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.

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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.

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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.

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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.'”

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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


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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.        


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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.

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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.


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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

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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.”

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

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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

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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.

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“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


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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 August 10th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 10th

Daily Reflections

REDOUBLING OUR EFFORTS

To a degree, he has already done this when taking moral
inventory, but now the time has come when he ought to
redouble his efforts to see how many people he had hurt,
and in what ways.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS , p. 77

As I continue to grow in sobriety, I become more aware
of myself as a person of worth. In the process, I am
better able to see others as persons, and with this comes
the realization that these were people whom I had hurt in
my drinking days. I didn’t just lie, I lied about Tom. I
didn’t just cheat, I cheated Joe. What were seemingly
impersonal acts, were really personal affronts, because
it was people – people of worth – whom I had harmed. I
need to do something about the people I have hurt so that
I may enjoy a peaceful sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have
discovered a common solution. We who have found this
solution to our alcoholic problem, we who are properly armed
with the facts about ourselves, can generally win the
entire confidence of another alcoholic. We who are making
the approach to new prospects have had the same difficulty
they have had. We obviously know what we are talking about.
Our whole deportment shouts at new prospects that we are
people with a real answer.” Am I a person with the real
answer to the alcoholic problems of others?

Meditation For The Day

For straying from the right way there is no cure except to
keep so close to the thought of God that nothing, no other
interest, can seriously come between you and God. Sure of
that, you can stay on God’s side. Knowing the way, nothing
can prevent your staying in the way and nothing can cause
you to seriously stray from it. God has promised peace if
you stay close to Him, but not leisure. You still have to
carry on in the world. He has promised heart-rest and
comfort, but not pleasure in the ordinary sense. Peace and
comfort bring real inward happiness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep my feet on the way. I pray that I
may stay on God’s side.

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

As Bill Sees It

Who Is To Blame?, p. 222

At Step Four we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where
had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened?
Though a given situation had not been entirely our fault, we often
tried to cast the whole blame on the other person involved.

We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other
man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and became willing to
set these matters straight.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 67

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Walk In Dry Places

Am I getting too busy?
Time Management.

It’s always risky when a recovering person gets too busy for meetings. It’s also dangerous when business and personal concerns crowd out interest in the program.
We should never deceive ourselves by thinking that we’re somehow safe just because our time is filled with useful and interesting work. Many of us have a tendency to become addicted to “busy-ness”.  Though less destructive than drinking, this serves as an escape, just as alcohol did.
The danger is that when the work no longer satisfies us, we’ll find our lives becoming empty again.  We could then be very vulnerable to taking a drink.
We should never be too busy for the wonderful, constructive work of the program. Far from taking time away from our other actives, work in the program will enhance everything we do.
I’ll try to balance my activities today, making sure that I have time for the program.


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Keep It Simple

There are time we must grab God’s and walk forward.— Anonymous
Sometimes we struggle with being part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution.
Inside we know this, but somehow we can’t Let Go and Let God.
To let go takes faith that the outcome will be okay. When we have faith, we know our Higher Power believes in us and will guide us. When we have faith, we believe in ourselves.
When we let go, we let go of our need to always be right. Letting go first takes place on the inside. Letting go allows us to change how we view what’s happening. Often, all we really need is this change of attitude. This is the beauty of faith: it allows us to see the same thing in different
Ways.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, permit me to let go. Let me see that believing in You must also mean believing in myself.
Action for the Day:  I will review my life since entering the Twelve Step program. I will work at seeing what good partners my Higher Power and I make.

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Each Day a New Beginning

…the growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line.  –Joanna Field
We each are traveling our own, very special path in this life. At times our paths run parallel to each other. On occasion they may intersect. But we do all have a common destination: knowledge of life’s meaning. And we’ll arrive at knowledge when we’ve arrived at the mountain’s summit, separately and yet together.
We do not go straight up the side of the mountain on this trip. We circle it, slowly, carefully, sometimes losing our footing, sometimes back-tracking because we’ve reached an impasse. Many times we have stumbled, but as we grow in understanding, as we rely more and more on our inner strength, available for the taking, we become more sure-footed.
We have never needed to take any step alone on this trip. Our troubles in the past were complicated because we did not know this; but now we do. Our lifeline is to our higher power. If we hang onto it, every step of the way will feel secure. The ground will be stable under us.
I am on a path to full understanding. I am learning to trust the lifeline offered by the program and God and my friends. As I learn, my footing is less tentative, and it supports me more securely.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.

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.

When I had finished talking, he told me something simple:  “You don’t have to drink over it.”  What an idea!  I had thought that situations made me drink.  If I was angry, I drank.  If I was happy, I drank.  Bored or excited, elated or depressed, I drank.  Here was a man telling me that, independent of my life situation, I did not have to drink.  If I stuck with A.A., I could stay sober under any and all conditions.  He gave me hope, and in many ways, he symbolized the door through which I finally walked into Alcoholics Anonymous.

pp. 428-429

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 32-33

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Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.
–Abbot Columba Mormion

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.”
–Margaret Bonnano

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart …
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
–Carl Jung

“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or
desperation.
–Jim Rohn

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a
butterfly.”
–Lao Tsu

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FAITH

“Faith must trample underfoot
all reason, sense and
understanding.
— Martin Luther

An obstacle to my understanding the spiritual life was my
intellectualization; my head was forever getting in the way of my
heart. It was much easier to me to think rather than to feel; my faith
was smothered by logic. My manipulating and controlling mind was
stopping me experiencing the adventure of faith.

The poet in me grew as I began to trust others. God became alive in
my confusion. The answer was in not having to have the answers.
Today spirituality involves all the varied confusions and paradoxes of
life that I have discovered in me and in others — and it’s okay.

Today the love I give and receive is beyond my wildest dreams, and I
smile at the joy of my confusion.

May my head unite with my heart in the daily maze of life.

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

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!”
1 Chronicles 16:11

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in him. That is why we
say “Amen” when we give glory to God through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 1:20


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Daily Inspiration

Whatever the problem, stressing over it will not solve it. Lord, I turn to You for solutions because I believe that You care for all of my needs. Bless me with the ability to remain level headed and calm as we work our way through my day.

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

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

NA Just For Today

Regular Prayer And Meditation

“Most of us pray when we are hurting. We learn that if we pray regularly, we won’t be hurting as often or as intensely.”
Basic Text, p.44

Regular prayer and meditation are two more key elements in our new pattern of living. Our active addiction was more than just a bad habit waiting to be broken by force of will. Our addiction was a negative, draining dependence that stole all our positive energy. That dependence was so total, it prevented us from developing any kind of reliance on a Higher Power.

From the very beginning of our recovery, our Higher Power has been the force that’s brought us freedom. First, it relieved us of our compulsion to keep taking drugs, even when we knew they were killing us. Then, it gave us freedom from the more deeply ingrained aspects of our disease. Our Higher Power gave us the direction, the strength, and the courage to inventory ourselves; to admit out loud to another person what our lives had been like, perhaps for the first time; to begin seeking release from the chronic defects of character underlying our troubles; and, at last, to make amends for the wrongs we’d done.

That first contact with a Higher Power, and that first freedom, has grown into a life full of freedom. We maintain that freedom by maintaining and improving our conscious contact with our Higher Power through regular prayer and meditation.

Just for today: I will make a commitment to include regular prayer and meditation in my new pattern of living.
pg. 232

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
It may be those who do most dream most. –Stephen Leacock
Where would we be without the dreamers of the world–the ones who took the time to balance on the edge of wonder? Amazing connections, powerful images, and creative ideas come to us in daydreams. They creep in when we least expect them, like sleek cats, then make their presence known to us with a gentle pounce.
When we give ourselves permission to daydream–to sit for a while and do nothing but be quiet with our thoughts, we give ourselves a precious gift. And who knows, we just might be giving the world a priceless gift, too! Out of the seeds of some of our dreams, great ideas will blossom.
What first step can I take today to make a dream come true?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
According to the teachers, there is only one thing that all people possess equally. This is their loneliness. –Hyemeyohsts Storm
Many of us have tried to find a way to outwit our loneliness, or to escape its truth. We have learned that we cannot. As fathers looking at our children we may wish to spare them this pain. As men with our mates, we have dreamed of an ideal connection where all loneliness was dispelled.
We can’t obliterate loneliness. But we can learn to accept and deal with it. There is no need to compulsively cover all traces and all reminders that we are alone. We can accept this universal truth. We are alone, but so is everybody. We can make true contact with each other out of our aloneness. True intimacy with another man or woman comes out of first seeing our separateness, and then bridging the gap.
Today, I accept the feeling of loneliness as part of life. I can make contact with my brothers and sisters, knowing we are all in the same condition.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
…the growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line. –Joanna Field
We each are traveling our own, very special path in this life. At times our paths run parallel to each other. On occasion they may intersect. But we do all have a common destination: knowledge of life’s meaning. And we’ll arrive at knowledge when we’ve arrived at the mountain’s summit, separately and yet together.
We do not go straight up the side of the mountain on this trip. We circle it, slowly, carefully, sometimes losing our footing, sometimes back-tracking because we’ve reached an impasse. Many times we have stumbled, but as we grow in understanding, as we rely more and more on our inner strength, available for the taking, we become more sure-footed.
We have never needed to take any step alone on this trip. Our troubles in the past were complicated because we did not know this; but now we do. Our lifeline is to our higher power. If we hang onto it, every step of the way will feel secure. The ground will be stable under us.
I am on a path to full understanding. I am learning to trust the lifeline offered by the program and God and my friends. As I learn, my footing is less tentative, and it supports me more securely.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Perfection
As I journey through recovery, more and more I learn that accepting myself and my idiosyncrasies – laughing at myself for my ways – gets me a lot further than picking on myself and trying to make myself perfect. Maybe that’s really what it’s all about – absolute loving, joyous, nurturing self-acceptance. –Anonymous
Stop expecting perfection from yourself and those around you.
We do a terrible, annoying thing to others and ourselves when we expect perfection. We set up a situation where others, including ourselves, do not feel comfortable with us. Sometimes, expecting perfection makes people so uptight that they and we make more mistakes than normal because we are so nervous and focused on mistakes.
That does not mean we allow inappropriate behaviors with the excuse “nobody’s perfect.” That doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries and reasonable expectations of people and ourselves.
But our expectations need to be reasonable. Expecting perfection is not reasonable.
People make mistakes. The less anxious, intimidated, and repressed they are by expectations of being perfect, the better they will do.
Striving for excellence, purity in creativity, a harmonious performance, and the best we have to offer does not happen in the stymied, negative, fear-producing atmosphere of expecting perfection.
Have and set boundaries. Have reasonable expectations. Strive to do your best. Encourage others to do the same. But know that others and we will make mistakes. Know that others and we will have learning experiences, things we go through.
Sometimes, the flaws and imperfections in ourselves determine our uniqueness, the way they do in a piece of art. Relish them. Laugh at them. Embrace them, and ourselves.
Encourage others and ourselves to do the best we can. Love and nurture others and ourselves for being who we are. Then realize we are not merely human – we were intended and created to be human.
Today, God, help me let go of my need to be perfect and to unreasonably insist that others are perfect. I will not use this to tolerate abuse or mistreatment, but to achieve appropriate, balanced expectations. I am creating a healthy atmosphere of love, acceptance, and nurturing around and within me. I trust that this attitude will bring out the best in other people and in me.

Today I know my Higher Power is guiding me through the changes I choose to make in my life. I have all the energy I need today to make these changes as easily and effortless as I wish. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
Find Places of Healing

Find places of healing. Discover people, things, and places that nourish your soul, bring you back to center, help you heal.

Life is not an endurance contest. Not anymore. We are not in a race to see how long we can go without, how much we can go without, how much pain we can stay in. Although sometimes we go through dry spells and droughts, we are not cactuses.

There is a place in each of us that wants to heal, that can heal, that will heal. It’s a peaceful place, one of nourishment, replenishment, peace, safety, comfort, and joy. It’s a place of love and acceptance. It’s a place of forgiveness, honesty, openness, nurturing, and kindness. You can find it quickly, if that’s what you’re seeking. You will recognize it instantly because of how it feels. It will bring you back to center. It will bring you back to calm. It will bring you back to joy.

Find places of healing. Then go there often. They are yours for the asking, yours for the seeking. Healing places are an important part of the journey. 

*****

more language of letting go
It’s all a gift

Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that a legitimate claim has been denied.
–C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Oh, the grousing about we do, especially when we feel denied of one thing or another– some reward, or achievement, or position that we felt belonged to us.

How enraged we may become when a wish, a hope, a dream, or a want is blatantly denied.

How easy it is to be jealous of the success or happiness of another, even convincing ourselves that the person has laid claim to something that rightfully belonged, instead, to us.

The lesson here is simple.

Remember to be grateful. God doesn’t owe us anything. All of it is a gift.

God, thanks for everything, jusr as it is.

*****

Worthiness
Accepting Our Calling by Madisyn Taylor

Our worth of being on the planet at this time cannot be judged as we are all worthy and essential to being here now.

The issue of worthiness may come up in many areas of our lives, as we ask, often unconsciously, whether we are worthy of success, love, happiness, and countless other things, from supportive relationships to a beautiful home. In the end, though, it all comes down to one thing: our willingness to claim our space in this life as humans on this planet at this time. When we accept our divinity, we no longer question whether we are worthy, because we know that we are meant to be here to fulfill a particular purpose, a purpose that no one other than us can fulfill.

There are no replacements who can take over and live our lives for us, no other person who has had the experiences we have had, who has access to the same resources and relationships, who carries the same message to share with the world. Our purpose may be large or small, and in most cases it is multi-leveled, with important actions taking place on the interpersonal level, as well as in terms of the work we do in the world. Small acts of kindness share the stage with large acts of sacrifice, and only through accepting and honoring our divinity can we know what we are called to do and when.

Ultimately, we are all equally, exactly, completely worthy of being here in this life. Moreover, we are all essential to the unfolding plan of which we are each one small, but important, part. If we suffer from low self worth, it is because we have lost track of understanding this truth, and allowing it to guide our actions in the world. Seeing ourselves as part of something larger, as beings called to serve, is the ultimate cure for feelings of unworthiness. In the end, it’s not about evaluating ourselves as worthy or unworthy, so much as it’s about accepting that we have been called here to serve and taking the steps required to listen and respond to what our lives are asking us to do. Published with permission from Daily OM

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One More Day

Few men are so miserable as not to like to talk of their misfortunes…. – Maria Edgeworth

“Don’t get stuck in a conversation with Harry. He’ll bore you to death telling you his problems.” We have all had the experience of being warned away from a certain person. There have probably even been times when we were the “Harry” others tried to avoid. It’s normal to dwell on our troubles, and we all like to talk about them. There is an added responsibility on our shoulders now that there is a medical problem present.

We can minimize that problem by becoming aware of what we are doing and by saving our long medical conversations for the people who really care and need to know. Otherwise, we will find that our friends will slip away, uncertain of how to bear the burden of our changed health.

Caution will become my watchword as I learn to live with my altered health problems.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We’ve been our own worst enemies most of our lives, and we’ve often injured ourselves seriously as a result of a “justified” resentment over a slight wrong. Doubtless there are many causes for resentment in the world, all of them providing “justification.” But we can never begin to settle all the world’s grievances or even arrange things so as to please everybody. If we’ve been treated unjustly by others or simply by life itself, we can avoid compounding the difficulty by completely forgiving the persons involved and abandoning the destructive habit of reviewing our hurts and humiliations. Can i believe that yesterday’s hurt is today’s understanding, rewoven into tomorrow’s love?

Today I Pray

Whether I am unjustly treated or just think I am, may I try not to be a resentful person, stewing over past injuries. Once I have identified the root emotion behind my resentment, may I be big enough to forgive the person involved and wise enough to forget the whole thing.

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

In God’s Care
August 10, 2013God has an exasperating habit of laying his hands on the wrong man.
~~Joseph D. Blinco

At times it seems grossly unfair that we are in the position we find ourselves. Either we aren’t ready to deal with the circumstances we encounter, or the people we find ourselves with don’t understand our problems. We feel we’re with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. But is this true?

How many times have we heard a nugget of wisdom from an unlikely source? Each of us can remember the comfort of a smile, a kind word, or a piece of sound advice from someone whom we least expected it from. Perhaps this was God’s way of reminding us that we all have value to each other and to God. We are never in the wrong place or in the wrong hands.

I will try to remember that there is a purpose for everything in my life.

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

Day By Day

Adapting to the world“Live only in today; don’t worry about tomorrow.” That’s a fine ambition, we may think, but what does it mean? “Living in today” means dealing only with what is at hand now and the available courses of action.

If we are worrying about matters in the past or future, or out of our realm, we can disengage ourselves from them. We cannot bend the world to our will.

Am I learning to fit myself to the world?

Higher Power, help me remember to conquer myself, not the world.

Today I will practice adapting myself to whatever happens by

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

Food For Thought

No Compromises

Where abstinence is concerned, there can be no compromising. In order to control our illness, we are willing to go to any lengths to maintain abstinence. Nothing else is as important to us.

If we are eating in a restaurant where the right kind of vegetable is not available, we can order two salads or do without a vegetable for one meal, rather than substitute a starch which will activate our disease. We learn what we can handle and what is not for us, and then we act on that knowledge in every situation. To compromise “just this once” is an invitation to trouble.

Just as we have a certain way of eating for the maintenance of our recovery, so we have a way of living based on the principle of rigorous honesty. Honesty in all of our activities is what makes us strong and effective. Where the core principles of our program are concerned, we do not compromise.

By Your grace, may I maintain my integrity in all situations.

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One Day At A Time

LOSS
“The act of giving something up is painful.
But as we negotiate the curves and corners of our lives,
we must continually give up parts of ourselves.
The only alternative is not to travel at all on the journey of life.”
M. Scott Peck

As I look back over my life, I can remember many losses. Some came about by death, some by the circumstances of life, and others by choices I made. All of my losses were painful, but only three were traumatic. Whenever I gave something up there was a period afterwards when my life wasn’t the same as it had been before. The amount of pain I experienced and the length of its duration were not contingent upon the seeming “severity” of the loss. Death was final, but not the most traumatic for me. Letting go of something takes many forms.

Though my most traumatic losses were those I experienced at the end of a relationship, there were other losses, too. I lost my youth and I mourned that. I lost a part of my life when a decades-long career gave way to retirement. I lost my role as mother when my children grew up and I found myself with an empty nest. I lost my identity when the disease I have had for a lifetime caused me to reach bottom and, in the process, took the “me who was” along with it. And I lost another part of myself when I accepted the reality of my marriage and let go of the storybook dreams I once had.

My Twelve Step program has enabled me to go through a mourning process for each loss I experienced. I have allowed myself to grieve and feel the feelings. And when all this was done, God’s grace allowed me to heal.

One day at a time … I will learn from those things I had to give up …
and I will continue my journey in serenity and peace.
~ Mari

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Alcoholics who have derided religious people will be helped by such contacts. Being possessed of a spiritual experience, the alcoholic will find he has much in common with these people, though he may differ with them on many matters. If he does not argue about religion, he will make new friends and is sure to find new avenues of usefulness and pleasure. He and his family can be a bright spot in such congregations. He may bring new hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world. We intend the foregoing as a helpful suggestion only. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing obligatory about it. As non-demominational people, we cannot make up others’ mind for them. Each individual should consult his own conscience. – Pgs. 131-132 – The Family Afterward

Self Importance

I will get my mind off of the treadmill. There is more to life than my worries and obsessions. Just for today I won’t give every little thing more importance than it deserves. In the scheme of things, all of my petty annoyances aren’t all that important. I don’t have to take them so seriously that they disturb my inner peace. When I am constantly preoccupies with all that’s wrong, I forget to remember all that’s right. Self importance is different from valuing myself. Self importance gets me tied up in mental knots, valuing myself is nourishing and loving.

I will get out of my own way today

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We find that the smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.

My actions speak louder than words. What are my actions saying now?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Keeping their secret keeps you sick.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know my Higher Power is guiding me through the changes I choose to make in my life.

I have all the energy I need today to make these changes as easily and effortless as I wish.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

No big shots in AA; One shot and we’re all shot. – Unknown origin. ( Aussie Version ); No seniority here. One drink and back to the vomit, – Campsie Mick.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 10

Friendships
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish,
to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience you must not miss.
We know you will not want to miss it.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Thought to Ponder . . .
A friend is one who sees through you and still enjoys the view.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering Together.

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

Higher Power
“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.”
– Bill W.
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12

Thought to Consider . . .
Willpower … our will-ingness to use a Higher Power.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
B I G B O O K = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge

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

Solo
From “Source of Strength”:
“I would tell a friend of mine, who was having the same problems, that I prayed to God not to take a drink today and not
to get married today. It was a sort of pact. I was very serious about this. I couldn’t seem to handle romance and God
too well at the same time. And God did start to give me the strength that I had always thought would come from the
man in my life. “New York, New York, USA”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pgs. 102-03

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

“AA recovery cannot be bought and sold, but more than once I’ve wished I could just send a monthly check instead of practicing those principles. Just making donations seems an easier, softer way, doesn’t it?”
New York, New York, August 1998
“AA Is Not for Sale,”
AA Grapevine

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

We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show,
humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We
are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-
pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do
not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we
did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 87

“In our belief any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to
shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the
alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but
usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried
these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 101~

“Though our decision was a 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.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 63

“Having so considered our day, not omitting to take due note of things well done, and having searched our hearts with
neither fear nor favor, we can truly thank God for the blessings we have received and sleep in good conscience.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 95

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

At Step Four we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and
frightened? Though a given situation had not been entirely our fault, we often tried to cast the whole blame on the other
person involved.
We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and
became willing to set these matters straight.

Prayer for the Day: God, Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 2nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings August 2nd

Daily Reflections

WE BECOME WILLING. . . . .

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not
an end in itself.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 77

How easily I can become misdirected in approaching the Eighth Step! I
wish to be free, somehow transformed by my Sixth and Seventh Step
work. Now, more than ever, I am vulnerable to my own self-interest
and hidden agenda. I am careful to remember that self-satisfaction,
which sometimes comes through the spoken forgiveness of those
I have harmed, is not my true objective. I become willing to make
amends, knowing that through this process I am mended and made
fit to move forward, to know and desire God’s will for me.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics Anonymous has no quarrel with medicine, psychiatry, or
religion. We have great respect for the methods of each. And we are
glad for any success they may have had with alcoholics. We are
desirous always of cooperating with them in every way. The more
doctors, the more psychiatrists, the more clergy and rabbis we can get
to work with us, the better we like it. We have many who take a real
interest in our program and we would like many more. Am I ready to
cooperate with those who take a sincere interest in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

God is always ready to pour His blessings into our hearts in generous
measure. But like the seed-sowing, the ground must be prepared
before the seed is dropped in. It is our task to prepare the soil. It is
God’s to drop the seed. This preparation of the soil means many days
of right living, choosing the right and avoiding the wrong. As you go
along, each day you are better prepared for God’s planting, until
you reach the time of harvest. Then you share the harvest with
God — the harvest of a useful and more abundant life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my way of living may be properly prepared day by day. I
pray that I may strive to make myself ready for the harvest which
God has planted in my heart.

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

As Bill Sees It

Only Try, p. 214

In my teens, I had to be an athlete because I was not an athlete. I
had to be a musician because I could not carry a tune. I had to be
the president of my class in boarding school. I had to first in
everything because in my perverse heart I felt myself the least of
God’s creatures. I could not accept my deep sense of inferiority,
and so I strove to become captain of the baseball team, and I did
learn to play the fiddle. Lead I must–or else. This was the “all or
nothing” kind of demand that later did me in.

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

“I’m glad you are going to try that new job. But make sure that
you are only going to ‘try.’ If you approach the project in the
attitude that “I must succeed, I must not fail, I cannot fail,’ then you
practically guarantee the flop which in turn will guarantee a
drinking relapse. But if you look at the venture as a constructive
experiment only, then all should go well.”

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 53
2. Letter, 1958


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

Walk In Dry Places

“That’s the way I am”
Getter Better
Bad behavior is sometimes justified as a form of self-expression:   “That’s the way I am.”  Others are supposed to tolerate this or risk losing a friendship.
In our program, we should modify any behavior that offends or hurts others.  If we have been too brutally frank in our comments, for example, maybe we’re at fault. What we call honesty is really a form of cruelty.
If we persist in “being the way we are” even when it doesn’t work, we have nobody to blame but ourselves when things go wrong. Other people are entitled to be treated fairly and decently.   Just as we want to be. Perhaps “the way I am” is something that can be changed for the good of all, ourselves included.
If I have habits and traits that cause friction with others, I’ll take a new look at them.  It’s possible that this is something I can and should change.


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

Keep It Simple

. . . and because willing to make amends to them all.—Second half of Step
Eight.
We have made our list of persons we’ve harmed. Now we look at how willing
we are  to make amends. We might find that we aren’t ready and willing to
make amends to everyone. Maybe they have wronged us more than we have
wronged them. Maybe we’re afraid they’ll get angry with us. Maybe we’re
afraid they’ll put us in jail.
We get ready to make amends by listening and talking to others in our
group—and to our sponsor. We pray for help to be willing to make amends.
Becoming willing does not just happen.
We have to work at it. We need to be willing to let go of the past.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me become willing. Help me see my part. I know “my part”
is the only part I can change.
Action for the Day:  I will take time to go over my list. To whom am I not ready to make amends?
I will take time to read the Serenity Prayer.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Though we be sick and tired and faint and worn–Lo, all things can be borne!  –Elizabeth Chase Akers
What bothered us most a year ago? A month ago? Even a week ago? It’s probably that whatever it was, we were obsessed with it, certain that our futures were ruined, that there was no reasonable solution. It’s also probable that we feared we simply couldn’t survive the complexity of the situation. But we did. And we always will be able to survive any and all difficulties. We are never, absolutely never, given more than we can handle. In fact, we are given exactly what we need, at any given time.
We have many lessons to learn. Fortunately, we have the structure of the Twelve Steps to guide us through the lessons. We need mainly to remember what we are powerless over, that there is a power greater than ourselves, and that life will become simple; we’ll need no extra homework when we’ve turned it over to the care of God.
Whatever my problem today, I will let God have it. A solution is in the making. I’ll see it just as quickly as I can let go of the problem.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

p. 60

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

I went to my first A.A. meeting with absolutely no idea what A.A. was about.  I am from a large Irish Catholic family and have had several relatives in and out of the program.  A.A., like prison, was shameful, however, and was never discussed.  I also had no idea what alcoholism was.  I remember a girlfriend once told me that her mother had a drinking problem but that she was not an alcoholic.  Curious, I asked what the difference was.  “An alcoholic,” she told me, “is someone who needs to drink alcohol everyday, even if it is only one drink.  A person with a drinking problem does not have to drink every day but once she starts, she cannot stop.”  By that definition, I was an alcoholic with a drinking problem.

p. 426

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Any number of A.A.’s can say to the drifter, “Yes, we were diverted from our childhood faith, too. The overconfidence of youth was too much for us. Of course, we were glad that good home and religious training had given us certain values. We were still sure that we ought to be fairly honest, tolerant, and just, that we ought to be ambitious and hardworking. We became convinced that such simple rules of fair play and decency would be enough.

pp. 28-29

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

Today…well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and
every tomorrow a vision of hope.
–unknown

“Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated.”
“To Thine Own Self Be True!”
“This Is The Real Thing IT’S No Dress Rehearsal.”

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.”
–Thomas Carlyle

“In any situation, no matter how painful, we have two choices: Hold
onto anger, resentment, hurt, and fear, or open our hearts and look at
the other person with understanding, empathy, & forgiveness.
–Melody Beattie

“Look back and be grateful, look ahead and be hopeful, look around
and be helpful.”
–unknown

The first step identifies the problem.
The second step identifies the solution.
The third step identifies the action.
–unknown

When I came into AA all I could say was, “I know” and “yeah but…”
Then I got a sponsor who said, “You don’t know, and there are no
buts!”
–unknown

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LAUGHTER

“Nobody ever died of laughter.”
— Max Beerbohm

I knew that I was growing in self-esteem and confidence when I was
able to laugh, express that “belly” laugh that proclaims that I am glad
to be alive.

So many religious people are too serious. They seem to think that God
disapproves of laughter and yet it seems the most natural emotion in
the world. Sobriety is a statement that the pain is being overcome and
the hope that is experienced will necessarily release laughter.

Laughter also stops us from treating ourselves and the world too
seriously. I remember a professor telling me, “God created the world
for fun. Find the key to life and enjoy it.” Spirituality is that key.

Sometimes, Lord, in the silence of my car, my joy is so great and my
gratitude so overwhelming, I can do nothing but laugh. Thank You for
the gift of laughter.

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

“For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”
II Samuel 22;29

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give
thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4


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

Daily Inspiration

Whether the friendships we have last a lifetime or only a brief period, they bring joy and make life a little better. Lord, may I be genuine and honest with the people in my life so that each relationship is a blessing.

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

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

NA Just For Today

Practicing Honesty

“When we feel trapped or pressured, it takes great spiritual and emotional strength to be honest.”
Basic Text, p.81

Many of us try to wiggle out of a difficult spot by being dishonest, only to have to humble ourselves later and tell the truth. Some of us twist our stories as a matter of course, even when we could just as easily tell the plain truth. Every time we try to avoid being honest, it backfires on us. Honesty may be uncomfortable, but the trouble we have to endure when we are dishonest is usually far worse than the discomfort of telling the truth.

Honesty is one of the fundamental principles of recovery. We apply this principle right from the beginning of our recovery when we finally admit our powerlessness and unmanageability. We continue to apply the principle of honesty each time we are faced with the option of either living in fantasy or living life on its own terms. Learning to be honest isn’t always easy, especially after the covering up and deception so many of us practiced in our addiction. Our voices may shake as we test our newfound honesty. But before long, the sound of the truth coming from our own mouths settles any doubts: Honesty feels good! It’s easier living the truth than living a lie.

Just for today: I will honestly embrace life, with all its pressures and demands. I will practice honesty, even when it is awkward to do so. Honesty will help, not hurt, my efforts to live clean and recover.
pg. 224

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

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Happiness is a mental habit, a mental attitude, and if it is not learned and practiced in the present it is never experienced.
–Maxwell Maltz
If only I had a new bike, then I’d be happy. If only my family were more understanding, then I’d be happy. If only my hair were styled better. If only I had more friends. If only… Sometimes we begin to sound like a broken record when things go wrong, so certain that if the events and conditions of our lives were different, we’d be happy.
It’s an old and unfortunate habit that we look around outside ourselves for happiness. We can never be sure of it if we count on certain conditions to guarantee it. However, we can always be sure of happiness if we carry it with us wherever we go. The happiness habit can be developed, with practice, just as surely as good piano playing or accurate pitching. We can control our own thoughts. The decision to make them happy ones is ours to make.
Am I carrying my happiness within me right now?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing. –Bill Cosby
Things are not always as they seem, even with us. Sometimes we get settled into a routine in our program. We are beyond the early struggles with detachment and sobriety. We have encountered many of the benefits of recovery. We attend our meetings and we know the words and ideas of the program. Although it all looks good on the outside, when we’re honest with ourselves, we know our spirit has gone flat. This is a serious situation and needs our attention.
When the inside feeling does not match our outside appearance, we need to become vulnerable again. We need to talk about how we really feel. Maybe little secrets we have been holding have deadened our program. Perhaps we haven’t admitted a pain in our life. Maybe we have been seduced by the power of looking good and have traded away the genuineness of being known by our friends. The renewal of this program is something we feel from within, and we can continue to be renewed.
I pray my eyes will be open to see and my program will stay alive and genuine.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Though we be sick and tired and faint and worn–Lo, all things can be borne! –Elizabeth Chase Akers
What bothered us most a year ago? A month ago? Even a week ago? It’s probably that whatever it was, we were obsessed with it, certain that our futures were ruined, that there was no reasonable solution. It’s also probable that we feared we simply couldn’t survive the complexity of the situation. But we did. And we always will be able to survive any and all difficulties. We are never, absolutely never, given more than we can handle. In fact, we are given exactly what we need, at any given time.
We have many lessons to learn. Fortunately, we have the structure of the Twelve Steps to guide us through the lessons. We need mainly to remember what we are powerless over, that there is a power greater than ourselves, and that life will become simple; we’ll need no extra homework when we’ve turned it over to the care of God.
Whatever my problem today, I will let God have it. A solution is in the making. I’ll see it just as quickly as I can let go of the problem.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
In Between
Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in between.
One of the hardest parts of recovery is the concept of letting go of what is old and familiar, but what we don’t want, and being willing to stand with our hands empty while we wait for God to fill them.
This may apply to feelings. We may have been full of hurt and anger. In some ways, these feelings may have become comfortably familiar. When we finally face and relinquish our grief, we may feel empty for a time. We are in between pain and the joy of serenity and acceptance.
Being in between can apply to relationships. To prepare ourselves for the new, we need to first let go of the old. This can be frightening. We may feel empty and lost for a time. We may feel all alone, wondering what is wrong with us for letting go of the proverbial bird in hand, when there is nothing in the bush.
Being in between can apply to many areas of life and recovery. We can be in between jobs, careers, homes, or goals. We can be in between behaviors as we let go of the old and are not certain what we will replace it with. This can apply to behaviors that have protected and served us well all of our life, such as caretaking and controlling.
We may have many feelings going on when we’re in between: spurts of grief about what we have let go of or lost, and feelings of anxiety, fear, and apprehension about what’s ahead. These are normal feelings for the in between place. Accept them. Feel them. Release them.
Being in between isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It will not last forever. It may feel like we’re standing still, but we’re not. We’re standing at the in between place. it’s how we get from here to there. It is not the destination.
We are moving forward, even when we’re in between.
Today, I will accept where I am as the ideal place for me to be. If I am in between, I will strive for the faith that this place is not without purpose, that it is moving me toward something good.

Today I know I’m just wasting my energy to try to change people, places and things. By looking within I can really discover what needs to be changed and then turn it over to my Higher Power to be released. –Ruth Fishel

*****

Enjoying a Snail’s Pace
Doing Things Slowly by Madisyn Taylor

Take time to slow down, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Life can often feel like it’s zipping by in fast forward. We feel obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at hand. Moving at a slower place lets you get things done more efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your relationships. Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate, and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go of the “fast forward” stress, and allow our bodies to remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be luxuriant and relaxing. A student cramming for a test will often feel tired and unsure, whereas someone who really absorbs the information will be more confident and relaxed. Cooking, eating, reading, and writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. ! Slowing down lets you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive.

Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing around you so you can begin moving at your own pace. The moments we choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice rather than an involuntary action. Learning to slow down in our fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic living at this pace can be. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

Journey to the Heart
What Do We Do When People Resent Us

Even with our best efforts to detach, we may still have moments when the resentments and harsh feelings of another interfere with our peace. We react much as if someone was throwing darts or rocks at us. All the efforts in the world to ignore resentment may not help if we’re feeling the impact of each harsh feeling thrown at us.

These are some ideas that might help.

1. Talk to the person. Reason things out. If that’s not possible, send them a box of blessings through prayer or thought.

2. Protect yourself emotionally and spiritually. One healing professional recommends these techniques, which have helped me. You may have your own. Take some quiet time, close your eyes, and envision yourself encased in a large cube of mirrors. Totally protected, you can see out, but others can’t see in. All they see when they look at you is themselves. Spiritually protect yourself by envisioning a flaming circle of fire around you, around the mirrors,too.

3. Look deep within yourself and find the emotional block, the unresolved issue, or the old belief that makes you vulnerable to that energy, to that person. Then release it. Heal it by acknowledging it, feeling it, and letting go.

4. Tale a closer look. The pressure and resentment you’re feeling may be your own. Release them. Heal yourself.

Now thank that person for helping you heal, grow, and move along your path.

*****

more language of letting go
Gratitude is larger than life

One day, a friend called me on the phone. He was going through a difficult time and wondering if and when things would ever turn around and improve. I knew he was in a lot of pain; I didn’t know that he was considering suicide.

“If you could give a person only one thing to help them,” he said, “what would it be?”

I thought carefully about his question; then I replied, “It’s not one thing. It’s two: gratitude and letting go.” Gratitude for everything, not just the things we consider good or a blessing. And letting go of everything we can’t change.

A few years have passed since that day my friend called me on the phone. His life has turned around. His financial problems have sorted themselves out. His career has shifted. The two very large problems he was facing at that time have both sorted themselves out. The actual process of facing and working through these problems became an important part of redirecting the course of his life.

Someone once asked the artist Georgia O’Keefe why her paintings magnified the size of small objects– like the petals on a flower– making them appear larger than life, and reduced the size of large objects– like mountains– making them smaller than life.

“Everyone sees the big things,” she said. “But these smaller things are so beautiful and people might not notice them if I didn’t emphasize them.”

That’s the way it is with gratitude and letting go. It’s easy to see the problems in our lives. They’re like mountains. But sometimes we overlook the smaller things; we don’t notice how truly beautiful they are.

Identify problems. Feel feelings.

But if you’re going to make anything bigger than life, let it be the power and simplicity of these two tools: gratitude and letting go.

God, teach me to use gratitude and letting go to reduce the size of my problems.

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

A Day At A Time
August 2

Reflection For The Day

When I begin to compare my life with the lives of others, I’ve begun to move toward the edge of the murky swamp of self-pity. On the other hand, if I feel that what I’m doing is right and good, I won’t be so dependent on the admiration or approval of others. Applause is well and good, but it’s not essential to my inner contentment. I’m in The Program to get rid of self-pity, not to increase its power to destroy me. Am I learning how others have dealt with their problems so I can apply these lessons to my own life?

Today I Pray

God, make me ever mindful of where I came from and the new goals I have been encouraged to set. May I stop playing to an audience for their approval, since I am fully capable of admiring or applauding myself if I feel I have earned it. Help me make myself attractive from the inside, so it will show through, rather than adorning the outside for effect. I am tired of stage make-up and costumes, God; help me be myself.

Today I Will Remember

Has anyone seen ME?

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

One More Day
August 2

No man is good for anything who has not some particle of obstinacy to use upon occasion.
– Henry Ward Beecher

The word obstinate is quite often used to describe children who refuse to let go of an idea or behavior. Although we may not want others to label us obstinate, it might be that obstinacy is a needed quality for us in the right situations.

Sometimes it is healthy for us to be stubborn, to hold steadfastly to what we want and who we are and where we want to be. Faith in ourselves and obstinacy can be just what we need to survive a hard day. And we do get by, not because we’re foolish, but because our maturity tells us to hold on to our sense of direction.

I will keep as much independence as I can.

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

In God’s Care

He always lets people do what they want.
~~Frank N.D. Buchman

We are born into the world with free will, and we can do whatever we please. But there are civil laws and, if we disobey them, we are at risk of losing our freedom.

The spiritual world also has laws; if we disregard them, we suffer consequences. The difference is that we are our own judges, and our consequences are personal. We frequently bump into these spiritual boundaries. God lets us over-step them at will, but what we do always catches up with us.

If we break spiritual laws, no one knows it better than we do because unhappiness surely follows. Selfishness, dishonesty, and an unloving attitude guarantee misery. Letting love direct our thoughts and actions assures our ultimate happiness.

Today I can do as I please, but I choose to be happy – living within God’s spiritual boundaries.

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

Day By Day

Developing Spritually

We read in the Big Book that no human power could have relieved our addiction – not ourselves, our spouse, the law, clergy, counselors, or friends. Through trial and error and many failures, we come to know that another human being is not the way. To recover, we need a spiritual program based on a power greater than ourselves.

To recover, we need a spiritual life, as developed by the fellowship and the Twelve Steps.

Am I growing spiritually?

Higher Power, help me to see the importance of developing a spiritual life.

I will work on my spiritual program today by…

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

Food For Thought

Motivation

Most of us fight the temptation to be lazy, to get by with doing the minimum instead of our best. When we were children, we had parents and teachers who urged us on to greater efforts. As adults, we have to depend more on internal motivation and less on the exhortations of others.

Working for strictly material goods is not enough to provide the impetus and enthusiasm we need. It is our Higher Power who gives us our talents and abilities, and it is His plan for their use, which we seek to follow.

Doing less than the best we can is short-changing ourselves. We miss the satisfaction that comes from stretching as far as we can. We also miss the opportunity to exceed former limits. The more we do, the more we are able to do.

Motivation comes from our Higher Power and can only be received, as we are willing to act. Thinking and planning have their place, but it is action, which generates fresh enthusiasm.

May I live up to the maximum of my abilities today.

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

One Day At A Time

CONTROL
“I know God will not give me anything I cannot handle.
I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
Mother Teresa

There was a time when I asked God to handle only the impossible. How dare I ask someone as busy and important as God to help me with a simple thing like food? After all, this was just a matter of using a little will-power … of pushing myself back from the table. Or so I had been told.

As I began to trust my Twelve Step program more and more, I found myself turning over to God the issues which triggered my compulsive eating. It was with great relief that I began to surrender my food and other problems to Him. It was with enormous gratitude that I realized what a gift it is to finally be able to give up control and put my life in my Higher Power’s hands.

One Day at a Time . . .
I relinquish control of my food.
I relinquish control of people.
I relinquish control of my life.
~ Mari

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. 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. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. – Pg. 84 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We hear so much about spiritual principles. What are they? A spiritual principle is a standard of conduct by which we remain right with the world. Some of these are: honesty, integrity, kindness, accountability, service to others, and good humor.

May I pick one of the spiritual principles and apply it to my conduct in this next hour.

The Power is in the Now

There is magic in this moment. All of the creative power in this radiant universe is in the present, in the here and now. The present is alive and vibrant. If I align myself with the present, if I allow myself to fully experience this moment, I will find all that I need in it. And I will be contemplating what I experience next. Quantum physics tells me that all is alive and issues from the same source. What I experience now, creates my future. I am part of God’s plan, part of the one, creative mind.

There is nothing like the present

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do you have so many skeletons in the closet that you had to build a walk-in? Share the load. The AA Big Book says that, we ‘should be willing to bring former mistakes, no matter how grievous, out of their hiding places.’ (P 124) Not to do so is being self-centered and selfish.

I am only as sick as my secrets.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Keep coming back, it works-don’t go away; it works even better!

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know I’m just wasting my energy to try to change people, places and things. By looking within I can really discover what needs to be changed and then turn it over to my Higher Power to be released.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Explore daily the will of God. – Carl Jung.

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AA Thought for the Day

August 2

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

Thought to Ponder . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

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

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

Responsibility
“Our spiritual way of life is safe for future generations if,
as a Society, we resist the temptation to receive money
from the outside world.
But this leaves us with a responsibility –
one that every member ought to understand.
We cannot skimp when the treasurer of our group
passes the hat.
Our groups, our areas, and AA as a whole
will not function unless our services are sufficient
and their bills are paid.
When we meet and defeat the temptation to take large gifts,
we are only being prudent.
But when we are generous with the hat
we give a token that we are grateful for our blessings
and evidence that we are eager to share what we have found with all those who
still suffer.”
Bill W., November 1957
1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 221

Thought to Consider . . .
The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Happy Our Program Exists

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

Name
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“The Akron and New York groups had been voting for months on possible titles [for the Big Book]. This had become an after-the-meeting form of amusement and interest. The title ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ had appeared very early in the discussion, probably in October, 1938. We do not know who first used these words. After we New Yorkers had left the Oxford Groups in 1937 we often described ourselves as a ‘nameless bunch of alcoholics.’ From this phrase it was only a step to the idea of ‘Alcoholics Anonymous.’ This was its actual derivation.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 165

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

“The little things that happen, the spoken word, the kind smile, the nod of encouragement — the fellowship that goes with the program — these things I will never forget.”
Benoni, January 1988
“A Special Kind of Peace,”
AA Grapevine

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

“Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental
defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither
he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~

“When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness
of the Presence of God is today the most important fact of their
lives, they present a powerful reason why one should have faith.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 51~

“We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 133 (The Family Afterward)

“In 2003, it is estimated that over two million have recovered through A.A.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 15 (Foreword)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

In my teens, I had to be an athlete because I was not an athlete. I had to be a musician because I could not carry a tune. I had to be the president of my class in boarding school. I had to be first in everything because m my perverse heart I felt myself the least of God’s creatures. I could not accept my deep sense of inferiority, and so I strove to become captain of the baseball team, and I did learn to play the fiddle. Lead I must – or else. This was the ‘all or nothing’ kind of demand that later did me in.
‘I’m glad you are going to try that new job. But make sure that you are only going to ‘try.’ If you approach the project in the attitude that ‘I must succeed, I must not fail, I cannot fail,’ then you practically guarantee the flop which in turn will guarantee a drinking relapse. But if you look at the venture as a constructive experiment only, then all should go well.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for allowing me to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Please give me the compassion to carry my experience, strength, and hope to others today.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 25th

Daily Reflections

THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER

For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting
danger to our own lives and sanity.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

I know the torment of drinking compulsively to quiet my nerves and
my fears. I also know the pain of white-knuckled sobriety. Today, I
do not forget the unknown person who suffers quietly, withdrawn and
hiding in the desperate relief of drinking. I ask my Higher Power to
give me His guidance and the courage to be willing to be His
instrument to carry within me compassion and unselfish actions. Let
the group continue to give me the strength to do with others what I
cannot do alone.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We are living on borrowed time. We are living today because of A.A.
and the grace of God. And what there is left of our lives we owe to
A.A. and to God. We should make the best use we can of our
borrowed time and in some small measure pay back for that part of
our lives which we wasted before we came into A.A. Our lives from
now on are not our own. We hold them in trust for God and A.A. And
we must do all we can to forward the great movement that has given
us a new lease on life. Am I holding my life in trust for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

You should hold your life in trust for God. Think deeply on what that
means. Is anything too much to expect from such a life? Do you begin
to see how dedicated a life in trust for God can be? In such a life
miracles can happen. If you are faithful, you can believe that God has
many good things in store for you. God can be Lord of your life,
controller of your days, of your present and your future. Try to act as
God guides and leave all results to Him. Do not hold back, but go all
out for God and the better life. Make good your trust.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may hold my life in trust for God. I pray that I may no
longer consider my life as all my own.

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As Bill Sees It

Praying For Others, p. 206

While praying sincerely, we still may fall into temptation. We form
ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other people. We say to
ourselves, “This one ought to be cured of his fatal malady” or “That
one ought to be relieved of his emotional pain,” and we pray for these
specific things.

Such prayers, of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they
are based upon a supposition that we know God’s will for the person
for whom we pray. This means that side by side with an earnest
prayer there can be a certain amount of presumption and conceit in us.

It is A.A.’s experience that partially in these cases we ought to pray
that God’s will, whatever it is, be done for others as well as for
ourselves.

12 & 12, p. 104

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Walk In Dry Places

Dealing with Disagreeable people
Personal relations
At every turn in the road, we=re likely to meet disagreeable people, sometimes unexpectedly.  Sometimes, we=re forced to deal with them.
The 12 Step program does not make this entirely painless, but it smooths the process. One thing we=ve learned is not to react with anger and contempt when we meet a disagreeable person, because such feelings on our part will only set off an explosion.
The 12 Step program shows us how to give the ASoft Answer Which Turns away Wrath.
It will not be us, but our Higher Power who does the work. In time, we will respond in this way naturally. This is not cowardice—- it is really another courageous way of dealing with human weaknesses.
I’ll be calm and controlled today, no matter who or what comes into my life.  My Higher Power supports me in my responses.

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Keep It Simple

If the spirit within us withers (dies), so to will all the world we build around us.—Theodore Roszab
This is what happened during our illness—our spirits were dying. Our relationships were dying. this is because addiction is death.
And recovery is life! The Steps breathe like into us. Our groups breathe life into us. We start to heal because we once again feel hope. We’re less afraid of what tomorrow may bring. As our hope grows, others feel it too.
We’re starting to slowly rebuild our world. We’re building our world on the Twelve Steps and their message of hope.
Prayer for the Day:  I give myself to life. Higher Power, work with me as I rebuild my world.
Action for the Day:  I’ll talk with a friend about hope. I’ll see my hope as a sign of how close I am to my program.

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have a clear choice between life and death, between reality and fantasy, between health and sickness. I have to become responsible–responsible for mistakes as well as accomplishments.  –Eileen Mayhew
Choosing to participate actively in our own lives ushers in joy and sometimes fear. We are energized by our conscious involvement; making thoughtful choices regarding our development heightens our sense of well-being. But occasionally we may fear potential failure. About as frequently, we may fear probable success.
Not every day do we want the responsibility for our lives; but we have it. On occasion we only want the loving arms of a caretaker. The beauty of our lives at this time is that we do have a caretaker at our beck and call, a caretaker who has demonstrated repeatedly a concern for our safety, a caretaker who will help us shoulder every responsibility we face.
Clearly, our coming to this program shows that we have chosen to act responsibly. And just as clearly, every day that we ask for the guidance to live to the best of our abilities, we will be helped to accomplish the tasks right for us in this stage of our lives.
All I have to do is make the right choices. I will always know which they are, when I ask for guidance.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

We can only clear the ground a bit. If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway. With this attitude you cannot fail. the consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.

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.
As I look back on that period, I realize how true it is that one of the primary differences between alcoholics and nonalcoholics is that nonalcoholics change their behavior to meet their goals and alcoholics change their goals to meet their behavior.  Everything that had been important to me, all of my dreams, goals, and aspirations, were swept away in a wave of booze.  I realized quickly that I could not drink and function at any high level.  That did not matter.  I was willing to give up anything so that I could keep drinking.  I went from being a solid A student to nearly flunking out of school, from being anointed a class leader to being shunned as a pariah.  I almost never went to class and did little of the required reading.  I never attended any of the cultural events sponsored by the college.  I forsook everything that makes college worthwhile in favor of drinking.  Occasionally, some sliver of pride would work its way through the chaos, resentment, and fear and cause me to look at my life.  But the shame was too great, and I would drink it back down with bottles of vodka and cases of beer.

p. 423-424

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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.”

Let’s look first at the case of the one who says he won’t believe–the belligerent one. He is in a state of mind which can be described only as savage. His whole philosophy of life, in which he so gloried, is threatened. It’s bad enough, he thinks, to admit alcohol has him down for keeps. But now, still smarting from that admission, he is faced with something really impossible. How he does cherish the thought that man, risen so majestically from a single cell in the primordial ooze, is the spearhead of evolution and therefore the only god that his universe knows! Must he renounce all this to save himself?

p. 25

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You can get off the elevator anytime, but if you get back on it’s only
going down.
–unknown

Happy memories never wear out. Relive them as often as you want.
–Anonymous

Our pasts are perfect in a way our minds can never fully understand.
We would not have the opportunities for awakening and experiencing
that are ours today, without exactly what happened. Now, it’s what
we do with our pasts that provides the opportunity for growth. Today,
spend some time thinking about the gifts in your past that you may
have overlooked.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

Live your life and forget your age.
–Norman Vincent Peale

In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber; so
long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, so
long are you young. When the wires are all down and your heart is
covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, and then
only, are you grown old.
–General Douglas MacArthur

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
–Yiddish Proverb

“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that
endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events
that occur.”
–Vince Lombardi

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MISFORTUNE

“Experience has taught me this,
that we undo ourselves by
impatience. Misfortunes have their
life and their limits, their sickness
and their health.”
–Michel de Montaigne

Nothing lasts forever. At times I feel sad, angry, resentful and
ashamed — but it passes. In my recovery I have learned to live in “my
day” and accept the consequences of that day. I can only deal with life
as I experience it. Tomorrow is a new day with new experiences. And
some of the experiences are painful. Reality teaches me this. At times
I wish I could go through life without pain or rejection but I know that
is fantasy. Sobriety does not mean that everything will be perfect —
only better!

Nothing is so bad that I need to drink or use over it. Today I know that
alcohol increases my pain; it is never a solution. God, who has given
me today, will also give me a tomorrow — and time eases the pain if I
work my program. Misfortunes are not worth drinking over. Nothing
lasts forever.

Thank You for the gift of a tomorrow.

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

My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Jesus says,” Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can
bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you
bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
John 15:4

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
Psalm 54:4

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we
must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus
himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
Acts 20:35


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Daily Inspiration

God wants us happy right now and continually points us in that direction even when we look the other way. Lord, grant that nothing will turn me away from doing Your will.

They are wise who depend on God. Lord, Your perfect law revives my soul. Keeping Your law makes me rich.

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NA Just For Today

Twelfth Step “Failure”?

“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Step Twelve

There is no such thing as a “failed” Twelfth Step call. Even if our prospect doesn’t get clean, we have accomplished two purposes. We have planted the seed of recovery in the mind of the addict with whom we have shared our experience, strength, and hope. And we ourselves have stayed clean another day. Rarely does a recovering addict leave a Twelve Step call with anything but a deep dose of gratitude.

Sometimes we are practicing the Twelfth Step without realizing it. When our co-workers or other acquaintances know some of our history and see what kind of person we are today, they know where to go when they have a friend or loved one in need of our help. We are often the best attraction that NA has to offer.

For many addicts, the Twelfth Step is the cornerstone of recovery. We truly believe that “we can only keep what we have by giving it away” The paradox of the Twelfth Step is evident, for in giving, we receive.

Just for today: I will remember that I am a living example of the Twelfth Step. I cannot “fail” when I try to carry the message to another addict.
pg. 215

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
He wanted to hold onto his fury, to guard it like a treasure. He would not let it be stolen from him . . .. But already, he felt it slipping, softened by Ben’s compassionate touch. –Joe Johnson and Nilo Rodis-Jamero
The glassblower is an artist who takes broken glass and melts it in a very hot furnace. Then the glassblower blows through a long tube and creates objects such as cups and plates and pieces of art.
The sharp edges of our anger are like pieces of broken glass. We all have things in our lives that anger us–it is only human to bump into our sharp edges. One edge might be crabby, another silent and withdrawn, and still another yelling and screaming.
The heat of love and compassion can melt our anger. This may take the form of sympathy for ourselves, or for the people we love. More often, it is the compassion of those around us that helps melt our anger. Sometimes saying I’m sorry is a good way to melt anger and find the love underneath it.
What beauty can I create with my anger today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more. And we also once. Never again. But this having been once, although only once, to have been of the earth, seems irrevocable. –Rainer Maria Rilke
In the hopelessness of addiction and codependency, and as children of addicts, some of us have considered suicide, and some of us have actually tried to kill ourselves. We have maintained the option as an escape in case life got too difficult. Now, in recovery, we have chosen life. We’ve stopped killing ourselves in the slow ways of our old behaviors, yet some of us hold on to our ace in the hole. Either consciously or unconsciously, we haven’t made that unconditional commitment to life.
It may be one firmer step into recovery – a vote for the life we have been given – to say, “I will never choose suicide. Whatever comes my way, it is not an option for me.” When we give up that one final controlling maneuver, we may find ourselves freer to live in this one irretrievable life we’ve been given.
In choosing to be totally on the side of life, I step further into the care of God. Whatever 1 must meet, God is with me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have a clear choice between life and death, between reality and fantasy, between health and sickness. I have to become responsible–responsible for mistakes as well as accomplishments. –Eileen Mayhew
Choosing to participate actively in our own lives ushers in joy and sometimes fear. We are energized by our conscious involvement; making thoughtful choices regarding our development heightens our sense of well-being. But occasionally we may fear potential failure. About as frequently, we may fear probable success.
Not every day do we want the responsibility for our lives; but we have it. On occasion we only want the loving arms of a caretaker. The beauty of our lives at this time is that we do have a caretaker at our beck and call, a caretaker who has demonstrated repeatedly a concern for our safety, a caretaker who will help us shoulder every responsibility we face.
Clearly, our coming to this program shows that we have chosen to act responsibly. And just as clearly, every day that we ask for the guidance to live to the best of our abilities, we will be helped to accomplish the tasks right for us in this stage of our lives.
All I have to do is make the right choices. I will always know which they are, when I ask for guidance.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Keep at It
Keep practicing your recovery behaviors, even when they feel awkward, even when they haven’t quite taken yet, even if you don’t get it yet.
Sometimes it takes years for a recovery concept to move from our mind into our heart and soul. We need to work at recovery behaviors with the diligence, effort, and repeated practice we applied to codependent behaviors. We need to force ourselves to do things even when they don’t feel natural. We need to tell ourselves we care about ourselves and can take care of ourselves even when we don’t believe what we’re saying.
We need to do it, and do it, and do it – day after day, year after year.
It is unreasonable to expect this new way of life to sink in overnight. We may have to “act as if” for months, years, before recovery behaviors become ingrained and natural.
Even after years, we may find ourselves, in times of stress or duress, reverting to old ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
We may have layers of feelings we aren’t ready to acknowledge until years into our recovery. That’s okay! When it’s time, we will.
Do not give up! It takes time to get self-love into the core of us. It takes repeated practice. Time and experience. Lessons, lessons, and more lessons.
Then, just when we think we’ve arrived, we find we have more to learn.
That’s the joy of recovery. We get to keep learning and growing all of our life!
Keep on taking care of yourself, no matter what. Keep on plugging away at recovery behaviors, one day at a time. Keep on loving yourself, even when it doesn’t feel natural. Act as if for as long as necessary, even if that time period feels longer than necessary.
One day, it will happen. You will wake up, and find that what you’ve been struggling with and working so hard at and forcing yourself to do, finally feels comfortable. It has hit our soul.
Then, you go on to learn something new and better.
Today, I will plug away at my recovery behaviors, even if they don’t feel natural. I will force myself to go through the motions even if that feels awkward. I will work at loving myself until I really do.

When I turn a problem over to my Higher Power today, I will let go with the confidence that all is being handled for me. After I have done all my footwork, I know the results will work out just as they are supposed to. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

I pulled out the map. I’ll go here, I thought, and there. I’ll visit this place, then that one. My mind raced with excitement at all the places left to see. I felt overwhelmed, wondering if I could get to all the places I wanted to visit. For a moment I forgot to look around and appreciate where I was– in the forest at the foot of Mount Olympus in Olympic State Park.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. There are many wonderful places left to visit, many experiences to have, many people to meet and enjoy. But you aren’t there yet. There will be some trials,too. More lessons along the path. But you aren’t there yet,either.

Stay in this moment. It contains the experience you need to have. This moment contains your happiness. Living this moment, being fully present for it, is the way to get to the next experience, the next person, the next emotion, the next adventure. Cherish the moment. Feel all there is to feel. See all there is to see.

Learn the lessons of today, and you will be prepared for the adventures and joys of tomorrow.

Be here now. This is the only place you need to be. And from this place, all things are possible.

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More Language Of Letting Go

See how much courage you have

Everyone is in awe of the lion-tamer in a cage with half a dozen lions– everyone but a school bus driver.
–Unknown

You may not be a great warrior. You might not lead explorations to the North Pole or climb Mount Everest. But you still need courage.

Courage lies in the simple things as well as the grandiose. It’s fun and easy to speculate about how we would respond in our fantasy lives– climbing that mountain or leading knights into battle– but what about now?

Do you have the courage to live your life, to walk your path every day, right where you are?

Sometimes, it takes more courage to do the ordinary things in life than it does to walk to the door of the airplane and jump.

It takes courage to get sober, to stay sober, to get up every day and go to your job, support your family, pay the bills, and walk the path that you have been given to walk. We all need courage to do the thing that scares us and sometimes to do the thing that doesn’t scare us, over and over again.

God, please grant me the courage to do the right thing in my relationships, in my job, and in my spiritual growth. Please give me the courage to live my life.

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In God’s Care

To feel extraordinarily small and unimportant is always a wholesome feeling.
~~Robert H. Benson

There’s something spiritual about laying under the stars on a clear night. The immensity of the universe is enough to put our life into perspective. It can lift the weight of the world from our shoulders. While we may feel our burdens are heavy and our responsibilities endless, just a glimpse of that twinkling night sky helps us realize we are not quite as important as we sometimes think.

But just as each of those billions of stars has a place in the heavens, so do we have a place in God’s plan. Our influence may be small, our light may not shine far, but just as each star has a place, we too have a role in the Divine plan. Through God’s love, we can enjoy our connection to the universe.

Today I will enjoy being too small to carry the whole world on my shoulders.

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

Day By Day

Practicing the principles

Our program and its principles apply to every area of our lives. Sometimes people say that they would lose their livelihood if they applied the principles to their work. But this is probably not true and speaks of fear. If we must lie or be hypocritical in any area of our lives, then we are not applying the principles.

Once we realize that it is reassuring and rewarding – not threatening – to let God work through us all the time, we will feel genuine, we will feel integrity, we will feel at peace.

Do I practice these principles in all my affairs?

Higher Power, help me see whether any area of my life is missing the benefit of the principles.

The principle I will apply today in all my affairs is…

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Food for Thought

Gifts

The OA program is a gift to us from our Higher Power. Without it, we would still be bogged down in compulsive overeating with no solution in sight. Our fellowship gives us the hope and love we need to sort ourselves out and begin to live a new life.

Recovery through abstinence is the gift, which we are offered every day. In order to receive it, we need to be sincere and earnest in our efforts to work the program. We can count on God’s support if we are willing to go to any lengths to stop eating compulsively.

With gratitude for these gifts from our Higher Power, we are able to give back what has come to us. We share our program and give our time and abilities where we see a need that we can fill. The more we give, the more we receive. God’s abundance is inexhaustible.

We thank You for Your gifts.

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Wave Motion
Hado by Madisyn Taylor

The study of hado tells us that the energetic vibrations from our thoughts affect our physical realities.

Walking through a Japanese garden, one truly feels the life force energy that is known as Hado. Hado isn’t just present in Japan, but it is a concept that has existed in Japan for centuries. The two Japanese characters that make up the word Hado mean “wave” and “move” – perfect words to describe the energy vibrations that permeate all life. Hado is present in all things, animate and inanimate. It resides everywhere, even in the air and in people.

The study of hado tells us that the energetic vibrations from our thoughts affect on our physical realities. Each of us has the ability to manifest a specific intention through the hado that we send out – from making our jewelry shine to changing the atmosphere of a room full of people to transforming the hado of an empty space. However, we are often unaware that our thoughts are creating vibrations in the world outside our minds. Once we know that this is the case, we can become more aware of our negative thinking and train ourselves to stay positive and think with intention.

Giving thanks for a meal before we eat can change the energy of our food. Expressing gratitude by thoughts or words makes a huge difference to both the giver and recipient because you are sending them hado. A kind smile really makes a difference when you work consciously with hado. Once we become aware of the power of hado, we can create positive changes in every area of our lives: our physical space, mental and emotional health, relationships, and businesses. One of the most important principles of hado is to monitor your thoughts and intentions every day. Enjoy the improvements that you will create in your life and the world around you by consciously working with hado. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The slogans of The Program are seemngly clear adn simple. Yet they may still have different meanings for different people, according to their own experience and reaction to the words and ideas. Take, for example, the slogan Let Go and Let God. For some people, it may suggest that all we have to do is sidestep teh challenges that confront us and , somehow, God will do all the work. We must remember that God gives us free will, intelligence and good senses — it is clearly His intention that we use these gifts. If I’m receptive, God will make His will known to me step by step, but I must carry it out. Do I sometimes act as if surrender to God’s will is a passport to inertia?

Today I Pray

May my “passport” be stamped with “action.” May my travels be motivated by challenges I can readily recognize as things to do, not things to watch. I pray that I may make the most of my gifts from God, of talents that I am aware of and some I have yet to discover. May I not “let go” and give up but keep on learning, growing, doing, serving, praying, carrying out the will of God as I understand It.

Today I Will Remember

God meant me to make the most of myself.

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One More Day

He who knows others is learned, he who knows himself is wise.
– Lao Tsze

We sometimes let how we think we should act keep us from showing our deepest feelings. We may behave the way others expect us to act, while burying within ourselves the pain and fears associated with our changing health.

Acting upon our own thoughts and feelings can be difficult; acting according to what others think is frustrating — and impossible. Gradually we find more stability and confidence within ourselves. This self-trust allows us to show our emotions and to express our ideas and feelings. We might be short-tempered sometimes, or impatient, or angry. None of us is perfect. We accept that truth, and are freed of the burden of pleasing others; we discover the joy of acting on our inner messages of growth and honesty.

I am most free to grow when I am acting honestly on my own values and feelings.

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One Day At A Time

~ OPPORTUNITIES ~
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
Francis Bacon

There is a promise that more will be revealed as we trudge the road of happy destiny. We all start by building on the basics, the foundation that must be in place. In grade school I learned to read and write; in high school, how to research and train myself to acquire information. In college, I gained specific advanced information that allowed me to build upon, and advance my interests. When I applied the same principles to the program, I got similar results, but even more so. When my mind was opened to spiritual principles, I received much more than that I was seeking. My thoughts were lifted to a much higher plane of ethics.

In searching for an answer to compulsive overeating, I was exposed to additional opportunities to grow by doing. Often I tried them. These exercises sent my thoughts to other areas, which I again explored. I am amazed at what I have learned while looking for something else.

We can all learn truth if we will open our hearts and minds. We will then be without excuse not to exercise every opportunity to practice it.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I taking advantage of every opportunity to grow?
Some opportunities?
Any opportunities?
~ Jeremiah ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

VII. The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.

VIII. The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities.

IX. Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees. – Pg. 574 – 4th. Edition – Appendices – VII – The Twelve Concepts ( Short Form )

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

One hour at a time leads to one day at a time in our recovery program. Each hour is one of 24 building blocks of each day of our sobriety and clean time. My current building block is to radiate love for this hour.

Help me center my emotions and radiate love for this hour.

The Work of Living

God and I have work to do, together we have a life to co-create. Mine. I will daily spend time tuning into that deeper place within me so that I can use my energies more wisely and efficiently to build my life. I will get farther faster when I live consciously rather than unconsciously, when I look for guidance rather than stress unnecessarily and create problems that don’t need to be there. When I stay calm and centered, my life goes more smoothly. When I allow spirit to guide me through my day, I see beauty where I may have missed it, I have a center to work from and return to and I walk in grace rather than stumble my way through the day.

I am held and open to divine instruction

– Tian Dayton PhD

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you lose your temper, you lose.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

When I turn a problem over to my Higher Power today, I will let go with the confidence that all is being handled for me. After I have done all my footwork, I know the results will work out just as they are supposed to.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I wanted to be Jimi Hendrix but I was Pat Boone. – Peter N.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 25

Expectations
Peace is possible for me only when I let go of expectations.
When I am trapped in thoughts about what I want and what should be coming to me,
I’m in a state of fear or anxious anticipation and this is not conducive to emotional sobriety.
I must surrender — over and over — to my dependence on God,
for then I find peace, gratitude and spiritual security.
– Daily Reflections, p. 197

Thought to Ponder . . .
My disappointments are equal to my expectations.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K I S S = Keep It Simple; Surrender.

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

New Life
“We die to live.
That is a beautiful paradox straight out of the Biblical idea of being “born again” or “in losing one’s life to find it.”
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 a better way of life.
As our shortcomings are removed, one life of us dies,
and another life of us lives.
We in AA die to live.”
1955AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, 2nd edition., pp. 341-2

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

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
T H I N K = The Happiness I Never Knew

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

Accept My Humanness
From: “A Nourishing Ingredient
Where humility had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient
which can give us serenity.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 74
How often do I focus on my problems and frustrations? When I am having a “good day” these same problems shrink in
importance and my preoccupation with them dwindles. Wouldn’t it be better if I could find a key to unlock the “magic” of
my “good days” for use on the woes of my “bad days”?
I already have the solution! Instead of trying to run away from my pain and wish my problems away, I can pray for
humility! Humility will heal the pain. Humility will take me out of myself. Humility, that strength granted to me by that
“power greater than myself,” is mine for the asking! Humility will bring balance back into my life. Humility will allow me
to accept my humanness joyously.
1990, AAWS, Inc., Daily Reflections, page 204

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

“I did not know what real happiness was when I came through the doors of AA. I needed someone to teach me.”
One On One: AA Sponsorship in Action
Greensboro, North Carolina, May 2003
“Shopping for a Sponsor,”

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

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

“Liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 5~

“Patience and good temper are most necessary.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 111

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

While praying sincerely, we still may fall into temptation. We form ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other
people. We say to ourselves, ‘This one ought to be cured of his fatal malady’ or ‘That one ought to be relieved of his
emotional pain,’ and we pray for these specific things.
Such prayers, of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they are based upon a supposition that we know
God’s will for the person for whom we pray. This means that side by side with an earnest prayer there can be a certain
amount of presumption and conceit in us.
It is A.A.’s experience that particularly in these cases we ought to pray that God’s will, whatever it is, be done for others
as well as for ourselves.

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 24th

Daily Reflections

HELPING OTHERS

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

Virtue and Self-Deception, p. 205

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

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

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

Grapevine, August 1961

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 55

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 423

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LONELINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

The Masks Have To Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Joy Is the Way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of fear

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

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

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

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In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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Day By Day

Sharing a common goal

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

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

Am I learning to emphasize our common purpose?

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

Today I will strengthen our common cause by…

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Food for Thought

Living Is a Privilege

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

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

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

Thank You for the privilege of living and abstaining today.

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Cleansing Your Power Center
Trusting Your Gut by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Self-will minus self equals will.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

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

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

May I accept the spiritual foundation of my recovery.

Forgiving and Moving On

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

I am ready to consider forgiveness

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 21st

Daily Reflections

A PRICELESS GIFT

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

The Hour of Decision, p. 202

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

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

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

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 54

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 422

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 23-24

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IGNORANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Surrender Is For Everyone

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

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Value Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Maybe it’s not supposed to feel good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

Today I pledge to be honest.

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

Day By Day

Judging other addicts

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

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

Have I stopped judging other addicts?

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

I will acknowledge someone addicted to another chemical today by…

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Food for Thought

Following the Rules

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

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

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

I pray for the honesty to follow the rules.

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Things We Can’t Control
Allow, Trust

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

With faith, nothing is impossible.

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One More Day

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

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

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

I will not let pain obscure my joys and pleasures.

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Spirit Calls

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

I am in touch with spirit within and without

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 18th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 18th

Daily Reflections

GRATEFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE, p.208

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

Arrogance and Its Opposite, p. 199

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

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

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

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

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

Grapevine
1. April, 1961
2. June, 1961


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Walk In Dry Places

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


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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 53

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

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

p. 421

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Plans….. God Laughs!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

VOCATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

The Gift Of Desperation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Find the Humor in It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

It’s our lesson

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

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

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

And the lesson is always ours.

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

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

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In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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

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Day By Day

Practicing sanity

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

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

Am I letting go of my insane behavior?

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

Today I will reflect on my unresolved problem behaviors by…

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Food for Thought

Don’t Jump

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

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

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

Protect me from a fatal jump.

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Grounding Ourselves
Being a Strong Container by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

I will not bargain with God.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 18

Fundamental
Deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God.
It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things,
but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves,
and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives,
are facts as old as man himself.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 55

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 17th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 17th

Daily Reflections

SURRENDER AND SELF-EXAMINATION

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation for the Day

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

Prayer for the Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

Tell the Public?, p. 198

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

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

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

Letter, 1958

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Walk In Dry Places

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

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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 53

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

pp. 21-22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

NEGATIVITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

Using Our “Using Dreams”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God gives me all the answers I need at the right time. Today I trust that it is okay not to know everything and that I will know when the time is right. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Put Yourself on Equal Ground

I sat in the booth across from my friend. I was fiddling with an empty soda can in front of me while we discussed the subject of power. Suddenly he snatched the can away from me and began tossing it in the air, catching it, then tossing it up again. “See how easy it is to take your power?” he said. “See how you just gave it to me?”

I watched, amazed at how quickly I had relinquished my power, how vulnerable I was to the world around me.

Then my friend smiled and stopped juggling the can. “Relax,” he said. “It’s an illusion. That’s not really your power– it’s an empty can. And it’s an illusion that anyone can take your power away from you.”

Each of us has an unlimited supply of power available– the power to think, to feel, to take care of ourselves. The power to open our hearts, love, be gentle, honest, and kind. We each have the power to be clear and to trust and follow the guidance of our own hearts.

Part of our journey to freedom, an important part, is equalizing our relationships. For many years, we may have believed the scales were tipped one way or the other in our work and love relationships. We may have believed that others knew a great deal more than we did, or we may have begun to believe that we had all the answers. But no one has our power. That’s an illusion. So much so that sometimes the person we believe is more powerful than us may be looking at us thinking we’re the ones pulling the strings.

Remember, if you give up your power or decide that someone has power over you, you’ll begin grousing, sabotaging, and doing sneaky little things to equalize that relationship, to feel like you have your power. There’s another way, a better way, one that will help you heal.

Put yourself on equal ground.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Relief is around the bend

I needed to go into the city for errands. It was a chilly morning at the beach, not even 70 degrees. I put on my jacket, got in the car, and headed out. I made the turn onto the canyon road and was struck by the beauty of the fog burning off, playing peekaboo with the canyon walls. It was 94 and sunny when I arrived in town.

I ran my errands and stopped at In and Out Burger for lunch. When I got back in the car, the thermometer read 102. It was hot. Traffic was bad, the temperature reached 106 on the freeway, and even the air conditioning didn’t help much.

Finally, I turned back onto the canyon road. The grass was brown and I worried about wildfires– they get so bad here. Soon, I noticed the temperature was down to 94 again, then 90, then 88. The hills turned green. I rounded a corner and could see the Pacific Ocean. The temp was 82. By the time I made it home it was back to 74.

I was surprised at the big difference a few miles made.

Sometimes, a small change can impact the way we’re feeling– a lot. Feeling overwhelmed or pressured? Do something else for a while. Give yourself a treat. Sometimes, the smallest change in our routine can do wonders to change the temperature in our lives.

God, help me see any changes I can make that will have a positive effect on my energy and on the way I feel.

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Food for Thought

The Narrow Path

Abstinence is the narrow path that leads out of the swamp of compulsive overeating. If we allow ourselves to deviate from the path, we immediately put ourselves on slippery ground and run the risk of falling into a bog of quicksand.

The longer we maintain firm abstinence, the more sure our steps become as we walk away from the crippling effects of our disease. It is so much easier to stay on the narrow path than to slip off and have to find it again. Without abstinence, we compulsive overeaters are lost.

If abstinence is not the most important thing in our lives, then food becomes our number one priority, and we gradually destroy ourselves.

Guide my steps, I pray, on the narrow path of abstinence.

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Becoming Whole Again
The Process of Grieving by Madisyn Taylor

Grief can arise from many life situations, but know it is not a permanent state of being.

When we experience any kind of devastating loss, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a dream, or a relationship, feelings may arise within us that are overwhelming or difficult to cope with. This sense of grief can also come up when we are separated from anyone or anything we have welcomed into our lives. And while it may feel like we are caught up in a never-ending spiral of sadness and emptiness, it is important to remember that the grief we are feeling is not a permanent state of being. Rather, grief is part of the process of letting go that in many ways can be a gift, allowing us to go deeper within ourselves to rediscover the light amidst the seeming darkness.

The emotions that accompany any kind of loss can be intense and varied. A sense of shock or denial is often the first reaction, to be replaced by anger. Sometimes this anger can be directed at your loved one for “abandoning” you; at other times you may feel outrage toward the universe for what you are enduring. And while there are stages of grief that people go through – moving from denial to anger to bargaining to depression to acceptance – the cycles of grief often move in spirals, sometimes circling forward and then back again. You may even experience moments of strength, faith, and laughter in between. While these emotions seem to come and go sporadically, it is important to feel them, accept them, and allow them to flow. With time, patience, and compassion, you will eventually find your center again.

As we move through our grief, we may find ourselves reluctant to release our pain, fearing we are letting go of who or what we have lost. We may even regard our movement toward healing as an act of disloyalty or giving up. Know that while the hurt may fade, the essence of what you had and who you loved will have already transformed you and forever stay with you. If anything, once you are ready for the pain of your loss to subside, their memories can then live more fully within you. Remember, that healing is a part of the spiraling cycles of grief, and that in letting yourself feel restored again, you are surrendering to a natural movement that is part of the dance of life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

For my own good, I’ll go to meetings and participate in discussions with an open mind that’s ready to receive and accept new ideas. For my own peace and comfort, I’ll determinedly try to apply those new ideas to my own life. I’ll remember that The Program offers me the instruction and support I can’t find elsewhere. I’ll seek out others who understand my problems, and I’ll accept their guidance in matters which cause me discomfort and confusion. Will I try to be willing to listen — and to share?

Today I Pray

Thank you, God, for bringing The Program into my life, and with it a better understanding of Divine Power. Help me to remember that attendance and attentiveness at meetings are all-important to continuing in this happily-discovered way of life. May I listen and share with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness.

Today I Will Remember

Her’s HOW; honesty, open-mindedness, willingness.

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One More Day

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness.
– John Keats

We know a work of fine art can only increase in value. As the years pass by, art develops character lines which further define and highlight its beauty.

We wonder about people. There is grace which comes with age, we know, but how can people last forever? The answer, of course, is what do not. But all that we comprise and create — the love, the caring, the storytelling, the things we make with our hands — will endure forever. Just as enduring, and perhaps even more value, is the respect we give to our family and traditions. These and other family heirlooms are our assurance that no one or no thing passes into nothingness.

I am comforted by the traditions of family and faith and by the meaningfulness they add to my life.

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One Day At A Time

LIVING RIGHT
“Life is not a matter of having good cards
…. but of playing a poor hand well.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

There are many things in this world we have no control over, such as: our gender, our stature, our race, or physical abnormalities. But we always have the power to choose how we deal with events and circumstances. We can always take the right action ~ if it is not predicated on achieving a favorable outcome.

The Big Book tells us that it is a “well-understood fact that in God’s sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return.”

I must ask myself ~

One day at a time …
Am I living properly?
Am I living properly today?
Am I really trying at all?
~ Jeremiah ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Some of our alcoholic readers may think they can do without spiritual help. Let us tell you the rest of the conversation our friend had with his doctor.
The doctor said: ‘You have the mind of a chronic alcoholic. I have never seen one single case recover, where that state of mind existed to the extent that it does in you.’ Our friend felt as though the gates of hell had closed on him with a clang.
He said to the doctor, ‘Is there no exception?’
‘Yes,’ replied the doctor, ‘there is. Exceptions to cases such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements adn rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them. – Pg. 27 – There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Right now you are safe. Whatever is troubling you is not so bad that your sponsor or another group member cannot help. Call them as soon as you find a phone.

Grant me the humbleness to call for help whenever I feel threatened, lonely, angry, or in any way separated from my spiritual health.

Feeling Good Inside

I am in the present, I can actually see what the next right action might be and I can take it seamlessly, easily, fruitfully. I will see my day as an opportunity to grow; to learn to allow more of who I am to flow through me. Naturally, quietly and without force. I will become worthy of the life I have been given, grateful just to be alive for one more day. I will let life work out.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

No God; No Peace. Know God; Know Peace.

My program teaches me that I will have peace of mind in the exact proportion of the peace of mind I bring into the lives of others.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Relax, God is in charge.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

God gives me all the answers I need at the right time. Today I trust that it is okay not to know everything and that I will know when the time is right.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If I was at your house, I’d ask to use the bathroom and I’d go through the medicine cabinet and take whatever’s there. I don’t need to know what it is. Sometimes I’d be up for days, saying the same thing over and over, chewing my tongue. Other times I’d be falling down, bouncing off the walls. Sometimes I’d get real ‘regular’. And I probably took enough pills out of those wheels that there’s no chance I’m going to get pregnant this century. – Bob D.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 17

Sponsorship
Every sponsor is necessarily a leader. The stakes are huge.
A human life and usually the happiness of a whole family hang in the balance.
What a sponsor does and says, how well he estimates the reactions of his prospect, . . .
how well he handles criticisms, and how well he leads his prospect on by personal spiritual example —
well, these attributes of leadership can make all the difference,
often the difference between life and death.
– The Language of the Heart, p. 292

Thought to Ponder . . .
My sponsor offers me self-forgetfulness
and kinship with another human being of my own kind.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering Together.

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

Love
“For me, AA is a synthesis of all the philosophy
I’ve ever read,
all of the positive, good philosophy,
all of it based on love.
I have seen that there is only one law,
the law of love,
and there are only two sins;
the first is to interfere with the growth
of another human being,
and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth.”
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 542

Thought to Consider . . .
When we love, we see in others what we wish to have in ourselves.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H A L T = Hope, Acceptance, Love, Tolerance

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

Pass It On
From: “Preface”
“I’ll never forget the first time I met Bill Wilson. I was a couple of months sober and so excited, so thrilled to actually meet the co-founder that I gushed all over him with what my sobriety meant to me and my undying gratitude for his starting A.A. When I ran down, he took my hand in his and said simply, Pass it on.
1984, AAWS, Inc., ‘Pass It On,’ page 7

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

“Self-centeredness is a poison to my emotional system. It frustrates my every effort toward a comfortable and happy existence. A terrible chain reaction begins. Fear sets in. Anger, resentment, and self-pity become my guiding forces. My only escape is to put this awful selfishness aside and become involved with the world around me.”
December 1979
“The Root of Our Troubles,”
Emotional Sobriety

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

“We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can
laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.
Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is
that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust
their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him
demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our
fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once,
we commence to outgrow fear.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 68~

“‘My old manner of life was by no means a bad one, but I would not
exchange its best moments for the worst I have now. I would not go
back to it even if I could.'”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~

“We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 75 (Into Action)

“We rest quietly with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may experience and learn.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 100 (Step Eleven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

A.A.’s of worldly prominence sometimes say, ‘If I tell the public that I am in Alcoholics Anonymous, then that will bring in many others.’ Thus they express the belief that our anonymity Tradition is wrong – at least for them. ‘They forget that, during their drinking days, prestige and the achievement of worldly ambition were their principal aims. They do not realize that, by breaking anonymity, they are unconsciously pursuing those old and perilous illusions once more. They forget that the keeping of one’s anonymity often means a sacrifice of one’s desire for power, prestige, and money. They do not see that if these strivings became general in A.A., the course of our whole history would be changed; that we would be sowing the seeds of our own destruction as a society. ‘Yet I can happily report that while many of us are tempted – and I have been one – few of us in America actually break our anonymity at the public-media level.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank you for the experience that I have had. I will utilize even my most difficult experiences today by learning and growing from them.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 15th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 15th

Daily Reflections

PRIDE

For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance.
When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated,
even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted. In all these
strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility. We had
lacked the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material
satisfactions were not the purpose of living.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 71

Time and again I approached the Seventh Step, only to fall back and regroup. Something was missing and the
impact of the Step escaped me. What had I overlooked? A single word: read but ignored, the foundation of all the
Steps, indeed the entire Alcoholics Anonymous program – that word is “humbly”. I understood my shortcomings:
I constantly put tasks off; I angered easily; I felt too much self-pity; and thought, why me? Then I remembered,
“Pride goeth before the fall,” and I eliminated pride from my life.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day
After we had sobered up through the A.A. program, we gradually began to get a peace of mind and serenity which we never thought were possible. This peace of mind is based on a feeling that fundamentally all is well. That does not mean that all is well on the surface of things. Little things can keep going wrong and big things can keep on upsetting us. But deep down in our hearts we know that everything is eventually going to be all right, now that we are living sober lives. Have I achieved a deep down, inner calm?

Meditation For The Day
You are climbing up the ladder of life, which reaches into eternity. Would God plant your feet upon an insecure ladder? Its supports may be out of sight, hidden in secret places, but if God has asked you to step on and up firmly, then surely He has secured your ladder. Faith gives you the strength to climb steadily this ladder of life. You should leave your security to God and trust Him not to let you fall. He is there to give you all the power you need to keep on climbing.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may climb the ladder of life without fear. I pray that I may progress steadily through the rest of my life with faith and confidence.

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As Bill Sees It

Antidote For Fear, p. 196

When our failings generate fear, we then have soul-sickness. This
sickness, in turn, generates still more character defects.

Unreasonable fear that our instincts will not be satisfied drives us to
covet the possessions of others, to lust for sex and power, to become
angry when our instinctive demands are threatened, to be envious
when the ambitions of others seem to be realized while ours are not.
We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need, fearing
we shall never have enough. And, with genuine alarm at the prospect
of work, we stay lazy. We loaf and procrastinate, or at best work
grudgingly and under half steam.

These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations
of whatever sort of life we try to build.

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

As faith grows, so does inner security. The vast underlying fear of
nothingness commences to subside. We of A.A. find that our basic
antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.

1. 12 & 12, p. 49
2. Grapevine, January 1962


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Walk In Dry Places

The Possible Dream
Reaching objectives.
Although we hear people ridicule the practice of daydreaming, we also hear them express admiration for people who pursued and realized their dreams.  How do we know when we are pursing the right dreams?
Useful, effective dreams may seem farfetched, but they still have a possibility of fulfillment. In some ways, they’re tied to what we can do if we have the right opportunities and use our talents properly.
Fantasies, or useless dreams, can never happen. Fantasies are often based on our past and how it might have been different. It’s also useless to fantasize about feats that are completely beyond anything we could ever do.  These dreams are a waste of time and energy.
What’s exciting, however, is that very person can find dreams that are possible and based on reality.  It’s important to pursue these dreams and bring them into realization.
I’ll keep my realistic dreams very much alive today, knowing they’re the patterns I need for reaching my long-term objectives.

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Keep It Simple

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.—Kahil Gilran
We all need time alone. Then we can get to know our Higher Power better too.
When we were using chemicals, we were afraid of being alone. We didn’t want to think too much.
So we got high.
Now we know we’re never totally alone. Our Higher Power is with us. We can relax. We can rest.
We can think, read, and meditate. We can our own best friend.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me use my time alone to know myself better. Help me get to know You too.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll plan to spend two hours alone to get to know myself better. I could take a long walk, or enjoy a park, or my garden. What will I do, and when?

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Each Day a New Beginning

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin into his nest again, I shall not live in vain.  –Emily Dickinson
The gift of attention to each other is “passing on” the love of God. In order to feel love, we have to give it away. We will know love when we give love.
Our attachment to the world, the sense of belonging most of us longed for the many years prior to recovery, awaits us, is showered upon us even as we reach out to someone else. We are no longer alone, scared, alienated when we let others know they are not alone. We can heal one another. The program opens the way for our healing.
Each day, each one of us can ease the pain of a friend, a co-worker, a child. The beauty of the program, the beauty of God’s plan for us all, is that our own pain is relieved in the process of easing the pain of another. Love is the balm. Loving others makes our lives purposeful.
No day is lived in vain, if I but cherish someone else’s presence.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 52

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.  The higher my expectations of Max and other people are, the lower is my serenity.  I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations.  But then my “rights” try to move in, and they too can force my serenity level down.  I have to discard my “rights,” as well as my expectations, by asking myself, How important is it, really?  How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety?  And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level–at least for the time being.

p. 420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one. Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands. Once this stark fact is accepted, our bankruptcy as going human concerns is complete.

p. 21

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If you let cloudy water settle, it will become clear. If you let your upset mind settle, your course will also become clear.
–Jack Kornfield

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
–Buddha

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
–Aristotle

Today, I will trust that God’s will is happening as it needs to in my life. I will not make myself anxious and upset by searching vigorously for God’s will, taking unnecessary actions to control the course of my destiny or wondering if God’s will has passed me by and I have missed it.
–Melody Beattie

The greatest good we can do for others is not to share our riches with them, but to reveal their own.
–Author Unknown

In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others.
–Ibn Gabirol, poet and philosopher (ca. 1022-1058)

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

MUSIC

“I know that the twelve notes in
each octave and the varieties of
rhythm offer me opportunities
that all of human genius will
never exhaust.”
–Igor Stravinsky

There is so much to be gained in life. Just when you think you have exhausted all possibilities, a new insight is perceived, permutations and varieties appear in abundance. An example is sobriety. I thought it meant not drinking but today I see that it affects all areas of my life — how I walk, the hugs I freely give, my acceptance of others, my willingness to trust and risk, my optimism for a new day.

Also God is comprehensive for me today. He is alive in church, the Bible and tradition but He is also alive in literature, scripture, sexuality and music. Today I can hear beyond the symphony into the unfathomable message of God’s love for His creation. And always I hear something different and new.

Thank You, Lord, for Your messengers who love through the art of music.

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He replied, “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20

[God] is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:21

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
Matthew 19: 26

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
EX 15:2


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Daily Inspiration

Give thanks for not only all that you have, but all that you are. Lord, may I recognize the goodness within me and know that I am lovable even with my shortcomings.

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

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NA Just For Today

Relations With Others

“We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Step Eight

All human beings struggle with self-centeredness. The chronic self-centeredness that lies at the very core of addiction makes that struggle doubly difficult for people like us. Many of us have lived as if we believed we were the last people on earth, utterly blind to the effect our behavior has had on those around us.

The Eighth Step is the process our program has given us to honestly examine our past relationships. We take a look at the writing we did on our Fourth Step to identify the effects our actions had on the people in our lives. When we recognize harm done to some of those people, we become willing to take responsibility for our actions by making amends to them.

The variety of people we encounter in our day and the quality of our relations with them determines, to a great extent, the quality of our very lives. Love, humor, excitement, caring – the things that make life worth living derive much of their meaning from being shared with others. Understanding this, we want to discover the true nature of our relationships with other people and mend whatever breaks we may find in those relations. We want to work the Eighth Step.

Just for today: I want to fully enjoy the companionship of my fellows. I will examine my relationships with the people in my life. Where I find I’ve harmed others, I will seek the willingness to make amends to them.
pg. 205

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
I was forced to live far beyond my years when just a child. Now I have reversed the order and I intend to remain young indefinitely. –Mary Pickford
We can all learn to change our lives so the child within each of us can live in balance with the people we have become. We can learn to give the child a voice, let the child play, let the child express needs and fears and pleasures.
We might look at our old baby pictures for a valuable lesson. We will see pictures of ourselves on rocking horses, grinning and waving; pictures of ourselves with our most precious toy–a crude metal car, perhaps; pictures of ourselves rolling in the grass. The lesson we learn is that it doesn’t take much to make this child happy–even today.
We keep our own happiness safe inside us to call on whenever we need it, as long as we keep a healthy relationship with the child within. When we nourish the child, we can be assured the child will also nourish us.
What simple thing will make me happy today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me – I always feel that they have not said enough. –Mark Twain
Hearing the good words and praise of another person is harder for some of us to accept than criticism and abuse. Perhaps it is easier to receive what we are accustomed to, or maybe we feel a loss of control when someone compliments us. This is a time for us to begin accepting others’ actions. We do not need to be in control of our relationships at all times. When friends offer sincere compliments, we don’t need to push them away or brush them off.
All we need to do is allow others’ positive messages to come into us. In a good relationship we listen to the feelings of our friends, and sometimes that means truly listening as they tell us their good feelings about us.
Today, I will be open to the compliments that come my *way without controlling them.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin into his nest again, I shall not live in vain. –Emily Dickinson
The gift of attention to each other is “passing on” the love of God. In order to feel love, we have to give it away. We will know love when we give love.
Our attachment to the world, the sense of belonging most of us longed for the many years prior to recovery, awaits us, is showered upon us even as we reach out to someone else. We are no longer alone, scared, alienated when we let others know they are not alone. We can heal one another. The program opens the way for our healing.
Each day, each one of us can ease the pain of a friend, a co-worker, a child. The beauty of the program, the beauty of God’s plan for us all, is that our own pain is relieved in the process of easing the pain of another. Love is the balm. Loving others makes our lives purposeful.
No day is lived in vain, if I but cherish someone else’s presence.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Family Buttons
I was thirty five years old the first time I spoke up to my mother and refused to buy into her games and manipulation. I was terribly frightened and almost couldn’t believe I was doing this. I found I didn’t have to be meant. I didn’t have to start an argument. But I could say what I wanted and needed to say to take care of myself. I learned I could love and honor myself, and still care about my mother – the way I wanted to – not the way she wanted me to. –Anonymous
Who knows better how to push our buttons than family members? Who, besides family members, do we give such power?
No matter how long we or our family members have been recovering, relationships with family members can be provocative.
One telephone conversation can put us in an emotional and psychological tailspin that lasts for hours or days.
Sometimes, it gets worse when we begin recovery because we become even more aware of our reactions and our discomfort. That’s uncomfortable, but good. It is by beginning this process of awareness and acceptance that we change, grow, and heal.
The process of detaching in love from family members can take years. So can the process of learning how to react in a more effective way. We cannot control what they do or try to do, but we can gain some sense of control over how we choose to react.
Stop trying to make them act or treat us any differently. Unhook from their system by refusing to try to change or influence them.
Their patterns, particularly their patterns with us, are their issues. How we react, or allow these patterns to influence us, is our issue. How we take care of ourselves is our issue.
We can love our family and still refuse to buy into their issues. We can love our family but refuse their efforts to manipulate, control, or produce guilt in us.
We can take care of ourselves with family members without feeling guilty. We can learn to be assertive with family members without being aggressive. We can set the boundaries we need and want to set with family members without being disloyal to the family.
We can learn to love our family without forfeiting love and respect for ourselves.
Today, help me start practicing self care with family members. Help me know that I do not have to allow their issues to control my life, my day, or my feelings. Help me know it’s okay to have all my feelings about family members, without guilt or shame.

Today I choose to think positive. Today I let my thoughts lead the way to success and happiness. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Delight in Yourself

Stop picking on yourself, worrying if you’re good enough, wondering what people will see if you let them see your heart. This is what they’ll see: that you are a lovable and delightful soul, beautiful child of God.

Be yourself and accept yourself–warts, waistline,and all. You don’t have to sit up that straight, be that proper, or fear what others may see. Let your imperfections show! Share them! Love yourself anyway! Relax, and be who you are! When you do that, your life will be fun and a joyful gift to others.

People who comfortably accept who they are– both their flaws and their good points– are healing, delightful, and fun to be around. Look at any work of nature: a canyon, a flower, a bird. A mountain or a forest trail. Where does the perfection begin and imperfecting end? It’s the combination that makes a perfect scene. So it is with you.

Relax. Lighten up. Let go of shame and fear. The whole picture is perfect, and perfectly okay.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Expect grief to be a lot of grief

Your grief will take more energy than you would have ever imagined.
–Theresa A. Rondo
How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies

Grief is more than one feeling. Depending on the nature of the loss, it may become a temporary way of life. It may last eight weeks or eight years.

Let go of any judgements you have about grief and about how long you think it should take to get over that loss. Instead, practice compassion for other people and for yourself.

Keep your expectations realistic. Give anyone who’s grieving, whether it’s yourself or someone else, more latitude than you think could possibly be needed.

God, there’s a lot of broken hearts on this planet. Please heal them all, including mine.

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In God’s Care

Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift to himself.
~~Mother Teresa

In praying, some of us depend on the traditions of our religion, others on the instructions of spriitual leaders. Some of us just strike out on our own, not knowing what to say or what to do, yet believing that form is not as important as intent. We only know that when we do pray, something happens.

And each time we lift our thoughts to God, it is easier the next time. Then, as we keep praying, we discover that we have begun to establish a familiarity. Our heart is opening to God without our realizing it. When we are willing, God fills our heart. And even though we can leave God, and often do, God never leaves us.

I am grateful that God is in my heart. My prayer is one of thanks.

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Day By Day

Recognizing opportunities

Today is a day of opportunity. Any experiences that we have today – good or bad – can be seen as opportunities, opportunities to grow closer to God.

As bread is food for the body, opportunities are food for the soul.

Do I see all the opportunities in my daily life? Do I take advantage of them?

I pray that I may use my experiences as opportunities to grow closer to God.

Today I will look for opportunities by…

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Food for Thought

Clean Abstinence

It is easy to become sloppy in our abstinence and in our program. This is where a daily inventory is an invaluable aid. When we catch ourselves cheating just a little on measurements, making excuses to skip meetings, neglecting to follow the promptings of our Higher Power, it is time for housecleaning.

If we have stopped calling in our food plan and are having trouble with abstinence, we may need to get in touch with a food sponsor. Many of us find it hard to admit that we cannot do everything alone! False pride can be our downfall. If we pretend that all is well when it is not, we cut ourselves off from the help of the group.

The time to correct small mistakes is immediately, before they get bigger and make us discouraged. Admitting the mistake to another person clears the way for correction and change.

Thank You for those who help me maintain clean abstinence.

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Elegant Blessings
Living a Life of Grace by Madisyn Taylor

When we accept that we always exist in a state of grace, we are able to live our lives more graciously.

Grace exists inside of all of us and around us. It is our inner beauty that radiates outward, touching everyone we meet. It is that unseen hand that comes from the divine, raising us up when we most need it. To be able to live in a state of grace is not based on worthiness, nor is it earned through good deeds, ritual, or sacrifice. Rather it is an unearned favor, freely bestowed and available to all, that is inherent to our birthright. All we must do is open our eyes to its presence and we will find and experience grace everywhere.

Grace is in the rain bringing relief to drought-ridden farms, and the unexpected lead for the perfect job opportunity that comes from a stranger. Grace is what happens to someone when they miraculously escape injury; it is even the simple events that happen to us that we call “good luck,” like when we don’t get a parking ticket after are meter has expired. Grace resides in the love between two people, the gift or check that comes unexpectedly in the mail, the cozy comforts that make up a home, and in the acts of forgiveness we bestow upon others. It is grace that moves us to go out of our way to help a stranger. In music, a grace note is the pause between notes that is so important to the pacing of a song. Grace is the state we are in when we are doing nothing but just being who we are.

When we accept that we always exist in a state of grace, we are able to live our lives more graciously. Knowing we are graced gives us hope, makes us more generous, and allows us to trust that we are taken care of even when we are going through difficult times. Grace is our benevolence of heart, and our generosity of spirit. Grace is unconditional love and the beauty that is our humanity. When we know that we are blessed with grace, we can’t help but want to live our lives in harmony. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Faced with almost certain destruction by our addictions, we eventually had no choice but to become open-minded on spiritual matters. In that sense, the chemicals of drugs we used were potent persuaders; they finally whipped us into a state of reasonableness. We came to learn that when we stubbornly close the doors on our minds, we’re locking out far more than we’re locking in. Do I immediately reject new ideas? Or do I patiently strive to change my old way of living?

Today I Pray

May I keep an open mind especially on spiritual matters, remembering that “spiritual” is a bigger word than “religious.” (I was born of the Spirit, but I was taught religion.) May I remember that a locked mind is a symptom of my addiction and an open mind is essential to my recovery.

Today I Will Remember

If I lock more out than I lock in, what am I protecting?

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One More Day

Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There may have been times in our lives when we have been forced, for one reason or another, to eat a bland diet. The reasons don’t matter; what does matter is how totally bored we became with the unvarying beige-and-white soft menu! Before long we had lost our anticipation of eating.

We may sometimes place ourselves on a bland diet of life. Daily routine says much the same, day after day, year after year. From home to work to the sofa to bed, and start all over again. Some routine is like a healthy diet that gives us stability and safety, but a sprinkling of risk is the seasoning that adds zest to our lives. We can reach out for what is not habit. We can continue to try when previous efforts have failed. We can take a generous helping of life.

I can dare to change or to try new things without sacrificing all of my routine and safety.

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One Day At A Time

~ SELF-TRUTH ~
“You cannot be true to God or to anyone else until you are true to yourself.”
Sr. Jeanne Koma, H.M.

I have spent much of my life role-playing. As spouse, parent, employee, addict, I have often lost myself. Who am I? Why am I here? If I played none of those roles, would I still exist?

It wasn’t until I took the time to discover the ‘real’ me, the person God created, that I was able to be a better spouse, parent, and employee. And it was through this discovery that the addict in me began taking a back seat to the child of God that I truly am.

I cannot do God’s will nor be supportive of others if I am dishonest about who I am.

When Moses asked God who He was, God replied, “I am who I am.” I am also who I am. I have nothing of which to be ashamed.

One Day at a Time . . .
I must be true to myself if I wish to be of service to anyone else.
~Debbie~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:

1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip. – Page 180-181 – 4th. Edition – Doctor Bob’s Nightmare

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is remarkable how often we run across this feeling of ‘uniqueness’ as we recover: we used more, had worse contacts, spent more in bars, treated our family worse, were younger, older, blacker, gayer, more sensitive–whatever.

Let me see in this next hour, one area that I feel I’m ‘unique’ which is actually commonplace for us addicts.

Hesitation

Today, I will walk the walk and talk the talk. It will not be good for me, ultimately, to half commit myself. In a way, the particular path that I take is less significant than that I take a path. I can second-guess myself and my experience. Commitment to a path is really commitment to myself. I am allowing myself to take a clear direction, one in which I can actualize my talents on a day-to-day basis, one that will allow me to build a foundation and a structure in which I can live. I will have a passion in life, a passion that takes me beyond myself, a passion to love, nourish, be led and challenged by. I will follow it, and it will follow me.

I deserve a passion in my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Pissing contests about who used how much and who acted bad are ego trips in reverse. ‘It doesn’t matter what or how much we used. In NA, staying clean has to come first. We realize that we cannot use drugs and live.’ (P 19, NA Basic Text).

When I brag about how much I used, how bad it was, and how much damage I did, I am doing one of two things, trying to make myself look larger or them smaller.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Coffee makers make it.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I choose to think positive. Today I let my thoughts lead the way to success and happiness.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

‘The best thing for you is to give up drinking.’ ‘Yeah.. What’s the next best thing?’ – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

July 15

Complacency
Following the principles laid out in the Big Book has not always been comfortable,
nor will I claim perfection.
I have yet to find a place in the Big Book that says,
“Now that you have completed the Steps; have a nice life.”
The program is a plan for a lifetime of daily living.
There have been occasions when the temptation to slack off has won.
I view each of these as learning opportunities.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 317

Thought to Ponder . . .
There are no endings … only new beginnings.

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

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

Paradox
“We Give Away to Keep.
That seems absurd and untrue.
How can you keep anything if you give it away?
But in order to keep whatever it is we get in AA,
we must go about giving it away to others,
for no fees or rewards of any kind.
When we cannot afford to give away what we have
received so freely in AA,
we had better get ready for our next ‘drunk.’
It will happen every time.
We’ve got to continue to give it away in order to keep it.”
– The Professor and the Paradox
1955AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous (2nd Ed.), pp. 341-2

Thought to Consider . . .
“We are not living just to be sober;
we are living to learn, to serve, and to love.”
As Bill Sees It, p. 94

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E L P = Hope, Encouragement, Love, and Patience

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

Attraction
Tradition Eleven: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
“Let’s see how these two contrasting ideas – attraction and promotion – work out. A political party wishes to win an election, so it advertises the virtues of its leadership to draw votes. A worthy charity wants to raise money; forthwith, its letterhead shows the name of every distinguished person whose support can be obtained. Much of the political, economic, and religious life of the world is dependent upon publicized leadership. People who symbolize causes and ideas fill a deep human need. We of A.A. do not question that. But we do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us. By temperament, nearly every one of us had been an irrepressible promoter, and the prospect of a society composed almost entirely of promoters was frightening. Considering this explosive factor, we knew we had to exercise self-restraint.”
1981, AAWS, Inc., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 181

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

“I opened the door and walked into the warmth, the laughter, the acceptance, and the love that is AA. No one asked me who I was or what I wanted; no one asked me how much money I had or what I did for a living; no one asked me where I did my drinking or what my sexual preferences were. The smiling man who greeted me told me that night that if I thought I had a drinking problem, I was in the right place.”
Toledo, Ohio, September 1982
“Above All, an Alcoholic”
In Our Own Words: Stories of Young AAs in Recovery

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

“If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely,
or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take,
you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be
suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will
conquer.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 44~

“Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for
the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his
spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could
not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not
work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely
die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 14~

“We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 70 (How It Works)

“We rest quietly with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may experience and learn.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 100 (Step Eleven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When our failings generate fear, we then have soul-sickness. This sickness, in turn, generates still more character defects.
Unreasonable fear that our instincts will not be satisfied drives us to covet the possessions of others, to lust for sex and power, to become angry when our instinctive demands are threatened, to be envious when the ambitions of others seem to be realized while ours are not. We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need, fearing we shall never have enough. And, with genuine alarm at the prospect of work, we stay lazy. We loaf and procrastinate, or at best work grudgingly and under half steam.
These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations of whatever sort of life we try to build.
As faith grows, so does inner security. The vast underlying fear of nothingness commences to subside. We of A.A. find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to always continue learning.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 14th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 14th

Daily Reflections

A NOURISHING INGREDIENT, p.204

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

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

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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As Bill Sees It

The Language of the Heart, p. 195

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

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

A.A. Today, pp. 7-8

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Walk In Dry Places

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


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Keep It Simple

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

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Each Day a New Beginning

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

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 52

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
It hasn’t been easy to work out this relationship with Max.  On the contrary, the hardest place to work this program has been in my own home, with my own children and, finally, with Max.  It seems I should have learned from my wife and family first; the newcomer to A.A., last.  But it was the other way around.  Eventually I had to redo each of the Twelve Steps specifically with Max in mind, from the First, saying, “I am powerless over alcohol, and my homelife is unmanageable by me,” to the Twelfth, in which I tried to think of her as a sick Al-Anon and treat her with the love I would give a sick A.A. newcomer.  When I do this, we get along fine.

pp. 419-420

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

GREATNESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Daily Inspiration

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

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

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NA Just For Today

An “Inside Job”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey To The Heart

Touch the Eternal

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

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

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

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More Language Of Letting Go

Take care of yourself, no matter what

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep taking care of yourself, no matter what.

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

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In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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

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Day By Day

Paying for freedom

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

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

Am I paying the right price for my freedom?

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

Today I will pay for greater freedom by…

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Food for Thought

Energize, Don’t Tranquilize

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

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

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

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

May I remember to eat for energy instead of oblivion.

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The Weight of Objects
Clearing a Space for Change

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

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

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

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

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Only an open mind can be healed.

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One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

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One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

I Am Whole

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

I am free to be who I am.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

July 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like the Effect
from: “The Doctor’s Opinion”
“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages xxviii-xxix

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

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

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

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

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

“Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 68

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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