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Daily Recovery Readings Start your day here with Daily Recovery Readings. Feel Free To Share Your Experience, Strength & Hope.

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Old 12-27-2017, 09:15 AM   #1
bluidkiti
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Default Daily Recovery Readings - January

January 1

Daily Reflections

"I AM A MIRACLE"

The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our
Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed
miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us
which we could never do by ourselves.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 25

This truly is a fact in my life today, and a real miracle. I always
believed in God, but could never put that belief meaningfully into my
life. Today, because of Alcoholics Anonymous, I now trust and rely on
God, as I understand Him; I am sober today because of that! Learning
to trust and rely on God was something I could never have done alone.
I now believe in miracles because I am one!

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., was I a desperate person? Did I have a
soul-sickness? Was I so sick of myself and my way of living that I
couldn't stand looking at myself in a mirror? Was I ready for A.A.?
Was I ready to try anything that would help me to get sober and to get
over my soul-sickness? Should I ever forget the condition I was in?

Meditation For The Day

In the new year, I will live one day at a time. I will make each day one
of preparation for better things ahead. I will not dwell on the past or
the future, only on the present. I will bury every fear of the future, all
thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all my dislikes, my resentments,
my sense of failure, my disappointments in others and in myself, my
gloom and my despondency. I will leave all these things buried and go
forward, in this new year, into a new life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God will guide me one day at a time in the new year. I pray
that for each day, God will supply the wisdom and the strength that I
need.

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

As Bill Sees It

Personality Change, p. 1

"It has often been said of A.A. that we are interested only in alcoholism.
That is not true. We have to get over drinking in order to stay alive.
But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by firsthand contact
knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without
undergoing a profound personality change."

<< << << >> >> >>

We thought "conditions" drove us to drink, and when we tried to
correct these conditions and found that we couldn't do so to our entire
satisfaction, our drinking went out of hand and we became alcoholics. It
never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet
conditions, whatever they were.

1. Letter, 1940
2. 12 & 12, p. 47

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

Walk In Dry Places

A year to grow.
Growth.
This new year can be a time of growth in sobriety. While we have no crystal ball that tells us what luck and fortune the year will bring, we do have a program that gives us the power to make the best of this year, to grow in sobriety. We can make progress in overcoming resentment and selfishness, we can help others in their search for happy sobriety, and we can make better use of our talents and opportunities.
We can live sober, and we also can find happiness and true self-esteem in sobriety. In our drinking, a desperate search for happiness and self-esteem compelled us to drink, but we could never find our happy destiny in the bottle. No matter what came to us, things had a way of turning sour as we continued to drink and to take other harmful substances.
In our new life, we have good reason to feel confident and optimistic. We have friends who understand us; we have sponsors who will share with us their own experience and hope. We have a Higher Power who is, as the poet Tennyson said, "closer to us than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet." We face nothing alone, and in the new year all experiences can help us grow.
I face this day with confidence, courage, and optimism. I will know that my Higher Power is present in every person and situation.

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

Keep It Simple

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol...--First part of Step One.
In Step One, we accept our powerlessness over alcohol and other drugs. But we are powerless over many parts of life. We are powerless over other people. We are powerless over what our HP has planned for us. Before recovery, we only believed in control. We tried to control everything. We fought against a basic truth, the truth that we are powerless over much of life. When we accept this truth, we begin to see what power we do have. We have the power to make choices. When we're lonely, we have the power to reach out to others. We have power over how we live our own lives.
PRAYER: HP, help me to know that it's You who is running my life. Help me to know that power comes from accepting I am powerless.
ACTION: I am powerless over much of life. Today, I'll look to see how this is true. I'll look to see what I really have control over and what I don't.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

We don't always understand the ways of Almighty God--the crosses sent us, the sacrifices demanded . . . But we accept with faith and resignation the holy will with no looking back, and we are at peace. --Anonymous
Acceptance of our past, acceptance of the conditions presently in our lives that we cannot change, brings relief. It brings the peacefulness we so often, so frantically, seek.
We can put the past behind us. Each day is a new beginning. And each day of abstinence offers us the chance to look ahead with hope. A power greater than ourselves helped us to find this program. That power is ever with us. When we fear facing new situations, or when familiar situations turn sour, we can look to that power for help in saying what needs to be said and for doing what needs to be done. Our higher power is as close as our breath. Conscious awareness of its presence strengthens us, moment by moment.
The past is gone. Today is full of possibilities. With each breath I will be aware of the strength at hand.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

On through the years this conduct continues, accompanied by his continual promises to be careful or to keep off the streets altogether. Finally, he can no longer work, his wife gets a divorce and he is held up to ridicule. He tries every known means to get the jaywalking idea out of his head. He shuts himself up in an asylum, hoping to mend his ways. But the day he comes out he races in front of a fire engine, which breaks his back. Such a man would be crazy, wouldn’t he?

p. 38

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

Here I was, thirty-nine years old and a complete washout. Nothing had worked. Mother would take me in only if I would stay locked in a small storeroom and give her my clothes and shoes. We had played this game before. That is the way Jackie found me, lying on a cot in my skivvies, with hot and cold sweats, pounding heart and that awful itchy scratchiness all over. Somehow I had always managed to avoid D.T.'s.

p. 219

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

We may often pass through Twelfth Step experiences where we will seem to be temporarily off the beam. These will appear as big setbacks at the time, but will be seen later as stepping-stones to better things. For example, we may set our hearts on getting a particular person sobered up, and after doing all we can for months, we see him relapse. Perhaps this will happen in a succession of cases, and we may be deeply discouraged as to our ability to carry A.A.'s message. Or we may encounter the reverse situation, in which we are highly elated because we seem to have been successful. Here the temptation is to become rather possessive of these newcomers. Perhaps we try to give them advice about their affairs which we aren't really competent to give or ought not give at all. Then we are hurt and confused when the advice is rejected, or when it is accepted and brings still greater confusion. By a great deal of ardent Twelfth Step work we sometimes carry the message to so many alcoholics that they place us in a position of trust. They make us, let us say, the group's chairman. Here again we are presented with the temptation to overmanage things, and sometimes this results in rebuffs and other consequences which are hard to take.
But in the longer run we clearly realize that these are only the pains of growing up, and nothing but good can come from them if we turn more and more to the entire Twelve Steps for the answers.

pp. 110-111

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

A WORD
A CARELESS WORD MAY KINDLE STRIFE....
A CRUEL WORD MAY WRECK A LIFE........
A TIMELY WORD MAY LEVEL STRESS.......
BUT A LOVING WORD MAY HEAL AND BLESS.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
--Helen Keller

In the process of growing to spiritual maturity, we all go through many adolescent
stages.
--Miki L. Bowen

"Don't water your weeds."
--Harvey Mackay

"A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary."
--Thomas Carruthers

Ah the dawn of a New Year! May we find inner peace, gentle spirit, God's grace,
forgiveness, dreams and prayers, Recovery.
--Shelley

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

SPIRITUALITY

"It is not that I think or believe
[in spirituality] but that I
know."
-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Some things I seem to know intuitively: and I know that spirituality is involved in and
affects everything. In a human being it combines the physical, mental and emotional
but it also reaches beyond the human being and connects the peoples of the world.
Spirituality is the force for good and wholeness in this universe.

This is not just an opinion or a thought. It is a feeling that runs so deep in my being
that I know it must be true. When I read, hear music or see movies, this feeling is often
evoked, and I know God is alive in His world and wanting it to be ONE.

In the silence of Your world I know You.

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

The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.
Psalm 145 : 9

"I will sing praises to my God my life long."
Psalm 146:2

"Protect me. O God, for in you I take refuge.... You show me the path of life."
Psalm 16:1,11

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

Daily Inspiration

Begin every day as if it were your very first because you really are always at the beginning. Lord, thank you for the constant ability to stop any offensive behaviors that I have and the gift of being forgiven and being able to forgive myself.

To be wise, you must first find peace, for peace opens the door to a freer and fuller life. Lord, continue to draw me close to You so that I can know more and more of Your peace within me.

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

NA Just For Today

Vigilance

“We keep what we have only with vigilance … ”
—Basic Text, p. 57

How do we remain vigilant about our recovery? First, by realizing that we have a disease we will always have. No matter how long we’ve been clean, no matter how much better our lives have become, no matter what the extent of our spiritual healing, we are still addicts. Our disease waits patiently, ready to spring the trap if we give it the opportunity.

Vigilance is a daily accomplishment. We strive to be constantly alert and ready to deal with signs of trouble. Not that we should live in irrational fear that something horrible will possess us if we drop our guard for an instant; we just take normal precautions. Daily prayer, regular meeting attendance, and choosing not to compromise spiritual principles for the easier way are acts of vigilance. We take inventory as necessary, share with others whenever we are asked, and carefully nurture our recovery. Above all, we stay aware.

We have a daily reprieve from our addiction as long as we remain vigilant. Each day, we carry the principles of recovery into all we do, and each night, we thank our Higher Power for another day clean.

Just for today: I will be vigilant, doing everything necessary to guard my recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose. --Hada Bejar
Nothing is more attractive than sharing with others. No trait will be admired as much as generosity. There is no surer way to gain the respect of friends and neighbors than to show by what we give that we care about others. We can give many things besides money, shelter, clothing, or food to those in need. We can give the rich person love and understanding that money can't buy. We can sympathize with those who are troubled, even though they appear wealthier than ourselves. We can share experience, strength, and hope with those who are ill or unhappy. We can even share our suffering with others who suffer, and hold up a light for them on the road to recovery.


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.
--Dutch proverb
When we see how far we've strayed from being the kind of men we wanted to be, we are overwhelmed by how far we have to go to get back on the track. Perhaps we see clearly for the first time how unfair we were or how much we hurt those we love. Maybe we see how pervasive our compulsions are in our lives and how much we missed.
That is when we are most ready to do the work of recovery and become most spiritual. It is helpful at those times to remember that this program is a journey. Although at times the distance seems overwhelming, all of us are on the path. As long as we live, we never reach a point where we can stop growing. The important thing is, we are on the path, and we have a good part of our journey behind us. Once begun, outside the door, we are progressing like all our brothers and sisters in the program.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
We don't always understand the ways of Almighty God--the crosses sent us, the sacrifices demanded . . . But we accept with faith and resignation the holy will with no looking back, and we are at peace. --Anonymous
Acceptance of our past, acceptance of the conditions presently in our lives that we cannot change, brings relief. It brings the peacefulness we so often, so frantically, seek.
We can put the past behind us. Each day is a new beginning. And each day of abstinence offers us the chance to look ahead with hope. A power greater than ourselves helped us to find this program. That power is ever with us. When we fear facing new situations, or when familiar situations turn sour, we can look to that power for help in saying what needs to be said and for doing what needs to be done. Our higher power is as close as our breath. Conscious awareness of its presence strengthens us, moment by moment.
The past is gone. Today is full of possibilities. With each breath I will be aware of the strength at hand.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
The New Year
Make New Year's goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living life in the year to come.
Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level.
Goals give our life direction.
What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?
What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?
Remember, we aren't controlling others with our goals - we are trying to give direction to our life.
What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?
What would you like to see happen inside and around you?
Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down - as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.
Certainly, things happen that are out of our control. Sometimes, these events are pleasant surprises; sometimes, they are of another nature. But they are all part of the chapter that will be this year in our life and will lead us forward in the story.
The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.
Today, I will remember that there is a powerful force motivated by writing dawn goals. I will do that now, for the year to come, and regularly as needed. I will do it not to control but to do my part in living my life.


Today I am on my spiritual path to recovery. A NEW YEAR! AND A HAPPY, PEACEFUL AND JOYOUS ONE FOR EVERYONE! --Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the heart

Honor the Beginning

Beginnings can be delicate or explosive. They can start almost invisibly or arrive with a big bang. Beginnings hold the promise of new lessons to be learned, new territory to be explored, and old lessons to be recalled, practiced, and appreciated. Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear, and hope.

Don't let the lessons, the experiences of the past, dampen your enthusiasm for beginngs. Just because it's been hard doesn't mean it will always be that difficult. Don't let the heartbreaks of the past cause you to become cynical, close you off to life's magic and promise. Open yourself wide to all that the universe has to say.

Let yourself begin anew. Pack your bags. Choose carefully what you bring, because packing is an important ritual. Take along some humility and the lessons of the past. Toss in some curiosity and excitement about what you haven't yet learned. Say your good-byes to those you're leaving behind. Don'y worry who you will meet or where you will go. The way has been prepared. The people you are to meet will be expecting you. A new journey has begun. Let it be magical. Let it unfold.

All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. Take time now to honor the beginning.

*****

more language of letting go
Trust that good will come

It was a slow, bring January day at the Blue Sky Lodge. We had just moved in. The house was a mess. Construction hadn't begun yet. All we had was a plan, and a dream. It was too cold and rainy to skydive or even be outdoors. There wasn't any furniture yet. We were lying around on the floor.

I don't know who got the idea first, him or me. But we both picked up Magic Markers about the same time. Then we started drawing on the wall.

"What do you want to happen in your life?" I asked. He drew pictures of seaplanes, and mountains, and boats leaving the shore. One picture was a video-camera man, jumping out of a plane. "I want adventure," he said.

I drew pictures of a woman tromping around the world. She went to war-torn countries, then sat on a fence and watched. She visited the mountains and the oceans and many exciting places. Then I drew a heart around the entire picture, and she sat there in the middle of all the experiences on a big stack of books.

"I want stories," I said, "ones with a lot of heart."

Across the entire picture, in big letters, he wrote the word "Woohoo."

As an afterthought, I drew a woman sky diver who had just jumped out of the plane. She was frightened and grimacing. Next to her I wrote the words "Just relax."

On the bottom of the wall I wrote, "The future is only limited by what we can see now." He grabbed a marker, crossed out "only," and changed it to "never."

"There," he said, "it's done."

Eventually, the house got cleaned up and the construction finished. Furniture arrived. And yellow paint covered the pictures on the wall. We didn't think much about that wall until months later Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, and sometimes in ways we'd least expect, each of the pictures we'd drawn on that wall began to materialize and manifest.

"It's a magic wall," I said.

Even if you can't imagine what's coming next, relax. The good pictures are still there. The wall will soon become covered with the story of your life. Thank God, the future is never limited by what we can see right now.

The wall isn't magic.

The magic is in us and what we believe.

Before we start speaking the language of letting go, we need to understand what a powerful behavior letting go and letting God really is.

God, help me do my part. Then help me let go, and let you do yours.

Activity: Meditate for a moment on the year ahead. Make a list of things you'd like to see happen, attributes you'd like to gain, things you'd like to get and do, changes you'd like to occur. You don't have to limit the list to this year. What do you want to happen in your life? Make a list of places you'd like to visit and things you'd like to see. Leave room for the unexpected, the unintended. But make room for the possibility of what you'd like,too-- your intentions, wishes, dreams, hopes, and goals. Also, list what you're ready to let go of,too-- things, people, attitudes, and behaviors you'd like to release. If anything were possible, anything at all, what are the possibilities you'd like to experience and see.

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
In the old days, I saw everything in terms of forever. Endless hours were spent rehashing old mistakes. I tried to take comfort in the forlorn hope that tomorrow “would be different.” As a result, I lived a fantasy life in which happiness was all but nonexistent. No wonder I rarely smiled and hardly ever laughed aloud.

Do I still think in terms of “forever?”

Today I Pray
May I set my goals for the New Year not at the year-long mark, but one day at a time. My traditional New Year’s resolutions have been so grandly stated and so soon broken. Let me not weaken my resolve by stretching it to cover “forever” – or even one long year. May I reapply it firmly each new day. May I learn not to stamp my past mistakes with that indelible word “forever.” Instead, may each single day in each New Year be freshened by my new-found hope.

Today I Will Remember
Happy New Day.

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

One More Day

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

– Plato

On occasion we feel a bit sad as we ready ourselves for bed, knowing that our bedtime routine marks the end of another day. We may experience a slight sense of loss — time lost, opportunities lost, a piece of life gone forever. Or we may be filled with regret over words uttered harshly.

We can put this back into perspective with the realization that the nicest part about going to bed at night is knowing the daylight will come in the morning. We can’t erase today’s mistakes, but we can leave them with the day now past. We can set our sights on tomorrow. The dy we awaken to will hold a golden opportunity — to make amends, to make changes, to use our time well, to start the rest of our lives anew.

My life is made of some endings and many beginnings. I can choose to end an unproductive pattern by seeing it as a chance to begin.

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

Food For Thought

Good News

There is good news for those of us who overeat compulsively. We do not have to be trapped by our appetites. We do not have to carry a load of unnecessary fat. We can have a new life.

Others have become free and are standing by, ready to show us the way. The more OA meetings we attend, the more we learn. The more phone calls we make, the more encouragement and support we are given in our fight to break old, self destructive patterns of thinking and acting. The more we rely on the Power greater than ourselves, the stronger we become.

Learning to live a new life requires time and patience. The good news is that change is possible. Others have done it. So can you.

Lord, make me willing to change.

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

One Day At A Time

STEP THREE

“This only God may be had for the asking.”
James Russell Lowell

When I first came to the program and looked at the steps on the walls, my ego told me that I had Step Three already made. Of course, I had skipped right over Steps One and Two! I thought because I had experienced a religious experience many years ago, I didn’t need to take Step Three. What I was to discover in the next few months on my wonderful journey in recovery is that spirituality and religion were two different things. That my religion today is part of my spirituality, but my spirituality is so much more.

I finally in Step One “Came”. I kept coming to meetings and admitted my powerless and unmanageability. Then I “Came to.” Through Step Two a portion of my sanity was restored and continues to be restored on a daily basis. Then at the point of taking Step Three I “Came To Believe”. I realized that I had not turned my will and my life over to the care of God in the area of my compulsive overeating. That was a task yet to be done. And I offered myself to my God to do with as He would. I said the Third Step prayer which can be found in Alcoholic Anonymous on page 63, “God, I offer myself to Thee – the build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!” I had taken the Third Step. I was moved into a new dimension in my spiritual life.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will take Step Three this day, turning my will and life over to the care of my God.

~ Carolyn

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

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

… If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find and easier, softer way. But we could not. – Pg. 58 – How It Works

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Many times we thought we used chemicals because we were unhappy, but coming to this program, we discovered that using too many chemicals is what made us unhappy. Now is the time to break the old unhappy pattern.

This hour, I begin a new clean and sober pattern of my life.

Co-Creation

I live in a world of possibilities. I live in a world in which my imagination walks ahead of me. What I can see in my mind’s eye can manifest. First, I have to see it, feel it, experience it as real. Then I open a door within me through which my vision can manifest in God’s time. I am limited only by what I am willing to accept as possible. Life is a creative process in which I am the co-creator. God and I work together to make this world a better place to be. I co-create a beautiful world.

If not now, when? If not you, who? If not here, where?

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do not regret the past. ‘The past is but the beginning of a beginning/and all that is and has been/is but the twilight of the dawn.’ ~H. G. Wells from Beside Prayers. Your past is the beginning of this beginning.

I ‘will not regret the past nor wish to close the door on it.’ (P 83, AA Big Book)

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching today?

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

A NEW YEAR!

AND A HAPPY, PEACEFUL AND JOYOUS ONE FOR EVERYONE!

Today I am on my spiritual path to recovery.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I don’t know if I was born an alcoholic. I do know that when I had my first drink an alcoholic was born. – Keith D.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:17 AM   #2
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January 2

Daily Reflections

FIRST, THE FOUNDATION

Is sobriety all that we can expect of a spiritual awakening? No,
sobriety is only a bare beginning.
As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Practicing the A.A. program is like building a house. First I had to
pour a big, thick concrete slab on which to erect the house; that, to
me, was the equivalent of stopping drinking. But it's pretty
uncomfortable living on a concrete slab, unprotected and exposed to
the heat, cold, wind and rain. So I built a room on the slab by starting
to practice the program. The first room was rickety because I wasn't
used to the work. But as time passed, as I practiced the program, I
learned to build better rooms. The more I practiced, and the more I
built, the more comfortable, and happy, was the home I now have to
live in.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

What makes A.A. work? The first thing is to have a revulsion against
myself and my way of living. Then I must admit I was helpless, that
alcohol had me licked and I couldn't do anything about it. The next
thing is to honestly want to quit the old life. Then I must surrender
my life to a Higher Power, put my drinking problem in His hands and
leave it there. After these things are done, I should attend meetings
regularly for fellowship and sharing. I should also try to help other
alcoholics. Am I doing these things?

Meditation For The Day

You are so made that you can only carry the weight of twenty-four
hours, no more. If you weigh yourself down with the years behind and
the days ahead, your back breaks. God has promised to help with the
burdens of the day only. If you are foolish enough to gather again
that burden of the past and carry it, then indeed you cannot expect
God to help you bear it. So forget that which lies behind you and
breathe in the blessing of each new day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may realize that, for good or bad, past days have ended.
I pray that I may face each new day, the coming twenty-four hours,
with hope and courage.

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

As Bill Sees It

In God's Hands, p. 2

When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when
we put ourselves in God's hands were better than anything we could
have planned.

<< << << >> >> >>

My depression deepened unbearably, and finally it seemed to me as
though I were at the very bottom of the pit. For the moment, the last
vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found myself
crying out, "If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do
anything, anything!"

Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. It seemed to me, in the
mind's eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of
spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man.
Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in
another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through
me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself,
"So this is the God of the preachers!"

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 63

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

Walk In Dry Places

The Delusion of "Just one more"
Other Excesses
A binge is a chain reaction that starts with one drink. After a grim period of enforced abstinence, that first drink may have brought us intense emotional release and a peak feeling of euphoria. For the rest of the binge, there was a continuing delusion that the next drink would help us recapture that peak experience.
Delusion leads us to other excesses. Some alcoholics also binge on smoking, food, sex, and power and recognition. In this frantic seeking, our basic delusion is that substances and things can satisfy what is really a spiritual need. Instead of realizing that there is a law of diminishing returns in the enjoyment of such things, we cling to the delusion that "just one more" will bring the relief and satisfaction we want.
Delusions brought disillusionment, and only the truth set us free from alcohol. Other excesses might not hurt us to the extent alcohol did, but the excesses of our drinking years carry lessons that are equally applicable to other human problems.
I will carry out the day's activities knowing that I already have enough of everything I need for this day alone.

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

Keep It Simple

..our lives had become unmanageable. Second half of Step One.
The First Step tells us a lot about our addiction. We were out of control. Our addiction was in control. Addiction managed everything. It managed our relationships. It managed how we behaved with our families. As Step One says, "...our lives had become unmanageable." But we pretended we managed our lives. What a lie! Addiction ran our lives--not us. We weren't honest with ourselves. Our program heals us through self-honesty. We feel better just speaking the truth. We are becoming good people with spiritual values. Our spiritual journey has begun.
Prayer: Higher Power, I give YOU my life to manage. When I'm faced with a choice, I'll ask myself, "What would my Higher Power choose for me?"
Action: Today, I'll be honest with a friend about how unmanageable my life had become.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I believe that true identify is found . . . in creative activity springing from within. It is found, paradoxically, when one loses oneself. Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own. --Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Creative activity might mean bird watching, tennis, quilting, cooking, painting, writing. Creative activity immerses us fully in the here and now, and at the same time it frees us. We become one with the activity and are nourished by it. We grow as the activity grows. We learn who we are in the very process of not thinking about who we are.
Spirituality and creativity are akin. There is an exhilaration rooted deep within us that is a lifeline to God. Creative activity releases the exhilaration, and the energy goes through us and out to others. We find ourselves and our higher power through the loss of our self-conscious selves while creating--a picture, a sentence, a special meal.
Creativity is a given. It is another dimension of the spiritual presence guiding us all. I'll get out of its way today.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

You may think our illustration is too ridiculous. But is it? We, who have been through the wringer, have to admit if we substituted alcoholism for jay-walking, the illustration would fit exactly. However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane. It’s strong language—but isn’t it true?

p. 38

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

I seriously doubt I ever would have asked for help, but Fitz, an old school friend of mine, had persuaded Jackie to call on me. Had he come two or three days later I think I would have thrown him out, but he hit when I was open for anything.
Jackie arrived about seven in the evening and talked until three a.m. I don't remember much of what he said, but I did realize that here was another guy exactly like me; he had been in the same laughing academies and the same jails, known the same loss of jobs; same frustrations, same boredom and the same loneliness. If anything, he had known all of them better and more often than I. Yet he was happy, relaxed, confident and laughing. That night for the first time in my life I really let down my hair and admitted my general loneliness. Jackie told me about a group of fellows in New York, of whom my old friend Fitz was one, who had the same problem I had, and who by working together to help each other were not now drinking and were happy like himself. He said something about God or a Higher Power, but I brushed that off--that was for the birds, not for me. Little more of our talk stayed in my memory, but I do know I slept the rest of the night while before I had never known what a real night's sleep was.

pp. 219-220

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Now comes the biggest question yet. What about the practice of these principles in all our affairs? Can we love the whole pattern of living as eagerly as we do the small segment of it we discover when we try to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety? Can we bring the same spirit of love and tolerance into our sometimes deranged family lives that we bring to our A.A. group? Can we have the same kind of confidence and faith in these people who have been infected and sometimes crippled by our own illness that we have in our sponsors? Can we actually carry the A.A. spirit into our daily work? Can we meet our newly recognized responsibilities to the world at large? And can we bring new purpose and devotion to the religion of our choice? Can we find a new joy of living in trying to do something about all these things?

pp. 111-112

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

"Making prompt amends is the fresh air of each new day." --Sandra Little

"We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility." --Albert Einstein

"Never settle for anything less than your best." --Brian Tracy

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry
about the future, not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and
earnestly. --Siddhartha Gautama

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up. --unknown

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

MARTYRS

"A thing is not necessarily true
because a man dies for it."
-- Oscar Wilde

I came to the conclusion in my battle with alcoholism that my involvement with God's
will for me was crucial; my choice is the result of God's bestowed gift of freedom. And
freedom is awfully real! The price of freedom is Auschwitz; the price of freedom is
the world's starving millions; the price of freedom is the dead drunk in a derelict
building. Men do insane and destructive things, usually because they think they know
best. Men die to protect their ego. The sin of Adam, wanting to be like God, haunts us
all.

Today I am learning to detach spiritually in order to discover a pure and selfless love.
I stand back and consider before I act; often after a time of reflection I see the event
differently --- and it is okay to change my mind.

Lord, I understand choice to be the key to my humanity.

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

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a
way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

"By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give
light to those who sit in darkness." Luke 1:78-79

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

Daily Inspiration

Peace is one of our greatest needs because it provides for the strength we
need in times of turmoil. Lord, I turn to You because You are my source of
peace.

Laughter is a great way to reduce stress and prevent taking ourselves too
seriously. Lord, bless me with a healthy sense of humor.

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

NA Just For Today
Take a deep breath and talk to God
"Sometimes when we pray, a remarkable thing happens: We find the means, ways, and energies to perform tasks far
beyond our capacities." Basic Text p. 44

Coping successfully with life's minor annoyances and frustrations is sometimes the most difficult skill we have to learn
in recovery. We are faced with small inconveniences daily. From untangling the knots in our children's shoelaces to
standing in line at the market, our days are filled with minor difficulties that we must somehow deal with.
If we're not careful, we may find ourselves dealing with these difficulties by bullying our way through each problem or
grinding our teeth while giving ourselves a stern lecture about how we should handle them. These are extreme
examples of poor coping skills, but even if we're not this bad there's probably room for improvement.
Each time life presents us with another little setback to our daily plans, we can simply take a deep breath and talk to
the God of our understanding. Knowing we can draw patience, tolerance, or whatever we need from that Power, we
find ourselves coping better and smiling more often.
Just for today: I will take a deep breath and talk to my God whenever I feel frustrated.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Happiness is like manna; it is to be gathered and enjoyed every day. --Tryon Edwards
Life is like a winding path surrounded by flowers, butterflies, and delicious fruit, but many of us spend much of life
looking for happiness around the next corner. We do not bend to enjoy the happiness which is ours for the taking just
at our feet.
In our desire to reach the "pot of gold," the complete and lasting happiness we all want to fill our lives, we ignore
anything which doesn't seem worthy of such a large ambition, or which can't give us the whole thing all at once.
Happiness is all around us, but it often comes in small grains. When we gather it grain by grain, we soon have a
basketful.


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
When you can't stand criticism you learn to be a perfectionist. --Anonymous
It's human to make mistakes and to feel incomplete. Perhaps if we were all smooth plastic printouts we could expect
perfection of ourselves. Each man is actually a process. We are not things, but events -- happenings--and the events
are still unfolding. These are our creative spiritual adventures.
We have somehow learned that openness to criticism is dangerous. Perhaps we thought someone would not like us if
we were wrong, or that we would get hurt or belittled. When we live with a relationship to our Higher Power, we can
stand up for ourselves. A man has a right to make some mistakes! We grow more if we allow ourselves the leeway of
simply being in process.
I will not ask to have the power of perfection. I will only ask that I not be alone in the process of living my life.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I believe that true identify is found . . . in creative activity springing from within. It is found, paradoxically, when one loses
oneself. Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own. --Anne Morrow
Lindbergh
Creative activity might mean bird watching, tennis, quilting, cooking, painting, writing. Creative activity immerses us
fully in the here and now, and at the same time it frees us. We become one with the activity and are nourished by it.
We grow as the activity grows. We learn who we are in the very process of not thinking about who we are.
Spirituality and creativity are akin. There is an exhilaration rooted deep within us that is a lifeline to God. Creative
activity releases the exhilaration, and the energy goes through us and out to others. We find ourselves and our higher
power through the loss of our self-conscious selves while creating--a picture, a sentence, a special meal.
Creativity is a given. It is another dimension of the spiritual presence guiding us all. I'll get out of its way today.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Healthy Limits
Boundaries are vital to recovery. Having and setting healthy limits' is connected to all phases of recovery: growing in
self esteem, dealing with feelings, and learning to really love and value ourselves.
Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs
about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes dearer, so will our boundaries.
Boundaries are also connected to a Higher Timing than our own. We'll set a limit when we're ready, and not a moment
before. So will others.
There's something magical about reaching that point of becoming ready to set a limit. We know we mean what we
say; others take us seriously too. Things change, not because we're controlling others, but because we've changed.
Today, I will trust that I will learn, grow, and set the limits I need in my life at my own pace. This timing need only be
right for me.

I am beginning to trust myself. I am beginning to discover that I am okay. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart
Map Your Own Journey
Go on your own journey. Don’t let others hold you back; don’t hold them back. Don’t judge their journey, and don’t let
them judge yours.
All persons are free to have the experiences their souls lead them to. Many of us started our journey by having the
experiences others thought we should. Some of us tried to dictate the lessons and adventures of others,too. This
caused pain and confusion for all. Learning those lessons, the lessons of setting each other free, became an
important part of our journey. But now we’re on to a new part.
Pack your bags. Get out your map. Don’t worry about where you’ll go and what you’ll see. Go where your heart leads.
Your soul knows the way. It will speak quietly through the voice of your heart, your wisdom, your intuition. Listen to the
voice, the quiet voice within, that assures you you’re safe. You will meet and learn from everyone you need to along the
way. Don’t limit your own experiences. Don’t limit the experiences of those you love, or those you meet along the way.
Start today to follow your heart. Map out your own journey. Have the adventure of a lifetime.

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

More Language Of Letting Go
Doing my part
The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard– one that thinks too
much. –Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

The universe will help us, but we need to do our part as well. Here’s an acronym, My part, to help you remember what
it means to do that.

Manifest
Your
Power
Accept
Relax
Trust

Too often, we tell ourselves the only way to get from point A to point B– or Z is to tense up, obsess a little (or a lot), and
live in fear and anxiety until what we want takes place.
That isn’t the path to success. It’s the path to fear and anxiety.
Accept. Relax. Breathe. Let go. Trust yourself, God, and the universe to manifest the best possible destiny when the
time is right for you.
God, help me make the journey from fear and control to letting go and stepping into my true power.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day
Before I came to The Program, I hadn’t the faintest idea of what it was to “Live In The Now.” I often became obsessed
with the things that happened yesterday, last week, or even five years ago. Worse yet, many of my waking hours were
spent cleaning away the “wreckage of the future.” “To me,” Walt Whitman once wrote, “every hour of the day and night
is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” Can I truly believe that in my heart?

Today I Pray
Let me carry only the weight of 24 hours at one time, without the extra bulk of yesterday’s regrets or tomorrow’s
anxieties. Let me breathe the blessings of each new day for itself, by itself, and keep my human burdens contained in
daily perspective. May I learn the balance of soul that comes through keeping close to God.

Today I Will Remember
Don’t borrow from tomorrow.

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

One More Day

Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning …
– Emily Dickinson

We pray for one more day. One more week. Just until the next marker of time or the next major event occurs. “Just let
me live until spring,” we pray, “until my newest grandchild is born … until my next birthday.” We pray and may not even
recognize these silent, secret pleas as being prayers. It’s human nature to ask for a little more time. Most of us feel as
though we have not completed our role on earth.
Time, however, is gradually becoming more of a friend than an enemy. We have today, which is all that anyone —
healthy or chronically ill — really ever has. No one has an iron-clad promise of weeks, months, or years. Our
acceptance of life’s unpredictability frees us of our preoccupation with more time and allows us to use this time —
today.

Life is now — today — and I value it by living fully.

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

Food For Thought

Help!

When we hit bottom and are ready to swallow our pride, help is available. When we admit that by ourselves we are powerless, a Higher Power takes over. Most of us have tried for years to control what we eat by ourselves. Often it seems that the harder we try, the more miserably we fail. We despair. When we are truly desperate and ask for help, OA can help us.

We have proven that we cannot solve our problem alone. A diet is not enough. We need a program that fills our emotional and spiritual needs as well as our physical ones.

Step by step and day by day we can learn to live without overeating. We will gradually become convinced that no amount of physical food will ever satisfy our emotional and spiritual hunger. The Higher Power, which infuses each OA GROUP, becomes our lifesaver and our nourishment.

God, save me from myself.

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

One Day At A Time

LETTING GO

“He who cannot rest, cannot work;
He who cannot let go, cannot hold on;
He who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick
Prior to walking through the doors of this program, my goal in life was to set up barricades against possible attacks. My
mind was cluttered with battle strategies and defense tactics. I tried to predict every conceivable plot to topple me from
my self-appointed throne. I sought to control situations in order to dominate the outcomes. To that end, I would bend
over backwards to do for others what I didn’t want them to do for themselves. I maneuvered myself into positions of
power so that I wasn’t presented with any surprises. Every situation was weighed for the probability of failure. I never
took chances.
This process took time and vast amounts of energy. My mind was in a constant cacophony. Consequently, there was
no room for growth, no space for acquiring new skills and no time to develop old ones. Every day was a constant
juggling act between an ever-decreasing energy supply and an escalating demand to feel secure. The more I sought to
control, the less I controlled.
Working through Step One brought my whole crusade to an end. I learned to let go of what I had laughingly called
control. I learned to relinquish the helm and acknowledge that I wasn’t such a good driver. Almost instantly I became
aware of a path beneath my feet. I was, for the first time in the longest time, moving forward. The scenery was
changing and the outlook was brighter.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept what I cannot do alone, and let go and let God.

~ Sue G

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

In addition to these casual get-togethers, it became customary to set apart one night a week for a meeting to be
attended by anyone or everyone interested in a spiritual way of life. Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime
object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems. - Pg. 160 - A Vision For You

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

The most basic thing you can do right now is to understand the basics. Don't drink, pop pills, shoot dope, snort coke,
smoke crack AND listen to the people you came to for help.
My divine Source aids me in putting everything in perspective this hour--the basics are: don't use and listen!

Staying with Myself
Today, I see that taking care of myself begins inside of me. It is not just a function of what I do, but the attitude with
which I move through my day. Having my own life is about checking in with myself to see how I'm doing. It's wearing a
sweater if I'm cold and taking a break if I'm tired. It's making sure that I'm having enough fun in my life, paying attention
to what I enjoy doing, doing more of that and finding ways of reducing what doesn't feel good. Having a life that is well
suited to me is letting myself have my own unique likes and dislikes, and acting on them in constructive ways. It is not
organizing my life so that it is good enough for everyone else, forgetting that it needs to be good enough for me as well.
I occupy the center of my own life.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

If you think you are having a problem with God, just try to imagine the problem He/She is having with you!
There is no way to know God's Will unless I do it.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Surrender means following the direction God's finger is pointing.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am beginning to trust myself. I am beginning to discover that I am okay.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Look back on the past
- but don't stare. - Anon.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 3

Daily Reflections

POWERLESS

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become
unmanageable.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

It is no coincidence that the very first Step mentions powerlessness: An
admission of personal powerlessness over alcohol is a cornerstone of
the foundation of recovery. I've learned that I do not have the power
and control I once thought I had. I am powerless over what people
think about me. I am powerless over having just missed the bus. I am
powerless over how other people work (or don't work) the Steps. But
I've also learned I am not powerless over some things. I am not
powerless over my attitudes. I am not powerless over negativity. I am
not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery. I
have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones,
and the world in which I live.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., I learned what an alcoholic was and then I
applied this knowledge to myself to see if I was an alcoholic. When I
was convinced that I was an alcoholic, I admitted it openly. Since then,
have I been learning to live accordingly? Have I read the book
Alcoholics Anonymous? Have I applied the knowledge gained to
myself? Have I admitted openly that I am an alcoholic? Am I ready to
admit it at any time when I can be of help?

Meditation For The Day

I will be renewed. I will be remade. In this, I need God's help. His spirit
shall flow through me and, in flowing through me, it shall sweep away
all the bitter past. I will take heart. The way will open for me. Each day
will unfold something good, as long as I am trying to live the way I
believe God wants me to live.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be taught, just as a child would be taught. I pray that
I may never question God's plans, but accept them gladly.

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

As Bill Sees It

Pain And Progress, p. 3

"Years ago I used to commiserate with all people who suffered. Now I
commiserate only with those who suffer in ignorance, who do not
understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain."

<< << << >> >> >>

Someone once remarked that pain is the touchstone of spiritual
progress. How heartily we A.A.'s can agree with him, for we know
that the pains of alcoholism had to come before sobriety, and
emotional turmoil before serenity.

<< << << >> >> >>

"Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though
for the moment you do not see."

1. Letter, 1950
2. 12 & 12, pp. 93-94
3. Letter, 1950

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

Walk In Dry Places

Forgiving others___Releasing the past
There is a general reluctance on the part of most people to forgive old injuries. Some of us wasted lots of time brooding about old wrongs done to us or trying to get even for some past injuries.
But the only way we can ever really get even is to forgive others completely and without the slightest hidden reservation. If we haven't forgiven others, the old resentments are a poison in our own lives. We continue to feel the pain of the original injury, and the ensuing resentment destroys our peace of mind and endangers our relationships.
In forgiving others, we do not grant a favor to them, but to ourselves. By extending forgiveness, we release thoughts and feelings that have been like a cancer in our lives. We are not giving up a possession or a right; instead, we are freeing ourselves from a burden that nobody needs to carry. We are letting go of garbage that we do not need in our lives. When we forgive others, we also realize that we are forgiven. As it is stated in closing meetings, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."
I will not review past hurts and injuries this day. I will go through the day knowing that God forgives me to the extent that I forgive.

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

Keep It Simple

Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.---Unknown
As we work Step One, we accept that alcohol and other drugs are poison to us. We accept our limits.
This means we know that hanging around our using "buddies" can remind us of "the good old days."
Hanging around "slippery places" means we could "slip" back into our old ways. This isn't testing our sobriety; it's being reckless with it. So let's accept our limits. Everybody has limits. When we know our limits, we protect our recovery against the people and places that pull us from our spiritual center. This is what true acceptance means.
Prayer for the Day: I pray for true acceptance. Higher Power, help me to stay away from slippery places. I will protect the gift You've given me.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll list the people and places that are risky for me to be around. I will share this list with my sponsor, my group, and my sober friends.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore. --Dorothy Bryant
Sometimes we feel buried in sand, blocked, clogged, unable to move. Then we must remember that we are not alone. Help is at hand, if only we will ask for it. If we invoke our higher power, our source of spiritual strength can help us to believe that there is gold somewhere in all this sand, and that the sand itself is useful.
No one and no thing is good all the time. Let us remember that if we expect nothing but gold, we are distorting life, getting in our own way. We don't want to falsify the texture of our lives; the homespun quality helps us to appreciate the gold when it appears.
I will find some gold among the sand, today.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Some of you are thinking: “Yes, what you tell is true, but it doesn’t fully apply. We admit we have some of these symptoms, but we have not gone to the extremes you fellows did, nor are we likely to, for we understand ourselves so well after what you have told us that such things cannot happen again. We have not lost everything in life through drinking and we certainly do not intend to. Thanks for the information.”

pp. 38-39

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

This was my introduction to this "understanding fellowship" although it was to be more than a year later before our Society was to bear the name, Alcoholics Anonymous. All of us in A.A. know the tremendous happiness that is in our sobriety, but there are also tragedies. My sponsor, Jackie, was one of these. He brought in many of our original members, yet he himself could not make it and died of alcoholism. The lesson of his death still remains with me, yet I often wonder what would have happened if somebody else had made that first call on me. So I always say that as long as I remember January 8th that is how long I will remain sober.

pp. 220-221

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?
The A.A. answer to these questions about living is "Yes, all of these things are possible." We know this because we see monotony, pain, and even calamity turned to good use by those who keep on trying to practice A.A.'s Twelve Steps. And if these are facts of life for the many alcoholics who have recovered in A.A., they can become the facts of life for many more.

p. 112

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

Serenity isn't freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm. --unknown

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry
about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely
and earnestly. --Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

"The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes." --Amy Grant

Envy shoots at others and wounds herself. --Costa Rican Proverb

If you dig a grave for others, you might fall into it yourself. --Irish Proverb

I embrace the beauty of life, and depend deeply upon God. --Shelley

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

ISOLATION

"No man is an island, entire of
itself; every man is a piece of
the continent, a part of the
main."
-- John Donne

For years I thought that I was alone; lost isolated and afraid. Today I understand this
to be a symptom of my alcoholism, an aspect of my disease. Alcoholism is "cunning,
baffling and powerful"; it is a mystery that we have only begun to understand. One
thing we know, the disease, the "ism" of alcoholism, involves more than the act
of drinking. Feelings of inadequacy, isolation and fear keep us from recovering until
we discover the spiritual strength to confront the disease in our lives. The initial risk of
"letting go" and trusting others is an essential part of the recovery process.

When we discover that we are not alone, then relationships and hope are reactivated;
life is worth living again.

O Lord, I believe I am part of this world and an important part of You.

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

"But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with
God all things are possible." Mark 10:27

Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Matthew 6:34

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

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

Daily Inspiration

It is good to know where you are, but better to know where you are going. Lord, may I use every day to grow closer to You.

When you feel you aren't as blessed as your neighbor, consider the troubles that you have been spared. Lord, thank You for the trials that I do not have to endure.

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

NA Just For Today

Our Greatest Need

"We eventually redefine our beliefs and understanding to the point where we see that our greatest need is for
knowledge of God's will for us and the strength to carry that out"
Basic Text p. 46

When we first arrived in NA, we had all kinds of ideas of what we needed. Some of us set our sights on amassing
personal possessions. We thought recovery equaled outward success. But recovery does not equal success. Today,
we believe that our greatest need is for spiritual guidance and strength.
The greatest damage done to us by our addiction was the damage done to our spirituality. Our primary motivation was
dictated by our disease: to get, to use, and to find ways and means to get more. Enslaved by our overwhelming need
for drugs, our lives lacked purpose and connection. We were spiritually bankrupt.
Sooner or later, we realize that our greatest need in recovery is "for knowledge of God's will for us and the strength to
carry that out" There, we find the direction and sense of purpose our addiction had hidden from us. In our God's will we
find freedom from self-will. No longer driven only by our own needs, we are free to live with others on an equal footing.
There's nothing wrong with outward success. But without the spiritual connection offered by the NA program, our
greatest need in recovery goes unmet, regardless of how "successful" we may be.
Just for today: I will seek the fulfillment of my greatest need: a vital, guiding connection with the God of my
understanding.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. --Faith Baldwin
Change surrounds us. It lies within us, too. The trees in the yard have changed. They've grown taller. Their leaves die
and scatter on the ground in the fall. We don't resemble our baby pictures much anymore, either. Like trees, we've
grown up. As babies, we couldn't walk. But we learned to run, ride bikes, go out alone to movies and parties. Some
changes we don't notice while they're going on. The snow melts; the birds fly south; our hair grows a little every day.
Other changes startle us. A best friend moves away. Perhaps a favorite grandparent dies. These changes we wish
hadn't happened, and we have to remember that change is as natural as breathing. We can't keep it from happening,
but we can trust that change never means to harm us. It's a sign we're growing up.


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. - Ursula K. Le
Guin
Our relationships are alive. We don't control them and neither do the other people involved. We certainly influence our
relationships - and if we are aware, we see they also have their own yeast. Whether we are talking of a love
relationship with our spouse, lover, children, friends, or parents, it is a very fluid and dynamic affair. If we are actively
involved with the other person and give time and nourishment to the relationship, it will grow. But if we are passive and
only waiting, the relationship will grow stale.
God speaks to us through other people. Our relationship with our Higher Power influences our relationships with all the
people in our lives. Today we can nurture our relationships with time, tolerance, and honesty. In turn, we will be
nourished.
May this day be one in which I give attention to those I love.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later
patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore. --Dorothy Bryant
Sometimes we feel buried in sand, blocked, clogged, unable to move. Then we must remember that we are not alone.
Help is at hand, if only we will ask for it. If we invoke our higher power, our source of spiritual strength can help us to
believe that there is gold somewhere in all this sand, and that the sand itself is useful.
No one and no thing is good all the time. Let us remember that if we expect nothing but gold, we are distorting life,
getting in our own way. We don't want to falsify the texture of our lives; the homespun quality helps us to appreciate the
gold when it appears.
I will find some gold among the sand, today.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Nurturing Self Care
.. .there isn't a guidebook for setting boundaries. Each of us has our own guide inside ourselves. If we continue to work
at recovery, our boundaries will develop. They will get healthy and sensitive. Our selves will tell us what we need to
know,' and we'll love ourselves enough to listen.
--Beyond Codependency
What do we need to do to take care of ourselves?
Listen to that voice inside. What makes you angry? What have you had enough of? What don't you trust? What
doesn't feel right? What can't you stand? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want? Need? What don't you
want and need? What do you like? What would feel good?
In recovery, we learn that self care leads us on the path to God's will and plan for our life. Self-care never leads away
from our highest good; it leads toward it.
Learn to nurture that voice inside. We can trust ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. We are wiser than we think.
Our guide is within, ever present. Listen to, trust, and nurture that guide.
Today, I will affirm that lama gift to the Universe and myself. I will remember that nurturing self care delivers that gift in
its highest form.

Today my body guides me to refocus and God heals me deep within as I again become strong and free. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Trust Your Heart

For so long, you relied on your head. Now it’s time to make the shift– the great leap into your heart.
Are you beginning to see how your head gets in the way? How it creates so much noise? The chatter, the limited
vision, the fear? Are you beginning to see how what you’ve relied on– your intellect, your assessments, and
sometimes your logic– has complicated your life?
It isn’t the head that sees clearly, nor does the head always see with love. Often, it sees with eyes of fear. The heart
sees clearly. It balances the mind and emotions. It takes what’s real and processes it into truth, then into action. It
takes into account all that needs to be done, then draws a map, an itinerary, for how to accomplish that. Yes, you say,
but my head does that too. And then I don’t need to feel.
Your heart can do it better because it maps the way in love.
Learn to listen to your inner voice. Listen to your heart. It’s your connection to God, to people, to the universe, and to
yourself.

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

More Language Of Letting Go
Bring your ideals to life
There is a Zen story about two monks walking down a street after a heavy rain. Arriving at a corner, they came upon a
beautiful girl in fine clothing unable to cross the muddy street without getting filthy.
“Here, I’ll help you,” said one monk. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her to the other side. The two monks walked in
silence for a long time.
“We’ve sworn a vow of celibacy and are not supposed to go near women. It’s dangerous,” the second monk said to
the first. “Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl back at the corner,” the first monk said. “Are you still carrying her?”
Sometimes, we may find ourselves in a situation where our ideals conflict. Being kind and loving to another person
may conflict with our value of being committed and loving toward ourselves.
When one ideal imposes on another, then use your judgement. Do the right thing by others. Do the right thing by
yourself,too. Then let the incident pass and move on.
For the monks in our story, right action usually meant not having contact with women. However, when encountering a
stranded person on the road, right action became helping others. Ideals remain. Right thought, right action, right
speech– but the path to those ideals may twist and turn throughout life. Be sensitive and aware that you are following
an ideal and not a rigid belief.
God, help me learn when it’s time to let go.
Activity: In an earlier activity, we explored our goals and dreams list. Now, ;et’s determine the ethics and ideals we
want to live by, the code of conduct we want to follow. What’s of foremost importance to you, whether or not your
dreams come true and you achieve your goals? Examples of ideals may be staying clean and sober, honoring your
commitments to others, and honoring your commitment to yourself. Many people choose additional spiritual values,
such as compassion, honesty, tolerance. Some people choose to live by an ideal they call “Christ Consciosness,”
some “Buddha consciousness,” some of the “Twelve Steps,” and some of the Ten Commandments. List your ideals,
and put that list with your goals. Let these ideals be a light that guides your path and allows you to live in harmony with
others and yourself.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day
My addiction is three-fold in that it affects me physically, mentally and spiritually. As a chemically-dependent person, I
was totally out of touch not only with myself, but with reality. Day after miserable day, like a caged animal on a
treadmill, I repeated my self-destructive pattern of living. Have I begun to break away from my old ideas? Just for today,
can I adjust myself to what is, rather than try to adjust everything to my own desires?

Today I Pray
I pray that I may not be caught up again in the downward, destructive spiral which removed me from myself and from
the realities of the world around me. I pray that I may adjust to people and situations as they are instead of always
trying, unsuccessfully and with endless frustration, to bend them to my own desires.

Today I Will Remember
I can only change myself.

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

One More Day

Laugh at yourself first, before anybody else can.
– Elsa Maxwell

A sense of humor is an essential living tool. Unfortunately, it is most difficult to keep a sense of humor when we’re
under stress, and that’s the time we need it most. In the face of a crisis, we may have found it easier to be dour and
nasty, even if we knew, deep in our hearts, that such an attitude was not in our best interests.
Ironically, our medical problems have helped many of us cultivate a humorous attitude toward life. Making the choice
between bitterness and acceptance is easier when we take ourselves less seriously. Seeing the funny side of life
helps us deal with the most difficult situations life has to offer. Humor cleanses us through spontaneous laughter. It
draws others to us and bonds us.
I choose to see humor and lightness in my life. I will allow this attitude to brighten my life and that of those around me.

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

Food For Thought

Responding

Many of us find it difficult to accept the OA program at the beginning. Many of us cannot believe or are afraid to believe the good news at first. All we need to start is the desire to stop eating compulsively.

If we will be open to the program, we will find that it gradually unfolds. What we do not understand at the beginning becomes clear as we become ready to accept it. We shall never achieve perfection, but we can make progress every day.

When we are willing to grow and to change, God can work His miracles. OA is filled with members whose stories attest to the Power that has changed their lives.

I open myself to Your power, Lord.

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

One Day At A Time

CHARACTER DEFECTS

God seldom delivers virtues all wrapped
in a package and ready for use. Rather He puts
us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues.

C. R. Findley

I have been reading and studying a lot about the 6th and 7th Steps lately. I have realized that these steps are threefold. I must first become aware of the defect of character. Next, I must accept that I own it and it no longer works for me as it once did.
Lastly, I need to surrender that defect of character to my Higher Power. In the meantime, it is my job to act as if the change has already occurred. This means that I may come into contact with some seemingly obnoxious people who will mirror my character defects. I must remember that "Nothing happens in God's world by mistake," and they are here to teach me something. Maybe I am here to be the lesson for them. I may be the only example they ever see of a person trying to work and walk a spiritual path, in a 12 Step program of recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
God, I ask that You continue to help me to be aware of my actions and how they affect others, and to accept and become willing to relinquish my character defects to You.

~ Jeanine ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort. - Pg. 25-26 - There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

In the beginning of recovery we usually don't like ourselves very well. Consequently, we usually don't like others too well either. But we can grant others this: the right to be human, the right to be wrong, and the right to be right!

When people really bug me, let me let them be.

Forgiveness

I forgive myself for being less than perfect, that's how I will love myself and others today. Perfection is that myth that I carry around in my head to beat myself up with and to make it seem others fall short. That celluloid image against which I measure myself and come out feeling lacking, that yard stick with which I hit my own back side. Today, I will see perfection and beauty in what is. I will have an attitude of forgiveness toward myself and others for being other than what is expected. We're all just bumbling along mostly doing the best we can, sometimes worse than we should, sometimes better. Just for today, I won't get hung up on imperfection.

I forgive imperfection

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

When we pray for strength, the Universe gives us difficulties to make us strong. When we pray for courage, the Universe gives us danger to overcome. When we pray for patience, the Universe gives us long lines and traffic jams. What are you praying for?
I may ask for favors but the Universe gives me opportunities.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

If anyone speaks badly of you, live so no one will believe it.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today my body guides me to refocus and God heals me deep within as I again become strong and free.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

On a good day things are OK and I don't drink. On a great day things are lousy and I don't drink. - Anon.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 4

Daily Reflections

BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE

We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a
beginning. A much more important demonstration of our
principles lies before us in our respective homes,
occupations and affairs.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.19

It's usually pretty easy for me to be pleasant to the
people in an A.A. setting. While I'm working to stay
sober, I'm celebrating with my fellow A.A.s our common
release from the hell of drinking. It's often not so
hard to spread glad tidings to my old and new friends
in the program. At home or at work, though, it can be
a difference story. It is in situations arising in
both of those areas that the little day-to-day
frustrations are most evident, and where it can be
tough to smile or reach out with a kind word or an
attentive ear. It's outside of the A.A. rooms that
I face the real test of the effectiveness of my walk
through A.A.'s Twelve Steps.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Have I admitted I am an alcoholic? Have I swallowed my
pride and admitted I was different from other drinkers?
Have I accepted the fact that I must spend the rest of
my life without liquor? Have I any more reservations, any
idea in the back of my mind that some day I'll be able to
drink safely? Am I absolutely honest with myself and with
other people? Have I taken an inventory of myself and
admitted the wrong I have done? Have I come clean with my
friends? Have I tried to make it up to them for the way I
have treated them?

Meditation For The Day

I will believe that fundamentally all is well. Good things
will happen to me. I believe that God cares for me and will
provide for me. I will not try to plan ahead. I know that
the way will unfold, step by step. I will leave tomorrow's
burden to God, because He is the great burden-bearer. He
only expects me to carry my one-day's share.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not try to carry the burden of the
universe on my shoulders. I pray that I may be satisfied to
do my share each day.

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

As Bill Sees It

Can We Choose?, p. 4

We must never be blinded by the futile philosophy that we are just the
hapless victims of our inheritance, of our life experience, and of our
surroundings--that these are the sole forces that make our decisions for
us. This is not the road to freedom. We have to believe that we can
really choose.

<< << << >> >> >>

"As active alcoholics, we lost our ability to choose whether we would
drink. We were the victims of a compulsion which seemed to decree
that we must go on with our own destruction.

"Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. We
came to believe that alone we were powerless over alcohol. This was
surely a choice, and a most difficult one. We came to believe that a
Higher Power could restore us to sanity when we became willing to
practice A.A.'s Twelve Steps.

"In short, we chose to 'become willing,' and no better choice did we ever
make."

1. Grapevine, November 1960
2. Letter, 1966

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

Walk In Dry Places

God's will for us
Higher Will
More than one alcoholic has trouble learning and accepting God's will. This difficulty may grow out of the old belief that God's will is going to be something unpleasant or dull. "I was afraid of learning God's will, because I thought I might have to go off to Africa as a missionary," one young person said at a meeting.
But God only intends what is best for us; therefore, the only real happiness and security comes from learning and carrying out God's will. God's plan is always better and greater than anything we might produce when depending solely on human reason. Our own view and understandings are limited, but God can see a breathtaking sweep of wonderful activities and opportunities for us.
Most of us, by yielding to self-will, lose out in the search for real joy, true success, and genuine happiness. Our alcoholism was perhaps the best example of self-will in action. It was only when we turned to a Higher Power that we began to find the things that we had been vainly seeking in the bottle. God has brought us this far and will not fail us when we ask for guidance and understanding in other matters.
I will keep in mind today that God's will for me is good, and that God gives me the power to live in peace and harmony with others.

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

Keep It Simple

He who is swift to believe is swift to forget.----Abraham Joshua Herschel
Life is full of questions. Many people tell us they have the answers. We have to be careful of who and what we believe. Other people's ideas may not fit us. The program doesn't tell us much about what to believe. It teaches us how to believe. How well the program works for us depends on what we believe and how well we live it. When we face all the facts, we can really believe. We believe we are powerless over our addiction. We believe we must and can change some things in our lives. We believe we can trust a Higher Power to care for us. When we choose to believe, we want to choose the best beliefs we can. And once we believe, we must not forget.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know You, and help me know the truth.
Action for the Day: Today I'll think about my First Step. Do I truly believe I'm powerless over my disease?

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Once I knew that I wanted to be an artist, I had made myself into one. I did not understand that wanting doesn't always lead to action. Many of the women had been raised without the sense that they could mold and shape their own lives, and so, wanting to be an artist (but without the ability to realize their wants) was, for some of them, only an idle fantasy, like wanting to go to the moon.
--Judy Chicago
There are probably not many of us, in this recovery program, who grappled with life as straight on as Judy Chicago did. It is likely we didn't understand that we could mold and shape our lives. How lucky we are to be learning that now with the help of the Twelve Steps and one another. Each day we are confronted with many opportunities to make responsible choices, reasonable decisions. These choices and decisions are the molders, the shapers, of who we are becoming. Our identity as women is strengthened each time we thoughtfully make a choice. The action we take through making each choice gives our identity more substance--our wholeness as women is guaranteed through these choices.
Many opportunities to make choices will arise today. I can be thoughtful and make choices that will lead to my greater wholeness.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

That may be true of certain nonalcoholic people who, though drinking foolishly and heavily at the present time, are able to stop or moderate, because their brains and bodies have not been damaged as ours were. But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly any exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us out of bitter experience. Let us take another illustration.

p. 39

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

The age-old question in A.A. which came first, the neurosis or the alcoholism. I like to think I was fairly normal before alcohol took over. My early life was spent in Baltimore where my father was a physician and a grain merchant. My family lived in very prosperous circumstances, and while both my parents drank, sometimes too much, neither was an alcoholic. Father was a very well-integrated person, and while mother was highstrung and a bit selfish and demanding, our home life was reasonably harmonious. There were four of us children, and although both of my brothers later became alcoholic--one died of alcoholism--my sister has never taken a drink in her life.

p. 221

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Of course all A.A.'s, even the best, fall far short of such achievements as a consistent thing. Without necessarily taking that first drink, we often get quite far off the beam. Our troubles sometimes begin with indifference. We are sober and happy in our A.A. work. Things go well at home and office. We naturally congratulate ourselves on what later proves to be a far too easy and superficial point of view. We temporarily cease to grow because we feel satisfied that there is no need for all of A.A.'s Twelve Steps for us. We are doing fine on a few of them. Maybe we are doing fine on only two of them, the First Step and that part of the Twelfth where we "carry the message." In A.A. slang, that blissful state is known as "two-stepping." And it can go on for years.

pp. 112-113

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

Situations I fear are rarely as bad as the fear itself. --unknown

"Growl all day and you'll feel dog tired at night." --Anonymous

"Laughter is as good as jogging for our heart, lungs, and brain." --Gail Grenier Sweet

If you touch, you feel. If you ask, you learn. If you look, you see. If you love, you live. --unknown

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering. --St. Augustine of Hippo

The heart of AA is the act of one person giving to another.

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

FREEDOM

"A hungry man is not a free man."
-- Adlai Stevenson

For years I craved food. It was my escape from reality. It stopped the pain, loneliness
and anger --- for a moment. It felt good. Eventually I began to feel bad --- but I could
not stop. I was addicted to sugar and sodium. My freedom was being exchanged for
doughnuts!

I heard a man talk about his compulsion around cocaine and gambling. I asked how he
managed to abstain and he replied: "Talk about it, a day at a time!"

Today I am compulsive about getting well, and I talk about my disease every day. The
price of freedom is vulnerability. God is in the risk. I have taken it.

God, let me experience freedom in the choices I make today.

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

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving towards all He has made. Psalm 145:13

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

Daily Inspiration

It is you, not where you are or what you have, that makes the difference. Lord, may I always blossom where I am planted.

Kindness can accomplish that which force won't. Lord, may I pause when I am about to react to irritations and respond as though it is You to whom I speak.

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

NA Just For Today

January 4

The Love of the Fellowship

"Today secure in the love of the fellowship, we can finally look another human being in the eye and be grateful for who we are."
Basic Text p. 89

When we were using, few of us could tolerate looking someone in the eye-we were ashamed of who we were. Our minds were not occupied with anything decent or healthy, and we knew it. Our time, money, and energy weren't spent building loving relationships, sharing with others, or seeking to better our communities. We were trapped in a spiral of obsession and compulsion that went only in one direction: downward.

In recovery, our journey down that spiral path has been cut short. But what is it that has turned us around, drawing us back upward into the open spaces of the wide, free world? The love of the fellowship has done this.

In the company of other addicts, we knew we would not be rejected. By the example of other addicts, we were shown how to begin taking a positive part in the life around us. When we were unsure which way to turn, when we stumbled, when we had to correct a wrong we had done, we knew our fellow members were there to encourage us.

Slowly, we've gotten the feel of our freedom. No longer are we locked up in our disease; we are free to build and grow and share along with everyone else. And when we need support to take our next step, it is there. The security we've found in the love of the fellowship has made our new lives possible.

Just for today: I can look anyone in the eye without shame. I am grateful for the loving support that has made this possible.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
A tip-off to an abusive family system is a situation in which nobody ever apologizes. --Karen Shaud
When we get a tip-off, we can open the door to a whole new way of looking at the world. The tip-off about apologies can help us learn to have a healthier family. It is hard to apologize, but with practice, it will get easier. We are learning that we can make mistakes, and admit them, and that other people will accept our apologies. In the same way, we are learning we can accept others' apologies. Apologies are sometimes hard to make. It helps to keep in mind that we make them as much for ourselves and our own growth as for the person we apologize to. We are not worthless just because we make mistakes, but we increase our value t
o ourselves and others by being able to recognize them and apologize.


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There is no method or discipline or system of any kind that can ever command the spirit to be present. --Tom Sampon
A man in the process of growth and recovery asks the question, "How shall I develop a relationship with my Higher Power?" The first answer is usually, "You can decide to be open to the spiritual messages that come your way." Some experiences in life can be mastered and directed, as in performing a task or going on a trip. We can have other experiences only by being receptive. They come our way, as in the growing of a friendship or the unpredictable events on a trip.
To be receptive, we must not be so busy with what we can control that we fail to notice all the experiences, which are there for us. Our senses need to be open to see what is around us and hear what is in the air. We must breathe in the beauty and pain of life. When there is a message in our experiences, let us read it and not demand it fit our narrow, logical minds.
Today, I pray that I will be open to receive the spirit on its own terms.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Once I knew that I wanted to be an artist, I had made myself into one. I did not understand that wanting doesn't always lead to action. Many of the women had been raised without the sense that they could mold and shape their own lives, and so, wanting to be an artist (but without the ability to realize their wants) was, for some of them, only an idle fantasy, like wanting to go to the moon.
--Judy Chicago
There are probably not many of us, in this recovery program, who grappled with life as straight on as Judy Chicago did. It is likely we didn't understand that we could mold and shape our lives. How lucky we are to be learning that now with the help of the Twelve Steps and one another. Each day we are confronted with many opportunities to make responsible choices, reasonable decisions. These choices and decisions are the molders, the shapers, of who we are becoming. Our identity as women is strengthened each time we thoughtfully make a choice. The action we take through making each choice gives our identity more substance--our wholeness as women is guaranteed through these choices.
Many opportunities to make choices will arise today. I can be thoughtful and make choices that will lead to my greater wholeness.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Separating from Family Issues
We can draw a healthy line, a healthy boundary, between our nuclear family and ourselves. We can separate ourselves from their issues.
Some of us may have family members who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs and who are not in recovery from their addiction.
Some of us may have family members who have unresolved codependency issues. Family members may be addicted to misery, pain, suffering, martyrdom, and victimization. We may have family members who have unresolved abuse issues or unresolved family of origin issues.
We may have family members who are addicted to work, eating, or sex. Our family may be completely enmeshed, or we may have a disconnected family in which the members have little contact.
We may be like our family. We may love our family. But we are separate human beings with individual rights and issues. One of our primary rights is to begin feeling better and recovering, whether or not others in the family choose to do the same.
We do not have to feel guilty about finding happiness and a life that works. And we do not have to take on our family's issues as our own to be loyal and to show we love them.
Often when we begin taking care of ourselves, family members will reverberate with overt and covert attempts to pull us back into the old system and roles. We do not have to go. Their attempts to pull us back are their issues. Taking care of ourselves and becoming healthy and happy does not mean we do not love them. It means we're addressing our issues.
We do not have to judge them because they have issues; nor do we have to allow them to do anything they would like to us just because they are family.
We are free now, free to take care of ourselves with family members. Our freedom starts when we stop denying then issues, and politely, but assertively, hand their stuff back to them - where it belongs - and deal with our own issues.
Today, I will separate myself from family members, lama separate human being, even though I belong to a unit called a family. I have a right to my own issues and growth; my family members have a right to their issues and a right to choose where and when they will deal with these issues. I can learn to detach in love from my family members and their issues. I am willing to work through all necessary feelings in order to accomplish this.


This is your TIME for JOY! Know that it is here and now. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Go with What You Know

The commercial on the radio sang to me as I drove across the Southern California desert. “Don’t just go with the flow. Go with what you know.”

Sometimes answers come from outside us. The universe is abundant in its supply of guidance for us. It can’t wait to share its signals, teachings, lessons, and words of wisdom. It is eager to give us guidance if we just watch, wait, and listen. Sometimes this guidance comes from people we know, other times from people we barely know. But even when this help comes from those we are closest to and love most, the answer must resonate with that place deep inside us. It must resonate with our core. It must ring true for us.

Listen to those around you. Listen to the guidance of the universe and all the voices it uses to speak to you. But always trust yourself. Trust your inner voice. Trust what you know, because ultimately your path will bring you back to that place. No matter what you do, if it’s not right for you, you will need to return to your center, your place of peace, and figure out the action that is right.

It’s good to go with the flow. But it’s better to go with what you know– what you know to be true for you. Trusting yourself is the ultimate lesson. It’s where all the guidance leads.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Know when to compromise

Sometimes compromise is important. Sometimes it’s better to give in to someone else’s wishes in order to have fun as a group or as a couple, or for the benefits of the team. Sometimes compromise is dangerous. We need to guard against compromising our standards to gain the approval or love of someone else.

Decide when you can, and when you cannot compromise. If it’s not harmful and you are ambivalent about a decision, then compromise. If it could lead to breaking your values, compromise isn’t a good idea.

Is it okay to have lunch with an attractive colleague if you’re married? Possibly, but not if lunch will lead to dinner, which then leads to more time spent together, culminating in an affair. Is it okay to go to the bar with friends after work? Maybe, but not if it leads to one rationalized decision after another until you have broken your commitment to stay sober.

Remember that what may be an acceptable compromise for one person might not be acceptable for you. Know your limits, know your values, and be aware of the dangers that can come from compromising them.

God, help me be aware of my limits. Give me the strength not to compromise the values that I need to help me on my path.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

For a good part of my life, I saw things mostly in negative terms. Everything was serious, heavy, or just plain awful. Perhaps now I can truly change my attitude, searching out the winners in The Program who have learned how to live comfortably in the real world — without numbing their brains with mood-altering chemicals. If things get rough today, can I take a quiet moment and say to myself, as the philosopher Homer once said, “Bear patiently, my heart — for you have suffered heavier things…”?

Today I Pray

May the peace of God that passes all human understanding fill the place within me that once harbored my despair. May an appreciation for living — even for life’s trials — cancel out my old negative attitudes in heart-heavy moments, help to remind me that my heart was once much heavier still.

Today I Will Remember

I, to, am a winner.

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One More Day

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.
– Faith Baldwin

Each stage of life brings its own gifts. Every age gives us a chance to examine where we are right now. When we were young, many of us still insisted that we could change the world. We even thought we could change people. The next stage in life may have given us the gift of seeing that we could only change ourselves.

Whatever stage we are in right now is the perfect place to reassess our priorities again. It has become obvious to us by now which things we cannot change, and are busily accepting that truth.

Time itself alters us and our expectations. The time we have lived has already created change, and the passing of time will create more. The alterations we make today can help us accept this stage in life as being the best place to be.

Now is the time to alter my expectations of myself, to tailor them to my current needs.

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Food For Thought

Three Meals a Day

For most of us, abstinence from compulsive overeating means three measured meals a day with nothing in between. Before we joined OA we often ate one enormous meal, all day long. Through this program, we find the discipline to eat according to our needs rather than our self-destructive cravings.

Unless a doctor has told us differently, we do not need more than three meals a day. As we practice this pattern, we retrain our overgrown appetites and learn to function in the real world. We can eat with our families instead of secretly snacking and bingeing.

We plan our three meals for the day, write them down, and report them to our food sponsor. Then, instead of nibbling here and there and thinking about food all day, we can forget about eating except when it is time for a planned, measured meal. As we acquire disciplined eating habits, we find that other areas of our lives become more ordered and productive. Freed from the bondage of self-will and impulse, we are guided by the sure hand of our Higher Power.

I am grateful for the order and sanity OA has brought into my life.

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One Day At A Time

HAPPINESS

Happiness is an achievement brought about by inner productiveness.
People succeed at being happy by building a liking for themselves.

Erich Fromm

It has been said that if one of us ever treated another human being the way we treated ourselves, we would be liable for criminal charges. I did not treat myself as a friend, someone I loved; I constantly fed into my unhappiness.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W. was asked, shortly before he died, to sum up the program in the lowest common denominator. He replied, "Get right with yourself, with God, then with your neighbor." Therefore, it stands to reason that I must start making friends with myself. I must treat myself with love and dignity, and the result will be happiness. To be happy, joyous, and free is the by-product of obedience to the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I going to try being happy?
Am I going to make friends with myself?
If not today, when?

~ Jeremiah ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Live and let live is the rule. If you both show a willingness to remedy your own defects, there will be little need to criticize each other. - Pg. 118 - To Wives

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

The reality of our illness is simple; we have it! Once we see that we have the disease of chemical dependency, then we can admit that we are addicted to whatever, and then we can accept the help we are offered.

I accept my humanness and accept my non-perfection in order to accept the help of those in recovery.

Today

I will live in the present grateful to be alive and in this radiant world for one more day. Living in the present brings its own perspective. What is not worth getting preoccupied about falls away while what is truly meaningful and important rises up and into focus. I am here to appreciate and live life, to grow, to share my heart and soul with those around me. If I miss today, I will not get it back. If I allow it to work its beauty inside of me, it will fertilize tomorrow's garden. Today is what I know I have. All of life is here, woven into the atoms of the world that surrounds me. If I am with this day, I am with all of life.

I am part of an alive universe.
- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Wet the bed and blame the blanket-that is the life we led. With the Twelve Steps, we learn that problems are basically of our own making.

At the end of BLAME is ME.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

UFO's: Unidentified Fear Objects.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

This is your TIME for JOY! Know that it is here and now.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

We have these two forces; this insatiable thirst, compulsion, hunger, yearning, call it what you will. We don't know what we're looking for but we're searching. And the other force; the escape. We're running, not knowing what from. - Eddie E.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 5

Daily Reflections

TOTAL ACCEPTANCE

He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will
be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without
it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will
be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.152

Only an alcoholic can understand the exact meaning of a
statement like this one. The double standard that held
me captive as an active alcoholic also filled me with
terror and confusion: "If I don't get a drink I'm going
to die," competed with "If I continue drinking it's
going to kill me." Both compulsive thoughts pushed me
ever closer to the bottom. That bottom produced a total
acceptance of my alcoholism - with no reservations
whatsoever - and one that was absolutely essential for
my recovery. It was a dilemma unlike anything I had
ever faced, but as I found out later on, a necessary
one if I was to succeed in this program.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Have I turned to a Higher Power for help? Do I believe
that each man or woman I see in A.A. is a demonstration
of the power of God to change a human being from a
drunkard into a sober, useful citizen? Do I believe that
this Higher Power can help me from drinking? Am I living
one day at a time? Do I ask God to give me the power to
stay sober for each twenty-four hours? Do I attend A.A.
meetings regularly?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that God's presence brings peace and that peace,
like a quiet flowing river, will cleanse all irritants
away. In these quiet times, God will teach me how to rest
my nerves. I will not be afraid. I will learn how to relax.
When I am relaxed, God's strength will flow into me. I
will be at peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray for that peace which passes all understanding.
I pray for that peace which the world can neither give
nor take away.

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As Bill Sees It

Maintenance and Growth, p. 5

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility
and unhappiness. To the precise extent we permit these, do we squander
the hours that might have been worthwhile. But with the alcoholic,
whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this
business of harboring resentment is infinitely grave. For then we shut
ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit. The insanity of alcohol
returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the
sudden rage were not for us. Anger is the dubious luxury of normal
men, but for us alcoholics it is poison.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66
Letter, 1962

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Walk In Dry Places

The problem of Gossip____Breaking free from faults.
Our character defects hand on tenaciously because we secretly enjoy or need them. Gossip is an example of this problem. Most of us know that gossip is mean and malicious, yet we enjoy the spurious self-satisfaction and self-importance it gives us.
However, this feeling of self-satisfaction and self-importance is fleeting. When we engage in GOSSIP, we feel guilty, uneasy, and ashamed. We also know the fear of being gossiped about when our own backs are turned, because those who gossip will betray their friends.
Our search for real growth in sobriety should include wiliness to part company with gossip. We also should not permit ourselves to gossip indirectly; that is, by pretending to "understand" another person to induce them to share personal information, or by introducing a subject with the intention of having gossip shared with us. We can also help ourselves by turning away from gossipy news stories and magazines. We cannot grow mentally and spiritually by reading about the misbehavior and shortcomings of others.
Knowing that my true good is in keeping straight, I will go through this one day without engaging in gossip.

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Keep It Simple

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.--Chinese proverb.
Life holds so many choices now that we are sober. We'd like to go so many places. We'd like to see so many things. We have so much to do. We are slowly learning how to trust our dreams and reach for them. Our program teaches us that we live One Day at a Time. We make progress by doing First Things First. Easy Does It. Our dreams may seem very big and far away. We wonder if we'll ever get there. But our faith tells us to go for it. And we know how: one step at a time.
PRAYER: Higher Power, help me know this gentle truth: my life matters. Help me set goals that I can grow toward, one step at a time.
ACTION: Today, I'll think about one of my goals. I will list ten little steps that will help me get there.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Instead of concentrating on why we can't do a thing, we would be wise to change our "Yes, but . . ." attitude to a more positive one. Saying "yes" means I really do want to change my life for the better. --Liane Cordes
We truly can do these things that are our "hearts' pure desires." However, most of us look at the whole task and feel overwhelmed. We need, instead, to look at the task's many parts. One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves. I know a recovering woman who wrote a 300-page dissertation, the final achievement to obtain her PhD. When asked at a meeting how she ever did it, her reply was, "One word at a time." That's wonderful advice. No matter how many goals were missed or plans dashed when we were still using, now that we are recovering, each of us can do whatever is in our hearts--if we do it little by little, not all at once, today.
Today, I will do one small task that will contribute toward the achievement of a life goal.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Fred is a partner in a well known accounting firm. His income is good, he has a fine home, is happily married and the father of promising children of college age. He has so attractive a personality that he makes friends with everyone. If ever there was a successful business man, it is Fred. To all appearance he is a stable, well balanced individual. Yet, he is alcoholic. We first saw Fred about a year ago in a hospital where he had gone to recover from a bad case of jitters. It was his first experience of this kind, and he was much ashamed of it. Far from admitting he was an alcoholic , he told himself he came to the hospital to rest his nerves. The doctor intimated strongly that he might be worse than he realized. For a few days he was depressed about his condition. He made up his mind to quit drinking altogether. It never occurred to him that perhaps he could not do so, in spite of his character and standing. Fred would not believe himself an alcoholic, much less accept a spiritual remedy for his problem. We told him what we knew about alcoholism. He was interested and conceded that he had some of the symptoms, but he was a long way from admitting that he could do nothing about it himself. He was positive that this humiliating experience, plus the knowledge he had acquired, would keep him sober the rest of his life. Self-knowledge would fix it.

pp. 39-40

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

Until I was thirteen I attended public schools, with regular promotions and average grades. I have never shown any particular talents, nor have I had any really frustrating ambitions. At thirteen I was packed off to a very fine Protestant boarding school in Virginia, where I stayed four years, graduating without any special achievements. In sports I made the track and tennis teams; I got along well with the other boys and had a fairly large circle of acquaintances but no intimate friends. I was never homesick and was always pretty self-sufficient.

p. 221

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

The best intentioned of us can fall for the "two step" illusion. Sooner or later the pink cloud stage wears off and things go disappointingly dull. We begin to think that A.A. doesn't pay off after all. We become puzzled and discouraged.

p. 113

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"You can't brag that you're humble ... and be humble." --Terry McEwen

Be still like a mountain and flow like a river. --Lao-Tze

See how many people you personally can make smile today. --unknown

We experience peace, not panic, when we trust the power of God. --unknown

Your words can bring satisfaction, life, and death. We must take the consequences for what we say. --unknown

Speak kind words and you will hear kind echoes. --unknown

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

CHANGE

"It's the most unhappy people
who most fear change."
-- Mignon McLaughlin

When I was drinking, I hated change. I hated things not being the same. I feared
anything being different. Rarely did I want to go anywhere new. My attitudes were
fixed and rigid. I resented any criticism of my behavior. The unexpected was seen as
sabotage or a threat. My paranoia was extreme.

Today I have decided to let go of the control, the pretense and the arrogance. I face
life as it comes --- and today I do not drink. I am responsible for my life but I cannot
control the world. Today I am learning to relax in the acceptance of my disease.

May I always discover the courage to change the things I can.

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The fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Ephesians 5:9

The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145 : 14

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2-3

"If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move." Matthew 17:20

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Daily Inspiration

People make mistakes, but seldom on purpose. Lord, may my patience with others grow and may I replace my frowns with smiles.

If you want peace and goodness in your life you must be kind and loving. Lord, may I avoid creating misery so that my life will reflect my love for You.

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NA Just For Today

January 5

Recovery at Home

"We can enjoy our families in a new way and may become a credit to them instead of an embarrassment or a burden."
Basic Text p. 100

We're doing great in recovery, aren't we? We go to a meeting every day, we spend every evening with our friends in the fellowship, and every weekend we dash off to a service workshop. But if things are falling to pieces at home, we're not doing so great after all.

We expect our families to understand. After all, we're not using drugs anymore. Why don't they recognize our progress? Don't they understand how important our meetings, our service, and our involvement with the fellowship are?

Our families will not appreciate the change NA is working in our lives unless we show them. If we rush off to a meeting the same way we rushed off to use drugs, what has changed? If we continue to ignore the needs and desires of our partners and children, failing to accept our responsibilities at home, we aren't "practicing these principles in all our affairs."

We must live the program everywhere we go, in everything we do. If we want the spiritual life to be more than a theory, we have to live it at home. When we do this, the people we share our lives with are sure to notice the change and be grateful that we've found NA.

Just for today: I will take my recovery home with me.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
We, too, the children of the earth, have our moon phases all through any year; the darkness, the delivery from darkness, the waxing and waning.
--Faith Baldwin
Let us think, for a moment, about the changes of the moon. In the beginning of its cycle, it is just a sliver in the darkness. Each night it grows larger until it reaches its full size. When the moon is full and rising, its orange glow fills the sky. All night its gentle light brightens everything it touches. But this fullness is only part of the life of the moon. For a while it grows smaller, then turns its dark side toward us before reappearing as a sliver and growing again to fullness. We are children of the earth, and we have our different moods and phases, too. There will be periods of darkness when we try to find our way by the light of the stars. Again and again we will grow to our full size, only to fade and grow again in a new way.


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Being human is difficult. Becoming human is a lifelong process. To be truly human is a gift. --Abraham Heschel
The processes of becoming more human, becoming a real person, and finding spiritual enlightenment are very similar. They require slow growth over time. We can only follow these paths in small steps, one day or one hour at a time. Many of us grew up in families with an addicted parent. We, too, went to great excesses and have been abusive to others and ourselves. Because of these problems, we developed a distorted outlook on life. Now we still demand quick and complete fixes for recovery.
Our program says, "Look to this day." It is a difficult path to learn, but we only take it in small steps. There are no instant fixes for any human being. Yet, when we surrender to the reality of life, we are given the gift of true humanity. We feel like real people, we love others, and we enjoy the pleasure of true contact with them.
I am grateful I can be a part of the process. Help me give up my drive to control it.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There are as many ways to live and grow as there are people. Our own ways are the only ways that should matter to us.
--Evelyn Mandel
Wanting to control other people, to make them live as we'd have them live, makes the attainment of serenity impossible. And serenity is the goal we are seeking in this recovery program, in this life.
We are each powerless over others, which relieves us of a great burden. Controlling our own behavior is a big enough job. Learning to behave responsibly takes practice. Most of us in this recovery program have behaved irresponsibly for much of our lives. Emotional immaturity is slow to depart, but every responsible action we take gives us the courage for another--and then another. Our own fulfillment is the by-product of the accumulation of our own responsible actions. Others' actions need not concern us.
Today, I will weigh my behavior carefully. Responsible behavior builds gladness of heart.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Relationships
If we are unhappy without a relationship, we'll probably be unhappy with one as well. A relationship doesn't begin our life; a relationship doesn't become our life. A relationship is a continuation of life. --Beyond Codependency
Relationships are the blessing and bane of recovery. Relationships are where we take our recovery show on the road.
Each day, we are faced with the prospect of functioning in several different relationships. Sometimes, we choose these relationships; sometimes, we don't. The one choice we usually have in our relationships concerns our own behavior. In recovery from codependency, our goal is to behave in ways that demonstrate responsibility for us.
We're learning to acknowledge our power to take care of ourselves in our relationships. We're learning to be intimate with people when possible.
Do we need to detach from someone who we've been trying to control? Is there someone we need to talk to, even though what we have to say may be uncomfortable? Is there someone we've been avoiding because we're afraid to take care of ourselves with that person? Do we need to make an amend? Is there someone we need to reach out to, or show love?
Recovery is not done apart from our relationships. Recovery is done by learning to own our power and to take care of ourselves in relationships.
Today, I will participate in my relationships to the best of my ability. I will make myself available for closeness and sharing with people I trust. I will ask for what I need and give what feels right.


Even when I have doubt I know a power greater than myself is guiding me on my path today. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Let Life Reveal Itself to You

You don’t have to strain so, trying to get your revelations. The guidance, the inspiration, the awareness you need will come to you.

The way we’re living now– from the heart– is much easier than the way we lived before. Sometimes it is so natural we might not understand what’s happening. We may even be uncomfortable at first with how easy it is. We find ourselves straining to lift a heavy bowling ball, when what we have to pick up is only a Ping Pong ball. Then we wonder why it feels so light. We may question whether there’s something wrong because it feels so different.

Just because your life feels lighter doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.

Your next step, the answer to the question you’ve been mulling about– the direction for the next stage of your growth, where you will live next, what you need to do next about work, money, or that problem you’ve been struggling with– will come. If you’re fussing and straining you may not hear it. Don’t worry about getting all your answers or your agenda for the years ahead. That is not how this process works. In order to participate in this more magical way of life, trust that all you need will be revealed to you when it is time.

Relax. You’re on a journey of discovery. Let life reveal itself to you.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Move when it’s time

We were touring the ruins at Hovenweep National Monument in the southwestern United States. A sign along the interpretive trail told about the Anasazi who had lived along the small, narrow canyon so long ago. The archaelogists have done their best to determine what those ancient Indians did and how they lived their lives. The signs told about the strategic positioning of the buildings perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, and questioned what had caused this ancient group to suddenly disappear long ago.

“Maybe they just got tired of living here and moved,” my friend said.

We laughed as we pictured a group of wise ancients sitting around a campfire one night. “You know,” says one of them. “I’m tired of this desert. Let’s move to the beach.” And in our story they did. No mystery. No aliens takiing them away. They just moved on, much like we do today.

It’s easy to romanticize what we don’t know. It’s easy to assume that someone else must have a greater vision, a nobler purpose than just going to work, having a family, and living a life. People are people, and have been throughout time. Our problems aren’t new or unique. The secret to happiness is the same as it has always been. If you are unhappy with where you are, don’t be there. Yes, you may be here now, you may be learning hard lessons today, but there is no reason to stay there. If it hurts to touch the stove, don’t touch it. If you want to be someplace else, move. If you want to chase a dream, then do it. Learn your lessons where you are, but don’t close off your ability to move, and to learn new lessons someplace else.

Are you happy with the path that you’re on? If not, maybe it’s time to choose a new one. There need not be a great mysterious reason. Sometimes it’s just hot and dry, and the beach is calling your name.

Be where you want to be.

God, give me the courage to find a path with heart. Help me move on when it’s time.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Vision is, I think, the ability to make good estimates,” wrote Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. “Some might feel this sort of striving to be heresy against ‘One Day At A Time.’ But that valuable principle really refers to our mental and emotional lives, and means chiefly that we are not foolishly to repine over the past nor wishfully daydream about the future.” Can i believe that “A day has a hundred pockets when one has much to put in them…”?

Today I Pray

I pray that the bright colors of this day may not be blurred by muted vagaries of the future or dulled by storm-gray remnants from the past. I pray that my Higher Power will help me to choose my actions and concerns out of the wealth of busyness that each day offers.

Today I Will Remember

I will not lose for today,
If I choose for Today.

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One More Day

We are never as fortunate or as unfortunate as we suppose.
– La Rouchefoucauld

Pain, especially continual pain, is very draining and is often one of the largest problems associated with chronic illness. In the beginning we may have reacted to our pain with anger or whining and, in doing so, came to see ourselves as victims or martyrs. That self-image made us feel helpless, powerless.

Now, we’re better able to understand pain, not as a curse thrust upon us, but as our bodies’ normal function. Pain, is a signal and sometimes a warning. But pain can assist us now in better management of our illnesses by helping us regain some of our personal power and inner strength. Methods such as relaxation therapy, biofeedback, and self-hypnosis can all work on different levels to control our pain. Appropriate exercise can also be an excellent method of pain control.

I will explore ways to deal with my pain.

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Food For Thought

Less Food, More Energy

When we have used excess food as a crutch for years, we think we need it to "keep up our energy." We have become especially dependent on the refined carbohydrates, sugar and flour, to give us a quick pickup when we are tired.

The truth of the matter is that the pickup, that sharp rise in blood sugar we got when we ate refined sugar and flour, was soon followed by an even sharper letdown. We ended up more tired than when we began! Excess food of any kind makes us groggy and lethargic.

When we eliminate the wrong kind of food and eat only the amount, which our bodies need for optimum functioning, we are amazed at the supply of energy we suddenly have. Jobs, which we have put off doing for years, begin to get done. We feel good. Instead of spending unnecessary time for extra eating and digesting, we have that time to use in productive, enjoyable activity.

Try it and see.

Lord, strengthen my body to serve You.

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One Day At A Time

PERSEVERANCE

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

It’s always been easy for me to feel sorry for myself. My life has been difficult since I was a very young child, and early on I developed a chip on my shoulder the size of a boulder. “Surely no one has ever suffered what I suffer,” I often told myself. I used my pain and loneliness as excuses for bitterness, cynicism, arrogance, and harshness. In a twisted manifestation of my sickness, I held onto my suffering as though it were a precious testament to how “special” I was. I was actually Proud of my hardships! By doing this, I was mocking James’ instruction to consider trials of our faith as reasons to rejoice, and I was sentencing myself to years of immaturity, lack of faith, conflict, resentment, and heartache.

Because I held onto my arrogant, self-defeating attitude, the trials I faced led only to more and more illnesses of my body, mind, soul, and spirit. I was a prisoner in my own mind – ignoring the fact that I held in my hand the key to my freedom.

In the last six months I have been hit with more profoundly chaotic, agonizing, destructive trials of faith than I’ve encountered in the last ten years. The number, frequency, and intensity of these events did what my rational mind could not do – they brought me to my knees and led me to finally surrender my efforts to control my life.

I thank God for the friends He’s given me in Recovery. Trusted Servants have prayed for me, listened to me, and encouraged me. They have shared with me their own stories of suffering and the growth they have gained through it. With God’s grace and the support of dear friends, I am learning to release my twisted hold on Suffering, and to instead cooperate with God’s work in me. As I focus my attention on the lessons He has for me, I find that even the most painful trials I face can – and will – produce perseverance and maturity, one day at a time.

One day at a time ... I will choose to welcome the lessons and growth that God has for me – even when they come disguised as horrific events in my life. I will choose perseverance over bitterness.

~ Lisa

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

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

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

This is the greatest journey of our life. Before we lived to the dictates of that first fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort. Today we begin living to the dictates of spiritual law. It is our most difficult task. It will take everything we have and it will be worth a thousand times more then that.

Take my hand God, as I understand You, and direct me in this most difficult task.

Opening to the New

Each new day is a gift. Today I will open the day slowly, like a present that's wrapped in hours. I will be open to what my world offers me. The world comes to greet me like an old friend each morning. My daily habits comfort and ground me. The thought of moving into my day pleases me. Life unfolds one second at a time and today I will be present to witness it. How much of my life do I let pass by unnoticed? How many of my feelings go unfelt? Today I will recognize that my time on earth is limited. I choose to value my life a day at a time and embrace it while I have it.

I am open to life.
- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

'This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.' ~Ralph Waldo Emerson. Every thought you have can be part of a continuous prayer and everything you do can be your practice of healing.

If I'm not happy today, what am I waiting for?

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

It is One Day At A Time - In A Row!

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am willing to let go and let God in my life. I am getting my self-will out of the way.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

A man can be a drunk sometimes, but a drunk can't be a man. - George Jones song.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 6

Daily Reflections

THE VICTORY OF SURRENDER

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.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

When alcohol influenced every facet of my life, when
bottles became the symbol of all my self-indulgence and
permissiveness, when I came to realize that, by myself,
I could do nothing to overcome the power of alcohol, I
realized I had no recourse except surrender. In
surrender I found victory - victory over my selfish
self-indulgence, victory over my stubborn resistance
to life as it was given to me. When I stopped fighting
anybody or anything, I started on the path to sobriety,
serenity and peace.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Keeping sober is the most important thing in my life.
The most important decision I ever made was my decision
to give up drinking. I am convinced that my whole life
depends on not taking that first drink. Nothing in the
world is as important to me as my own sobriety. Everything
I have, my whole life depends on that one thing. Can I afford
ever to forget this, even for one minute?

Meditation For The Day

I will discipline myself. I will do this disciplining now.
I will turn out all useless thoughts. I know that the
goodness of my life is a necessary foundation for its
usefulness. I will welcome this training, for without it
God cannot give me his power. I believe that this power
is a mighty power when used in the right way.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may face and accept whatever discipline is
necessary. I pray that I may be fit to receive God's power
in my life.

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As Bill Sees It

All or Nothing?, p. 6

Acceptance and faith are capable of producing 100 percent sobriety. In
fact, they usually do; and they must, else we could have no life at all. But
the moment we carry these attitudes into our emotional problems, we
find that only relative results are possible. Nobody can, for example,
become completely free from fear, anger and pride.

Hence, in this life we shall attain nothing like perfect humility and love.
So we shall have to settle, respecting most of our problems, for a very
gradual progress, punctuated sometimes by heavy setbacks. Our
oldtime attitude of "all or nothing" will have to be abandoned.

Grapevine, March 1962

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Walk In Dry Places

No Need to be Perfect____ Perfectionism.
We often declare that we suffered from perfectionism while we were drinking. This did not mean that we did things perfectly or always met high standards. More likely, it meant that we had grandiose ideas of the perfect people we wanted to be, but felt deep inadequacy about our failure to meet these high standards.
While we should develop good standards and values for our lives, we place an impossible demand on ourselves by wanting to be perfect in every way. What is this but a secret desire to be better than others, to occupy a superior position that will enable us to look down on others and, at the same time, to receive their approval and admiration?
In some manufacturing fields, there is a useful saying that serves as a guideline for inspectors: "Good enough is best." If something is good enough for its intended purpose, it may be equal to the best. If my performance and actions this day are good enough, it maybe that they are as good as they have to be or as God wants them to be.
I will not expect impossible things from myself today. I will meet reasonable standards without permitting myself to become tense or strained.

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

Keep It Simple

"We."---First word of the Twelve Steps.
We. This little word says a lot about the Twelve Steps. Our addiction made us lonely. The "we" of the program makes us whole again. It makes us a member of a living, growing group of people. Our addiction isolated us from others. We couldn't be honest. We felt a lot of shame. But all this is in the past. The "we" of the program helps us live outside ourselves. Now we tell each other about our pasts. We comfort each other. We try to help each other.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to join the WE of the program. Help me to admit and accept my illness, so the healing can begin.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll work to make the WE of the program even stronger. I'll find someone to help.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

There are as many ways to live and grow as there are people. Our own ways are the only ways that should matter to us.
--Evelyn Mandel
Wanting to control other people, to make them live as we'd have them live, makes the attainment of serenity impossible. And serenity is the goal we are seeking in this recovery program, in this life.
We are each powerless over others, which relieves us of a great burden. Controlling our own behavior is a big enough job. Learning to behave responsibly takes practice. Most of us in this recovery program have behaved irresponsibly for much of our lives. Emotional immaturity is slow to depart, but every responsible action we take gives us the courage for another--and then another. Our own fulfillment is the by-product of the accumulation of our own responsible actions. Others' actions need not concern us.
Today, I will weigh my behavior carefully. Responsible behavior builds gladness of heart.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

We heard no more of Fred for a while. One day we were told that he was back in the hospital. This time he was quite shaky. He soon indicated he was anxious to see us. The story he told is most instructive, for here was a chap absolutely convinced he had to stop drinking, who had no excuse for drinking, who exhibited splendid judgment and determination in all his other concerns, yet was flat on his back nevertheless.

p. 40

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

However, here I probably took my first step toward my coming alcoholism by developing a terrific aversion to all churches and established religions. At this school we had Bible readings before each meal, and church services four times on Sunday, and I became so rebellious at this time that I swore i would never join or go to any church, except for weddings or for funerals.

pp. 221-222

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Then perhaps life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly hands us a great big lump that we can't begin to swallow, let alone digest. We fail to get a worked-for promotion. We lose that good job. Maybe there are serious domestic or romantic difficulties, or perhaps that boy we thought God was looking after becomes a military casualty.
What then? Have we alcoholics in A.A. got, or can we get, the resources to meet these calamities which come to so many? These were problems of life which we could never face up to. Can we now, with the help of God as we understand Him, handle them as well and as bravely as our nonalcoholic friends often do? Can we transform these calamities into assets, sources of growth and comfort to ourselves and those about us? Well, we surely have a chance if we switch from "two-stepping" to "twelve-stepping," if we are willing to receive that grace of God which can sustain and strengthen us in any catastrophe.

p. 113

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Do not spit into the well you may have to drink out of. --French Proverb

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have for instance." --Franklin P. Jones

"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." --Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I still can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." --Helen Keller

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best." --Henry Van Dyke

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

BOREDOM

"Nothing is interesting if you
are not interested."
-- Helen MacInnes

There is a subtle distinction between the "dry" alcoholic and the "sober" alcoholic.
The sober alcoholic chooses not to drink because he has accepted his alcoholism. The
"dry" alcoholic is "not drinking" but is invariably angry and resentful --- and he is not
expressing these feelings. His abstinence is not exciting because he is not interested
in it --- he is bored.

The "dry" alcoholic is also boring to be around. Why? Because he is bored. His
boredom makes him boring. He really wants to drink. He has stopped drinking for
reasons that do not include the acceptance of the disease; he is still a victim of the
disease.

Sobriety, by contrast, is an adventure into self. It greets the new day with enthusiasm
and energy. Sobriety is the spiritual discovery of God in our lives.

Let me always remember that my interests in life reflect my interest in You.

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

We are to grow up in all aspects into Him. Ephesians 4:15

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." Matthew 7:24-27

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

Daily Inspiration

Everyone is important; very important. Lord, help me to always treat those in my life with respect and speak with a gentle heart.

Our lives should be productive and useful and we should always make a difference because we are alive. Lord, You have brought me to this new day. Work with me so that I will have a successful day with many accomplishments whether they are great or small.

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

NA Just For Today

January 6

"How Does It Work?"

"I used to think that I had all the answers, but today I am glad that I don't"
Basic Text p. 272

What are the two favorite words of most addicts? "I know!" Unfortunately, many of us arrive in NA thinking we have all the answers. We have a lot of knowledge about what's wrong with us. But in and of itself, knowledge never helped us stay clean for any length of time.

Members who have achieved long-term recovery will be the first to admit that the longer they are here, the more they have to learn. But they do know one thing: By following this simple Twelve Step program, they have been able to stay clean. They no longer ask "why"; they ask "how"? The value of endless speculation pales in comparison to the experience of addicts who've found a way to stay clean and live clean.

This doesn't mean we don't ask "why" when it's appropriate. We don't come to NA and stop thinking! But in the beginning, it's often a very good idea to reword our questions. Instead of asking "why," we ask "how": How do I work this step? How often should I attend meetings? How do I stay clean?

Just for today: I don't have all the answers, but I know where to find the ones that matter. Today, I will ask another addict, "How does it work?"
pg. 6

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
We, too, the children of the earth, have our moon phases all through any year; the darkness, the delivery from darkness, the waxing and waning.
--Faith Baldwin
Let us think, for a moment, about the changes of the moon. In the beginning of its cycle, it is just a sliver in the darkness. Each night it grows larger until it reaches its full size. When the moon is full and rising, its orange glow fills the sky. All night its gentle light brightens everything it touches. But this fullness is only part of the life of the moon. For a while it grows smaller, then turns its dark side toward us before reappearing as a sliver and growing again to fullness. We are children of the earth, and we have our different moods and phases, too. There will be periods of darkness when we try to find our way by the light of the stars. Again and again we will grow to our full size, only to fade and grow again in a new way.


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Being human is difficult. Becoming human is a lifelong process. To be truly human is a gift. --Abraham Heschel
The processes of becoming more human, becoming a real person, and finding spiritual enlightenment are very similar. They require slow growth over time. We can only follow these paths in small steps, one day or one hour at a time. Many of us grew up in families with an addicted parent. We, too, went to great excesses and have been abusive to others and ourselves. Because of these problems, we developed a distorted outlook on life. Now we still demand quick and complete fixes for recovery.
Our program says, "Look to this day." It is a difficult path to learn, but we only take it in small steps. There are no instant fixes for any human being. Yet, when we surrender to the reality of life, we are given the gift of true humanity. We feel like real people, we love others, and we enjoy the pleasure of true contact with them.
I am grateful I can be a part of the process. Help me give up my drive to control it.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
There are as many ways to live and grow as there are people. Our own ways are the only ways that should matter to us.
--Evelyn Mandel
Wanting to control other people, to make them live as we'd have them live, makes the attainment of serenity impossible. And serenity is the goal we are seeking in this recovery program, in this life.
We are each powerless over others, which relieves us of a great burden. Controlling our own behavior is a big enough job. Learning to behave responsibly takes practice. Most of us in this recovery program have behaved irresponsibly for much of our lives. Emotional immaturity is slow to depart, but every responsible action we take gives us the courage for another--and then another. Our own fulfillment is the by-product of the accumulation of our own responsible actions. Others' actions need not concern us.
Today, I will weigh my behavior carefully. Responsible behavior builds gladness of heart.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Relationships
If we are unhappy without a relationship, we'll probably be unhappy with one as well. A relationship doesn't begin our life; a relationship doesn't become our life. A relationship is a continuation of life. --Beyond Codependency
Relationships are the blessing and bane of recovery. Relationships are where we take our recovery show on the road.
Each day, we are faced with the prospect of functioning in several different relationships. Sometimes, we choose these relationships; sometimes, we don't. The one choice we usually have in our relationships concerns our own behavior. In recovery from codependency, our goal is to behave in ways that demonstrate responsibility for us.
We're learning to acknowledge our power to take care of ourselves in our relationships. We're learning to be intimate with people when possible.
Do we need to detach from someone who we've been trying to control? Is there someone we need to talk to, even though what we have to say may be uncomfortable? Is there someone we've been avoiding because we're afraid to take care of ourselves with that person? Do we need to make an amend? Is there someone we need to reach out to, or show love?
Recovery is not done apart from our relationships. Recovery is done by learning to own our power and to take care of ourselves in relationships.
Today, I will participate in my relationships to the best of my ability. I will make myself available for closeness and sharing with people I trust. I will ask for what I need and give what feels right.


Even when I have doubt I know a power greater than myself is guiding me on my path today. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Embrace the Unknown

How boring it would be if we knew everything that was going to happen. Yet we are always trying to peek around the corner and see ahead.

If we knew everything that was going to happen, we wouldn’t need to experience it. There would be nothing to learn, explore, or gain. We’d stay in our heads instead of our hearts. So often, it’s the surprises of the moments and hours, the unexpected twists and turns that give meaning to our journey and make our lessons come alive.

You are connected to truth. You are connected to Divine guidance. You can trust and embrace your guidance from God. That means you will get all the visions, all the guidance, all the advance knowledge and wisdom you need. Not too much to spoil the surprise. Not too much to neutralize the lesson.

Just enough guidance to let you know you are never alone.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Take responsibility for your life

Before you can jump out of the airplane, before you can fly solo in an airplane, before you can go on the whitewater rafting trip, before you can make a bungee jump, you have to sign a waiver.

The waiver is a document that says that you realize the dangers in what you’re about to do, that you and you alone have made the decision to participate in the activity, and that you and you alone are responsible for the outcome.

You sign away your right to sue, whine, complain– to do anything except risk your life for a new experience.

You sign the waiver to protect others from being liable in case of an accident. I think waivers are a good reminder that ultimately no one is responsible for my life but me. There is no one to blame, no one to sue, no one to ask for a refund. I make my own decisions and I live with the results of those choices each day.

So do you.

It’s your life. Sign a waiver saying that you take responsibility for it. Set yourself and others free.

God, help me understand the inherent powers I have. Help me take responsibility for my choices, and guide me about what decisions are best for me.

Activity: Read the following waiver carefully. Fill in the blanks, and be aware of what you’re signing. It is your life, after all. Take responsibility for what you do.

WAIVER
I understand that during the course of my life I will be required to make many decisions, such as where I want to live, whom I want to live with, where I work, how much fun I have, and how I spend my money and time, including how much time I spend waiting for things to get better and people to change, and whom I choose to love.

I understand that many events that occur will be out of my hands and that there are inherent dangers and risks in all decisions I make.Life and people have no obligation to live up to the expectations of anybody else. Life is a high-risk sport, and I may become injured along the way.

I agree that all the decisions I make are mine and mine alone, including how I choose to handle the events that are beyond my control. I hereby forfeit my right to recourse as a victim, including my rights to blame, complain, and whine or hold someone else responsible for the path I choose to take. I am responsible for my for my participation– or lack of it– in life. And I take complete responsibility for the outcomes and consequences of all decisions I make, understanding that ultimately it is my choice whether I become happy, joyous, and free or stay miserable and trapped.

Although people may voluntarily nurture and love me, I and I alone am responsible for taking care of and loving myself.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When I finally convince myself to let go of a problem that’s been tearing me apart — when I take the action to set aside my will and let God handle the problem — my torment subsides immediately. If I continue to stay out of my own way, then solutions begin to unfold and reveal themselves. More and more, I’m coming to accept the limitations of my human understanding and power. More and more, I’m learning to let go and trust my Higher Power for the answers and the help. Do I keep in the forefront of my mind the fact that only God is all-wise and all-powerful?

Today I Pray

If I come across a stumbling-block, may I learn to step out of the way and let God remove it. May I realize my human limitations at problem-solving, since I can never begin to predict God’s solutions until I see them happening. May I know that whatever answer I come to, God may have a better one.

Today I Will Remember

God has a better answer.

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

One More Day

A little learning is a dangerous thing.
– Alexander Pope

Since childhood we’ve been told that education is the key to success, to happiness, to almost all good things in life. We gradually gain knowledge as we go through school and continue through life, and at each plateau we feel more confident. But a crisis may undermine that confidence. Problems within our families, such as alcohol or other drug abuse or a chronic illness, can sharply point out how little we really know. Our reaction differ — some of us dive into a frenzy of denial and activity, while others are immobilized by fear and uncertainty.

But then we remember: Learning is the key; we don’t have to know instinctively what to do. We can turn to others who have greater knowledge. Organizations are three to give us well-qualified assistance. We want and need to learn the truth.

I don’t have to have all the answers, just the right questions.

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

Food For Thought

Withdrawal

Eliminating all refined sugar and flour may seem difficult, if not impossible at the beginning. Making the decision to avoid these foods, which trigger the craving for more and more, is what opens the door to freedom - freedom from the craving and freedom from fat.

We do not become free immediately. Some of us experience withdrawal discomfort, which is sometimes physical, sometimes psychological, and sometimes both. It is important to remember that the discomfort will pass, the craving will pass, and that if we remain abstinent, we will eventually feel much better. So much better that our bodies and our lives will seem new.

In order to walk into the world of freedom, we must go through the door of abstinence. We need not fear the pains of withdrawal. Growth is often painful. Many have gone before us and report that the eventual freedom is well worth the temporary suffering. Our Higher Power will give us the strength to endure and will never push us farther than we can go. When we are tempted to give in, a prayer and a phone call can save us.

Lead us into freedom, we pray.

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

One Day At A Time

LONELINESS

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted
is the most terrible poverty.

Mother Theresa

I remember being lonely for most of my growing up years. I never had many friends and never felt I fitted in, so I buried myself in studying and became an overachiever. I also buried myself in reading novels and lived in a fantasy world, always trying to escape that terrible empty feeling inside. I could be in a crowd of people or at home with my family, and yet the feeling of loneliness was always there. I didn't realize then that this was a kind of spiritual sickness, and I began to fill the "hole in my soul" with food; I was hoping food would take away the empty feeling. It took me years and a great deal of pain to realize that no amount of food could relieve that empty lonely feeling. Keeping busy couldn't help either. It was only when the pain of the food and the destructive things I was doing to myself became greater than the pain and the loneliness that I was trying to bury under mounds of food that I was brought to my knees and found the doors of my first program meeting.

Even though I wasn't sure that the program was for me at that first meeting, I knew then that I need never be alone. Other people suffered as I did and the feeling of not having to go it alone any more was very powerful. As I grow in the program and have discovered a Higher Power who is with me day and night, I have come to realize that I need never be alone. I can call on that Power at any time when I feel alone and scared. No longer do I have to feel the spiritual emptiness inside that used to drive me to food.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember to call on my Higher Power for guidance and help with my life; in that way, I need never be alone. When I follow the path that God intended me to follow in the first place, the loneliness disappears.

~ Sharon ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition. A doctor said to us, 'Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.' - Pg. 122 - The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Just for today, live in the now. It's a 24 hour program and you only have to worry about this hour. This hour you are clean and in the right place looking for and accepting help.

Grant me the patience to accept this hour of abstinence without reservation.

Each Day is a Day of Birth

I am being continually reborn. Each day life renews itself transforming from one state to another. Flowers bloom and then their petals drop to the ground and become fertilizer for new growth. Seasons change. The sun comes up and at the end of each day it disappears for the night only to reappear bright, strong and warm the next morning. I am part of this natural and daily renewal of life. Everything I experience becomes part of my process of personal growth. I refine my learning each day, I drop what I don't need to the ground where it becomes fertilizer for tomorrow's renewal, tomorrow's rebirth, into my ever expanding sense of life. Each day gifts come and go, each day they are renewed.

I am born each day into more of myself.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

You can't change reality but you can change your attitude toward it.

When reality messes up my fantasies, I pause and ask my Higher Power to guide my thoughts.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Be stronger at what you're doing, than your feelings are at what they're doing.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Even when I have doubt I know a power greater than myself is guiding me on my path today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I wrote my 4th Step exactly as it says in the AA Big Book. I made the columns . I wrote everybody I resented - which basically turned out to be everybody who breathed air I thought should have been mine. I wrote in the next column what they did to me - Well all my life I wanted to tell you what 'They' did to me. And in the third column, how it affected me. Well it affected my self-worth, my dignity my security... no wonder I drank! And I was having a great time until I accidentally turned the page. And hidden in the body of text it says 'Referring to our list again, we put out of our minds the wrongs others had done, and looked at what our part was.' ( Big Book Pg. 67 ) Well now it wasn't fun anymore. But I made a 4th column and looked at my part, and that was my inventory. And when I finished it I knew I belonged in Alcoholics Anonymous. I believe we all have the same story. We all acted it out a little differently but we all a have the same story. - Patti O.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 7

Daily Reflections

AT THE TURNING POINT

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We
asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

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. Or when I begin to
ask for help instead of going it alone. At other times turning points are
endings, such as when I see clearly the need to stop festering
resentments or crippling self-seeking. Many shortcomings tempt me
daily; therefore, I also have daily opportunities to become aware of
them. In one form or another, many of my character defects appear
daily: self-condemnation, anger, running away, being prideful,
wanting to get even, or acting out of grandiosity.
Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely
paralyzes my efforts to change. It is only when I ask God for help,
with complete abandon, that I become willing -- and able -- to change.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When temptation comes, as it does sometimes to all of us, I will say to
myself: "No, my whole life depends on not taking that drink and
nothing in the world can make me do it." Besides, I have promised
that Higher Power that I wouldn't do it. I know that God doesn't
want me to drink and I won't break my promise to God. I've given up
my right to drink and it's not my decision any longer. Have I made
the choice once and for all, so that there's no going back on it?

Meditation For The Day

In silence comes God's meaning to the heart. I cannot judge when it
enters the heart. I can only judge by results. God's word is spoken to
the secret places of my heart and, in some hour of temptation, I find
that word and realize its value for the first time. when I need it, I find
it there. "Thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see God's meaning in my life. I pray that I may
gladly accept what God has to teach me.

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

As Bill Sees It

The Realm Of The Spirit, p. 7

In ancient times material progress was painfully slow. The spirit of
modern science inquiry, research, and invention was almost unknown.

In the realm of the material, men's minds were fettered by
superstition, tradition, and all sorts of fixed ideas. Some of the
contemporaries of Columbus thought a round earth preposterous.
Others came near putting Galileo to death for his astronomical
heresies.

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?

<< << << >> >> >>

We have found that God does not make too hard terms with those who
seek Him. To us, the realm of spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive,
never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open,
we believe, to all men.

Alcoholics Anonymous
1. p. 51
2. p. 46

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

Walk In Dry Places

Erasing Old Tapes___Living Today
The human brain works like a tape recorder. With great fidelity, this built-in recorder stores up old memories that are recalled at surprising times. There are two kinds of these "old tapes" that are dangerous to the recovering alcoholic.
One dangerous old tape is a bitter memory of an unkind word or cruel action that hurt us deeply. This kind of memory comes back to destroy our peace of mind or to intensify feelings of low self-esteem.
Equally dangerous is another old tape: the recollections of a drinking experience that may have seem enjoyable. When we run an old tape of this kind, we are revealing that we still wish we could drink.
Our recovery shows us how to erase these old tapes. Forgiving the people who hurt us can erase bitter memories and resentments. We can eliminate the desire to relive pleasure in drinking experiences by looking honestly at the total effect of alcohol on our lives. We cannot relive the past, but we can use the lessons of the past to make our lives what they can be today.
Today, I will not be troubled by anything from the past. I cannot change what happened five minutes ago, but I can refuse to entertain thoughts that will harm me.

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

Keep It Simple

A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.---E.W. Howe
Do you let yourself be afraid of your illness? Many of us were scared into sobriety. Often, a spiritual awakening directly follows a good scare. Fear seems to improve our vision. Are you smart enough to run from your addiction? The First Step should create fear inside us. It's about looking honestly at our addiction and what would happen to us if we kept using. Looking at Step One regularly will give us the respectful fear we need to stay sober. Often fear is seen as bad, but it can be good, if we listen to it.
It can be a great mover. When you're afraid, your spirit is trying to tell you something.
Prayer for the Day: God, direct my fear. Have me go to You, family, friends, and others who love me. Help me see my fear and listen to it's message.
Action for the Day: I'll list five ways that my fear has taught me important lessons. I'll see that my fear can help me as long as I listen to it and not live it.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence. --Sue Atchley Ebaugh
We all want to matter to others. Very often in the past and sometimes in the present, our behavior screams for the attention we seek from others. Perhaps, instead of trying to get attention, we ought to give it. The program tells us we have to give it away in order to keep it. Wisdom of the ages also dictates that in life there are no accidents. Those people close to us and those just passing through our lives have reason to be there. Giving attention to another's humanity is our calling.
I will fully attend to another person I have occasion to be with today. She will matter to me, and my attention will matter to her.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Let him tell you about it: “I was much impressed with what you fellows said about alcoholism, and I frankly did not believe it would be possible for me to drink again. I rather appreciated your ideas about the subtle insanity which precedes the first drink, but I was confident it could not happen to me after what I had learned. I reasoned I was not so far advanced as most of you fellows, that I had been usually successful in licking my other personal problems, and that I would therefore be successful where you men failed. I felt I had every right to be self-confident, that it would be only a matter of exercising my will power and keeping on guard.

p. 40

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

At seventeen I entered the university, really to satisfy my father, who wanted me to study medicine there as he had. That is where I had. That is where I had my first drink and I still remember it, for every "first" drink afterwards did exactly the same trick--I could feel it go right through every bit of my body and down to my very toes. But each drink after the "first" drink seemed to become less and less effective and after three or four they all seemed like water. I was never a hilarious drunk; the more I drank the quieter I got, and the drunker I got the harder I fought to stay sober. So it is clear that I never had any fun out of drinking--I would be the soberest-seeming one in the crowd and all of a sudden I would be the drunkest. Even that first night I blacked out, which leads me to believe that I was an alcoholic from my very first drink. The first year in college I just got by in my studies, and that year I majored in poker and drinking. I refused to join any fraternity, as I wanted to be a free lance, and that year my drinking was confined to one-night stands, once or twice a week. The second year my drinking was more or less restricted to week-ends, but I was nearly kicked out for scholastic failure.

p. 222

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else's, but when an honest effort is made "to practice these principles in all our affairs," well-grounded A.A.'s seem to have the ability, by God's grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith. We have seen A.A.'s suffer lingering and fatal illness with little complaint, and often in good cheer. We have sometimes seen families broken apart by misunderstanding, tensions, or actual infidelity, who are reunited by the A.A. way of life.

p. 114

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

Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step. --Samuel Smiles

Expectation is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today. --Seneca

"The more you teach positive ideas to others, the better you learn them yourself." --Brian Tracy

Laughter is the sound of recovery. --unknown

C A R D S =
Call your sponsor,
Ask for help from your Higher Power,
Read the Big Book,
Do the Twelve Steps,
Stay active in your group.
--unknown

A recovering alcoholic without a sponsor is much like a ship without a rudder. --unknown

SPONSOR = Sober Person Offering Newcomer Support Of Recovery. --unknown

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

GOD

"I could not say I believe. I
know! I have had the experience
of being gripped by something
that is stronger than myself,
something that people call
God."
-- Carl Jung

God is beyond our comprehension, and in a sense we are all agnostics --- none of us
KNOW know; uncertainty is part of faith.

However, there are "moments" when God is alive and vivid in new and stimulating
experiences that are beyond explanation other than --- "that's God". Loving
relationships, friendships, the beauty of nature, the complexities of life and the
universe; not to mention music, poetry and the conscience of man: all speak of God.
History is full of holy men who carry the message: God is love and He is to be

God, known and yet incomprehensible, help me to discover You in my doubts and
confusions.

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

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17

"My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." Isaiah 32:18

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God. 1 John 3:1

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself. Philippians 2:3

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

Daily Inspiration

When you act out of love and selfless concern, you are doing that which is right. Lord, I am Your servant in my daily life.

Never make the mistake of taking more credit than is due or less credit than you are worth. Lord, You have created me in Your image. Therefore, I am goodness and with You can accomplish great things.

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

NA Just For Today

January 7

"Recovery"

"Narcotics Anonymous offers addicts a program of recovery that is more than just a life without drugs. Not only is this way of life better than the hell we lived, it is better than any life that we have ever known."
Basic Text p. 103

Few of us have any interest in "recovering" what we had before we started using. Many of us suffered severely from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Getting high and staying high seemed like the only possible way to cope with such abuse. Others suffered in less noticeable but equally painful ways before addiction took hold. We lacked direction and purpose. We were spiritually empty. We felt isolated, unable to empathize with others. We had none of the things that give life its sense and value. We took drugs in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness inside ourselves. Most of us wouldn't want to "recover" what we used to have.

Ultimately, the recovery we find in NA is something different: a chance at a new life. We've been given tools to clear the wreckage from our lives. We have been given support in courageously setting forth on a new path. And we've been given the gift of conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, providing us with the inner strength and direction we so sorely lacked in the past.

Recovering? Yes, in every way. We're recovering a whole new life, better than anything we ever dreamed possible. We are grateful.

Just for today: I've recovered something I never had, something I never imagined possible: the life of a recovering addict. Thank you, Higher Power, in more than words can say.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
To affect the quality of the day--that is the highest of the arts. --Henry David Thoreau
We are the sculptors of our day. We can mold it creatively into a wonderful masterpiece. We control the amount of moisture we mix into our clay. We pound it, shape it, stroke it, love it. Others can offer suggestions, and we gain new perspectives from their advice, but it is finally our own creation. Our knife may occasionally slip, or our mixture of earth may be too dry. Any great artist suffers temporary setbacks. Besides, imperfections in art often make it all the more interesting.
How creative can I be in my life today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
To be happy one must risk unhappiness; to live fully one must risk death and accept its ultimate decision. --Judd Manner
All of us, in confronting our powerlessness, have felt the truth of this paradox. If we truly admitted how far out of control our drinking was, would we be able to survive without alcohol? If we stopped caretaking, would we have any place in our relationships? If we let go of our food obsessions, would there be any pleasure left in life? Yet, we can see much of our behavior was destroying us. We had to let go of it to begin learning a better way of living.
We can face our powerlessness in very specific ways. Let us look at today's concerns as spiritual issues with lessons for us. Does an opportunity seem like a problem because of the risk involved? Are we frustrated because we cannot accept the limits of our control? We will face our powerlessness today in ways we cannot fully anticipate. When we are honest with ourselves and face it directly, we can take the risk of letting go.
Let me not be so tied to what I have or to what I want that I cannot lean on God's love and take a risk for growth.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence. --Sue Atchley Ebaugh
We all want to matter to others. Very often in the past and sometimes in the present, our behavior screams for the attention we seek from others. Perhaps, instead of trying to get attention, we ought to give it. The program tells us we have to give it away in order to keep it. Wisdom of the ages also dictates that in life there are no accidents. Those people close to us and those just passing through our lives have reason to be there. Giving attention to another's humanity is our calling.
I will fully attend to another person I have occasion to be with today. She will matter to me, and my attention will matter to her.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Dealing with Painful Feelings
Feelings of hurt or anger can be some of the most difficult to face. We can feel so vulnerable, frightened, and powerless when these feelings appear. And these feelings may trigger memories of other, similar times when we felt powerless.
Sometimes, to gain a sense of control, we may punish the people around us, whether they are people we blame for these feelings or innocent bystanders. We may try to "get even," or we may manipulate behind people's backs to gain a sense of power over the situation.
These actions may give us a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but they only postpone facing our pain.
Feeling hurt does not have to be so frightening. We do not have to work so hard to avoid it. While hurt feelings aren't as much fun as feeling happy/ they are, still, just feelings.
We can surrender to them, feel them, and go on. That does not mean we have to seek out hurt feelings or dwell unnecessarily on them. Emotional pain does not have to devastate us. We can sit still, feel the pain, figure out if there's something we need to do to take care of ourselves, and then go on with our life.
We do not have to act in haste; we do not have to punish others to get control over our feelings. We can begin sharing our hurt feelings with others. That brings relief and often healing to them and to us.
Eventually, we learn the lesson that real power comes from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to feel hurt. Real power comes from knowing we can take care of ourselves, even when we feel emotional pain. Real power comes when we stop holding others responsible for our pain, and we take responsibility for all our feelings.
Today, I will surrender to my feelings, even the emotionally painful ones. Instead of acting in haste, or attempting to punish someone, I will be vulnerable enough to feel my feelings.


I am worthy of positive changes today. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Remember to Be Happy

The sign hangs on the wall of a bagel shop: “Don’t forget to be happy.”

Sometimes we get so bogged down in dealing with feelings, issues, problems– the realities and details of our lives– we forget to be happy. Often happiness can be ours if we just remember to be happy.

Joy is a choice– a deliberate, conscious choice. That choice is available to us each day. Our joy isn’t controlled by others or by outward circumstances. Joy comes from a deeper place, a place of security within ourselves. It’s an attitude, not a transitory emotion.

Remember to be kind. Remember to be loving. Remember to feel all your feelings and to take care of yourself. But most of all, remember to be happy.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Save your life in a journal

Are you saving your life by writing about it in a journal?

Sometimes I use a file in my computer for my journal. If I’m rambling, ranting, or raving– writing something that could embarrass me if seen– I lock the file with a code. My words in my journal, whether it’s in a computer or a green Italian notebook, are meant for only for me.

There are many ways to write in a journal. We can go on and on about whatever comes to us. That’s helpful, especially if we’re stuck. We can use our journal as a record, writing down what we did that day. It’s a good place to write our goals and to explore our fantasies and dreams. We can write poems or short stories. We can write letters to God or our Guardian Angel, asking for advice. Or we can just say what happened each day, and then write how it feels.

People may think there’s a right and wrong way to write in a journal, but I don’t agree. There aren’t any rules about journals. It’s just a way to record and save our lives.

Do you think your life is worth saving? I do. If you’ve been neglecting to do that, ask yourself “why.”

God, help me be aware of and respect the details of my life.

Activity: Transfer your goal list to a journal, and begin writing your responses to the meditations and the activities as part of your journal entry for each day. Use your journal as a logbook, to record what you’re doing and whom you’re doing it with as you pursue your dreams. Or use it as a way of exploring how you feel, who you are, and what you want to do. Save your life in whatever way makes sense to you.

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

A Day At A Time
January 7

Reflection For The Day

I’m beginning to see just how unnatural my old life actually was, and that it became increasingly unnatural as my illness progressed. The longer I’m in The Program, the more natural this new way of life seems. At first, it was impossible for me to extend my hand to a newcomer; such an act was wholly unnatural for me. But it is becoming increasingly easier for me to reach out to another person. Sharing my experience, strength and hope is becoming a natural part of daily living. Have I learned that I can’t keep what I’ve gotten unless I “give it away?” Will I take the time to share today?

Today I Pray

May I share my live, my joy, my happiness, my time, my hospitality, my knowledge of things on earth and my faith in a Higher Power. Even though I may not see the results of my acts of sharing, may I take joy in the acts themselves. May sharing, according to God’s plan, become as natural to me as speaking or breathing.

Today I Will Remember

Be never sparing in caring or sharing.

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

One More Day
January 7

All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.
– Alexandre Dumas

As children, the only waiting and hoping we did was short-term. We waited for the holidays. We hoped our parents wouldn’t find out we got the carpet dirty.

Once a chronic medical problem is diagnosed, we become masters at the art of waiting and hoping. Waiting to see if the new medication helps. Hoping for a remission or cure.

We learn that in order to adjust we must help ourselves. One way we can help ourselves is to get in touch with one of the many self-help groups. These groups can offer us a sense of continuity, or inner strength, of hope for better times again. With deepened faith in ourselves and in our abilities, we discover a sense of inner peace.

Hope renews me and lets me face each day with the best possible attitude.

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

Food For Thought

Don't Take the First Compulsive Bite

OA says that if you don't take the first compulsive bite, you won't overeat. It is that first extra bite that gets us into trouble. The first bite may be as "harmless" as a piece of lettuce, but when eaten between meals and not as part of our daily plan, it invariably leads to another bite. And another, and another. And we have lost control. And there is no stopping.

It is the first compulsive bite that breaks abstinence. When we take it, we cheat ourselves and fall back into slavery to our appetites. To rationalize by saying that just a little deviation won't make any difference is like saying that someone is just a little bit pregnant.

All we have to give up is the first compulsive bite. Then we do not have to worry about the rest of them. Simple. Once we decide not to take the first one, our problem is solved. Abstinence is a lifeboat. It is possible to stay afloat in the lifeboat as long as we do not jump out by taking the first compulsive bite.

Thank you; Lord, for the saving gift of abstinence.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FEELING OVERWHELMED ~

The social workers have named a new syndrome.
It's called "compassion fatigue."
Why does it sound so familiar?

Anne Wilson Schaef

For most of my life I have always cared for others, and have always been in the caring professions. I didn't think that was a bad thing until I was brought to my knees and arrived at my first program meeting. One of the character defects that I found I had was people pleasing. Because I was always trying to help and fix others, I also knew that I had a problem with control and lack of acceptance.

One of the things I am learning in the program is that, because for so many years I had hidden my emotions in food, there are still many layers of the onion that I haven't even begun to peel away. The amazing thing is that it is only when I reach a rock bottom of some sort that I am forced to look deeper at many issues that I have blocked for years. What I realize now is that I have spent so many years of my life taking care of others that I have forgotten to take care of me. No wonder I feel so overwhelmed!

I'm a compulsive caregiver, but in doing that, I have often neglected to see to my own needs. I am so grateful that I have become open to looking further into why I have always put others' needs before mine, and to being able to detach with love from many issues over which I am powerless, so that I can take better care of me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that in order to be able to care for and love others, I must first learn to care for and love myself.

~ Sharon S. ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. - Pg. xiii - 4th. Edition - Forward To The First Edition

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Abstinence, honesty, and the willingness 'to turn it over' are the only ways to fight the Four Horsemen of mind-affecting chemicals: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Despair.

Let me know that the battle is no longer mine if I practice the Third Step to the best of my ability.

Gathering Wisdom

I am on a spiritual journey. And on this journey I am my own best pilot and my own best philosopher. No one knows me as I know me and no one can synthesize all of the information that I receive each day into a coherent picture of my life as well as I can. If I don't take charge of my journey, no one else will, no one else can. God has given me to me to take care of. I have been put in charge of my own self. I am the one who steers me through my day, who makes a myriad of tiny decisions that add up to a life. I am the eyes and ears behind each hour. I am the choice maker.

My life is up to me.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Are you going to let tough times make you bitter or make you better?

I embrace 'tough' times because I get to practice my principles.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

To an addict/alcoholic, if one is good, one in every color is better.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am worthy of positive changes today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

In sobriety, I ended up playing golf alone.. and cheating. - Craig S.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 8

Daily Reflections

DO I HAVE A CHOICE?

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet
obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our
so-called willpower becomes practically nonexistent.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.24

My powerlessness over alcohol does not cease when I
quit drinking. In sobriety I still have no choice - I
can't drink. The choice I do have is to pick up and
use the "kit of spiritual tools" (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25).
When I do that, my Higher Power relieves me of my lack
of choice - and keeps me sober one more day. If I could
choose not to pick up a drink today, where then would
be my need for A.A. or a Higher Power?

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Everyone who comes into A.A. knows from bitter experience
that he or she can't drink. I know that drinking has been
the cause of all my major troubles or has made them worse.
Now that I have found a way out, I will hang on to A.A.
with both hands. Saint Paul once said that nothing in the
world, neither powers nor principles, life nor death,
could separate him from the love of God. Once I have given
my drink problem to God, should anything in the world
separate me from my sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

I know that my new life will not be immune from
difficulties, but I will have peace even in difficulties.
I know that serenity is the result of faithful, trusting
acceptance of God's will, even in the midst of
difficulties. Saint Paul said: "Our light afflictions,
which are but for a moment, work for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may welcome difficulties. I pray that they
may test my strength and build my character.

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

As Bill Sees It

A New Life, p. 8

Is sobriety all that we are to expect of a spiritual awakening? No,
sobriety is only a bare beginning; it is only the first gift of the first
awakening. If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go
on. As it does go on, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old
life--the one that did not work--for a new life that can and does work
under any conditions whatever.

Regardless of worldly success or failure, regardless of pain or joy,
regardless of sickness or health or even of death itself, a new life of
endless possibilities can be lived if we are willing to continue our
awakening, through the practice of A.A.'s Twelve Steps.

Grapevine, December 1957

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

Walk In Dry Places

Finding New Values____Restoration
Recovering alcoholics sometimes waste time and energy brooding over lost opportunities, and we do have a record of many lost opportunities! Bill W., the co-founder of AA, once made it big on Wall Street before crashing in the 1929 cataclysm. He later drank away two wonderful chances for a comeback. Most of us can recall similar opportunities we lost by drinking. We can eliminate these regrets by practicing gratitude for the recovery we have made. Without rationalizing, we can remind ourselves that few opportunities would have benefited us if we had continued to drink.
We can take comfort, too, in the clear evidence that there's a wonderful restoration going on in our lives. While not every one gets aback a lost job or rebuilds a business, manly of us do find sufficient prosperity and productive work in our new lives. Some even find satisfying second careers or businesses after getting sober. Best of all, most recovering people discover that sobriety gives them the ability to appreciate their opportunities without worshipping material success.
I will make the best of my opportunities today and see them as stepping stones toward a more abundant life. I will not regret the past, because it brought necessary lessons.

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

Keep It Simple

Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the light, even though for the moment you do not see...Bill W.
At times, we'll go through pain and hardship, At times, we'll have doubts. At times, we'll get angry and think we just don't care anymore. These things can spiritually blind us. But this normal. Hopefully, we'll be ready for those times. Hopefully, we will have friends who will be there for you. Thank God for these moments! Yes, hard times can make our spirits deep and strong. These moments tell us who we are as sober people. These moments help us grow and change. Spirituality is about choice. To be spiritual, we must turn ourselves over to the care of our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day: God, help me find You in my moments of blindness. This is when I really need You.
Action for the Day: Today I'll get ready for the hard times ahead. I will list my friends who will be there for me.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

When people make changes in their lives in a certain area, they may start by changing the way they talk bout that subject, how they act about it, their attitude toward it, or an underlying decision concerning it. --Jean Illsley Clarke
Acting "as if" is powerful. It leads the way to a changed attitude, a changed woman. If we are self-conscious in crowds and fearful about meeting new people and yet act poised and extend our hands in friendship, we'll not only behave in a new way, but feel good about it, too. Each act we take in this way brings us closer to the woman we are behaving like. Each positive change we make builds our self-esteem. Realizing that through our own actions we are becoming the kind of women we admire gives us the strength, in fact, encourages the excitement in us that's needed to keep changing. Making positive changes in our lives is the stuff that comprises self-esteem. Each gain makes the next one easier to attempt.
I will accept an opportunity today to act "as if" I can handle a situation I used to run from.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

“In this frame of mind, I went about my business and for a time all was well. I had no trouble refusing drinks, and began to wonder if I had not been making too hard work of a simple matter. One day I went to Washington to present some accounting evidence to a government bureau. I had been out of town before during this particular dry spell, so there was nothing new about that. Physically, I felt fine. Neither did I have any pressing problems or worries. My business came off well, I was pleased and knew my partners would be too. It was the end of a perfect day, not a cloud on the horizon.

pp. 40-41

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

In the spring of 1917, in order to beat being fired from school, I became "patriotic" and joined the Army. I am one of the lads who came out of the service with a lower rank than when I went in. I had been to OTC the previous summer, so I went into the Army as a sergeant but I came out a private, and you really have to be unusual to do that. In the next two years, I washed more pans and peeled more potatoes than any other doughboy. In the Army, I became a periodic alcoholic--the periods always coming whenever I could make the opportunity. However, I did manage to keep out of the guardhouse. My last bout in the Army lasted from November 5 to 11, 1918. We heard by wireless in the fifth that the Armistice would be signed the next day (this was a premature report), so I had a couple of cognacs to celebrate; then I hopped a truck and went AWOL. My next conscious memory was in Bar le Duc, many miles from base. It was November 11, and bells were ringing and whistles blowing for the real Armistice. There I was, unshaven, clothes torn and dirty, with no recollection of wandering all over France but, of course, a hero to the local French. Back at camp, all was forgiven because it was the End, but in the light of what I have since learned, I know I was a confirmed alcoholic at nineteen.

pp. 222-223

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Though the earning power of most A.A.'s is relatively high, we have some members who never seem to get on their feet moneywise, and still others who encounter heavy financial reverses. Ordinarily we see these situations met with fortitude and faith.

p. 114

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Dig within.
There lies the wellspring of good:
Ever dig and it will ever flow.
--Marcus Aurelius

What are you going through in your life right now?
Don't feel you're the only one.
Open your eyes.
Open your heart to your connections with your larger family.
Let them share their stories with you.
Let them share their strengths, hopes, fears, and joys.
Stop looking for what's different and what makes you separate and apart.
Go on an adventure of discovering your common bonds.
--Melody Beattie

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." --Mother Theresa

"Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don't miss it." --Leo Buscaglia

"Any fool can try to defend his mistakes--and most fools do--but it gives one a feeling of nobility to admit one's mistakes. By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected." --Lawrence G. Lovasik

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

MUSIC

"I haven't understood a bar of
music in my life, but I have felt
it."
-- Igor Stravinsky

It is okay not to "understand".

A miracle is not to be understood but experienced. So much in life we will never
understand and there is growth in confusion. We are not perfect. We will never be
perfect. The mystery of life is exactly that --- a mystery.

As an alcoholic I often sought to appear "as God". I had to have an answer for
everything, even if I made up the answer! Not to know was humiliating for me
because it took away control, my need to be in charge, my hopeless and exhausting
quest for perfection. With the failure to be perfect came the guilt, shame and anger.

Today I am able to live with life's daily confusions --- and it's okay!

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The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving to all that He has made. Psalm 145:17

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

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Daily Inspiration

Smooth seas don't make skillful sailors. Lord, teach me as I am able to learn so that I may grow from my difficulties and become the person You intended.

Know that you can do even if things are not always easy. Lord, in You I have the support of an unlimited power source and can accomplish great things because You strengthen me.

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NA Just For Today

Growing Up

"Our spiritual condition is the basis for a successful recovery that offers unlimited growth."
Basic Text p. 43

When our members celebrate their recovery anniversaries, they often say that they've "grown up" in NA. Well, then, we think, what does that mean? We start to wonder if we're grown-ups yet. We check our lives and yes, all the trappings of adulthood are there: the checkbook, the children, the job, the responsibilities. On the inside, though, we often feel like children. We're still confused by life much of the time. We don't always know how to act. We sometimes wonder whether we're really grown-ups at all, or whether we're children who've somehow been put into adult bodies and given adult responsibilities.

Growth is not best measured by physical age or levels of responsibility. Our best measure of growth is our spiritual condition, the basis of our recovery. If we're still depending on people, places, and things to provide our inner satisfaction, like a child depending on its parents for everything, we do indeed have some growing to do. But if we stand secure on the foundation of our spiritual condition, considering its maintenance our most important responsibility, we can claim maturity. Upon that foundation, our opportunities for growth are limitless.

Just for today: The measure of my maturity is the extent to which I take responsibility for the maintenance of my spiritual condition. Today, this will be my highest priority.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light. --Theodore Roethke
All flowers begin with the potential to grow and blossom. Yet in winter, perennial flowers are buried under the snow. Inside the dark earth, they are patiently waiting for their time to bloom. For the flowers, faith is believing that spring will return. It is carrying the light of summer deep in their roots so that even in times of cold and dark, there is hope that they will bloom again. When spring does return, they shoot out of the ground and burst into blossom. In times of light, they drink it deep into their roots--deep enough to sustain them through the next season of darkness. We can do the same, keeping the memory of good times deep within us, so that when we're feeling low, it will keep our faith in the happy future strong.
What helps sustain my faith today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
In wildness is the preservation of the world. --Henry David. Thoreau
Nature confronts us with its beauty in a flower or a furry animal. The awesomeness of nature is in a lightning bolt or a majestic mountain. Every variety of tree has its own uniquely textured bark. Each annual ring in a tree trunk is a natural record of the growing conditions in each year it grew. These things remind us we are not in charge, and we are moved by the experience.
This wildness is everywhere around us, and we are renewed by it when we interact with it. At night, in the city, we look up and see the ancient moon. When we live with a pet, it reminds us we are creatures too. We are part of this larger whole. We don't just appreciate nature - we are nature. When we open our eyes and learn to be a part of it, it renews and lifts our spirits.
Today, I will notice my relationship with the sun and moon, with the plants and animals in my world.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
When people make changes in their lives in a certain area, they may start by changing the way they talk bout that subject, how they act about it, their attitude toward it, or an underlying decision concerning it. --Jean Illsley Clarke
Acting "as if" is powerful. It leads the way to a changed attitude, a changed woman. If we are self-conscious in crowds and fearful about meeting new people and yet act poised and extend our hands in friendship, we'll not only behave in a new way, but feel good about it, too. Each act we take in this way brings us closer to the woman we are behaving like. Each positive change we make builds our self-esteem. Realizing that through our own actions we are becoming the kind of women we admire gives us the strength, in fact, encourages the excitement in us that's needed to keep changing. Making positive changes in our lives is the stuff that comprises self-esteem. Each gain makes the next one easier to attempt.
I will accept an opportunity today to act "as if" I can handle a situation I used to run from.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Vulnerability
Some of us may have made a decision that no one was ever going to hurt us again. We may automatically go on "feelings freeze mode" when faced with emotional pain. Or, we may terminate a relationship the first time we feel hurt. Hurt feelings are a part of life, relationships, and recovery. It is understandable that we don't want to feel any more pain. Many of us have had more than our share, hi fact, at some time in our life, we may have been overwhelmed, crushed, or stopped in our tracks by the amount of pain we felt. We may not have had the resources to cope with our pain or take care of ourselves.
That was yesterday. Today, we don't have to be so frightened of pain. It does not have to overwhelm us. We are becoming strong enough to deal with hurt feelings. And we don't have to become martyrs, claiming that hurt feelings and suffering are all there is to life.
We need only allow ourselves to feel vulnerable enough to feel hurt, when that's appropriate, and take responsibility for our feelings, behaviors, and what we need to do to take care of ourselves. We don't have to analyze or justify our feelings. We need to feel them, and try not to let them control our behavior.
Maybe our pain is showing us we need to set a boundary; maybe it's showing us we're going in a wrong direction; maybe it's triggering a deep healing process.
It's okay to feel hurt; it's okay to cry; it's okay to heal; it's okay to move on to the next feeling, when it's time. Our willingness and capacity to feel joy will eventually match our willingness and capacity to feel hurt.
Being in recovery does not mean immunity from pain; it means learning to take loving care of ourselves when we are in pain.
Today, I will not strike out at those who cause me pain. I will feel my emotions and take responsibility for them. I will accept hurt feelings as part of being in relationships. lam willing to surrender to the pain as well as the joy in life.


I do not need to know anything about this day beyond this moment. This moment is perfect....... just as it is I can handle anything in this moment. My Higher Power gives me all the strength I need today to handle whatever comes up in this moment. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Love Yourself Until It’s Real

What does it mean to love yourself? To do nice things for and to yourself? Yes, sometimes. But self-love runs deeper than that. Self-love means loving and accepting yourself, your thoughts, beauty, emotions, your faults, imperfections, and flaws, your strengths, wit, wisdom, as well as your peculiar and unique way of seeing the world…

Loving yourself means accepting and loving each and every part of you, and knowing– knowing– that you’re worthy, valuable, and lovable. It means loving and accepting yourself when you’re surrounded by people who love you, and during those times when you think everyone’s gone away, when you wonder if God’s gone away,too.

During one of the darkest parts of my life, Al Franken, a comedian and producer, asked me to write an introduction to the book he was writing– Stewart Smalley’s daily meditation book. I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me. I wasn’t able to do much during that time in my life, except walk to my fax machine and tear off the curled up pages. I’d take the pages back to my bed, lie down (because I felt too shattered to stand) and read them. I’d laugh a little at Stewarts outrageous behavior. But the pages made me smile about something else,too. Despite our search for sophisticated, sage advice and advanced learning, sometimes it helps to remember the simple wisdom of bumbling Stewart Smalley.

Sometimes, loving ourselves means accepting ourselves enough to tell ourselves other people like and approve of us. Sometimes, loving ourselves means approving of ourselves, even when they don’t. It takes courage to stop cowering and openly love, accept, and approve of ourselves.

Don’t just say the words. Love yourself until you experience that love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Letting go to save our lives

I crouched in the doorway of the airplane, next to my skydiving coach. I held on to the doorway with my right hand for balance. With my left hand, I firmly grasped my coach’s gripper, a padded piece of cloth on his jumpsuit.

It was up to me to give the count. “Ready,” I hollered. “Set…”

I backed up and took another breath. “Ready, set…”

I heard a snicker. “Get out of the plane,” someone hollered.

“Go.”

I released my grip on the door, closed my eyes, and dived headfirst into the air– with my left hand firmly attached to my jump master’s gripper. We wobbled around for a moment. The plan was, we would turn to face each other in the air, I would grab his other shoulder grip, get my balance, then I’d release him.

He turned to face me. I grabbed his other grip. Now I was falling stable and holding on with both hands. He nodded, giving me my cue to let go.

I shook my head, carefully, so as not to lose my balance.

He looked confused, then nodded again.

I shook my head again, clinging more tightly.

I looked at my altimeter. Six thousand feet. Thank God. It was almost time to pull. I released my grips. I just let go. Obviously, I couldn’t safely pull my rip cord while I was hanging on to him.

It was time to save my own life.

My coach backed away.

I signaled, then pulled my rip cord. My parachute made that sweet whooshing sound, the one I had come to identify as the sound it makes when it opens correctly and fills with air, slowing my fall into a float.

Wow! I thought. This is really fun!

Sometimes we’re so scared, all we can think to do is hang on. Hanging on in this case was a silly illusion. We we’re both falling through the air. Holding on to a relationship that’s not working, a negative self-image, a job that isn’t working, moments and times that have passed, or emotions such as fear and hurt can be a silly illusion,too.

To save our own lives, sometimes we have to let go first.

God, show me what I need to let go of, and when it’s time to do that.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Today is the day for which I asked and for which I have been given strength. That in itself is a miracle. In my old life, I constantly endangered myself as well as countless others. So the very fact that I am alive is the great miracle from which all other miracles will flow, providing I continue to do the things that have brought me this far in my new life. Am I grateful that I have been given this day?

Today I Pray

May God’s goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life. May I never cease to wonder at thee greatest miracle in my life — that I am alive, here, on the green earth, and growing healthier with the life preserving tools I have been given. Since God has chosen to give me life and to preserve my life, even through the dangers of addiction, may I always continue to listen for His plan for me. May I always believe in miracles.

Today I Will Remember

My life is a Miracle.

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One More Day

Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom. -Euripides

Our definition of success varies as we move through stages of life. While we once may have dreamed of a large lake home and a large salary, we may have settled for a modest home and salary. As we reevaluated our goals, we become aware that we have succeeded in our own way.

Success, for us, might mean we have many friends. Or that our children have become worthwhile citizens. We may feel successful largely because we have learned to accept ourselves — the total package of strengths and weaknesses. We set and reset out goals throughout a lifetime, and our successes are measured, not by specific deeds or accumulations of cash, but by how well we set our goals and how faithful we are to them.

I’ll look again at my values and goals to be sure they leave me room for success.

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Food For Thought

The Bottom Line

For everything worthwhile in life, there is a price to pay. The price is the bottom line. There is no free lunch. While we have learned that we cannot overcome compulsive eating without the support of our Higher Power and the OA group, we also know that OA is not a free ride to ideal weight maintenance. Each of us must look at the bottom line.

The price of freedom from compulsive overeating is the avoidance of all personal binge foods. It is the discipline of measured meals every day. We cannot have a new life of freedom from compulsion if we continue to cling to our old excesses. We cannot be free and overeat at the same time. We must be willing to pay the price.

As we move along each day in abstinence, we form new habits and we become accustomed to living without extra, unnecessary food. We begin to change in positive, constructive ways. One day at a time, in small installments, we pay the price of our new growth and progress. What we gain is infinitely more than worth the cost!

May I be willing to pay the price today.

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One Day At A Time

RESENTMENT

"You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.
Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts
of resentment are cherished in the mind."
Buddha

It was not until I came into the program that I learned that resentment is just another name for anger. There are some areas in which letting go of resentment is not so easy, especially when dealing with hurtful words. Word wounds have a tendency to fester. The program shows me how to approach someone and make amends to them for saying something hurtful. That can be extremely healing. Unfortunately, there is no step in the program which makes provisions for others to make amends to me when my feelings are hurt.

I have learned something that has helped: telling others how I feel when my feelings are hurt. Instead of internalizing my feelings, I am beginning to speak up and ask, “Why did you say that? I felt hurt when you said that.”

Doing this releases the negativity and turns it into a positive action for me. Rather than just reacting to a bad situation, I am taking positive action. When I begin to take positive action, I find myself surrounded with positive influences and I am letting go of those friendships which are unhealthy.

One day at a time...
I will take positive action and surround myself with positive influences.

~ Marilyn S.

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

So we shall describe some of the mental states that precede a relapse into drinking, for obviously this is the crux of the problem. - Pg. 35 - More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

By now you may be hearing things you don't like. It is so difficult to accept the truth, but eventually most of it will make sense. For now, just listen without argument--let things settle a little before you discard them.

Even if I don't agree or accept everything told to me now, rather then outright discard it, let me listen, file away for future reference, and process the information later.

Lighting My Own Lamp

I will learn to light my own lamp today. I will go within for the deepest sort of experience of joy, of ecstasy in being alive. I will get in touch with the deeper pulse of living - the thread that connects me with the divine experience. I will recognize that in order to be lit from within I need to drop down inside of myself and be in the presence of inner light. Life itself has a purpose apart from any individual task or stage. Life itself is the experience. All of the things I have been trying to accomplish are both inner and outer goals. They are meant to bring me closer to myself, to develop me in ways that allow me to experience life more fully - to be more capable of pleasure. Today I will give myself these gifts of inner sight.

I will find and live from my own inner light.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

'There are more things in heaven and earth... than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' ~William Shakespeare. Hold on to the knowledge that more good is occurring on this hunk of rock floating through space than you can ever imagine.

I ask for all things that I might enjoy life, I am given life that I might enjoy all things.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

There's only one thing worse to an alcoholic than bad fortune, and that's good fortune.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I do not need to know anything about this day beyond this moment. This moment is perfect. just as it is and I can handle anything in this moment. My Higher Power gives me all the strength I need today to handle whatever comes up in this moment.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

If you want your dreams to come true... wake up. - Unknown origin.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 9

Daily Reflections

AN ACT OF PROVIDENCE

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.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

My act of Providence, (a manifestation of divine care
and direction), came as I experienced the total
bankruptcy of active alcoholism - everything meaningful
in my life was gone. I telephoned Alcoholics Anonymous
and, from that instant, my life has never been the same.
When I reflect on that very special moment, I know that
God was working in my life long before I was able to
acknowledge and accept spiritual concepts. The glass was
put down through this one act of Providence and my
journey into sobriety began. My life continues to unfold
with divine care and direction. Step One, in which I
admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had
become unmanageable, takes on more meaning for me - one
day at a time - in the life-saving, life-giving
Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, most of us had no real faith in
anything. We may have said that we believe in God, but we
didn't act as though we did. We never honestly asked God
to help us and we never really accepted His help. To us,
faith looked like helplessness. But when we came into A.A.,
we began to have faith in God. And we found out that faith
gave us the strength we needed to overcome drinking. Have
I learned that there is strength in faith?

Meditation For The Day

I will have faith, no matter what may befall me. I will be
patient, even in the midst of troubles. I will not fear
the strain of life, because I believe that God knows just
what I can bear. I will look to the future with confidence.
I know that God will not ask me to bear anything that
could overcome me or destroy me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may put this day in the hands of God. I pray
for faith, so that nothing will upset me or weaken my
determination to stay sober.

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As Bill Sees It

Group and World-Wide Community, p. 9

The moment Twelfth Step work forms a group, a discovery is
made--that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group.
Realization dawns on each member that he is but a small part of a
great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of
the Fellowship. He learns that the clamor of desires and ambitions
within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the group.

It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not.

<< << << >> >> >>

"The Lone member at sea, the A.A. at war in a far land--all these
members know that they belong to A.A.'s world-wide community, that
theirs is only a physical separation, that their fellows may be as near
as the next port of call. Ever so importantly, they are certain that God's
grace is just as much with them on the high seas or the lonely outpost
as it is with them at home."

1. 12 & 12, p. 130
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Coming to grips with Fear____ Finding courage.
Fear, a universal human emotion, strikes each of us in different ways. The brave parachute jumper may be afraid of public speaking, and the brilliant orator may have a fear of flying. An alcoholic's drinking is partly an attempt to cope with the feelings of fear. The recovering person, now having no drug, must face fear by using the tools of the program. The sober way to deal with fear is to admit that one has fears, to discuss them with a sponsor or another understanding person, and to seek the help of one's Higher Power in living with fear or having it removed.
When we share our experience with fear, we hear different kinds of stories. One person may declare that fear was completely removed by prayer. Another person, who prayed with what seemed to be the same degree of sincerity, may still be troubled by occasional fears. We cannot know exactly how the program will help each person cope with fear, but we can be confident that it will work for all of us. We have met fear successfully when we continue to stay sober and meet our responsibilities in all sorts of threatening situations.
I will not let fear keep me from any good thing today. My Higher Power can see me through any difficult or threatening situation.

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Keep It Simple

Everything is funny as long as it happening to someone else.--Will Rogers
We laugh when others do something silly. We're amused when something funny happens to them. But if the same happens to us and people laugh, we might give them the evil eye. Yet, when others laugh, it can free us. It frees us to see the world through new eyes. Likewise, when we laugh at ourselves, we're free to see ourselves with new eyes. Instead of trying to be perfect, we accept we're human. To laugh at ourselves is to accept ourselves. There's no room for shame when we laugh. We enjoy ourselves just as we are.
Can I accept the fact I'm human and I have limits?
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, when I refuse to accept that I'm only human, be gentle with me. I know that, when I least expect it, You will remind me that I'm only human.
Action for the Day: I will share with a friend one or two stories about funny mistakes I've made.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The Chinese say that water is the most powerful element, because it is perfectly nonresistant. It can wear away a rock and sweep all before it. --Florence Scovel Shinn
Nonresistance, ironically, may be a posture we struggle with. Nonresistance means surrendering the ego absolutely. For many of us, the ego, particularly disguised as false pride, spurred us on to struggle after struggle. "Can't they see I'm right?" we moaned, and our resistance only created more of itself. Conversely, flowing with life, "bubbling" with the ripples, giving up our ego, releases from us an energy that heals the situation that smoothes the negative vibrations in our path. Peace comes to us. We will find serenity each time we willingly humble ourselves.
Resistance is more familiar. Nonresistance means growth and peace. I'll try for serenity today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

“I went to my hotel and leisurely dressed for dinner. As I crossed the threshold of the dinning room, the thought came to mind that it would be nice to have a couple of cocktails with dinner. That was all. Nothing more. I ordered a cocktail and my meal. Then I ordered another cocktail. After dinner I decided to take a walk. When I returned to the hotel it struck me a highball would be fine before going to bed, so I stepped into the bar and had one. I remember having several more that night and plenty next morning. I have a shadowy recollection of being in a airplane bound for New York, and of finding a friendly taxicab driver at the landing field instead of my wife. The driver escorted me for several days. I know little of where I went or what I said and did. Then came the hospital with the unbearable mental and physical suffering.

p. 41

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

With the war over and back in Baltimore with the folks, I had several small jobs for three years, and then I went to work soliciting as one of the first ten employees of a new national finance company. What an opportunity I shot to pieces there! This company now does a volume of over three billion dollars annually. Three years later, at twenty-five, I opened and operated their Philadelphia office and was earning more than I ever have since. I was the fair-haired boy all right, but two years later I was blacklisted as an irresponsible drunk. It doesn't take long.

p. 223

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Like most people, we have found that we can take our big lumps as they come. But also like others, we often discover a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous problems of life. Our answer is in still more spiritual development. Only by this means can we improve our chances for really happy and useful living. And as we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts need to undergo drastic revisions. Our desires for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power, for romance, and for family satisfactions--all these have to be tempered and redirected. We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before the horse; we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first-- then and only then do we have a real chance.

p. 114

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You cannot think your way into sober living.
You live your way into sober thinking.

Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness.

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose." --Robert Byrne

"When you stand outside a room where a group of Alcoholics
Anonymous is meeting, the most frequent sound you hear is laughter.
Mellow laughter, which can come only from people who have looked
destruction and catastrophe in the face, not once but continuously
over long years, and now are free and unafraid. The laughter, in
short, of people who hold God's hand and feel safe."
c. Letter to a Woman Alcoholic (A.A. Pamphlet P-14) - page 13

My creed is that; Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so. --Robert G. Ingersoll

Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed. --Storm Jameson

It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has. --Henry Ward Beecher

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

EXTREMISTS

"Extremists think that
'communication' means agreeing
with them."
-- Leo Rosten

As an alcoholic I was an extremist. I was not only compulsive and
obsessive about alcohol, but I became compulsive and obsessive about
my opinions, my thoughts and my attitude towards life. Anybody who
disagreed with me was wrong or a fool! I only listened to those who
were saying what I wanted to hear.

For years I played at being God. But that spiritual part of me, that I
believe exists in all of us, was isolated and unhappy with this
behavior. Although I would never admit it, I knew that often I was
wrong, bull-headed and in pain. I would spend sleepless nights
thinking how I could say I was sorry without apologizing! For years
my pride and ego kept me sick and unhappy.

Today I appreciate those who have a different view on life. Today I
can disagree with my neighbor without carrying a grudge. Today I
can live with difference.

I pray that I may always hear what my opponent is saying.

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"Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you." Deuteronomy 16:17

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8

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Daily Inspiration

If the strong won't protect the weak, who will? Lord, grant me the courage to stand up for what I believe and the wisdom to be an encouragement to others.

God will never fail you or abandon you. Lord, I am sure that everything that happens is for the purpose of strengthening me and bringing me closer to You. I trust in You to continually bless me with all that I need to successfully handle my circumstances.

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NA Just For Today

Returning Our Sponsor's Kindness

"Our earliest involvements with others often begin with our sponsor"
Basic Text p. 55

Our sponsor can be an abundant source of recovery information, wisdom, and loving words. They've done so much for us. From the late night telephone calls to the hours spent listening to our recovery writing, they've believed in us and invested their time to prove it. They've lovingly and firmly shown us how to be honest. Their boundless compassion in times of turmoil has given us the strength to go on. Their way of helping has prompted us to seek our answers within ourselves, and we've become mature, responsible, confident individuals as a result.

Though our sponsor has given so generously and has never demanded repayment, there are things we can do to show our appreciation. We treat our sponsor with respect. They are not a trash can designed for us to dump our garbage in. They have their times of trial, just as we do, and sometimes need our support. They are human, have feelings, and appreciate our concern. Maybe they would like to receive a card in the mail or a phone call expressing our love.

Whatever we do to return our sponsor's kindness will enhance our personal recovery, not to mention the joy we'll bring to our sponsor.

Just for today: My sponsor has cared for me when I couldn't care for myself. Today, I will do something nice for my sponsor.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Life gives us so much time to collect bizarre thoughts and feelings. --Claire Weekes
As we go through life, we run into all kinds of negative messages: teasing on the school bus, insulting nicknames, and other put-downs. Pretty soon we may discover that some of these messages stick in our minds, repeating themselves over and over like broken records. These messages can make us feel bad about ourselves. But when we hear one of these tapes playing inside us, we have the power to push the STOP button. Then we can record a new message. We can even say it out loud, so that our voice settles emphatically into our thoughts. We can't make others stop saying these things, but we can stop listening to them. They only have power over us when we give it to them. We have the ability and freedom to let negative thoughts float by us, like water going downstream.
What positive message can I send to myself?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival. --Hannah Arendt
We men face fear many times in life. Sometimes it's an inner voice, warning us of danger. Some fears remain from the paranoia caused by our former abuses and excesses. In recovery, we feel many new emotions, and we're afraid because we don't understand them. Any normal feeling can seem abnormal and frightening to a man who is feeling it for the first few times. We may think it isn't manly to be afraid, so we become afraid of our fear! At these times, we need to turn to our Higher Power for guidance.
We have friends we can talk to. When we simply say, "I am afraid" to a trusted friend, the fear may vanish. Sometimes it's not that easy, and we have to talk in detail about our fear. In the end, when we submit our lives to the care of our Higher Power, we know that whatever happens, nothing can separate us from the love of God.
In my fear, help me remember the comfort of my closeness to my Higher Power and my loved ones. I can reach out, and I am never alone.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The Chinese say that water is the most powerful element, because it is perfectly nonresistant. It can wear away a rock and sweep all before it. --Florence Scovel Shinn
Nonresistance, ironically, may be a posture we struggle with. Nonresistance means surrendering the ego absolutely. For many of us, the ego, particularly disguised as false pride, spurred us on to struggle after struggle. "Can't they see I'm right?" we moaned, and our resistance only created more of itself. Conversely, flowing with life, "bubbling" with the ripples, giving up our ego, releases from us an energy that heals the situation that smoothes the negative vibrations in our path. Peace comes to us. We will find serenity each time we willingly humble ourselves.
Resistance is more familiar. Nonresistance means growth and peace. I'll try for serenity today.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Responsibility for Ourselves
We have been doing the wrong things for the right reasons. --Codependent No More
Caretaking: the act of taking responsibility for other people while neglecting responsibility for ourselves. When we instinctively feel responsible for the feelings, thoughts, choices, problems, comfort, and destiny of others, we are caretakers. We may believe, at an unconscious level, that others are responsible for our happiness, just as we're responsible for theirs.
It's a worthy goal to be a considerate, loving, nurturing person. But caretaking is neglecting us to the point of feeling victimized. Caretaking involves caring for others in ways that hamper them in learning to take responsibility for themselves.
Caretaking doesn't work. It hurts other people; it hurts us. People get angry. They feel hurt, used, and victimized. So do we.
The kindest and most generous behavior we can choose is taking responsibility for ourselves - for what we think, feel, want, and need. The most beneficial act we can perform is to be true to ourselves, and let others take responsibility for themselves.
Today, I mil pay attention to my actual responsibilities to myself. I will let others do the same. If I am in doubt about what my actual responsibilities are, I will take an inventory.


I dare to listen to my inner voice with a new trust today. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

You’re Going Someplace New

You are opening up more and more. You are becoming clearer each day. Embrace the changes taking place. They are good. They will last. They will take you and your life to someplace new, someplace you can’t fully imagine now because it’s so different from where you have been.

All will be changed. Your love, your life, your friends, your work. Your quiet moments and your times of sharing. Your playtime, your rest time. Your attitude will change. Your ability to fully and joyfully experience your life will change.

Things that used to bother you, hold you down, hold you back will roll easily off you. Problems that used to plague and pester you, making you feel weighted down, will be lifted easily. You will know and trust that the answers you need will come to you.

Your powers will increase. You will find yourself doing, knowing, and feeling things that you thought only certain others could do. You will find yourself gliding through life in a way that brings you joy, and touches and heals others.

You will laugh a lot. And yes, you will cry a lot,too, because an open heart feels all it needs to feel. But you will not think twice about your emotions. You will feel then with the purity of a child and the wisdom of a sage. You will see, touch, taste, and feel life’s magic in a way you never imagined. You will love, and you will be loved. And you will learn that it is all the same.

You are open now, more open than you’ve ever been. Trust the process and trust your heart. The journey is not in vain. Its purpose is to lead you to love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Detach in love

In the original Language of Letting Go, I told the gerbil story. It’s one of my favorite stories about letting go. Here it is again.

Many years ago, when I lived in Stillwater, Minnesota, my children wanted a pet. They wanted a puppy, but I said no. We had tried a bird, but its feathers fell off. I suggested a goldfish, but we settled on a gerbil instead.

One day, the gerbil got loose. It got out of its cage and scurried across the floor. It ran so fast that none of us could catch it. We watched as it disappeared under a crack in the wall. We stood around, wondering what to do, but there wasn’t much that could be done.

In the months that followed, the gerbil made timely appearances. It would scurry out from behind the walls, run across the room, then dart back into the walls. We’d chase it, lunging after it and screaming as we ran.

“There he is. Catch him.”

I worried about the gerbil, even when we didn’t see it. “This isn’t right,” I’d think. “I can’t have a gerbil running loose in the house. We’ve got to catch it. We’ve got to do something.”

A small animal the size of a mouse had the entire household in a tizzy.

One day, while sitting in the living room, I watched the animal scurry across the hallway. I started to lunge at it, as I usually did, then I stopped myself.

“No,” I said. “I’m all done. If that animal wants to live in the nooks and crannies of this house, I’m going to let it. I’m done worrying about it. I’m done chasing it.”

I let the gerbil run past without reacting. I felt slightly uncomfortable with my new reaction– not reacting– but I stuck to it anyway. Before long, I became downright peaceful with the situation. I had stopped fighting the gerbil. One afternoon, only weeks after I started practicing my new attitude, the gerbil ran by me, as it had so many times, and I barely glanced at it. The animal stopped in its tracks, turned around, and looked at me. I started to lunge at it. It started to run away. I relaxed.

“Fine,” I said. “Do what you want.” And I meant it.

About an hour later, the gerbil came and stood by me, and waited. I gently picked it up and placed it in its cage, where it happily reestablished its home. Don’t lunge at the gerbil. He’s already frightened, and chasing him just scares him more and makes us crazy,too.

Is there someone you’d like to get close to? Is there an irregular circumstance in your life that you can’t change? Detachment, particularly detaching in love, helps.

God, show me the power of using detachment as a tool in all my relationships.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

In the past, and sometimes even now, I automatically have thought, “Why me?”, when I’m trying to learn that my first problem is to accept my present circumstances as they are, myself as I am and the people around me as they are. Just as I finally accepted my powerlessness over my addiction, so must I accept my powerlessness over people, places and things. Am I learning to accept life on life’s terms.

Today I Pray

May I learn to control my urge to control, my compulsion to manage, neaten, organize and label the lives of others. May I learn to accept situations and people as they are instead of as I would like them to be. Thus, may I do away with the ongoing frustrations that a controlling person, by nature, faces continually. May I be entirely ready to have God remove this defect of character.

Today I Will Remember

Control for the controller (me).

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One More Day

Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last.
– Charles Dickens

Place a newborn infant in any adult’s arms, and that adult will turn all attention to the tiny new life. Most of us feel overwhelmed with the miracle of birth and the beauty contained within that tiny body. Tod hold an infant is to feel perpetuity and an incredible sense of joy. In the infant, we see a projection of life and the full scope of life’s possibilities.

Long ago, others marveled at the fragility and wonder of life as we were placed as babes in their arms. Now we recognize we all had the same beginnings, we all had time before us. We still have time, and it is still full of possibilities.

I marvel at the gift of life and all that lies before me.

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Food For Thought

Use the Telephone

When we join OA, we discover that we are not alone. We become part of a large network of individuals who share a common problem, compulsive overeating, and who gain strength and support from each other. The telephone is our lifeline. A phone conversation is a mini meeting, and most of us find that we need several each day.

It is suggested that we make at least three phone calls every day, in addition to calling our food sponsor. We call in times of temptation and difficulty, and we also call when we have good news to share. A phone call may be a means of preventing problems later in the day or it may be simply a gesture of friendship and fellowship - keeping in touch.

Whatever the reason, the person called is helped as much as the caller. The telephone call is a reminder that none of us is alone, that we have a program, which sustains us, and that together we shall succeed.

May I not be too proud or too shy or too busy to use the telephone.

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One Day At A Time

~ SEEING CLEARLY ~
If your eyes hurt after you drink coffee,
you have to take the spoon out of the cup.
Norm Crosby

For so many years I had trouble seeing the obvious. I felt blind when dealing with emotions. I didn't know how to express anger properly. I was either furious (and eating) over little things, or emotionally void (and eating) over big things. I was told my feelings were hurt too easily, so I began to stifle my rightfully hurt feelings, using food to stuff the pain. But the worst was happiness. I was hysterically happy over the stupidest little things, and felt immensely unworthy of kindnesses done for me. Neither felt comfortable, so I always ended up eating.

It all began to come clear in the program. For once I could see my actions and my reactions and begin to understand myself and my motives. As I have worked this program, I no longer feel like my emotions swing on a pendulum from one extreme to the other. I can see things as they really are. I no longer make big mountains out of small hills or make small hills out of big mountains. I can now feel happiness, and express it, in complete comfort with myself. The nicest part is that while I may not be well-acquainted with my new behavior yet, it feels very comfortable, and I no longer have to practice my eating disorders to cover up my feelings.

One day at a time...
My eyes are opened by the program to the truth of what is and the feelings that are.

~ Rhonda H. ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only THOUGHT they had lost their egoism and fear; they only THOUGHT they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else ALL their life story. - Pg. 73 - Into Action

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

There are no maps to recovery, only steps to freedom from active addiction. Take out your book right now and read the first three steps. These are the tools you need for recovery.

I can't. God can. I think I'll let God do it!

Looking Toward What is Good

I am a creative being. I have the power of reason, the ability to think, hope and dream. I can envision my life not only as it is, but as I might wish it to be. I can then think through the steps I might need to become more of who I am. I have the power to think my way into a happy point of view, to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. My mind can be my greatest enemy or my greatest ally. It depends on how I choose to use it.

I hold a beautiful vision of life.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Seemingly 'bad days are usually the days in which we don't get our own way. This is a Third Step problem. If you are having a 'bad' day, read the Third Step from your basic recovery text and ask yourself what part of your life today has not been turned over.

Today I work toward matching my will to my Higher Power's, not my Higher Power's to mine.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Don't 'have' a nice day, MAKE a nice day.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I dare to listen to my inner voice with a new trust today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

If you think you're doing too many meetings, cut it back to one a day. - Campsie Mick.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 10

Daily Reflections

UNITED WE STAND

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that
we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that
we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30

I came to Alcoholics Anonymous because I was no longer able to
control my drinking. It was either my wife's complaining about my
drinking, or maybe the sheriff forced me to go to A.A. meetings, or
perhaps I knew, deep down inside, that I couldn't drink like others, but
I was unwilling to admit it because the alternative terrified me.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women united against
a common, fatal disease. Each one of our lives is linked to every other,
much like the survivors on a life raft at sea. If we all work together, we
can get safely to shore.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking most of us were full of pride and selfishness.
We believed we could handle our own affairs, even though we were
making a mess of our lives. We were very stubborn and didn't like to
take advice. We resented being told what to do. To us, humility looked
like weakness. But when we came into A.A., we began to be humble.
And we found out that humility gave us the power we needed to
overcome drinking. Have I learned that there is power in humility?

Meditation For The Day

I will come to God in faith and He will give me a new way of life. This
new way of life will alter my whole existence, the words I speak, the
influence I have. They will spring from the life within me. I see how
important is the work of a person who has this new way of life. The
words and the example of such a person can have a whole influence for
good in the world.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may learn the principles of the good life. I pray that I may
meditate upon them and work at them, because they are eternal.

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As Bill Sees It

Out Of The Dark, p. 10

Self searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace
to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the
development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive
God's help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and
grow. But first of all we shall want sunlight, nothing much can grow in the dark.
Meditation is our step out into the sun.

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"A clear light seems to fall upon us all--when we open our eyes. Since our
blindness is caused by our own defects, we must first deeply realize what
they are. Constructive meditation is the first requirement for each new step
in our spiritual growth."

1. Twelve And Twelve, p. 98
2. Letter, 1946

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Walk In Dry Places

No Need for Envy___Overcoming Envy
We would be unusual people if we did not suffer from the common feeling of envy. Quite often, we are envious of people who surpass us in some activity or who threaten our self-esteem in some way. Even if we are high achievers in spite of our drinking, we might envy people who appear to be rivaling or overtaking us.
We can make choices about envy. We do not have to be envious of anybody when we fully accept ourselves and God's will for us. There is no reason to be envious of another if we are doing what God wants us to do and if we have turned our will and lives over to God.
We should be on guard for jealous feelings toward those close to us. Most of us can shrug when we read about strangers winning the million-dollar lottery, but how would we feel if a close friend or relative won? When those envious feeling surface, we might face them by admitting them to others and asking God's help in rising above them. And if we share these feelings in-group discussions, others will be helped by our display of honesty.
I will accept myself, as I am this day. I will not be jealous of anyone's status, possessions, or opportunities.

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Keep It Simple

I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.---Winston Churchill
We addicts are used to learning the hard way. Many of us think we're different and can do things our own way. But then we get in too much trouble or pain. The first AA members were just like us. They knew how it is to hate being told what to do. So they suggested we follow the Twelve Steps. They didn't say we have to do anything. They didn't say working the Steps is the only way to live sober. They just said the Steps worked for them. we're finding out that the Steps work for us too. We don't have to work them.
We don't have to stay sober. We just like our new sober life better than our old drinking or drugging life.
And we learned how to live this new life by working the Steps
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be open to your lessons. Teach me gently and help me listen.
Action for the Day: I will list five ways that I get in the way of my own learning.

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Each Day a New Beginning

A complete revaluation takes place in your physical and mental being when you've laughed and had some fun. --Catherine Ponder
Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, describes how he cured his fatal illness with laughter. Laughter recharges our entire being; every cell is activated. We come alive, and full vitality restores us physically and emotionally. Many of us need both emotional and physical healing, but perhaps we've overlooked the times to laugh because we've been caught in a negative posture.
Unfortunately, negativity becomes habitual for many of us. However, it's never too late to turn our lives around, to laugh instead of complain. Choosing to see the bright side of life, to laugh at our mistakes, lessens our pain, emotional and physical. Laughter encourages wellness. It is habit-forming and, better yet, contagious. Bringing laughter to others can heal them as well.
We all want health and happiness in ourselves and others, and we can find it by creating it. The best prescription for whatever ails us may well be a good laugh.
Today Ill seek out those chances to dispense a little medicine.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

“As soon as I regained my ability to think, I went carefully over that evening in Washington. Not only had I been off guard, I had made no fight whatever against the first drink. This time I had not thought of the consequences at all. I had commenced to drink as carelessly as thought the cocktails were ginger ale. I now remembered what my alcoholic friends had told me, how they prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come—I would drink again. They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. 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 the crushing blow.

pp. 41-42

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

My next job was in sales promotion for an oil company in Mississippi, where I promptly became high man and got lots of pats on the back. Then I turned two company cars over in a short time and bingo--fired again! Oddly enough, the big shot who fired me from this company was one of the first men I met when I later joined the New York A.A. Group. He had also gone all the way through the wringer and had been dry two years when I saw him again.

pp. 223-224

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

After we come into A.A., if we go on growing, our attitudes and actions toward security--emotional security and financial security--commence to change profoundly. Our demand for emotional security, for our own way, had constantly thrown us into unworkable relations with other people. Though we were sometimes quite unconscious of this, the result always had been the same. Either we had tried to play God and dominate those about us, or we had insisted on being overdependent upon them. Where people had temporarily let us run their lives as though they were still children, we had felt very happy and secure ourselves. But when they finally resisted or ran away, we were bitterly hurt and disappointed. We blamed them, being quite unable to see that our unreasonable demands had been the cause.

p. 115

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Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of others, but from doing something worthwhile. --Wilfred Grenfell (1865 - 1940)

Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with a man's outward circumstance... A man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy. --William Barclay (1907 - 1978)

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. --Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. --Seneca

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

DIFFERENCE

As a recovering alcoholic I belong to a minority. As somebody with the
disease of addiction I am aware of my difference. And I have
experienced prejudice and injustice because I was not born like other
people.

But in a spiritual sense the acceptance of my disease has given me a
freedom that united me with other minorities, other "different" groups,
the countless shades of humanity. My disease has produced a spiritual
unity and bond with creation that makes me rejoice in my difference
and produces a tolerance of others that was not there before. In this
sense I thank God for my dis-ease.

You, who made the different, also created the unity; help me find both
in my life.

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"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up." Psalm 5:3

May my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word.
May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise.
May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.
May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.
I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.
Psalm 119:169-176

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Daily Inspiration

We have many doors, but it is our choice which one to open. Lord, bless me with the wisdom to make the best of my daily life.

Happiness comes from knowing that you can handle the things in your life. Lord, help me to become confident and see the power that is really within me.

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NA Just For Today

Gratitude

"I'm very grateful to have come to believe."
IP No. 21, "The Loner"

Belief in a Higher Power can make all the difference when the going gets tough! When things don't go our way in recovery, our sponsor may direct us to make a "gratitude list." When we do, we should include our faith in a Power greater than ourselves on the list. One of the greatest gifts we receive from the Twelve Steps is our belief in a God of our own understanding.

The Twelve Steps gently lead us toward a spiritual awakening. Just as our addiction progressed, so does our spiritual life develop in the course of working the program of Narcotics Anonymous. The steps are our path to a relationship with a God of our understanding. This Higher Power gives us strength when our road gets rough.

Are we grateful for our deepening relationship with a Higher Power? Do we remember to thank God for each day clean, no matter what has happened that day? Do we remember that, no matter how deep our despair or how great our joy, the God of our understanding is with us?

Our recovery is a gift, a gift that we sometimes take for granted. Each day we stay clean, we can rejoice in our Higher Power's care.

Just for today: I am grateful for my relationship with a Higher Power that cares for me.

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January 10

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
You feel the way you do right now because of the thoughts you are thinking at this moment. --David D. Burns
Good thoughts are like bright colors in a painting. Negative thoughts are dark and dreary and drab. Each day we paint pictures of our own lives with our thoughts. If we step back and look at the canvas, we will see whether the picture is alive with bright colors or dreary and lifeless like a dark cloud. Our thoughts have the power to bring joy or sadness our way, depending on what we expect or look for in our surroundings. The choice of how we want our lives to be is ours. Since we paint a new picture each day, we are always free to change things when they don't please us. What better time than the present?
Is there something in my life I'd like to change today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you don't take chances, you can't do anything in life. --Michael Spinks
Many of us have done things that, in looking back, seem insane or dangerous. We may have had friends or family members who got into serious trouble and frightened us by their risky behavior. Out of fear, we may have become too cautious about everything.
Our dilemma is that growth is a risk, too. If we avoid all risk, we become stagnant. Life thrives on possibilities and options. Of course, risk means the outcome is unsure. We may not get the result we desire. But not all risk taking is as self-destructive as it was in our past. Now we have our relationship with our Higher Power and ourselves. Now taking a chance may help us grow, even when we don't get what we want.
Today let me see possibilities, and guide my inner sense of when to take a chance for growth.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
A complete revaluation takes place in your physical and mental being when you've laughed and had some fun. --Catherine Ponder
Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, describes how he cured his fatal illness with laughter. Laughter recharges our entire being; every cell is activated. We come alive, and full vitality restores us physically and emotionally. Many of us need both emotional and physical healing, but perhaps we've overlooked the times to laugh because we've been caught in a negative posture.
Unfortunately, negativity becomes habitual for many of us. However, it's never too late to turn our lives around, to laugh instead of complain. Choosing to see the bright side of life, to laugh at our mistakes, lessens our pain, emotional and physical. Laughter encourages wellness. It is habit-forming and, better yet, contagious. Bringing laughter to others can heal them as well.
We all want health and happiness in ourselves and others, and we can find it by creating it. The best prescription for whatever ails us may well be a good laugh.
Today Ill seek out those chances to dispense a little medicine.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Fear
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and. you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fear can be a big stopper for many of us: fear of fragility, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of what others might think, fear of success. We may second-guess our next action or word until we talk ourselves out of participating in life.
"But I failed before!" "I can't do it good enough!" "Look at what happened last time!" "What if.. .?" These statements may disguise fear. Sometimes the fear is disguising shame.
After I finished the first two chapters of a book I was writing, I read them and grimaced. "No good," I thought. "Can't do it." I was ready to pitch the chapters, and my writing career, out the window. A writer friend called, and I told her about my problem. She listened and told me: "those chapters are fine. Stop being afraid. Stop criticizing yourself. And keep on writing."
I followed her advice. The book I almost threw away became a New York Times best seller.
Relax. Our best is good enough. It may be better than we think. Even our failures may turn out to be important learning experiences that lead directly to - and are necessary for - an upcoming success.
Feel the fear, then let it go. Jump in and do it - whatever it is. If our instincts and path have led us there, it's where we need to be.
Today, I will participate in life to the best of my ability. Regardless of the outcome, that makes me a winner.


Today I am trusting the urge to move ahead... to grow...to risk new directions. --Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
Value Your Passion

For too long, we have wrongly judged our passion-- our passion for living, our vitality and zest for places, people, things, and ideas. I shouldn't have what I want. I shouldn't say what I like. I shouldn't get too excited. What helps us come to life? What takes us out of the motions and into our emotions? What connects us to the energy of life, the energy of love, the energy of the life force that permeates us all?

All your growth, all your work, has not been to lead you away from your passions, to turn you into a robot. It has been to bring you back to life, to put you in touch with the vital energy of the universe, an energy that permeates all that is. An energy that permeates you.

Honor your passion by honoring your emotions. Feeling your emotions releases passion into life. Feel them. Feel them all. Then you will know what you like, what instills passion in you. Once you know and can recognize that, you'll know which direction to go.

Expressing passion and gratitude will guide your life. Say it again and again. Say it until you believe it. Say it until you live it.

*****

more language of letting go
Push a different button

If you keep pushing the same button, you will get the same results. If you don't like the same results, maybe you could try pushing a different button.

"I try and I try and I try. Nothing seems to change. I don't know why he can't try to please me a little more. I've done so much for him." "The people at work just don't appreciate my efforts after all that I've done."

If you find yourself reacting to the same situations with the same responses over and over again, waiting for a change, stop! If you've been pushing the same button again and again, maybe the only result you're going to get is the one that's been taking place.

Look at your relationships. Is there a situation that has been moving steadily dowhill despite your best efforts to push the right button? Do you find yourself responding to the same situations in the same way over and over, never satisfied with the results? Are you trying the same thing over and over, waiting for something outside of yourself to change instead of doing something differently yourself? Maybe it's time to stop pushing the button, walk away, and do something else.

God, give me the clarity to see the situations in my life honestly and to act with wisdom and responsibility in the associations that I have.

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
Since I came to The Program, I’ve become increasingly aware of the Serenity Prayer. I see it on literature covers, the walls of meeting rooms, and in the homes of new-found friends. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Do I understand the Serenity Prayer? Do I believe in its power and repeat it often? Is it becoming easier for me to accept the things I cannot change?

Today I Pray
God grant that the words of the Serenity Prayer never become mechanical for me or lose their meaning in the lulling rhythms of repetition. I pray that these words will continue to take on new depths of significance as I fit life’s realities to them. I trust that I may find the solutions I need in this prayer which, in its simplicity, encompasses all of life’s situations.

Today I Will Remember
Share the prayer.

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One More Day

In loving myself I gain the power of identity that is necessary before love for others is possible.
– David G. Jones

Throughout our lives, we may have loved and cared for other people more than we did for ourselves. Some of us were raised to feel that self-love meant selfish. And some of us had trouble finding anything in ourselves that we could love.

Learning to love ourselves is not easy, especially if our lives are not going the way we had hoped. And those of us who had expected greater personal growth are often unable to take pride in what progress we’ve made. If we hoped for perfection, we were bound to be disappointed.

Now, we’re more likely to see self-love as meaning self-acceptance. We simply offer ourselves what we’ve so freely offered others — love, care, and a second chance.

I am a worthy person, deserving of love and forgiveness.

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

Food For Thought

Decision

Someone has said that the hardest part of the OA program is making the decision to follow it. You can do just about anything once you make up your mind to do it! But the decision has to be firm and it must be the kind of commitment, which involves our deepest self.

Many of us who are compulsive overeaters have spent our lives looking for an easier way to lose weight. We feel that there should be a magic solution somewhere, which will enable us to eat our cake and be thin at the same time. Our first reaction to the OA program is often one of dismay. It seems so drastic, and we protest that there must be an easier way.

The OA program is not easy. Life is not easy. Rather than solving the problems and difficulties in our lives, overeating multiplies them. We in OA have been offered a new way of life. Each of us decides every day - and many times every day - whether or not we will choose the new life.

May I decide to follow the program today.

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One Day At A Time

~ FORGIVENESS ~

Don't carry a grudge.
While you're carrying the grudge, the other guy's out dancing.
Buddy Hackett

I have spent so much of my life wanting and, in my sickest moments, demanding amends from others. I truly have been treated poorly, wrongly and unfairly. But when I focus on how someone else owes me apologies and amends, I'm keeping myself in a negative attitude while trying to change someone else.

One of the best parts of Twelve Step recovery for me has been to let go of these grudges. I work on forgiving people. It sounds wacky, but forgiving them (not forgetting) allows me to let it go. One way I can find forgiveness is to know they never asked themselves how they could make me miserable today. From there, I can wish them well. It has been an absolute blessing to let go of these things rather than waiting for these people to make amends to me.

One day at a time...
I will remember that no one is intentionally doing harm to me. Forgiveness is a much more serene place.

Rhonda H.

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us. - Pg. 55 - We Agnostics

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Even though you are a unique human being, you are not so unique that your recovery is any different then thousands before you. If you think we don't understand, then your disease is playing tricks on you because it doesn't want you getting well with us.

I name three reasons why I am just like every other chemical dependent seeking recovery.

Seeing Clearly

Today I will use my mind to actually visualize what I want my life to look like. I will give myself the gift of seeing my life through this beautiful lens. My thoughts have a creative power, they reach out, shape and template my experience. What I see as true for me, can be true for me, if I am willing sustain my vision and do the work I need to do to get there. Today I will picture doors opening for me where there were none before. I will take my thoughts seriously. I'll decide on what I'd like to see manifest in my life and I will carry it in my mind's eye and take daily steps toward actualizing it. I will see it as if it is already a reality. Then I'll let it go again and again and again and allow the wisdom of the universe to bring those experiences and opportunities toward me that allow me to take the next right action.

I have faith in my own vision

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Gaining our strength in recovery by admitting our powerlessness in addiction is a mystery to us. But, the First Step says we are powerless over 'our drug of choice' and not powerless over 'our recovery.' Don't limit yourself.

I am powerfully recovering.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

He who laughs, lasts!

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am trusting the urge to move ahead. to grow, to risk new directions.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

The beauty and the power of AA lies in identification. No one in AA ever told me what I was. If you try to tell me I'm an alcoholic or I'm this or that, I just have automatic knee-jerk reaction defense mechanisms that come into play and I just shut you out. You can't get to me that way. But in AA, I'd be sitting at the back of the room and you'd be talking about yourself, so my defenses are down, and I start to identify. - Bob D.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 11

Daily Reflections

THE 100% STEP

Only Step One, where we made the 100 percent admission we were
powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 68

Long before I was able to obtain sobriety in A.A., I knew without a
doubt that alcohol was killing me, yet even with this knowledge, I was
unable to stop drinking. So, when faced with Step One, I found it
easy to admit that I lacked the power to not drink. But was my life
unmanageable? Never! Five months after coming into A.A., I was
drinking again and wondered why.

Later on, back in A.A. and smarting from my wounds, I learned that
Step One is the only Step that can be taken 100%. And that the only
way to take it 100% is to take 100% of the Step. That was many
twenty-four hours ago and I haven't had to take Step One again.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, most of us never thought of helping others.
We liked to buy drinks for people, because that made us feel like big
shots. But we only used others for our own pleasure. To really go out
and try to help somebody who needed help never occurred to us. To
us, helping others looked like a sucker's game. But when we came
into A.A., we began to try to help others. And we found out that helping
others made us happy and also helped us to stay sober. Have I learned that
there is happiness in helping others?

Meditation For The Day

I will pray only for strength and that God's will be done. I will use
God's unlimited store of strength for my needs. I will seek God's will
for me. I will strive for consciousness of God's presence, for He is the
light of the world. I have become a pilgrim, who needs only marching
orders and strength and guidance for this day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may seek God's guidance day by day. I pray that I may
strive to abide in God's presence.

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

As Bill Sees It

Quantity or Quality, p. 11

"About this slip business--I would not be too discouraged. I think you
are suffering a great deal from a needless guilt. For some reason or
other, the Lord has laid out tougher paths for some of us, and I guess
you are treading one of them. God is not asking us to be successful. He
is only asking us to try to be. That, you surely are doing, and have been
doing. So I would not stay away from A.A. through any feeling of
discouragement or shame. It's just the place you should be. Why don't
you try just as a member? You don't have to carry the whole A.A. on
your back, you know!

"It is not always the quantity of good things that you do, it is also the
quality that counts.

"Above all, take it one day at a time."

Letter, 1958

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Walk In Dry Places

BEING DOWN
Overcoming Depression
It would be difficult to find a group of people more subject to mood swings than alcoholics. While we were drinking, most of us were not perceptive enough to realize most of us were not perceptive enough to realize that our moods rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern. We did not mind being "up," but it distressed us greatly when we were "down." Alcohol was the "upper" most of us took when we were depressed.
In sobriety, there is usually no chemical "upper" that's safe to take for any of our down moods. Some of us have been helped by vitamins or by inspirational reading. But most of us simply have to RIDE OUT our down moods, doing the best we can until things are on the upswing again. In spite of being down, we do not have to drink.
Whatever the causes of mood swings, we can live with them, and we do not need any mood-altering drugs to see us through a down period. Our depression will pass, and we might even notice its hold lessening as we continue to grow in sobriety.
I will accept my feelings today, and I will not be disturbed if my mood seems somewhat low. This, too, will pass away.

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

Keep It Simple

If there is a harder way of doing something, someone will find it.---Ralph E. Ross
When we used alcohol or other drugs, we did most things the hard way. We could turn a simple task into a day-long project. We could turn a simple problem into an argument. We were creative giants in doing things the hard way! we need to change this. We deserve easier lives. It's okay to take the smooth road .
In our program ,We have slogans for this: Keep It Simple, Let Go and Let God, First Things First, and Easy Does It. These slogans remind us that it's okay to live with as little trouble as possible.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, show me how to live a simple life. I don't have to do everything the hard way if I listen better to You.
Action for the Day: I'll list three or four things I do that makes my life harder than it needs to be. I'll share them with a friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Fear is only an illusion. It is the illusion that creates the feeling of separateness the false sense of isolation that exists only in. your imagination --Jeraldine Sounders
We are one. We are connected, interdependent parts of the whole. We are not separate from each other except in the mind, in our false understanding of reality. As we come to understand our connectedness, our need for one another to complete the whole of creation, our fears will die.
It is often said we learn who we really are by closely observing our behavior toward the people in our lives. We meet ourselves in those others. They are our reflections. They are, perhaps, parts we ourselves have not yet learned to love. The program's message is to trust, to have faith; our higher power is in control. We are faced with no person, no situation too big to handle if we trust the program, if we remember the connections among us all.
I will look around today at others, with knowledge of our oneness. Fearing not, I will smile upon the wholeness of life.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

“Two of the members of Alcoholics Anonymous came to see me. They grinned, which I didn’t like so much, and then asked me if I thought myself alcoholic and if I were really licked this time. I had to concede both propositions. They piled on me heaps of evidence to the effect that an alcoholic mentality, such as I had exhibited in Washington, was hopeless condition. They cited cases out of their own experience by the dozen. This process snuffed out the last flicker of conviction that I could do the job myself.

p. 42

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

After the oil job blew up, I went back to Baltimore and Mother, my first wife having said a permanent goodbye. Then came a sales job with a national tire company. I reorganized their city sales policy and eighteen months later, when I was thirty, they offered me the branch managership. As part of this promotion, they sent me to their national convention in Atlantic City to tell the big wheels how I'd done it. At this time I was holding what drinking I did down to weekends, but I hadn't had a drink at all in a month. I checked into my hotel room and then noticed a placard tucked under the glass on the bureau stating "There will be positively NO drinking at this convention," signed by the president of the company. That did it! Who me? The Big Shot? The only salesman invited to talk at the convention? The man who was going to take over one of their biggest branches come Monday? I'd show 'em who was boss! No one in that company ever saw me again--ten days later I wired my resignation.

p. 224

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

When we had taken the opposite tack and had insisted, like infants ourselves, that people protect and take care of us or that the world owed us a living, then the result had been equally unfortunate. This often caused the people we had loved most to push us aside or perhaps desert us entirely. Our disillusionment had been hard to bear. We couldn't imagine people acting that way toward us. We had failed to see that though adult in years we were still behaving childishly, trying to turn everybody--friends, wives, husbands, even the world itself--into protective parents. We had refused to learn the very hard lesson that overdependence upon people is unsuccessful because all people are fallible, and even the best of them will sometimes let us down, especially when our demands for attention become unreasonable.

p. 115

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"Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every
time we fall." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All I need to know I learned from my cat." --Suzy Becker

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing
peace, abolishing strife. --Kahlil Gibran

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when
you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in
the spirit of love. --Henry Drummond

I know and trust that God cares for me, and takes care of all my
needs. --Shelley

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

PHILOSOPHY

"To teach men how to live without
certainty and yet without being
paralyzed by hesitation is perhaps
the chief thing philosophy can do."
-- Bertrand Russell

I suppose the "Twelve Steps" are a practical philosophy of how to
live positively with the disease of alcoholism: (a) Don't drink. (b) Find
a God in your life that is understandable. (c) Begin to make positive
choices in attitudes and behaviors. (d) Let "never forget" be an
essential part of the message.

The miracle of this philosophy is that it reaches out to so many who
suffer with addictive compulsions and teaches us how to live with
being imperfect. I believe the Twelve Steps are the answer to "The
Fall" of man --- we are going home to God.

Let me see beyond the logic to Your loving energy.

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

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

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the
Lord. Colossians 3:16

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Daily Inspiration

Look beyond a person's faults so that you can see the real person. Lord, may I learn to focus on the goodness that is in each person and love them because all are your children.

The moment of absolute certainty over decisions made never arrives, so make your decision and move on. Lord, grant me wisdom and confidence in making my choices and the ability to recognize when new decisions need to be made.

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

NA Just For Today

Faith

" As we develop faith in our daily lives, we find that our Higher Power supplies us with the strength and guidance that we need."
Basic Text, p. 91

Some of us come into recovery very frightened and insecure. We feel weak and alone. We are uncertain of our direction and don't know where to go for answers. We are told that if we find some faith in a Power greater than ourselves, we will find security and guidance. We want that feeling of safety and strength. But faith doesn't come overnight. It takes time and effort to grow.

The seed is planted when we ask our Higher Power for help and then acknowledge the source of our help when it comes. We nurture the tiny seed of faith with the sunlight of our prayers each day. Our faith grows, a reward for living life on its own terms. One day we realize our faith has become like a huge spreading tree; it doesn't stop the storms of life, but we know that we are safe in its shelter.

Just for today: I know that faith in my Higher Power will not calm the storms of life, but it will calm my heart. I will let my faith shelter me in times of trouble.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
It does make a difference what you call things. --Kate Douglas Wiggin
Most of us think of dandelions as weeds. We buy special tools and poisons when they crop up and complain about them as surely as we welcome the spring that brings them. Yet is there anything more lovely than a sea of yellow dandelions by the side of the road in June? Or as remarkable in transformation as the filaments of the mature dandelion blowing on the wind? Sometimes we let someone else define for us what are weeds and what are flowers. We don't have to. Much of the beauty of the world is that we ourselves decide what is beautiful according to our own feelings. How lucky we are that, when we choose to, we can open our eyes and see!
Can I see the beauty in those around me right now?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
All truth is an achievement. If you would have truth at its full value, go win it. --Munger
Truth can seem so elusive. Yet, at times it is so simple and obvious. In entering this program, many of us thought of ourselves as honest men. Some of us couldn't bear the anguish of our dishonesty. As we repeatedly face ourselves, take our personal inventories, and hold ourselves accountable, we realize we have all grown in our honesty. What seemed honest before now looks like half-truth. It was the best we could do at the time. Our perception of truth has deepened by the grace of God and as a result of our hard work.
Truth is won when we have the courage to feel the pain of knowing it. Some of our pain has been the grief of realizing what we missed or lost in our insanity. Some has been the anguish of facing the harm we caused the ones we love, and some in admitting honestly how we ourselves were hurt.
Truth does make me free. The richness in my life is a generous reward for courage.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Fear is only an illusion. It is the illusion that creates the feeling of separateness the false sense of isolation that exists only in. your imagination --Jeraldine Sounders
We are one. We are connected, interdependent parts of the whole. We are not separate from each other except in the mind, in our false understanding of reality. As we come to understand our connectedness, our need for one another to complete the whole of creation, our fears will die.
It is often said we learn who we really are by closely observing our behavior toward the people in our lives. We meet ourselves in those others. They are our reflections. They are, perhaps, parts we ourselves have not yet learned to love. The program's message is to trust, to have faith; our higher power is in control. We are faced with no person, no situation too big to handle if we trust the program, if we remember the connections among us all.
I will look around today at others, with knowledge of our oneness. Fearing not, I will smile upon the wholeness of life.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Guilt
"There's a good trick that people in dysfunctional relationships use," said one recovering woman. "The other person does something inappropriate or wrong, then stands there until you feel guilty and end up apologizing."
It's imperative that we stop feeling so guilty.
Much of the time, the things we feel guilty about are not our issues. Another person behaves inappropriately or in some way violates our boundaries. We challenge the behavior, and the person gets angry and defensive. Then we feel guilty.
Guilt can prevent us from setting the boundaries that would be in our best interests, and in other people's best interests. Guilt can stop us from taking healthy care of ourselves.
We don't have to let others count on the fact that we'll always feel guilty. We don't have to allow ourselves to be controlled by guilt - earned or unearned! We can break through the barrier of guilt that holds us back from self care. Push. Push harder. We are not at fault, crazy, or wrong. We have a right to set boundaries and to insist on appropriate treatment. We can separate another's issues from our issues, and let the person experience the consequences of his or her own behavior, including guilt. We can trust ourselves to know when our boundaries are being violated.
Today, I will let go of my big and little guilty feelings. Light and love are on my side.


I am listening to the voice of truth and love today. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Let Go of the Blocks

I wandered into the bookstore in a small Southern California town, browsed for a while, then began chatting with the clerk. “Times are different now,” I said. “Changing fast. Turning into something so new, so different, many of us can’t imagine.”

“Yes,” she replied quietly and prophetically. “Things are going to be easier. Unless there’s something you’re still hanging on to.”

Is there something you’re still hanging on to? A remnant from the past that’s blocking you from stepping into the future? From stepping into today?

Look into your heart. The answer is there. Perhaps it’s a behavior, a person, a belief. Is there an issue from the past that’s blocking your ability to love yourself, to connect with God, life, others? Ask yourself if there’s something you’re hanging on to that has outworn its purpose. Old chains can tie us to the past, to past pain, to a path we’ve already trodden, a place we’ve already been.

Now is the time to let go. Gently, quietly, let go. Allow yourself a few looks back and as many tears as needed. Where you’ve been has been important. It has helped shape who you are. But have faith that where you’re going is important and wonderful,too.

Gently let go. Be free to step into your future of joy.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Throw the ball

“I think of letting go as being like throwing a baseball,” a friend said to me. “The problem is, I just don’t want to let go of the ball.” Hanging on to the ball is a temptation. We’ve got it in our hands. Why not keep it there? At least if we’re dwelling on the problem, it feels like we’re doing something. But we’re not. We’re just holding on to the ball, and chances are we’re holding up the game.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to solve the problem or offering requested advice. But if we’ve done everything we could, and there’s nothing left to do but obsess, the person we need to stop is ourselves.

Here are some rules:

If you’ve tried to solve a problem three times, and obsessing doesn’t count as a problem-solving skill, then stop yourself. Let go. Throw the ball. At least for today.
If others ask for advice, give them the advice once. Then throw the ball to them. Say no more.
If a person hasn’t asked for advice, or if you’ve offered advice and were told no thanks, there’s nothing to throw. The ball isn’t in your hands.

Remember the times you’ve willingly let go. Think about how things worked out for you then. Now remember those times you resisted letting go. Whether you wanted to or not, did you throw the ball in the end?

God, please show me the benefits of letting go.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The experiences of thousands upon thousands of people have proven that acceptance and faith are capable of producing freedom from dependence on chemicals. When we apply the same principles of acceptance and faith to our emotional problems, however, we discover that only relative results are possible. Obviously, for example, nobody can ever become completely free from fear, anger or pride. None of us will ever achieve perfect love, harmony or serenity. We’ll have to settle for very gradual progress, punctuated occasionally by very heavy setbacks. Have I begun to abandon my old attitude of “all or nothing?”

Today I Pray

May God grant me the patience to apply those same principles of faith and acceptance which are keys to my recovery to the whole of my emotional being. May I learn to recognize the festering of my own human anger, my hurt, my frustration, my sadness. With the help of God, may I find appropriate ways to deal with these feelings without doing harm to myself or others.

Today I Will Remember

Feelings are facts.

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One More Day

Always do one thing less than you think you can do.
– Bernard Baruch

Without even realizing it, we all have developed different levels of expertise. Too often, however, our knowledge of ourselves and of our physical capabilities is that we know the least of. The true measure of knowing ourselves, regardless of how capable we seem to be, is to stop the activity before we get too exhausted, before we have too much pain — before we cause an accident.

Understanding one’s own body has become a primary concern for many of us because now we realize that how we “used to” function doesn’t matter anymore. What does matter is how our bodies function right now, and we learn to structure our goals and expectations around those limitations.

I am learning, finally, how to recognize and heed my own body’s warning signals.

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

Food For Thought

No Amount Is Enough

For the compulsive overeater, one extra bite is too much and a thousand are not enough. No matter how much we eat, we are never "satisfied." We think we remember a time when a small extra treat made us feel completely satisfied and content, and we try desperately to recapture that sensation.

The more we eat, the worse we feel. Now, rather than satisfying us, the one extra, compulsive bite triggers an insatiable craving which drives us to consume enormous quantities of unnecessary food. Sometimes we stuff ourselves until we are exhausted, physically ill, or have run out of things to eat, but we are still not satisfied.

The more we eat, the more we want to eat. Each excess increases an already out of control appetite. Since no amount will ever be enough to produce the kind of satisfaction we seek, our only hope is to abstain from the first extra, compulsive bite. Honestly following a food plan and eliminating all excesses and binge foods will eventually bring our runaway appetites under control. Conscientiously working the steps of the OA program will day by day bring us the emotional and spiritual satisfactions, which we can never acquire from food.

Lord, show me how to work for true satisfaction.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FOCUS ~

It takes a long time to become young.
Pablo Picasso

By the time I came to the Twelve Step program, I had forgotten how to have fun. My whole world revolved around food--eating it, planning to eat it, or not eating it (and being very aware of it). When asked to go anywhere, what first came to mind is what foods I could eat there. I would agree to go only if I were in the mood for the kind of food that would be available, and if the person going with me would be interested in eating it too. Parties were all about the food, not who I'd see and meet. Family reunions were about Aunt Betty's specialty dish and Uncle John's grilled meats.

This focus on food made me forget how to have fun. I even forgot what I liked to do, if I ever knew. The truth is that fun came to mean eating, and it was what I liked to do.

In the recovery program, I've learned that I have choices; I just couldn't see them for the food! The first time I went to a party where I didn't even think about the food, but enjoyed all the new people I met while reconnecting with old friends, I was shocked when I ended up at the refreshment table. The party was almost over, and I hadn't visited this area the second I walked in the door! What a relief! And what fun! I came home full of life and love and laughter. I hadn't felt so young in years.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will pray to keep my focus away from food and instead focus on life.

~ Rhonda ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. - Pg. 130 - The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Putting pen to paper can be a pain, reading new material can be frustrating, making numerous phone calls can be an annoyance, getting to a lot of meetings can seem boring, BUT this is the way we start. We must remember what circumstances brought us here in the first place. Was that such a pleasure?

My I place one foot in front of the other to reach my destination of sobriety.

Living the Segments of My Day Intentionally

I will divide my day into segments of intention. When I wake up in the morning I will picture feeling good as I go about my early routines. When I move into the next part of my day I will see my morning going smoothly, whatever I have to do I will picture doing with ease and a happy feeling. I will be intentional about each segment of my mid day, seeing myself operating effectively, competently and enjoying my interactions with those I encounter and interact. As afternoon approaches, I will imagine, in my mind's eye, a pleasant and peaceful evening. And as evening gives way to night, I will imagine myself enjoying a peaceful and restful sleep.

I will be intentional about how I live each part of my day.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

There is no right way to do the wrong thing. Whatever you were thinking of doing, you can not rationalize it into 'right' action by saying, 'yes but this' or 'no but that.' You know what's right and you know what's wrong-that gut feeling guides you.

When things go wrong, I don't go with them.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Just because you're having a bad day doesn't mean you're having a bad life.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am listening to the voice of truth and love today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

An attitude of gratitude cuts through analysis paralysis. - James A.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 12

Daily Reflections

ACCEPTING OUR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES

Our very first problem is to accept our present
circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the
people about us as they are. This is to adopt a
realistic humility without which no genuine advance can
even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to
that unflattering point of departure. This is an
exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice
every day of our lives. Provided we strenuously avoid
turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life
into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they
can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional
health and therefore spiritual progress can be built.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 44

When I am having a difficult time accepting people,
places or events, I turn to this passage and it relieves
me of many an underlying fear regarding others, or
situations life presents me. The thought allows me to be
human and not perfect, and to regain my peace of mind.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The longer we're in A.A., the more natural this way of
life seems. Our old drinking lives were a very unnatural
way of living. Our present sober lives are the most
natural way we could possibly live. During the early
years of our drinking, our lives weren't so different from
the lives of a lot of other people. But as we gradually
became problem drinkers, our lives became more and more
unnatural. Do I realize now that the things I did were far
from natural?

Meditation For The Day

I will say thank you to God for everything, even the
seeming trials and worries. I will strive to be grateful
and humble. My whole attitude toward the Higher Power
will be one of gratitude. I will be glad for the things
I have received. I will pass on what God reveals to me.
I believe that more truths will flow in, as I go along
in the new way of life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for the things I have
received and do not deserve. I pray that this attitude
will make me truly humble.

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

As Bill Sees It

Seeking Fool's Gold, p. 12

Pride is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to
true progress. Pride lures us into making demands upon ourselves or
upon others which cannot be met without perverting or misusing our
God-given instincts. When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex,
security, and a place in society becomes the primary object of our lives,
then pride steps in to justify our excesses.

<< << << >> >> >>

I may attain "humility for today" only to the extent that I am able to
avoid the bog of guilt and rebellion on one hand and, on the other hand,
that fair but deceiving land which is strewn with the fool's-gold coins of
pride. This is how I can find and stay on the highroad to humility, which
lies between these extremes. Therefore, a constant inventory which can
reveal when I am off the road is always in order.

1. 12 & 12, pp. 48-49
2. Grapevine, June 1961

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

Walk In Dry Places

IF IT FEELS GOOD. . .
Facing Other Excesses
In the drinking life, one of the flippant sayings we heard was, "If it feels good, do it!" We hear that often in sobriety, although it sometimes appears on a bumper sticker or as casual comment. And if we've learned anything in sobriety, we know that this remark is really a permit for disaster. We drank to feel good, but we often ended up feeling terrible.
Yet the same slogan, properly understood, can be useful for the recovering alcoholic. We all want to feel good. But a drink means temporary pleasure followed by pain, guilt, remorse, and ruin. This is not really feeling good. It is a nightmare of the worst feeling we can imagine.
Happy sobriety does feel good, even though it may include short-term discomfort or temporary boredom. The long-run tendency of sobriety is toward having peace of mind, feeling good about ourselves, and using our talents and opportunities wisely. This is the mature way to feel good, but we achieve it only by thinking and acting in the right ways. Perhaps our slogan could be, "If it will make you feel good now and in the future, do it!"
Today I will pass up anything that seems pleasurable in the short run but will make me guilty and unhappy later on.

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

Keep It Simple

Remember always that you have not only the right to be individual, you have an obligation to be one. --Eleamnor Roosevelt
When we were using alcohol and other drugs, we often thought that we were different from others. We secretly thought that no one could understand us. Maybe we tried to be one of the group, but we were lonely. Now we know for sure--we are different from others. Everyone's unique. We all have this in common. Being like others helps us feel safe and normal. But we need to feel good about the ways we're different from others too. We think a little different, act a little different, and look a little different from anyone else. We each have our own way to make life better for others.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be an individual. Help me use my special gifts, not hide them.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll make a list of the things I'm good at. I'll think about how I can use these gifts.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

It isn't sufficient to seek wholeness through men, it never was and it never will be for any woman, married or single.
--Patricia O'Brien
Most of us were encouraged from childhood on to "find a husband." The message, often subtle, was nonetheless there. And many of us did marry. However, no relationship carries a lifetime guarantee. Pinning our hopes on another person keeps us dependent; it keeps us in a "holding pattern." It keeps us from making those choices tailored to who we are and who we want to be.
Our recovery as women is closely aligned with our growth in decision-making, our choosing responsible behavior and activities, our personal achievement. We do, each of us, need to discover our own wholeness. We need to celebrate our personhood. We need to cheer one another on as women recovering from an addictive past, as worthwhile women in full measure.
I will respect my wholeness today. I will help another woman nurture hers.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

“Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully. Though I had been only a nominal churchman, their proposals were not, intellectually, hard to swallow. But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window. That was not easy. But the moment I made up my mind to go through with the process, I had the curious feeling that my alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be.

p. 42

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

As long as things were tough and the job a challenge, I could always manage to hold on pretty well, but as soon as I learned the combination, got the puzzle under control, and the boss to pat me on the back, I was gone again. Routine jobs bored me, but I would take on the toughest one I could find and work day and night until I had it under control; then it would become tedious, and I'd lose all interest in it. I could never be bothered with the follow-through and would invariably reward myself for my efforts with that "first" drink.

pp. 224-225

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

As we made spiritual progress, we saw through these fallacies. It became clear that if we ever were to feel emotionally secure among grown-up people, we would have to put our lives on a give-and-take basis; we would have to develop the sense of being in partnership or brotherhood with all those around us. We saw that we would need to give constantly of ourselves without demands for repayment. When we persistently did this we gradually found that people were attracted to us as never before. And even if they failed us, we could be understanding and not too seriously affected.

pp. 115-116

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

You are a child of God. You are a child of Light.
The Soul that is your true identity resides naturally
in love and joy.
--John-Roger

Take LOVE as an acronym:
LISTEN intently to the people with whom you are traveling your
journey. Listen deeply; it is a great gift.
OPTIMIZE the time you have with your loved ones. The truth is, we
do not know our last hour; don't postpone giving your love.
VALUE the people in your life, really notice their goodness.
Then, EXPRESS your gratitude, appreciation and praise.
--Mary Manin Morrissey

Message of Peace
May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Your talent is God's gift to you.
What you do with it is your gift back to God.
--Leo Buscaglia

If you can't see a light at the end of the tunnel...
then run down there and light the darn thing yourself... :-)

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

VALUES

"The aim of education is the
knowledge not of fact, but of
values."
-- Dean William R. Inge

Facts can sometimes confuse. They can be used to hide behind. They
can be manipulated into lies. Facts are no substitute for values ---
human values.

Today I not only value my life but I value life itself. When I walk
amongst nature, I taste her purity, observe her beauty, experience
her strength --- and I know I am a part of it all. Today my values
have changed because I see myself as "part of" rather than
"separate from". I belong to this universe, this world, this planet and
what I do affects the essential value of life. With my daily respect for
self comes a respect for property, people, different cultures and God.

Today the things I truly value I do not pay for; the things I cherish
cannot be won or bought. Spirituality is free.

Teach me to value the meaning of freedom and the richness of life.

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

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those
who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, (it is) the
gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-9

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

"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." Philippians 4:6-7

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

Daily Inspiration

Take today and make it beautiful. Lord, my life is no accident and neither is how I live it. Help me to fill it with smiles.

We can be serious about our work without being serious about ourselves. Lord, help me to enjoy the person that I am.

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

NA Just For Today

Spiritual Awakenings

" Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps..."
Step Twelve

" How will I know when I have had a spiritual awakening?" For many of us, a spiritual awakening comes gradually. Perhaps our first spiritual awareness is as simple as a new appreciation for life. Maybe one day we'll suddenly discover the sound of birds singing early in the morning. The simple beauty of a flower may remind us that there is a Power greater than ourselves at work around us.

Often, our spiritual awakening is something that grows stronger over time. We can strive for more spiritual awareness simply by living our lives. We can persist in efforts to improve our conscious contact through prayer and meditation on a daily basis. We can listen within for the guidance we need. We can question other addicts about their experiences with spirituality. We can take time to appreciate the world around us.

Just for today: I will reflect on the spiritual awakenings I have experienced. I will strive to be God-conscious. I will take time out in the day to appreciate my Higher Power's handiwork.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a shiny sliver out of one hour. I dropped it carelessly. O God! I knew not I held an opportunity. --Hazel Lee
Once, a famous artist was hired to put stained glass windows into a great cathedral. His eager young apprentice pleaded for the chance to design just one small window. The master artist feared an experiment on even a small window would prove costly, but the persistent young apprentice kept up his pleas. Finally, the master agreed that he could try his hand on one small window if he furnished his own materials and worked on his own time.
The enterprising apprentice began gathering bits of glass his master had discarded, and set to work. When the cathedral doors were open, people stood in groups before the small window, praising its delicate excellence.
Our lives are like this. If we take the time to gather together the moments and opportunities we too often discard and waste, we find we can weave them into something beautiful.
What can I make of moments I usually waste today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life. --David Ignatow
We have recognized our self-centeredness as addicts and codependents. On the other side is the feeling of peace and well being when we are released from it. Self-centeredness caused us to take everything personally. We were hypersensitive to our surroundings, to other people, and to how they reacted. Yet, so often these things had very little to do with us. God sends rain for the just and the unjust.
When we can look at a mountain and lose ourselves in the sight, we are refreshed spiritually. But no mountain is necessary for this experience. When we listen to a friend and simply hear his perspective, when we pet a dog and just enjoy this loving creature, when we look at a sunset and drink it in for what it is - then we are growing.
God, grant me release from the oppression of my ego.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It isn't sufficient to seek wholeness through men, it never was and it never will be for any woman, married or single.
--Patricia O'Brien
Most of us were encouraged from childhood on to "find a husband." The message, often subtle, was nonetheless there. And many of us did marry. However, no relationship carries a lifetime guarantee. Pinning our hopes on another person keeps us dependent; it keeps us in a "holding pattern." It keeps us from making those choices tailored to who we are and who we want to be.
Our recovery as women is closely aligned with our growth in decision-making, our choosing responsible behavior and activities, our personal achievement. We do, each of us, need to discover our own wholeness. We need to celebrate our personhood. We need to cheer one another on as women recovering from an addictive past, as worthwhile women in full measure.
I will respect my wholeness today. I will help another woman nurture hers.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Finding Balance
The goal of recovery is balance - that precious middle ground.
Many of us have gone from one extreme to another: years of taking care of everyone but ourselves, followed by a time of refusing to focus on anyone's needs but our own.
We may have spent years refusing to identify, feel, and deal with our feelings, followed by a period of absolute obsession with every trace of emotional energy that passes through our body.
We may succumb to powerlessness, helplessness, and victimization, then we swing to the other extreme by aggressively wielding power over those around us.
We can learn to give to others while taking responsibility for ourselves. We can learn to take care of our feelings, as well as our physical, mental, and spiritual needs. We can nurture the quiet confidence of owning our power as equals in our relationships with others.
The goal of recovery is balance, but sometimes we get there by going to extremes.
Today, I will be gentle with myself, understanding that sometimes to reach the middle ground of balance, I need to explore the peaks and valleys. Sometimes, the only way I can extricate myself from a valley is to jump high enough to land on a peak, and then slowly ease myself down.


Today I am willing to let go of all my fear so that I can find out what is real in my life. I will take whatever comes without judgment. I am ready to release all my resistance and struggle so that I can find out the good and truth inside me. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Let the Universe Help You

Let the universe help you. You are not in this world alone. You never have been, although your belief may have created that illusion.

Tell the universe what you want. Tell a friend. Tell God,too. Tell yourself. Write it down on a list. Be clear and forthright about what you need and want. Talk as if you were talking to a friend. That is not control. That is learning to own your own creative power– your power to help create your life. Then let go. Do not stand tapping your foot, impatiently waiting. Simply let go, the way you would if you trusted your friend to respond positively, in a way that was best for you.

Go naturally about the course of your life. Listen to your heart. Listen to your inner voice. What are you guided to do, where you are guided to go, where your attention is directed, the people you meet, the phone calls you receive, the experiences you have– even the problems that arise– these are some ways the universe can respond to you.

Open your eyes. Look around. See how the universe responds. Watch how it dances for you, with you. You are connected to a magical loving universe, one that will come alive for you, dance for you, in ways you cannot imagine– but in ways you will come to know as true.

Look within,too. Sometimes the most gentle, quiet, flickering thought– that glimmer of an idea, that awareness of a need or desire, or that small bit of inspiration or intuition– is how the universe prepares us for what it wants us to do or receive. Our inner voice, the one in our heart, is an important part of the way we’re guided and led down our path.

You stand at a gateway now. It’s the door to universal love.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Stop playing tug-of-war

Letting go can be like a tug-of-war with God.

Have you ever played tug-of-war with a puppy and an old sock or toy? You pull. He pulls. You pull it out of his mouth. He grabs hold again and shakes and shakes and says grrrrrr. The harder you tug, the harder the puppy tugs. Finally, you just let go. Then he comes right back again, for more.

I have never successfully treated or solved one problem in my life by obsessing or controlling. I’ve yet to accomplish anything by worrying. And manipulation has not wrought one successful outcome. But I forget that from time to time.

The best possible outcomes happen when I let go. That doesn’t mean I always get my way. But things work out and, ultimately, the lesson becomes clear. If we want to play tug-of-war, we can, but it’s not an efficient problem-solving skill.

God, help me surrender to your will.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When I sit quietly and compare my life today with the way it used to be, the difference is almost beyond belief. But things aren’t always rosy; some days are a lot better than others. I tend to accept the bad days more easily on an intellectual level than I do emotionally, or at gut-level. There are no pat answers, but part of the solution surely life’s in a constant effort to practice all of the Twelve Steps. Do I accept the fact that my Higher Power will never give me more than I can handle — one day at a time.

Today I Pray

That I may receive strength in the knowledge that God never gives us more than we can bear, that I can always, somehow, endure present pain, whereas the trials of a lifetime, condensed into on disastrous moment, would surely overcome me. Thanks be to God for giving us only those tribulations which are in proportion to our strength, never destroying us in our frailty. May I remember that fortitude grows out of suffering.

Today I Will Remember

Present pain is endurable.

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

One More Day

It’s a fine thing to rise above pride, but you must have pride in order to do so.
– George Bernanos

We are entitled to feel proud of our accomplishments. Pride is an essential ingredient in the receipt of life, and it comes from an inner sense of well-being, from knowing we have done the best we could under difficult conditions.

When our day’s plans are upset by the unexpected, we may struggle with maintaining our pride.

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

Food For Thought

Gratitude

I am grateful to have found OA. Without it, I would still be floundering in despair. I would still be alone, without understanding friends, without purpose, and without hope.

I am grateful to be abstaining just for today. I do not have to worry about tomorrow, because if I live well today, tomorrow will take care of itself.

I am grateful for a new life, for new strength growing out of old weakness.

When I am full of gratitude, there is no room left for anger, envy, fear, or hatred. Nor is there room for pride, since when I am grateful I am humbly aware of my dependence on my Higher Power. Being filled with gratitude is ever so much better than being filled with food!

May I gratefully abstain today and every day.

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

One Day At A Time

~ GUILT ~

Who I am is what I have to give.
Quite simply, I must remember that's enough.
Anne Wilson Schaef

For most of my growing up years, I was fed on guilt, or so it seemed. I always felt that in order to justify being worthy of what others did for me, I had to be the best at whatever I did. I would feel guilty for not meeting others' expectations. My self-esteem was virtually non-existent. I was always there for other people rather than being there for myself. It was no wonder I turned to food to help me cope.

Now, I'm grateful that it took the pain of all those years of compulsive overeating to bring me into this wonderful fellowship of people who accept me just as I am. I don't need to do anything to justify myself. Through working the steps, I have been able to let go of a lot of guilt and I see that, even with all my character defects, I'm still a very special and unique human being. My self-esteem has improved, and I learned that I need to take care of myself if I'm to be of help to others.

I still struggle with those defects from time to time, but with the support I find in this fellowship, I am becoming comfortable with who I am, and I can let go of the guilt. What a relief that has been!

I don't need to be just the person who is always there for others; I need to be there for myself. I am learning that I am a worthwhile person and that I'm just the way God wants me to be.

One Day at a Time . . .
I don't need to be just the person who is always there for others;
I need to be there for myself.
I am learning that I am a worthwhile person and that I'm just the way God wants me to be.
~ Sharon ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

There is action and more action. 'Faith without works is dead.' - Pg. 88 - Into Action

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

There is a certain universality to the truths taught in our 12 step programs. They are nothing new. These principles are derived from eons of experience and spirituality. What is new is our personal understanding that living these principles gives us a reprieve from our addiction.

Thank you God, as I understand You, for my daily reprieve from addiction based on my sincere attempt to practice these principles.

Actualizing the Gifts that are In Me

I will actualize that gifts that are in me today. I will be less preoccupied with who I'm not and more occupied with who I am. When I spend all of my time looking outside of me or wanting what others have, I forget that I have my own special gifts. God has placed gifts within me that I am meant to develop and share. My responsibility is to come to know what my gifts are, then to cultivate and strengthen them as I share them with the world.

I look for the gifts that are in me.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Service is sacred; our sometimes smoke-filled, coffee-filled, talk-filled clubs, meetings, and social gatherings are the basis for a lot more than laughter-they add up to a major part of our recovery. May 29, Day By Day

Am I contributing to the fellowship?

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

When you lead a meeting, lead.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am willing to let go of all my fear so that I can find out what is real in my life. I will take whatever comes without judgement. I am ready to release all my resistance and struggle so that I can find out the good and truth inside me.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday. - Ken D.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 13

Daily Reflections

IT DOESN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily
reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

The most common alcoholic fantasy seems to be: "If I just don't
drink, everything will be all right." Once the fog cleared for me, I
saw -- for the first time -- the mess my life had become. I had family,
work, financial and legal problems; I was hung up on old religious
ideas; there were sides of my character to which I was inclined to stay blind
because they easily could have convinced me that I was hopeless and
pushed me toward escape again. The Big Book guided me in
resolving all of my problems. But it didn't happen overnight -- and
certainly not automatically -- with no effort on my part. I need always to
recognize God's mercy and blessings that shine through any problem
I have to face.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, we were living an unnatural life
physically and mentally. We were punishing our bodies by
loading them with alcohol. We didn't eat enough and we
ate the wrong things. We didn't get enough sleep or the
right kind of rest. We were ruining ourselves physically.
We had an alcoholic obsession and we couldn't imagine
life without alcohol. We kept imagining all kinds of
crazy things about ourselves and about other people. We
were ruining ourselves mentally. Since I came into A.A.,
am I getting better physically and mentally?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that my life is being refined like gold in a
crucible. Gold does not stay in the crucible, only until
it is refined. I will never despair or be despondent. I
now have friends who long for me to conquer. If I should
err or fail, it would cause pain and disappointment to
them. I will keep trying to live a better life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may always call on God's strength, while
the gold of my life is being refined. I pray that I may
see it through, with God's help.

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

As Bill Sees It

The Shared Gift, p. 13

A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in
action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and
those who haven't been given the truth may die.

<< << << >> >> >>

Faith is more than our greatest gift; its sharing with others is our
greatest responsibility. May we of A.A. continually seek the wisdom
and the willingness by which we may well fulfill that immense trust
which the Giver of all perfect gifts has placed in our hands.

1. Service Manual, p. 5
2. Grapevine, April 1961

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

Walk In Dry Places

The need for approval.
Raising self-esteem.
Although drinking behavior may have been defiant and antisocial, most of us wanted others to think well of us. If we are not watchful, this need for approval can tyrannize us in sobriety.
A fierce need for approval can drives us to do more than our share of talking at discussion meetings. On the other hand, the fear of disapproval may cause us to "pass" when we really do have something to say. Outside of the fellowship, a strong desire for others' approval can make us anxious and unsure of ourselves. In the same way, a strong fear of being rejected or criticized can make us afraid to act.
In sobriety, we can free ourselves from an unreasonable desire for approval. When we learn to like ourselves more, we do not need constant reassurance and applause from others. We may also discover that we have been doing certain things against our will simply because we wanted somebody's approval. This is our fault, not theirs, and we can get such practices out of our lives when we no longer need them.
I will accept myself as I am today. I will give others the approval that I desire for myself. I will not try to win approval by being a people-pleaser

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

Keep It Simple

The junkie can never start to cure himself until he recognizes his true condition.----Malcoln X
Now we know what the problem is. Now we can do something about it. The truth of our problem is, we can't handle alcohol or other drugs. They handle us. They control us. The Steps ask us to face the truth.
And the truth sets us free. What a wonderful gift! We feared the truth, but now it's our friend. It's a relief.
Facing the truth means we're honest. And honestly is our best friend in recovery. It's like a cozy fire on a winter's night. Honesty is how we get well. It's also what will keep us well. Do I truly believe I can't use alcohol or other drugs?
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know that I must work this program with care and respect.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll make two list, On one list, I'll write ways I work on my program. On the other list, I'll write way I play with my program. And I'll put my energy into working the program.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming . . . This all sounds very strenuous and serious. But now that I have wrestled with it, it's no longer so. I feel happy--deep down. All is well.
--Katherine Mansfield
All is well. In the midst of turmoil, let us remember, all is well; in the midst of the pain of self-awareness, all is well. The struggle of the turmoil, the pain that accompanies the lessons of self-awareness, are preparing us for becoming all we are meant to become. We each have a special gift to offer in this life. We will come to understand those gifts and be able to give them as we grow with the pain of self-understanding. All is well. Deep down happiness ripples, it's rippling to the surface of our lives.
My lesson for today is understanding, of myself and others. Happiness is the grade I earn each day of my "becoming."

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. I have since been brought into a way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful than the life I lived before. 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.”

pp. 42-43

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

After the tire job came the thirties, the Depression, and the downhill road. In the eight years before A.A. found me, I had over forty jobs--selling and traveling--one thing after another, and the same old routine. I'd work like mad for three or four weeks without a single drink, save my money, pay a few bills, and then "reward" myself with alcohol. Then I'd be broke again, hiding out in cheap hotels all over the country, having one-night jail stands here and there, and always that horrible feeling "What's the use--nothing is worthwhile." Every time I blacked out, and that was every time I drank, there was always that gnawing fear, "What did I do this time?" Once I found out. Many alcoholics have learned they can bring their bottle to a cheap movie theater and drink, sleep, wake up, and drink again in the darkness. I had repaired to one of these one morning with my jug, and, when I left late in the afternoon, I picked up a newspaper on the way home. Imagine my surprise when I read in a page-one "box" that I had been taken from the theater unconscious around noon that day, removed by ambulance to a hospital and stomach-pumped, and then released. Evidently I had gone right back to the movie with a bottle, stayed there several hours, and started home with no recollection of what had happened.

p. 225

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

When we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God, we couldn't very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care. These were the new attitudes that finally brought many of us an inner strength and peace that could not be deeply shaken by the shortcomings of others or by any calamity not of our own making.

p. 116

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Nothing is so bad, that a drink won't make worse.

A contented mind is a continual feast.
--American Proverb

Daylight follows a dark night.
--Maasai Proverb

Even the longest day has its end.
--Irish Proverb

"Lord, take me where You want me to go:
Let me meet who You want me to meet:
Tell me what You want me to say, and
Keep me out of Your way"
--Franciscan friar, Mychal F. Judge

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

ACCEPTANCE

"Treat the other man's faith
gently; it is all he has to believe
with."
-- Henry Hoskins

I said that I was a nonviolent drunk. Today I am able to see that I was
sarcastic and verbally violent, and this was no less painful or
destructive to the victim. A target for my anger and venom was the
faith and beliefs of others, especially when they differed radically
from my own. My alcoholism made me a prejudiced and bigoted man,
a prisoner of my arrogance.

My sobriety teaches me to be accepting and tolerant of the views and
opinions of others. A spirituality that embraces all men --- rather than
a narrow and restrictive religion --- is my prescription for life. I have
exchanged bigotry for freedom, and I am happy in God's world.

I pray that my acceptance of my fellow man, regardless of culture or
creed, may lead to understanding.

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

"But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the
heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
1 Corinthians 2:9

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for
building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

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

Daily Inspiration

Don't worry about tomorrow because God is already taking care of it. Lord, help me set aside needless worry and anxiety so that I have time to do all that I need to do today.

When life seems hard and filled with troubles, look for reasons to be thankful. Lord, Your beautiful presence is always with me.

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

NA Just For Today

Surrender To Win

" Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat."
Basic Text, p. 22

Complete defeat-what a concept! That must mean surrender. Surrender-to give up absolutely. To quit with no reservations. To put up our hands and quit fighting. Maybe to put up our hand at our first meeting and admit we're addicts.

How do we know we've taken a First Step that will allow us to live drug-free? We know because, once we have taken that gigantic step, we never have to use again-just for today. That's it. It's not easy, but it's very simple.

We work the First Step. We accept that, yes, we are addicts. "One is too many, and a thousand never enough." We've proven that to ourselves enough times. We admit that we cannot handle drugs in any form. We admit it; we say it out loud, if necessary.

We take the First Step at the beginning of our day. For one day. This admission frees us, just for today, from the need to live out our addiction all over again. We've surrendered to this disease. We give up. We quit. But in quitting, we win. And that's the paradox of the First Step: We surrender to win, and by surrendering we gain a far greater power than we ever imagined possible.

Just for today: I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I will surrender to win.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. --Robert Frost
Our home is a place of roots, a place where we can always turn in time of need. Some of us may have had the experience of being away from home and not being able to make it on our own. We know what a relief it was to reach out at last and call our family, who we knew would take us in.
We became people in our homes, we learned to eat and walk and talk there. We feel comfortable there, safe from the pressures of the outside world. It is up to us to keep it safe and healthy by growing in love and generosity there.
Home is a place to really give of ourselves and put our best into making it happy and secure. It will affect our futures more than almost anything else in our lives. It deserves our prayers of blessing. It is our foundation, the source of our first feelings for others. May we treasure our home and the people who make up our family.
What small thing can I do right now to make home a better place?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The perfection of innocence, indeed, is madness. --Arthur Miller
We've all said, "I didn't do anything. Don't blame me; I didn't mean any harm." Overdevelopment of innocence contradicts our spiritual growth. The painful truth is, we do have an impact on other people. Many times we have cultivated innocence as a style, and it has stood in our way of being accountable.
We cannot be in a relationship without sometimes hurting the ones we love. Spiritual growth requires us to take action and to take responsibility for what we do. It is painful to acknowledge we made a mistake and hurt someone. But giving up our innocent style is constructive pain. It opens the possibility to correct our ways, make repairs, and be forgiven. Then we are in the mainstream of a hearty spiritual life.
May I nave the grace to let go of my innocence by taking action and admitting my mistakes.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming . . . This all sounds very strenuous and serious. But now that I have wrestled with it, it's no longer so. I feel happy--deep down. All is well.
--Katherine Mansfield
All is well. In the midst of turmoil, let us remember, all is well; in the midst of the pain of self-awareness, all is well. The struggle of the turmoil, the pain that accompanies the lessons of self-awareness, are preparing us for becoming all we are meant to become. We each have a special gift to offer in this life. We will come to understand those gifts and be able to give them as we grow with the pain of self-understanding. All is well. Deep down happiness ripples, it's rippling to the surface of our lives.
My lesson for today is understanding, of myself and others. Happiness is the grade I earn each day of my "becoming."


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Good Feelings
When we talk about feelings in recovery, we often focus on the troublesome trio - pain, fear, and anger. But there are other feelings available in the emotional realm - happiness, joy, peace, contentment, love, closeness, and excitement.
It's okay to let ourselves feel pleasurable feelings too.
We don't have to worry when we experience good feelings; we don't have to scare ourselves out of them; we don't have to sabotage our happiness. We do that, sometimes, to get to the more familiar, less joyous terrain.
It's okay to feel good. We don't have to analyze, judge, or justify. We don't have to bring ourselves down, or let others bring us down, by injecting negativity.
We can let ourselves feel good.
Today, I will remind myself that it is my right to feel as good as I can. I can have many moments of feeling good; I can find a balanced place of feeling content, peaceful, and good.


Protect Your Energy
Just as we strive to protect and conserve earth's energy resources we can strive to protect and conserve our own.
Become more aware of the impact of things, people, and activities on you and your energy.
What feeds you, charges you?
What drains and depletes you?
As you grow and become more sensitive to how things feel to you, you'll naturally grow dislike and be uncomfortable with whatever drains or negatively impacts your energy.
Yes, some difficult, draining situations.
Sometimes we need to let go of people, places, and behaviors that don't work for us anymore, that drain, exhaust, and deplete us.
Pay attention to the impact of certain people, places, behaviors, and events on your energy.
Pay attention to how you feel when you eat certain foods, drink certain beverages, go certain places.
Learn to listen to your body, your emotions, and your heart.
Be prepared to let go of some things and people along the way.
Be gentle with yourself while you do.
Learn to conserve your energy.
It is precious, valuable resource. --Melody Beattie


I celebrate myself today and know that my feelings are okay. I am me, unique and alive. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Honor Winter’s Lesson

“See the pine trees and learn their lesson,” a friend once said. “Pine trees are nature’s reminder that growth continues even in the winter.”

Winter is an important season in our lives. It is more than a time of coldness and snow. It’s a time of going within. A time to rest from the work that’s been done, a time to prepare for the lessons ahead. Long for the sun on your shoulders, but let the frost and cold come. The ground has been left fallow in preparation for nourishing the seeds of new llife.

Honor winter’s lesson. Despite this time of lifelessness and inactivity, this is still a season of growth. Trust what’s being worked out in your soul. The snow will melt. The sun will shine again. The time will come to remove your heavy garb and return to the activity of life.

Cherish the winter. Cherish its quietness, the time of going within to rest and heal. Cherish this time of preparation that must come before new life. Cherish the hope that lies beneath the snow.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Take care of yourself

For once a person begins on this path of knowledge they will only look inward, learning how to fix themselves, instead of trying to fix other people.
–Rav Brandwein

Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. Letting go doesn’t mean we shut down.

Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave. It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment. It means we stop trying to do the impossible– controlling that which we cannot– and instead, focus on what is possible– which usually means taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness, and love, as much as possible.

Have you tricked yourself into believing there’s someone you can control? If you have, tell yourself the truth. Stop trying to have power where you truly have none. Instead, exercise your will in a way that will bring results. The one power you always have is the ability to let go and take care of yourself.

God, help me make letting go and taking care of myself a way of life.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program and my friends in the fellowship have provided me with a whole new set of tools for living. Even the slogans that once seemed so trite and corny are now becoming an important part of my daily life: Easy Does It; First Things First; This, Too, Will Pass. If I use all of my tools regularly and well, they’ll also help rid me of such negative feelings as guilt, anxiety, rebellion and pride. When I’m feeling depressed, do i use the tools that have been proven effective? Or do I grit my teeth and suffer in painful silence.

Today I Pray

I praise my wonder-working Higher Power for giving me the tools for recovery, once I admitted I was powerless over alcohol or other drugs or addictions and gave myself over to the will of God as I understand Him. I give thanks for the Twelve Steps, and for the fellowship of the group, which can help me see myself honestly. I give thanks for those words and phrases which become, as we understand them more completely, banners in our celebration of sobriety.

Today I Will Remember

Pass on the passwords to recovery.

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

One More Day

We cannot live, sorrow or die for somebody else….
– Edward Dahlberg

Our need to protect a stick child becomes frustration as we can do so little to protect the child from pain. When we become ill, our families and friends sometimes make awkward efforts to help protect us. They may try to make us laugh by telling jokes or recounting funny moments we’ve shared with them. Or, these people might become overly helpful, trying to save us some steps or inconveniences.

We understand their need to help us; all of us want to comfort and protect our loved ones as we would a child. However, we are not children, and the maturity we’ve gained has reversed the roles we play with our family and friends. We can comfort and protect them by laughing with them and by letting them help us, and this becomes a two-way expression of love.

Today, I will allow others to express their love for me.

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

Food For Thought

Overeating is Hell

When we fall into the trap of compulsive overeating, it is as though we are driven by some malevolent, diabolical force against which we are powerless. We know with our minds that we should stop eating, but by ourselves we cannot. A binge may start out pleasantly enough - just a taste here and there - but it eventually becomes torture.

Because we know what we are doing to ourselves, we feel guilty while we are bingeing. We hate ourselves because we cannot stop. The more we eat, the more uncomfortable we become physically and mentally. Clothes constrict and we are stuffed and bloated. Our minds begin to race along old, negative, and irrational tracks. Anyone who gets in our way can be the object of our anger. We lose control, we are separated from our Higher Power, and we are in Hell.

Let us not forget every day that the first compulsive bite opens the gates of Hell.

Lord, deliver me from the Hell of overeating.

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

One Day At A Time

CHANGE

”If you would truly wish to understand
something, try to change it.”
Kurt Lewin

There is nothing more powerful to me than this one thought. My entire program teaches me to change the fellow who came in or he will surely drag me back out. Without change there is no hope. Without hope there is no peace or serenity.

The "how to" is simply and strongly told in the Big Book of AA. On page 28 it is plain that we must find and maintain a spiritual fitness in order to survive. Change is the key to open the door, and change is impossible without a power greater than ourselves. This, truly, is the easier, softer way. May you find Him now.

One day at a time…
I am willing to allow the God of my understanding to change the person I was into the person He wishes me to be.
~ Danny

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude. We all had to place recovery above everything, for without recovery we would have lost both home and business. - Pg. 143 - To Employers

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

During crisis, we must not act as isolated persons with nothing gained from fellowship. We stick together. If one of us pulls away, we pull them back. WE recover as WE, not as an I.

As I walk this road of recovery, let me know I don't walk alone. In fact I march in an army of WE.

Opening to Abundance

I am ready, willing and able to open my mind and heart to the abundance that the world has to offer me. This world brings forth what I need. The sun shines, water from fresh springs makes its way across rocky slopes to quench my thirst and abundant varieties of food germinate from seeds to nourish my body. Everywhere nature brings forth. The clouds, wind and rain draw me toward their eternal mystery. This world is designed to nurture and sustain life. I am part of that life, and I receive solace and comfort knowing that the world and I are both alive and vibrant. Both imbued with the same life force. This world nurtures me.

I am open to abundance

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

If you are looking for the perfect group before you join a home group, then you are going to be homeless.

My home group members are not perfect and neither am I, so we suit each other perfectly.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Token takers take it and meeting makers make it.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I celebrate myself today and know that my feelings are okay. I am me, unique and alive.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

AA doesn't say we can't have personalities, it just says we put principles before them. - Liz J.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 14

Daily Reflections

NO REGRETS

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door
on it.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.83

Once I became sober, I began to see how wasteful my
life had been and I experienced overwhelming guilt and
feelings of regret. The program's Fourth and Fifth
Steps assisted me enormously in healing those troubling
regrets. I learned that my self-centeredness and
dishonesty stemmed largely from my drinking and that
I drank because I was an alcoholic. Now I see how even
my most distasteful past experiences can turn to gold
because, as a sober alcoholic, I can share them to help
my fellow alcoholics, particularly newcomers. Sober for
several years in A.A., I no longer regret the past; I
am simply grateful to be conscious of God's love and
of the help I can give to others in the Fellowship.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we first came into A.A., a sober life seemed
strange. We wondered what life could possibly be like
without ever taking a drink. At first, a sober life
seemed unnatural. But the longer we're in A.A., the more
natural this way of life seems. And now we know that the
life we're living in A.A., the sobriety, the fellowship,
the faith in God, and the trying to help each other, is
the most natural way we could possibly live. Do I believe
it's the way God wants me to live?

Meditation For The Day

I will learn to overcome myself, because every blow to
selfishness is used to shape the real, eternal,
unperishable me. As I overcome myself, I gain that power
which God releases in my soul. And I too will be
victorious. It is not the difficulties of life that I
have to conquer, so much as my own selfishness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may obey God and walk with Him and listen
to Him. I pray that I may strive to overcome my own
selfishness.

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

As Bill Sees It

Newcomer Problems, p. 14

The temptation is to become rather possessive of newcomers.
Perhaps we try to give them advice about their affairs which we aren't
really competent to give or ought not give at all. Then we are hurt
and confused when the advice is rejected, or when it is accepted and
brings still greater confusion.

<< << << >> >> >>

"You can't make a horse drink water if he still prefers beer or is too
crazy to know what he does want. Set a pail of water beside him, tell
him how good it is and why, and leave him alone.

"If people really want to get drunk, there is, so far as I know, no way
stopping this--so leave them alone and let them get drunk. But don't
exclude them from the water pail, either."

1. 12 & 12, p. 111
2. Letter, 1942

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

Walk In Dry Places

If God be for us___Good Orderly Directions
Sometimes we find help and power in staying sober, yet feel naked and alone when facing other problems. It is almost as if we see our Higher Power as a "sobering-up God" who has said, "I'll help you with drinking problem, but you're on your own in everything else.
The true way to practice AA's principles in all of our affairs is to view everything as spiritual, as being under God's direction and influence. God is with us in our homes, in the shop, on the highway, or wherever we go. There is no place and no action that is beyond God's scrutiny and power.
We should reflect on this truth at times when we are frustrated or when others threaten us. We should not expect God to aid us in manipulating or dominating others. God will be with us as a protecting, guiding presence in all our activities and relationships. And when we truly understand this, we will find surprising reserves of courage in situations that used to frighten u s. This is true even when we are not ceratin of the outcome of a situation.
I will know that God is with me in all of my affairs today, in all that I think, say, or do.

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

Keep It Simple

If you play with a thing long enough, you will surely break it.---Anonymous
Some things shouldn't be played with. Our recovery program is one these things. When we play with our program, we're taking a risk. We play with the program by missing meetings. Or by not calling our sponsors. Or by skipping the Steps we think are to hard. It's okay to play. But it's not okay to play with our program, we risk our lives.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know that I must work this program with care and respect.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll make two list. On one list, I'll write ways I work on my program. On the other list, I'll write ways I play with my program. And I'll put my energy into working the program.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

In a culture where approval/disapproval has become the predominant regulator of effort and position, and often the substitute for love, our personal freedoms are dissipated. --Viola Spolin
Wanting others to approve our efforts, our appearance, our aspirations and behavior is perfectly normal, certainly not unhealthy. However, needing the approval in order to proceed with our lives is.
In early childhood we are taught to obey others and to please them. We confuse love with approval, and we begin to march to someone else's drum. Then we get even more approval. But soon we get out of step with ourselves; we neglect our personal needs and become puppets. Giving away our power to the whims of others weakens our Spirit. Personal freedom means choosing our own behavior; it means acting rather than reacting. It also means allowing ourselves the full adventure of living, of meeting each moment wholly, of responding in a pure, spontaneous, personally honest manner. Only then can we give to life what is ours to give.
Each of us has a unique part to play in the drama of life. And we need to rely on our higher power for our cues, not on those whose approval we think we need. When we turn within for guidance, all the approval we could hope for will be ours.
I will be free today. I will let no one control my actions. I will let God give the only approval that counts. Aligning my will with God's will guarantees it.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Fred’s story speaks for itself. We hope it strikes home to thousands like him. He had felt only the first nip of the wringer. Most alcoholics have to be pretty badly mangled before they really commence to solve their problems.

p. 43

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

The mental state of the sick alcoholic is beyond description. I had no resentments against individuals--the whole world was all wrong. My thoughts went round and round with, What's it all about anyhow? People have wars and kill each other; they struggle and cut each other's throats for success, and what does anyone get out of it? Haven't I been successful, haven't I accomplished extraordinary things in business? What do I get out of it? Everything's all wrong and the hell with it. For the last two years of my drinking, I prayed during every drunk that I wouldn't wake up again. Three months before I met Jackie, I had made my second feeble try at suicide.

pp. 225-226

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

This new outlook was, we learned, something especially necessary to us alcoholics. For alcoholism had been a lonely business, even though we had been surrounded by people who loved us. But when self-will had driven everybody away and our isolation had become complete, it caused us to play the big shot in cheap barrooms and then fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of passersby. 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, A.A. 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.

pp. 116-117

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You cannot think your way into sober living. You live your way into sober thinking.

I embrace the beauty of life, and depend deeply upon God. --Shelley

"You Can't Change The Wind, But You Can Adjust Your Sails..." Make This Day Shine. --Carol Anne

Without Gods inner source of enlightenment and refreshment, I would soon stagnate and feel despair. --Shelley

God is my constant companion and comfort. --JReid51546

I faithfully, trustfully, have acceptance for God's will, and I therefore find serenity. --Shelley

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

RESPONSIBILITY

"The fault is in us."
-- Hannah Arendt

As a drunk I would blame everybody for my problems: My family was
too controlling. I did not have people around who understood me. I
worked too hard and the people were too demanding. The weather was
awful!

Today I accept my involvement with my past predicament. Bad things
happened to me because I created them in my life. And this means that
good and creative things can also happen in my life if I create them. I
need not remain the problem. I can be the solution!

Let me discover Your answer in my response to life.

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"As servants of God, live as free people." 1 Peter 1:16

"Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces." Isaiah 25:8

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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Daily Inspiration

Home should be the happiest place to be. Fill it with love, laughter and good conversation. Lord, give us Your peace and teach us to share it.

Faith grows by speaking daily with God. Lord, You teach me Your promises when times are good so that I will be able to trust in You when times are hard.

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NA Just For Today

A Loving God

" Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us.... The only suggested guidelines are that this Power be loving, caring, and greater than ourselves."
Basic Text, p. 24

We've been told that we can believe in any kind of Higher Power we want as long as it is loving and, of course, greater than ourselves. Some of us, however, have trouble with these requirements. We either believe in nothing but ourselves, or we believe that anything that could be called "God" could only be cold-hearted and unreasonable, sending us bad luck on a whim.

Believing in a loving Power is quite a leap for some of us, for many reasons. The thought of turning our will and lives over to the care of something we think might hurt us is sure to fill us with reluctance. If we come into the program believing that God is judgmental and unforgiving, we must overcome those beliefs before we can be truly comfortable with the Third Step.

Our positive experiences in recovery can help us come to believe in a loving God of our own understanding. We have been given relief from a disease that has afflicted us for a long time. We've found the guidance and support we need to develop a new way of life. We've begun to experience a fullness of spirit where once there was only emptiness. These aspects of our recovery have their source in a loving God, not a harsh, hateful one. And the more we experience recovery, the more we'll trust that loving Higher Power.

Just for today: I will open my mind and my heart to believe that God is loving, and trust my loving Higher Power to do for me what I cannot do for myself.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
The universe is made up of stories, not atoms. --Muriel Rukeyser
There was once a storyteller who told many people of her life. They listened and heard their own stories in hers. Hearing her story, they didn't feel so lonely anymore. Hearing about someone else who had lost things and people she loved, who had felt lonely, scared, and unsure of herself, let them feel less crazy when similar things happened to them.
Because of the healing they felt through hearing someone else's story, some of the listeners decided to become storytellers themselves. As they recounted their stories, they found that letting out secrets that had bothered them for years freed them to feel good about who they were and who they had always wanted to be.
What secrets can I share today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? --Hillel
Some of us were treated badly as young boys and never learned how to live for ourselves. We can see only two choices: either be submissive and caretaking or be abusive and demanding. Many of us have so much guilt and shame that we feel we don't deserve to stand up for ourselves. This program demands that in recovery we be for ourselves. If we don't know how, we learn. If we are unsure, we must experiment. When we make mistakes, we must admit them and know we have a right to be imperfect learners. And we can't be only for ourselves, because that keeps us small and turns us back to where we came from.
As we accept ourselves and come to know our imperfections and weaknesses, we can understand others better. We are stronger in giving to others and more effective because we have a place to stand.
Today, even if I don't feel good about myself, I will stand up for my dignity as a man.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
In a culture where approval/disapproval has become the predominant regulator of effort and position, and often the substitute for love, our personal freedoms are dissipated. --Viola Spolin
Wanting others to approve our efforts, our appearance, our aspirations and behavior is perfectly normal, certainly not unhealthy. However, needing the approval in order to proceed with our lives is.
In early childhood we are taught to obey others and to please them. We confuse love with approval, and we begin to march to someone else's drum. Then we get even more approval. But soon we get out of step with ourselves; we neglect our personal needs and become puppets. Giving away our power to the whims of others weakens our Spirit. Personal freedom means choosing our own behavior; it means acting rather than reacting. It also means allowing ourselves the full adventure of living, of meeting each moment wholly, of responding in a pure, spontaneous, personally honest manner. Only then can we give to life what is ours to give.
Each of us has a unique part to play in the drama of life. And we need to rely on our higher power for our cues, not on those whose approval we think we need. When we turn within for guidance, all the approval we could hope for will be ours.
I will be free today. I will let no one control my actions. I will let God give the only approval that counts. Aligning my will with God's will guarantees it.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Accepting Anger
Anger is one of the many profound effects life has on us. It's one of our emotions. And we're going to feel it when it comes our way -- or else repress it. --Codependent No More
If I were working a good program, I wouldn't get angry.... If I were a good Christian, I wouldn't feel angry.... If I were really using my affirmations about how happy I am, I wouldn't be angry.... Those are old messages that seduce us into not feeling again. Anger is part of life. We need not dwell in it or seek it out, but we can't afford to ignore it.
In recovery, we learn we can shamelessly feel all our feelings, including anger, and still take responsibility for what we do when we feel angry. We don't have to let anger control us, but it surely will if we prevent ourselves from feeling it.
Being grateful, being positive, being healthy, does not mean we never feel angry. Being grateful, positive, and healthy means we feel angry when we need to.
Today, I will let myself be angry, if I need to. I can feel and release my emotions, including anger, constructively. I will be grateful for my anger and the things it is trying to show me. I can feel and accept all my emotions without shame, and I can take responsibility for my actions.


I am clearing out old confusion and doubt so that I can see the miracle today. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Release Your Fears

The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado is the world’s highest suspension bridge. Visiting it was a significant part of my journey, an important turning point.

Spanning a section of the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River, the bridge is constructed of small wooden slats. You can drive across or you can walk it, peering down through the slats to see the river 1,050 feet below.

When I reached the park surrounding the bridge, I parked my car, grabbed my backpack, and got out to walk across the bridge. I neared the bridge, then turned around. I was too afraid to walk across, certain I’d blow off. I decided to drive.

I returned to the jeep, drove to the bridge, but stopped again. I backed up, drove back to the toll booth, and hailed the man working inside. “Will I be fine?” I said. He looked at me strangely. “Will I be fine?” I repeated.

He finally got it. “You’ll be fine,” he said with a smile.

I drove back to the bridge. Inch by inch, I drove the car across the wooden slats. I was afraid to look to the right or left. Afraid to look down. Afraid to look. Afraid not to look… I never knew how much fear was in me until I drove across the bridge. And to get back, I had to turn the jeep around and drive across the bridge once more.

Sometimes, we’re so afraid we don’t know how afraid we are. Sometimes, we carry so much fear that it interferes with our ability to enjoy life.

Feel and release your fears. See how needless they are? See how they keep you from enjoying life? Unclench your hands. Don’t always look straight ahead. Experience. Adventure. Let yourself live.

As the man said, “You’ll be fine.”

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say yes to yourself

Are you balanced? Do you share your time, you energy, your life, as much with yourself as you do with those around you? We all know how simple it is to say “yes,yes,yes” each time someone makes a request. After all, it makes us feel good, makes us feel needed, makes us feel loved. And the more we say yes, the more they ask of us. And we tell ourselves this is an example of even more love.

But soon we say yes to too many things. We get bitter about our relationships. Can’t they do anything for themselves? Nothing would get done around here if it weren’t for me. Isn’t there anyone else who can help? After a while, things don’t get done, promises go unfulfilled, relationships break down. And so do we.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Know your limits. You are one of the most important people you need to look after and love. Balance your time, your energy, your life with those around you. You will be able to give more freely and joyfully as a result, and you’ll be more open to the gifts of the universe.

It’s not wrong to give to others. But it’s okay to say yes to ourselves,too.

God, help me live a balanced life. Help me learn when it’s time to say yes to myself.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I admitted that I couldn’t win the booze and chemical battle on my own. So I finally began to accept the critically important fact that dependence on a Higher Power could help me achieve what had always seemed impossible. I stopped running. I stopped fighting. For the first time, I began accepting. And for the first time, I began to be really free. Do I realize that it doesn’t matter what kind of shoes I’m wearing when I’m running away?

Today I Pray

May I know the freedom that comes with surrender to a Higher Power — that most important kind of surrender that means neither “giving in” nor “giving up” but “giving over” my will to the will of God. Like a weary fugitive from spiritual order, may I stop hiding, dodging, running. May I find peace in surrender, in the knowledge that God wills hat I be whole and healthy and He will show me the way.

Today I Will Remember

First surrender, then serenity.

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One More Day

Ill health of body or of mind, is defeat. Health alone is victory. Let all men, if they can manage it, contrive to be healthy.
– Thomas Carlyle

This message, on the surface, could be upsetting to people who are chronically ill. Can we be sick and healthy at the same time? We learn that we can. Even if we have an ongoing health need, we can still create a new frame of reference which allows us to be as healthy as we can. Rather than letting our problems run us into the ground, we can make the opposite choice.

We can choose balance in our lives, by deciding to put the problem in its place as only one facet of our lives. At the moment we decide, at the moment we make a conscious decision to be a fighter, we will be striving toward wellness once again.

By constructively choosing to keep a strong attitude emotionally and physically, I will be on the road to balanced health.

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Food For Thought

Willing to Go to Any Lengths

To achieve success in this program, we are willing to go to any lengths. We want to stop eating compulsively more than anything else. We are willing to take the steps, which led to success for hundreds of others who have gone before us.

When we put abstinence first in our lives, then we are willing to experience periods of hunger and craving as our appetites and our bodies adjust to the new food plan. We are willing to eat according to need, not greed.

In times of stress and difficulty, we are willing to go to any lengths to stay on our program. This may involve going to extra meetings, making more phone calls, spending more time reading the literature and meditating. Whatever it takes to keep us abstinent is what we are willing to do.

Most important, we are willing to turn our lives over to the care of God, as each of us understands Him. As we let ourselves be led hour-by-hour and day-by-day, our lives fall into place, and we are given inner joy and serenity.

I pray that I may always be willing.

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One Day At A Time

~ RECOVERY ~

Survival is nothing more than recovery.
Dianne Feinstein

As a very young child, I had a loving relationship with my Higher Power. I talked to God all the time about the things I didn't understand. I asked for His help in making me a better person, daughter, granddaughter, etc.

Then, as happens in dysfunctional families, things got worse. Being the youngest, I became the scapegoat for people who didn't know how to express anger and pain properly. I, too, learned inappropriate ways to express my feelings. I also began to turn against my Higher Power. Why wasn't He helping me? Why was He letting me be so unhappy? Why wasn't He answering my prayers? Why hadn't I awakened thin yet?

It took me many years to destroy my relationship with God, but thankfully, it only took a few years of the Twelve Step program for me to rediscover my former relationship with Him. As my eating disorders have been lessened and abstinence has become the norm in my life, I am very grateful for the Higher Power in my life today. I truly feel as if I've gained something I once lost. Thanks to recovery, I've also gained things I never had or don't remember having. I have a peace, serenity, acceptance, understanding and love that I can never remember experiencing before. The more I trust in my Higher Power, the more rewards of recovery become mine.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program and be grateful for the level of recovery I'm currently experiencing. When I feel a lack of growth within myself, I will look at how far I've come and trust that my growth is in my Higher Power's time, not mine.
~ Rhonda H. ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization. Neither does A.A. take any particular medical point of view, though we cooperate widely with the men of medicine as well as with the men of religion. - Pg. XX - Forward To The Second Edition - 4th. Edition

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Our 12 steps are dedicated primarily to the cultivation of principle in the befuddled addict's mind. Spiritual soundness leads to mental soundness. Even though we don't understand the process of our program to stop our cravings, we must trust that IT WORKS.

I look at those around me, at their success and know that this process WORKS even if it isn't clear how.

Golden Moments

I will pay attention to guidance from within and without. There are moments when I know I am doing what lights my spirit and challenges me. Moments when I feel alive and in tune; in touch with a force beyond me that is guiding me towards something that's right for me. Those moments are golden. They carry me through my fears and hard times, they sustain me when inevitable doubts creep in, they give me strength to carry on and stay on course.

I will hold inspiration close to me heart.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

It's hard to believe that this simple program can work for us. But it does. We see it each time an old timer celebrates a birthday, a newcomer picks up a token, or a former skid row drunk reaches out to help an alcoholic doctor that has hit his first meeting in desperation. Believe.

I make believe until I can believe.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

They say that you need only one meeting a week but it might be a good idea to go to one every night so you don't miss the one you need!

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am clearing out old confusion and doubt so that I can see the miracle today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Spending money I don't have, buying things I don't need, to impress people I don't know. - Norm A.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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January 15

Daily Reflections

AN UNSUSPECTED INNER RESOURCE

With few exceptions our members find that they have
tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they
presently identify with their own conception of a
Power greater than themselves.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 569-70

From my first days in A.A., as I struggled for sobriety,
I found hope in these words from our founders. I often
pondered the phrase: "they have tapped an unsuspected
inner resource." How, I asked myself, can I find the
Power within myself, since I am so powerless? In time,
as the founders promised, it came to me: I have always
had the choice between goodness and evil, between
unselfishness and selfishness, between serenity and
fear. That Power greater than myself is an original
gift that I did not recognize until I achieved daily
sobriety through living A.A.'s Twelve Steps.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is a way of life. It's a way of living
and we have to learn to live the program if we're going
to stay sober. The twelve steps in the book are like
guide posts. They point the direction in which we have to
go. But each member of the group has to find his own best
way of living the program. We don't all do it exactly
alike. Whether by quiet times in the morning, meetings,
working with others, or spreading the word, we have to
learn to live the program. Has A.A. become my regular,
natural way of living?

Meditation For The Day

I will relax and not get tense. I will have no fear,
because everything will work out in the end. I will learn
soul-balance and poise in a vacillating, changing world.
I will claim God's power and use it because if I do not
use it, it will be withdrawn. As long as I get back to God
and replenish my strength after each task, no work can be
too much.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may relax and that God's strength will be
given to me. I pray that I may subject my will to God's
will and be free from all tenseness.

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As Bill Sees It

Eternal Values, p. 15

Many people will have no truck at all with absolute spiritual values.
Perfectionists, they say, are either full of conceit because they fancy they
have reached some impossible goal, or else they are swamped in
self-condemnation because they have not done so.

Yet I think that we should not hold this view. It is not the fault of great
ideas that they are sometimes misused and so become shallow excuses
for guilt, rebellion, and pride. On the contrary, we cannot grow very
much unless we constantly try to envision what the eternal spiritual
values are.

<< << << >> >> >>

"Day by day, we try to move a little toward God's perfection. So we
need not be consumed by maudlin guilt for failure to achieve His likeness
and image by Thursday next. Progress is our aim, and His perfection is
the beacon, light-years away, that draws us on."

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Never too late___Self expression
Many of us lament the fact that we wasted youthful years when we should have been earning college degrees or perfecting a skill. Many of us simply do not feel we can take up something new because we missed the opportunity to try it when we were younger.
We are now learning that age is mental, not really physical. Some people seem aged and beaten at twenty-five, while others act sprightly and young at sixty. Moreover, we can find wonderful examples of people who blossom out in new activities without any thought or concern about age barriers. It is never too late for a person to study, to take up a new trade or profession, to follow a new scientific or artistic interest, or to begin other lessons.
If we are using age as a reason for not following our heart's desire, we should ask if we are really finding ways to avoid responsibility for our own performance in life. We may be seeking excuses to spare ourselves the struggle and effort tha tare always required when we do something new or challenging.
It is never too late to be the people God intended us to be.
I will give some thought today to the excuses I've been using for not making better use of my talents and opportunities.

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Keep It Simple

I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Don not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day. --Albert Camus
"Later." How often have we said this? This trick help us avoid the tasks of the day. Life is full of task--many fun, some boring, others hard. Can I accept the task my Higher Power gives me, easy or hard?
When we used alcohol or other drugs, we'd avoid task, if they became hard for us. We believed we had more control than we really did. We started to believe we could control outcomes. What we really were doing was setting ourselves up for a great fall. We had to face the fact that when our Higher Power had given us a task, we said no, and turned away. Thus, we turned away from the guiding hand of our Higher
Power.
Prayer for the Day: God, help me face You and the tasks You give me. Make me a grateful student of life.
Today's Action: Today I will talk with friends. I will tell them what tasks I'm working on.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Everything is so dangerous that nothing is really very frightening. --Gertrude Stein
Life is full of dangers and risks and challenges. We can choose to meet them fearfully or in a spirit of welcome. To choose fear, to say, "I won't take that risk because I might lose," is to prevent ourselves from ever winning. If we welcome the danger, the risk, or the challenge, we acknowledge that life is made up of losses as well as victories, of gains as well as pain.
Life holds the dangers as well as the rewards. We choose how we will act. Sometimes we may feel trapped in a cycle of fearfulness. If we examine our own part, will we find that we are neglecting to take a balanced view? Perhaps, through a fear of losing, we are missing many chances for satisfaction.
I will remember: I have the power to choose what my attitude will be toward this day's offerings.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Many doctors and psychiatrists agree with our conclusions. One of these men, staff member of a world-renowned hospital, recently made this statement to some of us: “What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholics’ plight is, in my opinion, correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from divine help. Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution.”

p. 43

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

This was the background that made me willing to listen on January 8. After being dry for two weeks and sticking close to Jackie, all of a sudden I found I had become the sponsor of my sponsor, for he was suddenly taken drunk. I was startled to learn he had only been off the booze a month or so himself when he brought me the message! However, I made as SOS call to the New York Group, whom I hadn't met yet, and they suggested we both come there. This we did the next day, and what a trip! I really had a chance to see myself from a nondrinking point of view. We checked into the home of Hank, the man who had fired me eleven years before in Mississippi, and there I met Bill, our founder. Bill had then been dry three years and Hank, two. At the time, I thought them just a swell pair of screwballs, for they were not going to save all the drunks in the world but also all the so-called normal people! All they talked of that first weekend was God and how they were going to straighten out Jackie's and my life. In those days we really took each other's inventories firmly and often. Despite all this, I did like these new friends because, again, they were like me. They had also been periodic big shots who had goofed out repeatedly at the wrong time, and they also knew how to split one paper match into three separate matches. (This is very useful knowledge in places where matches are prohibited.) They, too, had taken a train to one town and had wakened hundred of miles in the opposite direction, never knowing how they got there. The same old routines seemed to be common to us all. During that first weekend, I decided to stay in New York and take all they gave out with, except the "God stuff." I knew they had to straighten out their thinking and habits, but I was all right; I just drank too much. Just give me a good front and a couple of bucks, and I'd be right back in the big time. I'd been dry three weeks, had the wrinkles out, and had sobered up my sponsor all by myself!

pp. 226-227

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Most married folks in A.A. have very happy homes. To a surprising extent, A.A. has offset the damage to family life brought about by years of alcoholism. But just like all other societies, we do have sex and marital problems, and sometimes they are distressingly acute. Permanent marriage breakups and separations, however, are unusual in A.A. Our main problem is not how we are to stay married; it is how to be more happily married by eliminating the severe emotional twists that have so often stemmed from alcoholism.

p. 117

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What are you going through in your life right now?
Don't feel you're the only one.
Open your eyes.
Open your heart to your connections with your larger family.
Let them share their stories with you.
Let them share their strengths, hopes, fears, and joys.
Stop looking for what's different and what makes you separate and apart.
Go on an adventure of discovering your common bonds.
--Melody Beattie

"Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level." --Max L. Forman

"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him." --Aldous Huxley

Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God. --Diana Robinson

"What do you think of God," the teacher asked. After a pause, the young pupil replied, "He's not a think, he's a feel." --Paul Frost

I must respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them. --Herbert Henry Lehman

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

POPULARITY

"Few people are capable of
expressing with equanimity,
opinions which differ from the
prejudices of their social
environment."
-- Albert Einstein

Part of my growth in sobriety is learning to say "no". For years as a
practicing alcoholic I tried to please every body with the result that I
pleased very few and became exhausted in the process! I have
learned that sometimes I need to be unpopular in order to remain
serene; unpopular to practice my spiritual program.

To understand the gift of God's creation requires the acceptance that
we are not the same and, as people, we will have different opinions
and attitudes. Truth has many shades. To be unpopular at times is
reality; truth is always real.

I pray that I might always say and do what I believe to be right,
regardless of public opinion.

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"Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

"The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:8-10

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Daily Inspiration

Prayer is a great source of joy and the best protection from depression. When we talk, Lord, You help me see solutions for a better day.

Actions have consequences. Lord, may my actions not create difficulties, but rather bring peace and joy to my life.

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NA Just For Today

Fear

" We grow to feel comfortable with our Higher Power as a source of strength. As we learn to trust this Power, we begin to overcome our fear of life."
Basic Text, p. 24

Powerless as we are, living on self-will is a frightening, unmanageable experience. In recovery, we have turned our will and our lives safely over to the care of the God of our understanding. When we lapse in our program, when we lose conscious contact with our Higher Power, we begin to take control of our own lives again, refusing the care of the God of our understanding. If we do not make a daily decision to surrender our lives to the care of our Higher Power, we may become overwhelmed with our fear of life.

Through working the Twelve Steps, we've found that faith in a Power greater than ourselves helps relieve our fear. As we draw closer to a loving God, we become more conscious of our Higher Power. And the more conscious we are of God's care for us, the less our fears.

When we feel afraid, we ask ourselves, "Is this fear an indication of a lack of faith in my life? Have I taken control again, only to find my life still unmanageable?" If we answer yes to these questions, we can overcome our fear by turning our will and our lives back over to care of the God of our understanding.

Just for today: I will rely on the care of my Higher Power to relieve my fear of life.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Always remember that no matter what the problem may be, there is an infinity of solutions. --Marion Weinstein
A girl named Iris was tormented by the boys at school. Whenever she walked by they would make rude noises. Sometimes, when no one was looking, they would block her way and not let her go home. She was too inexperienced at taking care of herself to realize that believing she couldn't do anything made it true. Feeling helpless kept her from thinking about what she might do.
One day she got so scared that she told her best friend what was happening. Together they began to think of all sorts of things she could do. Knowing she could do something took away the helpless feeling, and the boys noticed and stopped teasing her. It wasn't fun for them anymore.
We often feel helpless in situations that seem too much for us to handle. In fact, help is always available--through friends and family, and through God, who helps us see how we can help ourselves. All we have to do is stop being distracted by that helpless feeling and ask for what we need.
Can I see the many solutions to my problems today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box. --Italian proverb
Much of our time has been spent saying, "I'm not good enough for that job," "She's too good for me," or "1 don't deserve that compliment." Sometimes we have been very status conscious because underneath we felt unworthy. Many of us have taken either superior or inferior roles with everyone we've dealt with. We ended up with no one who could be our peer or our friend.
True humility occurs when we stop shaming or inflating ourselves and begin accepting ourselves as no worse and no better than anyone else. Then all people are our peers. At our meetings, our powerlessness puts us all in the same box. In the sight of God we are all equal - and status games, which have seemed so important are ultimately silly.
Today, I will remember we are all brothers and sisters in the sight of God.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Everything is so dangerous that nothing is really very frightening. --Gertrude Stein
Life is full of dangers and risks and challenges. We can choose to meet them fearfully or in a spirit of welcome. To choose fear, to say, "I won't take that risk because I might lose," is to prevent ourselves from ever winning. If we welcome the danger, the risk, or the challenge, we acknowledge that life is made up of losses as well as victories, of gains as well as pain.
Life holds the dangers as well as the rewards. We choose how we will act. Sometimes we may feel trapped in a cycle of fearfulness. If we examine our own part, will we find that we are neglecting to take a balanced view? Perhaps, through a fear of losing, we are missing many chances for satisfaction.
I will remember: I have the power to choose what my attitude will be toward this day's offerings.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Standing Up for Ourselves
We learn some behaviors have self-defeating consequences, while others have beneficial consequences. We learn we have choices. --Beyond Codependency
It is so easy to come to the defense of others. How clear it is when others are being used, controlled, manipulated, or abused. It is so easy to fight their battles, become righteously indignant, rally to their aid, and spur them on to victory.
"You have rights," we tell them. "And those rights are being violated. Stand up for yourself, without guilt."
Why is it so hard, then, for us to rally to our own behalf? Why can't we see when we are being used, victimized, lied to, manipulated, or otherwise violated? Why is it so difficult for us to stand up for ourselves?
There are times in life when we can walk a gentle, loving path. There are times, however, when we need to stand up for ourselves - when walking the gentle, loving path puts us deeper into the hands of those who could mistreat us.
Some days, the lesson we're to be learning and practicing is one of setting boundaries. Some days, the lesson we're learning is that of fighting for our own rights and ourselves.
Sometimes, the lesson won't stop until we do.
Today, I will rally to my own cause. I will remember that it is okay to stand up for myself when that action is appropriate. Help me, God, to let go of my need to be victimized. Help me appropriately, and with confidence, stand up for myself.


I celebrate myself today. I am alive. I am growing. I am willing to do all I am able to do to be the best of who I am. --Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
You're Free to Follow Your Heart

No one has taken your freedom away. You may have relinquished it for reasons known or unknown. But you've always been free-- free to choose.

And you have been choosing, whether or not you have been conscious of your choices. For many years, you chose not to be free. Then you felt stifled, so you groused and rebelled. That was an important part of your journey. It helped you break out of your prison, loosened the chains around you. Now you see the truth. You have always been free.

Celebrate the breaking of the chains. Celebrate your freedom. And share it joyfully with others. Tell yourself, tell others,too, that you're free to trust and follow your own heart.

*****

more language of letting go
Discipline yourself to let go

It may sound odd, but the way to give up being over controlled is to become more disciplined about letting go.
--Stella Resnick, The Pleasure Zone

I was sitting at home worrying one day when a friend called. He asked how I was. I told him I was worrying. Actually, I was crossing the line into obsessing about something that was going on in my life then. "There's nothing you can do about it," he said. "Just relax. It's out of your control."

What my friend was really talking about was practicing the discipline of letting go. After I hung up the phone, I deliberately put my worries and obsessions aside. I surrendered to the way things were. I simply relaxed. It was like a miracle. I was able to move forward with my life.

When we begin letting go, it may seem almost impossible just to relax and let go. As with anything else, with practice and repetition, we will become more skilled. That doesn't mean we won't need to remember to do it. It just means letting go will become easier, in time.

If you've become highly skilled at worrying, obsessing, or trying to control, deliberately practice relaxing and letting go until you're good at that,too.

God, help me make the discipline of relaxing and letting go a daily part of my life. Teach me to let go with poise, dignity, and ease.

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
I must never forget who and what I am and where I come from. I have to remember the nature of my illness and what it was like before I came to The Program. I’ll try to keep the memory green, yet not spend my time dwelling morbidly on the past. I won’t be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to others, so others will give to me.

Can I ever afford to forget what it used to be like, even for one minute?

Today I Pray
May I never forget the painful days of my addiction. May I never forget that the same misery awaits me if I should slip back into the old patterns. At the same time, may such backwards glances serve only to bolster my own present strength and the strength of others like me. Please, God, do not let me dredge up these recollections in order to outdo or “out-drunk” my fellow members. Like others who are chemically dependent, I must be wary of my desire to be center stage in the spotlight.

Today I Will Remember
I do more when I don’t “outdo.”

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

One More Day

The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being.
– Pearl S. Buck

We all enjoy going out to dinner or to a movie. Some of us who are not well, however, choose to become stay-at-homes. Our reasons are many, and one big reason is we don’t want to be stared at or singled out as different. But, in hiding from the stares, we also hide from ourselves.

We don’t want to put ourselves on the line, but we must if we are to become “public” once again. It may mean using a cane or a brace; it may mean utilizing some of the fine adaptive living aids invented to help us. It’s a hard decision, but not as hard as being alone and staying at home.

It takes tremendous inner strength to venture from the protective cocoon of my home. I have the same inner strength as always, and I can use it to survive tough times.

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

Food For Thought

Slips

Each time we give in to our giant appetite and go off the program, it is just as hard to get back on as when we first began. If we forget that we are compulsive overeaters and think that we can handle a little extra food like a "normal" person, we are deceiving ourselves. For us, one extra bite invariably leads to another, and we begin to slide downhill back into despair.

The longer we wait to get back on abstinence, the harder it becomes. If we slip, we sometimes feel that since we haven't been perfect we might as well go ahead and eat a lot, since we have blown our food plan anyway. When we do this, we punish ourselves.

If a slip occurs, we need to put it behind us. It is over and done. We cannot undo it, but we can at this moment stop eating and start abstaining again. We do not need to wait until another day. Every moment we have the choice of abstaining or overeating. Which do you choose right now?

May I choose to abstain now and always.

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

One Day At A Time

GOD OF MY UNDERSTANDING

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky.
I believe that what people call God is something in all of us."
John Lennon

Like many people, I originally came to Program primarily seeking help with my compulsive overeating. My main concern was to gain control of my weight and my appetite. I was expecting some kind of diet program, but I found something quite different.

I already considered myself religious and didn't think I needed much help in this area. I also wasn't particularly interested in working on my shortcomings, but I was willing to overlook these "problem" areas of Program because I was so desperate for help.

Well, I did get my weight and appetite under control, but I got much more than that. Program's concept of being able to work with a God of my own understanding may have been the most radical and personally-enlightening theological tidbit I've ever had the pleasure of tripping over. It changed everything I thought I knew about spirituality and God. Through this shift in my understanding, my Higher Power began to change me and help me with my COE by gradually removing all of my past baggage and encumbrances.

Even though I've now reached my recovery goals, my purification continues daily, as does my spiritual growth. I went searching for a diet that actually worked and instead found a whole new way of life. Whoda thunk?

One day at a time...
I will continue to nurture my relationship with the God Of MY Understanding by working the tools of recovery.
~ Rob.

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We went back through our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty. When we were finished we considered it carefully. - Pg. 65 - How It Works - 3rd. and 4th. Edition

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Another day of sobriety begins. Continue to welcome with open arms, those now with less time than you. We DO one kind thing each day for someone: get them a cup of coffee, escort a newcomer to a chair, empty an ashtray after a meeting.

God, as I understand You, show me each day some kind thing I can DO for someone else.

Loving Myself through Action

I want to do something special for myself today. Giving to others and withholding from myself doesn't work. I tend to treat other people the way that I treat myself. If I am stingy with me, I will, somewhere along the line, act that out with other people. If I am hard on myself, I will tend to be hard on others. I am the only person who is with me all hours of the day and I know what feels good and warm to me. I know what makes me feel sustained from within. Today, I will encourage, support and congratulate myself. Each time I do something that pleases me I'll say 'thank you' to myself. Each time I do something well, I'll tell myself 'good job.' I will be my own best cheerleader.

I will encourage and support myself.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Self will and 'running the show' can be like the monkey who sticks his hand into the trap for food. He grasps the food tightly creating a fist that won't slide out the trap door. The monkey struggles but won't release the food and he is trapped. Holding tight to your will and your way can be the fist that traps you.

I Let Go and Let God. What a relief.

"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

I celebrate myself today. I am alive. I am growing. I am willing to do all I am able to be the best of who I am.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

'I liked you better when you were drinking.'
'I liked you better when I was drinking too!' - Anon.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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