Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 28th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 28th

Daily Reflections

THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER

Let us resist the proud assumption that since God has enabled us to do
well in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving grace for
everybody.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 232

A.A. groups exist to help alcoholics achieve sobriety. Large or small,
firmly established or brand-new, speaker, discussion or study group
has but one reason for being: to carry the message to the
still-suffering alcoholic. The group exists so that the alcoholic can find
a new way of life, a life abundant in happiness, joy, and freedom. To
recover, most alcoholics need the support of a group of other
alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope. Thus my
sobriety, and our program’s survival, depend on my determination to
put first things first.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

To continue the paraphrase of the psalm: “The judgments of the
Twelve Steps are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired
are they than whiskey, yea, than much fine whiskey, sweeter also than
wine. Moreover, by them are alcoholics warned and in keeping of them
there is great reward. Who can understand our alcoholism? Cleanse us
from secret faults. Keep us from presumptuous resentments. Let them
not have dominion over us. Then shall we be upright and free of the
great transgression.” Am I resolved that liquor will never again have
dominion over me?

Meditation For The Day

God can be your shield. Then no problems of the world can harm you.
Between you and all scorn and indignity from others is your trust in
God, like a shining shield. Nothing can then have the power to spoil
your inward peace. With this shield, you can attain this inward peace
quickly, in your surroundings as well as in your heart. With this inward
peace, you do not need to resent the person who troubles you. Instead,
you can overcome the resentment in your own mind which may have
been aroused by that person.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may strive for inward peace. I pray that I may not be
seriously upset, no matter what happens around me.

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As Bill Sees It

Never the Same Again, p. 209

It was discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of
another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the
same again. Following every spree, he would have to say to himself,
“Maybe those A.A.’s were right.” After a few such experiences,
often before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us
convinced.

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In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim
and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with
milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks
appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health,
and even good social standing.

Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom
emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in
order to admit that they were licked.

1. 12 & 12, p. 23-24
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 199


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Walk In Dry Places

The True Security
Security
We can feel insecure for many reasons, but the fundamental reason is that we do not have a firm anchorage in our Higher Power.  This anchorage must be our true security, and it is really the only form that can survive any attack.
Regardless of who we are, we can know and feel that our Higher Power is guiding and directing us at all times. If we find ourselves being threatened by a person or situation, we can deal with it by knowing that our Higher Power is in charge of all outcomes. If we envy somebody, we must get back to an acknowledgment of God as the source of everything.
If we feel inadequate around people who seem to be immensely self-confident and secure, we should not try to imitate their manner and behavior. Rather, we should simply put our trust in our own Higher Power, and our feeling of true security will express itself in proper ways.
All the things we view today as being secure are probably only temporary.  Our ture security can come only from God.

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Keep It Simple

The best leaders are those who know how to follow.—Anonymous
Am I a leader or a follower? The fact is, I am responsible for where I end up. If I choose to be a follower, I’d better follow leaders who know where they are going. And I had better know where they’re going.
If I choose to be leader, I’d better know that I’m responsible for getting myself on the right path. I also must be honest with my followers, so they can make good choices. I’m not responsible for my followers choices, but I must give them the truth. Being a leader doesn’t always mean that I know where I’ll end up. But it can mean that I know I’m on the right path, following the lead from my Higher Power—one step at a time.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, give me the faith and courage to choose good leaders to follow. When it is Your will, help me be a good leader.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list my leaders. They might be a Higher Power, a sponsor, or a friend. I’ll think of why I choose to follow these leaders.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The beauty of loving someone is the feeling of “wholeness” that I experience. The need for that individual in my life, the “I’m part of you and you’re part of me” feeling that connects two people and makes them necessary to each other.  –Kathleen Andrus
All that is asked of us by our Creator is that we love one another. Where love doesn’t flow easily, perhaps we can just decide to not hurt someone. If we each avoided hurting all people, for just one day, lives would be transformed. We’d each see the world with a fresh perspective.
The more we love others, any others, the deeper our love will grow for all others. Loving lifts our hearts and lightens our burdens. Every day’s tribulations can become triumphs when we carry love in our hearts. Love fills us up, and the more we share it, the fuller we become.
We are connected–each of us to one another, all of us together. Our contributions to the whole are necessary. Its completion is made perfect by our presence.
As I pass a friend today, I will be grateful for her contribution to my wholeness, too.


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker—then he knew.
Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him.
When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!

p. 57

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
I went back to the dean who had guided me into counseling and, for the first time, admitted to myself and to someone else that I had a problem with alcohol.  I didn’t think I was an alcoholic.  I wasn’t even sure what that was.  But I knew my life was out of control.  The dean allowed me to withdraw from the class the day before the final exam on one condition–I had to enter a treatment center.  I agreed.

pp. 424-425

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

The sponsor continues, “Take, for example, my own case. I had a scientific schooling. Naturally I respected, venerated, even worshipped science. As a matter of fact, I still do–all except the worship part. Time after time, my instructors held up to me the basic principle of all scientific progress: search and research, again and again, always with the open mind. When I first looked at A.A. my reaction was just like yours. This A.A. business, I thought, is totally unscientific. This I can’t swallow. I simply won’t consider such nonsense.

pp. 26-27

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Spirit has placed a dream in your heart for a better world, starting
with your family, extending to your work, community, country and
stretching beyond your nation. Speak your truth and inspire others, for
you are meant to make a significant and sizable difference.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Guidance isn’t being told which action to take or not to take.
Guidance is God’s gift of peace – from which we proceed. The peace
dissolves the question, and we simply do what we do in peace.”
–Hugh Prather, Spiritual Notes to Myself

Today, I will ask my Higher Power for what I want and need. I will not
demand — I will ask. Then I will let go.
–Melody Beattie

Spiritual community is created when we come together on a regular
basis with a common intention: to extend love beyond our immediate
families. Through this shared affinity, we encourage, challenge and
remind one another that nothing is impossible.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

Be gentle with yourself. Don’t force it. But don’t run away from your
feelings, either. You might feel like cooked spaghetti for a while,
but what’s really softening up is your heart. God, help me face and
feel any feelings.
–Melody Beattie

Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.
–American Proverb

“Know that every struggle holds a blessing. Uncover the blessing and
say thanks.”
–Unknown

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing
that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to
write a new page.
–Mark Houlahan

To love is to be patient, thoughtful, kind and meek. Lord, increase my
ability to love so that I can see You working in my life.
–unknown

“Love is not blind – It sees more, not less. But because it sees more, It
is willing to see less.”
–Julius Gordon

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SIMILARITY

“Whatever you may be sure of,
be sure of this — that you are
dreadfully like other people.”
–James Russell Lowell

For many years I saw the differences and not the similarities. I was
always considering how I was unlike other alcoholics, rather than
perceiving the striking similarities. I kept myself on the outside, not
only in recovery from alcoholism but also in life.

Then I heard from another recovering alcoholic not only “my story”
but also my feelings. I belonged. I was with people who knew my
loneliness, isolation, confusion, guilt and despair. I had come home to
live amongst my people.

Thank You for enabling me to see that I am a member of the human
family and a recovering alcoholic.

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“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'”
Luke 18:16

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see
your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16


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Daily Inspiration

Patience with others brings peace to our own soul. Lord, help me to display patience even when I do not feel patient because everyone will benefit, but me most of all.

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”. Lord, I pray, I believe, and I thank you even before it is fulfilled.

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NA Just For Today

Secrets And Intimacy

“We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected.”
Basic Text, p.31

Having relationships without barriers, ones in which we can be entirely open with our feelings, is something many of us desire. At the same time, the possibility of such intimacy causes us more fear than almost any other situation in life.

If we examine what frightens us, we’ll usually find that we are attempting to hide an aspect of our personalities that we are ashamed of, an aspect we sometimes haven’t even admitted to ourselves. We don’t want others to know of our insecurities, our pain, or our neediness, so we simply refuse to expose them. We may imagine that if no one knows about our imperfections, those imperfections will cease to exist.

This is the point where our relationships stop. Anyone who enters our lives will not get past the point at which our secrets begin. To maintain intimacy in a relationship, it is essential that we acknowledge our defects and accept them. When we do, the fortress of denial, erected to keep these things hidden, will come crashing down, enabling us to build up our relationships with others.

Just for today: I have opportunities to share my inner self. I will take advantage of those opportunities and draw closer to those I love.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
One law for lion and ox is oppression. –William Blake
What would the forest be like if deer, squirrel, and owl alike were required to sleep only at noon? Or the sky, if all birds were forced by law to fly in lines? Or the sea, if all fish had to stay forever in schools? We all know a lion and an ox, and we’ve all acted like a chicken, jackass, goat, or fox. Now and then we’re slow or fast, bright or dull, willing or not.
So when others go the way we know we must go, we will follow the same law. But we don’t have to be as others are, just to avoid being thought “strange.” How truly strange life would be if everyone were the same. We have our own way, our own good time, and own free laws to discover and obey.
Will I need to obey someone else’s rules if I govern myself well?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I am ill because my mind is in a rut and refuses to leave. –Karen Giordino
We are vulnerable human beings. We are susceptible to accidents and disease, and we can get bogged down in unhealthy thinking. We aren’t at fault when we catch a cold or get a more serious illness, and accidents can happen to anyone. In the same way our addictions and the addictions of people we are close to are not our fault. We never asked for these afflictions, yet we must deal with them.
Physical and spiritual health can’t be separated. A thriving spiritual life creates an environment for physical healing and strength. In the same way, physical well-being infuses our spirit with hope and joy. Human beings cannot go through life without sometimes being ill in either mind or body. Living by this program helps make us healthier in all ways. When we are bogged down, we can turn to one of the Steps as a means of healing and release.
Today, I will remember that lama whole man, with body and spirit as one. As I turn to the Steps, my whole being is healed.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The beauty of loving someone is the feeling of “wholeness” that I experience. The need for that individual in my life, the “I’m part of you and you’re part of me” feeling that connects two people and makes them necessary to each other. –Kathleen Andrus
All that is asked of us by our Creator is that we love one another. Where love doesn’t flow easily, perhaps we can just decide to not hurt someone. If we each avoided hurting all people, for just one day, lives would be transformed. We’d each see the world with a fresh perspective.
The more we love others, any others, the deeper our love will grow for all others. Loving lifts our hearts and lightens our burdens. Every day’s tribulations can become triumphs when we carry love in our hearts. Love fills us up, and the more we share it, the fuller we become.
We are connected–each of us to one another, all of us together. Our contributions to the whole are necessary. Its completion is made perfect by our presence.
As I pass a friend today, I will be grateful for her contribution to my wholeness, too.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Fear
One day, I decided to try something new. I took my ten year old son out on the St. Croix River on a Waverunner. A Waverunner is a small boating vehicle resembling a motorcycle.
We donned life jackets and embarked on an experience that turned out to be both exhilarating and frightening; exhilarating when I let myself enjoy it; frightening when I thought too much about what I was doing and all the terrible things that could happen.
Midway though our ride, my worst fear came true. We took a spill. We were floundering in thirty feet of water. The Waverunner was bobbing on the waves in front of me, like a motorized turtle on it back.
“Don’t panic,” my son said calmly.
“What if we drown?” I objected.
“We can’t,” he said. “We have life jackets on. See! We’re floating.”
“The machine is upside down,” I said. “How are we going to turn it over?”
“Just like the man said,” my son answered. “The arrow points this way.”
With an easy gesture, we turned the machine right side up. “What if we can’t climb back on?” I asked.
“We can,” my son replied. “That’s what Waverunners were made for: climbing on in the water.”
I relaxed and as we drove off, I wondered why I had become so frightened. I thought maybe it’s because I don’t trust my ability to solve problems. Maybe it’s because once I almost drowned when I wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
But you didn’t drown then either; a small voice inside reassured me. You survived.
Don’t panic.
Problems were made to be solved. Life was made to be lived. Although sometimes we may be in over our heads – yes, we may even go under for a few moments and gulp a few mouthfuls of water, we won’t drown. We’re wearing – and always have been wearing – a life jacket. That support jacket is called “God.”
Today, I will remember to take care of myself. When I get in over my head, God is there supporting me – even when my fears try to make me forget.

It is exciting to know that I am at choice today and that my choices are limitless. I can choose exactly what I want to do to change how I am feeling. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Acknowledge Your Fears

I never knew how afraid I was. Maybe I was even too afraid to look at my fears.

People speak of facing fear of not being afraid of fear, of working through fear. How do we do that? Try this technique, recommended to me by a healing professional. Take out a sheet of paper and pencil, and write down everything you fear. Take as much time as you need. Let it roll out. Don’t be afraid of what you see. Some of your fears may be of the unknown. Write as much as you can about those,too.

We don’t need to list everything we need to do about each fear. All we need to do is acknowledge, honestly, what we fear. Once we do, the way will become clear. Acknowledging our fears will give us power. Acknowledging our fears will help set us free. Often, it moves us to the next place. It is the barrier we need to pass through.

Although some of our fears may be real, may be grounded in reality, facing them won’t make us more afraid. Facing our fears will bring us peace and power. The truth isn’t the enemy. Fear of the truth is the enemy.

Be gentle with yourself. Let yourself have your fears, and let yourself face them.

Having the wisdom to face the truth will bring us closer to peace.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Turn the switch on

Many of us have turned off our intuition switch, our sense of knowing the truth. We may have turned it off when were children, because our parents lied to us. Or we may have turned the switch off later on in life to be in relationship to people who were lying to themselves and us. Our inner voice, our sense of knowing the truth, had to be turned off in order for us to remain in the situation.

It is time to turn the intuition switch back on. Go into your circuit-breaker room and turn it on. You know and can feel it when somebody is lying to you. You may not know it right away, but you can tell before long. You know if you trust or mistrust somebody. And you probably know the truth right now about how you feel.

Can you trust yourself? Stop doubting. Begin trusting and listening to what you know is the truth.

You know when a thing feels right to you, and you know when it doesn’t. The problem isn’t that your intuition doesn’t work. The problem is that sometimes you choose to ignore it.

God, help me listen when you speak. Help me trust the radar you’ve built into me.

Activity: This is a meditation to help you activate your intuitive powers. Get yourself in a relaxed position, either sitting in a comfortable chair or lying on a couch. Spend a few minutes consciously relaxing your entire body, starting with your head, your face, then moving downward to your toes. Then picture yourself at the bottom of a staircase, standing in front of a door with your name on it. Open the door and go into the room. In this room are a lot of switches, similar to a circuit-breaker room. Look for the switch marked “Intuition.” See yourself going over to the switch, then turning it on. If it needs any repairs, see yourself making those repairs. If you’re having difficulty turning it on, ask what the problem is, what you need to clear up before you can turn it on. Once the switch is turned on, leave the room. Lock the door behind you; then walk back up the stairs and slowly move back into awareness. Whenever your intuition falters, check the switch in your switch room to make certain your switch is on.

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In God’s Care

When you betray sombody else, you also betray yourself.
~~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Any action or expression we make toward another comes back to us. Maybe not today, but it assuredly returns: we do sow what we reap. If we treat others hatefully, or with disdain and suspicion, we eventually get the same in return. And we can also have a love-filled, affirming life if we willingly, gladly, and honestly offer our love to others with no conditions.

We can bring ourselves misery or happiness through our actions. With the help of our Higher Power, we can sow only what we want to reap. It’s a small decision to turn within for guidance. Although it takes practice to remember to let our Higher Power direct our actions, it will become a habit in time – the healthiest habit we’ll ever develop.

I will experience what I give to others through my actions today.

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Day By Day

Testing the fellowship

Early in recovery, we may find ourselves testing the fellowship to see how much others will respond to us. Out of fear, anxiety, loneliness, or frustration, we may act out. But as wonderful as our fellowship is, it’s not a permanent bond; it will not hold up against repeated assaults and excessive demands.

When fellowship members have had enough, they may frankly object. We may feel hurt and rejected. If we then overreact and reject the fellowship, we lose. And so does the fellowship. We need to learn what issues we have along with chemical dependency and how to deal with them. We need to learn that the fellowship needs the care and respect we’d give any relationship.

Am I treating the fellowship and myself well?

Higher Power, help me understand my individual issue and to get help with them.

Today I will show respect for myself and the fellowship by…

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Food for Thought

God Cares

It may be hard to believe that the Power of the universe is concerned with everything we do, including how and what we eat. The awareness that God does indeed care about the minute details of our daily existence comes to us as we see evidence of that care. When we turn to Him and trust His support, we see that our lives go more smoothly.

When we are relying on our Higher Power for the little things as well as the big ones, our timing improves. We are at the right place at the right time. We do not waste energy trying to do what we are not meant to do. The way opens up in front of us and we pass through difficulties unscathed.

We can believe that God is concerned with our recovery from compulsive overeating. He is health and wholeness, and we are made in His image. All that prevents us from receiving His healing care is our ignorance and self-will. Through this program we learn how to accept God’s care.

We are grateful for the knowledge that You care.

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As Blessed as You Want to Be
The Power of Staying Positive

Positive thinking dramatically increases your chances of success in any endeavor.

Our thoughts are not simply ethereal pieces of information that enter our minds and then disappear. The words and ideas that we think can shape our lives and drive us toward success and happiness or failure and distress. How you think and feel can have a profound effect on your ability to recognize opportunity, how well you perform, and the outcome of the goals that you’ve set for yourself. When you maintain an optimistic outlook and make an effort to harbor only positive thoughts, you begin to create the circumstances conducive to you achieving what you desire. You feel in control and few of life’s challenges seem truly overwhelming because it is in your nature to expect a positive conclusion. An optimistic mind is also an honest one. Staying positive does not mean that you ignore difficulties or disregard limitations. Instead, it means spending time focusing only on the thoughts that are conducive to your well-being and progress.

Positive thinking dramatically increases your chances of success in any endeavor. When you’re sure that you are worthy and that achievement is within your grasp, you start to relax and look for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. You are more likely to imagine positive situations or outcomes and disregard the thoughts related to giving up, failure, or roadblocks. What the mind expects, it finds. If you anticipate joy, good health, happiness, and accomplishment, then you will experience each one. Thinking positively may sound like a simple shift in attention – and it is – but it is a mind-set that must be developed. Whenever a negative thought enters your mind, try immediately replacing it with a constructive or optimistic one. With persistence, you can condition your mind to judge fleeting, self-defeating thoughts as inconsequential and dismiss them.

It is within your power to become as happy, content, or successful as you make up your mind to be. Staying positive may not have an immediate effect on your situation, but it will likely have a profound and instantaneous effect on your mood and the quality of your experiences. In order for positive thinking to change your life, it must become your predominant mind-set. Once you are committed to embracing positive thinking, you’ll start believing that everything that you want is within your grasp. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We learn the value of mediation in The Program. As the beginning of the Eleventh Step suggest, we see through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as We understand Him. One of the great values of meditation is that it clears the mind. And as the mind becomes clearer, it becomes more capable and willing to acknowledge the truth. less pain is required to force honesty recognition of defects and their results. The real need of the whole person are revealed. Are prayer and meditation a regular part of my daily living?

Today I Pray

May God’s truth be revealed to me through meditation and these small prayers, through contact with my group which keeps me mindful of my need to clear my mind with daily meditation. For only an uncluttered mind can receive God; only a mind cleansed of self-interest can acknowledge the truth.

Today I Will Remember

.Meditation is a mind-cleanser

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One More Day

Life is not a “brief candle.” It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
– George Bernard Shaw

How lucky we are to have the splendid torch of our lives shining on our days. Some may think that a health problem is going to become a permanent barrier to our ability to enjoy life.

If we assume that each one of our “small candles” represents another of our strengths, we can blend them together to form a torch of hope. How we live the rest of our lives — forty months or forty years — is entirely our own making. Let the torch shine!

The possibilities of my life are endless when I am willing to see them and act on them.

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One Day At A Time

EXAMPLES
“Preach always … use words if necessary.”
St. Francis of Assisi

I’ve heard it said many times that the Twelve Step way of life is a way of attraction, not promotion. I can project an image of serenity and recovery by the way I conduct my life. By using the Twelve Steps to work on my inventory, by promptly making amends when needed, by striving daily to use the tools of recovery, I am assuring compulsive eaters who are living in chaos and confusion that there is a better way. When they ask my “secret,” I can then share the words of recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will preach recovery
by the examples of serenity and peace.
~ Hopeful

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When ready, we say something like this: ‘My Creator; I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding, Amen.’ We have then completed STEP SEVEN. – Pg. 76 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We are the inheritors of those who have gone before us, the originators of the 12 step and other recovery programs. Their blood, sweat, tears, and persistence is a gift to us today. Their sheer tenacity in educating the public, the government, the medical profession, and most of all themselves is our great legacy.

God, as I understand You, may I carry out the legacy one principle at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time.

Visualizing My Own Life

Today I will dream, I’ll use my capacity for visualization to imagine what I would like my life to be like. I will allow myself to see, in my mind, what I want to manifest in my life. Then I’ll let the universe to work it’s magic. Rather than stress and control and attempt to manipulate events, circumstances and people so that they conform to my idea of what I want to happen, I’ll hold my vision steadily and with faith and trust that the universe will provide. This life is a gift, this world is a gift. Nature is abundant. I am part of the world, part of nature. Life means to fulfill me. Today I will take all of the steps that I need to take in order to manifest my vision and let God do the rest. I’ll take the action and let go of the result.

I see the life I want to live

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

The Twelve Steps: One to Three: Clear up; Four to Nine: Clean up; Ten to Twelve: Contact up. These are also called the Foundation Steps, the Action Steps, and the Maintenance Steps respectively. Are you looking for something easier?

The easier, softer way is the Twelve Steps.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Slogans are the Swiss army knives of Recovery.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

It is exciting to know that I am at choice today and that my choices are limitless. I can choose exactly what I want to do to change how I am feeling.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking. – Albert Einstein.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 28

The Ladder
No one who drank as I did wakes up on the edge of the abyss one morning and says:
Things look pretty scary; I think I’d better stop drinking before I fall in.
I was convinced I could go as far as I wanted, and then climb back out when it wasn’t fun anymore.
What happened was, I found myself at the bottom of the canyon thinking I’d never see the sun again.
AA didn’t pull me out of that hole.
It did give me the tools to construct a ladder, with Twelve Steps.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 316

Thought to Ponder . . .
The elevator is broken — use the Steps.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S T E P S = Solutions Through Each Powerful Step.

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

Trouble
“There was a time when we ignored trouble,
hoping it would go away.
Or, in fear and depression, we ran from it,
but found it was still with us.
Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame,
we fought back.
These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol,
guaranteed our destruction,
unless they were altered. . .
Then came AA.
Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could,
under God’s grace,
be converted into unimaginable blessings.”
Bill W., Letter, 1966
1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 110

Thought to Consider . . .
The peaks and valleys of my life
have become gentle rolling hills.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S O B E R = Son Of a Basket, Everything’s Real

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

Why?
From: “There Is A Solution”
Why does he behave like this? If hundreds of experiences have shown him that one drink means another debacle with all its attendant suffering and humiliation, why is it he takes that one drink? Why can’t he stay on the water wagon? What has become of the common sense and will power that he still sometimes displays with respect to other matters?
Perhaps there never will be a full answer to these questions. Opinions vary considerably as to why the alcoholic reacts differently from normal people. We are not sure why, once a certain point is reached, little can be done for him. We cannot answer the riddle.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 22

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

“Every older AA shudders when he remembers the names of persons he once condemned; people he confidently predicted would never sober up; persons he was sure ought to be thrown out of AA for the good of the movement. Now that some of these very persons have been sober for years, and may be numbered among his best friends, the old-timer thinks to himself, ‘What if everybody had judged these people as I once did? What if AA had slammed the door in their faces? Where would they be now?'”
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 ^*~*~*~*~*

“Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the
past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out
of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we
haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was
agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over
alcohol.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg.76~

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect
produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they
admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the
true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only
normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless
they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes
at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others
taking with impunity.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxviii~

“In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 66

“This improved perception of humility starts another revolutionary change in our outlook.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 74

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

It was discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, Maybe those A.A.’s were right. After a few such experiences, often before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced.
In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health, and even good social standing.
Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in order to admit that they were licked.

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me bend with life’s wind and glory in its passing. Free me from rigidity.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 27th

Daily Reflections

GIVING FREELY

We will make every personal sacrifice necessary to insure the unity of
Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do this because we have learned to
love God and one another.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 234

To be self-supporting through my own contributions was never a
strong characteristic during my days as a practicing alcoholic. The
giving of time or money always demanded a price tag.
As a newcomer I was told “we have to give it away in order to keep
it.” As I began to adopt the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous in my
life, I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an
expression of the gratitude felt in my heart. My love of God and of
others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of
return. I realize now that giving freely is God’s way of expressing Himself
through me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

To paraphrase the psalm: “We alcoholics declare the power of liquor
and drunkenness showeth its handiwork. Day unto day uttereth
hangovers and night unto night showeth suffering. The law of A.A. is
perfect, converting the drunk. The testimony of A.A. is sure, making
wise the simple. The statutes of A.A. are right, rejoicing the heart.
The program of A.A. is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the
first drink is clean, enduring forever.” Have I any doubt about the
power of liquor?

Meditation For The Day

“Walk humbly with thy Lord.” Walking with God means practicing the
presence of God in your daily affairs. It means asking God for
strength to face each new day. It means turning to Him often during
the day in prayer for yourself and for other people. It means thanking
Him at night for the blessings you have received during the day.
Nothing can seriously upset you if you are “walking with God.” You
can believe that He is beside you in spirit, to help you and to guide you
on your way.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to walk humbly with God. I pray that I may turn
to Him often as to a close friend.

 

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As Bill Sees It

Reason–a Bridge to Faith, p. 208

We were squarely confronted with the question of faith.  We couldn’t
duck the issue.  Some of us had already walked along the bridge of
reason toward the desired shore of faith, where friendly hands
stretched out in welcome.  We were grateful that reason had brought
us so far.  Perhaps we had been relying too heavily on reason that last
mile, and we did not like to lose our support.

Yet, without knowing it, had we not been brought to where we stood
by a certain kind of faith?  For did we not believe in our own
reasoning?  Did we not have confidence in our ability to think?  What
was that but a sort of faith?  Yes, we had been faithful to the god of
reason.  So, in one way or another, we discovered that faith had been
involved all the time!

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 53-54

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Walk In Dry Places

No tap dancing around problems.
Inventory
Our program calls for a “searching and fearless” moral inventory, not only in the beginning, but as we continue to follow our new way of life.
What this means is complete honesty about who and what we really are. We should not tap-dance around our problems in order to evade responsibility. This willnot bring the cleansing we need for real sober living.  We need deep changes, not mere surface ones.
Difficult as it is to be fully honest, it’s made easier when we remind ourselves that it’s all for our own recovery. We benefit in proportion to the amount of honesty we bring to our inventory. If it’s searching and fearless, the results will be far-reaching and substantial.
I will not shirk from facing the truth about myself as I go through the day. What I need for self-improvement will be revealed to me.


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Keep It Simple

To enjoy freedom, we have to con troll ourselves. Virginia Woolf
Freedom is a funny thing, in a way, it makes life harder. We are free to do what we want but every choice makes a difference in our lives. Some choices make us happy and some bring trouble.
We can make good choices. We can control our actions. We can start by having control in little ways: follow the law, pay the rent, and make the bed every day. These choices put order in our lives. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. These choices make us strong enough to live each day to the fullest.
These kinds of choices set us free.
Prayer for the day: Higher Power, I was drinking and drugging. I couldn’t enjoy my freedom. I had no control over the little things in my life. Help me stay sober today.
Action for the day: Today, I’ll be grateful  for having some control. I will list five way I am more free because I can control my actions.

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Each Day a New Beginning

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.  –Mother Teresa
Our spiritual nature must be nurtured. Prayer and meditation lovingly kindle the flame that guides us from within. Because we’re human, we often let the flame flicker and perhaps go out. And then we sense the dreaded aloneness. Fortunately, some time away, perhaps even a few moments in quiet communion with God, rekindles the flame.
For most of us, the flame burned low, or not at all, for many years. The flickering we may feel today, or tomorrow, or felt yesterday, will not last, so we may put away our fears. We can listen to the voice of our higher power in others. We can listen, too, as we carry the message. Prayer surrounds us every moment. We can fuel our inner flame with the messages received from others. We can let our spirit spring forth, let it warm our hearts and the hearts of others.
We each have a friend whose flame may be flickering today. I will help her and thus myself. A steady flame can rekindle one that’s flickering.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

One night, when confined in a hospital, he was approached by an alcoholic who had known a spiritual experience. Our friend’s gorge rose as he bitterly cried out: “If there is a God, He certainly hasn’t done anything for me!” But later, alone in his room, he asked himself this question: “Is it possible that all the religious people I have known are wrong?” While pondering the answer he felt as though he lived in hell. Then, like a thunderbolt, a great thought came. It crowded out all else:
“Who are you to say there is no God?”
This man recounts that he tumbled out of bed to his knees. In a few seconds he was overwhelmed by a conviction of the Presence of God. It poured over and through him with the certainty and majesty of a great tide at flood. The barriers he had built through the years were swept away. He stood in the Presence of Infinite Power and Love. He had stepped from bridge to shore. For the first time, he lived in conscious companionship with his Creator.
Thus was our friend’s cornerstone fixed in place. No later vicissitude has shaken it. His alcoholic problem was taken away. That very night, years ago, it disappeared. Save for a few brief moments of temptation the though of drink has never returned; and at such times a great revulsion has risen up in him. Seemingly he could not drink even if he would. God had restored his sanity.

pp. 56-57

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
About a year later I realized that I was in trouble.  I had failed a class during the winter term (I had rarely attended and had not turned in the term paper on which 50 percent of our grade was based.)  The spring term was looking equally bleak.  I was enrolled in a class that I had attended only once.  I had not written any of the required papers or bothered to show up for the midterm examination.  I was bound for failure and expulsion.  My life had become unmanageable, and I knew it.

p. 424

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

“Well,” says the newcomer, “I know you’re telling me the truth. It’s no doubt a fact that A.A. is full of people who once believed as I do. But just how, in these circumstances, does a fellow `take it easy’? That’s what I want to know.”
“That,” agrees the sponsor, “is a very good question indeed. I think I can tell you exactly how to relax. You won’t have to work at it very hard, either. Listen, if you will, to these three statements. First, Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions. Second, to get sober and to stay sober, you don’t have to swallow all of Step Two right now. Looking back, I find that I took it piecemeal myself. Third, all you really need is
a truly open mind. Just resign from the debating society and quit bothering yourself with such deep questions as whether it was the hen or the egg that came first. Again I say, all you need is the open mind.”

p. 26

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Today, I will focus on practicing one recovery behavior on one of my
issues, trusting that this practice will move me forward. I will
remember that acceptance, gratitude, and detachment are a good
place to begin.
–Melody Beattie

“God gives us abundance in all things, that we might use it on behalf of
the healing of the world.”
–Marianne Williamson

“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among
those who don’t.”
–Frank A. Clark

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I
can change.”
–Carl Rogers

He that gives should never remember, he that receives should never
forget.
–Talmud

“With every prayer and every thought of love, we release the light
that will cast out darkness. One light alone seems small and weak, but
no one’s light is ever alone, for all our lights are part of God.”
–Marianne Williamson

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

Progress comes from caring more about what needs to be done than
about who gets the credit.
–Dorothy Height

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IDEAS

“Ideas shape the course of history.”
–John Maynard Keynes

I get so excited about my sobriety because it has given me ideas.
Today I can think, ponder and create. God is such a big idea today —
every thing is involved.

For years I had made God a prisoner of the Church or an idea in
history, but in my sobriety I have discovered Him in art, poetry, music
and literature. God is found in friendship, advice, sharing and
sexuality. God is forcibly experienced in nature, sunsets, animals and
the sea.

God can be found through my failures. He is perceived in suffering,
loneliness and resentments. The acknowledgment of my disease has
brought me closer to God as I understand Him.

My idea of God is alive and it makes me want to live.

May my ideas and thoughts always reflect Your beauty.

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

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with
joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalms 16:11

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my
heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26

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Daily Inspiration

Talents are not just artistic. They include the talent for compassion, care and for bringing harmony to our environment. Lord, help me to say the right words when what I say can make a helpful difference.

If we look to God for guidance, we will not be weighed down by the circumstances of our life. Lord, free me from the worries that come to distract me and keep me focused on that which is important.

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NA Just For Today

We Do Recover

“After coming to NA, we found ourselves among a very special group of people who have suffered like us and found recovery. In their experiences, freely shared, we found hope for ourselves. If the program worked for them, it would work for us.”
Basic Text, p.10

A newcomer walks into his or her first meeting, shaking and confused. People are milling about. Refreshments and literature are set out. The meeting starts after everyone has drifted over to their chairs and settled themselves in. After taking a bewildered glance at the odd assortment of folks in the room, the newcomer asks, “Why should I bet my life on this group? After all, they’re just a bunch of addicts like me.”

Though it may be true that not many of our members had much going for us when we got here, the newcomer soon learns that the way we are living today is what counts. Our meetings are filled with addicts whose lives have turned completely around. Against all odds, we are recovering. The newcomer can relate to where we’ve been and draw hope from where we are now. Today, every one of us has the opportunity to recover.

Yes, we can safely entrust our lives to our Higher Power and to Narcotics Anonymous. So long as we work the program, the payoff is certain: freedom from active addiction and a better way of life.

Just for today: The recovery I’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous is a sure thing. By basing my life on it, I know I will grow.

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In summer I am very glad
We children are so small,
For we can see a thousand things
That men can’t see at all.
–Laurence Alma-Tadema
Out behind the house a little boy is turning over stepping-stones, which form the sidewalk. Underneath these stones he has discovered many different kinds of worms and bugs. They wiggle this way and that when their cover is removed. He is only four, but he is the only one in the family who has made this discovery.
In a child’s eyes there are many wonderful things, which escape the attention of the adult world. In order to see them, we must often take the time to let those younger than us show the way. Even though we may have lost our own childlike view of the world, others can guide us and thereby enrich our lives. We have much to teach and share with each other, regardless of our ages.
What can I learn from one younger than me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
You cannot get it by taking thought; You cannot seek it by not taking thought. –Zenrin poem
We are transported into unfamiliar worlds in this program by ideas that sometimes confound our mind. In the spiritual realms we learn things we didn’t learn anywhere else, and gradually they bring us peace. We can decide with our will to follow a spiritual direction, to turn our life and will over to the care of our God. We cannot control what God will do with them. When we learn that part of our problem was trying too hard, being too self sufficient, or being too controlling, our old ways tell us to try hard to control that. But then we are only doing more of the same old thing. We learn that after making our decision, our Higher Power takes over. Now it is possible to be released from our own trying, to move beyond our own efforts by falling into the caring hand of God.
I must give this program first priority in my life, remembering my spiritual progress comes as a gift, not as an achievement.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it. –Mother Teresa
Our spiritual nature must be nurtured. Prayer and meditation lovingly kindle the flame that guides us from within. Because we’re human, we often let the flame flicker and perhaps go out. And then we sense the dreaded aloneness. Fortunately, some time away, perhaps even a few moments in quiet communion with God, rekindles the flame.
For most of us, the flame burned low, or not at all, for many years. The flickering we may feel today, or tomorrow, or felt yesterday, will not last, so we may put away our fears. We can listen to the voice of our higher power in others. We can listen, too, as we carry the message. Prayer surrounds us every moment. We can fuel our inner flame with the messages received from others. We can let our spirit spring forth, let it warm our hearts and the hearts of others.
We each have a friend whose flame may be flickering today. I will help her and thus myself. A steady flame can rekindle one that’s flickering.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go
Stop trying so hard to control things. It is not our job to control people, outcomes, circumstances, and life. Maybe in the past we couldn’t trust and let things happen. But we can now. The way life is unfolding is good. Let it unfold.
Stop trying so hard to do better, be better, and be more. Who we are and the way we do things is good enough for today.
Who we were and the way we did things yesterday was good enough for that day.
Ease up on ourselves. Let go. Stop trying so hard.
Today, I will let go. I will stop trying to control everything. I will stop trying to make myself be and do better, and I will let myself be.

Today I release all thoughts and feelings that cause me harm. I am learning to put all fears aside and come from the place of truth and love. The rewards of this freedom are far greater than the negative results of my fear. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Be Vulnerable with Yourself

As we go through our days, we meet many people. We learn it’s safe to be vulnerable with some, not so safe or wise to be vulnerable with others. But there is one person it’s always safe to be vulnerable with. Yourself.

Share your deepest secrets with yourself. Whether you rise early in the morning and write your thoughts in a journal or take a few moments throughout the day to bring your deepest secrets to consciousness, you need to be clear, straight, and honest with yourself. Harboring secrets, ducking, dodging, and hiding from the truth will slow you down. It will block the pathway to your heart. It can even stop you cold if you get enough secrets tucked away.

Take time each day to recognize what you think, what you feel. You don’t have to act. The sheer acts of recognition, honesty, and acceptance are all that are necessary to keep you moving, growing, going forward.

Be as vulnerable as you saflely can with those you meet along the way. But always be vulnerable with yourself.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say how it feels intuitively

The first time intuition clonked me over the head is a story I’ve told many times in my writing. I was in treatment for chemical dependency at the time; I needed a job to get out. I had searched the ads and applied for every opportunity I thought I deserved. No job was too small, meager, or humble to overlook in the application process. No one wanted to hire me. I looked for weeks, months, without success.

One day, I was at the end of my resources. I was waiting for a bus to take me back to the hospital, where the treatment center was located, when a small voice in my heart urged, Look behind you. I did. I was standing in front of a bank. Next to it was a stairway leading to an attorney’s office, on the second floor.

Go upstairs and ask to talk to the head of the law firm. Tell him you want a job, were the words I heard next.

That’s crazy, I though. It doesn’t make any sense. But I did it anyway. That still, small voice kept urging me on. When I talked to the attorney, I told him where I lived and what was going on in my life. He said he understood; someone in his family had experienced problems with chemical dependency,too. Then he looked at me and said, “It’s funny you came in. I was thinking about creating a new position for a legal secretary in my office, but I haven’t gotten around to advertising yet.”

Two weeks later, he called me. I got the job. It was better than any I had applied for, it paid more, and it made the best possible use of the skills I possessed at that time.

We all have a special source of wisdom and guidance available to us, in times of trouble and in the day-to-day workings of our lives.

When faced with a dilemma, take a moment. Feel out the situation. Get out of your head. Make at least one decision intuitivley today.

God, help me trust my intuitive powers.

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In God’s Care

True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self, but the point is not only to get out – you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.
~~Henry James

When we are down, when everything seems to be going wrong for us, that’s when we probably notice that for some time our attention has been on ourselves. We may be concentrating on what we want and how we’re not getting it. We might be thinking of all the ways we have been slighted or ignored or rejected, and be keeping score.

It’s trite to say that we can get out of this painful self-absorption only by helping someone else, but it’s true. Helping others is a way to help ourselves. It is a spiritual principle, and our program is based on this principle of love for one another.

I will remember that happiness may be found in getting out of myself.

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

Day By Day

Making progress

As addicts, we have a disease, as recovering addicts it is important for us to recognize that we are getting better. It is exciting and encouraging to see how we are changing.

We are sick, but we are getting better. For example, it used to be that every time something went wrong, we had to run; now we just want to run. The running feeling is still there, but we now have a choice. Later, by the grace of God, we may not even want to run.

Can I see the progress I am making?

Higher Power, while I know there is always room for improvement, help me see the progress I have already made.

I will seek to improve myself today by…

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

Food for Thought

OA Unity

When we come into OA, we are amazed to find so many other people with the same problems and difficulties. We are even more amazed at the stories we hear of the successful solution of these problems, which have defeated us for so long.

We are united in our common illness – compulsive overeating – and we are united in our common program of recovery – abstinence and the Twelve Steps. What we could not accomplish alone, by our own efforts, becomes possible through the strength of the group and the Higher Power.

Each of us is responsible for the life of OA. We each have a role to play and an area in which to serve. If we do not do our part, the organization as a whole is weakened. By our service to the common goals, our own program is strengthened. “Letting someone else do it” will not work. Saying yes when there is a job that I can do is what maintains OA unity and my own recovery.

May I contribute to OA unity.

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Compulsive Apologies
The Feeling Underneath by Madisyn Taylor

Apologizing chronically can be a sign that you are not feeling that you have much self worth.

Many people suffer with the tendency to apologize all the time, chronically, for everything. On the one hand, apologizing is a social convention that keeps interactions between people polite, and in that way it can be very helpful. On the other hand, if we find ourselves apologizing for everything, it might be time to look at why we feel compelled to say “I’m sorry” so often. Ultimately, saying you’re sorry is saying that you are responsible for something that has gone wrong in the situation. Whether it’s negotiating a parking spot, moving through the aisles of the supermarket, or reaching for what you want, there are times when sorry is the right thing to say. But there are other times when “excuse me” is more accurate.

Sometimes saying you’re sorry is like saying that the other person in the equation has more of a right to be here than you do. Of course, it’s true that using the word sorry can simply be an innocuous way of defusing tension. However, if you find that you say sorry all the time, you might want to look a little deeper and see where in your psyche that might be coming from. If it’s a pattern, breaking it may simply take some awareness and practice.

The first step is observing yourself each time you say it, without being hard on yourself about it. Throughout your day simply notice when you apologize. At first, you might be surprised to see that you do it even more than you first realized. After a day or two of simply observing, try to tune in to what it is you are feeling right before you say it. You might be feeling threatened, embarrassed, intensely anxious, or a variety of other feelings. Over time, try to stop yourself before the words come out and just be with the feeling that’s there. You may recognize it as one from your childhood, one that’s been with you for a long time. The more you are able to see it, the freer you will be not to be sorry all the time. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Over and over, I see that those who make the best and steadiest progress in The Program are those who readily accept the help of a Higher Power. Once they can do that, it’s easier for them to get out of their own way. Their problems then seem to resolve themselves in a way that is beyond human understanding. Do I realize that the effectiveness with which I use the consciousness of God in my daily life depends not on Him, but on me?

Today I Pray

May I know that my recovery and growth depends on my being in touch with my Higher Power, not just once in a while, but always. It means turning to that Power several times a day to ask for strength and knowledge of his will. When I understand that my own life is part of a Higher Plan, I will be less apt to trip and fall, head off in the wrong direction, or just to sit tight and let life pass me by.

Today I Will Remember

to be God-conscious.

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One More Day

One of the signs of maturity is a healthy respect for reality — a respect that manifests its4elf in the level of one’s aspirations and in the accuracy of one’s assessment of the difficulties which separate the facts of today from the bright hopes of tomorrow.
– Robert H. Davies

If we don’t want to live our lives caught in the “what might have been” doldrums, we can assess where we are and how we happen to be here. We can stop feeling regretful about lost t9ime and concentrate on the possibilities now.

If we haven’t achieved any of the goals we previously set for ourselves, we can make new goals and achieve each of them one step at a time. We have the rest of our lives to live, and we can realistically shape new goals that are both challenging and reachable.

I will set realistic goals, realizing there is never a better time than now.

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One Day At A Time

FOOTWORK
“I’ve lost so much weight
that I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”
Erma Bombeck

I have lost and gained the same weight so many times I’ve lost count. Lack of willpower was never an issue with me. I’ve whipped myself into shape many times. There was nothing I didn’t do in order to lose weight. I just couldn’t keep it off.

The tide finally turned for me when I quit relying on my own power, turned my focus away from my weight problem and toward “trusting in God and cleaning house,” as the Big Book states.

I did Step work under the guidance of my sponsor. I passed along to others the lessons I’d learned. I did service work. I kept practicing a conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I went to meetings and talked to others. I kept a journal. Then one day I looked up from the tasks at hand to discover I was abstinent. God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

One day at a time…
I will do the footwork and leave the results up to God.
~ Shirley G.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

These observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first drink, thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion. Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body. If you ask him why he started on that last bender, the chances are he will offer you any one of a hundred alibis. Sometimes these excuses have a certain plausibility, but none of them really makes sense in the light of the havoc an alcoholic’s drinking bout creates. They sound like the philosophy of the man who, having a headache, beats himself on the head with a hammer so that he can’t feel the ache. If you draw this fallacious reasoning to the attention of an alcoholic, he will laugh it off, or become irritated and refuse to talk.
Once in a while he may tell the truth. And the truth, strange to say, is usually that he has no more idea why he took that first drink than you have. Some drinkers have excuses with which they are satisfied part of the time. But in their hearts they really do not know why they do it. Once this malady has a real hold, they are a baffled lot. There is the obsession that somehow, someday, they will beat the game. But they often suspect they are down for the count. – Pg. 23 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Mind is the path. Flesh is the vehicle. We must establish a new mind through the creative power of thought using the 12 steps. We must establish a new body, protecting it from drugs. Only then do we become an aspirant of a whole life.

I ask my Creator to make me WHOLE in body, mind, and spirit.

Spirit Calls

Spirit calls to me within and without. In a still, small voice I sense spirit whispering in my inner ear. My body feels an increasing sense of aliveness as I invite spirit to make itself known to me. I do not even need to make room for spirit, because spirit breathes in each pore within me. It fills the numbness with energy. It fills the emptiness and causes my cup to overflow with its presence. There are gifts in listening if I am willing to sense, hear and see them, lessons I can learn. Little hints that help me to appreciate what I already have and open myself to experiencing more.

I will look for evidence of spirit at work in my life

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Unity in our program does not mean conformity. Unity means joining for a common purpose, despite our differences.

I can disagree without being disagreeable.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

With the 12 Steps, you have break throughs, not break downs.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote 

Today I release all thoughts and feelings that cause me harm. I am learning to put all fears aside and come from the place of truth and love. The rewards of this freedom are far greater than the negative results of my fear.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I left my bathroom door open when I puked but I closed it when I prayed. – Sean A.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 27

How It Works
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. . . .
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it
— then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.
With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

Thought to Ponder . . .
It works — it really does.

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

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

Way of Life
“The AA way of life is the way we always
should have tried to live.
‘Grant us the serenity to accept the things
we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.’
These thoughts become part of our daily lives.
They are not ideas of resignation
but of the recognition of certain
basic facts of living.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 382-3

Thought to Consider . . .
Every day is a gift.
That is why we call it the present.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B E S T = Been Enjoying Sobriety Today?

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

Progress
>From “A Glacier Melts”:
“A.A. provided for me a means by which I could overcome the compulsion to drink and, more important, a means by
which I could achieve a personality change or spiritual awakening— a surrender to life. Though I have had problems
and deep troubles since that summer ten years ago, my faith has not been shaken. I cannot say that I have found God
as I understand Him, but rather that I have faith in Something which remains a mystery to me and which I continue to
seek. – Fresno, California, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 59

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

“The great art of living is to make the best of things as they are.”
Cumbria, June 1975
“The Great Art of Living,”
Emotional Sobriety II

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

“Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are
using it constantly.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85

“We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 75

“Prayer is the raising of the heart and mind to God – and in this sense it includes meditation.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 102

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

We were squarely confronted with the question of faith. We couldn’t duck the issue. Some of us had already walked
along the bridge of reason toward the desired shore of faith, where friendly hands stretched out in welcome. We were
grateful that reason had brought us so far. But, somehow, we couldn’t quite step ashore. Perhaps we had been relying
too heavily on reason that last mile, and we did not like to lose our support.
Yet, without knowing it, had we not been brought to where we stood by a certain kind of faith? For did we not believe in
our own reasoning? Did we not have confidence in our ability to think? What was that but a sort of faith? Yes, we had
been faithful, abjectly faithful to the god of reason. So, in one way or another, we discovered that faith had been
involved all the time!

Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, help me serve other people, not demand that they serve me.”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 24th

Daily Reflections

HELPING OTHERS

“Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant
thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 20

Self-centeredness was my problem. All my life people had been doing
things for me and I not only expected it, but I was ungrateful and
resentful they didn’t do more. Why should I help others, when they
were supposed to help me? If others had troubles, didn’t they deserve
them? I was filled with self-pity, anger and resentment. Then I
learned that by helping others, with no thought of return, I could
overcome this obsession with selfishness, and if I understood humility,
I would know peace and serenity. No longer do I need to drink.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. is like a dike, holding back the ocean of liquor. If we take one
glass of liquor, it is like making a small hole in the dike and once such a
hole has been made, the whole ocean of alcohol may rush in upon us.
By practicing the A.A. principles we keep the dike strong and in
repair. We spot any weakness or crack in that dike and make the
necessary repairs before any damage is done. Outside the dike is the
whole ocean of alcohol, waiting to engulf us again in despair. Am I
keeping the dike strong?

Meditation For The Day

Keep as close as you can to the Higher Power. Try to think, act, live
as though you were always in God’s presence. Keeping close to a
Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth’s
problems. Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think
and do. That is the secret of personal power. It is the thing that
influences the lives of others for good. Abide in the Lord and rejoice in
His love. Keep close to the Divine Spirit in the universe. Keep God
close behind your thoughts.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep close to the Mind of God. I pray that I may live
with Him in my heart and mind.

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As Bill Sees It

Virtue and Self-Deception, p. 205

I used to take comfort from an exaggerated belief in my own honesty.
My New England kinfolk had taught me the sanctity of all business
commitments and contracts, saying, “A man’s word is his bond.” After
this rigorous conditioning, business honesty always came easy; I never
flim-flammed anyone.

However, this small fragment of readily won virtue did produce some
interesting liabilities. I never failed to whip up a fine contempt for
those of my fellow Wall Streeters who were prone to shortchange
their customers. This was arrogant enough, but the ensuring
self-deception proved even worse.

My prized business honesty was presently converted into a
comfortable cloak under which I could hide the many serious flaws
that beset other departments of my life. Being certain of this one
virtue, it was easy to conclude that I had them all. For years on end,
this prevented me from taking a good look at myself.

Grapevine, August 1961

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Walk In Dry Places

Overcoming A Bad Disposition
Temperament
People with bad dispositions, like people with drinking problems, do not recognize how difficult they are. They accept their bad disposition as normal. Some people even declare proudly that they’re in a bad mood until they’ve been awake several hours or had three cups of coffee.
We do not have to put up with a BAD DISPOSITION. If we find ourselves touchy or grumpy at times, we should immediately release this to our Higher Power. There is a better pattern of thought and feeling to replace anything that comes across to others as a bad disposition.
It’s surprising to learn that we don’t have to live with a bad disposition. What’s even more surprising is that we’ll also be happier and more relaxed without it.
A bad disposition, we learn, is just so much unnecessary baggage we don’t have to carry.
I’ll be relaxed and friendly at all times today.  I have neither a need nor an excuse for a bad disposition.

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Keep It Simple

The work of adult life is not easy.—Gail Sheehy
We used to look for a easier, softer way. We tried to take care of ourselves by staying clear of hard task. The result? We haven’t known what the work of adult life is.
The work of adult life is this: to become spiritually centered. And to do this, we work at getting rid of our self-will. There will be many great rewards for doing this. We will wake up spiritually. We will connect with those we love. The result? We will receive self-love to replace self-will. Our work will not be easy, but it will be rewarding.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to give all to my recovery program. Then help me to be open to the rewards this will bring.
Action for the Day:  I will list the hard parts of my program. Then I’ll talk about them with my sponsor, friends, family, and Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

… The idea has gained currency that women have often been handicapped not only by a fear of failure–not unknown to men either, but by a fear of success as well.  –Sonya Rudikoff
It was our practice, before coming to this program, to eat, drink, and smoke our fears away. What we came to realize, profoundly, was that the fears couldn’t be escaped even while high. This program is helping us to understand that fears are human, normal and survivable when we let God and our friends in the program lend a helping hand.
Drugs and alcohol distorted our perceptions. Our fears, whether large or small, were distorted. And we still distort those fears, on occasion, because we move away from the spiritual reality of our lives. Remember, we are confronted with no situation too big to handle, no experience for which we are unprepared, if we but turn to that greater power that the program offers us.
We cannot fail in whatever we try today. The outcome of any task attempted is just as it should be. And however we succeed today, we will be shown the steps, at the right time, to make use of that success.
I shall not fear failure or success. I am not alone in experiencing either; both are stepping-stones on my life’s journey.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.

p. 55

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
My drinking career was short and destructive, and my alcoholic progression was very fast.  I got drunk for the first time in October.  By November people were willing to wager money that I could not go one week without a drink.  (I won and, in celebration, drank myself sick.)  By January I was a daily dry drunk and by April a daily drug user as well.  I didn’t last too long.

p. 423

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

The moment they read Step Two, most A.A. newcomers are confronted with a dilemma, sometimes a serious one. How often have we heard them cry out, “Look what you people have done to us! You have convinced us that we are alcoholics and that our lives are unmanageable. Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession. Some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others
who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle. Yes, you’ve got us over the barrel, all right–but where do we go from here?”

p. 25

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“Our ability to identify a teacher and to learn is directly related to
how open-minded we are and the attitude with which we approach
everyone and everything that comes our way.”
–Bonnie Friedman

“When God measures a man, he puts the tape around the heart
instead of the head.”
–anonymous

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

“The remarkable thing we have is a choice every day regarding the
attitude we will embrace for that day. ”
–Charles Swindoll

“Just when I found out the meaning of life, they changed it!”
–George Carlin

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.
–Laurence Couglin

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LONELINESS

“This great misfortune — to be
incapable of solitude.”
–Jean de la Bruyere

Today I am able to live with my loneliness. I know the difference
between being “alone” and being “lonely” — and even in sobriety I
experience loneliness. But today I can live with it.

When I was drinking, I had an overwhelming feeling of being lost and
isolated; today it is tolerable. I can live with it. It is part of being
“imperfect”. I am not God.

The reality of spirituality demands that I do not escape into a fantasy
that denies my feelings of loneliness. It is part of my journey towards
God. I will never appreciate perfect happiness until I rest in God. This
I accept. In sobriety I have many days of happiness and moments of
joy — but I am, at times, lonely — with feelings of being lost. Today I
can accept this — and talk about it.

I accept that part of me will be forever lost until I rest in God.

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

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just
as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat
or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more
important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look
at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more
valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to
his life?”
Matthew 6:25

For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred
us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
Colossians 1:13


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

Daily Inspiration

The things in life that mean the most have no price tag. Lord, thank you for the moments that I am able to spend with my family and friends.

If your family is a mess, you are not a success. Lord, bless me with the wisdom and strength to bring unity and peace to my family.

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NA Just For Today

The Masks Have To Go

“… we covered low self-esteem by hiding behind phony images that we hoped would fool people. The masks have to go”
Basic Text, p.32

Over-sensitivity, insecurity, and lack of identity are often associated with active addiction. Many of us carry these with us into recovery; our fears of inadequacy, rejection, and lack of direction do not disappear overnight. Many of us have images, false personalities we have constructed either to protect ourselves or please others. Some of us use masks because we’re not sure who we really are. Sometimes we think that these images, built to protect us while using, might also protect us in recovery.

We use false fronts to hide our true personality, to disguise our lack of self-esteem. These masks hide us from others and also from our own true selves. By living a lie, we are saying that we cannot live with the truth about ourselves. The more we hide our real selves, the more we damage our self-esteem.

One of the miracles of recovery is the recognition of ourselves, complete with assets and liabilities. Self esteem begins with this recognition. Despite our fear of becoming vulnerable, we need to be willing to let go of our disguises. We need to be free of our masks and free to trust ourselves.

Just for today: I will let go of my masks and allow my self esteem to grow.
pg. 214

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I had crossed the line. I was free: but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land. –Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was a Black woman who devoted her life to helping slaves escapes their bondage. In her youth, she had been hit on the head so she suffered dizzy spells for the rest of her life. In spite of this, and at great risk to her own life, she guided many slaves on the Underground Railroad to freedom.
Freedom from slavery is different today but just as necessary. It may mean freedom from being a slave to what others think of us, freedom from eating more than is healthy for us, freedom from jealousy, and freedom from trying to force others to do what we want them to do.
We are free to be the very best persons we can be. Our own freedom can be even more fulfilling when we welcome others enthusiastically into that land of freedom by allowing them the room to be themselves without fear of judgment. In this way, by freeing ourselves, we free one another.
How can I free myself today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Many things are lost for want of asking. –English proverb
It’s a principle of this program that we grow, in part, by learning to ask for what we need. Perhaps today we are struggling with a problem that could be eased if we talked to another man in the program. We could call him on the phone and just ask him if he has a few minutes to talk. Maybe we’re wondering about a physical pain. Maybe we feel strange about something we said and would like to ask someone’s opinion.
Mistaken notions about masculinity get in the way of recovery when we refuse to ask for help. We think we should know the answers and be self-sufficient. Maybe we feel stupid if we have to ask. Those notions drop by the wayside as we get healthier and learn the rewards of connecting with others to satisfy our mutual needs. No longer does false pride have to keep us isolated and struggling alone.
Today, I will notice what I need and practice asking for help.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
… The idea has gained currency that women have often been handicapped not only by a fear of failure–not unknown to men either, but by a fear of success as well. –Sonya Rudikoff
It was our practice, before coming to this program, to eat, drink, and smoke our fears away. What we came to realize, profoundly, was that the fears couldn’t be escaped even while high. This program is helping us to understand that fears are human, normal and survivable when we let God and our friends in the program lend a helping hand.
Drugs and alcohol distorted our perceptions. Our fears, whether large or small, were distorted. And we still distort those fears, on occasion, because we move away from the spiritual reality of our lives. Remember, we are confronted with no situation too big to handle, no experience for which we are unprepared, if we but turn to that greater power that the program offers us.
We cannot fail in whatever we try today. The outcome of any task attempted is just as it should be. And however we succeed today, we will be shown the steps, at the right time, to make use of that success.
I shall not fear failure or success. I am not alone in experiencing either; both are stepping-stones on my life’s journey.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Denial
Denial is a powerful tool. Never underestimate its ability to cloud your vision.
Be aware that, for many reasons, we have become experts at using this tool to make reality more tolerable. We have learned well how to stop the pain caused by reality – not by changing our circumstances, but by pretending our circumstances are something other than what they are.
Do not be too hard on yourself. While one part of you was busy creating a fantasy reality, the other part went to work on accepting the truth.
Now, it is time to find courage. Face the truth. Let it sink gently in.
When we can do that, we will be moved forward.
God, give me the courage and strength to see clearly.

Today I am going to spend more time looking for all the positive things about myself. Today I recognize myself and acknowledge myself as a terrific human being. –Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Joy Is the Way

The woman was in her fifties, maybe sixties. She had retired from the big city and was now working as a waitress in Mary’s Restaurant, a small cafe in a small Montana town. She looked as if she lived alone. She looked as if she had been through her share of disappointments, joys, and awakenings. She brought me a plate of bacon and eggs, set them down, and gave me a radiant smile. “It’s a beautiful day,” she said.

“Yes it is,” I said. I looked at her. “Are you happy to be here?”

She thought for a moment, then replied. “Yes,” she said with joy in her voice. “Yes, I am.”

Joy is the way. Joy in the morning. Joy throughout the day. Joy at twilight. Joy in our dreams, waking and sleeping. For so long we believed that our joy depended on specific outward circumstances, on a particular situation being a certain way, or on the presence or behavior of a particular person. While getting what we want and being with those we love can add to our joy, we have learned another kind of joy, a deeper kind of joy. A joy that abides and carries us through.

Joy doesn’t come from outside, although the energies of the universe and universal love can add to our joy and fill our wellspring. Joy comes from doing the Divine will each moment. Joy comes from living in harmony with ourselves each moment of each day. Joy is a choice that comes from accepting and living fully each moment of our lives, knowing that each day and each event is important.

Joy comes from trusting each moment. That’s the secret of joy. Receive it now, then pass it on with a smile and a kind word to all who come along your path.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of fear

Sometimes, we say we want to go to the next level in our lives– in work, in play, or in love. But it feels like the door is shut. Fear can disguise itself behind many different faces: we want to do it our way; we’re not interested; or it’s just not time. What we’re coming up against isn’t a closed door, it’s the fear we’re repressing and holding inside.

If you’re confused about why you’re not moving forward naturally in some area of your life, take a closer look. See if you’ve got some hidden fears that might be holding you back. If you’re blocked and trying to move forward, remember to feel and release your fear first. Then see if that wasn’t just the key you needed to unlock and open that door.

God, help me see, feel, and release my fears about moving forward in my life.

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

In God’s Care

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind.
~~Helen Keller

How difficult it is still to simply enjoy the gifts of the moment and not obsessively try to control the people and circumstances in our life. Sometimes we can persuade others to go along with our wishes. Perhaps we can positively influence a tense situation by our involvement in the solution. But we can’t ultimately control anyone or anything, only the choices we make about ourselves. We can decide the attitude we will cultivate; we can decide the behavior we will exhibit; we can decide to let God participate in our life.

Our willingness to follow God’s will assures us greater peace. Work, relationships, day-to-day struggles become less stressful when we’ve let God in. By trusting guidance from a friend, reading a meditation, or perhaps just by being still, we’ll discover the peace of letting go and be enriched by the serenity that follows.

I will let others live the way they choose. Today I will live the way that pleases me – and God.

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

Day By Day

Sharing a common goal

Since we’re going the same way, let’s go together. We may have some differences, but let’s work them out and respect each other’s opinions. Since our goal is the same, you help me and I’ll help you.

But let’s never withhold love as a weapon against one another. Since we are held together by a critical common solution, let’s not cause one another any suffering.

Am I learning to emphasize our common purpose?

Higher Power, help me see that what we share in the fellowship is more important than what separates us.

Today I will strengthen our common cause by…

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

Food for Thought

Living Is a Privilege

When we were overeating, how often did we drag ourselves out of bed wondering how we were going to make it through the day? Many of us felt that life was treating us unfairly, and we blamed those around us for our misery. We may have thought we believed in a Power greater than ourselves, but we were unable to apply the belief so that it made a difference in the way we were living. Trying to manage our own life pushed us further and further into despair.

The OA program shows us how to commit our will and our life to the management of God. We stop trying to “go it alone,” and we listen for His direction. By the grace of our Higher Power, we abstain from compulsive overeating one day at a time, and we walk a new way of humility and obedience.

Little by little, we recover in mind and body, and we no longer feel crushed by an uncaring fate. We accept each day as a gift from the hand of God, and we live it to the best of our ability.

Thank You for the privilege of living and abstaining today.

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

Cleansing Your Power Center
Trusting Your Gut by Madisyn Taylor

Gut feelings earn their name from the place in the body where they make themselves known. A pang in your gut when you may be doing the wrong thing, or a vibrant zing when your body approves, can guide you reliably at times when logic fails. Sometimes, when logic prevails, we ignore our gut and live to regret it, understanding later that a rational approach is only one way of determining what is going on in a situation and how we should react.

Our gut resides in the neighborhood of our solar plexus and the third chakra just above your belly button. When it is functioning well, we can trust its guidance and adjust our actions accordingly. Many of us have a tendency to hold in this area of our bodies. We may take shallow breaths that never reach this vital nexus that is the source of our empowerment. It is in this place that we find the courage to act, to reach out into the world and create change. When our power center is out of balance, we are timid and out of sync, wishing we had said something we were only able to phrase later when we were alone; wishing we had acted on an opportunity we didn’t see until it was past.

In order to utilize your power center, you may want to focus your attention on it more regularly and make time to care for it. You can begin right now by taking a deep breath into your belly. On the exhale, pull your navel in toward your spine so as to empty out completely before taking another deep breath into your belly. When you empty completely, you release stagnant energy and create more space to be filled with fresh, nourishing breath. The more you practice this simple, cleansing exercise, the more clear and communicative your gut feelings will be and the more comfortable you will feel acting on them. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

How, exactly, can a p4erson turn his own will and his own life over to the care of a Power greater than himself? All that’s needed is a beginning, no matter how small. The minute we put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open. Then the door itself starts to open, perhaps even so slightly; in time we find that we can always open it wider. Self-will may slam the door shut again, and it often does. But the door can always be reopened, time and time again if necessary, so long as we use our key of willingness. Have I reaffirmed my decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him?

Today I Pray

May I reaffirm my decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power. May my faith be staunch enough to keep me knowing that there is, indeed, a power greater than I am. May I avail myself of that Power simply by being willing to “walk humbly with my Lord.”

Today I Will Remember

Self-will minus self equals will.

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One More Day

Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Each of us harbors secret fears. “how will I manage?” “Can I make it through today?” “Will my family still love me if my behavior has been inappropriate?”

We learn, rather early in the game, that a defeatist attitude drives our friends away after a period of time. Therefore, it’s often up to us to deal with our own fears. We do our best to ease ourselves through each crisis — and at times we will need additional help — but by and large we can do it. It isn’t so much that we’re overly independent or angry. It’s that we need to help our loved ones learn how to cope with our illness, so we keep our fears from becoming irrational as best we can. And that often passes for courage.

I will put my fears into proper perspective because this helps me — and my loved ones.

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One Day At A Time

IDENTITY
“Resolve to be thyself:
And know that he who finds himself loses his misery.”
Matthew Arnold

Life before recovery was a theatrical production in which I played all parts to all audiences. I gave a performance which aimed to satisfy everyone’s requirements but my own. I proffered whatever I felt others wanted, giving no thought to my own needs. Some may say that’s a worthy attitude, but it was influenced by a desire to be accepted — not for who I am — but for whom I thought everyone wanted me to be. I used my performance to control situations and to avoid any nasty surprises. I furnished more than I could afford, often lavishing what wasn’t mine to give. Frequently I didn’t feel that I had gained the acceptance I so fervently sought, and this yielded feelings of incompetence.

To be everything to all people took time and sapped considerable quantities of energy physically, spiritually and emotionally. Often I found I couldn’t keep up with this self-inflicted regimen of people-pleasing. I began to resent the performance and gained no satisfaction from the results.

Through my recovery I realized that I had never been happy with the results of my role-playing. It had been a compulsion to seek the approval from others because I couldn’t grant myself the authorization to be me. The only person I can be is me. The only person I have a right to be is me.

One day at a time …
I give myself permission to be who I truly am: ME!
~ Sue G.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

IV. At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional ‘Right of Participation,’ allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.

V. Throughout our structure, a traditional ‘Right of Appeal’ ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

VI.The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board. – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts (Short Form)

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Our sobriety grows out of an awareness of and response to a spiritual program. Nothing works better for more people. To try other means is probably not in our best interests.

May I accept the spiritual foundation of my recovery.

Forgiving and Moving On

As I work through the blocks in the way of my own serenity I find that I consider forgiveness as a way to release the residue of resentment and pain that live inside me from unresolved issues from the past. As I put more and more energy into my own personal growth, I find that I value my own peace of mind more than holding onto anger and hurt. I find I want to lay the sword down. It becomes too heavy in my hand, the weight of carrying it encumbers my own freedom. Today, the present I will give myself is forgiveness.

I am ready to consider forgiveness

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Resentment is from the Latin, meaning to ‘feel again.’ Rather than feeling that again, think of how it could have been worse, then be grateful it isn’t. Once you get to the grateful part, you can’t be resentful.

I cannot be grateful and resentful at the same time; I can’t serve two masters.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you marry your past, you must divorce your future.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am going to spend more time looking for all the positive things about myself. Today I recognize myself and acknowledge myself as a terrific human being.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

A relationship to me is what I have to do after we’ve had sex rather than say: ‘You know this was just a sexual thing, I don’t want to get involved.’ I’d rather drag it out for four or five years. – Charlie C.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 24

Helping Others
We realize now that we were excessively self-centered,
chiefly concerned about our feelings, our problems, other people’s reactions to us,
and our own past and future.
Therefore, trying to get into communication with and help other people is a recovery measure for us,
because it helps take us out of ourselves.
Trying to heal ourselves by helping others works, even when it is an insincere gesture.
Try it some time.
– Living Sober, p. 85

Thought to Ponder . . .
Trust God. Clean house. Help others.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
E S H = Experience, Strength and Hope.

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

Self-will
“The first requirement is that we be convinced
that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.
On that basis we are almost always
in collision with something or somebody,
even though our motives are good.
Most people try to live by self-propulsion.
Each person is like an actor who wants
to run the whole show;
is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet,
the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way.
If his arrangements would only stay put,
if only people would do as he wished,
the show would be great.
Everybody, including himself, would be pleased.
Life would be wonderful.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 60-1

Thought to Consider . . .
It’s not making a mistake that will kill me.
It’s defending it that does the damage.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
N U T S = Not Using The Steps

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

Orderly Transfer
From: “When AA Came of Age”
The full attendance of thousands of A.A.s at St. Louis, representing an accurate cross-section of A.A. opinion, now sat
in convention before us. On the auditorium stage was the Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, about a
hundred men and women who were the named and chosen representatives of the whole fellowship. The Conference,
having completed the fifth year of its experimental period with a record of high success, was no longer an experiment.
It was the instrument destined to become the heart of A.A.’s Third Legacy of Service and the whole of A.A.’s
conscience, world-wide.
In the simple ceremony that followed, I offered a resolution to the effect that our society should now take its affairs into
its own hands and that its Conference ought to become the permanent successor to the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Amid a roar of acclamation from the floor, the Convention carried that resolution. There was silence, and then we
heard chairman Smith offer the resolution to the Conference for its confirmation. A simple show of hands expressed
the consent of the Conference and marked the exact moment when A.A. came of age. It was four o’clock. [July 3, 1955]
1985, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, page 47

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

“Sobriety is a constant process of uncovering, discovering, and discarding.”
Craig, Colorado, January 1997
“Paying the Price for Improvement,”
Emotional Sobriety II

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

“Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man,
woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured
by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or
other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and
miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as
old as man himself.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 55

“We have three little mottoes which are apropos.
Here they are:
First Things First
Live and Let Live
Easy Does It.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 135~

“An illness of this sort—and we have come to believe it an
illness—involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can.
If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no one is angry or
hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes
annihilation of all the things worth while in life.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 18~

“If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we
will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 70

“If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 65

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

I used to take comfort from an exaggerated belief in my own honesty. My New England kinfolk had taught me the sanctity of all business commitments and contracts, saying, ‘A man’s word is his bond.’ After this rigorous conditioning, business honesty always came easy; I never flim-flammed anyone.
However, this small fragment of readily won virtue did produce some interesting liabilities. 1 never failed to whip up a fine contempt for those of my fellow Wall Streeters who were prone to shortchange their customers. This was arrogant enough, but the ensuing self-deception proved even worse.
My prized business honesty was presently converted into a comfortable cloak under which I could hide the many serious flaws that beset other departments of my life. Being certain of this one virtue, it was easy to conclude that I had them all. For years on end, this prevented me from taking a good look at myself.

Prayer for the Day: “Mistakes aren’t tragedies. But please, Higher Power, help me learn from them!”

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 23rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 23rd

Daily Reflections

I ASK GOD TO DECIDE

“I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character
which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

Having admitted my powerlessness and made a decision to turn my will
and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him, I don’t
decide which defects get removed, or the order in which defects get
removed, or the time frame in which they get removed. I ask God to
decide which defects stand in the way of my usefulness to Him and to
others, and then I humbly ask Him to remove them.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We should remember that all A.A.’s have “clay feet.” We should not
set any member upon a pedestal and mark her or him out as a perfect
A.A. Its not fair to the person to be singled out in this fashion and if
the person is wise she or he will not wish it. If the person we single
out as an ideal A.A. has a fall, we are in danger of falling, too. Without
exception, we are all only one drink away from a drunk, no matter how
long we have been in A.A. Nobody is entirely safe. A.A. itself should
be our ideal, not any particular member of it. Am I putting my trust in
A.A. principles and not in any one member of the group?

Meditation For The Day

The inward peace that comes from trust in God truly passes all
understanding. That peace no one can take from you. No person has
the power to disturb that inner peace. But you must be careful not to
let in the world’s worries and distractions. You must try not to give
entrance to fears and despondency. You must refuse to open the door
to distractions that disturb your inward peace. Make it a point to allow
nothing today to disturb your inner peace, your heart-calm.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not allow those about me to spoil my peace of mind. I
pray that I may keep a deep inner calm throughout the day.

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

As Bill Sees It

The Building Of Character, p. 204

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t
strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose.
When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us
with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is
the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God
wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character
defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.

If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case
does he render us white as snow and keep us that way without our
cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work
toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to
make progress in the building of character.

12 & 12, p. 65

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Walk In Dry Places

Sensing Rejection
Self-Esteem and Maturity
We laugh when a recovering person tells how he “learned to quit just before he got fired.”  We sometimes can tell when a rejection is coming, and we take steps…. such as quitting.. To avoid further pain and humiliation.
In the recovery process, there still may be times when we sense a coming rejection. If it does come, we must remember that rejections is part of living. People receive rejection for all sorts of reasons, including wrong ones.
When we do sense any kid of a rejection in the works, our best course is to let it happen, accept it, and put it behind us. If we are living our program, we don’t need to feel pain or humiliation, as rejection is simply part of normal human experience.
I’ll try today to be as accepting as possible in everything I do.  If others choose to reject me, I will also accept this without resentment or self-reproach.

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

Keep It Simple

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.—Laurence Couglin
“Do I talk to much?” Most of us wonder this sometimes. There are some ways to find out.
Asked yourself these questions: “How much do I know about people in my life?”
“What do they think and feel?” “Do I listen to them?” “Do I often feel that I say too much?”
Then ask a few trusted friends these questions: “Do you think I talk to much?” “How well do you think I listen to you?”
Silence help us listen—to ourselves, to others, and to our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me enjoy the silent moments in my day.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll think before I speak. what do I really want to say.

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Each Day a New Beginning

For this is wisdom; to live,  To take what fate, or the Gods, may give.  –Laurence Hope
We can’t control the events of our lives, but we do have mastery over our attitudes. The chances will be many, today, to react negatively or positively to circumstances we find ourselves in. We can consider that each circumstance has something special in it for us.
Positive expectations regarding the planned as well as spontaneous activities of the day will influence the activity’s flow, our involvement with it, and our interactions with the other people involved. A positive attitude seems to breed positive experiences. In other words, we attract into our lives that which we expect. How often do we get up angry, feeling behind when the day has only begun, short-tempered with our children, “ready” for a tough one at work? And we generally find it.
The Serenity Prayer offers us all the knowledge, all the wisdom we’ll ever need. We can accept what has to be, change what we can, and not get confused between the two. We can inventory our attitude. Are we taking charge of it? Our attitude is something we can change.
I won’t get trapped today by a negative attitude. I will accept the challenge of turning my day around.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.

p. 55

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
Then I discovered alcohol.  I had tried it a few times in high school, but never enough to get drunk.  I knew that getting drunk meant being out of control.  My escape plan required that I always keep my wits about me.  I was too afraid to be out of control.  When I got to college, however, that fear left me.  In order to fit in, I pretended, at first, that I had as extensive a drinking history as any of my classmates.  It was not long before my history surpassed everyone’s.

p. 423

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. ”

Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to A.A., and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and only then, do we become as open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to do anything which will lift the merciless obsession from us.

p. 24

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The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your
mind, but how to get old ones out.
–Dee Hock

“One faces the future with one’s past.”
–Pearl S. Buck

This day is not a rehearsal. It is real. What you choose to do with it
will have lasting consequences for you and for those around you. It is
an awesome responsibility and a tremendous opportunity. Give it the
best that you have.
–Ralph Marston

As you teach, you learn.
–Jewish Proverb

At the beginning of your day, spend a few minutes in silence to
commune with God. At the end of your day, do the same. And in the
course of your day, join with others. Pray for those in your life and
allow them the honor of praying for you. The energy you hold in
prayer is real, and over time, will take form.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Notice the acts of kindness other people do rather than their
wrongdoing. This is how the loving presence views you. We are all
good, decent, loving souls who occasionally get lost. When you can
focus on the good in another and hold that in your mind, you are acting
from your higher self. This can help dissipate fear and anger.
–Wayne Dyer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WEALTH

“The only question with wealth
is what you do with it.”
–John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Prosperity, if it is truly to be appreciated, needs to be shared.
Wealth only makes sense when it is put to use for the benefit of the
many. To horde treasure is to miss the value of that treasure. Money
makes the world go around but it can only produce joy and excitement
when it is spent or put to work.

This is also true for those who have a “wealth” of ideas or talents —
they need to be expressed, shared and valued by others to be of any
real benefit. A writer needs to write, a musician needs to play, a
painter demands a canvas — and the world needs to appreciate.

God is at work in His world and He requires recognition.

Let me find You in the talents that You have shared with me.

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

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
Proverbs 15:30

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength
is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

Then I said, `Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll– I have
come to do your will, O God.'”
Hebrews 10:7

“O God, why have you abandoned me? I sit and wait for you and you
do not come. I watch everyone who passes, but it is not you. I sit by
myself on the side of life and cry to you, but you do not come. I
stand and look from the window, but you are nowhere in sight. I need
you, O God, but you have left me all alone. I try to talk myself into
believing that you’re on the way, perhaps tomorrow, or the next
day…but you do not appear. How can I walk in this pain all alone?
How can I stand knee-deep in suffering without you? Where are you,
O God of my life? Where are you when I’m in such danger? Will you
let me slip away simply because you didn’t get here on time? O God of
mercy, do not abandon me. Show me your face at my window and
wipe the tears from my life. Please come to me. Please take care of
me. I will shout your name from the rooftops! I will dance your praise
among the stars. I will tell the world that you would never abandon
me.”
Psalm 15


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

Daily Inspiration

You will be happier if you spend less time insisting that everything be your way. Lord, help me remain objective and open to new ideas when they are presented, but at the same time give me the courage to not compromise my beliefs and values.

How easy it is to blame God for circumstances that don’t go as we want. Lord, grant me wisdom and understanding to know that You are Love and, as a loving God, You only want the best for me.

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

NA Just For Today

Surrendering Self-Will

“We want and demand that things always go our way. We should know from our past experience that our way of doing things did not work.”
Basic Text, p.78

All of us have ideas, plans, goals for our lives. There’s nothing in the NA program that says we shouldn’t think for ourselves, take initiative, and put responsible plans into action. It’s when our lives are driven by self-will that we run into problems.

When we are living willfully, we go beyond thinking for ourselves – we think only of ourselves. We forget that we are but a part of the world and that whatever personal strength we have is drawn from a Higher Power. We might even go so far as to imagine that other people exist solely to do our bidding. Quickly, we find ourselves at odds with everyone and everything around us.

At this point, we have two choices. We can continue in our slavery to self-will, making unreasonable demands and becoming frustrated because the planet doesn’t spin our way. Or we can surrender, relax, seek knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out, and find our way back to a condition of peace with the world. Thinking, taking initiative, making responsible plans-there’s nothing wrong with these things, so long as they serve God’s will, not merely our own.

Just for today: I will plan to do God’s will, not mine. If I find myself at odds with everything around me, I will surrender self-will.
pg. 213

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
There is no reality except the one contained within us. –Herman Hesse
Claude Gellee painted lovely pictures of the English countryside. Europeans loved his landscapes, with their blue hues and mild distortions. But when the people went for the carriage rides in the country, they were disappointed because it didn’t look the way Gellee had painted it. Then someone discovered that if you held blue glass up to your eyes and looked through it, the trees and hills and sky looked just like a Gellee painting! Soon everyone was looking through “Claude glasses” when they traveled.
We often let others do our seeing for us. We get lazy and rely on the images of television and movies, instead of really seeing with our own eyes. Our world becomes distorted and we lose sight of the natural beauty that surrounds us.
Each of us carries reality inside ourselves, and as we grow stronger within, we discover that we can see clearest when we trust our own eyes. There is a glorious world, full and rich, just waiting for us to glimpse it.
Will I see the world through my own eyes today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
He that to what he sees, adds observation, and to what he reads, reflection, is in the right road to knowledge. –Caleb Colton
We are not just feathers blown on the winds of a powerless life. We bring ourselves to our experiences. The dynamics of learning include, first, what happens – what we see or read or hear – and, second, what we make of it. So in our observations and reflections we consider what an event means to us.
As men in a spiritual program, we need some time to think and reflect. That is, we need time away from the phone, away from interruptions and work, where we can let ourselves learn and grow from our experiences. Some men get that by leaving the radio off while driving alone, others get it on the bus, others light a candle in a quiet room at home and meditate. In this way we are conscious and aware of what is happening in our lives and we bring our wisdom to it. Through time we deepen and grow stronger as we grow older rather than only accumulating more experiences.
Today, I will reflect on the meaning of my experiences and bring my wisdom to them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
For this is wisdom; to live, To take what fate, or the Gods, may give. –Laurence Hope
We can’t control the events of our lives, but we do have mastery over our attitudes. The chances will be many, today, to react negatively or positively to circumstances we find ourselves in. We can consider that each circumstance has something special in it for us.
Positive expectations regarding the planned as well as spontaneous activities of the day will influence the activity’s flow, our involvement with it, and our interactions with the other people involved. A positive attitude seems to breed positive experiences. In other words, we attract into our lives that which we expect. How often do we get up angry, feeling behind when the day has only begun, short-tempered with our children, “ready” for a tough one at work? And we generally find it.
The Serenity Prayer offers us all the knowledge, all the wisdom we’ll ever need. We can accept what has to be, change what we can, and not get confused between the two. We can inventory our attitude. Are we taking charge of it? Our attitude is something we can change.
I won’t get trapped today by a negative attitude. I will accept the challenge of turning my day around.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Making It Happen
Stop trying so hard to make it happen.
Stop doing so much, if doing so much is wearing you out or not achieving the desired results. Stop thinking so much and so hard about it. Stop worrying so about it. Stop trying to force, to manipulate, to coerce, or to make it happen.
Making things happen is controlling. We can take positive action to help things happen. We can do our part. But many of us do much more than our part. We overstep the boundaries from caring and doing our part into controlling, caretaking, and coercing.
Controlling is self-defeating. It doesn’t work. By overextending ourselves to make something happen, we may actually be stopping it from happening.
Do your part in relaxed, peaceful harmony. Then let it go. Just let it go. Force yourself to let it go, if necessary. “Act as if.” Put as much energy into letting go as you have into trying to control. You’ll get much better results.
It may not happen. It may not happen the way we wanted it to and hoped it would. But our controlling wouldn’t have made it happen either.
Learn to let things happen because that’s what they’ll do anyway. And while we’re waiting to see what happens, we’ll be happier and so will those around us.
Today, I will stop forcing things to happen. Instead, I will allow things to happen naturally. If I catch myself trying to force events or control people, I will stop and figure out a way to detach.

Today I will put aside all negative and destructive thoughts so that I can come from the place of love. Today I will let go of all blame and anger and resentments so that my heart and my mind will be open and free to feel love and give love. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Make a Fresh Start

Sometimes we need to start over– in work, in love, in our place of residence, in creating our lives. Sometimes we have to start over again when we don’t want to, didn’t plan on it, and don’t think it’s fair.

We may end a relationship, move, start a new job, start a new career, or begin an entirely different part of our lives, a part so different we don’t recognize it as being connected to the earlier ones. It’s new. We’re new. Life is new. We’re starting over again.

Sometimes it feels like we’re starting from scratch. While we may feel a sense of excitement about this new beginning, we may also harbor a sense of dread. Not again. Not one more time. I can’t. I don’t want to. That reaction is understandable. We become tired, frightened. We feel uncertain.

Honor all your feelings, all your emotions. Remember all your lessons.Clear the way to the heart. Then make a decision.

It’s time for a fresh start.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Fill up your life

I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
–Duke Ellington

One of the good things about the blues is their power to make me feel better. No matter how bad it gets in my little world, I can be pretty sure that B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, or Stevie Ray Vaughn has seen worse. Sometimes, it just feels good to vocalize all those bad feelings.

Bad things happen in life. Sometimes they are small annoyances; sometimes they are the major grief mongers. What matters is not what happens to us, but how we react to it. He left you. That is a fact. Now, after you get done with the quart of Breyers’ rocky road that you are drowning your sorrows in, what are you going to do about it? You can sit around and complain to your friends about how unfair life is, or you can get up, put the empty bowl in the dishwasher, and go fill up your life.

Feelings are one of the blessings of being human. All of them. Sometimes we feel good; sometimes we feel bad. Take some time. Take some energy and be upset. Be aware of the feeling of being upset. But then get up, go out, and make positive use of your life.

God, help me put to positive use all of the feelings in my life.

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In God’s Care

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
~~Dante Gabriel Rossetti

We can look back on our old life and be thankful for what we are like now. Although it is useless to dwell on the past, it is sometimes helpful to cast a backward glance. It sharpens our gratitude. The blessings we experience today are in such stark contrast to the misery we use to endure.

We examine the serendipity – all the good things that are happening to us – and we know not to take credit ourselves. We express gratitude to God because we know the good things are not accidental.

I pray that I remain grateful for God’s help.

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

Day By Day

Baby-sitting

If someone truly wants our help to stop using mood-altering chemicals, we have a responsibility to do all we can. But demanding that someone accept our help or baby-sitting someone who continues to use probably does more harm than good.

Deep down, we know when someone is sincerely seeking help. While it is our job to carry the message, we must avoid trying to fix someone who is not yet ready to quit. It works better if we tell them we’re happy to talk anytime they want to call.

Am I learning the boundary between helping and fixing?

Higher Power, help me help others according to their needs,
in the best way I can.

I will concentrate on helping myself today by…

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

Food for Thought

Food: Servant or Master?

Food used to be our master. The mental obsession with food and the craving for more controlled our life. As we recover, we begin to see just how much we were in slavery to food and our appetite. We know that no matter how long we abstain and recover from our disease, we will always be powerless over food. The idea that we will one day be able to eat spontaneously is the most dangerous delusion we can entertain.

By abstaining from compulsive overeating every day of our life, we make food our servant rather than our master. We eat what we need to nourish our body, but we do not permit eating for comfort, excitement, or any other emotional reason. Whatever it takes to remain abstinent is what we are willing to do each day.

Never forgetting that we are always one mouthful away from a binge ensures that food will remain our servant.

Today and every day, may I serve You instead of food.

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Guided Meditation
Accessing the World Within by Madisyn Taylor

Guided meditation is a wonderful way to start a meditation practice and can be deeply relaxing.

A guided meditation uses the sound of a person’s voice to direct you through an inner process of relaxing your body and shifting your mind’s focus. The voice may be a person in the room with you or a recording—even something downloaded from the internet—and it is generally spoken in soothing, soft tones. You may be guided to focus on aspects of your physical body, such as on your breathing, relaxing your muscles one-by-one, or on an area in need of healing. Sometimes it might involve visualizing a journey through the beauty of the natural world. Other times, you may be led to envision yourself working with light or energy, accomplishing your goals, or repeating positive thoughts in your head. Your guide may walk you through relaxation or motivation to help you change a habit, access untapped potential, or perhaps merely to find the silence within you.

Whether you are familiar with meditation or you are a beginner, being guided gives you the opportunity to benefit from the insight of others. There are numerous meditation and visualization techniques based in various spiritual philosophies and psychological applications. You may want to try several techniques to see what appeals to you the most, or just to gain a fresh perspective.

Guided meditation allows you to learn from others in a way that is similar to ones used by ancients the world over. Once learned, meditation is a tool that will always be available to you. Like having a tour guide while traveling in a foreign country, a guided meditation takes you on an inner journey. But this tour allows you to see and experience your own inner world, a place that truly only exists within you. The scenes created in your mind’s eye can be revisited at anytime, without a guide, because once you have seen the fascinating landscape of your own inner terrain, there will always be more to explore. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Today I’ll try to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to not only accept it but to appreciate it. Today, I’ll not expect too much of anyone — especially myself. I’ll try to remember that contentment comes from gratefully accepting the good that comes to us, and not from being furious at life because it’s not “better.” Do I realize the difference between resignation and realistic acceptance?

Today I Pray

May I not set my sights unrealistically high, expect too much. May I look backwards long enough to see that my self-set, impossible goals were the trappings of my addiction; too often I ended up halfway there, confronted by my own failure. Those “foiled-again,” “I’ve-failed-again” feelings became monumental excuses to give in to my compulsion, which blanketed my miseries. May I avoid that sick old pattern. May I be realistic.

Today I Will Remember

Good is good enough.

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One More Day

A friend is clearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were extinguished than that we should be without friends.
– St. John Chrysostom

Friendship is our greatest achievement and reward. Our friends are people to care about, celebrate with, and count on. Even condition, friends are there fo reach other. Within the closest friendships we find the best of each other at all times.

Friendships enrich our lives. It is no accident that we become close and maintain our contact. Our paths crossed for reasons, and we are forever a part of each other’s life. We really listen. We open up. We offer help and hope. We share each other’s pain and enhance each other’s growth. We appreciate our friend’s unique qualities. We let each other know who we really are.

I bring myself honestly to my friendships.

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One Day At A Time

CHOICE
“Destiny is not a matter of chance;
it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for;
it is a thing to be achieved.”
William Jennings Bryan

I have often wished that my life were easier. I have resented the fact that others seemed to have been given a free ride, whereas I have had to walk the distance. I often prayed that on waking one morning, I would find that the shadow I cast the day before had been vastly reduced overnight.

Wallowing in self-pity has taken me nowhere. It has wasted time that I could have spent reaching my recovery. I could choose to waste my days wishing for something that I obviously don’t have — and will never have — unless I actively do the legwork to obtain it. I could sit back and expect the world to come to my door, but I would find that it passes me by.

Often I find myself slipping down the emotional slide into the depths of depression. In those dark times, walking through life is as easy as walking waist-deep through wet tar. It’s a place where the sun never shines, thus its warm rays don’t land on my skin.

Recovery comes only when I make the choice and do the work needed to attain it.

One day at a time …
I choose to use the wisdom, strength and shelter of God; my Higher Power. I choose to follow the Twelve Steps and use the tools provided in the recovery program. I choose to be guided by the Big Book. In essence … I choose life
~ Sue G

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

I. Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

II. The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our Society in its world affairs.

III. To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A. – the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives – with a traditional ‘Right of Decision.’ – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts (Short Form)

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Now we must choose and use a sponsor. Just one. More than one sponsor gives us more than one answer and allows us to play games with the program. We ask for guidance in choosing a sponsor, then we use them.

Higher Power, as I understand You, please guide me to the sponsor that will give me the answers I need.

My Work

I am whole and in tact and as such I have a positive contribution to make to this world. My work needs me. Whatever my gifts are, I will share them. I will not hold back, telling myself I am not ready, not smart enough, not good enough. Today is the day. This is as good a place to begin as any. I will dig deep into myself and find beauty and wisdom. I will produce good works and I will share those openly with others. As I expand my own consciousness, it becomes my responsibility to share what I learn with the collective. I am available to find my mission. I will give myself the gift of feeling purposeful, today.

I will share my gifts

– Tian Dayton PhD

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.

Henry David Thoreau

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

‘Each place along the way is somewhere you had to be to be here.’ ~Wayne Dyer

I cannot get ahead until I learn to be here.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Reality can be as painful to accept as it was to escape.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I will put aside all negative and destructive thoughts so that I can come from the place of love. Today I will let go of all blame and anger and resentments so that my heart and my mind will be open and free to feel love and give love.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I was so grateful I couldn’t stop crying, because I thought about all the friends of mine that I’ve known through the years who couldn’t make it. Who missed it all. And I thought ‘No matter what happens I’ve got no quarrel. Not with God, not with life, not with anything. And I stood there – with cancer – feeling like one of the most fortunate women on earth. – Gayle W.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 23

A New Life
When we work at our Twelve Steps,
the old life of guzzling and fuzzy thinking, and all that goes with it, gradually dies,
and we acquire a different and better way of life.
As our shortcomings are removed, one of us dies, and another life of us lives.
We in AA die to live.
– Experience, Strength and Hope, p. 156

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

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

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

Ambition
” . . . the certainty that we are no longer isolated
in self-constructed prisons,
the surety that we need no longer be
square pegs in round holes
but can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things –
these are the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of
right living for which no amount of pomp and
circumstance,
no heap of material possessions,
could possibly be substitutes.
True ambition is not what we thought it was.
True ambition is the deep desire
to live usefully and walk humbly under
the grace of God.”
1953AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 124-5

Thought to Consider . . .
The mighty oak tree was once a little nut
that held its ground.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F I T = Faith, Intuition, and Trust

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

Small Miracles
From: “A Late Start”
Small miracles keep offering new opportunities just when I need change and growth. New friends have shown me hidden truths in those sayings that I once found so shallow. The lessons of tolerance and acceptance have taught me to look beyond exterior appearances to find the help and wisdom so often lurking beneath the surface. All my sobriety and growth, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, are dependent upon my willingness to listen, understand, and change.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 542

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

“A large part of my recovery has been in learning how not to listen to myself.”
Tucson, Arizona, March 1988
“The Work at Hand,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

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

“Now and then the family will be plagued by spectres from the past,
for the drinking career of almost every alcoholic has been marked by
escapades, funny, humiliating, shameful or tragic. The first impulse
will be to bury these skeletons in a dark closet and padlock the
door. The family may be possessed by the idea that future happiness
can be based only upon forgetfulness of the past. We think that such
a view is self-centered and in direct conflict with the new way of
living.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 123~

“If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 95

“Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 80

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Daily Reflections

A PRICELESS GIFT

By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of
release from our more devastating handicaps. We enjoy moments in
which there is something like real peace of mind. To those of us who
have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety–in other
words, to all of us–this newfound peace is a priceless gift.
12 & 12, p. 74

I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a
heart that is willing to receive God’s grace in all my affairs; in this
way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result
of surrender. It has been proven that an act of surrender,
originating in desperation and defeat, can grow into an ongoing act
of faith, and that faith means freedom and victory.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

If we feel the need of saying something to put another member on the
right track, we should try to say it with understanding and
sympathy, not with a critical attitude. We should keep everything
out in the open and aboveboard. The A.A. program is wonderful, but
we must really follow it. We must all pull together or we’ll all be
sunk. We enjoy the privilege of being associated with A.A. and we
are entitled to all its benefits. But gossip and criticism are not
tolerance, and tolerance is an A.A. principle that is absolutely
necessary to group unity. Am I truly tolerant of all my group’s
members?

Meditation For The Day

“Faith can move mountains.” That expression means that faith can
change any situation in the field of personal relationships. If you
trust Him, God shows you the way to “move mountains.” If you are
humble enough to know that you can really do little by yourself to
change a situation, if you have enough faith to ask God to give you
the power you need, and if you are grateful enough for the grace He
gives you, you can “move mountains.” Situations will be changed for
the better by your presence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have enough faith to make me really effective. I
pray that I may learn to depend less on myself and more on God.

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As Bill Sees It

The Hour of Decision, p. 202

“Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and
cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary as this process is. We
cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When there
is doubt about our logic, we wait upon God and listen for the voice of
intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may
well gain sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic.

“If, after an exercise of these two disciplines, we are still uncertain,
then we should ask for further guidance, and, when possible, defer
important decisions for a time. By then, with more knowledge of our
situation, logic and intuition may well agree upon a right course.

“But if the decision must be now, let us not evade it through fear.
Right or wrong, we can always profit from the experience.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Creating good impressions
Attitude
There’s a saying that we have only one chance to make a good first impression. That’s true, but we always have the opportunity to make good lasting impressions.
The secret of making good impressions is contained in one word: ATTITUDE.  Whatever we really feel will be expressed to others as our true character and the impression we give will be authentically us.
The way to control the impressions we are making is simply to continue cultivating an attitude that’s consistent with humility, acceptance, and graciousness.  We should have others’ best interests at heart without being meddlesome.  We should be genuinely helpful.
This attitude will create any good impressions we need to make.
Working to make sure I’m thinking the right way.  I’ll forget about the impressions I’m making.  If my attitude is right, the impression will take care of itself.

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Keep It Simple

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.  —Gore Vidal
Many of us used a “know it all” act to keep people away. We kept everyone around us on edge. They were afraid of our judgments, just we were secretly afraid of theirs. Why were we so busy with everyone else’s life? So we didn’t have to look at our own! We were afraid of what was happening to us. But we didn’t want to see how sick we were becoming. Now we’re not afraid. We don’t need to keep people away. We don’t need to run their lives. We have our life to live. And we’re enjoying it.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You are the expert, not me. Teach me. I am Your student.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list the ways I chased away those who cared about me.. I’ll work on the Steps on these items for the next week.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation and the joy of being truly alive. And I’m thankful for this day.  –Angela L. Wozniak
Being open to the day’s offering, all of it, and looking for the positive experiences therein, becomes habit only after a firm commitment and dedicated practice. Today is special for each of us.
These next twenty-four hours will be unlike all others. And we are not the persons we were, even as recently as yesterday. Looking forward to all of the day’s events, with the knowledge that we are in the care of our higher power, in every detail, frees us to make the most of everything that happens.
We have been given the gift of life. We are survivors. The odds against survival in our past make clear we have yet a job to do and are being given the help to do it. Confidence wavers in all of us, but the strength we need will be given to each of us.
In this day that stands before me, I can be certain that I’ll have many chances for growth, for kindness to others, for developing confidence in myself. I will be thoughtful in my actions today. They are special and will be repeated no more.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Imagine life without faith! Were nothing left but pure reason, it wouldn’t be life. But we believed in life—of course we did. We could not prove life in the sense that you can prove a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, yet, there it was. Could we still say the whole thing was nothing but a mass of electrons, created out of nothing, meaning nothing, whirling on to a destiny of nothingness? Or course we couldn’t. The electrons themselves seemed more intelligent than that. At least, so the chemist said.

p. 54

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
Like many alcoholics, I had spent much of my life feeling different, as though I just didn’t quite fit in.  I covered those feelings and my low self-esteem by being one of the smartest people in any group, if not the smartest.  Additionally, I became a performer in crowds, always ready with a quick joke to point out the humor in any situation.  I managed to bring a great deal of laughter into my life.

p. 422

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

It was obviously necessary to raise the bottom the rest of us had hit to the point where it would hit them. By going back in our own drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that it was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression. To the doubters we could say, “Perhaps you’re not an alcoholic after all. Why don’t you try some more controlled drinking, bearing in mind meanwhile what we have told you about alcoholism?” This attitude brought immediate and practical results. It was then discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, “Maybe those A.A.’s were right…” After a few such experiences, often years before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced. He had hit bottom as truly as any of us. John Barleycorn himself had become our best advocate.

pp. 23-24

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Ability is what you’re capable of doing… Motivation determines what
you do… Attitude determines how well you do it.
–unknown

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.
–Buddha

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of
getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and
appreciating what we do have.
–Fredrick Koeing

Instead of being aggressive toward a difficulty, be quiet before it,
and notice the new feeling.
–Vernon Howard

P R O G R A M = People Relying On God Relay A Message.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IGNORANCE

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of
ignorance is the death of
knowledge.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

How little I understood when I was living as an alcoholic. How little
I wanted to know. Ignorance was bliss in my addiction. And the
real tragedy was that I was ignorant of the extent of my ignorance!
I had no idea how serious my alcoholism was, how pervasive in all
areas of my life it had developed, how destructive and negative I had
become until I was made to “see” reality in treatment. Reluctantly I
opened my eyes to see my ignorance and I knew I needed to change
my attitude if I was to recover.

The enemy of the spiritual life is ignorance because it stops us
from realizing that the strength and healing power of spirituality
has been given by God — all we need do is discover it and appreciate
it.

I pray that I and others will have the courage to confront the
ignorance in my life.

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“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:17

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that
seeketh Him.
Lamentations 3:24-25

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. No one will come before My
Father except through me.”
John 14:6


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Daily Inspiration

Forgiveness is a wonderful way to lift yourself up and it is the best way to encourage yourself and others to do better. Lord, grant me greater understanding and wisdom so that I can move past my problems into a new day.

Keep your feet firmly planted in your faith and your eyes raised to the heavens. Lord, You are my strength, my encouragement and my source of all that is good.

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NA Just For Today

Surrender Is For Everyone

“If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery.”
Basic Text, p.92

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!

After we’ve been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to old-timers. We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves-and we do. The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough. But it’s what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.

Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble. When we find that “applying the principles” on our own power just isn’t working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender. When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves. And when we discover that self-therapy isn’t so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another.”

Just for today: I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own. I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power-I will do something that says, “I surrender.”
pg. 211

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Dependency (on another human being) is the inability to experience wholeness or to function adequately without the certainty that one is being actively cared for by another. –M. Scott Peck
No matter what we may think, overdependence on another can be very unloving because it drains others of any chance for personal growth. Those of us who have been dependent on other people are so busy acquiring love that we ourselves have no energy left to truly give love. It’s as if we’re starving, and scrambling for every little bit of love we can find, with no thought to offering it to others. No wonder they often quickly get tired of us.
We can’t force or expect others to do things with us, talk to us, or love us. The way to be surely loved is to be worthy of it. We can work at being worthy by exercising our freedom to feel and do things without others’ permission, and to allow them the same opportunity.
What can I do on my own today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Some people regard themselves as perfect, but only because they demand little of themselves. –Hermann Hesse
Many of us men in this program have a struggle with perfectionism. This is a central spiritual issue. Sometimes we feel ashamed or frightened by our imperfections, or we strive so hard to overcome them that we successfully close our lives down to a very narrow, controllable scale. Spiritual awakening means we have zest for life and accept our imperfections.
We know today will be shaky and insecure in some ways. We probably will make some mistakes or offenses. Our solution is not our old behavior of attempting to control whatever happens; it is to join life with a spiritual feeling. We let go of ourselves, and what happens? We are part of a larger whole. We are not in control of the process of life, and whatever we do is part of an ongoing dialogue, so we will have another chance to respond, even to our own mistakes.
Today, I pray for liberation from my perfectionism so I can more fully engage in life’s adventure.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation and the joy of being truly alive. And I’m thankful for this day. –Angela L. Wozniak
Being open to the day’s offering, all of it, and looking for the positive experiences therein, becomes habit only after a firm commitment and dedicated practice. Today is special for each of us.
These next twenty-four hours will be unlike all others. And we are not the persons we were, even as recently as yesterday. Looking forward to all of the day’s events, with the knowledge that we are in the care of our higher power, in every detail, frees us to make the most of everything that happens.
We have been given the gift of life. We are survivors. The odds against survival in our past make clear we have yet a job to do and are being given the help to do it. Confidence wavers in all of us, but the strength we need will be given to each of us.
In this day that stands before me, I can be certain that I’ll have many chances for growth, for kindness to others, for developing confidence in myself. I will be thoughtful in my actions today. They are special and will be repeated no more.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Being Is Enough
We are not always clear about what we are experiencing, or why.
In the midst of grief, transition, transformation, learning, healing, or discipline – it’s difficult to have perspective.
That’s because we have not learned the lesson yet. We are in the midst of it. The gift of clarity has not yet arrived.
Our need to control can manifest itself as a need to know exactly what’s going on. We cannot always know. Sometimes, we need to let ourselves be and trust that clarity will come later, in retrospect.
If we are confused, that is what we are supposed to be. The confusion is temporary. We shall see. The lesson, the purpose, shall reveal itself – in time, in its own time.
It will all make perfect sense – later.
Today, I will stop straining to know what I don’t know, to see what I can’t see, to understand what I don’t yet understand. I will trust that being is sufficient, and let go of my need to figure things out.

Today I am open to everyone who is on my path, whether I know them or not. Somewhere there will be someone who needs my help and I want to be there for them. My Higher Power will tell me what needs to be done. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Value Work

We need to value the simple tasks of life and the workwe do professionally to earn income, fulfill purpose, and bring our gifts to the world.

There are many tasks to be done in life– our personal responsibilities to others, our professional commitments, our responsibilities to ourselves. There is value and honor in work, in performing the tasks that make up our daily lives.

When we joyfully perform the tasks of life– whether we’re taking care of ourselves or fulfilling a commitment to another– we connect with the very rhythms and workings of life and the universe. Many important spiritual lessons are connected with work. It’s better not to use work as an escape, a way to avoid life. But work done with an attitude of honor, love, and joy can be a tool on our spiritual path.

Work can take us into the rhythm of life. Work can bring us back to service, back to our hearts, back to our souls. We don’t have to leave ourselves behind when we do the tasks of life. We can take all we’ve learned into our work, then learn more lessons from the tasks we do.

Remember to honor and value the work and the tasks that are yours to do– from the smallest to the grandest. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, hold a buisness meeting, rake the yard. Each task is important.

Value work. Let it connect you to the rhythms of life.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Maybe it’s not supposed to feel good

Every night for months, Laurie went home from work, turned on her computer, and wrote and rewrote the same thing: I hate my job. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

For six weeks in a row, Jonathan complained daily to his friends about his roommate: I can’t stand him. He’s driving me nuts. I don’t like him.

For years, right before falling asleep at night, Mindy calculated the number of years she thought it would be until her husband died and she was free from her wedding vows: Just fifteen more years, then he’ll be gone and I can have a life.

None of these three people were going through what we call a “love-hate” relationship with their spouse, roommate, or job. All three were involved in hate-hate relationships. They all had one thing in common: they felt guilty for how they felt. Laurie kept trying to make herself like her job; Jonathan turned himself inside out trying to get along with his roommate; Mindy continued trying to be a better wife.

Be patient with yourself if you have moments and times of not liking someone or something, whether it’s your job, your roommate, your home, or your spouse. But if you’re consistently and blatantly not liking someone or someplace, maybe it’s time to move on.

Watch for patterns in your emotional responses to your life. If you’re consistently responding to something or someone in a particular way, entertain the possibility that that person, place, or thing might have outworn its usefulness in your life.

God, grant me the wisdom to discern when my feelings are urging me to move on. Help me let go of my guilt about how I’m feeling and find a path with heart.

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In God’s Care

The goal isn’t to do a successful inventory. The goal is to dig to the deepest levels of self-honesty.
~~Anonymous

The Fourth Sep is the hardest one for many newcomers in the program. It is so difficult, in fact, that some of us still waiting to do it are no longer newcomers.

It’s so hard to be honest with ourselves, that some of us never accomplish it. The consequences of this are a low sef-esteem, which draws us toward failure.

Help is available, though. God, who knows all about us, is willing to help us get honest with ourselves. We only need to ask. Until we become honest with ourselves, we can’t grow spiritually.

Today I pledge to be honest.

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

Day By Day

Judging other addicts

As addicts we tend to judge each other in a cruel way; it can help us feel better about ourselves. For example, alcoholics look down on junkies, junkies look down on speed freaks, and everyone looks down on glue-sniffers. But what’s the difference?

We’re all in this together. We’re dealing with life-and-death matters. Making value judgments about the kind or severity of another’s addiction is a childish and dangerous game.

Have I stopped judging other addicts?

Higher Power, help me accept myself – and accept others – in all aspects of life.

I will acknowledge someone addicted to another chemical today by…

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Food for Thought

Following the Rules

When we were eating compulsively, we thought we could make up our own rules as we went along. We thought we were entitled to eat what we wanted when we wanted it. The result was chaos. We found that living according to self-will did not work.

Commitment to the OA program involves the willingness to accept a set of rules, which we did not make. Following the abstinence guidelines is what enables us to control our disease. When we ignore the discipline, which has worked for others and insist on doing it our way, our chances for recovery diminish.

The rules of abstinence – three measured meals a day with nothing in between, no binge foods, a definite plan, etc. – are the means to freedom. To rebel against them is to delay or prevent our liberation from compulsive overeating.

I pray for the honesty to follow the rules.

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Things We Can’t Control
Allow, Trust

We develop grace as we learn with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should.

The idea of trusting the universe is a popular one these days, but many of us don’t know what this really means and we often have a hard time doing it. This is partly because the story of humankind is most often presented as a story about struggle, control, and survival, instead of one of trust and collaboration with the universe. Yet, in truth, we need to adhere to both ideas in this life.

On the one hand, there is much to be said about exerting control over our environment. We created shelter to protect ourselves from the elements. We hunted for animals and invented agriculture to feed ourselves. We built social infrastructures to protect ourselves and create community. This is how we survive and grow as a civilization. However, it is also clear that there are plenty of things that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try, and we often receive support from an unseen force – a universe that provides us with what we cannot provide for ourselves.

It is a good idea to take responsibility for the things in life that we can control or create. We work so we can feed, clothe, and shelter our loved ones and ourselves. We manifest our dreams and visions in physical form with hard work and forethought. But at a certain point, when we have done all that we can, we must let go and allow the universe to take over. This requires trust. It requires a trust that runs deeper than just expecting things to turn out the way we want them to. Sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t. We develop equanimity and grace as we learn to trust that, with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should. We are engaged in an ongoing relationship with a universe that responds to our thoughts and actions. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we’re faced with some condition or situation not to our liking, how can we have faith that all things are working together for good? Perhaps we have to ask ourselves just what is faith. Faith has its foundation in truth and love. We can have faith, if we so choose, no matter what the situation. And, if we so choose, we can expect ultimate good to come forth. Have I made my choice?

Today I Pray

May I be grateful for my God-given ability to make a choice. Out of this gratitud3e and my sense of the nearness of God, I have chosen faith. May the faith, as my chosen way, become strong enough to move mountains, strong enough to keep me free of my compulsion, mighty enough to hold back the tide of temptations which threaten me, optimistic enough to look past my present pain to ultimate good.

Today I Will Remember

With faith, nothing is impossible.

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One More Day

An hour of pain is a long as a day of pleasure.
– Proverb

When we look back at our lives, do the painful experiences come through first? We may remember the difficult times that led to the end of a relationship or losing a job. Life seemed at a standstill during those times, as we wondered whether we’d ever get close to another person, find another job, or feel confident again.

We probably learned much later that failures could be opportunities for growth. As we sift through our hardest memories, we can settle back into the happy once again, knowing we have learned and grown from our pain. And as our “hour” of pain comes to an end, we can see the large and small pleasures of today and remember those of yesterday.

I will not let pain obscure my joys and pleasures.

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One Day At A Time

GROWING OLDER
“I think, therefore I am.”
Rene Descartes

Before beginning my recovery process with our online groups, I used to look in the mirror and want to cry. I’m not a young, lovely creature anymore. I’m showing my age. Inside I’m still a young girl, but now I have a grandma’s face.

The Twelve Steps to recovery have opened up a whole new world to me ~ and it is a world that is ageless. Its principles are timeless: honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, love, forgiveness, self-discipline, perseverance, spiritual awareness and service. Maturing without benefit of these principles would be choosing to simply get old.

Through my program of recovery, I have been inspired to keep my body strong and well — the way my Higher Power made it. I am encouraged to stay as attractive as possible for as long as possible, out of concern for myself and for others. By the time I reached the 9th Step, the worry lines in my face began to soften … now they look like smile lines. It seems that participating in our program of recovery has reversed my age.

One day at a time…
I will grow older, but also much wiser.
~ SAG

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We have shown how we get out from under. You say, ‘Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring, and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?’
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. If is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you. – Pg. 152 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is now time to forgive ourselves for the trials of our addiction and it is time to forgive others who let us down. We are not well yet, but have made the first giant steps: admittance of our disease and forgiveness for not being well yesterday.

Grant me the humbleness to work for and accept my marker tokens knowing I could not do it alone. Grant me the pride to realize that without me it could not be done at all.

Spirit Calls

I am willing to allow my life to happen. Life has taught me that the best laid plans can go awry. I know that I need to have goals and missions in order to give shape, meaning and a sense of destiny to my life. However, when I let those goals run me, when I let them preoccupy me to such an extent that I stop living in the present and I miss the beauty and spontaneity of each new day, then I am becoming a slave to my own plans. I will learn to take an action and let go of the result, to have a goal then to move toward it in a relaxed manner that doesn’t rob me of my pleasure and my day.

I am in touch with spirit within and without

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When making amends, a subtle shift occurs in our thinking. We go from thinking we were a mistake to acknowledging we made a mistake.

I may make mistakes but my Higher Power doesn’t and my Higher Power made me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You can’t run from God, so let God run you.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am open to everyone who is on my path, whether I know them or not. Somewhere there will be someone who needs my help and I want to be there for them. My Higher Power will tell me what needs to be done.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Poor me, poor me…pour me a drink. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 21

Today
But today is always here. Life is daily; today is all we have;
and anybody can go one day without drinking.
First, we try living in the now just in order to stay sober — and it works.
Once the idea has become a part of our thinking, we find that living life in 24-hour segments
is an effective and satisfying way to handle many other matters as well.
– Living Sober, p. 7

Thought to Ponder . . .
Just for today, I choose not to drink.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
S I T = Stay In Today.

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

Defects
“What we must recognize now is that
we exult in some of our defects.
We really love them.
Who, for example, doesn’t like to feel
just a little superior to the next fellow,
or even quite a lot superior?
Isn’t it true that we like to let greed masquerade as ambition?
To think of liking lust seems impossible.
But how many men and women speak love with their lips,
and believe what they say,
so they can hide lust in a dark corner of their minds?
And even while staying within conventional bounds,
many people have to admit
that their imaginary sex excursions are apt to be
all dressed up as dreams of romance.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 66-7

Thought to Consider . . .
If I want God to remove my character defects,
I’ll have to stop doing them.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B A T H = Behavior, Attitude, Thinking, and Habits

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

Control the Situation
From: “Bill’s Story”
Liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity. “Bathtub” gin, two bottles a day, and often three, got to be routine. Sometimes a small deal would net a few hundred dollars, and I would pay my bills at the bars and delicatessens. This went on endlessly, and I began to waken very early in the morning shaking violently. A tumbler full of gin followed by half a dozen bottles of beer would be required if I were to eat any breakfast. Nevertheless, I still thought I could control the situation, and there were periods of sobriety which renewed my wife’s hope.
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, page 5

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

“By the fall of 1937 we could count what looked like forty recovered members. One of us had been sober three years, another two and a half, and a fair number had a year or more behind them. As all of us had been hopeless cases, this amount of time elapsed began to be significant. The realization that we ‘had found something’ began to take hold of us. No longer were we a dubious experiment. Alcoholics could stay sober.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., October 1945
“The Book Is Born”
The Language of the Heart

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

“When ready, we say something like this: ‘My Creator, I am now
willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you
now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in
the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as
I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.’ We have then
completed Step Seven.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 76~

“I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that
will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental
blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said
that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a
crushing blow.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 42~

“We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears,
though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we
made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the
deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully
capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

“We relax and take it easy.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 86 (Into Action)

“His sponsor probably says, ‘Take it easy.'”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 26 (Step Two)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary as this process is. We cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When there is doubt about our logic, we wait upon God and listen for the voice of intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may well gain sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic. ‘If, after an exercise of these two disciplines, we are still uncertain, then we should ask for further guidance and, when possible, defer important decisions for a time. By then, with more knowledge of our situation, logic and intuition may well agree upon a right course. ‘But if the decision must be now, let us not evade it through fear. Right or wrong, we can always profit from the experience.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for the ability to laugh and have fun, to take it easy today, and to not take myself so seriously.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 20th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 20th

Daily Reflections

SHORTCOMINGS REMOVED

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

When I put the Seventh Step into action I must remember that
there are no blanks to fill in. It doesn’t say, “Humbly asked Him to
(fill in the blank) remove our shortcomings.” For years I filled in
the imaginary blank with “Help me!” “Give me the courage to,”
and “Give me the strength,” etc. The Step says simply that God
will remove my shortcomings. The only footwork I must do is “humbly
ask,” which for me means asking with the knowledge that of myself I
am nothing, the Father within “doeth the works.”

I thank my Higher Power for letting me know that He works through
other people, and I thank Him for our trusted servants in the
Fellowship who aid new members to reject their false ideals and
to adopt those which lead to a life of compassion and trust. The
elders in A.A. challenge the newcomers to “Come To”–so that
they can “Come to Believe.” I ask my Higher Power to help my
unbelief.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We must be loyal to the group and to each member of it. We must
never accuse members behind their backs or even to their faces.
It’s up to them to tell us themselves if anything is wrong. More than
that, we must try not to think bad things about any members, because
if we do, we’re consciously or unconsciously hurting that person. We
must be loyal to each other if A.A. is going to be successful. While
we’re on this lifeboat, trying to save ourselves and each other from
alcoholism, we must be truly and sincerely helpful to each other. Am I
a loyal member of my group?

Meditation For The Day

Carry out God’s guidance as best you can. Leave the results to Him.
Do this obediently and faithfully with no question that if the working
out of the guidance is left in God’s hands, the results will be all
right. Believe that the guidance God gives you has already been
worked out by God to produce the required results according to your
case and in your circumstances. So follow God’s guidance according
to your conscience. God has knowledge of your individual life and
character, your capabilities and your weaknesses.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may live according to the dictates of my conscience. I
pray that I may leave the results to God.

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As Bill Sees It

Unlimited Choice, p. 201

Any number of alcoholics are bedeviled by the dire conviction that if
they ever go near A.A. they will be pressured to conform to some
particular brand of faith or theology.

They just don’t realize that faith is never an imperative for A.A.
membership. that sobriety can be achieved with an easily acceptable
minimum of it, and that our concepts of a Higher Power and God–as
we understand Him–afford everyone a nearly unlimited choice of
spiritual belief and action.

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In talking to a prospect, stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man
be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to
agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he
likes, provided it makes sense to him.

The main thing is that he is willing to believe in a Power greater than
himself and that he live by spiritual principles.

1. Grapevine, April 1961
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93


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Walk In Dry Places

Spiritual guidance.
If we go through the day with a confidence that our Higher Power is with us, events will go better than they would if we hadn’t held to this belief. We will be more effective in everything we do. We will actually have more power in all activities.
This is what is meant in the Eleventh Step; “the power to carry that out.”  Knowing that the Higher power is in our lives, we also find the power to do what we believe to be God’s will for us. As this confidence strengthens and is seasoned by experience, it becomes part of our nature.
Eventually, we’ll sense our Higher Power working in our lives. We can learn to accept this with the same sure belief that we accept the sun’s rising and the changing of the seasons.  And we’ll have the power to do whatever must be done by us.
A conscious contact with God can raise my daily activities to higher levels, giving me the power of achievement. 


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Keep It Simple

Living so fully. I can’t image what any drug would do for me.—Joan Baez
When we were using alcohol and other drugs, our lives kept getting emptier. We tired to keep new things out of our lives. We were scared and tired. We saw feelings as bad. So we got high instead of feeling them.
Now we can live fully every day. We don’t want to block our feelings. We aren’t afraid to opening up to new things and people.
And the more we open up, the happier we are. Our feelings are free. They bounce around. They don’t get stuck. We feel alive. Sure, we feel pain and fear sometimes. But we feel joy, love, and laughter too. And, more and more often, we feel alive.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, please help me live fully today. Help me notice my feelings.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list five things I’ve enjoyed in the last twenty-four hours.

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Each Day a New Beginning

It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our Creator–our very self-consciousness–is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures.  –Annie Dillard
Getting outside of ourselves, moving beyond our own egos, opens the door to real communication with the people we’ll meet today. We have to learn to look with loving appreciation into the soul of that person or child who stands before us. We have to practice being concerned with their needs before our own, and in time our concern will be genuine. The separation between us will exist no more.
This division from others, the barrier that keeps us apart, comes from our individual insecurities. We have grown accustomed to the quick comparisons of ourselves with those we meet. Either inferior or superior we determine them to be, and thus ourselves. Whatever gifts we have to offer each other are left unwrapped, at least for now.
Let’s come together, truly together, with someone we’ve been holding off until now. We can trust that the people who have come into our lives are there by design. We are equal to them, and they to us. We need what they have to offer us, and their growth needs our gifts, too.
I will appreciate the design of my life today. I will draw myself close to the day.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We found, too, that we had been worshippers. What a state of mental goose-flesh that used to bring on! Had we not variously worshipped people, sentiment, things, money, and ourselves? And then, with a better motive, had we not worshipfully beheld the sunset, the sea, or a flower? Who of us had not loved something or somebody? How much did these feelings, these loves, these worships, have to do with pure reason? Little or nothing, we saw at last. Were not these things the tissue out of which our lives were constructed? Did not these feelings, after all, determine the course of our existence? It was impossible to say we had no capacity for faith, or love, or worship. In one form or another we had been living by faith and little else.

p. 54

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
As I grew older, however, I made a plan.  I would be dutiful until I graduated from high school.  Then I would escape to college, secure my economic future, and never go home again.  Just after my eighteenth birthday, I left for college.  I was, I thought, finally free.  I was in for a rude awakening.

p. 422

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. ”

It is a tremendous satisfaction to record that in the following years this changed. Alcoholics who still had their health, their families, their jobs, and even two cars in the garage, began to recognize their alcoholism. As this trend grew, they were joined by young people who were scarcely more than potential alcoholics. They were spared that last ten or fifteen years of literal hell the rest of us had gone through. Since Step One requires an admission that our lives have become unmanageable, how could people such as these take this Step?

p. 23

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Truth gives a short answer; lies go round about.
–German Proverb

People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish
things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor
passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in
their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life’s
circumstances to push them down and hold them under.
–Charles Swindoll

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
–Mahatma Gandhi

He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he
himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has
need to be forgiven.
–George Herbert

One doesn’t recognize in one’s life the really important moments….
not until it’s too late.
–Agatha Christie

We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap
as they go by.
–Will Rogers

Man is a creature whose substance is faith. What his faith is, he is.
–Bhagavad Gita

“Learn to see in another’s calamity the ills which you should avoid.”
–Publius Syrus

………… that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something
you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.
–Doris Lessing

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WORRY

“When I look back on all these
worries, I remember the story of
the old man who said on his
deathbed that he had had a lot
of trouble in his life, most of
which never happened.”
–Winston Churchill

I know I can worry myself into the grave. I can project an incident
into a calamity. I can make mountains out of molehills.

I worried about what people meant by what they said; I always
looked for a hidden criticism; I worried about what people did not
say; I worried about what people were thinking or were going to do or
were plotting. If I had nothing to worry about, then I worried because
I felt I should have something to worry about! I created most of the
worry in my life.

Today I have a program that helps me deal with this. Of course I still
worry, but I have a “checklist” that keeps me sane and allows me to
laugh at the insanity of my projections. Today the worry in my life is
less destructive and negative.

Let me bring my worry to You in prayer. Then let me sleep!

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“Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in Heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:39

I cling to you, and your hand keeps me safe. Psalm 63:8

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Daily Inspiration

Place yourself in God’s hands first thing in the morning so that your entire day will be in His care. Lord, may my prayer and my attitude be one so that my relationship with You never becomes casual.

As we help those in need or comfort those in trouble, God’s great love and divine glory is revealed to the world. Lord, I am Your servant. May others know more of You through me.

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NA Just For Today

Step 0ne

“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Step One

The First Step begins with “we,” and there’s a reason for that. There is great strength in making a verbal admission of our powerlessness. And when we go to meetings and make this admission, we gain more than personal strength. We become members, part of a collective “we” that allows us, together, to recover from our addiction. With membership in NA comes a wealth of experience: the experience of other addicts who have found a way to recover from their disease.

No longer must we try to solve the puzzle of our addiction on our own. When we honestly admit our powerlessness over our addiction, we can begin the search for a better way to live. We won’t be searching alone – we’re in good company.

Just for today: I will start the day with an admission of my powerlessness over addiction. I will remind myself that the First Step starts with “we,” and know that I never have to be alone with my disease again.
pg. 210

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It is terribly amusing how many different climates of feeling one can go through in a day. –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
When we travel by canoe down a river we can notice the changes that take place. In one spot the river is wide and the water moves slowly. Around the next bend the river narrows and the current speeds up. Ahead of us we see rapids waiting to test our skill.
Our feelings can also change as quickly as the river. We may have times in our day when we feel good about ourselves. Then, all of a sudden, someone may tease us about something. We begin to feel like the scared canoeist shooting the rapids for the first time. How wonderful it is to know that we are never given a test we can’t handle, that everything that happens in our lives is for the sake of our growth, and that we are watched over at all times by God.
How can I use today’s obstacles for my own growth?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Without solitude there can be no real people…. The measure of your solitude is the measure of your capacity/or communion.
–John Eudes
If we listen in those moments when we hear a message from ourselves, we become true men – real human beings. The message comes in our solitude, when our defenses against truth are set aside. It comes popping out without our planning it. Our solitude is a relationship with ourselves, and it might occur in silent meditation, or driving down the street, or during a dinner conversation. The message might be a painful truth like, “You just acted like a small child,” or a frightening fact like, “You are deeply loved by another person.”
Letting another person know what messages we are getting in solitude helps us deal with the messages. As we accept our imperfections and make peace with ourselves, we increase our sense of solitude. We become real men, full partners in relationships and in our communities.
Today, I will welcome solitude. When the messages from myself are painful or frightening, I will be gentle with myself.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our Creator–our very self-consciousness–is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. –Annie Dillard
Getting outside of ourselves, moving beyond our own egos, opens the door to real communication with the people we’ll meet today. We have to learn to look with loving appreciation into the soul of that person or child who stands before us. We have to practice being concerned with their needs before our own, and in time our concern will be genuine. The separation between us will exist no more.
This division from others, the barrier that keeps us apart, comes from our individual insecurities. We have grown accustomed to the quick comparisons of ourselves with those we meet. Either inferior or superior we determine them to be, and thus ourselves. Whatever gifts we have to offer each other are left unwrapped, at least for now.
Let’s come together, truly together, with someone we’ve been holding off until now. We can trust that the people who have come into our lives are there by design. We are equal to them, and they to us. We need what they have to offer us, and their growth needs our gifts, too.
I will appreciate the design of my life today. I will draw myself close to the day.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Resistance
Do not be in such a hurry to move on.
Relax. Breathe deeply. Be. Be in harmony today.
Be open. There is beauty around and in us today. There is purpose and meaning in today.
There is importance in today – not so much in what happens to us, but in how we respond.
Let today happen. We learn our lessons, we work things out, we change in a simple fashion: by living our life fully today.
Do not worry about tomorrow’s feelings, problems, or gifts. Do not worry about whether we can trust life, our Higher Power, or ourselves tomorrow.
Everything we need today shall be given to us. That is a promise – from God, from the Universe.
Feel today’s feelings. Solve today’s problems. Enjoy today’s gifts. Trust yourself, life, and your Higher Power today.
Acquire the art of living fully today. Absorb the lessons, the healing, the beauty, the love available to us today.
Do not be in such a rush to move on. There is no hurry. We cannot escape; ;we only postpone. Let the feelings go; breathe in peace and healing.
Do not be in such a hurry to move on.
Today, I will not run from my circumstances, my feelings, or myself. I will be open to others, Higher Power, my life, and myself. I will trust that by facing today to the best of my ability, I will acquire the skills I need to face tomorrow.

Today I am reaching out to those who love and support me. I am letting go of my ego and self-centeredness so that I can make space to take in love and support and ideas from others. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Value Your Connection to Creativity

For years, I had been storing my son’s clothing, some of his favorite articles, in boxes in the garage. I didn’t want to let go of the clothes, yet I had no use for them. One day an idea came. I was talking to a woman enthralled with quilting, with fabrics, textures, and the art of creating quilts. She was talking about how she was making a quilt out of her family’s old blue jeans, because it created a use for the fabric and gave them a blanket that held the energy and memory of their experiences. It wasn’t just a quilt. It became a special comfort quilt because of the energy the fabrics held.

That’s when the idea came. My son had died years ago. His physical presence was no longer here. But the clothes held the memories of his physical presence and the energy of his spiritual presence. I could make them into a quilt, one that would cherish his memory and give me comfort.

How do we get our ideas? From other people. From certain triggers in the world, the universe. From our imagination. We are connected to creativity. It’s a force in the universe, an energy that runs through us. If we’re connected to ourselves, our intuition will guide us to what to do and when to do it. If we love ourselves enough to act confidently and joyfully on that guidance.

Value your connection with creativity. Embrace your imagination. The universe will show you how, teach you how, help you along the way.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Take down those walls

Frank was a happily married man, or so he thought. Then one day, his wife of ten years came home and told him that she didn’t feel like being married anymore. “I love you. I’m just not in love with you,” she said, walking out the door.

Frank was devastated. He got mad at his wife, mad at his church, and mad at God. He got mad, and he stayed that way. He fumed and generalized. He decided that all women must be this way and sooner or later anyone who got too close would hurt him.

Many of us experience hurt in life. It comes with the game.

It’s okay to hurt, to be angry, even to be bitter for a while. But no one is interested in hearing our lost love story ten years after it happened.

We even get sick of hearing it, ourselves.

Sometimes it’s time to nurture our pain. Sometimes it’s time to get over it and get back in the game.

We all fall. Most people change their minds. We all make mistakes.

We don’t have to let a bad experience in life prevent us from having positive experiences in the future. Walls are indiscriminate. While they may protect us from being hurt again, they’ll also prevent us from experiencing joy.

God, help me let go of self-sabotaging attitudes formed in a moment of hurt. Open me to the beauty that awaits when I approach life with an open heart.

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In God’s Care

The answer to personality problems is found in a quiet return to Godlike thinking.
~~Science of Mind, magazine

When we’re edgy and critical or perhaps feeling inadequate or depressed, we’ve lost our atonement with God. And when acting the way God would have us act is no longer our priority, our character defects once again emerge and, in time, grow ever more numerous.

We can make the simple decision to always check out our proposed behavior against the behavior we know is from God. When we remember to think of God first before proceeding, we avoid unnecessary conflicts; we refrain from consciously hurting anyone; we manage to take our experiences restfully, moment by moment.

There’s really no mystery to having a rewarding and peaceful life. Those we notice who do, have likely made a more frequent companion of God than we. The decision to work more on our own friendship with God is an easy one to make.

I will act according to God’s wishes today and in the process, strengthen our friendship.

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Day By Day

Making a decision

We made a decision, a decision to try this program because all else had failed. (We still doubted it would work, but we were desperate.) This decision was made mostly on hope and a belief. At first, it did not reflect belief in a Higher Power but belief in other people.

When we make a decision to do whatever is necessary, our belief can grow. It can grow to a point where no power on earth can shake our foundation. And from this foundation we can, in turn, offer hope to others in need. We can plant in them the same seeds of belief that made it possible for us to be clean and sober.

Is my belief growing?

Higher Power, help me stay strong in the program and help others who need to establish roots.

Today I will renew my commitment to the program and its members by

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Food for Thought

Turning Toward the Light

Plants, as they grow, automatically turn toward the light. People can choose between light or darkness. The OA program is available to us, but we may choose whether or not we will follow it. Our Higher Power is also available to us, if we choose to seek His will.

Before we found OA, we wandered around in the darkness of compulsive overeating. Now that we see glimmers of light, we need to turn ourselves in the direction from which the light is coming. Working the program requires taking the time and effort to change our routine. The light is here, but we need to turn away from darkness and open ourselves to it.

As we examine ourselves in the light that comes from our Higher Power through OA, we begin to see more clearly where we should make changes and how we may find health and peace.

Grant us grace to turn toward Your light.

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Changing Roles
As We Ebb and Flow through Life by Madisyn Taylor

We all change throughout life trying new and different things, but the core of who we really are remains the same.

As we bob and weave with the ebb and flow of life our roles change, but our true self remains constant. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we go through many aspects of humanity in one lifetime. Living in the material world of opposites, labels, and classifications, we often identify ourselves by the roles we play, forgetting that these aspects shift and change throughout our lives. But when we anchor ourselves in the truth of our being, that core of spirit within us, we can choose to embrace the new roles as they come, knowing that they give us fresh perspective on life and a greater understanding of the lives of others.

As children, we anticipated role changes eagerly in our rush to grow up. Though fairy tales led us to believe that “happily ever after” was a final destination, the truth is that life is a series of destinations, mere stops on a long journey filled with differing terrain. We may need to move through a feeling of resistance as we shift from spouse to parent, leader to subordinate, caregiver to receiver, or even local to newcomer. It can be helpful to bid a fond farewell to the role that we are leaving before we welcome the new. This is the purpose of ceremonies in cultures throughout the world and across time. We can choose from any in existence or create our own to help us celebrate our life shifts and embrace our new adventures.

Like actors on the stage of the world, our different roles are just costumes that we inhabit and then shed. Each role we play gives us another perspective through which to understand ourselves and the nature of the universe. When we take a moment to see that each change can be an adventure, a celebration, and a chance to play a new part, we may even be able to recapture the joyful anticipation of our youth as we transition from one role to the next. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“It is the privilege of wisdom to listen,” Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote. If I try as hard as I can to cultivate the art of listening — uncritically and without making premature judgments — chances are great that I’ll progress more rapidly in my recovery. If I try as hard as I can to listen to the feelings and thoughts expressed — rather than to the “speaker” — I may be blessed with an unexpectedly helpful idea. The essential quality of good listening is humility, which reflects the fact that God’s voice speaks to us even through the least of most inarticulate of His children. Does a holier-than-thou attitude sometimes close my mind to the shared suggestions of others?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power keep me from being “holier-than-thou” with anyone whose manner or language or opposite point of view or apparent lack of knowledge turns me off to what they are saying. May I be listening always for the voice of God, which can be heard through the speech of any one of us.

Today I Will Remember

Hear the speech, not the speaker.

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One More Day

We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.
– John F. Kennedy

Regardless of our situation, we all need to hope. When we were young we were in a hurry all the time. Every problem needed a quick solution. And our anticipated futures were completely untarnished by adult viewpoints.

Sometimes, what we mislabel as a fear of dying might really be regret that we haven’t led a full enough life. We know now what is reasonable and what i snot. We understand where we are in our lives and accept that ideal situations may not come to pass. We have learned that we must come to terms with who we are and what we can do. We have learned that we are okay just as we are today.

I have come to terms with where I am in my life. My fears will not hold me back anymore.

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One Day At A Time

BEFORE AND AFTER
“The Light of God surrounds me.
The Love of God enfolds me.
The Power of God protects me.
The Presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is … and all is well.”
James Dillet Freeman

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was walking in darkness.
Now God’s Light is all around me.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was lonely and felt no one cared.
Now I’m enveloped in God’s love.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, my life was out of control.
Now God is the Higher Power in my life.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was lost in my disease of compulsion.
Now God looks out for me.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was isolated and alone.
Now anywhere I go, I know I don’t go there by myself …
for God is with me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember that wherever I am,
God is …
And all is well.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

Being convinced, WE WERE AT STEP THREE, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understand Him. – Pg. 60 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

If we are in the program on a basis of ‘temporary permanence’ (we’ll stay until we find something better), then we need to re-evaluate. Addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful and will always convince us it’s better than sobriety. We can only make this program if we commit ourselves each day, every day.

This hour I will not take a fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort of any mind-affecting chemical.

Who Am I?

Today I will ask this question over and over again. I will not expect an answer. I will ask for the sake of asking, I will ask in order to put my mind in the frame of searching for a deeper life of the spirit, I will ask to be guided, toward awareness of all that is eternal. I will ask this question throughout my life without ever expecting or insisting upon an answer. I understand that God lives in the asking, that God is too great and vast to reduce to any simple answer, that God lives in the question.

I am curious about the deeper mysteries of this life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Through the Fourth and Fifth steps we learn who we really are. Once we know who and what we are, we don’t have to be what we were.

Today, I am myself. I am perfect for the part.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You must allow people to be right, because it consoles them for not being anything else.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am reaching out to those who love and support me. I am letting go of my ego and self-centeredness so that I can make space to take in love and support and ideas from others.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

My parents tried to save me from an unhappy childhood but I thwarted them and had one anyway. – Charlie C.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 20

Instincts
Creation gave us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn’t be complete human beings. . .
Yet, these instincts, so necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions. . .
Nearly every serious emotional problem can be seen as a case of misdirected instinct.
When that happens, our great natural assets, the instincts, have turned into physical and mental liabilities.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 42

Thought to Ponder . . .
Once we understand ourselves, the rest of living falls in line.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Attitude Adjustment.

~*~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.
We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need,
fearing we shall never have enough.
And with genuine alarm at the prospect of work,
we stay lazy.
We loaf and procrastinate,
or at best work grudgingly and under half steam.
These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour
the foundations of whatever sort of life we try to build.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 49

Thought to Consider . . .
Fear is a darkroom for developing negatives

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R = Forgetting Everything’s All Right

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

Wholeness
>From “This Spirit Touch”:
“I believe completeness is waiting for anyone who will take the time to make the effort, through quiet thinking, honest
prayer, chosen reading, and exercise. Those are the ingredients. It is an adventure so worthwhile that all else fades in
comparison, yet it makes all else worthwhile. Richmond, Virginia, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 66

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

“Life is lived moment to moment … and every moment provides me with an opportunity for growth.”
Madison, Wisconsin, November 2010
“Drama Queen,”
Emotional Sobriety II

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

“When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we
resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have
we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another
person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we
have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or
were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could
pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift
into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our
usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s
forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86~

“Perhaps there is a better way–we think so. For we are now on a
different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We
trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the
world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as
we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us
to match calamity with serenity.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 68~

“Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another’s conception of God. Our own conception,
however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 46 (We Agnostics)

“By their example they showed us that humility and intellect could be compatible, provided we placed humility first.
When we began to do that, we received the gift of faith, a faith which works.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 30 (Step Two)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Any number of alcoholics are bedeviled by the dire conviction that if ever they go near A.A. they will be pressured to conform to some particular brand of faith or theology. They just don’t realize that faith is never an imperative for A.A. membership; that sobriety can be achieved with an easily acceptable minimum of it, and that our concepts of a Higher Power and God – as we understand Him – afford everyone a nearly unlimited choice of spiritual belief and action.
In talking to a prospect, stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him. The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual principles.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for allowing me to have faith even when I don’t understand it.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 19th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 19th

Daily Reflections

FALSE PRIDE, p.209

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.
12 & 12, p. 75

Many false notions operate in false pride. The need for direction to
live a decent life is satisfied by the hope experienced in the A.A.
Fellowship. Those who have walked the way for years–a day at a
time–say that a God centered life has limitless possibilities for
personal growth. This being so, much hope is transmitted by the elder A.A.s.

I thank my Higher Power for letting me know that He works through
other people, and I thank Him for our trusted servants in the
Fellowship who aid new members to reject their false ideals and to
adopt those which lead to a life of compassion and trust. The elders
in A.A. challenge the newcomers to “Come To”–so that they can
“Come to Believe.” I ask my Higher Power to help my unbelief.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Gossip about or criticism of personalities has no place in an A.A.
clubroom. Every man in A.A. is a brother and every woman is a sister,
as long as he or she is a member of A.A. We ought not to gossip
about the relationships of any man or woman in the group. And if we
say about another member, “I think she or he is taking a few drinks
on the side,” it’s the worst thing we could do to that person. If a
woman or a man is not living up to A.A. principles or has a slip, it’s
up to her or him to stand up in a meeting and say so. If they don’t do
that, they are only hurting themselves. Do I talk about other members
behind their backs?

Meditation for the Day

To God, a miracle of change in a person’s life is only a natural
happening. But it is a natural happening operated by spiritual forces.
There is no miracle in personalities too marvelous to be an everyday
happening. But miracles happen only to those who are fully guided
and strengthened by God. Marvelous changes in people’s nature
happen so simply, and yet they are free from all other agencies than
the grace of God. But these miracles have been prepared for by days
and months of longing for something better. They are always
accompanied by a real desire to conquer self and to surrender one’s
life to God.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may expect miracles in the lives of people. I pray that I
may be used to help people change.

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As Bill Sees It

Source of Strength, p. 200

When World War II broke out, our A.A. dependence on a Higher
Power had its first major test. A.A.’s entered the services and were
scattered all over the world.

Would they be able to take discipline, stand up under fire, and endure
the monotony and misery of war? Would the kind of dependence they
had learned in A.A. carry them through?

Well, it did. They had even fewer alcoholic lapses or emotional binges
than A.A.’s safe at home did. They were just as capable of endurance
and valor as any other soldiers. Whether in Alaska or on the Salerno
beachhead, their dependence upon a Higher Power worked.

Far from being a weakness, this dependence was their chief source of strength.

12 & 12, pp. 38-39

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Walk In Dry Places

Hurrying up to wait?
Practicing Serenity.
We often urge ourselves to hurry up when there’s no good reason for it. At such times, all we really do is create needless tension and anxiety.
The slogan “EASY DOES IT” is our answer to such calls to hurry.  The slogan suggests that we simply move into the rhythms of life and “go with the flow.”
It’s not hurrying but steady effort that finally brings achievement. We’ve had entirely too much hurry and impatience.  What we really need is confident, persistent effort in the right direction. We should be especially reminded of hits when we see anxious, impatient people speeding through traffic only to be forced to wait at traffic lights, risking life and limb to save a few seconds. A good seady pace is what we need, and it will win the game.
I”ll be active today, but not overactive.  I’ll look for rhythm and efficiency in everything I do. 


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Keep It Simple

We grow small trying to be great.
We dreamed of being great. Trying to be great is about control. We’ve caused a lot of trouble trying to control things. We’ve been afraid to just let things happen, We’re not very trusting. Many of us have good reasons not to trust. Whatever the reasons, we had put our trust in getting drunk or high. We thought that was one thing we could control. What really happened? We got sick.
Recovery is based on trust. We must learn to trust that it’s best for us to give up control. It will seem strange at first. But letting go and trusting can become a way of life. The Steps, our groups, our sponsor, and our Higher Power—here, we find love and caring. We can trust them.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray that day by day, I’ll put more trust in my program and in my Higher Power.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list five reasons why I can trust my Twelve Step program.

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Each Day a New Beginning

At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.  –Maya Angelou
We had to surrender to a power greater than ourselves to get to where we are today. And each day, we have to turn to that power for strength and guidance. For us, resistance means struggle–struggle with others as well as an internal struggle.
Serenity isn’t compatible with struggle. We cannot control forces outside of ourselves. We cannot control the actions of our family or our co-workers. We can control our responses to them. And when we choose to surrender our attempts to control, we will find peace and serenity.
That which we abhor, that which we fear, that which we wish to conquer seems suddenly to be gone when we decide to resist no more – to tackle it no more.
The realities of life come to us in mysterious ways. We fight so hard, only to learn that what we need will never be ours until the struggle is forsaken. Surrender brings enlightenment.
Life’s lessons are simple once I give up the struggle.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

That was natural, but let us think a little more closely. Without knowing it, had we not been brought to where we stood by a certain kind of faith? For did we not believe in our own reasoning? did we not have confidence in our ability to think? What was that but a sort of faith? Yes, we had been faithful, abjectly faithful to the God of Reason. So, in one way or another, we discovered that faith had been involved all the time!

pp. 53-54

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
At that point I interrupted her.  “That was me,” I said.  “That was my last drunk.”  I had walked through that window when I was nineteen years old.
How had I gotten there?  I had always been a “good kid” growing up, the kind of son other mothers loved.  I was at the top of my classes academically and had been in almost no trouble for the first seventeen years of my life.  I would like to say that was because of my well-developed moral fiber; in fact, much of it was a result of fear.  My earliest memories included threats by my parents to throw me out onto the street for the slightest acts of disobedience.  The thought of being forced to live on the street is pretty terrifying for a six-year-old.  Those threats, coupled with a fair amount of physical punishment, kept me frightened and obedient.

pp. 421-422

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. ”

In A.A.’s pioneering time, none but the most desperate cases could swallow and digest this unpalatable truth. Even these “last-gaspers” often had difficulty in realizing how hopeless they actually were. But a few did, and when these laid hold of A.A. principles with all the fervor with which the drowning seize life preservers, they almost invariably got well. That is why the first edition of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous,” published when our membership was small, dealt with low-bottom cases only. Many less desperate alcoholics tried A.A., but did not succeed because they could not make the admission of hopelessness.

pp. 22-23

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All things are difficult before they are easy.
–Italian Proverb

“If you are afraid of your future, you don’t have a present.”
–James Petersen

How joyful to look upon the Awakened and to keep company with the wise. Follow then the shining ones, the wise, the awakened, the loving, for
they know how to work and forbear. But if you cannot find friend or master to go with you, travel on alone ~ like a king who has given away his kingdom, like an elephant in the forest.
–Buddha, from the Dhammapada (Sayings of the Buddha)

When you get in a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
–Harriet Beecher Stowe

It is never too late to start doing what is right!
–Growing Deep In The Christian Life, p.380

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

YOUTH

“We are none of us infallible —
not even the youngest of us.”
–W. H. Thompson

When I was a young man I did not want to listen to older people because I felt that they did not understand me. With hindsight I see that I did not want to hear what they were saying about my lifestyle.

Today now that I am a “mature man” with a few years of sobriety, I must avoid having the same attitude towards the young, not listening to them because I think they are “too young” or do not understand! I must not repeat, in reverse, yesterday’s mistakes!

None of us are infallible. We are not God. We can learn from each other if we have the patience to listen. Sometimes we need to seek the meaning behind the words.

God, teach me to listen with the ear of understanding and patience.

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“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:26

“Sunshine is sweet; it is good to see the light of day. People ought to enjoy every day of their lives, no matter how long they live…”
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Joel 2:32

Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
John 6:35


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Daily Inspiration

Never look back with regret because life is never perfect, but it offers us the perfect moment to start anew which is right now. Lord, help me to live with enthusiasm and recognize that each new day is an adventure.

Live as a responsible adult, but approach God as a child, full of faith and trust. You cannot help but perfect one by the other. Lord, You are my Father. Who else will so lovingly listen to me and care for my desires?

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NA Just For Today

Fulfilling Our Dreams

“Dreams that we gave up long ago can now become realities.”
Basic Text, p. 68

All things begin with a dream. But how many of us fulfilled our dreams while using? Even if we managed to complete something we had started, our addiction usually robbed us of any pride in our accomplishment. Perhaps when we used, we dreamed of the day when we would be clean. That day has come. We can use this day to make our dreams come true. To fulfill our dreams we must take action, but our lack of self confidence may keep us from trying. We can begin by setting realistic goals.

The success we experience when we attain our initial goals allows us to dream bigger dreams the next time around.Some of our members share that when they compare the ambitions they had when they first got clean with what they have actually achieved in recovery, they are astounded. In recovery, we often find more dreams come true than we could ever have imagined.

Just for today: I will remember that all things begin with a dream. Today, I will allow myself to make my dreams come true.
pg. 209

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Trust takes time. If you don’t invest it, then you don’t get it. –Anonymous
Trusting other human beings is like planting a garden. First we must choose where to plant–is the soil healthy, is it open to sunlight? We would not plant seeds on rocks that are hard and un-giving. In the same way, we need to choose friends who are trustworthy, who are like rich soil open to planting and sunlight.
Then we need to plant the seeds of time and care. If we share some of our feelings and are welcomed, we will know it is safe to share more. We can share ourselves in our own time–even a garden grows slowly, and can take only so much sun and rain in one day.
Having trust in someone feeds the spirit. Trust also gives us the courage to be beautiful, like the flowers of our gardens.
Am I brave enough to trust others, and to be worthy of their trust?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
They have rights who dare defend them. –Roger Baldwin
There is a hard side to emotional health and manhood. As we grow, we gain many more sides, more ways of responding to the situations we meet. We learn that yielding to God sometimes means letting our full strength flow to defend our rights and ward off intrusion or disrespect. As we have become more loving and tolerant, we have become more assertive for our rights and those of others.
We must speak up for ourselves and for our points of view. We must not let others demean us or put us down, nor can we take on blame for others’ life problems. When we ought to stand up for ourselves and don’t, we may be invaded by a false feeling that we are crazy or bad. As recovering men, we sometimes must call on our hard side and say, “No! I will not be a doormat for the harmful actions of others. I will defend my rights.”
I will cultivate my relationship with my Higher Power and let that lead me to stand up for myself.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice. –Maya Angelou
We had to surrender to a power greater than ourselves to get to where we are today. And each day, we have to turn to that power for strength and guidance. For us, resistance means struggle–struggle with others as well as an internal struggle.
Serenity isn’t compatible with struggle. We cannot control forces outside of ourselves. We cannot control the actions of our family or our co-workers. We can control our responses to them. And when we choose to surrender our attempts to control, we will find peace and serenity.
That which we abhor, that which we fear, that which we wish to conquer seems suddenly to be gone when we decide to resist no more – to tackle it no more.
The realities of life come to us in mysterious ways. We fight so hard, only to learn that what we need will never be ours until the struggle is forsaken. Surrender brings enlightenment.
Life’s lessons are simple once I give up the struggle.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Proving It to Ourselves
I spent a year trying to prove to my husband how much his drinking was hurting me. When I began to recover, I realized I was the one who needed to realize how much his drinking was hurting me. –Anonymous
I spent months trying to prove to a man I was dating how responsible and healthy I was. Then I realized what I was doing. He didn’t need to realize how responsible and healthy I was. I did. –Anonymous
Trying to prove how good we are, trying to prove we’re good enough, trying to show someone how much he or she has hurt us, trying to show someone we’re understanding, are warning signs that we may be into our self defeating behaviors.
They can be an indication that we are trying to control someone. They can be an indication that we do not believe how good we are, that we’re good enough, that someone is hurting us.
They can be a warning that we’ve allowed ourselves to get hooked into a dysfunctional system. They may indicate that we’re stuck in the cloudy fog of denial or doing something that is not good for us.
Trying excessively to make a point with another may mean that we have not yet made that point with ourselves. Once we make that point with ourselves, once we understand, we will know what to do.
The issue is not about others understanding and taking us seriously. The issue is not about others believing we’re good and good enough. The issue is not about others seeing and believing how responsible or loving or competent we are. The issue is not about whether others realize how deeply we are feeling a particular feeling. We are the ones that need to see the light.
Today, God, help me let go of my need to control outcomes by influencing the beliefs of others. I will concentrate on accepting myself, rather than trying to prove something about myself. If I catch myself in the codependent trap of trying to emphasize something about myself to another, I will ask myself if I need to convince myself at that point.

Today I have faith that I am being led to the answers I need to learn. If I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will always be in a safe place. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

The Lessons Are Love

Lessons of love, that’s what they are.

We usually don’t know what the lesson is while we’re learning it. Maybe we’re not supposed to. Besides, if we knew it, really knew it, we wouldn’t need to learn it. We’d already be practicing it in our daily lives. But even when we don’t know what the lesson is, we can know one thing, it’s a lesson of love.

Courage. Faith. Patience. Loving ourselves when it looks and feels like nobody else cares. Starting over again one more time, when we think we’ve already started over again more times than we should have had to. Forgiveness. Compassion. Gentleness. Joy. Each one is a lesson of love.

For many of us, the problem isn’t that we haven’t had love in our lives before. The issue is that we haven’t understood love. Know this: not only are the lessons about love, the lessons themselves are love.

Feel your feelings. Struggle through your situations and experiences and emotions. The struggle to learn isn’t incidental to your purpose. It’s an integral part of your purpose, your destiny, your reason for being. Go through your moments of darkness and confusion,and trust that light will come. Through it all, rest in one thought: you’re on track. You’re on your path.

You’re connected to love. You’re connected to God. And the lessons you’re learning are lessons of love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Watch your “never’s”

Be careful what you say you’ll never do again. You might be building a wall between you and the good in your life.

He hurt me, so I’m never going to speak to him again. She hurt me, so I’m never going to get involved with women again.

Sometimes, our hurt feelings can be accurate and reliable warnings that we need to back off and stay away. But usually when we say never, it’s because we don’t want to be vulnerable and feel the hurt that came our way.

Saying never may be an indication that we’ve closed our hearts.

Have you built a wall with your “never’s”? Look. Peek underneath. Is there a feeling of hurt you need to feel, instead?

You got burned when you touched the hot stove, so you’re never going to go near a stove again? You’ll miss out on some tasty meals.

God, help me be vulnerable enough to feel my pein and learn my lesson, instead of saying never and building a big wall.

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In God’s Care

We are what we are.
~~Motto of Lake Wobegon, Garrison Keillor

Sometimes we devote so much effort to being what we are not, that we lose the chance to be what we are. We have one identity for this person and another for that one. Our co-workers, neighbors, friends, family – all expect different things of us, leaving us wondering who we actually are. How can we be so many different things to so many people?

God wants us to be only who we are, We were created with unique characteristics for a purpose, even if that purpose isn’t always clear to us. We need to be who we really are, and to be the best we can be, knowing that God approves because God created us as we are.

I will be the best me that I know how to be.

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Day By Day

Taking just one

It’s that first fix, pill, or drink that gets us high. It’s not the second or third or fourth one, or the second day or the second week of using that gets us into trouble. It is the first one. And until we understand this concept, we will keep trying-without success-to gain control over our drug use.

For us, control no longer exists. And it never will. When we start thinking, Well, just one won’t hurt me, we are on our way back to that same pain and discouragement of a drug-filled life.

Do I believe that even one is too many?

Higher Power, please help me remember that I can never regain control over my drug use.

I will avoid taking that first drink or drug today by…

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Food for Thought

Right Makes Might

When we are working our program properly, we have an inner sense of rightness that makes us strong and self-confident. We are controlling food, rather than being controlled by it. We are willing to let our Higher Power straighten out our confused lives.

Action is necessary. We need to “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk.” No amount of insight will give us progress unless we are willing to take the concrete steps outlined in the OA program. We need to work closely with qualified sponsors who can guide us in our abstinence and in our program.

Compulsive overeating made us weak physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As we abstain, we gain strength on all three levels.

Thank You for the strength that comes from doing the right thing.

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Go for It
Making It Happen by Madisyn Taylor

The universe is fully supportive of what you want, but it is up to you to go for it.

There are times in our lives when all the signs seem to be pointing us in a particular direction. Our thoughts and dreams are echoed in the songs and stories we hear and the media we see. Maybe the message we are getting from the universe doesn’t even make sense in the “real” world, but somewhere inside, these urges feel right. Maybe you feel you are being told to move to a new city although your life where you are is just fine. Or maybe you feel the desire to pursue a new direction in your career when it never really interested you before. When we spend time getting in touch with our higher selves, our intuition sends us directives to lead us to become our best and most fulfilled selves. And when we are open and listening, the next step is to take action and go for it.

Once we make the decision to pursue our inner urgings, the universe sets into motion the means for all sorts of details to fall into place. A sense of peace will come over us, because we know that any questions will no longer make us wonder if our dreams are possible, but how to make them happen. Instead of deterring us from our goal, these questions only serve to clarify our focus to move us forward. We need not throw caution to the wind to follow our dream. The positive shift in our energy affects everything around us. Like a rush of water, it goes ahead to clear debris from our path so that we can go forward. Our new attitude also attracts likeminded people. Sometimes even the most unlikely angels arrive to help us along our way with the information and support we need.

Wherever your dreams are pointing you today, take a step. Take action and manifest your inner urges and soul whisperings. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Many of us come to The Program professing that we’re agnostic or atheistic. As someone once put it, our will to disbelieve is so strong that we prefer a date with the undertaker to an experimental and open-minded search for a Higher Power. Fortunately for those of us with closed minds, the constructive forces in The Program almost always overcome our obstinacy. Before long, we discover the bountiful world of faith and trust. It was there all along, but we lacked the willingness and open-mindedness to accept it. Does obstinacy still sometimes blind me to the power for good that resides in faith?

Today I Pray

I want to thank God for this opportunity to open my mind; to learn again about faith and trust; to realize that my wanderings did not change His place within me or His loving concern for me. May I know that it was my own doing that I lost faith. Thank God for another chance to believe.

Today I Will Remember

Discard the will to disbelieve.

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One More Day

Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some habits are not good for us, yet we can fall into them so easily. “Just one more drink,” we rationalize, “It won’t hurt me. I don’t have to go to work tomorrow,” “Just a small piece of cake, I’ll start my diet tomorrow,” We may not realize that we are acting in a pattern. Being human, we continue in this way until something happens which forces us to change our patterns and ourselves.

Whatever that something is, it may prompt many actions, one of which may be to turn to our faith for solace. many things in our lives are uncertain. There is uncertainty as to how our day will be. It is our faith that keeps us going regardless of any setbacks. The moments of darkness we all fall into can be overcome by faith.

I can believe and trust in my Higher Power no matter what is happening in my life now.

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One Day At A Time

HONORING MYSELF
“And how shall you punish those whose remorse
is already greater than their misdeeds?”
Kahlil Gibran

We are not bad people trying to become good; rather, we are sick people trying to get well. It takes a long time for some of us to believe this truth. We have been programmed to believe the worst about ourselves … or ironically, to believe ourselves to be much better than others. This appears to be a common denominator in our disease.

We despise the person we perceive ourselves to be. Virtually every event in our lives drives us deeper into the abyss of remorse, self-abuse, self-hate, and self-serving. We must stop believing lies about ourselves. The fact that we are here on Earth is proof that we belong and that we have the right — even the obligation — to be what we can be.

One day at a time…
I will honor and respect myself.
~ Jeremiah

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us. – Pg. 15 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

All of us go through phases of loving meetings, hating meetings, or ambivalence. The ups and downs and erratic emotions are a normal part of recovery. To stay in recovery we make 90 meetings in 90 days regardless of our many phases.

May I make 90 in 90, regardless of my erratic beginning emotions. I know my thinking is still not as clear as it will be.

Meditation

Today, I recognize the source of light and wisdom that is within me. When I look outside myself to learn about what is actually inside, I need to exercise great discernment because some of what I see fits and some does not. There is a fountain within me that is ever full and waiting to be discovered. When I can rest quietly in this inner place, I experience a sense of fullness, and my desire to go outside diminishes and gives way to a preference for undisturbed peace. Solitude takes on a different meaning when I can contact that quiet within. Life softens and external things become less important. I look for this place within me on a daily basis. I give myself this present today.

I search within.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Our program won’t keep you from going to hell nor is it a ticket to heaven. But it will keep you clean and sober long enough for you to make up your mind which way you want to go.

My journey is my destination.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

For ‘suggestion’ you have two choices: Take it or leave it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I have faith that I am being led to the answers I need to learn. If I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will always be in a safe place.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I have an amnesty prayer, I’ve seen it work hundreds of times. It’s very simple. You can put it in your own words; ‘I forgive everyone on the face of this earth, living or dead, who has ever done anything to me – real or imagined – and I want good things to happen to them.’ If you will continue to say that , I will guarantee you that your attitude toward the people who are troubling you in your life is going to change. – Frank H.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 19

Requirements
What if the doors to AA could really be locked against me?
What if it was possible to take away my membership?
Maybe because I hadn’t paid my dues, or because I didn’t meet some ethical or ethnic standards,
or maybe because I “broke the rules” by going out and getting drunk,
as I have a few times during my long association with the Fellowship?
But then I recall the Preamble, and the Third Tradition . . .
“The only requirement for AA membership,” it says, “is a desire to stop drinking.”
– The Home Group: Heartbeat Of AA, p. 69

Thought to Ponder . . .
AA is like an adjustable wrench, it fits almost any nut.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = All Accepted.

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

Sanity
“Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have
any idea how irrational they are,
or seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it.
Some will be willing to term themselves ‘problem drinkers,’
but cannot endure the suggestion that they are in fact
mentally ill.
They are abetted in this blindness by a world
which does not understand the difference
between sane drinking and alcoholism.
‘Sanity’ is defined as ‘soundness of mind.’
Yet no alcoholic, soberly analyzing his destructive behavior,
whether the destruction fell on the
dining room furniture or his own moral fiber,
can claim ‘soundness of mind’ for himself.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 32-3

Thought to Consider . . .
If you think you have a problem with alcohol,
you probably do.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
D U E S = Desperately Using Everything but Sobriety

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

Consensus
>From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“At first they wanted the word ‘God’ deleted from the book entirely. Henry had come to believe in some sort of ‘universal power,’ but Jimmy still flabbergasted us by denouncing God at our meetings. Some members had been so angered that they wanted to throw him out of the group. But most of us thought it better to let him talk on, believing that eventually he would change his mind, which he later did. What Henry [P.], Jimmy [B.], and company wanted was a psychological book which would lure the alcoholic in. Once in, the prospect could take God or leave Him alone as he wished. To the rest of us this was a shocking proposal, but happily we listened and eventually learned something of great value. Actually our group conscience was at work to construct the most acceptable and effective book possible. Every voice in it was playing its appointed part to create an outcome that was to be nothing less than providential.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 162-163

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

“The part of my job that always catches me off-guard is the palpable jolt of pleasure I get from the little ways to be helpful — to be of service — to others, for which they are so genuinely grateful.”
York Harbor, Maine, October 2001
“We Get What We Get,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people´s shortcomings
and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which
make us more useful to others.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19~

“What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 85 (Step Five)

“But also like others, we often discover a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous problems of life.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 114 (Step Twelve)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When World War II broke out, our A.A. dependence on a Higher Power had its first major test. A.A.’s entered the services and were scattered all over the world. Would they be able to take discipline, stand up under fire, and endure the monotony and misery of war? Would the kind of dependence they had learned in A.A. carry them through? Well, it did. They had even fewer alcoholic lapses or emotional binges than A.A.’s safe at home did. They were just as capable of endurance and valor as any other soldiers. Whether in Alaska or on the Salerno beachhead, their dependence upon a Higher Power worked. Far from being a weakness, this dependence was their chief source of strength.

Prayer for the Day: May I meet each challenge and unpleasant emotion today with a loving, wise heart.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 17th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 17th

Daily Reflections

SURRENDER AND SELF-EXAMINATION

My stability came out of trying to give, not out of demanding that I receive. Thus I think it can work out with emotional sobriety. If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 238

Years of dependency on alcohol as a chemical mood-changer deprived me of the capability to interact emotionally with my fellows. I thought I had to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-motivated in a world of unreliable people. Finally I lost my self-respect and was left with dependency, lacking any ability to trust myself or to believe in anything. Surrender and self-examination while sharing with newcomers helped me to ask humbly for help.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The new life of sobriety that we are learning to live in A.A. is slowly
growing on us and we are beginning to get some of that deep peace
of mind and serenity that we never thought were possible. At first we
may have doubted that this could happen to us, but after any
considerable length of time in A.A., looking at the happy faces
around us, we know that somehow it is happening to us . In
fact, it cannot help happening to anyone who takes the
A.A. program seriously day by day. Can I see my own happiness
reflected in the faces of others?

Meditation for the Day

God does not withhold His presence from you. He does not refuse to
reveal more of His truth to you. He does not hold back His spirit from
you. He does not withhold the strength that you need. His presence,
His truth, His spirit, His strength are always immediately available to
you, whenever you are fully willing to receive them. But they may be
blocked off by selfishness, intellectual pride, fear, greed, and
materialism. We must try to get rid of these blocks and let God’s
spirit come in.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may remove all blocks that are keeping me from God. I
pray that I may let God come into my life with power.

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As Bill Sees It

Tell the Public?, p. 198

“A.A.’s of worldly prominence sometimes say, ‘If I tell the public that I
am in Alcoholics Anonymous, then that will bring in many others.’
Thus they express the belief that our anonymity Tradition is wrong–at
least for them.

“They forget that, during their drinking days, prestige and the
achievement of worldly ambition were their principal aims. They do
not realize that, by breaking anonymity, they are unconsciously
pursuing those old and perilous illusions once more. They forget that
the keeping of one’s anonymity often means a sacrifice of one’s desire
for power, prestige, and money. They do not see that if these strivings
became general in A.A., the course of our whole history would be
changed; that we would be sowing the seeds of our own destruction as
a society.

“Yet I can happily report that while many of us are tempted–and I
have been one–few of us in America actually break our anonymity at
the public-media level.”

Letter, 1958

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Walk In Dry Places

We never arrive
Finding Happiness.
We delude ourselves if we believe that our happiness and well-being will come when we reach a certain goal.  Whatever happiness and well-being we obtain must come through the process of living in ordinary, everyday situations.
If we observe carefully, we’ll find lots of happy people who are in situations or work that we might consider unpleasant. It is not the work or situation that creates happiness and fulfillment. What counts is the ATTITUDE toward it.
Those of us in 12 Step programs should have special insight into the issue of happiness. We tried to find it, here and now, in false ways.  But it is available to us, here and now, in ordinary living.
I’ll be happy today in knowing that I’m blessed with the ordinary tasks of life.

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Keep It Simple

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.-–Marie Curie
We have many sides, some good, and some bad. Maybe we’re afraid to see our faults. But we don’t need to be afraid. After all, we need to know our dark side before we can change it. When we see ourselves clearly, we can stop our dark side from causing trouble.
When we shine light on our fears and secrets, we’ll begin to feel better about ourselves. We’ll feel more safe about sharing our worries. The more honest we are with ourselves and others, the better and stronger we become. The goodness and love in us will blossom. We have a Higher Power and a program to help us.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be brave enough to see myself clearly. Gently teach me to see who I really am. Help me know enough to stay sober today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll look myself in the eyes. I’ll spend two minutes looking into my eyes in a mirror. I’ll talk to my sponsor about what I see.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The problem is not merely one of woman and career, woman and the home, woman and independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.  –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Before getting into this recovery program, many of us didn’t cope with life’s distractions except with the help of our addiction. We had no sense of wholeness and were constantly bouncing from one crisis to another. We may still feel pulled. The crises may still trip us up. But we have a center now that we are beginning to understand and rely upon. That center is our spiritual selves.
Slowing down, going within to our center, listening to the message therein, unravels our problem, smooths the waves of the storm. The strength to go forward awaits us.
We can absorb the shocks that “crack the hub of the wheel” and be enriched by them. Each moment we are weaving our tapestry of life. Each experience colors our design. Our pain and sorrow and joy give the depth that one-day will move us to say, “I see, I understand.”
I will be grateful for the experiences today that give my tapestry its beauty.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

Logic is great stuff. We like it. We still like it. It is not by chance we were given the power to reason, to examine the evidence of our sense, and to draw conclusions. That is one of man’s magnificent attributes. We agnostically inclined would not feel satisfied with a proposal which does not lend itself to reasonable approach and interpretation. Hence we are at pains to tell why we think our present faith is reasonable, why we think it more sane and logical to believe than not to believe, why we say our former thinking was soft and mushy when we threw up our hands in doubt and said, “We don’t know.”

p. 53

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.  When I remember this, I can see I’ve never had it so good.  Thank God for A.A.!

p. 420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. ”

We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A.A. unless he has first accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences. Until he so humbles himself, his sobriety–if any–will be precarious. Of real happiness he will find none at all. Proved beyond doubt by an immense experience, this is one of the facts of A.A. life. The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered.

pp. 21-22

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With love and patience, nothing is impossible.
–Daisaku Ikeda

This is the way of peace. Overcome evil with good. Falsehood with truth, And hatred with love.
–Peace Pilgrim

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”
–George Bernard Shaw

The purpose of man is in action not thought.
–Thomas Carlyle

Thanks, but I won’t need your help today.
–GOD

To attain Knowledge, add things every day. To attain Wisdom, remove things every day.
–Lao Tzu

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

NEGATIVITY

“My life has been nothing but a
failure.”
–Claude Monet

I can identify with Claude Monet because for years I considered myself a complete failure. For years I wallowed on my pity-pot until it became too painful. Whatever the “pay-off” was in the previous years had dried up, and I was left with a rock bottom pain that forced me to consider the alternative: I needed to set about doing something to change things!

Astounding! Impossible! How could this ever be? I was forever to be a victim of alcoholism. “Not so.” I heard a voice of hope from a recovering alcoholic who had made the change. Slowly I took small steps towards recovery and self-esteem.

I am a failure so long as I consider myself a failure. I am what I create in my life. God requires my cooperation to make miracles in my life. My decision to listen to those who had achieved sobriety provided the seeds for my recovery today. I wonder if Claude Monet was an alcoholic who never heard the words of hope?

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The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven,
and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.
Phil. 2:10

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with
God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:12-13

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Daily Inspiration

Share the lighthearted moments of your life with others. Lord, may I be instrumental in relieving tensions by lifting the spirits of others with a little cheerfulness.

Be a patient person but, most of all, be patient with yourself. Lord, may I be blessed with a calm spirit and diligence as I do my work today.

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NA Just For Today

Using Our “Using Dreams”

“Do we fully accept the fact that our every attempt to stop using or to control our using failed?”
Basic Text, p. 18

The room is dark. Your forehead is bathed in cold sweat. Your heart is racing. You open your eyes, sure that you’ve just blown your clean time. You’ve had a “using dream”, and it was just like being there-the people, the places, the routine, the sick feeling in your stomach, everything. It takes a few moments to realize it was just a nightmare, that it didn’t actually happen. Slowly, you settle down and return to sleep.

The next morning is the time to examine what really happened the night before. You didn’t use last night – but how close are you to using today? Do you have any illusions about your ability to control your using? Do you know, without a doubt, what would happen once you took the first drug? What stands between you and a real, live relapse? How strong is your program? Your relationships with your sponsor, your home group, and your Higher Power?

Using dreams don’t necessarily indicate a hole in our program; for a drug addict, there’s nothing more natural than to dream of using drugs. Some of us think of using dreams as gifts from our Higher Power, vividly reminding us of the insanity of active addiction and encouraging us to strengthen our recovery. Seen in that light, we can be grateful for using dreams. Frightening as they are, they can prove to be great blessings – if we use them to reinforce our recovery.

Just for today: I will examine my personal program. I will talk with my sponsor about what I find, and seek ways to strengthen my recovery.
pg. 207

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
When you feel rejected, start accepting yourself, and then go out and accept someone. –Sondra Ray
There was once a mother who felt rejected when her children grew up and needed to separate from her. She felt hurt when they pushed her away and no longer wanted all the love and caring that she wanted to give them. She thought, What’s wrong with me?
Encouraged by her friends, she began to ask herself another question: What’s right with me? The more answers she found to that question, the better she liked herself. The better she liked herself, the more she was able to see her children’s need to separate from her as their own natural and healthy urge for independence, and not the result of her shortcomings.
Our good points may seem undesirable to others, but that’s not our fault. Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be inappropriate, but that doesn’t make it bad.
What’s right with me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. –Walt Whitman
How foreign the thought is to many men that we might make progress by loafing. Yet we probably have experienced it. We have felt more in tune with ourselves after taking a break. After an especially relaxing weekend we feel more alive or clearer about ourselves. At those times we have invited our soul and have been rejuvenated.
Centuries of spiritual practice from different ideologies have taught the need for quiet relaxation in some form to invite the soul. Some have practiced a Sabbath day each week, others a time of prayer every day – even several times a day – others have practiced a daily period of deep meditation. Simply a period of loafing, with no particular goal in mind, may invite conscious contact with our Higher Power.
I pray for the ability to set aside my busy pace of life, my worrying and fretting, my “take charge” attitude for a period of time today.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The problem is not merely one of woman and career, woman and the home, woman and independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel. –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Before getting into this recovery program, many of us didn’t cope with life’s distractions except with the help of our addiction. We had no sense of wholeness and were constantly bouncing from one crisis to another. We may still feel pulled. The crises may still trip us up. But we have a center now that we are beginning to understand and rely upon. That center is our spiritual selves.
Slowing down, going within to our center, listening to the message therein, unravels our problem, smooths the waves of the storm. The strength to go forward awaits us.
We can absorb the shocks that “crack the hub of the wheel” and be enriched by them. Each moment we are weaving our tapestry of life. Each experience colors our design. Our pain and sorrow and joy give the depth that one-day will move us to say, “I see, I understand.”
I will be grateful for the experiences today that give my tapestry its beauty.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Love, in Words and Actions
Many of us have confused notions about what it means to be loved and cared about.
Many of us were loved and cared for by people who had discrepancies between what they said and did.
We may have had a mother or father who said, “I love you” to us, and then abandoned or neglected us, giving us confused ideas about love. Thus that pattern feels like love – the only love we knew.
Some of us may have been cared for by people who provided for our needs and said they loved us, but simultaneously abused or mistreated us. That, then, becomes our idea of love.
Some of us many have lived in emotionally sterile environments, where people said they loved us, but no feelings or nurturing were available. That may have become our idea of love.
We may learn to love others or ourselves the way we have been loved, or we may let others love us the way we have been loved, whether or not that feels good. It’s time to let our needs be met in ways that actually work. Unhealthy love may meet some surface needs, but not our need to be loved.
We can come to expect congruency in behavior from others. We can diminish the impact of words alone and insist that behavior and words match.
We can find the courage, when appropriate, to confront discrepancies in words and actions – not to shame, blame, or find fault, but to help us stay in touch with reality and with our needs.
We can give and receive love where behavior matches one’s words. We deserve to receive and give the best that love has to offer.
Today, I will be open to giving and receiving the healthiest love possible. I will watch for discrepancies between words and behaviors that confuse me and make me feel crazy. When that happens, I will understand that I am not crazy; I am in the midst of a discrepancy.

God gives me all the answers I need at the right time. Today I trust that it is okay not to know everything and that I will know when the time is right. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Put Yourself on Equal Ground

I sat in the booth across from my friend. I was fiddling with an empty soda can in front of me while we discussed the subject of power. Suddenly he snatched the can away from me and began tossing it in the air, catching it, then tossing it up again. “See how easy it is to take your power?” he said. “See how you just gave it to me?”

I watched, amazed at how quickly I had relinquished my power, how vulnerable I was to the world around me.

Then my friend smiled and stopped juggling the can. “Relax,” he said. “It’s an illusion. That’s not really your power– it’s an empty can. And it’s an illusion that anyone can take your power away from you.”

Each of us has an unlimited supply of power available– the power to think, to feel, to take care of ourselves. The power to open our hearts, love, be gentle, honest, and kind. We each have the power to be clear and to trust and follow the guidance of our own hearts.

Part of our journey to freedom, an important part, is equalizing our relationships. For many years, we may have believed the scales were tipped one way or the other in our work and love relationships. We may have believed that others knew a great deal more than we did, or we may have begun to believe that we had all the answers. But no one has our power. That’s an illusion. So much so that sometimes the person we believe is more powerful than us may be looking at us thinking we’re the ones pulling the strings.

Remember, if you give up your power or decide that someone has power over you, you’ll begin grousing, sabotaging, and doing sneaky little things to equalize that relationship, to feel like you have your power. There’s another way, a better way, one that will help you heal.

Put yourself on equal ground.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Relief is around the bend

I needed to go into the city for errands. It was a chilly morning at the beach, not even 70 degrees. I put on my jacket, got in the car, and headed out. I made the turn onto the canyon road and was struck by the beauty of the fog burning off, playing peekaboo with the canyon walls. It was 94 and sunny when I arrived in town.

I ran my errands and stopped at In and Out Burger for lunch. When I got back in the car, the thermometer read 102. It was hot. Traffic was bad, the temperature reached 106 on the freeway, and even the air conditioning didn’t help much.

Finally, I turned back onto the canyon road. The grass was brown and I worried about wildfires– they get so bad here. Soon, I noticed the temperature was down to 94 again, then 90, then 88. The hills turned green. I rounded a corner and could see the Pacific Ocean. The temp was 82. By the time I made it home it was back to 74.

I was surprised at the big difference a few miles made.

Sometimes, a small change can impact the way we’re feeling– a lot. Feeling overwhelmed or pressured? Do something else for a while. Give yourself a treat. Sometimes, the smallest change in our routine can do wonders to change the temperature in our lives.

God, help me see any changes I can make that will have a positive effect on my energy and on the way I feel.

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Food for Thought

The Narrow Path

Abstinence is the narrow path that leads out of the swamp of compulsive overeating. If we allow ourselves to deviate from the path, we immediately put ourselves on slippery ground and run the risk of falling into a bog of quicksand.

The longer we maintain firm abstinence, the more sure our steps become as we walk away from the crippling effects of our disease. It is so much easier to stay on the narrow path than to slip off and have to find it again. Without abstinence, we compulsive overeaters are lost.

If abstinence is not the most important thing in our lives, then food becomes our number one priority, and we gradually destroy ourselves.

Guide my steps, I pray, on the narrow path of abstinence.

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Becoming Whole Again
The Process of Grieving by Madisyn Taylor

Grief can arise from many life situations, but know it is not a permanent state of being.

When we experience any kind of devastating loss, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a dream, or a relationship, feelings may arise within us that are overwhelming or difficult to cope with. This sense of grief can also come up when we are separated from anyone or anything we have welcomed into our lives. And while it may feel like we are caught up in a never-ending spiral of sadness and emptiness, it is important to remember that the grief we are feeling is not a permanent state of being. Rather, grief is part of the process of letting go that in many ways can be a gift, allowing us to go deeper within ourselves to rediscover the light amidst the seeming darkness.

The emotions that accompany any kind of loss can be intense and varied. A sense of shock or denial is often the first reaction, to be replaced by anger. Sometimes this anger can be directed at your loved one for “abandoning” you; at other times you may feel outrage toward the universe for what you are enduring. And while there are stages of grief that people go through – moving from denial to anger to bargaining to depression to acceptance – the cycles of grief often move in spirals, sometimes circling forward and then back again. You may even experience moments of strength, faith, and laughter in between. While these emotions seem to come and go sporadically, it is important to feel them, accept them, and allow them to flow. With time, patience, and compassion, you will eventually find your center again.

As we move through our grief, we may find ourselves reluctant to release our pain, fearing we are letting go of who or what we have lost. We may even regard our movement toward healing as an act of disloyalty or giving up. Know that while the hurt may fade, the essence of what you had and who you loved will have already transformed you and forever stay with you. If anything, once you are ready for the pain of your loss to subside, their memories can then live more fully within you. Remember, that healing is a part of the spiraling cycles of grief, and that in letting yourself feel restored again, you are surrendering to a natural movement that is part of the dance of life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

For my own good, I’ll go to meetings and participate in discussions with an open mind that’s ready to receive and accept new ideas. For my own peace and comfort, I’ll determinedly try to apply those new ideas to my own life. I’ll remember that The Program offers me the instruction and support I can’t find elsewhere. I’ll seek out others who understand my problems, and I’ll accept their guidance in matters which cause me discomfort and confusion. Will I try to be willing to listen — and to share?

Today I Pray

Thank you, God, for bringing The Program into my life, and with it a better understanding of Divine Power. Help me to remember that attendance and attentiveness at meetings are all-important to continuing in this happily-discovered way of life. May I listen and share with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness.

Today I Will Remember

Her’s HOW; honesty, open-mindedness, willingness.

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One More Day

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness.
– John Keats

We know a work of fine art can only increase in value. As the years pass by, art develops character lines which further define and highlight its beauty.

We wonder about people. There is grace which comes with age, we know, but how can people last forever? The answer, of course, is what do not. But all that we comprise and create — the love, the caring, the storytelling, the things we make with our hands — will endure forever. Just as enduring, and perhaps even more value, is the respect we give to our family and traditions. These and other family heirlooms are our assurance that no one or no thing passes into nothingness.

I am comforted by the traditions of family and faith and by the meaningfulness they add to my life.

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One Day At A Time

LIVING RIGHT
“Life is not a matter of having good cards
…. but of playing a poor hand well.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

There are many things in this world we have no control over, such as: our gender, our stature, our race, or physical abnormalities. But we always have the power to choose how we deal with events and circumstances. We can always take the right action ~ if it is not predicated on achieving a favorable outcome.

The Big Book tells us that it is a “well-understood fact that in God’s sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return.”

I must ask myself ~

One day at a time …
Am I living properly?
Am I living properly today?
Am I really trying at all?
~ Jeremiah ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Some of our alcoholic readers may think they can do without spiritual help. Let us tell you the rest of the conversation our friend had with his doctor.
The doctor said: ‘You have the mind of a chronic alcoholic. I have never seen one single case recover, where that state of mind existed to the extent that it does in you.’ Our friend felt as though the gates of hell had closed on him with a clang.
He said to the doctor, ‘Is there no exception?’
‘Yes,’ replied the doctor, ‘there is. Exceptions to cases such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements adn rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them. – Pg. 27 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Right now you are safe. Whatever is troubling you is not so bad that your sponsor or another group member cannot help. Call them as soon as you find a phone.

Grant me the humbleness to call for help whenever I feel threatened, lonely, angry, or in any way separated from my spiritual health.

Feeling Good Inside

I am in the present, I can actually see what the next right action might be and I can take it seamlessly, easily, fruitfully. I will see my day as an opportunity to grow; to learn to allow more of who I am to flow through me. Naturally, quietly and without force. I will become worthy of the life I have been given, grateful just to be alive for one more day. I will let life work out.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

No God; No Peace. Know God; Know Peace.

My program teaches me that I will have peace of mind in the exact proportion of the peace of mind I bring into the lives of others.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Relax, God is in charge.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

God gives me all the answers I need at the right time. Today I trust that it is okay not to know everything and that I will know when the time is right.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If I was at your house, I’d ask to use the bathroom and I’d go through the medicine cabinet and take whatever’s there. I don’t need to know what it is. Sometimes I’d be up for days, saying the same thing over and over, chewing my tongue. Other times I’d be falling down, bouncing off the walls. Sometimes I’d get real ‘regular’. And I probably took enough pills out of those wheels that there’s no chance I’m going to get pregnant this century. – Bob D.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 17

Sponsorship
Every sponsor is necessarily a leader. The stakes are huge.
A human life and usually the happiness of a whole family hang in the balance.
What a sponsor does and says, how well he estimates the reactions of his prospect, . . .
how well he handles criticisms, and how well he leads his prospect on by personal spiritual example —
well, these attributes of leadership can make all the difference,
often the difference between life and death.
– The Language of the Heart, p. 292

Thought to Ponder . . .
My sponsor offers me self-forgetfulness
and kinship with another human being of my own kind.

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

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

Love
“For me, AA is a synthesis of all the philosophy
I’ve ever read,
all of the positive, good philosophy,
all of it based on love.
I have seen that there is only one law,
the law of love,
and there are only two sins;
the first is to interfere with the growth
of another human being,
and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 542

Thought to Consider . . .
When we love, we see in others what we wish to have in ourselves.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H A L T = Hope, Acceptance, Love, Tolerance

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

Pass It On
From: “Preface”
“I’ll never forget the first time I met Bill Wilson. I was a couple of months sober and so excited, so thrilled to actually meet the co-founder that I gushed all over him with what my sobriety meant to me and my undying gratitude for his starting A.A. When I ran down, he took my hand in his and said simply, Pass it on.
1984, AAWS, Inc., ‘Pass It On,’ page 7

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

“Self-centeredness is a poison to my emotional system. It frustrates my every effort toward a comfortable and happy existence. A terrible chain reaction begins. Fear sets in. Anger, resentment, and self-pity become my guiding forces. My only escape is to put this awful selfishness aside and become involved with the world around me.”
December 1979
“The Root of Our Troubles,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can
laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.
Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is
that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust
their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him
demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our
fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once,
we commence to outgrow fear.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 68~

“‘My old manner of life was by no means a bad one, but I would not
exchange its best moments for the worst I have now. I would not go
back to it even if I could.'”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~

“We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 75 (Into Action)

“We rest quietly with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may experience and learn.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 100 (Step Eleven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

A.A.’s of worldly prominence sometimes say, ‘If I tell the public that I am in Alcoholics Anonymous, then that will bring in many others.’ Thus they express the belief that our anonymity Tradition is wrong – at least for them. ‘They forget that, during their drinking days, prestige and the achievement of worldly ambition were their principal aims. They do not realize that, by breaking anonymity, they are unconsciously pursuing those old and perilous illusions once more. They forget that the keeping of one’s anonymity often means a sacrifice of one’s desire for power, prestige, and money. They do not see that if these strivings became general in A.A., the course of our whole history would be changed; that we would be sowing the seeds of our own destruction as a society. ‘Yet I can happily report that while many of us are tempted – and I have been one – few of us in America actually break our anonymity at the public-media level.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for the experience that I have had. I will utilize even my most difficult experiences today by learning and growing from them.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 16th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 16th

Daily Reflections

“A MEASURE OF HUMILITY”

In every case, pain had been the price of admission into a new life.
But this admission price had purchased more than we expected. It
brought a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a
healer of pain.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 75

It was painful to give up trying to control my life, even though success
eluded me, and when life got too rough, I drank to escape. Accepting
life on life’s terms will be mastered through the humility I experience
when I turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I
understand Him. With my life in God’s care, fear, uncertainty, and anger
are no longer my response to those portions of life that I would rather
not have happen to me. The pain of living through these times will be
healed by the knowledge that I have received the spiritual strength to
survive.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We can believe that God is in His heaven and that He has a
purpose for our lives, which will eventually work out as long as we
try to live the way we believe He wants us to live. It has been said
that we should “wear the world like a loose garment.” That
means nothing should seriously upset us because we have a deep,
abiding faith that God will always take care of us. To us that
means not to be too upset by the surface wrongness of things, but to
feel deeply secure in the fundamental goodness and purpose in the
universe. Do I feel deeply secure?

Meditation For The Day

Like the shadow of a great rock in a desert land, God is your
refuge from the ills of life. The old hymn says: “Rock of ages
cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” God can be your shelter
from the storm. God’s power can protect you from every temptation
and defeat. Try to feel His divine power–call on it–accept it–and
use it. Armed with that power, you can face anything. Each day,
seek safety in God’s secret place, in communion with Him. You
cannot be wholly touched or seriously harmed there. God can be
your refuge.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may find a haven in the thought of God. I pray that I
may abide in that Strong Tower, strongly guarded.

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As Bill Sees It

Where Rationalizing Leads, p. 197

“You know what our genius for rationalization is. If, to ourselves, we
fully justify one slip, then our rationalizing propensities are almost
sure to justify another one, perhaps with a different set of excuses.
But one justification leads to another and presently we are back on
the bottle full-time.”

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

Experience shows, all too often, that even the “controlled” pill-taker
may get out of control. The same crazy rationalizations that once
characterized his drinking begin to blight his existence. He thinks that
if pills can cure insomnia so may they cure his worry.

Our friends the doctors are seldom directly to blame for the dire
results we so often experience. It is much too easy for alcoholics to
buy these dangerous drugs, and once possessed of them the drinker is
often likely to use them without any judgment whatever.

1. Letter, 1959
2. Grapevine, November 1945

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Walk In Dry Places

Accepting and correcting mistakes.
Mature living.
Being in error now and then is part of our human existence.  Many of us, however, feel unbearable self-reproach when we make a mistake. Some compulsive people even blame themselves for errors beyond their control.
But the worst mistake is the refusal, or denial, of responsibility for mistakes. This comes from a strange belief that we can erase the mistake by refusing to accept it.  It may stem from the belief that we should be above mistakes. This is immature thinking.
We are learning and growing when we accept our mistakes graciously and immediately move to correct them.  Most of the time, when this is done, the distress passes quickly and we can go on to other matters.
I’ll take full responsibility for all of my actions today, and I’ll move quickly to correct any of my mistakes.

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Keep It Simple

We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
—Will Rogers
Humility is being thankful for the chance to watch the parade. There were days we thought that all that counted were the heroes. But our program has no heroes. It has many fine, spiritual people. . . but no heroes.
When someone is needed to make coffee or pick up after a meeting, we can be willing to do those things. Let’s look at doing these little jobs as our way of looking for a good spot on the curb. . . .to watch the parade! The floats are so colorful, and the bands play so loud!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be proud of who I am, instead of always putting myself down because I’m not who I “should” be.
Action for the Day:  I will look and help someone today. Service to others is service to my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have come to believe in the “Sacrament of the Moment,” which presupposes trust in the ultimate goodness of my creator. –Ruth Casey
The moment, realized, is like a bud blossoming. The day unfolds and with each minute we are moved along to the experiences right for us at this place and this time. Our resistance to certain experiences and particular people creates the barrier that blocks the good in store for us.
We can rest assured; our higher power is caring for us. Each breath we take is Spirit-filled, and the plan for our lives is an accumulation of necessary experiences that is helping us to grow and develop our special talents. What we often forget is that the difficult periods of our lives stretch us, enlighten us, ready us to be the women we desire within to be.
This moment is sacred. All moments are sacred. They will not come again. What is offered this moment for us to grow on will not be offered in exactly this way again. Our higher power knows our needs and is caring for them. We can trust the goodness of today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

The Wright brothers’ almost childish faith that they could build a machine which would fly was the mainspring of their accomplishment. Without that, nothing could have happened. We agnostics and atheists were sticking to the idea that self-sufficiency would solve our problems. When others showed us that “God-sufficiency” worked with them, we began to feel like those who had insisted the Wrights would never fly.

pp. 52-53

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Acceptance is the key to my relationship with God today.  I never just sit and do nothing while waiting for Him to tell me what to do.  Rather, I do whatever is in front of me to be done, and leave the results up to Him; however it turns out, that’s God’s will for me.

p. 420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. ”

But upon entering A.A. we soon take quite another view of this absolute humiliation. We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.

p. 21

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Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.
–Carl Sandburg

You can have fun and still be efficient. In fact, you will be more
efficient.
–Stress Fractures, p.155

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds
you plant.
–Robert Louis Stevenson

It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up
and taking action.
–Al Batt

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

DESIRE

“One must not lose desires. They
are mighty stimulating to
creativeness, to love, and to long
life.”
–Alexander A. Bogomoletz

Today I desire to live. I have discovered value in my life. I have
experienced personal self-esteem. I am able to feel again, talk,
trust and laugh again. Today I desire to live.

But I can remember when I felt lonely, isolated, angry, shutdown
and hopeless. The desires I had were destructive, desiring
isolation mingled with alcohol. Then the pain became too great and
I experienced a vital “moment”. I realized I needed to make a
choice — was I to live or die? I chose to live!

This was the beginning of my spiritual journey into self from which
I discovered God and His world. Creative and positive desires
were re-born in my life, and I am able to live and love again.

O Lord, may I continue to desire those things that do not hurt me.

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Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10b

If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:26

God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25

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Daily Inspiration

More strength is found in the ability to be flexible than in stubborn determination. Lord, when life makes extra demands on me, guide me and help me adapt easily to the necessary changes for the best results.

Worse than being a quitter is the one who is afraid to begin. Lord, grant me the courage to believe in myself and the ability to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do.

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NA Just For Today

Self-esteem

“Deep inside, I had feellngs of inadequacy and inferiority.”
Basic Text, p. 112

Somewhere along the way, many of us developed strong feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Deep inside was a voice that continually cried out, “You’re worthless!” Many of us learn to recognize this characteristic of low self-esteem very early in our recovery. Some of us may feel that our feelings of inferiority were where all our problems began.

Whether we learn this low self-esteem in our families or through our interactions with others, in NA we learn the tools for reclaiming ourselves. Building up our fractured self-esteem sometimes begins by simply accepting a service position. Or perhaps our phone begins to ring, and for the first time people are calling just to see how we are. They don’t want anything from us but to reach out and help.

Next we get a sponsor, someone who teaches us that we are worthwhile and believes in us until we can believe in ourselves. Our sponsor guides us through the Twelve Steps where we learn who we really are, not who we have built ourselves up or down to be.

Low self-esteem doesn’t go away overnight. Sometimes it takes years for us to really get in touch with ourselves. But with the help of other members of NA who share our same feelings, and by working the Twelve Steps, we blossom into individuals that others and, most importantly, we ourselves respect.

Just for today: I will remember that I am deserving of my Higher Power’s love. I know that I am a worthy human being.
pg. 206

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by. –Carl Sandburg
There is a song that says joy is like the rain. It comes across our window pane and then goes away again. When joy comes knocking at our window we can reach out and let it in. Joy comes to us in many ways–through deep laughter, through games played together in a spirit of fun and sharing. Singing together, skating, and being around a campfire are all ways we share joy. Yet joy can also be felt alone.
Each moment of joy we reach for strengthens our spirits. Joyful memories can sustain us through days of long hard work. Like rain, joy comes and goes, yet its nourishment keeps our spirits alive.
How can I share my joy today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Do not seek death. Death will find you. –Dag Hammarskjold
When we accept deep within ourselves the fact that we will die, that our days are numbered as certainly as those of each thriving, bustling generation before us, then we become more fully alive and vital men. Facing this raises grief over our loss, and we wish to avoid it. Yet, death keeps us honest. It highlights the folly of our questions about whether we should live or die and confronts us with the self-destructive behaviors we have used. Some of us have nearly killed ourselves by our extreme behaviors.
Since death is certain, the real question is. How shall we live? By pursuing recovery and spiritual growth we have chosen to live more fully and to use our energies well. We live with commitment to our highest values. We stay in tune with our inner voice to help us make choices. We play, we love, and we celebrate the miracle of life every day, not because there is no grief, but because life is precious and time is limited.
Today, I will accept my grief over the limits of life. I will celebrate its wonder.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have come to believe in the “Sacrament of the Moment,” which presupposes trust in the ultimate goodness of my creator.
–Ruth Casey
The moment, realized, is like a bud blossoming. The day unfolds and with each minute we are moved along to the experiences right for us at this place and this time. Our resistance to certain experiences and particular people creates the barrier that blocks the good in store for us.
We can rest assured; our higher power is caring for us. Each breath we take is Spirit-filled, and the plan for our lives is an accumulation of necessary experiences that is helping us to grow and develop our special talents. What we often forget is that the difficult periods of our lives stretch us, enlighten us, ready us to be the women we desire within to be.
This moment is sacred. All moments are sacred. They will not come again. What is offered this moment for us to grow on will not be offered in exactly this way again. Our higher power knows our needs and is caring for them. We can trust the goodness of today.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Insisting on the Best
We deserve the best life and love has to offer, but we are each faced with the challenge of learning to identify what that means in our life. We must each come to grips with our own understanding of what we believe we deserve, what we want, and whether we are receiving it.
There is only one place to start, and that is right where we are, in our current circumstances. The place we begin is with us.
What hurts? What makes us angry? What are we whining and complaining about? Are we discounting how much a particular behavior is hurting us? Are we making excuses for the other person, telling ourselves we’re “too demanding”?
Are we reluctant, for a variety of reasons, especially fear, to tackle the issues in our relationships that may be hurting us? Do we know what’s hurting us and do we know that we have a right to stop our pain, if we want to do that?
We can begin the journey from deprived to deserving. We can start it today. We can also be patient and gentle with ourselves, as we travel in important increments from believing we deserve second best, to knowing in our hearts that we deserve the best, and taking responsibility for that.
Today, I will pay attention to how I allow people to treat me, and how I feel about that. I will also watch how I treat others. I will not overreact by taking their issues too personally and too seriously; I will not under react by denying that certain behaviors are inappropriate and not acceptable to me.
Whatever situation I encounter today, I will believe in its goodness. It is right for me. It may stretch my patience rather than elicit laughter, but it is right for me at this time.

Today I am willing to give away what I need for myself. I am willing to listen to someone else’s problems. That way we will both see that we are traveling together on the same journey and are not alone. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Go a Little Further

I arrived at Oregon’s Willamette National Forest after dark. Suddenly I found myself at a fork in the road. To the right was a chained gate marked “Foot Travelers Welcome. To the left was an open road marked “Nature Sanctuary, Authorized Visitors Only.”

I stared at both signs, then headed to the left. I didn’t see anything that looked like lodging and I began to feel uncomfortable, like one of the unauthorized visitors the sign warned about. I backed the car out to the fork, turned around and left.

Two hours later, I still hadn’t found the retreat. I was tired and worried about running out of gas. I tried to remember what I’d been learning– that desperation attracts more desperation. I relaxed and visualized myself finding the retreat, being given a key to a room, and going to sleep in a bed. I visualized it until I could see the scene clearly in my mind.

Before long I found myself back at the fork. I mean no harm, I thought. So I’ll just drive down that nature sanctuary road again, the one for authorized visitors only. I drove as far as I had before, then decided to push ahead a bit more. I rounded the bend and there it was– the parking lot, the night office, and a man who could give me a key to my room. Within twenty minutes, I was in bed for the evening.

Sometimes we need to go further than we thought we could. We need to go past our fear, past our uncertainty, past the bend we can’t see beyond. If we stay on the course, give it that extra push, and go round the bend, we may find what we’re looking for.

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More Language Of Letting Go

There’s a bottom to the well

“I’m not disconnected from my emotions,” said Jan. “But what I am is frightened. I go so deeply into some feelings that I think that how I’m feeling now is the way I’ll always feel. I get frightened, especially with sadness, that there’s no end, no bottom, to what I’m going through.”

Some feelings are just plain big. It feels like we’ve fallen into an emotional well with no bottom.

We haven’t. There is a bottom. It may take a while to ge there, but there is a bottom. And there are ways we can take care of ourselves when we’re feeling this way. Some people get professional help. Others make a decision to go through it, giving special care to themselves. If you’re going through an emotionally exhausting time, you may want to design your own care routine. Here are some suggestions that have helped some people get through these times.

. If you’re involved with a support group, go to your meetings, even and especially if you don’t feel like going out.

. Let a trusted friend know what you’re going through. Ask that person for support, be clear in asking for what you need.

. Get plenty of rest. It takes a lot of energy to go through feelings this big.

. Make yourself get up and get out sometimes,too. Just the sheer act of being around people, in a park or at the mall, reminds us that life goes on when it feels like our life has stopped. Ask yourself what might feel good, and listen to any positive ideas you get.

. Exercise, even if you don’t want to. Move your body around. It’ll help move those feelings around,too.

. Make daily goals, a list of things you want and need to do each day. Give yourself room to feel your feelings, but exercise your will and volition,too.

. Don’t let your environment reflect what you’re feeling; let it reflect how you want to feel. Tidy up your living space.

. Give yourself time deadlines for emotions. For instance, give yourself half an hour to thoroughly and completely give in to the feeling, then go do something else for a while. Go for a walk, watch TV, go to a movie, read a book. Tell yourself you’re not running away from the feeling. You’re just going to take a break for a while.

. Journal. Write about how you feel. Few things in life can substitute or work better than actually making a connection with ourselves.

. Then pray. Connecting with God always help.

God, help me accept and get through all my feelings, even the big ones.

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Food for Thought

Hard Right or Easy Wrong?

We are constantly faced with choices, and often we are tempted to follow the way of least resistance. In our dealings with others and ourselves it is usually easier to say yes than no, but yes is not always the best answer. If we are too permissive, we become lax and ineffective.

The problem with taking the easy way is that it usually ends up being harder in the long run. If we do not control our eating, we will have all of the problems of obesity. If we do not limit our spending, we will eventually lack funds for what we need. If we do not follow moral and ethical principles, our lives become chaotic and we live in constant fear and tension.

Although choosing the hard right is difficult, it is by exercising our ethical muscles that we become strong and gain self-respect.

By Your grace, may I make the right choices.

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Recognizing Our Own Greatness
The Greatness in Others by Madisyn Taylor

We are all moved by greatness when we see it we know the feeling of it and have it within ourselves.

A person who is said to possess greatness stands apart from others in some way, usually by the size or originality of their vision and their ability to manifest that vision. And yet those who recognize that greatness, whether they display it themselves or not, also have greatness within them; otherwise, they could not see it in another. In many ways, the achievements of one person always belong to many people for we accomplish nothing alone in this world. People who display greatness rely upon others who are able to see as they do, to listen, encourage, and support. Without those people who recognize greatness and move in to support it, even the greatest ideas, works of art, and political movements would remain unborn.

We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along. When we respond to someone else’s greatness, we feed our own. We may feel called to dedicate ourselves to their vision, or we may be inspired to follow a path we forge ourselves. Either way, we cannot lose when we recognize that the greatness we see in others belongs also to us. Our recognition of this is a call to action that, if heeded, will inspire others to see in us the greatness they also possess. This creates a chain reaction of greatness unfolding itself endlessly into the future.

Ultimately, greatness is simply the best of what humanity has to offer. Greatness does what has not been done before and inspires the same courage that it requires. When we see it in others, we know it, and when we trust its presence in ourselves, we embody it. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Long experience has proven that The Program and Twelve Steps will work for any person who approaches it with an open mind. We have to remember that we can’t expect miracles overnight; after all, it took years to create the situation in which we find ourselves today. I’ll try to be receptive and to listen. I’ll try to e less hasty in drawing judgmental conclusions. I’ll hand on to the expectation that The Program can change my entire life as long as I give it a chance. Have I begun to realize that my ultimate contentment doesn’t depend on having things work out my way?

Today I Pray

I pray for a more receptive attitude; for a little more patience; a little less haste and more humility in my judgments. May I always understand that change will come — it will all happen — if I will listen for God’s will, God grant me perseverance, for sometimes I must wait a while for The Program’s Steps to take effect.

Today I Will Remember

Patience.

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One More Day

What is experience? A poor little hut constructed from the ruins of the palace of gold and marble called our illusion.
– Joseph Roux

Our youthful dreams of glory, adventure, and wealth have, for most of us, been unfulfilled, yet we are not disappointed. Childlike illusions that a meaningful life had to be based on excitement and power have give way to a maturity that values simpler, yet more important, goals.

Our long-ago need to importance was based on the judgment of others. We want other people to see our wealth, feel our power, possibly even envy our influence. Today, we seek our own approval. We value serenity, not adventure. Love, not envy. Acceptance, now power. We live with goals, not illusions.

I am thankful that my values are strong.

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One Day At A Time

SELF-RESPECT
“In his private heart …
no man much respects himself.”
Mark Twain

I had no confidence or satisfaction in myself. I covered my lack of self-respect with absurd and harmful behaviors. I shielded myself from the respect and love of others by using these behaviors. I wanted to hide from the truth I knew – that I was behaving badly and dishonestly.

Having begun this program which restores us to sanity, we have stepped into a new realm of learning to love and respect ourselves. We have come to realize that we gain self-respect by working the Steps, surrendering ego, doing service for others, and relying on a Higher Power. Our lives become useful, our hearts are healed, and we are filled with respect for who we have become.

One day at a time …
May I come to realize I am worthy of self-respect because I am doing the right things for the right reasons … and giving credit to my Higher Power.
~ Judy N.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We asked especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why. – Pg. 87 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is important for us to think in the positive. It doesn’t help to think ‘I don’t want to use, I don’t want to use,’ because we end up having to think of what we don’t want to use. It stays on our mind. But if we think, ‘I like having a clear mind; I like remembering; I like growing,’ we have positive thoughts directed away from our diseases.

May my thoughts focus on what I’m working toward, not what I’m escaping from.

A Little Magic

Each day is a gift especially for me. I will look through innocent eyes at the world today and see the gifts that are meant just for me. Children think the sun rises for and because of them. They’re sure that the moon hangs in the sky because they waved their arm towards the heavens. That flowers bloom for their eyes alone to see. They are magical thinkers. They take delight in the antics of a squirrel, in a balloon sailing in a bright, blue sky. They see the world fresh, in color and alive each new day, each new moment. They are constantly being surprised. Today, I think I’ll borrow a little of their magic. Their magic and my maturity may just be a winning combination.

I believe anything is possible

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do not become one of these people who have two excuses for everything: one excuse for what you don’t do and another for what you don’t have.

Excuses are simply my lack of faith in me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Encouragement from an old-timer can turn a newcomer’s life around.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am willing to give away what I need for myself. I am willing to listen to someone else’s problems. That way we will both see that we are traveling together on the same journey and are not alone.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

My life is none of my business. I just suit up, show up; be an example of AA and leave the rest to God. – Sharon B.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 16

Freedom
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-84

Thought to Ponder . . .
Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm.

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

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

Selfishness
“So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.
They arise out of ourselves,
and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot,
though he usually doesn’t think so.
Above everything, we alcoholics
must be rid of this selfishness.
We must, or it kills us!
God makes that possible . . .
We had to have God’s help.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Thought to Consider . . .
The smallest package in the world
is an alcoholic all wrapped up in himself.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P R I D E  =  Pretty Ridiculous Individual Directing Everything

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

Peace of Mind
from: “Freedom from Bondage”
“A.A. has taught me that I will have peace of mind in exact proportion to the peace of mind I bring into the lives of other people, and it has taught me the true meaning of the admonition happy are ye who know these things and do them. For the only problems I have now are those I create when I break out in a rash of self-will.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 550-551

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

“In the years that lie just ahead Alcoholics Anonymous faces a supreme test – the great ordeal of its own prosperity and success. I think it will prove the greatest trial of all. Can we but weather that, the waves of time and circumstance may beat upon us in vain.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., June 1946
“Policy on Gift Funds”
The Language of the Heart

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

“One of the many doctors who had the opportunity of reading this
book in manuscript form told us that the use of sweets was often
helpful, of course depending upon a doctor’s advice. He thought all
alcoholics should constantly have chocolate available for its quick
energy value at times of fatigue. He added that occasionally in the
night a vague craving arose which would be satisfied by candy. Many
of us have noticed a tendency to eat sweets and have found this
practice beneficial.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

“Many of us felt that we had plenty of character. There was a
tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This
is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter
inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the
wish.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 34~

“He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound altera  tion in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly   have been brought about by himself alone.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 567 (Appendix II: Spiritual Experience)

“It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves  to meet conditions, whatever  they were.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47 (Step Four)

Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I fully give myself to you in faith that the necessary change will take place if I take the action.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 15th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 15th

Daily Reflections

PRIDE

For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance.
When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated,
even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted. In all these
strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility. We had
lacked the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material
satisfactions were not the purpose of living.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 71

Time and again I approached the Seventh Step, only to fall back and regroup. Something was missing and the
impact of the Step escaped me. What had I overlooked? A single word: read but ignored, the foundation of all the
Steps, indeed the entire Alcoholics Anonymous program – that word is “humbly”. I understood my shortcomings:
I constantly put tasks off; I angered easily; I felt too much self-pity; and thought, why me? Then I remembered,
“Pride goeth before the fall,” and I eliminated pride from my life.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day
After we had sobered up through the A.A. program, we gradually began to get a peace of mind and serenity which we never thought were possible. This peace of mind is based on a feeling that fundamentally all is well. That does not mean that all is well on the surface of things. Little things can keep going wrong and big things can keep on upsetting us. But deep down in our hearts we know that everything is eventually going to be all right, now that we are living sober lives. Have I achieved a deep down, inner calm?

Meditation For The Day
You are climbing up the ladder of life, which reaches into eternity. Would God plant your feet upon an insecure ladder? Its supports may be out of sight, hidden in secret places, but if God has asked you to step on and up firmly, then surely He has secured your ladder. Faith gives you the strength to climb steadily this ladder of life. You should leave your security to God and trust Him not to let you fall. He is there to give you all the power you need to keep on climbing.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may climb the ladder of life without fear. I pray that I may progress steadily through the rest of my life with faith and confidence.

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As Bill Sees It

Antidote For Fear, p. 196

When our failings generate fear, we then have soul-sickness. This
sickness, in turn, generates still more character defects.

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.
We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need, fearing
we shall never have enough. And, with genuine alarm at the prospect
of work, we stay lazy. We loaf and procrastinate, or at best work
grudgingly and under half steam.

These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations
of whatever sort of life we try to build.

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

As faith grows, so does inner security. The vast underlying fear of
nothingness commences to subside. We of A.A. find that our basic
antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.

1. 12 & 12, p. 49
2. Grapevine, January 1962


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Walk In Dry Places

The Possible Dream
Reaching objectives.
Although we hear people ridicule the practice of daydreaming, we also hear them express admiration for people who pursued and realized their dreams.  How do we know when we are pursing the right dreams?
Useful, effective dreams may seem farfetched, but they still have a possibility of fulfillment. In some ways, they’re tied to what we can do if we have the right opportunities and use our talents properly.
Fantasies, or useless dreams, can never happen. Fantasies are often based on our past and how it might have been different. It’s also useless to fantasize about feats that are completely beyond anything we could ever do.  These dreams are a waste of time and energy.
What’s exciting, however, is that very person can find dreams that are possible and based on reality.  It’s important to pursue these dreams and bring them into realization.
I’ll keep my realistic dreams very much alive today, knowing they’re the patterns I need for reaching my long-term objectives.

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Keep It Simple

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.—Kahil Gilran
We all need time alone. Then we can get to know our Higher Power better too.
When we were using chemicals, we were afraid of being alone. We didn’t want to think too much.
So we got high.
Now we know we’re never totally alone. Our Higher Power is with us. We can relax. We can rest.
We can think, read, and meditate. We can our own best friend.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me use my time alone to know myself better. Help me get to know You too.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll plan to spend two hours alone to get to know myself better. I could take a long walk, or enjoy a park, or my garden. What will I do, and when?

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Each Day a New Beginning

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin into his nest again, I shall not live in vain.  –Emily Dickinson
The gift of attention to each other is “passing on” the love of God. In order to feel love, we have to give it away. We will know love when we give love.
Our attachment to the world, the sense of belonging most of us longed for the many years prior to recovery, awaits us, is showered upon us even as we reach out to someone else. We are no longer alone, scared, alienated when we let others know they are not alone. We can heal one another. The program opens the way for our healing.
Each day, each one of us can ease the pain of a friend, a co-worker, a child. The beauty of the program, the beauty of God’s plan for us all, is that our own pain is relieved in the process of easing the pain of another. Love is the balm. Loving others makes our lives purposeful.
No day is lived in vain, if I but cherish someone else’s presence.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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.

p. 52

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.  The higher my expectations of Max and other people are, the lower is my serenity.  I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations.  But then my “rights” try to move in, and they too can force my serenity level down.  I have to discard my “rights,” as well as my expectations, by asking myself, How important is it, really?  How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety?  And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level–at least for the time being.

p. 420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. ”

No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one. Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands. Once this stark fact is accepted, our bankruptcy as going human concerns is complete.

p. 21

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If you let cloudy water settle, it will become clear. If you let your upset mind settle, your course will also become clear.
–Jack Kornfield

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
–Buddha

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
–Aristotle

Today, I will trust that God’s will is happening as it needs to in my life. I will not make myself anxious and upset by searching vigorously for God’s will, taking unnecessary actions to control the course of my destiny or wondering if God’s will has passed me by and I have missed it.
–Melody Beattie

The greatest good we can do for others is not to share our riches with them, but to reveal their own.
–Author Unknown

In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others.
–Ibn Gabirol, poet and philosopher (ca. 1022-1058)

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MUSIC

“I know that the twelve notes in
each octave and the varieties of
rhythm offer me opportunities
that all of human genius will
never exhaust.”
–Igor Stravinsky

There is so much to be gained in life. Just when you think you have exhausted all possibilities, a new insight is perceived, permutations and varieties appear in abundance. An example is sobriety. I thought it meant not drinking but today I see that it affects all areas of my life — how I walk, the hugs I freely give, my acceptance of others, my willingness to trust and risk, my optimism for a new day.

Also God is comprehensive for me today. He is alive in church, the Bible and tradition but He is also alive in literature, scripture, sexuality and music. Today I can hear beyond the symphony into the unfathomable message of God’s love for His creation. And always I hear something different and new.

Thank You, Lord, for Your messengers who love through the art of music.

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He replied, “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20

[God] is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:21

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
Matthew 19: 26

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
EX 15:2


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Daily Inspiration

Give thanks for not only all that you have, but all that you are. Lord, may I recognize the goodness within me and know that I am lovable even with my shortcomings.

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

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NA Just For Today

Relations With Others

“We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Step Eight

All human beings struggle with self-centeredness. The chronic self-centeredness that lies at the very core of addiction makes that struggle doubly difficult for people like us. Many of us have lived as if we believed we were the last people on earth, utterly blind to the effect our behavior has had on those around us.

The Eighth Step is the process our program has given us to honestly examine our past relationships. We take a look at the writing we did on our Fourth Step to identify the effects our actions had on the people in our lives. When we recognize harm done to some of those people, we become willing to take responsibility for our actions by making amends to them.

The variety of people we encounter in our day and the quality of our relations with them determines, to a great extent, the quality of our very lives. Love, humor, excitement, caring – the things that make life worth living derive much of their meaning from being shared with others. Understanding this, we want to discover the true nature of our relationships with other people and mend whatever breaks we may find in those relations. We want to work the Eighth Step.

Just for today: I want to fully enjoy the companionship of my fellows. I will examine my relationships with the people in my life. Where I find I’ve harmed others, I will seek the willingness to make amends to them.
pg. 205

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I was forced to live far beyond my years when just a child. Now I have reversed the order and I intend to remain young indefinitely. –Mary Pickford
We can all learn to change our lives so the child within each of us can live in balance with the people we have become. We can learn to give the child a voice, let the child play, let the child express needs and fears and pleasures.
We might look at our old baby pictures for a valuable lesson. We will see pictures of ourselves on rocking horses, grinning and waving; pictures of ourselves with our most precious toy–a crude metal car, perhaps; pictures of ourselves rolling in the grass. The lesson we learn is that it doesn’t take much to make this child happy–even today.
We keep our own happiness safe inside us to call on whenever we need it, as long as we keep a healthy relationship with the child within. When we nourish the child, we can be assured the child will also nourish us.
What simple thing will make me happy today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me – I always feel that they have not said enough. –Mark Twain
Hearing the good words and praise of another person is harder for some of us to accept than criticism and abuse. Perhaps it is easier to receive what we are accustomed to, or maybe we feel a loss of control when someone compliments us. This is a time for us to begin accepting others’ actions. We do not need to be in control of our relationships at all times. When friends offer sincere compliments, we don’t need to push them away or brush them off.
All we need to do is allow others’ positive messages to come into us. In a good relationship we listen to the feelings of our friends, and sometimes that means truly listening as they tell us their good feelings about us.
Today, I will be open to the compliments that come my *way without controlling them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin into his nest again, I shall not live in vain. –Emily Dickinson
The gift of attention to each other is “passing on” the love of God. In order to feel love, we have to give it away. We will know love when we give love.
Our attachment to the world, the sense of belonging most of us longed for the many years prior to recovery, awaits us, is showered upon us even as we reach out to someone else. We are no longer alone, scared, alienated when we let others know they are not alone. We can heal one another. The program opens the way for our healing.
Each day, each one of us can ease the pain of a friend, a co-worker, a child. The beauty of the program, the beauty of God’s plan for us all, is that our own pain is relieved in the process of easing the pain of another. Love is the balm. Loving others makes our lives purposeful.
No day is lived in vain, if I but cherish someone else’s presence.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Family Buttons
I was thirty five years old the first time I spoke up to my mother and refused to buy into her games and manipulation. I was terribly frightened and almost couldn’t believe I was doing this. I found I didn’t have to be meant. I didn’t have to start an argument. But I could say what I wanted and needed to say to take care of myself. I learned I could love and honor myself, and still care about my mother – the way I wanted to – not the way she wanted me to. –Anonymous
Who knows better how to push our buttons than family members? Who, besides family members, do we give such power?
No matter how long we or our family members have been recovering, relationships with family members can be provocative.
One telephone conversation can put us in an emotional and psychological tailspin that lasts for hours or days.
Sometimes, it gets worse when we begin recovery because we become even more aware of our reactions and our discomfort. That’s uncomfortable, but good. It is by beginning this process of awareness and acceptance that we change, grow, and heal.
The process of detaching in love from family members can take years. So can the process of learning how to react in a more effective way. We cannot control what they do or try to do, but we can gain some sense of control over how we choose to react.
Stop trying to make them act or treat us any differently. Unhook from their system by refusing to try to change or influence them.
Their patterns, particularly their patterns with us, are their issues. How we react, or allow these patterns to influence us, is our issue. How we take care of ourselves is our issue.
We can love our family and still refuse to buy into their issues. We can love our family but refuse their efforts to manipulate, control, or produce guilt in us.
We can take care of ourselves with family members without feeling guilty. We can learn to be assertive with family members without being aggressive. We can set the boundaries we need and want to set with family members without being disloyal to the family.
We can learn to love our family without forfeiting love and respect for ourselves.
Today, help me start practicing self care with family members. Help me know that I do not have to allow their issues to control my life, my day, or my feelings. Help me know it’s okay to have all my feelings about family members, without guilt or shame.

Today I choose to think positive. Today I let my thoughts lead the way to success and happiness. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Delight in Yourself

Stop picking on yourself, worrying if you’re good enough, wondering what people will see if you let them see your heart. This is what they’ll see: that you are a lovable and delightful soul, beautiful child of God.

Be yourself and accept yourself–warts, waistline,and all. You don’t have to sit up that straight, be that proper, or fear what others may see. Let your imperfections show! Share them! Love yourself anyway! Relax, and be who you are! When you do that, your life will be fun and a joyful gift to others.

People who comfortably accept who they are– both their flaws and their good points– are healing, delightful, and fun to be around. Look at any work of nature: a canyon, a flower, a bird. A mountain or a forest trail. Where does the perfection begin and imperfecting end? It’s the combination that makes a perfect scene. So it is with you.

Relax. Lighten up. Let go of shame and fear. The whole picture is perfect, and perfectly okay.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Expect grief to be a lot of grief

Your grief will take more energy than you would have ever imagined.
–Theresa A. Rondo
How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies

Grief is more than one feeling. Depending on the nature of the loss, it may become a temporary way of life. It may last eight weeks or eight years.

Let go of any judgements you have about grief and about how long you think it should take to get over that loss. Instead, practice compassion for other people and for yourself.

Keep your expectations realistic. Give anyone who’s grieving, whether it’s yourself or someone else, more latitude than you think could possibly be needed.

God, there’s a lot of broken hearts on this planet. Please heal them all, including mine.

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In God’s Care

Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift to himself.
~~Mother Teresa

In praying, some of us depend on the traditions of our religion, others on the instructions of spriitual leaders. Some of us just strike out on our own, not knowing what to say or what to do, yet believing that form is not as important as intent. We only know that when we do pray, something happens.

And each time we lift our thoughts to God, it is easier the next time. Then, as we keep praying, we discover that we have begun to establish a familiarity. Our heart is opening to God without our realizing it. When we are willing, God fills our heart. And even though we can leave God, and often do, God never leaves us.

I am grateful that God is in my heart. My prayer is one of thanks.

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Day By Day

Recognizing opportunities

Today is a day of opportunity. Any experiences that we have today – good or bad – can be seen as opportunities, opportunities to grow closer to God.

As bread is food for the body, opportunities are food for the soul.

Do I see all the opportunities in my daily life? Do I take advantage of them?

I pray that I may use my experiences as opportunities to grow closer to God.

Today I will look for opportunities by…

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Food for Thought

Clean Abstinence

It is easy to become sloppy in our abstinence and in our program. This is where a daily inventory is an invaluable aid. When we catch ourselves cheating just a little on measurements, making excuses to skip meetings, neglecting to follow the promptings of our Higher Power, it is time for housecleaning.

If we have stopped calling in our food plan and are having trouble with abstinence, we may need to get in touch with a food sponsor. Many of us find it hard to admit that we cannot do everything alone! False pride can be our downfall. If we pretend that all is well when it is not, we cut ourselves off from the help of the group.

The time to correct small mistakes is immediately, before they get bigger and make us discouraged. Admitting the mistake to another person clears the way for correction and change.

Thank You for those who help me maintain clean abstinence.

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Elegant Blessings
Living a Life of Grace by Madisyn Taylor

When we accept that we always exist in a state of grace, we are able to live our lives more graciously.

Grace exists inside of all of us and around us. It is our inner beauty that radiates outward, touching everyone we meet. It is that unseen hand that comes from the divine, raising us up when we most need it. To be able to live in a state of grace is not based on worthiness, nor is it earned through good deeds, ritual, or sacrifice. Rather it is an unearned favor, freely bestowed and available to all, that is inherent to our birthright. All we must do is open our eyes to its presence and we will find and experience grace everywhere.

Grace is in the rain bringing relief to drought-ridden farms, and the unexpected lead for the perfect job opportunity that comes from a stranger. Grace is what happens to someone when they miraculously escape injury; it is even the simple events that happen to us that we call “good luck,” like when we don’t get a parking ticket after are meter has expired. Grace resides in the love between two people, the gift or check that comes unexpectedly in the mail, the cozy comforts that make up a home, and in the acts of forgiveness we bestow upon others. It is grace that moves us to go out of our way to help a stranger. In music, a grace note is the pause between notes that is so important to the pacing of a song. Grace is the state we are in when we are doing nothing but just being who we are.

When we accept that we always exist in a state of grace, we are able to live our lives more graciously. Knowing we are graced gives us hope, makes us more generous, and allows us to trust that we are taken care of even when we are going through difficult times. Grace is our benevolence of heart, and our generosity of spirit. Grace is unconditional love and the beauty that is our humanity. When we know that we are blessed with grace, we can’t help but want to live our lives in harmony. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Faced with almost certain destruction by our addictions, we eventually had no choice but to become open-minded on spiritual matters. In that sense, the chemicals of drugs we used were potent persuaders; they finally whipped us into a state of reasonableness. We came to learn that when we stubbornly close the doors on our minds, we’re locking out far more than we’re locking in. Do I immediately reject new ideas? Or do I patiently strive to change my old way of living?

Today I Pray

May I keep an open mind especially on spiritual matters, remembering that “spiritual” is a bigger word than “religious.” (I was born of the Spirit, but I was taught religion.) May I remember that a locked mind is a symptom of my addiction and an open mind is essential to my recovery.

Today I Will Remember

If I lock more out than I lock in, what am I protecting?

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One More Day

Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There may have been times in our lives when we have been forced, for one reason or another, to eat a bland diet. The reasons don’t matter; what does matter is how totally bored we became with the unvarying beige-and-white soft menu! Before long we had lost our anticipation of eating.

We may sometimes place ourselves on a bland diet of life. Daily routine says much the same, day after day, year after year. From home to work to the sofa to bed, and start all over again. Some routine is like a healthy diet that gives us stability and safety, but a sprinkling of risk is the seasoning that adds zest to our lives. We can reach out for what is not habit. We can continue to try when previous efforts have failed. We can take a generous helping of life.

I can dare to change or to try new things without sacrificing all of my routine and safety.

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One Day At A Time

~ SELF-TRUTH ~
“You cannot be true to God or to anyone else until you are true to yourself.”
Sr. Jeanne Koma, H.M.

I have spent much of my life role-playing. As spouse, parent, employee, addict, I have often lost myself. Who am I? Why am I here? If I played none of those roles, would I still exist?

It wasn’t until I took the time to discover the ‘real’ me, the person God created, that I was able to be a better spouse, parent, and employee. And it was through this discovery that the addict in me began taking a back seat to the child of God that I truly am.

I cannot do God’s will nor be supportive of others if I am dishonest about who I am.

When Moses asked God who He was, God replied, “I am who I am.” I am also who I am. I have nothing of which to be ashamed.

One Day at a Time . . .
I must be true to myself if I wish to be of service to anyone else.
~Debbie~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:

1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip. – Page 180-181 – 4th. Edition – Doctor Bob’s Nightmare

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is remarkable how often we run across this feeling of ‘uniqueness’ as we recover: we used more, had worse contacts, spent more in bars, treated our family worse, were younger, older, blacker, gayer, more sensitive–whatever.

Let me see in this next hour, one area that I feel I’m ‘unique’ which is actually commonplace for us addicts.

Hesitation

Today, I will walk the walk and talk the talk. It will not be good for me, ultimately, to half commit myself. In a way, the particular path that I take is less significant than that I take a path. I can second-guess myself and my experience. Commitment to a path is really commitment to myself. I am allowing myself to take a clear direction, one in which I can actualize my talents on a day-to-day basis, one that will allow me to build a foundation and a structure in which I can live. I will have a passion in life, a passion that takes me beyond myself, a passion to love, nourish, be led and challenged by. I will follow it, and it will follow me.

I deserve a passion in my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Pissing contests about who used how much and who acted bad are ego trips in reverse. ‘It doesn’t matter what or how much we used. In NA, staying clean has to come first. We realize that we cannot use drugs and live.’ (P 19, NA Basic Text).

When I brag about how much I used, how bad it was, and how much damage I did, I am doing one of two things, trying to make myself look larger or them smaller.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Coffee makers make it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I choose to think positive. Today I let my thoughts lead the way to success and happiness.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

‘The best thing for you is to give up drinking.’ ‘Yeah.. What’s the next best thing?’ – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 15

Complacency
Following the principles laid out in the Big Book has not always been comfortable,
nor will I claim perfection.
I have yet to find a place in the Big Book that says,
“Now that you have completed the Steps; have a nice life.”
The program is a plan for a lifetime of daily living.
There have been occasions when the temptation to slack off has won.
I view each of these as learning opportunities.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 317

Thought to Ponder . . .
There are no endings … only new beginnings.

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

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

Paradox
“We Give Away to Keep.
That seems absurd and untrue.
How can you keep anything if you give it away?
But in order to keep whatever it is we get in AA,
we must go about giving it away to others,
for no fees or rewards of any kind.
When we cannot afford to give away what we have
received so freely in AA,
we had better get ready for our next ‘drunk.’
It will happen every time.
We’ve got to continue to give it away in order to keep it.”
– The Professor and the Paradox
1955AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous (2nd Ed.), pp. 341-2

Thought to Consider . . .
“We are not living just to be sober;
we are living to learn, to serve, and to love.”
As Bill Sees It, p. 94

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E L P = Hope, Encouragement, Love, and Patience

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

Attraction
Tradition Eleven: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
“Let’s see how these two contrasting ideas – attraction and promotion – work out. A political party wishes to win an election, so it advertises the virtues of its leadership to draw votes. A worthy charity wants to raise money; forthwith, its letterhead shows the name of every distinguished person whose support can be obtained. Much of the political, economic, and religious life of the world is dependent upon publicized leadership. People who symbolize causes and ideas fill a deep human need. We of A.A. do not question that. But we do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us. By temperament, nearly every one of us had been an irrepressible promoter, and the prospect of a society composed almost entirely of promoters was frightening. Considering this explosive factor, we knew we had to exercise self-restraint.”
1981, AAWS, Inc., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 181

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

“I opened the door and walked into the warmth, the laughter, the acceptance, and the love that is AA. No one asked me who I was or what I wanted; no one asked me how much money I had or what I did for a living; no one asked me where I did my drinking or what my sexual preferences were. The smiling man who greeted me told me that night that if I thought I had a drinking problem, I was in the right place.”
Toledo, Ohio, September 1982
“Above All, an Alcoholic”
In Our Own Words: Stories of Young AAs in Recovery

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

“If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely,
or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take,
you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be
suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will
conquer.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 44~

“Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for
the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his
spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could
not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not
work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely
die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 14~

“We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 70 (How It Works)

“We rest quietly with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may experience and learn.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 100 (Step Eleven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When our failings generate fear, we then have soul-sickness. This sickness, in turn, generates still more character defects.
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. We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need, fearing we shall never have enough. And, with genuine alarm at the prospect of work, we stay lazy. We loaf and procrastinate, or at best work grudgingly and under half steam.
These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations of whatever sort of life we try to build.
As faith grows, so does inner security. The vast underlying fear of nothingness commences to subside. We of A.A. find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to always continue learning.