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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 5

Daily Reflections

A GLORIOUS RELEASE

"The minute I stopped arguing, I could begin to see
and feel. Right there, Step Two gently and very
gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can't say
upon what occasion or upon what day I came to believe
in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have
that belief now. To acquire it, I had to stop fighting
and practice the rest of A.A.'s program as
enthusiastically as I could."
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p.27

After years of indulging in a "self-will run riot,"
Step Two became for me a glorious release from being
all alone. Nothing is so painful or insurmountable
in my journey now. Someone is always there to share
life's burdens with me. Step Two became a reinforcement
with God, and I now realize that my insanity and ego
were curiously linked. To rid myself of the former, I
must give up the latter to One with far broader
shoulders than my own.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

One thing we learn in A.A. is to take a long view of
drinking instead of a short view. When we were drinking
we thought more about the pleasure or release that a
drink would give us, than we did about the consequences
which would result from our taking that drink. Liquor
looks good from the short view. When we look in a package
store window, we see liquor dressed up in its best
wrappings, with fancy labels and decorations. They look
swell. But have I learned that what's inside those
beautiful bottles is just plain poison to me?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that life is a school in which I must learn
spiritual things. I must trust in God and He will teach
me. I must listen to God and He will speak through my
mind. I must commune with Him in spite of all opposition
and every obstacle. There will be days when I will hear no
voice in my mind and when there will come no intimate
heart to heart communion. But if I persist, and make a life
habit of schooling myself in spiritual things, God will reveal
Himself to me in many ways.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may regularly go to school in things of the
spirit. I pray that I may grow spiritually by making a
practice of these things.

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

As Bill Sees It

Humility First, p. 36

We found many in A.A. who once thought, as we did, that humility was
another name for weakness. They helped us to get down to right size.
By their example they showed us that humility and intellect could be
compatible, provided we placed humility first. When we began to do
that, we received the gift of faith, a faith which works. This faith is
for you, too.

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

Where humility formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it
now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient that can give us serenity.

12 & 12
1. p. 30
2. p. 74


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Is it really honesty?
Honesty
No matter how cruel the results, the need to criticize others can be a compulsion. Such criticism is sometimes justified by the defense "Well, I had to be honest"  or "it was only the truth."
But is it really honesty to gratuitously bring our a hurtful truth?  Not when the critic's real motives are to wound and humiliate someone, not to foster self-improvement and better behavior. Under those circumstances, the critic is really the dishonest person….  For not having detected the ugly personal motives that triggered the criticism.
Honesty is closely related to humility, and the truly honest person is usually humbly aware of person shortcomings in his or her own life. This alone makes the honest person reluctant to criticize and always careful to do it in ways that avoid inflicting pain or hurt.
Real honesty is rare, especially in people who hurt others under the guise of honesty.
With God's help, I'll look carefully at my motives today.


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

Keep It Simple

Don't bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.------Thomas Jefferson
Pleasure is important in recovery. But at times we think pleasure is the answer to life's pains. Alcohol and other drugs were what we liked best. We need to watch out so we don't switch to another addiction--such as gambling, food, sex, or work. The real answer to life's pains is in having a strong spiritual center. It is also our best way to avoid another addiction. Recovery lets us turn our pain over to the care of our Higher Power. Our Higher Power can handle any problem we may have. Our program can help us with our problems too. Recovery is a three-way deal. Higher Power, program, and us.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me avoid another addiction. When I have problems, have me come to You and to my program before anything else.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll set aside time and ask the question, "Am I headed for another addiction/" I'll also ask my sponsor what he or she thinks.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.  --Janis Joplin
When we don't know who we are, it's easy to compromise ourselves. When we don't know where we stand on an issue, it's easy to be swayed by a forceful voice. Values may be cloudy in our minds, or we may not be aware of them at all. It's then that we are vulnerable to the persuasion of another. In this Twelve Step program, we are offered the way to know ourselves. We are supported in our efforts, and we realize we have friends who don't want us to compromise ourselves--who value our struggle to know and to be true to ourselves.
One of recovery's greatest gifts is discovering we can make decisions that represent us, our inner selves, and those decisions please us. We all are familiar with the tiny tug of shame that locates itself in our solar plexus. When we "go along," when we "give in" on a personally important issue, we pay a consequence. We lose a bit of ourselves. Over the years we've lost many bits. We have a choice, however.
I will have a chance, soon, to act according to my wishes. I will take it.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

There was never financial security. Positions were always in jeopardy or gone. An armored car could not have brought the pay envelopes home. The checking account melted like snow in June.
Sometimes there were other women. How heartbreaking was this discovery; how cruel to be told they understood our men as we did not!

pp. 105-106


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

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.

Arriving home, I dazzled my friends with exaggerated tales of exotic people and strange happenings, some of them true.  We went straight out drinking, and I picked up right where I left off.  Always the object was to go out and "get wasted."  Though I sometimes had trouble holding my liquor, I was willing to try harder.  I felt the key to successful drinking was the same as it is in musicianship--practice, practice, practice.

p. 503


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

A member gives us a vivid glimpse of those days. "At one time," he says, "every A.A. group had many membership rules. Everybody was scared witless that something or somebody would capsize the boat and dump us all back into the drink. Our Foundation office* asked each group to send in its list of `protective' regulations. The total list was a mile long. If all those rules had been in effect everywhere, nobody could have possibly joined A.A. at all, so great was the sum of our anxiety and fear.

pp. 139-140


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

I just sit down for a few minutes, do a little thinking, and God writes the songs for me.  --Hank Williams (1923 - 1953)

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.  --Confucius

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

"You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."  --Max Ehrmann

"Settle for nothing less than what you truly desire, and do not be afraid to ask for what you feel will bring you joy and fulfillment."  --Emmanuel

"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."  --Aldous Huxley

"Our own rough edges become smooth as we help a friend smooth her edges."  --Sue Atchley Ebaugh

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

MONEY

"Capital, as such, is not evil; it
is its wrong use that is evil."
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Today I am not afraid to say that I am concerned for my prosperity
--- not just in terms of health, friendship and employment but also
concerning money. For years I was concerned to have the best, buy
the best, own the best and not "shortchange" myself --- yet I felt
guilty in having such feelings. Today in my sobriety I truly believe
that I deserve the best. In this way I am loving myself. Money, prosperity
and capital are not "bad" in themselves; it is how we use them.

Today, as promised in my recovery, things are certainly getting
better and I am able to invest and buy wisely. Some years ago I would
squander money on my addiction. Today I am able to appreciate and
share my monetary benefits. Family, friends and the "needy" can
genuinely share my prosperity: the more I give away today, the more
I get.

Thank You for all the many benefits You have showered upon me in
my recovery, not least capital. May I always use it responsibly.

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

"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."  Galatians 5:16

"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"  1 Corinthians 3:16

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"  Philippians 4:4

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a good hope and a good future.'"
Jeremiah 29:11


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

Daily Inspiration

Today do what you can and expect no more of yourself. Lord, I will feel joy in my accomplishments today and gratitude for the things I have to do tomorrow.

Do not act as though you are watching a parade because we are each one of the marchers. Lord, things change so quickly. Help me to celebrate the constant newness of my life
.

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

NA Just For Today

Keep Coming Back!

"We are grateful that we were made so welcome at meetings that we felt comfortable."
Basic Text p. 80

Remember how scared we were when we walked into our first NA meeting? Even if we walked in with a friend, most of us recall how difficult it was to attend that first meeting. What was it that kept us coming back? Most of us have grateful memories of the welcome we were given and how comfortable that made us feel. When we raised our hand as a newcomer, we opened the door for other members to approach us and welcome us.

Sometimes the difference between those addicts who walk back out the door of their first meeting, never to return to NA, and the addicts who stay to seek recovery is the simple hug of an NA member. When we have been clean awhile, it's easy to step back from the procession of newcomers—after all, we've seen so many people come and go. But members with some clean time can make the difference between the addict who doesn't return and the addict who keeps coming back. By offering our phone numbers, a hug, or just a warm welcome, we extend the hand of Narcotics Anonymous to the addict who still suffers.

Just for today: I remember the welcome I was given when I first came to NA. Today, I will express my gratitude by offering a hug to a newcomer.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness. --Kahlil Gibran
Sometimes it is just as important to know when to leave others alone as it is to know when to talk with them. We all need to be alone at times--to think, to work out a problem, or just to be quiet with ourselves. This is especially true in families, where we're often surrounded by others. If we tune in to our other family members, we can develop sensors that will let us know when they need some time alone. Part of good communication is knowing when not to talk, too.
Can I be sensitive to my family's needs for privacy today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The human animal needs a freedom seldom mentioned: freedom from intrusion. He needs a little privacy quite as much as he wants understanding or vitamins or exercise or praise. --Phyllis McGinley
The boundaries between us in our families and our friendships often need to be reshaped in recovery. We need to know our feelings are private. We reveal them at our choosing, with whom we choose. We give up on mind reading or probing because it intrudes upon another's privacy. We actively engage in our relationships by sharing ourselves and listening to each other.
A secret that makes a relationship dishonest is destructive and ought to be told. But we cannot force another person to be honest, or pry the truth from a loved one. We can only be honest ourselves and guard our own right to privacy. Intimacy is the bridge, which is built between two separate people. Only when we let others have their privacy and we take ours can our relationships be more intimate.
I will maintain the boundaries of my privacy today and respect the right of others to do the same.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Financial Responsibility
We are responsible for ourselves financially.
What a frightening, grown up thought that is for many of us - taking responsibility for money and our financial affairs. For many of us, handing over responsibility for our financial affairs has been part of a codependent trade off in our relationships.
Some of our emotional dependency on others, on this tight tie that binds us to others, not in love, but in need and desperation, is directly related to financial dependency. Our fears and reluctance to take responsibility for our financial affairs can be a barrier to the freedom we're seeking in recovery.
Financial responsibility is an attitude. Money goes out to pay for necessities and luxuries. Money must come in, in order to go out. How much needs to come in to equal that which is going out?
Taxes... savings plans...appropriate spending habits that demonstrate an attitude of financial responsibility.... Part of being alive means learning to handle money. Even if we have a healthy contract with someone that allows us to depend on him or her for money, we still need to understand how money works. We still need to adopt an attitude of financial responsibility for ourselves. Even if we have a contract with someone else to provide for our financial needs, we need to understand the workings of the money earned and spent in our life.
Self-esteem will increase when we increase our sense of being financially responsible for ourselves. We can start where we are, with what we have today.
God, help me become willing to let go of my fears and reluctance to face the necessary parts of handling money responsibly in my life. Shaw me the lessons I need to learn about money.


It feels terrific letting go of perfection as my goal. As I let go of my judgments, all parts of me come together and I feel complete. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Learn to Live with Unfinished Projects

Whether your project is sewing a dress, reading a book, writing a book, building a home, or learning a lesson on your journey, learn to live comfortably with unfinished work. Whatever you’re working on, whatever you’re in the midst of doesn’t need to be finished, in perfect order, with all the loose ends in place for you to be happy.

For too many years, we worried and fretted, denying ourselves happiness until we could see the whole picture, learn the entire lesson, cross every t and dot each i. That meant we spend a lot of stressful time waiting for that one moment when the project was complete.

Enjoy all the stages of the process you’re in. The first moments when the germ of the idea finds you. The time before you begin, when the seed lies dormant in the ground, getting ready to grow. The beginning, and all the days throughout the middle. Those bleak days, when it looks like you’re stuck and won’t break through. Those exciting days when the project, the lesson, the life you’re building takes shape and form.

Be happy now. Enjoy the creative process– the process of creating your life, yourself, and the project you’re working on–today. Don’t wait for those finishing moments to take pleasure in your work and your life. Find joy all along the way.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Stare in the face of your fears

Examine your fears.

Sometimes we’re afraid of specific things. Sometimes we fear the unknown. And sometimes we’re just afraid, because that’s the way we usually feel.

Are you nervous, anxious,upset? What’s scaring you right now?

Have a little talk with yourself. Take a look at what you fear. Are you starting a new relationship or job? What are the risks? What’s the worse that could possibly happen? Sometimes it helps to go through our fears, one by one. We don’t need to dwell on the negative, but we need to be certain that we’re willing to take responsibility for the risks involved.

Then look in the other direction, and see the entire positive potential there. What can you gain by taking that risk? Does the thrill of victory outweigh the potential loss?

We may emerge from the list saying, No, I choose not to risk that. Or, we may look at the risks and say, Yes, I’ve been through worse. I can handle this,too.

Someone once told me many years ago that fear was a good thing. “If you’re not feeling afraid, it means you’re not doing anything differently. You’re just repeating the same old thing.” If fear is haunting you, stare it in the face. See what’s making you feel afraid. Then either back off, or stare that fear down.

God, help me sort through my fears,one by one. Then guide me in deciding which risks I want to take. Help me not be foolhardy. But help me let go of timidity,too.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If I am troubled, worried, exasperated or frustrated, do I tend to rationalize the situation and lay the blame on someone else? When I am in such a state, is my conversation punctuated with, :Hey did..,” “She said..,” “They did..”? Or can I honestly admit that perhaps I’m at fault. My peace of mind depends on overcoming toward rationalization. Will I try, day by day, to be rigorously honest with myself?

Today I Pray

May I catch myself as I talk in the third person, “He did…” or “They promised…” or “She said shoe would…” and listen for the blaming that has become such a pattern for me and preserves delusion. May I do a turnabout and face myself instead.

Today I Will Remember

Honesty is the only policy.

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

One More Day

We have seen better days.
– Shakespeare

It is quit difficult to define some of the components that help create what we interpret as a good day. A general sense of well-being prevails, and we have a tendency to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. Everything seems to go just right.

It is not the least bit hard, however, to define a bad day. Nothing happens according to plan. We feel out of sorts, not particularly well. With the advent of health changes, we can inadvertently allow many days to become bad ones.

The only way we can stop having negative experiences is to change our expectations of what constitutes a good day. We don’t have to lower our expectations, just make them more realistic for the situation at hand. We will then find that most of our days can be good ones.

My life is and will always be a mixture of good and bad days. I can influence my interactions and thereby influence the color of my days.

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

One Day At A Time

~ SELF WORTH ~

Your worth is not established by teaching or learning.
Your worth is established by God.
Nothing you do or think or wish or make
is necessary to establish your worth.
Helen Schucman, scribe of "A Course in Miracles"

I have spent the last 30 years of my life wanting more, thinking that in proving myself I would be worthy of the love and affection I deserved and this would determine my value. I was always seeking the best path to take to show everyone what I could do and that I was worthy of more of their love and praises.

Turning my life and my will over to God has allowed me to see that, no matter what I may think, in God's eyes I am worth plenty, and this has given me so much peace. I now know that what others say or think about me is not going to make me worthy or worthless. Allowing God to run the show and doing the next right thing is all I need to do. I don't have to concern myself if I am of value to anyone; I am of value to God, and that is all that counts.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to turn to God for my strength, knowing that I need not carry the burden of proof of what I'm worth.
~ Maureen ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

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. - Pg. 78 - Into Action

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

We sometimes say things to ourselves like 'I should have done this, I should have done that.' We can 'should' ourselves into deep and scaring guilt over what we did in addiction. Regardless of the playlets running in our heads, we are not in a position to take over our Higher Power's position of overseeing life.

No matter how long I have been on earth or how intelligent and experienced I am, I will never rise above the level of human being.

The Creative Power of My Thoughts

Today, I recognize that I tend to produce in my life what I feel is true for myself. Thoughts have a creative power of their own. If I look closely, I can see my thoughts come to life. I create the possibility of what I would like by first experiencing it in my mind. I will visualize what I would like to have in my life in my mind's eye. I will accept what I see in my inner eye as being available for me, and I will fully participate in my vision as if it were already mine. I will be specific about what I see in my mind's creative eye and I will accept my inner vision as fully possible. I will see it, sense, taste it and see it as already happening. What I believe can be true for me, can be true for me. I block things form happening with my own doubt and disbelief. Today, I will imagine that I can live the life I am able to hold as a steady vision. If I can see it, I can move toward it, I can accept it, I can crate it.

All good things are possible for me

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Practicing the principles can never be done from a pedestal of self-righteousness. The very act of judging, complaining or criticizing, demonstrates that we are spiritually out of whack--not the ones we judge. Oh, they may be out of whack too, but that's not our side of the street, is it?

My program does not work in principle. It only works in practice.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Addiction is not a sentence; it is only a word.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I dare to walk on a new path where comfort and security are not my goals. I dare to reach out to my fellow human beings and become part of society whose aim is peace and love and joy and recovery.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Most alcoholics would rather die than get sober.
And they do. - Anon.

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

AA Thought for the Day

February 5

Unity
The unity of AA is the most cherished quality our Society has.
Our lives, the lives of all to come, depend squarely upon it.
Without unity, the heart of AA would cease to beat.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 129

Thought to Ponder . . .
There is no strength without unity.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
U S = United Spirits.

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

Faith
People of faith have a logical idea
of what life is all about.
Actually, we used to have no reasonable
conception whatever.
We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting
spiritual beliefs and practices
when we might have observed that many
spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors and creeds
were demonstrating a degree of stability,
happiness and usefulness
which we should have sought ourselves.
c. 2002 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 49

Thought to Consider . . .
Feed your faith and starve your doubt.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F A I T H = Finding Answers In The Heart.

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

Faith
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
"'When we encountered A.A., the fallacy of our defiance was revealed. At no time had we asked what God's will was for
us; instead we had been telling Him what it ought to be. No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him, too. Belief
meant reliance, not defiance. In A.A. we saw the fruits of this belief: men and women spared from alcohol's final
catastrophe. We saw them meet and transcend their other pains and trials. We saw them calmly accept impossible
situations, seeking neither to run nor to recriminate. This was not only faith; it was faith that worked under all conditions.
We soon concluded that whatever price in humility we must pay, we would pay.'"
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 31

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quotes ^*~*~*~*~*

"What matters is what works, not my opinion of what works."
November 1991
From: "Trusting the Silence"
Beginner's Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

"...with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a
spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely
grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings
we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity
of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to
die."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66

"If we skip this vital step (5th Step), we may not overcome drinking.
Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain
facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience,
they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk.
Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why
they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their
housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of
the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their
egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But
they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in
the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all
their life story."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 72~

It was only by repeated humiliations that we were forced to learn something about humility.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 72

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

A.A. is no success story in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a story of suffering transmuted, under grace, into spiritual progress.'
For Dr. Bob, the insatiable craving for alcohol was evidently a physical phenomenon which bedeviled several of his first
years in A.A., a time when only days and nights of carrying the message to other alcoholics could cause him to forget
about drinking. Although his craving was hard to withstand, it doubtless did account for some part of the intense
incentive that went into forming Akron's Group Number One.
Bob's spiritual release did not come easily; it was to be painfully slow. It always entailed the hardest kind of work and the
sharpest vigilance.

Prayer for the Day: For Healing - Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You. Allow Your healing hand to heal
me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others. Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all. Touch
my mind with Your wisdom, that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise. Teach me to reach out to You in my need,
and help me to lead others to You by my example. Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I
may serve You with all my strength. Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever. 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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