectious. People are
challenged to discover a meaning to life in their own lives. Hope
produces recovery; recovery produces a message that must be shared; in
the message is the miracle of life.

I pray that in the face of apathy I can discover hope.

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“He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be
greatly moved.”
Psalms 62:2

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7

When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets.
Matthew 6:2


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Daily Inspiration

To run the life’s race successfully we must run toward life, not away from it. Lord, bless me with the courage to meet my challenges as they happen and never allow fear to set up roadblocks.

No one can live for himself alone for then he will have no purpose in life. To give of self is one of life’s greatest joys and blesses us with a full and rich life. Lord, help me to be selfless and loving to those around me.

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NA Just For Today

Higher Power

“Most of us have no trouble admitting that addiction had become a destructive force in our lives. Our best efforts resulted in ever greater destruction and despair. At some point, we realized that we needed the help of some Power greater than our addiction.”
Basic Text p. 24

Most of us know without a doubt that our lives have been filled with destruction. Learning that we have a disease called addiction helps us understand the source or cause of this destruction. We can recognize addiction as a power that has worked devastation in our lives. When we take the First Step, we admit that the destructive force of addiction is bigger than we are. We are powerless over it.

At this point, our only hope is to find some Power greater than the force of our addiction—a Power bent on preserving life, not ending it. We don’t have to understand it or even name it; we only have to believe that there could be such a Higher Power. The belief that a benevolent Power greater than our addiction just might exist gives us enough hope to stay clean, a day at a time.

Just for today: I believe in the possibility of some Power that’s bigger than my addiction.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. –Katherine Mansfield
Growing up to be the best people we can be is a lifelong process. As teenagers, we may have thought that twenty-one would be a magic year for us because then we would become adults. We’d be grown up and able to handle any problems that came along, if any did.
But the older we get, the more we realize that growing up is a process that never ends. We are always becoming the people we are capable of being. We’re always learning new things about ourselves, and in that process, we’re always coming to new understandings about other people and how we can get along with them.
How wonderful that life always offers us room to grow! It makes new discoveries possible all through our lives, and ensures us that we will always have something to offer.
What discovery have I made just today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
New life comes from shedding old skins and pressing through the darkness toward the light. Spring is the season of new beginnings and of growth. –Karen Kaiser Clark
All of us in this program have had great turning points in our lives. In these new beginnings we have pressed onward or groped through the darkness, hoping to find the light, much like a new sprout arising from the cold soil in spring. Our recovery has pointed us toward the light. As spiritually alive men, we also have smaller beginnings all the time. Spring exists for us on the inside regardless of the time of year.
On this particular day, we can think about the changes we see growing in our lives. It may be unclear to some of us just what is changing or how. We may not be able to name the change or describe it until it’s in the past. Springtime brings a feeling of liberation, and our growth in this program frees us from muddled thinking, denial, addictions, and codependency.
I am thankful for new beginnings in the world and the eternal spring within my being.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There’s a period of life where we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside. –Pearl Bailey
For too many of us, feelings of shame, even self-hatred, are paramount. No one of us has a fully untarnished past. Every man, every woman, even every child experiences regret over some action. We are not perfect. Perfection is not expected in the Divine plan. But we are expected to take our experiences and grow from them, to move beyond the shame of them, to celebrate what they have taught us.
Each day offers us a fresh start at assimilating all that we have been. What has gone before enriches who we are now, and through the many experiences we’ve survived, we have been prepared to help others, to smooth the way for another woman, perhaps, who is searching for a new direction.
We can let go of our shame and know instead that it sweetens the nuggets of the wisdom we can offer to others. We are alike. We are not without faults. Our trials help another to smoother sailing.
I will relish the joy at hand. I can share my wisdom. All painful pasts brighten someone’s future, when openly shared.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Releasing
Let fears slip away.
Release any negative, limiting, or self-defeating beliefs buried in your subconscious too. These beliefs may be about life, love, or yourself. Beliefs create reality.
Let go. From as deep within as your fears, resentments, and negative beliefs are stored, let them all go. Let the belief or feeling surface. Accept it; surrender to it. Feel the discomfort or unrest. Then let it go. Let new beliefs replace the old. Let peace and joy and love replace fear.
Give yourself and your body permission to let go of fears, resentments, and negative beliefs. Release that which is no longer useful. Trust that you are being healed and prepared for receiving what is good.
Today, God, help me become willing to let go of old beliefs and feelings that may be hurting me. Gently take them from me and replace them with new beliefs and feelings. I do deserve the best life and love has to offer. Help me believe that.

I am becoming more open to look within me today for my solutions. I trust that I will find the right answers if I go quietly within and follow my inner guide. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Learn to Heal Yourself

Sometimes we trick ourselves. If we feel unhappy, troubled, or scared, we race toward what we think will make us feel better. In desperation, in fear, we grasp for something, anything to stop our pain. Finding that job. Making more money. Getting married. Having a relationship. If I get that one thing I need, then I’ll be happy. Then my pain will stop.

Sometimes it’s true that finding the solution to a problem improves the quality of our lives. Having enough money enables us to fix the furnace when it breaks. Having people in our lives we love and who love us can be an important part of our happiness. Having work to do that we enjoy and that we feel is worthwhile helps us feel good about ourselves.

But when we’re in pain– no matter what’s causing it– the way to heal that pain doesn’t come from outside of ourselves. External circumstances don’t make internal emotions disappear. Even if we get what we think we want, the painful emotion we haven’t had the strength or courage to face will still be there.

The way to heal pain, the only way, is to feel and release it. Your pain is your pain. Your fear, desperation, and resentments are yours, too. All these emotions belong to you. Feel them, learn from them, and let them go.

Walk courageously each step of the path on the journey to the heart. Emjoy when the universe sends you its gifts– a lover, some money, a good job. But know the ultimate key to happiness lies not in external things, but within you. Feel all your feelings. Learn to heal yourself.

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More Language of Letting Go

Let go of what others think

We had gone for a walk in the snow down into the bowl of Bryce Canyon in Utah earlier that day. After a quick shower in the hotel room, we headed down to the restaurant for dinner. Our boots were soaked from the snow, so we wore our flip-flops to the restaurant.

The hostess was the first to notice. “Hey, you’ve got the wrong shoes on!” she admonished. “There’s snow outside!”

“Yeah, I know. We’re from California,” Chip replied.

“Humph,” the hostess sniffed, as she showed us our table.

When our server approached our table, the hostess was right there again, quick to point out our inappropriate footwear to him. We tried to explain that we had been hiking and our boots were wet, but it only set her off more.

“I certainly hope you didn’t wear those,” she said. “There’s snow on the trails.” Then she trotted back to her station.

Our server didn’t care. He listened to the story about our hike, told us one of his own, and kept our glasses full.

Later during the meal, the hostess guided another couple past our table and pointed at our feet. “Look at these people,” she said. “They’re from California and they’re wearing the wrong shoes!”

We giggled all through dinner that night, all because our hiking boots got soaked.

Sometimes what’s appropriate for a situation just doesn’t work for you and you’re forced to improvise. Wear the wrong shoes if you must, but don’t miss the party because of what someone else might think.

God, help me remember that the important thing is how I live, not how I look.

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A Separate Reality
Disconnecting from the Source

by Madisyn Taylor

We can all experience times when we feel disconnected from the universe, but you have never been abandoned.

We all experience periods where we feel separated from the loving ebb and flow of the universe. These times of feeling disconnected from the source may occur for many reasons, but self-sabotage is the most common cause for us choosing to cut ourselves off from the flow of the universe. We purposefully, though often unconsciously, cut ourselves off from this flow and from the embrace of humanity so we can avoid dealing with painful issues, shun the necessary steps for growth, or prevent the success that we are afraid of achieving from ever happening. When you choose to disconnect from the source, you block the flow of the universe’s energy from passing through you. You become like a sleepwalker who is not fully awake to life, and your hopes, plans, and dreams begin to appear as distant blurs on a faraway horizon. Universal support has never left you, but if you can remember that you became disconnected from source by choice, you can choose to reconnect.

Reconnecting with the universe grounds you and is as easy as you making a concerted effort to become interested in the activities you love or responding to what nurtures or stimulates you. You may also want to make a list of the activities and kinds of experiences that touch your soul. Try to pinpoint the times when you have felt fully engaged and aware and ask yourself what you were doing. But one of the easiest ways to reconnect is simply by stating the intention of doing so.

When you disconnect from the universe, your sense of purpose, creativity, and ability to be innovative are not as easy to access. You may also experience a deep and empty sense of longing or feel devoid of ideas or unworthy of love. It’s important, however, to recognize that being disconnected from the universe is never a permanent state, and it can be reversed any time you decide that you are ready to reconnect. When you are connected to the universe, all aspects of your being will feel alive as the flow of the universe pours through your being and into your life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The longer I’m in The Program, the more important becomes the slogan “First Things First” I used to believe that my family came first, that my home life came first, that my job came first. But I know today, in the depths of my heart, that If I can’t stay sober I’ll have nothing. “First Things First.” to me, means that everything in my life depends on my sobriety. Am I grateful fo be sober today?

Today I Pray

May my first priority, the topmost item on my list of concerns, be my sobriety — maintaining it, learning to live comfortably with it, sharing the tools by which I maintain it. When other things crowd into my life and I am caught up in the busyness of living, may I still preserve that first -of-all goal — remaining free of chemicals.

Today I Will Remember

First Things First.

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One More Day

Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.
– Adiai Stevenson

We may have needed constant reminding to do our chores when we were children. We expected to be told what to do. Today we are adults and are chronically ill, and we find ourselves giving reminders to the people around us. Now, however, the suggestions have to be extremely delicate and carefully given.

We can gently guide the behavior of spouse, friends, parents, and children regarding our medical problems. Our comments can be honest and direct: “It would help me if your would let me try to do things for myself before offering me your help.” Or “Please sweep the floor.” Or “Would you put the towels into the dryer?” Those around us are not able to read our minds. We can lear to say “I need” or “I want.” Our needs will be met if we ask directly.

Learn to ask for help is hard, but I can learn.

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Food For Thought

Peeling Off Layers

As we work our program, we peel off layers of old, worn out thoughts and habits. OA gives us a place to share old hurts and fears so that we are able to get rid of them. Our OA friends accept us and give us the benefit of their experience. With their help, we are able to leave the old layers behind and move ahead.

We never stop learning and growing. When we are ready to accept it, our Higher Power reveals just as much truth to us as we can assimilate. He directs our progress through the Steps of this program as we are prepared to take them.

If we are sincere in our efforts, the right help will come when we need it. It may come through another member, a piece of literature, a new insight, or even a difficult experience. Peeling off and discarding worn out layers of ourselves is hard work and is often painful. But when we look back and see how we have grown, the satisfaction more than outweighs the pain.

Guide me as I peel away and leave behind the useless thoughts and habits I have accumulated.

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One Day At A Time

Maintenance

“Another flaw in the human character is
that everybody wants to build and nobody
wants to do maintenance.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

With the help of our Higher Power, sponsors, and fellow Program members we have completed the 12 Steps, studied the Big Book, hit regular meetings, worked the loops, given service, etc …. and finally were able to achieve abstinence and reach our recovery goals! Reaching our goals is one thing, but now we must maintain what we’ve struggled so hard to achieve. As COE’s, we never truly lose our addiction for food. Relape is only a heartbeat away. Therefore, we must diligently strive to continue working the Program tools to guard this precious gift that we have earned.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will diligently maintain the recovery goals I have worked so long and hard to achieve.
Rob R.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world. – Pg. 73 – 74 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It seems insane that we have to be brought to our knees before we seek help, but for most of us that’s the way it is. Whatever crisis got us here, we will eventually see as a blessing in disguise.

Thank You Higher Power, of my understanding, for the crisis–the one that brought me to my knees, because it also bought me this hour of clean and sober time.

Seeing Clearly

Today I will use my mind to actually visualize what I want my life to look like. I will give myself the gift of seeing my life through this beautiful lens. My thoughts have a creative power, they reach out, shape and template my experience. What I see as true for me, can be true for me, if I am willing sustain my vision and do the work I need to do to get there. Today I will picture doors opening for me where there were none before. I will take my thoughts seriously. I’ll decide on what I’d like to see manifest in my life and I will carry it in my mind’s eye and take daily steps toward actualizing it. I will see it as if it is already a reality. Then I’ll let it go again and again and again and allow the wisdom of the universe to bring those experiences and opportunities toward me that allow me to take the next right action.

I have faith in my own vision

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.’ -Jules Henri Poincsre

I question myself, ‘Am I a nay sayer to all suggestions?’ or equally destructive ‘Am I a disciple of a God Squad, blindly following a hard and inflexible line of thought?’

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Honesty without kindness is cruel and kindness without honesty is co-dependence.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am becoming more open to look within me today for my solutions. I trust that I will find the right answers if I go quietly within and follow my inner guide.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It’s ironic; when I looked like an alcoholic I wasn’t one. Now I am an alcoholic I don’t look like one. – Anon.

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AA Thought For the Day

March 20

Understanding
Gradually, God began to clear my channels so that real understanding began to come.
Then was the time when full realization and acknowledgement came to me.
It was realization and acknowledgement of the fact that I had not fully given my problems to God.
I was still trying to do my own fixing.
– Experience, Strength and Hope, p. 22

Thought to Ponder . . .
God seldom becomes a reality until God becomes a necessity.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G O D = Good Orderly Direction.

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

Illusion
“Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30

Thought to Consider . . .
“Many alcoholics are enthusiasts. They run to extremes.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
DENIAL
Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying

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

Cooperation
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“In 1949 the American Psychiatric Association did exactly the same thing [recognizing A.A. as a valid aid for alcoholics]. I [Bill W.] read a paper at its annual meeting in Montreal. I wound up by describing the spiritual experience as we understand it in A.A. As I read, I doubted if even a handful of the audience could possibly agree with the views expressed in my paper. To my astonishment there was a sustained round of applause. But this was not at all a tribute to me or to the contents of my paper; it was instead a tribute to Alcoholics Anonymous, a tribute to a way of life which had worked for alcoholics when other approaches had failed. This generous response was evidence that our friends the psychiatrists were being much more tolerant of us than we had been of them. If we ourselves became more open-minded, then far greater co-operation with this profession would be assured.
“The Association promptly confirmed the view of its members in Montreal. My paper was carried in the American Journal of Psychiatry and we were permitted to reprint it in a pamphlet, now entitled Alcoholism the Illness.* Our standing with the psychiatric profession has increased greatly since that time.
“*Later retitled Three Talks to Medical Societies by Bill W., this pamphlet also includes Bill’s paper before the Medical Society of the State of New York”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 205

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

“If you haven’t been to a meeting for a while, come, and add to the mix … we need you. Come for yourself, come for the Fellowship, come to celebrate sobriety, and come for the alcoholic who still suffers.”
San Francisco, Calif., February 1993
“Torn Asunder”
AA Grapevine

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

“Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to
find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and
direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal
consequences may be.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 79~

“To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main
purpose of this book.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Foreword To First Edition, pg. xiii~

But its object is always the same: to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 101

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Whose Responsibility?
‘An A.A. group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of its members, let alone those of nonalcoholics in the world around us. The A.A. group is not, for example, a mediator of domestic problems, nor does it furnish personal financial aid to anyone.
‘Though a member may sometimes be helped in such matters by his friends in A.A., the primary responsibility for the solutions of all his problems of living and growing rests squarely upon the individual himself. Should an A.A. group attempt this sort of help, its effectiveness and energies would be hopelessly dissapated.
‘This is why sobriety — freedom from alcohol — through the teaching and practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of the group. If we don’t stick to this cardinal principle, we shall almost certainly collapse. And if we collapse we cannot help anyone.’ Letter, 1966

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Please give me the wisdom to understand that the only way to have a friend is by being a friend.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 19th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 19th

Daily Reflections

PRAYER: IT WORKS

It has been well said that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those
who never tried it enough.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97

Having grown up in an agnostic household, I felt somewhat foolish
when I first tried praying. I knew there was a Higher Power working
in my life — how else was I staying sober? — but I certainly wasn’t
convinced he/she/it wanted to hear my prayers. People who had what
I wanted said prayer was an important part of practicing the program,
so I persevered. With a commitment to daily prayer, I was amazed
to find myself becoming more serene and comfortable with my place in the
world. In other words, life became easier and less of a struggle. I’m still
not sure who, or what, listens to my prayers, but I’d never stop saying them
for the simple reason that they work.


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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, we used to be ashamed of the past. Remorse
is terrible mental punishment: ashamed of ourselves for the things
we’ve said and done, afraid to face people because of what they might
think of us, afraid of the consequences of what we did when we were
drunk. In A.A. we forget about the past. Do I believe that God has
forgiven me for everything I’ve done in the past, no matter how black
it was, provided I’m honestly trying to do the right thing today?

Meditation For The Day

God’s spirit is all about you all day long. You have no thoughts, no
plans, no impulses, no emotions, that He does not know about. You can
hide nothing from Him. Do not make your conduct conform only to
that of the world and do not depend on the approval or disapproval of
others. God sees in secret, but He rewards openly. If you are in
harmony with the Divine Spirit, doing your best to live the way you
believe God wants you to live, you will be at peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may always feel God’s presence. I pray that I may realize
this Presence constantly all through the day.


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

As Bill Sees It

Clearing A Channel, p. 78

During the day, we can pause where situations must be met and
decisions made, and renew the simple request “Thy will, not mine, be
done.”

If at these points our emotional disturbances happens to be great, we
will more surely keep our balance provided we remember, and repeat
to ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to us in
our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over will often
enable us to clear a channel choked up with anger, fear, frustration,
or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of
all–our search for God’s will, not our own, in the moment of stress.

12 & 12, pp. 102-103

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Walk in Dry Places

Where is God?
Guidance.
AA members have always had a difficult time explaining the “God business”.  We didn’t want to be considered religious, but at the same time we’ve always believed some contact with a Higher Power is necessary for real personal growth.
There’s nothing wrong… for our purposes… in simply visualizing God as a  Higher Power that has always been within us and around us.  “Before they call, I will answer,” goes an old saying, and that was true even in our darkest days.  Many of us also believe that a higher power helped bring AA into being and move it along to become a worldwide force for good.
But God works in ways that can seem to come from change or coincidence. Quite often, we’ll find that little events had far-reaching results in our lives. When we review how such things happened, we should not conclude that this happens only to certain  “special” people. All human beings are part of God’s creation and can avail themselves of guidance and direction.  The more serious problem is that guidance and direction are sometimes ignored or rejected.
I’ll go about my affairs today with the knowledge that my Higher Power is making the important decisions in my life.  I’ll come out about where God wants me to be.

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

Keep It Simple

Speak when you’re angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret. Lawrence J. Peter
When we used alcohol or other drugs, most of us were hotheads. We thought we were right. If we were proven wrong, we may have made life hell for everyone. People knew enough to stay away from us. In recovery, things will still go badly at times. We’ll get hurt. And we’ll get angry. But now, we turn our anger to our Higher Power. In our groups, we talk about what makes us angry. Then we leave the anger behind when the meeting is over. We find that being at peace is now more important than getting even.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, when I’m angry, help me slow down, Help me remember it’s okay to be angry, but its not okay to abuse people.
Action for the Day:  I will remember a time when I turned anger, into rage and hurt someone. I will also remember a time I was angry in a respectful way.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I realized a long time ago that a belief which does not spring from a conviction in the emotions is no belief at all.  –Evelyn Scott
>From pillar to post we bounced, most of us not knowing what we actually believed about nearly any situation before getting to this program. Perhaps we believed what was most convenient at the time because of the people we were with. And maybe we jumped the fence quickly when in a new setting. Values were sometimes talked about but not defined, and certainly not adhered to.
It’s difficult to develop a strong sense of self, to have a very secure self-image when the parameters offered by a value system are lacking. Our values define who we are. They offer us direction when making choices. They quietly demand that we behave responsibly. Living in concert with our values brings peace to our souls.
Gone are the days when we rode first one fence and then another, never knowing what side of any issue we honestly believed in. The program has offered us a plan for living, a plan that erases the many uncertainties, the inner turmoil of past years.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master.

p. 8

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
Then one night at an A.A. meeting a friend said that even though he had been in jail and done lots and lots of stuff, he was no different from me.  He felt the same things I felt.  It was then that I knew I was not unique, that the people did understand the pain inside me.

p. 378

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

How could we then guess that all those fears were to prove groundless? How could we know that thousands of these sometimes frightening people were to make astonishing recoveries and become our greatest workers and intimate friends? Was it credible that A.A. was to have a divorce rate far lower than average? Could we then foresee that troublesome people were to become our principle teachers of patience and tolerance? Could any then imagine a society which would include every conceivable kind of character, and cut across every barrier of race, creed, politics, and language with ease?

pp. 140-141

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“All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to
receive help from other people.”
-Alexis Carrel, Reflections on Life

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
–Helen Keller

“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect
yourself.”
–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“A closed mouth gathers no feet.”
–Anon.

We cannot think our way into sober living. We live our way into sober thinking.

We in AA don’t carry the alcoholic; we carry the message.

Listening feeds the spirit.

When I am too busy to pray – I am just too busy.

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MADNESS

“Sanity is madness put to good use.”
— George Santayana

I heard the phrase “make the disease work for you”. It made a great
deal of sense to me and still does. I am a recovering alcoholic. My
alcoholism is still within me and every day I take the necessary steps
to stay sober. My disease is that “mad” part of me that wants to
destroy my life, relationships and understanding of God. What I need
to do is accept my “madness” and turn it around so that it works for me.
My suffering is the key to my spiritual growth. My anger and manipulation
helps me to understand the imperfections of others. My powerlessness over
alcohol give me an understanding of humility that is based on reality.
The acceptance of my “madness” keeps me sane!

O God, give me the sanity to accept my imperfections so that I can
grow into the “best” that I can be.

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

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is
overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalms 61:2

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalms 141:3

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:1


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

Daily Inspiration

When you meet God in prayer, everything becomes new. Lord, may I be humbly joyful in my faith.

Take less for granted and you will become very busy enjoying all that you have. Lord, thank you for my blessings and for all those that I am able to share them with.

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

NA Just For Today

Something Valuable To Share

“A simple, honest message of recovery from addiction rings true.”
Basic Text p. 50

You’re in a meeting. The sharing has been going on for some time. One or two members have described their spiritual experiences in an especially meaningful way. Another has had us all rolling in the aisles with entertaining stories. And then the leader calls on you.., gulp. You shyly introduce yourself, apologetically stammer out a few lines, thank everyone for listening, and sit out the rest of the meeting in embarrassed silence. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.

We’ve all had times when we’ve felt that what we had to share wasn’t spiritual enough, wasn’t entertaining enough, wasn’t something enough. But sharing is not a competitive sport. The meat of our meetings is identification and experience, something all of us have in abundance. When we share from our hearts the truth of our experience, other addicts feel they can trust us because they know we’re just like them. When we simply share what’s been effective in our lives, we can be sure that our message will be helpful to others.

Our sharing doesn’t have to be either fancy or funny to ring true. Every addict working an honest program that brings meaningful recovery has something of immense value to share, something no one else can give: his or her own experience.

Just for today: I have something valuable to share. I will attend a meeting today and share my experience in recovery from addiction.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Where is the yesterday that worried us so? –Joan Walsh Anglund
In the fairy tale The Last Dream of the Old Oak Tree, the oak tree felt sorry for the day-fly. The day-fly only lives for one day, and the tree was already 365 years old. But the day-fly was so enjoying his one day that the tree’s sympathy puzzled him. The day-fly said to the tree, “You may have thousands of my days, but I have thousands of moments to be pleased and happy in.”
And so the day-fly continued to dance in the sun and smell the clover and honeysuckle. His day ended as happily as he spent it, and he settled down on a blade of grass.
If all of us could approach our day the way the day-fly does, as though this were our only day, we would spend less time worrying about yesterday and tomorrow.
How can I show my gratitude for the gift of this day?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There seemed not to be another living thing in all the world. There was something of bliss in this stillness, and something ominous too. It was the kind of stillness that beckons us to turn inward, toward the beginnings of our existence. –Paul Gruchow
We cannot create profound stillness. We can allow it. We can move into it. We can receive it. Many of us have been frightened by such a stillness because we are not familiar with the spiritual moment. We felt moved, awestruck, and we may have run to escape that inward moment. Some men are endlessly busy just keeping the stillness at a comfortable distance. Many recovering men have unwittingly thrown themselves into a workaholic life because they were frightened by their emerging spirits.
We can change this pattern by allowing ourselves a little quiet at a time. At first, it may be just a few minutes alone. We may be more able to meet the stillness outdoors, or we can learn to be still in the presence of someone else. The stillness is a moment of meditation. It is contact with God.
God, give me the courage to allow spiritual experiences to be part of my life.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I realized a long time ago that a belief which does not spring from a conviction in the emotions is no belief at all. –Evelyn Scott
>From pillar to post we bounced, most of us not knowing what we actually believed about nearly any situation before getting to this program. Perhaps we believed what was most convenient at the time because of the people we were with. And maybe we jumped the fence quickly when in a new setting. Values were sometimes talked about but not defined, and certainly not adhered to.
It’s difficult to develop a strong sense of self, to have a very secure self-image when the parameters offered by a value system are lacking. Our values define who we are. They offer us direction when making choices. They quietly demand that we behave responsibly. Living in concert with our values brings peace to our souls.
Gone are the days when we rode first one fence and then another, never knowing what side of any issue we honestly believed in. The program has offered us a plan for living, a plan that erases the many uncertainties, the inner turmoil of past years.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Staying Out of the Middle
I don’t want to get in the middle, but . . . is a sign that we may have just stepped into the middle.
We do not have to get caught in the middle of other peoples issues, problems, or communication. We can let others take responsibility for themselves in their relationships. We can let them work out their issues with each other.
Being a peacemaker does not mean we get in the middle. We are bearers of peace by staying peaceful ourselves and not harboring turmoil. We are peacemakers by not causing the extra chaos created when we get in the middle of other peoples affairs and relationships.
Don’t get in the middle unless you want to be there.
Today, I will refuse to accept any invitations to jump in the middle of others affairs, issues, and relationships. I will trust others to work out their own affairs, including the ideas and feelings they want to communicate to each other.
Today will have a clarity about it that I can appreciate. I know who I am. I know what I believe. All I need do is act accordingly.

Today I dare to openly express my needs and find healthy ways to get them met. I like feeling good today. I like myself today.
–Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Learn to Heal Yourself

Sometimes we trick ourselves. If we feel unhappy, troubled, or scared, we race toward what we think will make us feel better. In desperation, in fear, we grasp for something, anything to stop our pain. Finding that job. Making more money. Getting married. Having a relationship. If I get that one thing I need, then I’ll be happy. Then my pain will stop.

Sometimes it’s true that finding the solution to a problem improves the quality of our lives. Having enough money enables us to fix the furnace when it breaks. Having people in our lives we love and who love us can be an important part of our happiness. Having work to do that we enjoy and that we feel is worthwhile helps us feel good about ourselves.

But when we’re in pain– no matter what’s causing it– the way to heal that pain doesn’t come from outside of ourselves. External circumstances don’t make internal emotions disappear. Even if we get what we think we want, the painful emotion we haven’t had the strength or courage to face will still be there.

The way to heal pain, the only way, is to feel and release it. Your pain is your pain. Your fear, desperation, and resentments are yours, too. All these emotions belong to you. Feel them, learn from them, and let them go.

Walk courageously each step of the path on the journey to the heart. Emjoy when the universe sends you its gifts– a lover, some money, a good job. But know the ultimate key to happiness lies not in external things, but within you. Feel all your feelings. Learn to heal yourself.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Lighten up

The matter at hand is serious. It’s grave. We need to get serious about the relationship. We need to get serious about the task.

Maybe what we really need to do is learn to lighten up.

Nations rise and fall, heroes are born and die, the sun rises and sets, and you want me to take seriously the notion that arriving to church wearing the right clothes is going to make any difference at all.

What matters is what’s in our hearts.

“The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly,” G.K. Chesterton once wrote. Once you stop taking yourself so seriously and let go of the gravity of all that you do, you can learn to fly,too.

God, help me lighten up.

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Working with Space
Intuit Your Home’s Decor

by Madisyn Taylor

When decorating spaces in your home, allow the space to speak to you by being still and observing each room.

When we decide the time has come to change the look or feel of our personal spaces, it is the spaces themselves that can provide us with the most useful guidance. Working with a single room, an apartment, or an entire house allows us to unearth the innate potential of these spaces and also better understand how we want to relate to them. To be conscious of the possibilities of a space, we need to listen to, look at, and bond with that space in a deep and personal way. Just as no two people are alike, no two rooms, however similar, are identical. The more we know about the spaces we wish to change, the better equipped we are to make them both beautiful and functional.

Before you contemplate colors and layouts, spend some time in the rooms you plan to modify. Observe the way light moves through each space at different times of day. In the course of a week or so, note those times when you feel drawn to a particular space. You may naturally gravitate toward one room when you want to relax and toward another when you want to socialize. Also, remember that not all rooms have to be used as originally planed, for example a dining room may make a wonderful sitting area. As you make these observations, think about whether the spaces under consideration remind you of anything or bring certain thoughts to mind. Writing your thoughts down can make the process of examination simpler. The discoveries you make regarding the rooms in your home can help guide you as you choose color schemes, furniture layouts, and decorative styles, so that you bring out the natural qualities of each using your creativity and eye for detail. Using the cues you pick up, yo! u can design a beautiful room that is bright and exciting, or one that calms the soul and invites meditation.

By treating the layout and décor of your personal spaces in this mindful way, you can honor their natural rhythms while creating a cohesive and comfortable home through which energy can flow unencumbered. The design elements you subsequently choose will work together like the diverse instruments that come together to form a symphony orchestra. Each will resonate harmoniously with the next, ensuring that your home resounds with a lasting message of beauty, serenity, reassurance, and comfort. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I know today that “stopping in fo9r a drink” will never again be — for me — simply killing a few minutes and leaving a luck on the air. In exchange for the first drink, what I’d plunk down now would be my bank account, my family, our home, or car, my job, my sanity, and probably my life. It’s too big a price, and too great a risk. Do you remember your last drunk?

Today I Pray

May I be strong in the knowledge that God’s spirit is with me at all times. May I learn to feel His presence. May I know that nothing is hidden from Him. Unlike the world which approves or disapproves of my outward behavior, God sees all that I do, think or feel. If I seek to do His will, I can always count on His reward for me — peace of mind.

Today I Will Remember

God Knows all.

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One More Day

Faith is a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
– Eric Hoffer

Busy! Busy! Busy! We might feel as though we’re living our lives on a treadmill — always on the go, helping, and giving our time to people and causes.

Service and volunteerism can be wonderful ways to help, but only if they augment an already full life. We truly are living on a treadmill if our involvement is an escape from facing our inner-most thought and fears. We are getting nowhere if our outside activities are all we have to wake up for each morning.

We begin to change when we honestly face our greatest fears. We can search our personalities to find our vulnerable points and then strive to correct what defects we can. It is then that we regain faith in ourselves and in our abilities.

Once I regain faith in myself I can open my heart to help others.

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

Food For Thought

Strength

In the past, we relied on our own strength to get us where we thought we wanted to go. We were afraid, since deep down we knew how weak and undependable our own strength really was.

When we turn our lives over, we no longer have to go it alone. We have tapped the limitless reservoir of strength provided by our Higher Power, and when we are operating under His guidance we feel confident. What we could not do ourselves can be done when we admit our weakness and ask for help.

Through working the OA program and through closer contact with our Higher Power, we may find that we are going in a new direction. The things we thought we wanted may turn out to be unnecessary, and we may have new goals. Wherever our journey leads, we will have the strength we need, since it does not come from ourselves but from a Power greater than ourselves.

I need Your strength, Lord.

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

One Day At A Time

Commitment

Shallow men believe in luck ~
Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Abstinence did not happen for me until I made a commitment to it. I realized that I would have abstinence until something was a bit too uncomfortable for me to face or feel. Then I would have a slip. So it became a game for me. Was this event or circumstance enough to justify another slip? Sure, why not? That’s the nature of the disease. Everything and anything was an excuse to eat.
It wasn’t until I made a commitment to abstinence that I was forced to find my solutions in the Twelve Steps and really let go of my addiction. I’m grateful to my Higher Power that I hit the bottom I did. By accepting the truth about myself and my food addiction, I am now free to live in the solution.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will renew my commitment by receiving the gift of abstinence and practicing my program to the best of my ability.
Christine S.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet. – Pg. 31 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Nothing comes easy for us right now. A lot of energy goes into just staying put and accepting this new way of life. We say that when the going gets tough, we hang tough! We know that it will pass, we make that promise to you. But it will be in God’s time, not yours.

Let me believe in myself, in this program, and in You, my Spiritual Source.

Looking Toward What is Good

I am a creative being. I have the power of reason, the ability to think, hope and dream. I can envision my life not only as it is, but as I might wish it to be. I can then think through the steps I might need to become more of who I am. I have the power to think my way into a happy point of view, to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. My mind can be my greatest enemy or my greatest ally. It depends on how I choose to use it.

I hold a beautiful vision of life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Grateful addicts don’t drink and drug and drinking and drugging addicts aren’t grateful.

My gratitude is not the word but my desire to say the word. My desire to say the word is a corner stone of my recovery.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Is it odd or is it God?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I dare to openly express my needs and find healthy ways to get them met. I like feeling good today. I like myself today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

My sponsor says ‘Mark the places where you find God and go there often.’ AA meetings are a place where I find God – I think that the power of God is in the group. – Chris C.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 19

Why AA?
Wouldn’t you rather recognize you have a health condition which can be successfully treated,
than spend a lot of time miserably wondering about what’s wrong with you?
We have found this is a better-looking, and better-feeling picture of ourselves
than the old gloomy selves we used to see. It is truer, too. We know.
The proof of it is in the way we feel, act, and think — now.
– Living Sober, p. 10

Thought to Ponder . . .
Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal malady.

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

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

Release
“Who can render an account of all the miseries that have once been ours, and who can estimate the release and joy
that the later years have brought to us? Who could possibly tell the vast consequences of what God’s work through AA
had already set in motion?
“Bill W., Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pp. 44-5
As Bill Sees It, p. 163

Thought to Consider . . .
“I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine.
“Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, Jan. 1958.
The Language of the Heart, p. 238

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
PUSH
Pray Until Something Happens

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

Power
>From “Listening to the Wind”:
“Alcohol was only a symptom of much deeper problems of dishonesty and denial. Now it was a matter of coming to
grips with a Power greater than myself. That was very hard for me. How could all these white people even begin to think
they could understand me? So they brought a sober Indian woman up to work with me for a day. That was a very
powerful day. That Indian woman cut me no slack at all. I will never forget her. She convinced me I was not unique. She
said these white folks were the best thing that ever happened to me.
“Where would you be without them?” she asked. “What are the alternatives? You got any better ideas for yourself? How
many Indians do you know who are going to help you sober up?” At the time, I couldn’t think of any. I surrendered behind
the tears of no answers and decided to do it their way. I found the Power greater than myself to be the magic above the
heads of the people in the meetings. I chose to call that magic Great Spirit.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 467

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

“New people are the lifeblood of AA. I am eternally grateful to them. By extension I am, therefore, grateful to Tradition
Three for making it possible for all who want what we have to come to AA.”
Los Gatos, Calif., February 1993
“A Part of the Whole”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ 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~

“Though we work out our solution on the spiritual as well as an
altruistic plane, we favor hospitalization for the alcoholic who is
very jittery or befogged. More often than not, it is imperative that
a man’s brain be cleared before he is approached, as he has then
a better chance of understanding and accepting what we have to offer.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxvi~

Then it is explained that the other Steps of the A.A. program can be practiced with Success only when Step Three is
given a determined and persistent trial.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 40

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Clearing a Channel
During the day, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request ‘Thy will, not mine, be done.’
If at these points our emotional disturbances happens to be great, we will more surely keep our balance provided we remember, and repeat to ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to us in our reading or meditations. Just saying it over and over will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of all — our search for God’s will, not our own, in the moment of stress. TWELVE AND TWELVE, PP. 102-103

Prayer For The Day: Father, help us to see and love in others what you see and love in them. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 17th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 17th

Daily Reflections

MYSTERIOUS WAYS

. . . out of every season of grief or suffering, when
the hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons
for living were learned, new resources of courage were
uncovered, and that finally, inescapably, the conviction
came that God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders
to perform.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

After losing my career, family and health, I remained
unconvinced that my way of life needed a second look.
My drinking and other drug use were killing me, but I
had never met a recovering person or an A.A. member. I
thought I was destined to die alone and that I deserved
it. At the peak of my despair, my infant son became
critically ill with a rare disease. Doctors’ efforts
to help him proved useless. I redoubled my efforts to
block my feelings, but now the alcohol had stopped
working. I was left staring into God’s eyes, begging
for help. My introduction to A.A. came within days,
through an odd series of coincidences, and I have
remained sober ever since. My son lived and his
disease is in remission. The entire episode convinced
me of my powerlessness and the unmanageability of my
life. Today my son and I thank God for his
intervention.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A. A. also helps us to hang onto sobriety. By having
regular meetings so that we can associate with other
alcoholics who have come through that same door in the
wall, by encouraging us to tell the story of our own
sad experiences with alcohol, and by showing us how to
help other alcoholics. A.A. keeps us sober. Our attitude
toward life changes from one of pride and selfishness to
one of humility and gratitude. Am I going to step back
through that door in the wall to my old helpless,
hopeless, drunken life?

Meditation For The Day

Withdraw into the calm of communion with God. Rest in that
calm and peace. When the soul finds its home of rest in
God, then it is that real life begins. Only when you are
calm and serene can you do good work. Emotional upsets
make you useless. The eternal life is calmness and when a
man enters into that, then he lives as an eternal being.
Calmness is based on complete trust in God. Nothing in
this world can separate you from the love of God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may wear the world like a loose garment.
I pray that I may keep serene at the center of my being.


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As Bill Sees It

Only God Is Unchanging, p. 76

“Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to
sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from
hate to love, from childish independence to adult responsibility–all
this and infinitely more represent change for the better.

“Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a practice of sound
principles. Here we must needs discard bad or ineffective principles
in favor of good ones that work. Even good principles can sometimes
be displaced by the discovery of still better ones.

“Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

Is it Easy?
Practicing principles
There’s no “softer, easier way,” we’re told.  If so,  why are we also urged to embrace the slogan “Easy Does it?”  Which is right?
Both are right, because they express two different ideas. The softer, easier way doesn’t work because it grows out of self-deception and falls short of a thorough working of the program.  “Easy Does it” works because it describes an approach to action that is relaxed, confident, and careful.
The person seeking an easier, softer way usually avoids taking some of the steps that are considered necessary in maintaining sobriety.  It’s a way of trying to win without doing sufficient work.  The person following the “Easy Does it” principle pays attention to every detail, but carries on without reasonable haste or excessive loafing.
In a spiritual sense, “Easy Does  it” also means letting the Higher Power carry the load.  At all times, however, we must continue to make choices and bear responsibility for our actions.
I’ll be relaxed and confident while carrying on a full day’s activity.  There is always time to do things the right way.

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Keep It Simple

Skill to do comes of doing.—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Often, we just want to sit and do nothing. And why not. We go to meetings, work the Twelve Steps, read, make new friends. All this takes energy and means taking risk. Haven’t we earned the right to just sit and take it a break from it all? No! In the past, we avoided life. Now we’re becoming people of action. We take risk. We’re becoming people who get involved in life. We practice caring about people and caring about ourselves. At times, we may complain, but we do what is needed to stay sober. We gain skills by doing. why? We do it to save our lives. How? By trusting. We now trust that our Higher Power and friends will be there for us. They will help us push past our fears. As we practice daily how to stay sober, our skills grow.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, Yours is a spirit of action. Allow me to become skilled at being active.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll work at being active and alive. Maybe I’ll start a new friendship or try a new meeting.

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Each Day a New Beginning.

A woman who is loved always has success.  –Vicki Baum
Being loved, and knowing that we are loved, assures us of our connection to the world outside of ourselves. It affirms us as participants in the bigger picture. And all of us need to know that we count–that what we say and do matters to others–that we are contributing in an important way.
Often we feel unloved, however. And we search for love. We may have begged for love and still didn’t feel it. We have probably become very self-centered in our search. Fortunately, the program helps us to give love to others; the paradox is that love is returned, tenfold.
The wonders of love are many. Love is a healing balm for wounds. And it nurtures, both the one loving and the one loved. Love is an energizer. It spurs us on to successes in work and in play. Love multiplies. If we aren’t feeling loved, we can love someone else–and love will visit us, too.
We can help the women in our lives find the successes they deserve. The confidence to tackle new situations is packaged in the gift of love. We need to help one another count.
My love of another is a contributing factor in her success. Her loving gratitude will enhance my own endeavors. I will take a moment, today, with a friend who needs my love.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

But it was not, for the frightful day came when I drank once more. The curve of my declining moral and bodily health fell off like a ski-jump. After a time I returned to the hospital. This was the finish, the curtain, it seemed to me. My weary and despairing wife was informed that it would all end with heart failure during delirium tremens, or I would soon have to give me over to the undertaker or the asylum.

p. 7

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
I started going to meetings, and my story sounded so dull next to some of the stories I heard.  The most interesting thing I could think to tell was about the time my friends, who were also drunk, let me drive the car.  I almost got us all killed–but what fun!  Legally blind, drunk, and behind the wheel of a car.  God was really taking care of me and the other people on the road that night; I just didn’t know it at the time.

p. 378

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

A member gives us a vivid glimpse of those days. “At one time,” he says, “every A.A. group had many membership rules. Everybody was scared witless that something or somebody would capsize the boat and dump us all back into the drink. Our Foundation office* asked each group to send in its list of `protective’ regulations. The total list was a mile long. If all those rules had been in effect everywhere, nobody could have possibly joined A.A. at all, so great was the sum of our anxiety and fear.

pp. 139-140

*In 1954, The name of the Alcoholic Foundation, Inc. was changed to the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc. and the Foundation office is now the General Service Office.

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He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the
universe.
–Marcus Aurelius

I have learned what a heart full of gratitude feels like.

If you make yourself a doormat, you will be stepped on.
–American Proverb

The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new
landscapes but in having new eyes.
–Marcel Proust

The Way isn’t something that can be put into words.
You have to practice before you can understand.
You can’t force things, including practice.
Understanding is something that happens naturally.
It’s different for everyone.
The main thing is to reduce your desires and quiet your mind.
–Master Hsueh

Within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty; to which
every part and every particle is equally related; the eternal One.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SAINTS

“The saints are the sinners who
keep on going.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson

At times I do not want to carry on; I do not want to fight anymore for
truth and freedom; it seems so much easier to “give up ” and agree with
everybody — but I know, deep inside myself, this is not true.

At times the disease speaks to me and tells me to “give up” and
everything will be okay — perhaps have one drink, don’t rush off to so
many meetings, get what you can when you can! It all sounds so
tempting, but I know that it does not work.

Sobriety works! The struggle and pain to act responsibly in my life is
paying off and it does get better. I am not going to give up. My life is
worth more than a quick fix!

Lord, let me know that true courage is working through the pain.

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“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall
never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Psalms 55:22

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
Psalms 56:3

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to
lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:12-13


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Daily Inspiration

We have been given a treasure of talents which should be accepted with responsibility and gratitude. Lord, may my gifts flourish in great faith and charity so that they may also benefit others.

Love who you are, for who you are, God loves. Lord, help me to never abuse myself with self pity or excess, emotionally or physically, so that I may live my life to the fullest according to Your Will.

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NA Just For Today

True Courage

“Those who make it through these times show a courage not their own.”
Basic Text p. 82

Before coming to NA, many of us thought we were brave simply because we had never experienced fear. We had drugged all our feelings, fear among them, until we had convinced ourselves that we were tough, courageous people who wouldn’t crack under any circumstances.

But finding our courage in drugs has nothing to do with the way we live our lives today. Clean and in recovery, we are bound to feel frightened at times. When we first realize we are feeling frightened, we may think we are cowards. Were afraid to pick up the phone because the person on the other end might not understand. We’re afraid to ask someone to sponsor us because they might say no. We’re afraid to look for a job. We’re afraid to be honest with our friends. But all of these fears are natural, even healthy. What’s not healthy is allowing fear to paralyze us.

When we permit our fear to stop our growth, we will be defeated. True courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the willingness to walk through it.

Just for today: I will be courageous today. When I’m afraid, I’ll do what I need to do to grow in recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Love is always open arms. –Leo Buscaglia
There is a story about a boy who left home and dishonored his father by spending a large amount of money on fast and reckless living. When the boy’s money ran out, he was faced with the prospect of returning home to face his father, knowing the father had every reason to be disappointed in him. Filled with fear and shame he approached his home, his mind racing with words of apology. Before the boy could say a word, his father rushed to him with open arms and hugged his lost son in joy and love.
Have we done this? Have we found it in our hearts to approve whatever a loved one does, even if we would have wanted something different?
Love like this is the highest kind of love. It finds joy in others no matter what, because it recognizes the freedom of those we love, and doesn’t chain them to our own wants. It is the same kind of love God has for us.
Are my arms open today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The reward of friendship is itself. The man who hopes for anything else does not understand what true friendship is.
–Saint Ailred of Rievaulx
The comfort of a true friend in a time of trouble, the strength we sense in being with someone who truly knows us, the affirmation of life that comes with enduring friendships – no other experience is like these. Recovery, once our addictive behaviors end, is mostly through relationships. In this program we are developing a friendship with ourselves, with other men and women, and with our Higher Power.
True friendship happens when we lower our guard and let our feelings show. It happens when we listen without judgment. It accumulates over time in many little experiences with someone. There is friendship in returning to someone when we feel offended or hurt so the relationship can be repaired – and in returning to him when we have been the offender. Sometimes friendship means humility, or accepting our worthiness to be forgiven. The development and deepening of our friendships, with other men, with women, and with ourselves sustains us in recovery.
Today, I will be true in my friendships.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
A woman who is loved always has success. –Vicki Baum
Being loved, and knowing that we are loved, assures us of our connection to the world outside of ourselves. It affirms us as participants in the bigger picture. And all of us need to know that we count–that what we say and do matters to others–that we are contributing in an important way.
Often we feel unloved, however. And we search for love. We may have begged for love and still didn’t feel it. We have probably become very self-centered in our search. Fortunately, the program helps us to give love to others; the paradox is that love is returned, tenfold.
The wonders of love are many. Love is a healing balm for wounds. And it nurtures, both the one loving and the one loved. Love is an energizer. It spurs us on to successes in work and in play. Love multiplies. If we aren’t feeling loved, we can love someone else–and love will visit us, too.
We can help the women in our lives find the successes they deserve. The confidence to tackle new situations is packaged in the gift of love. We need to help one another count.
My love of another is a contributing factor in her success. Her loving gratitude will enhance my own endeavors. I will take a moment, today, with a friend who needs my love.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Empowering
You can think. You can feel. You can solve your problems. You can take care of yourself.
Those words have often benefited me more than the most profound and elaborate advice.
How easy it is to fall into the trap of doubting others and ourselves.
When someone tells us about a problem, what is our reaction? Do we believe we need to solve it for the person? Do we believe that that persons future rests on our ability to advise him or her? Thats standing on shaky ground – not the stuff of which recovery is made.
When someone is struggling through a feeling, or a morass of feelings, what is our reaction? That the person will never survive that experience? That its not okay for someone to feel? That he or she will never get through this intact?
When a person is faced with the task of assuming responsibility for their life and behaviors, what is our response? That the person cant do that? I must do it myself to save him or her from dissipating into ashes? From crumbling? From failing?
What is our reaction to ourselves when we encounter a problem, a feeling, or when we face the prospect of assuming responsibility for ourselves?
Do we believe in others and ourselves? Do we give power to people – including ourselves – and their abilities? Or do we give the power to the problem, the feeling, or the irresponsibility?
We can learn to check ourselves out. We can learn to think, and consider our response, before we respond. Im sorry youre having that problem. I know you can figure out a solution. Sounds like youve got some feelings going on. I know youll work through them and come out on the other side.
Each of us is responsible for ourselves. That does not mean we dont care. It does not mean a cold, calculated withdrawal of our support from others. It means we learn to love and support people in ways that work. It means we learn to love and support ourselves in ways that work. It means that we connect with friends who love and support us in ways that work.
To believe in people, to believe in each persons inherent ability to think, feel, solve problems, and take care of themselves is a great gift we can give and receive from others.
Today, I will strive to give and receive support that is pure and empowering. I will work at believing in myself and others – and our mutual abilities to be competent at dealing with feelings, solving problems, and taking responsibility for ourselves.

Today I know I have a right to be alive and happy and full of joy. Today I trust that I am where I am supposed to be, and am moving in the right direction. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Cherish Hope

It was a beautiful city in Idaho. The lake that ran alongside the highway was so clear and blue, I pulled the jeep to the roadside just to stop and stare. The air was clear. The city felt light, airy, buoyant. It’s name was hope.

I didn’t stay long. I didn’t need to. But I needed to drive by, drive through, pause for a moment to remember another important power to discover and cherish on our journey. Hope is airy, almost intangible, yet if we don’t have it, we know it. Hope is simple. Clear. Light. Our hearts, our souls, need a good glimpse of it every so often, just to keep us going.

Even those times we can’t have what we want, we can be open to seeing its light shining unexpectedly in another direction, like this small town that caught my eye.

Cherish hope. It adds buoyancy to the spirit, lightness to the day.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Don’t avoid the void

I was sitting at dinner with a group of friends in a restaurant one evening. Everyone but one person was done eating. Feet were shuffling under the table. We were ready to go. One member of the group, an older woman, was picking at her meal. She had ordered dessert, but hadn’t eaten it yet. Instead, she slowly sipped her coffee.

“I don’t eat my dessert until I’ve finished coffee,” she said. when the waiter asked if he could take her plate.

All eyes at the table watched as she took a tiny sip, placed the cup down, and chattered, telling stories and jokes, making meaningless conversation. We watched eagerly as she started to pick her fork up to take a bite of dessert, then sighed quietly as she changed her mind, set the fork down, and began to tell another story.

She was alone, widowed, and her children lived in another state. It was obvious that she was trying to stretch dinner out with her friends as long as she could. She was trying to fill up that empty, silent place we call the void.

There’s a lot of talk in life and in this book about doing, achieving, and going for what we want. There’s much spurring on to activity that shouts, “Yes, I’m alive. And I’m fully and richly living my life the best I can.”

In all the busyness and living, there needs to be mindfulness and careful attention paid to another part of life, too. That part is the repetitive and natural cycle that some people call “the void.”

It’s an empty space in our lives.

The void can be a small space in our lives– lasting a few days or weeks. Or it can go on longer. That relationship has ended. We’re alone. We don’t know what to do next. Or that cycle in our lives has ended– maybe we’ve graduated from school or college, and we don’t know where to go next. Maybe our time as a parent has ended. Maybe someone we loved, a roommate or best friend, who was an important part of our lives has moved away.

Don’t be afraid of the void. Postpone it for a while, if you must. Linger at dinner with friends, refusing to finish your dessert. As dark, cold, and empty as it feels, the void is a friendly place. Its rhythms are slower and often more confusing than other cycles in our lives, but the rhythms of this cycle are still there.

Remember those quiet times in your life, the ones you’ve gone through before, when one cycle has ended and another has not yet begun. Remind yourself when that void comes along that you don’t have to be frightened of it. It’s not the end. It’s only a creative and necessary pause, a cycle of its own, in the cycles and rhythms of life.

God, give me the courage to step into the void in my life with dignity, faith, and a sense of humor. Help me cherish the unknown as much as I enjoy activity and clarity.

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In God’s Care

You have to have a talent for having talent.
~~Ruth Gordon

Each of us brings different gifts along on our journey. We all have a variety of talents We don’t however, always know how to use them. Some people seem to know how to put their talents to good use. Many of us botch them until we get help from God, who gave them to us.

Each of our talents has a purpose. We weren’t given them by accident. We all have talents. And, of course, combinations of talents. But we don’t live up to our potential without God’s direction.

I put my talents in God’s hands so that I can live at full capacity.

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Permission To Feel
Pushing Away Emotions

Throughout our lives, we may experience emotions that disturb or distress us. Often, our first reaction is to push our feelings away. We may say, “I don’t want to think about that right now, I’ll think about it later” and we bury our emotions, deny the validity of our feelings, or distract ourselves with other concerns. But the diverse emotions you experience are neither good nor bad—they are simply a part being human. Choosing not to experience pain, anger, or other intense feelings could cause those feelings to become buried deep into your physical body. There, they may linger unresolved and unable to emerge, even as they affect the way you experience the world. Allowing yourself to experience all of your emotions rather than push the more painful ones away can help you come to terms with your feelings so you can experience them and then move on.

It is possible to bring forth the old feelings you have pushed aside and experience them in a safe and enriching way. It may sound silly to set aside time to feel your old wounds that you haven’t dealt with, but this can be a very beneficial healing experience. Find a safel place and pick a time when you can be alone. Make sure that you feel secure and comfortable in your surroundings. Bring to mind the circumstances that originally triggered the emotions you’ve been pushing away. You may need to revisit these circumstances by reading relevant entries in your journal or using visualization to relive your past. Once you have triggered your long-denied emotions, let yourself feel your feelings, and try not to judge your reactions. Cry or sound your emotions if you need to, and don’t block the flow of your feelings. Allow any thoughts that are connected to your emotions to surface. As you release the feelings you have pushed inside of you, you will find yourself healing from ! the experience associated with these emotions.

When you deal with your feelings directly, they can move through you rather than staying stopped up in your body as emotional blocks that can sometimes turn into disease. Acknowledging your emotions, instead of pushing them away, allows you to stay emotionally healthy and in touch with your feelings. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Lead us not into temptation,” we pray, for we know with certainty that temptation lurks around the corner. Temptation is cunning, baffling, powerful — and patient: we never know when it will catch us with our guard down. Temptation could come in the siren song of a four-color advertisement, the fragment of a half-remembered song or, more obviously, in the direct urgings of another person. We must remain forever vigilant, remembering that the first drink gets us drunk, that the first obsessive bite will likely trigger an overeating orgy, that the first roll of the dice could well destroy our lives. Am I aware of my number one priority?

Today I Pray

God, lead me out of temptation — whether it is the jolly-but-alcoholic abandon of my peers at a special-occasion celebration, the pressure from my friends to “get in the spirit” of a party, the familiar aura of an apartment where joints are passed around, the sound of rattling dice, the smell of a bakery. May I know the limits of my resistance and stay well within them. May my surrender to the will of God give a whole new meaning to that old phrase, “Get in the spirit.”

Today I Will Remember

Get in the spirit.

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One More Day

Time is lost when we have not lived a full of human life, time enriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“I’ll never make it through today!” While we all may have had that thought from time to time, we did live through that day to rise the next morning and greet the new day. Time can go by very slowly when we are thinking of one but ourselves. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by fear of an uncertain future. We may even feel that we have been deserted by our friends and family in a time of need.

When overwhelmed with these helpless feelings, we can turn to our Higher Power for comfort and understanding. Knowing we don’t have to work through the details of our lives alone not only comforts us, it fills our minutes and days with positive thoughts and actions.

My Higher Power lends me strength to carry me through.

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Food For Thought

Vulnerability

When we stop doping ourselves with unnecessary food, we become vulnerable. We have been using extra food as a defense against our feelings. Without it, fears and anxieties surface and new energies are released. Instead of retreating into the refrigerator, we can learn day by day how to live with our exposed selves.

Making an overture of friendship to someone we would like to know better involves the risk of rejection. Saying no to a family member when a request conflicts with our program may make us feel guilty. Asking for help when we need it means admitting our weakness. Exposing our needs destroys our facade of self-sufficiency.

To be vulnerable requires courage, but only as we are able to live without the defense of overeating are we able to grow emotionally and spiritually. When we stop turning to food to cover up our feelings and needs, we are able to be more open with other people. We are nourished by them and by the Higher Power who allays our fears and directs our new energies.

May I not fear being vulnerable.

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One Day At A Time

PAIN AND PRETENDING

“To live is to suffer,
to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

I love to walk in the woods. The silent serenity of shadowed sunlight; the soft bounce of scattered needles under my feet; and the cool, clear air breathe peace into my soul.

I’ve long been fascinated by “nurse logs” – those aged, fallen pines who serve as fertile sustenance for younger, healthy trees.

When I look back at my life I see so much death. I see wasted years of hiding, lying, pretending — years of wrapping myself in my sickness. I have held my disease close to me. At first it seemed to bring safety, but I came to find that it was actually a death shroud. I wondered how any good could ever come from my years of pain.

After entering Recovery and working the Program, I have come to see that Nothing Is Wasted. Every sorrow, every injury, and every failure have brought me to this fruitful forest of New Life. Had I never suffered, I would never have found the Serenity that comes from choosing Gratitude. Had my life been easy, I would not have the appreciation I have gained for each new day. No one values safety, peace, and growth quite so profoundly as do those who have lived without them for so very long.

As I keep my mind, heart, and perspective focused on God, growth, and life, I find that my pain has become a nurse log; rich with all that is needed to bring life where once was only death.

One day at a time . . .
I will remember that nothing is wasted. I will choose to appreciate the pain and wisdom of the God-given nurse log which feeds me with hope and peace.
Lisa V

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on. He should not be pushed or prodded by you, his wife, or his friends. If he is to find God, the desire must come from within. – Pg. 95 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

You have a monumental task ahead to set your world in order at the same moment that it has completely changed. Setting your world in order does not mean to ‘fix’ everybody around you and take care of their affairs. It means to improve and tend to yourself and your affairs. Do not confuse ‘setting things in order’ with controlling the world around you.

I do not attempt to control what is clearly beyond my sphere. I let my Higher Power tend to the world around me. I affect change from within.

Gathering Wisdom

I am on a spiritual journey. And on this journey I am my own best pilot and my own best philosopher. No one knows me as I know me and no one can synthesize all of the information that I receive each day into a coherent picture of my life as well as I can. If I don’t take charge of my journey, no one else will, no one else can. God has given me to me to take care of. I have been put in charge of my own self. I am the one who steers me through my day, who makes a myriad of tiny decisions that add up to a life. I am the eyes and ears behind each hour. I am the choice maker.

My life is up to me.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Opportunities are often disguised as problems and this is why we miss them. With the next problem you encounter, ask, ‘What can I learn from this?’

I watch for big problems; they disguise big opportunities.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When you see ‘CRAZY’ coming, hurry up and cross the street!

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know I have the right be alive and happy and full of joy. Today I trust that I am where I’m supposed to be, and am moving in the right direction.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I know I’ve been spared from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. I know today that it’s a miracle standing up here in front of you. I know it. – JoJo S.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 17

Fortunate Indeed
We who are alcoholics can consider ourselves fortunate indeed.
Each of us has had his own near-fatal encounter with the juggernaut of self-will,
and has suffered enough under its weight to look for something better.
So it is by circumstance rather than any virtue that we have been driven to AA,
have admitted defeat, have acquired the rudiments of faith, and now want to make a decision
to turn our will and our lives over to a Higher Power.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 37-38

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

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
F A I T H = Found Always In Trusting Him.

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

Prayer
“As the doubter tries the process of prayer,he should begin to add up the results.If he persists, he will surely find more
serenity,more tolerance, less fear, and less anger.He will acquire a quiet courage,the kind that isn’t tension-ridden.He
can look at ‘failure’ and ‘success’for what these really are.Problems and calamity will begin to mean his
instruction,instead of his destruction.Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to happen.
“Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, June 1958As Bill Sees It, p. 321

Thought to Consider . . .
Trying to pray is praying.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
BS
Before Sobriety

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

Self-Care
>From “To Wives”:
“Be determined that your husband’s [or other loved one’s] drinking is not going to spoil your relations with your children
or your friends. They need your companionship and your help. It is possible to have a full and useful life, though your
husband continues to drink. We know women who are unafraid, even happy under these conditions. Do not set your
heart on reforming your husband. You may be unable to do so, no matter how hard you try.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 111

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

“Surrender has nothing to do with giving up. It means to stop fighting.”
Carrollton, Texas, February 1993
“The Gift of Sobriety”
AA Grapevine

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

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

“Though we work out our solution on the spiritual as well as an
altruistic plane, we favor hospitalization for the alcoholic who is
very jittery or befogged. More often than not, it is imperative that
a man’s brain be cleared before he is approached, as he has then
a better chance of understanding and accepting what we have to offer.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxvi~

Therefore, thoroughness ought to be the watchword when taking inventory.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 54

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Only God Is Unchanging
‘Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to
serenity, from hate to love, from childish dependence to adult responsibility – all this and infinitely more represent change for the better.
‘Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a practice of sound principles. Here we must needs discard bad or
ineffective principles in favor of good ones that work. Even good principles can sometimes be displaced by the discovery of still better ones.
‘Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is. LETTER, 1966

Prayer For The Day: Loving Father, search me, and if there be any evil ways in me, correct them, and lead me into the ways everlasting. I pray that I may not be deformed from selfishness, but with a lowly and expectant heart run with patience and triumph the race that is set before me. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 15th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 15th

Daily Reflections

THE GOD IDEA

When we saw others solve their problems by a simple
reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to
stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work.
But the God idea did.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 52

Like a blind man gradually being restored to sight, I
slowly groped my way to the Third Step. Having realized
that only a Power greater than myself could rescue me
from the hopeless abyss I was in, I knew that this was
a Power that I had to grasp, and that it would be my
anchor in the midst of a sea of woes. Even though my
faith at that time was minuscule, it was big enough to
make me see that it was time for me to discard my
reliance on my prideful ego and replace it with the
steadying strength that could only come from a Power
far greater than myself.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We alcoholics were on a merry-go-round, going round and
round, and we couldn’t get off. That merry-go-round is a
kind of hell on earth. In A.A. I got off that merry-go-round
by learning to stay sober. I pray to that Higher Power every
morning to help me to keep sober. And I get the strength
from that Power to do what I could never do with my own
strength. I do not doubt the existence of that Power. We’re not
speaking into a vacuum when we pray. That Power is there,
if we will use it. Am I off the merry-go-round of drinking for good?

Meditation For The Day

I must remember that in spiritual matters I am only an
instrument. It is not mine to decide how or when I am to
act. God plans all spiritual matters. It is up to me to
make myself fit to do God’s work. All that hinders my
spiritual activity must be eliminated. I can depend on God
for all the strength I need to overcome those faults which
are blocks. I must keep myself fit, so that God can use me
as a channel for His spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my selfishness may not hinder my progress in
spiritual matters. I pray that I may be a good instrument
for God to work with.

 

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As Bill Sees It

Breach The Walls Of Ego, p. 74

People who are driven by pride of self unconsciously blind themselves
to their liabilities. Newcomers of this sort scarcely need comforting.
The problem is to help them discover a chink in the walls their ego
has built, through which the light of reason can shine.

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

The attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each
A.A.’s Twelve Steps. For without some degree of humility, no
alcoholic can stay sober at all.

Nearly all A.A.’s have found, too, that unless they develop much more
of this precious quality than may be required just for sobriety, they
still haven’t much chance of becoming truly happy. Without it, they
cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to
summon the faith that can meet any emergency.

12 & 12
1. p. 46
2. p. 70

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Walk in Dry Places

The Secret of Detachment___Dealing with others.
“Detaching with love” is what those close to alcoholics do when they realize they can’t change them.  The same principle should apply to any distressing situation, but how does it work?  How can I detach from people who really bother me____ especially fellow workers, or perhaps a boss or customer?
The secret of detachment is expressed in the biblical charge, “Resist not evil.”  We don’t fight or resist the other person, or even try to change their behavior. We stop believing that the other person’s behavior can really control us in the future.  We become impersonal about something that was once highly charged with resentment and bitterness. At no point, however, do we say that the others’ wrong behavior is all right, nor do we lie to ourselves about what the other is doing.
Detachment does not mean that the outcome will be recovery or change for the other person. That sometimes happens, and we’re grateful when it does. If we detach in the right way, however, the outcome will always be better than anything we could bring about by fighting the situation. We have to count an outcome favorable if we stay sober and under control in the midst of an insane situation.
I will detach myself from conflicts with others if they arise today.  I am not going to fight anything or anybody, and I know this will bring me closer to the ideal of living at peace with everybody.


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Keep It Simple

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.—Mae West
This sums up how we used to live. We were in love with ourselves. We had to be on center stage.
Our self-will ran riot. Recovery pulls us out of that world. We learn to focus on others. We learn to reach out to them with love. This is the best way to love ourselves. This doesn’t  mean that we live our lives through others. It means we invite others into our lives. It also means we ask to be invited into their lives. Recovery breaks down our self-will. It makes room for others in our lives.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I give You my self-will. I know You’ll do better with it than me.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list three ways my self-will has messed up my life. How am I doing at turning over these things to my Higher Power?

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Each Day a New Beginning

Flattery is so necessary to all of us that we flatter one another just to be flattered in return.  –Marjorie Bowen
We are all deserving of unconditional love and acceptance. And all the people in our lives, past and present, deserve our unconditional love and acceptance, too. However, it’s doubtful that we either feel it all of the time from others or give it away.
It’s human of us to find fault–to have expectations that are too high. But for this we pay a price. Instead of experiencing our lives serenely, contentedly, flowing with what is, we often criticize, judge, and feel generally disgruntled throughout the day. What a waste! We do have another choice, fortunately. We can let go and let God, and live and let live. Also we can recall, today and every day, that we are all special individuals in this world who are loved, fully, by our Creator.
The greatest contribution we can make to the lives of others is to be affirming. We can let our spouse, children, and friends know we care about them. That we love and accept them. The love that we also long for will come back to us. We thrill at being affirmed. And we will thrill at affirming.
It feels good to help another feel appreciated. Love and acceptance is my lifeline, from God around us all.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition 

BILL’S STORY

My brother-in-law is a physician, and through his kindness and that of my mother I was placed in a nationally-known hospital for the mental and physical rehabilitation of alcoholics. Under the so-called belladonna treatment my brain cleared. Hydrotherapy and mild exercise helped much. Best of all, I met a kind doctor who explained that though certainly selfish and foolish, I had been seriously ill, bodily and mentally.

p. 7

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
When my daughter had to go to the hospital, I stayed sober for the five days she was there and told myself that I had licked the alcohol problem.  On the way home from the hospital, I got drunk again.  I cannot tell you the number of times I tried to stop on my own,  My son would look at me and say, “Mom, why do you have to drink?”  He was about eleven years old at the time.  So one night I got on my knees and said, “God, change me or let me die.”

p. 377

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

This Tradition is packed with meaning. For 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 who you are, no matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications – even your crimes – we still can’t deny you A.A. We don’t want to keep you out. We aren’t a bit afraid you’ll harm us, never mind how twisted or violent you may be. We just want to be sure that you get the same great chance for sobriety that we’ve had. So you’re an A.A. member the minute you declare yourself.”

p. 139

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Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God.

I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst
from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable
misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to
them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to
sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can
choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I
have – life itself.
–Walter Anderson

“Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says
‘Go!’ – a leader says ‘Let’s go!'”
–E.M. Kelly

God backs me up, there is no greater power. I am safe.
–SweetyZee

If you listen carefully to what a child is saying to you, you’ll see that
he has a point to make. So I listen. And I answer them just
as seriously as possible. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll tell them I don’t know.
–Bill Cosby


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

THOUGHT

“By thought I embrace the
universal.”
— Blaise Pascal

My ability to think and communicate enables me not only to live in this
world, but also to understand this world. Relationships are dependent
upon me understanding my responsibilities — and when I do not think,
I am usually very irresponsible.

Alcohol stopped me from thinking and behaving responsibly and
created dishonesty in my life. Instead of feeling I belonged, I felt I was
on the outside; instead of enjoying relationships, I was forever fighting
and involved in bitter disputes; instead of enjoying the peace that
comes from being a “child of God”, I felt like an abandoned creature.
My problem was alcohol, and I needed to do something about it.

I did — I stopped taking the first drink. Today I am alive in my life,
alive in God’s world and enjoying this universe.

When I think clearly, I know I belong.

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

He [God] Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever
forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And
God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can
bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that
you can stand up under it.”
I Corinthians 10:13

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting
away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light
and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far
outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what
is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is
eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
3 John 1:4

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against
such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23


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Daily Inspiration

To be rich is to have good friends, good health, and the energy to experience the many things that life offers. Lord, I rejoice in the true and most meaningful riches of my life.

God will give you strength because He gives of Himself. Lord, bless us, deliver us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

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NA Just For Today

Feeling A “Part Of”

“The get-togethers after our meetings are good opportunities to share things that we didn’t get to discuss during the meeting.”
Basic Text p. 29

Active addiction set us apart from society, isolating us. Fear was at the core of that alienation. We believed that if we let others get to know us, they would only find out how terribly flawed we were. Rejection would be only a short step away. When we come to our first NA meeting, we are usually impressed by the familiarity and friendliness we see other recovering addicts share. We, too, can quickly become a part of this fellowship, if we allow ourselves to. One way to start is by tagging along to the local coffee shop after the meeting.

At these gatherings, we can let down the walls that separate us from others and discover things about ourselves and other NA members. One on one, we can sometimes disclose things that we may be reluctant to share at the group level. We learn to make small talk at many of these late-night gatherings and forge deep, strong friendships as well.

With our newfound friends in NA, we no longer have to live lives of isolation. We can become a part of the greater whole, the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: I will break free of isolation. I will strive to feel a part of the NA Fellowship.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The difficulty in life is the choice. –George Moore
How we choose to spend our time says much about what is important to us. If we have no goals, we may try to kill time. If we have too many goals, there may not be enough time in the day to do all we set out to do. We must make some choices based on our values. We may need to take more time for some things, and let go of others. For example, this year will we try to learn to play the guitar? Perhaps we have finally decided to drop out of that club which seems to have little purpose. Will we give more time to work, or less time? With each of these choices, we shape our lives. We can do it with the touch of an artist if we pay attention to the choices we are making.
What is truly important to me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. –Antoine de Saint Exupery
It has been said that intuition is a talent of women, but in this program we, as men, are learning to listen to our own inner feelings. This is a strength which has nothing to do with gender. Many times we have a quiet inner knowing of something, but in the past we developed insensitivity to these messages. Our growing self respect includes the ability to stand up for what simply feels right. We don’t have to prove anything to ourselves. If we dismiss our own private feelings, all we have left to go on is someone else’s idea of reality.
This realm of inner feeling is the realm of wisdom. It is the creative part, the mysterious part, the spiritual part. It is the foundation of honesty with ourselves. In these quiet moments, we are more able to perceive what we know in our hearts. As we grow, we respect and trust it more.
Help me respect my private messages from within.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Flattery is so necessary to all of us that we flatter one another just to be flattered in return. –Marjorie Bowen
We are all deserving of unconditional love and acceptance. And all the people in our lives, past and present, deserve our unconditional love and acceptance, too. However, it’s doubtful that we either feel it all of the time from others or give it away.
It’s human of us to find fault–to have expectations that are too high. But for this we pay a price. Instead of experiencing our lives serenely, contentedly, flowing with what is, we often criticize, judge, and feel generally disgruntled throughout the day. What a waste! We do have another choice, fortunately. We can let go and let God, and live and let live. Also we can recall, today and every day, that we are all special individuals in this world who are loved, fully, by our Creator.
The greatest contribution we can make to the lives of others is to be affirming. We can let our spouse, children, and friends know we care about them. That we love and accept them. The love that we also long for will come back to us. We thrill at being affirmed. And we will thrill at affirming.
It feels good to help another feel appreciated. Love and acceptance is my lifeline, from God around us all.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Removing the Victim
Dont others see how much Im hurting? Cant they see I need help? Dont they care?
The issue is not whether others see or care. The issue is whether we see and care about ourselves. Often, when we are pointing a finger at others, waiting for them to have compassion for us, its because we have not fully accepted our pain. We have not yet reached that point of caring about ourselves. We are hoping for awareness in another that we have not yet had.
It is our job to have compassion for ourselves. When we do, we have taken the first step toward removing ourselves as victims. We are on the way to self-responsibility, self-care, and change.
Today, I will not wait for others to see and care; I will take responsibility for being aware of my pain and problems, and caring about myself.

My Higher Power guides me in directions that fills positive needs in my life today. I have grown to see that my true needs are love and peace and joy. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Learn to Say Good-Bye

Sometimes we need to say good-bye. Some good-byes come suddenly, without warning. Others are anticipated. Sometimes they’re a relief. And sometimes they hurt deeply. We say good-bye to things, people, and places. We say good-bye to beliefs and behaviors that become outdated.

Occasionally along the journey we need to say good-bye to something else,too– our dreams.

Dreams are precious. They become embedded in our minds and our hearts. When they die, it can be painful to let go of them. But if we’re not careful, dead dreams we haven’t released can sabotage our lives and hearts. We will continue to try to place people and things in the vacant roles in our dreams. Our dead dreams will, in fact, be controlling our lives and blocking our hearts. Living with dreams that are dead closes the door to finding new visions and creating new dreams.

If you can’t see today or tomorrow clearly because of yesterday’s dreams, it may be time for a funeral. Tenderly take your dearest dreams, your highest hopes and aims– the ones from yesterday that are now never to be– and place them gently in the ground. Tell them how dear they were, and are. But tell them also, it’s time to say good-bye. Cover them up. Dry your eyes.

And open yourself to the new hopes and dreams of today.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of the controls

“You have the controls,” my fllight instructor says. “No, you have the controls,” I say back. “No I don’t,” he says. “You do.”

My banter with my flight instructor can be amusing at times. It’s not so funny when we fight about issues of power and control in our lives. And usually it goes the other way. We don’t want to give the controls to someone else; we want those reins ourselves.

We want to get our way. And we get upset when things don’t work out. Sometimes, after we’ve been working on ourselves and our control issues for a while, we begin to get complacent. Because we’ve been so effectively using and directing our power, we rarely get in battles we can’t win. Things work out smoothly. We mostly get our way, because we’re not trying to control what we can’t. That’s when it’s easy to think we’re more powerful than we are.

Are you engaged in a power struggle with someone or something you can’t change? Spend a moment thinking about it. Is that really the way you want to use your energy and power, trying to do the impossible, creating rifts, and fighting battles you can’t win? When we try to control someone else or events beyond the scope of our power, we lose.

When we learn to discern the difference between what we can change and what we can’t, we usually have an easier time expressing our power in our lives. Because we’re not wasting all our energy using our power to change things we can’t, we have a lot of energy left over to live our lives.

Learn to say whatever when you don’t get what you want. Learn to let things be the way they are.

God, help me let go of my need to control and to be open to the flow of the universe.

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In God’s Care

You should practice humility first toward man, and only then toward God. He who despises men has no respect for God.
~~Paracelsus

It is easier for us to be humble before God than before people. When we have to admit we need help, we are swallowing a a dose of humility, but if it’s just between us and God, it’s not as hard to take.

Being humble with our fellow human beings is different. An act of humility before a visible, breathing, thinking witness may be frightening. The witness, after all, could be judgmental.

Are we afraid to be vulnerable? More importantly, can we afford not to be? When we can face fellow suffers and admit the need for help, recovery begins. Humbling ourselves in this way is our introduction to Divine power: through the compassion our brothers and sisters show for us, we come to know the love of God.

I receive help for all my spiritual needs by being open, first to my brothers and sisters. and then to God.

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The Valley of Despair
Seeds of Light

by Madisyn Taylor

Even in our darkest times, there are seeds of light within ourselves, we need only call them forward.

Anyone who has walked through the valley of despair and come out the other side knows that even in that darkness, seeds of light can be found. Often their tendrils reach out of the gloom and into the daylight alongside the journeyer who emerges from that deep sorrow. When we find ourselves in a place of despair, it can help us to know this, so that we don’t give up. We can stop, take a deep breath, and remind ourselves that we will find ourselves on the other side of this troubled time, and that we may even emerge with something new to offer.

It seems that despair has been around for as long as humans have been able to express themselves, and many of the great artists, teachers, and visionaries have labored through times of depression and hopelessness. Their words, images, and lives can serve as beacons in the darkness, even if they can’t always immediately lead us out. In the end, we must find our own way, and this is why despair often overwhelms us when it comes; we doubt that we have the resources to contend with such a formidable presence all by ourselves. This is when we must come to our own aid and know in our hearts that we have what it takes to keep moving forward in the general direction of the light.

Even though we must ultimately rely on ourselves, this doesn’t mean we can’t ask for help. Our friends and families can help us, as can our inner guides and helping spirits. They can serve the purpose of a fire that burns throughout the night, keeping us warm, and providing a light by which we might see the changes we may need to make in order to move forward. In addition, there truly are seeds of light inside us, however small, waiting to unfurl their green shoots, if only we will give them the time. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

There have been days during my recovery when just about everything seemed bleak and even hopeless. I allowed myself to become depressed and angry. I see now that it doesn’t matter what I think, and it doesn’t matter how I feel. It’s what I do that counts. So when I become anxious or upset, I try to get into action by going to meetings, participating, and working with others in The Program. If God seems far away, who moved?

Today I Pray

May I not be immobilized by sadness or anger to the point of despair. May I look for the roots of despair in my tangle of emotions, sort out the tangle, pulll out there culprit feelings, acknowledge that they belong to me. Only then can I get into gear,m take action,m begin to accomplish. May I learn to make use of the energy generated by anger to strengthen my will and achieve my goals.

Today I Will Remember

To sort out my feelings.

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One More Day

A man without a plan for the day is lost before he starts.
– Levis K. Bendele

Some mornings we are tempted, especially when we are having more than our usual share of pain, to resist the demands and responsibilities of the day before us. We are enticed by the thought5 of making a cup of coffee, climbing back into bed with the newspaper, and hiding from the world.

Although emptying, this is usually not a good plan for us, and what we need is a plan that encourages us to live the day fully. We may actually have to contrive a plan to push us into action. Personal care, chores needing to be done, letters or phone calls to friends, a trip to the store for groceries — these emphasize our importance and the importance of the day. Without a plan, we risk wasting twenty-four hours in loneliness and self-pity.

I and this day are important, and my plan reflects this.

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Food For Thought

Keep Planning

Maintaining our abstinence means that we continue to plan our three measured meals each day. To leave them to chance is to invite trouble, since compulsive overeaters do not learn how to eat spontaneously, no matter how long they try.

Planning means that we have the food we need available when we need it. We make decisions about what we will eat when we are rested and strong, not when we are in a rush, overtired, or over hungry.

Preparing meals ahead for busy days, shopping for food after a meal rather than before, remembering to allow time for defrosting – there are many ways to make it easy to follow a food plan. When we are convinced that abstinence is the most important thing in our lives, we are able to find ways to maintain it no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Help me to remember to plan.

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One Day At A Time

LOYALTY

“We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea,
and we owe each other our loyalty.”
~ G. K. Chesterton

As is often typical of a compulsive overeater, the more I struggled to be loyal in my relationships with others, God, and myself, the more I found myself to be capable of loyalty only to food, shame, hiding my secrets, and despairing of any hope for recovery.

It was my shame that drove me to ineffectual attempts at loyalty – and shame breeds loyalty only to shame.

My relationships were in chaos, my mind was my enemy, and my emotions were tumultuous. When my pain overcame my attempts to be loyal, and my addiction to shame led to broken relationships, I had to finally admit that my efforts to control my life were fruitless – and would remain fruitless – unless I sought help.

When I entered recovery I feared the honesty and transparency that loyalty to self, others, God, and the truth would require of me. Among others who struggled with the same disease, however, I found that there can be no loyalty without taking a fearless inventory of my life and making a faithful accounting of my legacy. I found that I must surrender my loyalty to my disease, and place my loyalty in the hands of my Higher Power and in the open sharing of my reality. Only then could I cultivate loyalty in my relationships.

One day at a time …
I will choose loyalty to healthy relationships with others, God, and myself – and I will resist the temptation to be loyal to my disease.
Lisa

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, be called anything else? – Pg. 37 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is easy to ‘beat ourselves up’ when we are lonely, scared, and feeling rejected by those we love. But if we go to meetings every day, find a sponsor and use him/her, read our literature, and follow the suggestions being give to us now, we really don’t have much time to dwell on ‘lonely, scared, and rejected.’

Show me right now what I need to do to live this hour through, clean and sober.

Opening to the New

Each new day is a gift. Today I will open the day slowly, like a present that’s wrapped in hours. I will be open to what my world offers me. The world comes to greet me like an old friend each morning. My daily habits comfort and ground me. The thought of moving into my day pleases me. Life unfolds one second at a time and today I will be present to witness it. How much of my life do I let pass by unnoticed? How many of my feelings go unfelt? Today I will recognize that my time on earth is limited. I choose to value my life a day at a time and embrace it while I have it.

I am open to life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We find that the winners do what they have to do and the losers do what they want to do.

The winners are stuck with me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Denial is not a river in Egypt, but you can drown in it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

My Higher Power guides me in directions that fills positive needs in my life today. I have grown to see that my true needs are love and peace and joy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I was a functioning alcoholic; I had a wife who worked. – Sean A.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 15

Awareness
Yes, we’re alcoholics. Yes, it was vitally important that we come to that awareness.
Yes, we’ve got to be honest with ourselves and one another.
But we’re more than alcoholics. Much more.
We’re alcoholics who are living sober lives!
Alcoholics who have a choice whether or not to take that first drink.
For the first time in our lives, we are really alive!
Our message is good news, and we need to say so.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 24

Thought to Ponder . . .
In AA we carry the message … not the mess.

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

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

Procrastination
“After a preliminary trial at making amends, we may enjoy such a sense of relief that we conclude our task is finished.
We will want to rest on our laurels. The temptation to skip the more humiliating and dreaded meetings that still remain
may be great. We may just procrastinate, telling ourselves the time is not yet, when in reality we have already passed up
many a fine chance to right a serious wrong. Let’s not talk prudence while practicing evasion.
“Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 85

Thought to Consider . . .
Procrastination is really sloth in five syllables.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 67

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ISM
I Sponsor Myself

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

Generosity
>From “Thousands of ‘Founders:'””A.A. was not invented! Its basics were brought to us through the experience and
wisdom of many great friends. We simply borrowed and adapted their ideas.”Thankfully, we have accepted the devoted services
of many nonalcoholics. We owe our very lives to the men and women of medicine and religion. And, speaking
for Dr. Bob and myself, I gratefully declare that had it not been for our wives, Anne and Lois, neither of us
could have lived to see A.A.’s beginning.”
c. 1967, As Bill Sees It, page 67

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

“Each AA has been an individual who, because of his alcoholism, could seldom govern himself. Nor could any other human being govern the alcoholic’s obsession to drink, his drive to have things his own way … Yet we alcoholics can be led, we can be inspired.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1947
“Will AA Ever Have a Personal Government?”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found
we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always
followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 127~

“Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going
to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception
and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to
the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability
to control his drinking can do the right-about-face and drink like a
gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard
enough and long enough to drink like other people!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 31~

Since recovery from alcoholism is life itself to us, it is imperative that we preserve in full strength our means of survival.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 177

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Breach the Walls of Ego
People who are driven by pride of self unconsciously blind themselves to their liabilities. Newcomers of this sort scarcely need comforting. The problem is to help them discover a chink in the walls their ego has built, through which the light of reason can shine.
The attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of A.A.’s Twelve Steps. For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.
Nearly all A.A.’s have found, too, that unless they develop much more of this precious quality than may be required just for sobriety, they still haven’t much chance of becoming truly happy. Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency. TWELVE AND TWELVE – 1. p. 46 – 2. p. 70

Prayer For The Day: Today’s Prayer: Lord, I ask that You help me to be aware of those people that You have put in my life today. Help me minister to them today. I ask that You give me the words to say to them. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 14th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 14th

Daily Reflections

THE KEYSTONE

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.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 62

A keystone is the wedge-shaped piece at the highest part
of an arch that locks the other pieces in place. The
“other pieces” are Steps One, Two, and Four through
Twelve. In one sense this sounds like Step Three is the
most important Step, that the other eleven depend on
the third for support. In reality however, Step Three
is just one of twelve. It is the keystone, but without
eleven other stones to build the base and the arms,
keystone or not, there will be no arch. Through working
of all Twelve Steps, I find that triumphant arch waiting
for me to pass through to another day of freedom.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Can I get well? If I mean: “Can I ever drink normally
again,” the answer is no. But if I mean, “Can I stay sober?”
the answer is definitely yes. I can get well by turning
my drink problem over to a Power greater than myself, that
Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, and
by asking that Power each morning to give me the strength
to stay sober for the next twenty-four hours. I know from
the experience of thousands of people that if I honestly
want to get well, I can get well. Am I faithfully following the
A.A. program?

Meditation For The Day

Persevere in all that God’s guidance moves you to do.
The persistent carrying out of what seems right and good
will bring you to that place where you would be. If you
look back over God’s guidance, you will see that His
leading has been very gradual and that only as you have
carried out His wishes, as far as you can understand them,
has God been able to give you more clear and definite
leading. Man is led by God’s touch on a quickened
responsive mind.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may persevere in what seems right. I pray
that I may carry out all of God’s leading, as far as I
can understand it.

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As Bill Sees It

Two-Way Tolerance, p. 73

“Your point of view was once mine. Fortunately, A.A. is constructed
so that we need not debate the existence of God; but for best results,
most of us must depend upon a Higher Power, and no right-minded
A.A. would challenge your privilege to believe precisely that way.
We should all be glad that good recoveries can be made even on this
limited basis.

“But turnabout is fair play. If you would expect tolerance for your
point of view, I am sure you would be willing to reciprocate. I try to
remember that, down through the centuries, lots of brighter people
than I have been found on both sides of this debate about belief. For
myself, of late years, I am finding it much easier to believe that God
made man, than that man made God.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

Living with depression___Mood management
Getting sober is often only a first small step in getting well. Many recovering alcoholics must also face an underlying depression that seems to mock their efforts to attain real serenity. But sobriety does not cause the depression. It simply lays bare a condition that was present all along, but had been masked by repeated binges. It’s probably true, too, that many of us used alcohol partly as a drug to combat depression because it temporarily lifted our mood and relieved our pain.
One fact about depression is that it comes and goes; we can endure it partly by knowing that “this too shall pass.”  Another fact is that physical activity helps in copying with it.  AA co-founder Bill W., victimized by profound depression even in his sober years, found that walking provided some relief, though he had to force himself to do it at times. A third fact about depression is that we can usually alleviate its effects by helping others and by staying close to AA circles, even when we’re too depressed to contribute much.  It’s also helpful to discuss the problem with understanding friends and sponsors, or a therapist, if necessary.
I’ll believe today that I can maintain a good mood level that continues to build as I carry out my responsibilities and make AA first in my life. Depression may challenge me, but I don’t have to give in to it.


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Keep It Simple

Archie doesn’t know how to worry without getting upset. — Edith Bunker
Most us are like Edith’s television husband, Archie. When we worry, we get upset. Problems seem too big for us. We get afraid. We feel powerless. What does the program tell us to do when we feel powerless and our life is upset? We look at the problem honestly . Than we ask our Higher Power to help us with the problem. We take it One Day at a Time. We believe our Higher Power will take care of us and help. We’ll have problems. That’s life! But we can get through them with care and support. We don’t have to get crazy. We don’t have to make things worst. We can be kind to ourselves and live through problems just fine—with our Higher Powers help.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me do what I can today about my problems. Help me stop worrying.
Action for the Day:  If I have problems today, I’ll do what I can—and leave the outcome to my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The child is an almost universal symbol for the soul’s transformation.  The child is whole, not yet divided. . .when we would heal the mind. . .we ask this child to speak to us.  –Susan Griffin
Was there ever a time when we did not feel divided from ourselves?  Occasionally we get a glimpse of what such spiritual wholeness would be like, but most of the time we struggle with feelings of conflict, unevenness, a divided heart.  Perhaps, “the child” is a metaphor for a spiritual guide, like our own higher power, that can help us in our journey toward self-acceptance.
“I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent,” writes author Ashleigh Brilliant.  If we can be happy with this proud, funny boast then perhaps we can stop berating ourselves for our imperfections.  If we dwell on our own contradictory impulses, we give them too much important, too much power.
Let me trust to my glimpses of harmony and wholeness and be grateful for the richness of my spirit.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

The mind and body are marvelous mechanisms, for mine endured this agony two more years. Sometimes I stole from my wife’s slender purse when the morning terror and madness were on me. Again I swayed dizzily before an open window, or the medicine cabinet where there was poison, cursing myself for a weakling. There were flights from city to country and back, as my wife and I sought escape. Then came the night when the physical and mental torture was so hellish I feared I would burst through my window, sash and all. Somehow I managed to drag my mattress to a lower floor, lest I suddenly leap. A doctor came with a heavy sedative. Next day found me drinking both gin and sedative. This combination soon landed me on the rocks. People feared for my sanity. So did I. I could eat little or nothing when drinking, and I was forty pounds under weight.

pp. 6-7

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
Several years later alcohol had control over my life.  I had a tee shirt that I just loved; it said, “I used to hate myself in the morning.  Now I sleep till noon.”  That described my feelings totally.

p. 377

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

“So spoke the group conscience. The group was right and I was wrong; the voice on the subway was not the voice of God. Here was the true voice, welling up out of my friends. I listened, and – thank God – I obeyed.”

p. 138

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“Happiness is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with
it.”
–Anon.

Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.
–Mignon McLaughlin

I have a capacity in my soul for taking in God entirely. I am as sure
as I live that nothing is so near to me as God. God is nearer to me
than I am to myself; my existence depends on the nearness and the
presence of God.
–Meister Eckhart

Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it
forgoes revenge and dares to forgive injury.
–Edwin Hubbel Chapin

The gift of the Spirit is that we are God’s children.
–Rita Jorgensen


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WINE

“Wine that maketh glad the
heart of man.”
— Psalm 104:15

Every good thing can be abused and alcohol is no exception. Although
most people are able to enjoy the fruits of the grape and the quality
of their lives are enriched by good wine, not a few are destroyed by
wine! Millions of people in this world are alcoholic. They did not want
to be alcoholic but they are. Their lives and relationships are
destroyed by alcohol. They need to stop drinking if they are to find
“gladness” in their lives. Alcoholism is a disease that cannot be
cured, but it can be arrested by giving up the grape!

God can be appreciated in the grape, but He can also be experienced
in the soda. We need to find new ways to be happy.

Thank You for the precious gift of choice.

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“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Psalms 50:15

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalms 51:10

Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.
Proverbs 30:5

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare
and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of
God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1


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Daily Inspiration

Treat your family as you would treat a best friend. Lord, help me to treasure my family with all of their imperfections as well as my own and cherish the time we have together.

Do not act as though you are watching a parade because we are each one of the marchers. Lord, things change so quickly. Help me to celebrate the constant newness of my life.

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NA Just For Today

Relationships

“Also, our inventories usually include material on relationships.”
Basic Text p. 29

What an understatement this is! Especially in later recovery, entire inventories may focus on our relationships with others. Our lives have been filled with relationships with lovers, friends, parents, co-workers, children, and others with whom we come in contact. A look at these associations can tell us much about our essential character.

Often our inventories catalog the resentments that arise from our day-to-day interactions with others. We strive to look at our part in these frictions. Are we placing unrealistic expectations on other people? Do we impose our standards on others? Are we sometimes downright intolerant?

Often just the writing of our inventory will release some of the pressure that a troubled relationship can produce. But we must also share this inventory with another human being. That way, we get some needed perspective on our part in the problem and how we can work toward a solution.

The inventory is a tool that allows us to begin healing our relationships. We learn that today, with the help of an inventory, we can start to enjoy our relationships with others.

Just for today: I will inventory the part I play in my relationships. I will seek to play a richer, more responsible part in those relationships.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Each man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. –Mark Twain
What does it mean to be different? How does it feel? Is it okay to act or look or be different from everyone else at times? Sometimes, maybe even most of the time, it feels safer to blend into the crowd. We don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb. But sometimes it’s when we are different that we discover new things no one has ever thought of or done before.
We don’t want to spend our whole lives doing only what others do. And there are times when we must take a stand if what others are doing is wrong. Perhaps it’s good practice to try to do some little things differently once in a while, to stand out from the crowd, just to get use to it. After all, if no one ever dares to be different, how would our world ever change for the better?
What little thing can I do to stand out from the crowd today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
This above all, to refuse to be a victim. Unless I can do that I can do nothing. –Margaret Atwood
Men have often become victims by seeing themselves as saviors. We forgot that we have needs too. We thought if we gave enough, our needs would eventually be met. In the process we became great controllers, not for the sake of power, but to make everything okay. We turn ourselves inside out to make our mates happy or to please our children or friends. But being a savior is a disrespectful role to play. When people became angry with us for it, we absorbed their anger and felt misunderstood.
No relationship is healthy for either person if one is victim. We must do our loved ones the favor of letting them see our strength–let them bump up against it–even when that means we say a loud and strong no! After we have said no, our yes is much more believable.
Today. I will take responsibility for my own life and try not to be a savior for others. I won’t undermine my relationships by being a victim.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The child is an almost universal symbol for the soul’s transformation. The child is whole, not yet divided. . .when we would heal the mind. . .we ask this child to speak to us. –Susan Griffin
Was there ever a time when we did not feel divided from ourselves? Occasionally we get a glimpse of what such spiritual wholeness would be like, but most of the time we struggle with feelings of conflict, unevenness, a divided heart. Perhaps, “the child” is a metaphor for a spiritual guide, like our own higher power, that can help us in our journey toward self-acceptance.
“I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent,” writes author Ashleigh Brilliant. If we can be happy with this proud, funny boast then perhaps we can stop berating ourselves for our imperfections. If we dwell on our own contradictory impulses, we give them too much important, too much power.
Let me trust to my glimpses of harmony and wholeness and be grateful for the richness of my spirit.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Trusting Ourselves
Trust can be one of the most confusing concepts in recovery. Who do we trust? For what?
The most important trust issue we face is learning to trust ourselves. The most detrimental thing that’s happened to us is that we came to believe we couldn’t trust ourselves.
There will be some who tell us we cannot trust ourselves, we are off base and out of whack. There are those who would benefit by our mistrusting ourselves.
Fear and doubt are our enemies. Panic is our enemy. Confusion is our opposition. Self-trust is a healing gift we can give ourselves. How do we acquire it? We learn it. What do we do about our mistakes, about those times we thought we could trust ourselves but were wrong? We accept them, and trust ourselves anyway.
We know what is best for us. We know what is right for us. If we are wrong, if we need to change our mind, we will be guided into that–but only by trusting where we are today.
We can look for others for support and reinforcement, but trust in ourselves is essential.
Do not trust fear. Do not trust panic. We can trust ourselves, stand in our own truth, stand in our own light. We have it now. Already. We have all the light we need for today. And tomorrow’s light shall be given to us then.
Trust ourselves, and we will know whom to trust. Trust ourselves, and we will know what to do. When we feel we absolutely cannot trust ourselves, trust that God will guide us into truth.
God, help me to let go of fear, doubt, and confusion–the enemies of self-trust. Help me go forward in peace and confidence. Help me grown in trust for myself and You, one day at a time, one experience at a time.

I will value myself today both for my perfections and especially for my imperfections. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Observe Yourself

Watch yourself. That’s not a grim admonition. It’s a call to observe yourself and is a helpful tool on the journey.

When you get stuck in a behavior, stuck in a pattern, stuck in a place, a thought, a feeling, a job, or a relationship and you don’t know how to get unstuck, watch yourself. When you’ve tried everything you know and your feelings and old ways of reacting still come to the fore– even when you don’t want them to and especially when you’ve made an effort to do things differently– watch yourself. When it feels hopeless, when it seems things will never change or shift, when you can’t help yourself and it doesn’t look like those around you can either, look at yourself.

The act of watching ourselves, neutrally observing ourselves without judgement or reproach, can be a powerful tool for change. If you’ve tried and tried to change but it hasn’t worked, then watch yourself. Watch what you say, what you think, how you feel, how you act, how you react. Don’t try to stop yourself. Don’t judge. Just observe. Do it as long as you need to, although it may not take long.

Watch yourself. Then watch how you grow and change.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Learn something new about yourself

Wildfires scorch large chunks of the Western United States every summer. It’s part of the natural cycle of things. After a while, nature decides that it’s time to start over and a patch of the woods goes up in smoke.

This year, one fire burned near Mesa Verde National Park in southwesten Colorado. I read the news wires with interest, hoping that the archeological sites there wouldn’t be destroyed. The crews worked on the fires, and though there was damage in the area, the main ruins were left unharmed. While the fires had burned thousands of acres around the park, they had also done something else– they had burned away the undergrowth that had sprung up around twelve perviously undiscovered sites.

Sometimes life sends fires raging through our lives,too. Those fires are also part of the natural cycle of things. Life, nature, our Higher Power says it’s time to start over again.

Use misfortune as an opportunity. Who knows? That fire rampaging through your life just might clear away the brush of the past. Keep your heart open and stay aware. You might learn something new and previously undiscovered about yourself.

God, help me stay alert to the lessons of today.

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In God’s Care

We are all special cases.
~~Albert Camus

We spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others and far too frequently end up feeling inferior. Perhaps someone at work is more articulate than we are or an acquaintance always seems more striking and self-assured. And most of you know couples who seem to have the perfect relationship while we continue to struggle in ours or have no significant other.

On occasion we might even feel superior to some people–like the gruff man in line ahead of us at the bank or the rude cashier at the grocery store. But in all cases, the moment we compare and thus create a separation between ourselves and others, we deny the blessing of God’s all-encompassing plan for each of us.

We are all one in God. When we realize our connection to one another, we learn our task is to care for each other rather than artificially set ourselves apart.

I will look around me carefully today and notice how I’m connected to others rather than how I’m separate.

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Giving Your Gifts to the World
Being Happy with Your Job

In our search to define ourselves, we often look to our job to show us our worth. Society does not judge all professions equally, however, and it is not uncommon for the individuals who hold what others may consider to be ordinary or menial jobs to feel that they themselves are ordinary or menial. Yet, in truth, many wonderful and wise people throughout history have held what have typically been perceived as ordinary jobs, and this in no way has had any bearing on whether or not they have managed to contribute their skills and talents to the world. Whether you work in business, education, medicine, retail, or another profession, you worth is inherent to who you are and not what you do for a living.

A job that you enjoy, lets you meet your needs, and allows you to live in accordance with your values will always be more gratifying than a high-status job that you dislike. But while experiencing professional satisfaction can be a vital part of being fulfilled by your work, it is important to remember that it is possible to find happiness in any job. This is because what you do is often less important than how you do it. Your attitude and intention can turn a mediocre job into work that fulfills you because of the way that you approach it. If you do your job well and what you do benefits others, then you are doing work that is making this world a better place.

If you are happy in your current line of work and feel that it allows you to be yourself and live authentically while meeting your emotional and physical needs and allowing time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor, then you have found a job that adds value to your life. If you are a waitress, then be the best waitress you can, take pride in your work and others will notice your passion. You can contribute your talents and skills to this world while doing any job. It is not the kind of work you do that allows you to be of service. It is you who must choose to be of service through the work that you do. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

One thing that keeps me on the right track today is a feeling of loyalty to other members of The Program, no matter where they may be. We depend on each other. I know, for example, that I’d be letting them down if I ever took a drink. When I came into The Program, I found a group of people who were not only helping each other to stay sober, but who were loyal to each other by staying sober themselves. Am I loyal to my group and to my friends in The Program?

Today I Pray

I thank God for the loyalty and fellowship of the group and for the mutuality of commitment that binds us together. May I give to the group in the same proportion that I take from it. Having been a taker during so many of my years, my giving used to be no more than a commodity, for which I expected to be paid in approval or love or favors. May I learn the joy of pure giving, with no strings attached, no expectations of reward.

Today I Will Remember

A perfect gift asks nothing in return.

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One More Day

A cheerful face is nearly as good for an invalid as healthy eather.
–Benjamin Franklin

Health changes, like other changes in life circumstances, cna undermine friendships. When we are dealing with chronic pain or discomfort or when we have become impaired with illness, some friends just aren’t sure how t act under the new circumstances.

People who love us want to help us; they want to be with us. The hard part for u is how to let them. Visits won’t be easy for us or them at first because our lives and relationships are changed by illness. But soon we realize that we still care for and need these special people and that we want to show our affection, during the trying times as well as during the better times.

I can find comfort and stability by maintaining my friendships.

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Food For Thought

Power

Our group is infused with a Power that changes lives, the Power of love and fellowship. So many of us can attest to the daily miracles that God has performed and is performing as we live this program. The changes and miracles may happen slowly, and our spiritual growth may be gradual; nevertheless, the Power is real.

As we become aware of this Power, we see how weak and unnecessary were the false supports we had relied on in the past. We probably sought strength in material possessions, personal achievement, social status. These supports all failed us, and we ate to hide our weakness.

Now that we have experienced the Power of the OA fellowship, we no longer have to rely on false supports. We can grow in the program and in closer contact with the One who creates and sustains us.

May I rely more completely on You.

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One Day At A Time

Cease Striving

“Cease Striving – Let Go, Relax – And Know that I Am God”
. . . . Psalms 46:10

I can count on one hand the times in my life in which I’ve been able to feel truly relaxed. Our disease is often driven by our efforts to control our lives: we labor to control our emotions, our relationships, our image, and our “masks” which we wear in a valiant effort to control how other people see and respond to us.

This effort to control ourselves and our lives is a ruthless taskmaster and a double-edged sword. It cuts like a knife through our very souls and requires that we forsake who we are in a misguided – and fruitless – attempt to be who we believe we “should be.” I have worked so hard at trying to mold myself into an Acceptable Person that I have lost who I truly Am. All of my ceaseless efforts to mold myself into who I thought I Should Be have cost me my very sense of Self, and has been a painful eroding of my own Identity – it is a tragic self-imposed suicide of my Soul.

Like many of us, in order to enter recovery I had to come to the End of Myself and lose any sense of Control I had over my life. This was terrifying for me – I believed that even without a false sense of control, my life would implode and leave only ruined remnants in its place.

But I have not imploded. I have not been destroyed. With the crumbling of my masks and my frantic efforts to control everything, I have found a surprising sense of peace and safety – even in the midst of the chaos in my life. I am convinced that had God not brought me to the end of my own efforts, I would not be in a place in which I can hear His Voice. My ears would have remained deaf to His promise to never forsake me. Had He not firmly – yet gently – gotten my attention, my unsettled Mind would have continued to shout warnings and commands into my withered soul. Hitting Bottom is the best thing that could have happened to me, for I landed not in destruction, but in His eternal loving arms.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will choose to cease my own striving and efforts to control my life. I will practice being still and knowing that my Higher Power is with me at all times, in every circumstance of my life
~ Lisa

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

All went well for a time, but he failed to enlarge his spiritual life. To his consternation, he found himself drunk half a dozen times in rapid succession. – Pg. 35 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Don’t jump ship five minutes before the miracle is going to happen in your life. Stick around long enough to see that miracle grow for you day by day. Right now you are a champion of sobriety and we see you as a miracle. Soon you will see the miracle yourself.

I can only do my best. Please God, as I understand You, do the rest.

Today

I will live in the present grateful to be alive and in this radiant world for one more day. Living in the present brings its own perspective. What is not worth getting preoccupied about falls away while what is truly meaningful and important rises up and into focus. I am here to appreciate and live life, to grow, to share my heart and soul with those around me. If I miss today, I will not get it back. If I allow it to work its beauty inside of me, it will fertilize tomorrow’s garden. Today is what I know I have. All of life is here, woven into the atoms of the world that surrounds me. If I am with this day, I am with all of life.

I am part of an alive universe.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

All our suggestions are free. The ones you don’t take are the ones you end up paying for.

When all else fails, I take the suggestions.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Maybe you didn’t die because of H & I.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I will value myself today both for my perfections and especially for my imperfections.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I hear some say that their best thinking got them into AA. My best thinking didn’t get me here – A power greater than myself did. – Al A.

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AA Thought For the Day

March 14

Responsibility
In the last analysis, as a recovering alcoholic I need only have two concerns.
The first is to maintain my sobriety on a daily basis and to practice the program of AA one day at a time.
The second is to ensure that what was here yesterday will be here tomorrow
for the next alcoholic who walks through the doors of the Fellowship.
And for that I am responsible.
– Thank You For Sharing, p. 181

Thought to Ponder . . .
Every recovery from alcoholism began with one sober hour.

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

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

Humility
“The attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of AA’s Twelve Steps. For without some degree of
humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.
“Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 70

Thought to Consider . . .
As I thus get down to my right size and stature,
my self-concern and importance become amusing.
Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, June 1961
As Bill Sees It, p. 106

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
FEAR
False Expectations Appearing Real

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

Spirituality
>From “In His Own Individual Right”:
“When people look at you and wonder what’s with you, the look in your eyes will answer them: ‘Because I can cut it!’
“The singular thing that is spirituality cannot be given to a fellowman by word of mouth. If every man is to have it, then
every man must earn it, in his own way, by his own hand, stamped by the seal of himself, in his own individual right.–
New York, New York, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 6

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

“My heart sings with each new day.”
Cleveland, Ohio, February 1993
“Facing the Truth”
AA Grapevine

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

“We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time
to outgrow that serious handicap.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 125~

“Many of us keep liquor in our homes. We often need it to carry
green recruits through a severe hangover. Some of us still serve it
to our friends provided they are not alcoholic. But some of us think
we should not serve liquor to anyone. We never argue this question.
We feel that each family, in the light of their own circumstances,
ought to decide for themselves.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 102~

These were some of the ways in which fear conspired with pride to hinder our making a list of all the people we had harmed.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 79

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Two-Way Tolerance
‘Your point of view was once mine. Fortunately, A.A. is constructed so that we need not debate the existence of God; but
for best results, most of us must depend upon a Higher Power. You say the group is your Higher Power, and no right-
minded A.A. would challenge your privilege to believe precisely that way. We should all be glad that good recoveries can
be made even on this limited basis.
‘But turnabout is fair play. If you would expect tolerance for your point of view, I am sure you would be willing to
reciprocate. I try to remember that, down through the centuries, lots of brighter people than 1 have been found on both
sides of this debate about belief. For myself, of late years, I am finding it much easier to believe that God made man,
than that man made God.’ LETTER, 1950

Prayer For The Day: Father, preserve in us a sense of wonder at the marvels of life. May all that we see around us lead us to you. Amen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 13th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 13th

Daily Reflections

A WORLD OF THE SPIRIT

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.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

The word “entered” . . . and the phrase “entered into
the world of the Spirit” are very significant. They
imply action, a beginning, getting into, a prerequisite
to maintaining my spiritual growth, the “Spirit” being
the immaterial part of me. Barriers to my spiritual
growth are self-centeredness and a materialistic focus
on worldly things. Spirituality means devotion to
spiritual rather than worldly things, it means obedience
to God’s will for me. I understand spiritual things to
be: unconditional love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, self-control and humility. Any time I
allow selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear to
be a part of me, I block out spiritual things. As I
maintain my sobriety, growing spiritually becomes a
lifelong process. My goal is spiritual growth, accepting
that I’ll never have spiritual perfection.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We’ve got rid of our false, drinking selves and found our
real, sober selves. And we turn to God, our Father, for
help, just as the Prodigal Son arose and went to his
father. At the end of the story, the father of the
Prodigal Son says: “He was dead and is alive again, he
was lost and he is found.” We alcoholics who have found
sobriety in A.A. were certainly dead and are alive again.
We were lost and are found. Am I alive again?

Meditation For The Day

Gently breathe in God’s spirit, that spirit which, if not
barred out of selfishness, will enable you to do good works.
This means rather that God will be enabled to do good works
through you. You can become a channel for God’s spirit to
flow through you and into the lives of others. The works
that you can do will only be limited by your spiritual
development. Let your spirit be in harmony with God’s spirit
and there is no limit to what you can do in the realm of
human relationships.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may become a channel for God’s spirit.
I pray that God’s spirit may flow through me and into the
lives of others.

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As Bill Sees It

Dependence–Unhealthy or Healthy, p. 72

“Nothing can be more demoralizing than a clinging and abject
dependence upon another human being. This often amounts to the
demand for a degree of protection and love that no one could possibly
satisfy. So our hoped-for protectors finally flee, and once more we
are left alone–either to grow up or to disintegrate.”

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

We discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be
God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice,
forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where
nothing else would.

If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to
our fellows, nor would we feel the urge to rely wholly on human
protection and care.

1. Letter, 1966
2. 12 & 12, p. 116

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Walk in Dry Places

Believing In Justice____Justice
“What goes around, comes around,” is a popular saying.  It’s often used to suggest that certain arrogant, unprincipled people will eventually receive their comeuppance.  It conveys the idea that there’s a hidden justice at work in human affairs that assures all injustice will eventually be punished.
But if it works to punish, this hidden justice also rewards right actions, and this is more important in our working of the program.  If we act from good motives, we’ll always find that our work is rewarded in some way.  No alcoholic who performs a service in the fellowship goes unrewarded.  Quite often the reward is simply a personal sense of well-being and growth in character, but these may be more important than money or recognition.
Justice is one of the cardinal virtues–a Godlike attribute that human beings strive to understand.  Believing in justice is believing in the Hidden Power that orders justice in all things.
I’ll view my world today as something that is controlled and ordered by a Just Power.  Reward and retribution are built into the scheme of things, but I’ll focus more on actions that bring the right kind of rewards.

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Keep It Simple

God loves the world through us—Mother Teresa
In Step Three, we turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. How do we feel God’s care, God’s love? We feel God’s care and love through how people treat us. Our Higher Power works through people who love us back to life. With time, we begin returning this care and love to others. We feel this warm love flow right through us and out to others. We’re kind without trying to be. We smile at others for no reason. We comfort those who hurt just by holding them.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, use me to make Your love real to someone today.
Action for the Day:  Fear sometimes keeps me from loving. I’ll list three things I’m afraid will happen if I’m “to loving.”
I’ll share these fears with my sponsor.

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Each Day a New Beginning

People need joy. Quite as much as clothing. Some of them need it far more.  –Margaret Collier Graham
Life is not without pain and travail. They are necessary to new awareness which prompts growth. And the gift of growth is joy. Pain and joy are thus intertwined. It is possible to feel only the burden of pain and not the exhilaration of joy, however.
Before seeking help to change our lives, many of us were heavily burdened by pain. But we were unable to open ourselves to the knowledge made possible by that pain. We were on a treadmill, accumulating painful experiences at every step, unable to capture the joy that was ever present.
We can have hope. Joy does await each of us today. We must open our eyes to it, just as we must open our hearts to one another. We must be willing to peel away the layers of pain to expose the core, the seedling of joy. And we need joy in our lives, just as surely as we need rest and a good diet. We need the light heart that joy fosters for a better perspective on the many experiences we’ll face today, and every day.
Recovery has given me this new option. It guarantees me that every hurdle will be lightened. The knowledge that joy is inherent, within every experience, is mine, now and forever.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

The remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning are unforgettable. The courage to do battle was not there. My brain raced uncontrollably and there was a terrible sense of impending calamity. I hardly dared cross the street, lest I collapse and be run down by an early morning truck, for it was scarcely daylight. An all night place supplied me with a dozen glasses of ale. My writhing nerves were stilled at last. A morning paper had told me the market had gone to hell again. Well, so had I. The market would recover, but I wouldn’t. That was a hard thought. Should I kill myself? No – not now. Then a mental fog settled down. Gin would fix that. So two bottles, and–oblivion.

p. 6

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
I got married and had two children.  I married a man who was not or could not be honest.  For several years after we were married, I did not drink.  My sister went through a divorce and moved to the town I was living in.  To be a good sister I went out with her, for she knew no one in town.  We went to a country western place that had a beer bust.  You just paid a certain amount to get in, and you could drink all you wanted to drink.  I thought I had arrived in heaven.  We did this several times a week, and then she started meeting people and started dating.  Well, I couldn’t drive, so I started drinking more and more at home.

p. 377

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

“Almost timidly, one of my friends began to speak. `We know how hard up you are, Bill. It bothers us a lot. We’ve often wondered what we might do about it. But I think I speak for everyone here when I say that what you now propose bothers us an awful lot more.’ The speaker’s voice grew more confident. `Don’t you realize,’ he went on, `that you can never become a professional? As generous as Charlie has been to us, don’t you see that we can’t tie this thing up with his hospital or any other? You tell us that Charlie’s proposal is ethical. Sure, it’s ethical, but what we’ve got won’t run on ethics only; it has to be better. Sure, Charlie’s idea is good, but it isn’t good enough. This is a matter of life and death, Bill, and nothing but the very best will do!’ Challengingly, my friends looked at me as their spokesman continued. `Bill, haven’t you often said right here in this meeting that sometimes the good is the enemy of the best? Well, this is a plain case of it. You can’t do this thing to us!’

pp. 137-138

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The solution is simple.
The solution is spiritual.

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the
circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change
yourself. That is something you have charge of.
–Jim Rohn

“Happiness is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves.”
–John B. Sheerin

“Nothing is worth more than this day.”
–Goethe

“It is a sign of strength, not of weakness, to admit that you don’t know all the answers.”
–John P. Lougbrane


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

BALANCE

“There are two ways to slide easily
through life: To believe everything
or to doubt everything. Both ways
save us from thinking.”
— Alfred Korzybski

This statement is so true for me. I was so compulsive and obsessive
not only about the things that I believed in but also about the things I
didn’t believe in. I was extreme. Everything I did was exaggerated. I
either raced through life at ten thousand miles an hour or was in
neutral. Balance was absent.

Today I am developing balance in my life, more patience and more
tolerance. I have discovered that my extremism was a mask by which
I hid from life; I did not have to think, consider or ponder — I simply
reacted.

Now I know that to believe in everything is to believe nothing; and to
doubt everything is not to think. Life is “a many splendored thing”
but it has a variety of options.

God of the many, help me to discover You in the myriad of thoughts
that life produces.

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“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my
commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s
commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may
be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you
love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down
one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not
call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is
doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that
I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I
appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you
whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may
love one another.”
John 15:9-17

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have
life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4


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Daily Inspiration

Take care of your own emotional and spiritual needs first and it will become natural to reach out lovingly to others. Lord, I depend on Your help in every situation.

Delighting in the happiness of others will make your heart too big for your body. Lord, help me set aside my jealousies and celebrate the blessings of others. Their blessings will then be a blessing for me too.

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NA Just For Today

That One Special Person

“A sponsor is not necessarily a friend, but may be someone in whom we confide. We can share things with our sponsor that we might not be comfortable sharing in a meeting.”
IP No. 11, “Sponsorship, Revised”

We’ve asked someone to sponsor us, and the reasons we have for asking that particular person are as many as the grains of sand on a beach. Perhaps we heard them share at a speaker meeting and thought they were funny or inspiring. Perhaps we thought they had a great car and we would get one by working the same program they work. Or maybe we live in a small town and they were the only person who had the time available to help.

Whatever our initial reasons for getting the sponsor we have, we’re sure to find that our reasons for keeping them are quite different. Suddenly they’ll amaze us with some stunning insight, making us wonder whether they’ve been sneaking peeks at our Fourth Step. Or maybe we’re going through some sort of life crisis, and their experience with the same problem helps us in ways we never dreamed possible. We call them in pain, and they come up with a special combination of caring words that provide genuine comfort.

None of these remarkable feats on the part of our sponsor are mere coincidence. They’ve simply walked the same path before us. A Higher Power has placed that one special person in our lives, and we are grateful for their presence.

Just for today: I will appreciate that one special person in my life — my sponsor.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I never dreamed of so much happiness when I was the ugly duckling. –Hans Christian Andersen
The ugly duckling was not really ugly at all, he was just different. The other ducks teased and pecked and even bit him until the ugly duckling flew away. He wandered around for a year, and was treated as an outcast everywhere. In the spring, he saw a group of swans on a lake, and wanted very much to join them. As he swam out toward them, he was astounded to notice his reflection in the water–he was a swan! The other swans welcomed him warmly, and found him to be beautiful.
Most of us go through times when we feel different from those around us. These are painful and lonely times, but it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with us. Like the ugly duckling, we will come into a time when we will be loved. All the pain and loneliness we have felt will help us fully appreciate the acceptance when we find it.
How can I treasure the ways I am different from others today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later win a little more. –Louis L’Amour
How much fuller each day feels when we can be patient and accept the inches we have progressed. Yet, we are aware of large problems which require miles of progress. We may want others in our lives to change quickly, we may be impatient with a work situation, or we may feel angry about an addiction.
Perhaps the spiritual message to us is we need to surrender to time. We are on the road moving in the direction of recovery. The forces of progress are at work. Our growth now may come in learning patience and trusting this process. Looking back we might see a mile of progress. It was made an inch at a time.
Today, I will accept my progress. There are many rewards already.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
People need joy. Quite as much as clothing. Some of them need it far more. –Margaret Collier Graham
Life is not without pain and travail. They are necessary to new awareness which prompts growth. And the gift of growth is joy. Pain and joy are thus intertwined. It is possible to feel only the burden of pain and not the exhilaration of joy, however.
Before seeking help to change our lives, many of us were heavily burdened by pain. But we were unable to open ourselves to the knowledge made possible by that pain. We were on a treadmill, accumulating painful experiences at every step, unable to capture the joy that was ever present.
We can have hope. Joy does await each of us today. We must open our eyes to it, just as we must open our hearts to one another. We must be willing to peel away the layers of pain to expose the core, the seedling of joy. And we need joy in our lives, just as surely as we need rest and a good diet. We need the light heart that joy fosters for a better perspective on the many experiences we’ll face today, and every day.
Recovery has given me this new option. It guarantees me that every hurdle will be lightened. The knowledge that joy is inherent, within every experience, is mine, now and forever.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Clarity and direction
In spite of our best efforts to work our programs and lean on Gods guidance, we sometimes don’t understand what’s going on in our life. We trust, wait, pray, listen to people, listen to ourselves, and the answer still does not come.
During those times, we need to understand that we are right where we need to be, even though that place may feel awkward and uncomfortable. Our life does have purpose and direction.
We are being changed, healed, and transformed at levels deeper than we can imagine. Good things, beyond our capacity to imagine, are being prepared and brought to us. We are being led and guided.
We can become peaceful. We do not have to act in haste or urgency just to relieve our discomfort, just to get an answer. We can wait until our mind is peaceful. We can wait for clear direction. Clarity will come.
The answer will come, and it will be good for us and those around us.
Today, God, help me know I am being guided into what’s good about life, especially when I feel confused and without direction. Help me trust enough to wait until my mind and vision are clear and consistent. Help me know that clarity will come.

I have a purpose today. As I let go and let God, This purpose is becoming more and more clear. My heart is full of joy and love as I move towards God’s Will for me. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Connect to Creativity

The more open and connected you are to the world around you, the more creative you will become.

You will become more creative in your own growth and in how you live your life. You will be more creative in problem solving in work and play. You’ll be more willing to try new things– whether it’s learning to play a flute, build a stone fence, ride a horse, or create a Japanese garden in your front yard. You’ll find yourself more open in solving problems with loved ones, trying less traditional approaches than you might have considered in the past. You’ll find yourself gaining insights, information, and healing from sources you may have previously overlooked. Your participation in all your activities will be less controlled and more spontaneous.

You will hear the universe prompting you more. You will imagine more. You will recognize the quiet voice of intuition, the voice of your heart. You will see possibilities. And because you are open to your heart, the guidance of your inner voice, you will know what to do, and when to do it.

The more connected you are to the universe, to life, to yourself, the more creative you will be.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say whatever when it’s out of your hands

We cannot control everything that happens to us. But we can control our response to those things. We cannot control the feelings of others– their fear, their power trips, their issues. All that we can choose is how we want to respond.

Maybe you have been wronged. Maybe you have had a dream taken from you due to the actions of another. What are you going to do about it? You can give up and give in, or you can make the best of the situation, move on if you can, or make a life where you are.

Say whatever.

Learn to live and let live.

You can start over, again and again, if necessary.

God, give me the strength to stand up when the actions or thoughts of others drag me down. Help me practice right thought and right action. Help me walk the path that is set before me, no matter what it may bring.

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The Question of Worthiness
Shifting into Gratitude

by Madisyn Taylor

When we question whether or not we are worthy of something it is important at that time to shift into gratitude.

We all know what it’s like to finally get something we want, only to find ourselves feeling as if we don’t deserve it. Whether it’s a car, a new job, or a date with someone wonderful, we suddenly feel as if we are not up to it. Something in us wants to reject this gift from the universe, perhaps because it requires that we think of ourselves in a new way or makes us question why we should have something that others don’t have. If these feelings of unworthiness are not consciously acknowledged, they can lead us to sabotage ourselves out of the gift being offered. Perhaps the best way to avoid rejection and sabotage is to simply shift into a state of gratitude, bypassing the question of worthiness altogether.

The question of whether we or anyone else deserves something is not really in our jurisdiction. These themes play themselves out in ways we can’t fully comprehend—on the level of the soul, over the course of many lifetimes. What we do know is that the universe has its own way of shifting the balance over the course of time so that all things are ultimately fair. We can trust in this process and understand that when a gift comes our way, it is because we are meant to have it. Otherwise, it would not be available to us. Accepting the gift with gratitude and using it to the best of our ability is true humility.

When we receive a gift and find that feelings of unworthiness crop up, we can simply acknowledge the feelings and then remind ourselves that they are beside the point. We might say to ourselves, “I am meant to have this.” As we allow ourselves to accept the gift, we might feel tenderness in our hearts that naturally shifts into a deep feeling of gratitude. As we sit for a moment, consciously holding the gift in our hands or in our hearts, we say “yes” to the universe’s many blessings, and we also say “thank you.” Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

All my life, I looked to others for comfort, security and all the other things that add up to what I now call serenity. But I’ve come to realize that I was always looking in the wrong place. The source of serenity is not outside, but within myself. The kingdom is within me, and I already have the key. All I have to do is to be wiling to use it. Am I using the tools of The Program on a daily basis? Am I Willing?

Today I Pray

God gave me the courage to seek out the kingdom inside myself, to find that well-spring within me which has its source in the never-ending, life-giving river of God. May my soul be restored there. May I find the serenity I seek.

Today I Will Remember

To seek the inner Kingdom.

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One More Day

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.
–Frank Lloyd Wright

When we were younger, day and night were two separate entities. Day was when we played and night was when we slept. The distinction is not that sharp as we get older, especially if we have any problems with disturb our sleep. Worry and pain have a tendency to make nights much longer — and lonelier.

What looked hopeless the night before can take on a whole new light in the morning. It would be wonderful if we could learn to treat each new day with the same freshness we had as children. We can learn, once again, to experience and to savor each each moment. Once we separate the more likely we are to allow ourselves wonderful days again.

My expectations are that I will achieve the best of reach day has to offer.

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In God’s Care

Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action.
~~Brendan Francis

God speaks to us in many ways at many times. If we are spiritually alert, we will know it when it happens. A stray thought occurs; we overhear a bit of conversation; a passage in something we are reading suddenly stands out–and we know we have connected. A feeling of assurance and peace comes over us.

The trouble is that we might acknowledge this contact only briefly, and then it slips away. The time to act passes. The favor we could have done; the advice of support we could have offered; the help we could have given or received–all are missed opportunities.

When God speaks, we must do more than listen.

Today I will act when inspired.

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Food For Thought

No More Diets

OA is not another diet club. Abstinence is not something we go on for a while, until we achieve a desired weight goal, and then go off. We are through with diets. In the past, they may have worked for a time, but sooner or later we became bored with them, quit, and regained the weight we had lost.

OA is a program of recovery. We discover that what we eat is not the most important thing in our lives. Each day we plan what is necessary for the nourishment of our bodies, and then we are free to forget about food and go on with our living.

Instead of following a diet for a certain length of time, we maintain abstinence from compulsive overeating every day of our lives so that we may feel good and function effectively. We work the program, live the Twelve Steps, and enjoy each day as never before. We are recovering.

Thank You for the gift of recovery.

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One Day At A Time

Love

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
While loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
~ Lao Tzu

As we explore our twelve step program and peel away the onion that is us, we find many parts of ourselves that we had never known before. Those parts have always been there … we just weren’t aware of the importance of them. Suddenly, as though it were a light bulb flashing, it hits us full in the face and we find ourselves seeing what our deepest need in life is.

It took practically a lifetime to realize that my deepest need was to love and to be loved. How could I have lived so long and not realized that before? I am grateful that the twelve step program gave me the ability to feel love, perhaps for the very first time. I am also grateful that this beautiful way of living also gave me the ability to give love.

One day at a time … I will keep my heart open for opportunities to love … and quietly but expectantly to be loved.
~ A TRG Member

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

This seemed to prove that one alcoholic could affect another as no nonalcoholic could. It also indicated that strenuous work, one alcoholic with another, was vital to permanent recovery. – Pg. xvi – xvii – 4th. Edition – Forward To Second Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Some people’s missionary zeal in helping us is quite annoying. They tell us what to do, know what’s best for us, get preachy. We, however, can be charitable as we know: they preach best what THEY most need to learn!

My Spiritual Source helps me tolerate the ‘preachers’ of the program, as one day I may act like that too!

Forgiveness

I forgive myself for being less than perfect, that’s how I will love myself and others today. Perfection is that myth that I carry around in my head to beat myself up with and to make it seem others fall short. That celluloid image against which I measure myself and come out feeling lacking, that yard stick with which I hit my own back side. Today, I will see perfection and beauty in what is. I will have an attitude of forgiveness toward myself and others for being other than what is expected. We’re all just bumbling along mostly doing the best we can, sometimes worse than we should, sometimes better. Just for today, I won’t get hung up on imperfection.

I forgive imperfection

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Prayer does not change what you are praying about. Prayer changes you.

I learn to ‘hit’ it with a prayer, not a chair and I change!

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I have a purpose today. As I let go and let God, this purpose is becoming more and more clear. My heart is full of joy and love as I move more towards God’s Will for me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I didn’t think my sponsor could read for the first six months. I’d say; ‘John, I need a better paying job.’ and he’d say: ‘Read page 127, what does it say on page 127?’
I’m expecting to find a credit card application there or something, and it says; ‘Material well-being always follows spiritual progress, it never preceded. – Chris C.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 13

Dependency
Plainly, I could not avail myself of God’s love until I was able to offer it back to Him
by loving others as He would have me.
And I couldn’t possibly do that as long as I was victimized by false dependencies.
For my dependency meant demand — a demand for the possession and control
of the people and the conditions surrounding me.
– The Best of Bill, p. 56

Thought to Ponder . . .
What I am is Gods gift to me. What I make of myself is my gift to Him.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
G R A C E = Gently Releasing All Conscious Expectations.

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

Spiritual Growth
“When we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. Do not let any prejudice you may have against
spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to
commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. If we wished to grow
we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 47

Thought to Consider . . .
Spirituality is the ability to get our minds off ourselves.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
WISDOM
When Into Self, Discover Our Motives

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

Traditions
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“‘Please don’t talk any more about those damned Traditions.’ [in the late 1940s]
“Time has changed all that. Several years later it was recognized that the Twelve Traditions were going to be just as
necessary to the life of our society as the Twelve Steps were to the life of each member. We saw that the A.A.
Traditions were the key to the unity, the functioning, and even the survival of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 204

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

“Because of this program I am starting to love myself again. I still get urges to ‘drink and drug’ but I don’t let them run my
life. I value good friends today. I value my serenity, and I value life today.”
Thornton, Penn., April 1993
“A Valuable Commodity”
AA Grapevine

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

“…the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception,
will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self
knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to
smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us
out of bitter experience.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 39~

“To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a
long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is
particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn
into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33~

Could we then foresee that troublesome people were to become our principal teachers of patience and tolerance?
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 141

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Dependence – Unhealthy or Healthy
We discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His
perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would.
If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows, nor would we feel the urge to rely wholly
on human protection and care. 1. LETTER, 1966 – 2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 116

Prayer For The Day: Lord, inspire us to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with you, our God. Breathe upon us
your Spirit of peace that we may be bearers of reconciliation wherever you place us. May there be peace in our hearts, in
our homes, in our land, and between all people. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 12th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 12th

Daily Reflections

A DAY’S PLAN

On awakening let us think of the twenty-four hours
ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we
begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially
asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest
or self-seeking motives.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86

Every day I ask God to kindle within me the fire of
His love, so that love, burning bright and clear, will
illuminate my thinking and permit me to better do His
will. Throughout the day, as I allow outside
circumstances to dampen my spirits, I ask God to sear
my consciousness with the awareness that I can start
my day over any time I choose; a hundred times, if
necessary.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The Prodigal Son “took his journey into a far country
and wasted his substance on riotous living.” That’s what
we alcoholics do. We waste our substance with riotous
living. “When he came to himself, he said: I will arise
and go to my father.” That’s what an alcoholic does in
A.A. He comes to himself. His alcoholic self is not his
real self. His sane, sober, respectable self is his real
self. That’s why we’re so happy in A.A. Have I come to
myself?

Meditation For The Day

Simplicity is the keynote of a good life. Choose the
simple things always. Life can become complicated if you
let it be so. You can be swamped by difficulties if you
let them take up too much of your time. Every difficulty
can be either solved or ignored and something better
substituted for it. Love the humble things of life.
Reverence the simple things. Your standard must never
be the world’s standard of wealth and power.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may love the simple things of life.
I pray that I may keep my life uncomplicated and free.

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As Bill Sees It

“How Can You Roll With A Punch?”, p. 71

On the day that the calamity of Pearl Harbor fell upon our country, a
great friend of A.A. was walking along a St. Louis street. Father
Edward Dowling was not an alcoholic, but he had been one of the
founders of the struggling A.A. group in his city. Because many of his
usually sober friends had already taken to their bottles that they might
blot out the implications of the Pearl Harbor disaster, Father Ed was
anguished by the thought that his cherished A.A. group would probably
do the same.

Then a member, sober less than a year, stepped alongside and engaged
Father Ed in a spirited conversation--mostly about A.A. Father Ed
saw, with relief, that his companion was perfectly sober.

“How is it that you have nothing to say about Pearl Harbor? How can
you roll with a punch like that?”

“Well,” replied the yearling, “each of us in A.A. has already had his
own private Pearl Harbor. So why should we drunks crack up over
this one?”

Grapevine, January 1962

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Walk in Dry Places

Popular Gossip____Higher Thinking
The newsstands are full of publications that seem to delight in exposing the sins and foibles of celebrities and prominent officials.  Think of the excitement that’s been generated just over the sexual misadventures of important people running for public office.
While some of these disclosures may be true, we don’t help ourselves by reveling in them or reading them.  We may even harm ourselves if we get secret enjoyment over the fall of a celebrity. It’s never beneficial to find ourselves thinking, “it serves him right.”
Reading such trash, even in the daily newspapers, is a form of gossip.  We can use our time in better ways if we wish to enhance our sobriety.
If this sounds a little too stringent, we should remind ourselves that growth in sobriety calls for better management of our thinking and attitudes. Nobody ever got drunk simply because he or she read gossipy trash. But neither did that person make progress over the general problem of gossip.
I’ll have no interest in the weaknesses or shortcomings of those who might be in the news.  Popular gossip can be just as harmful as personal gossip.

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Keep It Simple

The Twelve Step program is spiritual, based on action coming from love . . . Martha Cleveland
To be spiritual means to be an active person. It means spending time with others. It means sharing love. It means looking for ways to be more loving to others. It means looking for ways to make the world a better place. Step Three helps us to look at the world better. We turn our lives over to the care of our Higher Power. So Lets allow care to direct our lives. Let’s always be asking ourselves, “Is what I’m doing something that shows care?”
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, let me be active in a loving, caring way. Let the love in my heart be my guide.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll do something good for someone and keep it a secret.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Love is not getting, but giving. It is sacrifice. And sacrifice is glorious!  –Joanna Field
How easily we mistake attention for love. Even more easily, we trick ourselves into thinking our ability to control someone signifies love – especially theirs for us. But love is something far different from either attention or control. Far different.
Love frees others from our grasp–and lets them return on their own. Love is placing another’s personal needs above our own, without regret. Love is selfless, yet it exhilarates the self. Giving love softens our edges, completes us, and connects us to the people with whom we are fulfilling our destinies.
Wanting love is a normal human desire, not one we should deny. And we shall receive love, the less our emphasis is on getting it, the more on giving it. We invite love when we freely and honestly give it. Another invitation for love comes from loving ourselves; self-hatred, which trapped many of us for years, hampers us no longer.
Love inspires–ourselves and those we give it to. It brightens our way, lessens our burdens, makes possible our rightful unfolding.
I won’t look for love today. I will just give it. It will bless me tenfold.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Renewing my resolve, I tried again. Some time passed, and confidence began to be replaced by cocksureness. I could laugh at the gin mills. Now I had what it takes! One day I walked into a cafe to telephone. In no time I was beating on the bar asking myself how it happened. As the whisky rose to my head I told myself I would manage better next time, but I might as well get good and drunk then. And I did.

pp. 5-6

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
It was during my high school years that I discovered alcohol, and my problems were over.  Now I was pretty and smart.  For the first time I felt as if I fit in.  I still could not see–oh well, no big deal, I felt good.

pp. 376-377

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

“It was meeting night. Although none of the alcoholics we boarded seemed to get sober, some others had. With their wives they crowded into our downstairs parlor. At once I burst into the story of my opportunity. Never shall I forget their impassive faces, and the steady gaze they focused upon me. With waning enthusiasm, my tale trailed off to the end. There was a long silence.

p. 137

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“Take time for solitude. How else can you contemplate the blessings
of recovery,”
–Abby Warman

“What we must realize is that we cannot see everything. We do not
know everything. More important, we must understand that it is
impossible for us to control anything. The process of life is a spiritual
one, governed by invisible, intangible spiritual laws and principles.”
–Iyanla Vanzant

“Everyone who has been mistreated by another has mistreated
others at one time or another.”
–Paul Ferrini

“Deep faith eliminates fear.”
–Lech Walesa

It’s not the burdens of everyday that drive men mad.
It is the regret of yesterday and the fear of tomorrow.
Regret and fear are twin thieves that rob us of today.
–Unknown

I completely, and whole heartedly trust Gods love, it will never fail
me.
–SweetyZee

God’s grace can turn pain into joy and blessing.
–Isabelle Zeigler Ross


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

DREAMS

“I have learned this at least by
my experiment: that if one
advances confidently in the
direction of his dreams and
endeavors to live the life which
he has imagined, he will meet
with a success unexpected in
common hours.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Drugs brought me nightmares, never dreams. For years I lived in
fear. In the night I imagined horrible shapes, strange colors and
sounds, experienced unspeakable tortures and awake in tension and
sweat.

Today in sobriety my dreams are serene and tranquil; I remember
friends and loved ones and those I most admire. I imagine God in the
beauty of His creation. He breathes His love through me. My dreams
are part of my wellness.

God, who created men to dream their dreams, help me to live mine.

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

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all
your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5, 6

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your
sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”
Psalms 19:14

I sought the Lord , and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who
look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
Psalm 34:4-5


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Daily Inspiration

If you count your blessings and answered prayers, there is less time for grumbling and complaining. Lord, may I always appreciate the wonders of my life and celebrate Your presence in it.

You cannot be discouraged for long if you are close to our Heavenly Father, the giver of all hope and blessings. Lord, I will spend time daily with You and strengthen my faith.

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NA Just For Today

Getting Out Of The Rut

“Many times in our recovery, the old bugaboos will haunt us. Life may again become meaningless, monotonous, and boring.”
Basic Text, p. 75

Sometimes it seems as though nothing changes. We get up and go to the same job every day. We eat dinner at the same time every night. We attend the same meetings each week. This morning’s rituals were identical to the ones we performed yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. After the hell of our addiction and the roller-coaster craziness of early recovery, the stable life may have some appeal—for a while. But, eventually, we realize we want something more. Sooner or later, we become turned off to the creeping monotony and boredom in our lives.

There are sure to be times when we feel vaguely dissatisfied with our recovery. We feel as though we’re missing something for some reason, but we don’t know what or why. We draw up our gratitude lists and find literally hundreds of things to be grateful for. All our needs are being met; our lives are fuller than we had ever hoped they’d be. So what’s up?

Maybe it’s time to stretch our potential to its fullest. Our possibilities are only limited by what we can dream. We can learn something new, set a new goal, help another newcomer, or make a new friend. We’re sure to find something challenging if we look hard enough, and life will again become meaningful, varied, and fulfilling.

Just for today: I’ll take a break from the routine and stretch my potential to its fullest.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Gentleness is not a quality exclusive to women. –Helen Reddy
Each of us has our soft side: maybe it’s when we’re petting a kitten, caring for a baby robin with an injured wing, or soothing a crying child who is afraid. Behaving in a gentle way toward others gives us warm feelings inside. It also encourages others to treat us gently, too.
We don’t always feel like being gentle. If we’re sad or worried about school or a friend, we might not even notice the people around us who need our gentleness. But when we remember gentleness, it lifts our spirits. Two people will always be happier when we’re gentle–the person we’ve been gentle to and ourselves.
Who can I share my gentleness with today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
No sooner do we think we have assembled a comfortable life than we find a piece of ourselves that has no place to fit in.
–Gail Sheehy
We usually think of children going through stages. If we talk about a man going through a stage, there is usually a tone of a put down in it. But adults go through stages in their lives too. We have different drives and needs at 22 than we had at 16. Age 40 brings a different experience than 30. It would be sad to reach age 60 or 70 and have no more wisdom than we had twenty years earlier. An adult life crisis can come anytime. We may have grown out of a formerly comfortable job. Perhaps we feel new urgings for a more satisfactory relationship than we have settled for. From our recovery experience we know that crisis can bring growth.
Courage is required of us from the cradle to the grave. Change continues throughout life With courage, we can face our crises and the changes that come, and eventually we find the gift of new growth.
Help me find courage enough to live this day and meet the challenges it brings.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Love is not getting, but giving. It is sacrifice. And sacrifice is glorious! –Joanna Field
How easily we mistake attention for love. Even more easily, we trick ourselves into thinking our ability to control someone signifies love – especially theirs for us. But love is something far different from either attention or control. Far different.
Love frees others from our grasp–and lets them return on their own. Love is placing another’s personal needs above our own, without regret. Love is selfless, yet it exhilarates the self. Giving love softens our edges, completes us, and connects us to the people with whom we are fulfilling our destinies.
Wanting love is a normal human desire, not one we should deny. And we shall receive love, the less our emphasis is on getting it, the more on giving it. We invite love when we freely and honestly give it. Another invitation for love comes from loving ourselves; self-hatred, which trapped many of us for years, hampers us no longer.
Love inspires–ourselves and those we give it to. It brightens our way, lessens our burdens, makes possible our rightful unfolding.
I won’t look for love today. I will just give it. It will bless me tenfold.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Timing
If we could untangle the mysteries of life and unravel the energies, which run through the world; if we could evaluate correctly the significance of passing events; if we could measure the struggles, dilemmas, and aspirations of mankind, we could find that nothing is born out of time. Everything comes at its appointed moment. –Joseph R. Sizoo
Timing can be frustrating. We can wait and wait for something to happen, and it seems to be forever until it comes to pass. Or, suddenly, an event or circumstance is thrust upon us, catching us by surprise. Believing that things happen too slowly or too quickly is an illusion. Timing is perfect.
Today, I will trust and work with Divine Order. I will accept the timing in my life today and in my past as being perfect.

I can be centered and at peace inside when the world is going my way, as well as when things are happening that are not my choice. I am learning to focus on this newly found inner peace, especially at times of confusion and stress. –Ruth Fishel

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In God’s Care

God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.
~~Isaak Dinesen

When our addictive behaviors had control of us, we probably would have laughed if someone told us we would be in a Twelve Step program someday. We spent a lot of our time trying to control and predict the future, and we fought anything that threatened the delusion that we could.

When we were ready, our program was there. We discovered that this is a daily program, that by letting God unfold our life twenty-four hours at a time we are released from our obsession to control everything. One of the best gifts of our program is discovering that our Higher Power is in charge of every situation. And as a result, our obsessive need to control no longer controls us.

So now we are free to fully experience this moment. We can trust we will benefit somehow because each moment is a gift from God.

Whatever God wants me to know today is sufficient.

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Journey to the Heart

You Have the Power to Redefine Your World

One power we gain on our journey to the heart is the ability to redefine what we believe. We learn to see things in a new way.

We usually have a definition for most areas of our lives, particularly important areas such as work, love, money, and ourselves, but we’re not always conscious of it. The experiences we go through can help our definitions surface, help us see more clearly how we define these areas. That’s called growth. This growth, this process of redefining, will happen naturally on our path. But we can also consciously, actively work on our definitions.

Ask yourself if you’re defining something or someone right now in a way that you’d like to change. Perhaps a work relationship, a love relationship, a project, or an issue is causing you distress. You may find you have the power to redefine this area in a way that minimizes or reduces your pain.

A healing professional and friend once taught me a technique that can be used on any subject you’re trying to define. On a sheet of paper write down everything you currently believe, including and especially everything negative, about the subject or issue. Include all the “I Can’t’s” and the “Wny Nots.” That’s your current definition.

On a clean sheet of paper write down how you want to redefine this area, and your involvment in it. Write down everything you want it to be, what you wish for it, what you think the highest truth possible about this subject could be.

Burn the paper with the old definitions. Let the smoke clear away from your eyes. Save your new definition. Then watch how the new definition comes to life and take shape.

You don’t have to let past definitions of life, love, God, and yourself limit you anymore. You are free to redefine and help create the life you choose; you’re free to see life in a new way.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Don’t cut yourself on your gifts

Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or by the handle.
–James Russel Lowell

Success rains down for no apparent reason. Tragedy strikes like a freight train. We’re left to deal with the results. We can allow our egos to swell over our sudden good fortune, or we can humbly accept the fruit of our labor and continue to better ourselves. We can lie down and give up after a tragedy, or we can grieve, get up, and begin taking steps to move on with our lives.

Look at the situations in your life. Have you been given success? Are you learning the lessons of loss? Perhaps yours is the gift of the ordinary. Don’t walk too boastfully through your successes, nor remain too long in your grief. And don’t sleep through an ordinary life. You’ll lose your sense of wonder and awe, and when it ends, you won’t know where you’ve been.

We cannot always control what will happen to us. We need to let go of any false thoughts that we can. We can choose how we’ll handle the situation just like we choose how we’ll pick up a knife– by grabbing the handle or the blade.

Watch out for the cutting edge.

What you do with what you have been given is important.

God, thank you for what I’ve been given.

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Cause, Effect, and Transformation
Feeling Depleted

by Madisyn Taylor

If you are feeling depleted, your body is asking you to take time to make some real changes in your life.

There are times in our lives when it seems our bodies are running on empty. We are not sick, nor are we necessarily pushing ourselves to the limit—rather, the energy we typical enjoy has mysteriously dissipated, leaving only fatigue. Many people grow accustomed to feeling this way because they do not know that it is possible to exist in any other state. The body’s natural state, however, is one of energy, clarity, and balance. Cultivating these virtues in our own bodies so that we can combat feelings of depletion is a matter of developing a refined awareness of the self and then making changes based on our observations.

A few scant moments of focused self-examination in which you assess your recent schedule, diet, and general health may help you zero in on the factors causing your depletion. If you are struggling to cope with an overfull agenda, prioritization can provide you with more time to sleep and otherwise refresh yourself. Switching to a diet containing plenty of nutritious foods may serve to restore your vigor, especially when augmented by supplements like B vitamins or ginseng. Consider, too, that a visit to a healer or homeopath will likely provide you with wonderful insights into your tiredness. But identifying the source of your exhaustion will occasionally be more complicated than spotting a void in your lifestyle and filling it with some form of literal nourishment. Since your earthly and ethereal forms are so intimately entwined, matters of the mind and heart can take their toll on your physical self. Intense emotions such as anger, sadness, jealousy, and regret need fuel to! manifest in your consciousness, and this fuel is more often than not corporeal energy. Conversely, a lack of mental and emotional stimulation may leave you feeling listless and lethargic.

Coping with and healing physical depletion will be easier when you accept that the underlying cause might be more complex than you at first imagined. A harried lifestyle or a diet low in vital nutrients can represent only one part of a larger issue affecting your mood, stamina, and energy levels. When you believe that you are ultimately in control of how you feel, you will be empowered to transform yourself and your day-to-day life so that lasting fatigue can no longer gain a foothold in your existence. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If we examine every disturbance we haved, great or small, we’ll find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its cnsequent unhealthy demand. So let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these crippling liabilities. Then we cna be set free to live and love. W may then be able to Stwlfth-Step ourselves, as well as others, into emotional sobriety. Do I try to carry the message of The Program?

Today I Pray

Ma I first get my emotional and spiritual house in order before I seek to carry out serious commitments in human relationships. May I look long and thoroughly at “dependency” — upon alcohol or other drugs or upon other human beings — and recognize it as the source of my unrest. May I transfer my dependency to God, as I understand Him.

Today I Will Remember

I am God-dependent.

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One More Day

Never bend your head. . . Look at the world straight in the face.
– Helen Keller

Pride is elusive when we’re hurting emotionally. We may act and feel overwhelmed. It is very difficult to be mindful of all we can accomplish and we may focus on what is out of our reach. Or we may tend to hide from our problems by withdrawing from social gatherings or by isolating ourselves emotionally. feeling ashamed that we are hurting makes asking for help very hard.

Now, as we hide less often from our feelings we find it easier to face the world straight on. We may not have made this transition easily or even by ourselves, but we are making it with the help of loving friends. Increasingly we accept our limitations, make the effort to do what we can, and ask for help when we must. And with this, we raise our heads with pride.

I need not be ashamed when I must ask others for help.

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Food For Thought

Nourishment or Drug?

During our overeating days, many of us used food as an all purpose drug. It was a pep pill when we were depressed and a tranquilizer when we were uptight. We turned especially to refined carbohydrates as uppers and downers. As a result, we spent most of our time either artificially stimulated or lethargic.

When we stop using food as a drug and eat only what our bodies need for proper nourishment, we experience emotions which had been buried by overeating. We feel anxiety, fear, and anger. We also feel joy, enthusiasm, and love. We are alive instead of doped up.

We need to express and share our emotions, and in OA we find people who will help us do that. We no longer have to bury our true feelings with food. As we learn to rely on our Higher Power for support in the little things that come up as well as the big things, then we are able to face the day without a drug.

By abstaining, we learn who we really are and what we really feel.

May I not be afraid to live without a drug.

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One Day At A Time

SEASONS OF OUR SOUL

“You will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does
not wither and whatever you do prospers.”
….. Psalms 1:3

For much of my life I have felt rootless, insecure, lost, ineffectual, and scattered by the seemingly-unforgiving winds of chaos, confusion, change, and pain in my life. I certainly do not feel the sense of strength, stability, and solidity that I imagine I’d feel as a “firmly planted tree.” Many of my choices and behaviors add to the storms and fruitlessness of my life…yet I consider again the Tree. The Tree bears its fruit “in its season”. The Tree participates in the work of its Creator by patiently standing strong through the winds, snow, and barrenness of winter…and the Tree knows that winter is only for a Season. The Tree does not rail against God, nor demand that it produce fruit in its season of barrenness; rather, the Tree patiently rests and knows that Spring will return, as it always does and always will.

Working our program calls us to trust God – to believe that which we might not yet see, feel, or experience. We can choose to accept with Serenity the seasons of our lives.

One day at a time … I will choose to believe that my Higher Power is at work in me through every season of my life. I will remember that He brings the Life of Spring after the “death” of winter. In trusting Him, I will be stable and fruitful, even when I feel overwhelmed by the winds of life.
~ Lisa

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Unmindful of his welfare, I thought only of recapturing the spirit of other days. There was that time we had chartered an airplane to complete a jag! His coming was an oasis in this dreary desert of futility. The very thing — an oasis! Drinkers are like that. – Pg. 9 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Nothing comes easy for us right now. A lot of energy goes into just staying put and accepting this new way of life. We say that when the going gets tough, we hang tough! We know that it will pass, we make that promise to you. But it will be in God’s time, not yours.

Guide my faith, in this program and in You, my Spiritual Source.

Staying with Myself

Today, I see that taking care of myself begins inside of me. It is not just a function of what I do, but the attitude with which I move through my day. Having my own life is about checking in with myself to see how I’m doing. It’s wearing a sweater if I’m cold and taking a break if I’m tired. It’s making sure that I’m having enough fun in my life, paying attention to what I enjoy doing, doing more of that and finding ways of reducing what doesn’t feel good. Having a life that is well suited to me is letting myself have my own unique likes and dislikes, and acting on them in constructive ways. It is not organizing my life so that it is good enough for everyone else, forgetting that it needs to be good enough for me as well. I occupy the center of my own life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Whatever spiritual values you adopt are unique to you. You may adopt a strong religious stance or a more intimate spiritual philosophy from within. In any case, the spiritual path you seek is up to you and not those around you. Be comfortable with your spiritual choices and don’t try to please others.

The more I have on the inside, the less I need on the outside.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Detach, don’t desert

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I can be centered and at peace inside when the world is going my way, as well as when things are happening that are not my choice. I am learning to focus on this newly found inner peace, especially at times of confusion and stress.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

It’s clean and sober across the board. I don’t get to take chips in AA for 60. or 90 days or a year, if I’m smoking pot or doing a little social heroin between meetings. Even if pot wasn’t my drug of choice. – – Earl H.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 12

Turning It Over
Step Three became a cheerful acceptance of my place in the world:
“I have no idea Who or What is running the show, but I know I’m not!”
And I could also see Step Three as a good attitude, an effective approach to life:
“If I am swimming in salt water and I panic and start thrashing around and fighting it, it will drown me.
But if I relax and have faith in it, it will hold me afloat.”
– Came To Believe . . ., p. 84

Thought to Ponder . . .
I can’t do His will my way.

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

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

Fear
“Unreasonable fear that our instincts will not be satisfied drives us to covet the possessions of others, to lust for sex and
power, to become angry when our instinctive demands are threatened, to be envious when the ambitions of others
seem to be realized while ours are not. These fears are the termites that cease lessly devour the foundations of
whatever sort of life we try to build.
“Bill W., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 49

Thought to Consider . . .
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the action in spite of the fear.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ANONYMOUS
Actions Not Our Names Yield Maintenance Of Unity & Service

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

Awakening
>From Fear of Fear”:
“As we walked back through the hall, I, for the first time in my life, said to another human being, ‘I’m having trouble with
my drinking too.’ She took me by the hand and introduced me to the woman that I’m very proud to call my sponsor. This
woman and her husband are both in A.A., and she said to me, ‘Oh, but you’re not the alcoholic; it’s your husband.’ I said,
‘Yes.’ She said, ‘How long have you been married?’ I said, ‘Twenty-seven years.’ She said “Twenty-seven years to an
alcoholic! How did you ever stand it?’ I thought, now here’s a nice sympathetic soul! This is for me. I said, “Well, I stood
it to keep the home together, and for the children’s sake.’ She said, ‘Yes, I know. You’re just a martyr, aren’t you?’ I
walked away from that woman grinding my teeth and cursing under my breath. But that night I tried to go to sleep. And I
thought, ‘You’re some martyr, Jane! Let’s look at the record.’ And when I looked at it, I knew I was just as much a drunk
as George was, if not worse. I nudged George next morning, and I said I’m in,’ and he said, ‘Oh, I knew you’d make it.’
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 289-90

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

“Some days are harder than others, but I have been told a person is not measured by what she has achieved but by what she has overcome.”
Toledo, Ohio, September 2008
“The Measure of Success”
AA Grapevine

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

“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered
a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree,
and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This
is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 17

“When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

The philosophy of self-sufficiency is not paying off. Plainly enough, it is a bone-crushing juggernaut whose final achievement is ruin.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 37

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

‘How Can You Roll With A Punch?’
On the day that the calamity of Pearl Harbor fell upon our country, a great friend of A.A. was walking along a St. Louis
street. Father Edward Dowling was not an alcoholic, but he had been one of the founders of the struggling A.A. group in
his city. Because many of his usually sober friends had already taken to their bottles that they might blot out the
implications of the Pearl Harbor disaster, Father Ed was anguished by the thought that his cherished A.A. group would
probably do the same.
Then a member, sober less than a year, stepped alongside and engaged Father Ed in a spirited conversation – mostly
about A.A. Father Ed saw, with relief, that his companion was perfectly sober.
‘How is it that you have nothing to say about Pearl Harbor? How can you roll with a punch like that?’
”Well,’ replied the yearling, ‘each of us in A.A. has already had his own private Pearl Harbor. So why should we drunks
crack up over this one?’ GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1962

Prayer For The Day: God our Father, you call each of us by name and you know the innermost thoughts that we keep to
ourselves. Stay with us, day by day, in good times and in bad. Empower us with your Spirit that we may grow in
character and develop a true sense of values and ideals through following Jesus. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 9th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 9th

Daily Reflections

SURRENDERING SELF-WILL

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to
the care of God as we understood Him.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 34

No matter how much one wishes to try, exactly how can
one turn his own will and his own life over to the care
of whatever God he thinks there is? In my search for
the answer to this question, I became aware of the
wisdom with which it was written: that this is a
two-part Step. I could see many times where I should
have died, or at least been injured, during my previous
style of living, and it never happened. Someone, or
something, was looking after me. I choose to believe
my life has always been in God’s care. He alone controls
the number of days I will be granted until physical
death. The matter of will (self-will or God’s will) is
the more difficult part of the Step for me. It is only
when I have experienced enough emotional pain, through
failed attempts to fix myself, that I become willing
to surrender to God’s will for my life. Surrender is
like the calm after the storm. When my will is in line
with God’s will for me, there is peace within.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

If we had absolute faith in the power of God to keep us
from drinking and if we turned our drink problem entirely
over to God without reservations, we wouldn’t have to do
anything more about it. We’d be free from drink once and
for all. But since our faith is apt to be weak, we have
to strengthen and build up this faith. We do this in
several ways. One way is by going to meetings and
listening to others tell how they have found all the
strength they need to overcome drink. Is my faith being
strengthened by this personal witness of other alcoholics?

Meditation For The Day

It is the quality of my life that determines its value.
In order to judge the value of a man’s life, we must set
up a standard. The most valuable life is one of honesty,
purity, unselfishness, and love. All men’s lives must be
judged by this standard in order to determine their value
to the world. By this standard, most of the so-called
heroes of history were not great men. “What shall it profit
a man if he gain the whole world, if he loseth his own
soul?”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be honest, pure, unselfish and loving.
I pray that I may make the quality of my life good by
these standards.

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As Bill Sees It

Renew Your Effort, p. 68

“Though I know how hurt and sorry you must be after this slip, please
do not worry about a temporary loss of your inner peace. As calmly
as you can, just renew your effort in the A.A. program, especially
those parts of it which have to do with meditation and self-analysis.

“Could I also suggest that you look at excessive guilt for what it is?
Nothing but a sort of reverse pride. A decent regret for what has
happened is fine. But guilt–no.

“Indeed, the slip could well have been brought about by unreasonable
feelings of guilt because of other moral failures, so called. Surely,
you ought to look into this possibility. Even here you should not
blame yourself for failure; you can be penalized only for refusing to
try for better things.”

Letter, 1958

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Walk in Dry Places

The Best outcome is just and equitable.
Principle over personality.
Looking ahead to this day, I may face a possible conflict with another person over a certain issue. How should I respond to this?
If I’m  to follow my principles, I should hold to the idea of seeking the best outcome for everybody concerned.  It may be very  harmful to look at these conflicts as a case of winning or losing. If I seem to win when I’m wrong, I will lose in the long run. If I seem to lose even when I’m right, I can know that there’s just resolution of everything in time.  I will always win, however, if I keep my thinking straight and take care to avoid resentment and bitterness.
It’s not surprising that the world is beset by conflicts. Millions of people have conditioned themselves to selfish ways of thinking and behaving that are bound to cause such conflicts. Much harm is done by people who are absolutely sure they are right at all times.
As human beings, we cannot expect to be excluded from these conflicts simply because we have a Twelve Step program. We do, however, have a means of dealing with such conflicts effectively when we respond according to principle.  This makes us privileged people in a way, but it is good to know that any person can have the same privileges by following the right principles.
Unpleasant as any conflict may seem, it does give me an opportunity to learn and to grow.  I will seek to benefit from any such conflict today.

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Keep It Simple

You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.—Irish Proverb
Each of us has been given recovery. Now it’s up to each of us what we do with it. At times, we’ll work hard to grow quickly. At other times, our growth will be slower. This is okay. We’re not in a race. Our pace is not important. What is important is that we’re always working on our recovery.
We’re all part of a fellowship, a caring group. We’re one of many. But we’re each important. Each of us will have a special way to work our programs through our readings, friends, meetings, and what we know of how life works. each of us puts together a miracle of recovery. We than take our miracle and share it with others, so they can build their miracle.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me work at growing. Help me be a person who is an important part of a group.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll work at seeing myself as very important. I’ll remind myself that other’s recovery also depends on my recovery. I am needed.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I want to get you excited about who you are, what you are, what you have, and what can still be for you. I want to inspire you to see that you can go far beyond where you are right now.  –Virginia Satir
Deciding to recover was our first step. That decision meant we did want to go beyond where we were. We did want something better for ourselves. And at times, in fleeting moments, we have been excited about who we are and our prospects for a better life.
The excitement and the inspiration come and go; they are seldom stationary. We can actively create the excitement and the inspiration. We need not wait for them to come to us. That’s one of the choices we have as human beings, as women.
Passively waiting for “the good life” is past behavior. Each day, this day, we can set our sights on reaching a goal–we can take a step, or two, toward that goal. Progress is there for the making–achievement is there for the taking.
Whatever our hearts’ pure desires, we can move toward that goal. We are what we need to be. We have what we need to move ahead.
Today, I will let my excitement for life’s possibilities spur me on.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

We went to live with my wife’s parents. I found a job; then lost it as a result of a brawl with a taxi driver. Mercifully, no one could guess that I was to have no real employment for five years, or hardly draw a sober breath. My wife began to work in a department store, coming home exhausted to find me drunk. I became an unwelcome hanger-on at brokerage places.

pp. 4-5

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINNER TAKES ALL – Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
One miracle that brought them some joy in the midst of all the pain was that Mom found out she was pregnant.  When this little girl was born, she brought them great joy.  She did not take the place of her little brother, but in her own right she did bring them joy.  They tried again to have another little boy, but they had me instead.  Not only was I a girl, but I was also born legally blind.  A year or so later they finally did get the boy they wanted, and there was a big party to celebrate his birth.

p. 375

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

When A.A. was only three years old, an event occurred demonstrating this principle. One of the first members of A.A., entirely contrary to his own desires, was obliged to conform to group opinion.
Here is the story in his words. “One day I was doing a Twelfth Step job at a hospital in New York. The proprietor, Charlie, summoned me to his office. `Bill,’ he said, `I think it’s a shame that you are financially so hard up. All around you these drunks are getting well and making money. But you’re giving this work full time, and you’re broke. It isn’t fair.’ Charlie fished in his desk and came up with and old financial statement. Handing it to me, he continued, `This shows the kind of money the hospital used to make back in the 1920’s. Thousands of dollars a month. It should be doing just as well now, and it would – if only you’d help me. so why don’t you move your work in here? I’ll give you and office, a decent drawing account, and a very healthy slice of the profits. Three years ago, when my head doctor, Silkworth, began to tell me of the idea of helping drunks by spirituality, I thought it was crackpot stuff, but I’ve changed my mind. some day this bunch of ex-drunks of yours will fill Madison Square Garden, and I don’t see why you should starve meanwhile. What I propose is perfectly ethical. You can become a lay therapist, and more successful than anybody in the business.’

pp. 135-136

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Speaking without thinking is shooting without aiming.
–French Proverb

Help your brother across the stream and you’ll find yourself on the
other side.

“You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than
you can by what others say about him.”
–Leo Aikman

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all
of which have the potential to turn a life around.
–Leo Buscaglia

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.
–Anthony J. D’Angelo

Make the most of your life by choosing to enjoy everything you do.

God, help me open my heart to the full potential of every moment in my
life.
–Melody Beattie

“We aren’t bodies at all; who we are is the love inside us, and it is that
love alone that determines our value. When our minds are filled with
light, there is no room for darkness.”
–Marianne Williamson

Whether our sins are known or not, God offers us forgiveness.
–Charles P. Axe


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GREED

“Not he who has little, but he
who wishes more, is poor.”
— Seneca (4 B. C. — A. D. 65)

In my recovery I must still deal with that compulsive side of my nature
that always wants more.

I forget to be grateful for what I have. I ruin relationships because I
have a code of behavior that I expect from others but not myself! I miss
the fun of the moment because I am preoccupied with what I am
missing elsewhere. I miss the comfort of my own home as I fantasize
about country mansions owned by millionaires. Always I want more —
and yet in my own experience more has always been less.

Today I work hard on a spiritual program of gratitude. I have a
checklist of things I need to be grateful for; I work on my disease of
greed by talking about it.

Thank You for that part of me that must remain “poor”.

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“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be
exalted to the earth!”
Psalms 46:10

God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5

Accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
Romans 15:7


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Daily Inspiration

We all need time for ourselves and time to be with our friends in order to be joyful. Lord, help me to balance my day and renew my spirit.

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

Small Things

“In the past, we made simple situations into problems; we made mountains out of molehills.”
Basic Text, p. 87

Making mountains out of molehills seems to be our specialty. Have you heard it said that to an addict, a flat tire is a traumatic event? Or how about those of us who forget all pretense of principle when confronted with a bad driver? And what about that can opener that won’t work—you know, the one you just threw out the second story window? We can relate when we hear others share, “God, grant me patience right now!”

No, it’s not the major setbacks that drive us to distraction. The big things—divorce, death, serious illness, the loss of a job—will throw us, but we survive them. We’ve learned from experience that we must reach out to our Higher Power and others to make it through life’s major crises. It’s the small things, the constant day-to-day challenges of living life without the use of drugs, that seem to affect most addicts most strongly in recovery.

When the little things get to us, the Serenity Prayer can help us regain our perspective. We can all remember that “turning over” these small matters to the care of our Higher Power results in peace of mind and a refreshed perspective on life.

Just for today: I will work on patience. I will try to keep from blowing things out of proportion, and walk with my Higher Power through my day.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start. –Charles Baudelaire
A big assignment can be scary to face. We may start to think that how we do on the assignment will determine if we’re good or bad people. The more we think about it, the harder that task seems. The key to overcoming our negative feelings is to say to ourselves that we are capable of finishing our projects. We must say it over and over until we start believing it’s true. Then we can attack the assignment with vitality and positive energy we didn’t know we had.
We can make up our minds to do our best and accept that from ourselves. We say Edison was a genius, but our light bulbs still burn out regularly. Even Einstein was wrong once in a while, and he knew it, but that didn’t stop him from trying.
When we feel afraid to start something because it seems too big a job, let’s stop and think what the first step would be, and do each small step in its own time.
What can I start that I’ve been putting off?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own shin.
–Andre Berthiaume
The masks men wear are as varied as those who wear them, but their purpose is quite simple. We wear masks to hide our real faces from those around us and even from ourselves. There are seductive masks, innocent masks, white knight masks, tough guy masks, black sheep masks, lone wolf masks, and many more. Sometimes we want to take on another identity so others won’t see our insecurities. Or we think taking the form of someone else will give us power over others, or they will like us better, or we can escape ourselves.
The cost of wearing a mask is not getting a chance to develop our real personalities. What masks are we attached to? Are we willing to give them up in the interest of our spiritual growth?
May I have the courage to drop my phony masks in order to grow stronger in self knowledge.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Taking Care of Ourselves
We cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another persons feelings. Its impossible; the two acts contradict.
What a tremendous asset to have compassion for others! How difficult that same quality can make it to set boundaries!
Its good to care about other people and their feelings; its essential to care about ourselves too. Sometimes, to take good care of ourselves, we need to make a choice.
Some of us live with a deeply ingrained message from our family, or from church, about never hurting other peoples feelings. We can replace that message with a new one; one that says its not okay to hurt ourselves. Sometimes, when we take care of ourselves, others will react with hurt feelings.
That’s okay. We will learn, grow, and benefit by the experience; they will too. The most powerful and positive impact we can have on other people is accomplished by taking responsibility for ourselves, and allows others to be responsible for themselves.
Caring works. Caretaking doesn’t. We can learn to walk the line between the two.
Today, I will set the limits I need to set. I will let go of my need to take care of other peoples feelings and instead take care of my own. I will give myself permission to take care of myself, knowing its the best thing I can do for others and myself.

Today I know that I am in charge of the quality of my life. I am growing in the ability to become aware of the thoughts that have been controlling me. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Let Your Visions Guide You

Visions are different from dreams. A vision is a picture that comes from the soul and comes out through the heart.

A vision is a small glimpse of light that shines and shows us our path. It is a quick flash of something that hasn’t happened yet. It may tell us something about today or ten years from now. Visions occur when our souls look at the map for our lives, get a sense of where we’re going, and tell our hearts how to find that place. The more conscious and clear and direct we are, the more we can tune into and help create the highest vision for our lives.

What do you want? What would feel right? What do you see yourself doing? Be clear and concise, then let it go. Sometimes when we run out of dreams, we have to rely on our visions, these small glimpses of light, to lead the way. Learn to see the visions in your heart. Learn to trust them. Learn to help create them. Allow them to manifest themselves. When the path is dark, learn to be comfortable with these small bursts of light.

Let your visions guide you home.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Know your limits

While it’s good to be compassionate, we can become overly compassionate,too. Don’t work so hard at not judging other people that you forget to pay attention to what you don’t like.

“I know what it feels like to be abandoned and left. I don’t like the feeling, so I’m not going to leave my boyfriend,” Clara says. She’s living with a man who abuses her, emotionally and physically.

“I’m not going to judge her,” Ralph says about his new wife. She’s using cocaine and stealing money from him to get high. “She’s had a hard life, and I haven’t walked in her shoes.”

“I need to be compassionate and nonjudgemental with my son,” Robert says about a child who’s driving him to distraction with his manipulations and lies. “He’s had a hard life. His mother died when he was three. And I’m the only person he’s got left.”

You can set boundaries with someone, without judging that person. You can decide that behaviors are inappropriate and hurt you, without condemning that person.

Don’t forget, you have a right to say “ouch.”

We can say whatever with compassion and still take care of ourselves.

God, help me set appropriate limits with the people in my life.

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Capturing Life’s Flavor
Taking a Field Trip

When we were children, few words were more exciting to hear than the phrase “field trip.” Field trips were a break from schoolwork and an opportunity to go on an adventure with friends. Now that we are grown ups, taking a field trip can be just as fun and memorable – if only we were willing to sign our own permission slips so we could go on one.

Allowing yourself to get stuck in your routine can make life seem boring. Adding a touch of variety to your life in the form of a field trip can break up the monotony of your days and lead you to adventure. Unlike the jaunts that were regulated by teachers or monitored by parents, taking a field trip as an adult can lead you anywhere you want. You can go on a daylong retreat or spend just a few hours at your destination. A field trip can be an opportunity to explore a new landscape or discover something about yourself. Taking a day trip to another town or visiting an unfamiliar spot in your neighborhood can be educational and fun. There is also much to be said for finding a beautiful spot under a tree where you can read a book. You can even go to one of your favorite spots and allow yourself to experience it as if you were visiting there for the first time. Going on a field trip is as much a state of mind as it is a change in the scenery.

During a “grown up” field trip, schedules, clocks, and duties are put aside so you can focus wholeheartedly on mindfully enjoying yourself. Planning a field trip can be almost as fun as going on one. A field trip is an excursion to look forward to and an experience to be savored after the fact. Wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do, going on a field trip can add much pleasure and excitement to your life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We learn in The Program and its Twelve Steps that as we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instinctual drives need to undergo drastic revisions. Our demands for emotional security and wealth,for personal prestige and power, all have to be tempered and redirected. We learn that the full satisfaction of these demands cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. But when we’re willing to place spiritual growth first — then and only then do we have a real chance to grow in healthy awareness and mature love. Am I willing to place spiritual growth first?

Today I Pray

May my development as a spiritual person temper my habitual hankerings for materil security. May I understand that the only real security in life is spiritual. If I have faith in my Higher Power, these revisions in my attitudes will follow. May I grow first in spiritual awareness.

Today I Will Remember

Value the life of the spirit.

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One More Day

Don’t waste today regretting yesterday instead of making a memory for tomorrow.
– Laura Palmer

Our youthful dreams were filled with grand expectations of our impact on the world. Some of those goals were reached; many were not.

Now, it’s easier to accept that not all our plans will come to pass. In accepting that, we are able to set new goals that better reflect our dreams and ideals today. For a while it may seem as though we are “just surviving,” but we can have more.

At our stage of life we are capable of making mature decisions, of setting more realistic goals. Each day we can reflect upon our accomplishments and upon the joy of family, friends, and job. Finally, we can feel comfortable with ourselves, and we can look forward to our tomorrows.

Yesterday is gone and unchangeable, but today is real and is mine to use.

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Food For Thought

No Ultimate “ah”

When we were overeating, we sought an ultimate experience of satisfaction from food. No matter what kind of food we ate, or how much, we never found that moment of satisfaction, that ultimate “ah.” It was always just ahead, in the next bite.

Have we finally realized that the ultimate “ah” which we looked for in food does not exist? No matter what we eat, or how much, it will always elude us. Whatever we are looking for–happiness, success, peace, and fulfillment–it is not to be found in the refrigerator.

We do not promise that working the OA program will bring instant gratification or constant happiness. What we do know is that through the Twelve Steps we are given positive experiences which we did not have before OA. We are happier, more successful, more at peace, and more fulfilled than we ever were before we found this program.

By realizing that food holds no ultimate “ah,” we can stop destroying ourselves by chasing a rainbow which does not exist.

May I stop searching for happiness where it is not to be found.

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One Day At A Time

~ THE ITSY BITSY SPIDER ~

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert, Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, Dune

Recently in our meeting room we had a new ‘member’. He was HUGE – well, we thought so, but who are we to judge? He was hairy, well maybe we’re not perfect…He strode into the room like he owned the place. Well certainly he had as much right to be there as we all did.

We shrieked. Maybe it was those 8 hairy legs, maybe it’s because he ran towards us like a streak of lightening, who knows.

Whatever he must have thought watching us giants leaping around the room we can only guess. He certainly seemed far more scared of us than we of him. It got me thinking of the insanity of some fears. After all what could this fragile little hairy thing do to me? He didn’t have 8 giant slippers to hit ME on the head. I was the one with the power, yet, through my fear I was giving HIM the power he really didn’t have. Instead of using the Power to give myself more confidence and behave rationally, I was wasting it away, GIVING it away. So many times I seem to repeat this same pattern. Of course some fears are rational, but most aren’t.
This program gives ME the freedom to ask my Higher Power to take away my shortcomings. To relax and step back and make a fresh start. I need never be afraid again of irrational things, not if I truly work the program.

Itsy Bitsy Spider scuttled out of the meeting in rather a hurry that night. Was he trying to avoid participating in the 7th Tradition? Or did he have a genuine rational fear?

Maybe he was quite simply restored to sanity.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not be afraid … I will not empower anything to cause me to be fearful.
~ Marlene

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Now about health: A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight nor do twisted thinking and depression vanish in a twinkling. – Pg. 133 – The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Now is the time to get into action and into the solution and stop being a part of your problem! Do this by remembering your last high, your last run, your last hopeless desperation. Then share that story with the next person you see and tell them how it led you to this new path of sobriety.

Show me the next person I am to share my story with.

Giving My Body a Voice

Today I will write in my journal as a part of my body. I might say something like, ‘I am your back and I want to cry. I am tired o being silent and this is what I want you to hear. Or maybe I’ll say, ‘as your stomach I want to rebel. I want to relax, and let go of all this’..’Or I am your legs and I wish you appreciated me. I carry you all around the world but you are constantly wishing I were different.’ I will let my body parts have a voice and scribble their thoughts onto paper them I will read what they have said to me and wonder about what they have told me.

I will put pen to paper

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

If you are not happy with what you have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?

Happiness is not having what I want but wanting what I have.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you meet more than three assholes in one day, you need a meeting.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that I am in charge of the quality of my life. I am growing in the ability to become aware of the thoughts that have been controlling me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

God washed my eyes with tears until I could finally see. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 9

Choice
The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.
Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent.
We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force
the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago.
We are without defense against the first drink.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p.24

Thought to Ponder . . .
Just for today, I choose not to drink.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
N E W = Nothing Else Worked.

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

The Light
“To what extent I was personally responsible for my drinking, I don’t know. Yet I’m not one to take complete refuge in the
idea that I was a sick man only. In earlier years, I certainly had some degree of free will. That free will I used badly, to the
great misery of my mother and countless others. I am deeply ashamed. As one who knows me a little, you may have
heard how, ten years ago, a friend, himself a liberated alcoholic, came to me bearing the light which finally led me out of
the toils. There will come a day like that for you and yours–I’m so confident!”
Bill W., Letter to the Mother of an Alcoholic, Dec. Language of the Heart, p. 102

Thought to Consider . . .
It’s impossible for me to love God and hate myself.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ISM = I, Self, Me

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

Substitute
>From “Stay Sober on Love”:
“The things I thought I needed for so many years no longer seem important, now that I have become aware of the
spiritual resources God has given me. With these, I don’t need alcohol to function. What a joy to stay sober on love on
love instead of fear!” Toronto, Ontario/Canada
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 35

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

“If there are challenges to be met today, I remember other days when what seemed impossible was made possible.”
Huntington, W.V., August 2006
“Never Sober Today Before”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much
more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our
respective homes, occupations and affairs.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19

“When people presented us with spiritual approaches, how frequently
did we all say, “I wish I had what that man has. I’m sure it
would work if I could only believe as he believes. But I cannot
accept as surely true the many articles of faith which are so plain
to him.” So it was comforting to learn that we could commence at a
simpler level.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 47~

True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grave of God.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 124

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Renew Your Effort
‘Though I know how hurt and sorry you must be after this slip, please do not worry about a temporary loss of your inner
peace. As calmly as you can, just renew your effort on the A.A. program, especially those parts of it which have to do
with meditation and self-analysis.
‘Could I also suggest that you look at excessive guilt for what it is? Nothing but a sort of reverse pride. A decent regret
for what has happened is fine. But guilt – no.
‘Indeed, the slip could well have been brought about by unreasonable feelings of guilt because of other moral failures, so
called. Surely, you ought to look into this possibility. Even here you should not blame yourself for failure; you can be
penalized only for refusing to try for better things.’ LETTER, 1958

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, please grant me the wisdom to understand that I do make a difference in the world.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 7th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings March 7th

Daily Reflections

THE KEY IS WILLINGNESS

Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock
and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that
we can always open it some more.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 35

The willingness to give up my pride and self-will to a
Power greater than myself has proved to be the only
ingredient absolutely necessary to solve all of my
problems today. Even the smallest amount of willingness,
if sincere, is sufficient to allow God to enter and
take control over my problem, pain, or obsession. My
level of comfort is in direct relation to the degree of
willingness I possess at any given moment to give up my
self-will, and allow God’s will to be manifested in my
life. With the key of willingness, my worries and fears
are powerfully transformed into serenity.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

There are two important things we have to do if we want
to get sober and stay sober. First, having admitted that
we are helpless before alcohol, we have to turn our
alcoholic problem over to God and trust Him to take care
of it for us. This means asking Him every morning for the
strength to stay sober for that day and thanking Him
every night. It means really leaving the problem in God’s
hands and not reaching out and getting the problem back
to ourselves. Second, having given our drink problem to
God, we must cooperate with Him by doing something about
it ourselves. Am I doing these two things?

Meditation For The Day

I must prepare myself by doing each day what I can to
develop spiritually and to help others to do so. God tests
me and trains me and bends me to His will. If I am not
properly trained, I cannot meet the test when it comes. I
must want God’s will for me above all else. I must expect
to have what I am not prepared for. This preparation
consists of quiet communion with God every day and
gradually gaining the strength I need.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may really try to do God’s will in all my
affairs. I pray that I may do all I can to help others
find God’s will for them.

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

As Bill Sees It

For Emergencies Only?, p. 66

Whether we had been believers or unbelievers, we began to get over
the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-league pinch
hitter, to be called upon only in an emergency.

The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little
now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who had thought
ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing
to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help.

But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the
works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.

12 & 12, p. 75

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Walk in Dry Places

First things First
Order
The struggle to bring order into our lives starts with lots of little things.  One recovering person discovered that it was a good exercise simply to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube in the morning.  This was a reminder that things should be put in their proper place, and the discipline helped later in organizing larger matters.
It is very easy to overlook orderly procedures in the haste to get things done, or to avoid anything that seems unpleasant or demanding. But such oversight  always carries a heavy price later on.  When we don’t return things to their proper place, for example, we lose them or waste hours  looking for them. We may bungle a job simply because we were too lazy to look up the right information or to read directions.
That’s why “First things First” is much more than just a slogan.  It’s actually a principle for living, a guide that tells us there is an orderly approach to everything.   If we can find that order without  becoming slavishly compulsive about it, we’ll find that it simplifies lots of things later on.
I’ll try to do things in an orderly manner today.  When I find myself taking short cuts or becoming too hurried, I’ll regain control by remembering to establish priorities.

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Keep It Simple

To make the world a friendly place One must show it a friendly face.—James Whitcomb Riley
We are beginning to learn that we get what we expect. Why? If we believe that people are out to get us, we’ll not treat them well. We will think it’s okay to “get them” before they “get us.” Then, they’ll be angry and want to get even. And on it goes. It’s great when we can meet the world with a balance. We are honest people. We can expect others to be fair with us. We get the faith, strength, and courage to do this because of our trust in our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I put my life in Your care. Use me to spread Your love to others.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll spread friendliness. I will greet people with a smile.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.  –Anne Frank
We must take responsibility for ourselves, for who we become, for how we live each day. The temptation to blame others may be ever present. And much of our past adds up to wasted days or years perhaps, because we did blame someone else for the unhappiness in our lives.
We may have blamed our own parents for not loving us enough. We may have labeled our husbands the villains. Other people did affect us. That’s true. However, we chose, you and I, to let them control us, overwhelm us, shame us. We always had other options, but we didn’t choose them.
Today is a new day. Recovery has opened up our options. We are learning who we are and how we want to live our lives. How exhilarating to know that you and I can take today and put our own special flavor in it. We can meet our personal needs. We can, with anticipation, chart our course. The days of passivity are over, if we choose to move ahead with this day.
I will look to this day. Every day is a new beginning.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

Abruptly in October 1929 hell broke loose on the New York stock exchange. After one of those days of inferno, I wobbled from a hotel bar to a brokerage office. It was eight o’clock-five hours after the market closed. The ticker still clattered. I was staring at an inch of the tape which bore the inscription XYZ-32. It had been 52 that morning. I was finished and so were many friends. The papers reported men jumping to death from the towers of High Finance. That disgusted me. I would not jump. I went back to the bar. My friends had dropped several million since ten o’clock-so what? Tomorrow was another day. As I drank, the old fierce determination to win came back.

p. 4

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

FLOODED WITH FEELING – When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
I do know that my life is different now.  I haven’t had a drink since I came to A.A.  I have fewer resentments, and I don’t spend much time thinking about the past.  I’ve found my experience can be of help to other people.  I have come to believe that hard times are not just meaningless suffering and that something good might turn up at any moment.  That’s a big change for someone who used to come to in the morning feeling sentenced to another day of life.  When I wake up today, there are lots of possibilities.  I can hardly wait to see what’s going to happen next.
I keep coming back because it works.

p. 374

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

Now comes the election. If the founder and his friends have served well, they may – to their surprise – be reinstated for a time. If, however, they have heavily resisted the rising tide of democracy, they may be summarily beached. In either case, the group now has a so-called rotating committee, very sharply limited in its authority. In no sense whatever can its members govern or direct the group. They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores. Headed by the chairman, they look after public relations and arrange meetings. Their treasurer, strictly accountable, takes money from the hat that is passed, banks it, pays the rent and other bills, and makes a regular report at business meetings. The secretary sees that literature is on the table, looks after the phone-answering service, answers the mail, and sends out notices of meetings. Such are the simple services that enable the group to function. the committee gives no spiritual advice, judges no one’s conduct, issues no orders. Every one of them may be promptly eliminated at the next election if they try this. And so they make the belated discovery that they are really servants, not senators. These are universal experiences. Thus throughout A.A. does the group conscience decree the terms upon which its leaders shall serve.

p. 134

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

“I used to say, ‘I sure hope things will change.’ Then I learned that
the only way things are going to change for me is when I change.”
–Jim Rohn

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better
things.
–Henry Ward Beecher

Expecting the world to be fair to you because you are a good person
is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.

Today I will do something I should have done yesterday.
–Nelle Bruner Weddington

It’s so important to treat others like you would expect to be treated.
It’s a universal law that the hurt and pain you have caused on others
will come back and affect you, but the love and joy you have inspired
in others, will also inspire you.

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IDEALS

“An idealist is one who, on
noticing that a rose smells
better than a cabbage,
concludes that it will also make
better soup.”
— H.L. Mencken

The spiritual program teaches me to be an idealist with my feet on
the ground. People will continue to hurt, get angry and tell lies;
wrestling with imperfections is not just my problem. I need to accept
that I live in an imperfect world and recovery involves reality, not
illusion.

My responsibility in recovery is for my life. I cannot change other
people, events or relationships — I can only change me. I am not
God. Each time I forget this fact, I risk another hurt.

Help me to aspire for ideals that are within my grasp.

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

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1

For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:6

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart
of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezek 36:26

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Hebrews 12:1


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

Daily Inspiration

It is not in the good times, but rather in the times of stress and misfortune, that our faith is tested. Lord, remove my doubts as they creep in and help me turn my times of turmoil into times of spiritual growth.

No matter what you must confront today, know that God is with you. Lord, today is part of Your plan for me. I do not doubt You and therefore I will not doubt You within me.

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

NA Just For Today

Priorities

“The good times can also be a trap; the danger is that we may forget that our first priority is to stay clean.”
Basic Text, p. 42

Things can get really good in our recovery. Perhaps we’ve found our “soul mate” built a rewarding career, started a family. Maybe our relationships with our family members have healed. Things are going so well, we barely have time to attend meetings. Perhaps we begin to reintegrate into society so successfully that we forget that we don’t always react to situations like others do.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve put some priorities ahead of themselves. Is meeting attendance still a priority with us? Do we still sponsor? Do we phone our sponsor? What step are we working? Are we still willing to drag ourselves out of bed at some ungodly hour for a Twelfth Step call? Do we remember to practice principles in all our affairs? If others in NA reach out to us, are we available? Do we remember where we came from, or have the “good times” allowed us to forget?

To stay clean, we must remember that we are only one drug away from our past. We stay grateful for the good times, but we don’t let them divert us from our continuing recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: I’m grateful for the good times, but I’ve not forgotten from where I’ve come. Today, my first priority is staying clean and growing in my recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
He who distributes the milk of human kindness cannot help but spill a little on himself. –James Barrie
We like ourselves best when we like those around us. When we smile at them, they smile back; when we ask them, they tell us about themselves. When we scowl at people, they’ll frown back; when we ignore them, they’ll walk away.
It’s true that we get back what we put into things, whether it’s work, play, love, or gardening. We decide by the extent of our commitment how valuable or enjoyable or depressing an experience can be for us.
Our actions toward others come right back to us. When we smile at people, they smile back, and we feel good. Sometimes feeling good about ourselves depends on feeling good about others. When we send out that smile of ours, those who get it pass it on, and we have added power to the happiness of the world.
What can I do to show my fondness for others today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A controller doesn’t trust his/her ability to live through the pain and chaos of life. There is no life without pain just as there is no art without submitting to chaos. –Rita Mae Brown
It is very hard for most of us to see how controlling we are. We may feel uptight or careful, but we haven’t seen it as controlling ourselves or controlling how people respond to us. We may be worried about a loved one’s behavior or safety, but not realize our hovering over that person is a controlling activity. We may be keenly aware of other people’s controlling behavior with us, but unaware we have equaled their control by monitoring them and trying to change their behavior.
What a moment of spiritual adventure it is to risk living through the pain! When we do not seek an escape or a quick fix but have patience with the process, new possibilities often do develop. We can only let go of our control – or turn it over to our Higher Power. And we will do it and forget, taking control back within minutes or within an hour. Then we let go again.
Today, I will submit to the insecurity of a changing universe and have faith that 1 can live through the process and grow.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Fulfillment
Everything I need shall be provided today. Everything. Say it, until you believe it. Say it at the beginning of the day. Say it throughout the day.
Sometimes, it helps to know what we want and need. But if we don’t, we can trust that God does.
When we ask, trust, and believe that our needs will be met, our needs will be met. Sometimes God cares about the silliest little things, if we do.
Today, I will affirm that my needs will be met. I will affirm that God cares and is the Source of my supply. Then I will let go and see that what I have risked to believe is the truth.

It is exciting to know that my thoughts and my actions in the present moment condition the next moment. I am responsible for my future. Today I am bringing awareness to my self-talk and replacing all negative thoughts with positive thoughts as soon as they appear on my mindscape. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Redefine Service

Service is a key, an important one. It’s a key to joy, to love. And a gold key to the journey.

How long we thought service meant doing everything for everyone. How long we thought service had to be hard, taxing, boring– that it meant doing something we didn’t want to do to help someone who didn’t want to be helped.

Now, we’re defining service differently. Service is joyful. It’s an attitude, a belief, a way of looking at ourselves and our lives. Our very life is service. Our being is service. Service arises and springs naturally out of self-love. It arises from being who we are and from doing the things we want to do and are led to do. The things that bring us the most joy will bring the most service to the world. Doing things we don’t want to do will leave us and the world around us cold, untouched, unmoved.

Service is love and joy. Service is being who you are. Bask in self-love. Service will flow naturally from that. It will be freely given and freely received. And now what you do will really help.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Recognize manipulations

Herein lies an irony: the person who is trying to manipulate you views you as having greater strength or power than he or she does.
–George H. Green and Carolyn Cotter

Stop Being Manipulated

George Green and Carolyn Cotter describe manipulation as an encounter in which someone else attempts to control how you feel, behave, or think– without your permission– and it causes you discomfort as a result.

Most of us use manipulation, from time to time, to get what we want. Sometimes our manipulations are harmless’ even cute. Both people know a low-grade manipulation is at hand. Both people basically want what the manipulator is working so hard to get– dinner out, a movie, a walk through the park. It’s not a big deal.

Other times, the stakes are higher and the people involved don’t agree. That’s when manipulations can be harmful. When we don’t know what we want, when we’re not clear with others and ourselves about how we feel, a manipulation is in the air.

Sometimes manipulationx are conscious and deliberate. Other times they’re unconscious, foggy attempts to get what we want.

“Let’s simplify our definition of manipulation,” suggest Green and Cotter. “If an encounter leaves you feeling crummy, it probably involves manipulation of some sort.”

Isn’t it ironic that sometimes the very feeling we’re trying to deny is exactly what we need to be feeling to take care of ourselves?

Next time you’re faced with a situation that leaves you feeling crummy, take a moment to see if a manipulation was involved. Remember that whenever others try to manipulate you, they perceive you as having something they want and as being more powerful than they are. If you’re powerful enough to be a target for a manipulation, you’re powerful enough to take care of yourself.

God, help me let go of my belief that I need to manipulate other people to get what I want. Help me stop letting others manipulate me.

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Letting Go of Understanding
Deeper Meanings

by Madisyn Taylor

We don’t always need to know the deeper meaning of everything that happens in our lives.

All of us who seek to be conscious and aware regard our experiences as teachers, and we try to discern what lessons we are learning from the things that happen in our lives. Sometimes the lesson is very clear from the get-go, and other times we have to really search to understand the deeper meaning behind some event. While this search often yields results, there also comes a point in the search where what we really need to do is move forward. It is possible that we are not meant to know the deeper meaning of certain occurrences. Answers may come later in our lives, or they may come as a result of letting go, or they may never come.

We are all part of a complex system of being, and things work themselves out in the system as a whole. Sometimes we are just playing a necessary part in that process with a result larger than we can understand. It may have very little to do with us personally, and while that can be hard to understand, it can also free us from overthinking the matter. Sometimes it is best to see it in terms of karma, a past debt we have been able to repay in this way, or as the clearing of energy. We can simply thank the event for being part of our experience and let it go. This completes the process that the occurrence has made possible.

To make this letting go official, we can perform a ritual, make a final journal entry on the subject, or sit in meditation with the intention of releasing the event from our consciousness. As we do so, we summon it one last time, honoring it with our attention, thanking it, and saying good-bye. We then let it go out the door, out the window, out the top of our heads, or into the earth through the bottoms of our feet, liberating ourselves from any burden we have carried in association with it. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

It’s time for me to realize that my attitude — toward the life I’m living and the people in it — can have a tangible, measurable and profound effect on what happens to me day by day. If I expect good, then good will surely come to me. And If I try each day to base my attitude and point of view on a sound spiritual foundation, I know it will change all the circumstances of my life for the better, too. Do I accept the fact that I have been given only a daily reprieve that is contingent on my spiritual condition?

Today I Pray

since my illness was spiritual — as well as physical and emotional — may I mend spiritually through daily communion with God. May I find a corner of quiet within me where I can spend a few moments with Him. May He make His will known to me. May I worship Him from that inner temple that is in myself.

Today I will Remember

To spend a quiet moment with God.

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One More Day

Life if you will, is a work of art, and if we have paid loving attention to its details, we will be able to take pride in the finished product.
– Harold Kushner

Without even realizing it, we often do things that are good for us and make us happy. We do something that creates well-being, and we have a successful day. When we pay attention to actions that create well-being we can have a successful week. Taking good care of our homes makes us feel proud and so does helping a fellow human being in need. Making volunteer work a part of how we live, showing kindness to others and ourselves, reaching out — all these choices enhance our well-being.

When we pay attention to those around us, a transformation occurs within our spiritual selves. Then we shall have given ourselves the gift of a meaningful life.

I will pay loving attention to the details of my day.

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

Food For Thought

Accepting Abstinence

Abstinence is not so much something we achieve as it is a gift from our Higher Power. It is given to us constantly, from the time we wake up in the morning through every minute of the day.

If we think of abstinence as something we have to acquire through great effort, we will be afraid that we will fail. We will think of weeks and months and years stretching ahead of us and say, “I’ll never make it.”

Abstinence is given to us now, each day, and all we need to do is accept it. It is not something we do only in order to lose a certain number of pounds. By abstaining, we will lose the pounds, but when we are at our desired weight we continue to maintain abstinence. Abstinence is our freedom from compulsive overeating and the gift of new life.

Thank you, Lord, for abstinence.

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One Day At A Time

Perseverance
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil on it.
Mother Teresa

As a child I can still remember being terribly stubborn, and would even have a temper tantrum if I didn’t want to do something. As I grew up, the trait of stubbornness remained, and it would be hard to get me to budge if I had decided I didn’t want to do something. After coming into the program, I realized that stubbornness is actually a character defect of mine, and whilst I am praying to be relieved of it in its negative form, I also know that that same character defect in its positive form has helped me tremendously in the program, especially seeing my journey has been one which has been characterized with many slips along the way. But one of the things that I’ve never stopped doing is coming back, and I know that it is this very character defect of stubbornness, turned into perseverance, that has made me keep working at the program, even when it would be easier to just give up. So I have kept coming to meetings, and working the steps and the tools even when I was struggling, because I know that it is only when I do that, I have a chance of recovery.

It has been said that this is a program of action, and so I repeat on a daily basis the actions that have brought recovery to thousands. Some days it is harder than others, especially when the willingness is not there, and on those days my old pattern of wanting to block out the feelings with food resurfaces. But I also know that when I use the tools and work the steps, I can deal with the feelings without resorting to food, because my Higher Power will help me to get through the daily struggles when I turn them over to Him. So what I need to do on a daily basis is to ask for help from my Higher Power with my unmanageable life, instead of turning to food, and even on days where I’m struggling, I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and persevering with working the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will persevere with working the program, so that I can recover from this disease of compulsive overeating and be restored to sanity on a daily basis.
~ Sharon ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt — and one more failure. – Pg. 151 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Right now, whatever is bothering you, set it aside. Turn to the next person you see and smile. Tell them hi and wish them well for the moment. That is the first step to getting out of self.

When I am tempted to obsess on myself, please show me the way to be kind to someone else.

Letting My Body Speak

I will let my body have a voice today and I will listen to what it’s trying to say to me. If my body’s voice has tears in it, I will allow those tears to come out. If my body is holding anger, I will allow myself to experience that anger so that it can dissolve and my cells no longer have to hold it for me. If my body wants to shiver and shake I will let it, knowing that it just needs to release something it doesn’t want to hang onto any more.

I allow my body to let go of the emotions it is holding

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘Being angry at God won’t hurt God, and neither will it provoke Him to take measures against us. If it makes us feel better to vent our anger at Him over a painful situation, we are free to do it. The only thing wrong with doing it is that what happened to us was not really God’s fault.’ -Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Usually, things don’t happen TO make me angry; things happen THAT make me angry.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You may be the only copy of the Big Book some people ever see.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I feel so good knowing that I am a power of example for future generations today as I walk on my new path of truth. I am making a difference not only in my own life but in the lives of those who follow me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I had an open mind; everything went right through. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

March 7

No Reservation
We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again:
“Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.”
Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.
If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind,
nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 33

Thought to Ponder . . .
If we want to quit drinking, we are going to have to quit drinking.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K C B = Keep Coming Back.

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

Obsession
“Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to AA, and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and only
then, do we become as open-minded and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to do anything which
will lift the merciless obsession from us.

Thought to Consider . . .
The best things in life aren’t things.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
NUTS Not Using The Steps

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

Illogical
>From “I Must Learn”:
“‘Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him,’ Paul Eldridge wrote. That is the way the
spiritual side of the A.A. program appears to me. I’m in trouble if I attempt to parse it: I don’t attempt to understand it.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 101

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

“AA gives us a Ph.D. in life and a black belt in common sense.”
Keego Harbor, Mich., June 1998
“Paradoxes of Sobriety”
Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to
Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give
freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the
Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you
trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164~

“It did not satisfy us to be told that we could not control our
drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in
full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives. These
things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent
with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as
well. In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out
this physical factor is incomplete.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxvi~

Then, in Step Seven, we humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings such as He could or would under the
conditions of the day we asked. In step Eight, we continued our house-cleaning, for we saw that we were not only in
conflict with ourselves, but also with people and situations in the world in which we lived. We had to begin to make our peace.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 108

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

For Emergencies Only?
Whether we had been believers or unbelievers, we began to get over the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-
league pinch hitter, to be called upon only in an emergency.
The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who
had thought ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived
ourselves of His help.
But now the words ‘Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works’ began to carry bright promise and meaning.
TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 75

Prayer For The Day: Holy God, as I face another day, I know I am going to face many challenges: to my faith, to my
patience, to my love for others. I am going to have constant temptations to lapse into sin. Come to me now, Lord, and
stay with me all day. Let your Spirit encompass my mind. Let me know your presence. Steer my hand, direct my words,
guide my thoughts in everything I think and say and do. I resolve to live this day as a beacon of your glory, the best I can,
with your help. I commit myself to give this day to you. In the name of Christ, be with me and help me. Amen.