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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 12

Daily Reflections

"THE ROOT OF OUR TROUBLES"

Selfishness--self-centeredness! That, we think, is the
root of all our troubles.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 62

How amazing the revelation that the world, and everyone
in it, can get along just fine with or without me. What
a relief to know that people, places and things will be
perfectly okay without my control and direction. And
how wordlessly wonderful to come to believe that a power
greater than me exists separate and apart from myself.
I believe that the feeling of separation I experience
between me and God will one day vanish. In the meantime,
faith must serve as the pathway to the center of my
life.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

As we look back on all those troubles we used to have
when we were drinking, the hospitals, the jails, we
wonder how we could have wanted that kind of life. As we
look back on it now, we see our drinking life as it
really was and we're glad we're out of it. So after a few
months in A.A., we find that we can honestly say that we
want something else more than drinking. We've learned by
experience that a sober life is really enjoyable and we
wouldn't go back to the old drunken way of living for
anything in the world. Do I want to keep sober a lot more
than I want to get drunk?

Meditation For The Day

My spiritual life depends on an inner consciousness of
God. I must be led in all things by my consciousness of
God and I must trust Him in all things. My consciousness
of God will always bring peace to me. I will have no fear,
because a good future lies before me as long as I keep my
consciousness of God. If in every single happening, event
and plan I am conscious of God, then no matter what
happens, I will be safe in God's hands.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have this ever-consciousness of God.
I pray for a new and better life through this God
consciousness.

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

As Bill Sees It

How Much Anonymity?, p. 43

As a rule, the average newcomer wanted his family to know
immediately what he was trying to do. He also wanted to tell others
who had tried to help him--his doctor, his minister, and close friends.
As he gained confidence, he felt it right to explain his new way of life
to his employer and business associates. When opportunities to be
helpful came along, he found he could talk easily about A.A. to almost
anyone.

These quiet disclosures helped him to lose his fear of the alcoholic
stigma, and spread the news of A.A.'s existence in his community.
Many a man and woman came to A.A. because of such conversations.
Since it is only at the top public level that anonymity is expected, such
communications were well within its spirit.

12 & 12, pp. 185-186


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Walk In Dry Places
 
Do it sober___ Practicing Principles
There may be a hidden meaning in that bumper sticker that reminds us to "Do it Sober,"  but we can also read it to mean that real sobriety should guide everything we do today.
Real sobriety is emotional sobriety.  We have it when our principles protect us from overpowering feelings growing out of greed, fear, and resentment. Even without the bottle, an attack of fear or resentment can distort personal judgment and lead to foolish mistakes. Whatever we do, whether it's sweeping a factory floor or leading a corporate board meeting, we should do with confidence and calm self-control.
When we work in this way, we help others. We only harm them if we bring bitterness and resentment into their space.  True emotional sobriety helps us set a better example and assures others that AA really works in people's lives.  One AA member was pleasantly surprised when he was complimented for remaining calm in confrontations with angry people.  HE realized that his AA principles had been at work in his workplace, helping him to maintain a calm dignity that made him assertive and effective. Whatever we do sober, we always do better.
Today I'll remind myself to stay emotionally as well as physically sober. So-called Dry Drunks are not slips, but they destroy my effectiveness and should have no place in my life.


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

Keep It Simple

We are always the same age inside.---Gertrude Stein
Deep inside, we each have a child's spirit. We still have many of the feelings we had when we were young. Some of us have a hurting child inside. There's sadness, fear, or anger that hasn't gone away. We're still lonely, no matter how many people care about us. Our inner child needs special help to heal. We can be good parents to our inner child. We do this by being gentle and caring with ourselves. In time, this child can be a happy center in our hearts.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, please heal the child inside of me a little more each day. Help my inner child be alive, free, and full of joy.
Action for the Day:  Right now, I'll close my eyes for a minute. I'll think kind thoughts about myself. Than I'll say out loud, "Inner child, I love you. I'll take good care of you." I'll do this two more times today.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing. --Mary McCarthy
We understand today ideas we couldn't grasp yesterday. We are conscious this year of details of our past that we may have glossed over at the time. Our blinders are slowly giving way, readying us for the truths we couldn't absorb before.
"When the student is ready, the teacher appears." And the teacher comes bearing truths that we need to assimilate into our growing bank of knowledge. The truths we may be given today, or any day, won't always make us happy immediately. We may learn that a job is no longer right for us. Or that a relationship has reached an end. And the impending changes create unrest. But in the grand scheme of our lives, the changes wrought by these truths are good and will contribute in time to our happiness.
Let's celebrate the truths as they come and trust the outcome to God. We are traveling a very special road. The way is rocky. The bends limit our vision, but we will be given all the direction we need.
The truths I receive today will guide my steps. I shall move in peace.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - First Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

And even if they did not love their families, how could they be so blind about themselves? What had become of their judgment, their common sense, their will power? Why could they not see that drink meant ruin to them? Why was it, when these dangers were pointed out that they agreed, and then got drunk again immediately?

pp. 107-108


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

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 judge had no trouble coming up with a few ideas, however.  I got house arrest with electronic monitoring and strictly supervised probation with random urinalysis for openers.  Five years in the penitentiary waited after that.  I still played the angles, until it became clear to the authorities that I could not live up to the conditions of my probation.  It didn't matter what the consequences were--I couldn't not drink, and I gave up trying.  When the court eventually called me in for my violations, they gave me two choices: get help or go to jail.  After careful thought I chose the first.  Now either they were going to send me someplace, or I could send myself.  I chose the second, and they gave me a week to make arrangements.  Procrastinating to the end, it took me three.  This is when, once again, desperate, cornered, and at my lowest, I said the only prayer I still knew:  "God help me--if you get me out of this one, I'll never do it again."  My life was finally out of my control.

p. 506


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Overjoyed, the newcomer plunged into Twelfth Step work. Tirelessly he laid A.A.'s message before scores of people. Since this was a very early group, those scores have since multiplied themselves into thousands. Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty. A.A. had taken its first step in the formation of Tradition Three.

p. 142


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

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

May I be an example to those whose lives touch mine.  --Shelley

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.  --Chinese Proverb

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.  --Walter Elliott

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.  --French Proverb

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

FREEDOM

"Freedom comes from human
beings, rather than from laws and
institutions."
-- Clarence Darrow

The disease of alcoholism does not live in bottles or books. It lives in
people. Drug problems are people problems. Sobriety exists in the
man, not the theory.

In this sense recovery must be experienced, rather than simply talked
about. The Program is essentially not written in books or taught in
lecture rooms but is lived in the lives of people; the program stems
from the heart of man.

I believe the program is that spark of divinity that God has bestowed
upon all of us --- and we must discover it within.

Teach me to remember that to think a smile without revealing a smile
is to be grumpy.

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

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.  Psalms 19:14

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Ephesians 6:10

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.  Psalm 3:3

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.  Psalm 150


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Daily Inspiration

Closeness with family makes us one in heart and mind. Lord, help me to fill our home with love and make it our safe haven from the troubles of the world.

Forget what you have done for others and remember what they have done for you. Lord, a gift is given freely with no expectation. May I become a truly giving person
.

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

NA Just For Today

Living In The Moment
"We regretted the past, dreaded the future, and weren't too thrilled about the present." Basic Text, p. 7

Until we experience the healing that happens when we work the Twelve Steps, it is doubtful that we can find a statement more true than the quote above. Most of us come to NA hanging our heads in shame, thinking about the past and wishing we could go back and change it. Our fantasies and expectations about the future may be so extreme that, on our first date with someone, we find ourselves wondering which lawyer we'll use for the divorce. Almost every experience causes us to remember something from the past or begin projecting into the future.

At first, it's difficult to stay in the moment. It seems as though our minds won't stop. We have a hard time just enjoying ourselves. Each time we realize that our thoughts are not focused on what's happening right now, we can pray and ask a loving God to help us get out of ourselves. If we regret the past, we make amends by living differently today; if we dread the future, we work on living responsibly today.

When we work the steps and pray each time we discover we're not living in the present, we'll notice that those times aren't occurring as often as they used to. Our faith will help us live just for today. We'll have hours, even days, when our full attention is focused on the current moment in time, not the regrettable past or fearful future.

Just for today: When I live fully in each moment, I open myself to joys that might otherwise escape me. If I am having trouble, I will ask a loving God for help.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce, Or a trouble is what you make it, And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts, But only how you take it. --Edmund Vance Cooke
Once, a woman decided to throw a problem-exchange party. As guests arrived, they shed all their personal problems and tossed them onto a pile with everyone else's. After all had discussed their own problem for others to hear, the party ended with guests selecting from the problem pile those they wished to carry away. Each person left with the same troubles he or she had brought to the party.
We who worry a great deal about our problems are always sure no one else has troubles as bad as ours. Too often, we complain, "If you had my problems, you'd really hurt." Our problems are tailored to us, and geared to help us learn by solving them. No one else's would be quite right.
When we cope with problems, rather than wailing about them, we discover that our own are minor irritations compared to those we see in others.
What problems am I lucky to have?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light I have.
--Abraham Lincoln
With too much focus on control, we men have been preoccupied by our overemphasis on outcomes. We say winning is everything, and the way we play the game doesn't matter. We give honor to a man who has accumulated great wealth, regardless of how he has lived. We develop sexual problems because we focus on performance and achieving orgasm rather than on the joy of loving.
As our integrity grows, our emphasis changes. It is not crucial that we always be right, only that we be honest. We do not have to be winners or high achievers so much as we have to be real human beings. Conquest is not as important as connection. We do not always have to compare ourselves and be better than the next guy. We can exchange and appreciate the communication.
Today, I will grow in my relationships with others by being more true to myself and less driven toward a particular outcome.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Those Not in Recovery
We can go forward with our life and recoveries, even though someone we love is not yet recovering.
Picture a bridge. On one side of the bridge it is cold and dark. We stood there with others in the cold and darkness, doubled over in pain. Some of us developed an eating disorder to cope with the pain. Some drank; some used other drugs. Some of us lost control of our sexual behavior. Some of us obsessively focused on addicted people's pain to distract us from our own pain. Many of us did both: we developed an addictive behavior, and distracted ourselves by focusing on other addicted people. We did not know there was a bridge. We thought we were trapped on a cliff.
Then, some of us got lucky. Our eyes opened, by the Grace of God, because it was time. We saw the bridge. People told us what was on the other side: warmth, light, and healing from our pain. We could barely glimpse or imagine this, but we decided to start the trek across the bridge anyway.
We tried to convince the people around us on the cliff that there was a bridge to a better place, but they wouldn't listen. They couldn't see it; they couldn't believe. They were not ready for the journey. We decided to go alone, because we believed, and because people on the other side were cheering us onward. The closer we got to the other side, the more we could see, and feel, that what we had been promised was real. There was light, warmth, healing, and love. The other side was a better place.
But now, there is a bridge between those on the other side and us. Sometimes, we may be tempted to go back and drag them over with us, but it cannot be done. No one can be dragged or forced across this bridge. Each person must go at his or her own choice, when the time is right. Some will come; some will stay on the other side. The choice is not ours.
We can love them. We can wave to them. We can holler back and forth. We can cheer them on, as others have cheered and encouraged us. But we cannot make them come over with us.
If our time has come to cross the bridge, or if we have already crossed and are standing in the light and warmth, we do not have to feel guilty. It is where we are meant to be. We do not have to go back to the dark cliff because another's time has not yet come.
The best thing we can do is stay in the light, because it reassures others that there is a better place. And if others ever do decide to cross the bridge, we will be there to cheer them on.
Today, I will move forward with my life, despite what others are doing or not doing. I will know it is my right to cross the bridge to a better life, even if I must leave others behind to do that. I will not feel guilty. I will not feel ashamed. I know that where I am now is a better place and where I'm meant to be.


As I let go of all the negative tapes that block my truth, I trust and follow the energy that leads me to peace and joy. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Fill Your World with Color and Beauty

Fill your life and your world with the colors, textures, scents, and objects that are beautiful to you, that have meaning to you. Remember that we are connected to our environment. The objects and the colors in our world have energy and meaning. They have an impact on us.

The more we see how connected we are, the more carefully and thoughtfully we may want to choose the items we place in our home, or our space at work, if we have a special area, because these objects and colors can reflect how we feel about ourselves and what is important to us.

Objects have energy. They have energy already in them when we obtain them, and they have the energy and meaning we attribute to them. Choose carefully the possessions you want around you, for they tell a story all day long.

Fill your world, your life, with objects that are beautiful and have special meaning to you. What articles and hues have you surrounded yourself with at home, at work? Is there a special article you want close to you, on your desk, in your locker, in your pocket? What story do these things tell about you, about what you’re going through, about your place in your journey?

Choose objects and colors that make your heart smile.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Starting over

How many times do we have to start over?

Many changes in our lives signal a major ending or beginning: death, birth, graduation, marriage, divorce, moving to a new home, getting sober, losing a job, or beginning a new career. We look around and think, Here we go. I’m starting over again.

Sometimes we don’t catch on at first. Sometimes it just feels like day after day of the same old thing as the old fades away and the new begins. Sometimes it feels like our lives have just stopped. Whether we believe it or not, when one cycle ends, a new one begins.

If life as you have known it is disappearing, it may be time to let go. Even if you can’t see it now– and you probably can’t– a new life will begin fading in to take its place. You and your life are being transformed.

How many times do we have to start over? As many times as life as we know it ends.

Say woohoo. You’re being born again.

God, help me trust that a new life awaits me if life as I’ve known it is fading away. Give me the patience and trust to sink joyfully into the void.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I am grateful for my friends in The Program. Right now I am aware of the blessings of friendship — the blessings of meeting, of sharing, of smiling, of listening, and of being available when needed. right now I know that if I want a friend, I must be a friend. Will i vow, this day, to be a better friend to more people? Will I strive, this day — in my thoughts, words and actions — to disclose the kind of friend I am?

Today I Pray

May I restore in kind to the fellowship of The Program the friendship I have so hungrily taken from it. After years of glossing my lonely existence with superficial acquaintanceship, may I learn again the reciprocal joys of caring and sharing.

Today I Will Remember

Be A Friend.

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One More Day

I am where I am because I believe in life’s possibilities.
– Oprah Winfrey

During the years of our youth we were continually reminded, “You can do it. Just set a goal and then reach a little beyond it.” Many of us were better at this as youngsters than we are as adults. We each have fought our own battles — to become educated or perhaps to achieve a promotion or new job. We tend to get a little short-sighted when a new variable enters the picture — a changing health pattern.

Too many of us back away, fearful the we’ll have all we can do to just orchestrate our own health care. It’s imperative that we continue to believe in ourselves as human beings with great potential — it matters less that we reach each goal. It matters most that we try.

I am setting new goals that offer challenge and the chance for success.

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

One Day At A Time

~ POSITIVE THINKING ~

"We could accomplish many more things
if we did not think of them as impossible"
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
from his "Lettres à M. de Malesherbes

I have spent a lifetime dieting. My life can be easily separated into two sections: the dieting periods and the non-dieting, or bingeing, periods. When I first start losing weight, I am positive about it, to the point where, if I go clothes shopping, I even buy things in smaller sizes because soon I won't be as big as I am. This works fine while I'm losing weight, but when I reach a plateau and remain at the same weight level for a while, or even worse, gain a bit, I start to think that I'll never lose the weight I need to lose, that my sticking to a "diet" for the rest of my life is nigh to impossible.

Well, with stinking thinking like this, I'm defeated before I've even started. Through this program, I've learned that anything is possible. First of all, it's true that sticking to a diet for the rest of my life would be an impossible feat, but in program we don't "go on diets." We follow a sensible eating plan, and this plan should be flexible enough that it IS something we can follow indefinitely. Secondly, I have to correct my time spans. Instead of thinking of it as "the rest of my life," I have the option to think of it as "One Day at a Time," and we can do anything for just one day, can't we?

One day at a time ...
I remember that's all it takes...one day at a time.
Marjee

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

In any meeting, anywhere, A.A.'s share experience, strength, and hope with each other, in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics. Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.'s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity. - Pg. xxiv - Foreword To Fourth Edition

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Slogans seem silly but they are important tools: first things first; one day at a time; kiss. We say them frequently because we need to burn them into our thoughts. Slogans are not 'fillers' for reluctant speakers. They embody important principles necessary to our path of recovery.

With the next slogan I hear, let me really HEAR it, know its importance, and practice it.

Treasures

If I am alive then I need to look around me and feel thankful for the gifts that are mine. There is so much to be grateful for if I am willing to consider the blessings I already have. There is a wisdom in gratitude because what I focus on with appreciation has a way of expanding in my life. If I erase my blessings, I don't feed them with the grace of gratitude. If I give thanks for them, I show the creative force that brings forth all good things that I am worthy enough to appreciate what has been so generously given to me.

I know enough to say thank you

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

You are either progressing or regressing. There is no such thing as standing still; there is no such thing as simply 'gressing.'

I can only coast one way, and that's downhill.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Sobriety is never an accident.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

As I let go of all the negative tapes that block my truth, I trust and follow the energy that leads me to peace and joy.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Willpower tells me I must. Willingness tells me I can. - Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

February 12

Helping Others
When trying to help a fellow alcoholic,
I've given in to an impulse to give advice, and perhaps that's inevitable.
But allowing others the right to be wrong reaps its own benefits.
The best I can do -- and it sounds easier than it is to put into practice --
is to listen, share personal experience, and pray for others.
- Daily Reflections, p. 364

Thought to Ponder . . .
Learn to listen; listen to learn.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A R T = Always Remain Teachable.

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

Faith
We had seen spiritual release,
but liked to tell ourselves it wasn't true.
Actually, we were fooling ourselves,
for deep down in every man, woman, and child,
is the fundamental idea of God.
It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp,
by worship of other things,
but in some form or other it is there.
For faith in a Power greater than ourselves,
and miraculous demonstrations of that power
in human lives,
are facts as old as man himself.
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 55

Thought to Consider . . .
We found the Great Reality deep down within us.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Found Always In Trusting Him.

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

HP?
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
"'You can, if you wish, make A.A. itself your "higher power." Here's a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way. All of them will tell you that, once across, their faith broadened and deepened. Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God.'"
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pgs. 27-28

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

"Clearly, the chief mark of restoration to sanity is our
not taking the first drink."
March 1981
From: "Sanity"
Step By Step

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

"We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually
sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these
disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to
help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we
would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said
to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God
save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'"
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66~

"We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 133~

We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need, fearing we shall never have enough.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 49

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

As a rule, the average newcomer wanted his family to know immediately what he was trying to do. He also wanted to tell others who had tried to help him - his doctor, his minister, and close friends. As he gained confidence, he felt it right to explain his new way of life to his employer and business associates. When opportunities to be helpful came along, he found he could talk easily about A.A. to almost anyone.
These quiet disclosures helped him to lose his fear of the alcoholic stigma, and spread the news of A.A.'s existence in his community. Many a new man and woman came to A.A. because of such conversations. Since it is only at the top public level that anonymity is expected, such communications were well within its spirit.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Father, thank you for today. Please give me wisdom and guidance to help those who are in need. Please grant me the patience and understanding to deal with those who are less forgiving, for they are the ones who need help the most.

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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