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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 17

Daily Reflections

THE LOVE IN THEIR EYES

Some of us won't believe in God, others can't, and
still others who do not believe that God exists have
no faith whatever He will perform this miracle.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 25

It was the changes I saw in the new people who came
into the Fellowship that helped me lose my fear, and
change my negative attitude to a positive one. I could
see the love in their eyes and I was impressed by how
much their "One Day at a Time" sobriety meant to them.
They had looked squarely at Step Two and came to believe
that a power greater than themselves was restoring them
to sanity. That gave me faith in the Fellowship, and
hope that it could work for me too. I found that God
was a loving God, not that punishing God I feared before
coming to A.A. I also found that He had been with me
during all those times I had been in trouble before I
came to A.A. I know today that He was the one who led
me to A.A. and that I am a miracle.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcohol is poison to the alcoholic. Poison is not too
strong a word, because alcoholism leads eventually to the
death of the alcoholic. It may be a quick death or a slow
death. When we go by package stores and see various kinds
of liquor all dressed up in fancy packages to make it
look attractive, we should always make it a point to say
to ourselves, so that we'll never forget it: That stuff's
poison to me. And it is. Alcohol poisoned our lives for
a long time. Do I know that since I am an alcoholic all
liquor is poison to me?

Meditation For The Day

I must somehow find the means of coming nearer to God.
That is what really matters. I must somehow seek the true
bread of life, which is communion with Him. I must grasp
at the truth at the center of all worship. This central
truth is all that matters. All forms of worship have this
communion with God as their purpose and goal.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may meet God in quiet communion.
I pray that I may partake of the soul-food which God has
provided for me.


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

As Bill Sees It

Live Serenely, p. 48

When a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank heavily
yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is another kind of
hangover which we all experience whether we are drinking or not. That
is the emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday's and sometimes
today's excesses of negative emotion--anger, fear, jealousy, and the like.

If we would live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly need to
eliminate these hangovers. This doesn't mean we need to wander
morbidly around in the past. It requires an admission and correction of
errors--now.

12 & 12, pp. 88-89


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Be Careful What you Pray for____Choosing the right goals.
"Be careful what you pray for," the Old-Timers said, for you are likely to get it. While this sounds exciting, it's really an important warning. Prayers are currents of thought directed toward a goal.  The goal must be something few want to live with once it is achieved.  What often happens, unfortunately, is that we seek things that turn out to be shallow and even harmful after we get them.  Such disillusionment has been the stuff of countless morality tales.
Our bitter experiences with alcohol can also furnish lessons about the kinds of goals we should strive for in sobriety. Let's take an inventory if we find ourselves thinking that our happiness depends on certain people, places, or things. Our true happiness comes from our Higher Power and the right combination of love and service. With the right attitude, we can actually be happy under many kinds of conditions and with all sorts of people.
What, then, should we pray for?  "Knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out," is a prayer that puts things in proper order. Seek to do God's will, and you might be utterly amazed at the results. After all, it is God's pleasure to give you good things.
I'll pray for knowledge of God's will today, while exercising prudence in all my affairs.


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

Keep It Simple

. . . no one who learns to know himself remains just what he was before---Thomas Mann
Deep inside, we all know that we're changing. It started when we took Step One. We learned and accepted something new about ourselves. That changed us, just a little. We no longer wanted to live as addicts. That meant we had to change and to learn to live sober. It's been nonstop ever since: learn about ourselves, change a little, learn about ourselves, change a little more, and so on. All we know is that each step of learning and changing makes life better. How long can it keep getting better? As long as we keep learning to know ourselves.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, teach me about myself today. Teach me gently.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll think about what I've learned about myself by working the program. I'll list five things.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay "in kind" somewhere else in life.  --Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Life is a series of payments. The common expression, "What goes around, comes around," is a truth that governs each of our lives. As women and as members of the human family, we have received untold "payments" from others. On occasion, the payment may not have been one we'd have chosen for ourselves. It takes the distance of time to realize that our payments are meant for our good. And we can share the goodness; in fact, we need to share the goodness with one another. If we give to another the joy given to us, if we give to another the understanding given to us, if we give to another the friendship given to us, we will be ready to receive more in kind.
You and I meet today to make payments. I will receive yours gladly.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

Let's now go back to number one. Oddly enough, he is often difficult to deal with. He enjoys drinking. It stirs his imagination. His friends feel closer over a highball. Perhaps you enjoy drinking with him yourself when he doesn't go too far. You have passed happy evenings together chatting and drinking before your fire. Perhaps you both like parties which would be dull without liquor. We have enjoyed such evenings ourselves; we had a good time. We know all about liquor as a social lubricant. Some, but not all of us, think it has its advantages when reasonably used.

p. 110


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth 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.

I walked out of there on a sunny afternoon.  I intended to go to a meeting that night, but I also had ten dollars in my pocket and a reason to celebrate.  I was sober for twenty-two days, and I was feeling pretty good about myself.  Soon my old instincts began to take over.  Sunny day.  Ten bucks.  Celebration.  Feeling good,  Before I knew it, I was walking into the back door of one of my old watering holes.  The smell of alcohol hit me when I entered, and my mouth watered.  I sat down at the bar.  I ordered my usual ginger wash.   Couldn't I make it just one day without drinking?  At this question I realized that yes, since I put it that way, I probably could make it just one day without drinking.  Besides, I was going to a meeting that night and who knows, they might have breathalyzers there.  I put down my dollar, got off that stool, and walked back out the door.  After all, I could drink tomorrow if I wanted to--and that's just what I planned to do.

p. 509

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Quite a while later, Ed got a sales job which took him out of town. At the end of a few days, the news came in. He'd sent a telegram for money, and everybody knew what that meant! Then he got on the phone. In those days, we'd go anywhere on a Twelfth Step job, no matter how unpromising. But this time nobody stirred. "Leave him alone! Let him try it by himself for once; maybe he'll learn a lesson!"

p. 144


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

If you want to feel rich, just count the things money can't buy.  --Cited in BITS & PIECES

The alcoholic is in no greater peril than when he takes sobriety for granted.

There is no place where God is not.  --Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Fire In The Soul

A positive attitude can overcome most daily troubles. So wake up and set your mind to it, first thing every day.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  --e. e. cummings

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

Whom do I need to forgive?  --Suzannah Willingham

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

BELONGING

"But one day when I was sitting
quiet and feeling like a
motherless child, which I was, it
came to me that feeling of being
part of everything, not separate
at all. I knew that if I cut a tree,
my arm would bleed."
-- Alice Walker

Today I am aware of the truth that I belong. I am an essential part of
God's world. I share divinity because God made me. Today I choose
to seek that spiritual center in me that is forever positive and
creative. Today I am the center of my universe.

Past hurts and wrongs cannot take away the uniqueness in my life.
Past abuses and painful put-downs, my years of alternating between
the lost child and the scapegoat in my family need not make me a
victim today. Today I am free to choose recovery and an acceptance
of self. Today I choose to associate with the winners of this world.
Today I participate in creation by being a creative person for me.
Yesterday's pain need not have any power in my life today.

When I kneel before the stream, mountains and stars, I feel me.

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

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:12-14

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.  James 1:12


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Daily Inspiration

There is a purpose for our trials and burdens just as there is a purpose for the joys and wonders in our lives. Lord, grant me Your peace as Your plan for me unfolds.

Thoughts are powerful, so pay close attention to what you think about. Lord, help me to think thoughts of love, peace and abundance so that this becomes my experience
.

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

NA Just For Today

Carrying The Message, Not The Addict

"They can be analyzed, counseled, reasoned with, prayed over, threatened, beaten, or locked up, but they will not stop

until they want to stop."

Basic Text, p. 62

Perhaps one of the most difficult truths we must face in our recovery is that we are as powerless over another's

addiction as we are over our own. We may think that because we've had a spiritual awakening in our own lives we

should be able to persuade another addict to find recovery. But there are limits to what we can do to help another

addict.

We cannot force them to stop using. We cannot give them the results of the steps or grow for them. We cannot take

away their loneliness or their pain. There is nothing we can say to convince a scared addict to surrender the familiar

misery of addiction for the frightening uncertainty of recovery. We cannot jump inside other peoples' skins, shift their

goals, or decide for them what is best for them.

However, if we refuse to try to exert this power over another's addiction, we may help them. They may grow if we

allow them to face reality, painful though it may be. They may become more productive, by their own definition, as long

as we don't try and do it for them. They can become the authority on their own lives, provided we are only authorities

on our own. If we can accept all this, we can become what we were meant to be - carriers of the message, not the

addict.

Just for today: I will accept that I am powerless not only over my own addiction but also over everyone else's. I will

carry the message, not the addict.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
There is glory In a great mistake. --Nathalia Crane
Once there was a big girl who liked to play with little kids and their toys. One day she rode one of their small bikes and

her foot slipped off the little pedal and her leg got caught and dragged along the sidewalk.
She went home, limping and howling. Her mother put ice on the terrible scrape. The next day, the girl's mother told her

she was too big for the little kids' toys. The girl looked up defiantly and said, "I can TOO ride that baby bike."
The girl's mother didn't say anything else. She knew people must be free to make mistakes. We cannot protect

another person from the experiences of the world. It would be harmful to both of us to try.
What mistakes have I made more than once before I learned my lesson?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate

them, more "manhood" to abide by thought out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit,

not in muscles and an immature mind. --Alex Karras
In our culture, being a man often means being tough, having sexual prowess, and not showing feelings. We realize in

this life of recovery that those are silly and immature myths, even though we see them repeatedly on TV, on billboards,

and in newspapers.
When we are told these things repeatedly, it makes an impact on us. So we need to hear from each other that this is

not the way we wish to live. We don't admire these attitudes, and we don't believe the stories. Truly courageous men

know themselves. They have been around enough to have depth to their souls, to let themselves love, and to feel the

pain of life.
Today, I am grateful to know and share my feelings and to have genuine relationships with those I love.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Acceptance
Our basic recovery concept that never loses its power to work miracles is the concept called acceptance.
We do not achieve acceptance in a moment. We often have to work through a mirage of feelings - sometimes anger,

outrage, shame, self-pity, or sadness. But if acceptance is our goal, we will achieve it.
What is more freeing than to laugh at our weaknesses and to be grateful for our strengths? To know the entire

package called "us" - with all our feelings, thoughts, tendencies, and history - is worthy of acceptance and brings

healing feelings.
To accept our circumstances is another miraculous cure. For anything to change or anyone to change, we must first

accept others, the circumstance, and ourselves exactly as they are. Then, we need to take it one step further. We

need to become grateful for our circumstances or ourselves. We add a touch of faith by saying, "I know this is exactly

the way it's supposed to be for the moment."
No matter how complicated we get, the basics never lose their power to restore us to sanity.
Today, God, help me practice the concept of acceptance in my life. Help me accept others, my circumstances, and

myself. Take me one step further, and help me feel grateful.


Even in moments of doubt I know that my Higher Power is guiding me on my path today. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey to the Heart

Who Empowers You?

Most of us need people around us who empower and help us feel able, on track, in balance, hopeful. We need people

who tell us we can. Even if they don’t use words, they believe in us and that belief comes shining through. We look at

them and what we see reflected back is our own power.

But sometimes we run into those who, instead, try to convince us of their power, convince us that they have our

answers, that we need them to be able to see clearly, that without them, we won’t be able to find the way. They don’t

believe in us, they only believe in themselves. That’s not empowerment. That’s an approach destined to create

dependency, often unhealthy dependency.

Cultivate relationships with people who make you feel like you can, who help you know that you’re on track, right where

you need to be. Spend time with people who help you know that you can trust yourself.

Seek out people who empower you. Learn to empower those you love. And during those times when no one’s around,

know that you can empower yourself.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Lighten up

“Mom, can I sleep over at Johnny’s house again tonight? Please?” Shane begged.

“Why?” I asked.

“For fun,” he said.

“You just slept over last night,” I said.

“Who said you can’t have fun two days in a row?” he asked.

While ideas such as discipline and focus are undeniably important, so is the idea of having fun.

With a small amount of effort, we can extract all the fun and joy out of most parts of our lives– our relationships, our

work, even our leisure time. We can put so many restrictions and should’s on everything we do that our very lives

become dull, overly ponderous and routine. Before long, we find ourselves living up to a set of rules– and we’re not

certain where the rules came from or whose they are.

I relented, and let Shane have the sleepover he asked for. He had fun. He had a lot of fun that entire year. So did I.

Let yourself go. Have a little fun with life. Or, have a lot of fun with life. If you’ve spent years being extremely disciplined,

reliable, and somber, maybe part of achieving balance is having a decade of fun.

Dig out your goal list, the one you placed at the back of this book. Add another value to your list, have as much fun and

joy as possible in the days, months, and years to come.

It’s time to lighten up.

God, please show me how to put ideas like fun and joy back into my life. Show me how to have more fun in work, in

love, and in play.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If I become angry today, I’ll pause and think before I say anything, remembering that my anger can turn back upon me

and worsen my difficulties,. I’ll try to remember, too, that well-timed silence can give me command of a stressful

situation as angry reproaches never can. In such moments of stress, I’ll remember that my power over others ins

nonexistent, and that only God is all-powerful. Have I learned that I alone can destroy my own peace of mind?

Today I Pray

May I learn that I can choose how to handle my anger — in silence or a tantrum, a rage, a fist fight , a pillow fight, a

tirade, and elaborate plan to “get back at” whoever caused it, an icy glare, a cool pronouncement of hate — or a

simple statement of fact, “I am angry at you because ______” (in 25 words or less). Or may I , if need be, turn my

anger into energy and shovel the walk, bowl or play a game of tennis, or clean the house. I pray that God will show me

appropriate ways to deal with my anger.

Today I Will Remember

“I am angry because..”

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

One More Day

Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity. – William Hazlitt

It seems that, when we think of our lives are back on course, another obstacle appears and we stumble. In the case of

physical illness, symptoms or pain may worsen or new problems may crop up. Other circumstances can make our

stress level rise as well, until it feels as though we just can’t carry the burden anymore.

Adjustments can be very difficult. With new symptoms we may feel that illness is chipping away, one tiny piece at a

time, at our independence. It’s difficult to be gracious with so many complications going on. Yet this is the time to be

gracious — to ourselves and to those around us.

If I have ever needed to reach into my innermost being to find peace and contentment, it is now. I dislike what has

happened to my body, but I can continue to be a gracious person.

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

One Day At A Time

~ CHANGES ~

They always say time changes things,
but you actually have to change them yourself.
Andy Warhol

Time changes things – but what things? Can I wait for time to change those ways of coping that don’t serve me

anymore? Can I wait for time to make me abstinent?

Yes, time will change things, but chances are that these will be the changes: my coping mechanisms will become

even more entrenched and my eating even more destructive. I don’t really want to wait for that kind of change. When I

joined OA, I started a new trend. I asked for the wisdom to understand which things I can change and then, armed with

the tools of the program, I set about following my new trend of eating healthy and living a life where I don’t sit around

waiting.

I will not wait idly for things to get better. I will ask my Higher Power to guide me to make necessary changes.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not wait idly for things to get better. I will ask my Higher Power to guide me to make necessary changes.
~ Isabella M. ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking

about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no

attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatsoever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay,

no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured -- these are the conditions we have found most

effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again. - Pg. 18-19 - There Is A Solution

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.

Seeing Perfection in What Is

I see life as it is today. I do not ask that the world conform to my idea of perfection in order to love it. I see beauty and

perfection in things as they are, not as I wish them to be. I forgive life for being imperfect. I forgive people for being

imperfect. I forgive myself for being imperfect.I let life, people and me be what we are.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Recovery is a Process Not an Event. There will never be a graduation day for your new way of life. The more you learn

and grow the more you will see that you have more to learn and grow. That is what Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve are

all about.

I learn to grow and grow to learn. My day of graduation is when I die.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

For our suggestions you have two choices: Take it or leave it.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Even in moments of doubt I know that my Higher Power is guiding me on my path today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

The road to recovery is always under construction. - Anon.

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

AA Thought for the Day

February 17

Power
Power is a key word in this program,
and its importance is underlined repeatedly in the Twelve Steps. We admitted in the beginning
that "we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable."
Then we "came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."
And in the Eleventh Step, we pray "for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."
I began to see the emphasis this program places upon force and drive.
I realized that anyone who regards AA as only the passive giving up of alcohol
has not carefully read the Steps.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 186

Thought to Ponder . . .
The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
S T E P S = Solutions Through Each Powerful Step.

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

A New Life
Life will take on a new meaning.
To watch people recover, to see them help others,
to watch loneliness vanish,
to see a fellowship grow up about you,
to have a host of friends --
this is an experience you must not miss.
We know you will not want to miss it.
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Thought to Consider . . .
Break out of your shell and join us!

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E E L = Feel, Experience, Express, Let go

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

God's Help
>From "Another Prodigal Story":
"I know I am an alcoholic and while I used to call on God to help me, my conclusion is that I was simply asking God to
help me drink alcohol without its hurting me, which is a far different thing than asking him [sic] to help me not to drink

at all."
2005, AAWS, Inc.; Experience, Strength & Hope, pg. 113

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

"I am a student of life just trying to learn how the universe works. The most powerful lesson I have learned is that it all
happens inside me. My perception of any situation is in my control -- I have a choice about which way my mind will

react."
Pinellas Park, Fla., November 2006
From: "How the Universe Works"
AA Grapevine

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

"We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by
which faith can be acquired. If what we have learned and felt and
seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our
race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom
we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as
soon as we are willing and honest enough to try."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28~

"Whether the family goes on a spiritual basis or not, the alcoholic
member has to if he would recover. The others must be convinced of
his new status beyond the shadow of a doubt. Seeing is believing to
most families who have lived with a drinker."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 135~

All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 34

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

When a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is

another
kind of hangover which we all experience whether we are drinking or not. That is the emotional hangover, the direct
result of yesterday's and sometimes today's excesses of negative emotion - anger, fear, jealousy, and the like.
If we would live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly need to eliminate these hangovers. This doesn't mean we
need to wander morbidly around in the past. It requires an admission and correction of errors - now.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Father, thank you for today. Please be grant me the wisdom to help those who are in need.
Give me the wisdom so I may help guide them in their journey.

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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