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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 18

Daily Reflections

OUR PATHS ARE OUR OWN

... there was nothing left for us but to pick up the
simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 25

My first attempt at the Steps was one of obligation
and necessity, which resulted in a deep feeling of
discouragement in the face of all those adverbs:
courageously; completely; humbly; directly; and only.
I considered Bill W. fortunate to have gone through
such a major, even sensational, spiritual experience.
I had to discover, as time went on, that my path was
my own. After a few twenty-four hours in the A.A.
Fellowship, thanks especially to the sharing of
members in meetings, I understood that everyone
gradually finds his or her own pace in moving through
the Steps. Through progressive means, I try to live
according to these suggested principles. As a result
of these Steps, I can say today that my attitude
towards life, people, and towards anything having to
do with God, has been transformed and improved.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

After I became an alcoholic, alcohol poisoned my love
for my family and friends, it poisoned my ambition,
it poisoned my self-respect. It poisoned my whole life,
until I met A.A. My life is happier now than it has been
for a long time. I don't want to commit suicide. So with
the help of God and A.A., I'm not going to take any
more of that alcoholic poison into my system. And I'm
going to keep training my mind never even to think of
liquor again in any way except as a poison. Do I believe
that liquor will poison my life if I ever touch it again?

Meditation For The Day

I will link up my frail nature with the limitless Divine
Power. I will link my life with the Divine Force for Good
in the world. It is not the passionate appeal that gains
the Divine attention as much as the quiet placing of the
difficulty and worry in the Divine Hands. So I will trust
God like a child who places its tangled skein of wool in
the hands of a loving mother to unravel. We please God
more by our unquestioning confidence than by imploring
Him for help.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may put all my difficulties in God's hands
and leave them there. I pray that I may fully trust God
to take care of them.


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

As Bill Sees It

Out Of Defect. . . Strength, p. 49

If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of
any kind, nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to
alcohol.

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

Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of
complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition
for finding a new one.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 33
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 46


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Walk In Dry Places
 
Shining shoes for Subordinates
Growing in Humility
Did you ever hear of a man named Samuel Logan Brengle?  He was a Salvation Army office whose spiritual consciousness was legendary. But he didn't start that way. A gifted ministerial student of the nineteenth century, he joined the Salvation Army only to find himself sent to a cellar to clean the shoes of other cadets___ most of them far below him in learning and intelligence.
Brengle used that humbling experience to conquer his pride and resentment. He later recalled the utter joy he felt as he cleaned the shoes and prayed for each person. Later on, Brengle became an inspiration to thousands.
It's not likely any of us will have to clean shoes for subordinates today.  What's more likely is that we'll encounter situations that would our pride or churn up resentment. We can turn any such experience into an opportunity for growth by praying to see God's hand in the matter and refusing to fight about it. The peace and serenity we feel is our reward, and, like Brengle, we'll become better people who can be of real service to others.
Somebody may come to me today with something that makes my blood boil.  I won't be a doormat, but I will remember that I always have the choice of making anything a positive experience.


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

Keep It Simple

Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. Spanish proverb
Gossip can kill the trust in a Twelve Step program. We all need to feel safe when we share our personal lives with others. We need to know our private business won't spread around.
We can do two things to help keep the trust in our groups, and in the rest of our lives too. First, don't gossip. Second, don't listen to gossip about others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me mind my own business today. Help me honor the trust of my friends by not gossiping.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll think of two ways to stop someone from telling me gossip. Then, I'll put those ways to use.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.  --Katharine Hepburn
Behaving the way we believe God wants us to behave sounds so easy on the surface. We don't willingly hurt others, do we? Or do we? . . . When did we last secretly burn with jealousy over another's good fortune or good looks? Has there been a time, recently, when we sulked for lack of attention . . . or perhaps picked a fight?
We can simplify life from this moment forth. There is only one path to walk, one decision to make, in every instance, and all our burdens will be lifted, all our anxiety released. We can decide to act in good faith. We can be silent a moment with ourselves and let our inner guide direct our behavior, our words, our thoughts.
Each of us knows, when we dare to let our spiritual nature reign, the right act in every case. Letting God choose our acts will ease our lives. No more obsessive confusion. No more regrets. No more immobility due to fear of wrong moves.
Freedom is guaranteed when I depend on God to direct my behavior. Life's burdens are lifted. I will go forth today, doing God's will, and my Spirit will be light.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

The first principle of success is that you should never be angry. Even though your husband becomes unbearable and you have to leave him temporarily, you should, if you can, go without rancor. Patience and good temper are most necessary.

p. 111


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

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.

At my first meeting that night the people fulfilled their responsibility--they made me feel welcome.  I met others like me and it felt good.  Maybe this thing was for real.  So I went to another meeting, and I got the same feeling.  Then another meeting.  The tomorrows came and went, and to this day, I still haven't found it necessary to take another drink.  That was well over six years ago.

p. 509

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

About two weeks later, Ed stole by night into an A.A. member's house, and unknown to the family, went to bed. Daylight found the master of the house and another friend drinking their morning coffee. A noise was heard on the stairs. To their consternation, Ed appeared. A quizzical smile on his lips, he said, "Have you fellows had your morning meditation?" They quickly sensed that he was quite in earnest. In fragments, his story came out.

p. 144


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

"The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."  --Anonymous

When we practice loving kindness towards others, we run out of willingness and generosity quickly if we think it all has to come from us. When we understand that love comes through us, there is an endless Source.  --Mary Manin Morrissey

"Don't worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you."  --Robert Fulghum, 20th-century American author

When we walk in God's light, we are transformed.  --Eleanor Park Kammer

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

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

LAW

"The life of the law has not been
logic; it has been experience."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Today I respect the law. In this way I respect the society in which I
live. I am not "an island unto myself". I live in a community and have
a responsibility to myself and that community --- such is sobriety.

For years I did what I wanted and tried not to be "found out". I was
manipulative, dishonest and unhappy; to stay sick is depressing and
exhausting.

Then I decided to remove the pain. I accepted the disease and began
to "change" my life. I discovered the "spiritual law" of freedom with
responsibility. Law is the collective experience of the many who
choose to live a certain way, and today I choose to live amongst them.
My understanding of spirituality involves respecting the laws that
give me the dignity of citizenship.

O Lord, help me to see that in the laws of civilization is the gift of
freedom.

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

"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High."  Psalm 9:1-2

"O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you."  Psalm 63:1

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Ephesians 5:8-10


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

Daily Inspiration

Never be too busy to pray. Lord, without Your presence in my life, today would be barren.

We don't choose how or when we will die, but we do decide how we will live. Lord, forgive my frequent drifting and help me to see clearly the best path for me
.

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


NA Just For Today

The Recovery Partnership

"As long as I take it easy and make a commitment with my Higher Power to do the best I can, I know I will be taken

care of today"
Basic Text, p. 120

Many of us feel that our fundamental commitment in recovery is to our Higher Power. Knowing that we lack the power

to stay clean and find recovery on our own, we enter into a partnership with a Power greater than we are. We make a

commitment to live in the care of our Higher Power and, in return, our Higher Power guides us.

This partnership is vital to staying clean. Making it through the early days of recovery often feels like the hardest thing

we've ever done. But the strength of our commitment to recovery and the power of God's care is sufficient to carry us

through, just for today.

Our part in this partnership is to do the very best we can each day, showing up for life and doing what's put in front of

us, applying the principles of recovery to the best of our ability. We promise to do the best we can&151not to fake it,

not to pretend to be superhuman, but simply to do the footwork of recovery. In fulfilling our part of the recovery

partnership, we experience the care our Higher Power has provided us.

Just for today: I will honor my commitment to a partnership with my Higher Power.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
United souls are not satisfied with embraces, but desire to be truly each other. --Sir Thomas Browne
If hugs could melt, if kisses were made of nothing but pure air, if talkers always agreed, and if hearts all beat to the

same drum, would we desire any longer to be truly each other? No two leaves on a tree turn the same way in the

wind; no two fish in a school tread the same water; and no two people can live the same life. Therefore, when we hug

let's leave some space; when we kiss let's allow each other to breathe; when we talk let's permit each other to

disagree; when we love let's honor each other's rhythm and way.
Is it our similarities or differences that make us want to know each other better?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Love can be its own reward. --Arnold Label
The feeling of attachment, of being related, of caring about someone, is what life is all about. Before recovery, we may

have feared we could not love anyone. When we feel love, we may also feel cheated because our affections aren't

returned, as we want them to be. Or we may think relationships are just too complicated and painful. It's true that

relationships are difficult at times. The only thing more difficult is having none.
In this quiet moment, let's reflect on our relationships. Close attachments to both men and women are essential to our

progress. Without them, we would not be in recovery. We don't need to say to our friends, "What have you done for

me?" We can feel an inner fullness and satisfaction, knowing we have relationships we truly care about and we are

accepted as we are. That alone is a remarkable reward.
I appreciate the joys my relationships bring.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Being Right
Recovery is not about being right; it's about allowing ourselves to be who we are and accepting others as they are.
That concept can be difficult for many of us if we have lived in systems that functioned on the "right wrong" justice

scale. The person who was right was okay; the person who was wrong was shamed. All value and worth may have

depended on being right; to be wrong meant annihilation of self and self-esteem.
In recovery, we are learning how to strive for love in our relationships, not superiority. Yes, we may need to make

decisions about people's behavior from time to time. If someone is hurting us, we need to stand up for ourselves. We

have a responsibility to set boundaries and take care of ourselves. But we do not need to justify taking care of

ourselves by condemning someone else. We can avoid the trap of focusing on others instead of ourselves.
In recovery, we are learning that what we do needs to be right only for us. What others do is their business and needs

to be right only for them. It's tempting to rest in the superiority of being right and in analyzing other people's motives

and actions, but it's more rewarding to look deeper.
Today, I will remember that I don't have to hide behind being right. I don't have to justify what I want and need with

saying something is "right" or "wrong." I can let myself be who I am.


Today I am establishing rapport with myself. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Your Body,Mind, and Soul Are One

The body, mind, spirit, and emotions are more than just connected. They are one. To nurture the body is to nurture the

mind, spirit, and emotions.To nurture the spirit is to nurture the body, mind, and emotions. And so it goes, a

continuous connection. A continuing whole.

Do you feel fragmented? Have you disowned a part of yourself? Invite it back. Maybe you’ve focused too heavily on

one part and neglected others. You can be a world-class athlete and still not be in touch with your soul. You can be

skilled at dealing with any emotion that comes along, and yet not see the delicate connection between that emotion

and your conscious thoughts and beliefs. Or you may be so focused on tending to the needs of your spirit and mind

that you neglect your body– resent it and think of it as a limitation.

Tend to each aspect of the whole. Do things that nurture your spirit, perhaps spend time in prayer and meditation or

time with nature. Work on what you believe; clarify the thoughts that run through your head. Nurture yourself

emotionally. Let yourself heal from the feelings of the past, and do what you need to stay current and clear. Listen to

your body and give it what it needs– it’s not separate and apart, it’s not a nuisance. It’s the form your spirit created to

experience the gift of life.

Find that place of balance in nurturing all parts of you. Then life will begin to be magical and you’ll see what you

believe. Your feelings won’t be a bother. They’ll fuel your life; they’ll be the passion that adds color and zest to your life.

Your body will lead you instinctively into what you want and away from what you dislike. And the longer you travel the

journey to the heart, the more you’ll discover and trust your soul.

Start by becoming connected. If you love yourself and keep walking your path, soon you’ll see how connected you are.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Remember how to play

We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.
–Herbert Spencer

I was sitting in my back porch watching a group of children playing in the surf. As the waves came surging in, they

would turn to face the shore on their body boards and paddle like heck to try to catch the wave. I watched the surf

crash down on top of them, one by one. There would be nothing for a few moments but the torrent of water, and then

a little while later a green foam board would pop up and a little while later, a laughing head and body. They’d shriek and

laugh, then one by one turn around, go back out, and do it again.

Later toward sunset, I saw two gray-haired men in ocean kayaks paddling near the shore. They would wait for the

perfect wave and then paddle as hard as they could, trying to catch it and ride it into shore. Again I watched as the

waves reared up and crashed down on the little boats. A kayak would get pushed up on the beach, followed a few

moments later by a laughing gray-haired man, who would then paddle back out and do it again.

I have a friend in his thirties who is determined to make it. He doesn’t know where he’s going; he just knows that he is

going somewhere. And no, he doesn’t have time to go to a basketball game or Magic Mountain. He’s busy and doesn’t

have time to play.

I have a friend in his fifties. He’s in excellent health. He sits in his house, feeds the dog, and complains about the pain

and the shortness of life. He doesn’t play because his poor body just isn’t what it used to be.

We can play or we can not play. It doesn’t make any difference one way or another, except that at the end, you will

have had a much more enjoyable time if you did.

God, help me start having some fun.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We learn in The Program that we cannot punish anyone without punishing ourselves. The release of my tensions,

even justified, in a punishing way leaves behind the dregs of bitterness and pain. This was the monotonous story of

my life before I came to The Program. So in my new life,k I’d do well to consider the long-range benefits of simply

owning my emotions, naming them and thus releasing them. Does the voice of God have a chance to be heard over

my reproachful shouting.?

Today I Pray

May I avoid name-calling, ego-crushing exchanges. If I am angry, may I try to assign my anger to what someone did

instead of what someone is. May I refrain from downgrading, lashing out at character flaws of mindless abuse. May I

count on my Higher Power to show me the way.

Today I Will Remember

Tod deal with anger appropriately.

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

One More Day

Self pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. – Helen Keller

Pity, either from ourselves or others, harms us. yet, sometimes, we allow it to happen.

What we really need from others is empathy — for them to feel as if they were in our shoes. Pity can be a deep pit to

fall into, and the climb back out is difficult. We can’t begin to make the ascent until we are fully aware of why we have

allowed pity and self-pity to prevail. Maybe feeling sorry for ourselves has been easier than encountering the frustration

that may come when we make an effort.

The actions I take today will be based on growth for myself and will help me avoid self-pity.

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

One Day At A Time

SERENITY

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.
The Serenity Prayer

My life before abstinence was a fight in the dark to stabilize my world and protect myself from more pain. Too much

suffering was endured by this child. She never understood that she could ever come back into the Light. But, the fog is

lifting now ... there are days of clarity and joy. How could she have known? She was too little.

Circumstances change ... memories fade away ... I can be safe again ... I can allow myself to be me. I will work my

program to secure the Light again in my world.

One day at a time . . .
I pray to understand that the stream of life keeps moving ... I will live in darkness no longer.
Margaret ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

An illness of this sort -- and we have come to believe it an illness -- involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can. - Pg. 18 - There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

It often happens that you won't know the role addiction played in your life until you stop using. You have replace roles now. Learning new skills, and this is done at meetings and with your sponsor, is a necessary step in adjusting to your new circumstances.

Rather than see additional burdens in new tasks, I choose to see them as a breath of new life.

Courage

I will develop the courage necessary to meet life. I cannot possibly meet the challenges of my life without courage. Today I understand that courage is something I develop. Each time I go through an experience that stretches me, each time I hold my own feet to the fire, each time I discipline myself and hold myself to a slightly higher standard than before, I grow inside, I get a little bit stronger, I strengthen my own courage to meet the next challenge.

I will I will grow in courage

- Tian Dayton PhD

Courage

I will develop the courage necessary to meet life. I cannot possibly meet the challenges of my life without courage. Today I understand that courage is something I develop. Each time I go through an experience that stretches me, each time I hold my own feet to the fire, each time I discipline myself and hold myself to a slightly higher standard than before, I grow inside, I get a little bit stronger, I strengthen my own courage to meet the next challenge.

I will I will grow in courage

- Tian Dayton PhD

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

'Choice, not chance, determines destiny.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

'Today I am establishing rapport with myself' - Peter Vegso

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Early in recovery. I heard Aldous Huxley give a lecture. Afterwards I went up to him, I had an AA pin on my lapel and he spotted it and he was ebullient and said;'I'm a friend of Bill W!' I didn't know Bill W, so I said: Mr. Huxley, what is God? and with this grin, he said; 'God is the inner experience of principles applied.' I said: ' Yeah...maybe you, didn't understand the question.' He said; 'You have a program, if you will apply those Steps, one day at a time, in your life, you will eventually have inner experiences that can't come about any other way. Then you won't have to ask that question because you will have the experience.' - Eddie C.

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AA Thought for the Day

February 18

Obsession
It is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized
by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people.
The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking
is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker.
The persistence of this illusion is astonishing.
Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30

Thought to Ponder . . .
When we try to control our drinking, we have already lost control.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = Absolute Abstinence.

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

AA Unity
Though many of us have had to struggle for sobriety,
never yet has this Fellowship had to struggle
for lost unity.
Consequently, we sometimes take this one great gift
for granted.
We forget that, should we lose our unity,
the millions of alcoholics who still "do not know"
might never get their chance.
Bill W., Letter, 1949
c. 1967 AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 297

Thought to Consider . . .
We can make a difference.
Without you, there is no 'we.'

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A A's - R - U S = Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery Unity Service

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

Paybacks
>From "Into Action":
"Most alcoholics owe money. We do not dodge our creditors. Telling them what we are trying to do, we make no bones
about our drinking; they usually know it anyway, whether we think so or not. Nor are we afraid of disclosing our
alcoholism on the theory it may cause financial harm. Approached in this way, the most ruthless creditor will sometimes
surprise us. ... [W]e let these people know we are sorry. Our drinking has made us slow to pay. We must lose our fear
of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them."
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 78

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

"Recovery is something like the restoration of a very old painting, covered over by layers and layers of darkening, distorted varnish ... Not all of the underlying pattern can be revealed at one time. What is uncovered, bit by bit and layer by slow, careful layer, are the things which are necessary and appropriate for me to know about myself right now."
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, August 1992
From: "An Indescribable Benevolence"
Step By Step

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

"My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, 'Why
don't you choose your own conception of God?'
That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain
in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the
sunlight at last.
It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater
than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning.
I saw that growth could start from that point."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill's Story, pg. 12~

"The very practical approach to his problems, the absence of
intolerance of any kind, the informality, the genuine democracy, the
uncanny understanding which these people had were irresistible."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, Page 160

We began to fear pain less, and desire humility more than ever.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 75

Misc. AA Literature - Quote
If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to alcohol.
Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one.

Prayer for the Day: God , Give us the power of your Spirit that we may see and love in others what you see and love in them. We want to see the positive in people and bring out the best in each other. It’s easy to say that, but not always easy to live it out, and so we ask you to help and inspire us to live as you would like us to live this day. 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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