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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 23

Daily Reflections

MYSTERIOUS PARADOXES

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.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 46

What glorious mysteries paradoxes are! They do not
compute, yet when recognized and accepted, they reaffirm
something in the universe beyond human logic. When I
face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a
brother or sister, my capacity to love myself is
increased; when I accept a pain as part of the growing
experience of life, I realize a greater happiness; when
I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light;
when I accept my vulnerabilities and surrender to a
Higher Power, I am graced with unforeseen strength.
I stumbled through the doors of A.A. in disgrace,
expecting nothing from life, and I have been given
hope and dignity. Miraculously, the only way to keep
the gifts of the program is to pass them on.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

Besides our jobs, our families, our friends and our
sobriety, we have something else which many of us found
through A.A. That's faith in a Power greater than
ourselves, to which we can turn for help: faith in that
Divine Principle in the universe which we call God and
which is on our side as long as we do the right thing.
There have been many days in the past when, if we
had taken an inventory, we'd have found ourselves very
much in the red, without sobriety and therefore without
jobs, families, friends or faith in God. We now have
these things because we're sober. Do I make one
resolution every day of my life--to stay sober?

Meditation For The Day

Love the busy life. It is a joy-filled life. Take your
fill of joy in the Spring. Live outdoors whenever
possible. Sun and air are nature's great healing forces.
That inward joy changes poisoned blood into pure,
healthy, life-giving flow. But never forget that the
real healing of the spirit comes from within, from the
close, loving contact of your spirit with God's spirit.
Keep in close communion with God's spirit day by day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may learn to live the abundant life.
I pray that I may enjoy a close contact with God this
day and be glad in it.


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

As Bill Sees It

To Deepen Our Insight, p. 54

It is necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal
relations every bit of information about ourselves and our
fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with
other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of
our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could
yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one.

Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our
insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially
wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which
sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives.
Thoroughness, we have found, will pay--and pay handsomely.

12 & 12, p. 80


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
We always have choices
Decision Making
Self-pity is often rooted in the strong feeling that people or conditions have victimized us.  "I never had a chance" and "You deceived me!" are common complaints that reveal self-pity.
It is astonishing and humbling to learn that we always have choices, even when other people or bad conditions are grinding us down.  One of the great discoveries of the Twelve Step movement is that alcoholics could begin to recover no matter how helpless they had become, no matter how far they had slid into defeat and despair. Once a decision was made to seek sobriety as a primary goal, other choices and decisions became possible.
We choose our attitudes and responses.  We have neither the power nor the right to control others, but we can choose to soften our attitudes toward them, and we can forgive and release people we don't like.
We can always choose how we want to think and feel. It may take effort to break the habit of feeling victimized and sorry for ourselves, but our higher power will show us the way if we decide that is what we really want.
Nobody can ruffle my feathers today or make me feel oppressed and victimized.  I can always make choices that will enhance my sobriety and place me on a better footing for the days ahead.


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

Keep It Simple

Hitch your wagon to a star.---Ralph Waldo Emerson
Millions of people are sober and have peace of mind through the Twelve Steps. Like the stars, the Steps are always there. At times, clouds block our view of the stars, but we know they are still there. Let's view the Twelve Steps the same way.
It is said that the stars are the gate to heaven, that we pass through their beauty to get ready to enter heaven. The Twelve Steps are the gate to spirituality here on earth. We travel through their beauty on our way to a spiritual awakening. Hitch your wagon to the Steps, and get ready for the ride of a lifetime.
Prayer for the Day:  I pray to remember that the Steps keep me sober. I pray that I will follow where the Steps take me.
Action For the Day:  I'll look at the stars tonight. I'll think of them as symbols of my life touched by the Twelve Steps.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I want to dance always, to be good and not evil, and when it is all over not to have the feeling that I might have done better.
--Ruth St. Denis
Our wants in life may be simple, or they may be complex. They may yet be confused in our minds, but the clarity will come if we're patient. God has a way of giving us an "inner tug" when a certain direction beckons. Our responsibility is to follow that tug and trust it, fully. Too often we look back on our lives with regret. What is done, is done. We learned lessons from those mistakes. Every day is a new beginning. And we can close every day with no regrets when we have followed our consciences, that "inner tug" that beckons.
The opportunities will come today. Opportunities to be good or evil. Opportunities for making choices over which we will feel good or full of regret at the day's close. Many of our choices will bring us closer to the satisfaction, the contentment with life, that we all search for as women, as human beings. We need not fear coming to life's close, wishing we had done more or better. Living each day in good conscience, waiting for the tug and following it, will ensure a life well lived.
My ego can block out the tug, if I let it. Or I can trust.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

He probably has several alcoholics among his own acquaintances. You might suggest that you both take an interest in them. Drinkers like to help other drinkers. Your husband may be willing to talk to one of them.

p. 112


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

EMPTY ON THE INSIDE - She grew up around A.A. and had all the answers--except when it came to her own life.

I don't know where I learned the attitude that it wasn't all right not to know, but it was certainly in my life, and it almost killed me.  The concept of set a goal, work for the goal, achieve the goal was foreign to me.  You either "had it" or you didn't, and if you didn't, you couldn't let on--you might look bad.  I never once stopped to consider that others might really have to work hard for what they had.  Gradually my attitude translated into contempt for those who did know--leave it to an alcoholic to look down on someone who is successful!

p. 512

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

This meant, of course, that we had been given the courage to declare each A.A. group an individual entity, strictly reliant on its own conscience as a guide to action. In charting this enormous expanse of freedom, we found it necessary to post only two storm signals: A group ought not do anything which would greatly injure A.A. as a whole, nor ought it affiliate itself with anything or anybody else. There would be real danger should we commence to call some groups "wet," others "dry," still others "Republican" or "Communist," and yet others "Catholic" or "Protestant." The A.A. group would have to stick to its course or be hopelessly lost. Sobriety had to be its sole objective. In all other respects there was perfect freedom of will and action. Every group had the right to be wrong.

p. 147


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

The Seven "T's" ...
Take Time To Think The Thing Through.

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.  --Anne Frank

So, don't take for granted just what you see. Look under the mask, that's where the real person will be.  --author unknown

God is present in all things, even those events and circumstances that seem terrible. Within any circumstance is the seed that can bear the fruit of the greater good, if we are willing to ask God to lead us in bringing forth that good.  --Mary Manin Morrissey

Laughter is the sound of recovery.

"It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off! You cannot make progress without making decisions."  --Jim Rohn

"You can accomplish virtually anything if you want it badly enough and if you are willing to work long enough and hard enough."  --Brian Tracy

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination."  --Tommy Lasorda

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

THOUGHT

"I was a free-thinker before I
knew how to think."
-- George Bernard Shaw

All of us are influenced by somebody. Not to be influenced is to
remain an ignorant person. Most of us hinder our thinking,
particularly around spiritual things, because of pride. We don't like
change. We find it hard to accept attitudes and opinions that differ
from our own. Pride keeps us deaf and often stupid. However, the
daily program of a lived spirituality encourages a variety of opinions
and attitudes. We can learn from different customs, lifestyles and
religions. We can be helped in our understanding of life by the
stranger.

I know that I do not have all the answers. Perhaps you carry my
answers. Today I am prepared to listen to you.

God, the sustainer of all religions and philosophies, help us to
discover You in our differences.

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

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

"But he said, 'What is impossible with men is possible with God.'"  Luke 18:27

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.  Hebrews 13:2


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Daily Inspiration

There is no better time than right now to do what we have been putting off. Lord, grant me motivation and focus that I may live so as to have no regrets about what I should have done.

If you feel the need to get even, try getting even with those that have helped you. Lord, free me from any thoughts of revenge because this only shuts the door to my own happiness
.

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


NA Just For Today

Messages And Messengers

"Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities."
Tradition Twelve

The Twelfth Tradition reminds us of the importance of putting "principles before personalities." In recovery meetings,

this might be paraphrased, "don't shoot the messenger!" We often get the message confused with the messenger,

and negate what someone shares at a meeting because we have personality conflicts with the person speaking.

If we are having problems with what certain people have to share at meetings, we might want to seek the guidance of

our sponsor. Our sponsor can help us concentrate on what's being said rather than who's saying it. Our sponsor can

also help us address the resentments that may be keeping us from acknowledging the value of some particular

person's recovery experience. It is surprising how much more we can get out of meetings when we allow ourselves to

do as our Twelfth Tradition suggests, focusing on recovery principles rather than personalities.

Just for today: I will practice the principle of anonymity in today's NA meeting. I will focus on the message of recovery,

not the personality of the messenger.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
A person's best ally is someone who takes care of herself. --Susan Clarke
Once there was a little girl who was learning to walk. The trouble was, her mother wouldn't let her fall down. Every

time she was about to fall, her mother would rush over and catch her.
It was hard to learn how to walk if she couldn't fall down, but the girl was too little to be able to tell her mother. Her

mother thought she was taking care of her when in fact she was keeping her from learning to take care of herself.

Letting her fall would have shown trust in the child, trust that she could get up. It would have taught her that she wasn't

so fragile that she couldn't recover if she hurt herself.
We are all like this mother once in a while, protecting one another from important lessons in life. This doesn't mean

we have to let someone get seriously hurt, but that we allow each other the freedom to learn and grow in individual

ways.
What will I be able to learn from my little stumbles today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A man who studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green. --Francis Bacon
Where do we direct our energy? Are we spending time and thought on how we have been wronged? On the

unfairness of life? Those who consume their resources in this way have few left for growth and development. Their

wounds stay open for years, and they block the healing.
What will we need to set aside our resentments and hateful attitudes? Perhaps we have been passively waiting for the

other guy to make amends. That only puts our enemies in charge of us. It would be better if we could say; "I am going

to move on. The change that is needed for me to heal will come from within me. I will not put my happiness in

another's hands." More than revenge, we want a life worth living - for ourselves and the ones we love. We can give our

energies to that.
Lift from me the desire for revenge. Replace it with the fullness of a healed life.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Strength
We don't always have to be strong to be strong. Sometimes, our strength is expressed in being vulnerable.

Sometimes, we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track.
We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot

be strong.
There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Occasionally we don't want to get out of our pajamas.

Sometimes, we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability, or anger.
Those days are okay. They are just okay.
Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to "fall apart" when we need to. We do not have

to be perpetual towers of strength. We are strong. We have proven that. Our strength will continue if we allow

ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.
Today, God, help me to know that it is okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself

when I need to "fall apart."


Today I have the courage to own my own unhappiness, daring to look within to discover its source. Today I treat

myself as a friend, with gentleness and acceptance. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Let Power Come Gently

Let your powers emerge gradually, gently.

Go gently on your path and look around. See what you have learned to define as power. See with the eyes of your

heart.

You used to think you were powerful when you resisted your emotions, when you held back and didn’t express

yourself. You thought power came from being who you thought you should be, instead of who you are. Now you have

learned that only when you are who you really are, can true power emerge.

The powers you’ve discovered are many. Your power to be decent, loving, and kind. Your power to heal, to be gentle,

to comfort others. Your power to see and know the truth, and at times to see more than you can see with your eyes.

Your power to take your place in the dance of universal love, and let the universe dance for you.

These powers have been gifts. You’ve seen them. You understand them. You know they’re real. The choice to

embrace and use them is yours.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Learn to fly

Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.
–Erica Jong

There is always someone else to take the fall if our plans don’t work out: “I would have been more successful, but the

economy was slow this year.” “Well, that sounds nice, but my therapist says that I should avoid too much stress.” “I

wanted to do that, but my husband didn’t like the idea.”

What a frightening prospect it is to take your life into your own hands, to decide whether or not you will accept full

responsibility for all of your actions and choices.

What an amazing– and sometimes terrifying– freedom complete responsibility for your actions brings! Sometimes we

make mistakes. Sometimes we stumble and fall. But oh, the feeling when you finally get it right, when you decide to

take that step and it works! That’s when you discover that those fragile butterfly wings on your back are not there just

for ornamentation. You can fly!

Take charge of your life. Take responsibility for your actions. Ultimately no one chooses what you will do but you,

anyway. Enjoy the freedom. You’ve had it all along.

God, help me take complete responsibility for my own actions. Give me the guidance and power, to steer my own

course according to the dictates of my heart and my conscience.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Twelve Steps teach us that as faith grows, so does security. The terrifying fear of nothingness begins to subside.

As we work The Program, we find that the basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening. We lose the fear of making

decisions, for we realize that if our choice proves wrong, we can learn from the experience. and should our decision

be the right one, we can thank God for giving us the courage and the grace that caused us so to act. Am I grateful for

the courage and grace I receive from my Higher Power?

Today I Pray

I ask that I be given the power to act knowing that I have at least a half-chance to make the right decision and that I can

learn from a wrong one. for so long, decision-making seemed beyond my capabilities. Now, I can find joy in being able

to make choices. Thank you, God, for courage.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom is choosing.

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One More Day

Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
– Kahil Gibran

We may, at times, represent ourselves in an untrue fashion. This may happen when we are trying to impress

someone who doesn’t know us well. We may unconsciously try to imitate another person. Yet in doing so we are not

being faithful to the gift of our own uniqueness.

Our need to “prove ourselves” diminished only when self-esteem and self-awareness blossom. As we become more

secure, we begin to honestly express ourselves and our faith. We no longer need heroes to worship; we can instead

honor the gift of life.

I find comfort in the honest expression of my beliefs and feelings.

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

One Day At A Time

HUMILITY

To the humble man, and to the humble man alone,
the sun is really a sun;
to the humble man, and to the humble man alone,
the sea is really a sea.
G.K. Chesterton

Before I started recovery, lack of clarity was all around me and within me. There was too much fear. I was unable to acknowledge: This is who I am, and this is what's going on, no more, and no less. I was afraid to name my husband's abusive behaviour. I was afraid to name my complicity in it. I was afraid to name who I was and what I wanted and needed, and I was afraid to name the behaviour of those around me who wanted me to fit into their mould. My husband was scared silly that one day the world would find out that we weren't the perfect family.

So I was not humble. I kept nurturing the fog that covered what was really going on. And boy, was I good at it. I kind of had an inkling that something wasn't right, so, semi-consciously, I made sure that my denial was watertight. I knew that if we pretended that we were a 100% perfect family, there might be suspicions. So I made sure I'd slip in a little problem here and there.

At one point, luckily, I allowed the bubble to burst. I started naming things, loud and clear. I named them to the police, I named them to my friends and family, I named them in my poetry. I started playing with another 12-step program.

But it took me another twelve years to name that I was an overeater. In those years I gained another 70 pounds (with some yoyo dieting thrown in, of course). Humbly admitting that, yes, really, I was an overeater, was the best thing I've done since ridding my family of my abusive spouse. I humbly admitted that I had been abusing myself with my eating behaviours. Now I can see clearly. (I can also see more clearly how wounded my ex spouse is, making it easier for me to work on forgiving him).

One day at a time ... I accept the gift of humility. I am not afraid anymore to look reality in the eye - and what I see is as right as the sun and the sea.
~ I.M.

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen. - Pg. 100 - Working With Others

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Self will and 'running the show' can be like the monkey who sticks his hand into the trap for food. He grasps the food tightly creating a fist that won't fit out the trap door. The monkey struggles but won't release the food and he is trapped. Simply letting go would free him. Holding tight to your will and your way can be the fist that traps you. Let Go and Let God.

I let go of my tight grip by not insisting everything be my way. I say, 'Let Go and Let God' often to remind myself I don't want to be trapped. What a relief.

The Healing Universe

Everywhere I look life is in a process of healing from something. A plant that has been stepped on fights to come back to life. A tree that has lost branches sprouts new growth. An animal that has lost a leg learns to run on three. Life is always reaching for life. It's an unbroken circle. Like a lover reaching for their beloved , or a child holding onto his mother until the pain passes. Life is programmed to heal itself and it will strive towards that with all its will. I will allow this powerful force that's build into my DNA to work its magic on me. I won't resist my own healing. I will allow it in.

I am built to heal

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

The safest banks fail, corporations fold, loved ones die, all things change. Your life now changes like the tides or the seasons. You are not alone in this change. Seek out others who have experienced relief from your problem of choice and let them guide you through it.

I can change my clothes and change my address but until I change myself, I cannot grow.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

If you want to feel better, clean house. If you want to get better, find God.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I have the courage to own my own unhappiness, daring to look within to discover its source. Today I treat myself as a friend, with gentleness and acceptance.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

An alcoholic who stops drinking, is like the guy who jumps into the water only to find that he can't swim. And AA isn't the water you jump into when your pants are on fire, AA is a bunch of idiots in a life boat with charred britches who come along and give swimming lessons. - Doug D.

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 AA Thought for the Day

February 23

Gratitude
Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward.
In other words, if you carry the message to still others,
you will be making the best possible repayment for the help given to you.
- As Bill Sees It, p. 29

Thought to Ponder . . .
Grateful is a feeling. Gratitude is an action.

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

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

Hope
He had lain awake all night.
Down in the pit of his depression,
new hope had suddenly been born.
The thought flashed through his mind,
"If they can do it, I can do it!"
Over and over he said this to himself.
Finally, out of his hope, there burst conviction.
Now he was sure. Then came a great joy.
At length peace stole over him, and he slept.
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 189

Thought to Consider . . .
Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible,
and achieves the impossible.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H O P E = Heart Open; Please Enter

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

Whole
>From "A Living Part of A.A.":
"God is a living part of A.A. I feel His presence each time I look into the concerned eyes around me. His greatest
commandment is 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' This seems to me to be the entire purpose of A.A." Marysville, Ohio, USA
1973 AAWS, Inc., printed 2004; Came to Believe, pg. 89

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

"The welcome I received in AA was real. Neither my youth, my race, my newness, nor my foreignness concerned them.
All they appeared to see was that I finally admitted my powerlessness over alcohol. That was enough for them."
Port of Spain, March 2003
From: "What Do I Like Best?"
Beginner's Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

"...we have ceased fighting anything or anyone even alcohol."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 84~

"The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has
to be smashed."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, Page 30~

"Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No
person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his
fellows. Therefore, 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, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, Page 30~

Perhaps we shall need to share with this person facts about ourselves which no others ought to know.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 61

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

To Deepen Our Insight
It is necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about ourselves
and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been
the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and
valuable rewards than this one.
Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which
were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the
whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay - and pay handsomely. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 80

Prayer for the Day: Lord Jesus, I ask you to enter my life in a new way this day that I may grow in stature and wisdom and grace as the person you call me to be. Inspire me to follow you more closely and help me to live in such a way that I encourage others and bring life to them. No one is small in your eyes; let no one be small in mine. 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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