Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Daily Reflections

THE “WORTH” OF SOBRIETY

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

The Fellowship’s Future, p.207

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

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

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

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

pp. 55-56

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 424

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


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

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

p. 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ADVERSITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Unconditional Surrender

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Find Places of Repose

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

See what feels right to you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Then breathe.”

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

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

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

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

“What are you doing?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust what feels right to you.

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

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In God’s Care

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

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

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

I will remember God today.

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Day By Day

Avoiding pity

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

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

Have I stopped pitying myself (and others)?

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

Today I will avoid self-pity by…

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Food for Thought

Doing God’s Will

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

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

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

I pray for courage to follow Your will.

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Half-Full Consciousness
Starting from Empty by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

How it was.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

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

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Learning My Own Lessons

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

My lessons come from my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 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 18th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 18th

Daily Reflections

GRATEFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE, p.208

During this process of learning more about humility, the most profound result of all was the change in our attitude toward God.
12 & 12, p. 75

Today my prayers consist mostly of saying thank you to my Higher Power for my sobriety and for the wonder of God’s abundance, but I need also to ask for help and the power to carry out His will for me. I no longer need God each minute to rescue me from the situations I get myself into by not doing His will. Now my gratitude seems to be directly linked to humility. As long as I have the humility to be grateful for what I have, God continues to provide for me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Two things can spoil group unity–gossip and criticism. To avoid these divisive things, we must realize that we’re all in the same boat. We’re like a group of people in a life-boat after the steamer has sunk. If we’re going to be saved, we’ve got to pull together. It’s a matter of life or death for us. Gossip and criticism are sure ways of disrupting any A.A. group. We’re all in A.A. to keep sober ourselves and to help each other to keep sober. And neither gossip nor criticism helps anyone to stay sober. Am I guilty of gossip or criticism?

Meditation For The Day

We should try to be grateful for all the blessings we have received and which we do not deserve. Gratitude to God for all His blessings will make us humble. Remember that we could do little by ourselves, and now we must rely largely on God’s grace in helping ourselves and others. People do not care much for those who are smug and self-satisfied or those who gossip and criticize. But people are impressed by true humility. So we should try to walk humbly at all times. Gratitude to God and true humility are what make us effective.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may walk humbly with God. I pray that I may rely on His grace to carry me through.

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As Bill Sees It

Arrogance and Its Opposite, p. 199

A very tough-minded prospect was taken to his first A.A. meeting,
where two speakers (or maybe lecturers) themed their talks on “God
as I understand Him.” Their attitude oozed arrogance. In fact, the
final speaker got far overboard on his personal theological convictions.

Both were repeating my performance of years before. Implicit in
everything they said was the same idea: “Folks, listen to us. We have
the only true brand of A.A. — and you’d better get it!

The new prospect said he’d had it — and he had. His sponsor protested
that this wasn’t real A.A. But it was too late; nobody could touch him
after that.

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I see “humility for today” as a safe and secure stance midway
between violent emotional extremes. It is a quiet place where I can
keep enough perspective and enough balance to take my next small
step up the clearly marked road that points toward eternal values.

Grapevine
1. April, 1961
2. June, 1961


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Walk In Dry Places

What is a new freedom?
Release
We’re promised a “new freedom” in the 12 Step program. How does this differ from the “old freedom” we’ve known?
The new freedom is an inner feeling of release from the bondage of compulsion. We are no longer serving as our own jailers. We are free from useless things that have held us back. Think of the burdens we had assumed by fearing others, by holding grudges, by having needless regrets.
This new freedom has nothing to do with political or civil liberties, which we hope to enjoy as our birthright. But nobody can give us freedom if we are locked into compulsions that bind us. We must seek the new freedom within ourselves.
Throughout the day, I’ll think of myself as a completely free person.  I’m free at last from the bondage I imposed upon myself.


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Keep It Simple

It takes twenty years to become an overnight success.—Eddie Cantor
Successful people make life look easy. But it’s not. Years of hard work, trial and error, and learning probably went on into each success. The key is this: We must choose to do what we really like. If we want to be successful, we’ll have to work at it. We’ll have letdowns, and we’ll get bored at times. But we’ll be happy because we’re doing what we want, what we know is best for us. Real success has to do with our own happiness.
In our programs, we’ll meet many successful people. They’ve worked hard at recovery, and they are still learning. And they’re happy to share their success with us.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, thank-you for the success the program has already given me.
Action for the Day:  I’ll list three ways I know I am a success today. Number one: I’m sober!

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Each Day a New Beginning

Have the courage to act instead of react.  –Darlene Larson Jenks
Taking the time to be thoughtful about our responses to the situations we encounter offers us the freedom to make choices that are right for us. Impulsive behavior can be a thing of our past, if we so choose. It seldom was the best response for our well being.
Decision-making is morale boosting. It offers us a chance to exercise our personal powers, an exercise that is mandatory for the healthy development of our egos. We need to make careful, thoughtful choices because they will further define our characters. Each action we take clearly indicates the persons we are becoming. When we have consciously and deliberately chosen that action because of its rightness for us, we are fully in command of becoming the persons we choose to be.
Our actions reveal who we are, to others and ourselves. We need never convey an inaccurate picture of ourselves. We need only take the time and risk the courage necessary to behave exactly as we choose. We will know a new freedom when we are in control.
I will exercise my power to act and feel the fullness of my being.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crises we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?
Arrived at this point, we were squarely confronted with the question of faith. We couldn’t duck the issue. Some of us had already walked far over the Bridge of Reason toward the desired shore of faith. The outlines and the promise of the New Land had brought lustre to tired eyes and fresh courage to flagging spirits. Friendly hands had 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 leaning too heavily on reason that last mile and we did not like to lose our support.

p. 53

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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 got sober while I was still in college.  Once, outside of a meeting, I overheard a conversation between another sober student and a woman who lived in the town where I went to school.  She was explaining why so many local residents disliked the students.  She described the common perception of students as arrogant and self-centered, and went on to tell the following story.
“I am a nurse and I work in the emergency room.  Two years ago a student was brought in by ambulance in the middle of the night.  He had gotten drunk, walked through a second-story window, and fallen twenty feet headfirst into a concrete window well.  He was brought in covered with blood.  His head had swollen the size of a watermelon.  He kept swearing at the nurses and doctors, telling them to keep their hands of of him, and threatening to sue them.  He was, without a doubt, the single most obnoxious person I have ever met.”
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.

p. 421

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

When first challenged to admit defeat, most of us revolted. We had approached A.A. expecting to be taught self-confidence. Then we had been told that so far as alcohol is concerned, self-confidence was no good whatever; in fact, it was a total liability. Our sponsors declared that we were the victims of a mental obsession so subtly powerful that no amount of human willpower could break it. There was, they said, no such thing as the personal conquest of this compulsion by the unaided will. Relentlessly deepening our dilemma, our sponsors pointed out our increasing sensitivity to alcohol–an allergy, they called it. The tyrant alcohol wielded a double-edged sword over us: first we were smitten by an insane urge that condemned us to go on drinking, and then by an allergy of the body that insured we would ultimately destroy ourselves in the process. Few indeed were those who, so assailed, had ever won through in single-handed combat. It was a statistical fact that alcoholics almost never recovered on their own resources. And this had been true, apparently, ever since man had first crushed grapes.

p. 22

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Seldom will we remember next week what bothers us so much today.
–Karen Casey

Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
–Elbert Hubbard

“The impossible is often the untried.”
–Jim Goodwin

“There is no point at which you can say, `Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”
–Carrie Fisher

Present-moment living, getting in touch with your “now,” is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives. One thing is certain, you cannot live it until it does appear.
–Wayne Dyer

Man Plans….. God Laughs!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

VOCATION

“It is well for a man to respect his
own vocation, whatever it is, and
to think himself bound to uphold it
and to claim for it the respect it
deserves.”
–Charles Dickens

Nobody else is quite like me. Nobody else can view the world, experience the world, feel the world in the way I can. I am the center of the universe. Other people can love — but it is not the same as my love. Other people can offer the hand of friendship — but it is not the same as the friendship that I can offer. Other people can utter a kind word — but the phrasing of my words belong to me. I am unique and I must remember that. Even my space in the world is special. Nobody can take up the place that I have on the earth; you cannot get into my space. We may both be looking at the same scene, but I see it from my place in the world. Today I respect my uniqueness.

Let me continue to discover something of Your unique image in my life.

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Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you will honor me.
Psalm 50:15

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in him.”
I John 4:15-16

If it seems that we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live.
2 Cor 5:13-14

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.
Prov. 19:21

Human plans, no matter how wise or well advised, cannot stand against the LORD.
Prov. 20:31


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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.

We are as weak as our fears and as strong as our faith. Lord, with Your help, I can do.

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NA Just For Today

The Gift Of Desperation

“Our disease always resurfaced or continued to progress until, in desperation, we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.”
Basic Text, p. 13

When we think of being desperate, we envision an undesirable state: a poor, bedraggled soul frantically clawing at something sorely needed, a desperate look in the eyes. We think of hunted animals, hungry children, and of ourselves before we found NA.

Yet it was the desperation we felt before coming to NA that compelled us to accept the First Step. We were fresh out of ideas, and so became open to new ones. Our insanity had finally risen higher than our wall of denial, forcing us to get honest about our disease. Our best efforts at control had only worn us out; hence, we became willing to surrender. We had received the gift of desperation and, as a result, were able to accept the spiritual principles that make it possible for us to recover.

Desperation is what finally drives many of us to ask for help. Once we’ve reached this state, we can turn around and start anew. Just as the desperate, hunted animal seeks a safe haven, so do we: in Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: The gift of desperation has helped me become honest, open-minded, and willing. I am grateful for this gift because it has made my recovery possible.
pg. 208

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The great end of life is not knowledge but action. –Thomas Huxley
Sometimes we have good ideas about how to make things better. We might know we need to spend more quality time with others. We might know it would be better if mealtime was not so hectic and really became a time for sharing the day’s events. Knowing what needs to happen is part of the process of change. But we have to put that knowledge into action.
All our good intentions, no matter what they may be, do not really mean anything until we move into action. A hug is better than a thought of love; a story read together is better than a wonderful vacation that did not get past the planning stage, just as a finished house is something we can live in, while the blueprint is soon forgotten. When we act on our ideas, we put ourselves into the world as a force for change.
What change can I set loose in the world today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
How should one live? Live welcoming to all. –Mechtild of Magdeburg
Welcoming is a spiritual practice we met when we came to this program. We may recall our first meetings and how welcome we felt in this group of fellow sufferers. It gave us hope when we felt desperate and continues to provide us with a nourishing place to grow.
To be welcoming means to accept others as they are, without passing judgment on their worth. It means to encourage them when they are despairing and to accept that they have a rightful place in our world. Welcoming is being generous with our resources. We do not have to feel close to someone to be welcoming. We can welcome a stranger. As we practice this attitude toward others, regardless of their status in life, regardless of their good or bad actions, we are changed inside. We learn from the people we welcome, and we are reminded that in the sight of God we are all loved as equals.
Today, 1 will practice a welcoming attitude toward everyone I meet.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Have the courage to act instead of react. –Darlene Larson Jenks
Taking the time to be thoughtful about our responses to the situations we encounter offers us the freedom to make choices that are right for us. Impulsive behavior can be a thing of our past, if we so choose. It seldom was the best response for our well being.
Decision-making is morale boosting. It offers us a chance to exercise our personal powers, an exercise that is mandatory for the healthy development of our egos. We need to make careful, thoughtful choices because they will further define our characters. Each action we take clearly indicates the persons we are becoming. When we have consciously and deliberately chosen that action because of its rightness for us, we are fully in command of becoming the persons we choose to be.
Our actions reveal who we are, to others and ourselves. We need never convey an inaccurate picture of ourselves. We need only take the time and risk the courage necessary to behave exactly as we choose. We will know a new freedom when we are in control.
I will exercise my power to act and feel the fullness of my being.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Time to Get Angry
It’s about time you got angry – yes, that angry.
Anger can be such a potent, frightening emotion. It can also be a feeling that guides us to important decisions, sometimes decisions difficult to make. It can signal other people’s problems, our problems, or simply problems we need to address.
We deny our anger for a variety of reasons. We don’t give ourselves permission to allow it to come into our awareness – at first. Understand that it does not go away; it sits in layers under the surface, waiting for us to become ready, safe, and strong enough to deal with it.
What we may do instead of facing our anger and what it is telling us about self-care, is feel hurt, victimized, trapped, guilty, and uncertain about how to take care of ourselves. We may withdraw, deny, make excuses, and hide our heads in the sand – for a while.
We may punish, get even, whine, and wonder.
We may repeatedly forgive the other person for behaviors that hurt us. We may be afraid that someone will go away if we deal with our anger toward him or her. We may be afraid we will need to go away, if we deal with our anger.
We may simply be afraid of our anger and the potency of it. We may not know we have a right, even a responsibility – to ourselves – to allow ourselves to feel and learn from our anger.
God, help my hidden or repressed angry feelings to surface. Help me have the courage to face them. Help me understand how I need to take care of myself with the people I feel anger toward. Help me stop telling myself something is wrong with me when people victimize me and I feel angry about the victimization. I can trust my feelings to signal problems that need my attention.

Fears sometimes still lingers in my mind. I can be okay when that happens. I can feel them through and talk about them and go on in spite of them, not letting myself picture the worst, but seeing the results in a positive light. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Find the Humor in It

I called home from me trip to talk to my friend. He was taking care of Max, my African Grey parrot, while I went on this journey. How’s Max?” I asked. “Is she doing okay?”

“Well,” he said, “she’s a little confused. I’ve got her outside on the patio. She says hi to all the sea gulls that come by and she can’t figure out why they won’t talk back to her.”

My parrot makes me smile. My friend makes me laugh. I have many friends that make me smile. Together, we laugh a lot. Learning to laugh, learning to find humor either in what we’re going through, or despite it, it is a powerful tool on this journey.

Cherish the gift of humor. Life doesn’t need to be so gloomy. Spirituality doesn’t need to be so serious and somber. Work doesn’t need to be that way either. Learn to see the humor in life. Look for it. Find it. Enjoy it. Surround yourself with people who like to laugh. Being around people who laugh can open us to the power of humor in our own lives. Laughter can become contagious. There is something magnetic, something healing about being around people who let themselves laugh often.

There is no situation in life that can’t be improved by laughter. Sometimes humor can help us get through situations we couldn’t possibly endure without it. Sometimes laughter isn’t superfluous, it’s essential.

Sometimes laughter is the next lesson we need to be learning.

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More Language Of Letting Go

It’s our lesson

When you learn your lessons, the pain goes away.
–Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, The Wheel of Life

Sometimes, we wait and wait for a painful situation to end. When will he stop drinking? When will she call? When will this financial stuff get better? When will I know what to do next?

Life has its own timeline. As soon as we get the lesson, the pain neutralizes, then disappears.

And the lesson is always ours.

Examine your life. Are you waiting for someone or something outside of you to happen to make you feel better? Are you waiting for someone to learn his or her lesson for your pain to stop? If you are, try turning inward. See what the lesson really is.

God, please show me what I’m supposed to be learning right now.

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In God’s Care

Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match.
~~Ingrid Bengis

Our ability to create an image of ourselves – successfully handling a conflict with a friend or stranger; growing in confidence regarding our role as parent, worker, or friend; communicating frequently with our Higher Power – is a tool that can enhance our sense of well-being throughout every moment of the twenty-four hours that lie ahead.

How lucky we are to have the ability to think what we want to think and to visualize situations that will bring us pleasure. God is in control of the outcomes of our life, but we’re in control of our contributions towad those outcomes. And one way we contribute most productively is by thinking positively and imagining ourselves fulfilled and content through our acts of love toward others.

My Higher Power and I are in partnership in the outcomes of my life.

I know how to fulfill my part, and I can trust God to fulfill God’s part.

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Day By Day

Practicing sanity

When we were getting high all the time, we were practicing insanity. It was a lot of fun. We got so good at it, however, that we couldn’t see how serious it had become. Whether we’re straight or high, insanity seemed to take over.

Now we can practice sanity daily. Practicing anything will eventually make us pretty good at it. With the grace of God, we can get pretty good at sanity too.

Am I letting go of my insane behavior?

Higher Power, help me face the fears of sane living, fears I tried to hide from with addiction.

Today I will reflect on my unresolved problem behaviors by…

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Food for Thought

Don’t Jump

When we have achieved a significant period of abstinence from compulsive overeating, it is as though we have slowly climbed many flights of stairs all the way up to the top floor of a skyscraper. Telling ourselves that we will make a small exception and break abstinence just one time is like saying we will jump out a window on the top floor of the skyscraper and fall down only as far as the next floor.

The nature of our disease is such that one small compulsive bite inevitably leads to eventual disaster. We may be able to postpone the binge for a day or a week or even longer, but once we give up our control, we put ourselves in a pattern of downward descent.

All we need do in order to stay on the top floor of the skyscraper is to maintain our abstinence. A small price to pay for such a magnificent view!

Protect me from a fatal jump.

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Grounding Ourselves
Being a Strong Container by Madisyn Taylor

As a human being living on earth it is important to learn to ground yourself in relation to your earth mother.

We often hear people telling us to ground ourselves, but we may not be sure what that means and how we might do it. Grounding ourselves is a way of bringing ourselves literally back to earth. Some of us are more prone than others to essentially leaving our bodies and not being firmly rooted in our bodies. There’s nothing terribly wrong with this, but while we are living on the earth plane it is best to stay grounded in the body.

One of the easiest ways to ground ourselves is to bring our attention to our breath as it enters and leaves our bodies. After about 10 breaths, we will probably find that we feel much more connected to our physical selves. We might then bring our awareness to the sensations in our bodies, moving from our head down to our feet, exploring and inquiring. Just a few minutes of this can bring us home to bodies and to the earth, and this is what it means to ground ourselves.

We can go further by imagining that we have roots growing out of the bottoms of our feet, connecting us to the earth. The roots flow with us so we can we always move, but at the same time they keep us grounded. We receive powerful energy from the earth just as we do from the forms of energy we associate with the sky, and our body is a tool that brings these two energies together in a sacred union. When we are grounded, we essentially become a strong container in which our spirits can safely and productively dwell. This is why grounding ourselves every day, especially at the beginning of the day, is such a beneficial practice. Fortunately, it’s as simple as bringing our conscious awareness to our bodies and the earth on which we walk. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Very few of us know what we really want, and none of us knows what is best for us. That knowledge is in the hands of God. This is a fact I must ultimately accept, in spite of my rebelliousness and stubborn resistance. From this day forward, I’ll limit my prayers to request for guidance, and open mind to receive it, and the strength to act upon it. To the best of my capability, I’ll defer all decisions until my contact with my Higher Power has made is seemingly apparent that the decisions are right for me. Do I “bargain” with my Higher Power, assuming that I know what’s best for me?

Today I Pray

May I not try to make pacts with God. Instead, may I be a vessel, open to whatever inspiration He wishes to put into me. I pray that I will remember that God’s decisions are better for me than my own fumbling plans, and that they w8ill come to me at the times I need them.

Today I Will Remember

I will not bargain with God.

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One More Day

Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.
– George Orwell

We planned on being healthy, on always being healthy, so our adjustment to less than optimal health can be quite difficult. Until we get our priorities back in gear, it can seem as though the scales are just not tipping in our favor.

Life can feel overwhelming when we foresee no apparent reprieve form our pain and inconvenience. It takes a while sometimes to learn to lviee with a health problem, but we can do it. With time we gain insight. Our lives are in our control once again.

We are responsible for ourselves, although sometimes we may forget that fact. Once we get a firm hold on our emotions, on our new set of problems, we understand that we still make the decisions for ourselves.

I can make positive decisions that alter the path of my life.

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One Day At A Time

WHO AM I?
“Pleased to meet you …
hope you guess my name.”
Mick Jagger

I am a compulsive overeater. When I first returned to program after years of relapse, that was all I was. I was a tortured body filled with sugar and fat; anger and hatred. I was a compulsive overeater who was out of control, obese and unhealthy. I was a compulsive overeater dying a slow, horrible and deliberate death. I was on my way to shutting myself off from the world, my family, my husband and myself. I was a compulsive overeater who was losing her grip on the will to live.

Then I came back to program, reached out again, and said simply, “Help me.” I found support, love, acceptance and friendship from people who had never seen me or known me. But the fact that I was a stranger to them did not matter. They cared about one thing only: I was a human being reaching out for help. That was all that mattered to them.

After about a month of recovery something changed in me. I became a compulsive overeater in recovery. I was on a fantastic journey towards a new, healthy and brighter life. I was a compulsive overeater with a future, although I did not — and still do not — know what that future is. Most importantly, I was a compulsive overeater who realized it’s okay to not know what lies ahead. In fact, there is no choice in the matter; it was out of my control. I never had control in the first place. It was all an illusion. When I realized that many things are simply out of my control, I surrendered my useless struggling and accepted the help offered by my new program family and my Higher Power.

I am still a compulsive overeater in recovery and I always will be. But I am so very much more than that. I am one of those people who is reaching out to others in the hope that I can be of help to people who suffer from this disease. I am a person of faith. I am a wildlife biologist and an intern in criminalistics. I am a movie buff, a wife, and a woman trying to become a mother. I am a friend. Without this recovery program, all of those parts of me were fading away, consumed by my obsession; but with this program, I am BACK.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will celebrate the fact that I am on the journey to becoming a whole person again.
~ Claire ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial. – Pg. 568 – 4th. Edition – Appendices II – Spiritual Experience

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Our ideal right now must be to remain clean and sober. Other ideals can be built upon later, but right now the act of cleansing our bodies, minds, and spirits must prevail.

I clean my body by staying off all mind-affecting chemicals. I clean my mind by going to meetings. I clean my spirit by working steps.

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Sponsors are lighthouses, not foghorns. We look to them to see how they do it, not depend on them to tell us what not to do. We already know.

I cannot improve if I only have myself as a model.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you’re thinking about going to a meeting, go to the meeting, and then think about it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Fears sometimes still lingers in my mind. I can be okay when that happens. I can feel them through and talk about them and go on in spite of them, not letting myself picture the worst, but seeing the results in a positive light.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

My hands shook so bad I could thread a sewing machine – when it was running. – Eddie C.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 18

Fundamental
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, p. 55

Thought to Ponder . . .
People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.

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

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

Fellowship
“We were still trying to find emotional security
by being dominating or dependent upon others.
Even when our fortunes had not ebbed that much
and we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world,
we still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy
kind of domination or dependence.
For those of us who were like that,
AA had a very special meaning.
Through it we begin to learn right relations
with people who understand us;
we don’t have to be alone any more.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 116-17

Thought to Consider . . .
Who we are is God’s gift to us.
Who we become is our gift to God.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
Y A N A = You Are Not Alone.

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

Good Question
From: “Easy Does It”
“When we find ourselves up-tight and even frantic, we can ask ourselves occasionally, Am I really that indispensable?
or Is this hurry really necessary? What a relief to find the honest answer is frequently no! And such devices actually
serve, in the long run, not only to help us get over the drinking problem and its old ways; they also enable us to become
far more productive, because we conserve and channel our energy better. We arrange priorities more sensibly. We
learn that many actions once considered vital can be eliminated if they are thoughtfully reexamined. How much does it
really matter? is a very good question.”
1998, AAWS, Inc., Living Sober, pages 45-46

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

“Isn’t a donation of my time and services just as important as my donation of cash? What if my home group had
money for coffee, rent, and literature, but no one to open the meeting room and make the coffee?”
Manassas, Virginia, July 1992
“AA Needs More Than Just Money,”
AA Grapevine

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

“Sometimes we hear an alcoholic say that the only thing he needs to
do is to keep sober. Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be
no home if he doesn’t. But he is yet a long way from making good to
the wife or parents whom for years he has so shockingly treated.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 82

“Another principle we observe carefully is that we do not relate
intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would
approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own
stories. A man may criticize or laugh at himself and it will affect
others favorably, but criticism or ridicule coming from another often
produces the contrary effect.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 125

“If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 71 (How it Works)

“No defect can be corrected unless we clearly see what it is.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 58 (Step Five)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

A very tough-minded prospect was taken to his first A.A. meeting, where two speakers (or maybe lecturers) themed their talks on ‘God as I understand Him.’ Their attitude oozed arrogance. In fact, the final speaker got far overboard on his personal theological convictions. Both were repeating my performance of years before. Implicit in everything they said was the same idea: ‘Folks, listen to us. We have the only true brand of A.A. – and you’d better get it!’ The new prospect said he’d had it – and he had. His sponsor protested that this wasn’t real A.A. But it was too late, nobody could touch him after that.
I see ‘humility for today’ as a safe and secure stance midway between violent emotional extremes. It is a quiet place where I can keep enough perspective and enough balance to take my next small step up the clearly marked road that points toward eternal values.

Prayer for the Day: Thank You for allowing me to look deeply into the root of my drinking. Please help me to understand my behavior even more so that I may grow.

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 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.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 14th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 14th

Daily Reflections

A NOURISHING INGREDIENT, p.204

Where humility had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie
it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient which can give us
serenity.
12 & 12, p.74

How often do I focus on my problems and frustrations? When I am
having a “good day” these same problems shrink in importance
and my preoccupation with them dwindles. Wouldn’t it be better if
I could find a key to unlock the “magic” of my “good days” for use
on the woes of my “bad days?”
I already have the solution! Instead of trying to run away from
my pain and wish my problems away, I can pray for humility!
Humility will heal the pain. Humility will take me out of myself.
Humility, that strength granted me by that “power greater than
myself,” is mine for the asking! Humility will bring balance back
into my life. Humility will allow me to accept my humanness
joyously.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

One of the best things about the A.A. program is the peace of
mind and serenity that it can bring us. In our drinking days, we
had no peace of mind or serenity. We had the exact opposite, a
kind of turmoil and that “quiet desperation” we knew so well.
The turmoil of our drinking days was caused partly by our physical
suffering, the terrible hangovers, the cold sweats, the shakes and
the jitters. But it was caused even more by our mental suffering,
the loneliness, the feeling of inferiority, the lying, the remorse that
every alcoholic understands. Have I achieved more peace of
mind?

Meditation For The Day

Try to look for God’s leading in all your personal relationships, in
all your dealings with other persons. God will help you to take
care of all your relationships with people, if you are willing to let
Him guide you. Rejoice that God can protect you and keep you from
temptation and failure. God can protect you in all situations during
the day, if you will rely on His strength and go forward. You should
feel that you are entering upon the stage of success in the proper
way of living. You should not doubt that better things are ahead
for you. Go forward unafraid because you feel deeply safe under
God’s protection.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God may protect and keep me as long as I try to serve
Him. I pray that I may go forward today unafraid.

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As Bill Sees It

The Language of the Heart, p. 195

Why, at this particular point in history, has God chosen to
communicate His healing grace to so many of us? Every aspect of this
global unfoldment can be related to a single crucial word. The word is
“communication.” There has been a lifesaving communication among
ourselves, with the world around us, and with God.

From the beginning, communication in A.A. has been no ordinary
transmission of helpful ideas and attitudes. Because of our kinship in
suffering, and because our common means of deliverance are effective
for ourselves only when constantly carried to others, our channels of
contact have always been charged with the language of the heart.

A.A. Today, pp. 7-8

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Walk In Dry Places

Self-esteem in responsible work
self-confidence.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,” goes an ancient saying. However long ago this was said, it applies to our work here and now.
Part of recovery lies in doing useful and satisfying work. We can’t wait until the “perfect” job appears. Our success will come in doing the very best we can in our present situation. If we’re unemployed, we can still be useful and active in ways that will help us find the right situation.
And as we work for a living, we’ll find that another important benefit of our work will be greater self-esteem.  We’ll have more respect for ourselves as we contiue to be both productive and active.
Whatever my job is, I’ll give it my best today.  I’ll be grateful for having the opportunity to work productively.


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Keep It Simple

Most of the evils of life arise from man’s being unable to sit still in a room.—Blaise Pascal
Our program teaches us to slow down. We learn to slow down by taking time out. During these times-outs, we look at our values and see if we’re staying true to them.
Because of that, meditation is an important part of our program. It teaches us to slow down. Our Higher Power wants us to have fun and play. But we need to bring our Higher Power along. Remember, our Higher Power loves fun. We can have fun, but not at the expense of others.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray for help so I can remember my values. Higher Power, teach me to have fun. Teach me to be true to You at the same time.
Action for the day:  Today. I’ll three times mischief has been good fun. I’ll talk with a friend about the difference between trouble mischief and fun mischief.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Through spontaneity we are reformed into ourselves. Freed from handed-down frames of reference, spontaneity becomes the moment of personal freedom when we are faced with a reality, explore it, and act accordingly.  –Viola Spolin
Living in the here and the now opens up untold possibilities for new growth. Our inner self is enticed in new directions when our attention is fully in the present. When our minds are still on last night’s argument or tomorrow’s board meeting, we wear blinders to the activity at hand. And God, as our teacher and protector, resides in this experience, in the hearts of these people present.
Every single moment has something for us. Maybe a new piece of information. A piece that solves a problem that’s been puzzling us. Perhaps a chance to make a new friend, one who will be there in a time of need.
Letting go of yesterday frees us. We need not be burdened. It is gone. Our lives could be eased, so much, if we kept our focus on the experience at hand, where the problems we ponder have their solutions. Always.
I will greet today, skipping, smiling, ready for the answers, the truths, the directions meant only for me. The wonders of today will bless me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We had to ask ourselves why we shouldn’t apply to our human problems this same readiness to change our point of view. We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people—was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight? Of course it was.

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.
It hasn’t been easy to work out this relationship with Max.  On the contrary, the hardest place to work this program has been in my own home, with my own children and, finally, with Max.  It seems I should have learned from my wife and family first; the newcomer to A.A., last.  But it was the other way around.  Eventually I had to redo each of the Twelve Steps specifically with Max in mind, from the First, saying, “I am powerless over alcohol, and my homelife is unmanageable by me,” to the Twelfth, in which I tried to think of her as a sick Al-Anon and treat her with the love I would give a sick A.A. newcomer.  When I do this, we get along fine.

pp. 419-420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Who cares to admit complete defeat? Practically no one, of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness. It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.

p. 21

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A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes
your lips will not return.
–Jewish Proverb

Never let yesterday use up too much of today.
–unknown

I have always heard that I have to “give it away to keep it” but I
could never figure out what “it” was. Now I know what it is…it is
HOPE!
–unknown

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
–Mother Teresa

Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn here. The
spiritual journey is the relinquishment – or unlearning – of fear and the
acceptance of love back into our hearts.
–Marianne Williamson

In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.
–Friedrich Nietzsche

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GREATNESS

“The ability to accept
responsibility is the measure of
the man.”
–Roy L. Smith

I believe the greatest insight into my life is that I am responsible;
my responsibility is an important and dignified gift from God.
My responsibility reveals my involvement in God’s creation, in my
life and my recovery from alcoholism. Greatness is in the choices I
make, and the choices come with God’s gift of freedom. Human
beings are more than puppets on a string or automated machines.
We are creative creatures who carry the burden and joy of
responsibility.

Along with the acceptance of my alcoholism I also accepted the
responsibility to remain sober in my decisions and lifestyle: such is
greatness.

Thank You for giving me the responsibility to co-create with You.

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“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
Isaiah 43:18

But Jesus remains a priest forever; his priesthood will never end.
Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes
to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their
behalf.
Hebrews 7:24-25

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in
harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the
lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take
thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as
it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.”
Romans 12:15-18

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such
things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have
crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we
live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25


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Daily Inspiration

By helping others, we enrich our own life even more. Lord, help me be a little kinder today, reach out a little quicker, and share a few more smiles.

God has already prepared you for everything that He plans for you to do. Lord, You believe in me, therefore I can believe in me, and will have all the necessary confidence to succeed in what I will be doing today.

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NA Just For Today

An “Inside Job”

“Social acceptability does not equal recovery.”
Basic Text, p.21

One of the first things that happens to many of us in recovery is that we start to look better. We get healthier; we bathe; we dress more appropriately. And without the goading of active addiction, many of us finally stop stealing, lying, and hustling. We start to look normal – just by removing the drugs.

Looking normal is very different than being normal. Acceptability in the eyes of the world is a benefit of recovery; it is not the same thing as recovery. We can enjoy the benefits of recovery, but we must take care to nurture their true source. Lasting recovery isn’t found in acceptance from others, but in the inner growth set in motion by the Twelve Steps.

Just for today: I know that looking good isn’t enough. Lasting recovery is an inside job.
pg. 204

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends upon the tides of the mind. –Alice Meyvell
It’s thought that Abe Lincoln once said, “We’re as happy as we make up our minds to be.” In other words, we decide to be happy. Bad weather, lost toys, broken plans, even angry friends don’t have to ruin our own happiness unless we let them. We’re always in control of our own thoughts and feelings, and happiness is a feeling we can choose even when others around us have chosen to be angry or sad. Even when the day is gloomy and none of our plans are working out, we can still be cheerful if we decide to be. How lucky we are that someone else can’t decide for us how to feel. We’d be nothing more than robots if that were true.
Am I ready to make this day a happy one?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Life is not a “brief candle.” It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing on to future generations. –George Bernard Shaw
We are men who have sought intensity. Some have said the extremes of our past were a kind of search for a Higher Power, although we went to self-defeating ends. There is no need now for us to give up our intense love of life. Serenity need not be bland. In facing ourselves, confronting our pain, surrendering our arrogant individualism, we are released to live the life we deeply desire.
What do men really want? We want to have true, lasting friendships with other men and women – to be at peace with our Higher Power and ourselves. We want to be fully aware in the present moments of our lives. We want to have some joy and to make a contribution to the world.
I am grateful that my torch burns brightly. I am finding what I really want.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Through spontaneity we are reformed into ourselves. Freed from handed-down frames of reference, spontaneity becomes the moment of personal freedom when we are faced with a reality, explore it, and act accordingly. –Viola Spolin
Living in the here and the now opens up untold possibilities for new growth. Our inner self is enticed in new directions when our attention is fully in the present. When our minds are still on last night’s argument or tomorrow’s board meeting, we wear blinders to the activity at hand. And God, as our teacher and protector, resides in this experience, in the hearts of these people present.
Every single moment has something for us. Maybe a new piece of information. A piece that solves a problem that’s been puzzling us. Perhaps a chance to make a new friend, one who will be there in a time of need.
Letting go of yesterday frees us. We need not be burdened. It is gone. Our lives could be eased, so much, if we kept our focus on the experience at hand, where the problems we ponder have their solutions. Always.
I will greet today, skipping, smiling, ready for the answers, the truths, the directions meant only for me. The wonders of today will bless me.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
We Are Lovable
Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay. –Codependent No More
Do you ever find yourself thinking: How could anyone possibly love me? For many of us, this is a deeply ingrained belief that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Thinking we are unlovable can sabotage our relationships with co-workers, friends, family members, and other loved ones. This belief can cause us to choose, or stay in, relationships that are less than we deserve because we don’t believe we deserve better. We may become desperate and cling as if a particular person was our last chance at love. We may become defensive and push people away. We may withdraw or constantly overreact.
While growing up, many of us did not receive the unconditional love we deserved. Many of us were abandoned or neglected by important people in our life. We may have concluded that the reason we weren’t loved was because we were unlovable. Blaming ourselves is an understandable reaction, but an inappropriate one. If others couldn’t love us, or love us in ways that worked, that’s not our fault. In recovery, we’re learning to separate ourselves from the behavior of others. And we’re learning to take responsibility for our healing, regardless of the people around us.
Just as we may have believed that we’re unlovable, we can become skilled at practicing the belief that we are lovable. This new belief will improve the quality of our relationships. It will improve our most important relationship: our relationship with our self. We will be able to let others love us and become open to the love and friendship we deserve.
Today, God, help me be aware of and release any self-defeating beliefs I have about being unlovable. Help me begin, today, to tell myself that I am lovable. Help me practice this belief until it gets into my core and manifests itself in my relationships.

You are reading from the book Food for Thought.
Energize, Don’t Tranquilize
Food is nourishment for our bodies, not a drug. When we overeat, we sap our energy and dull our responses. Too much food makes us lazy and lethargic. We should eat for energy, not oblivion.
If we have been using food as a narcotic to temporarily deaden the pain of living, then we need to learn other ways to cope. Much of our pain is needless, brought on by egocentric fears and demands. If we accept the fact that we cannot change another person’s behavior, then we will not hurt ourselves by anger at what that person does.
At the same time, we will learn to remove ourselves from people and situations, which cause us unnecessary pain. We do not have to be martyrs! Abstinence gives us the energy to make positive changes.
A certain amount of pain, both physical and emotional, is unavoidable. Often, it accompanies growth. To tranquilize ourselves with food is to impede growth.
May I remember to eat for energy instead of oblivion.

Today I know that if I’m coming from good and love, then only good and love with happen. Today I know that what I give, I receive back. Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Touch the Eternal

My friend, a clerk in a local bookstore, and I were sitting on a bench one evening about twenty feet from the edge of the Pacific Ocean. A few stars and a tiny sliver of moon softly lit the sky. We were drinking coffee and staring at the sea. “I like the ocean,” my friend said. “I need to see it. It’s nature’s way of reminding us of eternity.

Sometimes, we zoom in on the details of our lives and all we can see is the small picture– the problems, issues, and specifics of what we need to do today. These moments are real. They’re the heart of our lives. It’s good to stay focused and attend to them, but sometimes we need to step back and see the big picture,too.

Visit places that remind you of eternity when you can. See the mountians. See the stars. Walk among the ancient redwoods. Stand at the ocean’s door. Let nature and life remind you of eternity in ways that speak to your soul.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Take care of yourself, no matter what

Some days, we wake up in the morning, and by the time we go to bed that evening, our life has twisted, changed in a way that we couldn’t predict and don’t want. Our worst fears have come true.

Life as we have known it will never be the same again. The problem isn’t just that this tragedy has come along and knocked our lives for a loop, although that alone would be enough. To complicate matters, we now know how vulnerable we are. And we wonder, in that vulnerability, if we can ever trust God, life, or ourselves again.

Many years ago, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, a spiritually based program designed to help alcoholics recover, cautioned people not to base sobriety and faith in God on the false notion that any person is immune from tragedy. They knew that life would continue to be life.

You are not alone, in your joy or in your sorrow. You may feel that way for a while. But soon you’ll begin to see that many others have experienced, surrendered to, and transcended a similar misfortune or loss. Your pain is important. But you’re not being singled out. Don’t use your misfortune to prove that you were right all along– you’re a victim of circumstance, fate, and God.

“God must really love me,” a young man said one day after walking away from a motorcycle accident that should have been tragic.

God loves all of us, whether we walk away pain-free or not.

Keep taking care of yourself, no matter what.

God, transform my pain into compassion for others and myself.

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In God’s Care

Each time we sense the possibility of a new direction in our lives, we are being given a chance to grow.
~~The Promise of a New Day, May 11

Change is the one constant in our life and yet it causes us the most unrest. We forget that change is growth and is good; it insures our emotional and spiritual evolution. It promises us the blessings that are ours to collect on this special journey through life.

We can better develop our acceptance of change by systematically recalling instances in the past when change, whether minor or profound, ushered in new understanding, greater strength and confidence; where we were thus able to handle the role we’d been given to play.

God inteds that we enlarge our capacity to love, to serve, and to understand. The changes we experience are the stair steps to this greater capacity.

Today I’ll smile if a changing current for the good beckons, knowing that it’s God’s invitation to a richer life

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

Day By Day

Paying for freedom

Henry David Thoreau said, “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” The price we paid for using alcohol and other drugs was our freedom. We finally realized that it costs too much to feel oblivious. The price became so high that we could no longer barter with mood-altering chemicals for our time and freeedom. The chemicals had absolute control.

Unless we wake up and pay the price for freedom-which is spiritual growth- we will be a slave to chemicals until death. But if we turn our lives over to God, all the liberty we need is made available to us.

Am I paying the right price for my freedom?

Higher Power, help me always to remember that the cost of using chemicals in my life is much too high.

Today I will pay for greater freedom by…

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

Food for Thought

Energize, Don’t Tranquilize

Food is nourishment for our bodies, not a drug. When we overeat, we sap our energy and dull our responses. Too much food makes us lazy and lethargic. We should eat for energy, not oblivion.

If we have been using food as a narcotic to temporarily deaden the pain of living, then we need to learn other ways to cope. Much of our pain is needless, brought on by egocentric fears and demands. If we accept the fact that we cannot change another person’s behavior, then we will not hurt ourselves by anger at what that person does.

At the same time, we will learn to remove ourselves from people and situations, which cause us unnecessary pain. We do not have to be martyrs! Abstinence gives us the energy to make positive changes.

A certain amount of pain, both physical and emotional, is unavoidable. Often, it accompanies growth. To tranquilize ourselves with food is to impede growth.

May I remember to eat for energy instead of oblivion.

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

The Weight of Objects
Clearing a Space for Change

We hold onto material objects because we think they make us feel secure, when in reality they are cluttering our lives.

In life, we tend to have an easier time acquiring possessions than we do getting rid of them. Just as we harbor emotional baggage that is difficult to let go of, our lives can tend to be filled with material objects that we may feel compelled to hold on to. Most people are not conscious of how much they own and how many of their possessions are no longer adding value to their life. They fiercely hold on to material objects because this makes them feel secure or comfortable. While it’s true that the ownership of “stuff” can make you feel good for awhile, it seldom satisfies the deep inner longings that nearly everyone has for fulfillment and satisfaction. It is only when we are ready to let go of our baggage and be vulnerable that it becomes possible to recognize the emotional hold that our possessions can have on us.

It’s not uncommon to hold on to material objects because we are attached to them or fear the empty spaces that will remain if we get rid of them. Giving away the souvenirs from a beloved voyage may feel like we are erasing the memory of that time in our life. We may also worry that our loved ones will feel hurt if we don’t keep the gifts they’ve given us. It’s easy to convince ourselves that unused possessions might come in handy someday or that parting with them will cause you emotional pain. However, when your personal space is filled with objects, there is no room for anything new to enter and stay in your life. Your collection of belongings may “protect” you from the uncertainties of an unknown future while keeping you stuck in the past. Holding on to unnecessary possessions often goes hand in hand with holding on to pain, anger, and resentment, and letting go of your material possessions may help you release emotional baggage.

When you make a conscious decision to fill your personal space with only the objects that you need or bring you joy, your energy level will soar. Clearing your personal space can lead to mental clarity and an improved memory. As you learn to have a more practical and temporary relationship to objects, positive changes will happen, and you’ll have space to create the life that you desire. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Conditioned as we are by our old ideas and old ways of living, it’s understandable that we tend to resist certain suggestions made to us when we first come to The Program. If that’s the cases, there’s no need to permanently reject such suggestions; it’s better, we’ve found, just temporarily to set them aside. The point is, there’s no hard-and-fast “right” way or “wrong” way. Each of us uses what’s best for himself or herself at a particular time, keeping an open mind regarding other kinds of help we may find valuable at another time. Am I trying to remain open-minded?

Today I Pray

May I be enlightened about the real meaning of an open mind, aware that my one-time definition of “open-minded” as “broad-minded” doesn’t seem to fit here. May I constantly keep my mind open to the suggestions of the solid many who came into The Program before me. What has worked for them may work for me, no matter how far-fetched or how obvious it may be.

Today I Will Remember

Only an open mind can be healed.

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One More Day

Nothing is unthinkable, nothing impossible to the balanced person, provided it arises out of the needs of life and is dedicated to life’s further developments.
– Lewis Mumford

Occasionally, we may be discouraged over the loss of an ability we’d always counted on. Accepting this loss often requires a major emotional adjustment.

Our lives need not be defined by our inabilities, but instead by our possibilities. If bogged down in negativity, we may truly become the disabled people that others see at first glance.

Marvelous opportunities for growth and joy often await us — through doors we can choose the open and pass through. Almost nothing is impossible if we want to get there badly enough.

I won’t use medical problems as excuses to bow out of life. Today, I will look for opportunities for challenge and growth.

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

One Day At A Time

ETERNITY
“Every action of our lives
touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”
Edwin Hubbel Chapin

When I first read this quote two thoughts came to mind. The first thought was that I owed it — to myself and to every compulsive overeater in the world — to recover from my disease. If I can recover from compulsive eating with the help of my Higher Power, then others will know that recovery is possible for them as well.

My second thought had to do with Bill W., Dr. Bob and all the other Twelve Step trailblazers. Did they realize that what they did in 1935 would have such a far-reaching impact on the world? Did they know that they would set in motion a program that would bring hope to addicted people everywhere? My guess is that they did not know, and that they probably would have scoffed at the very idea that they were starting a global recovery program that would empower millions.

I have written Edwin Chapin’s quote in my Big Book to remind me of those who went before me and of those who will come after. It is my tribute to the eternal value of the Twelve Step program.

One day at a time…
I will remember that the things I do today will have a lasting impact on the future.
~ Jeff

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

A.A. is not a plan for recovery that can be finished and done with. It is a way of life, and the challenge contained in its principles is great enough to keep any human being striving for as long as he lives. We do not, cannot, out-grow this plan. As arrested alcoholics, we must have a program for living that allows for limitless expansion. Keeping one foot in front of the other is essential for maintaining our arrestment. Others may idle in a retrogressive groove without too much danger, but retrogression can spell death for us. However, this isn’t as rough as it sounds, as we do become grateful for the necessity that makes us toe the line, for we find that we are more than compensated for a consistent effort by countless dividends we receive. – Pg. 311 – 4th. Edition – The Keys To The Kingdom

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

How long do we have to keep going to meetings? Until we want to go to meetings.

Grant me the will to keep going to meetings, until the day arrives that I want to go.

I Am Whole

Today, I see that my life is up to me. How I choose to live, what I will accomplish, how I conduct my intimate relationships, how I treat myself, all are in my own hands. I am no longer afraid that pain and anxiety will return me to a state of helplessness and vulnerability. Let it come; I am ready to meet it head-on. I am strong in the awareness that I can live as I choose to live. I have been willing to walk a path of recovery that, though difficult, has built a strength in me and a knowledge that I can survive my most painful feelings. I do not need to be afraid of my life if I am not afraid of myself or an emotional death. I have met and tamed the monsters that live inside me. I am comfortable in my own skin.

I am free to be who I am.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We are often surprised by who we can count on when the going gets tough. Someone we did not expect to come through might and others whom we thought we could count on may fall short of our expectations. We do not blame the ones that fall short and are grateful for the ones who go the extra mile.

I measure others by their best moments, not their worst.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Everyone needs to be loved…especially when they do not deserve it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that if I’m coming from good and love, then only good and love with happen. Today I know that what I give, I receive back.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

After a few years sober a lady felt sorry for me and got me a job in sales. On the streets I used to sell a lot of things I didn’t have, so with a product and a business card it was a piece of cake.- Allen F.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 14

Turning Points
Every day I stand at turning points.
My thoughts and actions can propel me toward growth or turn me down the road to old habits and to booze.
Sometimes turning points are beginnings,
as when I decide to start praising, instead of condemning someone. . .
At other times turning points are endings,
such as when I see clearly the need to stop festering resentments or crippling self-seeking.
– Daily Reflections, p. 15

Thought to Ponder . . .
May the road always lead where you need to be.

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

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

Powerless
“I had no problem admitting I was powerless over alcohol,
and I certainly agreed that my life had become
unmanageable.
I had only to reflect on the contrast between the plans I made
so many years ago for my life with what really happened
to know I couldn’t manage my life drunk or sober.
AA taught me that willingness to believe
was enough for a beginning.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 550

Thought to Consider . . .
Life didn’t end when I got sober … it started.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A C T I O N = Any Change To Improve Our Natures

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

Like the Effect
from: “The Doctor’s Opinion”
“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. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages xxviii-xxix

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

“By our Twelve Steps we have recovered, by our Twelve Traditions we have unified, and through our Third Legacy — Service — we shall carry the AA message down through the corridors of time to come.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1951
“Services Make AA Tick”
The Language of the Heart

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

He Sold Himself Short – But he found that there was a Higher Power which had more faith in him than he had in himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago. The day before I was due to go back to Chicago, a Wednesday and Dr. Bob’s afternoon off, he had me down to the office and we spent three or four hours formally going through the Six-Step program as it was at that time. The six steps were:
1. Complete deflation.
2. Dependence and guidance from a Higher Power.
3. Moral Inventory.
4. Confession.
5. Restitution.
6. Continued work with other alcoholics.
2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 266

“The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society,
from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering
denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness
settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us
sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship
and approval. Momentarily we did—then would come oblivion and
the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen—Terror,
Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 151~

“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 p. 68

“Where humility had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient which can give us serenity.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 74

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Why, at this particular point in history, has God chosen to communicate His healing grace to so many of us? Every aspect of this global unfoldment can be related to a single crucial word. The word is ‘communication among ourselves, with the world around us, and with God.
>From the beginning, communication in A.A. has been no ordinary transmission of helpful ideas and attitudes. Because of our kinship in suffering, and because our common means of deliverance are effective for ourselves only when constantly carried to others, our channels of contact have always been charged with the language of the heart.

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 13th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 13th

Daily Reflections

HUMILITY IS A GIFT, p.203

As long as we placed self-reliance first, a genuine reliance upon a
Higher Power was out of the question. That basic ingredient of all
humility, a desire to seek and do God’s will, was missing.
12 & 12, p.72

When I first came to A.A., I wanted to find some of the elusive
quality called humility. I didn’t realize I was looking for humility
because I thought it would help me get what I wanted, and I would
do anything for others if I thought God would somehow reward me
for it. I try to remember now that the people I meet in the course
of my day are as close to God as I am ever going to get while on
this earth. I need to pray for knowledge of God’s will today, and see
how my experience with hope and pain can help other people; if I can
do that, I don’t need to search for humility, it has found me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Before alcoholics come into A.A., they are “flying blind.” But A.A.
gives them a directed beam in the A.A. program. As long as they
keep on this beam, the signal of sobriety keeps coming through. If
they have a slip, the signal is broken. If they swing off course into
drunkenness, the signal stops. Unless they regain the A.A.
directed beam, they are in danger of crashing against the
mountain peak of despair. Am I on the beam?

Meditation For The Day

Be expectant. Constantly expect better things. Believe that what
God has in store for you is better than anything you ever had
before. The way to grow old happily is to expect better things
right up to the end of your life and even beyond that. A good life is
a growing expanding life, with ever-widening horizons, an
ever-greater circle of friends and acquaintances, and an
ever-greater opportunity for usefulness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may await with complete faith for the next good thing
in store for me. I pray that I may always keep an expectant
attitude toward life.

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As Bill Sees It

The Obsession and the Answer, p. 194

The idea that somehow, some day, he will control and enjoy his
drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The
persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates
of insanity or death.

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

Alcoholism, not cancer was my illness, but what was the difference?
Was not alcoholism also a consumer of body and mind? Alcoholism
took longer to do its killing, but the result was the same. So, I decided,
if there was a great Physician who could cure alcoholic sickness, I had
better seek Him at once.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 61


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Walk In Dry Places

Solving Problems is the Proof
Spiritual Guidance.
Although we try, it’s almost impossible for us to use logic to prove the existence (for nonexistence) of God. Our best proof of God’s activity in our lives has to come from personal experience.
That’s the message of the 12 Step movement: God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. We cannot be responsible for setting simmering religious and doctrinal issues that have been around for centuries. We can find our own help by following the example of others in the 12 Step program.
When spiritual guidance brings answers and solutions, we don’t have to defend or justify our belief in our Higher Power.  What better proof do we need than evidence that the program does work?
I’ll follow my Higher Power today and then let the results speak for themselves. 


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Keep It Simple

A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother.  —Benjamin Franklin
Many of us come from families that aren’t very healthy for us. Many families have lots of love but aren’t able to show it. Maybe our parents argued or drank to much. When we share our recovery with them, they may not seem happy with us. They may be doing the best they can, but they don’t understand our new way of life.
We can have the love we wanted, but it might not come from our family. We can choose healthy friends to be our new “family.” Some friends may seem like the sister or brother we always wanted.
A sponsor can give us advice we never got from our parents. We can have a full, healthy “family life” after all.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me choose good friend who will help me to be the best that I can be.
Action for the Day:  The best way to have a friend is to be a friend. What will I do today to be a friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The trouble is not that we are never happy–it is that happiness is so episodical.  –Ruth Benedict
Happiness is our birthright. The decision to be happy is ours to make, every day, when confronted with any experience. Too many of us grew up believing that life needed to be a certain way for us to be happy. We looked for the right lover, the right job, and the right dress. We looked outside of ourselves for the key to happiness. In time, we even looked to alcohol, drugs, and food perhaps–to no avail.
Happiness lies within. We must encourage it to spring forth. But first we need to believe that happiness is fully within our power. We must trust that the most difficult circumstances won’t keep it from us when we have learned to tap the source within.
Life is a gift we are granted moment-by-moment. Let us be in awe of the wonder of it, and then revel in it. We can marvel at creation for a moment and realize how special we are to be participants. Happiness will overcome us if we let it. We can best show our gratitude for the wonder of this gift by smiling within and without.
That I am here is a wonderful mystery to which joy is the natural response. It is no accident that I am here.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

But in most fields our generation has witnessed complete liberation in thinking. Show any longshoreman a Sunday supplement describing a proposal to explore the moon by means of a rocket and he will say, “I bet they do it—maybe not so long either.” Is not our age characterized by the ease with which we discard old ideas for new, by the complete readiness with which we throw away the theory or gadget which does not work for something new which does?

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.
Today Max and I try to communicate what we feel rather than what we think.  We used to argue about our differing ideas, but we can’t argue about our feelings.  I can tell her she ought not to think a certain way, but I certainly can’t take away her right to feel however she does feel.  When we deal in feelings, we tend to come to know ourselves and each other much better.

p. 419

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

As A.A. now enters maturity, it has begun to reach into forty foreign lands.* In the view of its friends, this is but the beginning of its unique and valuable service.
It is hoped that this volume will afford all who read it a close-up view of the principles and forces which have made Alcoholics Anonymous what it is.

(A.A.’s General Service Office may be reached by writing:
Alcoholics Anonymous, P.O. Box 459,
Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163, U.S.A.)

*In 1998, A.A. is established in 150 countries. 

p. 18

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The chains of alcohol were to soft to feel till they were to hard to
break. –heard at a meeting

Pay attention to the little things. Sometimes the greatest rewards are
behind something small.
–unknown

The actions and comments of others can only “get to you” if YOU
allow them to.
–unknown

Love is caring for another human being and allowing them to be who
they are and make their own choices without any demand that they
meet yours.
–Vickie Dishner

Love is like a brilliantly glowing candle. If you step into its presence
and ignite your own candle from the flame, there is not less light, but
more.
We are not meant to hoard light, but to shine and share it by becoming
love in action.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

Newcomer or long-timer, we are all the same in our need for each other.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

DIGNITY

“To behave with dignity is
nothing less than to allow others
freely to be themselves.”
–Sol Chaneles

I believe that ultimately I can only be responsible for me. It is
impossible for me to live another person’s life. It is disrespectful to
assume the role of decision-maker for another adult human being.
People must have the freedom to grow and be themselves. Dignity is
affording people this freedom.

Today I can see how I continued to keep members of my family sick
by taking on a responsibility that was not mine. I can see how I was
not giving dignity to my family; I was unintentionally withholding
dignity from those I loved. People, especially family members,
must be given the freedom to express their hurts. They have a
responsibility to deal with their pain — because it is theirs!

I pray that I may give to others the dignity I desire in my own life.

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

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have
never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and
will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 7:17
Freely you have received, freely give.
Matthew 10:8


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Daily Inspiration

Today is for living and giving because God’s presence is in each of us always. Lord, may I truly live a full life because I am aware that You are unceasingly blessing me.

To have a great day isn’t always doing what you like, but trying to like what you must do. Lord, today I will spruce up my attitude and have a great day no matter what my circumstances.

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

NA Just For Today

Humility In Action

“If we are hurting, and most of us do from time to time, we learn to ask for help.”
Basic Text, p.80

Sometimes recovery gets downright difficult. It can be even more difficult to get humble enough to ask for help. We think, “I have all this time clean. I should be better than this!” But the reality of recovery is simple: whether we have thirty days or thirty years clean, we must be willing to ask for help when we need it.

Humility is a common theme in our Twelve Steps. The program of Narcotics Anonymous is not about keeping up appearances. Instead, the program helps us get the most from our recovery. We must be willing to lay bare our difficulties if we expect to find solutions to problems that arise in our lives.

There’s an old expression sometimes heard in Narcotics Anonymous: We can’t save our face and our ass at the same time. It isn’t easy to share in a meeting when we have a number of years clean only to dissolve into tears because life on life’s terms has made us realize our powerlessness. But when the meeting ends and another member comes up and says, “You know, I really needed to hear what you had to say,” we know that there is a God working in our lives.

The taste of humility is never bitter. The rewards of humbling ourselves by asking for help sweetens our recovery.

Just for today: If I need help, I will ask for it. I will put humility into action in my life.
pg. 203

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. –William James
There are times when it’s hard to make a decision. When we go to the fair, for instance, we may want to do more things than we have time for, so we don’t know what plans to make. Waiting to decide until we see what the fair has to offer is one choice. Not deciding because we’re afraid of what may happen is also a choice. We may find ourselves thinking so much about what could happen that we miss all the exciting things going on around us.
It’s necessary to keep in mind that any course of action is a decision, but no decision is irreversible. We are free to do what we decide, and are freed by the awareness that whatever we do is based on our own decision and no one else’s.
What important decisions shall I make without fear today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If I were to begin life again, I should want it as it was. I would only open my eyes a little more. –Jules Renard
Spiritual and emotional growth is a process of raising our awareness. Reflecting on our growth as men, before this program and after, we see different levels of consciousness. Some of us might say we weren’t at all conscious of what it meant to be a man by the time we entered the adult world.
Now we are forming an awareness of manhood. We see ourselves more as recovering, caring, strong, vulnerable men in relationships with others. We have an increased sense that our actions make a difference as sons, as fathers, as husbands, lovers, and friends. Our increased understanding of ourselves makes it possible to fulfill our potentials for growth. It is not idle fantasy to imagine beginning life again because, in a sense, we have. In recovery, it seems we have begun life again, only with our eyes a little more open.
Help me live this day with all of my awareness.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The trouble is not that we are never happy–it is that happiness is so episodical. –Ruth Benedict
Happiness is our birthright. The decision to be happy is ours to make, every day, when confronted with any experience. Too many of us grew up believing that life needed to be a certain way for us to be happy. We looked for the right lover, the right job, and the right dress. We looked outside of ourselves for the key to happiness. In time, we even looked to alcohol, drugs, and food perhaps–to no avail.
Happiness lies within. We must encourage it to spring forth. But first we need to believe that happiness is fully within our power. We must trust that the most difficult circumstances won’t keep it from us when we have learned to tap the source within.
Life is a gift we are granted moment-by-moment. Let us be in awe of the wonder of it, and then revel in it. We can marvel at creation for a moment and realize how special we are to be participants. Happiness will overcome us if we let it. We can best show our gratitude for the wonder of this gift by smiling within and without.
That I am here is a wonderful mystery to which joy is the natural response. It is no accident that I am here.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
God as We Understand God
God is subtle, but he is not malicious. –Albert Einstein
Recovery is an intensely spiritual process that asks us to grow in our understanding of God. Our understanding may have been shaped by early religious experiences or the beliefs of those around us. We may wonder if God is as shaming and frightening as people can be. We may feel as victimized or abandoned by God as we have by people from our past.
Trying to understand God may boggle our mind because of what we have learned and experienced so far in our life.
We can learn to trust God, anyway.
I have grown and changed in my understanding of this Power greater than myself. My understanding has not grown on an intellectual level, but because of what I have experienced since I turned my life and my will over to the care of God, as I understood, or rather didn’t understand, God.
God is real. Loving. Good. Caring. God wants to give us all the good we can handle. The more we turn our mind and heart toward a positive understanding of God, the more God validates us.
The more we thank God for who God is, who we are, and the exact nature of our present circumstances, the more God acts in our behalf.
In fact, all along, God planned to act in our behalf.
God is Creator, Benefactor, and Source. God has shown me, beyond all else, that how I come to understand God is not nearly as important as knowing that God understand me.
Today, I will be open to growing in my understanding of my Higher Power. I will be open to letting go of old, limiting, and negative beliefs about God. No matter how I understand God, I will be grateful that God understands me.

I can go through anything a day at a time, a moment at a time with the faith and the knowledge that my Higher Power is guiding me to peace and security. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

See the Snow on the Desert

I drove through Arizona’s petrified forest, a land where dinosaurs once roamed, then headed across the painted desert. A light dusting of snow covered the sand and shrubs. I felt both awe and surprise at the scene nature had created.

Nature does many things. Tornados blow across the land. Hurricanes pound the shores. Bolts of lightning streak through the sky. Dust storms fill the air. Nature petrifies wood, turning trees into beautiful crystal rocks, glowing with brilliant red and orange fossilized patterns. Nature takes centuries to carve bridges out of stone, using only winds and rain and the flow of water from other rocks. And sometimes, she puts snow on the desert.

Many things happen in our lives. Some of them are probable, consequential. Some of them are flukes and seem to come out of the blue, from nowhere. All the events work into a pattern, helping to create us, create our path through life, create our destiny. Sometimes we’re influenced greatly by a traumatic storm. Other times seemingly chance occurrences can change the entire pattern and course of our lives.

We don’t have to understand everything. Maybe we aren’t supposed to. We don’t have to be prepared for all the storms. Sometimes the greatest learning occurs when we’re caught off guard, by surprise.

Weather the storms. Let them pass. Keep your balance, as best you’re able. Remember to be flexible and sway with the winds like the tall trees in the forest. Trust the flukes,too, those moments when it snows on the desert. Let destiny have its way with you.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say it like it is

Acknowledge your pain. Then you can begin to identify the source of it, and in identifying, you can begin to heal. When we open ourselves to emotions, we don’t just get the good ones, like happiness or relief. Feelings are a package deal. We get the entire emotional range.

Pain and suffering are part of the experience of being alive. Things go wrong. Lovers leave us, parents and sometimes children die. We fall, we fail. Don’t hide from your pain. Don’t bury it under a shell of drugs, alcohol, or shallow achievement. If you hurt, then hurt.

Recognize what you’re going through. Then learn to tell it like it is.

God, help me acknowledge the pain in my life instead of trying to mask it with mood-altering substances or mindless busywork. Teach me to say what hurts. Show me what it is that I need to do to heal; then give me the strength to do that.

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Food for Thought

Living from Within

We are often deluded into thinking that we will find our pattern for living from someone else. We look for models to imitate. Although we do learn from others, it is from within that our most sure guidance comes. Since each one of us is unique, there is no other human being who can give us an example to copy exactly.

OA recognizes individual differences and the need we each have to discover our true self. By sharing our experience, strength, and hope, we are able to develop our unique potential as individuals. We are each free to take from and give to the group, according to our own unique needs and abilities.

If we are to receive the strength, which our Higher Power wants us to have, we need to listen to the inner voice that tells us what is right for us at any given moment. The most sure guidance comes from within.

May I listen to Your voice.

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In God’s Care

The real gift of love is self-disclosure.
~~John Powell

It’s natural to want to put our best face forward. We like people to see us as we want to be, not as we are. We prefer to be judged as witty, clever, kind, and perceptive, never as small-minded, selfish, weak, and critical.

Yet, it is not until we reveal our liabilities that people are truly able to see our assets. When we pretend to be without fault, we come off as phony. As we discover in doing the Fifth Step, the more we disclose our shortcomings, the more people are able to trust us.

So it is with God. God wants us without our pretenses, wants to hear our secret desires, our deep-seated grievances, our shameful thoughts. As we come clean, revealing our trueself, the barriers to love come down.

Today will not be afraid to reveal my weaknesses; self-disclosure opens the door to God’s love.

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Day By Day

Lacking power over others

When we look closely at our lives, we may realize that we have little power over others (as shocking as that may seem). Yet often our arrogance gets so blown out of proportion that we think our actions can get people high or keep them straight! Think of that!

We are so important to ourselves, we begin to think that we are that important to others. We seldom see that our affairs have about as much weight with others as theirs do with us – and that is often little.

Do I realize that I can manage no one?

Higher Power, help me realize that my power over others is actually slight and protect me from my own arrogance.

If I find myself trying to manage others today, I will…

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Connection
The Truth of Interdependence by Madisyn Taylor

Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a kaleidoscope of relationships.

Picking a leaf off the ground and contemplating it as an object in and of itself is very inspiring. Its shape and color, the way it feels in your hand, its delicate veins and the stem that once held it fast to the branch of a tree—all of these qualities reveal a leaf to be a miniature work of natural art. As we contemplate this small object more deeply and consider where it came from and what purpose it has served, we find that the leaf is one small but essential part of a system that harnesses the energy of the sun, plumbs the depths of the earth, and in the process brings into being the oxygen many living things rely on to live.

A leaf transforms the elements of its environment—sunlight, carbon dioxide, rain—into nourishment for its tree. This beautiful, nearly weightless, ephemeral piece of nature is a vital conduit to the branch that is a conduit to the trunk that is a conduit to the roots of the tree. The roots, in turn, draw nourishment from the earth to feed the trunk, the branches, and the leaves. The living beings that inhale the oxygen that comes from this process exhale the carbon dioxide that feeds the leaves through which the tree is fed. It is difficult to know where one cycle ends and another one begins.

One of the many gifts that nature offers us is a clear demonstration of the interdependence between all living things. The person who exhales the carbon dioxide, the clouds that produce the rain, the sun that gives light, the leaf that transforms all these things into sustenance for a tree—not one of these could survive without being part of this cycle.

Each living being is dependent upon other living things for its survival. When we look at the world, we see that this is not a place where different beings survive independently of one another. Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a spinning kaleidoscope of relationships. We need each other to survive and thrive. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

These days, I go to meetings to listen for the similarities between myself and others in The Program — not the differences. And when I look for the similarities, it’s amazing how many I find, particularly in the area of feelings. Today I go to meetings thinking that I’m here not because of anyone Else’s addictions, but because of mine and , most importantly, what my addiction did to my spirit anybody. I’m here because there’s no way I can stay free of my addiction by myself. I need The Program and my Higher Power. Am I becoming less harsh in my judgments of others?

Today I Pray

May I stay alert as I listen, just one more time, to Jack or Jill or Fred or Sam or Martha go through his or her tale of woe or weal. May I find, when I listen with the whole-hearted attention I want to be able to give, that each has something to offer me to add to my own life-tale. May I be struck once again by our sameness. May each sameness draw us nearer to each others needs.

Today I Will Remember

In sameness, there is strength.

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One More Day

We often make self-defeating choices because we are unenlightened about our needs. We pick the opposite of what we really need because we don’t know what we need.
– Lila Swell

Sometimes we may repeatedly engage in self-defeating behaviors. Poor work habits can lead to being fired and being defeated again. Overeating causes obesity, health issues, and poor image, which may lead to fad dieting and more failure. Until lightening strikes, until we finally realize that we are defeating our deepest needs — spiritual and emotional — we plod along on the same path.

The direction of our behavior changes when we see what our needs are and that they are the same for everyone. we all need love, compassion, and the opportunity to love others, and we can satisfy those needs in healthy ways.

I’ll make positive choices for myself today.

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One Day At A Time

SERVICE
“I do not know what path in life you will take,
but I do know this:
If, on that path, you do not find a way to serve,
you will never be happy.”
Albert Schweitzer

Working the Twelfth Step means carrying the message of recovery to those who still suffer from our disease. To be a messenger of hope has to be the highest form of service we can provide to our fellow compulsive eaters.

Giving service means more than volunteering to set chairs up at a meeting, tidying up afterwards, or giving another person a ride to the meeting. Giving service means living a triumphant program every single day. It’s taking a telephone call from someone who’s having a rough day … and it’s making an outreach call even when I don’t feel like it. It’s not hiding my slips in abstinence, and it sure isn’t wallowing in my misery. It’s getting up and moving on. It’s presenting a positive view of the program.

We don’t recruit members to recovery; we attract them by our example. If I don’t put a positive face on my program, I can’t expect a fellow-sufferer to consider the Twelve Steps as a way to recover from the disease of compulsive overeating. I know this program works — and others won’t know it unless I show them that it does.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will serve by living a triumphant program.
~ JAR

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We have been speaking to you of serious, sometimes tragic things. We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspect. But we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life. We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor do we carry the world’s troubles on our shoulders. – Pg. 132 – The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Compulsive behavior is characterized by the need to be better than, sooner than, bigger then, more than. This creates pressure which creates stress, which for us creates danger! That is why we take the slogan ‘Easy Does It,’ seriously.

Help me to enjoy the journey, slow down and not expect five years of recovery in five weeks.

The Treasures Within

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

Spirit is with me always

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

I never trust my tongue when my heart is bitter.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

You get sober not with your head, but with you feet.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I can go through anything a day at a time, a moment at a time with the faith and the knowledge that my Higher Power is guiding me to peace and security.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If I don’t stand for something, I’ll fall for anything. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 13

Step Seven
“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
To get completely away from our aversion to the idea of being humble,
to gain a vision of humility as the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit,
to be willing to work for humility as something to be desired for itself,
takes most of us a long, long time.
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 73

Thought to Ponder . . .
Humility is not thinking less of myself, but thinking of myself less.

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

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

Triumph
“It is only at the moment when a member ceases to drink
that he asserts the right to
describe himself as an alcoholic. . .
What an unthinking world may look upon as defeat,
alcoholics in AA know as a triumph of the spirit,
a triumph of humility over false pride and self-centeredness. How few human beings ever have the courage
to stand up before their neighbors and, in humility,
describing themselves truthfully, to say:
‘This is what I really am.’ ”
1985AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 278

Thought to Consider . . .
Veni, vidi, velcro … I came, I saw, I stuck around.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A A = Adventurers Anonymous

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

Inexplicable
>From “Why? I Don’t Know”:
“I don’t attempt to explain with reason and logic why these things happen. When they happen, I just accept them. I feel perhaps that God, as I understand Him, found it necessary for me to suffer the pain and anguish of an addicted alcoholic and to go through the slow and, for me, difficult program of recovery in A.A. in order to be prepared and willing to do His will. I am grateful and thankful that God has given this to me. Perhaps it is because I take the Third Step every morning. My hopes and prayers are that each day I will be able to maintain this conscious contact with God. Kingsport, Tennessee, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 70

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

“Nowadays my brain no longer races compulsively in either elation, grandiosity, or depression. I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1958
“The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and
fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We
discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 84

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

“Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. xxiv (Foreword to the Fourth Edition)

“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 (Step Eleven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The idea that somehow, some day, he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.
Alcoholism, not cancer, was my illness, but what was the difference? Was not Alcoholism took longer to do its killing, but the result was the same. So, I decided, if there was a great Physician who could cure the alcoholic sickness, I had better seek Him at once.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to open my heart to You and my fellows and feel the connection between us.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 12th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 12th

Daily Reflections

GIVING UP CENTER STAGE, p.202

For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.
. . Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in
adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency.
12 & 12, p.70

Why do I balk at the word “humility”? I am not humbling myself
toward other people, but toward God, as I understand Him.
Humbly means “to show submissive,” and by being humble I
realize I am not the center of the universe. When I was drinking, I
was consumed by pride and self-centeredness. I felt the entire world
revolved around me, that I was master of my destiny. Humility
enables me to depend more on God to help me overcome obstacles, to
help me with my own imperfections, so that I may grow spiritually. I
must solve more difficult problems to increase my proficiency and, as
I encounter life’s stumbling blocks, I must learn to overcome them
through God’s help. Daily communion with God demonstrates my
humility and provides me with the realization that an entity more
powerful than I is willing to help me if I cease trying to play God
myself.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Today is ours. Let us live today as we believe God wants us to
live. Each day will have a new pattern which we cannot foresee.
But we can open each day with a quiet period in which we say a little
prayer, asking God to help us through the day. Personal contact with
God, as we understand Him, will from day to day bring us nearer
to an understanding of His will for us. At the close of the day, we
offer Him thanks for another day of sobriety. A full, constructive
day has been lived and we are grateful. Am I asking God each day
for strength and thanking Him each night?

Meditation For The Day

If you believe that God’s grace has saved you, then you must believe
that He is meaning to save you yet more and keep you in the way that
you should go. Even human rescuers would not save you from
drowning only to place you in other deep and dangerous waters.
Rather, they would place you on dry land, there to restore you.
God, who is your rescuer, would certainly do this and even more.
God will complete the task He sets out to do. He will not throw you
overboard, if you are depending on Him.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may trust God to keep me in the way. I pray that I may
rely on Him not to let me go.

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As Bill Sees It

The Spiritual Alibi, p. 193

Our first attempts at inventories are apt to prove very unrealistic. I
used to be a champ at unrealistic self-appraisal. On certain occasions,
I wanted to look only at the part of my life which seemed good. Then I
would greatly exaggerate whatever virtues I supposed I had attained.
Next I would congratulate myself on the grand job I was doing in A.A.

Naturally this generated a terrible hankering for still more
“accomplishments,” and still more approval. I was falling straight
back into the pattern of my drinking days. Here were the same old
goals–power, fame, and applause. Besides, I had the best alibi
known–the spiritual alibi. The fact that I really did have a spiritual
objective made this utter nonsense seem perfectly right.

Grapevine, June 1961

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Walk In Dry Places

Pats on the back
Self-esteem
Recovery from a compulsive illness such as alcohoism often brings “pats on the back.” This praise is a welcome change from the criticism our problems once raised.
We should accept such pats on the back graciously, but without taking the personal credit this sort of praise implies. We can become addicted to praise seeking, and we may even invite it as a way of building up self-esteem.
Moreover, much of our challenge is still ahead of us. The real victory may be in learning how to live after we’ve established our initial freedom. We learn that all human beings must face issues such as boredom and pain, which we tried to avoid with our drinking. We may get few pats on the back for our success in this everyday living, but our healthier lifestyle is reward enough.
If I receive praise today, I’ll acknowledge it graciously, knowing that such praise is not necessary for my well-being.

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Keep It Simple

Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.—Irene Peter
Our life changed a lot when we stopped drinking and using other drugs. But this is only a start. We need to go further.
Our old attitudes can kill us, even if we aren’t drinking or drugging any more. This is called a “dry drunk.” If we’re on a dry drunk, we’ve changed the way we act without changing the way we think.
Our program shows us how to change the way we think. And we change how we treat ourselves and others. We learn to live a new life based on love and care.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me guard against my old attitudes. Help me keep changing.
Action for the Day: I’ll list four ways I’ve changed because I’m sober. I’ll list four ways I haven’t changed yet.

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Each Day a New Beginning

… those interested in perpetuating present conditions are always in tears about the marvelous past that is about to disappear, without having so much as a smile for the young future.  –Simone de Beauvoir
Hanging on to any moment, once it’s gone, deadens us to the joys and lessons of the present. We must learn to let go, to let go of persons, painful situations, and even meaningful experiences. Life goes on, and the most fruitful lesson before us is to move with the vibrations, be in tune with them.
Being open to the present is our only chance for growth. These experiences today in our lives beckon us forward along the path meant for us. We are not guaranteed only joy today. But we are promised security. We may not be free of twinges of fear or confusion, but we can learn to trust even in the midst of adversity. We can remember that power greater than ourselves whenever and wherever our steps are uncertain.
Dwelling, as we are wont to do, on our rebuffs, our rejections, invites further criticism. But neither should we dwell on past joys. Attention to now and to the persons here, now, is the only rightful response to life. Not being here, now, invites others to turn away, just as we have turned away.
I will celebrate the thrill of the present, squeeze the moments of today, and trust the outcome to God.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We asked ourselves this: Are not some of us just as biased and unreasonable about the realm of the spirit as were the ancients about the realm of the material? Even in the present century, American newspapers were afraid to print an account of the Wright brothers’ first successful flight at Kitty Hawk. Had not all efforts at flight failed before? Did not Professor Langley’s flying machine go to the bottom of the Potomac River? Was it not true that the best mathematical minds had proved man could never fly? Had not people said God had reserved this privilege to the
birds? Only thirty years later the conquest of the air was almost an old story and airplane travel was in full swing.

pp. 51-52

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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.
I can do the same thing with an A.A. meeting.  The more I focus my mind on its defects–late start, long drunkalogs, cigarette smoke–the worse the meeting becomes.  But when I try to see what I can add to the meeting, rather than what I can get out of it, and when I focus my mind on what’s good about it, rather than what’s wrong with it, the meeting keeps getting better and better.  When I focus on what’s good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what’s bad, I have a bad day.  If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases.

p. 419

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Everywhere there arose threatening questions of membership, money, personal relations, public relations, management of groups, clubs, and scores of other perplexities. It was out of this vast welter of explosive experience that A.A.’s Twelve Traditions took form and were first published in 1946 and later confirmed at A.A.’s First International Convention, held at Cleveland in 1950. The Tradition section of this volume portrays in some detail the experience which finally produced the Twelve Traditions and so gave A.A. its present form, substance, and unity.

p. 18

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“It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.”
–Seneca

“If one asks for success and prepares for failure, he will get the
situation he has prepared for.”
–Florence Shinn

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

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.
–Kahil Gibran

“When we surrender to God, we let go of our attachment to how
things happen on the outside, and we become more concerned with
what happens on the inside.”
–Marianne Williamson

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
–Vincent Norman Peale

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

VIOLENCE

“Violence is counter-productive
and produces changes of a sort
you don’t want. It is a very
dangerous instrument and can
destroy those who wield it.”
–John Gardner

I believed I wasn’t violent when I drank but that is not true; I
wasn’t physically violent but I used emotional and mental violence. I
did not hit, fight or mutilate people with my hands, but I could tear a
person apart with my tongue. My sarcasm and criticism made people
cry, feel demoralized and useless. Violence always removes the
“dignity” from man — and I did this with my mouth!

Today I try to practice tolerance and patience, I count to ten, and
when I do lose my temper and hurt a person unfairly or unnecessarily,
I apologize. In my sobriety the anger, hate and need to hurt is
slowly going. I am progressively getting better a day at a time.

Teacher, let me offer the hand of peace, not the fist of violence.

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“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.”
Ephesians 2:8

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith.
1 Corinthians 16:13

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should
always pray and not give up…”
Luke 18:1

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be
filled with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your
word.”
Psalm 119:28

“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life
according to your word.”
Psalm 119:37

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Daily Inspiration

Turn to God’s love when you become doubtful or discouraged. Lord, Your love for me is so great that with this knowledge I am able to face my biggest challenges without stress.

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

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NA Just For Today

Patience

“We were trapped by our need for the instant gratification that drugs gave us.”
Basic Text, pp.24-25

“I want what I want, and I want it now!” That’s about as patient as most of us ever got in our active addiction. The obsession and compulsion of our disease gave us a “one-track” way of thinking; when we wanted something, that’s all we thought about. And the drugs we took taught us that instant gratification was never more than a dose away. It’s no wonder that most of us came to Narcotics Anonymous with next to no patience.

The problem is, we can’t always get what we want whenever we want it. Some of our wishes are pure fantasy; if we think about it, we’ll realize we have no reason to believe those wishes will be fulfilled in our lifetimes. We probably can’t even fulfill all our realistic desires; we certainly can’t fulfill them all at once. In order to acquire or achieve some things, we will have to sacrifice others.

In our addiction we sought instant gratification, squandering our resources. In recovery we must learn to prioritize, sometimes denying the gratification of some desires in order to fulfill more important long-term goals. To do so requires patience. To find that patience, we practice our program of recovery, seeking the kind of full-bodied spiritual awakening that will allow us to live and enjoy life on life’s terms.

Just for today: Higher Power, help me discover what’s most important in my life. Help me learn patience, so that I can devote my resources to the important things.
pg. 202

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
We love the things we love for what they are. –Robert Frost
Once there was a little girl who had a stuffed frog named Jeremy. Jeremy went everywhere with the girl–to imaginary picnics with her other dolls, to school, on trips, and, once, even into the bathtub! Every night, Jeremy slept cradled in her arms.
Over time, Jeremy grew old and tattered. He had lost an eye, and he limped because the girl used to use one of his legs as a handle, and it had gotten crushed. His nose was a little mangled too, from being dragged on the ground.
But the girl loved that frog, no matter how bedraggled he looked. And he never did anything. He was just always there. He was just Jeremy, and she loved him for that.
Today, that girl is a young woman and has outgrown childish things. But in her bedroom, you’ll still find Jeremy, tattered and repaired, asleep on her bed. She still loves him dearly, for what he is.
Who do I love, and why?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet. –Isaac Bashevis Singer
Many of us have the habit of taking a negative outlook on whatever comes along. We don’t believe things will work out for us; we don’t think we will have a good day; we can’t accept our friends’ warm feelings. To follow this gloomy path is a strange distortion of faith – it is faith in the negative. Any forecast, whether hopeful or pessimistic, is a step into the unknown. So why do we choose the dark one?
We get a payoff for our pessimism, which keeps us hooked. It creates misery, but serves our demand for control. There is more risk in being open to something positive because we cannot force positive things to occur. We can only be open to them and believe in the possibility. But when we predict the negative and expect only bad things, we squelch many good things or overlook them. Then we say, “I knew it would be this way,” and in our misery we satisfy our self-centered craving to be in charge. When we surrender our need to be in control, we are more open and welcoming of the good things that come our way.
Today. I will be open to the good that is around me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
… those interested in perpetuating present conditions are always in tears about the marvelous past that is about to disappear, without having so much as a smile for the young future. –Simone de Beauvoir
Hanging on to any moment, once it’s gone, deadens us to the joys and lessons of the present. We must learn to let go, to let go of persons, painful situations, and even meaningful experiences. Life goes on, and the most fruitful lesson before us is to move with the vibrations, be in tune with them.
Being open to the present is our only chance for growth. These experiences today in our lives beckon us forward along the path meant for us. We are not guaranteed only joy today. But we are promised security. We may not be free of twinges of fear or confusion, but we can learn to trust even in the midst of adversity. We can remember that power greater than ourselves whenever and wherever our steps are uncertain.
Dwelling, as we are wont to do, on our rebuffs, our rejections, invites further criticism. But neither should we dwell on past joys. Attention to now and to the persons here, now, is the only rightful response to life. Not being here, now, invites others to turn away, just as we have turned away.
I will celebrate the thrill of the present, squeeze the moments of today, and trust the outcome to God.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Fear of Abandonment
“Where are you, God? Where did you go?”
So many people have gone away. We may have felt so alone so much. In the midst of our struggles and lessons, we may wonder if God has gone away too.
There are wondrous days when we feel God’s protection and presence, leading and guiding each step and event. There are gray, dry days of spiritual barrenness when we wonder if anything in our life is guided or planned. Wondering if God knows or cares.
Seek quiet times on the gray days. Force discipline and obedience until the answer comes, because it will.
“I have not gone away child. I am here, always. Rest in me, in confidence. All in your life is being guided and planned, each detail. I know, and I care. Things are being worked out as quickly as possible for your highest good. Trust and be grateful. I am right here. Soon you will see, and know.”
Today, I will remember that God has not abandoned me. I can trust that God is leading, guiding, directing, and planning in love each detail of my life.

I am at choice today. I accept responsibility of my life with a new sense of maturity, confidence and even excitement. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Let the Universe Lead the Way

Feel and see how the life force, the heartbeat of the universe, leads you on, guides you, takes you on the way. Yes, there are times when we need to march forward, muster up our willpower, and grind through the motions. But those times are transitory. And that’s not the magical way we’re living now. Even when we stop, doubt, wonder, get tired and confused, the universe is there to revitalize us, move us along our path and lead the way.

If you’re tired, rest. If you’re sad,cry. If you’re thirsty, take a long cold drink of water. If you feel hopeless, feel that. But know it’s just for the moment. If you feel confused, feel that. Feel it until clarity, desire, hope, and meaning break through. You don’t have to trudge through on willpower, not any longer. You do not have to push your way through.

Rest until you feel healed, then gently go forward. Let the universe assist you. Open your eyes, the eyes of your soul, and see where to go. Feel where to go. Sense what to do next. See how the magical power of the universe carries you along, even when you get tired, even when you get confused. You are connected– to yourself, to the universal force, to God.

Quiet the chatter of your mind. Renew your body. Replenish your soul. Take in all the healing energy of the world around you.

Then let the universe lead the way.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Honor your emotions

Inside me is a wheel, constantly turning from sadness to joy, from exultation to depression, from happiness to melancholy. Like the flowers, today’s full bloom of joy will fade and wither into despondency, yet I will remember that as today’s dead flower carries the seal of tomorrow’s bloom, so, too, does today’s sadness carry the seed of tomorrow’s joy.
–Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World

Honor your emotions, they are an important part of you. They hold your connection to love, passion, joy, healing, and intuition.

Not having emotions would make us cold robots. Emotions are part of the glory of being human, and they’re our connection to our hearts.

Respect and treasure your emotional self. Learn to cherish your variety of emotions.

God, help me become the passionate, vibrant human being you created me to be. Help me feel all my emotions, and embrace the glory of being alive.

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In God’s Care

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
~~Muhammad Ali

We can be changed, sometimes profoundly, by seemingly insignificant events – provided we are willing to be touched by them and the people involved. How we thought and what we dreamed for in our youth was fitting for that time and place. But those thoughts and dreams may be too small for us today. Now, each moment calls for new dreams, shaped daily by the events and people we open ourselves to.

We’re most fully alive when we’re learning, changing, and growing. Not a moment passes that isn’t rich with possibilities for insights and growth. Each encounter with people who cross our path offers us the chance for a deeper connection with our Higher Power. When we become entrapped by rigid attitudes, our spirit withers. God has given us life as a gift that wee must open. It’s never too late to begin the clebration.

I will think of my life as celebration today, with me and the people around me as God’s guests of honor.

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Day By Day

Knowing our Higher Power

A good understanding of our Higher Power may be necessary for some of us, but we don’t need to get stuck on any image. All we have to do is become willing to believe that a power greater than ourselves will help us get clean and sober.

Electricity works the same after a course in electronics as it did before the course. Like-wise, our Higher Power works the same for us before we understand how it operates. It gets down to this simple idea: It’s less important that we understand God than believe God understands us.

Do I have faith in my Higher Power?

Higher Power, help me accept the fact that understanding your ways is less important than believing you are present in my life today.

I will apply my faith in my Higher Power today by…

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Food for Thought

Growing Up

There is no magic. Nothing – be it person, place, or thing – is going to give us instant and permanent gratification. We keep thinking in the back of our mind that there is some way we can manipulate life into granting us all of our desires, even when they contradict each other.

When we seriously and with honest effort work our way through the Twelve Steps, we begin to grow up emotionally and spiritually. Abstinence from compulsive overeating makes this growth possible. It is not easy, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Acceptance and renunciation are necessary if we are to live with satisfaction in the real world. Grandiose illusions are of no help. We come to understand that certain foods, emotions, and attitudes are not for us if we are to maintain our sanity.

There is no magic, but there is a Power greater than ourselves. Who is directing our growth.

Grant me the willingness to grow up.

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

The Reciprocal Flow of Abundance
Giving without Expectations by Madisyn Taylor

It is in the act of giving that we find joy, without the expectation of anything in return.

Since giving and receiving are so intimately intertwined in our lives, we often expect that we can attract abundance by simply conducting ourselves in an openhanded fashion. Yet we find ourselves wallowing in disappointment when our ample generosity is not met with the expected results. The answer to this quandary lies in the expectations that, in part, initially prompted us to give. Though our intention is likely pure, we can unintentionally mar the beautiful experience of giving by focusing on what we will eventually receive in return. When we let go of the notion that we deserve to receive gifts based on giving gifts, bounty can once again flow freely in and out of our lives.

When the gifts you give are laden down with expectations, they cease to be gifts and become units of exchange that you are, in effect, trading for some reward. Thus, the reciprocal laws of the universe err on the side of the giver who shares for the sake of sharing. You may have seen this simple truth at work in your own experience, perhaps when life’s busyness prevented you from spending too much time contemplating the results your charitable actions would ultimately have on the lives of others. It was likely then that you received the greatest gifts in return for your kindness. If you have trouble divesting yourself of your expectations, you may need to reflect upon the root of your inability to act in the true spirit of giving. Each time you make a gift, whether spiritual or tangible, ask yourself if there is something you hope to receive in return. You may be surprised to discover that you expect to be repaid with an easy life, financial windfalls, or opportunities.

To integrate this most selfless form of generosity into your life, you will have to let go of your need to be in control. Accepting that while like inevitably attracts like, it typically does so on an unobservable timetable. This can help you stop weighing the gifts you give against those you have received. Giving eventually becomes a profound joy that stands alone, separate from any and all conditions, and you will learn to appreciate the flow of reciprocal abundance as a gift in and of itself. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

In many aspects the Fellowship of The Program is like a reasonably happy cruise ship or, in time of trouble, like a convoy. But in the long run each of us must chart his or her own course through life. When the seas are smooth, we may become careless. By neglecting Step Ten, we may get out of the habit of checking our position. If we’re mindful of Step Ten, however, then we rarely go so far wrong that we can’t make a few corrections and get back on course again. Do I realize that regular practice of Step Ten can help me determine what other step is indicated to bring me into a happier frame of mind and into serenity?

Today I Pray

May step Ten be a sextant by which I read my whereabouts at sea, so that I can correct my course, re chart it if I am heading for shallow places. May I keep in mind that, if it weren’t for an all-knowing Captain, and the vigilance of my fellow crew members, this ship could be adrift and I could easily panic.

Today I Will Remember

To steer by a steady star.

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One More Day

There is a certain state of health that does not allow us to understand everything; and perhaps illness shuts us off from certain truths; but health shuts us off just as effectively from others.
– Andre Gide

When we were healthy, it was hard imagining what someone in poor health was going through. We could sympathize — even empathize — but we were insulated from the reality because we had no personal experience with illness.

Now, our diminished health allows us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Many of our friends and family don’t always know how to act toward us or what to say. They’re the ones who may be uneasy about facing our world. We can help them because we know what they are experiencing.

I will be compassionate to my loved ones as they strive to help and understand.

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One Day At A Time

APATHY
“The world is a dangerous place to live;
not because of the people who are evil,
but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
Albert Einstein

In my life as an addict, I found myself deteriorating in every way possible. I was spiritually hungry, emotionally bereft, and physically a mess. I stopped caring about people, places or things. I was apathetic to such a degree that I no longer cared about anything.

That gradually changed when I embraced the Twelve Steps. I began to open my eyes to the world around me ~ the world I had shut out. The more I worked the Steps, the more I saw the reality of things. I became less selfish and began to try to make a difference — not only in my own life, but also in the lives of those I cared about. I found myself loving more. I found I was once again capable of having compassion.

I am no longer afraid to speak out when I see misdeeds. I don’t cower before those who would do harm to others. I embrace the good and the bad in this world I call home.

One day at a time…
I will do my part in making the world a better place. I will listen and hear what my Higher Power has in mind for me.
~ Mari

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When working with a man and his family, you should take care not to participate in their quarrels. You may spoil your chance of being helpful if you do. But urge upon a man’s family that he has been a very sick person and should be treated accordingly. You should warn against arousing resentment or jealousy. You should point out that his defects or character are not going to disappear over night. Show them that he has entered upon a period of growth. Ask them to remember, when they are impatient, the blessed fact of his sobriety. – Pg. 100 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The world is not consistent, you are not consistent, and those around you will not always be consistent. We don’t have to be. We only have to remember not to use mind-affecting chemicals right now and our world will improve.

When inconsistency scares or annoys me, let me understand that to remain always constant would be like a plastic plant, never to grow and change!

Inner Hearing, Inner Sight

Today, I will trust my own heart. The clear message that whispers within me has more to tell me than a thousand voices. I have a guide within me who knows what is best for me. There is a part of me that sees the whole picture and knows how it all fits together. My inner voice may come in the form of a strong sense, a pull from within, a gut feeling or a quiet knowing. However my inner voice comes to me, I will learn to pay attention. In my heart I know what is going on. Though I am conditioned by the world to look constantly outside myself for meaning, today I recognize that it is deeply important for me to hear what I am saying from within. I give myself the gift of listening.

I will trust my inner voice.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

No one wants to hear the Sermon on the Mount or Zen philosophy when they’re trying to save their ass. They want to know what to do–not hear words of wisdom. Tell them what you did.

I do not get so spiritual, that I am of no earthly value.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you think you have a good idea you might want to get second opinion from your sponsor.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am at choice today. I accept the responsibilities of my life with a new sense of maturity, confidence and even excitement.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I went through life waiting for a space ship to land and a voice to say: ‘Sorry, dropped you on the wrong planet, time to go home now.’ – Trip S.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 12

Anonymity
It should be a privilege, even the right, of each member or group
to handle anonymity as they wish. . .
Each individual will have to decide where he ought to draw the line —
how far he ought to carry the principle in his own affairs,
how far he may go in dropping his own anonymity
without injury to Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.
– The Language of the Heart, p. 15

Thought to Ponder . . .
Anonymity is real humility at work.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Adventurers Anonymous.

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

Belief
“Despite contrary indications,
I had little doubt that a mighty purpose and rhythm
underlay all.
How could there be so much of precise and immutable law,
and no intelligence?
I simply had to believe in a
Spirit of the Universe,
who knew neither time nor limitation.”
– Bill W.
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 10

Thought to Consider . . .
Faith is not belief without proof;
it’s trust without reservation.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change

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

Spirituality
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“The liberals were the largest contingent and they had no objection to the use of the word “God” throughout the [Big]
book, but they were dead set against any other theological proposition. They would have nothing to do with doctrinal
issues. Spirituality, yes. But religion, no, positively no. Most of our members, they pointed out, believed in some sort of
deity. But when it came to theology we could not possibly agree among ourselves, so how could we write a book that
contained any such matter? There was no such thing as group opinion in these areas and there never could be.
Alcoholics who had tried the missions were forever complaining about this very thing. The alcoholic’s unreasoning
rebellion against the specifically religious approach had severely handicapped the missions. The liberals said they did
not intend to be critical; they only wanted us to remember the hard facts. Those contentions could not be denied. It
was true that we could not agree on a religious basis for our fellowship and that the straight religious approach had
worked in relatively few cases.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 162-63

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

“It seems to me that one of the major purposes of the last three Steps is to keep us from complacency, to keep us
growing so that we don’t fall back into our old, sick ways and perhaps even into active alcoholism.”
West Henrietta, New York, October 2007
“Step Ten: Up Close and Personal,”
Emotional Sobriety II

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

“We represent no particular faith or denomination. We are dealing only
with general principles common to most denominations.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, Page 93~

“We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and
express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than
ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible
for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 46~

“We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 124 (The Family Afterward)

“Everywhere we saw failure and misery transformed by humility into priceless assets.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 75 (Step Seven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Our first attempts at inventories are apt to prove very unrealistic. I used to be a champ at unrealistic self-appraisal. On certain occasion, I wanted to look at the part of my life which seemed good. Then I would greatly exaggerate whatever virtues I supposed I had attained. Next I would congratulate myself on the grand job I was doing in A.A.
Naturally this generated a terrible hankering for still more accomplishments, and still more approval. I was falling straight back into the pattern of my drinking days. Here were the same old goals, power, fame, and applause. Besides, I had the best alibi known the spiritual objective made this utter nonsense seem perfectly right.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank You for taking my greatest liabilities and transforming them into my greatest assets.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 11th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 11th

Daily Reflections

A TURNING POINT, p.301

A great turning point in our lives came when we sought for humility
as something we really wanted, rather than as something we must
have.
12 & 12, p.75

Either the A.A. way of life becomes one of joy or I return to the
darkness and despair of alcoholism. Joy comes to me when my
attitude concerning God and humility turns to one of desire rather
than of burden. The darkness in my life changes to radiant light
when I arrive at the realization that being truthful and honest in
dealing with my inventory results in my life being filled with serenity,
freedom, and joy. Trust in my Higher Power deepens, and the flush
of gratitude spreads through my being. I am convinced that being
humble is being truthful and honest in dealing with myself and God.
It is then that humility is something I “really want,” rather being
“something I must have.”

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in Alcoholics Anonymous do not try to chart the path for the
human soul or try to lay out a blueprint of the working of faith, as
one might plan a charity drive. We do tell the newcomer that we
have renewed our faith in a Higher Power. In the telling, our faith
is further renewed. We believe that faith is always close at
hand, waiting for those who will listen to the heartbeat of the
spirit. We believe there is a force for good in the universe and
that if we link up with this force, we are carried onward to a new
life. Am I in this stream of goodness?

Meditation For The Day

God will protect you from the forces of evil, if you will rely on
Him. You can face all things through the power of God which
strengthens you. Once God has set on you His stamp and seal of
ownership, all His strength will serve and protect you. Remember
that you are a child of the Father. Realize that the Father’s help is
always ready and available to all His children, so that they can
face anything. God will do all that is necessary for your spiritual
well-being, if you will let Him live His way.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may rely on God as I go through this day. I pray that I
may feel deeply secure, no matter what happens to me.

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As Bill Sees It

Carrying the Message, p. 192

The wonderful energy the Twelfth Step releases, by which it carries
our message to the next suffering alcoholic and finally translates the
Twelve Steps into action upon all our affairs, is the payoff, the
magnificent reality of A.A.

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

Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop;
simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him
how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship.

1. 12 & 12, p. 109
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 95

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Walk In Dry Places

The rewards of Truth
Seeking the Truth
The punishment of the liar is that he cannot believe anyone else, wrote one shrewd philosopher. This is another way of saying that we reap what we sow, or that we tend to judge others by our own actions.
But when we decide to be completely truthful, we are not immediately given the ability to discern whether others are lying or not. It’s more important for us to realize that others lies don’t have the power to hurt us permanently if we persevere in the program.
Some people would argue with this, pointing to lies that have hurt innocent people in the past.  But having no way of knowing all the facts of these cases, we cannot be the judge.
In our own experiences, we’ll find that God alone is the source of all truth and will give us the protection and care we need if we seek truthfulness in everything we do. Any fear of being victimized by living, we’ll learn, will melt away as we follow this conviction.
I’ll be as discreet as possible today, but I’ll also be truthful.  I’ll find that this alone will lessen any fear of being victimized by a liar.


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Keep It Simple

If you would be loved, love and be lovable.—Benjamin Franklin
We all want to be loved. and no matter how much we’re loved, we always want more.
How can we be lovable? What does the mean? Should we try to be perfect? Should we act cute and helpless? No, being lovable means that we act ourselves. We let others get to know us. When others love us, we enjoy it. We tell them. We let them know that their love isn’t wasted on us, that it’s important to us. We are lovable, and we are loved!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me accept the love of others today. Help me be lovable.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list all the little things others do that show that they care for me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have listened to the realm of the Spirit. I have heard my own soul’s voice, and I have remembered that love is the complete and unifying thread of existence.  –Mary Casey
The act of loving someone else brings us together, closes whatever the gap between us. It draws us into the world of another, making richer the world we call our own. Love is the great equalizer.
We no longer wish to conquer or dominate those whom we love. And our love for one increases our capacity for loving others. Love heals another, and love heals ourselves, both giving it and receiving it.
Love from another acknowledges our existence, assuring us that we do count, that someone else values our presence. It is human to need these reminders, these assurances. But our need for them is lessened each time we acknowledge another person in our midst.
Where love is absent, people, even in a crowd, feel alone, forgotten, and unimportant. No doubt we can each recall times of quiet desperation moments of alienation. We must reach out to someone and send thoughts of love to someone who may need to be remembered. Our loving thoughts for persons close and far away always reach their destination. They do unify us.
Love is powerful. It can change the complexion of the universe. It will change the direction of my life.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

This world of ours has made more material progress in the last century than in all the millenniums which went before. Almost everyone knows the reason. Students of ancient history tell us that the intellect of men in those days was equal to the best of today. Yet in ancient times, material progress was painfully slow. The spirit of modern scientific inquiry, research and invention was almost unknown. In the realm of the material, men’s minds were fettered by superstition, tradition, and all sort of fixed ideas. Some of the contemporaries of Columbus thought a round earth preposterous. Others came near putting Galileo to death for his astronomical heresies.

p. 51

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Then, one day in A.A., I was told that I had the lenses in my glasses backwards; “the courage to change” in the Serenity Prayer meant not that I should change my marriage, but rather that I should change myself and learn to accept my spouse as she was.  A.A. has given me a new pair of glasses.  I can again focus on my wife’s good qualities and watch them grow and grow and grow.

p. 419

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

This starting expansion brought with it very severe growing pains. Proof that alcoholics could recover had been made. But it was by no means sure that such great numbers of yet erratic people could live and work together with harmony and good effect.

pp. 17-18

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There are no burdens when everybody lifts.
–unknown

When someone is impatient and says, “I haven’t got all day” I always
wonder, how can that be? How can you not have all day?
–unknown

Learn to say kind words, nobody resents them.
–unknown

Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?
–Friedrich Nietzsche

First mend yourself, and then mend others.
–Jewish Proverb

Always look at your moccasin tracks first before you speak of
another’s faults.
–Native American Proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

CHANGE

“The foolish and the dead never
change their opinion.”
–James Russell Lowell

Part of my understanding of spirituality is that I will change. I will
change my mind, my attitude and my opinion. My understanding of
sobriety is that I will grow, grow in an understanding of myself,
grow in an understanding of God’s will for me, and grow in an
understanding of other people. Today I am not afraid to change my
thinking about life.

During my years as an addict I was fixed and rigid about everything.
I saw it as weakness to change my mind and opinions. Now I
understand that I was afraid of change, afraid not to have an answer,
afraid not to be seen as being “in charge”.

In treatment I learned how to understand spirituality as reality;
seeing things as they are, rather than how I wanted them to be. I
began to accept that life is about change and that truth is a
process that we evolve towards.

In my journey towards You may I have the willingness to change.

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“Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge.”
Proverbs 23:12

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I
have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more
abundantly.”
John 10:10

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our
transgressions from us.”
Psalm 103:12

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your
hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation
of Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:13
“as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts,
as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy
in all your conduct.”
1 Peter 1:14-15


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Daily Inspiration

The presence of God in us puts a joy in our soul that is beyond our ability to explain. Lord, when I open my self to this joy, I am renewed and peaceful.

Let today’s difficulties make you better not bitter. Lord, guide me, protect me and work through me.

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NA Just For Today

Encouragement

“We share comfort and encouragement with others.”
Basic Text, p.95

Many of us have watched as babies take their first steps. The mother holds the child on its feet. The father kneels nearby with outstretched arms, encouraging the little one, his face flooded with devotion. The baby takes a few small steps toward its father. An older brother and sister cheer the tyke on. Baby falls down. Its mother, murmuring words of comfort, picks the child up and starts over again. This time, baby stays up until it is close enough to fall into the safety of its father’s arms. As newcomers, we arrive in the rooms of NA much like this small child. Accustomed to living a life crippled by addiction, full of fear and uncertainty, we need help to stand. Just like a child beginning its march toward adulthood, we take our halting first steps toward recovery. We learn to live this new way of life because others who have gone before us encourage and comfort us by telling us what worked-and what didn’t work-for them. Our sponsor is there for us when we need a push in the right direction.

Many times we feel like we can’t take another step in recovery. Just like a child learning to walk, we sometimes stumble or fall. But our Higher Power always awaits us with outstretched arms And like the child’s brothers and sisters shouting their encouragement, we, too, are supported by other NA members as we walk toward a full life in recovery.

Just for today: I will seek encouragement from others. I will encourage others who may need my strength.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Always think of what you have to do as easy and it will become so. –Emile Corie
How we think about the activities before us is very important. If we think cleaning the garage is hard, dirty, and no chance for fun, that’s just how it will feel. We’ll be tired before we even begin. However, if we approach it like a treasure hunt, expecting to rediscover some long-forgotten treasures, we’ll enjoy the task. In fact, it will feel like a game.
The thoughts we carry in our minds determine whether our tasks are fun or not. What good fortune it is that we can control those thoughts. If we approach an assignment for school or a job believing that we’re able to do it, that it’s not too hard for us, we’ll finish with ease. Our thoughts determine our successes. In this way, our lives are in our own hands.
How much better can I make my life today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
In playing, and perhaps only in playing, the child or adult is free to be creative. –D. W. Winnicott
There are so many activities called play, which have not really been playful. Organized sports for youth, which consumed some of us, are called play. The partying, which was connected with some of our addictions, is called play. Reckless and dangerous driving is called play. In recovery, some of us become intensely focused on doing what’s right, and we need a deeper understanding to take the spiritual leap into creative play
This leap takes a willingness to let go. Maybe we remember hurtful things happening when our guard was down. Creative play involves trusting that every activity doesn’t need a worthy goal, doesn’t need to be planned out. Pleasure, humor, lightness, and aimless passing of time are forms of openness to the spirit of God. It is experimenting, exploring, setting aside our ordered and planned approach to most of life, and accepting that what comes out will be all right.
God, help me see the possibilities for play in the moments of this day.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have listened to the realm of the Spirit. I have heard my own soul’s voice, and I have remembered that love is the complete and unifying thread of existence. –Mary Casey
The act of loving someone else brings us together, closes whatever the gap between us. It draws us into the world of another, making richer the world we call our own. Love is the great equalizer.
We no longer wish to conquer or dominate those whom we love. And our love for one increases our capacity for loving others. Love heals another, and love heals ourselves, both giving it and receiving it.
Love from another acknowledges our existence, assuring us that we do count, that someone else values our presence. It is human to need these reminders, these assurances. But our need for them is lessened each time we acknowledge another person in our midst.
Where love is absent, people, even in a crowd, feel alone, forgotten, and unimportant. No doubt we can each recall times of quiet desperation moments of alienation. We must reach out to someone and send thoughts of love to someone who may need to be remembered. Our loving thoughts for persons close and far away always reach their destination. They do unify us.
Love is powerful. It can change the complexion of the universe. It will change the direction of my life.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Bring Any Request to God
Bring any request you have to God.
No request is too large; none too small or insignificant.
How often we limit God by not bringing to God everything we want and need.
Do we need help getting our balance? Getting through the day?
Do we need help in a particular relationship? With a particular character defect? Attaining a character asset?
Do we need help making progress on a particular task that is challenging us? Do we need help with a feeling? Do we want to change a self-defeating belief that has been challenging us? Do we need information, an insight? Support? A friend?
Is there something in God’s Universe that would really bring us joy?
We can ask for it. We can ask God for whatever we want. Put the request in God’s hands, trusting it has been heard then let it go. Leave the decision to God.
Asking for what we want and need is taking care of ourselves. Trust that the Higher Power to whom we have turned over our life and will really does care about us and about what we want and need.
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.

Today I look within to find my truth. I ask a power greater than myself to guide me and show me the way and all I have to do is follow. It is that simple. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Clear the Path to Your Heart

I watched Old Faithful from my window. The geyser gurgled and spewed a low layer of steam. Then true to its name, Old Faithful erupted and sprayed thousands of gallons of steaming water into the air. Right on time.

A full range of gurgling emotions, reactions, and responses to life line the pathway to the heart. We need to feel them all– anger, hurt, sadness, irritations– in order to feel joy. To experience life and all its wonders, we must embrace all these feelings.

We need to experience the little anger as well as the big hurts, the painful wounds that life sometimes brings. To insist that we will only feel pleasant emotions means we’re blocking the pathway to the heart. We’re ignoring all the other gurgling emotions that need to be felt.

All our emotions are important; all need to be recognized. The energy of each needs to be acknowledged and released. This clears the way for love. All the emotions that precede love clear the heart, so it’s pure and free to feel joy.

Trust your emotions. All of them. You’re not off the path. They lead to the path you’re seeking. They are the journey to the heart. Let them flow freely. And sure as Old Faithful, your heart will come gleaming, shining through.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Stop building cases

You don’t have to build a big drama around your life. We may need to end a relationship or explore a new career. Instead of simply saying, This is what I’m going to do, we build a case.

Like a lawyer getting ready to go to court, we prepare our arguments. We take one feeling and build a hundred-page document around it, prepared to battle our case.

You can build cases if you want to. But usually, there’s a hidden feeling underneath all that case-building that’s asking to be cleared. It could be a tinge of guilt or fear. Or it could just be the belief that it’s not okay to clearly express ourselves, say how it feels to us, and do what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

Let go of the drama. Just say what you need and how it feels to you.

Be as simple and clear as you can in expressing yourself. If you find yourself building a case or creating a big dramatic scene, take a moment. Why are you making such a fuss.

God, help me keep it simple, especially when it comes to expressing myself.

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In God’s Care

We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.
~~Anonymous

We all have our secrets. Some of them we’re not about to tell anybody. God, of course, already knows them. There may be some things we consider so shameful that we can’t share them with anyone. But shame seperates us from God. It’s a way of saying we are too horrible, too different – it’s a form of false pride.

To hide something means we’re holding on to the shame. Not until we’re ready to admit to God, ourselves, and another human being the nature of our secrets can we be rid of our shame. But when we come to believe that we have nothing to fear from sharing our secrets, God will transform them into something useful and constructive. There is nothing we have ever done that can’t be used to help someone, ourselves included.

Today I will share my secrets with someone.

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Day By Day

Showing empathy

When we first got into recovery, most of us were quite unhappy. We were in pain; we were vulnerable. We were angry and impatient. We probably didn’t like ourselves very much and may not have liked other people much.

But what if others had treated us according to these feelings? Weren’t we forgiven? Accepted? (And if we weren’t, wouldn’t it have been better if we had been?) Today, we see that we are the same as everyone else who is struggling to achieve or maintain a drug-free life. If we treat everyone well, it will help us recover.

Am I practicing generosity and compassion?

Higher Power, help me to treat others as I would want to be treated.

Today I will be especially campassionate toward…

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Food for Thought

Goals and Ends

Most of us came into this program with a specific weight goal in mind. We thought that if only we could weigh an ideal number of pounds, all of our other troubles would miraculously vanish.

When we reach goal weight, we discover that we still have to live with ourselves and deal with our problems. If we have been developing a strong program as we have been losing weight, we have a basis on which to work for further emotional and spiritual growth.

Our emotional and spiritual goals are not static. Since we never achieve perfection, there is always opportunity for further progress. The beauty of the OA program is that it is a program for life; its possibilities are limitless. To know and do the will of our Higher Power is our ultimate goal as well as our immediate one.

May I remember that You are my goal today and always.

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The World in a Bright Light
Grateful by Madisyn Taylor

There is always something to be grateful for even when life is hard and times are tough.

Everyday is a blessing, and in each moment there are many things that we can be grateful for. The world opens up to us when we live in a space of gratitude. In essence, gratitude has a snowball effect. When we are appreciative and express that gratitude, the universe glows a bit brighter and showers us with even more blessings.

There is always something to be grateful for, even when life seems hard. When times are tough, whether we are having a bad day or stuck in what may feel like an endless rut, it can be difficult to take the time to feel grateful. Yet, that is when gratitude can be most important. If we can look at our lives, during periods of challenge, and find something to be grateful for, then we can transform our realities in an instant. There are blessings to be found everywhere. When we are focusing on what is negative, our abundance can be easy to miss. Instead, choosing to find what already exists in our lives that we can appreciate can change what we see in our world. We start to notice one blessing, and then another.

When we constantly choose to be grateful, we notice that every breath is a miracle and each smile becomes a gift. We begin to understand that difficulties are also invaluable lessons. The sun is always shining for us when we are grateful, even if it is hidden behind clouds on a rainy day. A simple sandwich becomes a feast, and a trinket is transformed into a treasure. Living in a state of gratitude allows us to spread our abundance because that is the energy that we emanate from our beings. Because the world reflects back to us what we embody, the additional blessings that inevitably flow our way give us even more to be grateful for. The universe wants to shower us with blessings. The more we appreciate life, the more life appreciates and bestows us with more goodness. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Someone once defined the ego as “the sum total of false ideas about myself.” Persistent reworking of the Twelve Steps enables me to gradually strip away my false ideas about myself. This permits nearly imperceptible but steady growth in my understanding of the truth about myself. And this, in turn, leads to a growing understanding of God and other human beings. Do I strive fro self-honesty, promptly admitting when I’m wrong?

Today I Pray

God, teach me understanding; teach me to know truth when I meet it; teach me the importance of self-honesty, so that I may be able to say, sincerely, “I was wrong.” along with, “I am sorry.” Teach me that there is such a thing as a “healthy ego” which does not require that feelings be medicated by mood-alters. May I — slowly, on my tightrope– move toward the ideal of balance, so I can do away with the nets of falsehood and compulsion.

Today I Will Remember

To keep my balance.

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One More Day

The biggest thing in our today’s sorrow is the memory of yesterday’s pain.
– Kahlil Gibran

Even though we intellectually know that a chronic illness will never go away, we emotionally offer ourselves a small glimmer of hope of recovery, of our lives going on as before.

We may spend some time reviewing life’s memories, closing out whole chapters, and dealing with how life used to be. Then we can open a whole new section of life that allows us to include pain and sickness as part of our days. We work in the frame of reference of today. This is today’s problem, and we can work it into our lives. Acknowledging that we are living a part of our lives differently from before will be our first step toward adjustment. We accept, we change, and we begin to create new joys in the present to ease our sorrow.

By altering my goals, I once again can move into the mainstream of life.

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One Day At A Time

HONESTY
“Our lives improve only when we take chances ~
and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”
Walter Anderson

After the initial shock and realization that I am a compulsive overeater, it transpired that in order to recover, I had to get honest. This was — and still is — a painful process for me, yet it is an essential step towards my recovery.

First I had to admit that I wasn’t in control of my life and that recovery couldn’t be achieved unaided. As with most revelations, this was an uncomfortable truth to behold. I was also prompted through honesty to stop blaming everyone else for my unwillingness to help myself. I had to find conviction in my actions and not just emptiness in my words.

I conceded that I am not as perfect as I would like to think. I make mistakes and sometimes slip from the path of recovery, but with honesty comes acceptance that I am only human. This disease would deceive me into thinking that I am a failure when in fact it’s my actions that have failed me. Like a magician who performs illusions for the crowd, this disease would have me think I have committed unforgivable sins. Honesty is the key to my recovery; it unlocks the chains that have imprisoned me for so long. It allows me to recognize my weaknesses and turn them into strengths. It turns simple existence into life ~ and inner-conflicts into outward serenity.

One day at a time…
I will be honest with myself.
~ Sue G.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly. Yet it is our great hope that all those who have yet found no answer may begin to find one in the pages of this book and will presently join us on the high road to a new freedom. – Pg. xxi – 4th. Edition – Forward To Second Edition

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

One Foot in Front of the Other

Today, all I have to do is live the next hour as well as I can. I will not get ahead of myself. I cannot be anywhere but right where I am. When I allow myself to be here now, to live in the present fully and freely, the rest of life takes care of itself. So few people live in the moment, that in itself will make me rare. That will make me someone I feel good about being and others can enjoy being around. When I am in the moment, the next right action reveals itself. When I align my will with the will of my Higher Power, I become one with diving purpose and I connect with the spirituality of life.

I surrender to the path

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

90 meetings in 90 days is not nearly enough. Tell newcomers to always catch a ride or give a ride to their daily meeting. This way they get a meeting on the way to the meeting, a meeting during the meeting, and a meeting on the way home. That makes 270 meetings in the first 90 days!

Who am I taking to a meeting tonight?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Any failure will tell you-success is nothing but luck.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I look within to find my truth. I ask a power greater than myself to guide me and show me the way and all I have to do is follow. It is that simple.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Nobody’s any better than anyone else. We’re all just trying to stay away from a drink. The God that I was looking for, over here, over there; in some guy, the right motorcycle, the best tattoo. And all the time it was right here inside. And it’s hope, and I have it every day if I choose to look for it. And you have it too, you have it right inside of yourself. I know that sounds like an after school special like happy little Care Bears or something, but it’s really true. And you never have to drink again if you find that little light inside yourself. You are so set. It’s really excellent. Sobriety rocks. – Gail.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 11

Here-and-Now
The nondrinking alcoholic discovers in AA that you cannot Get Ahead until you learn to be Here.
We discover from our Serenity Prayer that one of the things we cannot change is time.
The Here-and-Now is the only reality, whereas in the unreal world of the drinking alcoholic
there was only yesterday-and-tomorrow.
– Came To Believe . . ., p. 113

Thought to Ponder . . .
Tomorrow, and all the tomorrows to come, are but extensions of right here, right now.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
N O W = No Other Way.

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

Anger
“It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed,
no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.
If somebody hurts us and we are sore,
we are in the wrong also.
But are there no exceptions to this rule?
What about ‘justifiable’ anger?
If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad?
Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk?
For us in AA these are dangerous exceptions.
We have found that justifiable anger
ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.”
1952AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 90

Thought to Consider . . .
Anger is the hot wind that extinguishes the light of reason.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A N G E R = Any No Good Energy Rising

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

Gifts
From: “The Opening to the Spiritual World”
“This is the crux of the program and the crux of living: acceptance and action.
“The gift of understanding has allowed the simple messages from my parents, my teachers, and my church to take on new meaning and soundness. With the gift of serenity, I am ready and willing to accept what God permits to happen to me; with the gift of courage, to take action to change the things I can for the good of myself and others. The gift of wisdom has been given to me so that in personal relationships I may act intelligently and with love or, as it has also been expressed, with competence and compassion.”
1973, AAWS, Inc., Came to Believe, page 4

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

“It should be the privilege, even the right, of each individual or group to handle anonymity as they wish … Each individual will have to decide where he ought to draw the line — how far he ought to carry the principle in his own affairs, how far he may go in dropping his own anonymity without injury to Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1946
“A Tradition Born of Our Anonymity”
The Language of the Heart

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

“Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum
helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can
be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on
earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these
motives and God will keep you unharmed.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 102~

“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.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 23~

“Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 164 (A Vision For You)

“For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and sanity.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 151 (Tradition Five)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The wonderful energy the Twelfth Step releases, by which it carries our message to the next suffering alcoholic and finally translates the Twelve Steps into action upon all our affairs, is the payoff, the magnificent reality of A.A.
Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, do not allow me to forget those who are still sick.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 10th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 10th

Daily Reflections

TOWARD PEACE AND SERENITY

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

The Beginning of Humility, p. 191

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

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

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

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

pp. 50-51

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

pp. 418-419

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

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

p. 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

THOUGHT

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

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

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

Let me learn to develop morality of mind.

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Trust the Timing of Your Lessons

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let the drama go

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

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

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

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

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

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Food for Thought

A Progressive Illness

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

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

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

Do not let me forget my illness.

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In God’s Care

God is in charge. ~~Daily Word

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

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

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

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Day By Day

Avoiding criticism

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

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

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

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

Today I will praise…

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Finding Encouragement
Your True Inner Voice by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

The Steps are a road, not a resting place.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

This thought brings us to STEP TEN, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. – Pg. 84 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Becoming Real

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

I am open to life and all it holds.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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