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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 21

Daily Reflections

I'M PART OF THE WHOLE

At once, I became a part--if only a tiny part--of
a cosmos....
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 225

When I first came to A.A., I decided that "they" were
very nice people--perhaps a little naive, a little too
friendly, but basically decent, earnest people (with
whom I had nothing in common). I saw "them" at meetings
--after all, that was where "they" existed. I shook
hands with "them" and, when I went out the door, I
forgot about "them." Then one day my Higher Power,
whom I did not then believe in, arranged to create a
community project outside of A.A., but one which
happened to involve many A.A. members. We worked
together, I got to know "them" as people. I came to
admire "them," even to like "them" and, in spite of
myself, to enjoy "them." "Their" practice of the
program in their daily lives--not just talk at meetings
--attracted me and I wanted what they had. Suddenly the
"they" became "we." I have not had a drink since.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

I go to the A.A. meetings because it helps me in my
business of keeping sober. And I try to help other
alcoholics when I can, because that's my part of my
business of keeping sober. I also have a partner in
this business and that's God. I pray to Him every
day to help me keep sober. As long as I keep in mind
that liquor can never be my friend again, but is now
my deadly enemy, and as long as I remember that my
main business is keeping sober and that it's the most
important thing in my life, I believe that I'll be
prepared for that crucial moment when the idea of
having a drink pops into my mind. When that idea
comes, will I be able to resist it and not take that drink?

Meditation For The Day

I will be more afraid of spirit-unrest, of soul-
disturbance, of any ruffling of the mind, than of
earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm of my spirit
has been broken by emotional upset, then I must steal
away alone with God, until my heart sings and all is
strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times
when evil can find an entrance. I will beware of
unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no
matter what turmoil surrounds me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that no emotional upset will hinder God's power
in my life. I pray that I may keep a calm spirit and a
steady heart.


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

As Bill Sees It

To Guard Against A Slip, p. 52

Suppose we fall short of our chosen ideals and stumble? Does this
mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is
only a half-truth.

It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have
done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things,
we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we
are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite
sure to drink. These are facts out of our experience.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 70


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Unexpected Disappointments____Acceptance.
As life unfolds, we sometimes get unexpected disappointments that seem undeserved -- the car breaks down, a business deal goes sour, or a close friend betrays us. As alcoholics, most of us don't handle such things too well.  "Why me, Lord?" we often respond.
Our best approach is simply to view life as a mixture of bitter and sweet, knowing that we've been given real mastery over conditions. We cannot always be sure that a disappointment really is as bad as it seems to be, and sometimes it can become a step toward our good.  As one alcoholic phrased it, "some of the worst things that have happened turned out to be the best."
It's good to face the day with optimism, with confidence, and even with some excitement about the opportunities ahead. If we're maintaining sober thinking, everything that happens today will be transformed into gains for tomorrow -- all our tomorrows. We're on a spiritual journey that goes far beyond anything we're doing here and now.
I won't expect to be disappointed today, but I'll know that nothing can really upset or disturb me without my permission.

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

Keep It Simple

It easier to speak of love, than to practice it. --Anonymous
Do we help our neighbor who is in need? We must help when we see the need, not just when it fits our schedule. In the program, this becomes our goal. We work at helping out. For example, when someone is needed to run the meeting, we offer. We see that the needs of the group are also our needs. We are the group. Over time, the idea of service spreads to the rest of our lives. Maybe we help a family down the street. We start to see that we have something to offer the world; ourselves. We start to see that the needs of the world are also our needs. We are an important part of the world.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, make me quick to act when I see a need. Please don't let my fear stop me..
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll list what I have to offer the world. I will think of two ways I can use these gifts my Higher Power has given me.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

We can never go back again, that much is certain.  --Daphne DuMaurier
Yesterday is gone, but its experiences will be reflected in those of today. We learned from both the good and the bad situations of yesterday. Where we travel today, likewise, will influence our direction tomorrow. We can't do over what has gone before, but we can positively incorporate all that life is offering us from this moment forth.
We are moving toward greater understanding of life's mysteries with each experience. As today unfolds, we can be moved by the adventures. What we experience is ours alone and will contribute to the unfolding of our special destiny. We move forward, only forward. The doors behind us are closed forever.
Facing what comes to us, with strength, is a gift from this program we share. Letting go of the yesterdays and the last years is another gift offered by this program. And trust that what we face along with what we let go will weave the pattern of our rightful unfolding--that is the ultimate gift given to us by this program.
I need never go back again. I am spared that. My destiny lies in the future. And I can be certain it will bring me all that I desire, and more.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

We know these suggestions are sometimes difficult to follow, but you will save many a heartbreak if you can succeed in observing them. Your husband may come to appreciate your reasonableness and patience. This may lay the groundwork for a friendly talk about his alcoholic problem. Try to have him bring up the subject himself. Be sure you are not critical during such a discussion. Attempt instead, to put yourself in his place. Let him see that you want to be helpful rather than critical.

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.

So today I'm much more comfortable with life, as Alcoholics Anonymous has promised, and I know they're right when they say it keeps getting better.  My circumstances have steadily improved as my spiritual life grows and matures.  Words cannot begin to describe the feelings in my heart as I sometimes ponder how much my life has changed, how far I've come, and how much there is yet to discover.  And though I'm not sure where my journey may take me next, I know I'll owe it to the grace of God and to three words of the Twelve Steps:  continue, improve, and practice.
Oh, and one more thing they told me:  Humility is the key.

p. 511

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four - "Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole."

AUTONOMY is a ten-dollar word. But in relation to us, it means very simply that every A.A. group can manage its affairs exactly as it pleases, except when A.A. as a whole is threatened. Comes now the same question raised in Tradition One. Isn't such liberty foolishly dangerous?
Over the years, every conceivable deviation from our Twelve Steps and Traditions has been tried. That was sure to be, since we are so largely a band of ego-driven individualists. Children of chaos, we have defiantly played with every brand of fire, only to emerge unharmed and, we think, wiser. These very deviations created a vast process of trial and error which, under the grace of God, has brought us to where we stand today.

p. 146


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

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.  --Cited in Even More of...The Best of BITS & PIECES

I was led around by emotions rather than facts.

Honesty is the absence of the intent to deceive.

Every man must take time daily for quiet and meditation.  In daily meditation lies the secret of power. No one can grow in either spiritual knowledge or power without it.  --H. Emilie Cady

No matter what is happening in your life, know that God Is Waiting for you with open Arms.

Sometimes Love is just Love and can't be something you can analyze or even understand.

"It doesn't matter if your on the right track, if you don't move, you'll get run over"  --Will Rogers

Today I know that I am doing the best I can and will be gentle with myself. I will watch what comes without struggle and will accept what is and adjust myself to it, rather than wanting it to be different than it is.  --Ruth Fishel

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

ART

"Only work which is the product
of inner compulsion can have
spiritual meaning."
-- Walter Gropius

I have developed, in my recovery, an awareness of the beauty of this
world and an appreciation of what man can produce. Sobriety has
made art accessible. Today I can see beauty in paintings, sculpture,
music, literature and the natural "art" of nature.

Spirituality is always creative and it is at the center of all that is
good, noble and inspiring. Although I am not an artist, I can
appreciate and have a feeling of "belonging" to the beauty of this
world --- in a sense it all happens and takes shape through me. The
rediscovery of spirituality has brought the world and the universe into
my life.

Help me to have the desire to recreate Your splendors through my
experiences.

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

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."  Romans 15:13

"I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."  Phillipians 4:13

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."  1 Peter 3:8-9

"And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.... Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."  Luke 12:29,31


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Daily Inspiration

All the good things in life don't mean much if we fail to enjoy them. Lord, may I pause to notice my blessings and be joyful.

Your last chance to do anything about today is right now. Lord, help me keep my thoughts on making this day better so that I build a good foundation for tomorrow
.

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

NA Just For Today

Self-Pity Or Recovery - It's Our Choice

"Self-pity is one of the most destructive of defects; it will drain us of all positive energy."
Basic Text, p. 77

In active addiction, many of us used self-pity as a survival mechanism. We didn't believe there was an alternative to
living in our disease&151or perhaps we didn't want to believe. As long as we could feel sorry for ourselves and blame
someone else for our troubles, we didn't have to accept the consequences of our actions; believing ourselves
powerless to change, we didn't have to accept the need for change. Using this "survival mechanism" kept us from
entering recovery and led us closer, day by day, to self-destruction. Self-pity is a tool of our disease; we need to stop
using it and learn instead to use the new tools we find in the NA program.
We have come to believe that effective help is available for us; when we seek that help, finding it in the NA program,
self-pity is displaced by gratitude. Many tools are at our disposal: the Twelve Steps, the support of our sponsor, the
fellowship of other recovering addicts, and the care of our Higher Power. The availability of all these tools is more than
enough reason to be grateful. We no longer live in isolation, without hope; we have certain help at hand for anything we
may face. The surest way to become grateful is to take advantage of the help available to us in the NA program and to
experience the improvement the program will bring in our lives.

Just for today: I will be grateful for the hope NA has given me. I will cultivate my recovery and stop cultivating self-pity.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
We cannot do all things. --Virgil
We are each limited in terms of time and energy. If we try to do too much, we do everything half-rate. How much better it is to clearly sort out what is really important to us, and then give ourselves to those things or people wholeheartedly.
Famous writers have written about the difficulty of having more than one or two really good friends. That number seems so unimpressive if we equate popularity with the number of friends we have. If we want quality, we must accept our limitations. In this way we avoid wasting energy on unimportant tasks, on friends who aren't true or close, on goals which aren't what we really want. We can only commit ourselves wholeheartedly to a limited number of tasks and a limited number of people.
Who are my truly good friends?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The readiness is all. --William Shakespeare
Our concept of control was flawed. This program leads us into a New World. Here we meet the fact that we are powerless to change some aspects of ourselves. But we can become ready to be changed. That makes all the difference. When we accept this truth, we are already changed and we are more in line with nature and the universe.
We can't make ourselves less perfectionistic, but we can become ready to let go of our demand for perfection. We can't force family harmony into our lives, but we can become more ready to be harmonious. We can't make a lasting love appear for us on command - we can become ready for such a relationship when the opportunities appear. Do we yearn for some change? How might we ready ourselves to receive it?
Today, I will try to become ready for the help and change I most need in my life.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Living in the Present
The present moment is all we have. Yes, we have plans and goals, a vision for tomorrow. But now is the only time we possess. And it is enough.
We can dear our mind of the residue of yesterday. We can clear our mind of fears of tomorrow. We can be present, now. We can make ourselves available to this moment, this day. It is by being fully present now that we reach the fullness of tomorrow.
Have no fear, child, a voice whispers. Have no regrets. Relinquish your resentments. Let Me take your pain. All you have is the present moment. Be still. Be here. Trust. All you have is now. It is enough.
Today, I will affirm that all is well around me, when all is well within.


It is exciting to know that I have all the strength I need today to do what is good and right in my life. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Let Love Be

You can’t control love. It’s impossible. It’s like screaming and screeching and begging a rose to unfold faster, better, or differently.

Love is an energy– an active, living force that runs its threads through all of life, through all of the universe. But we can’t control love. It is not its nature to be controlled. It’s futile to stand with our hands in our pockets and heels dug into the ground saying, I shall control the course of love, or I shall allow another to control me because I’m afraid love will go away.

We can open our hearts and let love run through us. We can open our hearts and receive love. We can open our eyes and see universal love all around us, in places we never saw it before. We can awaken our souls and see that all these experiences have been lessons of love. Learning courage, faith, patience. Learning to love ourselves, when it looked and felt as if no one else did. Learning to express our creativity, express our emotions, and experience joy. Each one has been a lesson of love.

We have learned to let love be and be open to what that is and the new direction it may lead us in. Love is a powerful living force that permeates the universe and funnels through us. We don’t lead it, it leads and guides us.

Honor the guidance of your heart, and you will be honoring the guidance of love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Say woohoo wherever you are

I walked into the beach house after a day of work to find my friendly tormentors, Chip and Andy, standing by the window that drops down to the beach. Actually, Chip was standing next to the window; Andy was outside, hanging by a climbing harness. The rope led into the house and was tied off around one of the support beams.

I didn’t ask what they were doing. I just grabbed the climbing harness that was lying on the floor at Chip’s feet and asked if I could try,too.

Rappelling from the house down to the beach is not my ordinary activity. But sometimes, even the smallest, most ridiculous things can be a chance for a mini-woohoo. That night, I learned to rappel in the moonlight on the beach from the living room of my house.

Be open to new experience in your life. If it isn’t life-threatening, maybe it’s okay, even if it is a little odd. Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous, look a little uncool, and even let out an aaah now and then.

Have you had a woohoo lately? Have you got one on your list? Or maybe in your garage? Put on some Rollerblades, buy a surfboard, get out your sled. Order something new off the menu. Take a different road. Find the woohoo; then carry it with you into your ordinary world and let it lighten your spirit.

Woohoos are the moments we’ll remember all our lives.

God, help me lighten my spirit by putting a little woohoo into my daily life.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Do I waste my time and energy wrestling with situations that aren’t actually worth a second thought? Like Don Quixote, the bemused hero of Spanish literature, do I imagine windmills as menacing giants, battling them until I am ready to drop from exhaustion? Today, I’ll not allow my imagination to build small troubles into big ones. I’ll try to see each situation clearly, giving it only the value and attention it deserves. Have I come to believe, as the seecond of the Twelve Steps suggest, that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity?

Today I Pray

God, keep my perspective sane. Help me to avoid aggrandizing petty problems, trying to much significance to casual conversations,making a Vesuvius out of an anthill. Keep my fears from swelling out of scale, like shadows on a wall. Restore my values, which became distorted during thee days of my chemical invollvement.

Today I Will Remember

Sanity is perspective.

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One More Day

I will not keep myself from taking positive action. – K. O’Brien

The inability to get going can sometimes plague us. Muscles that don’t work properly or joints that won’t bend can keep us from beginning the day as we once did, even if we have excellent intentions.

Excellent intentions only, however, get us nowhere unless we act upon them. What we need is that extra measure of strength, drawn from some inner resource that we hold in store only for days such as these. Often those sources spring from our intense belief that we will make it through these difficult times. Gradually we recognize that our actions and reactions are becoming more positive.

I try to reach a little bit further for the strength I need to fulfill my good intentions.

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One Day At A Time

~ PROGRESS ~

" ... I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy."
Marie Curie

I have always been the queen of quick fix, so if I wanted something to happen, it had to happen today if not yesterday. So coming into the program was very hard for me, in that for the first time I have had to realise that recovery is not an overnight thing. For a perfectionist like me, that has been a very hard lesson to learn, in that I don't have to have perfect recovery. My journey in this program has been an up and down one, with many slips along the way, and everytime I have slipped, I have had to remember that I may think I'm a failure, but I'm only a failure if I fail to pick myself up. In the past if I made a mistake, I was a total and utter failure, but I know now that all I have to do each time is to pick myself up, dust myself off and start over.

The other thing I've learned in the program is that I also always need to remember where I came from, and when I look back, I can see the progress I have made. My self esteem is growing, and even though I still seem to slip back into the old character defects from time to time, they are nowhere near as bad as in the past. I am able to forgive people whom I thought I would never be able to forgive, and I make amends whenever the need arises, and as a result my relationships with people have improved dramatically.

One Day at a Time . . .
May I remember that in this program, it is always progress and not perfection that counts.
~ Sharon ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

If a repetition is to be prevented, place the problem, along with everything else, in God's hands. - Pg. 120 - To Wives

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

One of the games our mind plays with us during withdrawal is to suggest that if we were addicted to one chemical, that was our problem and maybe we could use another type of chemical to help us. But switching chemicals will insure that we never get well, because the disease is not a chemical--it is a dysfunction to any mind-affecting chemical.

If I learn nothing else this hour, help me understand that the disease is not a drug but a reaction to drugs.

Gifts

Today I will be thankful for the many gifts that are mine. Life is a gift. Health is a gift. Love is a gift. Friends and family are gifts. If I take the time to say thank you, I have so many things to be thankful for. When I learn to say thank you, to give praise and gratitude, my life immediately feels more full.

I embrace the gifts that surround me

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

We often hear 'turn it over.' This means turn over problems not under our control right now--whether they are with family, friends, work, or the law--we offer the things we cannot change to a Higher Power and LET GO.

If I turn it over and don't let go, I'll be upside down!

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Put one foot in front of the other.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

It is exciting to know that I have all the strength I need today to do what is good and right in my life.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

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

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AA Thought for the Day

February 21

Selfishness
Selfishness -- self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.
Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity,
we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.
Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation,
but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self
which later put us in a position to be hurt.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I self-forget I find.

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

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

Steps & Traditions
AA's Twelve Steps are a group of principles,
spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life,
can expel the obsession to drink
and enable the sufferer to become
happily and usefully whole.
AA's Twelve Traditions apply to the life
of the Fellowship itself.
They outline the means by which AA maintains its unity
and relates itself to the world about it,
the way it lives and grows.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 15

Thought to Consider . . .
The Steps protect me from myself;
the Traditions protect AA from me.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
T R U S T = Teaching Recovery Using Steps and Traditions.

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

Publications
>From "The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous":
"The year 1944 brought a vital development. In New York City a few literary and newsminded A.A.'s began to issue a
monthly publication. They called their magazine the Grapevine. It was by no means the first local A.A. bulletin or
magazine. The Cleveland Central Bulletin, the Los Angeles Eye-Opener, and several others had preceded it. But the
Grapevine caught on nationally.
"After the first few months it encountered a strange kind of difficulty. It turned out that the FBI for a long time had
published a [news]sheet called the Grapevine devoted to keeping FBI men up to date. Things were finally ironed out
when we began to call our monthly magazine the A.A. Grapevine. With this minor difficulty overcome, our Grapevine
grew and grew."
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 201-02

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

"I use notes to remind me to seek my Higher Power ... On my desk, in front of my computer is the note: 'Good morning,
this is God, I will be handling all your worries and concerns for today. I will not need your help!'"
Buffalo Grove, Ill., November 2013
From: "Note to Self"
AA Grapevine

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

"The basic principles of the A.A. program, it appears, hold good for
individuals with many different lifestyles, just as the program has
brought recovery to those of many different nationalities. The
Twelve Steps that summarize the program may be called los Doce Pasos
in one country, les Douze Etapes in another, but they trace exactly
the same path to recovery that was blazed by the earliest members of
Alcoholics Anonymous."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Foreward To Third Edition, Page xxii~

When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally
and physically.
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people
who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 92

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

To Guard Against a Slip
Suppose we fall short of our chosen ideals and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell
us so. But this is only a half-truth.
It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take
us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct
continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. These are facts out of our experience. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 70

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Give me the wisdom to know that even if I am on the right path I won't go anywhere if I don't move.

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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