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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 8

Daily Reflections

CONVINCING "MR. HYDE"

Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy will still elude us. That's
the place so many of us A.A. oldsters have come to. And it's a hell of a
spot, literally. How shall our unconscious--from which so many of our
fears, compulsions and phony aspirations still stream--be brought into
line with what we actually believe, know and want! How to convince
our dumb, raging and hidden "Mr. Hyde" becomes our main task.
THE BEST OF BILL, pp. 42-43

Regular attendance at meetings, service and helping others is the
recipe that many have tried and found to be successful. Whenever I
stray from these basic principles, my old habits resurface and my old
self also comes back with all its fears and defects. The ultimate goal of
each A.A. member is permanent sobriety, achieved One Day at a
Time.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

When the morning sun comes up on a nice bright day and we jump out
of bed, we're thankful to God that we feel well and happy instead of
sick and disgusted. Serenity and happiness have become much more
important to us than the excitement of drinking, which lifts us up for a
short while, but lets us way down in the end. Of course, all of us
alcoholics had a lot of fun with drinking. We might as well admit it. We
can look back on a lot of good times, before we became alcoholics. But
the time comes for all of us alcoholics when drinking ceases to be fun
and becomes trouble. Have I learned that drinking can never again be
anything but trouble for me?

Meditation For The Day

I must rely on God. I must trust Him to the limit. I must depend on
the Divine Power in all human relationships. I will wait and trust and hope,
until God shows me the way. I will wait for guidance on each
important decision. I will meet the test of waiting until a thing seems right
before I do it. Every work for God must meet this test of time. The
guidance will come, if I wait for it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may meet the test of waiting for God's guidance. I pray
that I will not go off on my own.

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As Bill Sees It

Pipeline to God, p. 38

"I am a firm believer in both guidance and prayer. But I am fully aware,
and humble enough, I hope, to see there may be nothing infallible about
my guidance.

"The minute I figure I have got a perfectly clear pipeline to God, I have
become egotistical enough to get into real trouble. Nobody can cause
more needless grief than a power-driver who thinks he has got it straight
from God."

Letter, 1950


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Walk In Dry Places
 
Right attitudes Toward Anonymity.
Traditions.
At both the practical and spiritual levels, anonymity is a great blessing for the AA fellowship.  There is much wisdom behind Traditions Eleven and Twelve.
Yet it is possible to use anonymity as a cloak for pride and fear. This might be the case with alcoholics who insist on concealing their AA membership from fellow workers, neighbors, and friends. They defend this zealous protection of their anonymity by pointing to the traditions.  However, this could reveal a lack of understanding and perhaps a lack of commitment to the program.
Why is it useful to let others know we belong to AA?  Our best opportunities to help others may come from people who watched us in sobriety and were inspired by our example.
However, we must maintain anonymity at the public media level, and nobody has the right to violate another person's anonymity. Nor is it wise to be critical of the AA member who prefers anonymity at every level.  We have no right to pass judgment on such decisions. Above all, we never have a right to break another's anonymity.
I'll try to set a good example for others who may be seeking sobriety. I can find guidance about anonymity.


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Keep It Simple

You must find the ideas that have some promise in them...it's not enough to just have ideas.  --George E. Woodberry
Each day we're flooded with ideas. Everyone seems to have found the truth, and now they want to share it. We may feel loaded down with all these ideas. Who and what do we believe? We've fallen on a set of ideas that hold great promise: The Twelve Steps. The ideas of the program have much promise because they're simple. They ask nothing that isn't good for us. They have been proven to work. Now we're people with more than ideas that work. We're people with good ideas that work. When we find ourselves wondering how to live, all we need to do is look to the Steps.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to put my energy into working the Steps.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll list what is right about the Steps for me. What promises do the Steps hold for me?

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Each Day a New Beginning

Reaction isn't action--that is, it isn't truly creative.  --Elizabeth Janeway
We must learn how to act rather than react. Unfortunately, we've had lots of training at reacting. And we're all such good imitators. We are a society of reactors. We let the good or the bad behavior of another person determine our own behavior as a matter of course. But the opportunities are unlimited for us to responsibly choose our behavior, independent of all others in our life.
Change is ours, if we want it. A scowl from a spouse need not make us feel rejected. Criticism at work doesn't have to ruin our day. An inconsiderate bus driver might still be politely thanked. And when we decide for ourselves just how we want to act and follow through, self-esteem soars.
If we are put-down, it may momentarily create self-doubt; but when we quickly reassure ourselves that all is well and respond with respect, we grow. A sense of well-being rushes through our bodies.
Being in command of our own feelings and our own actions, prevents that free-floating anxiety from grasping us. We are who we choose to be. And new adventures await us.
The opportunities to react will be many today. But each time I can pause, determine the action I'd feel better about, and take it. My emotional health gets a booster shot each time I make a responsible choice.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - First Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

Perhaps at this point we got a divorce and took the children home to father and mother. Then we were severely criticized by our husband’s parents for desertion. Usually we did not leave. We stayed on and on. We finally sought employment ourselves as destitution faced us and our families.

p. 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.

In the mid-seventies I was hired by the steel industry, a union job at good pay.  Soon I bid to a craft job and started learning the electrical trade.  The work was hot, dirty, and dangerous.  Everyone worked swing shift and at the end of my turn, I felt as if I had survived an ordeal.  The first stop was the tavern on top of the hill.  Many times there was no second stop.  Liquor was not the only recreational substance available there, and I was no stranger to any of them.  This was where I got my first bar tab, so no matter how broke I was, I could always stop in for drinks after work.  While the guys around me were buying homes, raising families, and otherwise living responsibly, I was already having trouble keeping my utilities on and my car running.  I saw to it that I paid my bar tab, however.

p. 504


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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Why did A.A. finally drop all its membership regulations? Why did we leave it to each newcomer to decide himself whether he was an alcoholic and whether he should join us? Why did we dare say, contrary to the experience of society and government everywhere, that we would neither punish nor deprive any A.A. of membership, believe anything, or conform to anything?
The answer, now seen in Tradition Three, was simplicity itself. At last experience taught us that to take away any alcoholic's full chance was sometimes to pronounce his death sentence, and often to condemn him to endless misery. Who dared to be judge, jury, and executioner of his own sick brother?

p. 141


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The past remembered is a good guide for the future.  --Chinese Proverb

"One that would have the fruit must climb the tree."  --Thomas Fuller

Inspire someone to happiness today by sharing your own blessings and good fortune with them.

Blues Ain't Nothing But A Good Soul Feeling Bad.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.  --Helen Keller

Even when we make a mess of our lives, God loves us and helps us.  --Joanne Hillman

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

HOPE

"The hopeful man sees success
where others see failure,
sunshine where others see
shadows and storm."
-- O. S. Marden

Spirituality involves our attitudes and perceptions as well as our
prayers. Spirituality requires a realistic awareness of what we need
and what we have been given. Spirituality sees beyond the problems
into the solution.

Hope is a feeling that is based on a spiritual perception of life that
shuns apathy and negativity. Everything can be used for good if it is
perceived realistically; destructive experiences, painful moments and
failed relationships can all be used to create a new tomorrow.

The hope that stems from our ability to change requires a realistic
understanding of what has happened. No aspect of life should be
wasted because it can point to a glorious tomorrow.

Teach me to discover the secret of success in the problems of life.

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Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

The Lord says, "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you."  Isaiah 66:13


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Daily Inspiration

Through the power of God within me, I am stronger than any of my circumstances. Lord, I seek, I knock and I ask and You are always there and ready to give me the miracles that I need.

It is important to remember that different can be better. Lord, as I resist change and cling to the familiar, help me to remember that Your plan is perfect and will truly make me happy
.

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NA Just For Today

What Is A Sponsor?

"…an NA sponsor is a member of Narcotics Anonymous, living our program of
recovery, who is willing to build a special, supportive, one-on-one relationship
with us."

IP No. 11, "Sponsorship, Revised"

What is a sponsor? You know: That nice person with whom you had coffee after
your first meeting. That generous soul who keeps sharing recovery experience
free of charge. The one who keeps amazing you with stunning insight regarding
your character defects. The one who keeps reminding you to finish your Fourth
Step, who listens to your Fifth Step, and who doesn't tell anyone how weird you
are.

It's pretty easy to start taking all this stuff for granted once we're used to
someone being there for us. We may run wild for a while and tell ourselves,
"I'll call my sponsor later, but right now I have to clean the house, go
shopping, chase that attractive." And so we end up in trouble, wondering where
we went wrong.

Our sponsor can't read minds. It's up to us to reach out and ask for help.
Whether we need help with our steps, a reality check to help us straighten out
our screwy thinking, or just a friend, it's our job to make the request.
Sponsors are warm, wise, wonderful people, and their experience with recovery is
ours — all we have to do is ask.

Just for today: I'm grateful for the time, the love, and the experience my
sponsor has shared with me. Today, I will call my sponsor.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened. --Winston Churchill
A rolled-up ball of yarn does not take up much space--it sits, ready to be used when needed. It gets unrolled a little bit at a time--just as much as is needed and no more. But a ball of yarn that gets unraveled can be strewn across an entire room. It becomes a jumbled mass, entangled and confusing.
When we live our lives a day at a time, we are like that rolled-up ball of yarn. Our thoughts, feelings, and skills are ready to be used as they are needed. But when we worry, our spirit becomes a jumbled mass of yarn. We get ahead of and behind ourselves--our thoughts are scattered and often our feelings are confused. Worry adds clutter and confusion to life.
What is most helpful is to put the worry away--to roll up the ball of yarn and bring ourselves into the present moment. In this way, we stand ready for each new stitch--and we will never be given more than we are able to handle.
Do I have worries that are cluttering my life today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If the best man's faults were written on Us forehead, it would make him pull his hat over his eyes. --Gaelic proverb
When we deal with our faults and imperfections, we are dealing with the basic issues of being a person. We can become bitter and cynical about the imperfections of others, or we can realize every person is incomplete but growing, just as we are. The way we look at the faults in others and the way we look at our own are closely tied together. In our spiritual journey, we must begin with the premise that no person ever achieves perfection.
Perfection apparently is not what this life is about at all, since perfection is nonexistent. We are lovable, and we can love in the process of living our lives. Since we are not perfect, we have to be accountable. We must have standards for our behavior and hold ourselves to those standards, admitting our mistakes and making repairs where we can.
I will try to acknowledge my mistakes and give up the idea of ever becoming perfect.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Guilt
Feeling good about ourselves is a choice. So is feeling guilty. When guilt is legitimate, it acts as a warning light, signaling that we're off course. Then its purpose is finished.
Wallowing in guilt allows others to control us. It makes us feel not good enough. It prevents us from setting boundaries and taking other healthy action to care for ourselves.
We may have learned to habitually feel guilty as an instinctive reaction to life. Now we know that we don't have to feel guilty. Even if we've done something that violates a value, extended guilt does not solve the problem; it prolongs the problem. So make an amend. Change a behavior. Then let guilt go.
Today, God, help me to become entirely ready to let go of guilt. Please take it from me, and replace it with self-love.


Today I am willing to let go of all my thoughts and opinions that are negative and destructive in my life. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Listen to Your Inner Voice

Our inner voice, that quiet guide within, will lead us along our path, will help us create our destiny, will keep us in harmony.

So much stress comes from not listening, not trusting our inner voice. So much confusion comes from trying to act before we have heard, before we are guided. So much pain comes when we deny what that voice is saying, when we try to run from it or make it go away. We wonder how we can trust ourselves. The better question is, How can we not trust ourselves?

Our rage, anger, and most bitter resentments occur when we trust others rather than ourselves. Yes, sometimes promptings come from outside ourselves. The universe is alive, magical, responsive, and will guide us on our way. But the answer must always resonate, must always ultimately come from that place within our heart, our soul, our inner voice. Sometimes, we need to listen to others until we become impassioned enough to hear and trust ourselves.

It takes practice, the quiet practice of listening, until we learn how to hear ourselves, then interpret what we hear. It is neither wasted time nor incidental to our lives to learn to hear ourselves, to learn to tune into our hearts and souls. That’s part of the reason we’re here– part of our destiny, our mission, our purpose.

Our best work, our finest moments, our joy happen when we’re centered, listening to and trusting ourselves, allowing our hearts and souls to guide us. They happen when we allow ourselves to fully, completely, and in love, be who we are.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Watch out for that woohoo

That’s not flying….It’s falling with style.
–Woody, Toy Story

There is a term in skydiving called relative work. That means you’re controlling your fall rate to match those of the other jumpers in the air– falling in formation with them.

“We are flying,” said a sky diver, flush with adrenaline after a jump, “relative to each other.”

“Sure you are,” I said. “But relative to the earth, you’re falling, and that’s all that counts.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the woohoo of the moment. But don’t forget about humility and reality,too. We can make the right moves, assert ourselves, realize our dreams– but our plans need to be brought down to earth.

Find a path with heart, and walk it. Do things. Enjoy your activities. But also be aware that while you may feel like you are flying, there is a big green planet rushing toward you at 120 miles per hour that begs to differ.

Say woohoo. Have confidence. Then remember that there’s always a power greater than you.

God, help me remember to be grounded and humble in all that I do.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we first stopped drinking, using, over-eating, or gambling, it was an enormous relief to find that the people we met in The Program seemed quite different than those apparently hostile masses know as “They.” We were met not with criticism and suspicion, but with understanding and concern. However, we still encounter people who get on our nerves, both within The Program and outside it. Obviously, we must begin to accept the fact that there are people who’ll sometimes say things with which we disagree, or do things we don’t like. Am I beginning to see that learning to live with differences is essential to my comfort and, in turn, to my continuing recovery?

Today I Pray

May I recognize that people’s differences make our world go around and tolerate people who “rub me the wrong way.” May I understand that I must give them room, that some of my hostile attitudes toward others may be leftovers from the unhealthy days when I tended to view others as mobilized against me.

Today I will Remember

Learn to live with Differences.

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One More Day

Tragedy is an initiation not of human beings but of action, life, happiness, and unhappiness.
– Aristotle

Our response to tragedy can be rage, sorrow, or even horror. Those responses, as real as they are, are not as accurate as our optimism, for it is optimism … the belief that life will go smoothly … that gives the label “tragedy” to an event. We are surprised, we are shocked when our optimism is leveled by the unexpected.

A tragedy is an event, a time, a moment, and nothing more. People’s lives are constantly see-sawing between emotions and events. No one is always happy, placid, or tragic. In experiencing life to the fullest, we expose ourselves to all the facets. And that simple act makes us all uniquely human.

I accept my life and the ups and downs of my human experience.

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One Day At A Time

DISCIPLINE AND FREEDOM

" Freedom to a dancer means discipline.
That is what technique is for ... liberation."
Martha Graham

I was thinking this morning that keeping in fit spiritual condition was like being a dancer. A dancer knows that without the discipline of frequent training and rehearsal, he or she will not be able to dance freely when called upon to do so. The dancer who is not in shape will look wrong, feel wrong and become injured trying to do something wild and free. The training may be dull, boring and repetitive at times, but when the performance is on, the dancer soars in the freedom of movement.

I try to look at my daily program tasks the way a dancer looks at training. I may not like every minute, but I have the continual blessing of freedom as I go about my day and the hope of great moments of breakthrough into new freedoms as I progress.

One day at a time ...
I will take each step of my recovery program with my great vision of freedom.
~ Q.

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person like to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. - Pg. 30 - More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

The pain and struggle of early recovery is a powerful wind that blows through your life. It blows open the doors to your deepest emotions and tests the very fiber of your being. Yet, after the storm abates, you rebuild on the foundation of love from the fellowship.

In the coming days when I can't be grateful, when I cannot see past the storm, I listen to the beating heart of the fellowship.

Lighting One Candle

Today I will light one candle. I know in my heart that the world has so many sincere and good people in it. People who want to contribute to the world, whose hearts are set in the right direction. I join with all of those good souls today in my deep wish to be part of a force that can heal the world. I say a quiet prayer for all who need it and I unite my soul energy with like minded people. I trust that my good wishes for this world will unite with the good wishes of others and form a silent force that will gather in power and attract more and more energy. My prayers will not go unanswered because they are the prayers of so many. There are so many good people from all walks of life, all corners of the world. We have something very profound in common, our love of life, our love of our world.

I do a small thing with a full heart

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Try to live your life without adding to your Eight Step list. You have enough wreckage to clear up from the past without creating wreckage in the now.

When I feel my worst, I try my best.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Better to go through life sober, thinking you're an alcoholic, than go through life drunk thinking you're not.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am willing to let go of all my thoughts and opinions that are negative and destructive in my life.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I've got a mind that's trying to kill me. - Bob P.

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AA Thought for the Day

February 8

Guilt
Day by day, we try to move a little toward God's perfection.
So we need not to be consumed by maudlin guilt
for failure to achieve His likeness and image by Thursday next.
Progress is our aim, and His perfection is the beacon, light-years away, that draws us on.
- As Bill Sees It, p. 15

Thought to Ponder . . .
Guilt is in the past; worry is the future. Both are manifestations of ego.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
G U I L T = God Understands I Lack Trust.

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

Vigilance
Now that we're in AA and sober,
and winning back the esteem of our friends
and business associates,
we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance.
As an insurance against "big-shot-ism"
we can often check ourselves by remembering
we are today sober only by the grace of God
and that any success we may be having
is far more His success than ours.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 92

Thought to Consider . . .
Always remember you're unique ... just like everyone else.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H A L T = Honestly, Actively, Lovingly, Tolerant.

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

Today
>From "Getting Ahead":
"I think that one of the main differences between an active alcoholic and a recovering alcoholic can be expressed as a
matter of tense. The active alcoholic tends to live in the future or in the past. The sober alcoholic, using part of the
philosophy he learns in his A.A. experience, lives or strives to live in the present."
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 113

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

"If you need a friend who understands, look no further than the rooms of AA and the Big Book. They always hold an
answer and some faith for me."
Santa Rosa, Calif, October 2006
From: "Imperfect Progress"
Beginner's Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

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

"Some day we hope that Alcoholics Anonymous will help the public to
a better realization of the gravity of the alcoholic problem, but we
shall be of little use if our attitude is one of bitterness or
hostility. Drinkers will not stand for it.
After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a
symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We
have to!"
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 103~

"Many a man, yet dazed from his hospital experience, has stepped over
the threshold of that home into freedom. Many an alcoholic who
entered there came away with an answer. He succumbed to that gay
crowd inside, who laughed at their own misfortunes and understood
his. Impressed by those who visited him at the hospital, he
capitulated entirely when, later, in an upper room of this house, he
heard the story of some man whose experience closely tallied with his
own. The expression on the faces of the women, that indefinable
something in the eyes of the men, the stimulating and electric
atmosphere of the place, conspired to let him know that here was
haven at last."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 160

We should avoid extreme judgments, both of ourselves and of others involved.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 82

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

Resentment is the Number One offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have also been spiritually ill. When our spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.
In dealing with our resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions, or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships (including sex) were hurt or threatened.
'The most heated bit of letter-writing can be a wonderful safety valve - providing the wastebasket is somewhere nearby.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, we ask you to open our eyes that we may value and appreciate all people, recognizing what we have in common rather than focusing on what our differences might be. Inspire us to distinguish between what is important and what is not, and open our minds and hearts that we may always be people of good will who bring life and joy to others. 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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