Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 31st

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 31st

Daily Reflections

A PRAYER FOR ALL SEASONS

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

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

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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

As Bill Sees It

Faith and Action, p. 212

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walk In Dry Places

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


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

Keep It Simple

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

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

Each Day a New Beginning

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


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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

Chapter 5 – HOW IT WORKS

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

pp. 58-59

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 425

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TEMPTATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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

NA Just For Today

Freedom From Active Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God help me to stay sober and clean today!

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

Journey To The Heart

You Are Complete

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Stay in the game

And it came to pass….
–The Bible

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food for Thought

Inner Guides

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

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

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

May I know You more dearly each day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

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

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

One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Seeing Me from the Inside Out

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

I am an uncritical observer of my own inner workings.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

I am enough; there is enough.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 26th

Daily Reflections

THE “WORTH” OF SOBRIETY

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

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

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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

As Bill Sees It

The Fellowship’s Future, p.207

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

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

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

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

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

Walk In Dry Places

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

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

Keep It Simple

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

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

Each Day a New Beginning

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

pp. 55-56

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 424

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


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

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

p. 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

ADVERSITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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

NA Just For Today

Unconditional Surrender

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Journey To The Heart

Find Places of Repose

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

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

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

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

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

More Language Of Letting Go

See what feels right to you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Then breathe.”

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

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

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

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

“What are you doing?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust what feels right to you.

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

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

In God’s Care

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

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

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

I will remember God today.

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

Day By Day

Avoiding pity

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

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

Have I stopped pitying myself (and others)?

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

Today I will avoid self-pity by…

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

Food for Thought

Doing God’s Will

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

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

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

I pray for courage to follow Your will.

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

Half-Full Consciousness
Starting from Empty by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

How it was.

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

One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

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

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

Learning My Own Lessons

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

My lessons come from my life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

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

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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…

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 ~

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

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.

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

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 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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

“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


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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Maybe it’s not supposed to feel good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

Today I pledge to be honest.

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

Day By Day

Judging other addicts

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

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

Have I stopped judging other addicts?

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

I will acknowledge someone addicted to another chemical today by…

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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


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

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.


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

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!

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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


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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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…

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 ~

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 ~

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

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.

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 16th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 16th

Daily Reflections

“A MEASURE OF HUMILITY”

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

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

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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

As Bill Sees It

Where Rationalizing Leads, p. 197

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

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

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

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

1. Letter, 1959
2. Grapevine, November 1945

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

Walk In Dry Places

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

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

Keep It Simple

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

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

Each Day a New Beginning

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

pp. 52-53

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

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

p. 420

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

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

p. 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

DESIRE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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

NA Just For Today

Self-esteem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Journey To The Heart

Go a Little Further

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Language Of Letting Go

There’s a bottom to the well

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. Then pray. Connecting with God always help.

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

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

Food for Thought

Hard Right or Easy Wrong?

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

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

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

By Your grace, may I make the right choices.

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

Recognizing Our Own Greatness
The Greatness in Others by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

Patience.

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

One More Day

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

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

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

I am thankful that my values are strong.

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

One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

A Little Magic

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

I believe anything is possible

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

Excuses are simply my lack of faith in me.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound altera  tion in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly   have been brought about by himself alone.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 567 (Appendix II: Spiritual Experience)

“It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves  to meet conditions, whatever  they were.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47 (Step Four)

Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I fully give myself to you in faith that the necessary change will take place if I take the action.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.


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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

“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


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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day By Day

Paying for freedom

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

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

Am I paying the right price for my freedom?

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

Today I will pay for greater freedom by…

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

Food for Thought

Energize, Don’t Tranquilize

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

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

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

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

May I remember to eat for energy instead of oblivion.

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

The Weight of Objects
Clearing a Space for Change

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

One More Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like the Effect
from: “The Doctor’s Opinion”
“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.”
2001, AAWS, Inc., Alcoholics Anonymous, pages xxviii-xxix

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

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

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

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

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

“Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 68

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 13th

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 13th

Daily Reflections

HUMILITY IS A GIFT, p.203

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

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

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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

As Bill Sees It

The Obsession and the Answer, p. 194

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

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

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

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


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

Walk In Dry Places

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


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

Keep It Simple

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

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

Each Day a New Beginning

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

p. 52

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
Today Max and I try to communicate what we feel rather than what we think.  We used to argue about our differing ideas, but we can’t argue about our feelings.  I can tell her she ought not to think a certain way, but I certainly can’t take away her right to feel however she does feel.  When we deal in feelings, we tend to come to know ourselves and each other much better.

p. 419

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

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

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

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

p. 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

DIGNITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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

NA Just For Today

Humility In Action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Journey To The Heart

See the Snow on the Desert

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Say it like it is

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

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

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

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

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

Food for Thought

Living from Within

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

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

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

May I listen to Your voice.

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

In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day By Day

Lacking power over others

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

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

Do I realize that I can manage no one?

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

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

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

Connection
The Truth of Interdependence by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

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

Today I Pray

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

Today I Will Remember

In sameness, there is strength.

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

One More Day

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

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

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

I’ll make positive choices for myself today.

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

One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

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

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

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

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

The Treasures Within

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

Spirit is with me always

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

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

I never trust my tongue when my heart is bitter.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

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

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

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

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

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

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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

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

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 12th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings July 12th

Daily Reflections

GIVING UP CENTER STAGE, p.202

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

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

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

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

Meditation For The Day

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

Prayer For The Day

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

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

As Bill Sees It

The Spiritual Alibi, p. 193

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

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

Grapevine, June 1961

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

Walk In Dry Places

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

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

Keep It Simple

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

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

Each Day a New Beginning

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

WE AGNOSTICS

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

pp. 51-52

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

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER – The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments.  Acceptance was his key to liberation.
I can do the same thing with an A.A. meeting.  The more I focus my mind on its defects–late start, long drunkalogs, cigarette smoke–the worse the meeting becomes.  But when I try to see what I can add to the meeting, rather than what I can get out of it, and when I focus my mind on what’s good about it, rather than what’s wrong with it, the meeting keeps getting better and better.  When I focus on what’s good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what’s bad, I have a bad day.  If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases.

p. 419

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

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

p. 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

VIOLENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Inspiration

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

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

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

NA Just For Today

Patience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Journey To The Heart

Let the Universe Lead the Way

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

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

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

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

Then let the universe lead the way.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Honor your emotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

In God’s Care

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

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

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

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

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

Day By Day

Knowing our Higher Power

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

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

Do I have faith in my Higher Power?

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

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

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

Food for Thought

Growing Up

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

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

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

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

Grant me the willingness to grow up.

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

The Reciprocal Flow of Abundance
Giving without Expectations by Madisyn Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

In many aspects the Fellowship of The Program is like a reasonably happy cruise ship or, in time of trouble, like a convoy. But in the long run each of us must chart his or her own course through life. When the seas are smooth, we may become careless. By neglecting Step Ten, we may get out of the habit of checking our position. If we’re mindful of Step Ten, however, then we rarely go so far wrong that we can’t make a few corrections and get back on course again. Do I realize that regular practice of Step Ten can help me determine what other step is indicated to bring me into a happier frame of mind and into serenity?

Today I Pray

May step Ten be a sextant by which I read my whereabouts at sea, so that I can correct my course, re chart it if I am heading for shallow places. May I keep in mind that, if it weren’t for an all-knowing Captain, and the vigilance of my fellow crew members, this ship could be adrift and I could easily panic.

Today I Will Remember

To steer by a steady star.

**************************************************

One More Day

There is a certain state of health that does not allow us to understand everything; and perhaps illness shuts us off from certain truths; but health shuts us off just as effectively from others.
– Andre Gide

When we were healthy, it was hard imagining what someone in poor health was going through. We could sympathize — even empathize — but we were insulated from the reality because we had no personal experience with illness.

Now, our diminished health allows us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Many of our friends and family don’t always know how to act toward us or what to say. They’re the ones who may be uneasy about facing our world. We can help them because we know what they are experiencing.

I will be compassionate to my loved ones as they strive to help and understand.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

APATHY
“The world is a dangerous place to live;
not because of the people who are evil,
but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
Albert Einstein

In my life as an addict, I found myself deteriorating in every way possible. I was spiritually hungry, emotionally bereft, and physically a mess. I stopped caring about people, places or things. I was apathetic to such a degree that I no longer cared about anything.

That gradually changed when I embraced the Twelve Steps. I began to open my eyes to the world around me ~ the world I had shut out. The more I worked the Steps, the more I saw the reality of things. I became less selfish and began to try to make a difference — not only in my own life, but also in the lives of those I cared about. I found myself loving more. I found I was once again capable of having compassion.

I am no longer afraid to speak out when I see misdeeds. I don’t cower before those who would do harm to others. I embrace the good and the bad in this world I call home.

One day at a time…
I will do my part in making the world a better place. I will listen and hear what my Higher Power has in mind for me.
~ Mari

*****************************************

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

When working with a man and his family, you should take care not to participate in their quarrels. You may spoil your chance of being helpful if you do. But urge upon a man’s family that he has been a very sick person and should be treated accordingly. You should warn against arousing resentment or jealousy. You should point out that his defects or character are not going to disappear over night. Show them that he has entered upon a period of growth. Ask them to remember, when they are impatient, the blessed fact of his sobriety. – Pg. 100 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

The world is not consistent, you are not consistent, and those around you will not always be consistent. We don’t have to be. We only have to remember not to use mind-affecting chemicals right now and our world will improve.

When inconsistency scares or annoys me, let me understand that to remain always constant would be like a plastic plant, never to grow and change!

Inner Hearing, Inner Sight

Today, I will trust my own heart. The clear message that whispers within me has more to tell me than a thousand voices. I have a guide within me who knows what is best for me. There is a part of me that sees the whole picture and knows how it all fits together. My inner voice may come in the form of a strong sense, a pull from within, a gut feeling or a quiet knowing. However my inner voice comes to me, I will learn to pay attention. In my heart I know what is going on. Though I am conditioned by the world to look constantly outside myself for meaning, today I recognize that it is deeply important for me to hear what I am saying from within. I give myself the gift of listening.

I will trust my inner voice.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

No one wants to hear the Sermon on the Mount or Zen philosophy when they’re trying to save their ass. They want to know what to do–not hear words of wisdom. Tell them what you did.

I do not get so spiritual, that I am of no earthly value.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you think you have a good idea you might want to get second opinion from your sponsor.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am at choice today. I accept the responsibilities of my life with a new sense of maturity, confidence and even excitement.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I went through life waiting for a space ship to land and a voice to say: ‘Sorry, dropped you on the wrong planet, time to go home now.’ – Trip S.

*****************************************

AA Thought for the Day

July 12

Anonymity
It should be a privilege, even the right, of each member or group
to handle anonymity as they wish. . .
Each individual will have to decide where he ought to draw the line —
how far he ought to carry the principle in his own affairs,
how far he may go in dropping his own anonymity
without injury to Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.
– The Language of the Heart, p. 15

Thought to Ponder . . .
Anonymity is real humility at work.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A A = Adventurers Anonymous.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Belief
“Despite contrary indications,
I had little doubt that a mighty purpose and rhythm
underlay all.
How could there be so much of precise and immutable law,
and no intelligence?
I simply had to believe in a
Spirit of the Universe,
who knew neither time nor limitation.”
– Bill W.
1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 10

Thought to Consider . . .
Faith is not belief without proof;
it’s trust without reservation.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Spirituality
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“The liberals were the largest contingent and they had no objection to the use of the word “God” throughout the [Big]
book, but they were dead set against any other theological proposition. They would have nothing to do with doctrinal
issues. Spirituality, yes. But religion, no, positively no. Most of our members, they pointed out, believed in some sort of
deity. But when it came to theology we could not possibly agree among ourselves, so how could we write a book that
contained any such matter? There was no such thing as group opinion in these areas and there never could be.
Alcoholics who had tried the missions were forever complaining about this very thing. The alcoholic’s unreasoning
rebellion against the specifically religious approach had severely handicapped the missions. The liberals said they did
not intend to be critical; they only wanted us to remember the hard facts. Those contentions could not be denied. It
was true that we could not agree on a religious basis for our fellowship and that the straight religious approach had
worked in relatively few cases.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 162-63

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“It seems to me that one of the major purposes of the last three Steps is to keep us from complacency, to keep us
growing so that we don’t fall back into our old, sick ways and perhaps even into active alcoholism.”
West Henrietta, New York, October 2007
“Step Ten: Up Close and Personal,”
Emotional Sobriety II

*~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“We represent no particular faith or denomination. We are dealing only
with general principles common to most denominations.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, Page 93~

“We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and
express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than
ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible
for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 46~

“We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 124 (The Family Afterward)

“Everywhere we saw failure and misery transformed by humility into priceless assets.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 75 (Step Seven)

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Our first attempts at inventories are apt to prove very unrealistic. I used to be a champ at unrealistic self-appraisal. On certain occasion, I wanted to look at the part of my life which seemed good. Then I would greatly exaggerate whatever virtues I supposed I had attained. Next I would congratulate myself on the grand job I was doing in A.A.
Naturally this generated a terrible hankering for still more accomplishments, and still more approval. I was falling straight back into the pattern of my drinking days. Here were the same old goals, power, fame, and applause. Besides, I had the best alibi known the spiritual objective made this utter nonsense seem perfectly right.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank You for taking my greatest liabilities and transforming them into my greatest assets.