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God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference.
Thy will, not mine, be done.

February 11

Daily Reflections

THE LIMITS OF SELF-RELIANCE

We asked ourselves why we had them [fears]. Wasn't it
because self-reliance failed us?
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.68

All of my character defects separate me from God's will.
When I ignore my association with Him I face the world
and my alcoholism alone and must depend on self-reliance.
I have never found security and happiness through
self-will and the only result is a life of fear and
discontent. God provides the path back to Him and to
His gift of security and comfort. First, however, I
must be willing to acknowledge my fears and understand
their source and power over me. I frequently ask God to
help me understand how I separate myself from Him.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

If we're going to stay sober, we've got to learn to want
something else more than we want to drink. When we first
came into A.A., we couldn't imagine wanting anything else
so much or more than drinking. So we had to stop drinking
on faith, on faith that someday we really would want
something else more than drinking. But after we've been
in A.A. for a while, we learn that a sober life can
really be enjoyed. We learn how nice it is to get along
well with our family at home, how nice it is to do our
work well at the office, how nice it is to try to help
others. Have I found that when I keep sober, everything
goes well for me?

Meditation For The Day

There is almost no work in life so hard as waiting. And
yet God wants me to wait. All motion is more easy than
calm waiting, and yet I must wait until God shows me His
will. So many people have marred their work and hindered
the growth of their spiritual lives by too much activity.
If I wait patiently, preparing myself always, I will be
some day at the place where I would be. And much toil
and activity could not have accomplished the journey so
soon.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may wait patiently. I pray that I may trust
God and keep preparing myself for a better life.

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

As Bill Sees It

Self-Confidence and Will Power, p. 42

When first challenged to admit defeat, most of us revolted. We had
approached A.A. expecting to be taught self-confidence. Then we had
been told that so far as alcohol was concerned, self-confidence was no
good whatever; in fact, it was a total liability. There was no such thing
as personal conquest of the alcoholic compulsion by the unaided will.

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

It is when we try to make our will conform with God's that we begin to
use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our
whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to
bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into
agreement with God's intention for us. To make this increasingly
possible is the purpose of A.A.'s Twelve Steps.

12 & 12
1. p. 22
2. p. 40


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Walk In Dry Places
 
Practice makes patience.
Acquiring Maturity
Extreme impatience is part of most alcoholic stories: "I want what I want when I want it."  When it continues in sobriety, impatience leads to mistakes and accidents.  How can we bring impatience under control without losing all drive and initiative?
One route may be to acquire patience through practice. We can devote some time each day to a task that must be done, even if it is tedious and boring. We can make a real effort to be more patient with somebody who is slow or difficult.  We can face the fear and anxiety that sometimes make us overwork or turn us into people-pleasers.
These exercises won't eliminate impatience overnight.  But they'll produce the satisfaction of knowing that we're getting control of our lives. They will also make us more effective in our dealings with others.
Reminding ourselves that all outcomes aqre in God's hands can help us acquire patience. Willful pushing does not bring the serenity and well being we really seek. We labor in vain if we are seeking goals that are not in line with God's will for us.
I will do my work today with the knowledge that God really is in charge of my life… I do not have to let anything or anyone rob me of my serenity and self-control.  I will practice patience in situations where it is needed.

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

Keep It Simple

Sanity is madness put to good use.---George Santayana
In Step Two we come to believe a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. In a way, as we work Step Two, we're praying that our madness can be put to good use. This is just what happens. Addiction was wrecking our life. But it's also our addiction that forced us into a new way of life.
As long as we remember what our madness was like, we can put it to good use. When we feel like giving up, let's remember our madness. It will help us go on. When we see someone suffering from the illness of addiction, let's remember our days of madness. It will help us be there for that person. It's also good to remember that our madness is only a pill or a drink away.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I believe You can put my madness to good use. I give up my madness; do with it what You want. 
Action for the Day:  I'll list a couple ways my Higher Power and I have changed my madness into sanity.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you.  --Lady Bird Johnson
Preoccupation with self can be the bane of our existence. It prevents all but the narrowest perspective on any problem. It cuts off any guidance from our higher power that may be offered through a friend. It blocks whatever truths are trying to gain our attention. The paradox is that whatever our pain, it is lessened by turning our attention elsewhere, to another's pain or her joy.
When we open our minds to fresh input from others, insights emerge. We need the messages others are trying to give us. Nothing that is said in a loving spirit is empty of meaning for our lives.
We might consider that every conversation we have is a conversation with our Creator. What we need to know, for our own growth, is guaranteed to be revealed in our many conversations with others. But we can't hear another's thoughts until we let go of our own.
Full attention to the persons sent to me will offer me exactly what I need, today. My inner guide has beckoned them. I can be alert, expect solutions, and celebrate the wonder of it all.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - First Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

How could men who loved their wives and children be so unthinking, so callous, so cruel? There could be no love in such persons, we thought. And just as we were being convinced of their heartlessness, they would surprise us with fresh resolves and new attentions. For a while they would be their old sweet selves, only to dash the new structure of affection to pieces once more. Asked why they commenced to drink again, they would reply with some silly excuse, or none. It was so baffling, so heartbreaking. Could we have been so mistaken in the men we married? When drinking, they were strangers. Sometimes they were so inaccessible that it seemed as though a great wall had been built around them.

p. 107


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - First Edition Stories

GUTTER BRAVADO - Alone and unemployable, he was given two options by the court, get help or go to jail, and his journey toward teachability began.

The downward spiral of my life began making smaller circles.  My driving record included accidents and a ticket list that would raise a policeman's eyebrows.  When I carried insurance, it was high risk.  I grew sneakier and less outwardly defiant.  Despite breaking laws routinely for years, I stayed out of big trouble for the most part.  A few times they almost had me, but I managed to scam on technicalities or I got another break.  Finally an indiscretion committed years earlier came back to haunt me.  I was about to have a forced encounter with the federal judicial system.  I began to feel like a clown juggling too many balls.  Each ball represented a problem I was keeping in the air.  My arms were weary and I knew I couldn't keep on much longer, but I was not about to give up.  My pride and ego wouldn't let me.  Bosses, judges, co-workers, lawyers, car notes, bar tabs, loan sharks, utility payments, landlords, my girlfriend, people I had double-crossed--I looked too all these as the source of my problems, while overlooking the most basic problem:  my drinking and myself.  I'd known for a long time that I desperately wanted off this merry-go-round, but I had no idea how to do it.

pp. 505-506


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Three - "The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking."

At first the elders could look only at the objections. "We deal," they said, "with alcoholics only. Shouldn't we sacrifice this one for the sake of the many?" So went the discussions while the newcomer's fate hung in the balance. Then one of the three spoke in a very different voice. "What we are really afraid of," he said, "is our reputation. We are much more afraid of what people might say than the trouble this strange alcoholic might bring. As we've been talking, five short words have been running through my mind. Something keeps repeating to me, "What would the Master do?" "Not another word was said. What more indeed could be said?

p. 142


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

Serenity isn't freedom from the storm, it is peace within the storm.

When we release the bitterness, judgment and blame of the past, whether of ourselves or others, the past becomes a stepping stone to spiritual growth, to increased compassion, understanding and love. Today, repeat several times, "I bless my past and see it as a stepping stone to greater good."  --Mary Manin Morrissey

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.  --William Arthur Ward

Great Spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.  --Native American Proverb

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.  --Frank A. Clark

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

PITY

"When a man has pity on all
living creatures, then only is he
noble."
-- Buddha

We all need each other. More than this, we need to help and sustain
each other. And this concept extends beyond human beings --- the
world is full of other creatures that God has made and which make our
lives so fascinating and entertaining. Animals and plants make up our
ecological history and yet so often we rob and hurt our environment.

Recovery from alcoholism means more than putting down "the drink".
Today I am picking up a responsible attitude that makes me care, on a
spiritual level, for my world.

Lord, as I look around my world I cannot help but worship You.

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

If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.  1 John 5:14-15

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him, and be radiant.  Psalm 34:4-5


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

Daily Inspiration

God will answer our prayers if we believe, but first we must ask. Lord, I need the strength that only You can give.

God will give you strength because He will give of Himself. Lord, thank You for the many gifts of which You always bless me
.

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


NA Just For Today

A Curse Into A Blessing

"We have become very grateful in the course of our recovery.... We have a disease, but we do recover" Basic Text, p. 8

Active addiction was no picnic; many of us barely came out of it alive. But ranting against the disease, lamenting what it has done to us, pitying ourselves for the condition it has left us in—these things can only keep us locked in the spirit of bitterness and resentment. The path to freedom and spiritual growth begins where bitterness ends, with acceptance.

There is no denying the suffering brought by addiction. Yet it was this disease that brought us to Narcotics Anonymous; without it, we would neither have sought nor found the blessing of recovery. In isolating us, it forced us to seek fellowship. In causing us to suffer, it gave us the experience needed to help others, help no one else was so uniquely suited to offer. In forcing us to our knees, addiction gave us the opportunity to surrender to the care of a loving Higher Power.

We would not wish the disease of addiction on anyone. But the fact remains that we addicts already have this disease— and further, that without this disease we may never have embarked on our spiritual journey. Thousands of people search their whole lives for what we have found in Narcotics Anonymous: fellowship, a sense of purpose, and conscious contact with a Higher Power. Today, we are grateful for everything that has brought us this blessing.

Just for today: I will accept the fact of my disease, and pursue the blessing of my recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Life deals more rigorously with some than others. --Lewis F. Presnall
How often we think about a friend, He sure is lucky! And probably just as often we say to ourselves, Why did that happen to me? It's not fair! The truth is, life isn't always fair. We don't all get the same experiences, the same lessons. But we each learn what we need to learn in order to fulfill our destiny.
We have to learn to trust. Maybe a bike gets stolen or a friend moves away. It's not easy to accept such things as these, but we must all learn to understand and accept losses in our lives.
Perhaps we fail a test. The lesson we learn from this may be to study harder or to consider a different course of study in school. There are always reasons for why things happen, but we don't have to know them.
Can I trust in the lessons of my failures today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Too much agreement kills a chat. --Eldridge Cleaver
Many of us haven't learned there is room for disagreement in a relationship. Some men who grew up in addicted families saw a lot of pain, anger, and quarreling. Many learned to be always pleasing and agreeable, no matter how they felt. Others took it as a personal insult when someone disagreed with them.
We choke the vitality and excitement in our love relationships if we are too intent on avoiding conflict. Nothing can be resolved if we smooth everything over. Differences between people don't just go away. If we don't bring them out, they fester and create silent tension or boredom. If we willingly express our thoughts and feelings, we can learn how to resolve our disagreements and to appreciate each other for our differences as well as our similarities. If two people in a relationship were exactly alike, one of them would be unnecessary.
Today, I will try to be more open about my differences with people, not as a way of fighting, but as a way of letting them know me better.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Divinely Led
Send me the right thought, word, or action. Shaw me what my next step should be. In times of doubt and indecision please send your inspiration and guidance.
--Alcoholics Anonymous
The good news of surrendering ourselves and our life to a Power greater than ourselves is that we come into harmony with a Grand Plan, one greater than we can imagine.
We are promised Divine Guidance if we ask for it if we work the Twelve Steps. What greater gift could we receive than knowing our thoughts, words, and actions are being directed?
We aren't a mistake. And we don't have to control or repress others or ourselves for life to work out. Even the strange, the unplanned, the painful, and those things we call errors can evolve into harmony.
We will be guided into understanding what we need to do to take care of ourselves. We will begin to trust our instincts, our feelings, and our thoughts. We will know when to go, to stop, and to wait. We will learn a great truth: the plan will happen in spite of us not because of us.
I pray today and each day that my thoughts, words, and actions may be Divinely led. I pray that I can move forward in confidence, knowing my steps are guided.


Even in moments of doubting, I know that my Higher Power has been guiding me on my path today. --Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
The Universe Is Abundant

Watch out for greed-- greed for money, for resources, for love. Greed can slowly corrupt the heart. Greed can slowly take over our lives. Greed and fear can block our connection with the universe, and with universal love.

Let go of the fears of deprivation, of doing without, that haunt you from the past. Having more and more won't solve your problem if what you need is to heal your fears. Look around with love at your life and the people in it. If you open your heart and look without fear, you may see that you have enough now.

Go back to your heart. Let love, not fear and greed, lead the way. Be led by your desire to joyfully serve, by the desire to bring your gifts, your healing, your comforts and talents to others. Go back to your heart as often as you need. And remember what is honorable and true. Say to those you love. This is what I shall give. And I'll give it because my heart leads me to do so.


The universe is abundant. Take your part, take your place, in universal love. Go back to your heart. Give from the heart. And the universe will respond in kind.

*****

more language of letting go
Grief


No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. ... Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not "So there's no God after all," but " So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer."
--C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

There's no way to prepare for deep grief, for the pain that shatters a heart and a life when a beloved leaves.

No one can coach us on it. Those who could, who knew exactly how it felt; who could describe it in detail, wouldn't do it, would not presume to encroach on this most intimate part of our relationship with a loved one. Those who casually say, "Aren't you over that yet?" don't understand.

This much I will tell you about grief. If there was ever a second, or a moment, when you suspected or knew you had been betrayed at the deepest level by someone you adored, and a splintering pain began to shred your heart, turn your world grimly unbearable to the point where you would consciously choose denial and ignorance about the betrayal rather than feel this way, that is one-millionth of what it feels like to grieve.

Grief is not an abnormal condition, nor is it something to be treated with words. It is a universe, a world, unto itself. If you are called to enter this world, there is no turning back. We are not allowed to refuse that call. Grief is like nothing else, with the possible exception of the pounding waves of the ocean. To the untrained, casual eye, each wave looks the same. It is not. No two are the same. And each one washes away the old, and washes in the new.

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, whether we believe it or not, we are being transformed.


God, take care of me those moments and hours when I cannot find the will or power to take care of myself. Transform me, if not in the twinkling of an eye, then over the slow movement of the years, into who I will become.

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
I can always take strength and comfort from knowing I belong to a worldwide fellowship. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands, just like myself, are working together for the same purpose. None of us needs to ever be alone again, because each of us in our own way works for the good of others. We are bound together by a common problem that can be solved by love and understanding and mutual service. The Program – like the little wheel in the old hymn – runs by the grace of God.

Have I thanked God today for helping me to find The Program, which is showing me the way to a new life?

Today I Pray
May my thanks be lifted to God each day for dispelling my self-inflicted loneliness, for warming my stoicism, for leading me to the boundless fund of friendship in The Program.

Today I Will Remember
I have a world of friends.

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

One More Day

“You are responsible for your own life and have a job to perform in your healthcare.”
– Neil A. Fiore

It’s a real shock to find out that we have an ongoing medical problem. Lots of us may get quite angry and blame the doctor for the diagnosis. Or we may want to turn it all over to the professionals. But soon we begin to see that we are the primary ones responsible for ourselves. Eventually, we begin to give full cooperation to our doctors and therapist. We become equal members of our healthcare team.

Adjustments are difficult in the best of circumstance, but with the help of those who love us, with the assistance of our doctors, and with our participation, we adjust to chronic illness. Then we can see our problems in their proper perspective and begin again to enjoy our lives.

In accepting changes in my life, I find balance once again.

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

One Day At A Time

FREEDOM

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself,
instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
Judy Garland

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be like -- or act like -- someone else. I never allowed myself the freedom to be me. I was my parents' child, my husband's wife, and my children's mother. It wasn't until I came into program wearing all of my identities on my body -- 150 pounds’ worth -- that I was able to see how unhappy I really was.

I began my journey to recovery by slowly discovering the real me underneath all that extra weight. Working the Twelve Steps of recovery helped me to peel away the layers of fear that kept me stuck.


One Day at a Time . . .
I am free to be me ~
And I am enough.
~ Eileen

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink. - Pg. 21 - There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Even when we consciously don't think we want to get high, our disease of addiction works through our subconscious and calls, 'what do they know; just one won't hurt; well, if they're going to be like that!' Our subconscious pops silly excuses for using into our minds. We must learn to recognize and neutralize these thoughts.

May my subconscious 'arguments' that subtly tell me to use, have no power to influence my true goal of staying clean and clear.

I Can Lift My Own Spirits

I will lift my own spirits today. I will look for that place in me that is still and serene, that isn't just constantly in response mode. Somewhere there is a constant, meditative place where the little and even the even big concerns of the day slip away and become less important. A place where life is just life and I can breathe in and out of a place of inner calm. Life doesn't have to prove itself to me today for me to treasure it. It is enough that I am here, that I have my freedom of thought and movement. I will appreciate the life I have.

I am connected with the divine

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

People who seek a sponsor without faults, will be without a sponsor.

I know that my sponsor is willing to make mistakes, if I am willing to learn from them.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Focus on the program, not the problem.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Even in moments of doubting I know that my Higher Power has been guiding me on my path today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I wanted to be Clint Eastwood but I was more like Woody Allen. - Trip S.

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

AA Thought for the Day

February 11

Discovery
I learned that when I stopped trying to analyze AA or God
I found both sobriety and a Higher Power.
I also realized that I could easily have found sobriety and God by honestly saying,
"God, I am so confused -- please help me."
- Thank You For Sharing, p. 41

Thought to Ponder . . .
Recovery is discovery.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = Always Aware.

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

Miracles
Since these things have happened among us,
they can happen with you.
Should you wish them above all else,
and be willing to make use of our experience,
we are sure they will come.
The age of miracles is still with us.
Our own recovery proves that!
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 153

Thought to Consider . . .
Don't give up before the miracle happens.

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

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

Request
>From "Into Action":
"On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we
ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives."
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 86

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

"From the moment I pulled open the doors to my very first meeting, I felt something different, something good was going
to happen. Those doors, which at the time I believed to be the heaviest ever made, allowed me to walk into a new way of life."
New York, N.Y., January 2006
From: "Attitude Adjustment"
Beginner's Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

"The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy,
envy, frustration, and fear."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Employers, pg. 145~

"Thus we grow. And so can you, though you be but one man with this
book in your hand. We believe and hope it contains all you will need
to begin."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 162

For we had started to get perspective on ourselves, which is another way of saying that we were gaining in humility.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 48

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

When first challenged to admit defeat, most of us revolted. We had approached A.A. expecting to be taught self-
confidence. Then we had been told that so far as alcohol was concerned, self-confidence was no good whatever; in
fact, it was a total liability. There was no such thing as personal conquest of the alcoholic compulsion by the unaided will.
It is when we try to make our will conform with God's that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most
wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of will power. We had tried to bombard our problems with
it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God's intention for us. To make this increasingly possible is the
purpose of A.A.'s Twelve Steps.

Prayer for the Day: As we travel through the rest of our day, may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in
believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope. Amen.

Ask and you shall receive,
Seek and ye shall find,
Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
Matthew 7:7

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