Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 14th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 14th

Daily Reflections

REPAIRING THE DAMAGE

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

Humility for the Fellowship, Too, p. 226

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

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

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

A.A. Comes Of Age, p.224

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Walk In Dry Places

Wasting Time
Time management

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


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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

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

p. 64

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

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

p. 430

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 35

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

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

Happiness is an INSIDE job.
–unknown

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TRUTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Letting Go Of Our Limitations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Journey to the Heart
Value the Simple Tasks of Life

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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

God, give me enough faith to believe in today.

*****

Living Potential
Sharing Your Gift with Others

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Personal honesty paves the way to recovery.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

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Food For Thought

Rationalizing

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

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

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

By Your light, may I see clearly.

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

Give me the persistence to meet my obligations this afternoon.

The Mystery

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

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

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

August 14

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

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

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

AA Thought for the Day

August 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 13th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 13th

Daily Reflections

A CLEAN SWEEP

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

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

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“We had but two alternatives; one was to go on to the
bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our
intolerable situation as best we could, and the other
was to accept spiritual help. We became willing to
maintain a certain simple attitude toward life. What
seemed at first a flimsy reed has proved to be the
loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been
given us, a design for living that really works. All
of us establish in our own individual way our personal
relationship with God.” Have I established my own
relationship with God?

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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

As Bill Sees It

The Answer in the Mirror, p. 225

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

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

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

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


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

Walk In Dry Places

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


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

Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

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

pp. 63-64

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

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

pp. 429-430

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 34-35

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

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

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

A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
–unknown

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

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

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

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

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

REALITY

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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

NA Just For Today

Difficult People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Journey to the Heart
Come Back to Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

more language of letting go
Thanks for the lessons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Letting Your Voice Be Heard
Writing Your Story by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

*****

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

I will not be a fugitive from myself.

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Food for Thought.

Be Prepared

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

I Will Live in My Body as Well as My Head

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

I will not be unhappy about being unhappy.

Living in my head limits my spontaneity.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

I will not be unhappy about being unhappy.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today is a day of opportunities.

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

August 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 11th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 11th

Daily Reflections

REMOVING “THE GROUND GLASS”

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

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

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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

As Bill Sees It

One Fellowship–Many Faiths, p.223

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Walk In Dry Places

What is real Open-mindedness?
New Ideas

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


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

Keep It Simple

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

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

Each Day a New Beginning

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


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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

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

p. 63

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

p. 429

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step. True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him.

p. 33

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

INDIVIDUALITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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

NA Just For Today

Active Listening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

You Deserve to Have Your Dreams Come True
Personal Power

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

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

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

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

*****

Journey to the Heart
Trust Yourself

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

more language of letting go
Pray for those you resent

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

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

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

God, I hated Abigail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember Microscopic irritations can ruin my vision.

*****

One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

Food For Thought

Sloppy Thinking

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

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

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

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

Take my thoughts, Lord, and straighten them out.

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

One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Body Memories

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

I ask my body to wake up and live.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Slow and sure.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

August 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 31st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 31st

Daily Reflections

A PRAYER FOR ALL SEASONS

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.
Courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the
difference.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

The power of this prayer is overwhelming in that its simple beauty
parallels the A.A. Fellowship. There are times when I get stuck while
reciting it, but if I examine the section which is troubling me, I find the
answer to my problem. The first time this happened I was scared, but
now I use it as a valuable tool. By accepting life as it is, I gain serenity.
By taking action, I gain courage and I thank God for the ability to
distinguish between those situations I can work on, and those I must
turn over. All that I have now is a gift from God: my life, my
usefulness, my contentment, and this program. The serenity enables
me to continue walking forward.
Alcoholics Anonymous is the easier, softer way.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

This leaves only one day – today. Anyone can fight the battles of just
one day. it is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful
eternity’s, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the
experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness
for something that happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow
may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time.
Am I living one day at a time?

Meditation For The Day

Give God the gift of a thankful heart. Try to see causes of
thankfulness in your everyday life. When life seems hard and troubles
crowd, then look for some reasons for thankfulness. There is nearly
always something you can be thankful for. The offering of
thanksgiving is indeed a sweet incense going up to God throughout a
busy day. Seek diligently for something to be glad and thankful about.
You will acquire in time the habit of being constantly grateful to God
for all His blessings. Each new day some new cause for joy and
gratitude will spring to your mind and you will thank God sincerely.

Prayer For The Day

I pray for a truly thankful heart. I pray that I may be constantly
reminded of causes for sincere gratitude.

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As Bill Sees It

Faith and Action, p. 212

Your prospect’s religious education and training may be far superior
to yours. In that case, he is going to wonder how you can add
anything to what he already knows.

But he will be curious to learn why his convictions have not
worked and yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of
the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be
accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.

Admit that he probably knows more about religion than you do,
but remind him that, however deep his faith and knowledge, these
qualities could not have served him very well, or he would not be
asking your help.

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

Dr. Bob did not need me for his spiritual instruction. He had
already had more of that than I. What he did need, when we first
met, was the deflation at depth and the understanding that only one
drunk can give to another. What I needed was the humility of
self-forgetfulness and the kinship with another human being of my
own kind.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93
2. A.A. Today, p. 10

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Walk In Dry Places

Group Intelligence
Getting Ideas
“All of us know more than any one of us” is the saying that applies to 12 Step groups. No matter how much experience any single individual has, it’s surpassed by the collective knowledge of the group.
That’s a good reason in itself for drawing upon these groups.
  And there are others as well. We need the pool of intelligence that the groups build up over time. We need the group’s strength when our own is waning.
We also learn help that comes in surprising ways. The person in the group who seems just knowledgeable may express an idea that is just what we need at the time.
The group can meet many of our needs if we give it a chance.  Regular attendance at meetings will keep us in touch with the group’s ideas.
I’ll stay in touch today with ideas that come from members of my group. Joined together, we have lots of knowledge. 


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Keep It Simple

Less is more.—Mies Vander Rohe
Our program is simple. It has four equal parts: sobriety, fellowship, service, and faith.
Sobriety means we don’t use alcohol or drugs any more.
Fellowship means we let people into our lives. We work at having a life that’s rich with friends.
Service means we help when we see the need. It means knowing we have much to offer.
Faith means we believe in a loving, caring Higher Power. It means using our Higher Power as a guide in life.
Ours is a simple, easy program. Just remember sobriety, fellowship, service and faith.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray that I may keep my program simple. I pray for sobriety, fellowship, service, and faith.
Action for the Day:  Throughout the day, I’ll remind myself that less is more.

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Each Day a New Beginning

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


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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

pp. 58-59

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.
My college had a long history of drinkers, including Dr. Bob.  At the time of my accident, the deans were assessing how to respond to student alcohol abuse and were waiting to try out their latest idea.  Alcoholics Anonymous.  I was the test case.  They told me in no uncertain terms that I would never get back into this college unless I went to A.A.  Under that pressure, I went to my first meeting.

p. 425

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Consider next the plight of those who once had faith, but have lost it. There will be those who have drifted into indifference, those filled with self-sufficiency who have cut themselves off, those who have become prejudiced against religion, and those who are downright defiant because God has failed to fulfill their demands. Can A.A. experience tell all these they may still find a faith that works?

p. 28

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In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, step within
yourselves and be still. Wait upon God and feel His good presence;
this will carry you through your day’s business.
–William Penn

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
–Thomas Paine

God is gentle with me. I am gentle with myself. I am in awe of God’s
power; however it is God’s gentleness that moves me. God’s will for
me is that which is best for me; yet God does not force anything upon
me. Patiently, God waits for me to be still, to turn within and listen.
God’s gentle spirit is my foundation. When the cares of the world
seem to overwhelm me and when challenges cause me to forget the
truths that support me, God’s spirit gently caresses me, uplifting
and sustaining me. Because God is gentle with me, I am gentle with myself
and others. I do not condemn or speak hurtful words to others. My
actions are ones that encourage the unfoldment of God’s divine plan in
myself and others. Through gentleness and love, God’s work is done.
–unknown

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies
inside of us while we live.”
— Norman Cousins

“Worry is like a rocking chair it gives you something to do but it
doesn’t get you anywhere.”
–Dorothy Galyean

There’s as much risk in doing nothing as in doing something.
–Trammell Crow

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TEMPTATION

“What makes resisting
temptation difficult for many
people is that they don’t want to
discourage it completely.”
–Franklin P. Jones

Usually I am tempted because I want to be. I allow myself to get too
close to the object of my desire or I invite the problem into my life
knowing that I will not resist it. Then I use my “imperfection” as an
excuse! In this way I manipulate my spiritual program and become
dishonest.

When I first got sober, I did not allow alcohol in my house; I did not go
to bars; I did not spend time with heavy drinkers; I avoided airplanes
or places that I would associate with alcohol. This disciplined approach
to sobriety worked. If you don’t invite the enemy in, you won’t get
beaten up. I need to continue to remember these simple rules and not
get complacent in my sobriety.

Let me keep temptation out of my life by avoiding it.

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“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20b

If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in
Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers
of living water.”
John 7:37-38

“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God
must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek
Him.”
Hebrews 11:6

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31


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Daily Inspiration

The more of God’s love that you share, the more you receive. Lord, help me to be compassionate when someone needs an ear and encouraging when someone needs a little support.

When you are troubled, comfort someone more troubled, when lonely, reach out to one that is lonelier and when unsure, give encouragement to the weary. To care for another makes us forget our own sorrows. Lord, You comfort me. Help me now to be a comforter.

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NA Just For Today

Freedom From Active Addiction

“Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise and that is freedom from active addiction, the solution that eluded us for so long.”
Basic Text, p.102

NA offers no promises other than freedom from active addiction. It is true that some of our members meet with financial success in recovery. They buy nice houses, drive new cars, wear fine clothes, and form beautiful families. These outward signs of prosperity are not the lot of all of our members, however. A great many of us never achieve financial success. This does not necessarily reflect on the quality of our recovery.

When we are tempted to compare ourselves to these other, seemingly more affluent members, it is good to remember why we came to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. We came because our lives had fallen down around us. We were emotionally, physically, and spiritually defeated. Our Basic Text reminds us that “in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous” We came because we were beaten. For addicts, even one day clean is a miracle. When we remember why we came to Narcotics Anonymous and in what condition we arrived, we realize that material wealth pales in comparison to the spiritual riches we have gained in recovery.

Just for today: I have been given a spiritual gift greater than material wealth: my recovery. I will thank the God of my understanding for my freedom from active addiction.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose. –Billie Holiday
We all see things differently. It is part of the wonderful variety of the world that we all have different points of view. We’ve all seen baseball players arguing with an umpire over a close call, but, in order to play the game, they must accept the umpire’s judgment.
When we stubbornly refuse to let friends or family members speak their ideas simply because we disagree with them, we risk the loss of a friend or the understanding of a family member. It is when we allow others to disagree that we take a step forward–a step that opens our ears and our hearts to all sorts of people and ideas.
How well can I accept other’s opinions today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Look at the post as a bullet. Once it’s fired it’s finished. –Catherine Bauby
Today is before us as an unformed experience. Yesterday took its own shape, and whatever it was has now gone. Our only opportunities exist in what we will do this day. Perhaps we can enhance the day by starting with a review of yesterday and then letting go. What were the major events in our experiences yesterday? How do we feel about them? Is something left unfinished in our feelings or actions that we need to complete or repair today? Can we take yesterday’s experience to build a better today?
We have centered ourselves in this day by reviewing where we just came from. We have taken a spot check inventory. Now we can let go of yesterday and move forward in the present. That does not mean we never think about the past again. It means we build on the past by learning from our experiences and letting them shape our activities now. In that way we draw ever closer into accord with the will of our Higher Power.
I will let go of the past by learning from it. I give myself to shaping today.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like brick; re-made all the time, made new. –Ursula K. LeGuin
We love to be loved; we love to be held; we love to be caressed. A show of appreciation we love too. And we love to know we’ve been heard. The friends, the spouses, the children in our lives want the same from us. Like a garden that needs water, sun, weeding to nurture the growth, so does love need attending to. To become whole and healthy women, we need tender nurturing. And we also need to give away what we get. Those we nurture will bless our growth.
Love is dynamic, not static. It is always changing, and it always changes those it enfolds. Since coming into this program where the sharing of oneself, the open expression of love, is profoundly evident, we each have changed. And our presence has changed others. We have learned to accept love and give it. But better yet, we have learned that we deserve love.
I will look around me today at others, and I will remember, my growth and theirs depends on loving and being loved. I will reach out. I can make love new.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of What We want
For those of us who have survived by controlling and surrendering, letting go may not come easily. –Beyond Codependency
In recovery, we learn that it is important to identify what we want and need. Where does this concept leave us? With a large but clearly identified package of currently unmet wants and needs. We’ve taken the risk to stop denying and to start accepting what we want and need. The problem is, the want or need hangs there, unmet.
This can be a frustrating, painful, annoying, and sometimes obsession-producing place to be.
After identifying our needs, there is a next step in getting our wants and needs met. This step is one of the spiritual ironies of recovery. The next step is letting go of our wants and needs after we have taken painstaking steps to identify them.
We let them go, we give them up – on a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical level. Sometimes, this means we need to give up. It is not always easy to get to this place, but this is usually where we need to go.
How often I have denied a want or need, then gone through the steps to identify my needs, only to become annoyed, frustrated, and challenged because I don’t have what I want and don’t know how to get it. If I then embark on a plan to control or influence getting that want or need met, I usually make things worse. Searching, trying to control the process, does not work. I must, I have learned to my dismay, let go.
Sometimes, I even have to go to the point of saying, “I don’t want it. I realize it’s important to me, but I cannot control obtaining that in my life. Now, I don’t care anymore if I have it or not. In fact, I’m going to be absolutely happy without it and without any hope of getting it, because hoping to get it is making me nuts – the more I hope and try to get it, the more frustrated I feel because I’m not getting it.”
I don’t know why the process works this way.
I know only that this is how the process works for me. I have found no way around the concept of letting go.
We often can have what we really want and need, or something better. Letting go is part of what we do to get it.
Today, I will strive to let go of those wants and needs that are causing me frustration. I will enter them on my goal list, then struggle to let go. I will trust God to bring me the desires of my heart, in God’s time and in God’s way.

My heart is full of gratitude today. I am free today to experience this day fully and to follow my spiritual path. I have been given a new day to live, to grow, to give love and to feel love. –Ruth Fishel

God help me to stay sober and clean today!

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Journey To The Heart

You Are Complete

Look around at all that lives, at all that is. See how connected each creation is to the workings of the universe. But see also that the essence of all that is, the core, lies within each. From the tiniest purple wildflower to the tallest redwood in the forest, each creation contains its own energy system, its own energy core for living. And so it is with us.

We’re intricately connected to the world. We receive energy, life-sustaining nourishment and support, from the world around us. But inside each of us is our own source for love, joy, and wisdom. Our ability to love, live, feel, and be happy comes from our own hearts.

Look inside yourself. Feel your vitality, your energy. Feel your essence. It is pure love. Everything you need in order to live and love is within you.

Nurture yourself. Let yourself grow. Learn to grow and walk in the ways of love. Learn from all who cross your path. Value your connections to others and the world around you. Receive and give freely as you walk down the road.

Take your place in the world. Know you are part of a complete universe. But remember, you are a complete universe,too.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Stay in the game

And it came to pass….
–The Bible

We can’t always be sure that things will always work out, but we will always have the strength to make it through. We can trust that eventually both the bad and the good will come to pass.

I’ve had the good ripped away from me and felt sorrow until I could drown. But it passed.

All I’m saying is that sometimes the bad guys win and the good guys lose. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Sometimes nothing that we do seems to swing the decision one way or the other, but we can always come back tomorrow. There’s a;ways another chance to play the game, dance, sweat, and cry. And maybe it’s the experience, not the outcome that is the true prize.

If you’re feeling a loss of strength or confidence, let go of the desperate need for a positive outcome in your life. Realize that this, too, will pass. Gain your strength from knowing that whether an event is good or bad, we’re enriched by our experiences. Only we can choose to learn from them or allow resentment and foolish expectations to destroy their value.

Dust yourself off. Pick yourself up. Step up to the plate and get back in the game.

God, give me hope, faith, and courage to live my life today.

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Food for Thought

Inner Guides

In a crisis situation, we cannot rely on another person, or a book, or any external source to tell us what to do. We may have to act immediately, and there may be no outside help available.

By getting in touch with our Higher Power, we cultivate a never failing source of inner strength and direction. In order to have it available when we need it, this inner voice must be consulted habitually. It is not something, which we may call on in times of emergency and forget about when things are going well.

Each of us has this inner source of strength and nourishment. By taking time each day to withdraw from the distractions of the external world, we grow in spiritual knowledge. When the chips are down, this spiritual strength, which we develop by daily prayer and meditation, is what will see us through.

May I know You more dearly each day.

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Making Over Our Partners
Changing the Way We Relate by Madisyn Taylor

It is dishonest to enter into a relationship with the idea that you are going to change or fix them.

A relationship, in the truest sense of the word, means relating to another. Usually when we say that we relate to someone, it is because we’ve found common ground. But part of relating is finding ways to make ideas that seem different come together. So often when we choose relationships, we try to fit another person into our predetermined ideal. When they don’t fit perfectly, we may try to make them over, creating our own vision from the raw material they’ve brought. But unless someone asks for guidance and direction, entering into a relationship with someone we want to change is dishonest. Then our relationship becomes with someone we’ve imagined, and anytime our partner steps outside of that imaginary projection, we will be disappointed. An honest relationship is one in which we accept each other as whole individuals, and find a way to share our life experiences together. Then, whenever we want, we can choose as a couple to give the relationship a makeover by renewing the ! way we interact.

By wanting to give another person a makeover, we are basically saying we don’t accept them for who they are. If we take a moment to imagine the roles reversed, we can get a sense of how it would feel if our beloved only committed to us because they thought we were, or would become, someone else entirely. In such an environment, we are not relating to each other from a real place, and we are keeping ourselves from being able to learn and grow from the different viewpoints that our partners offer.

If we feel that a change is needed in our relationship, the only makeover that we truly have the power to make is on ourselves. By accepting our partners for exactly who they are—the ideal and the not-so-ideal—we will create an energetic shift in our relationships, and we may find ourselves really appreciating our partners for the first time. Working from within, we determine how we relate to the people and the world around us, and when we can accept it and embrace it all, without conditions, we make every act of relating a positive one. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

One of the most serious consequences of the me-me-me syndrome is that we lose touch with practically everyone around us — not to mention reality itself. The essence of self-0pity is total self-absorption, and it feeds on itself. Rather than ignore such an emotional state — or deny that we’re in it — we need to pull out of our self-absorption, stand back, and take a good honest look at ourselves. Once we recognize self-pity for what it is, we can begin to do something about it. Am I living in the problem rather than the answer?

Today I Pray

I pray that my preoccupation with self, which is wound up tight as a Maypole, may unwind itself and let its streamers fly again for others to catch and hold. May the think, familiar wail of me-me-me become a chorus of us-us-us, as we in the fellowship pick apart our self-fullness and look at it together.

Today I Will Remember

Change me-me-me to us-us-us.

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One More Day

From happiness to suffering is a step; from suffering to happiness is an eternity.
– Jewish Proverb

The loss of normal good health can rock even the strongest person. In one fragile moment our life seems in shambles. All that we anticipated, all that we had planned, seems over forever. We wonder if we’ll ever get through this suffering.

For a while it may seem as though we are living underwater — nothing is clear or straightforward. The things that once gave us pleasure seem to disappear as grief takes their place. Friends offer to help — and they do help for a time — but ultimately we face our loss alone.

Finally we begin to understand that grief is a process, just as life is a process. We will be able to move toward acceptance and serenity, and eventually we can be happy again. We can continue to live.

I am consoled in knowing grief takes time, but it will end. I can continue to grow.

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One Day At A Time

NEGATIVE THINKING
“Condemn the fault and not the actor of it.”
William Shakespeare

How many times do we beat ourselves because we have failed to attain the goals we have set? We are human and we suffer from a disease that renders us helpless and out of control. Is it any wonder that we fail in trying to conquer such an unforgiving beast?

It is not ourselves we should be angry with, but the disease and how it affects our actions and reactions. Our inability – or unwillingness — to realize that we cannot achieve recovery alone is our only true failure. We need help. Without it we are weak and defenseless. This disease would have us believe we are failures ~ but in reality, all we have done is open the doors to our enemy. These doors can be closed again. Our disease not only manifests itself in the form of uncontrollable eating, but also in our negative thoughts and actions towards ourselves and towards the people around us.

It takes no more time to think positively than it does to think negatively. Our only job is to remember that we have a disease. We can choose to forget it, we can choose to beat ourselves up when we leave the door ajar, or we can choose to forgive ourselves and begin again.

One day at a time…
I will work on forgiving myself.
I am worth forgiving.
You are too.
~Sue

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

As wives of Alcoholics Anonymous. we would like you to feel that we understand as perhaps few can. We want to analyze mistakes we have made. We want to leave you with the feeling that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness too great to be overcome.
We have traveled a rocky road, there is no mistake about that. We have had long rendezvous with hurt pride, frustration, self pity, misunderstanding and fear. These are not pleasant companions. We have been driven to maudlin sympathy, to bitter resentment. Some of us veered from extreme to extreme, ever hoping that one day our loved ones would be themselves once more. – Pg. 104-105 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Whatever you are feeling now that disturbs you, whatever thoughts or situations plague you, remember that it will pass. Sometimes when emotions are strong, we feel they will never end. But they do and whatever you are feeling now, you won’t be feeling tomorrow. We promise.

I to understand that my troubles are not forever that ‘this too shall pass.’

Seeing Me from the Inside Out

Today, I will become aware of that part of me that is separate and observes all that I say, do, think and feel. I have a witness within me that can become a very useful part of my life. Watching my thoughts, feelings and behavior with a little bit of objectivity will help me to see myself as I really am. Fear, for example, is only fear. When I experience small fears throughout my day I will simply see myself feeling them, I will watch them, experience them and allow them to dissipate. I will breathe in and out as they move through me. By allowing my mind to watch itself with no thought of controlling or participating, I can learn a great deal about the way I work. I can allow myself to change on the inside.

I am an uncritical observer of my own inner workings.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

You don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not. You don’t have to pretend to be strong (if you’re a man) or fem (if you’re a woman). You don’t have to pretend that you don’t want to use, if you do. Share what is real. The real you is enough.

I am enough; there is enough.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

20/20: Come 20 minutes before the meeting, stay 20 minutes after.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

My heart is full of gratitude today. I am free today to experience this day fully and to follow my spiritual path. I have been given a new day to live, to grow, to give love and to feel love.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If I quit causing my own trouble, I’ve got no trouble. All I have to do is trace this back – No matter what she had done – to where I had placed myself in a position to be hurt. – Milt L.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 31

Fear
When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister,
my capacity to love myself is increased;
when I accept pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness;
when I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light;
when I accept my vulnerability and surrender to a Higher Power,
I am graced with unforeseen strength.
– Daily Reflections, p. 62

Thought to Ponder . . .
A fear faced is a fear erased.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
F E A R = Face Everything And Recover.

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

Half Measures
“Remember that we deal with alcohol –
cunning, baffling, powerful!
Without help, it is too much for us.
But there is One who has all power –
that One is God.
May you find him now.
Half measures availed us nothing.
We stood at the turning point.
We asked His protection and care
with complete abandon.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 58-9

Thought to Consider . . .
Take a walk with God.
He will meet you at the Steps.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B O G G L E = Bad Or Good, God Loves Everyone

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

Out of Self
From: “Trying the Twelve Steps”
It may be that problem drinking is, indeed, as some psychological experts say, an ailment characterized especially by egocentricity. Not all alcoholics are egotistical, although many of us have learned to see that tendency in ourselves. Others of us felt inferior most of the time; we felt equal or superior to other people only when drinking.
No matter which type we were, we realize now that we were excessively self-centered, chiefly concerned about our feelings, our problems, other people’s reactions to us, and our own past and future. Therefore, trying to get into communication with and to help other people is a recovery measure for us, because it helps take us out of ourselves. Trying to heal ourselves by helping others works, even when it is an insincere gesture. Try it some time.
1975, AAWS, Inc., Living Sober, page 84

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

“Sometimes, the only place on earth that makes any sense to me is a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
December 1979
“The Root of Our Troubles,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“When you discover a prospect for Alcoholics Anonymous, find out all
you can about him. If he does not want to stop drinking, don’t
waste time trying to persuade him. You may spoil a later opportunity.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 90

“We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 17 (There is a Solution)

“Like all the remaining Steps, Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God — or, if you like, a Higher Power — into our lives.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 34 (Step Three)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Your prospect’s religious education and training may be far superior to yours. In that case, he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows.
But he will be curious to learn why his convictions have not worked and why yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
Admit that he probably knows more about religion than you do, but remind him that, however deep his faith and knowledge, these qualities could not have served him very well, or he would not be asking your help.
Dr. Bob did not need me for his spiritual instruction. He had already had more of that than I. What he did need, when we first met, was the deflation at depth and the understanding that only one drunk can give to another. What I needed was the humility of self-forgetfulness and the kinship with another human being of my own kind.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to take action to help my fellows today. Remove my selfishness and self-seeking so that I may become interested in the needs of others.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 27th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 27th

Daily Reflections

GIVING FREELY

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

 

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As Bill Sees It

Reason–a Bridge to Faith, p. 208

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 53-54

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Walk In Dry Places

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


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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

pp. 56-57

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 424

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IDEAS

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

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

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

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

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

May my ideas and thoughts always reflect Your beauty.

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

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

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

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

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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

We Do Recover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Be Vulnerable with Yourself

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say how it feels intuitively

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God, help me trust my intuitive powers.

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In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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

Day By Day

Making progress

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

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

Can I see the progress I am making?

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

I will seek to improve myself today by…

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

Food for Thought

OA Unity

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

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

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

May I contribute to OA unity.

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Compulsive Apologies
The Feeling Underneath by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

to be God-conscious.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Spirit Calls

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

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

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

I can disagree without being disagreeable.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote 

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 23rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 23rd

Daily Reflections

I ASK GOD TO DECIDE

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

The Building Of Character, p. 204

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

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

12 & 12, p. 65

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 55

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 423

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 24

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

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

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

As you teach, you learn.
–Jewish Proverb

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

WEALTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Surrendering Self-Will

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Make a Fresh Start

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

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

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

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

It’s time for a fresh start.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Fill up your life

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

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

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

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

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

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In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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Day By Day

Baby-sitting

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

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

Am I learning the boundary between helping and fixing?

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

I will concentrate on helping myself today by…

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Food for Thought

Food: Servant or Master?

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

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

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

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

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Guided Meditation
Accessing the World Within by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Good is good enough.

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One More Day

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

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

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

I bring myself honestly to my friendships.

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

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

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

My Work

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

I will share my gifts

– Tian Dayton PhD

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

Henry David Thoreau

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

I cannot get ahead until I learn to be here.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Daily Reflections

A PRICELESS GIFT

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

The Hour of Decision, p. 202

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

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

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

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 54

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 422

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 23-24

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IGNORANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Surrender Is For Everyone

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

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Value Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Maybe it’s not supposed to feel good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 16th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 16th

Daily Reflections

“A MEASURE OF HUMILITY”

In every case, pain had been the price of admission into a new life.
But this admission price had purchased more than we expected. It
brought a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a
healer of pain.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 75

It was painful to give up trying to control my life, even though success
eluded me, and when life got too rough, I drank to escape. Accepting
life on life’s terms will be mastered through the humility I experience
when I turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I
understand Him. With my life in God’s care, fear, uncertainty, and anger
are no longer my response to those portions of life that I would rather
not have happen to me. The pain of living through these times will be
healed by the knowledge that I have received the spiritual strength to
survive.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We can believe that God is in His heaven and that He has a
purpose for our lives, which will eventually work out as long as we
try to live the way we believe He wants us to live. It has been said
that we should “wear the world like a loose garment.” That
means nothing should seriously upset us because we have a deep,
abiding faith that God will always take care of us. To us that
means not to be too upset by the surface wrongness of things, but to
feel deeply secure in the fundamental goodness and purpose in the
universe. Do I feel deeply secure?

Meditation For The Day

Like the shadow of a great rock in a desert land, God is your
refuge from the ills of life. The old hymn says: “Rock of ages
cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” God can be your shelter
from the storm. God’s power can protect you from every temptation
and defeat. Try to feel His divine power–call on it–accept it–and
use it. Armed with that power, you can face anything. Each day,
seek safety in God’s secret place, in communion with Him. You
cannot be wholly touched or seriously harmed there. God can be
your refuge.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may find a haven in the thought of God. I pray that I
may abide in that Strong Tower, strongly guarded.

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As Bill Sees It

Where Rationalizing Leads, p. 197

“You know what our genius for rationalization is. If, to ourselves, we
fully justify one slip, then our rationalizing propensities are almost
sure to justify another one, perhaps with a different set of excuses.
But one justification leads to another and presently we are back on
the bottle full-time.”

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

Experience shows, all too often, that even the “controlled” pill-taker
may get out of control. The same crazy rationalizations that once
characterized his drinking begin to blight his existence. He thinks that
if pills can cure insomnia so may they cure his worry.

Our friends the doctors are seldom directly to blame for the dire
results we so often experience. It is much too easy for alcoholics to
buy these dangerous drugs, and once possessed of them the drinker is
often likely to use them without any judgment whatever.

1. Letter, 1959
2. Grapevine, November 1945

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Walk In Dry Places

Accepting and correcting mistakes.
Mature living.
Being in error now and then is part of our human existence.  Many of us, however, feel unbearable self-reproach when we make a mistake. Some compulsive people even blame themselves for errors beyond their control.
But the worst mistake is the refusal, or denial, of responsibility for mistakes. This comes from a strange belief that we can erase the mistake by refusing to accept it.  It may stem from the belief that we should be above mistakes. This is immature thinking.
We are learning and growing when we accept our mistakes graciously and immediately move to correct them.  Most of the time, when this is done, the distress passes quickly and we can go on to other matters.
I’ll take full responsibility for all of my actions today, and I’ll move quickly to correct any of my mistakes.

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Keep It Simple

We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
—Will Rogers
Humility is being thankful for the chance to watch the parade. There were days we thought that all that counted were the heroes. But our program has no heroes. It has many fine, spiritual people. . . but no heroes.
When someone is needed to make coffee or pick up after a meeting, we can be willing to do those things. Let’s look at doing these little jobs as our way of looking for a good spot on the curb. . . .to watch the parade! The floats are so colorful, and the bands play so loud!
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be proud of who I am, instead of always putting myself down because I’m not who I “should” be.
Action for the Day:  I will look and help someone today. Service to others is service to my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have come to believe in the “Sacrament of the Moment,” which presupposes trust in the ultimate goodness of my creator. –Ruth Casey
The moment, realized, is like a bud blossoming. The day unfolds and with each minute we are moved along to the experiences right for us at this place and this time. Our resistance to certain experiences and particular people creates the barrier that blocks the good in store for us.
We can rest assured; our higher power is caring for us. Each breath we take is Spirit-filled, and the plan for our lives is an accumulation of necessary experiences that is helping us to grow and develop our special talents. What we often forget is that the difficult periods of our lives stretch us, enlighten us, ready us to be the women we desire within to be.
This moment is sacred. All moments are sacred. They will not come again. What is offered this moment for us to grow on will not be offered in exactly this way again. Our higher power knows our needs and is caring for them. We can trust the goodness of today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

The Wright brothers’ almost childish faith that they could build a machine which would fly was the mainspring of their accomplishment. Without that, nothing could have happened. We agnostics and atheists were sticking to the idea that self-sufficiency would solve our problems. When others showed us that “God-sufficiency” worked with them, we began to feel like those who had insisted the Wrights would never fly.

pp. 52-53

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Acceptance is the key to my relationship with God today.  I never just sit and do nothing while waiting for Him to tell me what to do.  Rather, I do whatever is in front of me to be done, and leave the results up to Him; however it turns out, that’s God’s will for me.

p. 420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

But upon entering A.A. we soon take quite another view of this absolute humiliation. We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.

p. 21

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Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.
–Carl Sandburg

You can have fun and still be efficient. In fact, you will be more
efficient.
–Stress Fractures, p.155

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds
you plant.
–Robert Louis Stevenson

It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up
and taking action.
–Al Batt

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind
word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of
caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
–Leo Buscaglia

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

DESIRE

“One must not lose desires. They
are mighty stimulating to
creativeness, to love, and to long
life.”
–Alexander A. Bogomoletz

Today I desire to live. I have discovered value in my life. I have
experienced personal self-esteem. I am able to feel again, talk,
trust and laugh again. Today I desire to live.

But I can remember when I felt lonely, isolated, angry, shutdown
and hopeless. The desires I had were destructive, desiring
isolation mingled with alcohol. Then the pain became too great and
I experienced a vital “moment”. I realized I needed to make a
choice — was I to live or die? I chose to live!

This was the beginning of my spiritual journey into self from which
I discovered God and His world. Creative and positive desires
were re-born in my life, and I am able to live and love again.

O Lord, may I continue to desire those things that do not hurt me.

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Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10b

If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:26

God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25

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Daily Inspiration

More strength is found in the ability to be flexible than in stubborn determination. Lord, when life makes extra demands on me, guide me and help me adapt easily to the necessary changes for the best results.

Worse than being a quitter is the one who is afraid to begin. Lord, grant me the courage to believe in myself and the ability to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do.

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NA Just For Today

Self-esteem

“Deep inside, I had feellngs of inadequacy and inferiority.”
Basic Text, p. 112

Somewhere along the way, many of us developed strong feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Deep inside was a voice that continually cried out, “You’re worthless!” Many of us learn to recognize this characteristic of low self-esteem very early in our recovery. Some of us may feel that our feelings of inferiority were where all our problems began.

Whether we learn this low self-esteem in our families or through our interactions with others, in NA we learn the tools for reclaiming ourselves. Building up our fractured self-esteem sometimes begins by simply accepting a service position. Or perhaps our phone begins to ring, and for the first time people are calling just to see how we are. They don’t want anything from us but to reach out and help.

Next we get a sponsor, someone who teaches us that we are worthwhile and believes in us until we can believe in ourselves. Our sponsor guides us through the Twelve Steps where we learn who we really are, not who we have built ourselves up or down to be.

Low self-esteem doesn’t go away overnight. Sometimes it takes years for us to really get in touch with ourselves. But with the help of other members of NA who share our same feelings, and by working the Twelve Steps, we blossom into individuals that others and, most importantly, we ourselves respect.

Just for today: I will remember that I am deserving of my Higher Power’s love. I know that I am a worthy human being.
pg. 206

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by. –Carl Sandburg
There is a song that says joy is like the rain. It comes across our window pane and then goes away again. When joy comes knocking at our window we can reach out and let it in. Joy comes to us in many ways–through deep laughter, through games played together in a spirit of fun and sharing. Singing together, skating, and being around a campfire are all ways we share joy. Yet joy can also be felt alone.
Each moment of joy we reach for strengthens our spirits. Joyful memories can sustain us through days of long hard work. Like rain, joy comes and goes, yet its nourishment keeps our spirits alive.
How can I share my joy today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Do not seek death. Death will find you. –Dag Hammarskjold
When we accept deep within ourselves the fact that we will die, that our days are numbered as certainly as those of each thriving, bustling generation before us, then we become more fully alive and vital men. Facing this raises grief over our loss, and we wish to avoid it. Yet, death keeps us honest. It highlights the folly of our questions about whether we should live or die and confronts us with the self-destructive behaviors we have used. Some of us have nearly killed ourselves by our extreme behaviors.
Since death is certain, the real question is. How shall we live? By pursuing recovery and spiritual growth we have chosen to live more fully and to use our energies well. We live with commitment to our highest values. We stay in tune with our inner voice to help us make choices. We play, we love, and we celebrate the miracle of life every day, not because there is no grief, but because life is precious and time is limited.
Today, I will accept my grief over the limits of life. I will celebrate its wonder.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have come to believe in the “Sacrament of the Moment,” which presupposes trust in the ultimate goodness of my creator.
–Ruth Casey
The moment, realized, is like a bud blossoming. The day unfolds and with each minute we are moved along to the experiences right for us at this place and this time. Our resistance to certain experiences and particular people creates the barrier that blocks the good in store for us.
We can rest assured; our higher power is caring for us. Each breath we take is Spirit-filled, and the plan for our lives is an accumulation of necessary experiences that is helping us to grow and develop our special talents. What we often forget is that the difficult periods of our lives stretch us, enlighten us, ready us to be the women we desire within to be.
This moment is sacred. All moments are sacred. They will not come again. What is offered this moment for us to grow on will not be offered in exactly this way again. Our higher power knows our needs and is caring for them. We can trust the goodness of today.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Insisting on the Best
We deserve the best life and love has to offer, but we are each faced with the challenge of learning to identify what that means in our life. We must each come to grips with our own understanding of what we believe we deserve, what we want, and whether we are receiving it.
There is only one place to start, and that is right where we are, in our current circumstances. The place we begin is with us.
What hurts? What makes us angry? What are we whining and complaining about? Are we discounting how much a particular behavior is hurting us? Are we making excuses for the other person, telling ourselves we’re “too demanding”?
Are we reluctant, for a variety of reasons, especially fear, to tackle the issues in our relationships that may be hurting us? Do we know what’s hurting us and do we know that we have a right to stop our pain, if we want to do that?
We can begin the journey from deprived to deserving. We can start it today. We can also be patient and gentle with ourselves, as we travel in important increments from believing we deserve second best, to knowing in our hearts that we deserve the best, and taking responsibility for that.
Today, I will pay attention to how I allow people to treat me, and how I feel about that. I will also watch how I treat others. I will not overreact by taking their issues too personally and too seriously; I will not under react by denying that certain behaviors are inappropriate and not acceptable to me.
Whatever situation I encounter today, I will believe in its goodness. It is right for me. It may stretch my patience rather than elicit laughter, but it is right for me at this time.

Today I am willing to give away what I need for myself. I am willing to listen to someone else’s problems. That way we will both see that we are traveling together on the same journey and are not alone. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Go a Little Further

I arrived at Oregon’s Willamette National Forest after dark. Suddenly I found myself at a fork in the road. To the right was a chained gate marked “Foot Travelers Welcome. To the left was an open road marked “Nature Sanctuary, Authorized Visitors Only.”

I stared at both signs, then headed to the left. I didn’t see anything that looked like lodging and I began to feel uncomfortable, like one of the unauthorized visitors the sign warned about. I backed the car out to the fork, turned around and left.

Two hours later, I still hadn’t found the retreat. I was tired and worried about running out of gas. I tried to remember what I’d been learning– that desperation attracts more desperation. I relaxed and visualized myself finding the retreat, being given a key to a room, and going to sleep in a bed. I visualized it until I could see the scene clearly in my mind.

Before long I found myself back at the fork. I mean no harm, I thought. So I’ll just drive down that nature sanctuary road again, the one for authorized visitors only. I drove as far as I had before, then decided to push ahead a bit more. I rounded the bend and there it was– the parking lot, the night office, and a man who could give me a key to my room. Within twenty minutes, I was in bed for the evening.

Sometimes we need to go further than we thought we could. We need to go past our fear, past our uncertainty, past the bend we can’t see beyond. If we stay on the course, give it that extra push, and go round the bend, we may find what we’re looking for.

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More Language Of Letting Go

There’s a bottom to the well

“I’m not disconnected from my emotions,” said Jan. “But what I am is frightened. I go so deeply into some feelings that I think that how I’m feeling now is the way I’ll always feel. I get frightened, especially with sadness, that there’s no end, no bottom, to what I’m going through.”

Some feelings are just plain big. It feels like we’ve fallen into an emotional well with no bottom.

We haven’t. There is a bottom. It may take a while to ge there, but there is a bottom. And there are ways we can take care of ourselves when we’re feeling this way. Some people get professional help. Others make a decision to go through it, giving special care to themselves. If you’re going through an emotionally exhausting time, you may want to design your own care routine. Here are some suggestions that have helped some people get through these times.

. If you’re involved with a support group, go to your meetings, even and especially if you don’t feel like going out.

. Let a trusted friend know what you’re going through. Ask that person for support, be clear in asking for what you need.

. Get plenty of rest. It takes a lot of energy to go through feelings this big.

. Make yourself get up and get out sometimes,too. Just the sheer act of being around people, in a park or at the mall, reminds us that life goes on when it feels like our life has stopped. Ask yourself what might feel good, and listen to any positive ideas you get.

. Exercise, even if you don’t want to. Move your body around. It’ll help move those feelings around,too.

. Make daily goals, a list of things you want and need to do each day. Give yourself room to feel your feelings, but exercise your will and volition,too.

. Don’t let your environment reflect what you’re feeling; let it reflect how you want to feel. Tidy up your living space.

. Give yourself time deadlines for emotions. For instance, give yourself half an hour to thoroughly and completely give in to the feeling, then go do something else for a while. Go for a walk, watch TV, go to a movie, read a book. Tell yourself you’re not running away from the feeling. You’re just going to take a break for a while.

. Journal. Write about how you feel. Few things in life can substitute or work better than actually making a connection with ourselves.

. Then pray. Connecting with God always help.

God, help me accept and get through all my feelings, even the big ones.

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Food for Thought

Hard Right or Easy Wrong?

We are constantly faced with choices, and often we are tempted to follow the way of least resistance. In our dealings with others and ourselves it is usually easier to say yes than no, but yes is not always the best answer. If we are too permissive, we become lax and ineffective.

The problem with taking the easy way is that it usually ends up being harder in the long run. If we do not control our eating, we will have all of the problems of obesity. If we do not limit our spending, we will eventually lack funds for what we need. If we do not follow moral and ethical principles, our lives become chaotic and we live in constant fear and tension.

Although choosing the hard right is difficult, it is by exercising our ethical muscles that we become strong and gain self-respect.

By Your grace, may I make the right choices.

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Recognizing Our Own Greatness
The Greatness in Others by Madisyn Taylor

We are all moved by greatness when we see it we know the feeling of it and have it within ourselves.

A person who is said to possess greatness stands apart from others in some way, usually by the size or originality of their vision and their ability to manifest that vision. And yet those who recognize that greatness, whether they display it themselves or not, also have greatness within them; otherwise, they could not see it in another. In many ways, the achievements of one person always belong to many people for we accomplish nothing alone in this world. People who display greatness rely upon others who are able to see as they do, to listen, encourage, and support. Without those people who recognize greatness and move in to support it, even the greatest ideas, works of art, and political movements would remain unborn.

We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along. When we respond to someone else’s greatness, we feed our own. We may feel called to dedicate ourselves to their vision, or we may be inspired to follow a path we forge ourselves. Either way, we cannot lose when we recognize that the greatness we see in others belongs also to us. Our recognition of this is a call to action that, if heeded, will inspire others to see in us the greatness they also possess. This creates a chain reaction of greatness unfolding itself endlessly into the future.

Ultimately, greatness is simply the best of what humanity has to offer. Greatness does what has not been done before and inspires the same courage that it requires. When we see it in others, we know it, and when we trust its presence in ourselves, we embody it. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Long experience has proven that The Program and Twelve Steps will work for any person who approaches it with an open mind. We have to remember that we can’t expect miracles overnight; after all, it took years to create the situation in which we find ourselves today. I’ll try to be receptive and to listen. I’ll try to e less hasty in drawing judgmental conclusions. I’ll hand on to the expectation that The Program can change my entire life as long as I give it a chance. Have I begun to realize that my ultimate contentment doesn’t depend on having things work out my way?

Today I Pray

I pray for a more receptive attitude; for a little more patience; a little less haste and more humility in my judgments. May I always understand that change will come — it will all happen — if I will listen for God’s will, God grant me perseverance, for sometimes I must wait a while for The Program’s Steps to take effect.

Today I Will Remember

Patience.

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One More Day

What is experience? A poor little hut constructed from the ruins of the palace of gold and marble called our illusion.
– Joseph Roux

Our youthful dreams of glory, adventure, and wealth have, for most of us, been unfulfilled, yet we are not disappointed. Childlike illusions that a meaningful life had to be based on excitement and power have give way to a maturity that values simpler, yet more important, goals.

Our long-ago need to importance was based on the judgment of others. We want other people to see our wealth, feel our power, possibly even envy our influence. Today, we seek our own approval. We value serenity, not adventure. Love, not envy. Acceptance, now power. We live with goals, not illusions.

I am thankful that my values are strong.

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One Day At A Time

SELF-RESPECT
“In his private heart …
no man much respects himself.”
Mark Twain

I had no confidence or satisfaction in myself. I covered my lack of self-respect with absurd and harmful behaviors. I shielded myself from the respect and love of others by using these behaviors. I wanted to hide from the truth I knew – that I was behaving badly and dishonestly.

Having begun this program which restores us to sanity, we have stepped into a new realm of learning to love and respect ourselves. We have come to realize that we gain self-respect by working the Steps, surrendering ego, doing service for others, and relying on a Higher Power. Our lives become useful, our hearts are healed, and we are filled with respect for who we have become.

One day at a time …
May I come to realize I am worthy of self-respect because I am doing the right things for the right reasons … and giving credit to my Higher Power.
~ Judy N.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We asked especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why. – Pg. 87 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is important for us to think in the positive. It doesn’t help to think ‘I don’t want to use, I don’t want to use,’ because we end up having to think of what we don’t want to use. It stays on our mind. But if we think, ‘I like having a clear mind; I like remembering; I like growing,’ we have positive thoughts directed away from our diseases.

May my thoughts focus on what I’m working toward, not what I’m escaping from.

A Little Magic

Each day is a gift especially for me. I will look through innocent eyes at the world today and see the gifts that are meant just for me. Children think the sun rises for and because of them. They’re sure that the moon hangs in the sky because they waved their arm towards the heavens. That flowers bloom for their eyes alone to see. They are magical thinkers. They take delight in the antics of a squirrel, in a balloon sailing in a bright, blue sky. They see the world fresh, in color and alive each new day, each new moment. They are constantly being surprised. Today, I think I’ll borrow a little of their magic. Their magic and my maturity may just be a winning combination.

I believe anything is possible

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do not become one of these people who have two excuses for everything: one excuse for what you don’t do and another for what you don’t have.

Excuses are simply my lack of faith in me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Encouragement from an old-timer can turn a newcomer’s life around.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am willing to give away what I need for myself. I am willing to listen to someone else’s problems. That way we will both see that we are traveling together on the same journey and are not alone.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

My life is none of my business. I just suit up, show up; be an example of AA and leave the rest to God. – Sharon B.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 16

Freedom
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-84

Thought to Ponder . . .
Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm.

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

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

Selfishness
“So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.
They arise out of ourselves,
and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot,
though he usually doesn’t think so.
Above everything, we alcoholics
must be rid of this selfishness.
We must, or it kills us!
God makes that possible . . .
We had to have God’s help.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Thought to Consider . . .
The smallest package in the world
is an alcoholic all wrapped up in himself.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P R I D E  =  Pretty Ridiculous Individual Directing Everything

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

Peace of Mind
from: “Freedom from Bondage”
“A.A. has taught me that I will have peace of mind in exact proportion to the peace of mind I bring into the lives of other people, and it has taught me the true meaning of the admonition happy are ye who know these things and do them. For the only problems I have now are those I create when I break out in a rash of self-will.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 550-551

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

“In the years that lie just ahead Alcoholics Anonymous faces a supreme test – the great ordeal of its own prosperity and success. I think it will prove the greatest trial of all. Can we but weather that, the waves of time and circumstance may beat upon us in vain.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., June 1946
“Policy on Gift Funds”
The Language of the Heart

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

“One of the many doctors who had the opportunity of reading this
book in manuscript form told us that the use of sweets was often
helpful, of course depending upon a doctor’s advice. He thought all
alcoholics should constantly have chocolate available for its quick
energy value at times of fatigue. He added that occasionally in the
night a vague craving arose which would be satisfied by candy. Many
of us have noticed a tendency to eat sweets and have found this
practice beneficial.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

“Many of us felt that we had plenty of character. There was a
tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This
is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter
inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the
wish.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 34~

“He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound altera  tion in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly   have been brought about by himself alone.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 567 (Appendix II: Spiritual Experience)

“It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves  to meet conditions, whatever  they were.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47 (Step Four)

Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I fully give myself to you in faith that the necessary change will take place if I take the action.