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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.

January 10

Daily Reflections

UNITED WE STAND

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that
we were alcoholics.  This is the first step in recovery.  The delusion that
we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30

I came to Alcoholics Anonymous because I was no longer able to
control my drinking.  It was either my wife's complaining about my
drinking, or maybe the sheriff forced me to go to A.A. meetings, or
perhaps I knew, deep down inside, that I couldn't drink like others, but
I was unwilling to admit it because the alternative terrified me.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women united against
a common, fatal disease.  Each one of our lives is linked to every other,
much like the survivors on a life raft at sea.  If we all work together, we
can get safely to shore.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking most of us were full of pride and selfishness.
We believed we could handle our own affairs, even though we were
making a mess of our lives. We were very stubborn and didn't like to
take advice. We resented being told what to do. To us, humility looked
like weakness. But when we came into A.A., we began to be humble.
And we found out that humility gave us the power we needed to
overcome drinking. Have I learned that there is power in humility?

Meditation For The Day

I will come to God in faith and He will give me a new way of life. This
new way of life will alter my whole existence, the words I speak, the
influence I have. They will spring from the life within me. I see how
important is the work of a person who has this new way of life. The
words and the example of such a person can have a whole influence for
good in the world.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may learn the principles of the good life. I pray that I may
meditate upon them and work at them, because they are eternal.


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

As Bill Sees It

Out Of The Dark, p. 10

Self searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace
to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the
development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive
God's help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and
grow. But first of all we shall want sunlight, nothing much can grow in the dark.
Meditation is our step out into the sun.

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

"A clear light seems to fall upon us all--when we open our eyes. Since our
blindness is caused by our own defects, we must first deeply realize what
they are. Constructive meditation is the first requirement for each new step
in our spiritual growth."

1. Twelve And Twelve, p. 98
2. Letter, 1946


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
No Need for Envy___Overcoming Envy
We would be unusual people if we did not suffer from the common feeling of envy. Quite often, we are envious of people who surpass us in some activity or who threaten our self-esteem in some way. Even if we are high achievers in spite of our drinking, we might envy people who appear to be rivaling or overtaking us.
We can make choices about envy.  We do not have to be envious of anybody when we fully accept ourselves and God's will for us.  There is no reason to be envious of another if we are doing what God wants us to do and if we have turned our will and lives over to God.
We should be on guard for jealous feelings toward those close to us. Most of us can shrug when we read about strangers winning the million-dollar lottery, but how would we feel if a close friend or relative won?  When those envious feeling surface, we might face them by admitting them to others and asking God's help in rising above them. And if we share these feelings in-group discussions, others will be helped by our display of honesty.
I will accept myself, as I am this day. I will not be jealous of anyone's status, possessions, or opportunities.

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

Keep It Simple

I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.---Winston Churchill
We addicts are used to learning the hard way. Many of us think we're different and can do things our own way. But then we get in too much trouble or pain. The first AA members were just like us. They knew how it is to hate being told what to do. So they suggested we follow the Twelve Steps. They didn't say we have to do anything. They didn't say working  the Steps is the only way to live sober. They just said the Steps worked for them. we're finding out that the Steps work for us too. We don't have to work them.
We don't have to stay sober. We just like our new sober life better than our old drinking  or drugging life.
And we learned how to live this new life by working the Steps
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be open to your lessons. Teach me gently and help me listen.
Action for the Day:  I will list five ways that I get in the way of my own learning.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

A complete revaluation takes place in your physical and mental being when you've laughed and had some fun.  --Catherine Ponder
Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, describes how he cured his fatal illness with laughter. Laughter recharges our entire being; every cell is activated. We come alive, and full vitality restores us physically and emotionally. Many of us need both emotional and physical healing, but perhaps we've overlooked the times to laugh because we've been caught in a negative posture.
Unfortunately, negativity becomes habitual for many of us. However, it's never too late to turn our lives around, to laugh instead of complain. Choosing to see the bright side of life, to laugh at our mistakes, lessens our pain, emotional and physical. Laughter encourages wellness. It is habit-forming and, better yet, contagious. Bringing laughter to others can heal them as well.
We all want health and happiness in ourselves and others, and we can find it by creating it. The best prescription for whatever ails us may well be a good laugh.
Today Ill seek out those chances to dispense a little medicine.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.

p. 98


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

A VISION OF RECOVERY - A feeble prayer forged a lasting connection with a Higher Power for this Mic-Mac Indian.

I thought I was different because I'm an Indian."  I heard that statement from many Natives at my early A.A. meetings.  I would only shrug and say to myself:  You think you're different, what about me?  I'm a red-headed Indian.

p. 494


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

In the years since, however, most of us have come to agree with those doctors. We have had a much keener look at ourselves and those about us. We have seen that we were prodded by unreasonable fears or anxieties into making a life business of winning fame, money, and what we thought was leadership. So false pride became the reverse side of that ruinous coin marked "Fear." We simply had to be number one people to cover up our deep-lying inferiorities. In fitful successes we boasted of greater feats to be done; in defeat we were bitter. If we didn't have much of any worldly success we became depressed and cowed. Then people said we were of the "inferior" type. But now we see ourselves as chips off the same old block. At heart we had all been abnormally fearful. It mattered little whether we had sat on the shore of life drinking ourselves into forgetfulness or had plunged in recklessly and willfully beyond our depth and ability. The result was the same--all of us had nearly perished in a sea of alcohol.

pp. 123-124


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

Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of others, but from doing something worthwhile.  --Wilfred Grenfell (1865 - 1940)

Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with a man's outward circumstance... A man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy.  --William Barclay (1907 - 1978)

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.  --Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.  --Seneca

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

DIFFERENCE

As a recovering alcoholic I belong to a minority. As somebody with the
disease of addiction I am aware of my difference. And I have
experienced prejudice and injustice because I was not born like other
people.

But in a spiritual sense the acceptance of my disease has given me a
freedom that united me with other minorities, other "different" groups,
the countless shades of humanity. My disease has produced a spiritual
unity and bond with creation that makes me rejoice in my difference
and produces a tolerance of others that was not there before. In this
sense I thank God for my dis-ease.

You, who made the different, also created the unity; help me find both
in my life.

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

"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up."  Psalm 5:3

May my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word.
May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise.
May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.
May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.
I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.
Psalm 119:169-176


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

Daily Inspiration

We have many doors, but it is our choice which one to open. Lord, bless me with the wisdom to make the best of my daily life.

Happiness comes from knowing that you can handle the things in your life. Lord, help me to become confident and see the power that is really within me
.

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

NA Just For Today

Gratitude


"I'm very grateful to have come to believe."
IP No. 21, "The Loner"

Belief in a Higher Power can make all the difference when the going gets tough! When things don't go our way in recovery, our sponsor may direct us to make a "gratitude list." When we do, we should include our faith in a Power greater than ourselves on the list. One of the greatest gifts we receive from the Twelve Steps is our belief in a God of our own understanding.

The Twelve Steps gently lead us toward a spiritual awakening. Just as our addiction progressed, so does our spiritual life develop in the course of working the program of Narcotics Anonymous. The steps are our path to a relationship with a God of our understanding. This Higher Power gives us strength when our road gets rough.

Are we grateful for our deepening relationship with a Higher Power? Do we remember to thank God for each day clean, no matter what has happened that day? Do we remember that, no matter how deep our despair or how great our joy, the God of our understanding is with us?

Our recovery is a gift, a gift that we sometimes take for granted. Each day we stay clean, we can rejoice in our Higher Power's care.

Just for today: I am grateful for my relationship with a Higher Power that cares for me.

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

January 10

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
You feel the way you do right now because of the thoughts you are thinking at this moment. --David D. Burns
Good thoughts are like bright colors in a painting. Negative thoughts are dark and dreary and drab. Each day we paint pictures of our own lives with our thoughts. If we step back and look at the canvas, we will see whether the picture is alive with bright colors or dreary and lifeless like a dark cloud. Our thoughts have the power to bring joy or sadness our way, depending on what we expect or look for in our surroundings. The choice of how we want our lives to be is ours. Since we paint a new picture each day, we are always free to change things when they don't please us. What better time than the present?
Is there something in my life I'd like to change today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you don't take chances, you can't do anything in life. --Michael Spinks
Many of us have done things that, in looking back, seem insane or dangerous. We may have had friends or family members who got into serious trouble and frightened us by their risky behavior. Out of fear, we may have become too cautious about everything.
Our dilemma is that growth is a risk, too. If we avoid all risk, we become stagnant. Life thrives on possibilities and options. Of course, risk means the outcome is unsure. We may not get the result we desire. But not all risk taking is as self-destructive as it was in our past. Now we have our relationship with our Higher Power and ourselves. Now taking a chance may help us grow, even when we don't get what we want.
Today let me see possibilities, and guide my inner sense of when to take a chance for growth.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
A complete revaluation takes place in your physical and mental being when you've laughed and had some fun. --Catherine Ponder
Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, describes how he cured his fatal illness with laughter. Laughter recharges our entire being; every cell is activated. We come alive, and full vitality restores us physically and emotionally. Many of us need both emotional and physical healing, but perhaps we've overlooked the times to laugh because we've been caught in a negative posture.
Unfortunately, negativity becomes habitual for many of us. However, it's never too late to turn our lives around, to laugh instead of complain. Choosing to see the bright side of life, to laugh at our mistakes, lessens our pain, emotional and physical. Laughter encourages wellness. It is habit-forming and, better yet, contagious. Bringing laughter to others can heal them as well.
We all want health and happiness in ourselves and others, and we can find it by creating it. The best prescription for whatever ails us may well be a good laugh.
Today Ill seek out those chances to dispense a little medicine.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Fear
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and. you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fear can be a big stopper for many of us: fear of fragility, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of what others might think, fear of success. We may second-guess our next action or word until we talk ourselves out of participating in life.
"But I failed before!" "I can't do it good enough!" "Look at what happened last time!" "What if.. .?" These statements may disguise fear. Sometimes the fear is disguising shame.
After I finished the first two chapters of a book I was writing, I read them and grimaced. "No good," I thought. "Can't do it." I was ready to pitch the chapters, and my writing career, out the window. A writer friend called, and I told her about my problem. She listened and told me: "those chapters are fine. Stop being afraid. Stop criticizing yourself. And keep on writing."
I followed her advice. The book I almost threw away became a New York Times best seller.
Relax. Our best is good enough. It may be better than we think. Even our failures may turn out to be important learning experiences that lead directly to - and are necessary for - an upcoming success.
Feel the fear, then let it go. Jump in and do it - whatever it is. If our instincts and path have led us there, it's where we need to be.
Today, I will participate in life to the best of my ability. Regardless of the outcome, that makes me a winner.


Today I am trusting the urge to move ahead... to grow...to risk new directions. --Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
Value Your Passion

For too long, we have wrongly judged our passion-- our passion for living, our vitality and zest for places, people, things, and ideas. I shouldn't have what I want. I shouldn't say what I like. I shouldn't get too excited. What helps us come to life? What takes us out of the motions and into our emotions? What connects us to the energy of life, the energy of love, the energy of the life force that permeates us all?

All your growth, all your work, has not been to lead you away from your passions, to turn you into a robot. It has been to bring you back to life, to put you in touch with the vital energy of the universe, an energy that permeates all that is. An energy that permeates you.

Honor your passion by honoring your emotions. Feeling your emotions releases passion into life. Feel them. Feel them all. Then you will know what you like, what instills passion in you. Once you know and can recognize that, you'll know which direction to go.

Expressing passion and gratitude will guide your life. Say it again and again. Say it until you believe it. Say it until you live it.

*****

more language of letting go
Push a different button

If you keep pushing the same button, you will get the same results. If you don't like the same results, maybe you could try pushing a different button.

"I try and I try and I try. Nothing seems to change. I don't know why he can't try to please me a little more. I've done so much for him." "The people at work just don't appreciate my efforts after all that I've done."

If you find yourself reacting to the same situations with the same responses over and over again, waiting for a change, stop! If you've been pushing the same button again and again, maybe the only result you're going to get is the one that's been taking place.

Look at your relationships. Is there a situation that has been moving steadily dowhill despite your best efforts to push the right button? Do you find yourself responding to the same situations in the same way over and over, never satisfied with the results? Are you trying the same thing over and over, waiting for something outside of yourself to change instead of doing something differently yourself? Maybe it's time to stop pushing the button, walk away, and do something else.

God, give me the clarity to see the situations in my life honestly and to act with wisdom and responsibility in the associations that I have.

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
Since I came to The Program, I’ve become increasingly aware of the Serenity Prayer. I see it on literature covers, the walls of meeting rooms, and in the homes of new-found friends. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Do I understand the Serenity Prayer? Do I believe in its power and repeat it often? Is it becoming easier for me to accept the things I cannot change?

Today I Pray
God grant that the words of the Serenity Prayer never become mechanical for me or lose their meaning in the lulling rhythms of repetition. I pray that these words will continue to take on new depths of significance as I fit life’s realities to them. I trust that I may find the solutions I need in this prayer which, in its simplicity, encompasses all of life’s situations.

Today I Will Remember
Share the prayer.

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

One More Day

In loving myself I gain the power of identity that is necessary before love for others is possible.
– David G. Jones

Throughout our lives, we may have loved and cared for other people more than we did for ourselves. Some of us were raised to feel that self-love meant selfish. And some of us had trouble finding anything in ourselves that we could love.

Learning to love ourselves is not easy, especially if our lives are not going the way we had hoped. And those of us who had expected greater personal growth are often unable to take pride in what progress we’ve made. If we hoped for perfection, we were bound to be disappointed.

Now, we’re more likely to see self-love as meaning self-acceptance. We simply offer ourselves what we’ve so freely offered others — love, care, and a second chance.

I am a worthy person, deserving of love and forgiveness.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FORGIVENESS ~


Don't carry a grudge.
While you're carrying the grudge, the other guy's out dancing.
Buddy Hackett

I have spent so much of my life wanting and, in my sickest moments, demanding amends from others. I truly have been treated poorly, wrongly and unfairly. But when I focus on how someone else owes me apologies and amends, I'm keeping myself in a negative attitude while trying to change someone else.

One of the best parts of Twelve Step recovery for me has been to let go of these grudges. I work on forgiving people. It sounds wacky, but forgiving them (not forgetting) allows me to let it go. One way I can find forgiveness is to know they never asked themselves how they could make me miserable today. From there, I can wish them well. It has been an absolute blessing to let go of these things rather than waiting for these people to make amends to me.

One day at a time...
I will remember that no one is intentionally doing harm to me. Forgiveness is a much more serene place.

Rhonda H.

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us. - Pg. 55 - We Agnostics

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Even though you are a unique human being, you are not so unique that your recovery is any different then thousands before you. If you think we don't understand, then your disease is playing tricks on you because it doesn't want you getting well with us.

I name three reasons why I am just like every other chemical dependent seeking recovery.

Seeing Clearly

Today I will use my mind to actually visualize what I want my life to look like. I will give myself the gift of seeing my life through this beautiful lens. My thoughts have a creative power, they reach out, shape and template my experience. What I see as true for me, can be true for me, if I am willing sustain my vision and do the work I need to do to get there. Today I will picture doors opening for me where there were none before. I will take my thoughts seriously. I'll decide on what I'd like to see manifest in my life and I will carry it in my mind's eye and take daily steps toward actualizing it. I will see it as if it is already a reality. Then I'll let it go again and again and again and allow the wisdom of the universe to bring those experiences and opportunities toward me that allow me to take the next right action.

I have faith in my own vision

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Gaining our strength in recovery by admitting our powerlessness in addiction is a mystery to us. But, the First Step says we are powerless over 'our drug of choice' and not powerless over 'our recovery.' Don't limit yourself.

I am powerfully recovering.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

He who laughs, lasts!

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am trusting the urge to move ahead. to grow, to risk new directions.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

The beauty and the power of AA lies in identification. No one in AA ever told me what I was. If you try to tell me I'm an alcoholic or I'm this or that, I just have automatic knee-jerk reaction defense mechanisms that come into play and I just shut you out. You can't get to me that way. But in AA, I'd be sitting at the back of the room and you'd be talking about yourself, so my defenses are down, and I start to identify. - Bob D.

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

AA Thought for the Day


January 10

Impatience
The slogan "Easy Does It" is one way we AA's remind each other
that many of us have tendencies at times to overdo things,
to rush heedlessly along, impatient with anything that slows down.
We find it hard to relax and savor life.
When one of us is in a dither to get something done or get somewhere in a hurry,
a friend may gently remonstrate,"'Easy Does It,' remember?"
Then there's often a flash of annoyance at the advisor.
And that indicates the advice must have hit home, wouldn't you say?
- Living Sober, p. 44

Thought to Ponder . . .
A friend is one who sees through you and still enjoys the view.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
P U T = Patience, Understanding, Tolerance.

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

Courage
I looked around me at people who seemed happy
and tried to analyze their happiness,
and it seemed to me that without exception
these people had something or somebody
they loved very much.
I didn't have the courage to love;
I was not even sure I had the capacity.
Fear of rejection and its ensuing pain were not to be risked . . .
c. 1976 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous,  p. 546
(does not appear in 4th Edition)

Thought to Consider . . .
Courage is fear that has said its prayers.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
A A  =  Altered Attitudes

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

Cooperation
>From "The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous":
"Public relations was not only a big problem but a very delicate one. Any blunders that could arouse general prejudice
might prolong the suffering of many and cost the lives of some. A carefully thought-out public relations policy had to be
formed and put into operation.
"Prime consideration was given to our relations with medicine and religion. Under no circumstances must we get into
competition with either. If we appeared to be a new religious sect, we would certainly be in trouble. And if we moved into
the medical field as such, there would be more trouble. So we began to emphasize the fact that A.A. was a way of life
that conflicted with no one's religious belief. We let the doctors know how much we needed hospitalization, and we
suggested to psychiatrists and drying-out places the advantage of cooperating with us."
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 197

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

"The AA message does not carry itself; somebody must carry it."
Jackson, Miss., November 1964
"Let Go and Let God,"
AA Grapevine

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

"We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can
laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.
Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is
that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust
their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him
demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our
fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once,
we commence to outgrow fear."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 68~

"We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the
Spirit of the Universe."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 75~

The answer, now seen in Tradition Three, was simplicity itself.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.141

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God's help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.
We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun.
'A clear light seems to fall upon us all - when we open our eyes. Since our blindness is caused by our own defects, we must first deeply realize what they are. Constructive meditation is the first requirement for each new step in our spiritual growth.'

Prayer for the Day:  Lord, make my life A window for Your light To shine through and a mirror to reflect Your love To all I meet. 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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